Gravel Drawings, Foosball Queen, Trash Pick Up, Christmas and Facetime Corbin!!!

Christmas Eve service. We try to have our kids do service of some sort on the morning of Christmas Eve. Hoping they will focus on giving, not just getting. Lately, they have been picking up trash on the side of the road. We let Corbin pick the best find for the day. :) Corbin chose David and Royce's dead possum and our very own ice scraper that had flown off our car!
Christmas Eve service. We try to have our kids do service of some sort on the morning of Christmas Eve. Hoping they will focus on giving, not just getting. Lately, they have been picking up trash on the side of the road. We let Corbin pick the best find for the day. 🙂 Corbin chose David and Royce’s dead possum and our very own ice scraper that had flown off our car!

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Snow days with school off, but not for our older girls.  They had semester finals and had to get everything done.  They weren’t so happy, but still got a little sledding in….  The wind storm was awesome and the snow for two weeks was beautiful.  It was as if we lived in a winter wonderland.  15326434_1303723239669846_8897546285166671517_n 15439903_1303723209669849_5511745223592593950_n 15492162_1303723279669842_5937874728024710670_n

Kids stealing my phone!  Poor Hadley….15747773_1340387472670089_244337359251019893_n-1 15780934_1340387542670082_2599280759139703067_n 15825892_1340387612670075_5148921579593632063_n

Getting up early to go to the temple, but the car doors were frozen shut by freezing rain.

“Getting rid of” a cute muskrat in our yard.  Afterwards we found out it was actually an otter.  We were so sad!  Especially because my Mom (Nana) loves otters and wants to be reincarnated as one.  The kids said Dad killed Nana in otter form….. 😉

Dixon telling us (through Royce) that he drew “chesters” (our word for a woman’s chest) in the gravel during one of Tessa’s XC meets.  I was talking him through it and asked him how he thought of that.  He said he noticed there were people running all over the place in jogging bras and the chesters were bouncing all over.  He said he even got the dots in the middle in the pictures.  Oh boy!  What do we do with that?  I had a really hard time not laughing.  Sorry if that was more information than you wanted…..

Dixon thinking “Boo Boo” means chesters.  Royce whispered that no, it was actually “Boobs” (a word we don’t even use….).  🙂  Sorry once again, but it was so funny.

Kevin and I noticing how we often parent.  Kevin said:  “Mom will threaten, then I will follow through.”  Still not sure if it’s working…

Realizing that Kevin and I really can’t be old enough to have college kids coming home for the holidays.  We just had a house full of babies.  It really is weird.  But on the other hand it is soooo wonderful when they come home!  🙂  I love having a houseful of family (but not all the time) ;).  It’s such a warm feeling.  I looked at my counter in the bathroom and realized my decorations was happening.

The house box was my Grandmother's, as was the napkin. My Mom gave me the rocks. Sums things up. :)
The house box was my Grandmother’s, as was the napkin. My Mom gave me the rocks. Sums things up. 🙂

Dixon:  “Mom, when we get home can we put the eggs by the wood stove and then they’ll warm up and we’ll have chickens.  Guess we need to talk about Daddy chickens….

Kids going crazy, following me around and arguing.  I said:  “Some day I know I’ll miss you all, but today is not that day!”

Passing out after Christmas dinner at my parents house.  So funny!  My Dad still had his crown on, ha!

Forgetting to take a family picture over break!!!  Uggghhh!

THINGS THAT WORKED:

“Shoot the Duck”.  It’s a fun game that we learned around 20 years ago when the older were little.  😉  One person hides behind a couch and pops their head up and everyone else throws old socks at them.  It’s so cute when a little kid pops up and giggles.

Rogue 1!!!!!  So fun to go with the girls!  15747334_1340387382670098_376005909248683055_n

Getting to visit Kevin’s family in Eugene.  It was so great to see cousins and catch up.  The love is real!  🙂  15781482_1340387196003450_815336304153228275_n 15826604_1340387266003443_8223388991771737260_n 15822606_1340387306003439_3390536987845138839_n

Kevin taking the five kids to a Christmas party.  It was super snowy and I was still a bit sick.  IT WAS AMAZING TO BE ALONE IN THE HOUSE FOR FOUR HOURS!!!!  The dog followed me everywhere (which was cute).  I didn’t turn anything on that made sound.  After cleaning everything up (believe it or not, it all stayed in the same place!!!) I sat in front of the wood stove with the Christmas lights on the tree and read a book while writing in my journal.  It truly was an amazing night, thank you Kevin for braving the ice and snow!  The kids had a blast at the party and came home so happy.

Celebrating my Mom’s birthday at Spaghetti Factory on the Willamette River. It was so great to be with family.  The kids were so excited to get to finally eat in one of the train cars.  15384435_1370300703002699_9143857509549470079_o

Beautiful, spiritual nativity evening at the Kessinger home.  They set up a ton of beautiful nativities and let people come over to tour them.  It was such a great night for our family.

Washougal Tree Lighting and Parade.  It was so fun!

Temple Sealings with these awesome people.  The Sealer heard we were about to have an anniversary, so he had us go into our Sealing room and talk about it with the kids.  Doesn’t get much better than being with your kids in the temple!  15698297_1323730471002456_5224656960390379756_n

Getting to have the wonderful Nielsen family and my parents over for Christmas Eve lunch.  When we lived in Oregon they would come over each year.  We’ve always had Clam Chowder and Chicken Salad Croissants.  With all our crazy schedules, we were so thankful we could make it happen again.  We love the Nielsens!  Many years ago, when Bryson was a handful, the kids tried to put a production of the Nativity on.  Bryson and Natalya (both the oldest) got very frustrated because Bryson wanted to be Mary.  It’s been a standing joke ever since.  So, they all tried again this year and it went really well.  We congratulated them on how well it went.  Natalya had the best quote “Bryson finally grew up!”.  It was awesome!  🙂

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There were auditions. Bryson ended up a sheep…. 🙂

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Facetiming with Elder Corbin Jones on Christmas morning!  It couldn’t have been better.  Warms my heart and made our entire day perfect and full of the Spirit!  15723631_1329528570422646_8480902211855075656_o-1

The kids learned a new Christmas song in Primary that I loved.  I made them sing it to me each night up until Christmas.  🙂

Kevin making me an huge swing for Christmas and our anniversary!  I LOVE IT!  I feel like I am on top of the world out there.  The kids and I keep sneaking out there to swing throughout the day.  

Getting to see the young people I love!  It’s so fun over the holidays to have people come visit.  We had a very late night with these awesome people.  Only wish their Mom’s were here too!  Oh the memories.  I’m so proud of how fabulous and beautiful they are.  Love you guys!

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December 28th, 23 years of marriage celebration date.  It felt so good to get time alone with Kevin!  We had a really rough start to 2016, so we are VERY thankful for our relationship, family and love.  We had dinner at a new restaurant, went downtown and saw a movie.  Love my man!  We started the morning off with a impromptu anniversary trivia with the kids.  We rewarded them with a Dutch Mint each time they answered a question right.  It was so fun to reminisce.  We were surprised they actually had been listening all these years as we told them our stories.  We were trying to let Dixon get a question right, so I asked him “Who’s the eight child in our family?  He stopped to think about it and then said, “Wait! I know this one! It’s easy.” Whereupon he started, silently, to count on his fingers from Bryson Jones to himself as he looked at each person, and suddenly exclaimed, “Its me!”  This picture was taken when he realized the answer.

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Pioneer Courthouse Square

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Missionary transfers.  Sad to see them go, but happy for what awaits them.  15826095_1340391172669719_6722379453652270641_n

Merritt bought our family a Foosball table for Christmas. We now know it was so she could beat all of us and anyone that comes over (minus Gage Pallo, good job Gage!). She's vicious!
Merritt bought our family a Foosball table for Christmas. We now know it was so she could beat all of us and anyone that comes over (minus Gage Pallo, good job Gage!). She’s vicious!  Check out all those Foosballs in her pocket!

Addisen and David gave us “Watch Ya’Mouth” for Christmas.  It’s hilarious to try to figure out what they are saying.  Then people start slobbering…. 🙂 

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Addisen and David getting to celebrate their one year anniversary!  So cute!  15781669_1340391246003045_1851297388234000179_n

Celebrating New Year’s Eve and our anniversary with my parents at the Charthouse Restaurant.  It has a beautiful view of Portland and it was snowing.  Thanks Mom and Dad.15741196_1340878695954300_9158105594489358167_n

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I love this! So true for everyone and everything we let get in the way.

Finding all my old quotes I had up on my desk in Alabama and Oregon.  I put them up again and felt so happy.   15823388_1342663715775798_7812482140328719829_n

 

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