Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Catching Up: Grandpa's 90th Birthday

On January Grandpa Peel turned 90. We had a big celebration in his honor. Mike's brother Ben came from Alaska and his sister Liz and her husband Kevin came from Iowa. Mike's only aunt came with her family from Idaho.

I had my sister Camille come and take a picture of the whole gang. I don't remember the last time we had everyone together. I think this picture will be so precious to us all.

Grandma and Grandpa.

Mike and his brothers.

Our kids adore Grandma and Grandpa.

Mike and his sibs.

Some of my favorite girls--Jessi, Katie, Bev, Courtney and Julie.

It was a great time to celebrate a great person. We love you Grandpa.

Monday, January 30, 2012

catching up: Mom's Birthday and Anniversary

Last Sunday we celebrated my mom's birthday and my parent's 40th wedding anniversary.

I had seen this owl cupcake cake on Pinterest, and thought I would make it for a baby shower someday, but I decided to do it for my mom. Then I made a baby owl for each of her five kids--one boy, four girls; three with brown eyes, one blue and one green.

We have been having so much fun with Just Dance that we decided to bring our Wii and have a dance off. Everyone participated--even Grandpa--much to the kid's amazement.

I think Just Dance is quite possibly the best Wii game ever invented. Everyone can play it and it's good exercise. I will not post pictures of any adults playing here--I want them to be willing to keep playing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

i'm back...

I didn't intend to stop blogging for two weeks. I have just sort of been in an overwhelmed, busy yet unproductive funk.

January is my least favorite month. Every year I get a case of the post-holiday blahs. I miss all the fun and festivities. I miss having the kids home. I miss having all the family around. I miss the break from all of the kid's activities. I start to really miss the sunshine.

I am accepting my reality...the reality of a busy schedule and responsibilities and bedtimes. I am also trying to figure out a way to

...even if just a little bit.

Mike and I talk a lot about this phase of life we are in. I want to do the important things--the things that will make the biggest difference for our kids and our family. I have had a few little reminders lately about just how fragile relationships are and how fast kids grow up.

My big "to do list" is still long. It feels like the 'checking of'f'' is going slowly. But, I am snuggling my babies and reading to them and cooking for them and helping them with homework and making them healthy lunches and listening to them and helping in their school and taking them to their activities and washing their clothes and trying not to yell at them.

Here are a few thoughts that are inspiring me these days:

Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.

I have discovered that life is not a series of great heroic acts. Life at its best is a matter of consistent goodness and decency, doing without fanfare that which needed to be done when it needed to be done. I have observed that it is not the geniuses that make the difference in this world. I have observed that the work of the world is done largely by men and women of ordinary talent who have worked in an extraordinary manner.

Gordon B. Hinkley

No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God.

Gordon B. Hinkley

You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be “How well have my children done?”

Gordon B. Hinkley

(I sort of like President Hinkley.)

(Both images found on Pinterest. A place I always have time for.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Card

I just found a few cards that weren't mailed out, so it looks like a few of our loved ones will be getting a "Happy January 7th" Card.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Twenty-fifth Day of Christmas

(This is not what Mike and I looked like Christmas morning. Christmas morning, while the kids opened gifts, he and I took turns running to the bathroom to throw up.)

The kids set the alarm for 6 a.m. because they wanted plenty of time before church at 10:00.

They all got pillow pets, except for Bev--she got a Webkinz cat. These have ended up being some of their favorite gifts.

Drew got Diagon Alley Legos, and he did the annual pretend fainting on account of being so happy.

This kid has always been so enthusiastic about his gifts. It sure makes giving him things fun.

It was a Barbie Christmas for Jessi.

Christian got Lego Ninjago stuff...

...and Skylanders for Wii.

We gave the girls Caboodles with all kinds of treasures inside--art supplies, makeup, jewelry.

I got new car mats and a stock pot. I also got this weird light bulb in my stocking. It is for my rear break light in my van.

Mike got two of his favorite movies on DVD.

I think this picture is funny. Mike is usually getting everything cleaned up. This year he just sort of sat there in a stupor.

Mike went up to bed for a bit. I helped Bev get her new tea set cleaned. She made hot chocolate and toast for everyone for breakfast.

Although we didn't feel well, we got the kids to church. I wish we could go for an hour of church every year on Christmas--it is a great way to start the day. By the end of the hour, every kid was asleep. After church, I slept for an hour. When I woke up, I was the one in a stupor. We headed out for our annual visits. On the way, we realized that I had forgotten all of the cards and pictures I had to give for gifts.

We first went to Grandma and Grandpa's to see both sets of Grandparents on Mike's side. We got spoiled all over again.

We then headed to my aunt and uncle's for my family's Christmas party. Instead of the kids exchanging gifts, we decided to make hygiene kits for the LDS Humanitarian Center. Everyone brought supplies and we assembled fifty kits. This was probably my favorite part of the day.

For more information on Humanitarian activities visit:


We hadn't seen our other cousins, so we stopped at Sean and Julie's for a quick visit. We got home at about 9. We went to bed and the kids stayed up playing with all of their new stuff. I woke up in the middle of the night and found every light in the house on, the tv was on and so was the mini DVD player. I then set out to find all of the kids. Drew and Bev were in his room--they had been watching a movie. Christian was actually at the foot of our bed totally covered up in blankets and all of the pillow pets. Jessi was on the love sac in the family room.

I was a little sad to have been sick on my favorite day of the year, but we got to see our wonderful families and the day was magical for the kids, so it was a very nice Christmas.