Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Day

After our Christmas morning at home and a quick trip to Grandma & Grandpa England's to open some presents, we loaded up and headed down to the ranch. Sherry waited for us to get there to open her presents.
She was pretty excited about her new iPad. She said, "Now you kids can't buy me anything else until I die! I priced those and know how much they cost!"
Then the tears started to flow when she opened the book that Darin and Christy put together for her. It was a book of all the notes and comments from the blog about Pat. There were also pictures and lots of fun memories from the week of Pat's funeral. It is an awesome book and something the whole family is going to love to have.
Of course the day wouldn't have been complete without a fabulous Christmas dinner of prime rib, potatoes and Darin's out-of-this-world rolls to finish out the day. The kids were thrilled to hang out with the Nielson cousins if only for a day and a half.

And a trip to the ranch is also never complete without a puzzle! Thanks to Emerson for helping me finish it up---all in one day.

Joseph and Mary

I love this photo! Kam and Katherine played Joseph and Mary in a nativity production in Las Vegas. I will have to get more details and correct myself later.

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning was spent at home this year. It was kind of nice to not have to pack everything and haul it somewhere! Not that we don't enjoy our Christmases away from home...

Whatever it was that Emerson got, she loved it! My guess is it was her grey Uggs.
Montana opening Ipod #2 for the year. The last one she got for her birthday and lost it 2 months later. This one better be a keeper.
Money....always a good gift.
Kurt gave the family a gift of a soda stream. Kam and Derik both have one and love it. I think Kurt bought it more for himself than anyone.
The aebleskivers---delish!
Duke in his Christmas outfit. He hates it.

It was a pretty good Christmas at our house.

Christmas PJs

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is the opening of one gift on Christmas eve. Of course that gift is always pajamas. Even Kurt and I were in on the tradition this year. For some reason we don't have a picture of Emerson.... And she had my favorite pajamas too! Hers were hot pink with owls on them.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve Fiesta!

Grandpa was the head senor for the night.

Already sporting a mustache, Ian made some killer eyebrows!
Even Ethan kept his mustache on!
Christmas eve with the Englands was celebrated with a mexican fiesta! And Grandma made sure we all had the proper accessories for the evening.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

20 Years

Today we are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary! I can't believe we have been married that long. The time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday we were eagerly anticipating our wedding day. I have been a Brian almost as long as I was an England. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to share my life with Kurt. The older I get the more I realize that I married a guy who is just like my dad---patient, generous, non-judgmental, even-tempered and thoughtful. Though we have weathered trials and challenges in our lives, those are not the things I remember as I look back through the years. I remember the joys and fun times with each other and with our children. I look forward to (at least) the next 20 years for what they might bring.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2 More Faves

I love Goldfrapp and have for quite a few years (thank you George Dayton). But this album, Head First, is super! The first track, Rocket, has been nominated for a Grammy for best dance recording and the whole album has been nominated for best electronic/dance album. Very cool.
One of my favorite scents from Bath & Body Works. I usually stock up since you can only get it during Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We're In!

I signed up for this half with Cami and Kaci. Kurt and I tried to get in last year and didn't make the lottery. But luck was on our side this time. Can't wait!

Some Favorite Things as of late

Well you can definitely tell that it is Christmas around here not only from all the clutter (which is driving me insane) but from all the treats around the house! We do have a few healthy treats like clementines and pomegranate. But, for the most part, it's sweet, sugary stuff---which I love, too much. Peppermint ice cream is something I have been eating far too often. And some lovely neighbors brought some over last night as a gift...... with homemade chocolate sauce. I can't wait to eat some later.
You can also tell that it is winter around here. Not so much because of the snow---we have none on the ground right now and not so much because of the freezing temperatures---I think it was 50+ degrees yesterday. But because my hands are constantly dry and cracked. I started using Look ma, new hands this year and I love it. It's not too greasy but heavy enough to put moisture back in my hands. And it smells like oranges. My teeny little 1 oz. tube was gone in a heartbeat. It would make a great Christmas gift. (hint, hint)

I looked back at my favorite things from last year and I have to say that Uggs, Shaka Laka, and V Chocolates are still on the list. Although I haven't yet had any V's this year. Another great idea for a Christmas gift!

Friday, December 10, 2010

She's off!

2010 Junior Olympic XC Championships
Montana arrived safely in Alabama yesterday. She flew by herself--which she has kind of done before. Last time she flew that far she was with Indy when they flew to Maryland to visit with Darin & Peter. So she was slightly nervous. I was most nervous about her getting on to her connecting flight in Atlanta. Anyway, we said our good-byes as she went through security in Salt Lake. We both got a little teary (just a teeny bit). Thank goodness all went well and she was able to meet up with Harpers as soon as she got off the plane. Now she will get a day of rest today and then the race tomorrow. I wish I was there with her. Go Montana!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One Proud Mom

Tonight was the Orem High Cross Country banquet. I learned some things about my daughter while we were there. First, that Montana is a co-captain of the team. Awesome.
Second, she earned her athletic letter in cross country! Of course I was so proud I wanted to burst. And....., of course, I forgot the camera. :(

Monday, December 6, 2010


...all motivation to do anything----including cleaning, cooking, Christmas shopping, exercising, getting dressed, etc.
If you find my motivation, please return it to me ASAP! Or if you would like to lend me yours for a few weeks that would be great too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

College Bound

Align Center
College applications are done and turned in. Weird. My firstborn child will be heading off to college in less than a year. Wow-how the time has flown by. I'm so proud of her and all that she has accomplished. And I am so excited for her to go off on her own and have so many wonderful experiences. I know she will thrive wherever it is that she ends up!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Pool Party

You would think by the look of these pictures that the weather was nice and balmy in St. George...... Wrong! It was so cold! But Mom was determined to let the kids swim in the pool even if it "costs us $1000 to heat". They had a great time. The only bad part was getting out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year our Thanksgiving was spent in St. George with Mom and Dad, Jay, Cami and boys, and Aaron, Kaci and boys. It was a relatively small group. But we had a great time.
Mom and Cami putting the turkey in to brine.
Buttered-up and ready to cook.
The kitchen in full cooking mode.
The kids waited so patiently to eat!
Dad carving it up.

It was a tasty dinner as usual. My favorite part was the green bean casserole! I definitely missed the sweet potato dish that is a ranch classic but it was probably better that way considering how many calories it has.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Many Thanks

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things!

....a home to live in

food to feed our children

a healthy body

a strong relationship with my husband (celebrating 20 years married next month!)


And those are just a few. I also have to say that I am thankful the frigid winter temperatures happened this year when Duke was home in our house-----not last year when he was trapped in our neighbor's garage. He surely would not have made it to this year with those cold of conditions. Who knew I would ever be grateful for a dog.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quote of the year

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
Leonardo da Vinci

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Stuff

November is already half over and I can't remember what happened to it. Thanksgiving is next week! Our family is soooo looking forward to St. George with part of the England clan. We haven't been there together for quite a while

I got a new calling last week which was kind of a surprise considering I had only been in my Primary calling for about 4 months. They called me to be a Laurel advisor. I am excited that I will get to be with Montana for a few months before she is finished with Young Women altogether! However I'm not so sure that I'm ready for the time commitment that is involved with YW. Ready or not here I come.

Montana leaves tomorrow to go run a couple cross country races out of town. The child has been traveling more this year than I have. Lucky girl. I wish I was going with her to cheer her on. :(

Lastly, and most random of all, how is it that there is a scum ring growing in all the toilets in our house when I cleaned all of them barely a week ago! I was thinking I was a really bad housekeeper. How does that grow in that short amount of time???!!! Anyone have any suggestions on what to do? This isn't even in the boy's bathroom! I am not about to start cleaning the toilets twice a week that's for sure.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Locks of Love

Emerson has been growing her hair out for a really long time. She wanted to donate it to Locks of Love. Saturday was the day to cut it all off! She was a little sad the day after but there were no tears today as we were doing her hair. It may just take a little getting used to.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Emer & Friends

Kelsey, Madeline, Emerson, Paige, Makayla

Just had to post one more cute Halloween photo!