Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Like the song says, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas. I love to decorate my home, I love the good food, the lights, the music (I start playing Christmas music in November) the parties, and most of all the family time. Holli and John and Lexi were the first to get here on Friday, December 19th. And of course, John, Lexi, and Jeff had to go to the Las Vegas Bowl and watch the BYU vs U of A game on Sat. We're not sure who John cheered for, but Lexi's cheering for the cougs was all to no avail. But they had a good time.

Holli was sick, so she stayed home with Rhys, while I took Donna Noto with me to The Forgotten Carols in St. George. I had purchased the tickets to this back in late October thinking Jeff and Lexi would go with me. Can you believe they chose the football game in the end??? But Donna and I had fun. I just felt bad leaving Holli at home.
Hill and Keith arrived next with their crew on Sunday, and then Jake and Liz and Joshie got here on Christmas Eve at about noon.
Here we are preparing the feast for Christmas Eve. We are making our family's Swedish tradition of "Crook Cracks" (don't know where the name came from, but they are even called that in the Scipio cookbook, so I know Rod didn't make this one up) which are meat dumplings.
Then we decorated cookies with the Grankids, which Sareny had been patiently waiting for all day.
Cassidy and James were the only ones unable to be here, and we missed them so much! We called them lots, and guess what they were doing on Christmas Day? Yeah, going to the beach. We were jealous, as we had one of the coldest spells ever during that time. We still managed to have fun though.
Rhys was adorable in his Santa suit.
Bampa and Grammy Jo enjoyed all the Grandkids. Here's Bampa with Finley (one of the rare moments when she wasn't smiling) and Rhys. They are so sweet!

Sareny to Primary Teacher: My friend Lexi goes to college and blah blah blah (who knows what all she said)
Primary Teacher: Isn't Lexi your Aunt?
Sareny: No, she's my friend.
Lexi is the best Auntie ever to all the kiddos. But Sareny is especially lucky to have an Aunt who lets her follow her EVERYWHERE, and lets her sleep with her (sideways, kicking her in the back or face all night) and gives her baths and does her hair. And Sareny does love her Lexi!
Here are all the kiddos acting out the Nativity. Notice the Star of Bethlehem above the little angel (Joshie). Isaac was the shepherd, Sareny was Mary, Finley was baby Jesus, Rhys was the Wise Man, and Lexi was Joseph, but I think she was taking this picture. One might wonder why Rhys didn't play the part of baby Jesus, and the answer is that he is a little chunkier than Finley and Bampa deemed the manger not sturdy enough for a sturdy boy. Oh, and Keith, also not pictured, was the little donkey Mary rode on. Very cute performance on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning came too early! Sareny looks like she's about to say, "It's just kinda hard." (Family joke. That's what she said to me last Christmas about opening so many presents!)

Isaac loves his new bike.

Joshie on his cute new trike.

Later on Christmas Day we blessed Rhys Christopher Ronquillo, while all the family was here.
We were all holding our breath that Rhys wouldn't fuss during the blessing. He was very good, and John gave him a beautiful blessing.

The whole gang. Family friends, the Noto's were there also, but somehow I didn't end up with a picture including them. Sorry Noto's.

Two cuties!
A few pics from our one outing at the park when the weather was semi-decent.
Cute little Finny Lynn.

Grammy Jo swinging with Finley.

Holli Jo with the Air Hog tangled in her hair. (John, stop laughing!)
Hillari and Finley.
Bampa helping Joshie ride his trike.
Isaac coming down the slide.
Rhys bundled on Mom's shoulder.
Sareny riding her big girl bike.

Even though I got really sick for part of the time, I still had a wonderful time with my family, and I hope they did too. I love them all so much. We missed Cassidy and James and hope they too enjoyed the season.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Mom's Birthday

I never got a chance to post a blog about the special birthday weekend that my sister and I planned for Mom's birthday the end of October, so I am playing catch up here. It was such a fun and wonderful weekend that I can't just let it go without a few pictures and comments. Mom turned 79 this year (don't tell her I told everyone her age!) and she is still so fun to be around! Her and my sister came to my house on Thursday, Oct. 23. I took the next day off from work and we spent the day having fun scrapbooking together, eating, and just talking. That evening we rented "27 Dresses" and ate treats while we watched the movie. Saturday morning we went to Las Vegas and went shopping for most of the day, then went to Cheesecake Factory and had the best fish tacos ever! Jeff was a trooper and took us to every store we wanted to go to and patiently waited for us.
Here we are scrapping.
This is us on Saturday morning before we headed out.

The highlight of the day was taking Mom to see "Phantom of the Opera" at the Venetian.

Jeff and I had actually seen it before, but we were happy to see it again with Mom and my Sis. I was a little worried that Mom wouldn't really like it, but she loved it! It made me so happy that she enjoyed it so much. She still talks about that weekend and how much fun she had with us, and especially how much she enjoyed Phantom. My Sister and I decided we need to do something like this every year at least once, if not twice. Mom doesn't get out and do things like this often, so we want to do fun things with her for as long as we can.

Sunday morning we took this picture before we left for Church. The next morning we had to say goodbye as they headed back home. What a fun time we had together! I love my Mom and Sister so much and am so glad they got to come down for such a memorable weekend. Hopefully we will get to have many more, but I don't know if we can ever top this one in Mom's eyes!