Thursday, November 27, 2008

What We're Thankful For

Lacey: Nanee (candy), and pretty much everything else.

Luke: Scott (his cousin and best friend)

Lance: Gramma Haynes, Mommy, Papa, Grandma Susan, Grandma Sharon, Grandpa Lowell, Grandpa Bill

Alex: Our house, his job, that we're doing alright because it could be worse, family

Carmen: That Heavenly Father sent me the best children He had in heaven, the gospel of Jesus Christ, a loving family (no holiday drama here!), and good financial circumstances.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Lance!

Today is Lance's 5th birthday. I didn't think he was too excited about it because he hasn't been telling me anything he wanted, and I have been the one to say "Three more days. Two more days." However, first thing this morning he came in my room, just seconds after I had finished wrappng his present, and said, "Mom, it's my birthday! I'm finally five!" Then he looked in the mirror and said, "Well I look bigger than yesterday!" All day he has been milking this birthday thing for all it's worth: It's my birthday so I can have what I want to eat. It's my birthday so I can watch whatever I want on TV.
Lance has done some really cute things lately. Last week I was doing some projects for Enrichment Super Saturday. He wanted me to draw something for him, but I said I was busy. He said, "Mommy, I am your widdle son. What is more important? The project or your widdle son?" What could I do but draw a picture for him. Last Wednesday he drew a picture for Sister Twitchell, a very sweet old lady in our ward. He came with me to choir so he could give her the picture. She didn't come that night because her 98-year-old mother-in-law was at Sister Twitchell's home, very close to death. When I told Lance Sister Twitchell wouldn't be coming he cried so much that I said we could go to their house after choir. Brother and Sister Twitchell were very touched by his picture because he had drawn their daughter who passed away 20 years ago as well as the elder Sister Twitchell, who I felt would also be going to heaven very soon. What a tender heart he has. Lance has also started to notice pretty girls. He was kissing a picture of Amy Grant the other day and he thinks Tinkerbell "looks good." (Do I have to be concerned about that already?!)
Happy Birthday, Lance! I love you more than anything! Love. Mommy

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our First Date

On this day, Monday, November 24, exactly 10 years ago, Alex and I went on our first date. I can't believe it's been that long, but it's true. Here's the story: I met Alex for the first time in January of '98. We were both at the temple doing baptisms. I was impressed that he was spending a Friday night at the temple. A few months later he started coming to the same singles' ward I was in. I didn't really talk to him that much for a long time. I would see him playing basketball after activities, tie-dyed shirt and backwards bicycle cap, and think, "How old does he think he is?" But after a while I noticed that he was at every activity and Family Home Evening and institute class. Impressive. And I heard good things about him from other people. However, even when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn't bring myself to talk to him. One time after Institute class he came up to me and told me he was my home teacher. He was mistaken, but if I had been suave I would have said something like, "You don't have to be my home teacher to call me." But suave I am not. He called me once to ask me on a group date, but that weekend I had to chaperon a group of students going to Magic Mountain. We kept missing each other for a few weeks. Then at last we made arrangements to go out to dinner after Family Home Evening. I thought it was going to be just the two of us, but his friend, the infamous Kenny Taylor, and Cindy Kleinman (now Campbell) and Meridee Robbins (now Turner) joined us also. We all went to Johnny Mac's
To be honest, there isn't much to tell about the date. We said a prayer before we ate our food. I ordered a chicken salad. At one point I told myself I should pay more attention to my date instead of thinking of other things. Alex and I chit-chatted a bit and after dinner we went to his mom's house and watched TV for a while.His mom's house alarm went on when we entered the house and she came out of her room in her nightgown. That was my first glimpse of my future mother-in-law. It was really no big deal. The next day as I drove home from work I thought, "I don't really have any bad vibes about him, or any good ones, but I guess if he asked me out again I would say yes." About seven weeks after that he was my boyfriend, and here we are ten years later-married with three children. Here are some pictures of us at that time.
Me at a faculty Christmas party (I went out with Alex later that night.)
Alex with the lasagna he made for a church dinner.
Us as a brand new couple.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my brother Aaron, who for the next two weeks is the same age as I am!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Polar Express Live

It was magical! The excitement and joy I used to feel as a child at Christmas time was restored on the Polar Express. Our family, along with my parents, brothers and sister and their families, went to Williams, AZ for an amazing experience based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. We all checked into the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel then ate at the buffet. While we waited for our train we walked through the lighted maze and visited Mrs. Santa Claus. The weather was chilly, just right for a ride to the North Pole. As our departure time came closer, we stood in line to get into our train car. At the "All aboard!" everyone got on and took their seats. This was as exciting for me as it was for the kids because it was my first real train ride. When we began moving our "elves" brought us hot chocolate and cookies. Soon we came to the "North Pole" and there was Santa getting his slay ready for Christmas. We couldn't get off the train, but Santa boarded so he could visit all the children. He visited each train car. Our car was last in line, so to pass the time we all sang Christmas carols. When Santa finally arrived he talked to all the children and gave them a special silver bell. By this time we were back at the station. If I were a kid, I would have been in heaven. But I'm not a kid and I still thought it was great. It was the essence of Christmas-family, love, joy, believing, giving. The Polar Express was a wonderful start to the holiday season!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Fun--Just Can't Get Enough

Preschool party, Trunk-or-treat, neighborhood trick or treating, passing out candy. This year's Halloween season was jammed packed with fun. Lance, Luke, and Lacey had a great time at the Junior Junction Preschool Halloween party. They came home with lots of candy and prizes. Halloween night we went to the trunk-or-treat party at church. Again the kids came home with lots of candy. Then Lance wanted to pass out candy from our house. Then I took the kids to a few houses on our street. (Here's a trick-or-treat tip for next year: At one house on our street they pass out full size candy bars and at about 8:00 they say you can take as many as you want!) You know it's time to come home when your bag is so full of candy that it's too heavy to carry.