Friday, January 9, 2009

Once everyone receives their new pajamas, we all run and get them on and always pose in front of the tree for a picture. Emmet and Weston had about had it by then, but they were there! Taylor looks a little concerned because she hates it when her nephews cry, but she wanted to make sure that her shoe, "Elaina" was in the picture.
Always one of my favorite pictures of the evening is when I tell everyone to do a funny pose and what they come up with. Love what the parents do with the younger children! Do you think that their true personalities come out for the picture? I'll let you decide!
Mom, Kendra and Scott. They were brave to pose with me with my "Well Bred" pajamas on!
I always pick all of the pajamas for the family except mine. Corbin has learned or informed by his daughters, that he must get his wife some new pajamas for Christmas Eve like the rest of the family. You never know what he is going to come up with. I guess he was pretty excited about the ones for this year and ordered them way ahead! I have never had a "horse" on my chest before and if I have been "well bred", you can thank my parents! The pajama bottoms are cute! Corbin is such a nut! Thanks, hon.
You would think that I am a cowgirl, but I'm really not, although I do like to listen to country music! The pajamas are comfortable, though!

The cute Walters Family. Ryan and April had already put their youngsters to bed. They had had it! Conner and Jace were still going strong!
Mom with her horse pajamas and Taylor in her High School Musical pajamas! Taylor also got a High School Musical robe! She can sing all their songs and tell you all about their movies. She also plans to marry Troy!
If she can't have Troy, she doesn't mind hanging out with her big brother, Scott!

Scott with the youngest member of the family, Jace Jackson Walters. He is 6 months old and this is his very first Christmas!!
This is the second annual "Round About Mount" put on by the boys. Check out Ryan or Stephanie's blog and they can explain it to you! Makes a Mom proud, huh!

Taylor gets so excited about putting out the cookies and milk for Santa, along with her letter to him before she goes to bed. Her Dad makes her very nervous because he always tried to eat and drink it before she gets it on the tray and I have to promise her that I will watch it and won't let Dad touch it! Corbin, quit stressing out your daughter! It's Christmas!

Annual Christmas Eve Dinner with friends!

I can't even remember how many years that we have been doing our annual Christmas Eve Dinner with friends, but it has been quite awhile. When you don't live close to family, it helps to find friends that help fill this void, especially at the holidays. To me, holidays aren't holidays without family or friends around. I love a full house! We started inviting friends over for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve quite a few years ago and has now become a tradition. Most the time the friends or neighbors coming over are like us, famlies without our own families close by to share this time with us. These friends become like family to us.

We have a pot luck dinner with lots of great food and then do a white elephant gift exchange before everyone goes home to do their own little Christmas Eve traditions before going to bed.
It's always fun to see the newest family come with their white elephant gifts, because they are usually always the nicer white elephant gifts because they have not figured out yet that the rest of us usually give more cornier, cheaper items. These new white elephant gifts become the wanted gifts by evenings end.

Usually every year we have had the Daniels-Brown family, Secrist family, and Donovan family- until they moved to a different ward and started their own tradition of dinner and gifts, we still miss you every year! This year we had the Walker family join us since their California trip did not quite work out. It's always great to have new families, return missionaries, and college kids visiting with us again. Corbin is always great to help me clean up, after we have refused to have the families who came help clean up, even though they try every year. It doesn't take long. This wonderful evening always give us many memories and helps form those special relationships that will last forever!! Here are a few pictures of our evening this year!
Zach Walker with his new ears that he just received. Hopefully he'll be able to listen to his parents better, not that he doesn't already!
Us girls relaxing after playing the big white elephant game! So nice to have all of us girls together!!
Conner said "forget the white elephant gift game, I want the white chocolate cereal mix!"
Playing the white elephant game and trading those not so exciting presents for the better ones!
Myself and Corbin enjoying all of this delicious food.

Emmet looking at his mirror that he just opened. Ryan looks more excited about it than Emmet. Ryan is probably wanting to borrow it!

April must of decided that her boys needed her help at the little table. You do look cute at the little table, though!

Stephanie and Kritt sharing a chair to eat their delicious meal!

So nice to have the Walkers join us this year! They were suppose to be going to Disneyland for Christmas this year but with the awful blizzards that we have been having, they decided not to chance it and stay home instead!

The teenagers at the big table. Nice to have a few more boys here this year than before! Funner for Scott and Kendra!

Taylor and her sweet friend, Tyra Walker. Love those redheads!

Some of our dear friends over for an always delicious meal provided by everyone. Dave Secrist's prime rib is "to die for" as Corbin always amazes Dave on just how much of it he can really eat! I am not really a "beef" person, so I go more for Corbin's delicious salmon and fried turkey. Evelyn's potatoes are always a hit and the many salads, rolls, cheese ball, appetizers and desserts always leaves us all feeling very full!
The famous little fisher price table that we have had for ever. Taylor always makes sure that we bring it up for the little kids to eat at. It looks like Taylor has graduated from it this year and left just the Grandsons to dine at it!
Jess and Kellie just starting to eat, I hope since Jess's plate is still empty!
Kendra and Kylie doing that girl pose! Kylie is just getting ready to move to Utah for work and then eventally more school once she gets her Utah residency. That out of state tuition is a killer! Love that Secrist Family! Just found out, though, that they are moving to Utah in the Spring, which makes us all very, very sad! He will be working for the church with their dairy and cattle industry. They came looking for him and when the church calls and says that they have heard and prayed about you and you are their man, it's hard to turn that one down! What better employer could you have, though, than the church. David will do an awesome job but we will miss their family terribly!! They have always been our regular "families without families" in town for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve!
Logan Secrist and Slade Walker probalby talking about what Santa Clause is bringing them tonight! It looks like they have graduated from the little table as well this year!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Baptizing Taylor!

When Taylor turned eight years old on July 20, 2003, we were not sure if we were going to have her baptized. Physically, she was eight, but mentally, we did not think that she really understood why we would be doing this and maybe would even scare her a bit. We talked
this over with our Bishop, and with his help, decided that she did not need this ordinance at this time. We would of been doing it because we wanted it, not because Taylor wanted it.

Last year when Taylor was about to go into Young Woman's, doing baptisms for the dead at the temple came up and I asked our bishop if Taylor would be able to participate in that if she has not been baptized. He was not sure and would check on it for me. We both soon forgot about it. Taylor is now in Young Womans and in November, they were asking for volunteers to do baptisms for the dead the first week in December and were trying to give all of the new Beehives this opportunity. I was there in Young Women's during this annoucement and watched as Taylor raised her hand to volunteer. I knew that it was now time to find out if she could do the temple work that she was raising her hand to do and that probably to be able to do this, she would first have to be baptized herself. Corbin and I talked to the bishop and after looking into it for us, he did confirm that she would need to be baptized herself, in order to do this work. It was at this time that we decided it was time to have her baptized, this time not for us, but for Taylor and after explaining things to her and that to do temple work, she would need to have to have this done, she completely understood and was excited to get it done. We realized that we would have all of the kids here for Christmas and what better time to have it done, than with everyone home! Plans were made, schedules changed and the special day arrived! We asked Taylor if she wanted Scott to baptize her and her Dad confirm her and she said, "Yes." Scott was so excited, he wanted to cry. This would be the first baptism that he has performed. What better one to do first, but his little sister's!

The evening was perfect. The Primary room was filled with dear friends and family. Our sweet Bishop Gubler conducted. Our good neighbor and friend, Evelyn Daniels-Brown played the piano while I led the music. Opening song was "When I am Baptized", followed by a very special pray by Taylor's big brother, Ryan. Stephanie then gave a great talk on baptism. With Corbin and Kritt, Taylor's brother in law, as witnesses, Taylor was then baptized by her brother, Scott.
Scott did have to baptize her twice because it looked like her left hand did not completely get submerged. When Scott told her that he needs to do it again, she looked at him and said, "Okay." She was so ready.

After she had dressed, we were favored with the beautiful hymn, "I Stand All Amazed", sang by family friends Breanna Haddigan and Dana Bergeson, accompanied by Janet Bergeson. Jess Walters, Taylor's brother in law, then gave the important talk about the Holy Ghost and how it will help and guide Taylor throughout her life. I appreciated so much the time and effort that Stephanie and Jess put into preparing and giving these talks for Taylor. Taylor was then confirmed to receive the Holy Ghost by her Dad and a group of other great men. As soon as Taylor got up, she started hugging all of them. I know that she knew that this was a special night for her. The bishop then closed with some very special remarks. This night was not only a special night for Taylor, but she got baptized on Joseph Smith's birthday as well as the Bishop's Dad's birthday, who had passed away just a few years ago. The closing song was, "I Am A Child Of God." Closing prayer was given by Taylor's sister, Kellie.

We appreciated so much everyone that came to participate in this evening and event for Taylor. The spirit was so strong and everything just felt so right. I look forward to going to the temple with Taylor and to watch her experience those special blessings that only the temple can provide. Thank you Taylor, for teaching me the importance of life and why we are here. You have always been such a special blessing to our family! We love you so very much!

December 23,08 Taylor's Baptism!

It was such a special, spiritual event and evening! So nice that the whole family could be there for it, at least all of her siblings and their spouses and nephews. We would of loved to of had grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins there, but with it being such a last minute decision and the night before Christmas Eve and with the horrible winter weather that we were having, we knew that we just had to get it done. She had many friends and their parents from the ward come, which made it extra special! Don't I have such a cute family!!
Taylor was just giggling and so excited before she was baptized. She loves her family so much and was so happy to have Scott do this important ordinance. She gives the best hugs!

What a cute brother and sister at such a special time. As soon as they put on their white clothing, I was ready to cry! They were both so ready for this day!

A quick picture with Stephanie before Taylor's baptism. Stephanie wanted Taylor baptized when she turned eight and was practicing with Taylor on how you do it and was sad when we decided to wait. I thought that it was appropriate for Stephanie to give the talk on baptism because she has been wanting this for Taylor for so long and also because Stephanie loves to gives talks.

The proud parents with the soon to be newest member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints!
Taylor with two of the men in her life. Scott, thanks for being worthy to baptize Taylor and Corbin, thanks for being worthy to confirm her! I am so proud of all of you!

Scott, Taylor and Dad looking at the font, preparing Taylor for what is about to happen. Taylor already seemed to know. She was so relaxed, excited and happy! She was so ready!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Girls Trip to SLC!!

The weekend before Thanksgiving us girls planned a trip to SLC to visit Stephanie and to celebrate Kellie's 24th birthday! Since having Conner almost two years ago, Kellie has not been away from him or Jace and we decided, along with her great husband, Jess, that she needed a few days alone with her Mom and sisters! Jess did a great job taking the boys, along with his Mom's help and we flew out on a Friday evening and flew home that next Monday. We had a blast! We stayed in a motel just across the parking lot from where Kritt and Stephanie live in dowtown Salt Lake. We flew into SLC from Spokane and after arriving in Salt Lake, we rented a car and checked into our motel room and found Stephanie waiting for our arrival in her cute little apartment. We went out to eat at a favorite spot called, Cafe Rio. Taylor was quite stressed and upset that they did not have grilled cheese and fries, her favorite thing that she orders at every resturant, but after Cafe Rio, we did go to Chili's for dessert and Taylor did get some grilled cheese and fries there, so she felt much better. Kellie had never been to Park City, so the next morning, we took off for Park City and the outlet stores. It wasn't very crowded that day so we were able to do lots of shopping and found some really good deals. We worked up a appetite and ate at another favorite place, Panda Express. Taylor loves orange chicken, so she was good with that stop!

The evening consisted of a little more shopping at the Gateway Plaza, not far from Stephanie's apartment and then going to see "Twilight". It had just opened that weekend and Stephanie was lucky enough to get tickets for us that evening. Kritt was going to go, but he got a better invitation to go and watch BYU play U of U football game at his cousins house. BYU lost, darn!
We loved Twight and can't wait to see the sequels!! We ended up buying stuff at the store to eat that night at the motel since our feet were killing us from all that walking! Stephanie and I did not have on the most comfortable shoes! Thanks Stephanie and Kendra for helping to explain the movie to us since Kellie and I had not read the books yet! It helped alot and now I need to read the books as well.

Next day was Sunday and was spent going to Stephanie and Kritt's ward which we had told the girls about, but you need to experience it to really understand it. They live in one of the oldest wards in SLC and where there are alot of refugees and homeless people. There are alot of service missionaires in their ward to be able to keep it running. Stephanie and Kritt are the Young Men and Young Women's Presidents and they do an awesome job for the difficult situations they have to deal with. Our hats were off to you and the mission that you are on in your ward. Sure made you appreciate the wards that you have and the lives that we have been able to live. We all have been truly blessed and admire the work that the church does and pray that it continues to grow and touch the lives of people everywhere!

After church we went down to Temple Square and took in the spirit there before going to our buffet, which is on Sunday, but since we were visiting in the area, we justify it that way. If they would change it to Saturdays, we would go then instead, I am sure! It was nice to see Scott and James, who did finally make it there after sleeping in that morning since they were up so late the night before. Try and get some better sleep, boys, okay!!

We did go that evening to see Eric and Amanda and family. Kellie had not seen them for a couple of years. Wish that we could of gotten over to Tara's as well. Too many places to go and not enough time. Tara, you are on our next trip! It was nice to talk to Tara and we did see her when we were flying out because she stopped by with a very nice and soft blanket for me for my birthday, along with some treats! You are great, Tara! The other place that I wish that we would of gone to was Stephanie's work place. She is a nurse in the Medical ICU at the University of Utah Medical Center. I have been wanting to see where she works and meet some of her coworkers, but we didn't think about it until it was too late. Next trip!

The morning before we flew back out on Monday was spent at two craft stores. We couldn't of gone to any others because there was not anymore room for anymore stuff! Love craft stores and especially Tiapan(spelling?) and Rod Works!! I could stay in those forever!! Taylor wasn't so excited about the craft stores and her and Kendra were ready to go way before we were. It was fun because we all have the same taste in decor and what we like. Afterwards we grabbed a quick lunch at Applebees and then off to drop all of our stuff at Stephanie's for Scott to bring home in his car, before we took off for the airport and our flight home. So much fun and again we thank our husbands and Dad who let us do this fun girls trip. Well needed by Kellie and her boys and husband survived quite well. Happy early Birthday Kellie and I look forward to finding another reason why we must take another girl's trip and like I said before, April, you must go on this next one with us!!
Too many outlet stores in Park City and so little time!!
The girls! The only one missing was April, who was in Washington with her family and my cute grandsons. We planned this girl's retreat for Kellie's birthday before Ryan decided to send April and the boys home with us from Grand Cayman. Next girl's trip, April, you are in!!

James, Kendra and Scott in their "Thug Apartment" t-shirts that Kendra designed and made for them and their roommates. Great job Kendra. So nice to have creative children!
Cousin, daughter and son sporting the Thug Apartment t-shirts! Quite intimidating, aren't they!! They are really nice kids once you get to know them.........Love ya you crazy kids!

Taylor with her completed High School Musical Build a Bear. She had been pretty bored shopping at the Gateway in SLC until we stopped here. Then she became excited. This is probably her 5th Build A Bear. It helps to be the youngest, since none of her sister got that many! Nice of her sisters to help her create him.
Taylor with Mom who paid for the Build a Bear!

Watching Taylor fill her Build a Bear!

A happy Taylor after making, dressing and naming her Build a Bear!
It looks like you girls have done some serious shopping! How are we going to get all of this home since we flew? Good thing Scott is coming home in a couple of days for Thanksgiving and is driving his car!! Thanks son for bringing all of this home for us and thanks husbands and Dad for letting us purchase all of this stuff!! We loved the outlet stores in Park City and the Gateway Plaza in downtown SLC and Tiapan (spelling?) and Rod Works! Taylor quite hated the craft stores and vows to not go back. Hopefully we can convert her to them someday!

Beautiful Temple Square at Christmas time!

I have always loved the SLC Temple. I love every Temple, but SLC has always been one of my favorite, especially at Christmas time. They decorate Temple Square with more lights than you could ever imagine with the a manager scene that helps you to remember why we celebrate the Christmas season. We were a week early before they turned on the lights, but you could see the lights ready in all of the trees and all over. Luckily we were able to see the manager scene and a new white ceramic Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus that was placed on the reflective waters just in front of the temple. So beautiful. Just what we wanted to experience. Love the pictures that I took on Temple Square, especially this one of the temple!
The Conference Center. Another one of my favorite things to do is to actually go to the Conference Center for General Conference. We went a couple of years ago and hope to go again this Spring since Scott and Stephanie and Kritt all live in Utah right now. I was able to go this fall with Stephanie and Kylie, her sister in law, to the General R. S. Women's Conference, which was also very neat to be right there among all of the great leaders of our church!

The white cermic stable scene that looks like it is sitting on th reflective pool right in front of the temple.
Wow! Love Temple Square!

You can't go to Temple Square without going up to see the sculpture of Christ. When we started going up to see it, Taylor all of a sudden remembered that "Jesus is up there, huh!" She loves it too and it was so cool to see that she remembered being there.

Kritt braved the day and hung out with us girls! Thanks for letting us have a girl's weekend in SLC and taking your wife away for most of the weekend. You were a trooper!
Kritt, Stephanie and Kellie enjoying Temple Square and the warmth of the Visitor's Center.

Us girls in front of the reflection pool and the beautiful SLC Temple. What a fun weekend it has been!

They had this cool new stable scene where they use to have a different stable scene. Really liked this one so we had to get our picture in front of it. Sure wish that we could of been there when the lights were on. Kendra and Taylor have never seen the lights at Christmas time. Maybe next year. It's a must!
Leaving the Visitor's Center

It is so nice having girls who are creative and talented and can curl my hair! Thanks girls for trying to keep me updated!! I am very lucky to be your Mom!