Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

2011 Christmas update…

Brandie & Jason are as busy as ever.

Brandie somehow lived through a starvation diet this year! Because of allergies her throat started to grow together, leaving no room for her to swallow her food! After they ripped her throat back open and gave her the option of about 6 different foods she was allowed to eat (kale being one of them… WHAT?) she has slowly come back to the land of the living and eating! Only to be called to be the Primary President! To top that off, they are expecting Hawkes baby number five in June! Yay!

Jason is still putting out fires and saving lives for Murray City. He just started with Fortune High Tech Marketing, and I recently learned that he is now the proud owner of a paper route… no rest for this Prince Charming! On his days off (maybe I should call them his days home…) he is busy helping to raise their team of Princesses, I don’t know for sure, but I think he has been seen wearing homemade beaded jewelry and had his nails painted at least once this year! Don’t worry, he still likes Duct Tape!

Chelsie will be 10 years old in January and is in the 5th grade(still at the top of her class!) She continues to play the piano (rather well I might add) and made her debut appearance on YouTube practicing for a recent recital! She is also taking theater classes – I don’t know why, she isn’t dramatic at all!!! (sigh and sarcasm intended!)

Sydnie is 5 years old, and started kindergarten this year. She loves eating breakfast at school, she even makes sure to bring her left-overs home… in her back pack! LOL She never runs out of off the wall funny comments that she throws out without batting an eye, I don’t think she knows how funny she is! As we were leaving on a Grandma date one day she said, “Grandma, your truck smells like a Honey Bucket!” (WHAT?) Good thing she didn’t know what a Honey Bucket was (a porta potty!)

Jasie just turned 4. She is going to pre-school and keeping everyone on their toes! She is taking theater classes and ALWAYS dresses like a princess! She is the Drama Queen for sure! She does an awesome rendition of “Miss Haddie” from “Despicable Me”! She is a little boy crazy - one day when I was babysitting, Dallin (Whitney & Jeremy’s friend) was watching TV with us – a Disney movie. The house was completely dark and quiet (hoping the little princesses would fall asleep) and Jasie jumped up walked to the foot of the recliner Dallin was sitting in and in a deep, breathy voice she said, “I like you!” I thought he was going to fall right out of his chair! Hahahahaha

Ellie is one plus and has taken her place as the boss of the family. She is WAY too smart and has gleaned every attention getting tactic used by each of her big sisters. She had to get tubes in her ears, and then proceeded to cut teeth during her recovery, making everyone think something went wrong with her surgery! She will always flash you a mischievous smile and she loves to throw her food on the floor instead of eating it! They went to Disneyland this year, and spent a great day on the beach… until Ellie got the key to the van and buried it in the sand… hours later with the help of “some guy with a metal detector”, they finally found it! Aww toddlers, the joy of life!

Joey and Ashley bought a new house in Corpus Christi this year!

Joey is still working for El Paso Gas Company and recently started in a new company, Fortune High Tech Marketing, where he was promoted to Regional Sales Manager in 16 days! He is busy taking care of his cute family, working, building his new business and finishing his classes for his Bachelor Degree, which he will get at the first of the year! He is the 1st counselor in the Elder’s Quorum and they have an almost “adopted” son, Lalo who is living with them and getting ready to go on a mission.

Ashley is working as hard as ever to keep Joey in line! She also continues to do great as a Scentsy Director (she keeps all of our houses smelling good!) She teaches the 12 – 14 year olds in Sunday school, she is the Stake Young Women Secretary, and she is always busy teaching Jordan to be a gentleman and Ally to be a princess! In case you didn’t know, she was born with a rare blood disease (only a handful of recorded cases in the United States) and she got bad news this year, she has Muscular Dystrophy. She has a great attitude and faces every challenge with a smile! Thank goodness for faith and a loving family!

Jordan is 5 years old now! He loves kindergarten and is reading everything he sees. He sounded out the letters on the radio dial one day and asked Joey what it meant, it took Joey a minute to figure out what he was reading! He was nominated for the Gifted and Talented program and his teacher said that he mastered kindergarten the first six weeks of school! He loves being “grown up” and independent and told Ashley, “It’s OK mom, you can go now” when she took him to school. LOL! He is a big help to his mom and LOVES to protect his sister. He also likes his me time and has a hard time dealing with all of his “girl” cousins when they maul him half to death! Lucky for him he only sees them once in a while!

Ally is 2! WHAT? She is still a princess, but has a little of her daddy’s spice… so watch out boys! She loves her daddy and misses him a lot when he has to travel for business. So much so that when he came to Utah for a week she couldn’t even sleep, she went and got in bed with Ashley and thrashed around trying to find her daddy’s hand to hold so she could go back to sleep! Don’t worry, I don’t think her dad slept very well without her either, he kept saying, “I miss my family”, the whole time he was here. (Smile!) Ally is loving Ballet and doing very well, she spends a lot of time showing everyone her positions. She loves to sing for everyone and does not want anyone else singing with her… LOL! Her favorite songs are "I Am A Child of God" and "I Love to See the Temple", and she knows all words.

Whitney and Jeremy are still in Saratoga Springs.

Whitney is still coaching at Jump Up Gymnastics and Westlake High School. Her varsity cheerleaders took 1st place at the 2011 Jamz National Cheer Competition in Las Vegas! They also placed 1st at their regional competition and won superior squad and hardest working at the USA Summer Camp. I guess being a “nazi” coach pays off! She still loves being Charlee’s mom and making all sorts of glittery things! She is teaching Primary… one of the kids in her class bit his gum between his teeth and then pulled it out of his mouth, around the head of the kid sitting next to him and then popped the rest back in his mouth… Whitney said it is an “awesome” class (yes, add sarcasm to awesome!)

Jeremy started a new job this year. He is working for Big D Construction. He started as a carpenter’s helper (he grew up building houses with his dad, who is a general contractor) and already has his own crew! He is glad to be working so close to home, on the new data center they are building at Camp Williams. He still has his other full time job, Whitney and Charlee… and he is the Cub Scout Master. I still haven’t seen him do a Cub Scout cheer. I just hope he doesn’t add stunting to them, I don’t think those Cub Scouts will be as good at “flying” as Whitney is! Which reminds me, he is also coaching at Jump Up, and spending a lot of time throwing Whitney around, since stunting is one of their favorite pass times!

Charlee is still a gym rat! She just turned two and she thinks she is big enough to do any trick! She spends most of her days doing cart-wheels. One day Whitney walked by the nursery at church and peeked in to see what she was doing. All she could see was a big circle of kids, so she watched for a minute trying to see what they were looking at…. Yes, you guessed it, Charlee was in the middle of the circle doing cart wheels! A show off, just like her mom and her grandpa! The latest trick she is trying to learn is a back hand spring… she makes her mom spot her over and over trying to get it right! Watch out world… looks like we have a mini Whitney on our hands!

Shelby and Mike are looking for a house. They were hoping to buy one last year, but with their recent medical bills, it was put on hold… don’t worry, they are on the hunt again!

Shelby just went back to work at Wingers in American Fork. She has been home since she had Brinley in April. Mike says no more babies if they are all going to end up in the NICU! She has been having fun raising babies, but had to stop nursing because Brinley got teeth and learned how to draw blood - every time she ate!!! She made me start going to a Zumba class with her… (don’t worry, I stand in the back corner – no coordination here!) She is mad that we weigh the same right now, but I am more mad… my baby is 14! She just had hers this year! Shelby also shot her first deer this year!

Michael is still working for Brahma. He is almost done with his Iron Workers Apprenticeship and is already running a crew. Of course he is still a he-man hunter, and I learned that his giant pile of duck decoys are very important to him… (don’t worry, he got a good deal on them!) LOL! He and Wace spend every spare minute hunting or shopping at Cabelas! About the only thing he will miss hunting for is work, his girls or a Cowboys game!

Lecsie turned 4 years old this year. She is going to ‘The Little Gray Elephant Pre-School’, the same one Uncle Wace and Uncle Bailey went to. She likes going to pre-school and playing outside. The more time she can spend outside with her dad, the happier she is. She knows all about gun safety; one day she came running in my house almost in tears and said, “Uncle Bailey and his friends have a gun!” She was almost hysterical and wouldn’t go back outside until they put their air soft guns away. Then she told Bailey, “Guns are NOT toys!” Smart girl! She is also a little helper, anytime there is work to be done, she will be right there beside you. She even helps me do laundry! She does wrinkle her nose when she pulls a pair of the boys undies out of the dryer though.

Brinley was born in April. After her dramatic arrival, I’m guessing Shelby and Mike are in for it with this one! Her stomach didn’t close like it was suppose to so her intestines grew out into her umbilical cord… as she was being born, the cord tore in half! Scary! She was taken by neo-natal team to Primary Childrens Hospital (Life Flight couldn’t fly because of a storm) where she had stomach surgery the next day. She was the biggest baby in the NICU (just like her sister was!) and she did great. So did her mom until they told her that they also removed her appendix… then Shelby had a mini melt down. But all is well now, and Brinley is growing like a weed! I am sure Shelby makes milk shakes instead of milk because of how chubby Brinley got while she was nursing, but like they say, don’t bite the hand that feeds you (or any other part) because now she is drinking formula and she is not so chubby anymore!

Wace, or should I say Scar?

Yes, Wace had surgery number 3, in August! Three months after he got the all clear to ride bulls again, he came off and landed on his elbow… and blew out his shoulder again(yes, the same shoulder he had surgery on last year)! He decided to keep riding and “just get it fixed when I retire.” But after three trips to the ER to put it back in place, and then figuring out how to put it back in place himself, (SICK!) he decided he should get it fixed now. He told me one day, “I didn’t even win a buckle in 2011!” Then a week later he won Strawberry Days in P.G. So he got his buckle and his name in the PSN News and then had surgery! He finished up his Ranch Management Certificate and landed on the Deans List of Howard College, but decided if he couldn’t ride bulls, he didn’t want to go back to school in the fall. He ordered a new left handed bull rope when we were in Vegas last week, he is changing riding arms. He told me, “I was born to ride left handed! I am going to be better with my left hand!” So he’s home, for now, and he just got the all clear to ride bulls again and he is buying his PRCA Rookie Card this week… Yay?

Bailey Bud is one of a kind!

Today, Bailey’s passion is snowboarding, mixed with muscle cars. Well, not mixed, it’s just that all we hear about is one or the other. He has his snowboarding pass and his bus pass all ready to hit the slopes. And he spends a lot of time on the computer looking for muscle cars and then telling his dad, “You should buy me this one!” It changes from time to time, but the other day he tried to tell me that a Dodge Dart was a muscle car. I’m no expert, but I don’t think so! If he ends up with a Gremlin it’s over, he’s going to have to go live in the man cave! He played baseball in the spring and then spent the summer driving around the ‘jimmy rigged’ go cart or the pit bike, shooting his friends in air soft wars or tubing down Dry Creek. He even finagled his way into going to two scout camps! He told his leaders that he should be able to go with the Deacons since he just turned 14 in April, then he went with the older boys in July! He did manage to get a little work done during the summer – he and his friend DJ found a few lawns to mow. And don’t worry, he still chops up random food with his Iron Chef knives and even cooks something once in awhile. His favorite thing to make is fresh salsa… avocados don’t stand a chance at our house!

Lec is still playing with the mini bulls!

More mini bulls seem to show up around here all the time! He did a series this year and held a Double Rank Mini Bulls Finals in November. His little Bulldog bull won Pee-Wee Bull of the Year at the Mini Bulls World Finals in Ogden, he even got a buckle! LOL Lec says he is going to hang it on a chain and put it around his neck. Lec is still working for SME mostly in Salt Lake. He is looking forward to retirement, which he says is in two years (I told him not until Bailey is grown up! But we’ll see). They made him a director in the Civic Improvement Association (the Lehi Round Up Committee) and they called him to be the 2nd Counselor in the Elder’s Quorum (thus the end of the mustache! – for now) When he isn’t doing one of those things, he is either playing on his tractor, hauling hay or around town somewhere visiting some old timer! And yes, he is still addicted to! After we came home from Vegas I told him he had been clean for 5 days, maybe I should get him a pin, but he said he wants a sticker for the car instead! Hahahaha!

Kim… is tired!

Just kidding! I am still working for East Shore at Westlake High School as a Teacher’s Aide. I am still slowly making my way through classes at UVU too. I took another math class, this one almost killed me! But I passed, and when I get really brave I will take the last one! I am almost finished with my first English class (MUCH easier than math!) And some day, I may actually get the courage to take more than one class at a time! MAYBE! I am the Mia Maids advisor (a very nice and easy job! LIKE) and I am still trying to make a man out of Bailey! I keep deferring that job to Lec, but he just laughs at everything Bailey does!

As you can see, life is good here! I am thankful every day for my awesome hubby who is my best friend and my great kids & grandkids that are better than I could have hoped for! One of my favorite scriptures: 3 John 1:4 says “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” That about sums it up!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Love & Prayers,

Lec & Kim

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Halloween 2011

Jason, Chelsie, Sydnie, Brandie
Jasie & Ellie
Whitney, Charlee & JeremyWace & J.C.
Headed for a dance at UVU... OH MY!
I came home from work sick... I didn't get too many pics :(

Labor Day Camping at Bennion

Mike & Brinley
We always have fun at Bennion!
(is getting sick of that brace!)
Bailey Bud
Ellie & Jason
DJ & Bailey
Lecsie & Grandma
Sydnie & Lecsie
Jasie, Sydnie, Lecsie & Mitch
Sydnie & Brandie
Syder bug is sick! :(
Shelby & Brinley
Jasie, Matthew & Lecsie

Brandie's Birthday!

Birthday girl, Brandie!
This is what happens around here on your birthday!
Whitney & Brandie
There is no love like sisterly love!

Wace... keeping Dr. Pepper in business!

Facebook face!
Knee surgery - check, shoulder surgery - check, 2nd shoulder surgery.... WHAT?
Yes that's right, he's back for a second shoulder surgery... 3 months after he went back to riding, he landed on his back with both elbows back to catch himself.... and WHAM! He ripped out all that fine work Dr. Pepper did on his first surgery! At least he won Strawberry Days before his surgery! (2011 buckle - check)!
"I'm back for my yearly surgery...." -Wace

Good-bye for now, Grandpa Gifford

Grandpa Gifford...
We lost a great man this year! He fought a good fight, and suffered much in the last years of his life. But he was a great man, none the less. He taught us to love through the example of his service and kept us laughing with his quick wit. We love you forever...
We'll be seeing you Grandpa!
Joey & Ashley sent Grandpa his favorite paper towels... he always brought some over when he came to our house, because I buy the cheap ones, and he wanted us to have the "good" ones :)

Youth Conference at Joe's Valley

Chappel Valley 1st Ward
Youth Conference 2011
bottom row: Kim, Tasi, Bailey, Jeff, Aaron, Jaden
2nd row: Nate, Tori, Riley,Bryson, Vixie, Kimber, Vern, Manny
3rd row: Sabrina, Annie, Kariane, Bailey, Hazen, Cory, Wes
back row: Riley, Bishop Everett, Connor, Sid, Jacob, DJ, Annie, Skyler, Monica, James
James & Bailey.... ROW! ROW! ROW!
We went to Joe's Valley... we went canoeing, rock diving, swiming, they even jumped a bike off the boat ramp!
Nate, DJ, Bailey & Brother Lindsay
Bailey is learning how to clean the grill...
I had to chase the teachers down to help with chores so many times that Bailey, DJ and Sid had to listen to the "man" talk all the way home... "Real men do NOT hide when there is work to do! Real men do NOT make excuses to get out of work.... Real men see what needs to be done and do it without being asked..." When we got back to the church, Bailey & DJ jumped out of the truck & helped to unload the trailer, when they got back in the truck DJ said, "Bailey, now we are real men!" LOL
Hazen & Bailey
(Nate, Wes & Kimber *behind)
We played games, like blind folded paintball... and perhaps Bailey is trying to catch flies???
Bailey, horsin' around...
and horse shoes... and of course we did some service projects, like cleaning around the lake, writing letters to the missionaries and making felt wreaths & elf shoes for the Festival of Trees (for Primary Children's Hospital).
Kim - Sid & DJ
I spent a lot of time untangling thread for these yay-whos!
Bailey & Kariane - the glue guys.
Too much fun!!!

Girl's Camp

Anna banana, Monica, Annie & Kim
CV 1st leaders
Yes, that's right... I found myself at girls camp again this year. I'm not sure how many years I've been here, but its been awhile. All the young women are new, most of the yw leaders are new, but it is still a lot of fun. The part that is the most different is that the stake made all the food... and it was YUMMY! I found a new favorite food... Cafe Rio sweet pork burrito! And you'll be happy to know that I didn't die on the hike!
Kim & McKenzie... I think this is a girls camp hug.

Sydnie's Birthday!

Sydnie - the birthday girl!
We had fun swimming @ Nana & Gramps' house!
Ellie, Jason & Brandie
Chelsie.... yee-haw!
Bailey, riding the blue whale!
Uncle Mikey, having a sno-cone
Grandma Great, Shelby & Brinley
Sydnie & Jason
And finally... cake & ice cream!

Uncle Ty & Aunt Marlo's 4th of July BBQ

Bailey Bud
dipping into the rootbeer
Whitney & Jeremy
just a little groping going on!
Aunt Marlo & Charlee K
courtesy smile!

Brandie & Jason
things that make you go hmmm..
Chelsie Marie
Jasie Nicole

Baseball Bailey...

Take me out to the ball game...
Should I stay or should I go now....
(is that guy in the background dead?)
Hey batta, batta, batta.... swing!