I know i haven't posted for a long time, so long that i am not sure where to start. I will try and catch up soon! Here are a couple pics from Christmas. Yes that's right, Christmas! Brian had to work for Christmas we did open presents before he left but Santa Claus did find us Christmas morning at Grandma and Grandpas. Ali loved the wrapping paper.
Ethan Christmas Morning
Mady and Logan Anxious to see what Santa Brought!
Christmas was a lot of fun and daddy even got to participate via web cam. Mady got an American Girl doll, Ethan got a race car set, Logan a talking teddy bear, and Ali got her first doll. It is so great to see the anticipation and excitement of Christmas and it was so fun getting to see most of our families!
Today is a hard day. It's Alicia's 19Th birthday and it is hard to celebrate without her. It is strange to think that it has been 10 months since she was taken to live with our Father in Heaven. Time is sometimes hard to grasp. I mostly wanted to post today because it makes me sad to think that my children won't remember my little sister, that makes me cry. So I want to celebrate this day every year with them and share my memories of her.
She is the youngest of my 5 siblings, the baby, the straggler :) She was six years younger than my youngest brother and 9 years younger than me. She was very spoiled (that is what happens when you are the youngest) She was such a beautiful girl and when she was little we loved to dress her up and do her hair. I don't remember a ton of when she was younger, something about the awkward adolescent years and the space between us. But i do remember her puking in my boyfriends car :), and ratting me out when she saw i pierced my belly button (silly thing i did in college and it only lasted a couple weeks). After i was grown up and moved away I tried to come home to watch her dance and go to her competitions. She was there the day Madyson was born I have a picture of her holding both Madyson and Ethan at the hospital, and she let my mom come and help me in Texas when I had Logan even though she missed her birthday. She loved to shop and it was something we always did when we were together. It was always so much fun to have her and my parents come and stay when we lived in Utah. She was moody, and funny, and she loved my kids so much. She wasn't afraid to let you know how she felt. She spent July with us in '07 and i will always cherish that. She did Mady's hair every morning, we went to sea world, and the ocean, rangers games, watched the sunsets in Texas, and the sunrise over the ocean. We laughed and cried about how hard high school can sometimes be and how it would soon be over and how excited we were that she could come and stay with us the next summer. We spent a couple weeks in September '07 in Idaho and i had a great time taking her senior pics, she looked beautiful in all of them, even though she didn't think she did. She was strong. She had an amazing smile. She was the class president and the friend to all the girl's boyfriends. She didn't get invited to her senior prom and i knew she was heart broken but i just kept encouraging her that it would be different when she moved away from the small town. She was so so excited when we told her we were having a girl (10 nephews, only 2 nieces) she screamed for joy and immediately wanted to go shopping! I miss her! She didn't get to meet our Alicia on this earth, but I am sure they crossed paths before our beautiful baby girl was sent to us. I am so so grateful for the time that I was able to share with her! I know that Heavenly Father had different plans for her than i did. She has a much greater work to do than I could imagine and I am so very grateful for my testimony! I am grateful for the piece i felt at her funeral and the knowledge that she is where she is supposed to be, it was time for her to serve her mission in heaven and i know that someday we will be together again. In DecemberBrian and i were outside of the salt lake temple waiting for his good friend and his wife to come out, it was snowing so everyone was crowded in the waiting room anticipating the arrival of the newlywed couples. Everyone was so happy and chatting the room was so peaceful yet so full of life and happy anticipation. I know that is how she was greated when she arrived in heaven grandmas and grandpas so excited and welcoming and i know that she will be there when it is my time waiting with them to meet me and i am excited for the knowledge that i will see her again! We love and miss you little sis, but know that we will see you again someday!
We took off for Utah on Dec.11th. We took Mady out of School a week early and headed out for a very busy Holiday season. The drive out with the kids was so much fun. We had talks with the kids, played games, watched movies, played at the reststops in Texas, Climbed the rocks in Moab.
We created some great memories!
On Dec.13th we got to attend Bri's best friend Brett and Jessa's Wedding. It was a beautiful Snowy day and so nice to spend an afternoon together. We went back to temple square with the kids to see the lights, it is one of my very favorite Christmas things to do. It is so beautiful and peaceful and the kids love it. Mady and Ethan loved the nativity and the holiday season has been so much fun with the kids this year. They have been so excited about everything but mostly it has been so nice to feel the true spirit of Christmas with them. Our Christmas was simple but so much fun and the kids loved it. Mady kept reminding us all through December that Christmas is not about getting presents but about Jesus Birth and how much we love him.
I love my kids so much and i am so grateful for ALL the lessons that they teach me.
We went to a cute pizza restaurant in Louisiana that had paper for table clothes and the kids loved being able to just color. Mady created this picture of the helicopters. You can only imagine how proud Brian was. :)
We have been trying to get Mady to take the training wheels off her bike for a long time, and she finally did it! She did great, but the weather has been cold since so hopefully she can pick it back up in the spring. This picture was taken just after she crashed, so there are some tears.
Brian had to work for Thanksgiving this year so we had a traditional dinner on Monday and then went down to Louisiana with him for a few days. On Thanksgiving day we hung out in our room, had burger king, and watched Brian take off in his helicopter. The kids loved it and it was nice to be together as a family for the holiday. We have so much to be thankful for and enjoyed our non traditional thanksgiving.