Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

I'm thinking that I kind of liked that Christmas was on a Sunday this year. For one...I was ready for pictures, with makeup and all, instead of just getting out of bed. Also, I loved going to church and looking around and realizing how much I really loved the wonderful people in our ward. Our ward meets at 9:00 so we were blessed to have the whole day ahead of us. Connie and Peter attended their Sacrament Meeting that morning also, and was on their way to Nevada by noon. We got home from church, changed into our PJs, had our traditional breakfast (at 11 a.m.), and then went into the family room for the opening of presents, all that is, except for our exchange presents for each other. The kids were adament about not even looking at their stockings until we got home from church. Stockings are Michaela's favorite part of Christmas morning...
Connie and Peter showed up around dinner time and Levi had to show me what he got for Christmas... This kid is the "dress up King!" (LOVE the boots...)


Connie made Tibi and Landon pillowcases this year.


Landon's new wallet from Tibi.


Kira surprised all of her siblings with their own "jewelry tree." For those of you who don't know about these...I'm sorry. They have been in the family since church "bazaars" were around. Any of you remember those days? In a nutshell, the children have all called "dibs" on our family one when I die, but I told them I wasn't planning on dying, so Kira got smart and made one for everyone instead.... Smart girl. Jewelry tree = wood, fabric, Christmas lights, lots of costume jewelry, BEAUTIFUL!! (The kids are in charge of their own jewelry)


I got the only thing I wanted....a blender. Life stinks without one, I've decided.


Kira is always so cute with the nieces and nephews. They love her to death...


The next night we attempted to take family pictures. These two got a little giddy...


A cute one of the Hill family...


All the kids in order...from youngest to oldest. (Landon is happy to finally be the tallest!)


How did I end up with such cute kids?!


Kevin couldn't quit laughing....!


We needed the sun to hurry and go down for a better shot...but have you ever tried to do this with tired kids? No time for the sun to go down...


Another of the kids...


Much better lighting...Kira, Connie, and Lexie


That's better...


Love this one...




I'm the luckiest girl in the world...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Willard Thanksgiving 2011

Hold on to your hats because this is going to be a long one. Thanksgiving time is Willard Reunion time at our house (along with all the other Willards), which means we head off to St. George on Wednesday afternoon for a fun-filled weekend of playing, eating, picnic-ing, and staying up WAY too late laughing and playing games. Every year we stay at Randy and Penny's house in Santa Clara (Kevin's just older brother) and frankly, we wouldn't have it any other way. Our kids have grown up together, although most of them are married now with little families of their own. Penny is so good to keep our family, all of us which makes about 16 of us, plus a few other families too. We owe her BIG TIME after every Thanksgiving weekend. We usually pay her back in either cereal or treats and goodies that only stay at her house :)

Here are the kids playing a mean game of popcorn on her tramp. They used to do this at our house when they were all younger (and before our trampoline broke.)

The little ones were happy to just play in the green sand...

Next day...forgot to take pictures at our annual breakfast at the church, which includes a yummy, warm breakfast, and a wild game of "Bump Out" on the basketball court. Here is Connie and two of her kids waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.

Mmmm boy!! (The best part of the dinner are the paper plates...)

...because every year it's the teenagers that do the dishes after dinner.

After dinner, we snuck off and went to see our dear friend Carla, who we miss terribly at our festivities. It was SO good to see her and get a long-awaited hug from her.

Next day... the crowd gathered to go on a hike before heading to the park for lunch.

The kids LOVE going to the park because they finally get to do something that they LOVE to do (and they can be as noisy as they want to be.)

Look at those lovely colors on that nasty punch :)

The annual "Tibi and Tibi" picture. I think we forgot to get one of these last year...

That afternoon we headed over to "Uncle Bob's" for a fun carnival set up in their backyard. Marce was pretty excited about the marshmallow shooters!

They even had a fishing booth... (I guess you didn't have to be a "kid" to enjoy this carnival:)

All of Connie's kids wanted their face painted. Of course, Eden wanted a pink heart...


Levi gets an artist's version of the "Joker" on his cheek. Kira made good with what he wanted it to look like. Jonah had a cute sun on his...


Saying goodbye on Saturday morning. Now it's back to school, teaching Seminary, and work till we get to do it again next year. Thanks Penny! (...and Randy)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Some of these pictures are a little scary...not that the costumes are scary, but it's a shame these kids still think they need to go trick-or-treating! My kids will always be kids at heart, so that means that they will probably ALWAYS dress up for Halloween. It's kind of like Michaela said tonight..."at least we're not out partying!" Point taken...
Here's Colton, Tibi (really), Landon, and Michaela
In character...

Nana brought her kids over too. I love it when all the "family" kids come over. They asked what I was dressed up as...I told them I was a grandmother tonight. They just kind of looked at me...

Every year after trick-or-treating, Tibi and Michaela insist on unloading their stash of candy and sorting it out for the annual picture. Then Tibi turns into a monster and becomes the "ruthless trader" - oh my goodness, you'd better hold onto your candy or you might notice some of it gone!

Even Amar'e got into the spirit of the night. He made the cutest mummy...(see, there I am dressed up as a grandmother!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes...

It's official...I've been released from my stake calling. As much as I needed this to happen in my life, I will miss it terribly. We have had such wonderful opportunities to not only work with the women of the stake, but to also feed missionaries at Zone Conferences, do humanitarian work, and have a successful Day of Service this last year - among many other things. I have been blessed with two sets of wonderful counselors throughout my nearly four years there. But now I can pass the torch on to an incredible woman who will love the sisters as much as I did - and do, and will help keep the fire burning within our stake. So, thank you, my sisters. You have touched my life. I will miss you. Now it's back to studying for Seminary, and wearing a different pair of shoes. It's not that easy wearing two different pairs at one time...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Okay...yes, I'm still alive, although my life has been a little crazy lately. They called me to teach early morning Seminary this year, and let's just say that I have to schedule all other things in my day around it. I LOVE Seminary, and I have great kids, it just takes a lot of time. With that said, here are some of the pictures that Kevin and Michaela took for Homecoming Week. This, of course, was "Nerd Day" (my kids have to TRY to look nerdy, thank heavens :) They actually look pretty good! I think Landon looks a lot like his cousin, Kurtis, in these pictures. (Not in a nerdy way, of course!)
Classic...

Saturday night was the dance with their dates, after a day of frolicking outside on four-wheelers and dutch-ovening. I was in California visiting my parents and sister for the weekend, after being kidnapped by my two Utah sisters. It was nice to have a getaway, but I ended up missing yet another Homecoming/Prom of one of my kids. They just have them without me...
Here's Dirk Frehner and Rachel Dalley and Landon and Mady Messer, Tibi's best friend!

Colton and Tibi looking good...

Our valley is blessed with talented women that can take a strapless dress and turn it into a fairly modest gown. Thank you Debbie!!

The braces come off in weeks...too bad the dance wasn't scheduled later. At least they will be off for senior pictures.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday School...?

Okay...this is not your typical Sunday activity, but we ARE together as a family, and there was some learning going on too :) Kira came down for a few days (on her way to a CA and AZ roadtrip), Lexie and Michaela are living at home (for the moment), and they all have been wanting Landon to teach them all about the college football conferences, mascots, team colors, and venues. If anybody knows this stuff...it's Landon. This kid just soaks this knowledge up. His dad has thrown quite a few tidbits in there too, so between the two of them, the girls are coming away with a pretty good knowledge of this very important information :) So now we are all ready to get into ALL college football games, whether we like them or not. If the conferences would leave each other alone, not change everything up, and keep teams where they've been, it would have been a lot easier to keep these things straight. Oh well....on with the pigskin playing!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Finally...

We have been trying to plan a BBQ with our good friends, the Messers, for months...and tonight was finally the night! These guys have been our close friends and were our right-next-door neighbors (and I mean right across the cement between our houses) many years ago, and we just can't consider them anything but our neighbors...still. Austrie has received her mission call and will be leaving soon, school starts in two days (and then no one has time), and it was a perfect day for a BBQ, so they came over for hamburgers and hot dogs (with all the other good stuff that goes with them), and then these girls played a game and laughed all night (well until about 10 o'clock...we do have early church tomorrow.) I think even Ari had a good time. She never really has been around us much, as she was born just about the time they left the "neighborhood."
Matt and Corinne and a great picture of Kevin! (He's not going to be happy I posted this...)
The "not-so-happy" crowd. These guys worked their tails off today in heat outside helping Kevin do a huge clean-up project, which lasted till about 4:00 in the afternoon. I think they were ready to go to bed at just about this time.


These two girls have been best friends for forever, and I mean since before they were born! They have been so good for each other, and have really looked out for one another. We are so glad that Mady has been a part of our family for these past 17 years.

Like I said....they do everything together.

All the way back to starting Kindergarten...

And even before that...

And even before that...

And this year these girls will graduate together. We also (kind of) celebrated a belated birthday for Landon, who turned 16 last week while in Arizona playing in a high school football game. Pretty uneventful, but he IS 16 now, at least. Now all we have to do is get him to study his driving skills...then we can get him up to Mesquite and finally get his permit. It's been a crazy summer...

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