Sunday, March 14, 2010

Off to Utah we go!

December 26-January 2, 2009
We were so excited that we could travel up to Utah this year and visit my dad's side of the family. When I was a kid we always went to Utah the day after Christmas and stayed for the week. As my sisters and I got married and had children, it was more of a challenge to get there. But this year, Natalie, Meagan, and I and our families (except Scott had to work) took the time off and headed up to Utah with my dad and Mary.

We packed the car to the max and traveled for a long 12 hours!!!
Kylie, Jacey, and I rode with my dad and Mary. The girls were amazing. We stopped several times to eat and stretch our legs, but soon enough we were parked in front of my grandparents house in Bountiful, Utah. Grandma Drue greeted us with a large batch of homemade chicken noodle soup and hamburger soup. She could have fed an army. But it made good left-overs for the week.
Kylie was so excited to see her great grandparents. She quickly made herself at home spreading her toys around the house. Her she is posing with some of her new Christmas toys.

Most of my dad's siblings live in Utah and we are happy when they come to Grandma Drue and Grandpa Howards to visit when we are there.
Here is Jacey and my Aunt Jan.

We all stayed downstairs and the kids loved playing down there. They would make a royal mess but they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Kylie and Brecken make themselves at home as they test the springs in the old orange chair. I'm pretty sure there are pictures of my sisters and I in this same orange chair doing the same thing. Good things never grow old.

One of the best parts of coming to Utah is the snow. I always say I would never want to live in it, but I love visiting each year. This year Kylie was very excited and even when we got home from Utah she asked why there was no snow in Arizona. She is very reminiscent of her fun times in the snow. Jacey, on the other hand, probably could have done without the snow. She hated putting on the entire snow outfit, but soon forgot when she got into the snow. She enjoyed it for about 10 min. Then she got cold and wanted to go back home. Luckily, my grandparents live directly across the street from the tubing hill and I could just walk her home and head back to the hill with Kylie and the gang.

Meagan and I took some amazingly cute pics of the girls. For some reason I think snow pictures are the best. Rosy cheeks and big grins!

We started the trip with the small hill. The kids loved going up and down several times. It was great because the kids carried their own tubes up and down. Kylie and her cousins had a blast. I did have to carry Jacey, though.

Jacey actually liked going down the hill. She would say, "again" each time we got to the bottom. Too bad she got cold, she may not have ever wanted to leave.

We love the trains.

Ready to go back to the warmth of the house.

I think Kylie has finally had enough. But just for the day!
We will be back.

The kids enjoyed being in thier first snowfall. Tasting the snow as it fell, and making footprints on the walkway.
It was a beautiful snowstorm. Painting the world white.
Like I said, I love to visit the snow!

Grandma Drue made us wonderful meals each night. We got spoiled, and I think I gained about 10lbs!
Kylie loved to help when she could. Here she watches as Grandma prepare the turkey for our Utah Christmas celebration with the entire family.

Kylie shows off her new gear.
Thanks Grandma Patti.

Each year we always end up heading to the bowling alley. None of us are professionals but we always have a fun time.
In the pictures above; Jacey and Grandma Mary, Heidi and Aunt Marilee, Jacob and Papa Kurt, and Karsten and Hudson.

Jacey enjoyed bowling for her very first time. We didn't let her play a whole game by herself, but she added some points onto Grandma Mary's score. Thanks Grandma. We had to have lots of patience, the ball took about 5 min to reach the pins!

Even Jacey was having a hard time waiting.
Jacey enjoyed watching all her cousins, too.
We decided that we were going to make the most of our trip to Utah, and we vowed to go tubing as much as we could. I think we went 4 times.
This time we went it was snowing while we tubed. It was a little cooler but everyone had fun anyways.
Some more cute pics of my adorable Kylie.

Brecken and Kylie prepare to go down the bigger hill this time.
They loved it.
This hill even had a jump down the middle of the hill and all the kids went down it. I was so impressed! I even was scared when I went on it. These kids have more guts than their parents.

The annual Christmas party. One week later, we are still celebrating Christmas. I love it!!
We each received a very generous gift from Grandma and Grandpa Richardson and then we played the wonderful white elephant game. Thanks to Kevin, I didn't end up with horrible sunglasses and got a fun kids game instead.
Each night of our trip, we spent hours playing the game Wolf. It was a blast. We were so glad to have Clay and Julie and their family spend so much time with us.
Jacey and Kylie enjoy the snow with their cousins in the backyard.
Family pic!

On about the third trip to the tubing hill, Kylie had had enough tubing and spent the time playing in the snow.
Still, so much fun.

The kids carried on the New Year's Eve tradition of banging pots and pans with noise makers and party hats. My grandma saves everything and if you could read the year on the hats you would see that it says 2000! Oh well, it is all the same to the kids. Also, it is a good thing they don't know how to read time, because we actually celebrated New Years at 9:00pm! They had no idea and then we had time to play games.
Another reason I love Utah, is that we play games till midnight every night. So much FUN!!!

Our final trip to the tubing hill.

Kylie, Grandma Mary, and Papa Kurt head down the hill.

We lined up for trains and the kids had a blast going down the hill in one long line of tubes.

Snowball Fight!

The Bountiful Temple is a beautiful view from my Grandparents house.

Snow Angels!

Then Papa Kurt helped us build a snowman with carrot hair, candy eyes, and a licorice mouth.
We had such a wonderful time in Utah, it was sad to leave. But, we hope to be back next year. Thank you to Grandma Drue and Grandpa Howard. We love you and will miss you tons.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's Finally Christmas!!!

Christmas Eve 2009

We started off with our traditional Christmas Eve party at the Smith's home. We ate, sang The Twelve Days of Christmas, acted out the nativity, and played a long game of white elephant. Everybody had a fun time.

Before it got too late, we went home to let Kylie and Jacey open one of their presents. They do not get to choose which one, I do. And guess what they got.....


It looks like Santa came while everyone was sleeping.

We have to wake the girls up at about 6:30 to start our long, but extremely fun, day of Christmas celebrations.

The girls loved what they got from Santa and what Mom and Dad gave them, too.
They got a new play house and a new slide to add to their backyard jungle gym.

Then we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa Smith's to celebrate with them. The cousins are lining up youngest to oldest to head into the family room to see what their grandparents gave them.

We got spoiled, once again, by the Smith's and had a wonderful time with all our family.

Off to Maricopa we go.

At Grandpa Kurt and Grandma Mary's we start with a family picture. Its an easy way that Mary has created to ensure that we at least get a family pic once a year.

Aunt Natalie, Cullen, and Jacey

Grandma Mary and Jacey

The girls were so excited to open their presents. Kylie loved her ballet bag, apron set, and Tag leapster. Jacey got a big bouncy ball, doctor set, and new shoes.

One of Kylie's present's was a chest of dress-up clothes. She showed off each outfit and she even let Jacey try on one too.
They are indeed our little princesses!

I love this pic of Jacey posing with her cousins.

Lining up in front of their stockings from Grandma Mary and Papa Kurt.
Cullen, Jacey, Hudson, Karsten, Kylie, then Brecken.

Then for our final stop, we drove to Chandler to celebrate and eat dinner with Grandma Patti and Papa Dave.
The girls and Scott and I, are extremely lucky to have such wonderful parents and grandparents that spoil us rotten on Christmas.