Sunday, December 28, 2008

THE Holiday Season

Ok- I have eaten a big piece of humble pie (and every other pie in sight apparently...) and have decided to just do one huge Holiday Season post with everything. I know it is lame, and late- but Miss J just had her school Christmas party today so I am still good. Right? Put your Santa hat back on- because we are taking a big ole' step back in time!

Aren't these cookies adorable? My neighbor brought them over for us!

We were super excited and happy to have Sunny & her darling family along for the whole sha-bang. We started out getting the all important Christmas tree..
Gosh- they eve helped us put up the tree and decorate! As quick as we decorated the tree, Hyrum un-decorated it. He is such a cutie.

A few days later, we were lucky enough to have some other visitors from out west. Grandma & Grandpa Avery came out to be here for Saroya's Baptism. They were such a help in getting the final preparations underway.

The Baptism was so great! We had family members there from all over! (Utah, Nevada, New York and GR!) Everyone braved the blizzard and joined us for that special night. So touching. Saroya decided that she wanted her cousin Jillie and Ethan to do the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost. At first I wondered about how that would go, but then I got to thinking. Who better to learn from than someone that sees things so simply still and can explain things so she could understand them. Ethan forgot his talk at home so he had to do it all from memory, but both talks were short, sweet and absolutely perfect.

We had a quick meal for everyone after the baptism, took some pics of the grand kids that didn't turn out

and then went BOWLING!!! :) Random, I know- but we had everyone here so we had to have a party!

This is a picture of Nathan's dad... and if there are any Avery's reading this- you know EXACTLY what happened next. :) He is a trooper though and has a good sense of humor about it all. Thank goodness because it was pretty funny!

So after the busy weekend and many hugs and goodbyes, we took the Grandparents back to the airport (I think they had seen enough snow to last them a lifetime!! :) and wished them well on their next adventure on a mission in Texas!

After we dropped them off, we headed over to Grandma Old Ears to decorate for Christmas. I think it is something we all look forward to. Grandma wasn't too sure about the "pink flowers" in the tree and we took bets on whether she was taking them off as soon as we left, but when we went back after Christmas they were still there. :)

After Grandma's we scooped up Sunny and Hyrum and took them home with us for the rest of the week! We had lots of books read by Sunny...
and we saw lots of sleepy baby yawns.
and we were CRAZY busy as always, but we LOVED having them here.

The next week was spent quickly making and shopping for last minute gifts. The weather just got worse and worse- lots of watching this at night

and this during the day. Even got the last day before Christmas break off for a snow day!

Then the BIG DAY!! We got Derek back from Utah and we were ready to party!

Could you just eat this kid up??
We made sure to keep to tradition by doing the Christmas Caroling we all love! But we also stopped for some service snow shoveling along the way- and then helping ourselves up a driveway we got stuck in (we couldn't skip that house you know!)

We did finally make it back, just in time for a reading of the REAL Christmas story from a kids book this time, and then a quick visit from St. Nick before he headed out for the night. So nice of him...

The next morning the kids were excited to see what Santa had brought them this year. We tore open all the gifts- and can I just say this? My camera had a VERY good Christmas....The kids ran downstairs and spent the next little while like this... Before long the next party had arrived ready for our traditional Christmas breakfast and more present exchanging.

We went ice skating too but those pictures are on Ethan's new camera (!!) and we haven't downloaded them yet. It was fun and funny all rolled up in one freezing cold night!

There were of course other family and friend parties which are so good to connect with everyone you haven't seen in so long.
The party that we have with my Dad's family is always a rousing "White Elephant" type game with nice presents instead of silly ones. This year was no exception! We ended the night watching a DVD my cousin put together of pictures of my sweet Grandma Nellie in her younger years and even had her singing "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" (I think it was). Such a treasure! Thanks Andy! You did awesome!

Next up... New Years in New York!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


More than 61 inches of snow THIS MONTH, and 10 more for tomorrow.

We had to dig a way to out neighbors house to bring a Christmas treat,

Saroya's bedtime prayers usually go something like this, "...and help us to get lots of snow. Not too-too-too much snow, but a lot." Tonight it was a little different. "Heavenly Father, we are thankful for all the snow, but we have enough, I think. Jaleigh won't be able to walk in it anymore."

It's true. I think we have enough. And as far as Jaleigh goes? We just made her into a snowgirl...

Friday, December 19, 2008


and this

can only mean one thing...


Some parents might get a little worked up about the fact that the day BEFORE christmas break, we had a snow day. Not me. I took all the teacher gifts in yesterday, Saroya had her class party yesterday, and Ethan had a movie day yesterday (well- if you had your homework done).

For me, today was going to be run, run, run to all the kids schools with christmas parties and sing a-longs. Instead we had a BIG family breakfast at 11am and stayed in pj's until after noon. :) Then Nathan took the kids out to play in the snow. I was able to get a lot of christmas sewing, christmas card writing, and laundry done. And hopefully, HOPEFULLY, I will get caught up on blogging tonight so I don'thave to rename this blog, "What the Avery's did a really long time ago." I actually might still need to... Scroll down to see any updates I may have had time to do. Sometimes it's nice to have an excuse to stay home all day! ... Now if we can just dig out of this 10 inches before the next round comes tomorrow night! AHHH!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My 8 Year old girl

Happy Birthday Saroya!!!

(Thank you SOOO Much to Nikki for putting this video together. You didn't have time, but you did it anyway. THANK YOU!!!!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Time Re-visited

The holiday train is at full speed, and I am running along side as fast as I can, but I can't catch up! So here is my Thanksgiving rewind. Bear with me, there WILL be more installments!

Saroya's acting debut was this year at a very festive rendition of the highly popular (at her school) 2nd grade production of "Turkey Tango". Jaleigh was more than excited...
Saroya knew her lines and executed them with dramatic gusto. (And just what exactly is that kid behind her doing?)When Ethan's class preformed the same show years ago, he did whatever he could to NOT be photographed. He hid behind everyone. Saroya on the other hand is one for the spotlight, and took matters into her own hands when her view was obstucted.

OH she is a child after my own heart....

The next morning after watching the traditional Macy's Day Parade (I actually pulled Jaleigh out of the bathtub soaking wet so she wouldn't miss the Little Mermaid performance. I know... nerd.) we went to my parents house.

Look who surprised us....

And not only Hyrum, but Sunny & Derek too!! CRAZY! And the genius part of all of this, is that Sunny & Hyrum are staying until JANUARY 5TH!!!! Can I get a whoop whoop? Derek is going to go back to work, but will be back for Christmas and New Years. The Tangrens AGAIN bag the best Christmas present of the year, and it isn't even Christmas yet. I can't even speak to the pure gravity of what this means to me!! I know it is going to be tough for Derek and I want him to know how unbelievably thankful for his and their sacrifice. How do you give a better present than time?

After all the gorging and chatting, we got down to business. Or should I say the boys did...

And then another surprise...

My cousin Abby & her boyfriend showed up from Traverse City. FUN! Apparently her boyfriend is now her HUSBAND and they are going to have a baby in March! Congratulations!! I was glad they stopped by- we obviously don't see them enough!

After all the excitement, we headed home with a promise from Sunny & Derek that we would see them soon. Besides...3am was going to come early for me. (Yes I did shop, and yes I AM crazy....)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving MUST do...

Most amazing picture and idea from Stie.

So I just got done making 36 of these most adorable things for the kids school parties. No- I am not done yet, but I needed to share the greatness of them.

1. They are simple!!

2. The INVENTOR'S directions are hilarious and easy to follow.

3. They are delightful and everyone will think Martha came over for Thanksgiving prep.

4. They are DELICIOUS!!!

5. The kids love helping make them.
So go there now, and make them tonight...
Oh- and for the love of Pete and all of mankind, PLEASE remove the umbilical cords from the eggs you are cooking with. Thank you...


Tonight my kids were watching this...

Which is something I "make" them do at every holiday because it gave me so much pleasure as a child. :) After watching it today, I have a new reason to "make" them watch it. It is a history lesson!

The story comes to the part where Charlie's grandma takes them all to Thanksgiving Dinner. They all (like 8 or 9 of them) load in to the back of her station wagon that looks something like this...

Ethan says dreamily, "I wish they still made cars like that..." :) It made me laugh! Our Grandma had a monster station wagon like that, that probably could have fit 9 or 10 kids I bet! I loved that thing. I think we called it "The Limo". Did you ever have a station wagon? If you still have one today, you rock my entire world- and I want a ride (along with 8 of my friends).

Another funny...
Ethan was working on his homework tonight. Him sitting at the table, me on the computer right next to him. He says, "How do you spell 'written?'"

I open my mouth to speak and Saroya speaks up from the other room like he was talking to her. "W-R-I-T-T-E-N."

I start laughing. Ethan starts laughing. Saroya wonders what is wrong. "What? Did I spell it wrong?"

Ethan says, "No one needs to know about this..."
Then we all laugh.

(I did get his permission to blog it. :)

(Update on Ethan... We went to a specialist today and were started on a treatment that has an 80% chance of taking care of it FOR GOOD!! Here's hoping!!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Hunting Trip

Hunting season finally began here in Michigan this weekend. YA HOO!! For my mom, sister, aunt & I that meant going to the biggest outlet mall in the mid-west for our annual SHOPPING TRIP!! This place is HUGE! 150+ stores and even more savings because it was the 13th annual "Deer Hunter Widows Weekend". Watch out!

We decided to take our "Girls Day Out" Shopping trip to a new level. We figure we have been doing this tradition for 10 years and it was time to make it an overnighter!! :) Nikki came from New York and met My mom, Tami & I for the night. All of us forgot our swimming suits (NEXT TIME!!) so we walked over to Cracker Barrel to have a dessert instead.

Tami collected "peg board puzzles" from different tables so we could all try our luck. She got it to ONE peg TWO different times. Genius. Tami was on fire that night, because not only did she rock at playing the game, she got some shopping done at the gift shop there too!!

We got back to the room and talked, watched TV, surfed the Internet and slowly one by one, crashed. Nikki of course was the last one to drop. NST I tell ya...

Saturday morning started E A R L Y. We all jumped out of bed (ha- ha...) and made it to the outlet mall by 7:15 thanks to the shopping sergeant. (She is the one with the coat and purse on in the above picture. Ready to GO!) The stores opened at 8am, but the first 300 guests got special scratch off tickets redeemable for cash or prizes. Just look at the line ahead of us when we got there...
and the line behind us...
There was a van driving around with one of those target practice deers tied to the top of her van that cracked me up!! :) Bag um' Sista!!
While standing in line I was lucky (or loud) enough to get picked to do a game and won a $10.00 gift card to Nike!! :) I dutifully bought something for my husband with it.Once we got our little scratch off card Nikki & I were ready to take a nap. Ohh... it was going to be a long day! :)
We searched high and low to find the best deals.
Nikki's friend Angie joined us for a while, and even offered to stand in line while we shopped a few times! :) Great girl! She was really fun to have around... maybe she will come again the next time?

We fought off lunch for as long as we could, but finally decided that we needed to eat- and come up with a plan of action for the rest of the day.

The second half of the day was much like the first shopping, shopping, shopping...

By 8:30 we were getting so tired, we actually TRIED to look low for deals just so we could rest our legs and backs.
We closed up the shops at 9pm, and then went to Applebee's to eat, and laugh (ALWAYS) because we are so punch drunk.
By the time we left, we had packed mom's car just as packed as it could be. We said our goodbyes to Nikki and we started on the 2 hour journey home (for mom and Tami- 3 hours for me!!). It was so much fun!! I am SO glad that we haven't given up this tradition and thankful that I have the best girls in the world to have fun with! LOVE YOU!!

Next year's note to self.... Bathing suits, and a Friday afternoon arrival instead of Friday night, so we can scope out the sales first! :) Anyone else in?? :)