Monday, January 30, 2017

Spotlight 2017: Whitney

Whitney, 12 years

Something in 2016 that...

*you saw or did that was awesome:  I went on a cruise.

*you'll remember:  Being Miss Hannigan

*scared you:  Some of the rocks while we were tubing down the Provo River

*you're good at:  Guitar

*you're proud of:  Some of my art pieces

*made you happy:  Being at the beach

*you learned: y=mx +b???

*made you laugh:  That Joya laughed over a lame joke I made

*was silly:  Brandon growing his hair out

*was exciting:  Swimming with the dolphins

*you earned, won, or accomplished:  Being in a play and finished Faith in God program.

Something in 2017 that...

*you wish you were better at:  Cleaning

*you wish you could buy:  A new pair of pointe shoes

Hobbies:  Guitar, singing, dancing, drawing, coloring, writing, origami, and reading

Something you like about school:  My friends:  Skyler, Lauren, Joya

Something you don't like about school:  My Reading teacher

A job you might want when you're older:  Anything to do with the arts that isn't teaching

A pet you wish your mom would let you have:  A cat!!!!!

The most important thing you do:  Breathe

Something you collect:  Chocolate frog cards and Harry Potter stuff


Restaurant:  PF Chang's

Sport:  I hate all sports and dance is not a sport because I don't compete.

Book:  Harry Potter #7

Candy or other treat:  Lollipops, especially Blow Pops

Color:  Teal

Movie:  Any of the Harry Potters

Animal:  Cat

Snack:  Cheese or apples

TV show:  Kids' baking championship

Place:  The dance studio and my bed

Season:  The space between fall and winter

Meal:  Burrito Bowls

Song:  "What is this feeling?" from Wicked

Game:  One Night Ultimate Werewolf

RANDOM FACT:  I sometimes randomly burst into song.

Anything else?  I really want my mom to get me a cat or a kitten or a kitty.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spotlight 2017: Caroline

Caroline, 8 years

Something in 2016 that...

*you saw or did that was awesome:  Riding a horse

*you'll remember:  Getting baptized, going to Disneyland with my grandparents, and holding a baby kangaroo

*scared you:  When we were at the beach and I was swallowed by a wave

*you're good at:  Rock climbing

*you're proud of:  Placing 5th in the school spelling bee

*made you happy:  Getting Mrs. D as a teacher

*you learned:  How to divide and how to water ski

*made you laugh:  When me and Whitney made up a song called "Bug Guts"

*was silly:  Brandon calling me "Skunky"

*was exciting:  My first rock climbing comp

*you earned, won, or accomplished:  Straight A's on my first letter-grade report card and won my class spelling bee

Something in 2017 that...

*you wish you were better at: Drop-knees in rock climbing

*you wish you could buy:  A horse and a Lego set

Hobbies:  Rock climbing, playing with Legos, reading

Something you like about school:  My teacher

Something you don't like about school:  When we don't get to have recess

A job you might want when you're older:  Veterinarian

A pet you wish your mom would let you have:  Kitty!

The most important thing you do:  Get education, sports, try to persuade my mom to get a cat

Things you collect:  Legos, awards that I win


Restaurant:  Golden Corral

Sport:  Rock climbing

Book:  Harry Potter and Poppy

Candy or other treat:  Kisses, ice cream, and donuts

Color:  Purple

Movie:  Harry Potter 3

Animal:  Kitty

Snack:  Pretzels

TV show:  My Little Pony

Place:  Utah

Season:  Spring

Meal:  Hawaiian Haystacks

Song:  The Girl in 14G

Game:  Life

RANDOM FACT:  My name sounds like the state I live in.

Anything else? I met my friend KK

Friday, January 20, 2017

This Christmas

Oh, how I love Christmas. Several of my siblings were together in Utah this year, which made me miss being with them. But I love that we've established our little family traditions and can enjoy time relaxing and being together.

We baked treats to deliver to friends. 

Monster cookies, homemade oreos, and pretzel turtles.
The rest of the family made me cut down 
the number of people we delivered to.
They didn't want to spend the whole afternoon driving around town.
It was an overcast, slightly drizzly day.
We mostly just dropped the cookies and ran.
But we did carol in 3-part harmony for two friends.

Then it was time to head home and start cooking up our 
Christmas Eve Feast!

 So, so, so good!

Then we headed upstairs for our annual
Christmas PJ Jumping Photos.

Caroline called this her "kitty jump" 

Sibling gift exchange


On a recent work trip, Andrew was able to
make two t-shirts at an Avery facility in CA.
I had planned to make Whitney a Wicked/ballet shirt.
Worked out well that we could give each of them a shirt we made.

We also did the Nativity, but I forgot to take pics.

 The calm before the storm.

Ready to open!
We told the kids they could wake us up at 6:30.
But then after they went to bed, I snuck in their 
rooms and turned off their alarms, hoping they would
sleep in. Ha! Didn't work. They knocked on our
door at 6:30 on the dot.

Best reaction of the day:
Whitney seeing her electric guitar 

She is learning to jam!
And loves it.

 B loves shoes and expensive clothes in brand
names I had never heard of until he told me about them.
He picked out almost all of his own gifts this year.
And he likes them! :)

 Andrew had been battling a cold all week
and by Christmas morning, it was bad enough
that he felt like he shouldn't go to church.
Poor guy. 
Whitney, Brandon, and I sang in the choir.
I accompanied Whit while she sang a special
number with the missionaries.
AND I was surprised to find out that I 
would be accompanying the congregation 
on five or six other hymns throughout the service.
On the organ.
It went better than I thought it would.

 Since church fell on a Sunday, we only had sacrament meeting.
 When we came home, C promptly changed back into her PJ's.
There were Lego stables to be built. 

And new games to play.

Like Pie Face 

And Code Names.
A new favorite.

Unfortunately, with Andrew's cough and cold,
we had to back out of our Christmas Brunch with friends.
So sad to miss out on that tradition.
But Kelly DID bring some creme brulee french toast
by the house on her way out of town. Yay!

On Christmas night, we got to have the Sister missionaries
over to use our wifi to talk to their families.
It was awesome!
What a special night to share with them.
And we closed out the night with
peppermint cheesecake.

Wonderful Christmas!
Grateful for Jesus Christ and that we can celebrate His birth.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What December Looked Like

Downtown Festival of Lights

This was the coolest piece of art where the table is covered
with sand and that metal ball is somehow controlled magnetically
and makes patterns in the sand.

Greensboro Christmas Parade

Ragsdale Marching Band.
Go Tigers!

Andrew took me on a date to Candlefest,
where they put THOUSANDS of luminaries
around the walking trails of the arboretum.
Loved it.

I bought one of those projectors that makes
your house look festive without having
to spend hours and hours hanging lights.
It was awesome!

Poor phone-camera quality,
but this is what the house looked like
with the red and green lights projected on there.

Caroline had a great time with her little tradition
of opening a Christmas book every day.

Gingerbread houses

And kitties. :)

W made the Shrieking Shack from Harry Potter.

B made the Supreme logo.

And a little house that kept falling apart.

Andrew made a fantasy basketball stat tracker.

Andrew and I thought of Wyatt while we donated
blood at our church's blood drive.
He's back in the hospital battling a relapse of leukemia.

Ugly Sweater Party!
The Amber and Gina threw an AWESOME party
with over fifty guests.
We didn't win any prizes, but had a fun time.

I was pretty impressed with my
cookie-decorating skills!

I bought a puzzle that I worked on 
throughout the month while I watched TV.
I was hoping other family members would
join it, but it ended up mostly just being me.

Christmas Dance Showcase
Whitney is working as an apprentice to Miss Shelley this year.
She helps with the preschool and kindergarten ballet and tap classes.
What a dream job for this girl!

She does a great job.
Those little girls love her.

So fun to see her in action!

Also love seeing her in action en pointe!

And singing her heart out in musical theatre!

Look at that kick!

It was a big month for me, too.

I won my fantasy football league!!!
I couldn't believe it.
I did not have the best team in the league,
but the way the playoffs worked out, 

Speaking of winning,
Caroline won her class spelling bee!
On to the school contest in January.

We tried something new this year.
The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra puts on a
FREE holiday concert, just asking that you bring
canned food donations.
We had never been, but decided to head down to the Coliseum
this year and check it out.
The sister missionaries from our ward were the bell-ringers
in the Coliseum! Fun to run into them.

The concert was fabulous!
Gorgeous instrumentals, great choir singing,
we got to participate in a big sing-a-long, too.
AND they even had ice skaters perform 
during some of the numbers.
What??? Awesome.

It was science fair month for Whit.
She did a social science project on whether or not 
brunette ballerinas are more likely to get lead roles.

Drove through our favorite Christmas Ball neighborhood:
Sunset Hills.
Love, love, love it.

I got to help out with Care Bear's school Christmas party.

This is a great bunch of kids.
I love working with them every week.

Grandma S makes the kids a quilt when they are born.
Eight and a half years later,
Caroline still uses hers every day.

Over Christmas break, Andrew and I snuck out on 
a geocaching date. It was a nice day and we found
three of the four caches we were looking for.
This one was SO UNIQUE.
Can you see that TINY capsule hanging below my fingers?
It was hanging by fishing line under that drainage grate.
We were just about to give up on it when it caught our eye.

I finished my puzzle!
It was hard.
But I liked it.

Andrew worked several days over winter break.
One day while he was working, I took the kids downtown.
We wanted to try ice skating at the temporary outdoor rink.
A note to remember:
Don't try outdoor ice skating when it's 70* outside.
Ha! There was a huge puddle on top of the ice.

The employees warned us that if we fell,

Luckily, we were careful and none of us fell.

They also have a fun ice slide down there.


They have revitalized this part of downtown and we
had a great time hanging out.
We played ping pong...

and foosball.
They also had a putting green and badminton.
So fun.

Love playing outdoor tennis in December!
NC is the best.

Fun date night with Tiffany and Chris at a Breakout place.
We rocked Operation Casino,
getting out in 44:39. Boom!

We spent most of winter break relaxing around the house,
playing board games, and watching movies.
But we got to work one day and finally took care of all
the leaves in our lawn.
I'd done the front yard earlier, but more had fallen and
we hadn't touched the back yard.
Amazing what five people can do in a couple of hours.

That's a lot of leaves!