Thursday, December 29, 2016

Suzie's Tacky Christmas party

My friend Suzie is a party whiz. She threw a Tacky Christmas party the weekend before Christmas (the day of the kids piano recital) and it was such great fun. I borrowed my mom's Christmas apron she had made herself back in the 80s. She sewed and crocheted the whole thing - she is so talented! I borrowed her boots from the 70s to complete the outfit. 

Suzie is the party queen - this was the second of her parties I attended in 2016, the first being a mystery dinner in February. Look at all those lovely...tacky ladies!
Faith, me, Martha, Suzie, Denise, Amy, Emily, Amanda, Amanda, Abby, and Kate

I'm so glad Amanda took photos! Her husband Danny, in the leisure suit, just cracks me up!
Jason, Greg, Terry, Danny, Damon, Shane, Eric, Brian, Jason, Mike, and Scott 

Amanda posted this picture and said, "Eva's giving her best 'blue steel' look." Ha ha ha!

2016 Christmas piano recital

The weekend before Christmas was the kids' winter piano recital. Perhaps it's more of a performance since the songs are short and it goes very quickly. Noah was one of the first kids to go.

He had been extremely anxious and angry before that he couldn't get it perfect, but he really did well. Seriously Noah, good job!

Noah's performance of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."

Mrs. Kathy has them perform at a retirement home near the church. The turnout was less in number than last year but our church had just been there the week or so before with the preschoolers who s sang their Christmas songs. Perhaps because there were significantly less people, I felt super awkward taking photos. I only snapped a few and felt like everyone's eyes were on me and that I was distracting. I quickly sat down.

Here's Kathy introducing Evie. 

Go Evie go! 

She was very proud of her song and as I said in the Christmas program post, this girl just loves to perform! Look at her little "curtsy." Hehehehe. She sort of forgot how to do it and kind of just squatted! 

Evie performs "Carol of the Bells."

2016 church Christmas program

On Sunday evening, December 11th, the kids (minus Noah this year who is a middle schooler!) had their annual Christmas program at the church.

They had been practicing for months, literally, even the littles! There's Samuel at the top of the line. Ezra is already in place wearing the blue vest.

All the practice really paid off though. I was most impressed by how well the littles did, and not just mine. All of them did wonderful. I couldn't believe how much they had memorized!

Ezra surprised me by how much he participated. When we ask him pointed questions at home he pretends to be all shy, not wanting attention. Of course that is another way of getting attention.  

Next up was the bigger school aged kids. They all performed at once, with the different classes doing their own special parts. Here Evie cheeses it up while waiting for another group to perform. 

She was especially proud to be given a small speaking role. My oh my does she love to perform. This girl would simply adore being on stage more often... 

We were in the front, but she still speaks so quickly that it's hard to understand her. Just ask her what she said and she'll be more than happy to reenact it for you. :D

Belting out "Christmas in July."

Again cheesing while she waits. 

It was a good night and a good program.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

bone collector with Noah

Ten days after our first snow on November 17, it had all melted and that Sunday we decided we needed a bike ride. We all brought our little people (Noah, Zeah, Ella) and drove up Bone Collector's hill (instead of riding) and rode the top loop. When we reached the ridge where we customarily take selfies, we stopped for another one, this time with the phone tripod Kendra had given me a month earlier. Um, I have to learn how to focus the dumb thing...

Which reminds me of the reason why Kendra gave me that tripod. We had done another little person bike ride on Skyline Drive in mid-October and I took this group photo with my phone propped on top of my backpack, leaning against a rock. I forgot to blog about this ride!

Back to the Bone ride... Zoe likes to amuse herself when we stop by bouncing or hanging on trees. She called these aspens/birches (who really knows how to tell the difference?!) the "panda trees" and taught all the girls (plus Noah) how to hang off of them. 

bringing the Chrysler home

Two days after Thanksgiving, after we finished decorating the tree and had a quick lunch, we headed back out to the ranch with a new fuel pump for the 1977 Chrysler New Yorker we had been working on. Since it didn't want to start without dumping fuel in the carburetor, our hypothesis was that it wasn't receiving enough gas. Once the fuel pump was installed the car fired right up. But when Terry attempted to move it backwards out of the garage, it died and was difficult to restart. They finally got it started, and since it was supposed to snow the next day, this was our last chance (for a while) to move it home. Yes, I haven't mentioned that we bought Terry's great grandma's 1977 Chrysler New Yorker. Terry drove it home that afternoon.

What a good lookin boat. He even drove it on the interstate and it did fine, though it had no heat.

We put it in the garage for the first week so Terry could work on cleaning it.  

It's longer than the Envoy so we lost space at the front of the garage. Terry removed the back bench seat and completed vacuumed and shampooed the carpet throughout. Afterwards he put various product on the carpets to refresh them. It smells quite bad. Not sure if it's due to old moth balls or from mice...or both. The next thing to be done is to take the dash apart to search the vents for dead mice and the source of why the fan (and heat) won't work. Probably some time in the spring it might need professionally detailed to see if they can take out the smell.  

On Christmas Eve Terry and I drove the Chrysler to the church as a test and to give it a work out. Terry had drove it around the block the day before with Nathan but he wanted to try a farther drive (40 minutes). We stopped on the way and picked up David, who Terry has told all about the car, and he accompanied us to the church. The car did great aside from dying at the top of 5th street once, but at least it started again. As I said before, there is no power to the front panel so there was no heat. Also there was some sort of mysterious gas coming out of the defrost vents. Hope we don't all get cancer. We were glad to have David sitting with us in the front seat to keep us warm. Ha!

tree decorating 2016

The day after tree hunting and our Christmas family roller coaster photo shoot, we spent the morning decorating our Christmas tree.

Mommy, with her bony elbows, always does the lights.

Noah has inherited the job of trailing behind me with strings of lights.

Evie sits quietly watching...or not so quietly.

Samuel eagerly awaits a fully functional train.

Mommy sat back and watched the rest of the decorating commence.

Happy kids

Resting from their labors.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Family Roller Coaster Photo Shoot

The day after Thanksgiving we joined the rest of Terry's family out at the ranch for a pre-planned Christmas photo shoot. Just two days earlier Terry's dad, Jerry, had called with an incredible idea - to take a family Christmas photo on the roller coaster (he bought a roller coaster in 2015 and they put it together in June). 

Furthermore, Jerry made the grandkids to be reindeer, the parents were elves, and he and Alice were Santa and Mrs. Clause! The best part though was that the roller coaster was his sleigh :D HOW PERFECT IS THAT??!!

To get us all in the shot equally it was necessary to move the roller coaster back down the track a bit. 

At first they just let it sit there, hoping it would stay put.

But it didn't stay put. It slid right back to the beginning of the track. It only moved like ten feet but Samuel and Ezra, who are a bit afraid of the roller coaster, freaked out. Just look at Samuel's face! HAHAHAHAHA!

I snapped this just as Terry and Jerry had just got the roller coaster stopped. Sarah is also freaked out!

The whole thing was hilarious. I got it on video!! So so funny. Classic.

Jerry went and got some vice grips which he used to clamp the roller coaster onto the track. It worked like a charm. The guys went to get a ladder to load up.

I brought my camera tripod along and Terry's aunt Barb, who was staying at great grandma's for the weekend, drove up and pressed the camera button to take our picture.

This is my favorite shot because it's the most in focus. Jerry preferred the pictures with our arms up though. 


"Yzma! Put your hands in the air!" Jesse's face... Hehehehe

I jumped down to adjust the camera for another round of photos and then climbed back up.

Terry climbed back on and then chucked the ladder away.

This was the only one with our hands up where you could see everyone's face and therefore it went on facebook. Put your hands in the air like you just don't care.

One more.

Shari asked me to take a couple of their family pictures when we were done.

Cute little reindeer.


Did I want our family picture taken? No. Just one of Samuel climbing a tree was enough. :D

Evie and Grace played in the small bank of melting snow before coming in. Those two are buds.

The sunset that evening was amazing but Alice was like, "It's always like that." Cracked me right up.

Cows and an orange sky.