December 27, 2008

Frosty Morning

This morning we woke up to frost covering everything outside. We don't see this very often so the kids were pretty excited. I was stupid enough to go out (in my bare feet) and take a few pictures.

The rain water in the dump truck was frozen over.

Now for those of you who are covered in inches or feet of snow I'm sure you're thinking "Oh please!" but for us Mesa folk this is a big deal.


Another Christmas has come and gone and I think it was one of the best Christmases we've ever had. It was a very special one for my family. The best part was being around all of our family and friends. We are so lucky to have so much family so close. We have also felt the love and generosity of strangers. Someone did the Twelve Days of Christmas for us and as hard as my kids tried to catch them in the act they were not successful. Our secret Santa remains a mystery and if by chance this person or family reads my blog I want to say thank you so very much. It was an experience that we will never forget.

Christmas Eve

One tradition we have is getting together at my dad's on Christmas Eve and having the kids act out the Nativity. One of our many gifts from our Secret Santa was costumes for this. Here are a few pictures of the kids.
Mary & Joseph

The Angels

Wisemen & Shepherd's

This is the Wiseman Kaleb kissing baby Jesus

Christmas Morning

Santa was very good to us this year. He brought the kids a Wii. They have been asking Santa for this for a couple of years now. He finally came through.

He brought Jaxson a new bike.

Jaxson's favorite gift was his dinosaurs that our Secret Santa gave him.

We had Christmas dinner at my house. Because of the rain I knew the kids couldn't play outside and I was a little worried about it being insane crazy. But thanks to the Wii that Santa brought they stayed down in the basement all night. There wasn't even any fighting, they all waited patiently for their turn - it's a Christmas Miracle! THANK YOU SANTA!

December 23, 2008

Christmas Picture

These are for those of you who didn't get a Christmas Card (sorry about that - I can only make so many).

Aren't they adorable!

Disco Elves

Check out these groovy Elves!

(click on the link below and wait for it to download - you don't need to click the green download button)

Merry Christmas Everyone!

December 14, 2008

Busy Week

The Nutcracker

There's been a lot going on this week, which is typical for 2 weeks before Christmas. Thursday I went to see The Nutcracker at Symphony Hall. It was my first time seeing it or any ballet. It was pretty awesome.

Haley & her friend Callie

Me, Tammie & our friend Jill

I didn't get a picture of everyone cause we were kind of split up but we had really great seats so it was worth it.

Christmas Party's

We had 2 Christmas party's this week. They were both lots of fun. We enjoyed hanging out with friends, eating good food and building gingerbread houses. I have a picture of the house that Larry and I helped build but it's on his phone. I'll upload it when he gets home.

At the party Saturday night Jake was playing football and accidently caught the ball with his face. OUCH! He now has his first really cool black eye. He still has a ways to go if he wants to catch up to Nate's tally.

The only bad thing about this (besides the pain - poor guy) is that we took family pictures today. Luckily it's not real noticeable. It'll make a nice story to add to our Christmas family newsletter. Thanks Tyler for adding some color to our family photo! ;)

December 5, 2008

Winter is finally here!

I had to put an extra quilt on my bed last night and the heater kicked on for the first time - which means it got below 70 degress in the house. I'm almost afraid to say it for fear it will go away but I think our Arizona winter is finally here. YEAH!

December 4, 2008


Last weekend went by in a big blur. It always seems like that when I have time off from work. Let's see if I can summarize it in just a few sentences (yeah right). Thanksgiving was at my dad's this year (thank goodness - it's been at my house the last two years). We had all the yummy traditional foods including 3 turkey's - one oven-baked, one fried & one smoked. My favorite was the fried - lot's of flavor! We then spent the evening playing games. I didn't get any pictures but my sister took a few. This is all the grandkids minus Haley, McKensie & Kelly's kids.

Friday started out reeeeeealy early at Wal-mart. I got a couple of great deal which I can't name because my kids read this blog. I was excited this year because Larry was home to go with me. I don't think he shared in my excitement. This is what he looked like after about 2 hours of early morning shopping.

snoozing in the car

We spent the rest of the day playing more games - we're a game playing family! Saturday we went to see Madagascar which I didn't really enjoy but everyone else seemed to like it. Sunday was spent chillin' and recovering from the Holiday madness.

I am thankful that I am surrounded by my family during this holiday season. I don't know what I would do without every single one of them.

November 25, 2008

I Love Fall!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Not only are we gearing up for all the holidays but it's when the weather usually starts to cool off. You notice how I said usually. If you live in Phoenix it hasn't been very cool lately. Last week it was in the upper 80's. I think we had a few record breaking days. Now, normally I wouldn't complain about the 80's - I would take them any day over the 100's but, come on, it's November! I'm ready for it to be cold.

Well, I realized yesterday that I shouldn't complain about our 80 degree weather. Larry had a long layover in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He doesn't usually fly this far back east so I thought it would be a nice break from sunny California which is where he usually is. Well, yesterday the high in Harrisburg was 46 degrees. I think he was just a little cold. You have to realize that when he has a layover someplace he doesn't have any transportation. They have to walk everywhere they go. Sometimes they do a lot of walking but yesterday Larry opted to stay in his hotel room and only go out when his stomach demanded it.

He called me while he was at breakfast. There was an interesting item on the menu that he had never heard of. With his breakfast he had the choice of bacon, sausage or scrapple. The waitresses description of scrapple was "left over pork products that are deep fried" YUM! Needless to say he passed on the scrapple and went with the bacon. When I googled this interesting sounding food one of the definitions I found was "Pork Mush - The Pennsylvania Treat". I think he should have tried it. What is it we're always telling our kids "You can't say you don't like it until you've at least tasted it". I think the deciding factor was when the waitress said "it's worse than hotdogs". I probably wouldn't have tried it either after hearing that.

Larry will be home tonight and I think he's grateful for the warmer weather we have here. He has the next 8 days off to enjoy the beautiful Arizona Fall weather. I love it!

November 20, 2008

The Big Day Is Finally Here!

The countdown is almost at an end. Finally! The girls in this family have been anxiously awaiting the release of Twilight. It's all Haley has been able to talk about this week. She has been reading non-stop trying to get the book read one more time before she sees the movie. Yes she is going to the midnight showing tonight with my sisters. NO I'm not going. I have read the books and am definitely a fan but I'm not a crazy fan. I will be seeing it on Saturday morning after all the fanatics have had their turn. This is Haley before school today. She is all decked out in her new t-shirt - which she paid $22 for (I don't think I've ever paid that much for a t-shirt).

She is taking a camera so I'm sure we'll have lots of fun pictures to document this awesome event!

To all of you who are going tonight - Have a great time and I'll be thinking of you as I close my eyes and drift off to sleep!

November 7, 2008

Postcards for Petr

I am asking for help on a very special project that a good friend of mine is working on. Iveta (my friend) lives in New York but she was born and raised in Czech Republic. This project is for a young boy named Petr. He is 12 years old and lives in Czech. She has started a postcard collection for him. Her goal is to have a postcard sent to him in Czech from each of the 50 states. The hardest part is that they have to be sent from each individual state so that they show that states postmark. As of today they have collected 29 of the states. She is asking for help from anyone who might live in one of the uncollected states or knows someone who lives there that might help.

All you need to do is buy a postcard, write a short hello to Petr, add .94 cents postage and mail it to the following address:

Petr Gutweil
Oldrichova 42
128 00 Praha 2

If you put your e-mail address on the card he will send you a thank-you with a picture of himself holding your postcard. (this part is optional)

The states in white are the ones they still need. They're also listed below.

Alabama (AL)
California (CA)
Connecticut (CT)
Delaware (DE)
Hawaii (HI)
Idaho (ID)
Kansas (KA)
Kentucky (KY)
Louisiana (LA)
Maine (ME)
Michigan (MI)
Minnesota (MN)
Mississippi (MS)
New Mexico (NM)
North Dakota(ND)
Oklahoma (OK)
Oregon (OR)
Rhode Island (RI)
South Dakota (SD)
Tennessee (TN)
Wyoming (WY)

Thank you to anyone who is willing to help with this wonderful project! Below is the link to Petr's blog if you want to read more about it and watch the progress.

November 4, 2008

Birthday Fun!

What do you get when you take seven 9 year olds to the bowling alley? Craziness and a whole lot of embarrassment! This is what Nate chose to do for his birthday this year and I'm sooooo glad it's over. These boys were so excited to be there they could hardly contain themselves. I couldn't get them to sit down - they all hovered around the ball return, they kept bowling prematurely which resulted in stuck balls that needed to be rescued by the employees, they spilt soda all over the floor and they were extremely loud. But ... they had a great time and that's all that matters!

Great Action Shots

Trying to get these boys to smile for a serious shot was impossible.

November 1, 2008


Wheew! What a night. Halloween is deinitely a much more exciting holiday (is it really a holiday?) when it falls on the weekend. My neighborhood was crazy last night. Party's everywhere - the streets lined with cars - and hundreds of trick-or-treaters.

Here's the Hanna gang costume line-up.

Cowgirl Haley

Ninja Nate

Indiana Jones

You can't be Indiana Jones without that sexy chest hair - could of done without the red kool-aid mustache

Young Indiana Jones
My kids surprised me this year. They pooped out after just a few streets. We had to take a 5 minute break and sit on the curb to rest their feet. Jaxson did much better this year. He only walked into 2 houses as opposed to almost every house last year, he didn't try to take the entire candy bowl and he said "Oh, Thank You" every time. He had a small candy bucket so I brought a bag to empty it into when it filled up. Well, the first time I did this he got really mad at me - guess he thought he wasn't going to get it back.

I should of known not to try it again but he was losing candy all over the place because it was too full. So I took it by force and dumped it in my bag. He refused to do anymore trick-or-treating after that. We walked home where he said to my mom "I don't like trick-or-treating. I don't want to go no more". I guess I ruined it for him - I'm such a mean mom.

Afterwards Haley took off and went to a party with her friends and the boys and I went over to our friends the Woolf's to have soup and hang out. They live in a cul-de-sac where the kids played and the adults sat around the fire pit and visited. Yes I know, it was a bit warm for a fire but believe it or not by the end of the evening we were inching closer to the warmth. It was a great night and we had a lot of fun. The only thing that would have made it better was if Larry could have been here with us. He was sitting in a Hotel room somewhere in California (Fresno I think). We miss you dad.

October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Nate!

Oh look at that smile! Doesn't it just melt your heart.

Nate spooked us with his entrance into this world 9 years ago today. Wow, where does the time go. It seems like just yesterday that I was in the Dr.'s office having my ultrasound and found out Nate was a boy. Our first boy! I remember the joy and excitement of that day. We were so happy. And now he's half-way grown up. That makes me sad in a way but I am so proud of the little man he is becoming. He has such a strong, sweet & loving personality. He is such a tough guy too. It takes a lot to bring tears to those beautiful hazel eyes so you know when it does happen he's really hurting. He definitely has his crazy, loud and obnoxious moments but I wouldn't trade him for nothing. We are so glad that our Heavenly Father choose to send Nate here to be a part of our family.

Happy Birthday Son!

October 30, 2008


Tonight we carved pumpkins. Nate's is on the left, Jacob's in the middle & Haley's on the right.

October 29, 2008

Halloween Carnival

Tonight was my neighborhoods annual Halloween Carnival. I don't know how many years they've been doing this but it's been since I was a teenager at least. It's always been something we look forward to every year. It's even more exciting now that it's in my own front yard. There is a cul-de-sac across the street and that's where the bulk of it is but in the past there have been a couple of games in my yard and driveway. Well, this afternoon I looked out my window and there was a giant slide in my yard. The kids thought that was pretty cool. Jaxson could hardly control himself while he was waiting for it to be time to go outside.

I think the crowd gets bigger & bigger every year. People who have lived here and moved away still come back for the carnival. It's pretty crazy.

They have lots of food to eat and fun little games for the kids.

They had the street blocked off and the train went up and down it.

I know most of my pictures are of Jaxson but he's the only one I saw most of the night. The others collected their tickets and took off. Haley spent most of the night working the snow cone booth and the ring toss booth. Nate also helped at the sucker tree stand. It was a huge success as usual and there was a huge mess to clean up afterwards. I guess that's the down side to living so close - you're stuck with clean-up duty. Good thing we have lots of great neighbors who are willing to pitch in and help. It really didn't take that long. I LOVE MY NEIGHBORHOOD!

The Halloween fun begins!

My step-mom Darlene invited us to her ward's Trunk-or-Treat on Tuesday night. For those of you who don't know what a trunk-or-treat is let me explain. Everyone meets in the parking lot of the church and decorates the trunk of their car. Then the kids get dressed up and go from car to car trick-or-treating. A lot of people prefer this method of trick-or-treating because you know everyone who is giving your child candy. Darlene asked if I could bring something to decorate her car with. With the short notice this is all I could come up with. Not very creative.

You don't really get the full effect with the flash on the camera. Here's one with the flash turned off (it's a bit blury).

Some of the people really got creative. Here's a couple.

This is a trailor that the kids had to climb up on and then get their candy out of this treasure chest.

This is Haley trying to get a kiss from Jaxson for some candy.

They also had a fun little train for the kids to ride on.

The kids had a great time. Thanks grandma Darlene for inviting us.