Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009: The Beagles' Version of Nation Lampoon Christmas Vacation!

We had a banner year for Christmas at the Beagles' house this year. It all started around October 25th when my mom fell and broke her hip. This started a series of unfortunate events that were the beginning to our strange but fun Christmas season!

Long story short my mom flew home with me after Thanksgiving to recover and recuperate at my house. As much as I would like to think that I am the center of the universe and that all of the many family guests we have had in the past 3 weeks have all come to see me....I know it isn't true, they have been coming to see Mom! So here is the short version of all of our house guests and the fun events that followed.

My sister Carol flew in for Christmas so she wouldn't be all alone in Seattle for the holidays. We had a lot of fun and she was super helpful with mom and filling in for me while I was working or doing other things like Christmas shopping and generally getting ready for the holidays. Brad's parents with Brad's brother Kevin in tow pulled in on Wednesday night and so our house was very full for the actual holiday. Christmas eve we spent at Jeanette's house, for which I will be forever grateful. She fixed a beautiful meal and her decorations.....well, you will just have to see for yourself in the was spectacular! We got to watch cute little Josh and Jessie preform in a Christmas pagent at their ward just before dinner and they were sooo cute! Jessie had the starring role of Mary and she had a real baby to hold and he went fast asleep with her perfect mommy touch! So fun! Then on to Jeanette's, Brad brought all the grandparents over just in time for dinner and we had a delicious meal with lots of good company. After dinner we decided to play games and that was hilarious. We tried playing signs and after Amanda made us laugh so hard our sides hurt by helping out both of her grandparents that she was sitting in between by taking them by the hand and doing their was toooooooo funny! We finally gave it up until the old folks left and then we got down to the real game of it. Lots of laughter and craziness, including the handstand, headstand duel between Karen & Zachary!

Christmas day was full of surprises. We had to walk Mom around outside to come in the basement door so she wouldn't have to go down the stairs. We always have our Christmas downstairs. I was surprised that she was willing to do it! She was a trooper and when it came time to go upstairs she actually went up the stairs with a cane! Yeah for Mom.....I told her she should do this once a day and she would be turning cartwheels in no time! She told me to back off.....well, I think it was something like, "You're pushing me too hard Karen!" Okay, mom! The rest of the day was very fun, Carol came over after spending Christmas morning with Jeanette and we had invited Brad's aunt and uncle and some of their kids for dinner. Later we got a call and Diana and Ralph were on their way down to visit mom and so we made them stay for dinner! What a treat! I rarely get to see any of my sisters on Christmas day so it was a treat to be with so many! Later on Jeanette and kids came over to bring a present to mom and so the fun continued!

The next day Carol flew out and another sister Margaret from Boise flew in to come and spend a week here with Mom. On Sunday we were all sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner and my girls said we should all go to temple square to see the lights. To our great surprise my mom said she would like to go and see it! As Margaret put it we about fell off our chairs so of course we all said okay and we loaded everyone up into two cars and preceded to make the trek to Temple Square and see the lights. Seriously comical! Brad volunteered to drive the car around and drop off and pick up the old folks as needed....good thing too because none of them lasted too long. I ran in and found a wheel chair for mom, we dumped her in and raced around looking at the lights....she was freezing and ready to go back to the car in about 3 minutes flat but we did take the tour around and she said she enjoyed it. Brad's parents didn't last much longer and the funny scene was when Brad came around to pick up mom and he parked in front of the horse drawn carriages. The guy yelled at him to move the car and Brad jumped out and screamed back at him, "Can you see I have a lady in a wheelchair here? Give me a break!" Dead silence from the horse cabbie.....soooo funny....seriously Christmas Vacation funny! Well at least I know that our car load chuckled about it all the way home. Oh, isn't it moments like these that we treasure forever??? We got everyone home safe and sound and Mom back into her chair that fits her like a throne and a hot cup of tea and all is well with the world once again. Good, seriously good times....I just got a call that Sarah Barlow and her five kids are driving up from Vegas to see Grandma tomorrow.....more good times on the way!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Family Christmas Pictures 2009

So here's the thing. Family Christmas shouldn't be that hard to gather everyone together and snap a picture in which everyone looks reasonably good, reasonably happy and reasonably resembling a happy family.....should it? I mean other families do it, right? So we attempted it on Sunday! First of all I had strolled up Battle Creek Canyon earlier in the morning and it was a beautiful day, sun was shining, the streams were all frozen over and gleaming, the path was strewn with patches of snow and even a few fall leaves remaining. Perfect I thought, as soon as church is over I will have my brother-in-law grab his camera and come over and we will take a nice stroll up the canyon and snap a few pictures of our happy little family and check it will be done!

So as soon as I came out of church it was way clouded over, looked like snow was on it's way, hurried home and everyone was supposed to be dressed in dark colors and ready to go...of course they weren't and so we were off to a good start....lots of whining and complaining...why do we have to go up the canyon...let's just take them's going to be too dark....and on we go!

To spare you all the gorey details everyone really enjoyed our little excursion, Brad and I exchanged many happy words on the way up and the way down and I think the pictures reveal what a really happy family we are! Ha, ha, ha!

Happy Thanksgiving and on to a Merry Christmas! Yeah, don't we just love the holidays! Well, at least the christmas cards are done and ordered, check!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween at the Big FAM! AKA my job!

Oh we had some fun for Halloween at my work! Big Partay for the cute Expectant Parent Group that we have every week! All the workers dressed in costume and I got to be the fortune teller......I'm so psychic I handed out fortune cookies to tell the future and everyone got a laugh! I loved Katherine's Power Ranger Costume....custom was awesome and Adrienne our resident cheer go girl. Loni was our demure pirate and Melinda joined Adrienne as her co-cheer girl! What a fun group! Happy Halloween! Oh and don't forget Adrienne's thriller dance....she is amazing!

Bowling Buddies!

Have I ever told you about my cute little Primary class? I love them all so much! At the beginning of the summer when I became their teacher we decided to earn a Bowling Party! They are sooo good they get points for all of their good behavior and it added up to one really super fun Bowling Party!

We decided to split up boys against girls! The boys raced through their games and I saw a few strikes and plenty of spares. Braxton even got a bonus strike when the automatic scorer screwed up and that was 3 strikes in a row for him! He was very worried about it and Amanda and I said just go with it! Cute little Sydney was so shy and said she hadn't bowled much, she would roll the ball down very, very slowly and she would get spares almost every time! Way to go Sydney! Jenna was a great little bowler and she decided to follow Amanda's technique of laying down and rolling the ball so she could eyeball that single pin better....ha, ha, it was funny! Max and Joseph kept everyone on track and the boys rooted for the girls when they finished their game early!

On the way home we stopped for ice cream cones....a delicious ending to a very fun afternoon! Thanks for all of your good behavior and cute smiles I get to see every Sunday!

October is the Birthday Month at the Beagles!

Celebrating 4 birthdays in one month can be exhausting! So we did our best! Mackay and Brad celebrated their birthdays in Hawaii! Can't get much better than that. Chris celebrated his in Iraq. We decided to have a family party on his birthday just to celebrate everyone's birthday and hey, it was a great excuse to get together. We invited the Stout's who turned out in force and Courtney and Kevin came up from BYU and what do you know they discovered that they live almost right next door to each other! It's good to know where your cousin lives at BYU!

We had a delicious dinner of Lemon Chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans...yummmy and for the party a great big delicious old fashioned world famous Martenson ICE CREAM CAKE! Whoot, whoot! We had a very BAD chorus of Happy kids always do their best to sing out of tune and it was especially horrible this year! No's alllll goooood! Chris we love you and we did our best to celebrate with you .....we hope we did you proud!

Post dinner we had a rousing game of Signs in which I think everyone got their turn in the funny.....good job everyone! Celebration was a success! Love you!

The Niece's Reunion!

We had a ton of fun at the Niece's Reunion in October. The agenda was well planned and no shortage of treats, fun & good might even say JUiCeY conversation! We started out with dinner by Jeanette.....always a good thing and followed that up with a carmel apple making demo.....for which Mindy turned out to be the pro! We are still waiting for that recipe Mindy! The apples were delicious and diverse with many flavor combos in the mix. Some of my favorites, carmel followed by white chocolate and cinnamon and sugar. Another favorite was carmel followed by chocolate and rolled in toffee bits. But some people got creative with reese's chips and baby chocolate chips and I saw at least one apple rolled in crushed oreos!

On to the crafty part of the night with super cute bracelets by Dodie. Noelle turned out to be the expert here with everyone consulting with her on color combanations. They all turned out so, so cute and totally fashionable.

At any moment and you never knew when someone would drop dead in some creative way as we had a game of murder happening all night long.....the who dunnit was none other than our own clever and creative Nalene! Kudos to all for the great acting jobs, I think Diana hiccuped to death and Karen Jump Roped to death and Dodie sang her self to death and Abby laughed or cried to death I'm not sure which! Anyway it was all very fun!

Next on the agenda was a little shut eye and we all bedded down all over the place....not so much sleep happened but that is what a slumber party is for....right?

Next morning we had a scrumpious breakfast by Karen, scrambled eggs, bacon and cowboy coffe cake! Yum! It all gave us enough energy to get ready and go shopping off to Gardner Village where there was much to entertain us....the WITCHES were out in was some haunting good fun for Halloween! Lunch was great and we didn't have to do the dishes! Yeah!

This was where the party sort of parted ways.........we all loved it so much we voted to do it all again next year! Husbands you have been warned! It's a hit the Niece's Reunion at Karen's! SEE Ya'll Next Year!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kaua'i ~~ A Great Place for a Fall Break

Kaua'i is an amazing Island in the Hawaiian Chain. We arrived just after a storm had blown through and the first few days were amazing calm seas and beautiful skies. It did rain a little on the third day but we didn't mind because it was still warm. We've been to Kaua'i a few times so this trip was really relaxing without a list of things we just had to do.....we've done the helicopter trip....we've done the napli coast trip (twice).....we've done the Waiema Falls tour and seen the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. We highly recommend all of those things but this trip we've been able to spend more time on the beach and more time exploring on foot.

Yesterday we took the hike from Shipwreck Beach over to Manaulepu Beach. It is a beautiful 45 minute hike up over the cliffs of Keonlia Bay, right up onto the golf course and past a ranch and then down right on to the beach. It was very fun and a nice easy hike. Brad met us with the car and had drinks and snacks handy for us. We spent a few hours snorkling and swimming on the beach.

Later that night we enjoyed a local Hula Show and got to see some great dancing and music.....Hawaiian style.

We also took the train ride on the Kolohanna Plantation and got a little taste of the old Hawaii...plantation style. We always make time to drive out to Waimea and go for some shaved ice at JO Jo' shaved ice on the our humble opinion. Apparently others agree as it was stacked out the door when we arrived.

We also had time to drive to Hanalei on the north side of the island and spend some time shopping and eating...of course.

On Sunday we attended the Lihue Ward in the Kauai Hawaii Stake. We have been there before and we love it because at the end of the meeting they all go to the front and sing to all the visitors and pass out cute hand knitted leis. It is very touching and it makes me cry everytime they sing Aloha to us.

Kountry Kitchen is our favorite breakfast place and so we hit it after church. See the pictures for is delicious!

We went to a beach where the kids could use the boogie board. They had soooo much fun and I'm sorry to report everyone got fried because they didn't want to leave. But why not get fried on your last day in Hawaii!

It's been a good trip. The girls head home tonight (Sunday) and we will miss them...I suspect especially Mackay will....he loves to tease them but sure hates it when they are gone. The rest of us will spend a few more days and then head home on Wednesday. Aloha! We will see you soon!
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