Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas continued...

Ben demonstrates a few of the features of 'the new toy'--And I thought we were getting the Wii for the kids! What was I thinking?
The boys (and the girl too) have been busy enjoying the fun things you can do with this new game.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from all of us, to all of you!
For those of you who have outgrown your small children, our morning started pretty early. Michael came into our bedroom about 5:00am, but just climbed into bed and went back to sleep. Of course, Ben and I didn't sleep much after that. In fact, about 6:30, Ben had had enough and tried to wake up Mick. He didn't stir much until Ben whispered "Merry Christmas" into Mick's ear. That was the attention-getter he needed. We came downstairs and Michael found that Santa did visit our house and left him a full stocking. He was so excited to tell 'his guys'! He ran right upstairs to wake them up.
Once Andrew and Joshua were awake, and stockings were emptied, we settled into opening gifts. It took about 10 minutes and several gifts before someone finally opened a Wii game and got a puzzled look on their face. Then, all of the sudden, it registered with Andrew and he took off running into the family room with his brothers close behind. (I didn't move quite as quick as the rest, but I still heard the screams of excitement!) I think they were pretty happy!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve...

I love when Christmas Eve falls on Sunday or Monday. We started our Eve with FHE and the ever popular Luke 2. Perhaps it's my recent condition, but somehow, I felt a particular compassion for Mary. How did she travel? I don't want to even go to the store--in a comfortable car!
We started planning for Christmas several months ago. We decided to go with one BIG gift for every one to enjoy, rather than alot of individual gifts. Purchasing started in July (I'm really surprised that Ben actually waited to open it! But he did) We got the big stuff then, and then each month added a component (like controlers, or games, etc) Then after all that planning, we decided to skip the wrapping, and just set up our 'family fun time', aka the Wii, for the kids to discover Christmas morning. Ben got things set up and laid out just so, but then he decided he needed to "try it out, to make sure it was working properly". What could I say! He did wait for nearly 6 months to open the box. I watched him for awhile, but finally my tired bones gave out and I went to bed. A couple of hours later, he finally joined me. Appearently, he got a good workout. Hey, if it takes a Wii to get him active, I won't complain! (Don't tell him that;)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

winter wonder land

December is well under way and we have winter weather to go along with it. Currently, we are being blessed with the most beautiful fluffy dry snow and expect to receive about 4-5 inches by tomorrow. The kids and I had a wonderful time at our ward Christmas Celebration tonight. Unfortunately, Ben had to go in another direction for his work Holiday Party. (we had ham, he had lobster. I think that's what really made the decision for him <;) And just for information sake, I've been called back into primary--this time as a teacher. I love it! They're still working on Ben and told him not to get too comfortable. We got a new bishopric a couple of weeks ago and they are still adjusting. But as with all new callings, it has a ripple effect throughout the ward leaving some vacant positions. We (Ben and I) have been asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting next week (the week of Christmas) And as for the pregnancy, well all is going well. I'm definately loosing my "flattering figure" and taking on a 'curvy new look'. I've reached the point of sleepless nights (just can't get comfortable!) and waddling walks. And I still have a few weeks yet to go. What's a girl supposed to do? We're still pondering for a name for this little guy. I promise! it's not that we are keeping his name a secret, but really, nothing has come that we can both agree upon. And that's with throwing out the unintentional pattern of alphabetical or biblical names.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The weather outside is frightful...

You may have heard that the midwest was hit by a nasty storm, so we wanted to assure you that we are all doing well. I remember the icestorms from the time I spent in Iowa with Brenda and Ron, but even with that memory, I forgot the 'joy' of driving in it. Yesterday, I headed out to a stamping get-together just as the snow was starting to fall. It didn't seem to bad, just a little slick because the skiff of snow was beginning to pack on the roads. I was extra cautious driving (as were most of the other drivers) but it was just snow....By the time we finished our activity 3 1/2 hours later, there was a beautiful, thick layer of ice covering the van. We were oblivious to the weather outside--We were STAMPING! I was grateful to have keyless entry 'cause the locks were frozen with ice. Thankfully, I could get the door open, but shook my head as I reallized that I didn't have an ice/snow scraper for the van. When we got it in the summer, we didn't need one! Anyway, I had a marvelous time sitting there, listening to Christmas music and looking at the fun Christmas cards we had made while I waited for the windows to defrost enough to remove the ice with the wipers. It only took about 1/2 hour. Of course the roads were covered in ice, just like the cars, but somehow I ended up driving home most of the way behind a crew of snow plows/salt trucks which made the roads not so slick. I was especially grateful when I got home to a warm house (wrecked as it was because Ben and the boys had been home with out a housekeeper) and could enjoy the sound of the freezing rain on the roof and windows, but not have to be out on the roads.
So I guess the bottom line is, I think we are finally welcoming (ha ha) winter. And we are doing so with a warm house and food to eat. I'm thankful we are not out on the plains like many pioneers got to spend their winter.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Despite being away from family, we had a great Thanksgiving. The boys started the day in the 'first snowfall of the season'. And blessing that is was, that's all the snow we got. Also, I found out what happens if you eat too much turkey (ok, so maybe it wasn't just the turkey that did it...)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

2007 -long short version

Dear Friends and Family,
Once again, another year has gone by so quickly. We have had several events thru out the year that have certainly made it enjoyable and one of the most memorable as well. I hope to give you a recap of some of the highlights and I'll try to keep it to the short version. I know I'm not the best with words, but I think I have a fighting chance in writing. But still, I'm reminded that I can be too long winded.
So here goes. Foremost, I guess I (we—Ben and I) want to share our testimony that our Heavenly Father is in control. He certainly provides us with choice opportunity, but ultimately, He plays an active role in our lives. Our year began with a warning or rather an attention getter at the end of 2006. After years of feeling our family was complete, we were blessed to learn otherwise. By way of a blessing, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I say it was a blessing because it was an ectopic pregnancy (which means it was outside the uterus) but required no surgery. Still, not something I would ever wish on anyone! But it got our attention and was cause for some reflection on our part.
At the same time, Ben was busy completing his application for a commission with the AirForce—a decision that we both felt would be wise from a career perspective, but more importantly it was a decision we felt very good about it. That process takes several months, much preparation, and required help from many of you. We thank you for that. All this meant that we had several months of unknown transition time to try to evaluate our lives and our situations. Every day we prayerfully asked that we would be where we needed to be when we needed to be there. By mid-May, we learned that the AirForce option was not to be, but instead, we would have the pleasure of a summer together. We decided to add a few other family members into our plans and made arrangements to visit Ben's sister, Carolyn (and her family) in Virginia and my brother Ben (and his family) in North Carolina. (the pictures in the slide show are a few of the highlights) Just days before our scheduled departure, Ben was contacted by a placement agency, asking him about his resume. He answered their questions and then some. And as that information was passed on, we saw blessings unfold. The short story is, the night before we flew out, Ben called me from the airport on his way home from an interview to let me know that he had accepted a job in Chicago with a 'small' company called Unilever! It made for a very exciting vacation—most of our 'relaxing time' was spent planning the what and the where of a pending relocation. But we had a marvelous time with both our families, getting to know the cousins that we haven't seen as much. Ben returned to UT a week before us and gave his notice to Hostess/Wonderbread. We came back to spend one week with him before he left to start this new position in Chicago in mid-July. We were blessed to join him by the end of August, just in time for the kids to start school. We stayed plenty busy with everything going on during the summer months.
And remember, I said our Father in Heaven got our attention as the year started? Well, add to our adventures of the summer, the task of warding off the joys of morning sickness. And to the tasks of moving (even with the company moving us) the fatigue of pregnancy... The kids were such troopers! But we survived. It's been challenging finding new doctors for all of us, but I think the “monsters have been slain”. Anyway, we are anticipating our 4th son to join us the first part of February 2008. I have faced a lesson of learning that even when we think we are in control of our lives, or our situations, things are not always as they seem. I know that our Heavenly Father sees a bigger picture of what we are capable of and of what we need to continue growing as we rely on Him. I'm not saying I enjoy this lesson, but I've learned to be very grateful for it. We are all grateful for it!
We hope that this finds each of you well. We love you , we appreciate the impact and influence you have had on our lives and on our family. We thank God for you, and pray that He is blessing you as well.
With love,
Ben, Charlotte, Andrew, Joshua, Michael, and ?