I keep thinking I'm going to find my camera but since it's been a ten days now with no sign of it and all the great pictures I took of the fun Eyre party, with Grandma, the traditional New Years' Eve party with the Carvers at our new house this year and the fun we had with all the "after Christmas crowd" which included Eli and Julie, Noah, Kristi, McKay, Lyla, Saren, Jared, Ashton, Isaac, Eliza, Oliver, Silas, Jonah, Aja, Aniston, Camden and Elsie (in order of appearance) which adds up to 20 of the 35 Eyrealm members, I guess I'm going to just have to go back to the old method of just writing a plain old update of our splendourous holiday season (wow that was a a long sentence)!
We sorely missed seeing our darling missionary, Charity and our Talmadge in far-away Chile with awesome Anita. Although we didn't get to see the Shumways we were so grateful to have spent time with them until Thanksgivng so I'm considering that part of the holidays. We even got to see Adam and Eva and their adorable children while we were there. Then we had such a fabulous time with the Pothiers and Josh in Arizona for Christmas that it all added up to a Christmas we'll always remember.
We flew home from Phoenix in an an amazing snowstorm. I was unfortunate enough to be sitting by the window and to have been told by an agent in Salt Lake when we were on our way to Phoenix on a day after the airport had been closed three times and one of the planes had literally skied off the runway. It was pretty scary to land in about 4 inches of unplowed snow. But we made it! I forgot my coat because it wasn't cold in Phoenix and Julie had on a little pair of summer shoes. We made it home safely in the middle of the night. The next day we anxiously awaited the arrival of Noah and Kristi, McKay and Lyla who were due to arrive on Christmas night along with us but were bumped twice trying to get out of New York and ended up with first class seats the next morning on a non-stop flight. It was so fun to have them all to ourselves (along with Eli and Julie) for a couple of days before the Looslis arrived on the 27th and then Jonah and Aja and troop on Monday night the 29th to join in the Eyre party complete with Grandma Ruthie. It was so fun to have Kevan and all his kids and two grandkids along with Rawlin and all his kids plus Lana and Elizabeth with her fiancee' Brady. A great time was had by all complete with Christmas Carols played by everyone on chimes which Jared and Saren made for us several years ago. If I ever find my camera, I'll insert pictures here.
Next it was on to the Carver New Year's Eve party with a ton of little kids. Chris and Nickie brought their Wii and the big kids played with that upstairs while the little kids watched videos down. Only one fight erupted among the children while the adults "caught up" and played games. At midnight Emma bonged the gong and all the girls decked with Happy New Year crowns and the boys with tooting horns, the adults sipped bubbly and here we go with another New Year! (Lenna has done such an amazing job with this family! It has been three years since Bruce left (Dec. 28) and Pat blessed his new little baby boy in his Dad's suit on that day). Everyone looked so great and a great time was had by all!
On New Year's Day I lost my camera and everyone went to the outlets to catch all the good deals! The next day Saren and Jared took off for home so Jared could prepare for a presentation for the company which he had shown us while they were here. It involved a contest for great innovative ideas called "From Concept to Market" (I think). It started with 70 participants and he just did his presentation this week for judges and won a spot in the top three. This entitles him to at least $10,000 for the company and if he wins (which we think he will, it will bring in $20,000!!! ). It's a great idea that I'm sure Saren will tell you more about!
On January 3rd we had the pleasure of going to a BYU game with the Perrys. Of course the water parts when you're with the Perry's which is always fun to see. We were a bit late and Elder Perry had forgotten his parking pass for the U in front of the Marriott Center so when we got there, Dad just inched his way to the front of the line and the parking guard kept trying to get him to go straight instead of turning into the Marriott Center because we were in the outside lane. As we got closer and closer without following his hand signals to go straight, we could see his face getter madder and redder by the inch. He was about to explode when Elder Perry lunged across Barbara and out the window before he had chance to make a fool of himself before Dad could get a word in. "It's Elder Perry here" he said brightly and loudly! "Sorry I forgot my parking pass!" Instantly that man's demeanor changed from menacing anger about to explode to Mr. Sunshine as he greeted Elder Perry warmly and told us that is was going to be a really good game! Which it was! It was with 6th ranked Wake Forest and though it looked as though they were going to pull it out, they lost their two centers (fouled out) in the last 2 minutes and just couldn't catch up. It was a sold-out crowd, white washed (everyone wore white) and that place was rockin' ! Very fun night!
This week Julie went back to school and Eli and Noah had an Imagine Learning Conference at Aspen Grove that was very fun and inspiring. Eli loved meeting everybody and getting great ideas and Noah was the usual star, along with his great buddy/cousin Ben. Both of them will going on a "reward for making their quote" trip to Costa Rica for a week in February. Kristi and Noah are going to leave McKay and Lyla with her mom on the way. They all had a great time!
Dad went to St. George and I stayed home to organize, get rid of clutter, chuck a bunch of "stuff" and box up things to take to Baliwood. At 1 am. I went down to the laundry from and stepped on a totally soggy rug. Immediately I realized that I had a flood on my hands. It had gone into the laundry room, storage room and Shawni's old room...again, where was literally splashing through the water to pull all the furniture out and pull up the rug and soak up the water with every towel in the house the next morning. It seems to be drying out and I think we diverted a disaster...again. We have vowed to get those grates covered outside so it never happens again.
Dad loved seeing Jared's presentation and Aniston's horse riding lesson as well as patting his "kids" the horses and freezing in the house because it wouldn't heat up past about 48 degrees. He was glad to be in St. George most of the time!
After the conference, Eli and Julie, Noah and Kristi and crew spent the weekend with us and we even got Ben for a few hours! Ben left last night and N&K left tonight, arriving about 1 a.m. in NYC! Noah has a 7:30 meeting at the church in the morning but I'm sure he'll survive. Then Eli and Julie stood in line for the Body Worlds exhibit which ends tonight. They had tickets for 6 o'clock and at 8:10 they finally stepped in the door! They loved it though and said it was worth it! It's going 24 hours this last while because it's been so popular. WILD!
So as we step into the new year, we close this holiday season with a sigh and a bit of mourning that everyone's gone but we're excited for 2009. The best is yet to come!!