In the 22 years that Ken and I have been married we have only spent one Christmas on our own. Until this year. With Jordan on his mission and my parents on their mission we decided to stay in Houston. It was nice to not have the stress of travel and packing and we were able to do a few activities that we miss because we're gone, but overall I prefer the big family celebration. Yes I know it's crazy, loud, and hectic but I really missed being together with all my family. Ken's mom and her husband live just a mile from my parents so they are always part of the festivities. I miss the traditions, the sitting around visiting, catching up on each other's lives, the cousins playing/fighting, the goofy family, the lack of sleep and coming home to a big pile of Christmas cards. Thanks to great friends the Adelmans for a fun cookie decorating/caroling FHE and the Ortons for the great Christmas eve celebration. My sister Amy and her husband and kids came down Christmas Day and it was great to spend time together. I realize that as life changes and especially as the kids get older it's up to me to make those special memories no matter where Christmas is.
I love Nativities, I have over a dozen. They have been aquired over the years and each year when I put them out many wonderful memories come with them. This year two special friends added some special pieces to two of my favorites. I just want to say thank you so much and let them know how much I appreciate them adding to my memories.
Lexi qualified as one of the twenty 4th and 5th grade students to participate in the school spelling bee. We practiced for a few weeks before from a booklet the school gave her. There were some words I couldn't even pronounce. She did great, made it through 3 rounds.
We are so thankful for good friends and family. We are grateful to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with Boyers, Jirons and the Curnutt girls. We are so grateful to have plenty to eat, to have a safe, comfortable house. We are grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all the blessings that it brings into our lives. We are grateful to live in the United States of America. As most importantly we are grateful for the Savior Jesus Christ.
While the kids were out of school for the Thanksgiving break we were able to spend some time with our Texas cousins. Amy, my sister had surgery on Mon 11/24 so the girls came down to Houston from Nacogdoches to give their mom time to recover. We went to the park, hung out and even went to the Houston Zoo. Being 3 hrs away makes it hard to do quick trips but we enjoy spending what time we can together. We missed John, Amy and Harrison.
After 3 weeks in the Missionary Training Center in Utah, Jordan left last Tues 11/18 and is in California now. His first area is Yucaipa. It is Northeast of Riverside. We haven't got a lot of info except that it is a smaller town and his companion is Elder Rose from Oakley, ID. He is pretty cool (in Jordan's words). We are excited to hear about his adventures and will pass along info as he sends it. It's hard to believe that he has been gone a month. This is the mission home address: Elder Jordan Kenneth Torbit California Riverside Mission 3233 Arlington Ave. Suite 107 Riverside, CA 92506-3246 I'm sure he would love any notes from family and friends.
One of Taylor's favorite sports is skateboarding. He has been doing it for several years and has gotten to be pretty good. I realized that I am not usually around where he is skating & I didn't have any pictures of him. So I had him go out front and do a few tricks so I could get some pictures. Of course the best tricks came out blurry but here's a few that aren't too bad. Last year he had a wipeout that tore the ATF ligament in his ankle. The podiatrist recommended surgery so he wouldn't be continually reinjuring it. His surgery was the day before Thanksgiving. He was on crutches for 6 weeks and in a walking boot for another month. Taylor says that he's not able to do some of the moves that he could before the surgery but he's continuing to practice to get back to where he was.
All of our kids have played community sports-soccer, basketball and baseball. Jordan's favorite-basketball, Taylor's-soccer, Paige's-basketball and Lexi-softball. Lexi played during the Spring for her 1st season. Since she could stay in the younger age bracket to get more practice she played Fall ball also. We had a terrific season and the team ended up 4th in their age group. This age bracket is girls from age 5-8. Since Lexi didn't turn 9 until after Jan. she was one of the oldest. We had great coaches and it was really fun to see Lexi progress in her skills.
On Thurs. 11/13 the 4th grade had their music program dedicated to the Veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces. They have been practicing for weeks and Lexi was very excited about the program. The songs were great and it reminded me of how blessed we are to live in this great country. Thanks Dad and all those who have sacrificed to defend our freedoms. Your service is greatly appreciated!!!!
Our Groovy 60's girls. How quickly life gets back in full gear. The girls had gotten these wigs at the end of Halloween last year and we knew what they wanted to be, but do you think I could do myself a favor and been prepared? Of course not, it wouldn't be a real Halloween if I wasn't sewing costumes until we are walking out the door. That's with going from 4 costumes to 2. We had dinner, a carnival and trunk or treat at the church, then the kids wanted to do some trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. They got enough candy for a cavity or two.
It's hard to believe that this day finally arrived. It was a very quick trip to Utah because of the kids school schedule, but we wanted everyone to be there. After all the preparations, paperwork and prayers we were finally here. After flying in to SLC Tues evening we had dinner and went around Temple Square. It was a beautiful night and there were even some "teaser" Christmas lights in the trees. It was interesting that as we talked with many of the sister missionaries serving on Temple Square and told them that Jordan was going in the MTC the next day, their reaction was one of excitement for him. They all told him was an awesome experience the MTC would be. Jordan didn't have to report until 1:00 pm. on Wed. so we were able to have a leisurely morning and drove around Provo for a bit before heading up to the MTC. We had wanted to do lunch but no one felt like eating. We took care of luggage, Jordan checked in and then it was into the chapel. It's probably a good thing that there aren't cameras in the chapel. All the times of teasing and annoying each other dissolve pretty quickly when it's time to say good-bye for two years. We were given a last warning to stay out of Jordan's room. Life will be different for the next two years for all of us.
I have enjoyed many friends and family's blogs over the past several months. I have wanted to have one of our own since our family is spread out. I even had the title for awhile. I finally decided that I was going to do this before Jordan left and hopefully I will actually keep it "up to date" Of course, I need to figure out all the extras but I am just excited that I got something on the blog. I am so excited that it worked!!!!
This is Jordan with his new suit the day of his farewell at church. It's unbelieveable that 19 yrs have flown by and he is ready to leave. The bigger question is am I ready? Did I teach him everything that he needs to know? Will he make good decisions? Will he use his manners at the homes that eats at? Will he get along with his companion? Will he clean up after himself? Will he work hard? Will he teach with the Spirit? I'm sure that he will do great and be a wonderful missionary and I am so proud of the young man that he has become. I'm sure his mission will only strengthen him as he works hard and loves the people. There will be a empty place at the table but we will look forward to hearing of his experiences as he serves the Lord in Riverside California.
I am a homemaker, wife for 25 years to Ken and mom to 4 awesome kids. Jordan, Taylor Paige, and Lexi. I am usually busy with church responsibilities or something to do with my family. The gym is my stress relief where I participate in group exercise classes. I also enjoy scrapbooking, reading, stamping, and home improvement projects.