Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Love....True Love...

Here are some quick shots of my friend, Jenny Hodge's, wedding. Jenny and I have known each other since the MTC when we were roommates and in the same district. My MTC district was very close and we were all like brothers and sisters. They have all impacted my life in such positive ways. I had lost track of Jenny when I moved from Utah down to Vegas. But, we were not to stay away from each other too long. I ran into Jenny a little over a year ago at a BYU/UNLV football game. We had great seats on the front row of the 50 yard line. When I went to sit down a very beautiful girl waved her arms at me and called at me . I didn't recognize her so I just gave the polite little smile and wave and turned away to talk to friends. When I got closer to her she spoke to me and I immediately recognized her by her voice. Her seats were right behind ours and we quickly caught up. Since then our busy schedules have only allowed us to get together a couple times, but she is still like a sister to me.

On December 28th Jenny got married to an old friend who had be recently widowed. It was such a great story and I was so excited to see her be sealed to him in the temple. She is one of the most amazing people I know. Another excited part of her getting married was for me to visit and catch up with Jenny's MTC companion Melanie Newbold. She is another favorite person of mine and we had a great time talking, remeniscing, and just enjoying the wedding festivities. I missed my MTC companion and wish she would have been able to come. Thanks to Jenny for letting me be a part of your special day.

Merry Christmas

Leah and her magnetic dress up dolls. We've had some of these things before, but she must be at the right age for them. She loves them so much and comes up with all sorts of outfits. She loves to display and explain each outfit just to make sure we know what it is.

Shaunie got a paintable piggy bank. Surprisingly, this is not what the pig turned out looking like. It was much more colorful.

This toy became a favorite of the little boys. They all played it and loved making the doors pop open. It is the simplest toy, but provides a lot of fun for little boys who like to see things pop up and surprise them.

Here is Sam displaying his Leapster. At this point, I don't think he actually knew what it was, but he soon learned all the cool things it could do.

I know, I am finally getting to this. Here are some Christmas morning pictures. The tree was beautiful and we had Emily and Ben along with Kelli and my parents to share Christmas morning with. The kids loved their presents and we are very grateful for all of our blessings at this time of year. Shaunie loved her MP3 player, Sam couldn't put his Leapster down, Leah thought the magnetic dress up dolls were the coolest, and Troy loved his balls and random toys. It was all so much fun and, like always, the best part was seeing the faces of the kids as they opened their presents.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Christmas Story

Here is our reluctant wiseman. Sam is not big on dressing up and then parading around. This is the most he would participate in the Christmas Story reenactment.

Little Lukas is the best star I have ever seen! He even pointed the shephards in the right direction. He was so cute and so excited to put this huge star around his neck and stand up on a chair to show the way. Very priceless picture!

Leah was a shepherd, Shaunie was Mary and Troy was Joseph. None of the older boys wanted to be Joseph so it fell on Troy. Too bad Taylor and Russ weren't there. He was cute nonetheless.

Here is the whole crew. Some were very reluctant (Sam and Eli) and some were more than happy to join the crew. We love how it evolves each year with each child getting a little older. This will always be one of my favorite parts of Christmas Eve.

More Snow

Emily, my sister, got shoved into the snow by her loving husband. They were outside helping their nieces and nephews build a very interesting snowman. My babies LOVE aunt Emily and Uncle Ben.

Here is the snowman. He is so handsome!

Hidden Picture: Can you find the van?

Let it Snow...

We went to my parent's house in Utah for Christmas this year. It may be one of the last years we are able to do this, but don't tell my mom. When we first pulled up this is what we saw. The snow continued to come down for about 4 more days. The kids did spend some time enjoying the snow but it was easy to tell they didn't quite know how to handle it. It's kinda hard for me to believe that my kids don't know what snow is all about, but I guess I should have expected that. They wanted to do the things they always do at grandma's house which includes swinging on swings and going down slides. They cleared the snow off the swings and had a little bit of fun, but the highlight was the occasional deer that came down looking for something green to eat. We saw them several times and it was fun for the kids. Sam's favorite part was seeing my dad's "snowball fighting machine" which translates into what we would call a snowblower. My dad loves his snowblower and Sam loved watching him as long as the shooting snow wasn't pointed in his direction. Now you know why he called it the snowball fighting maching. As a mother, it's always fun to see the kids experience new things and this was no exception. Enjoy the pictures!

Here are some more pictures of the night. Shaunie got a Barbie American Idol and Leah got a Sharpay kit that came with a skirt, big sunglasses and a star necklace. Both presents were absolutely perfect.

Early Christmas Eve

We had Mangum Christmas Eve festivities early this year. It was great. All of Jeremy's siblings were able to be here to join in the fun. After getting family pictures taken we headed over to Jeremy's parent's home for food (yummy homemade Zuppa Tuscana), singing, and presents. The kids had fun entertaining us and we had fun opening presents from our not-so-secret pals. You can see the sheer excitement on Sam's face with his art kit. It was a great night and we were so happy to have everyone together.

Global Warming....?

I took Shaunie to her friend's house who lives right across the street from the temple for the "snow day" off from school. There was a little snow left there and I thought that I'd better snap a picture before the opportunity left. You never know when there will be snow on the Las Vegas temple again!

This park is just across the street. There had been a bit more snow there but this is what was left the next day.

You gotta love the snow, and ya gotta love the snow when it's in Vegas even more. Yes, as the world now knows we got some flakes here in the desert and in some places it was pretty deep. In East Las Vegas we only got a few, but it was enough to get us in the Christmas spirit. The night it snowed was actually a birthday party for some cousins and a little welcoming party for some other cousins. I traveled to Henderson where the snow was 7-9 inches deep. The kids had a blast and I was grateful for my previous experience of driving in the snow. I don't know if Henderson even owns snow plows, so needless to say the roads were pretty scary. We traveled safely both ways and had fun seeing cousins and romping in the snow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cutest Houses on the Block!

We had a great time with our neighbors decorating our Gingerbread Houses. The kids all came up with their own creations that ended up showing off their individual personalities. Leah ate as much candy as she put on her house, Sam had a very well-planned house with a garage and very uniform walk-ways. He got some ideas from our 13 year old neighbor who also had a very intricate and organized house. Shaunie didn't want an empty orange juice box as a foundation, so she tried to stick it all together without anything to stablize it. She started with a great brick wall made of tootsie rolls, but it all collapsed with the weight of candy. She wasn't too upset and I think next time she'll go for the empty orange juice box. Our great neighbors came over with their kids and they all kind of fed off of each others creativity. It was fun to watch them. We love this tradition.