Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Vacation in Idaho

Poor Gramma Pond (Dixon) isn't feeling too well lately. Her health is shaky after her last surgery and she doesn't like to eat much because it upsets her stomach. My kids took the opportunity to snuggle extra with her this trip.

We've had so much fun in just the one day we've up up in Ashton! Our kids thought Aunt Danae was fabulous when she visited our area a month ago in Utah. They counted the Sundays until Idaho vacation and have discovered that her fun loving has been passed down to her children Dawson and Holden.

These two fantastic early teenagers are so good with our little boys. Playing and entertaining Rashad and Ty like Dawson and Holden want nothing more than to make the boys happy. So nice on a vacation, I might add! It's been so fantastic to be able to relax a little and know that Danae's boys are playing nicely with ours.

Last night we got the treat of having Danae's 7-year-old "read" to us from 3 different Thomas the Train books. He can't read much, but he has the books memorized from the movies and the many times that Landen has heard the stories from his mom. It was amazing to hear, and Ty and Rosalie enjoyed it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Temple Square December 19, 2009

Happy 10th Anniversary!

It only took Darin 10 years of asking politely to get his wish to go to the symphony. I saw that the Utah Symphony was performing Christmas carols on the 18th, our 10th anniversary. So I signed us up for front row seating to the right of the conductor. If you're going to do something after waiting 10 years you ought to do it right, right?

Darin also got surprised by a present that he's been waiting 10 years patiently to receive. I had him open it before the symphony knowing he would want to get to use his present. He was not unlike a little child on Christmas morning when he opened his Nikon D3000 digital camera. After doing some research and asking around, it seemed like this was a good choice for Darin.

So we went out to Tucanos in Salt Lake City at the Gateway Mall, then headed over to Abravanel Hall just across the street from temple square. We were surprised to see others in jeans for the performance, but we smug knowing that our parent's raised us correctly with Darin in his best three piece suit, and myself in a formal red skirt and cream silky blouse.

The performance was absolutely fabulous. It was moving beyond words and the conductor was so professional, but personable and Darin and I had a lot of fun interacting with him, being in the front row. ;)

And for all of my really proper friends and family: non-flash photography was allowed. We only took one picture during the show anyways. It is while Santa is conducting the orchestra.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I obviously haven't been blogging enough, because I logged onto my blog and saw my Christmas countdown and almost had a mental breakdown!

So, folks, I'm returning to UVU Spring Semester 2010. It starts January 6th. Just in time for me to return from Christmas vacation. I've reapplied and been accepted and applied for financial aid, so I guess that means it's official.

I'm so happy and excited that I've finally found an area of study that I love enough that I will use practically in every day life. Wait for it. . .wait for it. . .I'm going to get my degree in Social Work! I have realized as a foster mom, adoptive mom, peer parent (contracted through DCFS) and Facilitator for the Strengthening Families Program (contracted through DCFS and Wasatch Mental Health), that I love working with children, adults and families in therapy environment. I've been so happy these past few months doing what I've been doing, that it just makes sense to further my education in the same field I'm already working in.

I look forward to the opportunities this degree will open for me. I love helping people and I absolutely love watching people change and improve their lives for the better. This degree will provide me with an alternative to working in retail management (thank heavens) if anything were to happen to us financially or if Darin was to have an accident or pass away. It's a good alternative to missing every holiday with my beautiful children, working.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow Storm!

We got 6 inches at least of powder overnight, with about an inch of actual snow. This morning I woke up to the children quietly chatting over frosted flakes in hushed excitement. Darn my "mother" ears, they woke me up on a sleep in day! I got up to tell them to remember to use their inside voices, especially Rashad who likes to use a dull roar to communicate with his siblings.

I walked out to the kitchen and found my children huddled in the dark morning light looking outside on our banisters outside. Easily six inches of powder covered the railings that lead out to our back yard and a fabulously covered up winter wonder land. It was breath taking, even though I wasn't coherent yet, being before 9am on a Sunday.

As I drowsily made my way back to bed my husband turned over and asked if we had any snow on the ground. I answered about 6 inches. He didn't believe me at first, but I opened our curtains in our room and showed him the proof.

I don't think Darin went back to bed after that, however, I snuggled under the covers and dreamed about white Christmases with loved ones.

For those of you who actually read my blog, yes that is a boat in our back yard! Merry Christmas to my husband!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Holy War

Um, no comment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Our guinea pig is so cute and rascally. His name is Bugsy from the movie "Bedtime Stories" and he loves to entertain my cats. Sometimes they even reach into his cage with their paws (claws) to pet Bugsy lovingly. He is kind of skittish when I get up and leave the room or enter the room, but he's tons of fun, and my kids love him. A couple of nights ago I was holding him in my arms and all of a sudden it got very warm and then very cold. Yep, he peed on me. But otherwise he's a really great and fun pet.

I know why they call this rodent "pig". That's because he eats all the time, and most anything. His favorite is alfalfa. He eats his weight in alfalfa every day. I've decided he needs a friend though, he's lonely I'm sure, with just my cats to keep him company.


I've been marveling since Saturday over the hand made (with love) items in our Christmas boxes. I love bringing out Darin and my stockings and the kids asking who made them. I answer "Gramma Kestner." But then I immediately have to follow up with "My Gramma Kestner, not your Gramma Kestner, so your Great Gramma Kestner. My Dad's mom".

Something about sharing the history of a hand made crocheted ornament or knitted stocking (which everyone envies) with my children has me reflecting on all of the fabulous items I have received over the years from Gramma Jane Kestner, Gramma Jane Weber, Mom Gramma Kestner, Gramma Pond, Gramma Reynolds and Mom Gramma Dixon. They range from sheets & pillow cases to an ornate Crèche that my Gramma Jane Kestner made for my Mom Gramma Kestner and I chose as my wedding crèche to inherit. The crèche found it's new place in our home in my kitchen on my new shelf I painted and put up.

I have a knitted pillow from Great Gramma Kestner in the living room too. I love it. It gives me such feelings of comfort to have a little piece of my loved ones with me. And to me, it really is creating an immortality beyond the grave. These things will be passed down through the generations and prized above store purchased items long after the makers have met their Maker. I'm included in this circle. I love making cross stitch temples and other scenes and giving them as presents. I enjoy thinking that long after I'm gone, a little piece of me will endure on the earth.

I think that's why I've decided to write my story that I've been thinking about for years now. Not so much that it'll ever be on the New York Time's best seller's list, but that a little piece of my immortality will be passed down through my posterity. That through reading my story, they may be able to get to know me a little & discover the person that I am and want to be.