Sunday, April 3, 2011

The New Blog!!

We have a new blog!  This private blogging is such a pain, so visit us on our new and improved public family blog!  You should have gotten an invite, but in case I missed me, or call me, or facebook me, or walk over to my house for the url :)

Goodbye Z Happy Place!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

And for the grand finale...random pictures!

I know these Christmas posts have been the longest ever, but I couldn't leave anything out!!  Here are just some fun random things that happened, like the kids playing so much together, my brother leading Tayevion in interpretive dance, the "la ri la ra la ray" cup game, and my dad showing off his skills and silliness by stacking cups super high and hiding under a tablecloth.  Gotta love my crazy family :)

Happy New Year!

For New Years we were back at my sister's house.  We hung out and had chocolate fondue from the chocolate fountain and watched Knight and Day and had fun.

The Condo in Park City

I mentioned my brother Derick and his family got a time share for one week in Park City.  It was a fun little getaway up in the mountains.  Except when it was snowing and I was freaked out about driving through the canyon.  We had some good times up there though.  Here my mom is right there in the mix with the grandkids playing "Just Dance" on the Wii.  Go Mami!  Do you like how Taye is doing it too?

Here is Taye again, he striped down to his diaper as soon as we got there and ran around like this all night.  I wish I had a picture of myself this night.  This was the day that I started the Anthrax research study and I was feeling SO out of it.  Later everyone told me I acted like a zombie.

We also celebrated Gracie's birthday up there.  What a cutie!

And every time the cousins get together they make a movie as a group.  And every year they out do themselves.  Of course this one was extra special because ALL of the cousins got to be in it.  It was awesome!

After the movie they did an "academy awards" show.  Those creative kids!  Oh here in the picture you can kind of see how out of it I look:

Family Pictures at the State Capitol and Birthday GNO

My fabulous brother has picked up photography as a hobby and so we were the benefactors of his talent all thoughout the holidays.  We decided to go take family pictures at the State Capitol.  He took some of us all together outside on the balcony that I would really like to see but he is hoarding them and won't share yet!  So all I have are other random ones.  Like this priceless "grandma" picture of Gracie and my mom.

And this one of Jasmine and Ellie posing and rolling around on the floor.

Here's the boys who surprisingly posed themselves for this picture.

And my crazy nephew Alex balancing the photo light thingy, haha he is so funny.

And don't my parents look so cute in this picture?

Okay so after the picture taking spree, we split up by gender.  All of the boys went to watch the Jazz game.  Well they tried to go watch the Jazz game but they had a bunch of mis-adventures. And all of the girls (plus Taye, poor guy) went to see Tangled and to Leatherbys afterwards to celebrate Gracie's birthday!  It was such a cute movie, I think it is one of my favorite Disney movies.  And Leatherbys is one of my favorite places period.  Plus we were all together!  So it was a pretty great night all around.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Family Talent Show and Maximum Bonding

 Someone (not me) had the idea to have a family talent show.  My big brother and his son Alex played a really cool duet on the piano.
I of course fretted for days and at the last minute had us do a quick version of "When Santa Comes to Mexico"  which is one of my favorite silly Christmas songs.  It was cute because we pointed to Tayevion as being "Pablo" (you know, the reindeer that helps Santa out in Mexico).  Jonas had to work that night so he wasn't there.

Here's my other brother with is family singing a cute song, I can't remember the name though.

Even little Jasmine did a song on the piano.  It was sooo cute!  Since she has never taken lessons, she just played a little tune she came up with. It was like 3 keys played over and over from one end of the piano to the other.  She was so concentrated too.  The rest of us were listening to her, but trying not to laugh because Taye was dancing in front of the piano.  It was so funny.

Here's Sidney and Kailee, they did a song.  My other niece Carina also played but I didn't get a good picture.

Then we forced, literally forced, my parents to come up and share a story from their childhood.  I don't know why they were so reluctant, well mostly my dad was.  In the end, he shared a story about the first Christmas present he received.  He was 12 when he got it!  He told us about how special he felt.  It was like a little matchbox car, I think a jeep.  It was cool for the kids to put all that they have into perspective.  I wish we could have recorded the stories that they shared, especially because I am trying to remember what my mom told us and I can't!  Good thing I have this blog, or I would forget my own family history!

Okay, after my mom and dad were done, it was my turn to take the lead.  I had asked for some time to do a "mystery bonding activity".  Ever since I missed the opportunity to do this at our last family reunion three years ago, I have wanted to do this the next time we were all together.  I was kind of embarrassed but I got up the nerve to initiate it anyway.  I don't know why but I started crying even as I was explaining it to them.  It's an activity that I did in my first year of college with my FHE group.  And it made a profound impression on me, all these years.  It's easy, all you do it sit in a circle with one person taking turns sitting in the middle and everyone in the circle tells that person one thing they love about them.  Or a memory with them, or anything nice about them.  I knew that some people would not be too excited about doing this, that it might sound boring but I felt really strongly that it would be a good experience.

Boy was I surprised by some of the reactions as we got going.  Especially the kids.  I thought for sure some of the kids would be giving generic answers just to pass on to the next person.  But no, they really thought about what they wanted to say and several of them cried every time thinking about that person!  It is really an amazing thing, when you are looking at that person that you love and thinking of all of the things that you love about them, the spirit was sooo incredibly strong that night!  And pretty much everyone was crying.  It was so great to hear kids say to parents and vice-versa, things that they might not ordinarily say.

It was such a bonding experience.  The only problem was that it took a REALLY long time.  There are like 24 of us!  In fact, we only got through half of the circle.  But that is okay because somehow I think that the people who got to have a turn were the ones that really needed to hear what was said about them.  And it is an experience for the person sharing as well as the person hearing anyway.  I felt bad because we were supposed to go to temple square that night and we didn't get to because this took so long, but I was still so glad we did it.  Several people expressed to me how glad they were that we got to do this, so that made me happy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christmas Day at Night

My brother and his family got a time share in Park City for week between Christmas and New Years.  So we headed up there on Christmas Day after all the daytime festivities were over.

Here is Jasmine with her favorite present:  her Pillow Pet!

And the boys.  They love each other so much, seriously inseperable.

Here is the loooooong table for dinner!   The condominiums let us use this conference room so we could all eat more comfortably.  It was crazy, there were so many of us!

Afterwards we had a white elephant gift exchange.

And then Derick took some pictures of some people.  Here's a random one of the two oldest cousins, Kailee and Alex.

Here's a cute one of Julio and his kids.

And the Browns, what a nice looking family.

And me and my rubber chicken. I know what you are thinking, but let me explain.
Okay so I got this rubber chicken from a good friend at my surprise 31st birthday party.  And I really like it.  But I was thinking that maybe it was time to pass it along in the white elephant exhange.  So I wrapped it all up but had anxiety the whole time and ended up trading my gift to get it back! 
And that's when I knew it was true love.