Tuesday, September 26, 2017

december: church stuff

Our ward Christmas party featured a sweet nativity presentation by the primary. Clyde was a very cute narrator, Will and Jack were very cute shepherds, and Carma was a very cute distraction probably running around the church ;).

The Fuhrimans brought a piΓ±ata because they're awesome like that. Here are some of the, um, wiser? members of the ward taking a whack at it (Brother Harrison, Sister Rolfson, Brother Robertson, Brother Murphy, and Sister Hyer) :
And some young'uns, aka three Izatt boys and one Swenson boy. I mostly laughed every time Bishop Swenson had to risk life and limb to grab the stick when someone's turn was over hahahaha.

I found cute friends to hang out with! On the left are three Corn girls who get to visit our ward sometimes with their grandparents. They are seriously the sweetest and I love seeing them. I also love taking pictures with them to send to Brother Corn so he gets scared I'm corrupting them ;). On the right is the one and only Raquel who coordinates with holiday parties even more amazingly than I do. #fashiongoals

Santa Claus and one of his sweet elves made an appearance, and all four Izatt kids stopped in for a chat. Please enjoy Jack's shorts, tall socks, and snow boots aka his winter outfit. That's my boy!

Speaking of parties, the South stake building was decorated all month long for a slew of ward parties over there, so we got to do Zumba on Mondays in this beautiful setting!
Sooo pretty, right? I wanted them to leave it up year-round but no one listens to me haha.

Another party, hooray! The Swensons hosted all of the Bishopric families for a super fun night of gingerbread house making and snacks and merriment:

I was clued in to the seriousness of the evening about the time that Cameron started construction using a hot glue gun. Add in Ryan the Engineer straight up making Mayan's house for her (I think she got to decorate? Eventually?) 
and then Brother Robertson who I think has like built multiple real houses with his own two hands (I might be exaggerating, but not by much...) and it was clear that I made a good choice by eating candy and not actually attempting to build anything...
I love Chuck and Dan at the table with a bunch of their boys! Jack and Jaxen sneaked away into the Swenson secret hiding spot and were adorably incensed that I found them to take their picture ;). Clyde and Hunter and Andrew sneaked away to talk Pokemon, no surprise there.

Jack and I spent some time doing family history. He likes to sit on my lap and type for me. One night I found a lady with 10 possible duplicates, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It's cool, they're all correctly merged now.

 Even shoveling snow can turn into a party if you recruit awesome people! We woke up on Christmas Eve morning to a decent dumping of snow, so Chuck and Brother Cunningham and some youth from the ward hit up a few houses in the ward.

Temple trips, hooray! Once with the lovely Marens, once with the lovely Kautri and Emily, and once with just Em:

 Oh, and another time with just Em that made it onto Instagram with the following caption: 

Pro tip #1: if you're going to unwittingly drop your phone πŸ“²(with TWO CREDiT CaRDS very visibly tucked in the phone caseπŸ’³πŸ’Έ) do it in the parking lot of the temple πŸ›because you'll come out 2.5 hours later and find it helpfully tucked onto your windshield, safe and sound πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ˜…πŸ™πŸΌ☺️. Pro tip #2: if you go to the temple on the first day it snows, make sure there's an amazing Emily around to get you there safe in her four wheel drive and buy you lunch afterwards ❤️πŸŒ―πŸ›πŸŒ¨πŸ˜˜.

Okay, and Emily and I went one more time but invited our husbands too! We did sealings which was so so nice. Upon exiting the temple we embarked on the usually simple task of getting a picture... apparently much trickier with two guys involved hahahahaha:  

The temple is such a lovely place for personal pondering and revelation and testimony building, but it's also a lovely place to do all of those things together with Chuck and I appreciate the fact that we have so many opportunities to do so.

Imma plagiarize myself again by pulling another caption from Instagram. The Church released a Light the World service challenge for the month of December that was way cool. Tons of awesome people followed it closely and did beautiful things.
Today's #LighttheWorld service prompt was to minister to little children like Jesus did and let's just say 9am church and Chuck working 12 hours doesn't necessarily add up to me knocking this one out of the park 😳. SO let's focus on my kids' primary teachers because they're all amazing! Everyone knows Mormons go to church for THREE HOURS πŸ•˜πŸ•™πŸ•šπŸ•›πŸ‘€ but did you know over half of that is child free for me?? πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ Every week I merrily hand my kids off to four different teachers/teaching duos who exude patience and love and enthusiasm for my little yahoos and THAT is ministering to children as the Savior did ❤️.

And finally, here's the letter that our Bishopric sent out to our ward:
I figure a reminder about the incredible capacity of the Atonement to heal and soothe and give hope and light is appropriate in September too, right? ;). Family is wonderful and friends are amazing and school and work and hobbies are fulfilling but ultimately I find the most peace and respite and strength by reaching out to Jesus Christ, knowing that He continuously anticipates my needs and is already reaching for me.

Okkkkay, two December posts down! Imma say like two to go? Maybe three?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

december: Elko family reunion for Grandma's birthday

The first weekend of December found us gathering with all of Chuck's family in Elko for a surprise birthday celebration for Terri (only a few weeks late - more of a surprise that way!)
Carma slept peacefully some of the drive and was awake... unpeacefully for some of it ;). It was rough - maybe because so recently Chuck and I had road tripped with NO children (screaming or otherwise), so this was a pretty stark difference?? 

Happily it's a relatively short drive and we rolled in, changed clothes, and met everyone out towards the canyon for some family pictures - a gift to Terri from her four kids!
Imma start suggesting we do family pictures in a nice mild temperature because the last couple have literally been standing in snow and it's not my favorite ;). Let alone getting that many kids to smile with numb little faces!

Luckily our photographer Cris Voss, a good friend of Melissa's, was amazing and a total pro at rotating us through and getting fantastic pictures quick.
 Aaaaand we kept the suburban running and warm for little kids to sit in :).

 Eli and Jackers! These two aren't too far apart age-wise (15ish months) and they're pretty cute buddies:

My four chilly darlings.

Outtakes from our family shots:

Okkkkkay, prime example of why professional photography is worth it - this is Cris' shot of us... compared with the iPhone version of it above. 

After pictures is hazy.... we had Courtney.... we warmed up.... and ended up at the casino for the surprise party! We had a family dinner followed by dessert with friends and it was really neat:
Amanda (is amazing and) compiled a book with pictures and birthday messages from family members and friends. Aleesha (is amazing and) made that incredibly darling owl cake! George (is amazing and) learned 'Happy birthday' on his... instrument... (why am I a terrible aunt and not a musician at all? Is it a horn of some kind??) and played it for Grandma, SO cool!

The grandkids busted a few moves on the dance floor. I may or may not have joined them.

Jack ate more than his fair share of food that kid! I had fun with Mallory and Courtney, of course.

We finally called it a night and headed to our hotel, where the boys (and Anna!) played in the pool for a while:

I clearly should have put Carma in the water too, because everyone else crashed hard and she and I hung out in the hotel lobby until late as she was WIDE AWAKE. Good times. 

She was chipper the next morning with her apple though! We headed over to Izatts' for some more family time (and crafts):

 Terri had a super cute wooden block nativity set for the kids to paint and take home. 

And now for alllllllll of the pictures:

 Terri and Dave and their thirteen grandkids:

Just the thirteen kiddos.

Family by family, starting with Melissa's:
Oh my gosh, these four! I just love them!

Chuck's (very attractive!!) family:
Can we all appreciate Clyde's sweater, found literally the day before we left (yay D.I.!)? And Jack's hand-me-down sweater that is clearly still too big for him but I did NOT care? And Carma's sweater, first worn by.... Will? at Amanda's wedding seven years prior...

Lee's family:
 Such a shame you can't tell these two cuties are siblings ;).

Amanda's family:
 These three were total troopers in the cold (although we did all of Emily's pictures first so she could move to the Suburban!) because they were born with the power of the outdoor elements coursing through their blood ;).

 And just for fun, here are the thirteen cousins in birth order, ages (almost) 17 down to (almost) one month:

And here are the individual shots of Clyde, Will, Jack, and Carma:

Ohhh we did couples' pictures: 
 Dave and Terri

Kevin and Melissa

Chuck and Jana
 Lee and Aleesha

Steve and Amanda

Dave and Terri with their four kids. SO cute, right?

Everyone laughed at me but I insisted on a picture of the four people cool/crazy enough to marry into this family: the Joiners! Pretty sure if you searched the world over, you couldn't find more perfect spouses for Melissa, Chuck, Lee, and Amanda. We're the best!

It was a pretty tall order to get all of us there for the weekend but I'm glad it happened so that we could be there to celebrate this wonderful woman and her milestone birthday. We love you Terri!!