Saturday, December 26, 2009

Of Christmas cards and the such

Just wishing you a Merry Christmas with this year's Christmas card.

::Un-distorted Christmas card #1::
Except for the actual Christmas card that got delivered to friends and families mailboxes all across the few states that we have friends and family in, was a bit more, well…elongated. Cone head-ish, if you wish.  The picture got slightly squished and distorted during the printing process.

I picked it up from the photo lab, took one look at it and laughedLovely.  It looked awful.

I came home and created a new Christmas card because that would just be ridiculous to send out such a picture and call it Christmas Greetings.

::Christmas card #2::

And then I got busy celebrating Christmas and never got Christmas card #2 sent off to be printed. 

Days passed.

The Christmas card needed mailed. And Christmas card #2 still needed sent to the printer, printed, picked-up & paid for.

I got lazy. Took one final look at distorted Christmas card #1 and decided that in reality the distorted Christmas card wrapped-up 2009 quite perfectly. And maybe I should count my blessings. At least the card wasn't PAINTED ORANGE or slowly MOLDING.

Plus, we looked tall and slender. Spencer TALL? Me SLENDER! Maybe this was actually a Christmas miracle. And with that I stuck the distorted pictures in the envelope, sealed it with a sign of unbelief and sent them on their merry way.

Aren't you glad I did?

Because really…nothing says Merry Christmas like a distorted family photo.

Well, nothing except a cheesy rhyming Christmas letter that would make the hair on the Grinch's neck stand on end.

And because I love you my dear bloggers…our Christmas letter:


Oh look! It’s a Christmas letter from our little family of four.
And I’m trying to keep it short, so I can get it out the door.

Spencer is still working as an Electrical Engineer.
And in his free time he’s operating his home construction gear.
We’ve remodeled our kitchen, bathrooms, and exterior too.
We’ve redone flooring & painted walls, but there’s always more to do.

Kim stays at home, hangs with the kids and does those dang dishes.
And to be honest, she loves it! It’s just as she wishes.
In her “free” time…YEAH RIGHT! She writes on the blog.
It’s her way of remembering the “good ole days” before they become a fog.

Brynlee’s 3 1/2 and goes to pre-school, you see.
She loves crafts, bike rides, and playing with her Daddy.
She can write her own name and is getting oh SO big.
With a blink of an eye she’ll be driving her own rig.

Jace is fifteen months and our little bundle of joy.
His sisters quite fond of him and thinks he’s her big toy.
Jace is a tease that loves foot massages, eating, and squawking.
And at 14 months he FINALLY started walking.

For more of our families happenings in a format that doesn’t rhyme.
Visit our families’ blog, “Our Life Unedited”, online.
The address is www dot spenceandkim dot blogspot dot com.
It’s all about our little family. Written by me; the mom.

We are all doing well, couldn’t be better.
And we hope that you’re the same as you read this letter.
In closing I have one more thing to say.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah & Happy Holiday!

With Love,
Spencer, Kimberlee, Brynlee & Jace

Thursday, December 24, 2009

12 Days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Twelve Christmas Presents***
Eleven Decorated Ornaments

Ten Arcade Tokens

Nine Sugar Cookies

Eight {million} Christmas Movies
Seven Roasted Marshmallows

Six Kinds of Candy

Five Christmas Parties
Four People Sledding

Three Santa Visits

Two Naked Drummers

and Christmas Wishes from our fam-ly!

***Spencer did the twelve days of Christmas for the kids and me this year. I didn't know he was going to do the twelve days of Christmas. Which means he did all the shopping, wrapping & delivery of Christmas presents on his own. We got a little gift from the so-called "Christmas Elves" for twelve days. The kids LOVED it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My BFF: Marie

This is my baby sister.
Sometimes we call her Marieski.
Or Rie.
She will be eight in January.
Which means there are 19 ½ years between her and I.
Marie has 4 sisters, 1 brother, 4 brother-in-laws, 4 nieces & 2 nephews.
There's 17 months between Aunt Marie and her oldest niece.
She's everybody's favorite.
And Marie loves her nieces and nephews.
Most kids her age tire of the younger kids.
But not Aunt Marie.
She's patient and loving.
And helpful.
She's such a cool Aunt.
Marie's a smarty-pants.
She started walking when she was eight months old.
And she knew ALL the lyrics to Travelin' Solider by the Dixie Chicks before most kids can say "mama" & "dada".
Katie taught her.
She would sing the entire song.
Without error.
For years Marie was our entertainment.
At all the family parties we would gather on the couch and watch little Marie.
She'd sing.
And dance.
And turn somersaults.
And we would laugh.
And clap.
So she'd sing louder.
And dance bigger.
She's such a blessing to our family.
My mom always says, "What would we do without Marie!"
And I'm not sure.
Our family needs Marie.
We wouldn't be complete without her.
Marie "twists-ties".
Meaning she rubs the yarn on a tied quilt between her fingers and her thumb.
She's done it since she was a baby.
It gives her comfort.
It's her little quirk.
Marie is delightful.
She's adorable.
She's witty.
She's my mom's best pal.
Those two are like two peas in a pod.
Sometimes when Marie talks I hear my mom.
They use the same words and phrases.
Marie and mom listen to books on tape together.
They read blogs together.
And they visit the grandkids together.
Marie has a good voice.
For a school talent show she decided she wanted to sing a song.
Dad got it on camera.
It made me cry.
It was perfection.
She's also taking dance classes and piano lessons.
Marie has blonde hair, blue eyes and a splash of freckles.
She has a funny sense-of-humor and a loving heart.
She's a ball of energy.
And the perfect surprise.
Our family wouldn't be complete without our Marieski!
I'm so glad she's my little sister.

When I grow up, I want to be as cute as Marie.

Marie in one word...

I love you Rie.
Thanks for being you!

**Edited to add: Um, Marie has three brother-in-laws, not four!  I did the math two times but it looks like I forgot to "carry the one".  Or maybe I forgot the "outside" in the "FOIL".  Either way, I did the math wrong. :) 


And that officially wraps up "My BFF" segment.
Told you I have the BEST siblings EVER.

Merry Christmas to my BFF's.
Love you so much.

Your proud sister,

Monday, December 21, 2009

My BFF: Katie

This is my little sister.
Kathryn Elaine.
For thirteen years Katie was the baby of our family.
I nicknamed her "Squirt" and drug her around like she was my baby doll.
She was my little buddy.
I was so proud of her.
Every morning I would do her hair.
She had carrot orange hair.
Really, CARROT orange.
Sometimes I would braid it around her head into a crown.
Or twist it real tight into an "Oksana Baiul" bun.
Katie's a homebody.
Mom used to have to bribe her with money so she would go to school.
Sometimes it still didn't work.
Katie's most comfortable with the familiar.
Big crowds overwhelm her.
As do new situations.
She's far more timid than any of my other siblings!
Katie keeps us grounded.
She's pleasantly reserved.
And confidential.
She doesn't like to be the center of attention.
Or the center of conversation.
Katie is also very accepting of others.
She doesn't judge.
And, I seldom hear her speak ill of anyone.
Katie's going to school to be an English teacher.
English is her strong suit.
She loves to read.
And she can write a term paper in one night.
Sometimes Katie will send me a text that says,
Check your blog. It should say "their" instead of "there"!
Katie always smells good.
And she's fashionable.
And beautiful.
She can make cut-off sweat pants and a baseball cap look good.
Whenever Brynlee accessorizes with a necklace or a head band she says,
"Do I look beautiful like Aunt Katie?"
Katie lived with us for three summers in a row.
She's one of us.
We refer to the guest bedroom upstairs as "Kate's room".
I don't clean-up my house before she comes over.
Or feel like I have to make a fancy meal.
Or any meal.
If she's hungry she helps herself.
She comes over at least once a week for TV night.
We watch "our" shows: American Idol & The Biggest Loser.
Katie gets to be in charge of the remote for "The Biggest Loser".
And I'm in charge for "American Idol".
Katie fast-forwards any part of the show that she thinks is boring.
Drives me nuts!
Kate's the only person that's ever babysat my kids.
My kids love their Aunt Katie.
Katie's loving.
Yet, charming.
I'm so glad she's my little sister.

When I grow up, I want to be as fashionable as Katie.

Katie in one word...

I love you Katie.
Thanks for being you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My BFF: Alan

This is my FAVORITE brother.
Alan Nolan.
My only brother.
But still, my favorite.
He's hardworking.
Being the only boy in the family, he grew up as dad's hired help.
He knows how to fix things.
Like cars.
And tractors.
And busted sprinkler systems.
Poor guy!
Grew up with a house full of girls.
But don't let him tell you for a minute that he didn't enjoy it.
Plus, he learned very valuable life lessons.
Like the fact that girls can't put on their mascara without opening their mouth.
Or how you don't ever, EVER tell a girl she's wrong.
{Because quite frankly, she's not!}
Or how quickly news can spread when you throw in a mom, five sisters and a few cell-phones.
Alan's athletic.
He ran track.
And played baseball.
And football.
He tried basketball his senior year, but didn't love it.
But really, there's not much that kid can't do.
Plus, whatever the sport he was playing, he came with his own cheerleading squad.
One of the benefits of having so many sisters.
Alan is a comedian.
He tells a funny joke.
It starts like this...
"Okay, so what you do is cut a hole in the ice..."
He used to put on one-man plays for us for Family Home Evening.
Or he would mime.
Or beat-box in the speaker of the cordless phone.
He's entertaining.
One time he sent an email to the family when Jami was going through a rough time.
It made us all laugh.
And it made Jami feel better.
I saved the email and still read it for a little "pick-me-up" every now and again!
Alan served a two year LDS mission in Honduras.
He came home with two years of experiences that made him stronger.
More aware.
More thankful.
More spiritual.
I think he's a spiritual giant.
And that's one of my favorite parts about him.
Sometimes on road trips, if you ride in Alan's car, you listen to conference talks.
Or church music.
Something uplifting.
Something else about Alan...
He will break out in song at random.
Or in dance.He's funny like that.
Cracks me right up.
Alan's a leader.
A life of the party.
He's fun to be around.
I'm so glad he's my little brother.

 When I grow up, I want to be as spiritual as Alan.

Alan in one word...

I love you Alan.
Thanks for being you!

The Party

::Notice the wet spot on Spencer's shrit?
That's from wiping kidprints off just moments before we left the house:: 

Spencer and I had a Christmas Party to go to last night. We planned on going. In preparation we arranged for Katie to come over and watch the kids. I made a huge crock-pot full of my Grandma B's sausage dip. My favorite! And we picked three movies from our now archaic VHS collection for our White Elephant Gift. "The Wedding Singer", "Pilates for Abs" and a knife tutorial that came with the kitchen knifes Spence bought me a few years back, "Emerilware Knives Know How". We were good to go.

But, somewhere between getting ready for the party and leaving the house we changed our minds. It would have been a fun party, with fun people. But we had a babysitter and the night was young. Spence and I drove over to the party, flipped a U-ey and instead headed into town. Just the two of us. We went and got dessert. Just the two of us. And then made our way to the movie theater and watched "The Blind Side". JUST THE TWO OF US! We talked, and held hands, and laughed, and snuggled. It beat ANY Christmas Party.

We have another Christmas Party tonight. The world is our oyster!

P.S. With all the ditchin' Christmas Parties and stuff I didn't get Alan's post written. Come back tonight to read "My BFF: Alan".

P.S.S. Yesterday was my sweet friend Lacy's birthday. Happy, happy birthday Lacy dear! I'll get your present in the mail today. For those of you that are wondering what a girl like me gets a girl like her let me give you a hint. It's an enormous crock-pot full of my Grandma's delicious sausage dip and three gently used VHS's! Love ya Lacy. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My BFF: Jami

This is my younger sister.
She's married to Zeb.
They have two kids: Brooke and Zayne.
Brooke is a firecracker.
And at random calls me mom.
How could I not love her?
And Zayne is cuddly, smiley & patient.
And also very loveable.
Jami and I have forever been great buddies.
When we were little we played a constant game of "friends".
It lasted at least two years.
We had no names in the game.
We instead just referred to each other as "friend".
Until dad questioned our games structure.
Then we came up with names.
I was Kristie.
She was Megan.
Jami's not afraid to take charge.
Sometimes I call her bossy.
But in a good way!
She's also not afraid to say what she thinks.
Or how she feels.
I love that about her.
She's honest.And sincere.
She's also very compassionate.
When we were little, mom promised a treat to everyone that ate all their peas.
Alan didn't like peas.
I don't think Jami did either.
However, Jami ate all her peas AND all Alan's peas.
Jami worries about her siblings.
About what their doing.
And how their feeling.
And, if their happy.
Sometimes I will call Jami on the phone to tell her something specific.
We'll talk.
For 45 minutes or so.
We'll talk about EVERYTHING.
Except the one thing that I called her for in the first place.
So I'll call back.
And the circle starts over.
Jami has perfect freckles, short, stubby eyelashes and a tall and slender frame.
Unlike Jessica, Jami has NO bubble.
It doesn't matter if there are 12 on the couch or 2.
She'll always sit as close to you as humanly possible.
She gives the best foot rubs and shoulder massages.
She's double-jointed.
She can touch her feet to her head {and her shoulders}.
Jami's funny.
Sometimes crude.
But still very funny.
She loves to make people laugh.
Jami used to "moon" us on a daily basis.
And she'd flip E-VERYBODY off.
Well except the Chinese. :)
Jami and I were roommates one summer.
Whenever I hear "Shakira" I'm reminded of that time.
It was my last summer spent "single"!
And I wouldn't have rather spent it any other way.
Jami's candid, energetic, comical and kindhearted.
Although I'm older, I have learned way more from Jami then I could have ever taught her.
I admire her.
I'm so glad she's my little sister.

When I grow up, I want to be as tall and slender as Jami.

Jami in one word...
I love you Jami.
Thanks for being you!

And my favorite picture of all. 
One of these things is not like the others...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My BFF: Jessica

This is my older sister.
She’s married to Brad.
They have two blonde-headed, blue-eyed girls: Madelyn & Olivia.
Jessica’s a high school teacher.
Jessica makes the best potato soup and homemade pizza.
And they always have fresh, homemade bread at their house.
I call her often with cooking questions.
Or to get a recipe.
‘Cause Jessica knows how to make everything.
She can even whip up an adorable skirt.
From a pattern that she sketched herself.
She says she’s not creative.
But she is.
She’s also good at directions.
As in driving directions.
If she’s been somewhere once, she can easily get there again.
Oh, and she hates mice!
They scare her.
One time, when mom & dad were out for the night and left Jess in charge, there was a mouse in the house.
Jessica made us stand on top the dishwasher.
For our safety.
To make sure the mouse wouldn’t eat us alive. Or something.
Funny story.
One time, at dance camp, Jessica got her braces stuck in the carpet. . .
I loved being on the dance team with Jessica.
Speaking of dancing.
We also went to tons of church dances together.
I never remember her complaining when I would tag along.
How cool is she?
However, she hated that I had to come to early morning seminary with her.
Because Jessica’s always prompt and punctual.
I’m NOT!
Jessica has a bubble.
She doesn’t like people in her bubble.
It irritates her.
When I need advice, I ask Jessica.
She’s older and wiser.
Plus, she no-nonsense and right to the point.
She’s the perfect older sister.
She’s strong-minded, disciplined and on the ball.
Jessica and I are very different.
Sometimes she rolls her eyes at me.
Sometimes she calls me a nerd.
Or a “spazz”,
It makes me laugh.
Mainly because it’s true.
Yet, we’re a lot alike.
In so many ways.
And more and more ways as we get older.
She’s always been the best example to me.
I’m so glad she’s my big sister.

When I grow up, I want to be as knowledgeable as Jessica.

Jessica in one word...

I love you Jessica.
Thanks for being you!

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