Saturday, December 18, 2010
Family and Friends,
Budgeting season has sapped all of my brain power, which doesn't bode well for the quality of this year’s Christmas letter. Numbers, black and red, are definitely dancing through my head:
3,300—the number of miles for our round trip drive from Idaho to Iowa (to see Lisa’s sister). We took the scenic route which included a stop at Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, UT and then the lonely state highways through northern Colorado to look for moose (we saw two), a stop for dinner with some old friends in Ft. Collins and then a late night stop in Nebraska. It took some effort but we entirely avoided I-80 across southern Wyoming. By the time we got there Natali and Mack knew all 50 states in alphabetical order and I was ready to get out of the car and leave the kids behind for a work trip. I came back in time for the drive home past Chimney Rock, Nebraska. At that point I couldn't really skip a chance to drive through Yellowstone so we took the northern detour.
2,100—the number of miles on our road trip Glacier National Park (to meet several of my siblings and parents) and then on to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada. It was definitely worth the drive as we saw spectacular wildlife and lots of bears. 5—the number of kids in our house after the birth of Emily Jane in April (named after two of our favorite authors Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen). Her red hair inherited from Lisa’s two grandmothers looks out of place with our blondes, but her easy going demeanor is welcome. She already has me wrapped around her finger and all she can do is look at me and giggle or smile. 6—the number of kids we’ll have next year. 100%--the likelihood that you believed that last false statement.
1—the number of cats in our household after Gimli’s disappearance and Perdita’s adoption. She joined the family three weeks ago and is making herself comfortable already. I’m struggling to type with her sitting on my lap. An hour ago there was a commotion by the Christmas tree and the next thing I knew Perdita was looking out at me from the branch beneath the star at the top of the tree. 55—the number of points BYU scored in the football game Mack, Andrew, and I attended. 16—the number of books read this year the best of which included The Path Between the Seas, Undaunted Courage and The Book Thief.
2—the number of hands Natali (now 8) uses when practicing the piano (that’s one more than I use). 3—the number of years Natali has participated in a Children’s Choir. 0—the chance for silence when Natali is around.
10—the number of goals Mack (now 7) scored in one soccer game this spring. 6—the number of times Mack used his season pass at the ski hill last winter. 4—the number of dollars Mack earned from the tooth fairy in one productive month this summer.
1.5—the number of hours it took for Andrew (now 5) to decide that it was better to go to kindergarten then to stay home as a child laborer. 167—the approximate # of animals that Andrew can identify. 33—the times he has asked this year to go to Alaska, Africa, or somewhere in between to look for animals.
It’s getting late and I should have sent this letter last week so I’m giving up on the numbers. Kate (now 3) still expects her blond curls to get her out of trouble. One night while trying to float on her back in the bathtub she said, “I need a kickstand for my bottom.” And I need one for my brain. As I reflect on another year gone by I stand in awe at the blessings we enjoy, the grace and mercy of our Savior that give us hope, and the peace to be found in an increasingly tumultuous world.
Merry Christmas, Love the Easton Family (Greg, Lisa, Natali, Mack, Andrew, Kate, and Emily)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Greg's best friend, Tom, lives in Utah so he and Greg went to the BYU vs. UNLV game in Provo. Our boys got new BYU gear and loved the game. Mack watched the whole game; Andrew played with Tom's girls.The Monday after the game was wear your favorite team jersey day at school. The Easton's represented for BYU. We may not have had a great season - but you can't call us fair-weather fans.
We love rollers!
I lost the lens cap to the camera somewhere in the snow. I put it in my snow pants pocket and proceeded to pull the kids around the neighborhood in a sled - it could be anywhere - but we had a blast in the snow. Winter is here.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Natali the Egyptian. The blue eyeshadow was a necessary part of the costume. But personally I think the wig is the best part.
It took a little convincing to get Andrew to be a spider because he wanted to be a cougar, wolverine, bald eagle... at least spiders eat other creatures.He still managed to get into character very easily.Kate waffled between Little Miss Muffet, Princess (again) and a Ballerina. Miss Muffet was my favorite. She love loved wearing make-up like Natali.Andrew loved being 'the spider who sat down beside her'. Kate, always ready with an ear piercing scream, played the part well.For the church party she was a princess (terrible picture- I know).Emily left the hat on just long enough for pictures.Halloween is gone with the rush of Thanksgiving and Christmas on its heels. It's always fun but I'm not sorry it's over. Now if I could only get them to eat veggies to offset all the sugar...
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I am a fifth child. So I can relate to poor little Emmy. My dad tells about how he would come home from work and I would be wailing and he just loved to pick me up and love on me. His comment, "You just wanted to be held." This always seemed kind of sad to me, but don't worry mom, because I totally understand now! You can only put off dinner, dishes, phone calls, and other kids for so long - then the baby just has to cry.
Today Emily was all out of whack from short naps at church. She wanted attention but I had promised the big kids I would help them make snicker doodles. In fact, I had promised to make them two weeks ago and the kids were calling me on it so it was time for snicker doodles. I put Emily in one baby distraction device after another, shoving the pacifier in her mouth whenever it fell out, trying to hold her off. After the kids all ate their fill we started into bedtime routine when I looked over at sweet baby #5. The precious thing was fast asleep, standing up. It's a rough life.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
All my kids loved the party. Hopefully the other kids didn't care that there were no organized activities - that is just a little over my head right now.
He wanted a football field cake again. I was thrilled with his choice (so simple).
Macky is such an easy kid to love. He is observant, easily taught, and focused. He can do anything he puts his mind to. I love to watch him tackle something new. He doesn't cause me much grief and entertains himself. Sometimes he spends so much time doing his own thing that I wish it would rain so he would be forced to stay inside and play Yahtzee with me. In general he just makes me happy. Happy Birthday cutie boy!
Friday, October 1, 2010
We've had Gimli since February 2003. Greg managed to convince me to get Gimli just weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Mack. If I had know I was pregnant I would have been too worried to get a cat. He has been a great pet and although I always make it clear that he is Greg's, I really am fond of him. He has moved from Oklahoma to New Hampshire to Chicago back to New Hampshire then to Idaho. During one stop on our move to Chicago he got off of his leash (yes we tried a cat leash) at the Hill Cumorah in New York and Greg barely managed to pull him out of the bushes and get him back in the car. He put up with 5 crazy kids, not to mention terrifying cousins and neighbors, and was such a good sport about it.
The kids are already asking for another cat but I groan at the thought. Gimli got lost once before, for a month, and we got a replacement. It was then that I realized I don't love cats - I love my cat. Gimli had his issues (drooling and barfing) but I was used to those issues. I worry about getting another cat and not liking it because it meows too much or too loud, has litter box issues, has issues with the kids.... The kids haven't stopped praying that he will come home safely so maybe I need more faith. We did manage to find him last time but it is hard to imagine that miracle repeated. Then again cats do have nine lives...