Monday, December 14, 2009

He's Home!

The much anticipated day has finally arrived! Last week, my nephew Brady, who is really more like the brother I never had, returned home from his mission in France. We counted the days for weeks, and once the day came, we started counting hours. So imagine my surprise to answer a phone call from a "Pay Phone" (I didn't even know those existed anymore) to hear Brady's voice on the other line! He had a layover in Cincinnati and had "a few American coins" and wanted to call someone who wasn't at work. Thank goodness for working nights! It was so great to talk to him for a few minutes, and only made me that much more excited to see him! Despite the massive snow storm, he had quite the welcoming committee. All his cousins, aunts and uncles came out, along with some mission companions and some friends. The whole baggage claim erupted into excited squeals and tears when we saw him come down the escalator.
His reunion with his twin sister, Ashley, was so touching and sweet. We wondered if she really knew what was going on and had made bets on her reaction. She just clung to him, stepping on her toes to kiss his cheek, and then stepping back to stare at him. She wouldn't let him out of her sight and didn't let him get far without her on his arm.
He brought French chocolate to share with all his little cousins, which was a big hit. Although I'm not sure he needs the bribe for friendship. Our whole extended family just loves Brady so much, and all the cousins look up to him and were literally bouncing off the walls to see him.

Steve and Brady have always had such a special relationship, he was especially excited to see him. His coming home brought back many sweet memories of when he returned from his mission in Leeds, England. So he has been able to reminisce for the past few weeks and share his experiences there with the girls.
We were most excited for Brady to meet his newest cousin, Bode! The day Brady flew out to France, he was able to call us from the airport to say goodbye. We had just found out that we were expecting a baby and Brady was the first person we told. Like the rest of us, Brady seems to just love him already and I know they'll be the best of friends.
We have been able to spend some time with him the past few days. The girls just can't get enough of him. He has taught them the French way of kissing both cheeks when you leave, and Paige just eats it right up, while Claire remains a little shy and just gets the giggles. I was able to share my birthday with him at his homecoming where he did an amazing job speaking. We are so glad his experience was wonderful and are so excited to have him home. We love you, Elder Page!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Here comes Santa Claus...

There are definitely perks to having grandparents in assisted living. Aside from the health and care benefits for them, Legacy House throws some pretty great parties! Last weekend, Santa and Mrs. Claus made a visit. They brought breakfast for everyone and were happy to have grandbabies sit on their laps. It was surprisingly not busy so were able to walk right up and make our Christmas wishes. Paige told Santa that she wanted a Nintendo DS. Mrs. Claus told us that their electronic elves were really busy this year and they would really try to hold one aside, but just in case they were out (thank you, thank you!!) did she have a back up idea? She then asked for a sewing machine.
Claire wasn't much easier to please. She promptly asked for a bunk bed. She promised that she and Paige would take turns sleeping on the top. And then she would like a "real live toy cat" to sleep with her in it.
Thankfully, Bode was easy. He whispered to Santa that he wears a size 3 diaper and he likes the baby wipes from Costco.
Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite holidays. I love getting all dressed up in new outfits, heading to Little America where we eat our hearts out and leave the mess. This year was a little different with a smaller group. Dean and Kendyl were headed to San Diego guessed it...SOCCER! And Terry was hosting dinner at her house for all her kids. We were able to sit in the Idaho Room that we like, and were seated in a perfect spot with a hideaway corner for the kids to play when they were bored of food. From the looks of it, Bode got bored with the food rather quickly. He was actually really good, I think he ate more than both the girls combined, but being up earlier than usual didn't sit well with him and he was rather tired.
But never too tired to have dessert!
Claire's favorite part was the chocolate fountain. She kept coming back with stick after stick, saying, "Look what I stabbed for you!" She says she also loved the potato salad and the macaroni and cheese was pretty good too.

Paige says the ice cream sundae bar was her favorite part of Thanksgiving. Although she did love the mashed potatoes and "moon rolls" (croissants). She truly is my daughter!
Bode did finally conk out about halfway through, which meant I got to snuggle him while Steve brought my croissants and bread pudding. Not a bad gig! Steve and my favorite's included: prime rib, ham (incredible this year!), pork roast stuffed with sausage, pumpkin cheesecake, bread pudding with rum sauce, and of course croissants and shrimp! Can't say either one of us had a bite of turkey that day! Some memorable moments from this year were:
Michelle dumping her glass of water into Rob's lap. Inevitably that guy gets soaked at Thanksgiving every year. At least this year it wasn't pee!
Marnie requested a "bottle" of Diet Coke from our little foreign waitress. She brought her a kids cup with a lid. Marnie had to think hard of a way to convey to her what we wanted was a pitcher since we were going through quite a bit.
Dad's story of "Bruce".
Steve and Rob playing "Dirt" at the after party.
All in all it was a great holiday. I can't help but well up thinking about all the things I have to be thankful for this year. I think top of the list is my dad. It has been one HELL of a year for him. I know there were times when it would have been easier for him to just give up and let go, and I am so grateful he kept fighting. I still get so touched to watch him finally be able to eat again. And here he stands, at 89% he claims, still 30 lbs and a gall bladder lighter. He is such an important man in my life, I can't imagine it without him. Thanks for a great day, dad! We love you!


Growing up my sisters and I always looked forward to General Conference, but probably not for the same reasons most people do. My dad always hosted a McClure Super Saturday. Mom would make butterscotch bubble bun, Dad would put together a craft for us to paint, there was always a "No Whining" sign to be displayed and the Diet Coke was plentiful. By the end of the day, my sisters and I had laughed so hard we nearly wet ourselves and I'm pretty sure Dad was happy to show us to the door. Last Christmas, he re-instated Super Saturday by cutting out these Believe letters with the intention of getting together in the Spring for finishing. Apparently his pancreas had other plans, because it was just last weekend that we actually did it! I chose to "think out of the box" like my dad always encouraged us to, and made my set a little less traditional than my sisters and more "whimsical". I wasn't able to finish there since I had forgotten my stain and Mod Podge, so I promised to submit a picture so dad could admire my work. I haven't heard his opinion yet, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out!

Thanksgiving Decor

Uhh...pretty similar to Halloween, minus the witches and ghosts. Although I must admit, those baby blue pilgrims are pretty scary. Note to self: PAINT THOSE NEXT YEAR! Country blue and mauve are no longer in. Can you tell how long this couple has been around?? I do love how you can get a solid 2 months out of Fall and Harvest decorations. The "Give Thanks" sign will always be one of my favorites. It was a Super Saturday class my sisters and I taught with my mom less than a month before she passed away. I can now remember every detail about that day...what she wore, who she sat by, where we went to eat after. Good times! Sadly, Mr. Turkey has been a work in progress for years. For some reason, I can't finish his shoe buckles and every year I think I need to re-do his feathers. 2010 it is!

Halloween Decor

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for. I don't know if it's just because it's the beginning of the big run of decoration, or the fact that it's ok to be gross for a month, but I love it. I took a tip from my mother long ago to take pictures every year so you can remember where everything goes. This is particularly helpful when you add new stuff every year, like I did (SHHH...don't tell Steve!) Shelf in my entryway: I actually bought the wire pumpkin as a Bunco prize when I hosted last month, but I liked it too much to give it away. (One of several items I ended up keeping...note to self, buy ugly prizes!)
Desktop in entry: My leaf scentsy burner is new...sad to put it away! It was my first and I LOVED it! The spiders are new...intended as Bunco centerpieces until I remembered that we need the center of the table to play, DUH!
Living Room Shelf: Spooky bottles are new...bottled swamp fog and vampire blood!
All new!!! My Frankenstein lights up next to my spooky collection of spider legs and eyeballs. Pay no attention to his droopy left lip...he was experimental!
Same as last year!
Can't think of a good reason why I didn't take a picture of the front door. I bought a new candy corn wreath (again, for Bunco) and draped lit grapevine across the entryway. I added some fall leaves, which I still need to take down, and some spooky hanging bats.