Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Amber and her pain

As some of you know Amber has had pain in her left side and chest area for over a year. It use to be just on and off and we really didn't think too much about it. About a year ago she really started complaining about the pain and it was pretty constant. It has taken us awhile due to switching doctors, insurance referrals, finding doctors that are in our network and finally getting a diagnosis as to what was causing all this pain. After numerous test the GI doctor discovered that her gallbladder doesn't work and it should come out. Well Tuesday, 12/30, was the big day. We took her to the hospital in the morning, it was a same day surgery and we were back home around 4pm. Everything went VERY well. The doctor did tell us that her gallbladder was severely scarred due to the all the inflammation. We were able to go in the recovery area about an hour after surgery. She was awake and had three requests. She wanted her retainer, contacts and her cell phone. We gave her the retainer and contacts, but felt she needed to rest and not text. However, once we were in the car smoke was coming from her fingers as she was texting all her friends to let them know she was on her way home. She is doing great, still sore, but today she was able to play guitar hero.

Leaving for the hospital.

Waiting and texting before her surgery.

One of her BFF's made this. It was on the door when we got home.

My Sister and See's

My gorgeous sister....hahaha!!

I LOVE See's candy. Unfortunately there are no See's candy stores where we live. Not even a Kiosk in the mall this year. I figured oh well it will just be a year without See's. WELL! I just happen to have THE best sister in the world. When I opened up the Christmas box from her what to my wondering eye did appear?......a box of SEE'S nuts and chews my FAVORITE! I should have known she would save the day. She ALWAYS seems to know when I need a See's fix and it hasn't mattered where we've lived she has sent it. While we were stationed in Okinawa, she would send us a box. It didn't matter that all the candy would melt on the way over and reshape it's self. It was a box of See's from home and it tasted WONDERFUL! THANKS TRACEY!!

ooohhh I wanna be a ROCK STAR......

Yes, we have formed a band and we are all rock stars now! I think we have been on the World Tour almost none stop since Christmas. Our neighbor was kind enough to let us borrow one of her guitars while they were gone for a few days so we could all play. So we had Amber, Taylor shredding on guitars, Jake on drums, he totally ROCKS on drums, and Dave and Hunter singing. They occasionally let me play the guitar when they need a back up. I did get a 100% of the notes the other night on a Linkin Park song. Ok it was on easy, but I didn't miss ANY! I've tried singing, but the words are hard to read. Oh well I guess I'll stick with managing the band!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In loving memory

Today while we were gone, our Dallas died. He had made such a incredible recovery from the heart worms and was doing so good. He had just had a check up and was back to his old self. We don't know what happened, but are totally devastated that he is gone. I never thought I would feel this way about a dog, but I will miss him terribly. Taylor said it right when she said she was not ready for him to go. None of us were. Dallas was a GREAT dog, who loved to play with his rope, a tennis ball, water bottles, pinecones and for some reason rocks. He just loved to play. He was a VERY sweet dog whose goal was to love us. We are thankful for the time that we had with him.
We will miss you Dallas. We love you.

These are a few of our favorite things...

Here are a few of our favorite things we got for Christmas.

A Princess card loaded with money.

A cool new DS game


Jakes new hat and computer game

These AWESOME Batman wings.

PSP and computer games

Joe Jonas...oh yeah!

The pancake puff maker. Thanks White family!!

Guitar Hero World Tour.

AAHH Edward.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I believe in Santa!

Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year! I love everything about it from the Spiritual side to the materialistic side. I love the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph. I've decided after doing our Young Women's program which was about Christmas from the perspective of Mary's mom, Joseph's mom, the Innkeeper's wife, the Shepherd's wife, John's mother and Mary herself, that I LOVE the Christmas story and the beauty of it all even MORE. I LOVE the music, which I'm only allowed to play AFTER Thanksgiving, I LOVE watching how excited my kids get, I LOVE the decorations, I LOVE getting a tree, I LOVE Santa, I LOVE the madness of shopping, I LOVE waiting till the LAST minute to wrap everything and arranging it under the tree. I just LOVE Christmas!

This year we were invited over to our friends, the Wrights house for dinner on Christmas Eve. I work with Jenni in with the Young Women at church. Maggie is a BFF of Amber and Jacob. There of course was TONS of great food and laughs.
The Wrights

Amber, Maggie, Jacob, Taylor, Tim and Hunter

We left early in hopes of getting the kids in bed early. Jacob surprised us all when he trotted off to bed at about 8:45. I KNEW he would be up in several hours for two reasons. He NEVER goes to bed that early and 2nd he has a hard time sleeping on Christmas Eve to begin with. From the time he was little he has found it hard to sleep on Christmas Eve. I think he is alot like me in how we feel about Christmas. It's just so exciting! Finally all the kids were asleep and I could get to work. Actually I had wrapped quite a bit already, which is NOT the norm for me. After getting everything wrapped and put around the tree and off to bed at around 12:30, a Christmas miracle for sure, I hear something going on in the living room. I lay there for a minute deciding if I should check on it. Yes, I better see whats going on out there. WELL, first off the living room has been transformed! SANTA had come!! And then I see Jacob on the couch. Just as I had suspected earlier when he told me he was going to bed, he could NOT sleep! He was so excited to see that Santa had come. He must have heard the same noise I had heard earlier and come downstairs. I told him he needed to go upstairs and try and go back to sleep or watch a movie, but he was NOT to wake anyone up! Two movies later Taylor, Hunter and Jacob are waking me up. It was 5:00am, Santa had come and they wanted to open their gifts. Amber was not awake and they wanted to wake her up. NO WAY!!! I told them. So since Dave had gotten up earlier with a coughing fit and went to the couch, I had the kids get in bed with me. I told them at 5:30 they could wake Amber up. So we laid in my bed talking about what they thought Santa had brought. It was so nice laying there with them until it got too hot and we decided to get up.

They were able to get Amber up after a bit of coaxing, she wasn't all that happy about it, but she came downstairs. After all Santa had come leaving her the most wonderful gift. A large cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen. Once downstairs the opening frenzy began! What a fun morning. Everyone seemed happy with what Santa had brought and the other gifts they received. After the mess had been cleaned up, the kids were pulling their gift cards together to see how much they could add to the WII fund (they are saving up for one), Dave found two more gifts that Santa must have forgotten to put out. He gave one to the boys to open and one to the girls to open, but they had to open them on his count. On the count of three they tore into them and were in complete shock! The kids had done such a great job saving for the WII that Santa got it for them AND Guitar Hero world tour. They couldn't believe it. They were soooooo excited. They laughed and screamed. It was so fun watching them. Needless to say they have been playing it non-stop. I will admit it is VERY fun to play. I have discovered I am secretly a rock star!
So there really is a Santa and Christmas miracles really do happen!
Merry Christmas!

Shouldn't it be called a Candy house?

This year the kids invited BFF Zack over to help them make their gingerbread house. My question is why is it called a gingerbread house? I know the frame is made of gingerbread, but it's decorated with so much icing and candy that it really should be called a candy house. I swear that darn thing must weigh a ton with all the icing and candy the kids put on it. They had a good time and there was only minimal fighting!

Yard ornaments

Blowup Christmas ornaments, we LOVE them. I love the way when you plug them in they slowly come to life and it's fun to watch them totally deflate when you pull the plug. We have a few of them. Grinch, who gets to ride in the sleigh, oh by the way this year because of the wind the deer have laid on the ground almost the entire time. Santa who pops out of a present, a HUGE moose which the kids have named Henry the Moose and just the other night Dave brought home Tigger in a train. We were so excited to add him to our collection. I'm hoping to one day have my yard FILLED with these blowup Christmas yard ornaments.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


MERRY CHRISTMAS! to all our friends and family wherever you are. We are so blessed to have each of you in our lives. We hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas and a VERY, VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Much love,
Dave, Stef, Amber, Jacob, Taylor, Hunter, Sadie and Dallas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The picking of the Tree

I have been trying to get updated on my blog here. Some of the post are out of order, but I tend to be a bit scatter brained and so it's only natural that my blog reflect that. We actually went several weeks ago to cut down our tree. Hahaaa! What a funny time. When we lived in Michigan we started going with Dave's family and cutting down a Christmas tree. It became one of the highlights of the year for me. It was such a fun family tradition. Well we moved several different places after we left Michigan and there wasn't any tree farms by us so we would just go to the nearest Christmas tree lot and pick out a tree. Last year, our first Christmas here in the Great State of Texas, we found several tree farms nearby. We were so excited since this would be the first time Taylor and Hunter would help chop the tree down. Lets just say they grow interesting Christmas trees down here. Really they look like overgrown bushes that they have formed into trees. There are long, strange branches that randomly poke out. We eventually found one that we thought would work. It actually was quite pretty. What we didn't realize is that it was HUGE! We had to put it upstairs because the ceiling is taller up there. This year I was determined to find a tree farm that grew "NORMAL" Christmas trees. You know the Douglas Firs, the Noble Firs, etc. I did find a place that grew the "Texas" style trees, but they did have some pre-cut trees. So even though we didn't get to actually cut it down, we did get to enjoy the tractor ride and had a couple of good laughs at the trees you could cut down. There was a family on the ride with us who were looking for the most Charlie Brown tree they could find. Well there was plenty to choose from and they found it! While we were waiting for them to cut our tree loose from the wire, we enjoyed some WONDERFUL apple cider. I think it's the best I've ever had. Of course Amber had a great time because the boy helping us looked a little bit like Edward Cullen. She kept trying to get me to take his picture. I tried to get one of him without him knowing it. I didn't do a very good job. I'm sure I wouldn't make a good spy. But I did get a tree that I liked. So all is well. Next year will be the year I find a normal Christmas tree farm. My search is on! Oh Christmas tree....Oh Christmas tree.....

Some fun pictures of last years tree hunt

Wondering what kind of trees are these?! Finally finding one. Note how tall it was HUGE!!

This year's Christmas tree hunting. Check out some of those trees! Amber really wanted the dead one.