Friday, December 7, 2012


Apparently I was a horrible picture taker since I only got shots at the zoo, but we got to spend Saturday night through Thanksgiving day (when we drove home) with our cousins, the Browns.  You can see Earl and Kristi (Mike's sister) in the picture just above. 

Our visit was quite the adventure, starting with Zeke throwing up in the car 8 times on the 8 hour drive.  I started feeling sick about lunchtime.  Luckily, it was a 24 hour bug, and by Sunday afternoon we were both feeling better.  Caleb spent a day in quarantine later in the visit, but MIRACULOUSLY we didn't share our fun with any of the Browns!

On the flip side, the Browns had the croup!  While we were there they went to the doctor four times and even headed to the ER late one night for help breathing.  Those sweet little ones really struggled to participate and have fun with the cousins.

We did get to the park a couple of times, to the zoo, to listen to a piano recital given by the two oldest, to have a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner, and even to try a fabulous thing called strawberry lemon stuffed french toast.  I think I had the left overs four three or four meals in a row because it was AMAZING!

Kristi and Earl just purchased a brand new home, and it was just lovely and comfortable.  Thanks for hosting us and braving 5 rowdy boys, K+E!!

Girls' Weekend

 For my Dad's 60th birthday, all of my siblings flew out to surprise him and celebrate together.  We knew we wouldn't be able to be together for mom's, so we sorta celebrated that, too, but when her birthday rolled around, it was very shortly after Grandpa's passing and we had all just gone home.  It seemed like a sad and lonely way to spend a big birthday!  So we decided we'd plan a girls' weekend in October.  Most of it we spent relaxing and crafting.  Here's a tiny baby blanket to donate to the NICU to be used either for tiny preemies or for bereavement packages.  I've fallen in love with this project and continue to work on it now that I'm home.  But we also did some playing (SHOPPING!), too...
 This is me on Pier 39, with "fairy dust" on my cheek.  I found some great Christmas ornaments for the boys at the San Francisco Music Box Company.
 This is my mom at Ghirardelli's.  All of us but one had a mint ice cream brownie sundae.  I can still taste it...
 Mom, Quynh (my brother Gene's wife), Allie, Kasey (Sandra's niece), and Sandra (my mom's college roommate and a dear friend to all of of my very best friends, in fact)
 Mom and Emily when we went to breakfast before shopping at the Gilroy outlets.  Emily pulled a "Gloria" (from Madagascar, where she can't find her straw with her lips) and had us all in stitches.  We actually laughed the vast majority of the weekend.  Laughter is good medicine!!
 These are pumpkins we saw on our drive to Gilroy.  Had to document them for the boys since we always read the book about the mice tending their ginormous pumpkins each Halloween.
 Sandra and Kasey brought cards and taught us how to blend using the markers used in anime.
Allie was not a fan.  It was hilarious!  We had such a great, relaxing time.  Even the plane rides were relaxing.  Thank you, Momba, for hosting us and taking us all over the place and giving us an extra bag to fit all our great finds in for the trip home!!!

Grandpa Lamoreaux

 Sorry these pictures are out of order.  This is a pic of my dad (far right, back row), my mom (in front of him), and my dad's siblings and spouses (Uncle Jeff passed away about 20 years ago).  They are gathered for the funeral of my sweet grandpa and haven't been together in over a decade.
 The night of the funeral, the parents (my siblings) were emotional and exhausted, so I grabbed all the kids who could walk on their own and we went exploring Sam's Town.  We got to see the laser light show, have dinner together, and relax after a difficult day.
 This is the pall bearers coming to the grave site dedication.
 My Grandpa was proud of his faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.  We were able to visit with him less than 2 weeks before he died, and that is what he wanted us to know.  He told us of his service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He served a mission in the southern states when he was young--and told us he received the best gift of his life from serving there.  He met my grandma.  They have always been darling in taking care of one another and enjoying one another.  Recently, Grandpa had to spend some time at a hospital and then at a rehabilitation center.  When he was cleared to come home, a hospital bed was set up in their room for him.  My parents noticed after a few minutes that Grandma, too, was gone.  They went to check on her and found her curled up next to Grandpa in that tiny hospital bed.  He died just days before their 70th anniversary, and they treasured each other every day of that journey.

He also served helping those with little or no employment skills to develop ways of being self-reliant through DI for several years, as a bishop of his ward (In the church, you are asked to serve in many different ways, but we have a lay ministry, meaning no one gets paid for their service.  In this role of leading a congregation, it wouldn't be uncommon to spend 20+ hours a week on service to the congregation!), and in the temple for many years.

He wanted us to know that he loved us and thought we were doing wonderfully and had his support.  He knew his passing was coming.  He told us he wouldn't make it to his anniversary, but we were sure that he would.  His last messages to us were faith, love, and support.
 This is my Grandpa, Orien Huntsman Lamoreaux.
This is my Grandma, Hazel Stembridge Lamoreaux.  She is lonely without her sweetheart.  They were married when she was 18, so 70 of her 88 years were with him!

I sure love them both and am grateful for their legacy of love and faith.

Soccer and School Programs

 #4 participated in a Veteran's Day program (light blue polo, 2nd from left, 2nd row)
 #5 soccer pics
 #5 -- Go Panthers!!
#5 performed in a Thanksgiving program, too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Early November 2012

 #4 gets his bobcat badge...KTM!  (Kiss The Mom--it's a cub scouts thing)
 #4 on the father sons campout.  Mom couldn't be left without any fun boys, so she borrowed 2 nephews for the evening!
 #1 is the sousaphone player.  Their show was called "I Believe" and won 1st place in at least one of the contests they entered.  It kept getting better each time they performed it.
 #3 has begun taking art.  I simply love this picture.  It's hanging in our living room.  And I love that he changed the project to reflect himself!
 Lots of scout projects go on at our house.  Here #3 works on his craftsman badge (cutting, painting, and building a tool box) to complete his Webelos scout rank.
 #3 also loves origami.  We frequently find him in a corner working on a new project.  This year he's even making ornaments for his teachers.  They're really beautiful, with a clear ball and his creations hanging inside on golden threads.
#2's last football game of the year.  He blocked for the only touch down we made that night.  Go Vikings!!

Through October 2012

 First day of school in descending age order.  :)

 #1 (with sousaphone) in the first fundraiser of the year--the Marchathon through our neighborhood
 We've had lots of friend time.  Mom always has crafts on hand, most often painting.  This is #5 with his best friend painting Halloween coffins to hold our tootsie pop ghosts.
 #4 chillin with his best friend
 #2 in his first ever football game.  He is going to a new school this year and cracks us up with his complete loyalty.  He won't wear "Scoggins" (his old school) anything because it would be an insult to Vandeventer (new school).  He actually wore # 87 most of the year, and thanks to Grandma's embroidery machine, he has that # embroidered on plenty of clothing to replace the old school spirit items!
 Bumblebee the Transformer
 Mike's costume
 #s 3 (mad scientist), 2 (Frodo), 5 (Bumblebee), and 4 (Luke Skywalker).  #1 was still at band practice--it is an INTENSE time commitment here in TX, but an incredible program!
 Dad got to go with #5 on his first ever field trip to the pumpkin patch.
#4 has recently begun coming up with projects he can do with dad in the garage.  He imagines, plans, draws out, and proposes to Dad.  With all that effort, Dad is effectively wrapped around his little finger!  They've cut out pistols and built a bey wheel box, with more plans in the works.  He's also made a pinewood derby car stand (first one coming up in January!) and is creating a hot wheels track.

High Adventure and Scout Camp

 #1 went on high adventure this year.  They did a bike ride, went exploring in a cave, and had a great time.
#s 1 and 2 got to spend the week at scout camp together.  Mike was with them as well for most of the week, then hurried back a little early to take #3 on the Webelos overnighter.

Quick Review of the Spring I Didn't Blog 2012

So I'm doing some serious back-tracking here.  Good thing sending out a Christmas letter keeps me committed to blogging! :)

#5's fifth birthday...his request was a pair of overalls.
#5 the week after Christmas
Mike's Aunt Dennie made hats like this one for each of our boys.
 Soccer time!  #5 is in the back row on the left
 We camped outside...
 ...and inside (#4 and #5)...
 ...and outside some more.
 #1 got working on his Eagle project, building raised beds for our local elementary.
 We had back-to-school night; here's #4.
 #2 had his 12th birthday.
 The finished product of the Eagle project, which went incredibly well.
 And more outdoor camping...
 ...complete with games and singing and dutch oven dinner.  Mike is quite the dutch oven cook, so we love every chance we get to eat outside.
 #2 and his Dad got to go to UT for general conference to attend his first priesthood session and also fit in a ton of fun in the process.
 #1 also aged...the big 14!
 We had two surgeries early this year--one tonsils and one sinus.
 #4 also played soccer.  He's in the middle here.
 Homemade jam!  I had forgotten that I'd ordered two flats of strawberries.  When it arrived at my front door, I said, "I know what we're doin' today, Ferb!"  Yeah.  I've gone from quoting scripture to quoting "Everybody Loves Raymond" to quoting "Phineas and Ferb."  Maybe time to quote some favorite scripture again!
 #1 (in glasses) performing with his tuba
 #4 (an elephant) in his school play
 #s 4, 2, 1, and 3 at the Dallas, TX, LDS temple
 Last day of preschool.  What an immense blessing it was to teach preschool last year!!  I am so grateful that the Lord helped me be brave enough to take that challenge on because I will always cherish the experience, not only because I got to know my dear friend Trisha, but also having that time with #5 (2nd from left) was just a treasure and a blessing.  Plus, most of the kids left our class as beginning readers, very well prepared for kindergarten.  It was gratifying to see them be so successful!
 Graduation (#5 4th from left)
 #4's birthday party was everything bey wheel.  We even created this pinata to match the theme.
 We had our third--yes, I said THIRD--flood through the ceiling.  Luckily, this one was light and easy to manage.
 Swim lessons galore!  I barter piano for swim lessons, so we have some great swimmers in the family.  This is #3 waiting for his turn to show off.
 Also #3 at Twilight Camp for Cub Scouts.  Mom volunteered at the crafts booth for the week and #s 3 and 4 both got to attend.  Plus, Dad stayed with #3 for the Webelos campout at the end of the week.
 #5 celebrates his birthday during the summer since it's only 5 days after Christmas (we just do family cake and ice cream on his actual big day), so we had a pool party.
His favorite present was this scooter, and he got right on it to practice and be prepared for KINDERGARTEN.