Well, atleast the rest of us laughed.
Rosie was having fun living up the toddler life during the Christmas season. The day we decorated the tree she immediately figured out what those red and white stripey things were good for.
Caught her red handed...
She only rearranged the decorations a few times.
Here she is in her new Christmas dress.
Oh, and we also thought it was hilarious how excited she got for the "Here Comes Santa Claus" song when she didn't even know who that was.
Isn't she cute?
Isn't she cute?
Aren't they cute?
Leslie and Jett
This was a pretty awesome day. I was at the Payson temple, and during the session found myself missing my Grandma LaVonne. Sometimes I miss her as much as my Dad--she was such a huge part of my formative years and my best friend. And I think all of us felt that way about her. Also was missing my Dad. As I was leaving, I saw an ancestor card on the credenza that had the name "Haynes" on it. My maiden name. Then I saw that it also said, "Linn, Iowa", which waswhere my Haynes family lived years ago, so that was weird. Then, I noticed that the card belonged to a Joan Loomis Luster. I don't know a Joan, but Loomis was also a family name. I was about to walk away when it occurred to me that my Dad occasionally talked about his cousin "Joey", and that this might be her. I don't remember ever meeting Joey, atleast as an adult. Sure enough, this very Haynes-looking beautiful lady found her card and I was able to introduce myself. We had a great visit and talked about both my Dad and my Grandma, and cried.
The odds of me identifying a complete stranger, who knew BOTH my Dad and Grandma from MONTANA on this particular day in the temple in Payson, Utah, are staggering. And she doesn't even live around here but was visiting! I felt very loved and connected to my angels on the other side who surely pushed the two of us together.
Mark has had a crazy busy last few months as he has started his own company, Remarkable Home Loans. (I helped him decide on the name and earned my pay for the year;) Isn't this a great logo? Things are going great and he is so excited every day that he wakes up early with his brain spinning of all the things he wants to do.
Luke's still working on the giant Hershey Kiss.
|New Years' Day we decided to take the kids out to dinner. At ChuckaRama. For lunch. With coupons. This is why we never go anywhere. Atleast we didn't find strawberries in the baby's shoe later (Brooke).|
And lastly, here is a copy of our Christmas letter, written by my hubby.
Dear Friends and Family,
This year has been amazing, and hard, and joyful, and tear-filled, and prayerful, and hopeful.
Just before last Christmas, Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Initially, my thoughts turned to the worst possible outcome, and I was struck with sadness and heartache for not only Jackie and me, but for our 6 children. I wasn’t quite sure what I would do without my best friend by my side to raise these 6 hooligans.
Through much pleading and prayers, peace came quickly to all of us.
Jackie handled things like a champ, as she underwent chemo treatments over a 16 week span, and recovered well from surgery. She is now cancer free, and once again has more hair than I do. (Although, I do set a low bar.)
This year, I think our family might have drawn closer to our Savior than in any other single year.
From the outside, one might think that an obvious thing, as my wife and children’s mother was saved. However, drawing closer to the Savior didn’t simply happen once the trial had passed. Drawing closer came during the pleading. Drawing closer came from the wishing for the relief of someone you love. Drawing closer came from witnessing the goodness of neighbors, and the sacrifice of a mother coming to care for her daughter’s children for months on end.
Although I would never wish a trial like this on anyone, I am grateful to have witnessed such faith and goodness in my wife, such kindness from friends and family, and the submissive faith of our children.
We are all SO grateful that our Savior saves. We trust in God’s plan for us. And we are eager to live the best we know how, and to follow promptings that come. God IS Love, and Love casteth out all fear.
In other news, (excuse the clumsy transition) the kids grew like weeds this year. Leslie (17) is the band President and a senior in High School and will be attending Utah State next fall. Boston (13) and Cooper (11) played on the same baseball team this year and I got to coach them. Macy (9) has spent half the year upside down, as she does cartwheels seemingly non-stop. Luke (6) is in kindergarten and continues to say funny things on a regular basis. Like, “Get the fly swapper!” “Can we go to Nick Donald’s?” Or when he thought I was driving too fast and he asked, “Are the Police chasing us?” Rosie (1) is fun and cute. She is walking a little, talking a little, and knows when a picture is being taken of her that her job is to crinkle her nose and sniff until the picture is shown to her. Jackie turned 40, beat cancer, and in her spare time juggles the family calendar, keeps up a blog, does family history, has studied and learned some German (to help with her family history), and keeps the family well fed, on schedule, and happy. And after 16 years of working as a mortgage loan officer, I (42) started my own mortgage brokerage named Remarkable Home Loans, something I would have never imagined at the beginning of this year. Rather than only surviving 2018, we have truly been blessed to THRIVE.
As a family, we want to thank you for your prayers. And we wish to testify of Christ. He is our Redeemer and Savior. He saves us in so many ways. He saves us from sin and death. And one day, when He calls us home, we hope to be more like Him.
We love you. Merry Christmas!
The Days (Mark, Jackie, Leslie, Boston, Cooper, Macy, Luke, and Rosie)