Sunday, December 27, 2009


(Still catching up...)
All the nieces, excluding baby Lilly (we'll have to make one for her) got tutus, crowns and magic wands for Christmas, so Aunt Melanie (my sister) decided she needed to take a few pictures of the girls all dressed up. They all felt pretty special. :)
Jemma, Daphne and Kyrie...the three little princesses.

Daphne and Kyrie.
Jemma gettin' a little air on the Gariety's new trampoline.
They surelooked cute all dressed up...Aunt Melanie even did their make-up! (Very cool:)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Family Pictures

On Christmas day we headed on over to the Albuquerque Temple and took family pictures...not an easy task with 8 little ones and FrEeZiNg temperatures...but WE DID IT!

Here's the whole family (minus Reed...he was there in spirit:).

And here are the 8 grand kids. Left to right: Sean, Jemma, Carter (in front) Daphne, Dallin, Lily (in Dallin's arms), Kyrie and Hayden. By the end of 2010...there will be 10 grand kids...cRaZiNeSs!

And just to give you an idea of how COLD it was, here are the bushes next to the water fountain...that's right, that is ICE on the was darn cold!

Christmas with Family

We drove to Albuquerque, NM for Christmas this year. My oldest sister, Sharee and her husband, Arthur and their 4 children live there. Sharee was cast as Martha in the play "The Secret Garden" and her performances were just before and after Christmas, so all of my family, with the exception of Reed who is on a mission in Texas (right where he should be), were there! Very Cool! We even got tickets to Sharee's play (I've been kicking myself for not getting a photo of her all decked out in costume and makeup) and she was StElLaR! That's not even including my biases...seriously...there were people behind us in the audience who were saying how much they liked Martha! Yup, she's amazing!

Anyway, our 8 days in Albubuerque were very fun! Brandon and I rarely saw Jemma, she was so busy partying with her cousins. Here are some shots of the good times...

Sharee and Jewel diggin' into the Christmas Feast!

Dad, Emma and Brandon in the background.

Mom made all of the girls matching Christmas aprons...soooo cute...and we all wore them while we were busy baking all the goods for Christmas dinner. Thanks again mom!!! (p.s. I've made muffins several times with my new aluminum tin and it's simply wonderful!)

Jemma Christmas morning with her new princess crown, earings, necklace, magic wand and homemade tutu!

Carter sayin' "CHEESE" with his new backpack on and cars in hand.
Jemma, Kyrie and Carter with their scooters from Santa.
Our family's stockings, stuffed and overflowing with GoOdIeS!
Everyone's stockings...Mom and Dad accidently left theirs (along with Melanie, Emma, Jacob and Nathan's) at home in they improvised with some of Dad's sturdiest (and biggest) socks. :)
The Nativity:
Jemma took part in her first Nativity this year. We have actually never spent Christmas Eve with my family because we are usually with Brandon's Dad side. Jemma thouroughly enjoyed acting out her part as a "Wise Woman" (instead of a wise man).
The whole crew...Jemma, Dallin and Nathan as the Three Kings/Royalty :), Jacob and Daphne as Joseph and Mary, Kyrie as the angel and Sean as a shepherd.
Other fun stuff with cousins...I don't know that this bathtub was quite full enough :)
Daphne, Jemma and Carter bein' silly on the way back from Caroling.
Kyrie, Daphne and Jemma with their snowman. (There wasn't a whole lot of snow, so I was impressed with their attempt.)
Makin' sugar cookies. (Left to right, Sean, Jemma, Hayden and Daphne.)
Hayden and Carter...six months apart and destined for a "best bud" relationship...I hope.
Thanks again Sharee and Arthur for hosting all of us. We had a wonderful time and miss you all ToNs!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Seeing Grandpa

It had been over a year since I last saw Grandpa, but on our way to Albuquerque, NM for Christmas, we got to stop and stay a few days in Utah with him. We had such a wonderful time at his home and LOVED seeing him.
Jemma and Grandpa Packard...she became quite attached to him during our stay...she even sat next to him all through Sacrament Meeting at church and brought him the picture she colored after class. (He's pretty hard NOT to LOVE.)

Jemma snapped this one for's tricky keeping the camera still while you're taking a picture...even I struggle with that sometimes. :)
Thanks again Grandpa for letting us come stay with you! We are so grateful for your zest for life, and your unfailing example of goodness and stregth. We love you so much!

Cookies for Christmas!

Christmas time just wouldn't be complete without a little one Sunday afternoon, we did the sugar cookie thing. :)
Here's by big helper mixing the frosting.
Now she's prepping Carter for the chaos. :)

The family set for some serious decorating.

And the finished product...not bad for there being a 4 and 1 year old involved.
Happy traditions! :)

Happy Birthday Brandon!

I just thought I would highlight the patriarch of our home...since it is his 27th birthday this 24th day of December and all...We sure are grateful that Brandon Michael came into this world and that he is the head of our home. Happy Birthday love! you all know where our children get their rolls...what a chunk!!!

I'd say Jemma got his jaw too...

This is about the stage we you all know why I fell for him and stayed stuck...studly! :)

Golf in highschool...he still loves the game...just doesn't get to play as much.

High School Graduate. :)

Missionary in good ol' Brazil.

About a month and a half after he got home...taking engagement pics with ME!!! ;)

Dad of one...and lovin' it!

Dad of two and rockin' fatherhood.

Still hittin' the books hard in his 2nd year of Optometry School...

We sure are glad you're in our lives, Brandon. Thanks for being such a hard worker, a patient father and a loving husband. We hope you have a WonDerFul birthday and know how much we love you!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birthday Festivities

Every year since Jemma was born, we celebrate both Brandon and Jemma's birthday on the 15th of December...Jemma's birthday. This year, however, I decided that in addition to our family festivities, I was going to pursue the unthinkable...a surprise party at Christmas time during finals...Thankfully it all turned out...
FaMiLy CeLeBrAtIoN:
Brandon chose the Icecream Cake...and Jemma got the #4 on top. :)

SuPrIsE PaRtY!

I was quite pleased with my birthday sign... I didn't by ONE thing for it...just used a bunch of scraps and some heat 'n bond I had on hand!
Jemma and Brandon when they walked in the door...Jemma was aparently saved from a timeout...she was throwing and little tantrum over having to leave her friend's home, but once they walked through the door to a house full (40+) the tears dried up. :)
Carter having a go at the indoor pinyatta...that was a bit intense...we thought for sure someone was gonna get nailed!
Jemma and friends after the pinyatta with their candy necklaces.
Brandon blowin' out his 27 candles!!!
Jemma blowin' out the candles on her Bubblegum Princess cake. :)
Happy Birthday you two! We sure love you!