Monday, December 29, 2008

The Build Up!!

Well there is nothing like a busy holiday to cure me of my blogging addiction. Cold turkey I stopped reading, stopped commenting, stopped writing, I almost stopped thinking about what I was going to blog about. Almost.
The days leading up to Christmas were packed. Looking back now I don't know what they were packed with. We didn't go see the lights. We didn't go sledding. I must have just been sitting around dreaming of sugar plums.
Actually I know that some nights were filled with

1.) A Dance Recital for Brandon and Tricia's girls, Kassidy, Tayler and Kimber. (Hip-Hop Christmas, who knew?)

2.) Aaron's Gymnastics Recital! So fun to see him flipping and spinning! 3.) Josh's Orchestra Concert! Wow, they sounded great! Even my mom was impressed!

I also remember the 20th . The 20th of December is my dad's birthday. We celebrated my dad's life in a big way all day on Saturday. The day started with a package in the mail from my uncle and aunt who found a HUGE treasure trove of my dad's life. We found newspaper clippings, graduation programs, documents and wonderful priceless pictures! It was a great way to start the day!We then proceeded with our celebration by writing little notes and tying them to balloons. (I know it isn't environmentally responsible. deal with it. my dad died.) The boys were hilarious in their notes. Things like:How is heaven? I hope you and Brother Trump are having fun. (Bro. Trump is one of my parents really good friends who died the year before Dad). Josh informed him of the score of the BYU Utah game. Jonathan told him that BYU still rocks. He signed it sincerely, Jonathan. Alex said "see you later".

We all went up to the cemetery and sang happy birthday and then let the balloons go one by one. It looked really cool.
Then we headed up to the church for hours of fun. We played Basketball...
Sweet jump shot! Mitch can totally stuff an 8 year old. We are so proud! The Human Pretzel...
and Dodgeball...First we lined up so we could divide into teams! Cool line up, huh? Joe to Mitch!Andrew totally got me here!
We sat and ate and talked and laughed. Boy did we laugh. I can tell you why in 2 words (or one word and one initial.) B. Rad . You see earlier in the week his wife heard about the plans to play dodge ball and decided that B. Rad needed to dress up like a real dodge ball player. Right after the line up B. Rad disappeared only to make a grand entrance a few minutes later in full battle gear. The laughter went on for a full 10 minutes. It kept springing back every time we glanced his way. The first game his team won because the opposing team was distracted by not so much his athletic prowess but his outfit! Scary boy with hairy cleavage!
After all our fun and games we dropped the kids off with babysitters and proceeded to go to the Mandarin for dinner with just the adults. What a great time we had! We talked and laughed and laughed and even cried a bit as we talked about Dad.
We miss him but he has left a great legacy for us to remember and celebrate. Happy Birthday, Dad! B.Rad and SaraMitch and Haley Alli and MomTricia and Brandon Jenn and Andrew

Monday, December 15, 2008

The exchanging of the gifts...

How does your family exchange Christmas gifts? Does everyone give to everyone? Do you just do kid exchanges? Do you give family gifts? Do you rotate names? Or draw names? We draw names. Every year around Halloween in both families. In the Rencher family it has become a bit of a joke because we have one person in the family who nobody wants to draw. We will call him or her P. Mad for our purposes today. When we get ready to draw my sibling group which includes in-laws, go into panic mode. Some start chanting their mantra "Not P. Mad. Not P. Mad. " Over and over. Others close their eyes and their lips start moving in a silent prayer. Some hold their breath. The wives (who let's face it is doing the shopping for both gifts) threaten husbands that they had better not draw P. Mad or they are dead meat! Then comes the inevitable moment when someone opens their little slip of paper and the shout out "Nooooooo!" rings throughout the house as they fall to their knees. I have actually seen my sweet brother Andrew cheat and throw this name back in the bowl! It is getting bad people. Every year people voice their philosophies of how to beat the system. "Go first", "Draw 2 and play eanie meanie," "Try to read through the paper","Bribe Alli to put the name in after they have drawn" (that might be a good side business Alli!) Whatever the tactics mine seems to be faulty because I swear I have had him 3 out of the last 4 years and I think that fourth year Dave had him!

I have to be honest though. It is not as bad as everyone thinks. He is not as picky as he was in the past. It has become kind of fun for me to give him joke gifts first (I think I stole that from Nate and Paul). So one year he got a bowling ball complete with a bowling bag! He was dying thinking I really did get him that as a gift! Precious expression on that one! One year he got a sweet framed 8x10 picture of me. It was honestly what he asked for, I swear.
Here is a very blurry picture of him getting the picture of me. Look how happy he is. Isn't it great I blurred the picture so you can't recognize him? It was a great photo of me! My brothers actually dressed me for this photo.
What should I get him this year? Is it bad that I know what the funny gift will be but not the real one?

On the flip side. Everyone wants P. Mad to get their name because 2 years ago when he had me, his wife (oops I totally typed her name, that would so give it away) told him he had to actually get my the gift without her help. Needless to say Christmas day came and P. Mad kept trying to convince us all to wait on the sibling exchange. You see HE HAD NO GIFT FOR ME! Ha-ha. I totally thought he was joking but he honestly didn't. I actually found it all pretty funny and I wasn't upset at all. Probably because I knew that I would have mocking power on this one forever! Well P. Mad felt so bad that he went out the very next day and bought everything on my list I had sent him. It was Great! So now everyone hopes that he gets their name and that he forgets to get the gift!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Carter Cousin Christmas!

Lael and Rowena Carter are my wonderful grandparents who have 6 great children and 23 grandchildren and I have lost count of how many great grandchildren. I think it is the 30's somewhere. Somebody out there knows. Alli? Here they are with 12 of the great-grandkids. The 23 grandkids are pretty wonderful, especially if you ask Lael and Rowena! According to my grandparents I could do absolutely anything and for them I would try! I had a great but short visit with them this last week and I really should go more often because they fill me with love and remind me of all things good. Also this last week was one of my favorite holiday events! The Carter Cousin Christmas Party! Eight years ago Tricia and I planned the first ever get together of this kind. We had dinner and played the Carter chimes and played Ben games! Ben games are those that start with "Whoever hasn't played this before needs to leave the room" and everyone stays in the room for fear of what Ben will do to you when you come back! It was great. Here are those who were able to attend that year!
This year B. Rad and his lovely wife, Sara, hosted and it was, as always, a delight to see everyone who could come. I am always so thrilled to see my cousins and the great people they married. Here are Brad and Andrew in their matching outfits! (cute picture thanks to Alli)Happy Brandon and Tired Tricia! (cute picture thanks to Alli) The girls! The boys! Which one is expecting? (cute picture thanks to Alli)She talks with her hands!
We missed Josh and Jennifer, Grant and Becky, Ben and Janae, Miranda and JD, Jake and Mary, Cambria and Kaile, and Elder Carter, Emily and Carter. Carrie and Mike win the prize for coming the longest distance. Thanks for making the effort you two! We loved seeing you and your wee one! I am in a picture! (thanks to Alli) Lots of laughs! (thanks to Alli) (for the picture, not the laughter) (I mean I am glad she laughed but not that we were laughing at her... oh never mind) Alli looking at me like I am crazy! I have no idea what those other two are doing.
This year we brought white elephant gifts and had a lot of laughs involving those! Alli's Cousin Bowl was my favorite and I actually got it in the end! She modged-podged a picture of every cousin onto a big wooden bowl! It is hilarious!! Colin not only came but he brought a date! Drama Jenn! (thanks to Alli) (Actually Andrew brought her into the family so I should thank him) (I meant the picture)
I have been truly blessed with great cousins who are great examples for me in living a great life despite the trials that come upon us!
Christmas 2008
(Picture courtesy of Alli, thanks Alli, you're the best!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ornaments for 2008!

One of my many million readers asked if I was planning on posting the ornaments that we gave the boys this year. I thought that was a great idea. So here they are. Head on down the line for the real post for today....
Joe-Joe got Buzz Lightyear because..... he really likes Buzz Lightyear.
Alex got his Kindergarten ornament because he started school this year.

Jonathan got this pretty gift ornament and inside of it is a transparent figure that says "The Gift of the Holy Ghost" because that is the best gift that he got this year! Clevvverrrr.
Aaron got the basketball snowman cuz he played comp b-ball this year.
Josh got this South Davis Junior High ornament cuz he started Junior High. This was a fun one to make!