Thursday, February 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

All 23 of  us at my house for the holidays had a terrific time ushering in the New Year. 

New Year's Eve we enjoyed being at the pool.  We didn't stay super long, but it was fun to go swimming in the winter!  If the water would have been warmer we would have stayed much longer!
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We did a little shopping that afternoon before heading home.  We wanted to check out post-Christmas decor deals!
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New Year's Eve is yet another party.  Yes, this is our third night of partying!  We had some fun foods, people worked on puzzles, watched movies and of course played Monopoly.
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Lois creamed us in Monopoly.  Last time she played at New Year's was over 10 years ago....can't remember.  Maybe she'll play again next year?  I last a little while but eventually was too poor to stay in.  It's tradition to play this game every year.
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We signed up for cable TV just for over the holidays (which we never got on time! but that's another story) and of course tuned in to the ball drop at Times Square.  All of us were up except I think Maggie.  And she fell asleep a couple of minutes before mid-night.  It was quite the party!
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New Year's kiss...tradition!
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Happy New Year!  We are in the future as Sheldon and then below, my brother Sam, are still back in 2015.
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A bit random, but one day that we were out an about we saw a horse and buggy.  There is a huge Mennonite population here.  Always fun to see a horse and buggy out. I must say, I love the clip-clopping of the hooves!
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For breakfast, I guess more like brunch, we had Scotch Eggs!  So yummy.  It's  a hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, rolled in crushed corn flakes or Ritz crackers.  I should request these for Mother's Day or something.  They are sooo good!
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So far the new year is going well!  And thankfully no one else got strep from Haley. I love the beginning of a new year.  We made some changes to our take home pay to hopefully help us save more money to either buy/build a building for Lee's practice, or to buy/build a larger home.  Right now we're leaning towards doing something real estate wise for Lee's practice.  We are saving up too for a different vehicle and I'm determined to save for it with the money we will take home every month.  Usually we take home all earnings every month, except for retained earnings.  This year we will do a set income each month.  Though of course if we make less than expected one month, we'll take home less. But living on a set income is going to be different for us!  Lee and I have talked about different expenses that will come up during the year and are trying to plan accordingly.  It will be interesting and challenging to see how this year turns out!  We are a little slow on goals this year (money goals included) and we need to set some specific ones this weekend. The year is already passing quickly!

 It's gonna be a great year!  The best yet!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Parties all Around

The end of the year is always fun and full of celebrations.  Along with Thanksgiving, then Christmas, my Dad, a brother and I all have birthdays within a week of each other.  I, for one, love having a birthday during the holidays!  I never had to go to school on my birthday, usually I get to be with a lot of family, and since there is family around, I get presents from them too.  One of the cutest things is getting presents from my nieces and nephews. 

The day after Christmas, with Haley feeling MUCH better, we went to a hibachi grill.  It was a lot of fun. The chef/cook wasn't as animated as the one we had before, but it was still fun watching them cook the food in front of us and trying to catch shrimp in our mouths.  The kids actually loved the broth soup!  Their fried rice with grilled vegetables is sooo good! 
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Trying to catch shrimp. 
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Cal and Lee were successful at catching the shrimp.
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Late afternoon Monday family arrived!  It's always so fun having cousins, Aunts and Uncles around! Darrell & Stacie's family, and Lois & Jeff's family arrived Monday.  Steph, Andy and Maggie joined us Wednesday night.  When everyone was here there were 23 of us staying at my house.  We kicked the kids out of their bedrooms and all the adults had their own room.  Worked great for our smaller home.
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We had family home evening together Monday evening. 
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Tuesday was Darrell's birthday!  The big 4-2! It was fun putting up a few decorations.
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After a fun Sharp Shopper trip we headed to the church to play dodge ball.
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Later that afternoon we went on a nice hike at Massanutten.  We had such great weather the whole time family was here!
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Birthday buddies. 6 years and 1 day apart.  Three siblings in between us!
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"...the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness." Elder L. Tom Perry, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, April 2015 General Conference.  He passed away in 2015.
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We had a fun party for Darrell!  Happy Birthday Brother!
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I don't normally wear fake pearls with a BYU shirt, but it's definitely worthy of them, right?  Or maybe I should wear real pearls, not the strand my daughter tugged over my head.
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Nice flame!  It's gonna be a great year!
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One of his daughter bought him gummy candy in the form of sunny-side up eggs.
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Next up, my birthday!  Lee worked part of the day of my birthday as we didn't do much that morning.  He was busy the night before prepping birthday foods like scrubbing potatoes for baked potatoes and making brownies.
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I worked out a few times with Lois and Stacie.  The day I came in for my birthday and swiped my card the program played a little birthday song for me!
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These pictures are out of order, but after my birthday dinner  and party we went roller skating! 
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It was especially fun seeing Lois roller skate!!!
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Maggie had a blast too!
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So before skating we had dinner and then a party.  Wow, 36!  It's kind of weird because now I'm even closer to 40.  I definitely don't want to go back to my 20s, but being close to 40 seems, well, weird!  I have 4 years to get over it.  Ha.  Maybe I'll have a mid-life crisis in a few years?!
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I had a nice glow from my candles too.  Not the flame that Darrell had though, ha ha.
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Two of my nieces gave me some caramel bars. Another niece gave me some sprinkle-covered chocolate chips.  Darrell gave me some awesome truffles, Stacie gave me a super cute decor bowl, Steph gave me a fun gift card, Clark gifted me a chocolate bar, and Lois a super cute two-tone pink statement necklace.  And thanks to my parents and parents-in-law for the money!  Deb gave me a cute eternity necklace this past summer, which I showed pictures of a few months ago.
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I wasn't sure what Lee's gift was.  I was sort of thinking a new computer.....  But he bought me something else super fun.  I was kind of confused when I unwrapped Dave Ramsey's book, The Total Money Makeover.  It's already our copy and I've read it. 
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But there was a surprise inside!  He got us sweet tickets to the Smart Conference.  It's a one day event in Florida with different speakers.  A couple of them I've read their books--Meg Meeker's "Boys should be Boys" and "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, along with "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud. So excited about!  Rachel Cruze, Dave's daughter will be speaking too and we will have lunch with them during the lunch break.
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One more picture of the skating fun.  We both had great birthdays.  So fantastic to be together with family!
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