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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