Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Adopted Grandparents

Last night we went over to Andrew & Diana's house. They are our adopted grandparents. We had a great night eating pizza and dessert, and talking. We used to live across the street from them for many years, and we just try to refrain from bringing up that we don't live there anymore, because we all get choked up.
Andrew and Diana are the kind of people you instantly fall in love with. They have warm and welcoming arms, as well as a rich religious and Italian heritage. We can talk to them for hours and still not be out of things to say. : )

Here's a picture of Tyson & the Ferrante's dog, Bella. Bella is so cute. She's fun-loving & eats as well as any of us. She used to bark every morning that my dad or brothers would leave the house. She's our adopted dog. : )
At any rate, we had a lovely evening last night visiting and exchanging gifts. I feel at peace in their home. They have a beautiful atmosphere of love and kindness. When Mitch & I grow up, we want to be like Andrew and Diana. We love them so much!


I think we finally got around to decorating our Christmas tree last week on the 16th or 17th of December. About time, right? It was amazing to me that Tyson actually understood what to do. He was whinning at my feet while I was decorating, and it's because he wanted to help. I was in awe as I let him decorate the Christmas tree, and as he helped me set up all of my nativities (he likes to point to Jesus and say, "Baby"). How exciting that at 17 months, he can already feel the Spirit of Christmas, and he wants to participate. This also reminds me of a Sunday night a about a week ago, when we went in the car with my mother-in-law to secretly drop off something to a family in their ward for the 12 days of Christmas. Tyson had never done that before, but he totally understood what was going on. He knew we were doing something nice for someone, and he got all excited as we drove off. It's amazing to me what he can understand, and I'm grateful that he's developing at an early age, an appreciation, in his own, small, little way for the things that we cherish at Christmas time.

You Can't Catch Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man

According to Tyson, the best seat in the house is under the cookie table. : ) Grandma Fern had another annual Christmas party, and we had a great time. Tyson was quite content playing underneath the table while he watched everyone talk & play. He cracks me up!

Oh Christmas Tree!

We went to Dane & Haleigh's house about a week ago for a Christmas get together. We had a lot of delicious food and played several games. Mitch & I were on a team with the Rich's and he obviously got selected to be decorated as The Christmas Tree. Our team didn't win, but we were the best because we swiped the Christmas lights, and Mitch was still shinning in the dark. : ) The other game that CRACKED ME UP was when Dane was trying to open the gift in the middle with the circle while using oven mitts and a spoon--he decided that the most effective way to get to the prize was by whacking the present with the spoon. I almost died laughing; it was probably one of the funniest moments I've seen in a LONG time. At the end of the game, he didn't get the prize, but the person who did opened it up & the CD inside had a cracked case, and a chunk broken out of the CD because of the intense efforts everyone used to get to the middle. It was hilarious. Haleigh and Dane threw a great party.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lins is Coming Home!!!!!!!!!

My best friend is graduating college today. She's getting her Bachelor's degree in Accounting. She picked such a hard major, and it's been such a long road. Today's commencemnt ceremony is an amazing accomplishment for her to experience. I'm am so happy for her and I'm a bit jealous Jenny got to go to the graduation. : ) I wish so much that I could be there. But, of course, the graduation isn't nearby...it's half way across the world in an exotic place called Laie, Hawaii. If I were rich, I'd be there again right now to give Lindsay a hug. I'm so proud of her, and incredibly happy that she's finally coming home.
Lindsay is the type of person who can talk to anybody about anything.

She knows how to laugh, and live life to its fullest. She never gives up, even when it's really hard. I still can't believe she likes Accounting.... She had to take the hardest classes...one of which we took together & would stay up all hours of the night studying together just trying to finish the STUPID math homework, and we'd pray we would remember how to do the work on the tests.

Lindsay is always generous to others and shows gratitude. She loves to shop, and has done an amazing job of staying frugal while she's in Hawaii...in fact she paid for her school all on her own, and she doesn't have any debt.

Lindsay calls me every time there's something important happening in my life. She couldn't see Tyson until last year Christmas, because she was in the middle of the Pacific, but she sent me flowers, and Tyson a huge teddy bear while I was having the worst hospital stay of my life waiting to birth my first son, and she was on the phone in the middle of the night ready to hear the news when he was born.

Lins is unpredictable.

Lindsay has an open heart and an open mind. She can be friends with anyone, and will support her friends to the best of her ability by being there for them.

Lins can tell me the honest truth straight to my face, and I'll actually listen. I'm so lucky she's my friend. I know I can tell her anything. Just thinking about all of the things we've been through together makes me laugh and cry. I'm so glad she went to Hawaii, because her experiences will benefit her for the rest of her life, but I can't wait until she's home for good. I'm ready to have my best friend back. : )
Congratulations, Lins! Mitch, Tyson, & I, as well as my parents & siblings are so proud of you!!!! We love you, and are so happy you've achieved what you set out to do! You've worked so hard & never gave up. You deserve all the rights and honors that go with your college degree. It's so much more than just a paper--it's years of experiences you can look back on, and remember with happiness because if you can make it through all of the experiences that made you want to scream with college, you can seriously make it through anything! Hope you have a FABULOUS GRADUATION!

What Happens at the Lovell's Stays at the Lovell's

Last weekend we went to Dallas & Jami's Christmas party. It was so much fun. We hung out outside huddled next to the fire pit, because of the freezing weather, while we drank hot chocolate, had snacks, and opened white elephant gifts. We just won't talk about what Crystal and Spencer decided to bring...it'll be safe enough to say that "What happens at the Lovell's stays at the Lovell's". Haha! Mitchell & I left with snowmen mugs & a painting especially by Dallas of a toilet with the words "Best Seat in the House". It's now hanging in our Master Bathroom. : ) Good times!

Putting up Christmas Lights

Tyson was cracking me up this morning. We were finally getting around to putting up our Christmas lights this morning & it was chilly outside. Tyson was wearing warm clothes & shoes, including his Cars jacket. Mitch put the hood on him, and once Tyson saw what he looked like in the mirror, he kept pointing to the bathroom so we could hold him up & show him what he looked like with the hood on, and he'd smile & snicker. He thought it was so funny. He's so cute! I love him. He happens to have the Christmas spirit of joy ALL THE TIME. I've got to be more like that! Mitch did an excellent job, by the way, of making our house look like we celebrate Christmas. Mitch is the bomb.

Twilight Rehab Needed!

The night before Thanksgiving, my Aunt Sue & my cousins wanted to go do a girls thing, so we went to see the best love story of all time on the big screen...Twilight. I try to convince myself that I'm not obsessed with the story or anything, but I really am. I try to think of myself as a well rounded, non-fanatical, unobsessed person who has the self control to not read the books a MILLION times, but the truth of the matter is, that night was the 3rd time I'd seen the movie. The truth is I listen to the soundtrack all the time, the truth is I'm addicted just like everyone else. I happen to enjoy the love triangle story line, I have a Team Edward picture on the wall of my classroom, I let my students work on projects while they listen to Muse in the background, and I think the Cullens are dreamy. It looks like my former anti-trend self is out the window. The truth is I want to see the movie again, and I think it's about time I admit that I need Twilight Rehab, too.
Anyway, it was fun to spend time with my mom & sister, Aunt Sue, Nicole, Mariah, Shelly, & Marnie. It was fun to see them again, and we had fun catching up. I love holidays because of the time we get to spend with family. The pity is that the year goes by so quickly before we see each other again.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jilliam Rocks!

This picture was taken on Monday night by Jilliam's camera phone. : ) We went over to visit him in his new house. There's a group home in Mesa that he lives at, and we're so excited that he moved there, because now he's really close & we can see him more easily now. We used to have to drive to Prescott, which was fun, but down the road is a little faster than up the mountain. We all had a great time on Monday night, just talking, reading Christmas stories, and listening to my dad make Jilliam laugh. Jilliam informed my dad that he's a "crazy man in this world". Well, you spoke the truth, cousin! Jilliam is my favorite cousin & I love him. I took a picture with my camera, too, but this copy of our pose means more to me, because this is a copy from Jilliam's camera phone that he promptly emailed over to me on Monday night after our visit. I appreciated that, because I know it takes Jilliam more time and effort because of his cerebral palsy, & he is very thoughtful. I should be more like him. He's the best. If you're reading this, Jilliam, I love you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tyson's First Prayer

At dinner tonight, Tyson put his little arms up to his chin like always for the blessing (he can't really fold his arms, but he'll put his little fists up together under his chin), and for the first time, he was repeating words to the prayer to bless the food. : ) It was so sweet. It must make God so happy to see little children trying to do the right thing. They are so pure and innocent. We spend our childhood trying to grow up, but sadly by the time we're grown up we have to spend the rest of our lives trying to gain back the qualities we had as children. If only we could all be like little children--trusting, full of faith & hope, believing, & full of love for everyone.