Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays...

Here are 4 reasons to Celebrate the MAGIC of Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

Family Night Sleddin'

Family Night Activity

4' Wheelin in the Back Country...

Here's Hoping the night will never end...

Sleigh Rides anyone? Can't seem to get enough of the bumpy rides and snow jumps.

Chad...the biggest kid at heart...found an awesome parking lot to slip -n-slide on the ice and then drifted the sleds into the snow packed fields...this is definitely a highlight to the adventures in the Utah snow. The ACTIVITIES of family life continue...

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I was so impressed with this message today...I wanted to leave these thoughts during this Christmas season. Christmas gifts suggested by President Howard W. Hunter:

  • Give to your enemy forgiveness,
  • To your opponent tolerance,
  • To your friend your heart,
  • To all men charity, for the hands that help
  • Are holier than the lips that pray,
  • To every child a good example.
  • and to yourself--respect

This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.

Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning--with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most.

I love the words in these thoughts!!! Our family wrote down gifts this evening of things that we would like to give to the Savior this year. I loved to think about what I could do for the Savior, after all he has given me and my family. I am so grateful for this time to have my thoughts turn solely to him...as he is always there for me. What a beautiful time of year. May we all enjoy this season. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday JOY in Music

MUSIC ...Music... Sounds of the Heart
Jaren had his first traveling violin concert...

Jaren & Alex...3 months practice and prep.

Music is what feelings sound like--author unknown

Jumping off the orchestras stairs was more fun than you would think.

This face shows exactly how we felt listening to Jaren playing his violin.
Music is the universal language of mankind, we all understand it...
what a beautiful talent to share.
Music cleanses the understanding, inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if were left to itself--Henry Ward Beechler
Click to play Joyful Sounds

Monday, December 15, 2008

embracing HUGS with Great Grandma

Answered Prayers

We visited and brought smiles...and enjoyed each other...yet grandma struggled to hear...

The children gathered as Jaren said a prayer to help grandma find her hearing aid that had been lost for most of the week. The cleaning ladies of her assisted living were unable to find the priceless plastic device that helps give our grandma the sweet sounds that she hears. Grandma fell near her bedroom door and was not able to find the hearing aid that tumbled out of her ear.

Sure enough...a small voice prompted us to look right under where our grandma was sitting...her tiny hearing aid was caught underneath her chair among the metal legs. We exchanged several hugs. We felt so blessed. Grandma Swenson was comforted once more. Grandmas Animal Crackers were handed out in celebration. We gave thanks to our Savior.


Piggy bank bundle

"Cash"ing IN

Teaching the value of Saving

Our boys have had a coin collector box since they could barely walk...we broke them open today to see how much change could be found. Every cent will be contributed to their missionary fund. A great investment.

Cade was mostly excited about looking at all of the dates on the coins instead of counting the money.

We have seen the boys personalities come out in regards to money whenever we have played their all time favorite game Monopoly. The Values they learn...and the Choices they make with their pennies earned will place an enormous outcome on the choices that effect their future.
Hard Work...Savings... Choices
The safe way to double money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.--Frank Hubbard

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Click to play Island Park

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

a hippopotomus for christmas 2

Seth, Cade & Jaren
Enjoying the Christmas trees that were up for auction while we waited to go on stage...their favorite tree was the Dr. Seuss Christmas tree. They love supporting their sister and had a good time listening to her. They take turns taking her to voice lessons each week that is close by our home.

Holding hands gave that extra support of I Can Do IT!!!

Brooklyn belted out I want a hippopotomus for Christmas exceptionally loud in the microphone along with its verse...not shy at all! The dance moves were a landslide comparison to Dances with the Stars. So-oo-oo CUTE! The following week they sang at the library and a retirement center...fun for everyone.

a HIPPOPOTOMUS for Christmas

The Sunshine Generation
Brooklyn-Age 3

Brooklyn & Mom literally have butterflies in our tummies as we anticipate Brooklyn's first singing performance in front of a large audience of people we did not know....Somehow the short time on moms lap made everything just a little bit better.

The Sunbeam Bunch

The Christmas Jubilee (Ogden-Eccles Center)
The Christmas JubileeBrooklyn got her nerve up to sing with her friends...I told her to sing just like Shirley Temple who she loves to listen to.

Grandma Hawks gave Brooklyn some of her first singing lessons....I just want to hug them all! Brooklyn, Aubryn, and Madalyn...quite the threesome!!! If only I could keep them little...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Island Park getaway...

A well needed Retreat with cousins!!! The search was over after we found our treasure during the geo-caching hunt.
The boys loved the bullets that were left behind on the geo-caching hunt. Carter was the first to spot the camoflauged treasure box amongst several fallen trees.

The beautiful towering pines and auburn dogwood was breathtaking against the white snow in our hunt for the treasure.

The geo-cache coin that we left for someone else to find...

Theres no place like family

All tied up...Brenna and Brooklyn were inseparable anyway, but just to make sure they stayed together, Chad helped them to become permanently attached.

ATV rides

Great Food ...and way too much fun.

Helicopter rides....anyone?

Adventures with the Fritz Bunch

lovin' the snow

ATV rides while being pulled on the sled...A great time to enjoy the outdoors.

Island Parks gas station runs became an all time favorite...Uncle Aaron treated everyone every time they filled up.

Roasting Marshmallows in the snow...what a great way to spend a cold evening.
The best part was being together...a well needed break, and an incredible way to spend it.