Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year, and breathe...

As 2011 ends, I say good riddens!  
I feel like we have had some trials and some struggles that I am quick to say goodbye to.  I've been thinking a lot lately on how we've had these continuous obstacles that we've just been chugging along on what seemed to be an endless road.  Struggles such as schooling for Matthew, a painful work environment for him, health issues with Kloey, selling a house and buying a new one... struggles that we have been praying over, praying for answers and encouragement and praying for strength to just keep going.  But this year has brought them to a happy end, every last one of them have all been resolved.  With the close of 2011, the major burdens and worries we carried on our shoulders are over.  Schooling led to a Bachelors.  New fabulous job came in June.  Kloey is perfect, and all her many many medical bills are paid off.  We signed at title and sold the old house... and we are all moved into the new one.
Dare I say that, but they are over...
Don't get me wrong, I am scared to death to see what may be next.  It seems too nice and too clean for everything this year to magically and precisely end, nicely and smoothly and so perfectly... It may be the pessimist in me that worries something big may be coming, like Matthew being called as Bishop or something crazy like that... but for now, I am so grateful and I'm just going to take it all in and BREATHE.

A quote that I found a few weeks ago and put on the top of our blog, really stands out to me.  I think it's easy to overlook so many blessings that we get, and the more aware we are of our blessings, the more grateful we are to have them, the more we noticed more blessings... it's a circular effect really.  I may put that quote in vinyl to hang in our house somewhere, it's a great reminder to be mindful of all the good that is happening around us.
It's an interesting feeling.  I'm so glad we had these trials and experiences of 2011, because they've helped us grow and placed us in better situations now.  And they brought peace with their outcomes.  They have made us stronger.  However, I'm so glad that they are over, but I'm so glad that we had them too.  Life is better and more appreciated.  Definite growth that wouldn't have come about without them...

Another neat thing to note... Matthew and I will be married a decade this year.  We have gone through so many things together.  Up the rollercoasters of life in anticipation and flying down the rollercoaster- holding hands and screaming.  Good times with a good man, and many more decades... lucky for him, women age well on my side :)  ... (we had a neighbor knock on our door inquiring who built our courtyard, and she asked if my mom was home!!!  I digress.....)

Burdens lifted.
We have been blessed.
Breathing is so much easier and enjoyable now.

Here's to 2012, or how my young women say it Twenty - One - Two!!! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland...

One of the absolute greatest things about living in Vegas is that we are 35 minutes away from a completely different climate--- Mt. Charleston!  We can escape our sun and palm trees and dive into a whole new world... although don't get me wrong, the best part is coming home and leaving all that snow behind us!!! :) 
We decided to take the girls on a fun midday snow adventure.  Kadyn has NEVER seen snow, we haven't been since Kacey was Kloey's age...

The girls had a blast, as you can see!
Daddy liked to get in on the fun too!
 Kylie and Kadyn, somehow ended up going backwards!
 They also learned how to make snowballs, and they all ganged up on Daddy.  He didn't stand a chance.

 My sweet Kloey Belle!
 She was definitely slipping and sliding out there.
 Daddy did make sure that Kloey got to ride the sled a few times too.
 Kadyn was so cute running in the snow.  At one point, she was running after Kacey and Kylie on the sled... she was just running in excitement... but her body was going faster than she could handle.  She face-planted head on right in the snow, she didn't cry or anything... it was too funny!  I wish I got a picture of that!

 Fun times had by all!

 Look at that face :)
So by about 2:30, it looked like 5:30 really... we decided to pack up and head back down the mountain... and we were all starving (got our money's worth at CiCi's Pizza afterwards, although I can only imagine how raggidy we looked... hahaha)... So we were heading down the mountain on this horrible 2 lane, acutally really more like 1.5 lane roads.  And the slush was turning back to ice, it was getting dark and colder.  There was an SUV stuck right in the middle.  Traffic couldn't get thru on either side.  I was nervous because even with our all-wheel drive, our tailend was still swaying from side to side on the ice.  Matthew ended up getting out of our car and helping them move their SUV, he's really a smart bad weather driver.  He had them back up and do a sharp turn into where they were going... anyways, it was genious... totally worked.  If he hadn't of gotten out to help, we'd still be sitting there.  He's such a good driver in stuff like that, I sat in the passenger seat just praying with my eyes closed as he drove us past all the cars. 
As we drove off we both agreed... it's so nice to be able to leave the ice and the snow behind us and return to sun and palm trees.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


So we conducted Christmas differently this year... Instead of crazy madness insane presents, we had a theme.  This year the girls got 4 specific gifts (which greatly helped Santa plan and shop... and when that person got the gift in the category, that person was done.  Check mark.  Done.)  The 4 categories (which I totally stole from my friend, thanks TARA!) are: something you want, something you need, something you wear, and something you read.
We added 2 additional gifts also, one gift from Mom and Dad and one gift was a Secret Sister present.

*The Secret Sister gift was brilliant.  Matthew took Kacey and Kloey.  I took Kylie and Kadyn.  And one evening, we hit 2 different Targets.  Kylie had Kacey, and vice versa.  And Kadyn had Kloey and vice versa.  So we shopped, and it was really fun to see what the girls picked out for eachother and to take less focus on the "gimmies" and more focus on giving to someone else.  I think they really enjoyed it, and we'll definitely be doing that again next year.
 On Christmas Eve, we did some major baking... as always.  This year we had brownies, spice cookies (iced and decorated by the munchkins), pumpkin bread, peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's kiss, and...... something else, I can't remember.... So that tuckered us out and it only filled our morning.  We had our mandatory Chinese dinner... although we were so anxious, it was really lunch.  I'm really impressed that the girls have their specific Chinese dishes that they'll eat... it was hot and good, and I have no pictures... but our table was full of food and egg rolls and won tons (love those!)!!!  We finished putting our Christmas gifts to our friends together, and we headed out in the blistering cold nighttime to deliver gifts.  (It's freezing here).  We had worked up quite the appetite, and shamefully I say... that we hit Taco Bell on Christmas Eve in our late night, starvation.  HAHA, not proud... but it was good!
We open 1 present on Christmas Eve... so we picked the box from Aunt Chiarina...
 It was a singing Justin Bieber Beaver!  So stinking CUTE!  Kloey is in love with it, she's really very good at singing BABY, Baby Baby..... OH.  She's starting dancing to it too.  It's the funniest thing.  We make her do it a few times a day for our entertainment.  She never lets us down!!! :)
Thank you Aunt K!
 The little elves in the laundry room... the tired little elves get moving along on Christmas Eve.  Much to be done while little people try to sleep.
 Our Christmas cookies and milk were ready for Santa...
 Tired little elves, but happy to say Santa came!  Funny how 4 little presents each (that increased to 6 with one from mom and dad and one from a sister) creates so many gifts...
 And comes Christmas morning.  We make the girls sit at the top of the stairs.  Funny, reading facebook, I've seen so many pictures of our friends' families doing the exact same thing.  HAHA, I thought it was just our wacko thing.
 Matthew likes to take pics before the chaos of Christmas.  It's all they can do to refrain themselves.  I'm surprised they all didn't summersault down.

 And chaos. 
But happy chaos.
Everyone yelling, screams with presents, excitement over other people's presents.  And what I finally wanted............ GRATITUDE for the 1 present that they really wanted.  Christmas isn't about the crap... because that becomes my job of decluttering in the Spring and more often than not, all those crappy excess toys get tossed.
Christmas this year for Matthew and I, brought peace and comfort, in the midst of a tumultuous world.
For the girls, I saw:
Gratitude for the specific thing they truly wanted and anticipated for.
Enjoyment out of watching their sister open the gift they bought.
During Cinnamon Roll Christmas breakfast, we asked the older girls a few questions about Christ and the true meaning of Christmas.  I was pleased with their answers.  Commercialism did not win over the Boyd home this year :) 
 Kylie wanted a specific microphone, that makes fun sound effects with her voice.
Kacey wanted a Justing Bieber doll, he sings "Somebody to Love...." when you push his stomach.
Kadyn wanted a mailbox, that Kloey likes alot too.  Kloey got a singing, pink soccer ball.

 Our trash cans were full to the brim. 
 Appropriately Santa gave "something to wear" items... being Christmas dresses.  Kloey's was full of glitter, meanwhile after 1 hour of church........ Matthew's navy suit was full of glitter also. :)
Merry Christmas!

Day after Christmas Target shopping, got loads of stuff to decorate outside our house.... half off.  We have alot already, but our neighborhood decks it out big time.  We had to step up our game, so I bought clearanced stuff for next year.  Loads of wrapping paper, bags, brownie mixes, half off red oreos (who cares that they are red!), lots of tape, and this cool new contraption for my wrapping organization....


My favorite Christmas Season of All, PART THREE

And we keep on chugging along.  Today I got home from my CVSing, and Matthew was making breakfast and I said, "what shall we do today?"
With great excitement, he replied..."Let's get Kloey's ears pierced!"
And that's how it really happened.  Honestly.  He's been bugging me that we haven't done it yet, the other girls we all did at anywhere from 9 to 11 months.  Kloey's nearly 18 months... So guess what we did today!!!
 Poor unsuspecting little thing.  She was so great.  Matthew's got his holding job down.  Kloey sat eating her lollipop.  All was well.  She made a little face when the lady wiped her ears with cold alcohol to clean the spot. 
 She got pierced!

And she didn't love it.  But better to do it now and get it over with.  Poor thing, she kept crying in the car too.  She's the same way with her shots, but she was fine after we gave her some french fries... and she hasn't touched them since.  Now I get to clean them 3 times a day for 6 weeks... oh well, been there done that, 3 times before.  We can for sure handle it again.

This is our new afternoon toy!  As you can see Matthew's putting it together, not fast enough as you can imagine from a 7, 5, and 3 year old's eyes.
 And they get to color the whole thing!  They divided up walls, to make it fair.  Kylie, she wasn't born yesterday... picked the one with the chimney of course.  Should be interesting to see what it looks like in the end!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My favorite Christmas Season of ALL, part 2

I LOVE Christmas break... we can sleep in and no hurrying people out the door, we can get dressed at 1 pm or just stay in our jammies all day and do whatever... no homework worries (I mean for me too, not having to listen to Kylie complain... haha)... we've been having friends come over to play with us, we've been going over to friends' houses to play.... meeting for group lunches and TAKING OVER places with our 115 out of school wild kiddos.... everyone is just enjoying company and having fun.  I love it!
Kylie is such a big girl, I look at this picture and I'm like "who is that child?!?!"  Oh yeah, she's mine...  it boggles my mind that she's grown up enough to go play in the cul-de-sac with the other kids.  (Emily, one of our favorite babysitters was there too)  Kylie's best buds with Emily's younger sister Isabelle, so they were skating with all the neighborhood kids, Emily took this picture and gave it to me.  So Isabelle let Kylie try her rollerblades... guess who wants rollerblades now?  Haha, Kacey's is thrilled, because she's going to inherit the rollerskates! 
 Disney Day Camp
This was really fancy... a girl in our ward, she loves all things Disney.  Her and her friends put on a whole show filled with skits and games and activities for the kids who want to come.  As you can see, these teenage girls go all out.  My girls were so impressed!  They really thought they were the real princesses.  They had such a blast, and in the car ride home................. silence.  They were so tuckered out after the 3 hour festivities; it was great.
This  next picture was from our Ward Christmas Party.  Notice only Kylie and Kacey were in it... by this time Kadyn and Kloey had retired with Matthew to the car.  This was the most fabulous ward party I have ever been too.  Every minor detail was thought out, I wish I had more pictures.  Besides the trains running everywhere, space for kids to color, write Santa letters and play games.... and besides the massive ham dinner with mormon funeral potatoes and costco rolls... the theme was The Polar Express.  There was a drawing/painting of the front of the train that must have been 10 feet by 10 feet.  Massive.  And at the top, there was a smoke machine so it looked like the train was chugging along.  There were snowflakes amid thin air... and singing programs and poems... and of course, a conducter of the Polar Express.  The YW were dressed special as the hopped around dancing to appropriate tunes, reenacting the hot chocolate scene from the movie and delivering hot chocolate to all the kids.  Then of course, Santa came... with nothing but BELLS for all the children.  By this time (4 hours later), the younger two were so exhausted from the food and activities.  They had to go out to the car with Christmas cupcakes... so we stood in line for Santa.  And let me tell you, this Santa knew the girls names.... oh no, he does not know my girls.  I know this for a fact... he's a husband to a lady etc etc etc.  But anyways, even people that know us forget which one is which, they know they are all K names but it's hard to keep up with it.  I inquired... they had him memorize a photo book with all the Primary children's names in it.  So he could acknowledge each and every child right as they sat on his lap.  You could have pushed me down with a feather when he said "Well hello there Kylie and Kacey."  I can't believe someone would go to such great lengths to make a little kid have a good night, we have a lot of kids in our ward!  I left with such a positive feeling and I know for the girls it made a long lasting impression.  Such an amazing night! 
We took the girls to the Drive In to see The Chipmunks, Chipwrecked!
Super fun, we got McDonalds beforehand.  Kloey ate 5 nuggets, FIVE!  We all snuggled in our coats and sweatshirts, with our blankets and our candy and hot chocolate.  We played musical chairs the whole time; it was hilarious.  It was SO cold outside, but somehow all the hot air in our car kept us toasty.  In fact, Matthew opened the car windows a few times! hahaha 
 Big screen, great view right up front and center.
Disney commericial prior to the movie...
 As you can see, he's the most excited to go see Alvin & the Chipmunks!
 This is them prior to our comfy drive in seating arrangements... in fact, this is prior to food also... you can see the lack of excitement on Kacey... envision her saying, "I'm hungry...."  She ate through the whole movie, every candy and french fry, every last drip of coca cola... we were just praying she wouldn't say, "I've gotta go potty!"
 Aren't we cute!?!?!? :)
*** More fun times to come later***

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My favorite Christmas Season of ALL, part 1

Dare I say that this has been my most favorite Christmas season of all! 
This year I think has been the best... I'm not sure if it's because the girls are older so there's alot of fun and anticipation radiating off of them that makes it more exciting for all of us... or maybe if the Christmas Spirit is just stronger in our house more than before because we adjusted ourselves with less focus on gifts this year and more focus on family and doing fun stuff together.  But this whole month has been fabulous... and it's not even Christmas yet and we still have more fun stuff in store for this month!!!
So here are some random pictures taken in the past few weeks, I'm not sure if they are even in chronological order... but... the girls got to go to the Air Show at Nellis Air Force Base.  A friend in on ward is a Colonel, and he was able to take a group with him on for the family/friends showing.  The girls had a blast, Matthew took nearly 150 pictures of all the neat planes and their tricks in the sky.  As you can tell, it was cold!!!! 

 This is a quick one of the extended fam on Thanksgiving!  Which was of course followed by us (minus Yaya, Papa, and Kloey) going to see Arthur Christmas, which was SUCH a cute movie.  Kadyn's remarks were so funny through that movie, made Matthew and my whole day!!!!
 Thanksgiving Morning's CVS Couponing Excursion!  I got all this at a profit of $95.  My receipt was taller than my cashier.  It was magnificent!!!!!!!
 Getting our Christmas decorations up!!!  I'm so bad, I pretended to be busy the whole entire time so I didn't have to do any real work.  Haha, Matthew put up 3 trees... Although I did do my full Willow Tree Nativity, mainly because I don't trust anyone else to do it...
 And we had a wonderful visit from Uncle Aaron and Aunt Valerie.  My girls love them so much!  Aaron has always been a regular visitor, because when he was in BYU it was easiest for him to just come to us... so the girls are used to seeing him alot.  And Val is from Vegas, so we get to see them whenever they come home which is such a treat for us.  My girls ADORE Val, she's so good with them and she let's them climb all over her and play with her hair... you'd never know she just met them 2 years ago.  It's like she's been with us all along!
 AND THEN WE WENT TO DISNEYLAND!  We wanted to do Disney Annual Passes this year, but it just wouldn't work for us.  So we anticipate doing them next Fall, but we still had to do our traditional December trip to Disneyland.  We love it; it was freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing cold but absolutely incredible!  Notice Matthew's goofball CARS hat.  He loves it, NO ONE else has it.  They don't sell it anymore, we get comments all the time.  He's such a big kid at heart.
 Jake, from the Neverland Pirates... Kadyn was smitten by him.  All the girls hugged him, and we moved along.  Kadyn wouldn't let go.  She just stayed there, and Jake made these hand motions like "Go on, I'll just keep her here." 
It was so cute.
 Family Santa Shot
(Do you see my husband in shorts and a tshirt?  I told him no shorts, I wasn't packing shorts... he snuck them in the suitcase! And even though it was 45 degrees, he wore them)
 Kloey Belle!  She was such a trooper at Disney.  Maybe we've conditioned her to be so... she ate whatever, she slept whenever, she played with whatever.  She is my perfect child, such a easy little thing.  At night, I'd take Kadyn and Kloey back for baths... They'd lay on Papa and fall asleep in the hotel... Daddy, Kylie, and Kacey partied it up in the park still.  Yaya and I would eat all the yummy munchies we bought that day... it was great fun! **this was Kylie's sweatshirt from '06!
 Now, we go to Kadyn's Preschool Christmas Program.  This is my 5th Preschool Program, and it was probably my favorite.  Kadyn was quite the little diligent performer.  She knew the words and the hand motions in her songs, and she had a speaking part and totally knew it---  better than her sisters at that age.
 Kadyn putting her "S" on the tree: "S is for the star, that shined so bright above."  ... which was her part.  And of course, this is my best friend Tate!  She does such a good job with her preschool kids.
 Sweet Girl
 AND we start the Gingerbread house making!  This is me, busting out my glue gun for GUARANTEED Gingerbread house stability and success.
 Matthew got a little possessive over Kadyn and Kacey's Gingerbread house.  HAHA!  But they just wanted to decorate it with the candy anyways.

 Kylie's Gingerbread House, she's such a diva.
 Kacey and Kadyn's house... what is Kacey doing?  As you can see, Mattthew is still very focused.
 We have to do some "winterizing" of pipes and stuff outside.  When I saw him, I had to stop him and grab a picture... it is so cold here!!!
 A real special treat .... my 90 year old grandmother, Oma, she makes these special German cookies.  I remember them from Christmastime when I was little.  She'd spend days making them, and she'd pack them up in tupperware in her suitcases when she'd take the train to come up and visit us.  It was always special when she'd open her suitcase and take out all the boxes of goodies.  So, my 90 year old Oma, spent days making her cookies... and specially wrapped them and spent $40 shipping them to us.  THE GIRLS WERE IN HEAVEN!  They got home from school and knew exactly what it was and they dug right into the yumminess!
*Kylie does not wear glasses, the glass is poked out... she has 2 pairs that she wears as "accessories" to certain outfits... don't ask!  all in the name of fashion... but her teacher is cool with it, so whatever.....
 St. Nicholas Day... we put our shoes out one night, and we got a special treat the next morning!!!
 And here's some more disneyland....

 Daddy with Kacey, Papa with Kadyn, and Kylie was FREE all by herself.  That was a first for her I think, and she thought she was all that!!!

 OH, and I forgot... Matthew, uhhhhh, I mean Kacey and Kadyn's Gingerbread house!!!
A part 2, to follow shortly... still more December happenings to account!  Including (so I don't forget...)
- The ward Christmas Party, the best, most elaborate Christmas party I've ever been too!
- My birthday
- Skating
- Disney Day Camp
- The Drive In Movies
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
.... etc etc....