Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Big Year for the Gilberts

Savior of the World,
Building our Dream Home,
Jason Transferred Departments,
Three Kids,
McKay 4th birthday party,
Sold our First Home,
Turned 30,
First Grade,
Hunters Basketball party,
Saying Goodbye to Old Friends,
Country Life,
Making New Friends,
Seahawks Game,

(photos by Karen Gilbert Larsen)

Goals for 2012: 
1. Lose Weight
2. Organize and Decorate my Office
3. Catch up on Scrapbooking
4. Learn to play guitar
5. Aquire Blinds for new home
6. Go camping
7. Learn to shoot a gun
8. Aquire couch for new home
9. Aquire bar stools for new home
10. Be nicer and more patient

Monday, December 26, 2011


Christmas was perfect.  Our greatest gifts are, of course, our children.  I can't describe the joy they bring us.  I mean, look at this little face.
And they love each other.  They are such special sweet little creatures.
 Christmas eve was a blast.  Jason had to work until 7:00, so our neighbors invited me and the kids over for dinner and to join their large family gathering.  Not only are they the nicest EVER, but they celebrate Christmas up right.  There was a large dinner, everyone had fun opening the English Christmas crackers I brought, we sang Christmas songs so loud you could probably hear us a mile away, we watched a nativity video, shared a gigantic platter of cookies, and then Santa showed up with presents for everyone.  Jason came just in time for Santa and games, and we ended up staying much too late!

(They made us.)

We went home, quickly got ready for bed, then put out milk and cookies for Santa.  The boys were making a big effort to be angelic, so they'd deserve lots of presents.

Maybe not....

Christmas morning began at 6:30, which was ok with us because Jason had to leave for work at 9:00. We had plenty of time to open everything and have a nice breakfast before he had to leave. 

They boys ran into our room yelling "Dad got coal in his stocking!"  Which is true.  Among other things he got a bag of "coal", (which was actually chocolate), because Santa had no choice.  Jason had been pretty naughty, especially this last month.  He's been teasing Gilligan (our elf) a lot and even knocked him down once, resulting in hysterics from Hunter and McKay. Jason made it better by apologizing to Gilligan (which I captured on camera and can use as blackmail at any time), but coal was still in order.

Ash was a little out of it since he's not used to being woken up so early, but he quickly got into a good mood and started playing with whatever got dropped on the floor.

One of our big gifts was this basketball hoop.  Hunter starts basketball this month, and now he can practice with a decent hoop.
And McKay got his gun.  Doesn't matter that he already has several toy guns, he was thrilled to get another and starts playing with it even before it's out of the package!

I got some great jewelry, slippers, and a step stool that was labeled "To the little people, from the land of the giants."  Ha ha.

Jason got money for an AR-15.  The boys were like, "See Dad, when you're naughty you get nothing but coal and paper for Christmas!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Cheer

The holiday spirit has been abundant in my heart and home this year, but I've neglected taking many pictures or posting anything.  I finally realized Christmas is in 5 days and I better get my booty in gear!

Last year I was having a rough time, feeling like I was in labor for weeks, worrying about the show, trying to make decisions about the house, and wondering if I was going to make it through Christmas.  This year we're in our new home, Ashton is happy and adorable, I have the show on DVD playing in the background (bringing back nothing but happy memories), and Hunter and McKay are at the BEST age for Christmas fun.  Life is GOOD!

I worried about putting up the Christmas tree with an 11 month old, so we put it on top of the coffee table and it worked beautifully.  Hunter and McKay decorated most of it themselves.  (And continue to rearrange the ornaments daily.)

McKay was a reindeer in his pre-school Christmas play.  What's funny, is that exactly 2 years ago Hunter was a reindeer in the same play, and wore the same shirt! 

Here's a little snippet of the play.  I love the kid who plays Santa-- what talent!

We love Miss Teddy.  She had Hunter for 2 years, and McKay for 2 years. 

Oh, did you notice something different about Hunter?  That's right, now he looks like the smarty pants that he is.  New glasses. 

(He's adjusting.)

More Holiday Fun: 

Our Elf on the Shelf brought us a gingerbread house kit to put together for FHE tonight.  After delivering goodies to the neighbors we sat down and created our best gingerbread house ever. 

More holiday cheer still to come!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


My friend that passed away was Haley Jo Morales, a girl I met when I moved to West Richland 7 years ago.  Her and her husband JJ became good friends with Jason and I, until they moved to New Jersey where we kept in touch only through the internet and Christmas cards. 

Her funeral was lovely.  Sad and happy at the same time.  Her family has an amazing attitude, because they all know she is with her Heavenly Father and that they will see her again.  It was obvious they were also in a lot of pain, because they miss her and they feel for JJ and her 5 kids.   

It's funny how you start to remember little, seemingly insignificant things about a person after they've passed.  Like I remember how much she like to read, and how she gave me a Jane Austen novel for my birthday one year.  I also remember being annoyed at her because she was the first person to ask me "When are you going to have another baby?"  when Hunter was a year old.  And how we used to play volleyball with her and JJ, and we'd roll our eyes at each other because our husbands got SO competitive. 

She was a beautiful person, and we are praying for her family.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pain in the Neck

Literally.  My neck is supposed to look like this:
and it looks more like this:

Probably the result of one of the 100 times I've been thrown off a horse.  Left untreated neck surgery would be inevitable.
So I'm on a schedule with my chiropracter to fix my neck in 90 days.  I've been going to him for 3 times a week for the last 5 weeks and will get reevaluated tomorrow to see what progress I've made.  I haven't been as good at my "at home" therapy as I should have been, so we'll see.

On top of that I keep getting sick.  Sore throats, actually-- I'm in the midst of my 5th one since September.  My brother tells me I need to get my tonsils out, and has even offered to do it for me at his surgery center in Spokane.  It's tricky having surgery when you're the mother of three, so I've been putting it off.  It's become obvious though that I'm going to have to deal with it in 2012. 

Life is good though.  We've been counting our blessings a lot lately since several people in our lives are going through some really tough stuff.  I'll be attending an old friend's funeral this Saturday.  She died of complications after a heart attack last week leaving her husband with 5 children.  She was just a few years older than me.  

Recently Jason's best friend's wife was in a terrible car accident that should have taken her life and is going through a few surgeries.  Also in the last few weeks we've had a few instances of "family members of family members" who have died or almost died in horrible car accidents.  It's making me glad we're not doing any holiday traveling this year.

Our Thanksgiving was nice, even though Jason had to work that night.  Although, I have to say I was irritated that the Friday Christmas sales started on Thursday night this year.  I mean, can't we just enjoy Thanksgiving anymore?  Spend time with family?  What about those poor store employees who had to be there ALL day getting ready?  I've honestly been sickened by all the holiday shopping hype this year.  I'm tired of the focus being on STUFF.  Count your blessings.  Cherish your family.  Be thankful for what you have.  I know it's on sale, but do you really need a bigger TV?  C'mon. 

There.  That's the end of my soap box rant.  I love that the holiday season has begun and hopefully my kids will understand that giving is what's important.  For family home evening I challenged the family to complete many acts of service in the month of December.  The lesson was mostly for me since I was starting to let myself get sucked into the shopping aspect of it and getting stressed out.  I want this December to be calm, reflective, and Christ centered. 

(I'm typing this on here so that I'll remember!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

He's starting to cause TROUBLE

I think he's learning from THIS one:

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Finally Captured Ashton Walking

He's quite wobbily bobbily, but he's walking about half the time now. It's so cute, but I feel bad when he crashes and burns. Good thing his diapers add a little cushion.

My baby's growing up.  I realized I better post more pictures of him!


"I LOVE graham crackers."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Carving and Costumes

Family Home Evening Pumpkin Carving:

Hunter's Class Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch:
Jason went as a chaperone.

When I pulled out the Halloween costumes this year, we had a few options for each kid.  They decided they wanted to wear ALL their costumes this year.  I thought....why not?

McKay's preschool class costume party:
He went as batman.
The ward trunk or treat: 
King Hunter and Knight McKay

                                                         McKay's best friend Caden:

      Our friend Carson's Dad is a police officer too.  I might have to steal this costume for next year.

Trick or Treatin'
Spiderman and a Pirate

 Eli came over and showed us his cute bear outfit.  Unfortunately, I didn't have anything that fit Ash, so he wore a Halloween shirt and a pumpkin hat. He can't eat candy anyway....
 That doesn't stop him from trying though.