Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 2008

Derek & Melanie
Well, it was a sad weekend for BYU....Five turnovers????? Sigh......Even still, we are so excited for Thanksgiving this year! Derek and I are going to Washington DC for about a week! We are leaving on Thanksgiving day. Derek has a conference to attend the week after Thanksgiving, and so we decided to make a vacation out of it. We are planning to visit lots of museums, monuments, and other historical landmarks (and I am hoping to do some shopping!) My brother has been in France this semester, and he will be flying back through DC while we are there. So, we will be able to spend some time with him, which will be fun. We are sad that we won't be spending Thanksgiving with family this year, though; so I hope you will all enjoy some extra pie in my behalf. :) We'll send some pictures of our trip for the coming edition of this newsletter! In other news, I got a job working for the Church. I work in the Risk Management Division at the Church Office Building, and I started about 2 weeks ago. A lot of what I do involves processing and researching claims people make against the Church. I am enjoying this job a lot. Derek and I commute to and from work together everyday since we both work downtown. I am so happy to have a job! Derek is also enjoying his job, and he recently made a new teacher certification proposal before the legislative education committee. I was also called to be the first counselor in the Young Women's presidency in our ward recently, which has been fun. Well, I think that's about all for us. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! Love, Derek and Melanie

Melanie and Fam
My client is Wal-Mart. I have a 7-day work week packed into 3! Have you heard of Black Friday?!? I'm lucky to find my involuntary senses to breath.


It has been awhile since we have written, but we will be brief. Heidi: As you can see from the pictures, Heidi is doing great!! She loves the work, and is really enjoying the experiences that she is having. The weather is very hot there right now, and she is struggling a bit with that. She is in a threesome companionship. She has made some lifelong friendships, and loves every aspect of her mission. Warren: As you can see from Warren's pictures, he is doing great. He is training a new missionary from Chile, and they are getting along great. Warren has a lot of energy, and loves the work so much. It is also the hot time of the year there, and as the viking that he is, doesn't like the heat and humidity much. He still presses onward, and doesn't let it get him distracted from the work. Ian: Ian is very much involved in swimming right now. He is doing great, enjoying every minute of it!! He has had some challenging meets, with some great times in his individual events. He just completed his last merit badge for his Eagle!! (Yes, now he can drive in April) So, he is happy to have that done. School is keeping him very busy. Ian loves engineering, and is taking some college classes in engineering for college credit. His interest is in aerospace engineering. Needless to say, we don't see much of Ian around the house right now. Jakob: Jakob loves 6th grade, and is doing great!! He has some great teachers - Mr. Alarcon from Spain is probably his favorite. Jake is busy with scouts, and was just ordained a Deacon last month. It was so great to have Grandpa Neilson & Grandpa Quist stand in the circle. When he isn't busy with those things, he loves being outside on his "rip-stick" riding through the neighborhood. Kaijsa: Kaijsa is doing great in 4th grade. She frequently lets us know that she misses her big sister. She loves to dance and sing, and was able to go to the Nutcracker with her achievement day friends, and loved it!!! She dances even more, now that she has seen that. Kaijsa is loving this weather, and loves to be outside with her friends. They have become the neighborhood leaf rakers. Miriam: I am staying busy with the nursery, substitute teaching, and my ward callings. Much to my dismay, I have recently been called as the choir director. I guess when you don't go, they figure that's the best way to get you there. I have had a huge sense of relief to get Christmas sent off to Heidi & Warren. I keep on the go with Ian's swim meets, and keeping up with Jake & Kaijsa. I love being a mom!! It is so busy, but is so rewarding at the same time!! Paul: Paul is staying busy at work overseeing the construction of projects. He also keeps going with his calling in the Elders Quorum. Yes, Paul has even joined the ranks of the choir (that was part of the acceptance of the calling). We are looking forward to the holidays, and the great times and experiences they bring. We will miss Heidi & Warren, but would not trade their growth and experiences for anything right now. We thank all of you for your love & prayers in their behalf. They both are constantly saying that they are surrounded by angels bearing them up, and that your prayers in their behalf are heard and answered. We have great blessings in our home because of their service. Have a very Happy Holiday Season!! Love, The Quists
Dad & Mom
And a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of you!!!!! Chronologically: Thanks Shawn and Heather for the lovely dinner and visit. We appreciate it very much. For those of you who may not know, Bishop Ted and Myrt VanDam have gone to Nauvoo on a mission to the Visitors Center for two years. they were very excited and will do a great job. They said to tell everyone hello and to keep them in your prayers. They told us how much they love and appreciate all of you. We have been working at the Temple with Norm and Lois Crump as part of our "three- somes". They haven't changed in the least. Lois just had a hip replacement and is doing good. And speaking of doctors, Mom had to go to the doctor and have her throat and esophagas (sp) checked. It was the reverse procedure of a colonoscopy. Not pleasant, but all turned out well. Dad enjoyed going to Jordan's, Livia's and Ben's, and Kayden's, Ashley's, and McKell's schools for Veteran's Day programs. It was special to be there, and all of the kids did great. Thank you so much for the invitation. We enjoyed a couple of hours at the Murray cannery. As one man said, "I have decided the Lord put Church canneries on the earth to help the poor and the needy and to keep the rest of us humble. It is hard to feel that you are special and part of a royal generation when you are sitting on thousands of cans of beans and the temperature is 110 degrees and it is Friday night and your wife is at home playing with the grandchildren". UDOT came out and marked how much of our property and driveway they are going to take foor the new road. It's only about 15 feet back from the fence. The new road should be a benefit to us as we will now have a center turn lane and won'd have to stop over in front of Wayne's waiting for a chance to gun it to our driveway and turn into our yard. The City decided not to Master Plan our property commercial which is great news. Hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as we did. Enjoyed having the 31 of you here, and missed not having the rest of you here. Now to work off the 10 pounds. And we are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. Enjoyed the annual trek out to Eureka for Christmas trees. Thanks Scott and Tiffany for bringing along the ATV's. It was most enjoyable and thanks Marci and Rob for having us to your home for the "sloppy joe" party afterword. We are singing again in the Temple Choir for the Temple workers meeting in January. Just having 4 practices this year, two of which we have already had. Our director is of the opinion that we don't have to compete with the Tab Choir, so less practices. Again we wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a joyous and prosperous New Year. We look forward to being with you at the upcoming festivities. Love, Mom and Dad
Above: Cayden's Jedi Party Below: McKell at Dance

The Peacocks
November was a fun month. We had a great birthday party for Cayden. He wanted a Star Wars Clone Wars party so we obliged. We had about 25 very active Jedi's here and even had a visit from Darth Vader! I had a fun time doing some Christmas crafting with Tiff and her sisters. Something we need to do more often for sure! We had a great time at the U/BYU game. Thanks for the fun festivities! Rob and I are still feeling the effects of our accidents. Rob's back and shoulder are still really bothering him. He is supposed to get an MRI when he gets a free minute. He is still doing physical therapy. Work is going well, although they did lay off a lot of people at Micron in Singapore and Boise. We are happy that Rob's job seems to be okay. I am still plugging along with Primary. I got a new second counselor this month which will be nice. I am having a lot of problems with my back and neck. I met with a neurosurgeon this month and found out that I have 2 herniated discs in my neck and back and tears in the discs as well. We're hoping physical therapy will take care of it. I am trying to get everything done for Christmas. Cayden is excited to be a Bear in Cub Scouts. He is doing great. He is loving piano and doing really well. He just did his school unit on Ancient Greece and was in the play in his class. We had a great time having Dad come out to the kids' school for Veterans Day. It was neat to have him there. Ashlee has had a rough month with a bout of croup followed by weeks of her brain trying to get back on track from the medicine we had to give her. She is having a hard time at school and at home, but we are hoping to see the end of that soon. She is excited for snow and Christmas. McKell is working hard both in piano and dance to be ready for her recitals. She is doing great. She gets to perform at the Festival of the Trees this week which she is excited about. Sadie is growing like a weed and getting so big and very opinionated. She LOVED being outside to get Christmas tree and would live outside if we let her. She is now walking all over the place...we say she looks like Yoda for sure! We had a great Thanksgiving...thanks for all the yummy food! We also had a wonderful time getting Christmas trees. We look forward to a great month ahead with lots of fun holiday plans!

The BYU vs U of U Game

Shawn's after-Thanksgiving nap
Justin & Sadie - the celery buddies
Wow! That is a lot of testosterone!


The Peacocks find their tree

Alex & Jordan and their "mighty" tree!

Sadie pretty much says it all....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Party 2008

We had a great Halloween party this year. Awesome costumes, delicious soups, yummy treats, fun games, etc. Here are a few photos of the crazy crew at the Halloween party.
Madi and Sadie - Madi is Sadie's self proclaimed Godmother. Poor Sadie was exhausted at this point! She really does love Madi.

Madi & Cassidy aka Hannah Montanna & Miley Cyrus
Bubbling Witch's Brew - Homemade Root Beer...YUM!

Spooky fingers coming out of the Guacamole!

Eyeballs! (Really mini cheeseballs) McKell & Ashlee had SO much fun making these with me. They especially loved it when I applied the "blood" and they applied the olive "pupils"

Witch's Broom Treats
The Quists (minus Heidi and Warren who we missed so much!)

The Peacocks
Our resident Cheerleaders - Anna, Juliann, and McKell. We officially adopted Juliann and her family to come to our family party. We are so glad they came!
Juliann, Anna, and Andrew

Derek (aka Captain BYU) and Melanie (sorry the picture is so dark!)
Our 2 hulks - Grandpa Hulk and Mini Hulk - Dad and Andrew
Wow, now THAT is scary! Dad and Mom
We had some others come as well, but I didn't get to the camera fast enough. I LOVE Halloween so doing this party is so much fun for me! I'm already looking forward to next year!

October 2008

Justin and Elise/Scott and Angela and families
Hey there family! Well, Marci has convinced me that I needed to send afew adorable pictures from the "northerners" of the state and give youa little update on our lives. Things are going well for Ang and Scott,who are very excited about being in the process of finishing theirbasement. Scott and Ang framed it over the last 6 months, and now theyhave contractors finishing the rest so that we can do Christmas therethis year with all the Bruce and Marilyn clan. Andrew is likingpreschool and doing great. He's made a few friends and it's fun to seehim growing up more and more. He was pretty stoked about being Batmanfor Halloween and having a cape AND a belt. It just doesn't get betterthan that! (Oh, and the picture on my stomach is an ultrasound pictureof our little baby, with a clown nose and a little clown wig and thewords "Clowning Around" above and below. My co-workers and I had alittle time on our hands Halloween morning and had some fun.) Katie isas cute as ever and has the most expressive little faces. She was acow for Halloween, and she's definintely got the moo down. She's beingpretty picky about what she will and will not eat these days, whichmakes dinner an adventure for Ang & Scott to say the least. She's asocial little girl though and knows how to win everyone over with hercute little smile. She's continuously flirting with Justin when we'rethere and just can't get enough of him. It is also really cute whenScott comes home from work and she runs out to him saying "Daddy DaddyDaddy!" As for life for me and Justin - I am working and loving my job andJustin's studying his little heart out for school and medical schoolinterviews. We are starting to hear back from some of the schools he'sapplied to, which is really exciting. He had an interview at EasternVirginia Medical School in Norfolk and absolutely loved it there. Hehad a great interview and will know in then next four weeks whetherhe's been accepted there or not. He's got a few other interviews linedup in the next couple of months at West Virginia University, U of U,and possibly Virginia Commonwealth University. (No, we don't have anobsession with Virginia, that just happens to be the state that we'veheard the most from at this point.)We are both dying that we only have one more month until this littlebaby of ours is due! Where did the last nine months go? This wholethings has ust flown by and we aren't sure whether we're really readyfor this baby to come, but ready or not he's coming! It'll be anadventure, trying out this whole parenting thing! Wish us luck. Onsecond thought, forgo the wishing and go driectly to praying, becauseI'm sure we'll need it! :) And thanks so much everyone for the babyshower and gifts. It was great to get together and you all helped usout so much! You've all given us so much support and love and we loveyou all to death! We're excited to see everyone at Thanksgiving(assuming the baby doesn't decide to come early)! Love ya!Elise & Justin ps- I'm not sure if the family has my updated e-mail address or not,but it is, and Justin's We also have a blog that I try tokeep pretty updated, which is There aresome beautiful pictures of Norfolk, VA on there that Justin took whilehe was there.
Angela and Katie the Cow
Katie, Elise, Baby Petersen, and Andrew
Andrew as Batman

Katie and Justin

The Peacocks

You can get a full update on us by clicking on the link on the right and seeing our family blog, but just a quick update on us:
  • Rob and I are still recovering from the dual car accidents that occured on Oct 1. Rob now has a new car and I just got mine back from the body shop after over $5000 damage. Rob's shoulder is still really bothering him. He will be getting an MRI soon. I have a herniated disc in my lower back, whiplash, and something else in my upper back/neck including complete numbness at the back of my neck. I go in for my MRI this week. I am supposed to be going to physical therapy three times a week...ha...nanny anyone?
  • We had our primary program this month. Thanks so much to mom for coming, the kids loved having you there! I was in charge of the program which is always a little nervewracking, but overall it went great! We had a surprise visitor, Sister Stevens, from the general Primary board in Salt Lake. Her comment was, "I have NEVER seen SO many children on the stand before!!"
  • Cayden is excited for his upcoming birthday and his advancement into Bears in scouts. He is doing great at school and has a million friends and all of his teachers love him! He was Anakin Skywalker for Halloween and looked sharp! He is very excited for his birthday party coming up.
  • Ashlee is doing amazingly well at school! We are so grateful for her progress. She did a great report on Edward Jenner, the inventor of the smallpox vaccination. She is also loving math and knows all of her doubles. She was the cutest little clown for Halloween! She did great on her part for the primary program, even improving a bit when she got to the microphone.
  • McKell is also doing great in school. We are SO glad we put the girls in separate classes this year. They are both flourishing in their own ways. McKell has a lot of new friends and is quite the little social butterfly. She was a cheerleader for Halloween, although we told her she was going to be a jack-o-lantern at the rate her teeth have been coming out lately! She is such a smart girl and is also doing great at piano and dance.
  • Sadie is growing like a little weed and has loved all of the fun events surrounding fall/Halloween. Although, she didn't quite know what to think of all of the costumes and craziness at the Halloween party. She is getting close to walking. She will take a few steps and then chicken out and crawl where she needs to go. She is our official alarm clock and bedtime fairy to get the kids up in the morning and to bed at night. She is getting quite a little attitude lately and is very LOUD! That is about it from us. We hope everyone is doing well! We look forward to a great holiday season!
Cayden's Big Mouth Pumpkin
Ashlee's Kitty Cat Pumpkin

McKell's princess pumpkin
Dad and Mom and their masterpiece
Sadie's first pumpkin carving experience

Looking at the autumn leaves up Butterfield Canyon

Rob and Sadie enjoying the beautiful leaves

Sister's Retreat 2008

Sadie picking pumpkins at Hee Haw Farms
Dad and Mom
Dear Family,
The month started out wrong! First Marci and Rob's accidents which were bummers the same day and then on the 2nd, Dad had to go to the dentist to have a bridge removed, a root canal on one of the teeth holding the bridge and a crown on the other side of the bridge. We counld have bought the Brooklyn bridge for the same price.
We had a decision the make on the 4th--General Conference or the beginning of the elk hunt. We opted for Conference and on Monday we went up on the Mirror Lake Highway just above Kamas and spent three days among the fauna and flora, but not among the elk. Only saw two elk---both dead---shot by someone else. Enjoyed being with Shawn, although he and Mom are lousy spotters. We traveled on roads that a tank would he hard-pressed to navigate, but to no avail. Had an enjoyable time.
Also enjoyed being with Scott in Utah/Wyoming for the opening of the deer hunt. Spent an enjoyable day with the same results as the elk hunt, except we did see a big three point and a smaller two point that were alive---right next to the road just before we crossed from the Wyoming line into Utah. We might have been tempted to stretch the law a little bit, but it seems that we had a Wyoming law enforcement officer with us. Would have hated to see his badge taken away from him.
Congratulations to Nathan Glade Neilson on his being blessed and given a name. And thanks to Scott and Tiffany for their hospitality and for the enjoyable time that we had in their home.
Enjoyed the visit with Marilyn. It was just too short. Hope to spend more time in the near future.
Dad enjoyed the day with Jay at the BYU-UNLV football game. It was a good game. Seems as though someone forgot to put on the sunscreen. Ouch!
Thanks Marci and Rob for the Halloween party! It was fun and we missed those of you that weren't there.
On the 26th, Mom and Dad divided forces. Mom went to Marci's ward for their Primary Program and Dad went up to Paul and Miriam's for Jakob's receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and being ordained a Deacon. Congrulations Jakob! And thanks Miriam for dinner.
It's not fun getting a little older. Mom went to Dr. Jack and has had some tests for heart fibulation and low blood pressure, while keeping it low enough so that it doesn't get into the lungs. Waiting for the results of the test. Dad had surgery by his dermatolagist to remove a cancerous basal cell. Mor lead in the golden years.
All is going well at the Temple. They asked for volunteers to work at the Nauvoo and Palmyra from April through October and we were thinking of volunteering, but thought that we had better stay around and protect our interests while Redwood is being widened.
Mom and Kaye went down to spend the Halloween weekend with Vicki. They had a great time. Dad had one Halloween "Trick or Treater" come to the door. Halloween "ain't" like it used to be.
Hope that all is well with you and yours. Thanksgiving next.
Mom and Dad
Photos of Madi from the "Monster Mash"
The Monsons
Hello Everyone!! It's been a few how time flies!! Ourbiggest news is our recent trip to Sweden, Denmark, & Finland!! Wehad an amazing time & would love to go back! Anyone want to go??!!It was great to see Brian in his short-term home & country (Solna &Stockholm, Sweden), & he was able to be with us in all our travels.He's doing research at the Royal Instititute of Technology, which ispart of a large & beautiful campus. He's having a great experiencethere. Sweden is beautiful, & from the moment we arrived in StockholmI felt we had stepped back into a Charles Dickens novel!! We wereable to visit amazing & beautiful cathedrals, palaces, & museums; weacutally ate Swedish meatballs; & visited the Stockholm Temple! InDenmark we were able to do some great touristy things inKobenhavn/Copenhagen. We saw the original Christus in the Church ofOur Lady, the famous Little Mermaid statue, & once again appreciatedthe amazing architecture of old statues & buildings. We also got tosee the Copenhagen Temple. But the highlight for me was the time wespent in Skamstrup - a small village where Gr. Gma Parry was born &lived until her father died - as well as going to Holbaek - the townwhere the family moved after escaping the Work House & where Gma.Parry's mom got remarried. The photo of the white church is inSkamstrup & was built in the 1100's. The windmill was built inmid-1800's. Both would have been there at the time Gma's family livedthere. The other church is in Holbaek, & was likely the one GmaParry's mother was re-married in. It was a very humbling experienceto be in the same country Gma came from, & to stand in these placeswhere she would likely have been. I can see why she loved & missedher homeland so much! It was also a great experience to go to Finland& be there with Bruce - his 1st time back to his mission! The peoplewere so kind to us & it's also a beautiful country! We were able toattend a session at the new Helsinki Temple; see more beautifulcathedrals & buildings; drive to Lahti (where Bruce served part of hismission); & eat Pulla from it's native land (which Brian wasespecially excited about!)! Of course our time wasn't nearly longenough, but it was truly amazing!! And I felt like I came full circlerecently when I was in UT & went to the Riverton Cemetery with Dad &saw where Gr. Gma Parry's mother & 2 of her half-brothers are buried.Gr. Gr. Gma Andersen/Pedersen was the 1st member of the Church in thatline of our ancestory & truly sacrificed a lot for all of us. It wasall an experience I'll appreciate & never forget!!! This past month also brought a great trip to UT, which included timefor a fun Sister Retreat, a wonderful baby shower for Elise (thanks toALL!), & a great time with family! It was good to see so many of you& share the endless pile of photos! Finally, on the home front, the leaves have turned here & are abeautiful contrast with the deep green pines. And...we had a BEAR inour yard last week!! True!! We didn't actually see it but others inour neighborhood did. He enjoyed throwing our garbage around, & leftus a gift on the lawn in the form of a big pile of his digested food(i.e. POOP)!! Evidently it's a black bear & there is currently a"bear alert" warning sign in our neighborhood. I haven't totallygiven up my daily walk, but I'm certainly not about to "go into thewoods today...for a big surprise!!" That's about it! Happy Fall & love to all!!
Bruce & Marilyn

October started out with Scott heading up to Douglas to the Academy for more training. He was finally able to take the Advance Crash course that we have been waiting over 2 years for him to attend. Talk about throw yourself into a math nightmare. He was definitely on overload by the time he returned. We are hoping that he will be able to continue his education in the crash field and get onto the crash team. There are many good things that can come from this after he retires from the WHP. We had originally planned on blessing Nate on the 12th only to have to reschedule due to 6 inches of snow on the ground and the Interstate closed. We were able to have it on the 19th with much better weather! We had a great time having Mom, Dad and Miki come up on Friday and spend the weekend! A hunting expedition was put together for Saturday, while those of us left behind went to Evanston and had Jaydee's ears pierced! She has shown everyone she knows her earrings and thinks she is just all that! It is fun to see how grown up she is becoming. We had a great impromptu Halloween party that night with Nate and his kids along with all of my family! Sunday Scott gave Nate a beautiful blessing. Thank you to all who traveled up to be with us during this special event. It was fun having you here and hope you know the invitation is always open! The kids are working on a project to make a difference. Something I really want them to know they can do! We got our first letter for their project from Kentucky! They were so excited! For more info check out their blog at Scott got great news last week and Monday headed to Cheyenne to up his 2008 Dodge Charger. Talk about a huge change from the Crown Vic he was driving. I'm going to have to get arrested, I've decided, so I can get to ride in it...I am definitely jealous of his new "office"! We had a lot of fun on Halloween. The kids had a great time at their school parties and then finished it off with trick or treating in 62 degree weather. What is that? I remember trudging through the snow, freezing to death, but wanting that candy! I have to say Friday night was MUCH better! We hope all is well with everyone and say bring on the Holidays! Oh, Joy!!!