Tuesday, January 8, 2008

January 2008

Welcome to the new and hopefully improving family blog! You can still access the old blog at http://www.jneilsonfamily@blogspot.com/. I am hoping to add a functioning family calendar, directory, etc. and this new blog will allow me to do some of those things in the future.
So, without further adieu, here is January's news!

The Monsons
Hi Everyone!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!This past month has been both wonderful and crazy!! It was wonderful to see most of you at the family party and be part of the annual chocolate dipping festivities when we came down! It was crazy that we crammed so much into 1 short week (and into our Honda bringing Christmas down from WA!), but it was worth it! It's been a few years since we've been to either of our family Christmas parties, so it made for a great time!! Like most of you we're now trying to put away the decorations and lights, work on keeping those newly made resolutions, and get back into some sort of routine! Thanks for the sleeping accommodations, the fun time, the memories, and the nice gifts!! And here's the month in review for our family.Ang & Scott - Ang & Scott bought their 1st "fake" Christmas tree this year! Andrew had fun helping to decorate it and Katie had fun un-decorating some of the lower branches that she could reach now that she's crawling! Ang's & Scott's big Christmas gift to each other this year was a newly fenced in yard! It's great, and Andrew loves sledding down the ready made hill in their backyard. We had a fun time having an early Christmas with them. Andrew loved opening all the gifts and Katie mostly enjoyed the wrapping paper!Brian - As most of you know Brian celebrated Christmas at Sun Valley singing with the Carolers. We stopped there on our way to UT to have an early Christmas with him, spent the night, and had a great time following the carolers around as they went from restaurant to restaurant singing...felt like real "groupies!" He had a great time singing and snowboarding during his time there, then went down to Logan on New Year's Eve and spent time with Ang & Scott & family. At the time I'm writing this he's on his way back down to AZ to get warm again!!Derek & Melanie - Ang, Scott, Andrew, Katie, and Bruce and I all invaded Derek's & Melanie's apt. and spent a night in Provo with them. We had an early Christmas together there, complete with Christmas stockings that Derek & Melanie filled (for Santa of course!!). It was a fun and memorable time and we loved being together! On Christmas Eve Derek and Melanie flew to Texas where they spent the rest of their Christmas vacation with Melanie's family. While there Derek had the unique experience of going deep sea fishing for king fish with Melanie's dad and brothers! The photos don't quite tell the complete story...the one where Derek and his brother-in-laws spent most of the day either in the galley or puking into the Gulf of Mexico! (Somehow they missed the handout of Dramamine!!) But he had a fun time and they both enjoyed the 70 degree weather while there! They were welcomed back to UT by several inches of snow!Elise & Justin arrived in WA the day before we left to go to UT so it was a short visit before we left. However, they made up for it by spending an unexpected extra day (oops!) at the end of their vacation! We had a great time celebrating Christmas and New Year's with them, and enjoyed going to the Seattle Acquarium somewhere in between. They also spent a day on the slopes snowboarding and another day on the golf course (evidently it's acceptable to golf in the rain when you live in WA!)! And they were welcomed back at the Salt Lake airport by "Unique Uncle Jay," complete with hot chocolate, transportation from the airport, and a warm meal (courtesy of leftovers from mom's fridge!)! Thanks again to ALL for EVERYTHING, and we hope you have a GREAT 2008!! Hugs and kisses!

Some photos from the Family Christmas Party....

Well Happy New Year Everyone!!! One of my New Years resolutions is to contribute to the Family Newsletter, so here we go.First of all I just want to thank each one of you for your contributions, each in your own way, that made my holidays "merry and bright"...Thanks for all of the gifts, and parties, and cards and thoughtfulness that contributed to making my holiday season a very enjoyable one for me. There were some usual traditions that I missed out on this year because of work, such as dipping chocolates, and going out to Eureka to cut down Christmas Trees, but I have some great memories of going into the Tabernacle Choir Concert with a close friend that I hadn't seen in years, and rekindling and old friendship. I enjoyed taking Miki's tree over to her apartment, with Michelle and the three of us having a good time decorating it together. Thanks to the talents and generosity of a very talented dear friend, I was very thrilled to present Mom with her Christmas gift, a painting of the home that she knew as a child and where she grew up. More of this friends' generosity is forthcoming in a painting of Grandma and Grandpa Neilsons Home for Dad. I was somewhat disappointed that both couldn't be finished and given to them in time for the holidays, but it's been a bit more of a challenge on the Neilson side trying to find some pictures, and coming up with exactly what era or circa of painting that we would like to portray as there have been so many add ons and renovations to the home. Anyway I'm looking forward to the finished product and presenting it to Dad. One other somewhat disappointing situation that occurred on Christmas Eve for those of you who may not be aware, Seem that the "Deer" or horsepower pulling "Santa's postal sleigh" where a bit anxious to get back to the north pole, and as "Santa's helper" was away delivering packages to good boys and girls, He didn't put the sleigh in Park, or set the park brake, and those darn deer pulled the "Sleigh" right into a tree!!! HO, HO, HO, Merry Christmas, YOU'RE FIRED!!! "The only things you'll be driving is Nails into Toys for good boys and girls for next year." So I went right down to Utah's Dept. of Professional Licensing,(like a good little elf,..) and applied and received my temporary license to begin practicing massage and will be starting the year off with a new career option, by applying my education and degree from the Utah College of Massage Therapy. Coming soon to a website near you...."Rub-U-Rite" Massage. Nice ring to it don't you think? I'm open to any an all Marketing suggestions, and of course any venture capital to get the new business off of the ground. Another New Years resolution, and as of today I'm 2for2, is to attend Music and the Spoken Word each sunday. It's something that I used to do on a regular basis when I lived down town. So now I catch the 8:29am dept. of the Sandy Trax station train to downtown, and I'm downtown, and on Temple Square and in my seat at the Tabernacle by 9:15am just in time to hear the Tab Choir and Lloyd Newell and Music and the Spoken Word. It's an amazing lift to my spirituality and great way to begin a Sunday Morning. One other New Years resolution that I fulfilled a few das ago, and one that I would highly recommend to each of you, is taking the opportunity to approach your Father, Grandfather, or Husband, or other honorable priesthood bearer, and request that he give you priesthood blessing. What a great opportunity to take advantage of!.., and who's life and what better time than the beginning of the New Year, to call upon the power of the priesthood and ask God to bless your life and help and guide you through the challenges that the coming year may bring? Thanks Dad once again, for honoring your priesthood, and blessing not only my life, but our entire family as it's loving and caring Patriarch. Well on that note, I want to take the opportunity to again wish all of you a very Happy New Year!!!! I hope that it will bring greater peace, joy, and prosperity, and that your hopes and dreams may realized!!! If there's something that I can do to help that happen for you, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Love Ya, Uncle Jay
Howdy from Herriman! What a holiday season it has been! We started out December with Cayden’s baptism. It was such a special day and we appreciate so much everyone who came to support him, especially in the huge snowstorm. Following that, we had our big ward party, chocolate dipping, decorating our home, 2 school plays, an ornament exchange that I hosted with some ladies in our ward, 5 family Christmas parties, the Peacock ladies’ ornament luncheon, 2 X-Box parties, a huge Primary Christmas pageant, a birthday party brunch, and a partridge in a pear tree. Whew! Amidst all of that, I was absolutely shocked when I met with our Bishop for a normal meeting to discuss primary only to be informed that my whole presidency, with the exception of me, was getting released. This all happened 2 weeks before Christmas and a mere 3 weeks before the beginning of the new year in Primary when all chaos reigns. Needless to say, it has been an emotional and trying time for me. I love the sisters I have been serving with and will miss working with them so much. I now have a new presidency in place that I immediately gave the advice to that they "buckle up...it’s going to be a bumpy ride" for a while. We survived the first Sunday of the new year with only a few little bumps. One Sunday down...51 to go. We had a great New Year’s Eve, although we missed celebrating at Shawn & Heather’s. We had a few of Rob’s siblings here at our home for games, food, etc. Not quite as exciting as a Neilson New Year’s Eve, but it was still fun. We also enjoyed a rip roaring game of May-I with Mom, Dad, Miki and Jay on New Year’s Day. Since then, we are trying to get back to "normal" with the kids back in school, Rob back at work, etc. We had a really nice Christmas and our kids think they were really good this year considering the load that Santa dropped at our house. They all were asking a lot more questions this year about Santa, the reindeer, etc. Of course, Rob tried to explain these things in physics and science terms like "Santa flies at the speed of light"...etc. I, of course, have to keep the magic in Christmas and tell them the "truth" about how Santa does everything. Ashlee wouldn’t let us light the fire all day on Christmas Eve in fear that Santa may come early. Although, she wasn’t to keen on the idea of "that man" coming into our home while we were sleeping. She also decided she didn’t want to eat any more or she would be "fat like that Jolly old Santa". Oh my. Other than that, here is what our family has been up to.
Rob was not very excited to go back to work after a week and a half off for Christmas. He got used to getting a little more sleep, staying in his pajamas all day if he wanted to, etc. The kids were even less excited than him that he had to go back to work. He is now gearing up for a week long business trip to Virginia in a few weeks. He enjoyed getting some time to play Xbox with his brothers and catch up on a few movies that he hadn’t seen. Rob’s biggest news is the purchase (finally) of a new car. After his ‘95 Honda finally completely stopped running, he decided it was time to get a new car. After a lot of stress and agonizing, he found a nice 2002 Honda Civic that is really nice. He now actually looks like a grown man with a job rather than a struggling college student.
Marci - I just tried to do my best to survive the holidays. It really did just get a little too crazy this year. I have made a goal to not get as busy next year. Rob doesn’t believe me. I loved having Rob at home and we’re trying to figure out how to win the lottery so he can retire and stay home all the time. I had a great Christmas break as well. Rob and I enjoyed a much needed date night as Heidi and her friend Amy came down to watch the kids while we went to dinner (thanks Jay!) and shopping. It was so strange to be without our kids for an evening!
Cayden is doing great as a newly baptized member of the church. He fasted for the first time this Sunday and did great. He also bore his testimony for the first time and did such a good job. He is trying to always choose the right and reminds us often, "I am trying to be honest...I did just get baptized, you know." We are so proud of him. He is a great example to his little sisters. He loved having time off from school and loved having Dad around to play with. He did a great job as The Ghost of Christmas Present in his school’s production of "A Christmas Carol". He also memorized every word of "Twas the Night Before Christmas". He is now back in school and doing great.
Ashlee is not as excited to be back in school. She was perfectly content to stay home and play all day. Even though she insists that school is too "Boring", she still is doing well and we are amazed at the progress she is making in her penmanship, math, etc. She was really struggling when we took all of the Christmas decorations down because, as we finally figured out, she thought Christmas being over, meant winter being over and she didn’t get to go sleigh riding on "Grandpa Ding-Dong’s Hill". She is now realizing that winter stays around long after Christmas is over.
McKell had fun over Christmas spending lots of time doing arts, crafts, and dressing up. Santa brought her a real digital camera which she loves. She also got more make up and dress up clothes. She has recently learned the art of making snowflakes so our house looks like a snowflake factory most of the time. She is such a big helper and Sadie loves her and calms down whenever McKell sings to her. It is so sweet.
Sadie is getting so big. I can’t believe she is already 4 months old! Sadie celebrated Christmas by eating her first real food! She enjoyed her squash and rice cereal more than words can say. She has taken to eating fruits and veggies like a pro and is a very noisy and messy eater. It is quite comical to watch. The other kids are all fascinated watching her eat real food. She really is a sweet and happy baby and is a big flirt with everyone. She has also discovered how to growl, spit, blow bubbles, and "sing". Sadie got an exersaucer for Christmas which she loves. She is such a little bundle of joy in our home. She loved having Daddy home as well and also got to join in on chocolate dipping day (well, not really join in as much as sleep for a few hours and then Rob came to get her.) She didn’t really understand much of Christmas and slept most of the day.
Well, that is it from us. We hope you all had a great holiday season and we hope you have a great 2008!!

Dad & Mom
Dear Family,
And the old one was good to us. Don't know where it went is such a hurry, but I guess that's the case when you get older (which, by the way is highly overated). Looking forward to another good one this year. We have been blessed with good health and have great doctors and a great dentist to tkae care of us. Plus our health insurance is the best that there is with Medicare and the military Tricare For Life.
Congratulations to Cayden on his baptism, and to Rob for a job well done. Doesn't seem like eight years have passed since---
And congratulations to Scott and Tiffany on their forthcoming new addition. Was gong to say something about their new trailer, but won't go there.
Enjoyed the evening with Shawn and Heather and Scott and Tiffany at Cottonwood High School and Michael McClean and the "Forgotten Carols". Put you into the Christmas spirit.
Don't know how many of you remember Martin, Paul, and Bruce Mock, but Paul passed away in December. He lived in California. Martin died a few years ago. They are the sons of Uncle Hen Mock, Dad's half-brother, Grandma Neilson's son. His funeral and burial were here in Salt Lake.
We enjoyed the Neilson, Steedman, and our own Christmas parties and hope that you did also. Appreciate all of you that made them a success. Thanks to Marci and Rob for opening their home for our Christmas party. We also enjoyed the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert, this year featuring the King Singers from England. They were good, but our favorite was last year featuring Sissel. We are fortunate to have this kind of entertainment here, and it is as good as Broadway, and it's free.
As mentioned, the Lord has been good to us. An example is that on the 18th, we were eating breakfast, gettin ready to leave for the day. Mom heard water running which we thought was the water softener regenerating. Dad went down to check and found that that wasn't it. He shut the water off at the main valve and went upstairs to the bathroom which was flooded, and water was leaking from the ceiling of the laundry room. A pipe had broken under the sink upstairs and water was pouring out all over. Had this happened when we were not home the whole house would have been flooded. As it was, it was confined to the bathroom and the laundry room.
We enjoyed Christmas very much, mostly thanks to each of you. Good to have Bruce and Marilyn down from the Northwest and Melanie and Lexi up from the Southland. We love and appreciate all of you and thank you for your love, help, and concern for us. Also enjoy seeing and being with our Grand-kids. And they are that, grand kids.
The only flaw in December was that Mom has not been feeling well. She has ongoing bouts of congestion, colds, plugged ears, etc. that just seem to go on and on. She has been to doctors and has taken medications, but the problem still lingers. Hopefully she is getting a little better.
That's about it from here. Again, wishing you a great 2008.
Mom and Dad

Scott and Tiff and Family
Life is starting to get back into a normal routine around here! We had a great time over the holidays but are glad to have the slow pace of January. We have gotten so much snow in the last two weeks that it is nice to just stay home. I should say the kids and I are enjoying a slow pace, Scott has been busy with all of the storms,the stranded motorists, and the motorists that think the road closed signs don't apply to them! Let's just say he's made a few friends...I'm back into the routine of watching 4 kids in addition to my own every day! Jaydee, the little mother hen, is in her element. She loves to tell others she has to babysit and that she is in charge. She has decided that it should be her responsibility to change Gage, to get practice for the new baby. That of course all goes out the window if he is poopy! On Christmas morning she a Ryan were up at 6:30. Scott and I could hear their squeals of delight at what Santa had brought them. Jaydee started to giggle and said "Ryan, we are spoiled rotten." They lasted until 7:00 before they decided to "wake up" us up! Gage didn't care what he got, he just loved ripping off the paper, saying cool, and moving on to the next gift even if it wasn't his. Children, we've decided, definitely put the magic back into Christmas! We hope all of you had a happy holiday season and we were glad to see all of you at the Steedman and Neilson Christmas Parties! By the way the quilt is coming in very handy!!!! Scott, Tiff, & Kids!

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