Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Year in Review

Okay, so before I get into this really long post, let me just say that I realize I'm arriving late on the blogging scene. While I had valid reasons for delaying the creation of a blog, I've come to realize how really awesome this forum can be. Recently my good buddy printed her blog and I was totally in awe with how amazingly cool it is to have a hard bound picture journal, if you will, of family happenings. Seeing that I'm horrible at journaling, awful at keeping my photos organized, and below average at keeping in touch with friends and family, the blog has become the perfect solution! So since my main purpose in maintaining this little blog is to "keep a record of my people," I wanted to highlight some of the things our family has done this year. So for those of you who are out there reading about us, my apologies for the extremely long post. I just want to be sure that the hard bound blog book I'll be ordering next year at this time, has a record of what we did in 2009. Here it is: (watch out, I'm on a roll and might add years 2001 through 2008 too!)


Disneyland with Meilani on her 8th birthday.
We opted for a special trip with Mom instead of a party this year. Meilani was all about the shopping!

Disney offered free admission on your birthday this year. We took major advantage with help from friends who live near by (Hotel Barnum!).

Las Vegas with my girlfriends. April's husband used his frequent flyer miles for our plane tickets, Melinda's husband used his hotel points for our swanky hotel, I bought breakfast for us one morning! I think I got the better end of the deal! We saw O, and had the best time shopping, eating, and shopping some more (at Target and Walmart mind you!).

We got manis and pedis.

Eli and me at Disneyland for his 6th birthday.

The kids each got to have a special character birthday meal. Eli choose breakfast with Lilo and Stitch.

Chillin' on Mickey's couch.

Eli was way into the rides (well the mild ones anyway) and was eager all day for what was coming next.

Our ward had a talent show and the fellas did a synchronized swimming skit. SUPER funny! Check them out on youtube here:

Meilani was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She and her buddy Jordan were baptized on the same day.

We're so pleased that Meilani is setting such a wonderful example for her siblings to follow.

Ben baptized and confirmed her. It was a beautiful service and the Spirit was in abundance.

Our family all came to support Meilani. It was a very special day.

Liam turned 2! He was a little young for a trip to Disneyland, but we did have a family dinner with cake and presents. He was especially excited to receive a hot wheels big boy bike.

I turned the big 3-0 this year. No pictures to prove it but the day came and went with no real fanfare. Ben stayed home to give me a "day off," which was lovely. I remember when my mother turned 30. Back then 30 seemed so old to me. Now I feel too young to be this old, if that makes any sense.

Easter Sunday. Family dinner at our house.

Disneyland for Sariah's 4th birthday.

Of all the kids, Sariah was my little dare devil! She went on all the big rides that Meilani and Eli refused to ride.
Sariah was unusually quiet all day. I think she didn't feel the need to yell or interrupt when she had my full attention and didn't have to talk over anyone.

Eli played baseball this spring and Meilani, Eli and Sariah all took gymnastics lessons.

Meilani and her cousin Kalea. They are the same age and bosom buddies when they're together.

Pam and Norm took Meilani and I to Colorado for Kalea's baptism. Tom, Mandi, and Kalea didn't know we were coming and it was a huge surprise. It was a super quick weekend but so worth the trip (and the 6 hour delay at the S.F. airport). We were so happy to be there for Kalea on her baptism day. My favorite part was sleeping in a hotel room totally and completely by myself (it was a first for me) while Meilani had a sleepover with Kalea.

Meilani getting a citizenship award at school. Her second grade teacher was Mrs. Hurst.

Eli with his teacher Ms. DiMartino at the Kindergarten promotion.

Sariah and her friends at the Joy School graduation party. Aidan, Eden, Sariah, Carmen, and Luke.

June was spent swimming.

Raging Waters in San Jose

Liam was potty trained. Hip hip hooray!!!

I planned the Mountain House 4th of July parade for the second year. Ben's on the Lammersville School Board and rode in the parade with the kids as a dignitary (you can tell how small our town is!).

I love the 4th of July! One more excuse to dress the kids up! My sister got them all dressed and ready while Ben and I set up for the parade.

Camping at Hunnington Lake. Bath time! Look at Sariah's face!!!

Eli lost a tooth while we were camping, with a little help from Dad. Thankfully the tooth fairy found our tent alright.

Just a boy and his dad. Nothing sweeter!

Ben teaching the kids how to fish. The girls lost interest fairly quickly.

Sariah and her buddy Eden. We had 20 kids and 14 adults on our camping trip. The kids were in heaven playing in the dirt and spending time with their friends. Great times.

Almost the whole gang. The Larsons, Watsons, Beans, Farleys, Kamauus, and Foberts. Ben left camp to go home for a job interview, then drove back up to the lake to help me pack up and head home. He didn't end up getting the job . . . bummer he made the extra trip. My mom and Meg were with us too. I think they're snapping the picture.

Downtown Santa Cruz. Liam following in Abba's footsteps. Precious! I wish that lady in black would have gotten out of the way!

Tom and Mandi came for a visit and Pam and Norm rented a beach house in Santa Cruz for us all. Here's the girls trying to salvage what's left of the sand castle. You can't tell by the pictures, but it was freezing!!!

Eli and his counterpart cousin Jackson. Those boys are so sweet and so similar in personality.

Sariah was actually really good at boogie boarding! Shaka sista!

Roasting marshmallows in the backyard. It doesn't get much better than that!

All the cous-es! Liam, Eli, Meilani, Kalea, Jett, Jackson, Kai, and Sariah. Man did we have a blast! I think this will be a yearly tradition!

Back to school. Notice the cast on Meilain's arm. She broke it while we were camping, but we didn't realize it was broken until a week later when she couldn't do a hand stand at gymnastics. Ah, mother of the year I tell ya.

My cutie girl, heading to 3rd grade. She looks so grown up!!! Notice the cast matches the shirt!

My cool dude, heading to 1st grade. Back to school with no front teeth!

Liam, not going anywhere, but insisting his picture be taken too!

Sariah off to Joy School, year 2. I'm diggin the boots girl!

Ben turned 33 this month. Another year older, and wiser, and grey-er!!!

I was the volunteer coordinator for Time Out for Women this year. It was a TON of work, but a great experience. This is Meg and me with Sherri Dew. She's an extremely inspirtional woman!!!

My homies, Melinda and April. I, of course, wrangled them in to help with the event.

Me, Mom, and Meg. Also made to be TOFW helpers!

Mom, Meg, Sean and I went to visit cousin Anneke, her husband Felix, and daughter Grace, in Arizona. My mom's brother, Uncle David, and his wife Anne, met us there from Wisconson. Great picture, except Grace is looking the opposite direction!

Anneke and me. I sure love that girl! This trip made me realize how much I miss her. We were really close growing up, and I thought things might feel a little awkward during our visit since we haven't kept in touch in a lot of years, but we picked right up as if no time had passed. That's one of the blessings of family I think.

Anneke, Felix and Grace. Some of the strongest parents I know.

During General Conference weekend we took a drive up to the Oakland Temple. Meilani took this picture when we weren't ready, but I love it. The way Ben and I are looking at Liam, I think, depicts how much we love each of our kids. I wish I was that patient and loving all the time. Something to strive for.

At the visitors center with the statue of Christ. Liam wanted to climb on it. We had to restrain him.

When I used to visit the temple grounds, before I was a member of the church, missionaries would always stop me to talk to about the church. This day, no one seemed to mistake us as non-members. I guess I have the "mormon family" look now. It was a surrel experience.

Sariah took soccer lessons.

Trick-or-treating with the neighborhood.

Baby Seth joined our team!

Fresh bun from the oven.

Playing at Central Park.

Ben made a tent for the kids in the boys' bedroom. No one lasted there all night, but they had fun playing.


April said...

I loved your Year in Review!!! You are a great family and we are so blessed to know you guys!

Melinda (farleysmiles) said...

I loved it too, in fact it made me cry, I'm sad to not be a part of it anymore, but I'm so glad we got to be such a big part of all those wonderful memories, so many of them are memories we cherish as well.

Fobert Family said...

Love it Danelle! You inspired me today to get goin' on mine again! Thanks! Love your year in review, what a fun one. Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

I'm happy you joined the blog world. I love you and your family. Now I can keep up with y'all.

John and Stef said...

What a wonderful family you have. You do so many fun things with your kids, you are such an amazing and inspiring mom. Looks like you had a terrific 2009!