Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Christmas Morning

Wrangling 5 different groups of people, some with kids, to get ready and open presents together is a great feat! I think we finally started unwrapping packages at noon. The littlest kids had so much to open they eventually got bored and ran off to play with the first set of toys they received. I really enjoy seeing what other people get each other as gifts, partially to see if I can get any good ideas for the future, but I also think you learn interesting things about people when you see what those closest to them get them and how they react.

One thing I've missed since being married is the stockings my mom used to put together for us. I loved the little treats, random stationary supplies, socks, and girly things she would get for us. I was telling John this and he came up with a fun idea to do stockings last minute. Right before midnight on Christmas Eve we both went to the closest drugstore and picked stocking stuffers for each other. Some were random and hilarious like the lavender shimmer Star Wars lipstick, or delicious like the Korean BBQ turkey jerky. John was sweet and remembered some of the weird childhood things I used to want like ring pops, and gummy candy shaped like other food. It was also a little like playing Marco Polo because we had to avoid each other in a small space and time our check outs so we wouldn't run into each other.

Hugo thought the Spiderman stocking I got John was for him. I felt bad for him when he found out it wasn't!

My stockings! They're John's real socks . . . but they were new socks.

All the little nieces and nephew were jealous of my stocking treats. What does that say about me and my tastes?! 

John got a lot of placeholder gifts because they couldn't be wrapped or couldn't ship to Denver.  The kids also were jealous of this one. They had no idea what Fallout was but liked the pop-up. My elementary school paper skills finally came in handy! I should have tape laminated it!

This gift was inspired by Jen's and Dave's recent Portland trip.  Tip: the caramel apple one was NOT a favorite! John liked  the snickerdoodle and olive oil. I had these shipped to Utah for when we got back. 

Etta was very helpful with opening gifts. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Beginning of Winter Break

As soon as school and work let out for Winter Break, John and I threw our bags in the car and drove south to join my Dad for the Las Vegas Bowl.  BYU was playing the U which made for an exciting rivalry! It was my second football game ever (my first was on a date with John at BYU before we were engaged). My brother-in-law Greg and my niece, who is now taller than I am, came up from San Diego as well.  Even though the first half of the game was difficult to watch, it ended up being more entertaining toward the later end.

Me and my tall niece! 

We had dinner at Yuyu, an authentic Japanese restaurant off the strip. It's becoming our favorite place to eat when we visit my parents. Their katsu dinner is spot on! 

Christmas Break this year brought some unexpected turns. John's dad came down with pneumonia and had to go to the hospital.  We left Vegas early to help out in Denver and to spend time in the hospital. John's dad had a long stay during which he also had to get a peg tube put in.  We are so thankful he is home now and are hoping that he continues to grow stronger.  Even though these times are trying, I really admire John's mom and dad for their strength, teamwork, and the love they show one another as they live through the complications that have been brought on because of David's M.S.

David got home for the hospital right in time for Christmas Eve and all the holiday celebrations. We had a lovely dinner, the annual LeSueur family talent show, and bell carols. There are lot of pictures here!

They start so young with the Ipads! 

Mary leading in the chime carols is a tradition in this house.

Grandma LeSueur was visiting for the month of December from San Clemente.

Brother and Sister! This is one of my favorites!

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Some more catch up from earlier this winter. December was a blur, as it is for most people with the holidays. I had an embryo transfer, which is not really a difficult procedure as the patient, but waiting for results can be nerve wracking. It ended up that we were in Denver when we had to do the blood work to see if the transfer worked and we got back a negative. We still have a few chances left, so we're cautiously optimistic but ready to move on if need be. Since I have to wait a couple of months between each new round of treatments we could potentially be doing this for another year, which is kind of daunting to think about. But, we've been doing it seven years, so I guess what's another one? I do get antsy sometimes. I've been toying with the idea of going on sabbatical and getting my masters in administration or even taking time off from teaching to get a photography degree.

In other news, we got a new pet bunny in the beginning of the month. Her name is Jasmine (pre-named by the breeder) and she's a Holland Lop.  We are loving having a rabbit again and it's a nice distraction from the hectic schedule of work, church callings, and doctor's appointments. It's very therapeutic so sit on the floor and watch a bunny play, I highly recommend it!  :)

Family photo shoot with the Sagers up Mill Creek. These kids were amazing, right down to their 3 year old, who all braved the below freezing temperatures for an hour.

Our baby bunny Jasmine. 

Imperious looks won't get you anywhere.
The mad preparations of Christmas.

Monday, January 11, 2016

More from Thanksgiving Break

Here are the rest from our time in San Diego over Thanksgiving Break. We took pictures for my older sister's family.  John and I were testing out the light in the PQ Canyon before we met up with them and practicing our J-Vlogger waves.

"Hey guys!"

"Hi everyone!"

Me and Claire Bear.

We were fortunate to be in town for the wedding of one of my close high school friends. It was like a mini Mt. Carmel reunion and it was so fun getting to be together and to see Kim married to her sweetheart Jeremy.

I also took some really cute pictures of my little nephew Oliver, but permission is still pending on publishing those . . .

November Catch Up

I've mostly been editing other people's pictures lately and haven't had much time to go through my own. Here are a few from November. We went to San Diego to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The Hot Dog Party we throw annually for our pod kids. It's based on a quote from the book Touching Spirit Bear. I teach about the Science of Survival on the party day. It's my favorite because I get to surprise them with my bear scaring tactics.

The Thanksgiving spread. My favorites: Dave's potatoes fried in duck fat, Allison's creamed corn, and Greg's stuffing.

Me with all my siblings. Dave was trying out an El Chapo mustache for the week. 

Lauren and Leah. We always joke that they're the next generation version of me and my younger sister Michelle