Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Our yearly Christmas letter, written by my son Dallin.  I always get one of my kids to write it because I love to see their take on the year and quite frankly it cracks me up!

Merry Christmas

So it’s that time of year again when people get all nosey about “how our family’s been doing…” well to you I say, “none of your business!” My mother, however, didn’t like that version of this letter so I guess I let you have some insight into the wonderful life of the Cole family.

Well Ken and Karen are doing well and are ever getting closer to 50.  Mom is having a great time with her full time job of being team mom for the Mountain View Wrestling Team. They love her and her cinnamon rolls! Dad has had a great time helping coach the freestyle and junior high teams or the East Valley Wrestling Club.

Brenn has been living both here at home and in Tempe with her friend Audrey. She has been taking a few classes at MCC. She also has been working as an office assistant at a life insurance company and is enjoying it. She is also doing very well with her photography you can see some of her awesome pictures on facebook.

Well I’m doing really well! I graduated from high school in May. Post high school life has been treating me pretty well! I work at Pizza Hut as a server and as a driver. I also have received my mission call to Birmingham England! I leave April 22! I am super excited to go!

Logan is a sophomore at Mountain View this year and loves high school. He has been doing very well in wrestling. He took second place at city for his freshman year, and is doing very well on the Mountain View team.

Well that is a look at the Cole family! Have a Merry Christmas and Cool Kwanzaa!!

Love Dallin and the Rest of the Family

I love that it's from Dallin and the rest of the Family, shows you who is important.

Merry Christmas my family and friends, I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his willingness to be obedient to his Father.  For coming to earth to save us all.  That example of Love is what I want to fulfill in my life, as always I will follow Him.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Friend Katie, made me cry.

A Missionary Mom Christmas (author unknown)

I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus, My decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and fun.
I've bought him all white clothes because...

This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because,

This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion; their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence; I'll miss his smile a ton For two years we will pray for him,

I'm giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one.
I'll put my faith in God's hand, This year,

I'm giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand Christ's birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It's because I know Christ lives and reigns; that all his packing's done.
My gift has taken years to make, This year...

I'm giving Christ my son.

I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before... Greater love - there could be none.
For years ago God gave to me,

His only begotten son.

The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray; Now knock on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say.

Because I know Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done, My gift has taken years to make.

This year...I'm giving Christ my son.

My Friend Katie and I spent a lot of time with each other when our kids were little.  She and I and our double strollers walked everywhere!!  She told me after her second child, who cried ALOT, to slap her if she ever thought of having any more children.  But she really wanted a girl, so I let that one go, especially since her daughter was born on my birthday.  She has since had 5 more children!  She is extremely sick when she is pregnant and worked really hard to bring these kids into this world.  Her oldest, who when 3 came into our house crying because Brenn wouldn't agree to marry him in the temple, is on a mission in SLC, UT.  They, Brenn and Tres, did go to his Senior prom though.  Fun stuff.  But I do feel like this Christmas we are concentrating less on the stuff and more on the mission.  We are blessed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birmingham, England

Here is the link to see Dallin opening his call!!  I am so very proud of this boy!!  He leaves on April 22nd and goes directly to the MTC in Preston, England.  Needless to say I have been really busy!  I am sure there were at least 150 people in our home for this event.  I made 60 cinnamon rolls and they were gone in an instant.  I wish I would have taken pictures of the crowd but by 9pm I was so wound up!  I managed to keep busy from noon until about 7 when we attended an open house with our ward and they were all excited too, so that made me ready to hear but Dallin didn't get off until 8:30pm so.  By 9pm my house was full and no Dallin.  He did finally come home and honestly, I will count that night as one of the best ever!

On to traditions...

My bestie is having a linky party and up to now I have been a no show.  At our house we are all about traditions.  My husband is a big Christmas person and so we developed important rituals and up until this Christmas we have always done these things.  What is different about this year?  I am not sure.  We seem too busy.  Wrestling every weekend in December and putting on one wrestling tournament the Saturday before Christmas.  Planning my in-laws 50th anniversary party and reunion, plus the usual Christmas stuff.  But at least I will record our traditions.

First, we always try to put up the tree on my birthday the 7th, we are more flexible as our kids have gotten older because of busy schedules.  We always decorate the tree together.  A few years ago Ken complained about our ornaments, they are the kids creations from school, primary and various activities.  So I bought him his own tree with the white lights and red balls, he and Brenn decorate this tree and the boys and I decorate the other tree, we have blue and red lights added to the white and put lots of old ornaments.  Then we put on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the cartoon one, and string popcorn for our tree, when the Grinch is done we watch The Year Without a Santa Claus.  This is something we all look forward too. 

Second, we spend one day, usually the 23rd or so baking and taking treats to all of those we love.  We are grateful to have such good people in our lives.  The best way we know how is to make them fat!  I will give out one of my most complimented recipes:

Bon, Bons

1 package of Oreos, either plain or mint but not double stuffed
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese

In a food processor grind up the Oreos, white stuff and all in to a fine powder.
Add  to a bowl the powder and the cream cheese.
Mix together well - you have to use your hands - that is just the way it is.

Take about a teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball, stick a toothpick 3/4 of the way down and put on a tray.  After all of the mixture is gone place tray in freezer for about an hour.

Melt Almond bark either in the microwave or on the stove according to the package.
Use toothpick to dip the bon bon and set on wax paper.  Let the chocolate set up.
Take out toothpick and dip the top, sometimes I dip the top in white chocolate to note the mint ones.

Store in an airtight container or ziplock in the fridge.  I recommend hiding them.

Last is Christmas morning.  We line up according to age and wait for Ken to turn on the lights.  Then we open our stockings and gather to open presents.  This is serious business for Ken.  We start either oldest to youngest or youngest to oldest depending on Christmas Eve.  Then you open one present on your turn while everyone else watches.  It usually takes us a couple of hours.  Mostly, we get to spend the morning together.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Made you look!!

I felt like I was getting a bit predictable by breaking in to my mom's blog on her birthday, so I'm doubly surprising her by doing it today instead!  SURPRISE!!  :D

Now you guys already know that my momma is the bee's knee's, but I'm gonna tell you a few more things that make her even more awesome.

She just finished making super awesome ward directories.  Which take up a bunch of time.  If you have ever made one of those bad boys, I salute you.  They take time.  And patience.  And persistence.  Three things my mom doesn't always have.  Mostly she's short on time.  The other two she's pretty much good with.  Did you know she hand printed each and every cover of the directories?  Kinko's couldn't do it the way she wanted without doubling her price, so she came home and printed them herself.  This gets even more impressive when you learn that our printer has a pretty serious inferiority complex, and that she had to pull each and ever piece of paper out of the printer at exactly the right time so the printer didn't mess it up.  Like I said, impressive.

She handed out those ward directories last night, and I woke up this morning to her printing a whole new directory that she had made on the side for the wrestling team.  I'm telling you, this woman in awesome.

She is also very selfless.  She gives up so much for our family.  This year, she convinced us that it was a good idea to give our Christmas to someone else.  She is such a good Christlike example to me; she is always thinking of others and how she can help.  I'm so excited for Christmas this year because I think our family will really be able to focus on the really reason for the season, without the worldly distractions.

I usually post a really flattering picture of the two of us together (remember last year??) but I don't really have one for this year, so instead I'm going to take a picture of the really super awesome birthday present Logan and I (Dad helped!) gave her.

Custom framing!  Woo!!  :D  Love you momma, hope your birthday was the bestest!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Have a laugh...

Things that made me laugh out loud this week!!

Home Protection

A must have in every home in America!
For everyone who would rather not have a gun in the house!
In view of the recent Supreme Court ruling, sales of this new product
may skyrocket. The dummies in Washington think they are going to take
away our guns, so check this out.
I like it!
They'd NEVER think of NAIL GUNS!
They're concentrating on doing away with the BULLET-TYPE of ammunition!
HAH! I think I'm gonna buy ME some NAIL GUNS and NAILS!!!!
AND, we don't even have to REGISTER them or have LICENSES for them!
AND, you don't have to worry about them being CONCEALED!
Just a LOT of good stuff to do with THIS!

New Nail Gun, made by DeWALT
It can drive a 16-D nail through a 2x4 at 200 yards.
This makes construction a breeze, you can sit in your lawn chair and build a fence.
Just get your wife to hold the fence boards in place while you sit
back, and relax and when she has the board in the right place, just
fire away. With the hundred round magazine,
you can build the fence with a minimum of reloading. After a day of
fence building with the new DeWalt Rapid fire nail gun, the wife will not ask you to build or fix anything else, probably, ever again.

This was a forward email from my Uncle.  I can just picture someone somewhere trying to put up a fence this way and being shocked when it doesn't work!

Last but not least is the link to "The Real Story -How Amish Friendship Bread Came to Be".  This made my day and has kept me chuckling for a couple of days!!  Love that boy!!