Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Or really big Christmas, as it is in our case! Christmas Eve with the Holmes Family starts with food and fun and family with the extended Holmes family. Russell is the oldest of 10 children, and we have needed to take our party to a church building for quite a few years now. We were fewer in numbers, missing our kids who were away with family in other states, but we carried on with Babies, this is our cousin Becki's baby Luke...what a doll he is and his cousin baby Lilee. We had aunts, Russell's sisters Jennifer, Barbara and Marie, and Randi with Sara!and cousins, Rebekah and Sarah, and Kate and KrisSilly cousin Dane reminiscing with Grant and cracking us all up!Grandpa reading the Christmas story, and a Christmas sing -along. On to the gift exchange and dessert, and a great Power Point slide show of the family giving love....
Then on to Christmas eve at the homefront, Dad reads the Christmas story after everyone gets into their new jammies. The kids do their sibling gift exchange....Christmas morning with just 3 kids at home....still great, but missin' a few! A much smaller Christmas morning. Our traditional hallway picture before we join at the tree..On to food and the Pitt Family for Christmas day. Skyler get belated birthday kisses from auntie Jana!Crazy Uncle Loren always livens up the day!Games and gifts and goodies. And a call from our missionary...Elder Cody Holmes is doing wonderful in Honduras! Although his packages have not arrived.
It was wonderful to be together rejoicing in family and our FAITH in our Savior whom we celebrate this day!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My baby is 19!

It is hard to believe, but the caboose of my Great Eight, is 19 today! A difficult time of year to have a birthday to have given birth, and a difficult one to have for a kid, 3 days before Christmas! He inevitably gets slighted, and overlooked. But here we are with a young adult son, who is preparing to go on a mission. Skyler is entertaining to say the least!He is Jackson's favorite Uncle, by virtue of how much time he spends with him, and how much he loves him. Whenever Jackson is around, Skyler is his favorite person to be with. They have so much fun together. It started day one, and continues today.... Skyler still asks why Heidi and Matt and our baby J have to live so far away!
He has a few hard and solid passions - one is that he is a fisherman extraordinare! Whether it be at the beach catching a shark, Or at a lake waiting for that catch,Or, at the side of a stream while we are camping,His other passions are skateboarding, and dirtbike riding. I am not usually with him when these activities are taking place, so hence no pictures, we will have to remedy that.
Skyler has a quiet soul, but his personality can come out loud and clear around his immediate family. Hard to believe?...believe. He has been one that needs to know why things are as they are, and sees inequalities in all facets of life for all mankind and lifeforms. He loves nature and is quite a bit like his dad. He has an unshakable spirit, and though life may not always hand him the easiest of roads, he is up to the challenges and keeps doing his best to become the best he can be. We love our boy (man), and we are all so blessed to have him in our lives. Love you Zook!

L.A. Temple lights and Young Adults!

My hubby's calling is serving on the Stake High Council, and his main assignment is serving with the Young Single Adult Ward. Since our two guys who are still here at home attend there, it is a great place for him to be. This weekend was filled with activities with them. Russell cooked tri-tip for their Christmas party and dinner. They had a talent show, I wish I had my camera with me for that! Those kids are so talented and so funny!
Last night we were able to make Chili, and take it along for a dinner at the L.A. Temple, and see the lights.
Our friends Christianne, Nikki, and Randy enjoying our homemade Chili! Our friend Tara Graves sweetly being the "Hot Chocolate girl!"
Here is our group of great Young Adults and their fearless leaders!
We had a car full of chatty singles and smiled as we listened to the conversations.
We really enjoyed the evening and the beauty of the grounds. Our Skyler patiently stopped and smiled for momAs you drive from the 10 freeway up Overland Dr. You can see the temple, and being so beautifully lit up, just enhances the message of being a true light to the world.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where in the World will Taylor Roberts Serve?

Amid the celebrations and traditions of this time of year, we take a break for a most special young man, and a tradition of righteousness....Cody's great friend Taylor Roberts opened his mission call tonight. He was found wearing some silly lense-less glasses. The Robert's home was bulging with family and friends all so excited to find out where Taylor would be called to serve the Lord. Of course there was Peng Hua, a young man who joined the church after meeting Taylor on the High School basketball team. He just returned from his first semester at BYU Idaho with Taylor as well....great young man!The Olivas sisters were there as beautiful as ever, Rebecca and Bionca!Bishop Rowe came to support this young man, who is also his basketball playing buddy!Good friend Aaron McCammon, fellow ward member and BYU Idaho bud. After a sweet prayer by Taylor's grandpa, and a few emotional words of thanks by his dad, Brother Ed... he even thanked Cody and our friend Trevor Westover who are out there serving now! Then we listened to a tearful and sweet reading of a call to serve the Lord and the people of Leon, Mexico!
A big hug from Taylor one to Taylor two! They have been dating for a few years, and Taylor Behrens has been a great girl to support Taylor's choices to be where he is today!
As we said our goodbyes, I saw the old bishopric, and told the guys to turn around for a photo op...We sure miss seeing you all regularly!
Congratulations Taylor! Now you and Cody will be speaking Spanish to each other in a few years! Pretty Cool!! Go Forward with Faith!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Caroling, caroling!

We have a loooonnnnggg standing tradition of Christmas Caroling in our family. I grew up fixing goodies, and taking them to our Home Teacher, neighbors, and friends, accompanied by singing Christmas Carols as we arrive at the doorstep. Often to the chagrin of my children, we yearly have done the same with our kiddos as they grew. Now with the extended family growing, we have quite a harmonious choir. Some years we get the whole Pitt clan out here in Norco, other years we travel to Riverside for my sister's friends, some years to HB to carol to the friends of my Brother's family, and my parents friends as well.
This year it was scheduling problems that made it possible for us to take our kids that were available, and we went to a few friends in West Corona. Breana's family, this is Breana's sister Arwen!
The Carrillo's and The Allen's ( I told Kelly I wouldn't post her picture....) Of course we always take them by surprise, but it is always a fun night to add to our book of Tradition memories. So in the future, if you hear a little "Rudolph", or "Silent Night", or "We wish you a Merry Christmas", it's just the Holmes bringing good cheer, and a yummy plate of goodies! (Grant loves to belt out those carols) ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas visitors!

We had a great evening, I highly recommend this! We got to steal 4 of my most favorite children in the world and spend a few hours with them last night! Our friends Scott and Joy have 3 incredibly beautiful and bright girls and one busy "all boy" son. Scott and Joy are great friends, Scott is the bishop in the Eastvale Ward and served as a counselor to Russell when he served there as bishop. Joy so funny and darling and is a dynamic and talented momma of her sweet brood, with a business she does from home. So I decided to endulge myself and have these 4 children come over for the evening. We got to have tacos, Carly(7) said she doesn't always like tacos that other people make, but....she loved ours. She told us she liked the shells that Russell cooked up. Carly and Taylor enjoyed our version called "supercrisp", corn tortillas fried crispy with some salt...homemade giant tortilla chips!as well as the meat and the cheese. Taylor (10)also enjoyed the dinner with that great smile on her face! She in an amazing big sister! I made the mistake of telling Sydney (5)that we had a candy game to play later, and she ate a good bit of taco, and wanted the games to begin! Brody sat in the high chair and enjoyed his dinner as well. Whilst trying to wiggle out of the chair as often as he could. Sweet baby! It took me back a few years.
Clearing the table, and an offer from Carly to do dishes, so sweet, and then it was a game of Pete! With a choice of Skittles or M&M's for thier turns.
They were awfully good at this game! Even Skyler had to get in on this action! We realized that we are sorrowfully short of children's games, so a trip to Target solved that, as the girls picked out "Trouble", "Sorry", and Sydney, picked out a few puzzles. Because she is "really good at the 100 piece ones", and she wasn't kidding! Russell and Skyler were doing the guy thing, chasing Brody around, and playing toys with him, as Jackson's stash came in handy. I had to steal kisses and and hugs, which he so freely gave, in between our girl activities of the evening. Truly the fun ended all too soon, and we decided we are going to do this again. Sydney asked what I was doing tomorrow. So sweet. Thank you Joy for sharing your beautiful brood, it did my heart so much good to hang with the younger set again!