Friday, December 28, 2012

Different Holiday Tradition

I love Christmas traditions.  Almost as much as I love my family.  Which is a lot.  
So let me reiderate, I LOVE Christmas traditions!

A favorite family tradition is the Christmas oraments.  Our Christmas tree is FILLED with a variety of ornaments without any rhyme or reason.  My fantastic mother will buy each kid a new ornament every year to hang on the tree.  Sometimes the ornament comes from a trip we took.  Or maybe it is something unique to each of us.  Maybe it came from a new botique.  One time it came from a story my mother wanted us to remember.  There are just a lot of them.

This year was different though.  As we are getting older we've become more relaxed with our Christmas (like not wake up so early on Christmas morning - thank heavens).  This year mother didn't buy us ornaments but instead we made them with supplies found around the house.  It was a blast to see how each one of us created a mini masterpeice with paper, glitter, wire, and old bulbs.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Stuart Christmas Letter

We are so happy to have Christmas here again!  It is a wonderful time to share our love for our friends and family and love for the Savior.  Merry Christmas to all!
Taylor (19) – has been going to school at Utah State University and has found a new fascination in political science and has taken several classes on the subject intermixed with exercise science courses needed for her major.  Our dinner conversations have gone from bilateral deformities and college sports to bipartisan policies and the Electoral College.  Dad and I find the conversations to be really exciting but I think we lose mom as soon as the word “constituencies” is mentioned.
Keni (22) – is GETTING MARRIED!  She is getting married to a Logan, Utah boy she met in her church congregation this summer.  The wedding is set for the middle of January.  While she is still in college, she is getting great practice balancing homework, wedding preparations, work, and a fiancĂ©.  We are thrilled she has picked a great guy, Michael Althouse, to join the family.  It is every kids dream to be at the front of the alphabet and I think Keni is going to trump all of us girls in the last name promotion: Stuart to Althouse.  That is a 19-letter promotion!  Lucky!
Amy (25) – loves to travel even though I kept each trip short and frugal this year.  When you are living in the East there are so many wonderful things to do and see within a six-hour drive!  Among the favorite trips this year included Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, festivals in Rhode Island, beach trips, and Washington DC over the fourth of July.  So much to do and see.  The grandest of the trips was a cross-country excursion with my sisters stopping in several historic places along the way to Utah.  Now I am living in Utah and working on my new business, Travel Planning by Amy (website coming soon!).  How appropriate.  I am thrilled to be close to family and the mountains once again.
Kemp and Joseph Ure (old enough to have two kids) – are still living in New Hampshire.  With a house, two adorable children and a number of church assignments they forget how quickly time flies past them; but once in a while, literally only once in a great while, they throw everything aside and have a bit of fun.  This year Joseph has participated in a mountain biking race that took him to the hills to ride through obstacle courses.  He has also found a new love for Spartan Races which keeps him active and healthy; he led his New England team “Leaders from Behind” over walls, though muddy water holes, past a Spartan ­­­warrior and over the finish line.   Though Kemper participated in the Spartan Race with Joseph, her idea of fun isn’t as intense.  She took a weekend with me to hike several trails and enjoy the beautiful fall colors in Vermont and loves spending time with her babies.  Kemper has started teaching preschool and comes up with very creative lesson plans and activities to keep several neighborhood children engaged.  We love Kemp and Joseph!  Now if only they lived a bit closer….
Avy (3) and Sadie Ure (1) – are sisters that don’t really know what to do with each other yet.  Avy is learning her letters, plays outside in her clubhouse and attends preschool.  Sadie is walking and dancing.  She imitates talking on a cell phone like her mother.  But neither girl knows what to do with the other!  I’m sure they will grow up to become great friends (crossing fingers) but they haven’t quite figured out how to play with each other yet. We are excited to have them join us in January for Keni’s wedding.  It is a toss up between Mom and I to determine who is more excited to see them.
Mum and Dad (??) – are starting to slow down.  Shocking!  I never thought my parents would grow up but I’m not surprised to come home in the evening to find them both asleep.  Neither one can read without a pair of glasses, or two, so there are eyeglasses strewn throughout the house in case of an emergency reading.  The parents love having their family close and dad thinks that if he builds another house in Uintah that will force a child to live close by.  He is in the works designing a new house and comes up with a new house plan every week.  Mum is keeping up with her massage business and helping people stay healthy with essential oils, whenever someone has an ache or discomfort it is common to hear mum yell from the other room, “I have an oil for that!”  Both mum and dad have been active in their motorcycle group, the Temple Riders Association, and are looking forward to new assignments and rides in the upcoming year.