Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

We had an amazing Christmas with TONS of stuff. Lot's of aunts and uncles and grandparents spoiled the kids rotten, so we didn't have to. I posted this pic so you could see how CRAZY dirty the house was~~~

Santa brought a Wii, and somehow all the family knew about it. We now have everything we could ever need wii. Extra remotes, sports sets, two wheels fo Mario Cart, Outdoor active (WAY FUN!!!!) Wii Fit, lots of games. Am I forgetting anything? The kids have been THRILLED!!!!!

We are so grateful for all of our family and the many wonderful things they shared with us. We love you all!!!

Christmas Eve 2008

The kids planned the nativity portion of our Christmas Eve this year. It was so fun to watch the planning. Jake (aka Joseph)really wanted a beard. After Megan eye-lined it on, he went up to Brandon and asked, "Do I look like a grown-up now?" Brandon said, "No, you look like a kid who has a beard." It was so funny, but maybe you had to be there???

My sister Sally was conned into being Mary, and Alexa was (of course) the baby Jesus. Ainsley was the angel (contradictory?). Jake was Joseph and Brandon was the shepherd. In the video which I couldn't upload, you can see that baby Jesus kept trying to climb out of the manger. Joseph kept interrupting me saying, "Jesus, Jesus!" :)

They loved having new pajamas and sleeping by the tree. Maybe a bit too much, Because by 11:00 pm they were still whispering and I had to banish them to their bedrooms.
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ryan!!!

Day after Christmas and the birthday of my honey! What a great day!!!!
Ryan is the best husband and daddy ever. I am so grateful for him and wish him a happy happy birthday!! Just as close to 50 as 20. heeheehee

Monday, December 22, 2008

The last of the stockings

Santa - again!

There is a family a couple streets over that have a HUGE Christmas display! Santa comes for pictures, they play movies on a projector screen, give hot chocolate, cookies, and all that jazz! It is so fun! There is a donation of $5 for the pictures, and it is so worth it! Next year, we may dress a little warmer and go on the hay ride.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flashback Friday

Brandon - Joseph, Christmas 2004

I know the quality of this is terrible - but I love this picture.
Ryan always makes fun of me for dressing the kids up on Christmas Eve and making them act out the story of Jesus' birth. He wants to know if the men really wore towels and bathrobes. Well, maybe not, but it's the best I can do! And I think he looks soooo cute! This year cousin Megan was baby Jesus, Ainsley was the Angel and Mary was non-existant.

Monday, December 15, 2008

One more...

I finished Alexa's stocking this morning. It is definitely one of my favorites!

(It's supposed to be a sleigh if you can't tell)

When the kids and I were looking for stocking ideas, we checked out a few sites. Family Fun, Martha Stewart and PBK, to name a few. Ainsley designed hers on her own. Brandon's was a copy from PBK and same with Alexa's. I bought the felt from JoAnn's for $2.99 a yard! What a steal! These cost almost nothing to make and were really fun. We'll see if I get Ryan's and mine done...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two down...3 to go!!

I have been working on these stockings for a while now. The first two are finally done. Designed by the kids, btw.

And I threw this in just because I thought it was a cute picture! Have a fun day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday

Ainsley's First Christmas

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tom Turkey by Ainsley Sims

Ainsley wrote this story for class and Ryan and I got such a kick out of it, we thought we would post it. Sorry for the bad quality - hope it's legible. You just don't get the same effect reading it in type.

My favorite? The turkey had turkey for Thanksgiving! Ans what's up with the pilgrim dressed in an ice cream man's suit tricking him by offering free ice cream? We must have just talked about stranger danger?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Lights!

Tonight for family home evening we went to see the Christmas lights at the Mesa Temple. For some unknown reason, this is the first year we have done this!! It was an awesome experience. Not only were they absolutely beautiful, but it was warm! Brandon was freezing and took my sweatshirt, and I enjoyed walking around in a short sleeved shirt the rest of the visit.

1. Bringing Z with us. She's such a fun girl.
2. The lit up camels. So cool!
3. The candles floating on the fountain.
4. The "creativity" display. We had to explain it's actually a nativity. They were from all over the world.
5. Listening to the high school choir sing.
6. All the palm trees covered in lights.
7. Donuts after!

We had a great night and I am sure this will become a family tradition!

Ward Christmas Party

Our ward party was on Saturday and boy, was it fun! We had a terrific Luau, complete with plate lunch - kalua pork, macaroni salad and rice. Yum! Ryan and I took a few kids in the neighborhood with us. (Thus Ainsley's grump face due to three's a crowd syndrome.) We had my mom visiting for about a week and were glad she came to the party. I (Whitney) sang in a little group called Mary's and the Gentleman. The three of us sang some folksy songs like God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Silent Night (the Mercy Me version.) It was really fun singing, even though some people have NO control over their children and let them run a muck during ward parties and performances. WHY??????

Alexa's first experience with Santa. I know he is very realistic. lol. She loved him anyway. My first of the 3!! There is no shot of Ains with him. She refused, due to the grumpy behavior mentioned above. Oh Drama!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Flashback Friday

I haven't changed a bit.

Whitney's Politics

This is purely for my journalling purposes. Warning: May bore you.
I have been bugged lately by the school board. They are having this big argument with the people about the naming of the new high school. After a nasty remark from the board member regarding rascism, I sent her this letter.

Dear Board,

I cannot even begin to explain the frustration I felt as I read the article printed in the Gilbert Republic today.

Whether or not the high school keeps the name Campo Verde or not is not was is frustrating me. I did not even vote on the name (not that it woud have mattered anyway, since the board totally disregarded what the public thought.) I was appalled that Elaine Morrison felt it necessary to claim that the parents who opposed the name "have yet to learn cultural tolerance." I personally know many of these parents, including Sabrina Langford, and would NEVER consider them bigots. Ever. I personally believe Ms. Morrison pulled the "race card" to make herself seem better than those who opposed her.

Apparently naming the school Campo Verde is some carefully crafted lesson by the board to teach the public about "tolerance" and "cultural bias." I guess as self proclaimed super-educators, that's your prerogative. But, please know when elections come you will find out just how intolerant the public can be of such an arrogant board, who shows such utter disregard to the public it supposedly serves.

I not only ask that Ms. Morrison publish a public apology, but that the Board reconsider their decision on naming the high school. If not, I will personally join the campaign against Campo Verde High School and against this Board, and will work hard to recruit others.

Whitney Sims
Gilbert, AZ

Here was her response:

Dear Ms. Sims:

Thank you for taking the time to write to the board about the naming of high school number five in the Gilbert school district. Opening a new school brings much excitement and activity, and it's good to know that, so far, all is going well with its construction.

It's clear you are displeased with the board's decision about the name. In my public remarks, I referred to our choice as having "exceeded the expectations of some" and usually, that's thought to be a good thing! As for consistency, the use of "green field" for a high school was leapfrogged when Highland JHS and then Desert Ridge JHS and then South Valley JHS were all built to accommodate the growth in the school district. But it was a dream of mine that Gilbert might someday have Campo Verde ("green field") High School, both to remain consistent with school naming the board had done prior and also to honor Gilbert's heritage. It was a surprise to me that the majority of the board (by unanimous vote) agreed with the choice! That part of my message focused at those who have demonstrated cultural intolerance was not directed at the community as a whole, and certainly was not directed at those whose disagreement over the name was based on considerations wholly unrelated to the concerns I expressed. I think a careful review of my remarks (available in the board secretary's office at the school district) should indicate that I was critical of those about whom my remarks were fitting.

It is unfortunate that so many have concluded the board was not interested in the public's comments. The statistical report of names favored was very helpful, but it should also be noted that the chosen name was apparently acceptable to the over 23,000 additional persons invited to register a preference for another name who did not respond to that invitation. In retrospect, I can see it would have been helpful for all of us on the board to offer statements acknowledging the many reasons why persons might have preferred another name and that would have addressed Dr. Allison's presentation. We continue to learn!


Elaine Morrison

And again, my response:

Dear Ms. Morrison,

Wow. I was a little taken back by your form letter of which my neighbor received the same.
I was also surprised that you honestly believe that because YOU have had visions and hopes of a high school name, the rest of the community should also. Are you the queen of Gilbert? You were voted BY THE PEOPLE to represent us. Not some dreams of a name you've had since you were five.
As for the 23,000 other people in the city. Let's be realistic. MOST are not in this high school district, so why would you use them in your example. I am still utterly shocked by your pompous attitude.
I will not forget this in the future elections. Unfortunately there are still 2 years to your term.

This is VERY disappointing.


Whitney Sims

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanksgiving Tree

So many ideas were floating out there about a gratitude tree. The Shabby Nest had this cute branch, she then transformed into a Christmas branch. Way cute. I, however, don't have any dead brnches. This is the season of LIFE in Arizona, not dormancy. So, we decided to hang our gratitude leaves on our live tree outside, in the front yard. If you can see Brandon's writing, it says he is grateful for his favorite tree. (mi favrit tre) He was also thankful for "choclit" and Ainlsey is grateful for "light bolbs" as well as a handful of other treasures.

Teeth, waving, clapping and could it be - crawling????

I finally have a moment of "relative" peace and quiet. Alexa got her first tooth and she has been grumpy with a runny nose. First tooth! Yay! Friday was a day of many first for her. She clapped a lot for the first time. She's been waving and clapping once for a couple of weeks, but REALLY clapping! That is so fun to watch!

Friday we also put up the Christmas tree. Alexa has been getting into crawling position for a while. But seeing those ornaments put her over the edge! She can officially army scoot over to the tree and pull hersself up! Of course, she then proceeds to eat anything in sight.

I am constantly amazed at this 7 month old! Wow!

Monday, December 01, 2008