December 31, 2009

Happy New Year...

To wrap up this year, I would like to share with you some of the memories that stand out to me from 2009.
January- Ivy started dance and had so much fun that Jade decided she wanted to be in dance too.
February- Our family took a quick impromptu getaway to Midway.
March- Jade performed at a gymnastics meet at BYU and absolutely loved watching the BYU gymnasts.
April- This was an excellent month! Easter, a freakish spring snow storm, WICKED at Capitol Theater with our parents and another getaway this time to Bear Lake.
May- I finally got to wear a Prom dress to our ward prom and Jade graduated from kindergarten. Ivy and Jade had their dance recital and both fell in love with performing. We also got to watch Grandpa Great at the Golden Spike re-enactment.
June- We had a huge project where Scott put a rectangle trampoline in the ground. Jade and Ivy both learned how to ride their bikes- Ivy with training wheels and Jade without.
July- The girls experienced their first rodeo and it stormed the whole time. We took another getaway but this time to St George for a wonderful couple of days at the Sand Dunes.
August- Our life became a life of boaters. We spent weekends and nights out on the boat learning how to wake board. Jade also started First Grade and both girls made the performing companies at the VIBE dance studio.
September- More boating and a great Labor Day at the Thanksgiving Point Luau.
October- We saw several movies, rode the Haunted Train, and had a mouse problem- yuck!
November- We went to California and had a wonderful time playing with my brother's family, spent a day at the Sand Dunes and went to the top of the world at Snowbird.
December- A very busy month filled with Jade winning the reflections contest, a polar bear swim, a Christmas program and dance demonstrations wrapped up with the girls seeing their first ballet.
What a full and wonderful year! Can't wait to see what 2010 brings.
Happy New Year!

December 30, 2009

The Stockings were hung...

After Santa dropped of pajamas for all of the kids, we headed home to hang stockings and get to bed. We didn't have time to read "Night Before Christmas" because we got home so late. But we did quickly hang stockings and captured the tired moment for our posterity to see and remember.

Goofy Christmas girls.

the Voodoo Clan

My cousin, Cass, is EXTREMELY creative. She's an amazing artist by trade, but she also explores other mediums that are fun and crazy. Cass is one of my favorite people to spend time with. She makes me laugh while she makes me want to be more creative and artsy. For Christmas, she made witch dolls for each of us. The faces are our faces printed on a fabric. In the picture below it is me, then my mom, then Anne and last is Kat. Each has a very fancy dress and a witches hat.
The dolls remind me a little bit of voodoo dolls, but witches- therefore a clan. I think they are really cool and I'm very excited to have it as part of my decorations.

When the girls saw it, Ivy said that it was scary and Jade immediately said it looked just like me. So the question is, am I scary looking?

December 29, 2009

Oh Heavens, the Nativity

Part of our family tradition for Christmas is a re-enactment of the Nativity. This year we had a little bit of a challenge, none of the boys were willing to play Joseph, so we had to improvise. Asher was willing to play the part so she and Jade were Mary and Joseph.
The kids disappeared with my mom and Cassie while they learned their parts and got in costume. Then they joined the group while Sunshine read from the scriptures.

Our baby Jesus is a little old and wasn't really interested in staying in the basket.

The shepherds sat with their backs to the audience and there was only one king, who wasn't very interested in the baby Jesus. It's hard when you are 1 1/2 to understand your role in the Nativity.

We had to take a short paparazzi break in the middle of the re-enactment when we realized there were 3 dslr's flashing, 1 video camera filming, 2 iPhones capturing and 1 point and shoot snapping away. We took the pictures and then put our cameras down and let the spirit take over.
It was beautiful and as always wonderful to be reminded of the birth of our Savior.
Cass got some great pictures of the nativity with her iPhone. Check them out on her blog.

December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve Festivities...

I really love my extended family. I love the laughter and the stories that are heard through out the evening. I love getting to catch up on the fun things everyone is doing. I love watching the teenagers "hang" together remembering how they used to be like the little ones are now- only there were fewer of them. I love getting to spend time visiting with them and listening to the interactions between the generations.

Christmas eve at my parents is filled with soups- clam chowder and french onion soup are the traditions. But this year, we added some extra soups. I made borsch, Tom made a miso soup, Kat made a butternut squash soup and Aunt Carole made a yummy tomato basil. As always there was more food than we could possibly consume in one evening.
I think my mom looks really pretty in this picture.
I think this is a great picture of my uncle that really does captures him.
Can you tell that they are mother and son?
I love getting to see all of my family enjoying their Christmas eve feast.

December 27, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa Great

I never knew my great grandparents- not on either side of my family. My kids are luckier than I was because they have gotten to know one set of great grandparents. Scott's mom's parents are still an active and fun part of their family. The Christmas party is the biggest gathering that they always make it to- even if they aren't feeling fantastic.
Grandpa Wayne makes the party musical- he is a retired band teacher and plays multiple instruments. In fact, he still plays with a band whenever he can. For Grandma Edith's 90th birthday party, his band of old musicians entertained the family and the littles danced and danced to their tunes. Grandpa's part of the party is typically the highlight.
Grandma E has been frail as long as I have known her, but there is always a smile on her face and she's always quick to hug and laugh. Since I've been part of the family, she has been through so much medically, but she continues to fight. Most recently, she broke a vertebrae when she fell in the middle of the night. She's had a heart attack that was followed by bypass surgery. Plus she's had tummy troubles that don't seem to have a good resolutions. Each time we pray for her to be strong and for her body to heal. Our prayers continue to be answered because she is a strong fighter.
Together they support one another and stand by each other's side. They care for one another unconditionally. Their love has grown over the many years that they have been together. For our family, they demonstrate true love and why being together for all eternity is such a blessing.
We love you, Grandpa and Grandma Great. We are so grateful for every minute we all get to spend with you. Merry Christmas!

We wish Aunt Dawn and Uncle John could have been there too.

December 26, 2009

Johnson Family Christmas Party

The holiday season began with the Johnson family Christmas party. It is one of the traditions I look forward to every year since I joined the family. Each year we gather with many of Scott's cousins and siblings to celebrate the holiday. We play games, eat lots of yummy food have the kids exchange gifts. This year there seemed to be fewer cousins there, but hopefully next year more will be able to come.
Here are some of the scenes of what the kids do during the family party...
Gavin made a leaning tower of cups.
Luci scooted on her head for a bit.
Matthew just looked adorable.
Anya spent some time visiting with Grandma Great.

Then all of the kids gathered for a roaring game of B-I-N-G-O with a Christmas theme. They had a blast with it and enjoyed the candy prizes. Thank you Aunt BJ for facilitating the game.

Every year, Grandpa Great leads the kids in carols and provides the musical instruments. I love him in his little elf hat and the energy he brings to the party. The kids love getting to sing with him and have a lot of fun with his instruments.

To end the party, Aunt Kristal read a story about lefts and rights and each time she said "left" the kids would have to pass their present to the left. If she said "right" then they would pass their present to the right. At the end of the story, all of the kids got to open the present they ended up with. One of the presents our girls got was "cooties" and they have loved it. They've played it over and over again.
We had a great time and I am so glad we get to spend time with his cousins each year.

December 24, 2009

'tis the Season to DANCE

Every Thursday Ivy has dance class.
Every Thursday Ivy starts to cry and doesn't want to go.
Every Thursday I tell Ivy that she made a commitment to go to dance when she decided to audition for the company.
Every Thursday Ivy insists I go with her.
Every Thursday I take my laptop to her class, sit in the corner and log on to the VIBE's wireless.
Every Thursday I spent from 4:00- 6:00 working on reports and answering emails so that Ivy will go to dance class.
Every Thursday I love watching my littlest practice her turns and her kicks.
Every Thursday I love quietly laughing while Ivy "tries" to do cartwheels and handstands.
This Thursday we got to watch Ivy's dance class demo. Other than the cartwheels and handstands, she did an adorable job. She didn't know the dances as well as she should have, but she missed dance while we were in Disneyland and then the next time she missed because she was sick and contagious. She and I will keep working on her dance moves together and we'll keep working on her cartwheels and handstands. Hopefully she'll learn them, otherwise we might want to consider switching from jazz to ballet.
As you can tell from her smiles, she really does love dance- even if she is going to be shy and timid when it comes to dance class.

We have one month to get her ready for her first performance. Wish us luck on those cartwheels and handstands. (Jade and Ivy will both be doing some of the pre-shows for the "MOVE" concert at the Covey Center for the Arts at the end of January).

December 23, 2009

First Grade Christmas Program

Thursday was Jade's 1st grade Holiday program. Her part was "Many years ago, the Jewish temple was destroyed by invaders. It was very dirty and all of the beautiful things were ruined. " She did a fantastic job and practiced and practiced. The first picture was taken during her part. She spoke loudly and clearly.
During Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, some of the kids got to do the echo part but not all of the kids. Based on Jade's expression, you can tell that their teacher asked them to be extremely quiet. For each echo, she made a different expression showing that she was keeping her mouth shut.

Poor boy wasn't counting on getting slapped during a song. He actually wasn't slapped, it just looks like it.

Jade is growing up so much, it makes me happy and sad. It doesn't seem possible that she's coming up on her 7th birthday. In so many ways it seems like just yesterday that Scott and I first laid eyes on our beautiful little girl. I am so happy that she is growing up to be such a sweet little firecracker.
Here's a little clip from one of her songs.

December 22, 2009

Ballroom Class Demo

The last of Jade's dance demos was her ballroom demo. Here are a few cute little pictures of her and her dance team.

December 21, 2009

My Jazz and Poppin little girl...

I am so proud of my little dancing gymnast. This is the first year she has been excited about dance. She says that she loves both dance and gymnastics but that gymnastics is her favorite. She says that gymnastics makes her more muscle-y and flexible. I didn't now "more muscle-y" was our goal, but I guess it is.
However, she is really loving her hip hop class. It's so perfect for her. She's not long and string beany nor is she super light on her feet- but she is strong and solid and firm. She hits every move with precision and throws around the hip hop attitude perfectly. The cutest thing about it is watching her sing while she dances.
I've included a video- it wasn't the best time she did it, but it was pretty darn cute.

She's also really enjoying her jazz class and is so excited that she gets to do her round off back handspring in it. It made me a little nervous when I found out that she's doing it on the hardwood floor, but she seems to be hitting it each time.
She may not love dance as much as gymnastics, but I think it has really helped her with her self confidence. I no longer hear her talking about how big she is nor see her grabbing the skin on her legs moaning about her fat. With dance, she has found that there are hundreds of body types that can all dance and move and look great. Unfortunately, at gymnastics most of the girls are littler than she is (even if they are older), so she's spent nights being upset about it.
I am so grateful she loves doing both and I believe these early years will help teach her that if you enjoy something, it is important to work at it and love it.

December 20, 2009

An Amazing Young Man

17 years ago, an amazing young man was born.
Dax, my nephew, is really quite the impressive kid.
Let me tell you a little bit about this young man...
California Boys State
President of his Priest Quorum at church
Writer extraordinaire
Gifted musician- drums and guitar
Voted Smartest at Malibu High
Voted Cutest Couple at Malibu High
Homecoming King - Malibu High
Future Ivy leaguer- pending acceptance
Future Missionary
But the best thing about him is that he is a wonderful nephew and a loving older cousin. He has been a fantastic example living the gospel, studying and practicing the things he loves.

We love you, Dax and we're so proud of you and all that you are doing! You are amazing.
*****12/21 UPDATE*****
Dax just learned today that he has been accepted to Oxford University!!! His interview questions were long and tricky- but apparently he did an excellent job and they were impressed.

December 19, 2009

Look what I did....

Two years ago, when I started this blog, I started it with the intent of creating a journal for my family. The first year, it was primarily pictures with a few words here and there. There were the occasional posts that were wordy, but there weren't many of them. The next year, I decided to share a little more about our family and our experiences. There were fewer posts the second year, but I shared more of us. This next year, the third year of my blog, will have more sharing about our lives, our trials, our lessons learned, our faith and our thoughts. It will be we for the first time. I don't know how often there will be posts that aren't by me, but there will be some. I'm so excited!!!
While this journal has evolved, it is still my journal and now, I have a printed copy of the first year. I am so excited to share with you the first edition of the Sanford Family History. I went through It was easy and fun to do. I copied my blog to a word document, where I was able to edit it and put it in chapters (or months). Once I was done, I went to to determine the size of book I wanted and to get the recommended margins and paper size. Then I re sized my document and made sure chapters started at the top of a page and that as many pictures could fit on a page as possible. After saving it I uploaded it to lulu and picked out the cover and published it.
The only negative I have to say about my experience is that their cover options weren't fantastic.
Here is my 505 page book of our family in 2008....

Why did I go with I tried Blog2Print and Blurb but ran into problems with each. Blog2Print can only do a limited number of pages- not 505. That meant I'd have to do 2 books for the first year. For Blurb, I didn't like the formatting. But I have since learned that they can take a pdf that you have formatted the way you want it and create a book that way. Since I haven't tried that way, I can't speak for or against it. But, was super easy and I only got frustrated when I couldn't get the margins perfect in word.
Oh, by the way, a 505 page book will run you about $115. Worth it? for my kids to have a full color hard back book of their childhood- ABSOLUTELY. I can't wait to get 2009 started.

December 18, 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

...but the kids are so delightful. The morning of fluffy snow brought for a fun morning of playing in the snow. Scott snowblow-ed and the girls played.
I love this picture of Jade.
Scott blew the snow on Jade and she loved it.
Is that really the way to make snow angels? She didn't believe me that I told her most people do them face up. She said that she was making a snow butterfly- you are supposed to do those face down.
Ivy has been starting an episode so she hasn't been very smiley. I was excited to catch this one beautiful smile of hers while she played in the snow.
Nothing better than finishing a day of playing in the snow with hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream. I anticipated the girls would come in for it, but they wanted to stay outside in the cold. It didn't take very long before the hot chocolate had little ice crystals forming cause it was REALLY COLD.

Saturday night it warmed up and started to rain. It left the neighborhood a real slushy mess. I love the snow but I don't love the slush. Slush is messy and dangerous- I don't like it.