Thursday, December 31, 2009


I LOVE ARIZONA! I never thought I'd ever say that, but after being in Utah for 6 months, I have learned to appreciate Arizona. It's beautiful weather, the wide roads, the grid system and of course my family. We had a great time being with friends and family for the few days we were there. I got to go swim a few times with my sisters, Ryan got to work on the Tahoe with his brothers and Kate and Clark got to play with their Grandparents and cousins! I didn't take many pictures, and the ones we did take didn't turn out very well. (someone got ahold of my camera and adjusted all the settings without me knowing)

This was Christmas morning. We stayed at Ryan's parents house the whole time, and his sister and kids stayed over Christmas Eve, so the kids could be together Christmas moring. All the kids had to line up smallest to biggest and wait for Grandpa to give the go ahead to go see their presents. The order was Kate, Clark, Emily, Becca and Rachel.
Here's Kate and Clark tearing into their presents from Santa

Clark got a work bench with some new power tools
Kate got a fold up doll house with all the fixings
Clark the "worker guy" with his new tools

This is Ryan's Dad, George. He has to be the hardest person to shop for. Every year we have to rack our brains to find something he likes. This year we lucked out. It just so happens that George LOVES BYU football. So we went down to BYU bookstore and got him this nice long sleeve button up with the 'Y' logo on it. Best of all- he liked it!
In the afternoon we went over to my parents house to do presents. Kate got this doll.

Clark got a dump truck complete with wheelbarrow, construction signs and of course a hard hat.

That's just cute.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'll Be Home For Christmas

We are leaving this afternoon to drive home to Mesa! We have been counting down this day for a month now. The kids are so excited to see their Grandparents, cousins and friends. Ryan and I are excited to see everyone, to have a little vacation and just be home!
We will only be in Mesa through Sunday the 27th and then we drive home Monday. It will be a quick trip- but so worth it.
I'm really looking forward to being with my family. I thought that it would feel more like Christmas with the snow, but I realized that family is what makes it feel like Christmas.
See you all soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Temple Square

Last Thursday Ryan had to work late, so I decided to take the kids down town, meet Ryan at work and walk over to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights. I wish I could say it was a great time, but there was a Jazz game that night, so instead of taking about 35 minutes to get to down town, it took over an hour. By the time we got there, Ryan ate the dinner we brought him and we walked over to Temple Square, it was 8pm already! Not only that, but I think we picked the coldest night yet. It was only 13 degrees! Needless to say, we didn't stay long. We walked around the temple and the visitors center and that was it! My feet were frozen from my toes to the arch of my foot. Since then I have invested in some new shoes.
Kinda a bad picture, but that is Ryan, Clark and Kate at the bottom

Here's all of us freezing our tootsies off!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gingerbread House

It's a Haynes family tradition to make gingerbread houses every year before Christmas. For the past few years I have continued the tradition with my own family- usually just Ryan and I. In years passed, we made our houses out of graham cracker, the way my Mom does it, but this year I decided to take it a step further. I've always wanted to try to make a real gingerbread house out of real gingerbread. I've seen those kits at the store and have been tempted to buy one, but I am "Suzy-homemaker" and couldn't cheat by buying one, but decided to make one all by myself.

I found a recipe in a cookbook I already had, that had the recipe and the measurements for the house itself. So Monday afternoon I decided to give it a try- so we could decorate it for Family Home Evening. Well much to my surprise, it took a lot longer to make all the pieces than I anticipated. I finally finished making the pieces about 7:30pm- which was much too late to put it together and decorate it. So after the kids went to bed, Ryan and I put it together.

The recipie made enough dough to make a base for the house- which I didn't do- so we had some extra dough. Tuesday the kids and I made gingerbread boys and girls and decorated them.

Then Tuesday night when Ryan got home, I got everything out and we decorated the house. It was alot of fun. Kate and I decorated one side and Clark and Ryan decorated the other.

This is the side Kate and I decorated. At first I tried to make it look cute- then I just let her go to town and put stuff where ever she wanted.

Ryan was not so lenient with Clark. Their side of course looks pristine. (Ryan is a superintendent you know)

So eventhough all our Christmas decorations are still in our attic in Mesa, we are finding ways to fill our home with the Christmas Spirit!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's About Time!

Snow. And lots of it.

The last two weeks have been very cold ( 10 at night and 20's during the day) but NO SNOW. What's the point of having cold weather if you don't have snow to go along with it?! Last night it started snowing and has been off and on all day today. We're supposed to get snow almost everyday this week and I love it! It finally feels like Christmas- minus the being with family part.
This morning we got to do something we've never done before- shovel snow. We don't have a snow shovel yet (we're going tonight to Home Depot) so I had to borrow our neighbors. They even had a little kids shovel, so Clark was my little helper. Kate lasted about 15 minutes. After she had been inside for a few minutes by herself, I went to check on her and she had taken her pants off and put on shorts! Umm, we don't live in Arizona anymore.
Other than that- we had a great time!