Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I am going to use this time while we watch "Johnny English" for New Years Eve to catch up my blog some more.

This year it was our turn to have Thanksgiving with my side of the family. Though as we all started looking down the road towards Christmas it seemed impossible to find another time to get together for a Christmas party so we decided to combine them, hence Thanksgivmas! (Now as I think about it "Christgiving" would have been a better name.- oh well, next time.)

My mom had reserved her church so the kids (including the big ones) had a great time playing basketball, football and just running around in general. The tamers ones (mostly the girls) enjoyed making blessing feather headdresses and hand print turkey place mats at a craft table.

Look at all those feathers!!! What a thankful girl Aubrie is!

How Ashton enjoyed the turkey.

My brother, Andrew, who is a plumber, but has a alter ego of a gourmet chef, cooked the turkey this year. He had marinated it in a clean Home Depot bucket full of a brine solution overnight and stuffed it full of yummy vegetables that made that old turkey mighty moist, tender, and delicious!
Chef Rew and Dad carving the bird.

The rest of us filled in the extras including the traditional greenbean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranraspberry mixed with 7-up with frozen raspberries in it and of course, Mom's pumpkin pie (along with chocolate ribbon, pecan, razzleberry satin, coconut cream, Reese's peanut butter cup, & apple). Now you have a clue to the reason for my "fluffiness"- my family feeds me too well!

Little kids circle.
The turkey's timer was being a little slow to pop, so while we waited the kids played a gift exchange game. We had 2 circles, an older kids and a younger kids. The kids had each brought a $5 gender neutral gift and as Richard read the "Night Before Christmas" they would pass it to the right or left depending on whether Richard read "the" or "and". It was really fun to watch them try to get the hang of it and they all enjoyed the gifts they received.

Big Kids circle.
Ben ended up with a giant bucket of bubble gum. He and some of the other older kids surprised us by setting up a scavenger hunt for the bubblegum for the younger kids while the adults cleaned up dinner. I think that it was very thoughtful of Ben to share his gum with everyone.

Ben playing the gift exchange game.

Our family stayed the rest of the weekend up north with our family. Friday we visited Grandma and Grandpa Parke. We got yummy Chinese takeout from Lucky China and helped Grandma Parke put up her Christmas tree. I think she had to redecorate it when we left, but the kids had a great time making Grandma's tree look "pretty" or should I say "Pretty Unique."

How Richard helped....after bringing the tree up from the basement.

Ashton's (aka Firebug) favorite thing to do at Grandma's. At least, it leaves her with a warm family room.

On Saturday my family gathered together again at Kiddie Kandids for a Family Picture for my parents 45th wedding anniversary. It was interesting getting the picture just right considering we had 23 people (13 of which were children) to get looking at the camera at the same time and Richard and my niece Alyssa had both been suffering from a stomach flu and we had to stop for periodic bathroom breaks!! Aren't making memories fun!!

The Final Result!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Today was the Christmas Sing-a-long at Amelia Earhart Elementary. Each grade has been practicing a Christmas song to perform for the whole school. It was fun to see the kids sing and feel all the excitement emanating from them since today was the last day of school before Christmas Break. I don't know if it was the thought that Christmas is only 6 days away or that they wouldn't have any school until January 5th, but there was a ton of energy in that room! Those poor teachers, I would have hated to be in their shoes today! Maybe that is why today was an early out day (aka- Sanity Saver Day)!

Ashton's 4th grade sang "All the Animals Down in Utah" (a take off from a song titled "All the Animals Down in Texas.") They learn about all the Biomes in Utah during 4th grade, so it was fitting to sing about all the animals.

The Kindergartners sang "Must Be Santa". They were so cute, as all kindergartners are, especially trying to remember the actions and keep their "jingle bells" quiet until the right time. You will have to watch Dallin's head between the two girls in front. Sure wish I knew who their mom's were because this is great footage of their kids... not so much of Dallin. (Even in Kindergarten, don't they know that shorter kids go in front!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ben's First Haircut

I know many of you are saying "Ben's first haircut?" "Surely, Ben has had a haircut before now?" To you, I just say, just keep reading.

Many of you know that a week before Thanksgiving I had a substantial portion of my hair cut off. Substantial means I went from a long ponytail, to not being able to pull it into a ponytail at all. Here is the story behind that decision.

We went to Ogden to attend the wedding of our nephew Brett, who was marrying a lovely girl named Monica in the Bountiful Temple on Friday, November 21st. Thursday night, the wedding dinner was to be held at the Maddox in Brigham City.

I was a mess trying to get ready, feed the kids, and I was still a little upset that Richard wasn't going to make it home from his business trip to go with me to the dinner. I was hurriedly touching up my makeup and doing my hair. Ben was in the bathroom watching me and wanting to help do my hair, telling me he was going make me so beautiful, when the phone rang. It was Richard. He was informing me that he wasn't going to make it to the wedding ceremony on Friday either. I was not happy. So as I was trying to figure out why he wasn't making it back in time, I had leaned over to put on my socks and shoes. Ben was still playing with my hair telling me how BEAUTIFUL I was going to be. As I stood up and turned back to the vanity, this is what I saw.....

Yes, that is a lock of my hair. So when I say, Ben's first haircut, I mean on someone else! Apparently, making me beautiful required a six inch lock from the underside of my hair being snipped off. He had grabbed my moms scissors of the vanity and while I was distracted, chopped it off. I freaked. He cried. Luckily, the shortened lock still pulled up into my pony for the wedding dinner. And let's just say, that Ben helped to to make the decision of whether I should cut my hair short or not a little bit easier.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy 45th!!! (+ a week.)


Last Saturday, December 6th my parents celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary. These days 45 years is quite an accomplishment. Though my siblings and I may laugh at some of my parents quirks, obviously they are doing something right. So in honor of their accomplishment, I wanted to go back to the beginning.

My mother, Jeanne Baum caught her first glimpse of her future husband, standing in her landlords living room, as he streaked through in a towel and swim shorts. Her landlady (future mother-in-law) told her & her roommate, Glenda, that her son, Marlin had just graduated. From my father's always youthful appearance, they thought she meant highschool, not college!

She soon realized her mistake and he became her obsession! She even went as far as stealing a missionary headshot picture of him from the little storage room where they were allowed to keep some of their belongings. She sent it home to her mom and dad to show them the guy she had her eye on, but missed it so much she went back and stole another!

My Father, Marlin at the time was dating another girl by the name of Gloria, which caused my mother great distress! Whenever he went out with Gloria, she would pace the floor in their basement apartment in Provo, waiting to hear his footsteps that signalled that he was home and she could relax and quit watching the clock. Jeanne thought she was finally going to get her chance with him when he asked her to go to a fireside with him. She asked him what happened to Gloria, and sadly found out that she just had to work. Still there was the chance to win him over, until a few hours before the fireside she got the call from him telling her "some others" would be joining them. Then she found out that Gloria was able to get off work and was one of the "others" that would be coming with them. She promptly told him "NO THANKS", and stayed home.

Marlin soon saw that Gloria wasn't so "glorious" and Marlin & Jeanne had their 1st date in July 1962, when they went to see a "Jack the Ripper Friday the 13th" flick. They enjoyed dating and didn't rush into anything. Jeanne says that Marlin was just a slow mover. Marlin says that Jeanne huggged the other side of the car instead of sitting next to him on the bench seat. Marlin went to work at HAFB, so their dates were limited to the weekends. One of Jeanne's most memorable dates was when they went iceskating on Utah Lake. She says that he swept her off her feet.

Time went on, and Jeanne got a cellulitis on her leg and since she worked in the nursery at Utah Valley Hospital, a Dr. told her she was not able to work until it was cleared up. So she went home to Burney, CA during her time off. When she returned back to Provo, she said she felt like she needed to go back home to CA, so back to CA she went, but not before Marlin's mother (my grandma Eva) told her that Marlin was sick that she was leaving and she wished that she would stay.

Jeanne got a job at the Fall River hospital after sorting out her credits to be licensed as a RN to work in California. She lived with her mom and dad, worked alot night shifts, wrote back and forth with Marlin a little and dated a few other guys.

After getting one particular boyfriend babtized, she realized she was missing something. So she scrounged up all the spare change she could find and placed the call to Marlin back in Provo. She says that she caught him at the right time since he had just gotten back from hiking Timpanogous and was vulnerable.

Marlin drove to California in his VW Karmenghia and met her parents, had some fun being together again, and he and Jeanne decided to get married. So he went back to Provo, but soon returned to California, this time with a RING. He got down on one knee in my grandparents livingroom and formally proposed.

They drove back to Utah in my mom's old Chevy, where she got a job at Primary Children's and set about planning a wedding. My dad got a day off because of the assassination of President Kennedy, so they used the time to make arrangements for the cake, church, and decorations.

With everything in place, Norma Jeanne Baum and Marlin Jolley Huff were sealed together for Time and all Eternity on December 6th 1963, in the Manti Temple. Seven years later, they welcomed the first of 4 children and the rest is history, 45 wonderful years of it.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Playin' Catch Up & My Big Bro.

Since it has been almost a month since I've posted anything I am hoping to play a little catch up. Life has been really busy, not necessarily with fun busy things, just mainly your everyday, boring busyness. I hope you will forgive me if they are a little out of sequence, but since the biggest reason I started this blog was to journal the events and people in our lives I don't want to miss anything or anyone.

Also in this post, I want to wish my oldest brother Dan, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Dan is one of the most passionate people I know. If there is something Dan wants, he goes for it, and doesn't stop till he has it in his grasp. From football, weightlifting, hunting/fishing, Medical school, and numerous other things, he has been a great example of hard work and perseverance for me. So Happy Birthday big brother and thanks for being the kind of person I can look up to.
My big stud of a brother! (Kind of deer in the headlights, but handsome nonetheless.)