JANUARY 2, 2016
I put together these scripture journals for all the kids in our primary. I think I made over 90 journals. It was a lot of work but I was happy to introduce them to the kids this year as a new prophet would be highlighted each month.
JANUARY 3, 2016
Tonight was the Baptism Preview for all the kids who would be getting baptized in 2016. At the end we had all the kids get in the font so we could take a group photo. I can't believe how many kids in our primary are getting baptized this year.
WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY
JANUARY 7, 2016
I LOVE watching Downton Abbey and couldn't wait until the new season started. Today I sat down to eat lunch and enjoy the first episode of the new season. It was exciting!
PACKAGE FROM THE MURATA FAMILY
JANUARY 8, 2016
Every year we send a Christmas package to the Murata family and they send one to us. The kids are always so excited to open the box full of Japanese goodies. We miss Japan so much but these packages warm our heart and bring back such great memories of our time in Japan and of our fantastic neighbors and friends there.
EMMA SEWING WITH GRANDMA
JANUARY 9, 2016
Emma has always had this interest in learning how to sew. One summer I put her in a sewing class at the fabric store and she learned how to sew a pillowcase. Since then I haven’t made the time to help her with other projects so I was thrilled when grandma said she would help Emma sew an apron.
FABRIC FOR ABBY'S BAPTISM QUILT
JANUARY 9, 2016
We went to the fabric store so that Abby could pick out what she wanted for her baptism quilt that Grandma Anne was going to make for her. It took a bit of time but eventually we all worked together to come up with some great coordinating fabrics.
JERSEY DAY AT SCHOOL
JANUARY 15, 2016
It was Jersey day at the Elementary school today so the girls went down to the dress ups and pulled out the BYU football jerseys to wear to school. They were so cute in their true blue apparel. Go BYU!
GETTING THE WINDOWS REPLACED
JANUARY 21, 2016
As part of the repairs for all the hail damage to the house was the replacement of a few windows. Two of the windows that were replaced were the tall windows in the family room. I was so impressed by how the workers were able to replace those tall windows with ease. I was a little worried about having this done in January but they came on a relatively warm day so there wasn't too much cold coming into the house.
PETE THE READER
JANUARY 22, 2016
Peter is our most avid reader. When he is finished with his homework he is often found with his nose in another book. I have been shocked by how fast he can get through some books. I love it that he enjoys reading.
A VERY SICK ANDREW
JANUARY 26, 2016
Andrew woke up this morning sick as a dog. He had been up most of the night throwing up. Initially I thought he got food poisoning but then I realized that he was really sick. His uvula was swollen and dangling so far down that it actually touched his tongue. I quickly made a last minute appointment and took him in to be seen by the pediatrician and the ENT. I felt so bad that I was leaving today to go up to Vail with Mike but Grandpa Al was already on his way to watch the kids. Poor, poor, sick Andrew.
ICY HOCKEY GAME WITH FRIENDS
JANUARY 30, 2016
We spent the evening at our very first ice hockey game with some good friends. The kids enjoyed being with their friends and we enjoyed hanging out with Jen and Jeremy McDowell. It definitely wasn't as cold in the arena as I thought it would be and way cooler to watch in person than on TV.
Emma finally made it to the double digits…10 years old. She was fortunate enough to be able to enjoy her birthday while Grandpa Al was visiting. She was rather excited this year to get something she has been wanting for quite some time--an electric guitar of her own. As a lover of music, Emma had been attempting to play Mike’s electric guitar for fun and one day we realized she was pretty good. So, we ventured out to get her a fun pink guitar of her very own. Emma would play every instrument if she could. In addition to the guitar Emma also received a fun lego set from Grandpa Al and a new hiking outfit for her American Girl Doll from Grandma Anne and Grandpa Franz. She also got a fun pair of turtle earrings from mom and dad. It was fun little birthday for our grown up girl!
Mike and I had the opportunity to spend a few days up near the Vail Ski Resort together while he attended an ENT conference. Since most of the conference was actually in the afternoon and evening we were able to ski all day together. Dan, who is one of the device reps, agreed to be our private tour guide. It’s a good thing too because Vail is so big that it wouldn’t take much to get lost. We spent the first day skiing all the way from the western side of the mountain to the eastern side of the mountain just so we could get to the Blue Sky Basin where all the fun back bowls were located. It took quite a bit of time just to get over to Sky Basin but it was totally worth it. Once at the top at Belle’s Camp (11,480 ft) we stopped to take in the view and get a snack. The views were incredible. After resting for a bit we headed toward the Cloud Nine run which ended up being our favorite run throughout all of the Vail runs. We did this a couple of times in addition to the Star run before heading out of the bowl and back up to the front side of the mountain to eat lunch at the Two Elk Lodge. We explored the front side of the mountain before finishing up our fabulous sunny day on the mountain. The next day we headed again towards Blue Sky Basin and explored some more of the blue runs over there. It was probably the best two days of skiing Mike and I have ever had together. The weather was great, the runs were fun, the company was good, and there were lots of beautiful views to take in. We wish this resort were on our season passes so we could take our kids here. Vail is such a great place to ski.
We decided to head up to Copper Mountain to ski with the kids this weekend. This would be the first time we would be able to all ski the runs on the Timberline Express together since Abby finally learned to ski the easy blue runs. We first took the kids on the American Flyer run since that has been our favorite run over the last couple of years. Abby took the first run a little slow as she was a little nervous with the first steep pitch. After getting through the entire run she realized that she was totally capable of doing that one again. She had no problems after that. We all loved skiing together and Andrew loved taking me on some tree runs that he had discovered on the outskirts of American Flyer. When we got cold we headed to the little café on the top to drink hot chocolate and eat some yummy waffle treats. Andrew, Peter, Emma, and I even ventured over to one of the other blues to try our hand at the moguls. Peter and Emma loved it but Andrew and I weren’t that thrilled with how choppy the moguls were. We ended up meeting back up with Mike and Abby and stuck to the groomed runs. Since we got to the lifts right when they opened we had no problems being done skiing around 2pm. We headed down the mountain and were back on the road before any traffic had started to accumulate. Getting there early and leaving early is definitely the way to ski with our kids.
Mike had the day off so we decided we would spend the day on a little snowshoe adventure up at Spruce Mountain. We have enjoyed coming to this place with the kids and hiking up and around the plateau. We knew it would be a great place to try out our new snowshoes. It turns out that we both really love snowshoeing. Mike had been once before but this was my first time and it was so much fun. The packed snow trails were ok to snowshoe on but the fresh powder that we found at the top was where all the fun was. It was so much fun blazing our own trails and watching all the powder fly in every direction as we walked through it. The weather couldn’t have been better as well. The views from the top were absolutely stunning. I love that Mike and I can have fun adventures together while the kids are in school. We can’t wait to come back and do this again!
Emma and I had our first graduation recital for violin. Since we both finished the first book around the same time our violin teacher said we could do the recital together and at our house. Mike accompanied all of the songs as we played through every one of the songs in the first Suzuki Book. Both of us were pretty nervous, although you couldn’t tell by looking at Emma because she looked so calm. I played most of the songs with Emma but let her play a few of the harder songs by herself. She did such a great job. It was especially nice that my mom and dad were visiting so they could be part of our small recital. It has been so much fun to learn violin with Emma over the past year or so. I hope Emma continues to love playing the violin.
When we first arrived at the bottom of the mountain it was decently cold, and we all got prepared for the hike up to the lodge. We lined up to have a buddy to hike with up the mountain. We got our snowshoes on with our packs and started our hike. It felt fairly easy as we started to go up, and I started to talk with Peter, who was my partner for the hike. After about fifteen minutes, I started to get hot in my big jacket, and I put it in my pack. I eventually shed off two layers of bigger jackets in about thirty minutes. As the hike progressed, it got harder and harder. The snowshoes helped a lot, but hiking with a pack on my back made things worse. We got halfway up and my legs were hurting, I could also tell Peter was having a hard time too. We eventually got up to the last half a mile, and trekked onto the final stretch. After what seemed like forever I made it to the lodge with Peter. We put our packs outside and sat down in the cabin. I went and put my stuff up onto my bed, which was pretty comfortable after a seemingly endless 3-mile journey up a steep mountain. We all waited a little bit and rested until dinner. By that time I had dry, comfortable clothes on. We had some chili for dinner, which was pretty great. After dinner some of us young men played poker for about an hour (shhhhh….don’t tell the YM leaders). Then we had a devotional that ended up having us look at the stars outside. I’m glad we packed together with the priests, because without their body heat I probably would’ve been much colder. It was very beautiful. After that we all went upstairs where the beds were. Most of us goofed around for a little bit and then went to bed. We woke up and had breakfast burritos for breakfast. After that we sat around for a little while, and then got our snow clothes back on. Most of us went up the hill a little more so we could sled. Up above our cabin the tree line ended and there was a steady slope of snow. The young men’s leaders and the priests built a ramp of packed snow, where most of us sledded and flew off of it. I remember one time that I went very high up the slope, and ended up flying a little too far off the ramp, and flipping over myself several times when I landed. By the end of the morning, we all packed up, and set our journey down the mountain. The hike down was much easier, and took a considerably less amount of time. By the end of our journey down I was pretty tired and ready to go home. That snowshoeing adventure was amazing.
Written by Andrew Wilhelm