Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cabin Here We Come!

Here is the computer power cord got pinched under the recliner of my couch this past weekend. This means I have no way of charging my laptop until the new cord comes. I am so bummed. I am resorting to using Craig's computer which doesn't have any of my current photos on it. At least I have one right!! I have a few posts ready but I need to add the photos, they just aren't complete yet.

But that will all have to wait, see today we are heading up for our annual family gathering at the cabin. We will be there for a few days. The kids are so excited they can hardly wait until Craig gets home from work (and he just left about 20 minutes ago). So today will be spent packing the final things, getting all our food ready for the meals we are assigned and so on. I hope it will be a great time for everyone. Hopefully I will have my cord so I can post the photos of our adventures when I get home.

Have a great week, wish me luck up in the mountains.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Random Tradition

BBQ In December? NO PROBLEM!

This was a photo of how much snow was outside on the deck...Caleb had to uncover the BBQ!

Okay so we started this crazy tradition a few years back of BBQing cheeseburgers on Christmas Eve. This year we had to change the day because of family parties, but we didn't let it die. It is always freezing, this year we had to dig out the BBQ, but it is just something we do. We make sure we get all the yummy fixings that everyone likes so they can pile it on high. Caleb went out to dig out a path to the BBQ and uncovered it a little bit. Craig ventured out with his head lamp on to do the grilling. Luckily burgers cook fast. I couldn't resist taking some photos of it. I don't know what the exact temp was but it was pretty bitter! Everyone loved it! They were cooked to perfection as usual. I wish I would have taken a photo of Caleb's burger dripping with every kind of sauce imaginable coming off it. He had a double with bacon, you should have seen him open his mouth that wide. Next year I will take a was pretty amazing. Craig and I just laughed. Zach made his all up and just ate bacon and chips instead of the burger. Liberty likes just the bun with our special sauce. I think it was Zach who gave us the idea of doing this, the funny thing is we don't BBQ burgers here at home much if ever during the summertime. So it is a special treat. Like I said a random tradition. But a fun one!

This is the first time Craig went outside ... He ran in shivering!

Burgers are done...notice the hood was on...every little bit helps.

I know it is a weird tradition, but the only way to eat a burger is grilled...yum!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas!!

***WARNING: This is a very long post. SORRY***
So this year I must say has been the best Christmas ever! We of course were busy, and running right up to the last minute, but once the day came, it was great! The week of Christmas was packed with fun times spent with family. Here is the week in review:

MONDAY Dec. 22nd :

The entire Veenker family decided to try something new and fun. After a big storm that lasted all day long we ventured out to Provo to eat at the very yummy Brick Oven we headed down to the Provo River for a Christmas Cruise. Don't get too excited, it's not what you think. It was for sure different and funny. We all piled up onto a raft with sides and were pulled along the river by our guide. We saw fun Christmas lights along the river and listen to great music while we floated. The big surprise was Santa rowing out to meet us in his canoe. He greeted us, talked to the children, and gave us candy. It was a fun activity, I don't know if we will ever do it again...but hey, how many of you have been on a Provo River Cruise??? I know you are jealous.

Check out the photos of the fun time.

This was the lit up sign that was greeting us!

Here's the family right after the cruise!

Zach was loving the cruise so much he couldn't control his emotions!

Liberty making some weird faces...she was loving it!

I think that Caleb was overcome with oooo's and ahhh's!

Tuesday, Dec. 23rd:

Tuesday we wanted to do something with just the five of us. We thought about going ice skating but then second guessed the idea because we have never taken the kids, and I wasn't about to strap on the skates being big and prego. We changed our minds and went to Temple Square instead. We actually haven't been up there the last few Christmas seasons in fact Liberty couldn't even remember ever going. First we made a stop at one of our favorite places the Training Table for a bite to eat! Yum, Blue Bacon Burger and cheese fries, can't go wrong. Off to Temple Square, parking was a nightmare but we know a secret parking place...and no I won't tell. We had fun wandering around checking out all the beautiful lights and just enjoying to sights, sounds and being together. Check out these photos:

Craig and the kids infront of some of the cool trees covered in lights.
Caleb and I waiting in the North Visitor Center while everyone else was in the bathroom.

The gang who even knows what is going through their minds. Kind of goofy photo

Here we are in the Tabernacle, we were listening to someone play the cool organ.

The kids and I in front of the large Christus statue in the North Visitor Center. Not sure what Caleb's doing, I think he was saying something to me when Craig took the photo.

Wednesday, Dec. 24th:

Wednesday we made our final preparations for the family to come to our house. We had the Peterson family Christmas Eve party here. It was a fun event just like always. The soup everyone made was delicious as usual, and the talent show was once again a hit. The grand children came up with some darling talent numbers. Everything from piano, singing, dancing, trumpet, xylophone, reading books and more. The best part is just being together as a family enjoying one another's company, laughing, singing, and crying. There is just something about being together with family around Christmas. Here's some photos of the fun.

Some of the younger cousins laying down listening to Papa tell stories about his Grandma. The were so cute and listening to the stories.

Liberty did a cute little tap dance to Jingle Bell Rock. It brought back alot of memories.

Caleb and Zach tought it would be fun to take Craig's deer antlers from years past and put red noses on and sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It was quite funny!

After everyone left for the night, we hung out, watch Joy To The World and basically waited for bedtime. Liberty had made this magic reindeer dust at the Kids Village Christmas Party and she couldn't wait to go outside and dump it on the snow to draw the reindeer to the house.

Here's the cute reindeer dust before she went outside.

Here she is sprinkling it all over the snow out front.

Thursday, December 25th:

We were awaken by the kids at 6:00 am. I am sure it would have been earlier except we told them that they couldn't come up until then. We had a great time we took our time, the kids assembled/played with their gifts from Santa for almost 2 hours. It was almost 8:00 am before they actually opened any gifts. They had alot of fun opening things from each other and playing all morning. I loved it, no stress, everyone happy and getting along enjoying their new things.

Zach thowing his new football to Caleb. Caleb gave him this and a flag football kit.

Liberty showing off her fun and groovy new doll house. This thing is so cool, it has a silver spiral staircase, elevator, and a disco ball. It's a girls dream come true. Santa did a great job!

Craig opening up his new Toaster Oven that I gave him...I wanted a new one!

Caleb checking out his cool new remote control truck Santa brought. Both boys got a truck, and now we have races all over the house. Fun stuff.

After shoveling the walks, yep, once again we woke up to feels like it has been snowing forever! But the kids love it. After the walk was cleared we headed to Veenker's for more celebrating. Everyone was excited to talk to Elder Veenker in Argentina. We ate a yummy brunch and opened gifts and hung out. Some of the family went over to sled at Todd & KyLee's house, I went home for a nap. We had a wonderful Christmas Dinner in the evening, and played games after.

Over all it was a perfect Christmas Day. No stress, that is just how I needed it to be. Just before going to bed, I told Craig I hope every year from now on can be like this one. I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas Wish for You!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. I hope you are safe, sound & happy! I love this time of year, seeing people happy with a spirit of giving and love. I love being able to spend time with family and enjoy each other laughing, walking down memory lane and just loving each other. I hope each of you will have the spirit of Christmas with you always. I know I get so caught up in everything that I have to do a reality check from time to time. Have a wonderful holiday! Love from the Veenker home.

** An update of what we have been up to (which is a lot) will come soon! In case you were wondering!**

Friday, December 19, 2008

A New Chapter, Again!

So, I know that the title of this post sounds a bit ridiculous...but I am not sure how else to put it. You see today was my last day of work, due to my new baby boy coming in a few short weeks. (that's like 10 weeks, but it sounds short to me!!) I honestly have been looking forward to this day for months now, but now that it has come I am having some emotions come to me I wasn't thinking would. The feelings I had today as I watched some of my 400 students (because I teach art in the morning and cooking in the afternoon I teach every student at the school) I found myself getting choked up!

Let me tell you what I will miss about Kids Village:

Walking into work and finding this waiting for me. This school is not like anything I have ever seen. When I first walked in and was telling my mom about it the closest thing I could say was it reminded me of Main Street at Disneyland. The place is darling and very inviting. Someone a week ago said to me it reminded them of a snow globe. It made going to work so nice. I mean check this place out. I didn't even get photos of the awesome kitchen and art room I got to work in.
This is the Village...see I told you it wasn't like any other school.

I will miss being with Liberty all the time. It was great to be walking to pick up a class and hearing "MOM" being called by her across the village just to see her wave or run up to give me a hug. It was great to be her teacher (even though she was sometimes my hardest student, you know your own are hard!) I will miss looking out my kitchen window at the end of the day to see her dancing to the music ringing through the village.

This happened almost everyday! I loved to just sit and watch her!

To be a kid again!!! She would dance around parents coming in to pick up their children. She didn't care one bit! I love it!

I will miss seeing these darling little children day in and day out. They are so fun and they say some of the funniest things ever! I will miss them so much!

This little brother and sister duo could melt anyone's heart. It was pajama day for him, he doesn't usually wear a sleeper to school!!

This guy would say the funniest things ever! I will really miss his humor and just look how cute he is.

If I could I would take this little one home! I love her to pieces. She is so expressive and has an imagination beyond anyone I have ever met! I just love her!

I will miss the amazing women that I taught with. I am not kidding when I say these women were incredible in every aspect! The bond we have is great and I will miss being surrounded by them, laughing with them, crying with them, and wanting to scream with them! (yes us teachers do need a good scream from time to time!)

(I wish I had a photo of these ladies...but I don't. I still love them!)

The list goes on, but I will spare you. This wasn't a normal was fun!

I will admit this year has been so physically challenging, this being pregnant at my age has been difficult, that it will be great to have a break to regroup and prepare for my little guy to come. I need this time. My list of things to do it a mile long at least, but I am looking forward to going back to being a mom & wife full time. I even celebrated and bought myself a new "mom suit" as my sister calls them...definition: cute sweats! I am feeling like many things are starting over for our family. All the kids are getting so big and we are starting a new phase once again! Diapers, waking up in the middle of the night, complete dependency! It will be an adjustment that is for sure.

So as of today I am a full time mom & wife again. It has been awhile, but I am so happy. My children and husband mean everything to me that I am excited to be there for them fully and not torn between work and them. I am sure it will take some time to get used to it, but by then the new guy will be around and we will all be so wrapped up in him that nothing will matter.

I guess what I am saying is that even though I left work today in tears, I am happy to be where I am and doing what I get to do now! This will be a good chapter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Martha Moment!

Okay so on Saturday just before our Ward Christmas party I got this hairbrained idea to make Liberty a skirt. You have to know that growing up my mom was famous for staying up late one night and making me a dress for the next day. That is how it was all through my childhood. So and hour before we are supposed to be at the church I decide to do this. How hard can an elastic waist skirt be. I had some fabric downstairs and after a couple of measurements...I was off.

Okay so it didn't turn out perfect...I wish I could have done the bottom different. But she was all excited and I felt pretty good that I was able to whip something up like that. She looked cute and got alot of compliments. I have a long way to go to live up to my mom's work, but hey, one step at a time. Right?

Here I am having my Martha (stewart for those who don't know what I am talking about) moment at my sewing machine. Libby snapped this one of me.

Here is one of Libby playing in the tulle that I added to the bottom of the skirt...she was enjoying herself while I was sewing.
Here she is in the finished product. I know you can't laugh..but not to shabby for 35 minutes of sewing. I think next time I will try a pattern. That could help the bulging sides of the skirt.
Please pay no attention to the random items in my office...the stuff hanging on the back of my office door and the box of lightbulbs are practically permanent objects in there but pretend you didn't see that! It's on the list of things to get to...but who knows when that will get done!

'Tis The Season for Perfoming!

Okay so the kids have each had some sort of performance this month. It started off with the Kids Village Christmas Celebration where Liberty sang some darling songs. Here she is singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town with actions of course.

I guess I missed the actions. But she looked really cute doing all of them.

Zach came next and his class did an entire play that they have been working on for months. He and his cousin Stockton who happen to be in the same class were both Fireflies. They look so cute in thier costumes. Craig and I had a work Christmas party the night of the performance so Grandma had to go and take photos. Zach sang us some of the songs. That boy has the cutest voice. I love to listen to him sing.

Seriously have you seen any cuter Fireflies in all your life?

Then Caleb and the rest of the young men and women were asked to sing at the Ward Christmas party. Craig and I got the best photo of Caleb up close...we totally embarassed him by doing so. But the kid got hold of the camera and deleted it...I was so mad. It was a darling I tried to crop one of the whole group, and got one, but not nearly as good as the original.

I think they were singing Deck the Halls...the enthusiasm was incredible!!! Just kidding. Can't you see how excited Caleb looks to be up there.

I love this time of year. We are as busy as ever running from party to party, trying to get everything ready for Christmas and trying to spend time with the family. There is just something about the season I love!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Many of you know (and if you don't I am not sure where you have been hiding!!) that our household bleeds BLUE for BYU. I will say that this is mainly because Craig has always been a big fan for as long as he can remember. The girls in the family just go along with it...we aren't as die hard as the boys. Let me show you what has been happening over the last little while...I guess you can say our true colors are showing.

Once again this year Craig made a wood sign that has the BYU football team motto "QUEST" on it. This isn't your ordinary sign. NO WAY! It holds 237 white lights. It lights us the neighborhood! Everyone can see it, there is not getting past it.

Here is the sign in the day time

Here it is at camera doesn't take great photos at don't get the full effect of how bright it is.

This year more things have been showing this for instance. Not one flag for our family...gotta have one on each side of the vehicle.

It doesn't stop there...last week Craig took the boys to work and made a stencil. Me being the crazy lady I am asked what kind of stencil. Silly me! My boys made a huge stencil of the Y logo to spray paint it in the front yard. This thing is massive! Our front yard is large and once it was finished it doesn't look so huge. But lots of drive-by's and crazy looks that's for sure.

Here is the process of the stencil.

Craig spraying the white Y section

After removing the first section...the boys lifted the Y part and covered the white paint job.

The quickly they painted the blue section. This part took the longest. I kept wondering what this was going to do to my grass.

The finished product. It turned out pretty good. They were happy with it. Every morning when we look outside that is certainally the first thing we see. I need to get a photo of the yard so you can see how big it is.

My real worry is...what is going to be next? Our Christmas lights on the outside of our house are now Blue & White. Not exactly the normal. I can't think of what it will be but I am sure my boys will come up with something very exciting. Just another thing for people to come by and either honk cause they love it or honk and wave their Utah flags at us. I guess we will just have to wait and see what will come. Heaven help us!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I know the suspense is killing you!

For those who were on the edge of your seat waiting to hear what Zach picked for his family night activity...wait no longer!!!

He decided it would be fun to do Gingerbread Houses. Okay, this isn't a tradition in our home at all...I honestly don't think we have ever done one together. I know we are pathetic. But what a fun night we had. The boys vs. girls which was unfair from the beginning because they have one more set of hands, but us girls we handled ourselves great. We laughed alot and yes there was some playful trash talk going on but all in good humor.

Caleb and Zach thinking they are done...but end up making a few changes.

Cricket & Liberty working really hard trying to keep everything we do a secret

Boy Team seems very proud of their accomplishment!

Girls Team happy with thier completed house.

You be the judge...which do you think is the best one. We said that no one won of course but secretly each team thinks their house is best. Check out the photos.

The finished houses...Boys on left & Girls on Right

Friday, December 5, 2008

St. Nick Tradition

Filled shoes by St. Nick!

This is a tradition that I brought from my side of the family. On the night of Dec. 4th the kids put out their wooden shoes and in the morning St. Nick has come and filled them with gifts. I remember as a kids loving this tradition we were the only family that I knew who celebrate the Dutch Christmas holiday. As with my children. In fact yesterday Liberty was telling one of her teachers about it and the teacher was trying to tell her she didn't know what she was talking about. I assured her that St. Nick would come to our house but he doesn't come to everyone. So the kids put out their shoes...well, Zach and Caleb put out real wooden shoes but Libby put out one of her own. By the morning the kids were up early and excited to see what was left. They were loving their treats.

Zach is showing off his new socks, Libby her new shirt, and Caleb has his arm up because he got some Tag deodor (as Libby calls it) and body wash. They had a great morning. Fun family tradition.

What the Singlet!!!

Here he is at the start of his match

Okay so Thursday night was Caleb's first wrestling match. I am sure that I had a look of disgust on my face while watching. No offense but it is just uncomfortable to watch this sport. And a SINGLET?

sin⋅glet  /ˈsɪŋglɪt/ –noun

a sleeveless athletic jersey, esp. a loose-fitting top worn by runners, joggers, etc.

I looked up the definition of this just cause I think it is a funny word. Well, the singlets I saw last night were in no way loose-fitting. YIKES! When I walked in my poor son was standing there waiting until the very last moment to take off his shorts and t-shirt. He was embarassed. Not to mention nervous. This was his first match and he didn't know what to expect. Being the mom I am I wanted to cheer him on but had no idea what to yell out...I felt stupid. But Caleb pulled it off and won! We were all shocked. I don't understand how he won and I don't know if Caleb knows how he did it. But hey a win is a win. After it was all said and done... we got a great laugh out of it. Just look at these great shots of Caleb in his lovely singlet!!! These photos will be great to show his future wife. I am sure she will love them!!!

Sorry but how can he be taken seriously in this outfit!

Nice one Caleb! I must say I laughed my head off at this one!

Okay this is just the first match...I don't know if I can handle it. But it was fun to watch him win. Even though we have not a clue how the scoring is done or how you win. Caleb is still learning and wearing a singlet! YUCK!!