Saturday, December 11, 2010

Merry Christmas Friends and Family

As 2010 comes to a close it is a good time to reflect. This was a very good year for our family and we feel very blessed. I had a good year with my career, with a couple of papers getting accepted. Our kids were fortunate to have a happy healthy year. Rhianna had an eventful year that included her baptism and starting piano lessons. Plus, Rhianna continued to love school, and Rand has really enjoyed kindergarten. As Rand has started school he has again shown us how friendly and kind he is. He is always trying to be nice to everyone around him. Seth became a big boy this year and moved into the ranks of those who wear underwear. He continues to be a happy fun kid who provides us with a lot of joy (and also sometimes exasperation). One thing we often comment about Seth is that he is very charming, even when he is being a little bit mischievous. Stephanie got a new calling at church that she loves because it gives her more opportunities to be involved. Plus we were fortunate to be able to visit and see a lot of our family. With our family so spread out, that is truly a blessing for us.

Our family got even more spread out this year because Stephanie’s parents started their service as mission presidents in the Bangalore India mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are excited that we will visit them in May.

Most of the major events and highlights for us we post here on the blog. So if you don’t regularly check in, we put links to some of the major posts from this year at the bottom of this post.

We truly love the Christmas season. For us it has a number of meanings. First, because of our faith, it is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior. But also it is a special time because we remember the love we have for our families and we get to spend lots of time together. We are excited to have Stephanie’s brother Calvin with us this year. We hope that all of you have a wonderful time this Christmas season.

And just for fun, here are some great pictures of Stephanie and her brothers and sisters jumping into the lake at the family reunion in June.

Memorable Events from the Last Year

Christmas Last Year

Easter in Salt Lake

Space Presentation

Rhianna's Baptism

Funk Family Reunion

Extended Stay in Boston

Fun Stories of Seth #1 Stories of Seth #2

Rhianna's First Piano Performance

Rand's Birthday

Seth's Birthday

Thanksgiving in Texas

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deep in the Heart of Texas

We had a wonderful trip out to Texas for the week of Thanksgiving. We left Friday afternoon and drove to El Paso. Then we drove all day Saturday to make it into Austin. Once again this just shows how big Texas is that you can be driving at 80 mph for 9 hours and just cross-part of the state. The drive was long but went well with just one minor throwing up the mishap. Sunday we went to the Shoal Creek Ward and saw a few of the families that are still there from 5 years ago. We ate lunch with our friends the Wilkes and stayed for a few hours. Then we drove to our friends the Joneses and ate dinner and stayed for a few hours. It was just so nice to talk and play and the kids all did great together. It reminded us of why we loved Austin so much. On Monday we did a few of our favorites in Austin while showing Garret's family around. Some of this was just a driving tour pointing out memories to our kids. But we did see a museum, the Capitol building, and play at Zilker Park.


And of course we ate at Rudy's. We have missed good BBQ. We could smell the best when we drove up. It was so good we also went to Rudy's in El Paso on the drive back. Between those 2 visits we ate a lot. Man I love that creamed corn. They also have good potato salad and peach cobbler and the cheap white bread is always good for the kids and sandwiches. Beans only just okay. And the meat - we had all 3 cuts of brisket plus turkey, pork, and pulled pork. And it was delicious.


On Tuesday we headed up to Dallas where we first stayed the night at the Great Wolf Lodge. This is a hotel geared for families and kids. David stayed with us and Rhianna and David particularly liked the MagiQuest game. It is kind of an interactive magic game where you solve puzzles and use a wand to complete quests throughout the hotel. After the 2 days, they made it to Senior Magi and would have loved to go on but the rest of us were worn out.


The other big part of the hotel is an indoor water park. We went for about 1 1/2 hours on Tuesday and then about 6 hours on Wednesday. It was so fun. They had a kiddy part and wave pool that were great for all the kids, but especially Seth. Steve took Rhianna and Rand to the obstacle course pool. And I did all the slides with Rhianna and Rand and David. They were really great slides and I was glad both Rhianna and Rand liked them. Only Rhianna was big enough to go on the 2 biggest slides that always had the 2 biggest lines. So at the very end we went on those 2 slides and now we know why everyone liked them. They were super awesome and freaky and fun. I had never been on slides like that that put you into a funnel or whirlpool and drop you down a hole and we screamed and enjoyed it.

Then we headed to Garret and Heidi's house to play and relax for the next few days. The kids did great together and had fun playing games and with toys. The kids took turns at night sleeping on the bunk beds or in a little tent and it was just a fun few days. Heidi made an amazing Thanksgiving feast. Really. All I made was the cranberry sauce. This is what she did: Turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, homemade rolls, sweet potatoes, Dixie Salad, pumpkin pie, and blueberry banana cream pie. It was so delicious!!

Again on Friday most of the time was spent just playing at home. We did all go out to the movie Tangled (It was great!) and to the park to play. And then it was time to head back. 9 hours again from Dallas to El Paso. Then on Sunday the last 5 hours across New Mexico and back to Arizona. Thank you once again to our friends and especially Garret and Heidi and David, Garrison, and Andrew. We loved coming back to Texas!