Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in Oregon

We spent a really lovely 10 days in Oregon with my family for Christmas. We had fun with cousins, went ice skating, saw movies, went swimming (Madras has a pretty cool indoor acquatic center), opened lots of presents, and just generally had a great time. Thanks so much to my Dad and Mom who worked hard and were so patient having us in their house. I know it must be hard to go from two to ten people in your home. It was truly a Christmas for the record books. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Got to stay the night with Robers up in Sacramento on the way up. The kids picked up right where they left off:

Ice Skating:

This isn't the greatest picture, but it illustrates the first comment the Joe IV heard everywhere we went, "Wow Joe, you're so tall". He hasn't passed me up yet, but he did pass all three of the aunts we saw over the holiday:

These two were fast friends:

As were these two, granted without the public enthusiasm as the five year olds:

A little Christmas Eve wrestling...wouldn't be Christmas without it:

ANd then of course the traditional Christmas Eve present:

Christmas morning lineup:

Then off to church at NINE am:

This boy is looking more and more like the man I met fifteen years ago:

After church it was back home and back to pajamas for present opening:

Maggie made hats for each one of her FIVE brothers:

Maggie and I got some matching Toms - I think I was more excited than she was:

Still couldn't completely keep out the cupcakes:

And no trip to Oregon is complete without a trip to super cool aunt and uncle Jann and Alan's for some target practice:

Don't forget the hearing protection:

This might be my favorite picture of all....all five of my boys out playing together at my childhood home:

Minus the snow, our Christmas was pretty much picture perfect. One I'm sure we'll always remember.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


With Harry's Birthday, we are now officially 2/3 of the way through Brundage Birthday Season. On Friday, Harry turned nine, and we celebrated. Here's the details...

Wake up to presents...

This kid is always so enthusiastic about presents. My other children should take note. It's more fun to give gifts to kids who get excited about what they get. Here's a little known detail about Harry.... He's never once asked for a video game system, video game, online gaming membership, ipod, or any other electronic device that would require sitting for long periods of time. He has, over the years, asked for many "odd" gifts...crutches, airbrush tattoo kit, costumes, and this year, a pipe. Yeah, a pipe. I don't know why...maybe he's been watching Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter lately. But at the top of a list was a pipe. Second on the list was dry ice to put in the pipe so it would look like he's actually smoking. I know it probably isn't politically correct parenting to give in to these whims. But I have a hard time saying no to such an imagination. So, this year he got a pipe. I did say no to the dry ice. I don't think I took a picture of it, but I wanted to write about it so I don't forget it. He also said to me, "Mom, when we go to Oregon for Christmas, I want to wake up every morning, get my pipe, sit out on the porch in a rocking chair and smoke my pipe". Because in Oregon it's cold enough to see your it would look more realistic. Again, hard to say no...although I did find it necessary to have a little chat about the Word Of Wisdom. I think we're on the same page there. I hope we're on the same page there.

Anyway, after the morning of presents and pretend pipe smoking, it was off to school. It was a busy day there...last day of school before the break, school assembly in which Harry performed and Charlie received an award and three room parties. By lunchtime, we had had enough, and we checked Harry out and took him to a Firestone Birthday Lunch with Grandpa and Grandma:

He spent the afternoon flying his new helicopter, and then headed to the church for our Ward Christmas Party/Ward Birthday Party for Harry. Again, no pictures. I was pretty much running on fumes at this point. Remember, I still had to pack eight people up to go to Oregon for two weeks and I hadn't even started. Oh! I also had to give a talk in church on Sunday that I hadn't even started to formally write. So things were a little fuzzy for me.

The next day started off with a bang at the Christmas Piano Recital, and rose to a chaotic crescendo as we attempted to take 12 kids, 12 and under to Alvin and the Chipmunks, Chipwrecked. And then back to Coldstone for Ice Cream Cake and a silly string fight. Harry even invited girls to this party. They didn't get anywhere near each other or speak to each other the whole day, but still, that's a pretty big step!

I think, all in all, the day/s were a success. If you consider me not completely losing my mind a success that is.

Happy Birthday Harry. You are and always have been my little Happy Harry. We are so blessed to have you as part of our family.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Well the big day has come and gone. Maggie is now officially eleven. We had a fun-filled, event-filled day to celebrate. A day that left Maggie literally sick with Strep Throat for the next three days. A day that left me exhausted for the next five. But a day full of friends, family, fun, and of course, cupcakes!

Here's the birthday girl...isn't she getting to be so pretty? That hair! I would die for it!

She woke up to a breakfast of amazing balls of goodness and bacon. A breakfast whose name did not escape countless jokes from her brothers throughout the morning, but her favorite none-the-less.

On to present opening....where this large package revealed a much smaller gift...after several boxes were unwrapped.

She picked out this print at a craft faire earlier in the week. It really does sum her up right now.

And then onto school and a lunch out with grandma and grandpa at CPK:

And finally, over to the shoppe to set up for the big party. She had invited ten girls to a cupcake making party. This was kind of a test for me to see if such a thing was possible to add to my menu of services. The jury is still out on that one...the girls certainly had fun and walked away with a dozen of their own handmade goodies, an apron and chef hat, and a bag filled with Maggie's handmade cupcake headbands and other cupcake goodies. I'm sure I'll take some flack for these aprons I whipped up the night before the party...sometimes I just can't help myself.

The Batter Station:

The Sprinkle Station:

The pans all ready to go into the oven:

And then off to the back room for ice cream cake, gift opening, and just general silliness that can only be had by 11 ten & eleven year olds.

Maggie finally broke down and started the Harry Potter series...only to fall madly in love.

This picture just makes me laugh...both girls are on even footing, but gives you an idea of Maggie's "petiteness". When buying her gifts this year, I debated long and hard between size 6X and size 7/8 in the girls department at Target. In the end,I decided to go with the 7/8 for my eleven year old, but it was a close call.

And finally, a shot of Maggie's dear friend Jenea, who always seems to make things more interesting!

We had a great day, and almost a week later we have finally almost recovered. Now, onto another party for Harry, a sacrament meeting talk to prepare, Christmas shopping for six, and packing for a trip to Oregon. Should be a piece of cake...or maybe just a cupcake!