Monday, December 29, 2008

Well, it's been over a MoNTh since I last updated my blog and what can I say. . . I took and extended break? I was soo busy making all kinds of holiday goodies that I just didn't have time. . . more like EATING all kinds of holiday goodies!! I'm pretty sure that all my hard work over the summer (remember 140 by 40?!?) has been completely destroyed by my weak willpower when it comes to sweets!

I wanted to post an update on our family since I didn't get around to even sending out a Christmas letter with our cards - - hey, at least I got the cards out right?

Here is the rundown of our 2008:

February: Took the "big kids" on a cruise along with some of my family to the Caribbean to celebrate my parent's wedding anniversary - - and made it a graduation gift for Matt & Jade. Jack and Madeline had a GREAT time staying with Grandma & Grandpa Harris and came back completely spoiled.

May: An eventful month - our basement flooded (frozen hose bib) resulting in tearing out the carpet and drywall in both of the downstairs bedrooms. Poor Jade had just had her wisdom teeth out and had gone to bed when I woke her up and said "Um, I know that you just had your wisdom teeth out and are totally drugged up right now, but I REALLY need you to help me move your dresser - - we have LOTS of water in your room!" She was a great sport and helped me the best she could.

As if that weren't enough excitement, a week later the engine in our Jeep "threw a rod" - as I understand it, this is very bad and now I know that this is VERY expensive!!

Then something GREAT happened - - Jade and Matt both graduated from high school!
CLICK HERE for pictures of Jade's graduation.
CLICK HERE for pictures of Matt's graduation.

It was lots of fun, especially since I was on the "Grad Night committee" at Jade's high school and in charge of all the games at Grad Night. This meant that I got to go to Grad Night too. Jade was a good sport about it and we had a lot of fun. The best game?! Using the "drunk goggles" from the Utah Highway Patrol to navigate a obstacle course - hysterical!!
CLICK HERE for Grad Night pics.

July: Matt received his mission call to the San Fernando, CA - Spanish speaking mission - reporting to the MTC on September 17, 2008.

August: Mark & Jana rode in the "Utah Lake Epic Century Ride" (ULCER) around Utah Lake (the whole lake - 112 miles). This was my first Century ride and I had never ridden 100 miles before. 75 miles, sure but not 100. I finished, but it was not pretty at times!
Click here to read more about THAT adventure.

Jade started college at Utah Valley University and Jack started pre-school at Miss Hollie's.
see pics here

September: Matt entered the MTC on the 17th - I think he was a little scared about all that he would have to learn, but I also think he was looking forward to it too.

I finally found an old bike to put on my porch (after about 4 years of searching!)
CLICK HERE to see some pictures.

Mark and I went to Hawaii for a structural engineering conference. Yeah, he did the work while I laid in a lounge chair by the pool and read my book. I also managed to completely stick my foot in my mouth BIG TIME.
Click here to read more . . . you see some things never change!

November: I turned 40 - yikes! But, it wasn't as bad as I imagined and I had a great birthday. Click here to see pictures.

December: Here is a brief update on all the kids:

Jordan (22) Living in Provo and working as a brick mason. He seems to like it, although it is a bit sporadic at times and I think that is hard for him. He just moved into a house with his girlfriend Karen and seems upbeat about life. He comes home about once a month or so for dinner, etc. I wish we saw him more, but I guess he has a life too - at least he calls every week.

Matt (19) Arrived in San Fernando on November 17th. He is adjusting to missionary life and still working on his language skills. His companion is from Peru and speaks only Spanish - this is sometimes trying, but he has a good attitude and I think he will be fine.

Jade (18) Working at Costco (24 hours a week!) and just finished her first semester at UVU. She is living at home, determined to "sponge off us as long as she can" (her words). All joking aside, I am glad that she is at home, even though I don't see her much between work, school and her boyfriend, Willy who is also attending UVU. She is a great big sister to Jack and Madeline and will even still babysit for me on occasion!

Jack (almost 5) Goes to pre-school 3 days a week and loves it. He is learning site words and can sound out a few words on his own. He loves all things "super hero". Right now his latest obsession is Indiana Jones. He has a whip, hat and now a pouch to store his important things in. He goes around the house constantly humming the Indiana Jones theme song!

Madeline (almost 3) Loves all things princess. If you ask her what her full name is she will say "Madeline Princess Harris". She also loves animals and sometimes thinks she is a cat. To read a funny story about that click here. She has lots of personality and I am quite sure she is going to give me a run for my money!

Mark - Still working for Reaveley Engineers and is keeping busy (a good thing these days!) He has introduced me to biking and we have been riding together quite a bit. He learned to "surf" behind the boat this year and loves it - much easier on your body than slalom skiing! Went on a "Man Trip" with some friends to jet ski down the Colorado River and had a great time. He is currently serving as the assistant Ward Clerk in charge of memberships and callings and whatever else they need him to do. Our ward is crazy big - we have lived here for 4 years and have been in 4 wards! We split about every year.

Jana - Busy chasing kids and trying to keep up on everything (including my Blog!) I recently played my violin in church - scary, but I'm glad I was able to do it. This was one of my "Four by 40 goals." I am still taking lessons and hopefully I will get better so that when I get out the violin Madeline won't tell me "That thing annoys us!" (true story!) After taking a break from Young Women's, I was recently called as a Sunbeam teacher in our ward (my class has 14 kids and there are two classes that big!). You know, I am noticing that there are lots of similarities between YW and Sunbeams!!

We have had a great 2008 and wish you and your family all the best during this holiday season.


Mark, Jana
Jordan, Matt, Jade, Jack & Madeline