Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Duncan Family Christmas Tree Hunt!

Black Friday November 23 2012, we woke up to the excited voices of our kids. Why?  Because we were going up to the mountains to find a Christmas tree.  Johnathan and I decided instead of standing in shopping lines we wanted to go do something as a family so we picked up a tag for a Christmas tree and told the kids we were going to the mountains. Jenna was particularly excited because she loves to ride in daddy's truck when it bounces on the dirt roads.

We got up and had some breakfast then packed up some food, warm clothes, chainsaw and tape measure and headed up above Kelly Canyon to find the perfect tree.  We are big fans of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation so we were excited to freeze our toes, legs, thighs, etc to find the tree for our family.  It didn't take long and we were marching around in the snow looking at everything from tiny four branchers to the big fifteen footers.

We looked in one place then headed to another and after a few minutes we spotted it, the perfect tree!  The kids agreed we had found the one we wanted, and Jenna sat down and took a rest, that is a lot of walking for a four year old.

It didn't take long to get it loaded up in the truck. We got all settled in when Andie asked if we could stop on our way home and get some Egg Nog! We forked out a pretty penny for Egg Nog at the Ririe gas station and listened to Christmas Music all the way home. We were headed home at about 10:30 a.m. and we passed ten or twelve trucks headed up to do the same thing.

I think finding a Christmas Tree might be the new Black Friday activity for our family. I was pleased that we found something so nice in such a short period of time and I can see this being a great tradition for the Duncan Family!

Christmas Craft

I enjoy working on crafts, especially during the holidays and I decided to make the girls their names in wood for Christmas. I loved the way they turned out, even though I forgot to get a picture of Jenna's finished product (I will post them after she opens it.) So first I decided what font I wanted and then traced it onto the wood and cut it out with my scroll saw, then I sanded each letter lightly around the edges and drilled a hole in the back so we could hang them on the wall.
Then I decided where I wanted the paper. I used two different kinds of paper the top paper covers the first 6 inches of the top of the letters. I measured each letter and drew a line so I knew where to glue the paper. Next I painted the sides and around the top edges of each letter. Andie's are black and Jenna's are pink. Then I traced the paper so I knew where to cut. I turned the letters over and drew on the back of the paper so I wouldn't have trace marks.
I used a strong adhesive called E-6000 and glued the paper to the wood. Once I got the paper on I cut some glittery scrap booking ribbon and covered the spots where the paper met, then I decorated with scrap booking flowers. (Jenna's are dragonflies, so cute!)
I was really pleased with the outcome. I had the wood in my garage so I spent maybe $10 bucks on paper and embellishments, not too bad for two Christmas Presents.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amazing Family!!!

Janalyn and Jake
Jacob, Janalyn and Paige are Hoping to Adopt

This is my dear friend Janalyn. We were roommates in Collage what seems like a hundred years ago, but she was the first true friend I had when I moved away from home. We were fast friends and spent countless nights laying awake and talk about anything and everything. We both had a great desire to be a wives and mothers. One night we got into a silly mood and went down to the piano room and sang together into the wee hours of the morning, then went back to our apartment and made bread. It turned out horribly but we ate it anyway and laughed about it.

The first thing that struck me so much about Jana was that she was incredibly beautiful. She was tall, about six inches taller than me, and she just oozed grace and elegance. But it didn't take me long to realized that she was beautiful on the inside also. She was sweet and generous, fun and full of energy, and had a love for life, art, beautiful things, good food, music, and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, also my favorite Disney Princess. We could talk about anything, and we did. I knew that anyone who was fortunate enought to have Janalyn in their live, was a very lucky person.

When Jana introduced me to Jake I knew there could be no more perfect couple in the world. Jake adored Jana and they matched so perfectly in looks, kindness, generosity, and love. It would be no mystery that their children would be equal in all of these things. For years I hoped for them to have a baby. I hurt when she did, and wanted so much for them to find the happiness that came from being parents. They were so righteous and loving to everyone it seemed natural that they would receive that gift anytime. But the years went on. I can only imagine that pain they suffered with, and the questions that they must have had for our Heavenly Father, but through it all they endured, and continued to trust in Him.

The day I read her blog, and saw the picture of her looking so beautiful with that little tummy of hers I cried. Jana was going to be a mommy!!! I couldn't help but think about all those times we had talked, laughed and cried together, and I felt a great overwhelming joy for her and her wonderful husband.

The day Paige was born I gathered my kids around and showed them Aunt Jana's new little angle. It was a happy day for my family, but I can only imagine what feeling and emotions Jake and Jana must be feeling. I was so happy for them that they had gotten a perfect little angel from Heaven.

A few months ago Jana let me know that they were seeking to adopt. This is a special thing for me because I was adopted at birth. I know something of the patients that comes from Adoption, and what kind of love it takes to be ready for such an amazing gift, I knew that Jake and Jana had that special love. I know that, without a doubt, when their next blessing comes into this world, that they will welcome him or her with open arms. This amazing family has so much capacity to love and they will make any child feel that love. Paige, I know, has the same love her parents do. I know that she will make a great big sister and that there is someone out there who can give her that opportunity. I am so grateful that my friend has asked me to help her with this wonderful new adventure. Please, if any one you know can help this family with their next little blessing, listen to your heart and contact me, or them. I can't think of a more deserving little family!!

So Very Long Ago

It has been forever since I updated this blog. We have moved into a wonderful little neighborhood and the kids enjoy having friends so close they can play with. Our ward is very nice and Johnathan and I have both excepted callings in the scouting program, we are both very busy but it is fun.

Sweetwater is still out with Avalon, I have not heard anything but hope something will come about in the next couple of months, it is very hard to wait though. I am still writing and enjoy spending time with my writing group on Wednesday evenings at the library. It is inspirational to go and listen to them and work on our writing together. I did Nanowrimo again this year and have fallen in love with my story. I might put a descritption of it on here some time.

The children are getting big. Andie and Tyson enjoy school and are both working very hard. Casey is still home with me, he will go to Kindergarten next year, I am a little sad about that because he is my buddy and we enjoy Casey Mommy time while Jenna naps. He told me it would be ok when he went to school though because he wouldn't miss me. I am glad for that. Jenna is full of personality. She made the great step onto toddlerhood when she was potty trained over November and December. She is doing great and I can't believe she is such a big girl. I will try to get some new pictures up of them all.

Christmas was wonderful. Santa did a great job this year and everyone was happy. We enjoyed time with family also. My brother and his wife came up from Colorado and we got to spend time with them. Also Mom and Dad Duncan came up for a visit between missions, it was sure fun to have them and learn about Guam and what they did there. We will miss them when they leave again but it is such a blessing to have them serve so willingly.

Well that is a brief catch up. Hopefully this year I can do a better job keeping this up to date. Welcome 2011!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Packing, Garage Sale, Moving

Always something at our house. Like I mentioned before Johnathan was offered a very nice job with Walsh Engineering and we accepted it. Because of that we decided that we should move to Idaho Falls. After about two days of looking we stumbled across a nice sized home on the west side for rent and a few days later we found out that we could have it. Now we are planning a move. The kids are done with school on the 27th of this month and we are headed out on the 28th. It will be nice to be moved and out of the boxes and mess that we have made in he house.

Tomorrow we are having a garage sale in hopes that we can get rid of a few things so we don't have to haul it off to the new house. The kids are kind of excited about being able to sale a few of their things to help with the Disneyland fund for next summer. It is going to be a wonderful warm day tomorrow and so we are going to enjoy the sun.

The best part about the move is that for two years Johnathan has been traveling from Rexburg to Idaho Falls everyday about 28 miles one way to an 8 minute drive one way. It will be very good for time and money of travel. Over all we are excited about this next adventure in our lives.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lots has happend!

So much has happened in the past little while I thought I would update. We had two birthdays, Andie and Jenna, that weekend Ben came home on leave and we had a good time with him while he was here. I went to girls weekend with my sister-in-law's and we had a blast!!!

Jenna's Cake

Andie's Cake

Last week Johnathan graduated from BYU-Idaho with his Bachelors Degree. It was a busy weekend and we had family up for a BBQ Saturday. I am so proud of him sticking it out and going to school full time and working as much as possible, I got myself a great man!!


Last Friday I received an email from the Editors at Avalon and they requested a full manuscript of Sweetwater Springs. Needless to say I was thrilled and today the beautiful package went in the mail. I know that it is going to take a lot of waiting but I have been doing that for two years so I think this will be ok.

Sweetwater Springs

Other than that, Johnathan received a very good offer from Walsh Engineering in Idaho Falls so we will be moving there in June as soon as the kids are done with school. We are very much looking forward to staying close to family and working so we can buy a house sometime next year. So all in all lots of GOOD things have happened to us and I am very thankful for all the blessings we have in our lives.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Having a Boy Moment!

Casey had a boy moment yesterday when he had a run in with the bunk beds and had to go for stitches. When we heard him crying we didn't think much of it because it was a normal bump cry, not a "I cut my head open," cry so when he came out with blood running down his face we were surprised.

After cleaning him up a bit I hauled him over to Community Care and the Doctor told us he would need stitches. The nurse put a little numbing gel on it and we hung out for a few minutes until it was was numb. The Doctor came in and asked Casey to lay down, then he draped the wound and put three stitches in, Casey never cried or anything. When the Doctor was done all Casey said was "Thank you Doctor." Pleased as punch he hopped down and went for his toy. I was so proud of him for being so brave, all he asked was that I hold his hand.

So there we go, Casey's first set of stitches. I am pretty sure that they won't be his last, but if every time goes as smoothly as these ones did maybe we will all survive. Every boy needs a right of passage I guess.