Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Little Christmas

This year I ended up in Georgia with my mom and dad for Christmas. Just the 3 of us. I drove down there Tuesday night and came back Sunday. The time went so fast! We spent sometime helping mom out at the parks and just hanging out. We sleep in Christmas Morning, showered and ate breakfast before we opened presents...oh the benefits of a houseful of adults :) Elisabeth said that we were cheating, we aren't supposed to have it so easy on Christmas morning.
Our little Christmas tree.
Christmas didn't feel as much like Christmas at first, but being able to spend the day with family, even if it was only a few of my family members helped. It reminded me what's important. As trite as it may sound, I love my family and if all I got for Christmas was us being together I would be perfectly happy.
Daddy and mommy with their Christmas loot

While I was there we went to the Georgia Military College which was the Civil War GA capitol. The on site museum was closed, but we wandered around the grounds. The old capitol looks like a castle.

Family Photos

As I mentioned in a previous post, my family took family pictures at the wedding in November. It was the complete Durtschi side of the family. I can't remember the last time we had all of us together for a picture. The time of the pictures were very fortunate since grandma passed away just a few short weeks later. It's wonderful to have some great pictures of all of us together to remember her by. Here are a few of my favorites. We bought the rights from the photographer since there are so many of us who want so many different pictures, but to give credit where credit is due, the photographer, Ryan Rampton, of Rampton Photography did a great job on these pictures.
I love the smurks on the kids faces. That epidimize those cute kids :)

Look at Grant and Dallin...they are so tired! It was about midnight to them.

I love pictures of Elisabeth's family. Her kids are so cute.

This is supposed to be our silly picture. It makes me laugh. I love my family.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gift Opening - Roommate Addition

Since we weren't able to get everyone together at Reed and Brian's for the first gift opening we had another night with Cally (and Chris) and Cat.

Nothing like several "Christmases" to make you smile. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 7, 2008

Visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

In memory and honor of those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor we visited Arlington to be among the fallen. It was a beautiful day, but Cold. There were a lot more people there then I had expected.

For the first time we went into the small museum near the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. They had several medals, flags and plaques from various countries.

I am grateful for our service men and women and the sacrifices they make. Going ot Arlington Cemetery reminds me what freedom can cost.

Tree Decorating Extravaganza

My friends Reed and Brian decided to get a real tree again this year and invited us over for the second Annual tree decorating party. We had a wonderful time.
Here are some of the decorators

I love this picture of Mel and I. I never realized that how much Mel and I look alike in terms of face shape, smile and the glasses make us look even more alike.

Merry Christmas!!!

Gift Opening

I have some friends out here who are more like brothers and sisters then just friends. We got a few of us together and did a gift exchange. I had a fantastic time getting gifts and getting laughs over the anticipation of watching them open them.

Brian and Reed gave Jess a huge poster of Edward. She loved it of course...said something about hanging it over her bed.... :)

Mel gave Reed Politically Correct War. Something right up his alley.
Yup...it's true, Mel and I got Reed and Brian Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land

Chilling on the couch waiting for the gift opening to begin.

I got popcorn. Someone knows me well :)

Good times had for all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mission Call

My sister Sarah received her mission call yesterday. Because of the miracle of modern technology she conferences the whole family in and opened it while we were on the phone.

Drum roll please!

Sarah Michelle Durtschi has been called to serve in the Salt Lake City Temple Square mission, English speaking. But I wouldn't be surprised at all if she ends up doing ASL since she's basically fluent already. I'm so excited for her. I didn't see that one coming at all and I was kind of shocked, but after thinking about it for a few minutes I've decided that Temple Square is the perfect mission for my little sister. Although I have to admit in the secret place in my heart I was hoping she would serve in Chicago.

To here's to Chelle Bear! Congrats!

My Grandma Durtschi - Celebrating life

Early Wednesday December 10th, I recieved a call from my mom. My Grandma Durtschi had passed away the night before. It wasn't completely unexpected, but that doesn't make it easier, not really. She had been in poor health for several years and I'm happy that she's no longer suffering. I flew out to Utah for the funeral. The whole thing was beautiful and a remembrance of her life. I had the chance to speak and shared some of my memories of Grandma, but I would like to share some here too so that all may know that my grandma was an amazing woman.

One of my earliest memories, which I shared at the funeral, was shortly after my sister Sarah was born, my grandparents were visiting and my grandma was holding Sarah and motioned me over to the couch next to her and when I sat down by her she said, "You have the most beautiful baby sister don't you?" I know that family was important to my grandma. She loved us so much and strove to teach us by love and example.

One thing that would never fail was when we would stay at her house over night she would come into wherever we were sleeping and make sure we were covered, no matter how old we were. She was always concerned about our health and comfort.

My grandma loved to bake. She taught me how to make cookies. Any success I have in cookie making is because of her. The thing I loved the most was her bread. We could eat an entire loaf in about 30 seconds.

She had a great sense of humor. I remember one Christmas she gave my brother David an onion. She wrapped it in several layers until it was about the size of cantaloupe melon. She laughed with joy as David unwrapped it layer by layer. When he finally got to the end it is was just an onion we laughed and David took a huge bite out of it.

I love my grandma and will miss her. She has blessed my life. Through my memories of her I will celebrate her life and the gifts she's given me.

my brothers and cousins as poll bearers

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tag! I'm it!

I've been tagged! Jules tagged me...I didn't even know this game existed. However the possibilities excite me. Just think of all the random new friends we can made and random facts we can learn.

7 Random Facts Game
Here are the rules:

~Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
~Share 7 random and or weird facts about yourself.
~Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
~Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

7 Random Facts

1. I don't remember my dreams very often, but when I do that means I didn't sleep well. I'm always conscious of the fact I'm dreaming and it's like watching a movie about me.

2. People may or may not know this about me, but I twirled baton from the ages of 8 to 14. I have many ribbons and trophies from competitions.

3. I've always wanted to be a pilot.

4. Dream car...not practical or reasonable at all...Army issued Hummer.

5. I like to mix a packet of uncooked instant oatmeal with my cold cereal. Don't mock it until you try it.

6. I'm wearing purple eyeshadow today.

7. Before I die I want to go scuba diving with sharks, in a shark cage of course.

And now the game continues.
Sarah, Elisabeth, Jessica, Amber, Melissa/David, Sarah B, Ceci

Tag! You're it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Shout out for my friend Jules Q

Jules and I used to be roommates. She has many qualities I wish I had. There have been several times in my life I've wished I could be more like Jules. One of the things I admirer about Jules is her creativity. Sometimes she writes me stories and I love it. I've tried to convince her she needs to write a book.

Well the point of this post is that I was doing some blog catching up and noticed she started a new blog, dedicated to her quest to justify getting a new camera, featuring some of her photos. Looking at the blog, my "creativity envy" resurfaced. I love some of the pictures she's post and so here I am sharing them with you.

Here's to you Jules, cheesy, but sincere and to your amazing photos.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vacation Report - Florida

I'm happy to report that I'm in Florida. We arrived on Wednesday (wow that was almost a week ago! Time flies when you're busy and having fun). The plane ride with Elisabeth, Katelyn and Dallin was a lot less eventful then I thought it would be. The kids were good. The one thing I was kind of upset about was that the guy on the plane sitting across the aisle from Elisabeth refused trade seats with me. I tried to get the seat across from Elisabeth, but it was already gone by the time I got my tickets so I ended up right behind her and the guy across the way wouldn't trade with me and looked at me like I was requesting the most inconvenient and horrible thing. His excuse...'oh I've already put my luggage up and I don't want to move it and I would be behind it if I move.' Kind of lame. It was obvious that Elisabeth would need help, yet he didn't seem to care. But all in all it worked out. The kids mostly sat with Elisabeth and would come and sit back with me every now and then. The nice thing about it is that I ended up with an empty seat next to me.

The best news of all is that Elisabeth's surgery went well and she recovering well. (for more informaiton about what's gone on in Elisabeth's life visit her blog) She's a lot more active then you would think a girl who had a mastectomy just 4 days ago would be. She's never been one to be inactive. I love it here. Elisabeth's kids are down in Naples with Grandma and Grandpa and so it's just me and Elisabeth and sometimes Cameron. (he's currently in Alabama for an interview) Elisabeth and I have had so much fun. I got to shave Elisabeth's peach fuzzed head. It's supposed to help her hair grow back faster and it seems to be working since there's little dark stubble all over her head now. Elisabeth has been teaching me how to make cute hair bows. We went for a walk along the beach and we've been watching some chick flicks and catching up on life. Elisabeth and I are only 16 months apart and have almost always done everything together. It's been good to have a chance to really talk and have some quality hanging out time. I'll be honest...I don't want to go back to work.

My one complaint right now is I wish I had more time here. I would love to stay and help out more. I'm realizing that I would like to live closer to my family. Maybe once Elisabeth and Cameron figure out where they are going to be for Cameron's residency I'll need to find a job near by them...I'm kind of wishing for Richmond VA...it's only 2 hours from where I currently live and that would be convenient for me, but moving back west would work as well...it would be closer to the rest of my family. Family's important.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Reception - November 17th

We finally made it! For some reason the reception seemed a long time coming. There is really too much to share to know where to begin. So here are some pictures to hit the highlights.

Most of us arrived at 5:30 planning on using those 30 minutes to finish getting ready then we were told that we couldn't get in the the reception hall until 5:45pm. David and Melissa took advantage of the wait to practice their dance.One wouldn't think that 15 minutes would make that big of deal, but it did. Getting ready was a MAD rush. Both sides of the wedding party tripping over each other trying to get everyone ready in time to take pictures before the rest of the guests arrived. It was crazy. Some of the getting ready carried over into picture time.

Dallin waiting patiently for everyone to get dressed, made up and hair done.

Becky and I were put on Gift Duty. We were told that we were to make sure that the correct cards stayed with the correct gifts...

Sarah as put on Door Duty...she had to make sure everyone signed the guest book and tell folks where to go ( the place was kind of confusing)

My nieces, Katie and Chris came over to keep Sarah company at the door. They also were the official 'trash' collectors, gathering the ice cream bowls from the abandoned tables and putting them in the trash cans. They were very efficient.

My niece, Katelyn, brother-in-law Cameron and nephew Dallin on Ice Cream Eating duty...some people have it hard it's true.

Grant on Sleeping Duty...makes you kind of jealous no?

I kind of wish I was a little kid and could sleep whenever the mood hit me.

The Parents, Bride and Groom were on Receiving Line Duty...fun fun fun no?

Cutting the Cake - the official photographer has the best angle so this is what I could get :)

Throwing the bouquet - At first Becky, Sarah and I were the only ones out there...fortunately others joined us...The girl with the yellow flowers on her shirt caught the bouquet...practically ripped it out of Becky's hands, but Becky told us she's okay with that.

On 'Sneaky Duty' hehehe....we abandoned are various posts during the night to take care of one of the important traditions of wedding receptions.

The car look great. I don't have any really good pictures of it. My camera died right after taking the pictures of the twins helping out. However after we finished it was attacked by Melissa's brothers and didn't survive. It looked, as David said, like someone threw up on it....but we did a good job anyway.

The parents of the groom...happy the all went well and to have their son married off to a wonderful girl :)

Good times were definitely had by all!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vacation Report - Christmas in November

Sunday, November 16th - Christmas day in the Durtschi Family.

We decided that since most of us aren't going to be able to get together for Christmas next month that we would exchange Christmas gifts and have our traditional Family Christmas dinner. Carolyn and Steve hosted, as usual and they even put up their Christmas tree in honor of the day (that's dedication and yes their neighbors think they're weird :P)

Most of the crew :)

Becky, Sarah, mommy and I spent yesterday night Christmas shopping and wrapping gifts. I will admit we were listening to Christmas music (this is a very special exception to our "no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving" rule)

Dinner was wonderful, as usual and there was tons of food. We're getting the point that we don't really fit in Carolyn's & Steve's front room/dining room any more. Once Becky, Sarah, and I get married we're going to have to relocate.

After dinner we opened Christmas gifts. The kids were extremely excited about opening gifts. They were so cute! I think most everyone enjoyed their presents.
Katie and Chris modeling their new shirts

Katelyn showing off her new princess stuff. She loves it! She's already listen/read her new princess book at least 3 times that I know of.

Even the 'big kids' had fun opening their gifts. Becky's showing off her new apron, popcorn and hot chocolate she got for 'Christmas.'

It was so much fun. It will hold me over during the real Christmas when I'm far away from all my family.