December 30, 2008

Dinner for 2 ... that is 2 Special Friends

Everyone has friends … it is those special friends that you have that you know will be a friend forever. That’s my Heidi Ho. We became friends in Junior High and things have never changed. Our friendship has only gotten stronger over the years. Sadly Heidi lives in Vancouver, Washington so we don’t get the chance to see each other as often as we would like but when we do it’s just like old times. Fun, laughs and memories!! Heidi and her hubby Michael and adorable son Lucas were home visiting her family for the holidays. The 2 of us snuck away from our families for dinner in Old Town! We had a great evening and a chance to catch up. I think I predict a trip to the west coast in the near future!!

~ Heidi with 11 month old Lucas ~

~ Lucas saying Bye Bye to mommy ~

December 28, 2008

3 days of Christmas ...

We spent 3 busy days celebrating Christmas with our families.

My sister Sheri and her husband Bob joined us on December 24th for a Christmas Brunch Celebration. Brunch was wonderful and the kids were so excited to open presents.

Christmas Eve was spent at the Annual Hodges Family Party …Dwight’s Moms Extended Family with about 40-60 people attending.

Christmas Morning the kids awoke to Santa gifts and patiently waited for Grandpa Stan and Bobbye to arrive. They joined us for opening gifts and Christmas Dinner. Christmas day was so relaxing I even snuck in a 2 hour afternoon nap with Makenna. It was WONDERFUL and very much needed!!!

December 26th we joined together with Dwight’s parents Bruce and Sharon and sisters family. We gathered at Nadene’s house for appetizers, gift exchange and karaoke. The karaoke was a blast. We all had a chance to sing… even the kids joined in.

What a blessing it is to share the holidays and special celebrations with our each of our families. Our kids were completely spoiled with an overabundance of gifts but loved every minute of it. Enjoy the photo slide show …

Click to play Holiday Memories 2008
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December 26, 2008

Holiday Letter ...

Seasons Greetings from Snowy Colorado

The year started out a little hectic with two full months of minor touches to complete our new house. It took longer than expected but we finally moved in early March. We all love the new house and are thrilled to have lots of space. We’ve had several house parties, shop parties and even hosted Thanksgiving here with 19 people and room for more. Our only complaint is the upkeep, more to clean and more to mow! Neither one of us realized how much work it would be. The landscaping alone was Dwight’s full time job this summer.
Justin will turn 6 in January and started Kindergarten this fall. He is in a Core Knowledge program and is advancing academically each week. The best part is he loves school and is eager to go. Aside from school Justin is fully enjoying our new house. This past summer he learned how to ride his bike and spends hours riding around outside or inside the shop when the weather is bad. Currently he is fascinated with pirates, army toys and Batman.

Makenna turned 2 years old in November and is finally starting to talk. She is stubborn, adoring, independent, loveable, difficult, full of energy, in to everything, and a super helper. I’m not sure how we will survive the next sixteen years, but I can bet we are in for an adventure. She loves her baby dolls, Elmo and anything Justin has.

Dwight is very close to being retired. We still own Michael Trucking and have great guys that drive the trucks so Dwight is free to work on his own projects. Luckily we haven’t had any major breakdowns leaving truck maintenance and payroll his only major business responsibilities. The lack of driving hasn’t slowed Dwight down. He finds plenty to keep him busy and always has a project or two in the works. Fishing and enjoying our boat is his warm weather get away! Justin was his best fishing buddy this summer. The two of them make a great team.

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be a “stay at home” mom. I love my free schedule and enjoy our family time together. I spent most of the past year organizing and unpacking. My craft room still needs some attention. I hope to have it in order soon so I can get back to scrap-booking, quilting and working on other craft projects. I was inspired by a friend to start a blog … now I am an official “blogger”. It’s been very therapeutic and enjoyable for me to write, take pictures and share stories about our family with others.

In October we took the boat and made a road trip to Branson, Missouri. We spent a week with my dad and his special friend Bobbye at his lake front condo. The week was full of sight seeing, fishing, shopping and much needed R&R. Even with a twelve-hour drive both directions this was one of the most relaxing vacations we have had in a long time.

Joyfully we welcomed a new niece and a great nephew into our family. My sister Lori gave birth to her fourth child, Emily Ann in July and our oldest niece Amanda delivered Memphis Jess a month early on Halloween night. Both babies are adorable and healthy. Sadly Dwight lost two very special friends this year. One of his best friends from high school, Vince Lucero who was also a groomsman in our wedding passed away in May. Craig White, Dwight’s very special cousin, passed away in October. Once again we are reminded that life is so precious. Embrace the ones you love!
Warmest wishes this Holiday Season … From our family to yours… Happy New Years!
The Michael Family
Dwight, Bonnie, Justin and Makenna

December 25, 2008

He knows if you've been good or bad ...

Looks like Justin and Makenna made the good list this year. Santa dropped by last night and left Justin a Melissa and Doug Art Easel, Pottery Barn Kids Video Rocker, lots of Hulk Stuff and more. Little Miss Makenna got a Play Kitchen, Elmo Play Set, Snap and Style Doll and more. Now they are both patiently waiting for Grandpa Stan and Bobbye to come over so they can open up the presents under the tree.

December 21, 2008

Christmas in Heaven ...

Dear Santa ...

Justin finally made it to see Santa. We have seen Santa from a distance a few times but this is the 1st time this year he had the chance to sit down and chat with the man in the red suit. I took Justin on Friday after school to see him at his cabin in Old Town. At five Justin still fully believes in Santa. Justin told Santa a few of the things he wants for Christmas. At this age it is hard to keep up with what he really wants as it changes daily… generally it is based on the commercials he sees on TV… they sure do a great job of making everything look exciting. After leaving Santa’s cabin Justin looked at me and said, “I did good mom… I didn’t even cough on Santa”. Ohhhh … Never a dull moment!

December 19, 2008

Teacher Gifts ... Holiday Party ...

Justin had his Holiday Party at school today. Together we worked really hard to make his teachers some extra special gifts. We decorated paint pails and filled them with super yummy caramel corn … at the last minute Justin decided he wanted to give them each a painted snowman. Justin worked really hard to make each one special. I was up until 11:00 pm last night putting the finishing touches on them.

His class had a book exchange and decorated gingerbread boy cookies. Justin’s teacher is pregnant and will be on maternity leave until the middle of March. When he returns from winter break he will have a new teacher for a few months. 2 weeks of winter break … not sure if Justin will be bored or LOVE it!

~ Book Exchange ... Justin only has 11 kids in his class ~

~ Gingerbread Boy Cookies ~

December 13, 2008

Light up Snowmen …

Last night Dwight and I went out to dinner and Christmas shopping. Aunt Nadene came over and had dinner with the kids and spent a few hours working on a craft project with them. She helped Justin and Makenna make the cutest Light-Up Snowmen!

Justin and Makenna hand painted them white … Justin painted the faces on them and glued on the button eyes … Nadene hand stitched the hats and cut the scarves … last they stuffed them with lights and magically Frosty’s friends came to life!

Are these the cutest things ever!!

December 7, 2008

Snow Fun ...

The weather is warming up and the snow is starting to melt. Today was a perfect day for a snowball fight and building snowmen! Justin and I built a snow family. Frosty, Buddy, Little Buddy and Snowflake the Rabbit is what Justin decided to name our newest family members.

When we were done Justin wanted to run next door and get Grandpa Stan so that he could see our snow family. As he headed off he looked at me and said, “Mom you stay here and make sure they don’t melt”. I savor his innocence as I know all too soon it will be gone.
~ Our snow bunny Snowflake ~

~ Dwight came out just in time to join the snowball fight ~

December 5, 2008

Breakfast with Santa ...

Dwight and I took Makenna to have breakfast with Santa this morning at Lee Martinez Farm. Makenna was not sure what to think about Santa so she was pretty shy most of the morning. It was cute … Santa rode in on a tractor … he clams his sled broke down in Cheyenne but assures us his elves will have it fixed by Christmas Eve.

He then read his list ~ double checking who was on the “good list” … I have no idea how Makenna’s name got on the “good list” but it was there WE SAW IT … apparently Santa has not been watching very close or there are some “really naughty” kids out there!

We all ate breakfast and then all the kids (15 of them) except Makenna sat on Santa’s lap for a photo and a small gift from Santa. She wasn’t about to let go of me to sit on Santa’s lap but she sure was excited to get the gift. I must admit the tickets were only open to 2-5 year olds so she was the youngest by at least 6 months. Santa was great and did his best not to scare her.

~ Our little Rock Star was so tired from Breakfast with Santa she fell asleep in the car holding her gift ... a new holiday cup ~

December 4, 2008

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

Finally all the Christmas decorations are up!! With the snow on the ground it truly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Hard to believe there is only 26 days left of 2008. Justin was my Christmas helper ELF with the holiday decorations this year.

From a 5 year olds point of view … Dwight was being slow at getting the Christmas tree down from the rafters in the garage so Justin and I decided we would do it ourselves. Well it just so happens that an extremely pricey tractor that Dwight restored for a guy is sitting in our garage waiting to be picked up. I climb up the ladder and decide that it might not be wise for me to get the tree down. I tell Justin that we are going to have to wait for daddy cause I’m scared I’ll fall off the ladder … Justin’s reply “mom that’s ok if you fall of the ladder you can go to the doctor dad will be mad if you scratch the tractor”. We decided to wait for Dwight to get the big boxes down.

We had to decorate a little at a time this year … our shortest elf Makenna thought it was fun to take every ornament Justin would put on the tree and move it. That didn’t go over well so we decided decorating while Makenna napped would give her a surprise to wake up to. So far the decorations have remained unharmed … hopefully it stays that way! The real test will be the wrapped packages under the tree. Ohhhhhhh did I mention I love the “terrible two’s"!

~ Makenna decorating the tree ... actually undecorating the tree ~
~ Justin my best Christmas Helper Elf ~

~ Our two cuties with their Matching Pajama's ~

November 28, 2008

Turkey 4 NINETEEN ...

This year Dwight and I decided to host Thanksgiving Dinner. I must say I am ever so very THANKFUL for the beautiful house we have that is large enough to host dinner for our entire family. We had both sides of the family (Michael’s & Wamhoff’s) join together for ONE dinner. NINETEEN of us together! Oh how I loved this … I’m so over eating twice on holidays.

Thankfully we divided up the cooking between all of us. It would have taken me a week to cook all the food we had. Dwight and I were “Turkey Cooking Virgins” but we followed a recipe I found online at called “The Perfect Turkey”. We figured with a name like that what could go wrong. It was “Perfect” and incredibly moist. Both Dwight and I were amazed at how easy it really was. Buy Fresh and Brine!
The day was wonderful … Fabulous Food … Great Company … truly a very enjoyable Thanksgiving for all of us. I am so THANKFUL God blessed me with an amazing family.

November 22, 2008

Poudre Pride ...

Dwight dusted off his old practice jersey and steamed his “reward” hat for today’s “Big Game”. Dwight and Justin headed off to see our Alma Mater Poudre Impalas football team play in the semifinal state playoff game against Mullen in Denver.
Dwight has enjoyed following the success of the Poudre football program. Amazing … 20 years later and the coaching staff is pretty much the same as it was when Dwight played in high school. If they make it to STATE Dwight says "he will really break into the archives". I'm not sure if I should hope for a win today or not:-)

November 21, 2008

10 down ...

I’m 9 weeks into my 10 week “Biggest Loser” weight loss program with my online friends and I must say I am truly proud of myself. Not that I have vigorously worked out over the past 9 weeks but according to the scale I must be doing something right! I have lost 10 pounds in 9 weeks. My goal was to lose 15. If I want to reach my goal I have some work to do this next week. I’m going to try really hard to at least lose 3 lbs by Friday. No Starbucks for me and ……… Ugh … Thanksgiving …. I’ll just have a small piece of pumpkin pie!

November 17, 2008

What I love about .... CHRISTMAS

Christmas has always been my absolute favorite time of the year. However the last few years have been challenging … adjusting to new family traditions after the death of my mom (2006) then surviving the discouragement of celebrating Christmas in a house half packed as we prepared for the move to our new house (2007).

This year I can honestly say I am SUPER EXCITED for the holidays! I’ve been begging Dwight for a week now to let me get the Christmas decoration down! Well it hasn’t happened so instead of singing Christmas Carols and decorating the house I’m reminiscing about the top 10 things … I love about Chirstmas!

1. Celebrating Jesus Birthday … sharing the true meaning of Christmas with Justin and Makenna
2. Receiving cards/letters/pictures from friends and family… sadly for too many this is the only time of the year we communicate!
3. Savoring the sweet innocence’s of those who really do believe in Santa
4. The magic of Christmas morning and the surprises Santa brings
5. Driving at night and seeing Christmas lights!
6. Decorating the Christmas Tree … each ornament has a memory to go with it!
7. Shopping …looking for that perfect present … sharing gifts with others!
8. Baking Cookies … even more enjoyable now that the kids are eager to help!
9. Reading Christmas Books and Watching Christmas Movies with the kids… makes my childhood come alive!
10. Extended Family Gatherings

November 15, 2008

Celebrating TWO ...

I can’t believe my baby turned TWO. Last Saturday we had a party at our house to celebrate her birthday. JOHN DEERE PINK was the theme. Dwight set the trailer up for a hay ride and pulled the trailer around the block with the tractor. The kids loved it!! It was super cute to watch the kid’s wave like we were in a parade as we went around the block. Enjoy the slide show!

Click to play Makennas Party
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November 10, 2008

Time Well Wasted ...

~ Pink Tractor Suckers I made for Makenna's Birthday Party ~

There is a lot I remember about my childhood but some memories stand out more than others … for our family Holidays were always very special … that’s because I had an amazing mother that went out of her way to make it that way. My mom always baked and decorated our birthday cakes and put a lot of thought into making our birthdays unique.

It makes me feel good that I have the time and the creativity to make my own children’s birthdays extra special. I love making special treats for the kid’s party bags. I spend a lot of time making their invitation, treat bags, party decorations and cake. I will confess I know very little about decorating cakes. My kids are lucky they have a very “artsy” Aunt Sheri who loves to decorate their party cakes. I bake them and Aunt Sheri does the fancy decorating.

I know that they are too young to fully understand it right now … I just hope when they grow older and look back they remember how special and unique to them each birthday was. Hopefully my kids will continue to love holidays as much as I do.

~ Makenna loved licking the beaters ~

~ Aunt Sheri decorating Makenna's Cake ~

~ Makenna's 2nd Birthday Cake ~

November 9, 2008

Two ...

My Darling Makenna,

Mommy can’t believe her little baby is TWO. Time goes by so fast … it seems like it was just yesterday that the 2 of us were stuck in the hospital waiting to see each other face to face. From the moment I saw you I fell in love with your sweet innocence. Your darling button nose and beautiful sweet smile can melt a heart in an instant. Your cuteness has saved you from getting in trouble … many times.

Over this past year you have changed so much. Your endearing personality and extreme strong will shows more and more each day. Most of the time your strong will drives mommy ragged but I truly hope you never lose your determination to stand strong in this tough world. You’re beginning to talk more and more … I can’t wait for you to truly express yourself with words. I can imagine you will have as much to say as your brother does … and that’s A LOT.

Every night mommy checks on you before she goes to sleep and says a little pray that God keeps you safe. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby … Mommy loves you “all the way to the moon and back”!

~ 1 Year ~

~ 1 week ~

~ 1 Day ~

~ Sweet Dreams ~