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Year 2010

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Year 2010 - Page Text Content

S: Year 2010

BC: Real Good

FC: Life isGood

1: Year | 2010 | Edinburgh Castle, Dec, 2010

2: Biding our Time before the year was Up...

3: Dusty and Lauren introduced us to a new game called "Time's Up" and we played it as the hours counted down to the new year. It involves a lot of charade like activity, and we just happened to catch a few choice moments on camera.... We were up at the cabin, and all non-missionaries were there: JD, Carrie, Teri, Cort & fam, Chad, Becky, Dusty, Lauren, Bryon and Patti. We had a great time! | The cabin, Dec. 31, 2009 -Jan. 1, 2010


5: My initial thrill at the picturesque quality of this scene may have been slightly damaged when I found out Cort had nick named that orange sled the "butt squeezer". | The cabin, Jan. 1, 2010

6: Jake turns

7: left: girl, Sammy Bradford, Bekah Jo right: Stone, Ethan, boy below: Ben, boy, Jake, Harrison Bradford | Jan. 7, 2010 | 7 | Jake wanted to invite his whole class to his birthday party this year. We did invite them all, but only four came, which was good because it rained on us! And when you add in Stone from next door and the Bradfords from church, we had a good group. We split the kids up into three teams and they each had a different color bandana. Then we played a series of relays, one of which was a dress-up relay.

8: Bradfords | the | The Bradfords were our special friends while we lived in College Station. Cynthia patiently taught Ethan and Jake piano every Monday after school while Bekah Jo disappeared with Sami, not to be heard from again until it was time to leave. Will and Bekah Jo did joy school together three times a week, and Harrison was a great friend to both of the older boys. Their little two-year-old Henry was my buddy, and Cynthia got her baby snuggles off of Calvin. They had really cool dance parties and we would all go and dance and "freeze dance" and chicken dance and conga and eat and wear glow sticks. I remember once I asked Cynthia if she could watch the kids for me on a Friday night. She called me back and said the reason she loved her husband was that she could call him from work and tell him there would be four extra kids for the evening and his response was: "I guess I better pick up some glow sticks on the way home." We celebrated Thanksgiving with them last year, and Easter this year. I have no pictures of Easter because Rich video taped the whole thing and made us a movie! We had saved our empty egg shells for about a month prior and hid them all over their yard. Mixed in with the plastic eggs full of candy, the kids didn't recognize their significance until Rich cracked the first eggshell on a very surprised Harrison's head! After that it was a free for all, and we all had so much fun! We spent time camping, scouting, teaching, dancing, swimming, practicing piano, worshiping, eating and PLAYING with them. We were VERY sad to leave them behind!

9: Friends

10: Scotland with the Smiths

11: We had so much fun touring all over Scotland with my parents and Bekah and Layne Smith. It was our first time ever leaving the kids behind and we ate, laughed, and even got to hear some of our tour guides! We golfed at St. Andrews, ate haggis, saw the musical Wicked and so much more. | May, 2010

12: While Cort and I were off in Scotland, Grandma Stringham came to stay with the kids. She flew all the way out from California, and the kids had such a great week with her. Then we got to spend a couple of days with her before she headed home. We really appreciated it, and the kids loved it!

13: Grandma Stringham | May, 2010

14: Old | M | c | ac | udd's | farm

15: While we were all eating lunch, one of the boys pointed out a snake hole in the ground. It started a conversation about poisonous animals. At one point one of the kids turned to Mrs. Cudd and asked her what the most poisonous animal was. Without skipping a beat she replied, "boys". She's a riot! I think everyone had a really great time, but Calvin missed his morning nap and didn't make it to the end of the feild trip, so we had to leave in the middle of Mrs. Stephens teaching the kids a song about keeping your belly button clean so it doesn't turn fungus green... | Feild Trip Alert!!! Where: Old MacCudd's farm located in the Middle of Nowhere Why: Because we want to see O.M.C.'s alligato moat, viper pit, poison ivy patches, stinging nettles, black widows, scorpoins and other delights of nature. Also, we will enjoy hot dogs, hay rides, horse care, and fam music provided by our own talented Mrs. Stephens! What should my precious kid bring? 1. Towel to sit on to avoid the fire ants and scorpions 2. Hat and sunscreen to avoid the extremely arid conditions 3. Tennis shoes and socks to avoid stinging nettle, poison ivy, burrs... 4. Long pants if you are sensitive to hay 5. Blind fold (very important)! Our room mothers will bring all beef hotdogs, chips, cookies, and water. All are welcome to come, but please let us know and bring a chair or you will have to sit on the ground with the kids, scorpions, etc. Please send $2 to help cover the cost of the bus and food; otherwise, we will just dump the kids blindfolded in the Middle of Nowhere with no food or water! | Cort, Bekah Jo, Calvin and I were able to join Ethan on a feild trip out to his teacher's farm. Her name is Mrs. Cudd, and this was what was in the flier she sent home, I thought it was a great reflection of her personality. | Bekah Jo, blindfolded | Mrs. Cudd, teaching about horse care | Mrs. Stephens, the muse | May, 2010

16: National Sandcastle Building Contest | I had the kids each stand by their favorite castle and I wasn't too surprise with their choices: Ethan: the robot, Jacob: the snake eating a woman, and Bekah Jo: the Sphynx (because it reminded her of Cleopatra, and that DID make it the girliest one there. We all also thought the toilet was funny and the dragon train was amazing.

17: There are times in life when we throw caution to the wind and do something spontaneous and it enriches our lives and makes us feel free and young... Then there are the times when you just wished you had planned better! We heard about the National Sandcastle Contest just two hours from us and decided on a whim to go. The car ride wasn't bad, but waiting in line in the 100+ degree weather for the shuttle for over an hour was. Then we had to walk a good 1/2 mile down the beach to see the first castle. We had made it to about 10 of the castles when they announced that the last shuttle back to the parking lot was leaving in 15 min, so we had to race back across the beach and wait for the shuttle again. When we got to the parking lot we were so excited they had ice-cream for sale!! We were all just about melted!! | Spencer | Chelsea

18: We had our Space Derby in Cub Scouts this last month. Cort is the cub scout master, so he got to build the apparatus the rockets race on. The kids sat out on the lawn watching him test it and playing with Calvin. He did a great job building it and making it collapsible so that it could be stored easily for future years. | Space Derby Preparations

19: There were a few minor problems getting it going that night, but I don't think anyone minded. We all got to eat hot dogs (Calvin's first, and he's a fan), and laugh and play and make paper airplanes. It was such a nice casual atmosphere and I think everyone had a really good time. Ethan made a nice blue rocket (surprise), and Stone made a green one. Ethan's rocket won every one of its races (yeah, Ethan). I think all the boys had fun, but I think the one that had the most fun was Jake, he was so excited to watch every single race, and was our best cheerer. He can't wait to go to scouts next January, and I can't really blame him, when I see Ethan come out in his uniform ready to go each week, I almost want to go (almost:) ).

20: This was the summer of the pool. We went several times a week and met our friends there, and tried out our new underwater camera there, and held our breaths and raced and played "Marco Polo" and "Where's the torpedo". Calvin could dunk his head under and go down the waterslide by the end of the summer,and Bekah Jo even got brave enough for the deep end - but only if she had something to hold onto, like the side or an adult. And everyone got nice and tan - except Mom, of course!

23: . uper Model Jake | I confess, he was a more than willing model, which meant I got to play with both my camera and photoshop! He got a new watch, that he wears all the time. He loves not only knowing what time it is to the minute (it's not 5 mom, it's 4:59) but also using the stop watch to time himself and his siblings doing all kinds of things, from tying shoes to racing bikes. | S

24: Bekah Jo Turns 5 | Carlee Olsen | Leanna Schubert | Calvin Duke | Jake | Jackson Durden | Ethan | Alyssa Monson | Sami Bradford | William Bradford | Bekah Jo | At Bekah Jo's party we played outside in the water. We had a relay race to fill buckets with water by ringing out sponges. We played "Duck, duck, goose!"with a sponge wrung out on the goose's head. We did some freeze dancing, played with water balloons, and then just squirted each other with the hose. Bekah Jo wanted a strawberry shortcake that looked like Princess Auora's dress, so I attempted that. Then She opened gifts with all her friends. We all had a lot of fun! | June 7 | June, 2010

26: The other morning Cort asked Bekah Jo if she wanted Mom or Dad to do her hair. She replied that Mom was the bestest at doing hair. Then she looked over at Cort and said, "But you're the besterest, Dad", then a brief pause followed by, "I only told you that so you wouldn't feel bad". I told Cort she definately inherited his tact! We have been talking a lot about Joy in Bekah Jo's pre-school, and it all finally paid off the other morning when she came into my room beaming. "Mom, mom, I cleaned up my room and I feel joy cause it's so clean and I did it without asking!" Cort and I both headed into her room to admire her handy work. Then I suggested she trundle into the kitchen and empty her portion of the dishwasher so she could feel even MORE joy. She promptly declined, "That's ok, I have enough joy from cleaning my room." And lastly, her prayers. She's at that delightful age where she is expanding her prayers to include just about anything. Today she was blessing our lunch, and the boys last day of school, and her friend that couldn't play today because she was on a trip to Houston but would be back to play next week, and Calvin that he would eat. She finally finished and Cort had just enough time to bring his burrito up to his lips before she remembered "one more thing" she just "had" to pray for. She bowed her head again and prayed that we would all have fun at the pool this afternoon, oh, and that dad wouldn't eat before the blessing. Tsk, tsk. She continues to be both a joy and a challenge as she grows! Our life would be so much less colorful without our Bekah Jo...

27: RASH | ROAD | ROAD | RASH | Jake finally learned to ride his bike this year. He has always been reluctant because he was afraid of falling and getting hurt - justifiably so -but he braved the road rash and is quite a good rider now.

28: Calvin's Birthday | 1 | st | After everyone enjoyed their cake and ice-cream, they went in the other room to do the fat dog - which quickly turned into a dog pile! Then we called Grandma and Grandpa Stringham on Skype and they got to watch Calvin open his presents: a book of his first 100 words, the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear", a bouncy ball and a dump truck. I think the dump truck was the clear favorite - as long as someone was willing to push him in it!

29: June 16

30: So our children get paid for some of their jobs. The in and out everday jobs. Then on Saturday they have another list of jobs that we do to work together as a family to have a clean house. They are fairly good about the chores they get paid for, but the freebies can be a bit of a challenge. This last Saturday we were going to meet my cousin Cherese (who I haven't seen in 8 years) at the Blue Bell Ice Cream Creamery in Brenham (it's in between our house and hers in Houston) to let the kids play at the park and have ice-cream while we got to catch-up. I clearly explained to the children that we would be leaving at 10:30 and everyone would get to go and have a picnic and play at the park, but we would only buy ice-cream for the kids that got all their chores done. Cort was a wonder dad, sparkling and shining the kitchen while encouraging the kids, and eventually sitting on Bekah Jo's bed and giving her step-by-step instructions to help her out. 10:30 came and we all loaded in the car. Then came the discussion about who had accomplished all their chores. It turns out that Jake was the only one. Ethan had come very close, in fact, he had sprayed down the bathroom sink and counter, but then wandered off to find his transformer to take with him and never gone back and wiped them down! No ice-cream for him. Bekah Jo had finally gotten her room cleaned up, but had never even started her bathroom chore, so she was also short of reaching the ice-cream standard. There followed much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I then explained the mercy clause. They had missed out on Dad and Mom paying for their ice-cream because they had not done what was required, but they could pay for their own ice-cream. This caused some concern to Bekah Jo, who doesn't have any money right now. Then Ethan said, "Mom, I'll pay for me and Bekah Jo, since she can't pay for herself". Wow! and then everyone was quiet for about two minutes while I told Ethan that was so Christ-like because just like he was paying for Bekah Jo when she couldn't, Jesus paid for our sins so that we can live with Him again. It was so AWESOME! Of course within a few moments they were all focused on how many scoops they were getting and what color, but we had a moment there, and I am so grateful for it!

31: Ethan was able to participate in Day Camp, along with Stone this summer. They had a blast, shooting arrows and beebee guns, learning knots, singing songs, and exploring the camp ground. The rest of us went up for "Family Night" on Thursday. The boys were excited to show us all over the camp. At one point we reached a spot on the trail with a small creek and a steep slope upward on the other side. We had to choose if we were going to cross or turn back. As we were debating, Cort picked Jake up and threw him across the lake. Jake landed with his arms outstretched in the muddy embankment. He looked like spiderman on the side of a building! The other kids were excited to follow suit, and then Cort helped Calvin and I cross a little more delicately! | { | { | SCOUTS

32: Central Park

33: One of the things we loved the most about College Station was that they had incredible parks. We had church activities, play group, and even family night at parks. We did a charity walk through a park, and took a hay-ride through Christmas lights at one of the parks. It seemed you couldn't go very far down any street without runeeing into a park.

34: Saying | GOODBYE

35: We enjoyed our time in College Station so much! We will miss the beautiful town, the welcoming ward, and our dear friends the Bradfords (not pictured) and, "the neighbors", Jazmine and Stone, but in July we had to pack up to move to our next duty station, Jacksonville, NC.

36: We ordered pizza and ate it when they got tired of | squirting each other and racing across the pool. Ethan had his favorite, pepperoni and pineapple. | Ethan had his 9th birthday party at the hotel the day before we moved. We had fun celebrating with Harrison, Sami, and Stone. | Harrison | Stone

37: Sami | We ordered an ice-cream cake from Cold Stone (YUM) and since we couldn't save any of it, we let Calvin have it when everyone else was full. He really enjoyed it! | July 16 | Happy 9 Birthday!! | th

38: SQUIRT | squirt | Ball Python

39: Ball Python | We had a very sad tragedy during our move from College Station to Jacksonville. Our ball python, Squirt, died. We had put him in a bucket for the drive, just like we did the last two times we moved him. It was really cold in our hotel room and so I put him out on the balcony, in the shade where it was warmer. He spent the frist day out there and was fine. We brought him in and filled the sink with water and let him slither around. The next day I put him out there again. When Cort brought him back in, we knew there was a problem because of the SMELL. Poor Squirt had baked! So there I was, with this super smelly bucket on the third floor of a hotel and no way to get it out. (Cort and the kids were cowering in the bathroom with the fan turned on full blast). I thought about throwing him over the side of the balcony, but what if the bucket broke open? Then some people went out to get in the pool, so I had to come up with something else. As luck would have it, I remembered that the movers had left behind a giant roll of seran wrap and Cort had thrown it in the back of the van right before we had left (thank you, Cort). I ran out to the van and grabbed it. I quadruple wrapped the bucket and then took the elevator down through the lobby, and out to the dumpster. I felt like a murderer disposing of a body! I read way too many spy novels! The kids were really good sports about the whole thing. They all got a chance to walk out to the dumpster to tell Squirt good-bye and shed a few tears. He really was a good little snake and we will miss him.

40: kitchen | kitchen window seat | dining room | bonus (toy) room | New House | We were able to make a house hunting trip over Spring Break in March. Our fabulous realator, Arlin, really did a great job of figuring out what we wanted. She brought us into this neighborhood to show us a different house, and when we drove by this house, Cort immediately fell in love with it. We went and saw the other house, and were thinking about putting in an offer because we loved the neighborhood. As we drove out of the neighborhood, Cort specifically looked for his "dream" house. He coundn't believe it when he noticed what we had failed to notice on the way in - a "for sale" sign! From the moment we walked through the front door, we knew it was our house and were thrilled when we were able to drive home three days later - under contract!

41: 131 Dockside Dr. Jacksonville, North Carolina | bonus (toy) room | family room | At the end of each day, when we tired of unpacking and the kids were all in bed, we would sit in the family room and watch TV and FOLD packing paper. I think the movers got paid by the sheet!

42: "RENOVATIONS" | Of course, one of the main reasons I was excited about having my own house was getting to put my own mark on it, and we got started right away, removing the blue corian countertops and getting a more neutral, durable, (and stylish) granite. We also added dining room furniture to our household belongings and even hung (most) of our picture frames on the walls! After that there were many hours spent painting trim that had been marked up by the movers, patching around the new thermostats Cort installed, since they weren't the same shape as the old ones, changing light bulbs and just generally settling in. There is kind of a nautical theme throughout the house, courtesy of the Navy and living by the ocean for so many years, I guess :).

43: This is what my new countertops look like (my kitchen is way too messy to get a full shot!)

45: Shortly after moving in, the ward had play group at Topsail Beach, about a 3O minute drive away. It was the first time Calvin has been able to sit and play in the sand and water like this. I don't have any pictures of the older boys, who spent almost the whole time up to their armpits in the waves. They had so much fun! Bekah Jo is also not pictured. She had gotten in trouble that morning before we left and since I wasn't going to make everyone else miss the fun day, her punishment was served on the beach. She had to sit in her umbrella chair the whole time we were at the beach. Her reaction was typical Bekah Jo: "OH, I wanted to sit here the whole time!" And she never complained, instead reminding me throughout the whole day how glad she was that she could just sit in the shade of her pink umbrella. That girl! | Aug, 2010

46: The other day when the kids came home from school, Ethan was complaining about Jake teasing him on the bus. I asked Jake what was going on. "Well, Ethan was pulling on my ear and giving me bunny ears!", "OK, but what were you doing to him?" "Well, there is this girl on the bus named Sophia and her friend drew a picture in her notebook of her and Ethan kissing and I was just telling a story about how Sophia was drowning and Ethan came and rescued her and so she was in love with him for the rest of her life." (Wow, not the k-i-s-s-i-n-g song I was expecting). | Brothers: two or more boys raised by the same parents | I was standing outside of the girls' bathroom at church during Sacrament meeting today, waiting for Bekah Jo (she didn't want me to come in with her - this time), when Ethan walked out of the boys' room. He had his hand over his shirt pocket and a silly little grin on his face that turned a little sheepish when he saw me. "What's goin' on?" "Nothin'" (maybe impish is a better word for that face) "What's going on?" (slightly more emphatically) "Nothing" Being the respecter of privacy that I am, I reached right into that shirt pocket and pulled out a..... live grasshopper! Yeah, it surprised me, and I threw it up in the air. That poor little guy! I instructed Ethan to remove the grasshopper from the interior of the church and then tuck his shirt in on his way back in to the meeting. After church I told the kids (who were all pointing fingers at each other) that they were not allowed to bring any living things in to Sacrament meeting. Bekah Jo quickly quipped up with the addendum "and no dead ones either" which I am sure probably saved me from some future escapade. Good call Bekah Jo.

47: When we moved into this house, it had been empty for three months. We walked out on the back porch to be greeted by spiders, great big ones with ten foot webs. They are harmless, but there sure were a lot of them to clear out! | This is a tadpole-about-to-turn-frog that Ethan found. It was so tiny! | Not long after the spiders were cleared, the boys started asking if they could stay up late. They wanted to watch for the "luna moth", a large moth that flies by moonlight and is found in this region of the United States. We stayed up a few nights (it WAS in the name of science) but did not find it. Then one afternoon, in the middle of sunshine, Ethan comes running in the house yelling for Jake and Bekah Jo to come outside right away! He had found a luna moth! The kids were so excited. They caught it and we got to measure its wing span and admire it before we let it go. My little scientists in the making!

48: 1 Day of School, | st | Let us realize that the privilege to learn is a gift, that power to learn is a blessing, that love of learning is success. | 2010 | - David O. McKay | Ethan 4th grade | Bekah Jo Kindergarten | Jacob 2nd grade | Aug. 25, 2010

49: The boy's room was a nice neutral tan when we moved in, but was poc-marked in bumps and holes, so we set about spackling the flaws and then painting to match their bedding. Ethan was an awesome helper.! | NEW ROOM

50: SOMETIMES | Life | is a | M | Cort and I are sitting in the family room one quiet morning (in and of itself a miraculous event) and we hear this weird noise. It's too irregular to be a machine... Yeah, it was the water dripping out of our ceiling onto our kitchen table. Classy. Luckily my husband is AMAZING and not only did he figure out the problem, he fixed it. He climbed a 26 ft ladder to get on top of our roof so that he could put flashing on the roof where it was missing and replace the vent cover that was making the ceiling in the bathroom leak. We now have plans to replace several window casements throughout the ground floor. Good thing we chose NOT to go with the fixer-upper... | E | S | S

51: Looking Good | Yeah, that's salt. | Calvin LOVES to have yogurt for breakfast, and to impersonate the KFC guy.. | Sept, 2010

52: Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself. - Harvey Fierstein | Jake waving to us. | Vice Principal Bradshaw

53: Try to discover the road to success and you'll seek but never find, but blaze your own path and the road to success will trail right behind. ~Robert Brault | The boys both received several awards each quarter at school. We are proud both are doing so well. | Calvin loved cheering them on!

54: We went out to MIKE'S FARM to pick out some pumpkins with our friends, the Petinos. It was so cute. You take a little hay ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out your pumpkin and then you ride back and get it weighed and pay for it. Lucky for us they had wheelbarrows we could use to haul our 50+ lbs of pumpkins back to the van! The line was SO long when we got there. I think it must always be that way because they had the little tractor nearby that Calvin had fun riding and the other kids liked watching him on. Then the line moved really fast. | Pumpkin | PICKING | Eli, Briana,Bekah Jo, Kyler (another friend they brought with them), Arlin, Ethan, Calvin Dad, Jacob

55: When we got on the hey ride, they had it all set up for the"haunted hay rides they run at night, so as we rode along there were all these skeletons and ghosts and spooky things along the side of the road. The kids did a good job of acting scared and SCREAMING as we passed each one. They even had little Calvin screaming, though I'm sure he didn't know what at.! | Oct, 2010

56: Pumpkin Carving | OK, so this is the cake I made for the school carnival, but it was so AWESOME I had to include it. | Our blank canvases... | As we carved I taught the kids the song: "Great green globs of greasy grimy gofer guts, mutilated monkey meat, little birdy dirty feet. All rolled up in all purpose porpas pus, I made it just for you..."

57: I started setting up at 2pm. Newspaper, candles, bowls for guts, bowls for seeds, scoops, pokers, tape, knives, patterns. | We finished at 9:30 pm. 6 pumpkins gutted, carved and lit; bowls, pokers, scoops, knives cleaned; newspaper tossed; seeds roasted; and every surface in the kitchen wiped down. Whew! | Pumpkins from top right to bottom left: Jacob, Me, Bekah Jo, Calvin, Dad, and Ethan | Oct, 2010

59: One of the greatest joys of raising a toddler is their delight of discovery. Calvin and I go walking in the mornings with my friend Mindy Lucas. Luckily we don't do it for the exercise because it's not uncommon for us to take an hour and a half to walk our little two mile circuit. We have to stop and look at bugs, rocks, flowers, and most especially the squirrels that are abundant in the neighborhood. They are so cute chasing each other around. We also stop and pet a lot of cats, which makes Mindy's dog a little crazy... The other day at the end of our walk when we got back to the house Calvin was interested to find the pumpkins out there (he had been asleep when we finished . . them). He was so cute peeking in and checking things out!! | Nov, 2010

61: There are sooo many leaves here! At the beginning of fall, the kids were raking them into piles to jump in, but soon the ground was so completely covered they didn't have to be raked up to jump into! We had a cold snap early in the season so the leaves were especially colorful. Cort was a good sport, mowing and bagging every Saturday just lo have the lawn look the same by Sunday morning! | Nov, 2010

62: Amidst all the leaf raking, chilling at the dinner table, homework, carnivals and pumpkins, Cort left town and I decided to re-do the kids bathroom. Good thing I had Calvin to help me. Too bad I don't have a finished photo cuz it ain't finished yet. Calvin was kind enough to repaint several of the blue walls white after I was done with them along with the tub and floor... Then I bought the wrong hinges - twice! I got my holes the wrong distance apart when I was trying to put the new hinges on and had to flip the cupboard door around and re-drill on the other side... Then the drill bit got stuck in the wall and when I tried to get it un-stuck it broke in half! I felt like I was on one of those remodeling nightmare shows! | A Few "Mom" Moments... | Nov, 2010

63: I had a funny moment at church today. I got there early and found the wipe board and took it into the gym for my lesson. I drew the three objects for my lesson on the board and taped paper over them to be revealed at key points later. Then I headed off to Sacrament meeting, feeling calm. I have never actually found the board and had everything drawn and ready before church even started before. Well, fast forward through Sacrament meeting and part way into my lesson. I had asked a question and no one was answering. I kind of cojoaling told them if they answered my question I could then reveal my great artwork. I got a couple of chuckles and someone raised their hand and answered. Then with an exaggerated flourish (in gratitude for the answer just given), I revealed... nothing. Someone had come in during Sacrament meeting and erased all my drawings! I had a good laugh - and the class did too. I went ahead with my lesson and at each point, with flourish revealed more nothing. After class one of the brethren was wondering out loud who had erased it, since it had to have been an adult due to the height of the board. A sister quickly chimed in: "an art critic!", to which I added, "yeah, one with enough taste to know when to erase something!". | Cort and I all dressed up for the Marine Corps Ball | I lost my keys the other day. I did a quick search of all the normal places and found nothing. I determined that Calvin must have gotten a hold of them and was wondering if I should check the toilet first or the garbage. Then I walked into the bathroom to discover he had dumped the garbage into the toilet, so I could check both at the same time! Thanks Calvin! | April, 2010 | Sept, 2010

64: North Carolina Aquarium

65: We went to the Aquarium with the Brooks family: Trevor, Cheri, Kyler and Azure; and Arlin and Brianna Petino. We enjoyed the exhibits and petting horseshoe crabs, but we also got to go to a reptile show, which the kids really enjoyed. Jake got picked to help out. I think he and Ethan might have known as much as the presenter! | Nov, 2010

66: Happy Birthday Dad | 34 | Cort got two things for his birthday: Glee Karaoke for the Wii and a fire pit. We confess, the whole family enjoyed both tremendously! | th

67: I do have to confess that after a few months, we aren't so sure about the karaoke; listening to Jake belt out "Don't Stop Believing" at the top of his lungs is the most ear-numbing experience I've ever had! | Initially Calvin kept trying to blow the fire out, but once he got the hang of it, he thought those marshmallows were pretty fabulous! | Nov, 2010

69: Playing at some gardens in New Bern | Nov, 2010

70: Turkey and | For the first time in our married lives, Cort and I did Thanksgiving with just our family. Our friends we had invited were sick so it was just us. Cort still made his to-die-for smoked turkey and we had all the trimmings. The kids were so excited to get to eat in the dining room at the fancy table with the fancy dishes. Of course we were still setting the table when Jake opened the cranberry soda and it sprayed all over the tablecloth and dishes!! | We had a bowl full of corn kernels and everyone took turns saying what they were thankful for and moving a kernel into the other bowl. The kids were thankful for a lot of nice things, like family, friends the Gospel, food, flowers, bugs, transformers, the wii, fingers for making bunny ears...

71: PIE | Nov, 2010

72: USMC | Nov, 2010

73: Grandma Teri asked for some pictures of the kids with Cort in uniform, and these are what we came up with. She made them into fabric transfers so the kids would each have a pillow case with them and their dad on it. Cort is stationed here with the Marines and works as a liason between the Seabees and the II MEF, that's why he's in Marine attire instead of Navy. | LT. Stringham | II MEF Forward

74: GINGERBREAD | house | Ever since I was a little kid I have been fascinated with gingerbread houses, and I was so excited when Cort and I got this kit so we could make one with our kids. We had a LOT of fun building and decorating it. Some had maybe a little too much fun.... Then a couple of weeks later I had to shift it over on the mantle and the whole thing fell apart. The roof and candies slid right off, all over the floor! I guess we'll just have to do another one next year!

75: Dec, 2010

76: Christmas in Scotland

77: We had the fun and exciting opportunity to go to Scotland with all of my family for Christmas this year. We all flew in on different days and at different times and with different amounts of luggage (there were several missing pieces), but were all glad to be there together! Let me give a quick rundown of everyone that came. JD and Carrie came with their daughter, Sicily who I hadn't met and is so mellow and sweet! Chad and Becky and Abby came (that girl is so full of energy I get tired just watching her go!) Dusty and Lauren came and Valerie brought her two daughters, WHitney, who was 4, and MacKenzie Jo, who was just six weeks old! Kate had finished her mission at the end of November, and had "returned" to Scotland, so she and my parents were already there. After everyone had found a space to crash in, we went about preparing a Sacrament Meeting program because my parents had volunteered us! It ended up being a really wonderful program with each little family bearing their testimonies about a different aspect of Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness. I don't know how much it impacted the ward, but we were all very touched to be able to hear each other's testimonies. Then it was onto the treats, games, and (unfortunately) the flu! Yeah. We had two different strands run through, so there were lots of sad tummies! Add to that all the laundry we had to do because so much clothing was lost in the luggage! As well as missing presents. But, I think despite all the chaos, everyone had a really good time. We got to go see the Links at St. Andrew's and eat at the Anstruther Fish Bar. We also got to go to Edinburgh Castle. My mom was so smart and bought Jake a tour guide book as we were going in, so he had a marvelous time "guiding" us through the castle. We got to hear a presentation on how the courtiers dressed for balls that Bekah Jo just loved and the boys got to hold a sword and a muskett. All very exciting. Over the two weeks Bekah Jo and Whitney were just the best little friends and would disappear each day and play and play and play, only to reappear at meal times. The boys built legos and watched every kid movie G-Jo and Pops had, and played Wii. They all also got some good time out in the snow, since they had gotten three feet the week before we came - which is unheard of in Edinburgh. Calvin, Abby and Sicily motored around emptying cupboards and causing mischief, but they were all so cute! And we all got in some fabulous snuggle time with baby Kenzie Jo. I had fun spending time with everyone, but especially having a real opportunity to get to know Val better. All in all, it was a delightful trip, mostly because we got to spend it with family! | Dec, 2010

78: is for... | C | cuddling cousins, castles and cold cake, candy, cards and traditions of old cooking for missionaries family and friends Clinging to Christmas til it must come to an end. | This is the letter Cort and Chad cooked up for the kids from Santa | The family in front of Edinburgh Castle | the boys siiting on the canon balls | Dec, 2010

79: Bekah Jo and Kenzie Jo | Valerie, Teri (and Kenzie Jo) | Looking in the well with G-Jo | Pops and Calvin playing "peek-a-bo" Bekah Jo and her favorite playmate - Whitney Bekah Jo cuddling Sicily | JD and Cort cooking Christmas morning | the sad state of the entryway while we were there | Teri and Chad | Pops reading Luke 2 with lots of help!

80: Here we are in our traditional Scottish kilts and swords. Touritsty but oh so fun!

81: These are before and after pictures of us with our luggage - we had a lot less on the way home! | Dec, 2010 | cream and crumpets | Bekah Jo and Whitney made "Santa" plates.

83: When I was baptized, I felt that I was in Heaven with Heavenly Father and Jesus and the Holy Ghost. When I was baptized, the water was warm. When I was batized, my dad baptized me. | Ethan's Baptism | Ethan waited for his Dad to come home to baptize him. Grandma and Grandpa Stringham and Great Grandma and Grandpa Stringham were there, along with Uncle Chad, Uncle Bryon, Ethan's primary teachers, the Pollucks, Bishop Saunders, Uncle Dusty, Uncle JD, and their respective wives. (those names were in order of the photo here to the left). The Polluck's gave Ethan a clean, white towel and the candygram pictured on the far left. We are so proud of Ethan for making this important decision at this time in his life and for the shining example of Christ's love and service to others that Ethan is to all of us. | Aug 8, 2009

85: Calvin's Baby Blessing | Aug 9, 2009

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teri l. stringham
  • By: teri l.
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Year 2010
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  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: almost 7 years ago