The Annual Christmas Nativity. We loved having Kate this year to play Mary.
Christmas Eve in the new pajamas.
All the Jolley cousins Christmas Eve.
Ben and Tyler spent hours with bells, nets, string, camo, and boxes "trapping" our kids upstairs for the annual Christmas Trap. Uncle Keaton was the trapmaster again this year and led the kids down the stairs to Christmas. It took them at least 1 1/2 hrs to sneak down to Christmas. I heard a few bells and bangs, but they were pretty sneaky this year. "It was the hardest trap to date."
More pictures to come after my house is clean and my bookkeeping is caught up. Stay tuned.
Tanner STARS in the ward Christmas production "Santa Goes South." He received RAVE reviews from the director, musical director, and the entire ward. He was quite the little actor and soloist. I am trying to figure out how to get the sound from the video on my computer so that I can post one of his solos. I LOVED watching him perform. Kaden and the rest of my Weeblo Scouts had a cameo performance to Surfin USA on Christmas Island. They were a total hit. The audience went wild with their sweet moves. I don't have too many pictures because I was running the spotlight and Tyler was filming, but here are a few shots my friend took.
Mr. and Mrs. Clause (Tanner and Ally Johnson)
Santa gets sunburned on Christmas Island.
He makes it back to the North Pole just in time for Christmas.
We spent Thanksgiving Break living up the life luxury and getting some R&R at Little America in Salt Lake. We enjoyed room service, swimming, movies, shopping, and more. We also enjoyed having Thanksgiving Dinner prepared for us and no dishes to clean up afterward. It was an awesome twist to our more traditional Thanksgiving weekends.
Carson spent most of Thanksgiving dinner setting up scenes with his Star Wars guys in the restaurant.
We also had a little surprise package from the "Thanksgiving Stork" which Britain and Ben had sent to the hotel to announce their upcoming addition to their family next summer. Congratulations!
One of the highlights of the weekend was our virtual trip to NYC to see the Rockettes in the touring Christmas Spectacular. My family, Lisa and Keaton, as well as my mom and David attended the show. It was sensational and such a fun way to kick off the holiday season.
My niece Makaela and brother-in-law Steve came for the weekend for Makaela's orthodontic appointment. It was great fun to have them visit. Tyler and Steve spent most of the day bird hunting, but I don't have any pictures of their successful hunt.
Makaela, Tanner, Carson and I headed to the Fruita office to mow the lawn one more time and rake leaves. We had a couple of bags filled already. The next thing I notice Tanner has dumped the leaves we had just raked into a huge pile on the grass. My first reaction was to be annoyed, but then we decided to embrace the idea. I have never seen the boys work so hard trying to make a big leaf pile to jump in. They had a blast.
They even helped bag up the leaves after we were done playing.
1, 2, 3, GO!!!!! Carson squealed in delight as he was tossed into the pile.
Even Makaela joined the fun. She said she had never jumped into a leaf pile before.
It was so fun to have a girl around. Makaela climbed into my bed when she woke up and we talked for about an hour about everything and nothing. So fun. Then later in the day she wanted to make cookies. She was really sweet and patient as she taught Tanner how to measure the ingredients.
Kaden hiking White Rocks! This is our favorite "Natural Playground"
Makaela hiking through the middle of the rocks!
Playing on the Rocks
Carson is always ready to shoot a snake or a bad guy hiding in the rocks. I love this picture!
We played Sardines and Piggy Wanna Wave in the rocks. It is full of great places to hide, but there are lots of scary crevices so I am always on hyper alert. Kennan was the official ref that made sure the kids didn't run or jump off of anything to crazy. Picture here: Rylan, Kaden, Makaela, and Carson. Noah, Tanner, and Preston joined us to play as well.
Carson could fit in lots of great hiding spots. It helps to be little.
Kaden wins the Excellent Explorer Award for the 4th Grade. We are so proud of him. The principal read the following letter to the whole school during the assembly. He tried to act cool, but you could tell he was totally stoked. Way to go Kaderade!
Kaden Jolley is an amazing student, classmate, friend, and all around good kid. He has a great sense of humor and zest for life that is contagious. Just being around him makes your day better too. He loves learning and focuses his attention on his studies. He always completes his work (homework too) in a timely manner which allows him to get to what he really wants to do--read. Kaden is an avid reader, he always has a good book at his desk that he can tell you about, and he pays total attention during class reads alouds as well. Kaden is well liked by all of his classmates and has many good friends. I believe that people look up to him as a leader and a buddy He is very helpful in the classroom, taking on extra responsibilities whenever he sees the need. He often stays a little after the second bell rings to make sure chairs are not lopsided, the desks are neatly lined up, and all the lamps are turned off for the night. Kaden is definitely and Excellent Explorer, being at all times, respectful, responsible, safe, and ready. Thanks Kaden, for being such a great student. Miss Ward
Tanner wins the Excellenc in Music award for 2nd graders. Each day I realize he is my creative and musical kid. He had a solo in the Primary Program and sang perfectly. He also landed the lead role of Santa in the Christmas Play. I am so proud of him and must admit that I LOVE that he is my little performer. He also won the Excellent Explorer award for Wingate last year when I wasn't such a great blogger.
We are still hoping to adopt a girl! If anyone is reading this and knows anyone considering adoption let them know it's a great option and there are lots of families who would love to adopt. (So sad that this is my weak attempt at adoption advocacy for the month).
I went to a RS meeting last night on improving our scripture study and I determined I kind of suck at it. Yes, I read the Ensign. Yes, I read the sciptures almost daily, but I don’t really LOVE them or HUNGER and THIRST after them. It’s more like a guilt driven relationship. I know I’m supposed to read them, so I do. Anyway, the instructors were inspiring and I decided to make a change. I make time to exercise at least 5 to 6 days a week for at least an hour. I make time to make my bed and get ready and pick up my house. I make time to check my E-mail and browse my facebook account. I make time for my friends, family, Jolley Smiles, and social events. I make time for my church calling. But I don’t valiantly strive to MAKE TIME for great scripture study.
I started with a repentant, humble heart and knelt in prayer so I could understand the scriptures better and to have a desire to do better. Also, I was teary eyed (okay I was totally crying) with my plea to understand why I had all those powerful promptings and felt such urgency to get approved for adoption. (read the earlier post about why I think it was an urgent call to action) Anyway, I made myself so vulnerable and the doubts and fears have been settling in a lot lately. If it doesn’t happen, does that mean I imagined everything? If it doesn’t happen soonish, then my boys will be heart broken. Will they lose faith? They pray to find and prepare themselves for their baby sister at least 4-5 times a day-- Morning prayer. Evening Prayer. Every Meal. They love to play with my friend’s baby girls. A sweet, soft, protective side comes out in all of them as they try to make them giggle. It melts my heart. Where is she? When will she join our family?
I am a planner. I like to have control over my life. I want to prepare. But I have NO CONTROL over this process. I also fear that as my entire family is big enough to hit the slopes this year that I won’t want to start all over again. What if I lose my desire to search for her? See, even with that statement it shows I am losing faith. So I had one of those open the scriptures randomly kind of moments after my prayer ended. Remember I am sobbing at this point, but I am trying to dab away my tears to salvage my recently applied mascara and powder.
I opened to this: Revelations 20:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall their be any more pain……” A few verses later this hit me “But the fearful, and unbelieving (oh yeah, that’s me right now as far as the doubts about the adoption ever happening) shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” Okay, so I am a believer again. I am scared of fire—even lighting candles on a cake.
I then played the open the scripture game again. I flipped through several pages until I happened upon D&C 6:14-19. It starts, “Blessed art though for what thou has done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou are at this time. (All the verses are great—too much to type so break out those scriptures). They all touched me because I had been “enlightened by the Spirit of truth” early in the process but my carnal side is whispering that I am crazy and I imagined it all. Vs. 19 “Be patient; be sober; be temperate; have patience, faith hope and charity.” Was that just me or did PATIENCE really stick out in that verse. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an answer about the day we would find our birth mom or our daughter, but I have more faith and feel renewed hope that I have done my part. It has been hard because I felt SO guided and SO compelled during the few weeks that we made the adoption decision and then I didn’t feel guided or prompted to do anything else. Should I make more attempts on getting our adoption message out there? Should I do a profile on another website? I don’t feel guided to do anything more than I have done so far at this time. So I HOPE that are birth mom will be led to find us and I will try to be PATIENT until she does. And perhaps my scripture study habits will be better by that time J
Tanner as Jango Fett with his sidekick from school as R2D2
I grabbed some costumes from the tank in Vernal and decided to dress up this year. I am the Wicked Queen from Snow White and my friend is the Old Witch from Snow White with the poison apple. Both of these costumes are a blast from the past. I wore them my Senior Year in the our High School Musical version of Snow White. Thanks to Jill and Tarra for my fabulous make-up.
Here are all of my WITCHY friends from the ward Halloween party.
John and Gina cook who also decided to dress up an hour before the party borrowed Kaden's Jedi costume and my Princess Leia outfit. What a cute couple. Carson wanted to know if I could PLEASE be Princess Leia next year. They are bigger fans of Star Wars than Snow White.
Carson is helping me do the blog right now and he wanted to make sure I posted him doing his Jedi moves. "Cause I look so cool."
Tyler and his team at the office dressed up in 80's fashion. It was so fun. I will try to find a picture of all the girls.
Tanner always has several costumes laid out perfectly for quick costume changes. The funny thing is that it is a year round thing for him not just Halloween. He and Carson dress up daily.
Keaton borrowed some of our Indiana Jones props and clothes for Halloween. Carson was thrilled to find Tyler's Indiana Jones hat (pictured above) that he got when he was Carson's age at Disneyland. Of course he still has his original hat. They have EVERYTHING they ever played with since birth. And yes, he and Grandma were a little nervous about letting Carson borrow the historic treasure :) Don't ruin it, CRASH!
Check out the beautiful views on the mountain biking trails in Moab.
Below you will see the guys (I think 17 or more made it to the Mancation) taking the shuttle ride to the top of the mountain biking trail. It was all fun and games until.........
Tyler broke his frame on his bike going down a ledge and they had to get creative with their McGuyver skills and try to hold his bike together with an old tire and rope so he could ride the last seven miles of the trail.
All in all, it was a fun time for the guys, but ended up being a VERY expensive weekend because he needs a new mountain bike.