Christmas Vacation

Wow, was this last week all a blur!!! Sorry for the long post, but it was just all so exciting!!! Read only the highlights if you need!!! It all started the day after my holiday treat party (posted below)
Friday: Vic's brother's birthday so we all ate out & then played games at our house afterwards.
Saturday: We took treats to all of our neighbors for the first time this year & I didn't realize what a time consuming activity that was! Each neighbor wanted us to come in & talk for an hour! I felt rude cutting all of our visits short! We have the NICEST neighbors though! I am so happy to live in such a great neighborhood. Next, Vic & I invited Vic's neices & nephews to play in the snow, but their mom's said it would be too cold so we decided to play anyway without them! It was fun. We built a slide & a fort. Then that night we had a Christmas Party with Vic's mission buddies & their families.
Sunday: We had ANOTHER Christmas party for Vic's family! We didn't think we'd be here on Christmas so we had everyone over for games & treats.
Monday: I spent hours shopping for a family in need with 6 kids, then we spent the whole night wrapping all of their presents.
Tuesday: We delivered the presents to one grateful little family. (it was so fun, I can't wait to adopt another family next year!)
Wednesday/Christmas Eve: We played in the snow with Vic's sister Cindy's family then just the two of us went out to eat at Applebee's (one of my current favorites)... then we went over to Vic's parents house to watch a Christmas movie & games until 1am. The roads were so bad on the way home, we could hardly see 5 feet in front of us & almost ran into a tree that had blown into the road!!! Yikes (unfortunately it still clipped my car & left it's mark, but I'm glad it was nothing more)
Thursday/ Christmas: I loved having our own little breakfast & Christmas presents... plus there was no rush so we opened one present & enjoyed & looked at it before opening the next. I liked it done this way, but it did take us until 11am! Afterwards we went out to Vic's parent's house again for dinner & games all night.
Friday: I woke up sick :( ... but I promised myself Christmas I'd eat whatever I wanted because I was going to work out the next day so I worked out sick anyway! Then I went out to spend my Christmas money (I was very sick, but I had to get the most for my buck with all the sales!!) Anyway, I found this beautiful red coat that I am SO excited about! I have been wanting one like this forever! That night we had promised 3 nephews a sleepover so I wrote my talk for Sunday while Vic played games with them until late.
Saturday: I woke up even sicker, but I had 3 little boys to entertain so I forced myself out of bed & got them breakfast, played games, and then even went out in the snow for awhile! I made them lunch & then they got picked up by their uncle... THANKS Roger! I tried to recoupe & regain enough energy to go out to Vic's other brother's Christmas party. We played MORE games out there! They had dinner, but we had to leave early to go to ANOTHER birthday party! Happy Birthday to Justin! (Vic's best friend). It was fun & we played our usual rounds of pinochle and... we FINALLY won a round! Usually we stay at their house really late, but by this time I was just too exhausted (being sick & still running around everywhere)
Sunday: I woke up & couldn't even think straight so I slept for HOURS! I missed my talk that I worked so hard on, but my wonderful husband read it at church for me. I finally came out of bed at 2pm and felt a lot better, but still in pain so I took a pain pill from when I got my wisdom teeth out & I felt MUCH better! Enough that we still were able to make it to our backyard neighbor's for dinner... another fun neighbor/blessing! Then I finally got my own calling.... teaching 6 year olds in primary! I love that age & I am excited to start!

Monday: I CLEANED all day & organized every drawer & closet! Then had movie night :)
Tuesday: ANOTHER family Christmas/New Year party at Vic's parents house!
Did I mention we have ONE more party tonight at Vic's parents?!?


Holiday Parties Begin!!!

Last night I had our first party of the weekend. It was a Holiday Treat Party, where everyone makes 4-6dozen treats & then we all swap so we have a good variety for friends, family, & neighbors. It was so quick & everyone made such cute treats!! Here is a picture of some of them:

We all wrapped them in plates, tins, & boxes that turned out pretty cute. I can't wait to give them to our neighbors tonight! I so want to have this same party next year! I am e-mailing everyone recipes of all the stuff so let me know if you want to be added on to that list!

The fun really started when we started playing games afterwards. I mainly had girls from my church there since we are new & that is all I know! It was fun to get to know them better at a casual level... they are SO cute & fun! I have such a great ward & we are blessed to live in it as it really impacts my happiness! One girl, or should I say "lady" that inspired me was Marcie. She is 37 & she could so EASILY pass for 28! I couldn't believe it when I found out. I pray I will be outgoing, fun, & young looking when I am 37!! Hopefully Vic will keep me young because he is so much fun! :)
Last weekend I went home to help my mom after a surgery so I was finally able to see my girls, Ericka & Amber! They are BOTH pregnant at the same time again! I swear their husbands plan it that way (they are best-friend-brothers). Funny thing is Ericka gets another girl & Amber another boy! Here is a picture of us eating at Texas Rhodehouse, one of my favorite places to eat (and is NOT here in Twin)... I LOVED catching up. It is always a good time with these girls! I hope they don't mind me sharing their exciting news!!! :)

Sorry, this post is getting long, but I have to add two more things! This song was on a friend's blog & I thought all you mommies would enjoy it!!! So click HERE to listen.
Also I finally organized my blog friends to pull up to the top when they've been updated so I am excited to do better at reading everyone's cute posts. KEEP Posting because I love reading it!! Thanks, I hope you know I love every last one of you bloggy friends!!


Christmas is here!

I always know when Christmas is here because I never have time to watch my shows or get on the internet. I should be sending out Christmas cards at this very moment, but I had to catch up on all my dear friends first! I love reading everyone's updates & seeing pictures.
Last week we worked every day to get all the light up on the house (I'll have to take a picture later)... and to get the tree up & every room decorated with a little Christmas cheer. Vic thinks it is his crowning moment to be able to put the star on the top of the tree so here he is!
We feel so very loved to have had our friends from England come to visit us! (Vic actually lived with Matt for a couple of months after I moved home early.) They were here from Thursday to Sunday so we took them up to Island Park in hopes of showing them what real snow is like & snowmobile. Unfortunately winter has come late this year, but we did still have a little snow to play around in. Here is their cute little family in front of the cabin/by the lake.
We wanted to get out one day so we went to go find a restaurant & found Lakeside Lodge right by our cabin! I can't believe I've been going up there for 10+ years & never tried out this hidden treasure! The view was beautiful & all of the food was SUPER yummy plus I expected the prices to be high because of the atmosphere & good portion sizes, but it was great pricing so if you are ever headed to Island Park this is a great place to stop! (It is right before Bill's Island)
Vic & I dared to go out on what looked like thin ice so we took this picture, but Janita cut off the clear ice part... oops!
Our English friends left Sunday morning & we had a busy day Sunday with friends over for dinner, then over to our neighbors to watch the Christmas devotional & then out to Vic's parents house to plan Christmas time! Then yesterday we had an ADORABLE family from the ward that I've been wanting to get to know, invite us over for FHE and the lesson was on the true meaning of Christmas. We talked about the birth of Christ and one of the things that came up is how some people think it is overcelebrated when in all reality we should be having lots of "birthday" Christmas parties to celebrate this wonderful season to remember Christ. I love celebrating Christmas & there is no better reason to throw a party! I am so grateful for this special time of year & I hope everyone has their fair share of fun & also have time to serve others as Christ served us.


Tour de Galena House!

I FINALLY got pictures of my new house!!! A month late, but better late than never! Here is the front of the house. The backyard is a big blank carpet big enough to play soccer on! Landscaping that will be our spring project... Here is the Kitchen & Dining Room. This house came with PLUM purple walls in the kitchen. It looks 100% better painted to match the rest of the house! I should have taken a before picture of the color!! I LOVE having a big place to cook :) I actually have empty drawers! This kitchen has THREE large walk-in pantries! I was proud of myself for making my first picture collage above the sink (in bottom left of this picture):

Here is our front room. Vic is VERY happy to have a fireplace at last! I have to say this is my favorite room of the house. I LOVE the furniture we just bought so I put a close up picture in the middle of the coffee table.
The front bathroom walls were left white & I couldn't figure out what color to paint it so I decided to do an all black & white room. I ended up LOVING it!
...And now for the upstairs bedrooms!!
Beach Bathroom


My bedroom

HeidiLou (one of my favoritest people of all time, yes I like to make up words).... has been asking me if I have pictures of my new house. I haven't got around to taking all of them yet, but since I made my bed today I decided to take a picture! (I do try to make it most days, but it usually only happens on my days off!) Anyway, I saw this quiz on someone's blog & it made me laugh! Do they design what the results say to fit every person out there.... OR does this just happen to freakiciously fit me!
Here is what it had to say!!!...
*Outward appearances are a concern of yours, but not your primary concern. You try to take care of yourself and your home, but it's not an obsession.
*You are an organized and disciplined person. You do the right thing because you want to, not because people expect you to.
*You are very low maintenance. You tend to go with the flow, and you're easily pleased.
*In relationships, you tend to be quite dominant. You enjoy taking charge.
*You tend to be a dreamy, head in the clouds type of person. You think in terms of possibilities.
*You are a total homebody. You are happiest when you're at home.


Sutherland Thanksgiving

Vic's family did their Thanksgiving last night & since they never decorate I decided to go for it! It took a lot of time since everything I made I had to do 28 of them! The first thing I made was this centerpiece. Not near as cute as the idea off this site, but I was pleased anyway!

The next thing I did was make the hats on this plate. I filled them with Chex mix & had one on each plate. It was taking me so long that I had to recruit Vic as help & he was a great sport & did a good job! I was going to wrap the silverwear inside these napkins, but I decided to just leave the napkins & put the silver-"gold"wear out as decoration. I was excited I finally got to use my fancy gold-wear. I got it years ago & haven't had an occasion to use it yet! I also just used 12x12 scrapbook papers as the placemats.

I also decided to buy little wine glasses for everone & tie a nametag to each one. I thought they turned out pretty cute! We served homemade sparkling cider by mixing Sprite & apple juice. It was good too :)

The final thing I made was s'more pilgrim hats from I bought an extra bag of cookies & when it was time to eat them we put a cookie on top & heated it up in the microwave a few seconds... yum! The kids went crazy over them which was fun to see :)

Family Thanksgiving continued

This is Roger & Darren, two of Vic's brothers. We celebrated early because Darren is in the Navy & has to go back next week.... and this is just another picture of Roger being the goofball that he is. Let me know if you know any single ladies in SLC for him!! hehe, I know he would hate if he found out I put that, but he'll never read this & he needs to date!

Trish (in-law), Jessa (niece), and mom & dad. Mom did such a good job with all the food. Everything was cooked to perfection! YUM :)

Yea! Here's Mom, Vic, and I! :) :)

Julie (sister), Kaila, Taylor, & Wes. Wes always thinks he's so funny doing faces like this in pictures. Gets old, but I guess as long as he thinks he's fun!


Tuesdays with Morrie... it WILL make you a better person!

A friend gave me the book "Tuesdays with Morrie" about 5 years ago & after reading the first chapter I threw it aside thinking it was boring. I didn't really get what the rave was about this book. We just moved into our new house & as I was unpacking this book, I decided to start reading it again from where I left off five years ago. I LOVE IT! This book has a million ways to show even someone with a good life how to more fully live it. This book is about an old man dying & everything he has learned about living life. I only let myself read a chapter or two a day so I can work on that day's lesson. It makes me excited for my next human interaction so I can make the best of every conversation & get out there and make more of my life & live every day with a passion. This is a long exerpt from the book, but I read it yesterday & I really liked it. The chapter is called "The sixth Tuesday we talk about emotions" and Morrie is teaching Mitch to "detach" himself:

Mitch asks: "Aren't you always talking about experiencing life? All the good emotions, all the bad ones?... well, how can you do that if you're detached?"

Morrie: "Ah. You're thinking, Mitch. But detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That's how you are able to leave it."

Mitch: "I'm lost."

Morrie: Take any emotion-- love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I'm going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions---- if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--- you can never get to being detached, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completetly. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, 'All right. I have experienced that emotion. I reconize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.' .... I know you think this is just about dying," he said, "but it's like I keep telling you. When you learn how to die, you learn how to live."....

(Mitch writing again): I thought about how often we need to detach in every day life. How we feel lonely, sometimes to the point of tears, but we don't let those tears come because we are not supposed to cry. Or how we feel a surge of love for a parnter but we don't say anything because we're frozen with the fear of what those words might do to the relationship. Morrie's approach as exactly the opposite. Turn on the faucet. Wash yourself with the emotion. It won't hurt you. It will only help. If you let the fear inside, if you it on like a familiar shirt, then you can say to yourself, "allright, it's just fear, I don't have to let it control me. I see it for what it is." Same for loneliness: you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely--but eventually be able to say, "All right, that was my moment with loneliness. I'm not afraid of feeling lonely, but now I'm going to put that loneliness aside and know that there are other emotions in the world, and I'm goin to experience them as well."

"Detach," Morried said again.

I loved that I read this because when Vic got home from another late night at work yesterday, despite my sore throat, I felt hyper-silly. Only a few close people know this side of me as I'm always afraid to share it with others as I get a bit insano, but after reading this chapter, I thought to myself "I don't care if Vic is tired, I'm hyper & I want to "experience" the emotion"... and well, it surprised Vic (a little, I don't think he's every surprised by my random moods!)... anyway, I don't know if it rubbed off on him much, but it made my night ten times better so I'm glad I did it! Live life & HAVE FUN! Above all, don't worry about what others will think. Otherwise we'd all go through life trying to act like a professional, which really is boring!!! ...just don't forget to mind your manners :)hehe, anyway, after I finish this book, I can't wait to start over again!


Hubby Tag

I got tagged a LONG time ago on this one, but I just wanted everyone to know how wonderful my hubby is so I thought I'd finally pass it on! hehe
1. What is his name? Victor Rex Sutherland a.k.a. My Loverhead
2. Who eats more? I'd say Vic, but a lot of the time it totally depends on the day! 3. Who said I love you first? Vic did... he knew what he wanted on day one! I think I knew a couple of months later!
4. Who is taller? Me!... with high heels, otherwise he's got 2 inches on me :)
5. Who is smarter? Funny facts & knowledge... me, common sense, Vic.
6. Who is more sensitive? It depends on the definition.. sensitive to others....Vic, Sensitive as in one little mean hinted comment towards me... definitely me! ( I know I'm pathetic, maybe I need to seek therapy!)
7.Who does the laundry? I do. Although, sometimes I have him help fold so he realized how not fun it is for me!
8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do, but just so we can cuddle & me still sleep on my right side!
9. Who pays the bills? I do, I have a WAY organized excel sheet that tells exactly where every penny of our paycheck went.
10. Who cooks more? That would be all me! Vic hates to cook & I love to cook so it works out well :) I especially love doing gourmet dishes
11. What meals do you cook together? I love cooking with fresh fruit & veggies so I recruit Vic a lot to help chop.
12. Who is more stubborn? Um.. me :) Vic is so the opposite & I guess that's why we are made for each other!
13. Who is the first to admit they're wrong? Well that would have to be Vic because I'm just never wrong. Hahah, no he's just amazing!
14. Who has more siblings? Vic. 8 to 4
15. Who wears the pants in the relationship? I would like to quote a very wise woman who once said. "The man is the head of the house but, the woman in the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants!" I feel, Vic and I are total equals. I know what I don't want & can never decide what I do want so he makes the final say & I'm happy with it :)
16. What do you like to do together? Take walks, play games with friends, watch movies, vacation, cuddle, camp, hike, talk, laugh, etc.
17. Who eats more sweets? I used to, but now that I'm trying to eat healthy, I realize what a HUGE sweet tooth that Victor has! He could live off of ice cream alone!
18. Guilty pleasures? Knowing we are smart with our money so we could buy most things we want if we were dying to have something.
19. How did you meet? On the raquetball court, ISU intramurals.
20. Who asked who out first? Vic asked me, perfect gentleman.
21. Who kissed who first? Vic all the way, I couldn't keep him away after a long 2 1/2 months!
22. Who proposed? Vic. It was Beautiful!
23. His best features? I love every inch of him! But trying to pick the best... would definitely be his eyes, I'm a sucker for brown eyes :)
24. What is his greatest quality? Vic is the SWEETEST man alive! I am SO lucky to have him :)
25. Tagged? Heather B, Heidi Lou, Mandy, & Jessica H. Have fun!


Fall Hikes

We went hiking today up past Sun Valley & it was such a perfect day for it. I love seeing all of the leaves change colors & the crisp air. We hiked up to Norton's Lake & it was STEEP! It was like climbing a stair master for 3 hours & then having your toes smashed in the front of your shoes all the way down because of the steepness!
I love the leaves on this bridge.

Isn't it SO pretty?!

These were so BRIGHT green Here's the lake we hiked up to. The water was so cold that it had a layer of ice on half of it! I loved how clear it was though.


My latest project

I made a family album for Victor's family reunion. I interviewed every member of his family & put pictures of their current families & found out where their ancestors came from along with some old pictures. The album ended up being 30 pages long. Here are a few of the pages.



Vic had inventory this last weekend & had to work late Friday & all day Saturday so I had a sleepover with 2 of my neices that I've been promising to have over. Friday we had pizza, ice cream, & watched a movie with popcorn. Saturday, we went shopping & I bought them matching shirts & did "twin" hair, then we went to the park & took pictures. They LOVED it!


Found a house!!!

We are still blown away by how fast it all happened! I am SO tickled pink with our buy! I am the type of person that needs to look at 20-30 houses before I can decide which one to buy. We drove all over town a couple of months ago & only viewed this one as it is such a pretty house. It was $40,000 out of our price range so I just dreamed about it, but didn't think much of it. Well, we were totally planning on renting since all of our down payment went into our last house that we haven't sold. Anyway, I just felt this strong urge to go look at that house again so I drove by it Monday night & just HAD to look up & see if they'd reduced it any... and well, it was just barely dropped down to $60,000 less than what it was listed for originally so we called the realtor immediately only to find out it had 6 offers on it already. We put a full price offer in & apparently we were the only one that had that & no contingencies so they picked our offer! We feel so blessed and excited! Here is a picture of our new home in ONE month!