Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I love being 40!

What a great age ~ it's been 20 years since I was 20, and I'm halfway to 80! That's just crazy. I've been celebrating ever since Christmas, when my family surprised me with those 40 gifts... and this week the fun has continued.  Good times picking out new furniture with Daron for the house (closing in 1 week - yahoo!!); a fun lunch at Hido's; singing with my siblings at church; playing homemade games with the kids... my favorites was the camel-shaped paper pinata! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people, to have my health, my testimony, stability, family happiness, and a very fulfilling life. I couldn't ask for anything more.  Well, I have dreamed for years about hiking Machu Picchu on my 40th, but it's OK.  We're here, getting into a new house and new lives after traveling the world for over a year. So maybe we'll hike it next year for Daron's 40th... 8-)

Kenny's heart-shaped fruit-roll up for me

See the camel-shaped head? So cute...

And Inger's the woman who REALLY deserves the praise and celebration today, since she's the one who HAD me 40 years ago! I'm so grateful to her! And she had to go through some emotional trauma... since she already had Jen and Kas, she and dad were kind of excited at the possibility of getting a boy, so when I was born, the nurse said - 'Oh, it's a boy!' Then a few moments later, she said 'just kidding, it's a girl.' I mean - how obnoxious! She could've sued for emotional distress. 8-) I'm just glad I was a girl. And they were too, since they got Sterl after me. And then Mom named me Shannon... and changed it later, realizing I needed to be a Melanie! Crazy. I can't imagine me being a Shannon.

I love few things more in life than singing with my siblings. What a privilege. The best birthday gift!

Cute Joy and Bill gave me a money tree!!

And Geneve enjoyed meeting the Soper's dog Roxy... poor Roxy didn't enjoy meeting Geneve too much though, since Geneve kept trying to bite her fluffy tail. 8-) 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One month post-Switzerland!

Well, time surely does fly when you're having fun! What a whirlwind of adventures this last month has been... we miss our dear Switzerland, but we are so happy that the Lord has blessed everything surrounding our move here. The kids have adjusted back to Texan life, and all has gone smoothly in every way.  Probably the kids' favorite among all the changes we've had, including new schools, new home, new glasses and contacts, new friends, and new ward, is our new puppy! Geneve, only 4 pounds, is our sweet little 2-month old Ori-Pei baby. Half Sharpei, half Pug, she is beautiful, potty-training well, and loves to sleep and play all day. Pretty much exactly what the kids have been waiting for. 8-)

Daron has definitely missed his doggie playtime. Geneve acts just like Mushu did as a puppy.

The kids miss taking their Swiss Handball class together, but they're trying out lots of new activities. Here they are doing tae-kwondo.  Hilarious! The teacher kept asking Kenny why he was 'dancing' because he kept hopping all over!

We love the back view of our new home the most! It's in Glenn Haven, a great neighborhood we've always loved, near HP.  The pool is an added bonus we weren't looking for, but we're so excited now that we have it! Counting the days til move-in time in 2 weeks...

A big landmark event in the family was Stephen turning 12. Now he's a deacon and can go to priesthood meetings with Daron! He's loving the Young Men's youth program.

And after a short hiatus from school while we were getting settled, the kids are finally back in school for the last 2 months of the year! We LOVE Theiss Elementary ~ the staff is outstanding, so friendly and welcoming, and the kids can't wait to get up and go everyday. They brought their teachers and fellow classmates Swiss chocolate, which seemed to go over well. 8-)  This will be the only time they are all three at the same school! What a treat -- they look for each other in the hallways and say hello. I loved when Kassie and I were at Haskell Middle school together -- she was an 8th grade cheerleader and I remember her coming into my 6th grade class to sell spirit ribbons and I just loved seeing her. And when Sterling and I were both at Rice when he was a freshman and I was a senior, we had the greatest times! I think a favorite memory for us both was the gorgeous Patrick's Day we spontaneously took off from studying in the RMC to drive down to Galveston and throw the football on the beach together. Well that, and taking Dr. Davidson's Texas Politics class together. I hope the kids remember this wonderful, unique time of being together too.