Friday, December 21, 2007

The Bitter Family 2007

This has been a fun year for us. Busy as always, but not too eventful. Dave continues to work at SMUD as a programmer, enjoying his 6th year. We cannot express what a huge blessing it is to have stable and challenging employment. Dave has been so blessed with his technical-computer-mumbo-jumbo talents regarding computer things. He's had an opportunity to be in a role where he continually works on more and more complex systems and always seems to enjoy it. Ever since he replaced his mountain bike (for his birthday) he's been riding with a group a friends on an almost weekly basis and is loving that as well. Now that it's too cold to ride, he's taken up the fake drums with his new "Rock Band" game. Dave and his friends formed their own virtual band (the "8 Ball Bearings") and they periodically tour the virtual world, entertaining their thousands of virtual fans. Dave is ending his 4th year of teaching the 16/17 year olds in Sunday School. He is so good at relating to those kids. He spends his time with our boys mostly playing video games or building some kind of really intense train track that resembles a rollarcoaster. The boys are so excited when Daddy gets home, he's the fun one. I am the "nurturing"one I guess. I am constantly in a state of learning how to juggle everyones schedules and homework. I now have three of the four kids in school which keeps me in the car alot. I have continued to enjoy some of my previous hobbies as well as developing new ones. I enjoyed a tremendous amount of sewing this year. Everytime I am invited to a baby shower I make the mother a blanket. It is "sew" fun to be creative in that way. I also enjoy photography as some of you already know. I was able to take the family portraits of many friends of ours this fall. Click on the link to my photography blog to see some of the fun I've had capturing fun moments with friends. I don't read much anymore, but I finished off the Harry Potter series with book 7 this summer. I was also introduced to the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyers. So many women in my ward were raving about these "vampire romance" books, I decided to see what the big deal was. I am so obsessed with these books now, it's not healthy. I highly recommend them to anyone! I am currently serving as Assistant Activity Days Leader (the 8-11 year old girls) at church. I spent a lot of this year running (on the treadmill). I began in February and began to really enjoy it and actually look forward to running everyday.
We have been so blessed this year. We are amazed at how blessed we are to have such wonderful, healthy children. They make us very happy (most of the time). We are so grateful to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. We have a fabulous ward family and a home to call our own. We have food on our table and clothes on our backs. We know we have so much to be grateful for. We hope all of you will have a very Merry Christmas and an exciting new year!!
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Logan 7 1/2 years old

Logan is awesome! He never ceases to amaze us with his growing intellect. He reads like a maniac and remembers everything he reads! He started 2nd grade this year with a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Morris. He checks out multiple books a day at the library. He reads them, then brings them back at recess to get more. He reads at above a 6th grade level. This summer we were thrilled when he read the first four Harry Potter books. He lost steam for Harry Potter when school started so he hasn't finished book 5 yet. He has already read the Book of Mormon on his own and starts it again when he's done. He enjoys math too. He is already asking us about Algebra. He loves making up secret code languages to write in. It's fun to try to dicipher his codes when he gives them to us. He has great grammar and makes sure to correct anyone who uses incorrect grammar, mostly Mason gets the brunt of it. He loves to play video games with Mason and Daddy. He enjoys building "inventions" and playing with Legos. He is a peace keeper in our home (most of the time). He is very protective of his younger brothers and is good at sticking up for them when they're being repressed. He is always happy and enthusiastic about life. He cherishes his "sleepy toys". He's got a bed full of friends, mostly Pokemon plush toys but there are a few random guys he's found. Logan is a never-ending ball of energy with so much to share with us.
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Mason 5 1/2 years old

Mason is such a mature 5 year old. He reminds me sooooo much of me when I was his age. He's even inherited my silly "Snoopy smile". Unfortunately, he's got the bad with the good. He is super sweet and lovey, very passionate about everything he does. He is a bit on the dramatic side though. Hey, I always say he's as close to a daughter as we're going to get. He is so "boy" though. Very rough-n-tumble and loves running around outside. He is really good at the monkey bars. He is enjoying his first year of school very much. Kindergarten suits him. He has so much fun with the kids in his class and he tells me he has a "girlfriend". I'm going to have to worry about this one. He loves to play video games with Logan and Daddy. They began the year off with lots of Pokemon and are ending it with lots of Mario. He is such a sweet helper. He has helped me "clean up" many times and relishes the praise he receives when he does good. He has a great vocabulary for his age, I assume it's all the reading we do with him, but I think he looks up to his older brother a lot too. He has a great memory....he retells the scripture stories we read to him and seems to enjoy learning about all the Book of Mormon heros. He cherishes his friends and always looks forward to us having people over to the house. He brings a lot of life into our home and a very sweet spirit. It's been so fun watching Mason grow this year!
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Noah age 46 months (almost 4!)

Noah is such a character. He is very animated with us at home. He is very shy and quiet around everyone else. That's weird for us, we never expected a shy child. He's learning to come out of his shell since he started preschool this year. He goes to the same preschool his older brothers went to so he was already familiar with it. He still is a little sad when I drop him off every Tuesday and Thursday morning, he always says to me, "Mommy, I'll miss you". It's sooooo sweet! He's very lovey and enjoys cuddling in bed with us in the morning. I can almost always count on him to wander into our room somewhere around 5am and crawl under the covers with me. He loves watching the Backyardigans and is so cute dancing and singing along to all the songs. He was Capt. Jack Sparrow for Halloween and still loves to pretend being a pirate. He has a really good sense of humor, good comedic timing actually. He is really good at making us all laugh. He finally got the potty-training down and he gets to wear "big boy underwear" all the time now, even to bed. This is something he is very proud of. He will be a "Sunbeam" at church starting in January, I wonder if he'll sit still because he's shy or if he'll get comfortable and be crazy. I guess we'll see. Noah always makes us smile, and we can't bear not to squeeze him!
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Roman age 22 months

I don't often get my kids to pose well for me, but today was a good day. I figured it was a good time of year to show how much he's grown and what he's up to. I've never sent out the form Christmas letter telling everyone what my kids are into, etc... Here's my chance to fill you all in.
Roman is our little angel! He is as sweet as he is cute! He is just learning how to talk and it is so fun. He says "mimi" for Mommy and he finally started saying "daddy". He is really good at saying "nooooo", of course. He is hilarious when we get him saying "oh ya" over and over again. He's just like his brothers, rowdy and loves to wrestle in the mix with them. He's pretty tough and doesn't cry much when he gets bonked or falls down. He loves it when we read to him, which we do everytime we put him to sleep. He is our first child who we call "a runner". This means he loves to run off whenever he sees an opening and when he hears us call his name he runs faster in the opposite direction. What a stinker! He's really quite fast too, very agile, not clumsy at all. He has the most infectious belly laugh when you tickle him. He has amazing blue eyes and people always comment on his "strawberry blond" hair. We're sure it'll fade soon, but it's fun to have a fair one. Roman is such a blessing of peace in our home!
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Monday, December 17, 2007

SMUD Christmas Party

Here are some of the crazy amount of toys Dave has at his desk at work.

Dave loves Jack Skellington, here is some of his collection.

Here are the boys following Dad around the office checking things out.

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SMUD Children's Christmas Party

Logan in front of his buddy Spongebob!

Roman was really cute hanging around with Daddy
Here's all my boys with Santa! We waited a good 45 minutes to see him. Each boy got to sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. I think he told Dave to get off pretty quick, he's a little heavier than to other kids.

Dave is the biggest kid of all. Just look at all the toys on his desk! The boys love to see all of daddy's toys. One of Dave's co-workers was at his desk with his son when we got there. His son was so excited to see all the cool toys on his desk. Some kids never grow up.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

I love this girl!!

Where do I begin!! This is my bestest friend in the whole wide world!! Wendi Weight (now Sorenson) and I met when we were 13 years old. She was this humble girl who grew up in Utah and just moved to California from Chicago. I taught her how to ROCK!! Just kidding, I did teach her a few things about music though. Our friendship is filled with music, so many memories! We've been through so much together! She now lives in Koosharem, Utah (what? you've never heard of it??? Don't worry, no one else has either.) We do get to see each other a few times a year when she comes out here to visit her family. This past weekend she came for her brother's fiancee's bridal shower. She was nice enough to invite me so we could see each other! I love her so much, I wish she would just move here already!!!

"Side by side, you and I, always friends- takin' every step walking hand in hand,

Side by side, you and I, till the end- we'll make it together if we're walking hand in hand"

"Did you ever know that you're my hero, you're everything I would like to be

I can fly higher than an eagle, you are the wind beneath my wings"

"All I ever wanted, all I ever needed is here in my arms

Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm"

Ohhhh, I could go on and on. The memories will be with me forever, thank you for being the best friend I have ever had. You are like a sister to me, we will always be friends. We are stronger for the trials we have been through in our lives. I'm so glad that I have had you to go through some hard times with. I am thankful for our friendship, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wendi will be turning 31 on Novemver 26th, Happy Birthday Wend!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Bitter Boys on Halloween!

This year Dave and I got to finally dress up as a couple. Dave was Jack Skellington from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas and I was his "lady friend" Sally. At our annual Halloween bash that our friends throw every year we won for best couple costumes!!

Well, after Logan reading Harry Potter books 1-5 it was Harry Potter fever in our house all Summer. It was no wonder that he and Mason chose to be wizards for Halloween. Logan got seniority and chose to be Harry and Mason was Ronald Weasley. For those of you not in the know about Harry Potter characters, Ron is Harry's red-headed best friend. This is the reason for the orange hair. Oma was so kind and knitted the boys each a scarf with the Griffindor colors, just like Harry and Ron had in the movies. I didn't realize until now, though, that Dave let them go trick-or-treating with flip flops on!!! Harry and Ron NEVER would have worn flip-flops! Then came our two little pirates! Captain Jack Sparrow, or as Noah calls him "Jackson Jackson Peerow" and his little first mate, Roman. They were both so cute! Noah has had a thing for Capt. Jack since Disneyland! He loved dressing up like his pirate hero. Roman was the cutest thing ever!! He waddled around the house with me while the big boys were out getting candy. When the doorbell would ring he'd run for the door and start handing out handfuls of candy. Then he'd wave goodbye and slam the door on them. It was so fun to watch him!

Dave's Jack-o-lantern!

This year Dave decided to carve the old school pixelated characters from Mario Brothers Nintendo video games. He entered them in an online Nintendo pumpkin carving contest.
See?... It's Mario running!'s a Gumba!
See... it's one of those "?" boxes that Mario punches to get some gold coins!!

Pinewood Derby

Dave entered our ward's Pinewood Derby Race this year. He took the boys with him and they had a blast watching all the cars racing. It was a pretty intense competition. Dave, however, decided to spend more time on making his car LOOK cool instead of actually being able to race. It was a black coffin with a little Lego skeleton head. Pretty cool looking, but would it be able to win??
Well, not only did it now win but it never even finished a race. (Unless you count the one when Logan helped it cross the finish line. ) Dave did win an award though. He won the "Slow as Molasses" award! He had fun which is the most important thing.
This is Dave's car when it raced the winning car designed by Ken Hodgson, here in the black shirt. Well, Dave learned his lesson for next year... it's all about speed!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Christ the Redeemer

This is my new favorite photo. My dad sent me a slideshow of this photographers photos of this statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janiero in Brazil. This is absolutely breathtaking. Right now, when I look at this picture, I wish so badly that I could travel to Rio and experience this amazing statue in it's grandeur. I wonder if the Brazilians know how lucky they are to have such a beautiful reminder of their Savior's love for them. We have a friend, Steve Pinegar, who has just left to serve a two year mission in Sao Paolo Brazil, not too far from Rio. I printed this picture out for him because it was so touching to me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The boys first day of school! (Aug. 22nd)

What a fun year this will be! Mason started kindergarten at the end of August this year, which he's been waiting for forever!! All summer he asked when school would start. He was a tad nervous, but mostly just excited to be one of the big kids going to real school. He got the same Kindergarten teacher Logan had so we're very excited! We had to laugh the first week of school. When the kids break rules or get in trouble they get an "oops", if they get in trouble again it's double "oops" and a time-out. Third time is triple "oops" and a call home. Well, how interesting to hear that my fiesty little Mason got an "oops" on the second day of school. Then a double "oops" on the fourth day of school. Okay, now I'm concerned. Logan got like two "oops" the whole year of kindergarten. Well, weeks have gone by now and no more "oops". I think the teacher was just trying to scare the kids straight, and it worked! I've worked in the classroom a few times and Mason is doing great. PHEW! What a relief! Logan is a big 2nd grader this year, YAHOO! He got an awesome teacher, Mrs. Morris. She has been amazing! He's done so well in her class so far, we're so pleased. He is our little bookworm! That kid reads anything he can get his hands on. He reads books over and over again. This summer he read the first 5 Harry Potter books!! Amazing! We would even quiz him on the plot because we couldn't believe he was actually reading them that fast and getting everything. Well, he aced our Pop quizzes! Once school started, he's slowed down on the Harry books, of course he's only got two left to read. He's joined the Garden Club at school and is very interested in science. He's doing very well in math and shocks me with how quickly he can do math in his head. We're so pleased with his progress!

Best buddies! Logan and Mason have been getting along so much better this year. I think having Mason at the same school has helped Logan be more interested in hangin' with his little bro.
My little sweetie pie Noah started preschool this year! (sniff, sniff) I can't believe he's going to school already! When Logan started preschool with Ms. Danai I was just barely pregnant with Noah! Now he's going to her school, weird. He loves it there, but tells me every morning he goes that he'll miss me. He is so sweet. He loves to show me all the cool things he's made at school. What a big boy!

My great friend Jen Hinze!

Jen and I have been friends since I was about 12 years old. She is one of my greatest friends! She is always so sweet to come visit me when she comes in town from Dallas. I haven't seen either of her kids since her daughter was newborn. Savannah is now 3 years old I think and Will is nearing 1 year. They absolutely gorgeous children! Jen has impressed me with her parenting. She has a blog that she updates religiously and she's always going on adventures with her kids. Those kids are the most travelled kids! My kids are lucky to leave the house to go to the store!
I miss Jen, but I am lucky to see her about once a year or so! I hope we'll get to see more of each other soon:)

Camping at Olema Ranch

This summer, the weekend before school started, we went on a two night camping trip to Olema Ranch near Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County. This is the second time we've gone there with a group from our ward. This year there were 6 families that went. Tom & Emily Brasher, Caleb & Amy Summerhays, Mark & Kari Stacy, Mark & Alyssa Camblin, and Matt & Rachel Ludlow. We each have 4 kids, except Camblins and Stacy's who have two kids each. We totalled 20 kids and 12 adults, yes.........craziness! It was a blast though. Then men brought their mountain bikes and got to go on a couple of rides. This picture is after one of the rides. This is Mark and Kari Stacy. They are a couple of goof balls. We have so much fun with them. They were the only couple that stuck it out to the last night with us! Way to go Stacy's!!

I realized this camping trip that I better get used to this because this is the beginning of many years camping with these boys! They feel so much freedom camping: they can run around, get dirty, eat junk, stay up late, etc..... This is the life!

This was Roman's first camping trip and he had a blast. We had to keep an eagle eye on that kid or he'd end up yards away in other people's campsites! That kid can RUN!
These boys absolutely LOVE camping, there were so much in their element. They love running around and getting dirty. They LOVED the campfire especially!
The day before we left, we all went to Heart's Desire beach not too far from our camp site. The kids played in the sand and explored the beach. It was beautiful but rather small. Logan enjoyed collecting the seaweed.
We had lots of fun and plan on another few camping trips next summer!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Hodgson Family

This morning I took the Hodgson's family portraits. I was able to take their portraits last fall as well. It has been such a pleasure taking thier portraits. They are amazingly photogenic and the kids are so well behaved. This was my favorite of their family portraits.
The pictures were taken just around the corner from our homes on the corner of Westview Dr. and Lincoln Parkway. I will be spending the next few months taking family portraits for friends who would like me to. If you are interested please email me: davencathi at sbcglobal dot net I charge $30 for the session and will put all the portraits on a CD for you to have printed at the photolab of your choice. Thank you Hodgson's for a lovely Saturday morning!
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Cherie and Ken

Just perfect!
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