the whole crew Veteran's Day 2013
It's been a big year in the Olsen household. So let me recount everything that's happened...
HA! In the words of Inigo Montoya,
"No, there is too much. Let me sum up"
Fred stayed in Texas until he finished up training in July.
out to eat at Cici's Pizza the day he got home
In February I turned 30. I got lovely flowers from my hubby, but the accompanying box of chocolates was inedibley chalky. And that was it. Most uneventful birthday ever.
Also in February Gregory's Pinewood Derby car got to race at the next level after winning for his division in our ward. Granted, he was the only Bear... We were immensely proud!
Another great surprise in February was Fred sneaking a trip home. We didn't tell the kids. In fact, Fred arrived at the annual Renaissance Festival after our eldest got there with an earlier group- the reunion was wonderful. And we had tons of geeky fun that day...
My brother so rocks his lederhosen he got on his mission in Germany.
The kids and I lived with my family until March when we were able to move into a rental 1 1/2 miles down the road. I absolutely LOVE this house! Even though it backs up to a busy road. But that road pared with our very nice, almost deaf elderly neighbors, means the kids can be as rambunctious as they want to in the back yard!
Kai posing in the family room the day we got the key
We somehow survived the summer, spending lots of time at the neighborhood pool. And Minecraft. Lots of Minecraft. We managed to squeeze in a fun camping trip on the mountain by my dad's childhood town, Globe, AZ.
At the neighborhood pool.
on the mountain top with my dad and several million lady bugs
Probably the biggest perk of the summer (after Fred coming home) was seeing my extended family- this only happens maybe once a year. For some people only every 4 years. Cousins came from Utah, Ohio and even China! We had SUCH a wonderful time- I really have the best family!
my goofy sister taking pictures of our Ohio family
Man, I LOVE these guys!!
I SO wish everyone in this picture had been there, but alas, only the back row. 3 of them live in China and the rest are Utah people.
birthday girl center
Also in August, the new school year started up! The kids started at a new school, which we LOVE!
First Day of school
September is our busy month.
Gregory turned 10. He had a Minecraft themed birthday party. Shocker.
Kai walking the plank while trying to eat a donut on a string
My dad the pirate. This is (NO LIE) the costume his mom sewed for him when he played George Washington in high school. It has served as 8th birthday Pirate costume 7 times now!
My grandparents (the grandma who sewed the costume) getting in the party spirit
Charla was baptized in October with the other kids from our ward who turned 8 in September. It was a beautiful occasion and we were so happy to have so much family come.
My sister Anja took absolutely stunning pictures of my girl.
Feeling the love!
Also in October our family got 2 people bigger when the Nicolds sisters, Haile and Kayla, moved in. They are now official aunts to my kids and we love having them here.
One of many fun mornings. This time we watched movies late into the night, sleeping in the living room.
Later in the Fall Gregory earned his Bear.
Fred participated in the Tucson Veteran's Day parade by marching with other Airman also stationed here.
In November I had the amazing privilege of being there for the birth of my first nephew, little Caleb.
Also in November I opened up my own Etsy shop I named Fun Duds for Little Dudes, by Debbie Does That. I sell handmade fun stuff, mostly for little boys. Since then I've sort of branched out a bit. I love it!
much is inspired by my little hooligan.
Like for most people, December was a bit of a blur.
We decorated the outside with life-size cutouts from the Disney show "Phineas and Ferb". We plan on adding more characters each year.
There were school performances.
It was so great having family come to support the kiddos!
Kai was so done by the end of the ceremony!
We celebrated the All-together Olsen family Christmas the Sunday before. We were all cozy at Fred's parents. Everyone had a wonderful time.
note that I have possession of my nephew. Never mind the deranged expression on my face. Who knows...
The Olsen brothers proudly sporting the T-shirts our beloved Aunt Sally sent them.
Christmas Eve was wonderful. We did our traditional German dinner, all dressed up in our Christmas best.
My mom made all the food and even brought the beautiful dishes we used
As per German tradition, the kids have to either recite a poem or sing a song before they can open their presents.
Blowing out the candles on the Advent wreath that had been lit by the Kristkindl while we drove around looking at Christmas lights and singing fun Christmas songs.
Christmas Day the kids woke up to a 14' trampoline Santa had delivered. Yeah, they were psyched. Almost as psyched as I was about getting a swing that is not only beautiful but even lays down into a bed! YAY!
New Years was nice, too. The girls were invited to a party just for the 8-11 year old girls from church (but they let Leora come, too). I stayed for a while and did all the girls' hair up.
Having way too much fun with sparklers.
I love me my man!
Now that we're 1/2 way through January I can stop this post. I wasn't quite at good as "summing up" as I had intended. I guess I just realized what a wonderful, eventful year it actually was.
This year looks to be a big one, too. Thank goodness we get to share it with those we love most!