We have a family tradition that we like to go up to the Santa Cruz mountains and cut down our Christmas tree every year. Our other family tradition is that we wait until the week before Christmas to do it, by then it's pretty slim pickin's! This year we went to the same tree lot that we like to go to and set off to find the needle in the haystack, that one perfect tree! Trees have gone up in price over the years and we have watched the prices grow along with the trees. Now a Douglas Fir is $50.00 and a Noble Fir is $75.00 (we never get the Noble Fir)!
Nathan and I were curious how much they would charge for this one!
The one thing that changed this year, much to Randy's relief, was that Nathan and Brayden are now old enough to cut down the tree and haul it up the hill...so Randy let them!! (Can you see the smile on Randy's face??)
Don't you love Brayden's goofy look. He did this on purpose!
Brayden is practicing posing so he had me take this picture!
It turned out to be a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time!
Ryland got to play the angel Gabriel this year in the Primary's Christmas Program. He was very good and took everything very seriously during the telling of the Christmas story. Afterwards, I think all the attention went to his head and he started performing "Saturday Night Fever" dance routines during the closing song of Silent Night. I was not paying attention to him so it wasn't until later when everyone was coming up to me and describing how entertaining Ryland was dancing on the stage that I realized what had happened. When I confronted him about it he re-enacted it for me. I am now glad that I didn't see him during the closing song. I would have been turning shades of red. We have since had a discussion about what is appropriate behavior during a closing song and what isn't. Despite all the John Travolta moves I think he made a good angel!
We loved this sign when we saw it on the "Big Island" near the volcano. Our nickname for Nathan has been "NeNe" since he was little because Brayden couldn't say Nathan so he would call him "NeNe" and it just stuck! Needless to say, as he has gotten older, he has had moments when he did not want us to call him NeNe...but now he is o.k. with it. When we saw it we knew we had to get a picture with Nathan and this sign. I love his expression (he is upset that you can't feed him)!!!
I must confess I have always loved my name. Growing up, there were a few things about myself that I wish I could change, mostly the "Cude hips", but the idea of changing my name never enter my mind. So, I must thank my parents for choosing my name for me.. even if I had to endure the occational rendition of the Beatle's song "Michele, my belle" by strangers and G.E. employees that I would meet when we lived in Japan. Since I have always loved my name, naming my children was a big deal to me. I know that in our day some celebrities seem to have taken the idea of naming their children to a new level. I don't know if it's their desire to have their child stand out in the world or their love of fruit that cause them to choose odd names... but who knows maybe they stressed over the perfect name as much as I did when we were naming our children and "Apple" is what they came up with!
Now that my children are getting older I look at them and feel like their names fit them well. I can't imagine Nathan going by any other name. I remember when we sent out the birth annoucements for Nathan, we got so many responses asking how we came up with the name Nathan Reese Anderson. They said a name like that sounded so corporate. We thought that was pretty funny since that never crossed our minds.
Brayden, who's name we thought was so unique at the time, has run into several Braydens as he's gotten older. Since we started off giving Nathan my dad's middle name we had to keep the tradition going so we gave Brayden Grandpa Ray's name as his middle name. I think it was a good choice because Brayden Ray Anderson flows very well and is smooth... just like Brayden!
Last, but not least, is Ryland. Most people know the story of my quest to have a Ryland... and the third time is the charm. Randy agreed,(actually I think he figured I'd keep having boys until he agreed to name one of them Ryland!) Ryland has fit his name since the day he received it. The name Ryland is unique... and so is he! I first heard the name Ryland when my former boss introduced us to her son, Ryland, who was in high school. She later went on to explain that his father was of Irish descent and wanted to find a name for his son that would compliment his ancestral home. I thought that sounded good, my family's ancestors had also come from Ireland so I thought maybe some day, if I had a boy, I could also name him this beautiful Irish name. When I finally looked it up, I found out that it was Old English and that it means "land where they grow rye", so much for the romantic idea of the whole thing...In the end I realized that no matter what it meant I still loved it...as I love all my boy's names!!!
We were pleasantly surprised to have Carol, Trestyn, Dakota and Jaxson come visit us for their break the second week of October. We were even more excited when, due to car trouble, they got to stay an extra week and we even got to spend Jaxson's birthday with him! Here are a few pictures of our busy but fun week!!!(we were having so much fun I forgot to bring my camera)
My sister Erin came to visit us the first weekend in October. Erin was smart to come to California in the fall because that is when our weather is the best! Erin and I went to Carmel and Monterey for the day,(well acutually between the hour of 9:00 and 4:00 because of school schedules). We ate brunch at a cute place in Carmel called Katie's Place, and then went window shopping in Carmel,(I say window shopping because we could not afford half the stuff we saw in the window). We came across a cute store named for all the Jane Austen lovers out there. The woman who owns it sells Georgian furniture and knick knacks from that era. She also has a collection of books about Jane Austen. My favorite store there is a candy store which has a collection of International candy. I got some goodies for Nathan's birthday to surprise him! We then went to Pacific Grove, which is a place that I always mix up with Pleasant Grove, and visited a few craft and garden stores. Last but not least, we stopped by the ocean. The place where we took these pictures is on your way to the famous 17 mile drive. It is one of my family's favorite beaches, especially if you like to explore tide pools and collect shells. The only disappointing part was that a lot of seaweed had been washed ashore so it was a little smelly. Erin wanted me to take her picture by the seaweed but after she saw the picture decided she didn't need a picture of her by this smelly tangled mess. I tried to send a picture of us to my sister Lauren with my phone but it didn't go through... so Lauren until I figure out how to download my phone onto my computer you'll have to use your imagination and picture Erin and I smiling into the phone with the backdrop being the ocean! It was a beautiful day!!!
We got to continue birthday week by celebrating Nathan's birthday on Monday October 5th. He will have his friend party in a couple of weeks so tonight was just with our family. We were glad to have auntie Erin with us for both Brayden and Nathan's birthdays. Nathan loves pie so of course we gave him a pumpkin pie for his birthday!
Nathan got a remote controlled Star Wars aircraft,a Star Wars DS game,a robotic bug and a blanket. Randy also bought him some new white shirts and ties for Sunday. He needed the shirts because he was growing out of the old ones. Last Saturday he went to the priesthood session of conference and as he stretched his back he ripped his shirt down the back. We kept teasing him and asking if he was going to turn green and change into the incredible hulk!
To celebrate Brayden's birthday we took him, his brothers and 5 of his friends to a trampoline fun center called "Sky High". The boys had a blast and the adults enjoyed chatting and taking pictures of them. It was a wild day for all, but in the end as long as Brayden enjoyed it, it was all worth it!
And a treat for all the relatives...we have video..you'll notice our Ryland practicing his back hand springs, using the correct beginning arm positions!
My sister Lauren finally fixed the photo of the boys so now we are up and running. I realized as she was typing away, fingers flying, that all my siblings know a lot more about computers than I do. I feel like this old lady who is stuck between the typewriter age and the computer age. a couple of years ago I started paying my bills online and this summer I started using Paypal so I guess I'm sort of with it!
I thought for my first post I would explain the picture of the boys. This was taken during their winter break. Here in California (were it doesn't snow) we feel the need to have a whole week off of school. I guess it use to be called "snow week". A few families would take their kids out of school and go up to the snow in Tahoe. Finally, the school district decided since so many families were doing this why not make it an offical school holiday. On this day we decided to go to San Francisco to see the new California Academy of Science museum in Golden Gate Park. Since it had opened only a month before and the fact that not all school districts had that week off we thought we would have a good chance of getting in. As we drove up we noticed that not only was there no parking for miles but their were two lines with close to 100 people in each line and they didn't look like the were moving very fast. That is when we decided that we didn't feel like science that day after all and we headed to the beach instead. We started off at Ocean beach which is just down from Golden Gate Park. The boys played their for awhile but we noticed that the sand was kind of yucky! It looked like it had some sort of black oil or maybe residue of tar from the railroad ties that they used to make the stairs. We decided to leave there and travel down the coast looking for the best beach ever!!! We finally found one that met our criteria. It was near Pescadero (I hope I spelled that right). We went into town and got some groceries for lunch and had a picnic on this beach. The boys had fun for hours playing in the sand and exploring. The only weird part was that there was a dead elephant seal that had wash up on shore. We kept avoiding that area because it was starting to stink. As we started back to our car we noticed this man hovered over the elephant seal carcass cutting something off of it. (You don't see something like that everyday)! We were speculating why this man would be doing this. First, we thought he might be homless and was looking for some fresh meat, then we thought maybe he was a marine biologist and he was taking samples back to his lab. We never did get gutsy enough to ask him because let's face it the other possibility was that he was a deranged mental patient who had escaped!