Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is dad's birthday. I miss him especially lately. I knew that that would happen. You will miss your loved one that has passed on differently at different times in your life. I miss his goofiness. He had a talent of being goofy. That's why I chose the photo above of Jon and dad. We are a goofy family. I think that the thing that I am missing most about him right now is just talking to him. There are a lot of times that I want to tell him something....like today when Jeff and I were talking to Mack about where babies come from...well, to be exact, how babies "come out" of a mom's belly...after we told him-he said "EEEWE!!! That is why I don't ever want to be a doctor!" My dad would have laughed out loud at something like that. I would have loved every minute of it! He loved the grand kids and the funny things that they would say.
I read one of his books this past month. I finished it this morning and held it to my heart for a few minutes and cried when I was finished. I thought about how amazing it is that I have this precious jewel. He was an amazing writer and he kept a phenomenal history of his own, but to have his life written out in a novel form is such a treasure to me. When I read anything that he writes, I can hear his voice still and hear his love for life and for my mom and for his family. I am grateful to have had the life with him that I did. To celebrate him on what would have been his 64th Birthday, I am going to list 64 things that I remember or miss about him.
Happy Birthday Daddy! I love and miss you soooo much!
Dress pants every day, white shirts and ties, his smile, his laugh, lunches out with him and mom, seeing him play chess w/ Quentin, reading in a chair, hugging my mom, his jitterbug, family letters, frog kissing, playing his folk songs on his 4 string guitar, trips to Yellowstone where he knew just about everything about it!, answers to gospel questions, his love for the arts, visiting the museum w/ him, hearing him bear testimony, listening to him and Jeff talk about something that was way over my head, playing dominoes, father's blessings, his joking around with the clerks at the stores, his hairy arms and fingers, his red shirt that he wore at least 3X a week from 2004-2009, seeing him with a book in his hand everywhere, his smell, brushing his hair (what he had left) when I was a girl, our talk at Concordia Seminary, his seminary lessons, his love of service, telling me about his horseshoe games w/ Dwayne, hearing him tell me how proud he is of me, his advice, his counsel, wrestling with all of us 7 kids, his stories about Harry and Carry, his scar, his lazy eye, his love for his mom, dad, and sister, his corny jokes, his love for science (even though I don't love it!), his front flips off the diving board at Chain O' Lakes, his handwriting, his goofy pictures he would draw on my lunch bag, the little dish of cookie dough I would leave in the fridge just for him, his fancy pens, his mechanical pencils, his scratches on paper, scratching his back, sitting on the floor reading his scriptures, his clipboard, the messages he would leave on my phone, having a cruise director, drinking my mom's soda, watching him pay the bills on the kitchen table, twirling his spaghetti with his spoon, his seminary stories, how excited he would get about new changes in the church, his sustaining of his leaders, turning his cell phone off to save the battery, the way his face lit up when his family was around, his love of sardines (blech!), black licorice, and cashews, hearing him say my name, his random facts about such random stuff, and hearing him say
"I love you".

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gabriel Joseph

So, I totally forgot until I was on my brother's blog that I hadn't documented my newest Nephew being born on September 17th! GABRIEL JOSEPH....until I saw this adorable picture on his blog tonight. A new son for Joseph and Bethany...too cute! Can't wait to meet him in person!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas at Nelson's

Christmas at Nelsons came early this year. December 11th is the anniversary date of our Grandfather, husband, and father's passing and we usually try to get together to do something. We have gone to the temple in the past, but this year, Quenalee decided to have our Christmas a little early on this weekend because Ryan and Becca were home to celebrate with us. We had a really special evening together. What a great way to remember Galen-just being together as a family, enjoying being together, and celebrating our Savior's birth. Quenalee out did herself again of coarse. The kids are getting a little bit older so it wasn't as chaotic as it has been in the past. It was great!!!
Becky, me, Quenalee, Lacey, and Becca (yes, three of us are Rebecca names)
All of the girls. We talked about how we never get any pictures of ourselves. We are the ones always taking the pictures! We talked so much about it, that we ended up having a ton of cameras taking pictures and so they didn't turn out that great-but at least we are documented!! Quenalee is almost double our ages, but looks like she is the same age as all of us! Geesh! If I could only look that good when I am her age!!

The boys chatting after dinner-before the festivities! These are always some of my favorite pictures!! I love seeing them enjoy one another so much!
These are the little boys before the festivities. They know how to be BOYZ!!

Once we got everyone gathered and settled down, we told the kids that they were in charge of the nativity. Quenalee wasn't sure what to do to get it arranged and I told her that a few years ago, all of the Ostenson cousins got together to do it and they did it all on their own. Quentin and the big girls headed it up and they did such a nice job. Quentin read the story from the scriptures and the little ones acted it out. Brinley was Mary and rode in on Grandma's rocking horse with Brigham (Joseph) on her side. Rachel was the star drawn on paper, the "girls" (a.k.a. Olivia, Calli, and Kylee) were the three wise men, and Mack carried in a sheep, being the shepherd that followed the paper star. It was written by the scriptures, but produced and acted all by the children. ADORABLE!!!
Then the gift opening happened. Here's Briggy and Mack in their hats. Mack wore it off the back of his head so as not to mess up his fauhawk!
Here are all of the Princesses. Rachel got dress-up stuff from Calli and loved it! The big girls all got matching Jammies from Grandma! Soooo cute!

Calli can be such a poser!! I don't know where she gets that!

We all pitched in and got Grandma a camera for Christmas!! However, my sister-in-law ordered it online and it hadn't come in the mail yet, so she got a tore out picture of it from an add. Hopefully she gets it soon!
Brinley loves all of her uncles ad knows how to show it too! She is such a little lover!
Greg and Becky enjoying some time together without having ONE child on either on of their laps! Very rare!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Student of the MONTH!

I know! I know! You won't believe this!! Here I am again!

Mack came home today...a little background...Last Monday he had taken a practice test for spelling and had missed 14!! Yikes! However, he was so proud that after lots of hard work all week, he got his test back today and he had only missed one and it was only because he had miss heard it! So proud!

Then it was Calli's turn to share that she had gotten a 100% on her Eastern Civilization test last week. She has an amazing ability to memorize things! I never had that ability! Way to go Girl!

Then when Q followed them a half hour later, he brought me a certificate that he received for the 9th grade boy Student of the Month. It may not seem like a huge deal, but then we started thinking about how he probably has 250 boys in his 9th grade class, and one for each month is 9 all together for the year! That was fun to see him smiling...however when I wanted a picture of that smile, there was much hesitation, but he did because he loves me soooo much. This kid is amazing!! I get teary every time I think that I only have him in my home for a few more years!!! He is so much more that this certificate, but of coarse I am proud of him!!

I have smart kids! I wonder where they got it!!!??????


Hang on to your seats! I am not sure why-but I am making my third entry in the last few day!!! I know! I can't believe it myself. Anyhow, I wanted to write about something that I have been thinking about lately.


I am not talking about the QUIET that a mom dreams about at night when everyone is nustled in their beds (although that is nice), or the QUIET that a teacher expects from his/her students when they are supposed to be working on an assignment, etc.

I am speaking about QUIET in life. There has come a time right now in my life where things are QUIET. There is a peace in quiet noise, but I have found an even greater peace in QUIET life. Does that mean that there isn't craziness that still exists in my daily life? No. There is still crazy and things that come and go that try to make noise. There is still noise-but the QUIET comes from within at those times that I know that I can handle what noise comes my way. I feel like I have been given some incredible tools to use not just in tragedy, but in everyday things that may come my way. That is what my QUIET feels like right now. QUIET peace that I am being taken care of and that I am being watched over. I pray everyday that I continue to feel QUIET and to continue whatever it is that I can keep it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


After the TURKEY!!! Nap time! (Originally football viewing time. Must not have been a very good game...)
The place cards turned out so cute! My daughter is soooo creative!!!
All of the adults were pilgrims and the kids were Indians.

The Farming Game! A family favorite!

The girls had to decorate the chalk board...

I got to host Thanksgiving this year!!! I was so excited! It started because both of our moms were either going to be out of town or none of our siblings were coming home....long story short, I decided to cook and host and I got my way even though everyone else's plans changed! It was super fun! I loved every minute of it! Jon and his family were in town and so we had them over with my mom and Michael's' family made it too after spending some time with Rachel's family. We had all of the regular stuff for the meal followed by lots of delicious desserts. As always, there was a lot of game playing, turkey cookie decorating, cousin sleep overs, and family fun, fun, fun! One of my favorite parts was the adorable little place cards that Calli and Maddie made for the table! I thought they turned out sooooo cute! I have to admit that this Thanksgiving not just was special to me because I was able to host Thanksgiving dinner at my house, but because of where I am in my life right now. Last year at this time, I was in a different place living an entirely different life. That may sound weird to anyone that may not know details of my last year, but the gratitude that I have in my heart to where I am today, to where my family is today reaches farther than I can even express! I know that usually at Thanksgiving we are grateful for a lot of different things, but this year I have a greater understanding and gratitude for what true happiness is and can be if we do the things that we are asked by our Heavenly Father. I am extremely grateful for the atonement. For second chances. For third chances. For forth chances, etc. I am thankful to my Savior! I know he LIVES! For that knowledge I am grateful!


In Idaho Falls, it is a race to get your leaves raked before the snow falls, because when it falls, it falls hard and is there until the first week in July! And no one likes soggy leaves in the summer! We were lucky to have one mild evening before it got dark after I got back from work to rake for 1 hour and get some really great piles-but of coarse we took a minute break to jump a few times and take the opportunity for a photo before we had to bag this last one up! I am grateful for hard working kids that help lighten that huge load!

In October my mom rented a cabin in West Yellowstone again and we all traveled there to have a fun filled weekend. It was so fun. The weather was gorgeous and Yellowstone, of coarse did not disappoint. It is always nice to be there with my family. It is one place that I go where I feel like my dad MUST be with us. I feel close to him there. It was one of his favorite places and therefor I love it there more than I probably would without his love for it. We hit the regular spots in the park, saw a bear FINALLY!!!!, did some shopping in West, ate some really yummy meals, and spent some fun memories together at the cabin. My favorite though was when we were together one night in the front room and Michael and Calli were playing their guitars and we were all singing along. It was fun and funny!

For the end of the month, we celebrated Halloween by going to the hay maze which ended up being really cool! I am never sure about the "unsure" and I was worried that when we got up there, we would end up getting lost in it or something and then we would be late to the ward party that we had that night which I had committed to taking part of the dinner. However, we were in and then out within 15 minutes. Quentin even went in for another trip around. The kids had a blast! We stopped at Grandma's so that she could see the kids in their costumes and then off to our party where there was dinner and then trunk-or-treating for the kids. Mack was a Storm Trooper (or some other Star Wars character...) and Calli was a Twister game. She even painted her nails white with blue and red polka dots.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Each day, I am amazed that my Heavenly Father entrusted these spirits to come to our home and for us to have charge over them for a little while. They are truly what this life is all about. Having children has been such a joy in my life. There are some stages that I have enjoyed more than others, but right now I am just so in awe by them and by things that they do and continue to say. Their strength continues to strengthen me and their small wisdom gives me something to ponder everyday. I know that we are supposed to be guiding them, teaching and helping them understand the things of life. However, especially this past year, they have taught me, helped me to grow and have guided me to places that I never would have gone without my children. Quentin and his sensitivity to others around him and always listening and faithfully obedient. Calli and the way that she views life and the questions she asks blows me away sometimes and makes me think of finding more out about things as well. The there's Mack...What can I say other than look at his face! This face and the kisses that I STILL get from him is something to live for each day! The gratitude in my heart for these three special people is more than I can express in any word!
I took them out one last summer day before school started and took some really fun photos of them. Idaho Falls has these great benches scattered all over down town and I have to admit that they did an incredible job posing so well and of coarse-it wasn't hard for them to look adorable because they just ARE!! Their faces exude all that they have in their hearts. I can't get enough of them!! Growing up too fast? Yep-but bring it on. I love each new stage better and better!