Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning

Ahh, bright and early on Christmas morning. Claire opening her first present. Of course it was the one that Lindsey gave her. She sure worships her older sister.
This was Dad's Myspace photo of Stone and himself. Stone looks thrilled.
This is the quilt I made for Little Richard to take back to school with him. I put Richard's symbol in the center, along with the inscription,"RT3" That is how Little Richard refers to himself. Richard received many practical school gifts this year.
Well, I guess pigs do fly, Hell has frozen over, and Mom has lost all her marbles. Because I actually purchased a video game for my kids. I decided that this is not a regular video game. It is a fun interactive family game that everyone can enjoy. Not to mention the fact that Dad has always wanted a family band, but could never induce any of his kids to take up the guitar or drums. Now he can have his band. They have been on it for over 2 hours now.
Aiden received a super sonic Nerf gun from Little Richard. He enjoys shooting it at the person who is messing up the most in the Band Hero game. And he has to shoot while simultaneously making loud noises. Aiden just likes any excuse to make loud noises. He's a boy.
Here is a photo of the carnage that is left of our livingroom. I have even done a little cleaning up before this picture was taken. And now it has all moved into the familyroom.
Claire has put on as much of her new clothing as possible. She desperately wanted yellow jeans. and her sister got her the Hello Kitty shirt and necklace. And Santa got her the snazzy cowgirl boots. And she has on her new yellow watch. Although she struggles to tell time on an analog watch. Thanks to digital clocks everywhere. We need to teach her that.

I will post more tomorrow with pictures of our Christmas evening activities.

Christmas Eve

During the day of Christmas Eve Claire and I made sugar cookies, and gingerbread man cookies. Dad is the only one who will eat the gingerbread cookies though. Claire is wearing her special Christmas apron that she made.
Aiden saw young Richard using my chopper thingy and freaked out. "Slap Chop!" He loves the Slap Chop infomercial guy. So he confiscated Claire's apron, made a label for the chopper, and posed for the camera.
While we were baking, a friend of mine called and informed me that he had 1000 lbs of cheese at his house that he was trying to get rid of. Aiden is always asking me to buy him block cheese. I like to buy the pre-shredded cheese that he doesn't like. So now as you can imagine, he is in hog heaven with his 42 lb block of sharp cheddar cheese. Now we have to figure out a way to cut it into 1 lb chunks. A project for another day.
In the evening we had our traditional food fest. We invited Grandma and Grandpa Hoopes down to partake. We planned to eat, and watch "A Christmas Story". Several of my kids had never seen that classic movie before.
Here is a close up of the feast. Notice the crab, shrimp, cheese fondue, and papoosas. At one point I noticed that Claire had the ring of shrimp just sitting on her lap enjoying herself. I made her put it back on the table.

After eating, but before the movie we had to play the annual Christmas bingo game. The rule is, if you get bingo you get to open one present that night.

The festivities ended around 10 pm. Little Richard invited all the kids to sleep down in the basement in his room so that they could watch videos and play on computer all night instead of sleeping. Then Richard and I began the arduous task of wrapping. We got to bed around midnight. Only to have our children come running in our room at exactly 6 am. Richard noticed something as each child entered the room and was silhouetted by the hall light. Our kids are really big. None of them are small anymore. Not even Claire Bear.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Sewing Projects

Claire had her friend over again, and this time they made Christmas aprons. They wore them to the Ward Christmas party that night. Claire immediately removed hers, but Brianna kept it on the whole night.
Claire would like their next sewing project to be a quilt. She has made them once before with another friend. That is an all day project though. Her friend is very anxious to try out the Big Sewing machine.

Crab Feed At Grandma's

Grandma Wright invited the kids over to her house for an All You Can Eat crab feed. The grocery store had them on a good sale, so she bought one whole crab for each child.

Here is a photo of the feast.

This was the dessert. It is hard to tell, but this is an ice cream cake.

Another photo of the festivities.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Boys From The Hood

This is a photo of four boys who grew up together in Antelope, CA. They have since moved to a variety of new locations. They came together over Thanksgiving and all went on a group Date. Starting from the left we have Ryan Scott, Mikayla Woods, ? Winters, Aiden Hoopes, Madison Woods, and Bryce Wilson. Aiden and Bryce used to carpool together home from kindergarten. They would love to stand up in my minivan and pretend they were surfing home. They would hold their arms out to their sides and repeat the words,"Surf boarding! Surf boarding!" All the way home. Which was only about 2 minutes away. Neither of them remember doing that.

This is a photo of the whole group who went on the date. Aiden's first date is seated on the couch below him. He had to pay for her way into the movies, and food aferward, and everything. By "he" I mean Mom and Dad. We kind of forced him to go. We couldn't ask him to use his money to do it. We are hoping this opened the door to future group dating with his friends here in Auburn.

Too Tall

We have decided that Richard is too tall to have lived in the 1800's. He would have experienced some difficulties in everyday living. This is an actual cabin from the 1800's that pioneers built upon arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.
This is a replica of the sleeping units on ships for families crossing the Atlantic Ocean on their way to America. A good night's sleep would have been difficult for Richard while crossing the Atlantic.

Church History Museum

While in Utah we HAVE to go to Temple Square with the kids. This time instead of going through the temple visitor's center, we toured the Church History Museum. Here is a family photo in front of an actual pioneer cabin that was built by pioneers who first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. It was very small. I am not sure if our family could have survived such close quarters.
This photo in front of the Christmas tree grossed out our kids. They all had to look away for a moment.

Here is an exact replica of the podium in the Conference Center. Stone and Jeffy are practicing for when they are called to the Apostleship in a few years.This is what the podium looks like from the Prophet's perspective. Notice the white leather arm rests, the analog clock in the upper right hand corner, and the computer screen in the center. The computer screen displays their talk in addition to the two monitors that are in front of the podium.
Here is the Hoopes family getting ready to embark on their journey West with our covered wagon. It looks like a couple of our kids are staying back East, and joining us later.
Claire and Olivia have to travel to Zion via the Atlantic Ocean. They look pretty comfortable in their assigned bunk on the ship.

Richard and Aiden are standing in front of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and Hyrum Smith's death masks. These are fascinating to see. Without any actual photos of the prophet, this is as close to a true likeness as we will get.

Carolyn At Work

Here is Carolyn hard at work at Deseret Books in the Layton mall. This was taken on Black Friday. She had to work from 6 am to 12 noon that day. I'd say that retail suits her, wouldn't you?

Happy Thanksgiving !

For Thanksgiving this year we journeyed to Utah to be with the Woods family. Carolyn and I put together a mighty fine meal if I may say so myself. This in only about half of the amount of food that was on the table when we all sat down to eat.
And here is a picture of us all sitting down to eat. This would be considered the "Adults" table.
This is the "kids" table. Stone and Taylor barely qualify for kids anymore. But we just didn't have room for any more people at the bigger table. You may notice the table decorations? We made those on Thanksgiving morning courtesy of Grandma Wright. She found the crafts, and provided the supplies.
Here is a picture of us engaged in our crafts earlier that morning. Maddi and Mikayla helped even though they were not permitted at the Kids table.

Here is an example of the finished products. The kids made a woven place mat, a turkey nut cup, a turkey name place holder, and an Indian corn pin/magnet/table decor thing.

On Thanksgiving morning we woke the kids up with a wonderful breakfast of hot scones, specialty hot chocolates, and fruit. Yummy!

Despite the wonderful food available, Maddi was just too tired to indulge at the moment. Stone thought it wise to poke at her head, and risk retaliation. But of course, Maddi was above reproach and refused to get upset.
After the feast we all gathered in the family room for a spiritual activity of giving thanks. We each had to choose a slip of paper from a jar. On the paper was something we were to express gratitude for. An example would be "Your Mother", or " The Gospel", or "Your Sister(s)". Then we went around the room listening to each others thoughts of gratitude. Of course there were only a few tears. Mostly by me and Aunt Carolyn.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Elder Hoopes Comes Home!

this was the first shot we had of Elder Hoopes coming off the plane

I didn't wait 2 seconds before running up and hugging him. He was much skinnier than I remember him being. I had trouble getting my arms around him because of his big backpack.

Claire was the second one to hug Richard. She was very excited to have her older brother home. I can't imagine what it would be like to have siblings that much older than me? But Claire seems to love interacting with her 21 year old brother, and almost 19 year old sister.

I let everyone have their turn hugging Richard, and then I took over the job. Big Richard was absolutely beaming with pride over his eldest son.

Here is a great shot of the three Elders Richard Hoopes'. Does that make sense? Let me explain for those of you who don't know. All three of these men are named Richard Terrell Hoopes. So there have been three different Elder Richard Terrell Hoopes' who have served the Lord.

Okay, Okay, I was beaming with pride just a little myself that day. This weekend was Stake Conference, so Richard got to see alot of people, and alot of people got to see him. It was fun.

Here is a random shot from the airport.

Here is Richard waiting for his luggage. He wouldn't let anyone help him carry his suitcases. He knew how to hook them up into a train for transportation. A trick he was taught in the MTC.

Following the airport we all went out to eat at our family's favorite dim sum restaurant called Capitol Tea. It is on T street in the capitol of California...Get it? We ate copious amounts and had enough left over for breakfast the next day.

Mom has some more photos in her camera. They are actually better. Stone and Claire were taking these for us. I will post her pictures later. I just wanted to get this up so family members could see it. Tonight we are having a family meet and greet for Richard. I will take pictures of that and post them as well.