Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Southern Christmas

The poor Kotter kids waited for a good hour and a half for the Michel kids to wake up for Christmas! In the end, we only had to wake up two out of the five kids! We still aren't acclimated to the time... One of the best things of the morning was listening to the cousins interact in the morning before we went downstairs. It was like the were ready made best friends. Ammon is with his two cousins that match up to Tyler and Aaron in age. Don't they look related? After we woke up Aaron and Hyrum (look at their expressions, I'm not too sure they were happy about this!) we headed off to the organized chaos. Christmas was simple, pure and beautiful.

Hyrum got his basketball hoop and was lost in it for the rest of the morning. In fact, Dad went to basketball with the Elder's Quorum this morning and after he left, Hyrum looked at me with
these big sad eyes and said, "Basketball? Dad?" He seemed a little crushed that we wasn't invited with the big guys yet but understood at the same time.

Martin gave me a very sweet rose that he made for me. The stem of it had an awesome "gift certificate" for my present. A GPS runner's watch. I'm so excited! I just hope I do enough running to warrant the price! He was surprised about the iPod I gave him and wore it all morning listening to some Rich Dad stuff that was preloaded on our computer. So cute!

There are so many awesome things about Georgia. The trees, the weather, and yards but most of all the cousins! All of my kids are having the time of their lives so much that I never see them! We are so grateful we were able to come. What a blessing! I hope your Christmas's went well. So far so good for us!

The Michel's and the Kotter's finally collide!

Finally! Four out of our five children match up almost to the day with my sister's kids in GA. The sad thing is, they have never met before this trip! We have had a blast just hangin, wrestlin, eatin, and laughin!

All the cousins put on a great nativity on Christmas Eve. If you can believe it, we are still missing one cousin in this picture!

And Martin? Well, he is in dog heaven! I am not much of a dog person, but they do have quite the cute puppers. It's a german shepherd/boxer mix and she is great! Martin keeps giving me the puppy dog eyes for a puppy himself!

I finally have a doll!

After three years having having toy soldiers in our adorable Christmas program put on by our great preschool, I finally got a doll! Em looked so adorable in this great poofy dress. By the time the end of the program came around, the dolls were a little tuckered out! I had a little too much fun getting ready for this one! Woo-hoo for girls!! :)

Monday, December 1, 2008


We went up to Wellington this year where Martin's brother and sister-in-law hosted. It was fabulous! We had awesome food, great kids, and wonderful company. We ended up staying TWO night instead of the original one night. We stayed up till 3:30 am the first night, and then 2:30 am the following night. I think my favorite part of the whole stay was giggling at the dumbest things the second night. Great-Grandma Michel who is 87 years old stayed up till 11:30 pm playing Apples to Apples, eating cheese and crackers, and tea. She is so much fun! Thanks to her, I dethroned the reigning Queen of Apples to Apples... hah Kristy!! :)

Aunt Jan and Great-Grandma were thoughtful enough to think of Ammon and his great love of rocks. They gave him a rock set that had belonged to his Great-Grandfather. What a sweet sight to see this multi-generation enjoying the same love!

Linda also wanted a photo-op with the three granddaughters in their adorable dresses she knitted. Aren't they amazing?! They have these adorable daisys on the pockets.

The highlight of the whole weekend was when Great-Grandma taught the kids how to stand on their heads. She hadn't attempted it herself since her 86th birthday. She was able to show the famouse triangle, and then help Emily finish it. What a woman!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catching up one post at a time!

Hello all! Yes I AM still alive! I have been dreadfully busy for quite a while, have had lots of things to blog, but not a whole lot of time... So I will try to catch you all up with out taking too much time! I have to start off with one of the highlights of October.

Martin and I met, dated, and got engaged in Oct. 1998. One of the dates that I remember the most was when Martin took me up to Horsetooth in Ft. Collins, had a FREEZING picnic dinner, read scriptures to me, and even brought a telescope to look at the stars. For MONTHS now, I had been planning on surprising Martin and taking him back to Horsetooth and doing the date again for our ten year engagement anniversary. Thanks to the amazing help AGAIN from Matt and Kristy, (thanks again!) I pulled off the surprise without a hitch.

Who knew that you could have SO MUCH FUN on $10 bucks! We went back to CSU campus and walked around. We had so many memories there. I can't believe it was ten years ago! We walked hand in hand around the oval, walked through the buildings where Martin had spent so much time, and where we watched our boys take the campus by storm.

We stopped by the much changed institute where Martin and I met. We spent so much time playing there from Gypsy (I'm still reigning champ by the way) to playing pool. I think it's even the same table!

After the institute we went to the duplex where Jess so graciously housed me! What a throw back! I think we freaked out the current tenant because we were taking so many pictures.

I remember the first time that Martin showed me what was to be our new home. We were about to leave to go to AZ to be sealed and he blindfolded me and took me here. What a humble little home. But it was definitely home to us!

After we went to our old homes up to horsetooth we went. It was a gorgeous night with a big beautiful moon. The Colorado fall weather was exactly as it should be a night... windy and once again... FREEZING!! This time I was prepared though.

For our dinner (hence the $10 for a 3 course meal!) I brought all the food that Martin introduced me to when we were dating. Boy he has some strange taste! We had yummy liverwurst sandwiches with pickled beets on top, salad with ONLY lettuce... honest... it's a salad if it only has lettuce, ask Martin... :) SoBe drink with white powdered donuts for dessert. Yum! Martin couldn't have been happier with the spread.

I don't remember ever looking at the moon so closely before. What a beautiful sight it was. We had fun looking at all the stars, snuggling under blankets, giggling as we remembered what it was like way back when, and walking down memory lane. We had an awesome night.

Martin, I love you with all my heart. Thanks for seeing something in me that I didn't. You are my best friend in every sense of the word. To imagine life without you is no life at all. My apologies to all the ladies out there... I snagged the best man ever! You'll just have to settle for 2nd best!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm going private....

Hello friends, family, and strangers alike.... I have decided to make my blog private... again... I am planning on making a blog specifically for Rebecca Phoebe so if others would still like to refer their friends and loved ones who could draw strength from it, they can. I know there are a lot of people who read my blog who like to "silently" read, meaning, I don't know you come on! I would still like you to have access to my blog even if you don't publish a comment.

So, here is what ya gotta do. Reply to this post, or send me an email at and give me your email address. I will add you to the "invite" email when I make my blog private on Thursday Oct. 23, 2008. If you don't, you will no longer have access to my blog.

Hurry, hurry and send me your email request so you don't miss out on the best blog on the block... ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Track-Off Fun

We had a blast at the zoo. We have been trying to stay busy on our track off and so far we have been successful. We even kidnapped dad from work to come with us.

(If you click on the collage it will make the images bigger)

Hyrum was at that perfect age where the world is opened up to him. He would constantly point his finger and "ooo" at everything.

Emily would not have anyone else pull the wagon except herself. She got many a look when people would see this little thing pulling her older brothers!

Aaron and mom had fun hanging out looking for critters in the bushes while the others enjoyed Lorikeet Adventure (you can feed lorikeets in an enclosure).

Ammon and Tyler enjoy the zoo on a different level now that they can read. They like to read the signs and learn more about the exoctic animals.

Dad enjoyed feeding his little ducklings (top right) with his yummy gummy bears.

I enjoyed taking my camera for the first time in a long time. Due to the fact that we come so often to the zoo, I would end up with page after page of the zoo. I eventually made myself leave the camera at home. Not this time. I had fun!

Below are my most favorite pictures that I took.

This last one is of a peahen and her chicks. I love how they are all gathered safely under her wings. You can't help but first think of your own children and how you want to keep them all close to you. Safely tucked away under your wings, protected from the evils of the world. And then it reminds you of the scripture that Christ says so pleadingly, "How oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you."
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ammon's an official WOLF with a KNOT!

Ammon had a big night at our last Pack Meeting. He worked really hard to get two big things accomplished. He advanced to the rank of Wolf AND got his religious square knot. I am always amazed at the amount of Ammon's dedication to anything he puts his mind to. He is very intelligent and is dedicated to things that he is passionate about. He teaches me daily at what it means to get right back up and try all over again. CONGRATULATIONS AMMON!! We love you and are so proud of you!

The above picture is of Ammon receiving his Religious Square Knot award from our bishopric counselor. Ammon had accomplished all the requirements a few months ago and was just now receiving it. He was asked what he had to do to get this. I thought, "Oh no! It's been so long, I don't really remember". Well this is where my son, who never forgets anything, went on for a couple minutes what he did to earn it. Whew! Glad it wasn't me! If you look closely at this picture, you will see why we really enjoy going to pack meeting. My children are always so calm, always stay in their seats, and never, ever try to draw attention to themselves.... Just ask Emily... :)

My pretty pretty ballerina!

Have I ever told you what an amazing, talented sister I have? Seriously, if I had as much talent in my little pinky that she has I would be wonder woman! She MADE this most adorable outfit for the Miss Em for her birthday. Let's just say, SHE LIVES IN THIS!!! I love seeing her twirl, cock her head to one side, and to see her feel like she is the prettiest thing alive (which she is of course... :) I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I do! Thanks Aunt Val!

I love fall....

I love fall. I love the way the trees change from green to red and then fall gracefully from the trees. I love the way the days are still warm, but the nights are just crisp enough to make you want to snuggle in a blanket. I love the way the kids get that excited look as they see all the Halloween decorations in the store and tell you what they "want to be". We have been trying to decide. As we were getting ready for church a few weeks ago, Ammon was styling his own hair. Let's just say, he is trying his hardest to master his wayward hair! He came to me for approval and I couldn't help but show a big grin. Here right before me was Alfalfa! This brought us to an interesting idea. What if we had our own Little Rascals for Halloween! We could have Spanky, Porky, Alflafa, and even Petey the dog (Hyrum). And of course we have our own Darla. Well, this is where my adorable daughter keeps making me giggle. She keeps telling me. "Mom, I want to be Oh My Darla for Halloween, kay? " :) Gotta love it! We will see if this actually comes to fruition.

Because life has taken an unexpected turn lately, I haven't had a chance to even catch my breath, let alone blog, or catch up on anyone else's blog. I realized that I haven't blogged Emily's 4th and many, many, many other things! Bear with me as I give you a quick recap...

Emily had her "Princess Party" that she had been asking for since her 3rd birthday, and had lots of love and attention. We went to a park that had a duck pond and even got to have Grammie come with us. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner... PBJ. Okay! Easy enough! She had a great princess day!

Emily's first day of Preschool:.
She surprisingly had a hard morning. She was very somber. In fact, she really wanted to take the bear Phoebe (the bear that the kids snuggle when they miss their sister) with her to school. I couldn't even get a smile. :( After she came home, she was back to her perky self. All in all, she loves school and is a great student!


In Ammon's class they have an "Olympiad" in different subjects. Ammon has won all the possible golds so far! He is so proud. He wears them everywhere he goes, hoping someone will ask about them. Way to go Ammon!

My sweet, sweet turkey boy Hyrum. Let's just say, there wasn't much grape jelly left after he got to it. I took quite a few pictures of him, partly because he looked so cute covered in purple goo and because he was just so proud of himself. No remorse... at all... What to do, what to do? :)

I debated whether to post this picture, or the picture of Martin in his new rollerblades and Nerf gun. Did he just turn 32 or 13?!? :) He had a great pampering day with lots of "Happy Birthday" songs, cards, and loves. Matt, Kristy & fam, and Linda came over to celebrate. We had good food, company, and fun playing Matt's new present "Apples to Apples." I do believe Kristy-Lou won... we want a rematch! :)

Emily went on a field trip with her preschool to this GORGEOUS farm. I was so excited to take lots and lots of pictures. Well wouldn't you know... BOTH of my batteries were dead! I was able to catch a few pictures right before the fun started. Sometimes, I just think I am cursed!
Emily had a great first field trip and was even able to ride a horse! Hyrum took to the farm like an old pro. Sometimes I think boys were just made to be on a farm!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The announcement.....

Okay, I feel kind of dumb.... I really did NOT think that this would create the buzz that it did. I was getting people from church coming up to me and said I heard from so and so who reads your blog who said that you have an announcement. Well, now that I CAN tell, I feel a little sheepish! So here goes nothin..... I was called to be the Stake Primary President. Wow, was all I could say when I got called! For those who aren't members of my church, what that ultimately means, is I am in president for all of the leaders who teach the children in our region. I was recently released as the ward primary president in March (in charge of the children in our immediate area). I really wasn't expecting this at all. But I am excited to do it. I'm ready to get in there and do the job right! Thanks for following, and sorry for the suspense for so long!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And the Surprise.....

is gonna have to wait!! I am really sorry! I cannot yet reveal what it is! :) I promise I am not trying to lead you on. I will let you know as soon as I can. Here are some pics cause, I think you all really just wanted to see Emily's cute hair I did for church today, right?! Thanks for your patience and not killing me! :) The one thing I love about the last picture is, take a look at Emily's left hand in the last picture. I love having a girl! :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Flowrider!

So above is our first experience with the Flowrider. Martin even got up on his knees to do this one, which was pretty "tricky". By the end of the week however, we realized just how shaky he was! He got SOOO much better by the week's end. The following video was Martin's first attempt on the stand-up surfing. He didn't last long, but just wait till the end of the post!

The next one is Rebecca's attempt at stand-up surfing. We got so addicted to this thing! The videos really show what this was all about so you'll just have to click on them! :)

The thing about this surfing thing was the adrenaline rush! You would only stay up for a few seconds, but it was enough to make you want to wait in line for 20 minutes for your next two second chance! You also didn't care that you biffed it either! This happened when I got brought up to the top. Where you surf it is nice and spongy but at the top it has a hard plastic grate. Ouch! This picture doesn't even show it at it's worst. A day or so later, it had a nice looking bruise underneath it! I noticed this scratch while I was waiting in line for my next run, but I didn't care. I just kept going!

So after we officially got addicted we planned that the next day at sea we would spend every waking moment at the stand-up surfing. The only problem was, THEY CLOSED IT! Martin was surfing, and the main guy came up and told them that Martin was the last person to ride it, they were switching it over to boogey boarding. I guess someone else had gotten hurt on another ship. So we filed a formal complaint and went and sulked in our room! We resigned ourselves that we would never do it again. We eventually did go back. Martin did the boogey boarding and I just read. I did capture this video though. It is kind of long, but the ending is FANTASTIC!

So here we finally arrive to Saturday. Like the responsible adults we were, we went to our room to start packing after breakfast. We were just starting to gather our things when we heard an announcement. It was back on!!! We stripped down in 2 seconds flat, got our swim suits on and we were at the flowrider in about 5 mins. We were THRILLED! Because we had complained at dinner the two nights before, some of our dinner group figured that we would be there so they came to check us out! The following two videos are Martin and mine last runs. Unfortunately, we didn't capture a good enough video that showed what Martin could do. He was probably one of the best on the ship, not including the employees! We really, really miss the flowrider. I know, it's a little pitiful! :)