Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas 2011

It's been an exciting and eventful year for the Binghams. I'll only apologize once that we're terrible bloggers. A few highlights of the year:

Jayson is now (unofficially) an Eagle Scout. For his project, he collected and organized all of this:

plus made a bunch of pillowcases, and donated all of it to the pediatrics unit at Utah Valley Hospital.

He passed his board of review in November, so everything is done but the court of honor. Here's the Eagle Scout with his proud parents:

We're hoping to organize that in January, and if you're lucky and special you may receive an invitation.

We had a couple of great vacations to Lake Powell this year: one with our friends the McKees for spring break (cold water, but good times); then in the summer Lynette's brother Craig and his family came with us on a one-week houseboating adventure.

Ask our dear sister in law Patti if it's a good idea to jump off this:

She and her T12 vertebra will tell you it's not.

Amaya is having a great senior year and has found her niche performing in the choir and in musical theater. Here's the SHHS choir performing at the Assembly Hall a couple of weeks ago:

SHHS also did a wonderful production of Fiddler on the Roof this fall and Amaya enjoyed being in the ensemble. She is looking forward to (hopefully) receiving an acceptance letter from BYU soon, and we can't believe it has all gone by so fast.

Kyla is amazing as ever with her ongoing gymnastic accomplishments:

The boys had a great football season and are looking forward to killing time until the next football season.

A few more fun photos to round out the year:

As always, we feel very grateful for all that God has blessed us with and appreciate the chance to reflect on the role of the Savior in our lives this season. We wish all our best to you and yours.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Highlights from New Years Eve

It's still 30 minutes till the clock strikes, and five of us Binghams (the five who aren't at teenager parties) ended up at home by ourselves this New Year's Eve. As part of the celebration we ended up playing our new game, Quelf, which we got for Christmas. Quelf is a game in which you end up doing many silly, random things. As part of the game, I was required to write a haiku about my armpits. I thought it was good enough to share with our readers:

Armpit Haiku

Hairy, fuzzy pits
Stink when not washed everyday
Love deodorant.

Also in this game, Jayson had to not use his arms for the entire game and Bryce had to act the entire time like "a fiery little gnome who just burnt a batch of cookies." I also produced the following piece of artwork, which started with Kyla drawing some random lines and shapes and then I had to complete a picture and title it. Combined with the haiku, this is probably the pinnacle of Bingham art achievement for 2010 so we will share it with you as well.

"Big-Eared Susie's Nightmare"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010 Highlights

I can't believe Christmas has come and gone. This whole month has just flown by. It's hard to believe that the new year is just a few days away. This year for Christmas, we really tried to simplify things and keep our focus where it should be. We didn't have a lot of gifts, or spend a lot of money, but we had fun. We had a lot of fun watching old movies, playing games, doing puzzles and spending time with most of our family. I feel very blessed to have the family I have (our family, my family and Jared's family). They are all wonderful people, who have taught me so much, and I love them all!

Every year, the kids look forward to opening their pajamas on Christmas eve. This year, I sewed pajama pants for all of us. You can see the kids pj's in this picture, but unfortunately, they are covering ours. If you would like to see them, feel free to stop by for your own personal fashion show.

Also, for your enjoyment, I have posted a few random shots from Christmas morning.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Message 2010

Well hello again everyone. You can tell I'm not a real blogger, since I haven't blogged anything since Maui. It's my assignment to write the Christmas family update - if you bother to look this up after getting our card, it must mean you really love us.

In the interest of not being boring, I've decided to update you on some things our family hasn't accomplished this year:

  • Once again, none of us ran a marathon. (Check with my sister Lori's family for that). As far as exercise goes, I think I fouled out of ward basketball a couple times and found out that from our house to Woodland Hills Drive is exactly a 2 mile run).
  • No one graduated from any universities anywhere with any degrees. (But the older kids are well on their way with their 4.0 GPAs, and Amaya got a more than respectable 25 on her first crack at the ACT).
  • No one got married or had any babies. (Thankfully! At least 6-8+ years on that please).
  • There were once again no job changes or moves (again, thankfully. We plan to keep it that way).
And a few things we DID accomplish in 2010:
  • Over the years there have been a few Mom-Dad only exotic vacation trips. As our kids have gotten older, the guilt trips they have started to throw at us over these getaways without them have become increasingly burdensome. As a result, they got to come along on an exotic vacation to Hawaii. (See earlier blog entries). We had an awesome time and were glad we got to bring the kids. (Note: this story is not meant to imply that whining should get you anywhere. It's just that our kids have gotten old enough that it's actually fun, and not just more work, to bring them along).
  • 2 out of 2 of our sons survived their first tackle football season without major injuries. We feel good about this ratio.
  • Jared finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of taking his boys along on a deer hunt in which they (at least Bryce) could actually legally hunt. Those familiar with Jared's past hunting success will not be surprised to hear that this hunt lasted approximately 30 minutes and resulted in no deer seen. The first half of the intended hunting day instead became a baby-delivering day. After that, all we had time to do was drive around in a blizzard and try not to get the truck permanently stuck.
  • A couple of old beat up picnic tables at the Utah State Developmental Center now have nice new roofs and new paint jobs. In related news, Bryce became an Eagle Scout this year.
  • We had decided previously that in our family, those completing their Eagle Scout and/or Young Women Recognition Award would be rewarded with receive an iPod Nano as a gift. After Bryce completed his Eagle Board of Review and was officially an Eagle Scout, there was discussion as to whether he should get the iPod at that time or wait until his court of honor a month or two later. We decided to give it to him before the court of honor, and learned that a month or two is plenty of time for Bryce to leave an iPod in the pocket of his pants and run it through the laundry at least once. (In case this is unclear to some of you, iPod circuitry does not respond well to total immersion). By the time Bryce actually received his Eagle badge, he was once again Nano-less.
  • Kyla continued to amaze us, of course, with a lot of triple-back-twist-flip-somervault type things, and just by being a generally awesome kid.
  • Between the six Binghams we racked up, by my count, about 40 nights of camping, including finally making it to Lake Powell.
In all seriousness, we're grateful for the blessed and eventful year we've had and for the chance to appreciate our Savior more fully this season. We wish you and yours the best of times and hope we can get together soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gold Medal Champion!

Today, Kyla finished up her first competitive gymnastics season. The state meet was held at Salt Lake Community College. She had a great meet! In her session and age category, she placed first in the uneven bars, 2nd in beam and floor, and 2nd in the all around category! Congratulations Kyla on a great season!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweet 16!

It is hard to believe that 16 years ago I brought this sweet little girl home from the hospital. The years have passed quickly and I feel so very blessed to be her mother. She was such a good baby and has grown to be a wonderful and remarkable young woman! I love her so much and am so proud of all she has accomplished in her 16 years. Happy Birthday Amaya!! Here is a look back at her life with 16 cute pictures of my beautiful daughter!

Thank you for being a wonderful part of our family! We love you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

So Long Maui, Wish We Could Stay Longer

In case we failed to mention it, we managed to throw together a family trip to Hawaii for spring break. (I know I haven't written a blog in forever, I guess it took a vacation to give me the excuse - didn't feel like complaining about the president and stuff). We've been too tired at the end of the day from playing too hard to think about things like posting pictures on the web, until tonight we saved a little time to chill (or the kids' new word, "chillax.")

Supposedly it's been spring for almost a month at home, but hasn't been acting like it. More snow the night before we left made us even more happy to run away for some actual nice weather, and laugh at you suckers back home.

Our adventure began on Monday, with a super-early flight itinerary that was supposed to get us to Maui by 11:30 AM. We had a tight connection in LAX and barely made it on, then while taxiing, the pilot announced that we were heading back to the gate because of a warning light about a possible hydraulic leak. They left us on the plane for 90 minutes, then sent us off to get some lunch, and finally ended up switching us to a backup aircraft. A 4 hour delay followed by a 6 hour flight makes for a long day, but if the alternative is having flight control failure while 1000 miles from the nearest land, I'll take the delay.

Arriving at the condo 4 hours late, we didn't have time to do much Monday except hang out at the pool and cook some dinner. Tuesday was beach, sun, and snorkeling day (the kids got it started while I attended medical classes till 11AM), and we definitely knew we'd left Utah's spring weather behind.

The highlight of Wednesday was surfing lessons! Here's some shots of our pro surfers, with Maui Waveriders instructor J.P.:

Apparently if you play on a surfboard for 2 hours without long shorts, there can be leg chafing resulting in some grumpiness:

The grumpiness was short-lived, though, and this may have been the biggest hit activity of the week.

For Thursday, I skipped the classes, and we did the all-day drive around the east side (the lush, rainforest-y side) of Maui to the town of Hana and beyond. We were on the road for 13 hours including lots of stops, but were rewarded by some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen:

Today was another beach day and a shorter day, since we have a 6:30 AM flight to Oahu. We'll be staying on the north shore here (I'll be honest, I picked it more for the funny English than anything else) and meeting up with the Baker family, who I'm told have some fun stuff planned for us.

More to come later!