Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Newsletter


C hrist- We Believe in God the Eternal Father and in His son Jesus Christ. Church is a big part of our lives and keeps us very busy with callings and family activities. We are grateful to have Christ as the cornerstone of our family

H ome is Fallon; We’re back and we love it. It’s wonderful to be united with dear friends and a community that we love with great schools and even better teachers.

R iver living is great fun! We get to swim, enjoy the coolness from the trees and catch pollywogs in the summer and see deer in the winter. Life doesn’t get better than that!

I nches, Minnie, Natasha, Kylee and Chelsea are all taller than their mom!

S occer is still a big part of our lives. Having finished a great fall season we have moved on to indoor soccer and are looking forward to the spring season for the older kids. We’ll get to do a bit of traveling which will be nice. I love the city and Tahoe!

T axi service; I don’t understand, what happened to the home in stay at home mom??? It seems that I’m always carting someone somewhere. If I charged my passengers I’d be rich!! Soon I’ll have an employee or two as Minnie gets her license in a short while and Tasha has a permit.

M oved, not our favorite past time but we’re glad to be back home.

A ctivities, we are never challenged with finding something to do, with school, church, sports, pigs, family and friends we are always blessed with something to do and someone to do it with.

S now, we are enjoying the world blanketed in white. This is a rare and appreciated treat for us. We have had snow for over a week now and are hoping it will stay for Christmas. We had two snow days off from school and we spent the time sledding and drinking hot chocolate, it was awesome!!!!

We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a great 2010.
Love Always,
The VanGorder Family
Myles, Dena, Minnie, Natasha, Kylee, Chelsea, Madison, Lindy, Britten, Clayton and Allen

Monday, December 21, 2009

What we like about Lindy

Lindy is................
1. She is showing a lot of potential as an artist. She can draw very well and has a great sense of color. The kids at school love her artistic abilities.
2. She is great to talk to. She is a great philosopher and listens to your ideas as well as presents her own.
3. She enjoys playing with her baby brothers Clayton and Allen and tries her best to be their friend.
4. She is learning to cook and loves to be in the kitchen helping her mom with whatever she is asked to do.
5. She has worked really hard and is becoming a good reader and enjoys reading as much as the rest of the family.

On December 21st Lindy celebrated her 9th birthday. It was a bit of a rough day for us as a family and she handled everything with good grace. I had just taken Minnie and Madison into the Dr. for simple little things I thought and it turned out to be an all day thing going from the Dr. to the lab, to the Dr. and back to the lab. It turns out that Madison had shingles, this has not been a fun experience for any of us especially Madison as they are very painful. As for Minnie, she has ebv plus her heart has been beating irregularly and the Dr. took that a lot more seriously than we were. (Its not as bad as it sounds!) On top of all of that the lab made a mistake the first time and the Dr. was thinking that we were going to have to admit Minnie to the hospital. At this point I called home, had Chelsea make brownies and frost and decorate them for Lindy and Natasha wrapped the presents so that we could have a quickie celebration before heading to Reno for the hospital. After the mistake at the lab was discovered we went back to the lab for another blood draw which gave us good news, we did not need to go to the hospital and we scheduled an appt. with a cardiologist. All seems to be going fairly well with Minnie at the present, other than she has been in bed a lot recovering from her illness, and we were able to have a very nice birthday celebration with Lindy. She's a great kid. We don't give her enough credit for her strengths as it is so easy for us to focus on her weaknesses. I, as her mom, am thankful to have my beautiful, talented, loving, big brown eyed little girl in my life and in our family. We all love you Lindy. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

One thousand three hundred

Have you ever wondered what 1,300 hundred lights would look like? Let me show you,

I'll explain, the girls have been hassling me for the last couple of years to begin decorating the tree in a more modern fashion rather than the 'sloppy mess' that we usually decorate it as. You see, I have Christmas tree decorations from when I was a kid living at home with mom and dad all the way up to the present. Some of the decorations are those that I've bought here and there representing some aspect of our lives like a paint horse for Myles and a saxophone for me. Some that I remember making with my brothers and sister, some that mom made and had on our tree all my growing up years that I can remember. We have a lot of decorations that my kids have made, usually at school, and these are my favorites! We have several that the primary leaders in Billings would always make every year for each primary child, these are also some of my favorites. I love these decorations but they certainly don't make our tree look neat, sophisticated or modern by any means. Well this year I thought that I would indulge my older girls and let them have a modern tree. Last year I bought a lot of gold ornaments, plus we have our gold temple ornaments and our gold Angel Moroni tree topper so we obviously went with gold.
Now if you are going to have a gold tree you can't just put a bunch of multi colored lights on, you need to have white lights. So, I went to Walmart to price lights in order to see if this was even a possibility with our budget. A strand of 100 lights was only $2.38 so I felt like it was a possibility and threw in 5 boxes. Well, 5 boxes of lights are only enough to light up half of a tree. I went back to get 5 more boxes which would have been fine except for the big black hole in the middle of the tree on the right hand side. I did think about turning that side around to face the back but instead I sent Minnie and her friend back to Walmart to get me 3 more boxes making a total of 13 strands of 100 lights. That is one thousand and three hundred white Christmas lights on our tree, Doesn't it look great!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Day the Tree Fell on My Head

The Day before we decorated the tree Clayton, my miniature monster with gigantic accidents, kept playing behinde the tree. Other than telling him to stay out from behinde there I didn't think much of it until.......
The next day after the tree was already decorated and beautiful I was on the floor in front of the tree changing the baby's diaper when I hear a whoosh and then plop right on the top of my head was the tree! I did not feel good! It actually hurt my neck more than my head after all a tree is not light. Thankfully Minnie was home and was able to move the baby and lift the tree off of me so that I could get out and away. Then we were able to pick it up and redecorate it after propping it up with a board. When Myles got home he was able to figure out what was wrong and get it whipped back into shape so that it wouldn't tip over again. It turns out that Clayton may have loosened the screws in the tree stand a bit!
Like I said, my miniature monster with gigantic accidents!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Where did the Es - Car - Go ?

In our tummies!!!! Yes, Myles and I had snails!
December 11th was the Christmas party for Paramount Nevada. We met at the Atlantis Casino for dinner. It was AWESOME! We had a great 7 course dinner and spent 4 hours eating! Beginning with wine for some and diet soda with a cherry added for others (Hey, I don't drink wine so I had them fix something special for me, hence the cherry!)There was a bread basket with a variety of breads, all were great. For appetizers we had fire roasted artichokes, butternut squash ravioli(this was the best) and escargo. Myles liked the escargo more than I did. They did not taste bad, they were actually pretty good with a texture like a whole cooked mushroom, for me it was just the mental block of not being able to get past the fact that I was eating a snail! By the way, they are not slimy! We moved on to soup and salads, Myles had the Lobster Bisque which was heavenly, I had a very nice salad. For dinner we had salmon, steak and lobster with a variety of hot and cold king crab legs served on the side. By the time dessert rolled around we were all pretty full but what the heck I had of course my favorite, creme brulee! They did serve a dessert that was pretty cool though, it was a chocolate burger and fries. Want to hear more? It was a chocolate cake served on a muffin with strawberries and kiwi on top to represent tomatoes and pickles. A side dish of raspberries for ketchup, sliced up mangos for fries and a mini rootbeer float. It looked exactly like a hamburger meal!Dinner ended with dessert wine and coffee for some and diet soda with a cherry for others!
It was an awesome experience. The waiters were SO professional, it was like we were the only people in the world. I gained a great respect for the profession, they were so impressive.
We had a great time with Myles work associates. It was nice for me to be able to meet people and finally be able to put names with faces and learn a bit more about everybody! A very enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
On December 6th it began snowing and snowing and snowing. It didn't stop and it didn't melt.

Some of us were far more excited than others!

As a result of all of the snow we had 2 snow days off from school, which for you fellow Montanans, I know that the snow we had was piddly stuff but down here where we don't get snow like this too often (like every 15 years or so), well a lot of people just don't know how to drive in the it! Any ways, the kids and I had a blast! We spent 2 days sledding (getting pulled on a sled behinde the van) and drinking alot of hot chocolate. We had a great time. One of the snow days was on my birthday and I honestly could not have asked for a better birthday present! I spent the day with my kids having fun and enjoying their company and we got to end it with cake! Pretty awesome!

By the way, I turned 39 this year, and no, I'm not freaking out about my age and no, I don't feel old. My kids help keep me young and on the move!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This post and the next few are a bit behinde the actual holiday being as our computer crashed and we were not able to get it going until December. We spent a month going to the library to use their computers for the kids homework and what not. It was a nice change of scenery yet it is so nice to be able to just sit down at your very own desk any time you like and connect to the internet or whatever it is that you need to do. Plus, I can't believe how retarded a person feels without your computer, its like having your arm amputated! We are so dependant on technology these days that its almost scary. As I'm at home waiting for a phone call from one of my kids cell phones (or usually their friends cell phones!) I always wonder how did my parents know when to come get me from sporting events, dances, the movies, ect. We are so dependant on technology!!!!!!
Our Thanksgiving was very nice. I love cooking a big turkey dinner with my kids. They love to help me. Thats what I love most about this holiday, cooking with my kids. They help me make everything from the turkey to the pies. Its fun. I love sitting down to a beautifully set table full of fall colors and enjoying a nice meal that we have prepared together. I specialize in the stuffing, Myles the mashed potatoes, Minnie the Pecan pie and everyone else helps with the cutting, peeling and rolling of various items. Its a great day. I hope that this is one holiday that my kids will always come home for, they are what makes it so special.
For a family home evening we made turkeys and marked down what we were most thankful for on the feathers and then taped them to the wall making a rather large turkey farm! The things that we are most thankful for are family, the gospel, good friends, school, a warm home, dad's job, pigs,and food in our bellies. Clayton is on a Scooby Doo kick and he was most thankful for Scooby Doo!
Here is a picture of our Turkey farm.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sickness, Halloween and a puppy?

We have been battling this yucky flu or whatever it is for almost 3 weeks now. I know that we're almost in the clear but I'm right at that point where I'm tired of being sick, I'm tired of having sick kids and I'm getting a bit cranky!
On the up side, we finally got the house decorated for Halloween. Thats a big chore when you don't feel good. Lucky for me I have kids that are excited about decorating even if they are sick and I just let them have at it. They did a great job! We're going to do pumpkins either tonight or tomorrow depending on what time Myles gets home from work tonight. When we're done I'll get pictures and post them on here.
On Saturday when I ran to Walmart for some cough syrup there were puppies and of course I had to bring one home. I know, probably not the smartest thing for me to do being as I really don't like dogs that much. I guess the moral of the story is, stay away from walmart on saturdays! Or just all of the time because we don't have any money anyways right! :) Any how, Cassie is a blueheeler rottwieler mix. She is adorable and loving. The kids adore her, even the ones who claim to hate animals!Clayton even manages to not be his monster self with her and is very sweet to her. She is very spoiled by all except for Jackie and the cats, they are not her biggest fans! Every time I pet Cassie, Jackie has to jump in begging for her turn which she did not get this morning being as she rolled in cow manure!!!!!!

Myles was a cowboy and I was his cowgirl! Minnie was Velma, Natasha a ballerina, Kylee was Violet Incredible, Chelsea an Arabian princess,Madison a crazy lady, Lindy a rock star, Britten as Optimus Prime, Clayton was of course Scooby Doo and Allen was a baby!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

18 years and counting!

Myles and I recently celebrated our 18th year of marriage! To you old timers I know that 18 years is nothing but I feel that it is quite an accomplishment! I know that I for one have been deeply blessed to have Myles as my husband! Through the good times and roller coaster rides I have had a good man by my side to lift me up, love me no matter how ugly I can be and look past and forgive my faults. He lets me be me and he lets me grow and become a better person in my own time and in my own way. I could'nt ask for better. Myles, Thank you, I love you baby!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My kids are Great!!!!

With 3 teenagers and a preteen I hardly ever expected to have so much fun with my kids! I was such a rotten, grumpy @#$ &*() @!#$#%%$ of a teenager that I just did not expect to love this time in my kids lives! I am far more blessed than I deserve to be! I get to be friends with my kids, have discussions with them and know who they are, they're great! I'm sorry I was such a rotten kid mom, I truly robbed you of many pleasant memories.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another First Day of School

Every year we experience birthdays, spring break, Christmas, too many other holidays to be named and THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Every year the day is approached with much hoopla, clothes shopping, supplies and bags bought and labeled with the many many questions like "what do you mean your shoes don't fit I just bought you a pair last month" or " Are you sure you need a new back pack I think the one you have is still nice" "Do you have your first day of school outfit planned" How are you going to wear your hair" ect ect. With all of the preparations being made I always forget to plan emotionally for the day.
It is always a day of mixed emotions, I am excited for them to be going off on their next adventure with new friends and new classes, I am glad to have some much looked forward to time for myself and to be able to enjoy the little kids with out the demands of the older kids pressing in upon me throughout the day, I am worried for them, will they make friends, will the need me?
I am also sad, my babies are leaving home, some happily like Minnie who is looking forward to being finished, graduating and becoming an adult, and Natasha who is a social butterfly and needs human interaction from some one other than her sisters all of the time, and Kylee who just rolls with whatever life hands her. I was truly sad to watch my 3 H.S. kids go, all laughing and happy and absolutley beautiful, looking forward to the day. My heart ached. Then as I dropped Chelsea off at the Junior High all by herself, knowing how nervous and scared she is to be in this big school all by herself, I'm not so much sad as worried. I know that she'll be ok but as a mother you just want to fix everything, even though you know that they have to be allowed to grow up and fix things themselves. Then as I dropped off my 5th grader, Madison who is very scared of going to a new school and making new friends, my 2nd grader- Lindy who is excited to make new friends but dislikes school because it causes her to work and 1st grader- Britten who has been pestering me to take him to school since we landed here in Fallon, all who have amazingly great teachers, well you can only imagine how quiet my life became as I left with just the two little boys. I'm excited for them, worried for them, sad to have them gone, glad to have them gone. As much as they all need these life experiences to help them grow up and become mothers and fathers, I as a mother I need these experiences so that I will be able to let go when they need me to let go. I think that having Minnie this close to graduating I realize that Wow, I'm at the beginning of the end. My first child is a Senior, Can you believe it? My oldest child will be leaving the nest soon. It doesn't matter if I'm ready for her to go, the time is near and I will have to let go. Wow, where did the time go?
So, like every year at this time I dropped my kids off at their various schools, entrusting their care and well being to another for the day and year, with joy and sadness in my heart. At least this year I did'nt cry, almost but not quite.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Soccer Begins

We began our first official day of our 8th soccer season today. Yes, of course we've had practices over the last few months and weeks but today we had games making it all official. Kylee's games were all scrimmages with 2 other teams one from Dayton and somewhere else. I was'nt able to see any of her games but she said that she did well. Because this was a set of preseason games for the coaches to see the kids in action Kylee did'nt play any one spot, everyone rotated. Chelsea's team the Bulldogs won. Chelsea had a good game playing defender most of the time. (Iactually know what that is now!) I was glad that I had redyed her hair yesterday because it was much easier to find her on the field! (She has blood red streaks in it, looks awesome!) Lindy did very well, she is holding back a little bit though, I think that she's afraid of injuring her arm again or she just hates being a defender because when whe was a forward she ran her little heart out. You may remember that she broke her arm last year during a soccer game right at the beginning of the season. Lindy's team name is the Leprchauns because the uniforms were supposed to be green with yellow trim, it seems that someone messed up because we have yellow leprchauns! Britten did a great job during his game! He's out there to have fun and he does! His team are the Bombs! Madison's team doesn't have a name yet because they did'nt know what color the uniforms were going to be. Maddn began the game by blacking out on the field during warm ups. It seems that she saved all of her water for the game which was at noon, not realizing that we had brought extra water with us to last our family the whole day. She spent the first half of the game recovering and was able to play the last half, running as fast as she could to beat the other team, she played midfielder and made a goal. It is amazing to see her out there on the field this year, she is the smallest player on her team. It was a long and hot day! I'm so glad that we have our portable canopy!
I wish that I could tell you more about the action of the kid's games, I'm not much of a sports person, so the fact that I know the difference between a midfielder, defender and forward is pretty amazing! I guess if I hang around long enough the information will begin to sink in! Just don't ask me what offsides is. During a game I spend most of my time trying to find my kid out there on the field because they keep moving see. So it seems like I miss a lot of the game itself.
Anyways, that was our day!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

2009 Family Photos

Family Photos 2010. Taken at the end of June in CA over where we kept the pigs. There is this really cool tree that I thought worked great for background. It was our last Sunday before moving and I finally decided that we just needed to get it done. I grabbed Cordelia from church, we went home and changed then had our pictures done. The downfall was that the wind was absolutely horrible! I was a bit disappointed but the pictures still turned out ok. Cordelia did a great job!
Family time

All girls

All boys

A sweet one.

Daddy Daughters

Mommy and her boys

Not a bad looking couple for 18 years.

Our Family photos for the year.