Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Very Judy Christmas 2014

Some pictures of the festivities at my parents house for our annual December 23rd Christmas gathering.  We always have a nice dinner, followed by gifts, a talk from my Dad, and finish it up with the reading of the Christmas story and singing carols. This was the first time in a long time that all of the cousins were there together.  Wish that could happen more!
Samantha couldn't be happier about her gift.  The Iliad and the Odyssey.  (Don't know how many other teens make that sort of request but she really wanted them.) Books are always a win.
The younger cousins put together a little performance for all of us.  This is one of the favorite things to do when they get together - write and reforms plays and shows.  They are always a good time.
This one was complete with solos.  This was Megan's.
Peter was pretty happy with his light saber.  Loving the decor.
It is always chaotic and crazy, but I love getting together with my family and having my kids spend time with their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great grandparents.  I hope they will always cherish these memories.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shawn and Samantha at the Olympic Training Center

Shawn and Samantha were invited to go the the Olympic Training Center in Colorado for water polo. Samantha as an athlete, and Shawn as a coach.  What an awesome experience for a 13 year old girl!
This is Samantha with her new friend, Jenny Scott.  They were the only two athletes from Utah.

Training where the Olympians train!
Samantha with Olympian Melissa Seidemann and Nicole and Morgan from the Junior National team.
Samantha with her team for the Snowball Classic.
Apparently the new car did it's job well and got them where they needed to be.
Smiley face.  That's a good sign.

Running drills after dinner.  Samantha said this was always the most exhausting session of the day.  They'd already had a full day, then food in their bellies then back to work. Their days started at 7:00 when they headed off to breakfast, then 20 minutes of "chalk talk".  There were  four 2-hour sessions in the water the rest of the day broken up with either lunch or rest periods.  Lights out at 10:00. But the after dinner session was always the hardest.

Listening intently to the coaches.  (Black #11)
Samantha has always had a "thing" for Michael Phelps.  I'm sure she would have liked to see him in person even more, but training in the same pool as him was pretty cool.
Shawn and Samantha with picture of Tony Azevedo.  #waterpolohero
One of the paralympians was using this for training during the week.  Samantha never climbed it but said the rope fibers were all over in the pool, got stuck in their suits and so on, but it was cool to watch them train.
The snap, quarter turn, up and shoot drill.

Passing drills.  (Samantha is black #11)

One on one time playing with an Olympian - Melissa Seidemann.

"Pulling lane lines in this pool was the worst!"  Much bigger, longer and heavier than our high school pool lane lines.

Selfie time.
Samantha enjoying a meal with some junior national players and Jenny at the back table, while Shawn eats with the coaches.
Awards and closing meeting.
Utah athletes unite! 

More selfies.

They both had a great time and learned a ton! While Samantha was in the water with Olympians and learning form the National Team coaches, Shawn was also working with and learning from the coaches. Hopefully this all pays off in the water back home!

I think she spent the entire drive home in this state.  She was exhausted from long days in the water and being sick the whole time.  I'm guessing she had strep whileshe was there, but she toughed it out and made it through.
Shawn's views:

While they were away, Fred took the opportunity to nap in Samantha's bed.

Juanito Bandito

Shawn and Samantha drove back into town just in time to make it to Juanito Banditio's Christmas show with the Marsh family.  
Fun thing to do with all the cousins!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Random December

Shawn has been on the hunt for a new car for quite a while.  Since he's needing a way to drive to Colorado next week, this seemed like a good time to move forward on it.  (That and the end of year deals.)  The '87 Volvo he's been driving just isn't cut out for that sort of driving anymore.  So Merry Christmas to Shawn with this new Subaru, and Merry Christmas to Jonas who will get to drive the Volvo!

How often do you get to see Santa driving something other than his sleigh?  I though his choice of vehicle was pretty awesome, though.
I don't even remember the last time I could fill the suburban for this much.  I am loving the gas pieces right now!
Poor Fred, he's had a couple of rough days.  Emperor Zurg and Anakin/Darth captured him.
Not even Woody and Jesse could get him out of this.  Hopefully he'll find a way.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Decor

Amelia made this cute little gingerbread house at Activity Days and wanted to be sure it was well documented before her siblings got a hold of it and started nibbling it all away. (Good thing I got pictures when I did, because all the candy pieces started disappearing shortly thereafter...)

Fred has kept himself busy keeping the kids in line, as well.  Sometimes I think he's got a pretty good gig.
OK, maybe being chewed on by a dinosaur isn't so awesome, but the rest of it's pretty good.