Saturday, December 26, 2009

Playing Santa

Santa has it rough. I don't know how he does it. As one who witnessed it I think I will let Santa have his job because Santa, at least in the Esplin home, did the following Christmas Eve:

I saw Santa put out cookies for Santa
I saw Santa wrap last minue gifts
I saw Santa make wassail so as to please the family God's and keep tradition alive
I saw Santa wrap more last minute gifts (way too many gifts at this point)
I saw Santa put together Parker's toys
I saw Santa struggle putting together Parker's toys
I saw Santa almost throw out Parker's toys
I saw Santa go to bed a 4 in the morning

How could Santa resist this face on Christmas Eve?

On second thought I wouldn't mind having Santa's job if it meant seeing the innocent joy that I saw on Parker's face that Christmas morning! Not to mention the wassail would have pleased the family!

Santa Delivered

The Jolly Old Elf delivered once more as his magic was felt, he somehow squeezed in a delivery to the Esplin's in Castle Dale. To Parker's thrill he brought a "cah" just for him (thanks to a last minute suggestion to Santa from a faithful elf). Parker broke out in a wobbly run when his eyes caught sight of his "Cozy Coupe" that became the location where he would unwrap the rest of his presents. He spent most the rest of the morning doing his version of the "flintstones"(reverse style) and "the dukes of hazard"(head first on the side) with his new set of wheels!

Though we could (and did) have watched Parker all day we too enjoyed the day by having Melissa's family over for breakfast (waffles with strawberries!). 
Christmas kisses for cousin Mia
All the toys wore him out and Brittany was there for a nice Christmas nap

Of course there was the opening of presents at home and at Grandma and Grandpa's. To top the night off we did the traditional pinata though this year there were two of them (one for the grandkids - Parker's attempt was meager and fearful, and one for the adults - lets just say very entertaining).

In every way Santa delivered this Christmas to the Esplin family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All I want for Christmas is Dustin Home

Parker had never met his uncle "Dustin" and knew him only as "Elder" Pollastro. Even then we are not so sure he "knew" Uncle Elder Dustin Pollastro. Then the day arrived when Parker met this "person" that he had only seen in pictures. Parker's first encounter was true to Parker form as Dustin swallowed him up and Parker grabbed an ear. At that moment we could have sworn that all Parker wanted for Christmas was his now "Uncle Dustin" home.

Parker anxiously waiting to meet Uncle Dustin

Dustin's return completes the missionary circle as all of Melissa's and my siblings have now served missions. Here is the world tour that these missionaries have traversed:

Jason (Devin's brother) - Sau Paulo, Brazil
Scott (Devin's brother) - Catania, Italy
Nate (Devin's brother) - Neuquen, Argentina
Christian (Melissa's brother) - San Bernaino, CA
Ryan (Devin's brother) - Munich, Germany
Melissa - Sau Paulo, Brazil
Devin - Taichung, Taiwan
Carson (Melissa's brother) - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Brittany (Melissa's sister) - Stockholm, Sweden
Dustin (Melissa's brother) - Minneanapolis, Minnesota

Now all we want for Christmas is Parker to follow in these giant faithful footsteps. We just want that to happen in many Christmas' from now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ward Christmas Party... Check!

Chalk one up for the books.  The Ward Christmas Party is complete.  After a lot of stress and worry we pulled it off.  I have a great committee who was willing to get things accomplished.  I could not have done it without them!  Santa was a hit!  The food was edible, and the program short and sweet.  Even the cleanup was quick and easy.  Just the way we like it.  At least now I can breathe for a week or so, until the next shindig!
Thanks everyone for all your help!
Although Santa was a hit, this little guy was mortified, to say the least!  It was all Devin could do to get one picture.  Maybe next year will be better!  

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Parker Snowstorm

Last year Parker's encounter with snow was nothing but torture in the form of parents wanting to have fun.  Yes we made snow angels and we went sledding but through the screaming and the freezing it is likely that he has erased any snow memories from his mind.

Well today just may be a day worthy of remembering as it snowed enough to lose Parker, ok so at least make him claustrophobic.  We woke up to a foot of snow covering the ground.  This made things a bit more exciting for church going.  It snowed so much that Melissa recieved phone calls wondering if Church had been cancelled.  This no doubt would have been an answer to her prayers as she was singing a duet in church today.  But in Carol Brady style, Melissa put on a great performance for the snowblown worshippers in attendance.  At the conclusion of church the neighborhood came to life as kids, parents, and grandparents grabbed shovels and took to the streets to shovel everybody's walks.  These parents couldn't resist the opportunity for their brave Parker to brave the snow once more, with similar results but enjoying eating the snow this time.  Though we are not rushing to the ski slopes and getting Parker ski lessons quite yet, this was a snowstorm for the memories, yes a snowstorm worthy of Parker.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas - The Castle Dale way

With the flip of a switch the temple square in Salt Lake comes to life and welcomes Christmas.  In Castle Dale a few city workers and festive citizens welcome Christmas in its own way that welcomes Christmas all the same.

The display in "downtown" Castle Dale - day

The display in "downtown" Castle Dale - at night

This is a personal favorite - yep, they are bails of hay!
The view of the power plant in the distance

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We love Wyoming!

I always need a reason to get out of the house, so when my mom said Wyoming, Parker and I jumped at the chance.  We left Tuesday from Price and came back Thursday night.  It is always fun to visit cousins as often as we can!  I love the time we can spend for the few days we were there.  Parker had a blast playing with Carter and Cali.  He also was super concerned about Caleb and Mia every time they would fuss or cry.  He would come running over with a concerned look on his face and point and grunt for me to do something.  It was too funny.  Maybe he'll be a good helper one day when we has a sibling.  
Mom, Cammie and I spent some quality time on the sewing machine making some Christmas gifts.  It's always good to learn and improve these talents that I don't have and test my patience a time or two! 

Charlie Browner

Our Christmas tree adventures are a mix of the Griswald's in "Christmas Vacation" and Charlie's Brown's Christmas.  Every year we brave the elements in search for the tree that is "glowing" on the hill begging to be cut down and hauled off for Parker's attacking pleasure.  Every year in this quest, patience seems to wear thin and the faithful tree cutters resolve to cutting down anything that in any way resembles that of a Christmas tree!  This year was true to form.

We joined the Eden's and Melissa's mom in this years hunt with the hopes that we could quickly swarm the trees and be home sipping hot chocolate around our prize find.  Without the slightest hint of snow it felt like we were looking for the perfect sage brush.  As the day wore on and having found a "maybe" tree we piled into the car convinced that the perfect tree was at Walmart.  Then on the way down the mountain to Melissa's delight was "the tree".  Admittedly it was a sight to see and in minutes the tree was claimed and in possession!  With the Eden's tree and ours in the back of the truck we headed home ready to celebrate this years victory.  

The joy was short lived after a few "necessary" (try explaining this to the one who spotted the tree!) cuts were made which resulted in yet another Charlie Brown Christmas tree!  After some repairs, a few choice words, and help from a neighbor, this year's "Charlie tree" stands in all of its glory.  A quote from Charlie Brown's Christmas brings this tree hunter much solace, "You still are a blockhead Charlie Brown, but you did pick a very nice tree!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good Boy v. Bad Boy

Christmas 2008

The verdict is out, dad has been a bad boy, mom's on the nice list but what about Parker? With a year plus under his belt and plenty of disaster caused at the expense of those chubby hands, where does he stand on the naughty list? You be the judge then let us know so that we can alert the big man before it gets too late:

The Good:

Parker filling in last minute for home teaching
He's now sleeping through the night
He can now eat solids
He gives kisses
He helps dust around the house
He laughs
He plays peek a boo with the best of them

The Not so Good:

We can't stop him from walking
He can't stop eating solids
Buttons, buttons, oh heavenly buttons!
He gives juicy, slobbery kisses
He destroys the house
He wails! (try imagining the sound of a siren and you will know what his cry sounds like)

Tough decision I know. Last year was easy, all he could do was lay in the wrapping paper. This year we are going to have to tie the tree to the ceiling just so it makes it to Christmas day. Regardless of the verdict I somehow think that that irresistible grin that bears 8 skin ripping teeth will somehow have a stocking overflowing and presents growing on the tree!

Gobble till you Wobble

How was our 2009 Thanksgiving?  Let's just say we "gobbled" till we "wobbled".

The Gobble
We packed up the car and joined the millions of other Thanksgiving feasters and headed for Grand Junction for this years festivities.  Ryan and Becca and their families graciously opened their doors and their ovens to us, my parents, and Jason and his family.  All gathered around the table with quite the feast at our fingertips.  The feast consisted of tender turkey, spectacular stuffing, marvelous mashed potatoes, rockin' rolls and jammin jello (trust me, if you so much as got a taste of this you too would use the word "jammin".)  After all of the gobbling ceased we found room for some some practically perfect precious pies!  

The Wobble
Having officially gobbled ourselves through Thanksgiving we spent the next day "wobbling". The wobble began as we braved the stores at 4 am with little success, but a determination and a vow to never do that again.  The wobble was made complete as we went to the Ice Skating rink later that day.  A casual observer would look at our skating skills and conclude that we "wobbled" more than we actually skated.  Parker's inaugural skating experience consisted of being towed behind the "wobblers" in a sled.  After this experience we have our sights set on the Winter Olympics in 2014 (keep your eye on the bobsled, Parker's well on his way).

Thanksgiving 2009's Gobbling and Wobbling made us ever more grateful for the things that we do have and we do enjoy.  Most important the gobbling and the wobbling was, as it is every year, with those that we are most thankful for, our family.