Get a Haircut Hippie! :P

>> Monday, December 30, 2013

Jared was getting ready and I noticed how long his hair has gotten!!! I told him he needed to get a haircut so people wouldn't mistake him for a hippie.....or a Chia Pet! LOL!!!!!


From our Family to Yours- 2013!!!

>> Friday, December 27, 2013

Hello Family & Friends!

     This year has flown by, and it’s been a full of ups and downs. We were very lucky this summer and had the chance to take a family vacation with my longtime friend and her family at The Hotel Del Coronado, in California. It was absolutely a dream vacation, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has never been. The beaches are pristine, and the hotel is stunning. The kids still talk about it and ask when we can go back. I think that they will just have to hang on to those memories though. It was certainly a once in a life time trip! In July we took another family vacation to see Jared’s family in Utah. 
We stopped at the Hoover Dam, saw his cousins that live in the Salt Lake area, took the kids to see the Salt Lake Temple, had a whiz-bang fun time at Lagoon, and had a nice visit with his Dad and Step-Mom up in Tremonton! Crazily, we also built a swimming pool this summer. We got a late start and had a few setbacks, so it didn’t get finished until the middle of September. It made for a short swimming season, but Jared did jump in about a week ago and froze to death. So it’s still bringing great enjoyment!! LOL!

     On another note, Jared was let go from Coppersmith at the end of August and if the leads he’s currently looking into don’t work out, he might start up his own business again. He’d been with Coppersmith for over 12 years, and it was not expected. They did tell him however, that it was strictly a business decision and there was nothing he did wrong or could have done differently to change their minds. They told him they’ve loved having him there and would give him an excellent recommendation. They outsourced his job to a 3rd party. It was quite a blow, but over the past several months, we have been blessed in so many ways through the generosity and kindness of family, friends, and anonymous angels. I think I could write several pages on just this matter. It’s been so humbling and heartwarming! God is good!! Jared was also just called to be the Ward Clerk in the new Bishopric last month. This calling will require him to be gone a lot, he will be putting in lots of hours at the church, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve our Ward Family. Jared has also finished all of his Cisco and Microsoft certifications that he started last year! So proud of him!!

     As for myself I’ve started watching my friend’s two little-ones 3 days a week. They are full of energy, and its helped fill in the gaps while Jared continues to look for work/clients. In May, Alayna, my Mom, and I were able to take a wonderful “Mother-Daughter” trip to San Diego! The weather was gorgeous, and it was so much fun spending some girl time together! In August, I was called back to Primary as the Second Counselor, and I’m still very involved in the Cub Scout program. 

     Walker is in 8th grade and is now an official teenager. He turned 13 this summer. Next year he will enter High School, and we are all excited for the new experiences he will have there. Walker is in all Honors Classes, and I’m so thankful Jared is able to help him with his homework!! LOL!! Walker is still playing the drums/percussion in band, and in the spring, he will get to go to Disneyland and participate in a Disney Soundtrack Session Workshop. He’s really looking forward to going. He was inducted into National Junior Honor Society; he qualified for Golden Scholars (Academic Night); he’s teaching piano lessons, and he’s on the school newspaper. He just earned his Life rank in Scouts and is hoping to earn his Eagle by his 14th birthday this summer. In October he was also called to be the Secretary in the Deacon’s Quorum Presidency at church. He’s just been a ‘little’ busy! :) He’s so fun, and we are just enjoying watching him grow into an amazing young man!

     Eli is in the 5th grade and is 10 years old. He’s involved in lots of activities and loves it! He earned his Bear in Cub Scouts; he’s rockin’ it in Chorus, and has had the chance to show off some hidden dancing skills in his concerts! Eli started playing the saxophone, which thrills Jared to no end that his boy is following in his footsteps. Jared says Eli is pretty good for just a beginner! :) Eli is also still playing the piano. In April he sprained his foot pretty bad and was on crutches for about a month and then in a walking boot. He was not a fan. He was able to start football back up this fall now that it’s healed, and he’s so much fun to watch! He was chosen again this year to be a Peace Helper at school. He also qualified for Academic Night and is in A.L.P. for math and language. In September he got new reading glasses, and they have helped his headaches to disappear. Eli is in the Oceanography Club and, at the beginning of the new year, he will get to take a trip to San Diego, California. Eli loves to be involved in as much as he can. He has a hard time just sitting still!

     Alayna is in 1st grade and will be turning 7 this month! My baby isn’t a baby anymore. She lost her 1st tooth in January and has lost several more over the past year. The Tooth Fairy might go broke if she doesn’t slow down! :) In August she started ballet and tried out to be in The Nutcracker. She was chosen to be an Angel and a Mouse. Unfortunately, we had to withdraw her since Jared lost his job. Dance is not an inexpensive activity. On a brighter note we had a wonderful lady in our Ward offer to teach Alayna piano free of charge until we are able to find work again. (I couldn’t just allow her to do that though, and she is allowing me to pay her in baked goods!! LOL!) Alayna is doing excellent in school and loves reading and math! She is very artistic and loves to draw. We will be keeping a close eye on this one as she seems to have many admirers at school, and Mom and Dad are already worried about the teenage years ahead!

     As you can see, it’s been quite a year for our family, and through it all, we are thankful we have each other and each one of you! We hope you and your families are well, and we send our love.

We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!!

The Kitch’s


Christmas Day 2013...It's a Wonderful Life!!!

>> Thursday, December 26, 2013

Words cannot describe the gratitude our family has this year for all of our many blessings. We had "many" Secret Santas visit our home and made Christmas for our family possible. I really don't know what we would have done with out them. The few days leading up to Christmas we had lot of special deliveries. Most were anonymous. The most popular was the "ding-dong-ditch" method! :P

We had baskets full of goodies, gift cards, cash, boxes of food, bags of clothing, already wrapped gifts for everyone in the family, toys, books, the list goes on. It was absolutely humbling. We were overcome with emotions and the reminder that our family is loved and thought of by so many. 

 We don't know who they were, but we are grateful from the bottom of our hearts!! We pray God will bless them and their families for being angels in our life. Their acts of love and service to us will never be forgotten. My cup runneth over!!  

 The entire front room was filled with amazing gifts. This picture doesn't even show you a fraction of what was really there. A lot of it was stashed behind the tree, table, and chair!

The kids were a "little" excited!

 After the mayhem! :P

Even though this Christmas has been difficult, we will never forget the joy we've been able to feel dispite our circumstances. We felt a little bit like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life", as our friends/family came to our home to help us. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful and thoughtful people in our lives!!!

Merry Christmas!!!


Christmas Eve 2013

>> Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Every year we go to Grandma and Grandpa Morrison's for Christmas Eve. Before we open gifts all the grandkids that want to or, have prepared a musical number, give us a little talent show. :)

This year the entertainment was hosted by yours truly..The Kitch Family! :P

 Alayna started taking piano this year so she gave us a sweet little performance of  "Jingle Bells". She did great! 

Eli played, "Looking Glass River" and "Promenade". He has such a natural talent for music. 

Walker played, " Pachelbel Canon" and "Linus and Lucy". I love hearing him play.

 The audience was captivated! :)

 The big finale was all the of the grandkids...well at least more than half of them...sang "Silent Night" with Walker accompanying them. :)

 We enjoyed the evening together with all of the family and ate until we had to roll ourselves home before Santa made his delivery!!


Mesa Temple Christmas Lights

>> Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We visited the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights for F.H.E. this week. They had a lot of new displays that were beautiful. I wish I had taken pictures of everything. Sometimes it's nice not worrying about the camera and just soaking in the moment. :)They also had a new movie in the visitor's center about Jesus' birth. It was a nice evening as a family. :)



Walker's Band Christmas Concert

>> Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Walker had his Christmas Concert for band last night and they sounded so good!!!!!

I just love hearing how much they improve every year. It brings back such memories for me as I sit and listen to them play and at this point they are able to play some pretty technical music and it brings me so much joy to watch! :) 

 I think what I get a kick out of the most is watching him concentrate so hard and I can see his mouth silently counting out the beats! :P Love it!

This guy is growing up so fast and I'm trying to drink in every moment of it before I blink and he's a grown man! 

We had a fun night! Great job Walker!


The Velveteen Rabbit

>> Friday, December 13, 2013

As I posted before Alayna has been sick a lot this year and she missed her class' field trip they took earlier this year and then this week she had a fever and Walking Pneumonia so she was pretty worried she wasn't going to make it again!!! Thankfully however, she turned around pretty quick once she got on the medications the doctor prescribed and she was able to go...and I got to go too!!! :)

We went to the Tempe Center for the Arts where Child's Play put on the production of The Velveteen Rabbit. It was really cute and perfect for 1st graders! :)

After the play we went to Tumbleweed Park in Chandler to have lunch and for the kids to play! It was a beautiful day out and I felt so lucky I got to go with my sweet girl!! :)


'Tis the Season to be Sick

>> Thursday, December 12, 2013

Poor Alayna has had a really rough year this year. She can't seem to stay well! She's missed 11 days so far and students are only allowed to miss 10 before they threaten to send a truant officer...which we've already received a letter for a few weeks ago. 

Alayna had a fever Monday and Tuesday so I kept her home. Wednesday she was fever free but still had this awful cough. It was incessant and sounded terrible. I thought she was ok to go to school so I sent her. Her teacher told me she had a rough day at school with all the coughing and by the time she got home she sounded even worse, so we took her to Urgent Care. It's our favorite place!!!! NOT!!

They gave her a breathing treatment and ran some scans. 

It turns out she has Walking Pneumonia!!! I don't always win the award for World's Greatest Mom...I felt horrible for sending her to school. :( They gave her antibiotics and Albuterol to help her breathe easier. They told her she could go to school but she'd need to take the RX's at school too. No running around like a crazy girl, take it easy and stay warm...especially at recess. 

By the end of the day today she was already sounding so much better and feeling better. We are so relieved. She hadn't had a good nights rest all week because she couldn't breathe with out coughing. Thank goodness for modern medicine and health insurance!!!!


Eli's Christmas Band Concert!

>> Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eli is totally rockin' the sax this year. This is his 1st year playing and he's really quite good! He had his Christmas Concert tonight and it was fun watching him! He was very excited about tonight!!!

 I took these shots on the video camera since I had to go solo. Jared was with Alayna at the doctor and Walker was at Scouts. Don't worry though..I documented all of it so we can all watch it together as a family this weekend! :)


Alayna's 7th Birthday...A Pinkie Pie Pony Party!!!!!

>> Saturday, December 7, 2013

Having a birthday in December can be really tricky. In past years I've had Alayna's parties the weekend before Christmas Break but this year I tried doing it 2 weeks earlier and that didn't seem to work out any better. She still had a great turn out but we were missing quite a bit of family. 

This year Alayna has become obsessed with My Little Pony. She watches is as much as she possibly can and so to fit with tradition we themed her birthday after what she loved most that year!

I usually make a big cake which can be pretty time consuming and labor intensive but this year she said she just wanted cupcakes and I was happy to accommodate! :)

The kids enjoyed some coloring pages. 

L to R: Lizzy, Cy, Emmy, Emma, Elsie, Ashlynn, Alayna, Meda, Morgan, Madina, Ava & Justin
These cutie pie kiddos were ready for some pinata action!!!

But not before a goofy picture first! LOL!

This year I got my craftiness on and made (with Jared's help) the pinata. It turned out really cute! I was pleased and Alayna was very happy!

My beautiful birthday girl!!!!!

We also made a Pin the tail on Pinkie Pie. :)

Nice try! LOL!!!!! :D Her face is priceless!

Some of her bday gifts!

It was a great party. It started out REALLY cold outside and the kids kept coming in
to try to warm up. By the end the temp started to rise and everyone had a wonderful time! One of Alayna's friends said it was "The Best Day Ever!!!!" :)

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!


A Christmas Carol...By the Mustachios!!!

>> Friday, December 6, 2013

Walker and 3 of his buddies performed at the Ward Christmas Party this year!!! The boys did a fantastic job and it was the HIT of the night! We were all dying laughing. 

If you don't recognize him he's the one on the far right. They have been given the name as the "Mustachios" and have already been requested to perform again next year! :P

Jared put the video on youtube so I'll just copy the link below and you can watch their fantastic performance! :)


Walker Earned His "Life"

>> Thursday, December 5, 2013

Walker earned his Life Rank Advancement in Scouts tonight! He's been diligently working his way through the Scouting Program and he's hoping to get his Eagle by his 14th birthday this summer!!!

Way to go Walker!!!


Eli's Ho, Ho, Ho-liday Chorus Conert!

Eli had his Christmas Concert tonight and it was great! They boys had a special number where they came down from the bleachers and showed off some super cute choreography. Eli has some awesome dance moves! He said during the school performance a lot of the kids came up to him afterwards and told him how great he did and that he was really funny! :)

What a cute Santa!! :)


Birthday Love..

>> Sunday, December 1, 2013

Jared wrote me this beautiful tribute today. He's not much for words so when these moments come I want to document them! :)

"My wife, Vanessa, doesn't like when her birthday falls on the same weekend as Thanksgiving, but I think it's perfect. Those of you who are her friend as well on here have seen over the past month where the good parts of me come from. Her month long Thanksgiving gives a glimpse of the person that she is. She embodies everything that I am thankful for. She makes my home more peaceful, my kids more high-minded, my life more fun, my faults less noticeable. I am a better person because of her example of following His example. She is the perfect partner, and I know that we belong with each other. Like most marriages, we have our disagreements, but I always know that she loves me and that our marriage covenant will weather anything. I know that I can make her a higher priority than myself because she reciprocates. I don't want to imagine where my life would be without her. Happy Birthday Vanessa! I love you more than you know."

I think I found myself a keeper! This past Thanksgiving also marks our 20 year anniversary. He asked me to be his girlfriend all those years ago! :)


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