December 13, 2011

To Our Family and Friends: Merry Christmas!

John Grisham wrote a cute, little Holiday book entitled Skipping Christmas.  It has since been adapted for the movies in the holiday film Christmas with the Kranks and chronicles the year where a husband and wife abstain from all holiday customs and use the money saved to purchase a cruise vacation package instead.  They inform their friends by telling them they will be, "skipping Christmas this year."

Well, we are not skipping Christmas for a cruise to the Bahamas (in my dreams!), but we are changing things up a little this year.  Rather than printing the Park Periodical, our traditional miniature Christmas  newspaper, we hope to reach a wider audience by utilizing our blog to spread the holiday cheer and update friends and family on the past year's experiences. Items listed that are highlighted are linked to past posts that give more details about the event and have more photos.  You may click on them if you want to know more about them.We hope you will enjoy this post and being able to access links to full stories of the events mentioned herein.  So without further ado, we present:

The Park Family Christmas Newsletter 2011

Ella's Blessing, March 2011                                                           Mother's Day 2011 

Nebo Loop October 2011                                                                     Christmas 2011

Our Family Highlights

  • celebrated 15 years of working at NuSkin this year and is currently a supply chain manager
  • released in May as assistant scout master (a church calling he held for over three years); now serves as Bear den leader (Brevin is ecstatic about the new call)
  • served as a coach and assistant coach for Brevin and Spencer's t-ball, coach pitch, and basketball teams with the city recreation leagues
  • traveled to Singapore in October doing work for NuSkin
  • began his fourth year as referee for high school and recreational basketball




Brevin and Spencer's Sport Activities

  • entered (and thankfully grew out of) a liquid dumping phase; dumped everything he could get his hands on such as gasoline, bubbles, car wash soap, milk, water bottles, etc.
  • had to have his first cavity filled in February 
  • had a Toy Story themed birthday party to celebrate turning 3
  • has become a bit of a "flight risk" and has been lost in places like Wal-Mart and Seven Peaks; left the house unnoticed and rode his tricycle six blocks away from home and through a four-way stop intersection, only to be returned by a kind woman and a police officer
  • has the most impressive vocabulary and is so fun to listen to when he speaks
  • shows absolutely no interest in toilet training and, therefore, remains in diapers
  • when Ella wakes up from naps crying, he likes to dump a bunch of toys and blankets in the crib and get in with her to play and cheer her up
  • is confident, fearless, and downright entertaining


Thank you for taking time to review the past months with us.  We have been blessed to experience a year full of events, changes, and growth.  Most of all, we have been fortunate to have family and friends influence our family through interactions over the years.  June Masters Bacher is quoted thusly:

"Love is like a violin.  The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever."

Until the music plays again, our love goes with you as yours remains with us.  Merry Christmas!

The Parks


This past Saturday, the weather was forecasted to be considerably mild, and so we decided that it was the day to make a trip to Salt Lake City to see the lights on Temple Square. 

We decided to go a bit earlier than usual in attempts to beat the crowds and not feel so rushed to get home to accommodate reasonable bedtimes, so we found ourselves on location even before the lights came on.  It worked out very well this way.  I think some of the better pictures we took were during the twilight hours before it became completely dark and the masses converged on Temple Square.  By that time, we had seen everything we wanted and were ready to grab a bite to eat at the Lion House.

We love this family Christmas tradition, and even more when it goes off so flawlessly.  It was such a lovely evening.  (And I think there were more lights this year than last.  Is that even possible?)

This post authored by Amber

December 9, 2011

Ta Da! Our Tannenbaum

Normally this bad boy goes up the weekend following Thanksgiving, but for some reason this year it did not make it out of the garage until the calendar had already been turned over to December. 

When I brought up all of the ornaments from downstairs, Jason kept asking, "You're not going to put all those on, are you?"  Well, the thing is like twenty feet tall (9 ft. actually), and since we've got 'em we might as well use 'em.  Besides, the more ornaments on the tree, the more Ella and Garrett can try to knock off over the course of the season.  Maybe it wasn't so bad that the tree didn't make an earlier debut.  As it is, I have hung each ornament at least twenty times and my front room is dusted with assorted red and gold glitters.  Boy, am I glad we swapped out the glass ornaments for the shatterproof!

And now, please enjoy these lovely hold absolutely still and pose as if you're decorating the tree so mom can play with the shutter speed on her camera pictures.

Weren't those photographs nice?  They evoke a feeling of peaceful, hushed reverence for the Christmas season, all warm, soft, and cozy.

Now, please enjoy the actual in the moment, teetering from precarious heights, fighting over the step ladder, and if we survive the process of decorating the tree without major incident it'll be a miracle pictures.

These photos evoke kind of a different feeling, but it's Christmas all the same, and it's fabulous! This really is the most wonderful time of the year!

This post authored by Amber

Chips and Salsa - A Christmas Tradition

For years now, we have been treated to lunch on a Saturday in December by Jason's parents.  They take the whole clan out to Los Hermanos in Lindon.  Tradition has that we gather in the large garden room with the Christmas tree for our feast.  There have been only a few times when we've strayed from those particulars, like when we've met at the Los Hermanos in Provo or got bumped from the garden room into a smaller room in the attic by a group of 100 people (and in spite of the reservations made two weeks previous).  The tree wasn't there this year either. The folks at the restaurant must be on the same Christmas decorating schedule that I am, but there was chips and salsa, fried ice-cream at the end of the meal, and good company to make it all right.  I so enjoy this holiday tradition!

Ella had a chip stuck to her chin and she was sticking her
tongue in and out of her mouth to try and knock it loose.

This post authored by Amber

Freezing for Football

Jason managed to get really fantastic tickets to BYU's final home game of the 2011 season.  They were on the sixth row and came courtesy of NuSkin.  I guess the original owners didn't think it was worth it to go to a late evening game with forecasts of temperatures in the thirties, but that didn't keep Jason and the boys away (it did, however, keep Garrett, Ella, and me hunkered down in our cozy,warm home).

Greg, Rachel, and Collin came along, too, and from what I understand, it was a really great experience.  I guess getting to see your face on the jumbo screen and snapping a photo with Cosmo will make just about anything worth it!

This post authored by Amber