Saturday, December 30, 2006

Baby it’s cold outside

This photo of Eliana playing with an icicle was just so darling I had to post it tonight. It was taken on Christmas day in front of the Snow’s home in Holladay.

Thanks for the knitted hats, Aunt Betty. And thanks, Grandma Snow, for the kids' other winter gear.

The kids had a great time playing outside in the snow. In fact, about three or four times a day Dominic would grab a snow boot and carry it to one of the adults grunting with excitement and anticipation for finding someone willing to suit him up and take him outside. Such a cute lil’ punkin!

The Las Vegas Bowl 2006

Way to go Cougars!

Don’t let the time lapse between the Dec. 21 Las Vegas Bowl and today, Dec. 30, fool you into thinking I wasn’t stoked by the outcome of this year’s Las Vegas Bowl. Company and Christmas travel plans prevented me from posting about our activities on Dec. 21…until now.

I spent the morning last Thursday at work, my last workday of 2006. Shortly after lunchtime—and after exchanging Christmas gifts with the Coglianese family—the Snows (Gordon, Murriel and Charley) and Vickey and I departed for Sam Boyd Stadium where all true blue Cougar fans anxiously gathered to watch the Cougars perform in the second Las Vegas bowl in as many years.

This year’s outcome was much more appetizing than last year’s. In a difficult-to-argue-with defeat the Cougars prevailed against the Ducks 38 to 8. Regardless of what Oregon’s coach said about BYU defeating a Pac-10 team, the fact is they did. I repeat, way to go Cougars!

The Las Vegas Bowl crowd of 44,615 set a record for Sam Boyd Stadium. This is the first bowl game BYU has won since 1997. The number 19 Cougars, who improved to 11-2 overall, are the first nationally ranked team to ever play in the Las Vegas Bowl.

I have some photos from the game—the American flag that covered the entire field, and the BYU crowd that rushed the field (yes, Gordon insisted we be included in the foray) at the conclusion of the game for the award presentation—but they’re on my mobile phone and not of a high enough resolution to do any good here.

Our day was a bit long since we participated in the tailgate party which began at 2 p.m. Vickey set-up a table with some of her Pampered Chef brochures and spoke to passers by regarding the Pampered Chef opportunity. Charley and I enjoyed following the cheerleaders and Cougarettes around and watching for one of the cheerleaders to fall during their acrobatic feats. Gordon, king of the flea market, was jazzed by all the free handouts from the various vendors.

All in all, minus the sustained cold temperatures, it was just about a perfect day. Thanks to Amber for her Christmas gift, watching the kids from 1:30 to 9:30 p.m.

If you’re interested, you can read what the Las Vegas Bowl folks have to say about the game in their press release: Stadium-Record Crowd Sees BYU Defeat Ducks.


On Christmas Eve in Salt Lake City—Holladay to be exact—we went on a walk. Here’s Dominic and I all bundled up (it’s cold up there for us Vegas guys).

We had a great Christmas week at the Snow’s home in Holladay. We ate lots of great food, enjoyed the company of nearly everyone in the family (with the exception of Vickey’s oldest brother, Matt’s family) and played many a game till the wee hours of the night (I’m not used to staying up till one or two).

Last Saturday, the day after we arrived, we spent nursing Dominic who was throwing up all morning. Then he was fine.

But this morning, the following Saturday, we awoke to a throwing up boy yet again. Poor guy! I think he’s gone through three baths and change of clothes today. Vickey had to stay home with him instead of attending my cousin’s daughter’s wedding (I’ll blog about that later, first I need to catch up from where I left off in mid-December; it’s been a crazy few weeks).

Monday, December 18, 2006

In loving memory of Gail “Chris” Myron Christenson

Vickey’s uncle’s funeral was Saturday. We made the unexpected trip to Spanish Fork, Utah to be with family and pay our last respects.

Chris and Jean were great companions for each other. I’m sure it will be difficult for Jean to be without Chris for the remainder of her days on earth. The family will certainly help to fill that void though.

At the funeral service Vickey’s dad, Gordon Snow, shared some great stories of Chris’ life and insights into the type of person Uncle Chris was. Vickey’s cousin, Amy Jensen, shared a poem and her husband, Preston Jensen, played a John Schmidt piano song called Tribute. It was a short and sweet ceremony, which is a good thing since I was wrestling Dominic in the back of the room the entire time. Eliana did a great job of being still and reverent during the funeral.

Here’s an updated photo of Gordon and his sisters, Ruth and Jean, at the dinner following Chris’ funeral.

Chris’ coffin was taken to the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. Pallbearers were Justin Shipley, Matthew Snow, Charles Snow, Scott Gilchrist, Larry Draper and Dale Draper. I was given the honor of dedicating Chris’ grave. It was the first time I have been called upon to perform that priesthood ordinance. It was a privilege.

This is Vickey’s cousin Gaylene, her husband Craig Shipley and daughter Amy, saying goodbye to Chris as we left the casket at the cemetery.

I learned from Uncle Chris the importance of treating those around you with respect and kindness, especially your spouse. I learned the importance of setting a good example for your posterity. I admire his ability to keep life simple and do what you enjoy.

Uncle Chris was fortunate that the pancreatic cancer didn’t manifest itself sooner and cause prolonged suffering due to that painful illness. It took several days to diagnose the illness and in the meantime Chris died from pneumonia.

Uncle Chris will be greatly missed by those he left behind. I’m so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ which makes it possible for spirits and bodies to be reunited in immortality through the resurrection and for families to be sealed together for time and eternity.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Remembering Uncle Chris

Last night we received word that Vickey’s uncle Chris Christenson died. He had taken sick and was hospitalized in the past week or so, then caught pneumonia and passed away yesterday.

Chris is married to Jean Snow Christenson, Vickey’s dad’s sister.

While we weren’t shocked to hear the news, since we knew Chris was sick and in the hospital, we were certainly saddened. Chris is the first of Vickey’s aunts and uncles to die on her father’s side. (Here's Gordon and his two sisters, Ruth and Jean.)

In my interaction with Chris he was always gracious and kind. He and Jean enjoyed life and were supportive parents and grandparents. They lived in Spanish Fork, Utah and spent winters in Overton, Nevada.

When it’s available I’ll link to his obituary. I’ll have to go through our photos to see if I can locate one of him to post here as well (two are posted here, from Amy's wedding last summer).

Chris, we’ll miss you. We know you’re in a better place and look forward to being together as a family in the eternities.


Here's Chris' obituary from Provo's Daily Herald newspaper.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Merry Christmas curly lox

Tonight was Eliana’s year-end dance recital. She looked so cute in her red and black outfit. Vickey and Ellie spent some time this afternoon curling her hair with a fancy new fangled Enzo Milano ceramic curling iron. Here’s the result (compare this to what happened last year following the ward Christmas party - the hair cut!).

And here are a few photos of Eliana at the dance recital.

With her friend, Sarah Coglianese.

Dancing with her oversized candy cane.

And in the interest of equal time (almost), here’s a photo of Dominic from last week. He was so tired from being sick and hauled all over tarnation as part of Vickey’s Christmastime preparations, that he fell asleep in his highchair. Poor kiddo.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Photos with Santa

Our annual ward Christmas party features plenty of good eats, a Christmastime program and photo opportunities with Santa.

Here’s our annual installment in the family photos with Santa file. Thanks for dropping by, Santa.

Eliana can’t wait for Christmas to see what she gets. Now if only we could help her see how fun it is to give as well as receive.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Russian chocolate cookies

It’s a tradition in the Codella family to make Russian chocolate cookies during the holidays. I’m really not sure why an Italian family makes Russian chocolate cookies, but we do. I think it’s a recipe my dad’s mom was fond of and therefore adopted for the family. (The recipe is so large that we're mixing it by hand on the kitchen table because we don't have a large enough bowl.)

Tonight my cousins Michael and Gina came over for dinner and some holiday baking…and boy was it a baking extravaganza! We had a great time. The evening was full of yummy things to eat, Michael dropping measuring cups on the floor, the usual sibling bantering between he and Gina, and Michael and I trading insults. What a great time for us cousins!

Eliana was right in the mix. So was Dominic for about an hour before he reached his limit. I envy the sleep he’s getting.

After being down and out health-wise a couple different times lately I’m still feeling a bit weak. I had a 102 degree fever for several days this week and have been on antibiotics since Wednesday. It’s been a rough week and I find myself even further behind at work with Christmas and New Year’s just weeks away…yikes!

At any rate, we thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s festive affair—singing along with Christmas music, Ellie and Dominic racing around the kitchen island while the adults were trying to bake, a good dinner and yummy treats that just kept coming, Tank sneaking an unbaked cookie off the table, and even a happy holidays phone call to my Aunt Marie (we wanted a recipe from her and she gave me enough information to locate a peanut butter ball cookie recipe that turned out amazingly perfect).

I put in half a day’s work at the office this morning while Vickey conducted a Pampered Chef show in Boulder City this afternoon. The kids and I ran some errands this afternoon. Okay, they weren’t just errands, we got my Christmas gifts: floor mats and running boards for the Tundra (we’re not replacing accessories, just adding ones always wanted).

It was a busy Saturday replete with good seasonal activities. If only I could get some rest tomorrow.

And I just have to add this before I close because it’s on my mind after reading the week’s mail:

In my mom’s Christmas letter (well it was signed by my dad, but I’m fairly certain he wasn’t its author), I was intrigued by the comment about going on a real vacation someday.

Hey mom, you could consider taking dad up on his offer to take you on a cruise before he gets tired of asking. A New Year’s resolution perhaps?

And as for my dad inheriting diabetes from my grandma Codella…I guess there are bound to be some bad genes in there someplace from many different generations on both sides of the family tree. If only those scientists would wrap up that DNA project and fabricate cures for all humankind’s ailments. Another wish for a New Year.

I’m grateful for my heritage from both parents and hope for healthy lifestyles for all of us in 2007. You’d better take care of yourself dad so you can be there for your grandkids’ graduations from high school. We’d even love to have you around when they complete college.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Gingerbread house

Today (Saturday - Blogger's photo upload tool was missing this weekend, so I'm publishing this post on Monday) we took Eliana to Vons to create her own gingerbread house (that way the mess wasn’t in our house). Here she is gingerly crafting her gingerbread house.

I attended a morning-long PRSA board retreat for 2007 and we spent the afternoon doing the usual weekend chores-—shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc.

It’s hard to believe it’s December already and that Christmas is just three weeks away.