Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Dear Family and Friends:

As 2009 comes to a close, we review the year with gratitude for the many blessings we've enjoyed. We are mindful of the people who may have faced job loss, health problems, and other misfortune. Despite the ups and downs of life, it is comforting to know there are caring people all around willing to strengthen and support us. Our year has been busy but unmarked by any earth-shattering events. That is definitely a good thing!

Charlie is four-years-old and lets everyone know this fact! He started taking gymnastics in the spring and is loving it. He enjoys building towers and railroads. Charlie is a great helper to his family. He helps set the table, makes sure Ellie doesn't get into things she's not supposed to, and dresses himself. Charlie is learning new things all the time! He loves to spell and can spell his name as well as Ellie's. He knows all about the letters and the sounds they make. Another thing Charlie loves to do is sing. We enjoy Charlie and his great personality.

Ellie, 22-months, has grown so much this year. She went from crawling to walking to running. Her bright smile brings cheer to everyone around her. Ellie loves doing everything her big brother does. She loves to talk and laugh and sing. Her favorite songs are “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “As I Have Loved You”, “I Am a Child of God”, and the alphabet song. Ellie is also a great dancer. She and Charlie have a lot of fun dancing to the music on the piano. We just love this sweet little girl!

Dan continues to work hard at Echostar as a network engineer. He's usually the go to person when others can't fix a problem. He's great dad and husband. The kids are always glad when he gets home from work. When not at work, Dan's busy working around the house. He's very handy when the computers break or if the garage door doesn't work. His latest project is fixing drywall and painting it.

I'm just trying to keep up with it all! I love being mom to two great kids. They are the joy of my life. I try to keep balance in our schedule and to enjoy this time while they are little. We have three things we do every week: gymnastics, story time at the library, and playgroup. When the kids are napping, I get to work on my hobbies: exercising, learning more about personal finance and investing, reading books, and blogging.

So, that's what we've been up to this year. I hope you are all well. We'd love to hear from you and to keep in touch. We are grateful this season for the Savior, Jesus Christ, and for the meaning he gives to our lives. May you and your family be blessed with peace, joy, and happiness now and in the new year.


The Schmidts
Dan, Linda, Charlie, and Ellie

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Parade

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, especially with little ones. I love the decorating, making treats, and all the other activities we do with the children. Even going to Lowe's to get the stuff we need to fix our kitchen walls turns into a family activity. The kids love looking at the Christmas displays they have. Charlie's favorite thing to look at is the Christmas village with a moving train going in circles.

Our first event to kick off the Christmas season was the Cheyenne Christmas Parade. We thought we were going to miss it because although we arrived in the downtown area on-time, it took a while to find parking. Finally we parked a couple blocks from the Wyoming State Capitol and I asked a passerby whether we were far from the parade route. I was pleasantly surprised by the reply that we were very close to it because the parade passed the State Capitol. So, we didn't miss much when we got there. Despite the freezing cold, I think it must have been literally freezing temperatures, there was a good crowd along the route.

I read a neat story in the paper about how they started having the parade. Since we're Michiganders, it's fun to know that this parade was modeled after a parade in Michigan. The couple who got this parade started had been driving back to Wyoming through Michigan when their car broke down and they had to stay overnight in Marshall, Michigan. They found out there was a parade and enjoyed it. It was held after dark and all the floats had lights on them. When they got back to Cheyenne, they thought it would be neat to have a parade like that here. The woman has been involved with the parade planning for the past 17 years.

We were really cold but enjoyed the parade nonetheless. I was glad we had a blanket to keep the kids warm! I couldn't believe it lasted over an hour!! The parade organizers did a great job getting different businesses and organizations to sponsor floats. It was wonderful to see the community coming together for this event.One of my favorite floats was the one where they had this huge flame coming up.
Here are a few other floats with pretty lights.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shutterfly Stinks!

Hope you don't mind if I vent a little. Also, I want to share this so no one else has to go through the frustration I felt. Here's a synopsis of what happened:

We were at the mall and decided to get a picture of the kids with Santa. Great idea right? Yes until we decided to buy a picture package that included a gift card for Shutterfly. I thought how great it would be if we got the digital image of the Santa picture and uploaded it to Shutterfly and ordered a bunch to send to friends and family for Christmas? Well, little did we realize that it wasn't as great a deal as it seemed. I did upload the picture to Shutterfly and proceeded to try to order the pictures. The card was for $20 but you had to use it on an order totalling $20 or more. Also, even after I did try to make an order meeting the minimum dollar requirement it gave me an error. So the order didn't happen! By then I had wasted more than two hours just trying order some cards and pictures... (GRRRR! Visualize face turning red and steam coming out of my ears!!!)

So, sorry you may not be getting any pictures from us this year! But you can check back on this blog to see the cute picture of the kids with Santa and an update of our year. Thanks for listening and allowing me to let off some steam!