Thursday, January 8, 2009

Holidays 2008

The holiday season was awesome this year as we had our entire family with us for the better part of a week. With our family now at 10, and covering 3 different states that is not always easy. The last ones to leave (the Snows on Jan 4th) was a sad day for us. I am kinda new at this blog thing so bear with me as I try to put some pictures on here for those who are interested. We did a lot of fun things during the holidays, but my favorite was just having everyone here together. This was our first Christmas with JiGS (Joshua Grant Snow), our new grandson and it was even better than I had imagined (worst part was competing for time with him with 9 others). Here is a short update as to what everyone is doing...

Julia is involved in so many things it probably qualifies as "poor parenting" for letting her do so, but she seems to enjoy it so much. She is on the Shasta Skippers (a traveling jumprope team), school basketball (just finished soccer and plays softball in the spring), gymnastics, and piano. She is the school reading champion (read all 7 Harry Potter novels in 8 months) and is reading at high school level in the 5th grade (just like her Dad...not).

Steven is in the 9th grade (1st year of high school in California). Like most 9th graders, he is in the middle of "finding himself" (I am hoping that happens soon). He is doing well in school and is currently playing basketball on the freshman team. He loves to skateboard, listen to music on his Ipod, and text message (sound like a 9th grader or what?). He loves babies and does very well taking care of them. He is still playing the piano (even plays a song or two for priesthood meeting).

Stephanie has been in Provo for the past year or so at Paul Mitchell working on becoming a licensed cosmetologist (I think that's what it is called). She is planning to finish around her 19th birthday in March. She is doing well and enjoying life in Provo. Steph has had an eventful year, the high of which will be finishing cosmo school and the low...rolling her car 5 times while enroute to Grandma's in St. George!

Mimi and Matt Snow are living in Phoenix, AZ. The highlight of their year was the birth of their son Josh on June 21st in Walnut Creek, CA. Matt is still working for Accenture (I think I spelled that right). He recently took the GMAT and scored very high...he is currently applying to schools in AZ, CA, and Chicago (we are hoping for Stanford as it is closest to us and Mike/Melissa). Mimi is finishing her degree from BYU (via internet) and will be done in May. Joshua is absolutely the most awesome, beautiful, perfect baby you have ever seen (no, I'm, I am not biased....he really is). We love him and are very mad at Matt and Mimi for taking our grandchild so far away from us!

Melissa and Mike Parker got married in the Sacramento Temple on September 27th. They live in San Jose, CA (about 4 hours away). They both graduated from BYU last spring. Mike is working finance for Stryker and Melissa is an RN working at a hospital in San Jose (she is learning spanish, as it is almost a must to work at this hospital). I would say they love where they live, blah blah blah, but they're newly weds...they just love being together...wherever they live. We love having them close enough to visit often, but we know it is short lived, as Mike too plans to go to graduate school (and it's not likely they will stay in No. Cal).

Sara is still married to me (that is an accomplishment in and of itself). We celebrated our 25th anniversary last August by going on a Mexican Riviera cruise with our great friends Scott and Lisa Owens (who also celebrated 25 years in Aug)...let me just say, it was are great!
Sara's high point was and is her new obsession....her grandson, Joshua...when we dropped Mimi and Josh at the airport recently to return home after a visit, Mimi had to rip Josh from her arms and run just to get her son back!

I am enjoying some free time with changes in church responsibility, but miss feeling so needed with my previous calling. The economy has made work challenging for everyone, but we continue to push forward and do our best to adapt. Our house seems so empty with just 2 children. Getting together with our grown children is always on our agenda. This has been a challenging, yet rewarding, growth year for me. Highs include Josh's birth, Mel and Mike's wedding, a week in Hawaii with my wife (a convertible and nothing planned), Mexico cruise with great friends....low was a fantom neck injury in March/ pain and loss of arm and other muscle strength/ending in an unnerving (literally) 2 level anterior cervical fusion surgery and 6 months of recovery and rehab...good news, it is much better now.

Elsie (my mom) continues to live in her apartment (connected to our house). She will soon be turning 93. She is still doing great. This year I had to ask her to stop driving (as it was getting very dangerous), but she has hired youth who come a few times a week and drive her wherever she wants for a few hours. She is mentally very sound and physically able to get around. She still loves tennis on TV and round the clock BYU TV. She still travels to LA and Hawaii to see my siblings.

Each year we appreciate more and more the great family and friendships we have. As we get older, we realize how valuable those relationships are to us. We miss all of you very much and hope that this year brings us together more often. Please email, call, or contact us as time permits...we love to hear what and how you are doing.

The Madsens

Monday, December 29, 2008

Test Blog

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Julia Jump roping at the beach (Santa Cruz Board Walk) with a long piece of seaweed for a rope