Friday, December 31, 2010

Photo Shoot 2010

Last year my family was all together on Christmas and we took some amazing family pictures in the snow which are currently hanging our home. This year we were all together again (except Matt, of course) but we made the decision that a family picture each year was a little much. Instead we agreed to focus on the grandkids this year, the family next year, the grandkids the year after that...etc. And since Allison is a Photography major, she and her amazing camera were recruited to do the job right in my mom and dad's living room.

I thought the entire photo session was a success, although a little chaotic. My dad and I were the "attention getters" in the background, but we may have done a better job at scaring the bejeebers out of the poor little guys than making them smile. (Note to self: screaming and throwing your arms around definitely gets attention, but maybe not the kind appropriate for a happy child picture.) In the end we got some good just have to look past the terrified faces.

All the cousins, looking just a little scared but adorable nonetheless. Just as a side note, Rachel made all the skirts the girls are wearing, and little tiny purple bracelets to match them. So dang cute!

Evelyn Kate, age 2.

Bennett Wayne, Age 21 months

Adalie Jane, age 15 months

Jackson Kelly, age 15 months

Zoey Jane, age 5 months

The twinners, Addie and Jack
(Or, as Evelyn calls them, AddieJack)

The handsomest boys

The most beautiful girls

I know I am just a little biased, but I feel that these are the cutest feet in the World.

Allison did a great job dealing with all the kids and lighting and posing and camera settings and backdrop and the loud, disruptive "attention getters" in the background. I don't think you could ask for anything better than this. I come from such a good-looking family!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scroll Down, If You Please...

I accidentally posted the week of Christmas under the stylish blogger post, so please scroll down to see the fantastic time we all had together. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stylish Blogger (Yes, that's me)

Apparently there is a "Stylish Blogger" award going around, and I was lucky enough to receive one from my good friend Alison! So, as is required, I will follow the rules and keep this little thing going (because it is fun, and because I am really, really putting off posting the 97 pictures and 5 videos I have from the week of Christmas. Oh man...)

As I understand it, the rules go like this:
- Thank the person who gave you the award (Thanks, Alie!)
- Share 7 facts about yourself
- Award 7 new bloggers with the award (and comment/tweet them so they know they've won!)

OK, here it goes...

1- I single-handedly ate an entire German chocolate pie over the course of two hours. And I would do it again.
2- I am a chronic nail-biter.
3- I have stood only steps away from a real flying saucer and it was the single scariest moment in my life. You are laughing right now, but I am dead serious.
4- I have a huge crush on this boy named Matthew Hargrave. He is so dreamy.
5- I talk to myself in the third person on a regular basis. I find myself to be great company.
6- I love celebrating obscure holidays. (National "Make Up You Mind Day" is December 31st. I'm still debating weather or not to celebrate this one...)
7- I used to sneak into my first grade classroom during recess and steal other kids' crayons. I still feel bad about this.

So there you go. Seven facts about me you probably never wanted to know. And now I get to nominate seven other people to reveal intimate secrets from their own lives. And the lucky seven are...

1- Rachel Hazard
2- Ashland Hazard
3- Nancy Hazard
4- Allison Hazard
(Are you seeing a trend here? I think I need more non-related friends...)
5- Sarah Clark
6- Lindsey Stokes
7- Katie Koivisto

Have fun!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Extravaganza Extraordinaire


If a picture says a thousand words, then hang on. Because you are about to read a novel. All of the following pictures were taken the week of Christmas, when my entire family (except Matt) were together with all of our kids, luggage, noise, germs, laughter, and good company. It was a wonderfully hectic, crazy, and loud week that I would never trade. I love my family.

Sunday was the day everybody was together for the first time. Some of my cousins, including the only other family on the Hazard side who has kids, came up with everyone else, so we had 13 adults and eight kids under the age of two crammed into my parents' house for a few days. It was awesome. Here is Bennett, Adalie, and Jeffery watching Bennett's new favorite YouTube video, "Boom Boom Pow" by Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas. We can all thank Aunt Courtney for that one.

While we were together we took pictures of all the great grandchildren for my grandma and grandpa Hazard's Christmas present. The picture looked like this. But getting it was like this...

If you like a challenge, try getting eight kids under the age of two to sit still, be happy, and look in the same general direction as each other. Right.

And speaking of my grandma and grandpa Hazard, they arrived at our house Sunday night to spend time with us and the babies. And we're sure glad they did because we sort of like them.

Monday we went sledding in the street. Here is Griffin and Zoey. Zoey loved sledding.

Here is my dad and Evelyn. Evelyn loved sledding.

Here is me and Bennett. Bennett has a severe hatred of sledding.

Poor Bennett. This was literally the most terrifying experience of his young life. He not only screamed and panicked whenever he got anywhere near a sled personally, but completely lost it when anybody went down the hill. I am sure he thought we were all gonners. I finally took him inside, but he only calmed down after everybody (particularly Grandpa) was safe and sound inside with him.

That night, a very brave young woman from my mom and dad's ward babysat our kids alone while we all went to a Kurt Bestor concert in the new highschool. It was really good and inspired me to one day re-learn how to play the piano...maybe.

Almost every morning we would gather all the kids (and any adult who just wanted a good laugh) together for Story Time with, guess who? Me! Usually still in my pajamas. Going to Story Time every Monday morning with Bennett qualified me for this job, and I have to say I was pretty good. We had different themed days, including an "Animal" day, and a "Moral and Ethics" day. It's never too early to learn good morals and ethics.

Just like real Story Time though, most of the kids could care less about the stories and just wanted to dance and play with puppets. It's a good thing my mom is a Kindergarten teacher. Her classroom tools came in very handy.

One night my dad gathered all of the grandkids into the living room and told them to wait there for a surprise. A few minutes later he returned carrying this HUGE stuffed dog at child eye-level. Pandemonium erupted. Kids ran for cover from the threateningly large dog that had obviously eaten Grandpa and would inevitably eat them, too. It actually ended up being a great toy/pillow/wrestling partner once the kids warmed up to it. But it took awhile.

Like I said, it was a great pillow. We did lots and lots of relaxing on it. We did lots and lots of relaxing lots and lots of the time, really. It was very...relaxing.

Grandpa Great relaxing.

Me, relaxing.

Tuesday we got out of the house and did something my family excels at...bowling gutter balls.

Each frame we bowled had a different requirement. Here we have my Grandma and Grandpa demonstrating the, "Between the legs backwards" technique.

The, "One-handed Squat" move, performed by Allison and Courtney. The competition in this game was very stiff. I was lucky to end the game with 69 points...which is sadly a better score than some more serious games I have played in the past.

After the first game, some people went home and some people (like me) decided to stay and play a real game before calling it quits. I would like to proudly announce that it was during this game I broke my personal record of 111, ending the game at 114. I am now considering touring on the professional bowlers circuit.

My grandma and grandpa at the bowling alley. These guys are tigers!

Wednesday we got to go skiing! It has been a long, long time since I have attempted anything like this, since we have lived in Texas a few years and before that we lived in Idaho but had no money. I was a little worried about my rusty abilities, but my fear was in vain. I am amazing!!

Here is Courtney, boarding like a pro.

Griffin and Ashland. The teacher and the student.

Me on my ski blades. They are like skies, but way shorter so it is easier to do tricks and jumps with them. That's the theory at least. I did get pretty good at doing 360's down the hill, and I believe I also had one of the best wipe outs of the day when I misjudged a pretty big jump and landed belly flop style. Let's just say Bennett was lucky to still have a mother at the end of this day.

Logan and Rachel. Besides my belly flop Rachel had the most entertaining fall. It was like watching a metier come screeching from the sky into a giant cloud of powder at the bottom of a very steep hill. I was fortunate enough to be behind her when it happened. And you are fortunate that I had the camera.

She lost both skis, both poles, and her hat, but not her courage or sense of humor. She strapped everything back on and kept carving her own path down the mountain. Way to go, Rach.

Thursday was laser tag day. This is something we have done before and loved so much we did it again. We played several rounds with different teams each time. One game I was on my grandpa's team and he taught me his super Marine moves while I covered his back. The next game we switched teams, but I don't think my grandpa remembered I was no longer on his side...and I took full advantage of the situation. I spent the entire second game standing right next to him, yelling for him to lay down cover fire while I shot him repeatedly. When he started wondering where the shooter was, I blamed Courtney (who was on Grandpa's team) and he spent the rest of the game going after her. Haha! I love my grandpa.

Thursday was also my family's "Christmas" since Logan's and Griffin's families were both leaving the next day to spend real Christmas with their wives' families. So that night we all gathered in the living room and watched a rousing performance of the Christmas Story by our oh-so-talented children.

Evelyn was a very convincing Mary. Not many people know that Mary wore a sparkly princess crown and halter top sheet dress the night of the Nativity.

Bennett was Joseph. Joseph, unlike Mary, did NOT like wearing a skirt. He was very unhappy with the whole idea of it.

Jackson may have a bright future as an actor. He was probably the only child who fulfilled his part of shepherd/wise man without a major breakdown. And his costume was amazing.
Adalie was an angel. She was responsible for singing to the shepherd/wisemen in her beautiful cry...I mean, voice.

And here is Baby Jesus. Zoey was just a little off on the gender, but other than that she performed her part stunningly. Even when Mary tried to put Baby Jesus in a headlock.

After the spectacular Nativity play, we divided up the presents and started opening. Bennett and I got a ton of great things, but I am getting really tired of this blog so I am only going to post a few pictures of the night.

I had Rachel's name this year, and I gave her an apron and a fondue cookbook. As happy coincidence would have it, my grandma gave Evelyn a little apron, too, and it was the same style as the one I had given Rachel. They will make a cute pair cooking in the kitchen.

Rachel made everybody's presets (as usual), and they were all super cute (as usual). She made Bennett a ton of really cute magnets that he could stick on the fridge or a cookie sheet. Bennett instantly loved them, and spent the rest of the night playing with them exclusively.

My mom and dad have a garden in the summer time, and they like to put stepping stones in it. So for Christmas this year I got a "make your own stepping stone" kit and had all their grandkids put their hand prints and footprints in them. They were a big hit and really fun/messy to make.

And that, in a nutshell, is the week of Christmas. There was also lots of talking, eating, a trip to the temple, being together, visiting friends, and seeing the new and improved BYU-Idaho buildings, but that will not be posted today since I feel I have already gone above and beyond the call of duty here. Of course, there is still actual Christmas day to post on here, but we will get to that later.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Iraq 2010

Merry Christmas everybody!! This is my little tree in my room that my dear sweet wife mailed to me. It was not a bad Christmas this year. I was able to get on skype and watch my little man open his presents on his 2nd Christmas. His Grandpa & Grandma Hazard got him this really cool fire truck that is big enough for him to ride on, and of course he loved it. But like most children he seemed to really enjoy the wrapping paper the best! Its good to know we have such great family that help and support us when we are apart. It was great to talk to everyone in Texas and talk to most of my brothers and sisters and mom and dad. Like I said its hard to do the things I do without such a strong family base, and to have that on both sides of the family is equally amazing.

So one of the local Iraqi contractors that live here on the base with us likes to cook for us occasionally. Since its Christmas and he is a christian he made a few of us officers, and my medics a traditional Iraqi dinner. Let me tell you its really good food. He has a little garden inside the compound and that's pretty much all the veggies we get around here. I have a deal with a local bakery in town that I give a few tubes of toothpaste, chap stick, lotion or kinda whatever I got lying around to them and they provide me with fresh bread weekly. I like to trade, what can I say.

This is my little piece of the world, my desk in my room. Its a pretty crazy conglomeration of "stuff" but its all there for a reason to keep me happy, and of course my 2 favorite people in the whole world on my computer screen.

This is CPT Childers, one of the Company Commanders. He plays the bag pipes really well. Every morning we wake up to him playing his pipes. Its pretty cool.

So the Iraqi insurgents gave us an early Christmas present on the night before Christmas. This is a picture of the next morning taken from my bedroom window. It defiantly got the blood pumping! Oh yes that is our pool but of course that would make us happy to go swimming so it is of course off limits :-)

Here is everybody waiting in line for our wonderful Christmas dinner

Everybody excited to go eat, and meet the III Corp Commander, LTG Cone.

My Commander and I getting ready to serve the troops. It was actually pretty good. Problem was we usually don't get that much food all the time so our eyes were defiantly bigger than our stomachs! Had to take a "Combat Nap" right after words.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!