Saturday, December 31, 2016

Tolman Top 40 Hits of Twenty-Sixteen

You know the "Billboard Top 40 Hits"? Or the "Rick Dees Weekly Top 40"?

Well, this is a similar list--except that instead of a list of top songs, it's a list of our top moments from the previous year. It's been a yearly tradition of ours since 2009! I love to reflect on the positive happenings in our lives from the recent year; it's a good reminder for us to remember what we've accomplished, and what we've experienced together as a family, too! Instead of numbering them this year, though, I separated them into groups, based on what each person decided on and what we discussed as a group!

FAMILY Top 15 Memories
Universal Studios
Crystal Cove Beach and seeing the Pacific Ocean
Lava Hot Springs
Camping at Stanley Lake
Camping at Meadow Lake
Easter with the Perkins Family
Crystal Park with Grandpa and Grandma Perkins
Rafting the Salmon River with the Tolman family at July 4th
Skiing at Cherry Peak with Grandpa Perkins
Christmas Eve with friends
Sledding with Williams/Simmons
Having families over for dinner every month
Building our garage
Finished reading the Book of Mormon AND the Pearl of Great Price

Josh's Top 5
Hiking into the Bighorn Crags with his sons
Climbing Diamond Peak
Birthday dinner with the Whall family from England
Finding the golden egg at the Perkins Easter Egg Hunt
Winning Settlers of Catan at the Jackson's house

Kala's Top 5
Finishing the 5k Color Run
Ziplining with friends
Visiting her Grandpa Perkins before he passed away
Observing Mrs. Hall and students at Terreton Elementary
Seeing fireworks display at Rockies game in Denver

Ammon's Top 5
Snowboarding with Eli and Tim at Bogus Basin
Seeing 21 Pilots in concert
Going to State XC
Meeting Hannah at XC camp
Qualifying for and playing at State Golf

Jonah and Micah's Top 5
Having their first sleepover birthday party
Going on their first overnighter youth temple trip to Twin Falls
Medaling in XC races
Floating the river and camping with their priesthood group
Passing their scout swim test

Kanyon's Top 5
Having a successful pumpkin sale
Passing swimming lessons and showing his excellent diving skills
Snowboarding (independently!) for his birthday
Winning a lightning game at youth basketball league
Making it to the top of the climbing wall at Lava Hot Springs

December 2016 on FB

December 1: We watched this movie tonight. I looooved it!

December 2 [posted by Josh]: Today's big accomplishment was to find the family Christmas tree, and we even found a bit of snow to go with it. #christmastree #idahome #2L #family #snow #mountains

December 4: We left Disneyland 10 days ago, and up until last night, I've dreamt about it every night since we left! I've woken up every morning feeling happy as a result, but i was kind of sad this morning when I woke up because I didn't experience Disney in my dreams last night. It feels like I'm officially back to reality today.

December 5 [posted by Josh]: It's finally starting to look like winter around here! #salmonvalleygolfcourse #2L #idahome #golflife #wintertime

December 5: I have always loved staring at decorated Christmas trees aglow in the quiet calm of the night, usually after the kids have gone to bed. This year is no exception! I just love our tree!

December 6 [posted by Josh]: A little basketball action with @ammon12tolman #basketball #11 #salmonsavages at Belgrade High School

December 9 [posted by Josh]: I'm a little behind, bit I finally got my Christmas lights "hung!" #santasmissingareindeer #christmaslights #idahome #redneck #countrylife

December 11: Christmas Cantata tonight was awesome! I loved listening to the messages of love and worship sung by the choir and the soloists!

December 13 [posted by Josh]: My favorite time of year at the golf course. #sunrise #wintertime #idahome #2L #salmonvalleygolfcourse

December 14 [posted by Josh]: Today's feature is our winter golf course residents. #wildlife #golfcourseresidents #idahome #2L

December 16: Just saw our high school's production of "Noises Off"! I loved it! The last time I saw this play, I was in it (a good 20 years ago or so in high school)! It was so fun to be on the other side of the stage this time! The play is hilarious and the kids did a great job! If you live in Salmon, go see it on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday next week! I'll definitely be going back!

December 18: We were on our way to town this afternoon and came upon one of Ammon's friends who'd slipped off the road. Josh just happened to have recently purchased a thick, new tow rope because he'd had the feeling he would need it in the near future. He got it out, put it on her car (in below zero weather), got into the driver's seat, and another man who'd stopped at the scene pulled her out with his truck. Glad she was okay, that her car was unharmed, and that my husband listens to promptings and stops to help others in need. (In the 1st pic, he's under the car attaching the tow rope) #lighttheworld

December 20 [posted by Ammon]: Lost a great friend today and an even better man. He was my golfing buddy and a fellow lefty, Rest In Peace Ray we will miss you man. It was an honor knowing you, thanks for all the awesome memories I'll never forget ya. 😢⛳️

December 21 [posted by Josh]: Well buddy...I hope there is some darn good golf courses up there to keep you entertained. Your smile, jokes, and giving spirit will definitely be missed here. Thanks for the great memories. You will be forever in our hearts.

December 21 [posted by Josh]: And yet the sun will rise another day... #reflecting #contemplative #wintersunrise #forthebeautyoftheearth

December 26 [posted by Ammon]: "There's only 364 days until next Christmas" 

December 27: Thanks Josh for a badly-needed, very useful, much-appreciated gift this year! They're the nicest snow boots I've had since I was a teenager. And they've especially come in handy with all this wonderful snow!

December 28: We took down the tree and all the Christmas decorations yesterday as it snowed another 2 inches outside (bringing our snowfall total to 15 inches in the last 2 weeks!). Today the house feels so much bigger, and also more empty, without everything up!

December 29: We finally started the annual Christmas break puzzle last night, and when the boys woke up this morning, they went right back to working on it again! How fun to find them working on something constructive together! Thanks Aunt Janet for the great gift!

December 29: 24 hours after starting it, we finished the 1000 piece puzzle! That may just be a record for us!

December 31 [posted by Ammon]: Shot my first elk today!

Week 52 (the end of the year!)

{December 26 - 31}

We had just 11 days off for Christmas Break this year: the weekend of Christmas, the full week between Christmas and New Year's, and the day after New Year's (since it was on a Sunday). On Monday the 26th, we went sledding that afternoon at Lover's Lookout with the Simmons family and the Williams' girls. We went for about 2 hours, until it got too cold when the sun went behind the mountain. We had a ton of fun with them!
Josh drove the suburban up the hillside after every time the kids made sledding
runs down the hill. Pictured here, L-R: Micah, Ammon, Jonny, Hannah, Danny,
Jim, Kanyon, and Josh

Johnny (on his awesome toboggan), Jonah, Kanyon
Micah (face-first on the skinny snowboard-type sled), Ammon, Abby
Mackay, Hannah, Danny

Originally, we'd planned on going to Utah on Tuesday and staying until Thursday, but then we couldn't go due a Doctor's appointment I had on Wednesday, and we couldn't make it work out in our schedule to go any other time during Christmas Break, either. It ended up working out, because it snowed all day Tuesday, which wouldn't have been ideal weather to drive all day in. But it was ideal weather for snowboarding, apparently! Ammon went to Lost Trail on Tuesday with a friend, and the fresh powder was amazing, and he said it was the best snow ever on that day!!! I worked all day on taking down the Christmas tree, putting away all the Christmas decorations, and packing them up strategically. Our house seemed suddenly so much bigger with the Christmas items gone.

On Wednesday, I taught a piano lesson that morning as Josh plowed our driveway, Ed & Kathy's driveway, and several other driveways in the neighborhood with Ed's tractor. He's done this several times this season, which has been so nice! I went to my doctor appointment that afternoon, and was glad to receive positive news from the tests that were taken! I went to the library for a while to upload photos to my blog to finish my Disneyland post (there was SO many photos, that going to a place with higher speed internet was essential: it cut down my waiting time in half and opened up the internet to all the users at my home!). When I got home, I made a trip to the dump, while Josh was STILL plowing, and witnessed a beautiful sunset! On Wednesday night, we finally watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation together. We'd been waiting for a time that all of us could be home together to watch it, which hadn't happened for two weeks! It's one of our holiday favorites! This season, we've also watched some of our other favorites Elf (the previous week), A Christmas Story (the day after Christmas), and the younger boys and I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas earlier (since we'd been on the ride that features it at Disneyland).

On Thursday, we basically worked all day on the 1,000 piece puzzle that the boys picked out at the Forsgren's store when we'd visited them the previous week for Sammy's homecoming. I started it the previous night while we were watching the movie and got the framework all done as well as some of the bottom section. The boys worked on it continually on Thursday, and I'd occasionally help them. Ammon had basketball practice that evening, and Josh and I attended Ray Palmer's Celebration of Life and went out to dinner on a date afterwards. Ray was an exceptional e.r. nurse and a fun golfer. He'd helped us on several of our e.r. visits, was on the golf board for years, was one of Ammon's left-handed golf buddies, and was also one of Ammon's mowing clients. We will miss him tremendously. When we got home that evening, I hunkered down on the puzzle and was very focused to finish it! And we did! We completed it within 24 hours of starting it the previous night!
This was how the puzzle looked that morning

I found Tiki sunbathing in the family room.
The animals have been in the house a TON
due to all the snow and negative temperatures.

It's a long puzzle, so it was tricky finding a short table to work on it!
We ended up using the cedar chest, and it BARELY worked! The boys picked
this puzzle out, they said I always pick a landscape one, and they wanted a
"people" one. It had lots of lettering and color variations, so it wasn't too hard.
We finished it that evening!

Ammon went snowboarding again with more of his friends on Friday. Since Josh is in the Stake Young Men's organization, he helped with the Stake Youth Activity on Friday afternoon/evening. There was sledding that afternoon, a dinner at the church, a dance for the older kids, and games for the younger kids. Josh was in charge of the games for the 12-13 year-olds, and helped with the sledding activity. He went into the church early to help set up, and carpool kids to/from sledding while I made the hot chocolate and put it in 5 gallon insulated drink containers. I drove separately to the sledding hill (Lover's Lookout), unloaded firewood, set up the table and hot chocolate, and got the fire started right as the youth began arriving. Kanyon walked up the hill as I was setting things up, to go sledding while he waited. On his first run down, he was going pretty fast, hit a bumpy rut made by some vehicle tires, and he wrecked. I didn't see the crash, but he came up to me with a red face, tears streaming down his cheeks, a cut under his eyes, and holding his {new} pair of glasses, which were now broken, in his hands. It looked like a scene straight out of the movie A Christmas Story, and I couldn't help but laugh seeing the similarities between him and the boy in the movie who "shoots his eye out"! He was just distraught, but not really injured, and after taking a break for a bit, he went sledding again (and again and again!). There was a great turnout of youth--about 75 people! There were snowmobiles that took the kids back to the top, and the kids had fun sledding, riding, eating cinnamon rolls & hot chocolate, and warming up by the fire. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours, before packing up and heading back to the church. I took Kanyon home after sledding (since he's under 12 and couldn't do the rest of the activity), and Ammon got to the church after his day of snowboarding just as dinner was being served. After dinner, we separated, and the older kids went across the street to the dance studio, and the younger kids stayed in the cultural hall for the games for another two hours.  This was the portion that Josh was in charge of (and that I gladly helped him with because I love games so much!). We played a variety of active and sit-down games: human foosball, spoons, twister, apples to apples, and bingo. There were 24 prizes given during the evening, and I had so much fun playing with the kids!
Ammon went snowboarding with Cole Roylance, Robel Clifton,
Tommy Reid, and Hailey Cole. Ammon is on the far right.

The cut from his sledding accident.

Did you shoot your eye out, Kanyon? No...he just broke his glasses from the fall.

Youth & leaders crowded around the fire & food table at the base of the sled hill

Group photo after dinner

Human foosball


Saturday was the last day of the year, and also the last day of Elk Hunting for Ammon. He'd gotten a depredation tag for private land owners (given to him by Grandpa T.) earlier in the month. Josh had tried to get him to use it and go hunting during Christmas Break, but Ammon didn't really seem interested. And then, at 3:30 on Saturday, Ammon approached Josh and said "Well, I guess we should go hunting!". Josh had just told me a few hours earlier that he'd given up on the idea and didn't feel like going anymore himself! When Ammon said that, I just started laughing! Ammon is such a procrastinator! So, Josh and Ammon got all dressed up in warm clothes, got out their guns and hunting gear, and set off in the truck for Perreau Creek. And Ammon got himself an elk! And not a moment too soon, either! They had to drag the thing all the way back to the truck, and it was getting dark by the time they got to the truck and were freezing and couldn't see. It was a horrible adventure for them (and a much longer story, but I gave the simplified version)! Since it was so cold, they had to skin it as soon as they got home, so I went and picked up Hannah and Johnny (who were planning on joining our New Year's Eve celebration) and brought them back out to our house. I offered to do so because Ammon was so upset that hunting had taken so long and that he still had to help skin the elk and he wouldn't have time to pick up Hannah until much later. We usually start the evening festivities at Grandma's house at 6:00, but Josh and Ammon didn't even return from hunting until after 6:00. I finished making my appetizers, did a few things around the house, and left to go get the Simmons' kids at 6:40, and we didn't return until almost 7:30. Ammon and Josh were just finishing up with the elk right then. We went down to Grandma and Grandpa's house and ate, did puzzles, and played games for a while. The radio montage didn't even start until 7:30 this year, so we didn't miss much. It was pretty low-key with just Mal & Molly, and Tim & Barb joining us for the evening. We decided to not even work on the musical montage until 10:00! We hardly even called in at all to answer trivia questions to receive prizes, either! The adults talked for a while, I worked on the puzzle with Mal & Molly, and the kids played Monopoly until it was time to take the twins and Johnny to the late show of Rogue One. After I came back from dropping them off, Tim & Barb left, and Josh and Malachi helped their parents figure out 11 of the 12 featured songs and artists and the theme of "Wind, Fire, & Earth". We won [again]! But, we donated our prize money to the second place winner who had worked alone to figure several of the songs out. By midnight, we hadn't finished the puzzle, but we'd gotten pretty far on it. Ammon took Hannah and Johnny back home, and we left to go to bed, since we were to start 9:00 church the next morning!
The group of elk that Ammon spotted on a hill up Perreau Creek.
He watched the ones that were apart from the main herd, and picked one to shoot.

He got one of the elk that was
separated from the herd 

She fell forward after being hit, hence the snow on her face.
She was a heavy beast to drag and lift onto the bed of the truck, but
miraculously, Josh and Ammon were able to accomplish the huge task!

Skinning her in freezing weather inside Grandpa's shop! 

Josh wrapped her in a sheet and a tarp, hoping that it wouldn't
freeze as much with a tarp covering it. 

Malachi and Molly separated all the pieces before I

Johnny, Micah, Kanyon, and Jonah playing Monopoly

Ammon and Hannah helped us out on the puzzle after the boys went to the movie

This is how far we'd gotten by Midnight!

On Sunday we began our new time of 9am church (I know technically Sunday is the 1st, which is in a new year, and shouldn't be included in 2016, but I dated this post the 31st anyways). We were all super tired after staying up late! Josh went to Leadore for their ward conference, and the rest of us attended our regular meetings. After church, we went to Ed & Kathy's for dinner. Ammon and I finished the puzzle from the previous night just as Malachi finished playing Monopoly with Kanyon and Micah (they were both hooked on the game over Christmas Break!). We took a bit of a siesta before heading to Jackson's house for a New Year's Day get-together. Emmy was there on college break and Phil's nephew Daniel and his daughter Aubree were there, too. We had lots of good snacks to munch on, and played the extended version of Settlers of Catan. Then the kids played multiple rounds of Carcasonne while the adults played Ticket to Ride several times. We left their place around midnight--the second day in a row of staying up super late!
Kanyon wore one of the new outfits to church that my mom
gave him for Christmas. He even wore the matching tie!

Yay! We finished it! The 2nd 1,000 pc puzzle that week finished in under 24 hours!

We taught the Jackson's how to play "Ticket to Ride". Josh won the first 2 games

I won the 3rd game--and the guys were sore losers about it!