Sunday, December 26, 2010

in hawaii

Gio and Enzo are pretending like today is still Christmas. Yesterday was perfect. So many of us and not an excess of presents, just the right amount. Sienna made stuffed animals for all the kids. Tony helped designed them. Adam, brought over prints and we all got to choose our favorites. Adam is pure talent, he took a picture of Maria sleeping that touched my mama soul so deep I want to have it blown up and saved forever. Kaity got everyone what they needed (church shirts for Enzo, yes please) from the swap shop. Colleen always so generous gave me a fun new apron. Pammy did great on the clothes and jewelry department, as she always does.

Not to mention her dedication to make everyone feel included. The floor was filled with stockings full of fun treats.

Christian made clues for all the kids to find their hidden gifts. I got Enzo a knock off Jenga set from Ross. It kindda doesn't work. Good thing Kaity encouraged me to also get him a Lego set, a real one. When he opened the Lego set he said "This is EXACTLY what I wanted" success! Maria's hidden present was a parachute that all the kids enjoyed playing with on the trampoline. Maria hyper-ventilated when she saw it. I should have guessed, with her extreme fear of colorful helium balloons a  rainbow parachute was not the best idea. Good thing she's only 1. She's way more concerened about getting entertained by people than by toys.

 Danny and Maria

Adam's legs and Maria.

Remeber how Enzo needed to be moving all the time? Multiply that by one hundred and one. That's Maria.
 and this is Likikoi
 and Bo is nursing
and Pammy did a fun skit. Oh, and that's my cousin Moselle in the back. She got married this year, Adam took her pictures, and she's been living in Hawaii with her husband for the last couple of months. It's been so fun having her here.

 and here is Austin and Kristian. What a cute and fun couple.

I've been pretty bad about taking pictures. I need to show you how tall Isaiah got since Yosemite it will blow your mind. Speaking of Yosemite Sienna gave Pammy a snapfish book with 70 pages of Yosemite pictures. Yesterday I looked at it twice, examining every page. Sienna did such a good job putting it together. I hope you get a chance to see it one day. One of the pictures has all the Yosemite crew together, 38 of us. Amazing. I feel so blessed to be a part of this family.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas in Sacramento, in NY, where ever you were I hope you felt loved. I'm so grateful for our savior and his life and for organizing us into families so that we could have joy. And we do!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

#1 Question of Christmas 2010.....where is Karen?

Ask for a pose and you get what you get!

My neighbor/friend Lisa came to celebrate with us....she came two years ago to be with us and I guess she needed a year to recouperate from she put it "organized chaos"!
Michelle and David always look good...even down to Michelle's pretty hands!

Ah Ha! I finally found Karen...I took a picture to prove it.....I kid not, I was asked at least 12 times...."where is karen..." It may be because she is in charge of the whole party, she may know where something is but probaably more than likely it is just because everyone loves Karen and wants to be near her......she gave a good party under the direction of Mimi!

Here she is again...this time Liz caught up with her......cute gals!

Hunt Christmas

Santa's little helpers....aren't they just soooooo cute!
Josh teach Steve and uncle Aaron to look at the camera not their hands!

Older, perhaps more mature cousins, fun, fun!

Hanging in the kitchen.....actually I was trying to give Shelly a break from the dish washing....she always helps out with the cleaning, cooking and the dish washing! She does so much to always makes the party ROCK!

Two of Santa's elfs.....somehow they got left behind so we said they could stay for the party!

More Hunt Christmas

Cousin Kathy had a smile a mile wide all night.....she "is" Christmas!
Beautiful Hunt ladies.....they wanted to show off those cute boots Jaz has on!

Cousins, Cousins, Cousins....oh how we love our cousins!

Andy, Nan and David, enjoying the party! Nan did have her eyes open all the rest of the party!

Char, Andy and little sweet Sienna!

Christmas at the Hunts

Everybody is having a great time....Nick shows us with the "sign"! Thumbs up!
The Nativity pageant continues even though some were upset with the paycuts this year!

Either we are getting bigger as a group or the house is shrinking!

The "annual ugly sweater competition" is heightened as Aaron brings New York's best in the ugly sweater for all our "hunks"! It was tought competition but we definatley had an overall winner..............................................................................................................................

And the winner is David Austin......with the farmhouse/daisy sweater! Yeah David...what a good sport.....all the hunks were extremely good sports!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Remembering Christmas Eve

Birdie Tobler, Mimi's oldest sister

Mimi, age 10, with her older sister Aileen and younger sister Lois

Our cousin Joan wrote in her Christmas card that 2 photos (see above) taken of members of the Harmon Tobler family by photographers Huntington & Bagley are included in their collection which was donated to BYU library in 1974 and digitized quite recently. Here's the link for the collection.

Mimi clearly remembers her dress and that the fabric was "pongee", which she says is a low-grade silk. She also remembers Lois' dress. Speaking of remembering, I showed her all the images of folks from Bunkerville and Mesquite in the collection and she could name almost everyone pictured, sometimes all of the family members in a group shot, even the babies.

The following story/poem was written as she remembers Christmas of 1923, the first Christmas after their mother died.

"There Still Was Christmas"

It was nearing dusk on Christmas Eve
after a day spent sweeping and dusting;
(Even our huge back dooryard was swept.)
We'd parched some Indian corn,
and my oldest sister had made molasses candy,
stretching it out, at first fat like her braids,
and then small and smaller,
Until snap! It was fat again
with more stretching to be done.

My bigger and my little sister and I
looked again and again out the kitchen window
at the bare trees and the brown ground
and the dead leaves blown about by the winter wind.
The littlest, four, spoke for us all,
"Is this all of Christmas? she asked.
"Of course not," we both answered at once,
"There's Santa Claus to come tonight."
Her look showed her doubt as
we all watched out our kitchen's one small window.

My seven-year-old thoughts were a jumble.
Christmas meant Mama;
But Christmas had come back,
And Mama, who'd left soon after,
hadn't and wouldn't. I knew that.
And how could there be Christmas without Mama?

There's been no Mama smiling up
at the school Christmas program
when I'd recited, "Jest 'Fore Christmas."
Midway, I'd looked down at my dirty school dress
and remembered Edith's red-checked one
and the red ribbons in her hair,
and had nearly lost my place.

No Mama to put pennies and nickles and dimes,
(and sometimes even quarters)
into Papa's littlest desk drawer that
locked with a tiny gold key.
"Now that's for Santa Claus," she'd say.

No Mama to ask Papa about getting a tree.
He'd remonstrate, "I just can't see
taking a whole day from the wheat planting
for just a tree."
And I'd look out at the blue mountains
with their snowy peaks,
ten or twelve slow, pony-stepped miles away--
But seeing the look in Mama's dark blue eyes,
I knew he'd go.

No Mama to braid beautiful yellow egg bread
sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar
for Christmas breakfast.

She must even have prompted Santa about the dolls--
They always sat under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning
wearing pretty new dresses that reminded me
of the little pieces I'd smoothed and folded
for Mama's scrap box.

I think Mama knew too about the little satiny candy pillows
that filled the tiny cornucopias we made
and hung on the Christmas tree.

I turned when I heard the jangle of milk buckets
as the boys left for their chores,
Lee whistling "Silent Night."
And then I heard Old Nelly's tired step
and felt a cold draft of winter air
as Papa burst through the kitchen door,
His dark hair crowding out from under his old work hat
over a wide smile, and in his arms
a beautiful, divinely-fragrant pinon pine.
And oh! the look on my little sister's face.

by Mildred T. Hunt


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!! We went on the cruise of lights in the Huntington Harbor. The money from the tickets is donated to the philharmonics and you get to see all the houses with crazy lighted decorations reflecting on the water. It's fun. The woman narrating the tour had some little girls singing Christmas carols over the mic. Monet begged me to let her sing. Before I even made it to the top deck, I could hear her little voice singing jingle bells. So brave. It was super cute. Hope everyone has a good holiday. I look around me at this beautiful earth and every day is a gift.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

cousins at pammy's house by mikey


we are so happy to have auntie mariah here with us for christmas! the boys wake up and ask if we get to see her today. we love you mariah!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mikolyski Family Update

I've been meaning to put up at least a picture of Lucas on here since he was born almost 4 months ago! But I haven't, so here is a little video clip of him taken last week. For those of you who knew him as a newborn, you can see how different he is now!

This was taken last Friday, looking out our living room window. The snow melted within just a few hours, but we were excited to see it while it lasted! Maryland apparently has pretty mild winters (that's what someone from Utah told me, anyway, except for last year when they had 2 very unusual blizzards).

Maryland is treating us well. Our new ward is big and full of youngish families like ours from all over the US. Hardly anyone is from here. Our nearby towns and our county are well-maintained and finding places to shop is not difficult at all! I am missing the ocean and mountains, but I know they are within a couple of hours at least. I'm sure we won't be venturing out to either until the Summer, though. We still need to head down to the Capital, which I'm looking forward to!

I love keeping up with this blog. Thanks for all of your fun posts, pictures, and videos!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Love Robin, Scott, Kadin and Lucas

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

from the archive: mikey and minami

Untitled from sienna dittmer on Vimeo.

My dad gave me these digital files and asked if I could post them to the blog in case you guys didn't have copies. Also, he gave me a huge folder of digital files of grandpa Austin's papers and notes from a breifcase that might have made it through the fire. I'll have him explain when he gets home. He spent hours scanning these I'm sure. They are hand drafted (by him)floor plans and notes from a sunday school lesson or talk. If you want to take a look, the blog is

I'm not done setting it up but just click on older posts to view more pictures

Karen let me know that the briefcase was not in the fire; it was discovered by Carri (who used to live at grandma and grandpa's).