Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Round Up

Well it's time to wrap up 2010. What a great year it's been! Here's the card ... the text is a little hard to read, so I'll include below. You'll also find the highlight video of our year!
Sweet highlight video

should be a baby model. She is SO CUTE! She learned to walk and is starting to talk. Joseph started Joy School and really is a joyous little boy. He loves to learn and is a king peacemaker. Maria started first grade and is in a Chinese immersion program. She skipped Kindergarten but is still doing great. Annemarie is in 2nd grade (also Chinese immersion) and is excelling in so many ways. She is excited to be baptized on 1/1/11. Maria and Annemarie sang at UVU’s Chinese Autumn Festival and did great in their stage debut. Levi loves science and participates in an after-school Knowledge Bowl program. His main dream is to move out to a mountain and live off the land (we’re hoping he waits a few more years). Lani loves creating a home. She has 6 sisters, 2 parents, all living grandparents, and 11 nieces and nephews within 3 blocks of her house! She spoke at Education Week and EFY, and loved swimming with the dolphins in Hawaii. John graduated from BYU with his Ph.D., wrote a book, and was hired as the manager of public websites and social media for the Seminary and Institute program. He had a great time on a cruise with his parents, siblings and Lani. We are all grateful for the many blessings we have and hope that you have a marvelous 2011!
Our Christmas card appears below. And you can also watch the highlight video below as well. We love you. Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

Special kudos to Levi for memorizing a pretty long poem! A good message for all of us to consider:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mid-Autum Festival Fun

We had a great time last night at UVU's Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. There were great people there and we loved the Chinese food ... it was all you can eat fortune cookies for the kids ... and they loved it. It was quite interesting how we got invited to come. A woman named Heidi, who has taught our kids some Chinese came over one day last Spring and brought a friend. Her friend took a 30 second video clip of Annemarie speaking in Chinese and put it on Facebook. Months later we get a call from Heidi wondering if her friend's friend (who had seen the video on Facebook) could contact us about having Annemarie sing at the UVU festival. The power of Facebook is amazing. So within a week it was all arranged. Annemarie wanted a buddy to sing with, and so Maria joined in. Both Maria and Annemarie are in Chinese immersion programs, but Annemarie is a year ahead.

Jasmine (the organizer of the festival) wanted Annemarie to sing a traditional Chinese song called Mo Li Hua. I said, "No way" thinking that it would be too complicated. But Annemarie started singing the song ... to my surprise she learned it at school last year. So she had a solo piece in front of a couple of hundred people.


The two videos are below, first of Annemarie and Maria singing together (along with their cousin Heidi, who is also a first-year Chinese student) and the second clip is just of Annemarie.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July Update

Lots of fun things happened this month. We had a Hilton Family Reunion and it was great to see many relatives that we hadn't seen for a long time.

We also went on a long trip that included stops in Boise, Meridian, Nyssa, Seattle (Redmond) and finally back home.

One random thing that happened was while eating in a park we saw a guy with a cool bird. He let all of our kids hold it.

We had a great time in Seattle going to "the beach" (really a lake) and taking several hikes. We also went to the dentist and got cool prizes.

(I know this looks like a grimace, but really Maria is smiling).

Mostly it was fun just to be with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We also got to participate in Reed Powell's baptism, which was wonderful. Overall, we were out of our house for about 20/30 days in July and are looking forward to spending more time at home in August.

Monday, July 5, 2010

June Update

What a sweet month it was!

Here's some pictures to prove it:

We went with Uncle Bryson and Aunt Janet to Timp Caves. More of a hike than Dad was counting on, but still fun!

On the way back from the hike, Levi found a snake.

Levi with "Birdy" who sadly died from wounds (not caused by Levi).

Kids with the butterflies Levi got for his birthday (are you sensing a pattern with Levi and animals? If not try:)

Levi with fish caught at Bear Lake (he also caught a bunny that picture not included).

Katrina loving her birthday cupcakes!

Later a special cake made by Aunt Mindy. Katrina kept saying "Oooh" when she looked at it.

Annemarie and Joseph having fun at the zoo!

The Bear Lake reunion was an adventure! Camping, fishing, 4 wheeling and horseback riding. Thanks to all the family members who made it possible. Cousin Adam here leads Annemarie and Maria around on horses!

A great highlight for us was a private trip to Hawaii for John and Lani. Thanks to Grandma and Aunt Lise for watching the kids!!

Lani sneaking a kiss with a dolphin!

Lani loved seeing her name all over the place in Hawaii. We have a half a dozen pictures like the one above!

Truth be told, these things actually happened in May and June, so this wasn't just all from one month. Already in July we've had a great Hilton Family Reunion, more excitement to be reported in a future blog post!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

May Update

So much to say, but not enough time! Quick highlights:

--Had an awesome weekend at Aspen Grove as a family.

--Loved hiking Timpanogas (sp?) caves as a family and with Bryson and Janet.

Hopefully these pictures will flesh out more detail...actually i'm only posting 2 due to the fact that we had a little "incident" that involved taking Joseph to get stitches...don't worry, everyone is fine.

More pics in a future post.

Friday, April 2, 2010

March Update

I think all of our children would agree that a big highlight for our family this month was the return of Aunt Sheree from her mission. She has brought a lot of joy and happiness to our family.

Another highlight is that we put up our trampoline. It has proven to be a source of hours of fun. We have enjoyed working out in the yard as a family to prepare the way, and are hoping to put up a swing set next!

In addition, our kids have been doing some crazy stuff, here are the pictures to prove it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

February Update

February was a great month for the Hilton family.

Katrina learned to crawl faster.
Joseph learned (the hard way) that you shouldn't shave until you have whiskers (ouch!)
Maria graduated from preschool.
Annemarie made crepes (more than once!)
Levi started a website (
Lani spoke on motherhood at the stake Relief Society meeting.
John passed his Oral Dissertation Defense!

(Picture of John and the committee).

For more stuff John is working on you might want to check out John's academic blog or his iTunes feed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

January Update

January was a wonderful month for the Hilton Family! We so much enjoy living next door to Lani's parents and the constant interactions with her family. We were also blessed this month to have Cameron live with us for a couple of weeks and to have some visits from Janet!

Katrina started crawling, Joseph made progress on potty training, Maria is reading, Annemarie got to visit her grandparents, Levi made Pokemon cards, Lani was invited to speak at a Stake Relief Society meeting and I finished writing my dissertation (I defend it this month).

While reading Elder Russell M. Nelson's biography I learned that he would sometimes take his children on business trips with him. I don't go on many business trips, but I do go speak at youth conferences from time to time and so I've tried a couple of times to take individual children with me.

This past month Annemarie and I went to Seattle. We both had a wonderful time being with my parents, and Annemarie made her own doll (with a little help from Grandma!)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy New Year!

2009 was a great year for the Hilton Family.

December was one of the best months yet! :)

Among many great things (including a Christmas scavenger hunt), John and Lani celebrated the 11th anniversary of their first date -- by doing the same thing they did on their first date (watch a Christmas Carol and make cookies). John has saved the sweater he wore on their first date and dusted it off to celebrate the occasion!

Wishing you a happy new year!