Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Yanceys 2015

Hello to all of my dear family and friends. What a year we have had! It is exciting to be settling down for Christmas this year. For some of you, I had this Christmas letter microscopically engraved onto a crystal delivered to you earlier today. My close family and friends can see this on Instagram, while the rest of you can just read it on Jeff’s blog.

Our house is looking so pretty. It is nice to be in a place of our own again. Jeff was really busy this year with work, so I had to put up all of the decorations and the lights myself. It helped me realize that I needed to simplify, so I just hired some people to do it. I don’t know what they celebrate in Mexico, but I think it helped the workers get the Christmas spirit.

After some health problems, I finally got back into the swing of things. I was able to expand my No Pay Shui organization into Kenya, where even the poorest villagers will be able to get free interior design advice. I flew to Kenya 5 times this year and have learned to love the people there.  I wish I could go more, but I am busy with my triathlon training, musical performances and taking care of our lovely home.  

As I mentioned before, Jeff has been busy with a new line of work. Apparently, there were some shady people he worked with in that human organ transportation business he was doing and now helps the police track down organ trafficker. He has a fancy device around his ankle and he isn’t allowed to leave our neighborhood without a police escort. In fact we live in a “safe house” and assumed a new last name (Chapman) as part of this new job. He keeps telling me that posting so much to Instagram draws some dangerous attention to us, but I really need to share my good works with the world. He doesn’t wash that ankle device enough and it is really starting to stink.

Our Jefanie turned 19 and is serving a mission in San Diego, which I love because it is so close! With all of my trips to Kenya I can use my frequent flyer miles to go down and see her about every 3 weeks. I think it really helps her to focus as a missionary to have regular in person contact with her mom.

Cymphanie turned 17 and is starting to look at colleges. She has been getting all sorts of stuff in the mail plus schools calling her to talk with her in person. I guess there is a shortage of female tuba players at MIT because she got a scholarship to go there. I wish she would go somewhere more reasonable for her abilities, like BYU.  

Our son just turned 12. I can’t believe my baby is almost a teenager. I don’t feel or look any older so I really can’t figure out where the time has gone. I guess that is what happens when you focus so much on making your kids stand out and shine. 

Well, it is time to go. A black van with dark windows just pulled up outside. It is probably full of carolers so I need to get the hot cocoa ready for them. Have a Merry Christmas to you all!


Jeff, Stephanie, Jefanie (Sister Yancey), Cymphanie and the baby boy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Yanceys

Greetings Family and Friends,

Another catastrophe in my mother’s perpetual struggle to counter the natural effects of aging has resulted in her incapacitation. As Jefanie and Cymphanie refused this noble task, the responsibility of representing the ebbs and flows of the Yancey family adventures in the annual Christmas letter falls to me, the young man of the clan. I only hope that my contribution to the recorded history of the Yancey saga will be somewhat worthy of the tale to be told.

My father’s annual change in vocation recently uprooted our family from a humble space to an ostentatious houseboat on the Great Salt Lake. Apparently, his former altruistic passion connected him with a subculture that involves numerous forms of human organ trafficking. Mormon theology characterizes the value of a soul as “great.” It appears that for my father, “great” can be delivered in a metal briefcase every three weeks.

As previously mentioned, mother’s sense of social inadequacy only intensified during our short-lived poverty. After awakening one morning to the realization that what appeared to be an entire murder of crows had imprinted themselves near her eyes she turned to the Internet in desperation. It seems obvious that a home remedy of botulinum toxin is not to be injected into one’s face, but my mother often shows signs of irrationality. Her head remains sufficiently swollen that it hinders her ability to communicate, but it has reduced to the point that the seagulls no longer fear her. Although none of us can confirm this, but we suspect the high pitched mumbling sound is to beckon the birds, the low pitched sound is to summon one of us to get her smoothie straw.

I feel like I should pause at this moment to reflect upon the recent change in our household dynamics. With my mother’s complete reliance upon others she has uncharacteristically submitted herself to a deferent role in the household. Finally, my father has taken upon himself as the traditional dominant male role so endemic within our culture. It is clear that neither is comfortable with this arrangement. My father says that it is ironic we live on a boat as it feels as if Gilligan and the Skipper have switched jobs. I am too young to understand that reference, but seeing my father at the helm of our family ship keeps me wearing a life jacket on both literal and metaphorical levels.

As for my siblings. Jefanie and Dallin split up two weeks prior to their wedding. I may be just a kid, but it was clear that our mother’s involvement in the planning process was a factor in the growing chasm between the two lovebirds. When she booked exactly the same itinerary as Jefanie and Dallin’s honeymoon the situation exploded. Dallin must have called in some favors with a certain General Authority uncle as he was called back on his mission for two more years.  The lack of precedent suggests either revelation or evasion was the motive.

Jefanie’s reaction was quite surprising as she ceased her excessive activities to focus full attention on decorating the house for Christmas. Of course, this was back in our Midvale house and in April. The strangest layer to all of this was how Cymphanie rallied to her side.  As the spring transitioned into summer, the two became inseparable. Bonded in a common goal, the two pooled their limited resources and hand crafted beautiful decorations and ornaments for the house and tree. The connection between the two healed each of them as they aligned themselves in true sisterly love. They laughed together. They cried together.  They supported each other. They lifted each other. They became true sisters in every sense of the word.

Then our mother sent Cymphanie off to boarding school. The argument (which was more mumbling due to the swelling) was that the houseboat only had four cabins and she needed one for her office. We haven’t heard much from Cymphanie since her departure, just the occasional postcard with hand written couplets from Dante’s Inferno. Jefanie has continued to decorate the houseboat, but oddly fits in as Christmas lights light many houseboats.

As for me, life continues in its mundanity. In all likelihood, mother has bored you with the details of my life in previous letters so I will not expound on my daily experience. Suffice it to say that as I emerge from childhood to adolescence, I face the challenge of navigating my own time at sea. As a shaky captain and unstable crew mentor me, I anticipate the fast coming day when I take the helm myself. I see in this an opportunity to outshine my roots. Until then, do not pity me.

May all of your holiday wishes come true.


Jeff, Stephanie, Jefanie, Cymphanie and me.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Yanceys 2013

Merry Christmas everyone! This year’s letter is my first eco-friendly online letter. Even my dearest friends and family will need to log onto Jeff’s blog this year. Our family has become very environmentally friendly in 2013, partially due to some rough financial times. We manage to get by, but we had to move to Midvale.

I have learned so many lessons from being poor enough to live in Midvale. I am still involved in community theater and my non-profit organization, I am training for an Ultra, learning Tagalog and teaching yoga. However, I had to give up having my hair blown out every day. It is for the best since I really can’t drive to the salon in our 1981 Chevette.

I also formed a support group for women who have had the same affliction as I did. It is more traumatic than you would think when you wake up from surgery to find that your new implants were put on your back. Surprisingly, there are many in Clearfield who have experienced the same thing. We formed an advocacy and support group called Full Frontal to make sure that future generations don’t deal with this affliction as we did. We have had some great donations from local businessmen.  
The house looks nice even though we are using the same decorations we had last year and that it is in Midvale. It is funny how $60,000 in decorations just don’t sparkle like they do when they are new. It could have been that Jeff had to scrape some of the silver plating off the nativity to pay our electrical bill.  He keeps saying that he needs to pull the teeth out of the camel to sell the ivory. Now I know exactly how Fantine from Les Miserables felt.

Jeff changed jobs this year. He currently works for some organization that helps disabled children with parents in prison to find food and clothing. He says that it is the most fulfilling job he has ever had and he is truly finding himself. I think it is great that he is helping people, but I want to move out of Midvale. To be honest, I am also concerned that he is turning into a democrat.

Jefanie had enough credits from both Cal and Florida that she could just transfer to BYU and finish her degree in one semester this fall. She met a lovely young man, Dallin, and in three weeks they were engaged. Jefanie and Dallin are so happy and I love that they will be living with us!  Jefanie is going to be valedictorian at BYU a graduation this spring, was homecoming queen at all three universities and has created an organization that provides warm shoes for mountain goats all before her 18th birthday. Dallin is studying architecture so I am going to have him design a new office for No Pay Shui. It is such a sweet relationship a mother in law can have with her son in law and I just know that he feels the same way.

Cymphanie has become nerdy like her dad and is really into math. She keeps talking about equality this and equality that. To be honest, it is really over my head. She keeps putting these equal sign stickers on everything. Our 1981 Chevette broke down after she put a sticker on the bumper because it couldn’t handle the extra weight. She has made some friends here in Midvale that Jeff says are great for our little 15 year old. They have helped her with her sousaphone playing and her grades are much better. I just hope she doesn’t get used to them.

Our son is getting really big and doing wel (don’t forget to write about him this year).
My vita-chicken business Xtrafowl went under due to a law suit by the State of Utah. Apparently, you are held liable if your raise intelligent nutritious chickens that invade the Salt Lake Valley in an attempt to improve the air quality with their high antioxidant droppings.  Unfortunately, Mr. Clucky and his horde ran into the feral cat colony of my Ringos. Although the chickens had a tactical and technological advantage, there were just too many Ringos. It was a battle never before seen in multilevel marketing. Anyway, the loss of chicken inventory led us to not have enough money to bribe the Attorney General like everyone else so we lost everything.

They never found Mr. Clucky in the aftermath, so he may be in hiding.
We hope you all have a happy holiday season. Merry Christmas!
Jeff, Stephanie, Jefanie, Cymfanie and the rest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Yanceys 2012!

Hey this is Cymfanie. My dim-wit of a mother went and had some “surgery” to help her “feel better.” My mom always sleeps on her stomach so when the doctor doing the augmentation put her under she instantly rolled over. Because my mom is so freakishly skinny with leathery tanned skin, the doctor didn’t notice and, well, installed her new assets onto her back. Pretty hilarious. Anyway, since my mom is out of commission and Jefanie is off to school I get the joyous task of writing this stupid family letter.

Mom still sent her fancy Christmas card to all the people she really cares about. She bought some old parchment from a museum.  The paper came from historical documents so mom printed our family picture and letter on the backside. The picture was one of those trendy family pictures where we all wore red jackets and blue jeans in front of some abandoned warehouse covered in graffiti and broken windows. She said it made it look “rustic.” Dad said it looked like the cast picture of The Walking Dead. That is fitting since my family is comprised of a bunch of zombies anyway.

Our family moved to some insanely large house in Clearfield this year. The best part about it was the real reason we moved. Mom has gotten into all these essential oils that are around and has made some mixture to reduce her wrinkles. She used it four times each day for months. We were at this church activity at one of the pools and when she jumped into the hot tub, she steeped like a tea bag. They had to bring in HAZMAT and it was all over the news.  She had our house for sale the next day.

Of course, mom is still involved in all kinds of crap. She has that stupid No Pay Shui business still and has dominated all of the community theater in Davis, Weber and Morgan counties. Her scrapbook about her essential oil fiasco is actually pretty impressive. Her Xtrafowl company has hundreds of distributors and at least keeps my allowance coming.

Dad trained as a massage therapist this year. He got bit by a rattlesnake and had some spiritual experience he has called “my moment”. I call it antivenin + morphine.  He now walks around in pajama bottoms and never wears a shirt or shoes. He has recorded two CDs about meditation. The first is called I Didn’t Inhale which is all about breathing by only exhaling. I don’t get it. The other one is called Thunder Whispers where he whispers the word “thunder” over and over for 90 minutes. It has sold 6 million copies.

So Jefanie was missing for about six months after she went off to UC-Berkeley. What happened was she became a groupie for a band that does polka covers of Grateful Dead songs. She followed them on a national tour to St. Louis where they had a Grateful Dead polka festival. After the festival she was confused which band she was following and wound up following another band to Florida. She thought Gainsville, Florida was Berkeley, California and just started to attend class. She still managed to make homecoming queen, raise $24,000 for charity, made the varsity basketball team and broke the world record for eating buffalo wings.

I am 14 now and ready to move out. I decided to give up the tuba and start playing the sousaphone to better express myself. That, and graffiti. I started tagging my initials “C-O-Y” (Cymphanie Olivia Yancey) all over the place to make my mark. The sheep up here in Clearfield confused COY with the Japanese carp “Koi” and thought it was a sign of an Asian gang moving into their perfect little community. The fuzz swarmed the Korean family that lives next door and was about to charge them with drug possession and distribution. Finally, they realized that what they thought was drugs was really kimchi and dropped the charges.

My brother is 8 and always smells like dirt.

Somehow the high antioxidant chickens began to multiply out of control just like the multilevel structure of mom’s vita-chicken business. Anyway, since the chickens are multiplying so fast, they are undergoing a huge amount of evolution. In fact, there are thousands that seem to have developed human intelligence. Their leader is named Mr. Clucky and is like a normal chicken except he has opposable thumbs and a slight British accent. All he does is draws diagrams and keeps talking about December 21st. All the other chickens just stand in formation looking ominous.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in our boring world. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and all that crap. Good luck during the chicken apocalypse.


Jeff, Stephanie, Jefanie, Cymphanie and Mr. Clucky, our new gallus overlord. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Yanceys 2011

Merry Christmas everyone! I am back to writing our family Christmas letter on Jeff’s blog and am so happy to let you all know what we are doing. For my close family and friends, I carefully stenciled our annual newsletter in gold leaf on the special paper they print money on. It was so humbling to send such a special gift to those I love the most.

We bought a new house again this year. We moved to Heber City, Utah where I have always wanted to live. I love that I can put on my designer jeans and head into the big city for my shopping. We decorated the house with a country theme with items I purchased at yard sales all through the summer. I am against animal cruelty so I made sure that all of the furs and antlers we bought are synthetic. Although, I still must have real leather in my new Jaguar XKR-S.

If you remember last year Jefanie wrote our Christmas letter and did such a great job. I am feeling much better now. I am back to my normal stuff: my non-profit No Pay Shui, training for another Iron Man, making artisan breads and of course scrapbooking. I quit my previous work since I founded a new multi-level marketing company. My new company is called Xtrafowl. I sell hotdogs made from free range chickens I raise in my back yard, feed exclusively with blueberries and dark chocolate and wash everyday in a bath made with honey, cucumber and water imported from the Alps. They are pumped with vitamins and antioxidants, slightly blue but taste like asparagus.

Jeff gave up his job writing fortune cookies and now hunts rattlesnakes. He bought a whip, fedora and spends all day in the desert having adventures. It is completely against who I am, as an animal lover, you know. So I made him sleep outside during the summer. He spent all of his time working out that I eventually had to let him back in. You should see his abs!

Jefanie turned 16 this year and went off to college. She surprised us all by going to some school in Berkeley, California. She filled her car with her books, musical instruments and stuffed animals and drove off to school. We haven’t heard from her since. Jeff keeps putting on his fedora and declares that he is going to find her and bring her home. I just keep telling him that she is just busy with school and will call us eventually. I think he is just sad since we have an empty nest.

I let Cymfanie decorate the Christmas tree since her Quidditch team won nationals. She decorated it with extension cords, empty beer cans and headless Barbie dolls. At the top she put the grim reaper with David Hasselhoff’s face. I made her take it down and replaced it with the tree I made for the Festival of Trees. She is 13 and seems to be going through some kind of a phase.

Our cute little boy just turned 7. He is my pride and joy now that Jefanie is gone. He reminds me not to be so introverted and narcissistic all the time. I was like that for my mother. I would talk about all of the things I am doing and she would thank me for reminding her how important it is to be humble.

When we moved to Heber we left behind all of our cats. When we moved we had 219 Ringos because they wouldn’t stop multiplying. They now have control of Lehi from Main Street to Utah Lake and the cat population of Utah County is 99% feral. I miss my cats so much. I really think that the cats were the only ones who could truly understand me. Now we have the chickens with super anti-oxidative properties so I have plenty of companionship.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!


Jeff, Stephanie, Jefanie, Cymphanie and the vita-chickens.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From The Yanceys 2010!

Hi everyone this is Jefanie. J Mom isn’t feeling well so I am writing the family Christmas letter this year. L I am pretty excited to do it because I am such a talented writer. ;) For those of you who are special enough to get this letter on fancy paper, it came from that cute Middle Eastern store downtown. They have this cute little kid that is so cute there. I love how cute Arabs are when they are small. It is funny how the best Christmas paper is made by Muslims. ;)

Dad was in charge of decorating the house this year so we don’t even have a tree. L He basically just found a string of bundled Christmas lights, plugged them in and put them in the window. :( He didn’t even take them out of the bundle. He is such a nerd. At least he has a job so I can keep getting my allowance. He is currently writing fortunes for fortune cookies. He keeps sticking in stupid ones like “I hope you enjoyed the garlic chicken, don’t forget a mint” and “If you ate the Lo Mein you will soon die.”

We had some big changes in our family this year. Mom kind of went crazy back in March. She had some Botox and got a small blemish above her eyebrow. She now goes tanning every day to get the rest of her body to match the color of the blemish. Currently, she is the color and texture of our mahogany leather sofa. When she isn’t tanning, she mostly sits around the house in her sweat pants eating cous cous and collecting stray cats. She now has 12 and all are named Ringo.

I have been as busy as usual. I just turned 15 and am loving my senior year of high school. I was awarded the Sterling Scholar in 5 different subjects at my school. I still dance on the side with 4 different companies. I just perfected Italian (buongiorno) and the french horn. I lettered in soccer and volleyball this fall and am looking forward to softball and basketball this year. I have been running my mom’s non-profit organization No Pay Shui while she is sick. I love decorating poor people’s houses! Since I am off to college next year I keep getting calls from Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Stanford. I might just go to BYU so I can find a husband, but not for at least two more years. lol

Cymfanie is playing quidditch this year with a local team of nerds. I went to one of the matches and it is really exciting. I think most of those boys are glad she is on the team just cuz they have the chance to talk to a girl. She is the snitch runner so she dresses in gold spandex and tries to keep a tennis ball shoved into a tube sock away from the seekers. Cymf and mom are really getting close lately. Cymf makes her oatmeal every morning and puts in a special sweetener. I don’t know what it is, but it seems to make mom sleepy.

My little bro is 9 and a real dork. J

Mom’s cats ate our dog Annie. L It was pretty tragic. Dad had spilled some tuna on Annie and the cats went nuts. The only thing left over was Annie’s collar. Dad had to wrestle it from Ringo #7.

Well that is it for us! Merry Christmas! We love all of you, even the ones who are reading this on the blog!


Jeff, Stephanie, Jefanie, Cymfanie and Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo, Ringo and Ringo.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Yanceys Part IV

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas everyone! I am so glad it is that time of year again. I can’t believe that this is the 4th year I have done the annual family Christmas letter on Jeff’s blog. This has saved us so much money because we do not have to send Christmas cards to everyone, just our closest friends and family. I decorated my house so nice again this year. If you come onto our street and tune in to 720 AM, you can listen to Jingle Bell Rock sung in 7 different languages all timed to the moving light display. I got the tip from a new store I found downtown run by Arabs. It is so nice to make friends with people from the Middle East so you know they are not terrorists.

We moved this past summer to Lehi because one of our friends showed us this cute house in a more family friendly neighborhood. Now we have a bathroom for each person in the house plus two for guests. I make Jeff use the one downstairs because men are so gross. He wants to put a urinal in the garage but I won’t let him. Jacob Black wouldn’t build a urinal in the garage.

I didn’t think I was going to get this blog posted because I have been so busy this year. I am putting so many miles on my new BMW 335d. The girls at the salon are so impressed at how I have reduced my carbon footprint. I insisted on getting a hybrid so I can feel like I am saving the world, even though global warming is just a bunch of political garbage.

Speaking of political garbage…I met Sarah Palin. She came to a Costco in Salt Lake City and I swallowed my pride and got a membership. Humility is a virtue! I love how she has gone rogue and isn’t letting anyone tell her how to be except her press agent and several of the republican elite. What’s more, she just dresses and acts just like a woman should…just like me!

I am pretty much to my regular self…real estate, my non-profit No Pay Shui, plus I am starring in A Miracle on 34th Street put on by the Lehi Community Theater and I am also playing the Ghost of Christmas Present (the cute one) in the Alpine Community Theater. I am also writing a poetry anthology, scrapbooking, training for an Ultra, teaching zumba, perfecting my talents on the oboe, learning Italian and Sanskrit and selling NuSkin. I was going to sell Scentsy but I decided that it is too trendy.

Jeff is pretty much back to normal. Besides wanting to put a urinal in our garage he is working on his first screenplay. It is an adventure movie musical meshing the storylines of The Lord of the Rings and The Godfather set in the times of the pioneers crossing the planes. Apparently, Brigham Young is a mixture of Gandalf the Grey and Vito Corleone. I really don’t know what to do with my husband, he is certainly no Edward.

Jefanie has joined me in the wonderful world of acting. She is actually recreating the role of Tiny Tim in community theater. The director was opposed to it first, but I told him that if my daughter wasn’t in the role of Tiny Tim I would put on my own production. I was going to have her join me in the other show, but she is so busy with her music (she plays 7 instruments now), her sports (she plays in 5 sports), her dancing (she does 11 different dance styles) and her school (she is the top of all of her classes). I think she is the best little girl in the history of 14 year old girls, except…well…for me.

Cymfanie has started playing roller derby. Jeff thought it wasn’t the best thing for her, but I am glad she is participating in team sports. She is 12 now and I think it is good for her to get out of the house and stop playing that stupid tuba. She calls herself “Mom Hater” which I think means she hates all of the other players that could potentially become mothers. I am glad she is doing it because we really seem to have connected. She will never be as close as Jefanie and I, but it is so nice to have another daughter as a friend.

I made such a silly mistake and left our 8 year old son in O’Hare airport. I was there to open a new chapter of No Pay Shui and Jeff urged me to take him along. I got so busy thinking about all of the stuff I needed to do I just climbed on the plane. It was good because I was able to convince a person in the seat next to me to be a NuSkin distributor and didn’t have to worry about how my son was doing back in coach. Oh, he is home okay. Jeff went and got him.

Our dog Selma had a litter of 12 puppies this year. One of the pups was so cute I just had to keep him. Jeff said we really could only have one dog so I gave Selma away to the shelter with the rest of the puppies. Our new puppy is so cute. Cymfanie wanted to name him after me and although I was flattered, I thought it silly for a boy dog to have a girl’s name. I wound up naming him Anderson after my favorite CNN personality, but we call him Annie for short.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!


Jeff, Stephanie, Jefanie, Cymfanie and Annie.