Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Candy Houses With the Goodmans

The Monday before Christmas we were able to meet up with one of Ross's sisters, and one of his brothers to make candy houses as an FHE activity. It was a lot of fun, and I am surprised at how unchaotic it was with 11 children and 6 adults all crammed into Jim and Melissa's house. Clay and Stephanie were in Utah to spend the holiday with Stephanie's family. It was really good to see them.

Unfortunately, my camera died after taking this one shot of Jim playing with Jack. Oh well. Clay and Stephanie brought pizza, and after dinner we got to work on our masterpieces. We didn't really have the right frosting, so nothing terribly extravagant was created, but it was fun to see all the ideas the different kids had.

Just as we were leaving, Jim and Melissa gave us our present of a tin of popcorn and a fresh pineapple. Awesome!

Clay and Stephanie also had us open our gifts from them. They got each family a copy of Skippy Jon Jones, and had Ross read it in his very dignified Chicano accent. So funny. What a fun book!

They had also prepared a little box for each cousin with a wind-up mouse toy and a little bag of jelly-beans. Mice and Beans. Skippito's favorite!

It was an enjoyable evening. I am glad we were able to get together with them all for the holidays. We don't get to see his family nearly often enough!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Ward Christmas Party

I was an over-time widow for our ward Christmas party this year. I almost just skipped it because of my fear of wrangling all three kids without Ross, but I had to make a casserole for it, and it was the only chance my girls were going to get to see Santa. It was fun, and I was really impressed with Santa. He was very good with the kids, and told them all to keep their rooms clean for when he came to visit. I cannot even express how grateful I am to him for that statement.

There was a woman from our ward who is a photographer taking shots of the kids on Santa's lap, so I couldn't get a good one of Emma. I hope she plans to give those pictures to the parents. . .

They even brought in this fun elf, which the girls LOVED. She was so fun and sweet. This is Emma waiting in line. She was so excited! She kept rehearsing with me what she wanted to say to Santa, and did a great job.
Sara, on the other hand, was far more nervous and didn't say anything while on the strange man's lap. I'm OK with that. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Fashion Show

After church, the girls posed in their lovely Christmas dresses.

Ross and the kids actually only went to Sacrament meeting yesterday because the kids have been sick, and Ross was starting to come down with it as well. We wanted to take the Sacrament, but knew our germy little kids needed to get on home right after that. I stayed because I'm not sick, and I was filling in for the Nursery music leader. Ross took these before I got home, and I love them!

Emma in her dress, and Mischief in his tuxedo! A dapper couple if there ever was one! I love that Sara went and got the stepping stool so she could be tall like Emma.
Then there was dancing. There seems to always be some kind of dancing at our house. I love it.
Girls are fun!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Morning 2010

On Christmas Eve, Santa had finished his work at our home fairly early, and we thought we were fortunate to have everything done so early so we could enjoy a movie together while the kids were all sleeping. The truth is, we should have gotten some sleep while we could.

Our Christmas morning started dark and early around 3:00 with Sara who was suffering from a night terror. She gets these from time to time, but this one was bad enough that I felt it necessary to try and wake her to get her calmed down. We put on an episode of the Office while she snuggled with us in bed and got all relaxed again.

At 4:00, Jack woke up with a terrible cough. I was actually worried it might be Pertussis. I have known more than one child in the recent past who has died from Pertussis, so I am constantly wary of it. After consulting the Google expert, we realized it was just a classic case of Croup. Ross took a cool shower with him, and we gave him some non-recall medication. Those, along with some motherly comfort food got him settled down just in time for Sara to wake up with the same croupy cough.

By the time all our kids were back in bed sleeping peacefully was about the time most families with young children start their Christmas morning. Ross and I chatted and snuggled for a while, knowing that the minute we fell asleep, the kids would be ready for our attention.

We headed off this eventuality by getting up and preparing some breakfast. That did the trick. Emma came down when she heard us downstairs and went through her stocking without having to battle with siblings for the lime-light. She loved it.
Santa brought the girls both a robe, a pretty dress, a My Little Pony, a puzzle, a little pine-tree to plant, a headband, some nail polish, candy, a coloring book and crayons, and other little goodies of that dollar barrell nature.
Sara came down just as our little breakfast of juice, scrambled eggs, toast, and cinnamon rolls was ready. We decided to start a new torturous tradition where the kids don't get to open their wrapped presents until after breakfast is all eaten. Their Santa presents are not wrapped, so it is not nearly as mean as it could be. . . .
The Haul! Our family is well loved!
Santa brought Jack some tractors. I thought they were not very age-appropriate, but Santa and Ross must know a little bit more about boys because he LOVES them.

Their ponies. Their favorite stocking stuffers by far.
Ross got a basketball. It was one of the few affordable things on his wish-list. Boys are hard to shop for! (well. . . picky ones are at least. . .) I read an article that said that if you really want to know what your kids actually want rather than hear what all their friends or the tv have told them they want, you should have them make a few different lists. Whatever appears on every list is what they really want, and not the silly fancies that entered their head from other stimuli.
When Emma put Princess Soup on her first list, I knew that she was referring to a can od Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup she had seen at the store that day that had a Disney Princess on them, and was sure this was one of those silly fancies that would pass.
Not so.
Every time anybody asked her what she wanted for Christmas, that was the first thing she said- including the one chance she got to ask Santa himself. As a result, Sara and Emma got matching cans of Princess Soup, and those $0.75 items might very well be the absolute highlight of Emma's day. Silly girl!
The kids got Ross an army (3) of nutcrackers.
These funny dice might be Jack's favorite toy of the day. They rattle, crinkle, and have a mirror on one side. Perfect!
We got the girls this fun little lap-top full of learning games. They like it almost as much as the Princess Soup.
Ross got me some slippers. Sara likes to pet them. It's cute.
I got Ross a clay pigeon holder. I can't wait to take him on another shooting date.
My mother-in-law got me a super cute apron and baking mitts, my husband got me pyrex baking-ware, and my mother got me a double crock-pot set. I better get my tushie in the kitchen!
My big surprise gift (that makes me wonder how we stayed under budget. . . he says he got a good deal. . .) was a silhouette vinyl and paper cutter. It is awesome. I love it. Much craftiness is sure to ensue!
Santa brought the girls that magna-doodle table to share, but Jack has since claimed it as his own. Merry Christmas!
Christmas really is more fun with little kids. Also, note the glittery wings on the back of her PJs. Cute. :)
Those were not by any means all our gifts. I tried to cut down on the pictures for this post. The girls got sweet dolls from Grandma Goodman that now sleep with them every night and are their reasoning for not wanting to obey me now- ie: "I can't right now, the baby is sleeping." "Ummm, in a minute. I have to feed the baby."
They were given an awesome mod-podged box by Dana for them to keep all their barbies in. I love it. Much less clutter now. Dana also gave me a cake stand, and she and my parents got Ross a cool jumper set for the car that also has an air compressor, and doesn't need another car to jump a dead one. Awesome! Along with my awesome apron, Ross's parents sent a big bag of almonds. I love when they do that! I use them constantly!
That is not all, but I will end my list there. Suffice it to say that we were well-loved, and are so very grateful for all the thoughtful presents.
I couldn't get a good enough picture of this, but the kitten stepped on one of those sticky label things that go on shirts that tell the size. You know what I am referring to, right? Well he got it stuck to the pad of his paw, and was freaking out (because cats can't feel where they are stepping when that is covered), so he spent a good 15 mintues scooting around on his side like that. Funny stuff, folks! Hilarious, even.
Ross and Jack took a conveniently timed nap while I cleaned up the post-present-madness mess. How cute are they? The rest of the day was spent napping, playing with our new presents, and (for me at least) preparing a nice roast for Christmas dinner. This is the second year we have not stepped foot outside our house all of Christmas Day. Bliss.
Before bed, we were sure to tell the Christmas Nativity story again to emphasize the real reason of this holiday. I love this time of year, and am always a bit sad to see it end. I credit that sadness (and certainly NOT laziness) for having my tree still up some time in February.
We hope all of our friends and family had as wonderful of a day, and that the peace of this season will continue even after all the lights and pine boughs are taken down. We love all of you and are grateful for your influence in our lives.

Christmas Eve 2010

This Christmas Eve was lovely and eventful. We spent the morning baking up a storm in the kitchen making treats for neighbors. After we cleaned up the house, we delivered all the plates of goodies, and then headed to Wal-Mart for some last minute needs, and found that it was much less crowded and crazy than the stories I had heard about it. I actually thought people were very nice and helpful, and we got lots of "Merry Christmas"s and the like.

We then headed to my mom's house where we had a yummy dinner of Cornish game hens and all the fixin's. My girls love that meal. I should probably cook them at some point- but they just feel so Christmas Evey to me.

Later, my mom pulled out a birthday cake she had frosted in honor of Jesus. I guess it is a new tradition she wants to start. The jury is still out on how I feel about it.

My sisters had my dad open their present to him, which was a new point and shoot camera. I am sure there are cute pictures on it that they will e-mail me. right? please?! (I forgot my camera.)

When our dinner had sufficiently settled, we headed over to Grandma Wallace's house to fulfill the yearly tradition of acting out the Nativity with Allen and Carrie and their kids that aren't currently in Ecuador. (We missed you, Spencer!)

I stole all these pictures from my Aunt Carrie. I hope she doesn't mind. . .

Carrie and Jack. So sweet. I love this shot. Grandpa Wallace. I love this man. My parents. The Wisemen. Nate, Tanner, and Aaron. Jessica the Star and Dana the. . . Ninja? Emma was Joseph. She refused the chance to be Mary or an Angel or any other position.
Sara could not decide what she wanted to be. It went from a shepherd, to Mary, to an Angel, to a King, and back to Mary.
Caulene the temporary Mary when Sara wanted to be a shepherd, Jack the temporary Baby Jesus until he decided to eat, and Heather, the temporary donkey until a vacancy for the Inn-Keeper position opened up. Did anyone follow that?
Mary and Joseph. My girls are cute.
I was the narrator, and had a really great night whether or not this picture shows that.
The Wisemen following the star. Ancient GPS. :)
See- I had fun. I am not, however, very cute when I laugh. Oh well.
Jospeh and Baby Jesus.
Grandma Wallace. The genius behind this tradition. Christmas just doesn't feel the same without this.
It was a great day, albeit a bit hectic. It led up nicely to our wonderful Christmas which will be blogged about tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Miracles (Lights) at Temple Square

We went to see the lights at Temple Square on Monday night for FHE. I drove down with the kids and met Ross just after he got off work. We went and got some food and ate it in the car while listening to an audio book.

We were supposed to meet the Stokers there to see everything but due to work and other things, they showed up a little late, and my kids had already had their fill of cold and lights. Actually, they probably would have been fine to look around because they love Steve and Brittany, but the little being gestating in Brittany decided it needed food, so we chatted with them for a bit before heading over to Olive Garden. We had already eaten, but wanted to spend some more time with them, so we went with them and ordered a small dessert to share. It was good times. I like these guys. I wish they didn't live in stupid Ogden. (A house behind us is still for sale. . .)

Here is our fun group, with two-thirds of my children miserable. Emma was with Steve, so she was happy. These were from before Brittany and Steve came. Even though it was cold, the girls liked the water fountains the best. That cheese 'smile' from Emma just kills me!
This is my desktop background. I love these boys!
Group shot!
Looking at the big Nativity on the Reflection Pool. Pretty.
Emma was our go-to gal for getting Jack to smile when he got fussy. He adores her.

Thanks for coming, Brittany!
While at Olive Garden, we got a little bored waiting for the food and someone had the idea to give Jack a lemon, and I might maybe have permitted the experiment to occur. It was so funny.
In the end, he actually liked it and was mad when I wouldn't let him devour the rind. That's my boy!
This was a really fun night and I am so glad we were able to meet up with the two and a ninth Stokers. (Congratulations, Britt!)