Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Dicks

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let It Snow

YAY! We got our first "real" snow of the season. There was a tiny little snow sprinkling the week before Thanksgiving, but this is the first snow that is actually piling up (we've probably gotten 3 inches so far). I was really hoping to get a good storm before Christmas, and even though it will probably melt by next weekend, it sure is fun to look out the window and see snow falling (and it has been going all day). The kids are loving it (well, until Nathan's hands get too cold - then he's not such a fan). We tried to make a snowman, but it's just too powdery...but we did make snow cones and eat them. YUM! Caelan went out and sledded down the steps on our deck a few times. We'll have to find a good hill somewhere nearby to get some good sledding in.

And even Bruno is liking it.

It's feeling SO Christmasy!!

Christmas Concerts

Caelan and Ben each had Christmas music performances at their school this week. I love their music teacher (plus I just love the fact that they get to have a music class every week). The Kindergarten program was so cute, and they sang quite a lot of songs ("Up on the Housetop," "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," "Jingle Bells," "Away in a Manger," "We are Santa's Elves," a Hannukah song, another folk-like Christmas song and probably a couple that I am forgetting). I think it's so great that they performed songs not only about the fun stuff about Christmas, but also about Jesus well as a song about Hannukah. Then the program that Caelan was in was for grades 1-3. She sang three songs: "A December to Remember," "Jammin' in our Jammies," and "Go Tell it on the Mountain." The other grades did some really cute numbers too (dancing the Hora, a little piano duet with a student and the music teacher, "Twas the Night Before Christmas (piano chopsticks- style). It was very cute. Megan and Nathan came with me, and sat really well through Ben's, but Nathan had pretty much had it by the time Caelan's program came around. So, I was pretty much holding him and taking him out in the hall throughout that part, which means I didn't get any videos of her, and I only got one picture. At least I got to be there to see it. Very cute.

River of Lights

The Albuquerque Botanical Gardens has an event every December called "River of Lights." Not only are there lights in the trees and bushes, but there are all sorts of other light figurines all over the place (bugs, animals, trains, dinosaurs, flowers, etc). Plus there was a big glass enclosed snowman village. We attempted to go last Saturday night, but the traffic was horrendous, so we knew that the gardens would be super crowded as well. We decided to wait until Monday, and it was perfect. The kids LOVED it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

We are fully into the Christmas season. Sean was out of town again last week (in Texas doing some training on how to be a trainer). The kids and I pulled out the Christmas decorations for the inside of the house (except the tree). We also made some homemade Christmas card to send to servicemen who won't be able to home for Christmas, and we've been reading a Christmas story every night. Then the weekend hit...and we had Christmas activities galore. This is how our weekend went:

Friday night: I went to a Relief Society Cookie Exchange (you take a couple dozen cookies and then get to take a little of what everyone else brought....YUM). I got a babysitter (a girl from our ward)...who the kids LOVED. They had a blast with her. Sean got home later that night.

Saturday: I took Caelan and Ben and Nathan to the church for a primary service activity (we tied quilts and made rice bags for a local senior center and the kids made more Christmas cards to send away). While we were there Sean took Megan to the community "Breakfast with Santa" because her little preschool group was performing there.

We all got home around noon. Sean and I then put up the Christmas lights on the outside of the house (which look fantastic, by the way.....not very many people will see them because of where our house is located, but they look great to us - simple, but nice).

That evening we headed into Albuquerque to a Stake Center that had over 400 nativities set up around the building (anything from snowmen nativities to crocheted blanket nativities to nativity sets from all around the world).

After that we drove downtown and found a great seat on the curb to watch the light parade, which was fun. The kids especially loved when people handed out candy (we're seriously going to have a sugar fast after the holidays...).

Sunday: We watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional online while we did a Christmas puzzle (which is a pretty big thing for me...I'm not a big puzzle do-er, but I worked and worked until we finished the whole thing that night). I was going to get a picture of it, but Megan and Nathan got their hands on it before I could.

It must be Christmas Time. I love all the activities and such. It really is the most wonderful time of year.


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We went down to Casa Grande to spend it with Sean's family. All of Sean's aunts and uncles on the Dick side of the family were down for the holiday. We had dinner at Grandma Dicks house complete with all the trimmings: turkey (SO MOIST), stuffing (YUM-O), mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, brussel sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes (this is one of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving), homemade rolls, peas, pumpkin pie, Sean's apple pie and a pumpkin ice cream dessert. I successfully ate myself to the brim...and loved it. Then we visited and took pictures and had a most enjoyable night.

I went with Sean's sister, Lindsay, and braved the madness of Black Friday (which is getting so early, it's going to have to be called "Black Thursday Night" pretty soon). We went to Walmart at midnight (absolute insanity), and then we went home and fell asleep on the couch for a couple of hours. Then we headed back out to Target at 4AM and then Best Buy and Kohls. We got some pretty great deals. I know the craziness is a little too much for people, but I actually have fun every time I go (as long as I don't have little kiddos to take along), and I think most people have a pretty good attitude about the whole thing. There is a lot of laughing about all the madness, which is fun.

We spent the next couple of days hanging out and enjoying the Arizona sun. We even got to hear Grandma Dick (Sean's mom) speak in church on Sunday (she is so GREAT). We headed home right after church. We hit some snow in Payson and Heber (both in AZ), and then we ran into some nasty ice in Gallup, NM. We saw all sorts of semi's that had slid off the side of the freeway. We were inchin' along there for a while, but we finally made our way out of it and got home safe and sound.

I LOVE Thankgiving. There's not tons of stress and events and craziness surrounding's just a day to enjoy being with family and giving thanks. And honestly, we have so very much to be grateful for, it's good to really be able to reflect on those blessings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Day Crafts

I am currently serving in the Nursery in our ward (it's the first time I've ever served in Primary...and I really like it). So I've paid extra close attention to cute, simple craft ideas that I see. I saw these two things for Thanksgiving and knew that it would be fun for both Nursery and my own kids.

Aren't these little Oreo Cookie Turkeys so cute? And after the frosting dries they actually stay together really well. They are made with Oreo cookies, a peanut butter cup, a whopper, candy corns, a tiny piece of pull-apart Twizzlers (for the gobbler)and frosting.

And we made these little turkey hand print thank-you cards. My kids wanted to make some take to their teachers at school. (The eyes are both "googly" eyes - the camera flash just makes them look a little crazy).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's Been Goin' On

Here's a little bit of what we have been up to lately:

* Caelan performed in her elementary school Veterans Day program. It was very well done. She asked me the night before if we could invite Uncle Tom (who is a veteran). I thought it was not quite enough notice, but after going to the program, I wish we would have. The kids sang all sorts of patriotic songs, there was a little narration, a couple spoke about their son who recently lost both of his legs from an injury he received in Afghanistan (the mother is a teacher at the school), and then the principle recognized every veteran in the audience. I actually got a little choked up listening to the music and noticing the sprinkling of uniforms throughout the room. It made me really feel grateful for the sacrifice of so many in order for us to enjoy the freedom that we do.

* Nathan and I accompanied Megan's preschool class on a field trip to a place called Hoots. It's one of those indoor jumping places complete with a giant slide, a blow-up obstacle course and more. The kids had a blast (and I even got in there and had all the fun jumping and sliding around too).

* Sean went on an overnight hiking camp-out with the Scouts. He just got called to serve with the Varsity scouts in our ward, and he got right in there with a camp out the first week. He was exhausted when he got home, but he had a good time (and they all managed to stay warm at night too).

* While he was gone the kids and I went to the Family Movie Night at the school. They showed Toy Story 3 (such a cute little show). We wore our pajamas and laid out blankets and pillows on the ground and got a few snacks that were being sold there. Overall, it was a fun night. And boy, was it chilly when we got back into our car to go home.

* Last week for Family Home Evening we made "Tom the Thankful Turkey". We all got to think of a different blessing and write it on a feather or two and add it to the turkey. The kids wanted me to make more feathers so that they could add more throughout the week. It was a hit. It is now hanging in our living room until Thanksgiving.

* Last night for Family Home Evening I decided to have the kids draw a picture of Lehi's Vision of the Tree of Life. We are reading that in our family scripture study right now, so I thought it would be fun for the kids to actually draw it all out so that they can relate to it as we read. They loved it. And I loved the posters, so I had to get a picture of them.

* I am a lone ranger this week. Wait, scratch that. I am a lone parent this week (which we all know is MUCH different than simply being a lone ranger). Sean is in Kansas until late Friday night helping with a couple of different projects at a plant up there. He is good friends with both the General Manager and Design Manager there, so it sounds like he is enjoying himself.

* We ordered pizza from a new place that we wanted to try last weekend. It was very tasty (definitely a place to go again). Here is Nathan chowing down on the Parmesan cheese PLAIN. What a nut.

* Sunday was the Primary Program in our ward (the Sunday where all the young kids put on the Sacrament meeting program). It's one of the best Sundays of the year...especially when you have three kiddos to pay close attention to on the stand. Megan was one of the few Sunbeams who sang the words to the songs. She also managed to be the only Sunbeam on the stand briefly while the rest of her class went to sit down...HE HE HE. Ben had some very awesome facial expressions. All three of them said their part clear enough for everyone to hear. I love listening to kids sing and talk about Jesus Christ. It's like pure testimony. It was a good meeting.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Megan Had A Birthday, Shout HOORAY!

Today is Megan's birthday...and she has been making sure each hour that it "still" is her birthday. She did not want to miss out on any moment of her special day, that is for sure. She came in to my bedroom this morning and whispered in my sleeping ear, "Can I open my presents now?" Usually we do presents in the evening, but she just couldn't wait, so we let her do them first thing. She got a little baby doll carriage, "How to Train Your Dragon" DVD, a few "Littlest Pet Shop" pets and a tiny little stuffed animal sea otter (which she LOVES). We decided to take a trip to the zoo to celebrate. We hit up the aquarium and the zoo. The kids loved it - lots of animals to see (and most of them were very awake and active today, which always makes it fun). We got home and had barbequed hot dogs (Megan's choice, of course). Then I whipped up her "Hello Kitty" cake, and about 5 minutes after I finished, she blew out the candles and we dug right in. What a fun day.

Some things about our Megan at 4 years old:
*She weighs 37 lbs
*Favorite colors are red and purple
*Favorite animal is a horse (she is real animal lover for almost all living things)
*According to her, her favorite movie is "The Cat in the Hat" (she also likes to watch "Ariel's Beginning," "Sleeping Beauty," "Dora," etc)
*Favorite primary song is "Jesus Loves Me" (I asked her to sing it to me because I didn't know it...she made up some words). She also likes "Popcorn Popping."
*She goes to a little preschool, Parky's Pals and she has two teachers there ("a boy and a girl one"). She says that her favorite thing to do at school is sing songs.
*Some of her favorite foods are noodle soup, hot dogs, enchiladas, grapes, blueberries, cheese and salad.
*Her favorite dessert is candy (can you tell it's the week after Halloween). She also loves ice cream (of course).
*She wants to be a Mom when she grows up.
*Her favorite princess is Jasmine.
*She asks me almost everyday to put two ponytails into her hair.
*She has the best giggle known to man.
*She LOVES Bruno, our dog (probably the most of anyone in the family).
*One of her favorite things to pretend is that she is a dog (and then Nathan feeds her his food while she crawls around on the floor). She also likes to play with barbies and color and read books.
*She has really become much more mellow and agreeable in the last year. She can still be strong-willed at times, but most of the time she is easy going and can be reasoned with.
*She loves to help people (and really loves the praise for doing so).
*She is happy and fun and we just couldn't imagine life without her.

Happy Birthday Meg! We Love You Bunches!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This is Halloween!

Delicious chili made - check. (Sean has a very tasty chili recipe that he actually won a ward chili cook-off for last year)

Pumpkins carved - check. (Sean did a "barfing" pumpkin and the "dog" from Ghostbusters, and I did a silhouette of a witch in front of her cauldron)

School Halloween parties - check. (3 parties to stop at this year)

Everyone in costume for a church party - check. (Even Sean and I dressed up this year: the Grim Reaper and Cinderella...quite the couple...HE HE HE)

Trunk-or-Treating and fun carnival games at the Ward Halloween Party - check.

Lots of candy being scarfed down - check.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Our first "Company"

Last week we were so lucky to have Aunt Lindsay come to stay with us for a few days. She drove up with Great Grandma Dick (Sean's Grandma) who stayed at Tom and Carolyn's house. We loved having her here and also enjoyed our visits with Grandma as well. One of the days they were here we took a fun field trip to the Albuquerque Bio Park. We went to the aquarium and then walked around the Botanic Gardens. Nathan LOVED all the sea life. He kept saying "feesh, mo feesh" (translation: "fish, more fish"). There was a big puffer fish in the big tank that just hung out right by the glass. It looked like it was a friendly thing, just happy for all the attention.

There was a fun Children's Fantasy garden with a huge castle and dragon and a maze and huge insect statues. The kids LOVED it. They were getting it ready to light up for the holidays. We'll definitely have go back to see it then. We walked around for a good couple of hours and there were still lots of gardens that we didn't even see. There was a special insect display where Megan held a giant cockroach right in her hand (like it was any other kind of "pet" - YIKES).