Friday, December 28, 2012

Joy to the World

I love Christmas time: I love the lights and the music and the parties and the decorations and the treats and the family activities.
We had a wonderful Christmas: mellow and relaxes - just our little clan. We enjoyed a stress-free Christmas Eve day (a quick trip to Walmart for a handful of things that morning and then we just hung around for the rest of the day). We had turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and peas for dinner, with Sparkling Apple Cider. We haven't established a firm Christmas Eve food tradition yet (we heard about a couple of people who do homemade pizza on Christmas Eve, which peaked our interest a little.... maybe we'll try that next year). We talked about what Christmas really means as we sat around the dinner table. That evening we had a Family Home Evening where we read the scripture from our Christmas chain (our chain this year included a scripture or a story from the Friend or a song each night, which has been a nice way to incorporate the true meaning throughout the entire month). We prayed and then watched "Muppet Christmas Carol." The kids got treats ready for Santa and then headed to bed. We got going the next morning at around 7 AM. One of the best parts of Christmas is being a parent and seeing the look on your kids' faces on Christmas morning - really, it's magical. We opened presents: the last presents were the new quads we got (one was in the garage and the other was wrapped up in the front room). Austy spent most of the morning hanging out in a big box of packing peanuts - pure entertainment! Sean watched as the kids took turns riding the little quad later that day. The kids played and played with their new loot. Tom and Carolyn and Rachael and Great Grammy Dick came over that afternoon for dinner: ham, scalloped potatoes, rolls, roasted vegetables, orange salad and pie for dessert. It was a perfect kind of day. Some of the gifts included: Sean: Dewalt 18v cordless drill, harmonica, puzzle table, Life is Good hat; Tera: one piece pjs, cozy purple blanket, garlic press, phone cover; Caelan: snow boots, stationary, scarf, personal mini frying pan and spatula; Ben: Legos, Erector set, Mario Brother figurines, Spider Man toys; Megan: Coloring books and Eye Spy (style) books, ponies, scarf, makeup set, whistle; Nathan: Remote control car, Cars 2 cars, Lincoln logs with train table, Batman mask; Austin: Big stuffed monkey, ball, slippers, book; Everyone: quads and helmets, tickets to Cliffs Amusement Park

Friday, December 21, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The Christmas season has come. We have busy with all sorts of holiday events. We took advantage of the first free weekend in December and went to a Festival of Trees at the Sandia resort. We grabbed some dinner and then headed over to the Bugg Lights in Albuquerque. It's a fun driving and walking display located at the Menaul School. We enjoyed the First Presidency Christmas devotional that Sunday night. Caelan and I went to handbell concert last weekend. Sean has busted out three holiday puzzles so far and is ready to get crackin' on another one this week. Last Monday night we went Christmas caroling with two other families. We hit 6 houses and then ended up back at the Hataburda's for hot chocolate.
Then this Friday was our ward Christmas party, which Sean was basically in charge of (his last Woodbadge ticket). We did a "Christmas Around the World party." I wish I would have gotten pictures of the decorations: different Nativities from around the worlds, map pendants hanging across the room, rolled maps to look like Christmas tree cones for the table center pieces, a big world map with the words: Joy to the World and a hanging pinata. It looked great. We had dinner: ham, potatoes (I peeled and cooked 70 lbs of potatoes that afternoon), rolls, salad and a variety of desserts. There were three presenters talking about Christmas traditions in different parts of the world, intermingled with three musical numbers. The Bishop said some words and after we closed we had the kids take turns whacking the pinata, which they loved....and luckily we came away with no injuries. YAY! It was a success! The next day Sean flew to CA for his Grandma Anderson's funeral. I went to the girls dance performance of "The Nutcracker," which was super cute (too bad Austin wouldn't fall asleep so I could enjoy both least he was good enough for me to see all Caelan and Megan's dance numbers). This week is a baking week and finishing the last little bits of shopping.

Giving Thanks

This year we wanted to get out of dodge for Thanksgiving....but we didn't really want to drive all that far, so we coordinated a Thanksgiving holiday in Heber, AZ with Grandpa and Grandma and Great Grammy Dick. We stayed at their friends, the Moore's, cabin. It was great! We had a tasty Thanksgiving dinner (we made most of it before we left and carried it with us: I made homemade sausage and roasted mushroom stuffing, sweet potatoes, raspberry pretzel jello, cranberry sauce, two kinds of cheese balls and pumpkin pie. We also had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, peas and homemade apple pie. Delish. We spent the rest of the weekend watching movies, playing games (the kids were introduced to the game, Sorry, and they loved it), riding quads, playing outside, doing a little exploring and hiking, crocheting (a new skill I learned from Sean's Mom while we were there). We also had a bonfire in the yard and roasted hotdogs and made smores. Sean and Grandpa took the kids fishing in a fishing boat. They came home with 5 fish: Nathan even boasted about catching one (it did get caught on his hook, although Sean reeled it in). We went to church on Sunday morning, ate homemade lasagna that Grammy Dick made and then packed it up and headed home. It was a very relaxing and fun weekend. c

Sunday, December 2, 2012


The awesome scrunchy face - this is a classic!
He LOVES stuffed animals and things that are soft. He likes to wrestle with big stuffed animals, and then the next second he will be loving all over it. We've caught him a handful of times standing next to the chair where Megan's fur lined jacket is hung just rubbing the fur.
Austy if a big fan of Bruno. In fact a couple of his very first words had something to do with the dog. He likes to go out and explore Bruno's dog house. One of his favorite things to do is dump out all of the food from Bruno's bowl.
Sean caught him sleeping like this one night. He has been sleeping in our closet (I have a really big walk in closet) in his Pack N' Play pretty much since he was born. A few months ago I decided it was time to transfer him to the crib in Caelan's bedroom. He was NOT a fan! He never cries when it's bedtime, and there were several nights where he cried and cried and cried when I went to lay him down. One night I wasn't in the mood to let him keep crying, so after 20 minutes I went and got him. He immediately stopped crying. I took him straight upstairs to my closet. He looked at his pack n' play and made a little laugh/happy noise and then pretty much dived in. I left him in silence and he slept all night. I wasn't going to give in, except that after just a couple of weeks Caelan came out after she had gone to bed and told me to come see the crib. He had pushed out about 5 of the crib bars. So, we still have yet to wood glue them all together really good. Since then he has been back in the closet - which he doesn't seem to mind at all.