Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve 2010

We had a fun, low-key New Year's. Mike worked until late in the afternoon. After he was done, we had some family fun! We had a salad for dinner, and then I said that this was the last day of the Christmas treats! I feel like we've been eating junk food for a week straight!

Josh took advantage of the candy.

We watched Ramona and Beezus during dinner.

After we ate, we burned off our calories and treats with Just Dance 2. Man, that game is fun!

We left at about 11:00, and found a place that we could get a good view of the fireworks on the strip, but not too close to the crazies. ;) We popped our own poppers in the car while we watched! We all love the fireworks show!

We came home and went straight to bed and slept in the next day. I love low-key family nights! Happy 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


He may not like to actually have to be buckled up in the car and driving in it, but Josh's car seat is his favorite place to chill.

It's like a mini-recliner: he crawls in, lets it roll back, and props his feet up on the bars,

He cracks me up.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Whenever we visit Phoenix, we stay with Mike's parents. My mother-in-law is so wonderful and usually makes us a really nice breakfast when we stay.

And it's great, really, but then I have to hear for the next 6 months "Mommy, how come you never make us French toast for breakfast like Grandma? How come it's always for dinner?"

I know, right? They are lucky that they GET breakfast.


I was feeling like being a nice person today, though, so I made a "real" breakfast. With "real" Arizona fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Mike and the kids juiced the oranges. Hey, I'm not Superman.

I just wanted to post some proof that they got French toast for breakfast at least once during their childhoods.

Just in case the therapist asks someday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter at the Park

I'm a stinker and I love cold weather and snow, so I'm not a very happy Nevada girl in December when it's beautiful and sunny outside.

However, my kids (and everyone else in the world) is quite the opposite, so they were ecstatic to spend some time at the park with friends on a gorgeous winter day.

I'm going to go ahead and move to Connecticut and have a real winter.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas ABCs: O through the End

I'm not one to make excuses...

... not.

But, December got crazy. More than the usual December craziness, too. Mike's work hours upped because a manager quit (and then 2 more moved on, too). I was trying to wean Josh (and the baby was having some big-time withdrawals). AND I was called to be the Primary President in our ward (which involved a lot of getting things finished up from last year AND preparing for the new year).

As much as I loved doing our Christmas ABCs, I couldn't finish them all. I'm kind of bummed, because I seriously hate not finishing things. We will try it again next year. ;)

Here's the fun that we DID have:

O is for Ornaments

We made cinnamon applesauce ornaments. They smell SO yummy!

P is for Polar Express

We got together with some friends and watched The Polar Express in our pajamas and had hot cocoa and lunch.

Q is for Quiet Reading and Thinking

We did our annual reading of The Christmas Orange and shared a chocolate orange. I love this story!

S is for Santa

We went to our ward party and had a fun dinner with our ward family. I know I've said it a gazillion and one times, but I love our ward. The members of our ward are my family in Las Vegas. I love ward parties because it's an extra night with them!

Santa made an appearance, of course. I wish I could scan in the pictures the actual photographer took, because mine didn't turn out well. Adam and Grace loved seeing Santa and sharing what they wanted for Christmas!

T is for Treats Delivered to Neighbors

We didn't get plates of treats made to deliver to all of our friends like I had wanted. But, our neighbors have been so kind to us this year and I wanted to do something for them. So we filled a bag with the extra treat bags that Mike made for his associates and delivered those.

U is for Under the Christmas Tree

We read a Christmas book (or two) every night in December and LOVED it. We've done this December for the past few years. I had several we still hadn't read, though, so we snuggled under the tree for some extra reading. Christmas books are SO fun!

V is for Visiting

We had so much fun visiting some fun places decked out for Christmas while my brother, Morgan, was here. We went to Sam's Town first and watched their holiday laser light show (complete with SNOW!). It was so neat!

Next we went over to the Bellagio. I had never seen their "Winter" display in the conservatory. It was so beautiful. There was a huge tree, huge ornaments, and thousands of real poinsettias.

We headed outside to watch the water show, hoping for a Christmas song.

Instead the water fountains moved up and down to the song, "I'm Proud to Be an American."

It was still fun.


And R, W, X, Y, and Z didn't happen.

Well, I guess Z happened.

We all crashed hard Christmas night.

It was an exhausting month, what can I say.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas! I LOVE Christmas! Especially with kids... it's so fun to get caught up in their excitement and the magic with them.

We began our day with a new tradition: yelling at Adam to go back to sleep because it was 3:00am.

Not really.


Once the sun had risen, we all met in the kids' room, and read I Believe in Santa Claus.

My Santa Soapbox: I'm a huge Santa fan. I believe in Santa Claus and my kids will never hear me say that I don't. Because I do, and I always will. I don't think that Santa takes the Christ out of Christmas; rather, I think that Santa is a perfect example of the Savior and a symbol of Christmas.

Just how I feel.

Anyways, this books is a perfect way to merge the two, and I love it. We talked about Santa and Jesus' birth, and how we can be Christ-like. After we read the book, we knelt for family prayer.

We went into the hallway and got ready to run through the wrapping paper covering the doorway. This is a fun tradition that we've been doing for several years. The kids think it's so fun, but really, I'm selfish and I want to see the look on their faces when they first see the magic that has taken place (and if they sneak out beforehand, I will miss it). Josh was so sleepy, so we went ahead and ran through our Christmas wrapping covering the living room without him. Next year, buddy!

The kids' ran through the paper and saw their loot from Santa: stockings, root beer, a favorite cereal, and a gift!

Adam opened his gift from Santa first: Lego City fire rescue helicopter!

Grace got a Littlest Pet Shop set:

After we opened the gifts from Santa, they played together for awhile.

And we had our traditional breakfast. SO good!

We finally went and woke up Josh at about 11:00! Stinker! He had so much fun and was so excited. He got a Little People Barn.

He got apple juice, no root beer.

So, he stole Grace's.

We played and napped for a few hours, and then opened the gifts from us. Grace got the "horse head on a stick" (stick horse) that she's been wanting, and I made her a puppet theatre in a bag. Adam got a model rocket and an airplane. Josh got some bath toys and a felt dinosaur playmat that I made.

Later we opened gifts from family. Adam got science books and a gift certificate to his favorite marble shop from Grammy and Papa!

Grace got some Fancy Nancy books and a tea set from Grammy and Papa.

And apparently I didn't take any pictures of Josh. Sorry, buddy! We got lots of fun gifts from Nano, and stockings from Grammy and Papa, too.

Every year my Grandma picks out the cutest ornaments for us. Here the family is with them:

Adam got a fun weather station, Grace got a Littlest Pet Shop toy, and Josh got a shape firetruck sorter from Grandma and Grandpa W*. They were SO excited! (Apparently Mike wasn't... look alive there!)

Grace and Josh opened their gifts from their cousins in the W* cousin exchange. And then we opened our gifts in the R* family exchange. We tried to take it all slowly and in rounds so that it wasn't all "presents" and we tried to talk about who gave them to us, and how kind that was. I'm so sorry that I didn't take pictures of all of the nice gifts that were given to us by family. It was a crazy day! We really loved and appreciated them all! Thank you!!!

I didn't take any pictures, but we had "roast beast" (roast beef) sandwiches, chips, and veggies for dinner while we watched The Christmas Story.

It was a wonderful day! I LOVE Christmas with our little family! I love being able to relax and have fun, and focus on our love for the Savior and His birth. Such a fun Christmas! We are so blessed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

So, I haven't blogged because I've been busy. But, also because I'm stubborn and could not get a Christmas Eve photo to load on Blogger. And, hello! Can't blog February without blogging Christmas Eve.

Today, I realized that the reason my photo wasn't loading was because it is a video.

(Sorry, Blogger, for the angry e-mail. My bad!)


We had such a wonderful Christmas Eve! Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year: the anticipation, the excitement, our fun family traditions, AND D.I. closes at 3:00, so Mike gets off in time to celebrate with us!

We decided to start a new tradition this year for our Christmas Eve dinner. I really try to keep Christmas Eve focused on Christ, and I saw this fun idea on a blog. We had "Chicken a la King" (which translates to "chicken for the king" in French) in bread crowns, to represent the Savior being our king. Grace rolled out and put the bread squares in the muffin tins to bake (she's a fabulous chef!), and I made dinner while Mike, Adam, and Josh left on some last-minute errands.

When they got back, we had dinner. It was yummy and festive!

After dinner we opened our traditional Christmas Eve pajamas, and began our party!

We played Christmas BINGO, doughnut on a string, and a "name that Christmas song" humming game.

Afterward, we settled down and acted out the nativity, while Mike read Luke 2. My super-fabulous nativity costumes were left in the Primary room by mistake, so we improvised. And Josh refused to play a sheep. He was more interested in ripping apart the hay in Jesus' manger. So, I just pretended that he was a naughty goat that (I'm sure) made an appearance at the real nativity, and we pressed onward with our story.

Don't Mary and Joseph look just thrilled? These moments warm a mommy's heart, I tell ya!

Because I'm a super fantastic mommy, I made homemade cookies for Santa. Not. Instead, we raided all of the goodies that Mike's associates gave him at work: Santa was given macadamia nut chocolates from Samoa, a cookie from the Philippines, and a powdered doughnut from Hostess baked goods.

We're sophisticated like that.

We then hung our ice wreath for the reindeer on the door, and read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" before hurrying off to bed.

Guess what? I totally have an un-blurry photo of our ice wreath on my camera. And I'd rather take the time to write a caption about it than load it onto the computer.

It was such a fun night! I LOVE Christmas Eve! It was a great one! I love being able to continue traditions AND make new traditions with my 4 favorite people and get to celebrate the birth of our Savior. What a special night!