Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just Enough Snow. . .

Before winter started, we heard that this was going to be a year for snow.

Well, yesterday we got a little bit. It was just enough to take a wintery picture


leave a few footprints,


make a snowball (well, almost!),


and get a little chilly.


It was definitely enough to convince us that we NEED MORE SNOW!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Magic

Christmas from a parent's point of view is so different from how it was from a child's. Being the one who makes everything happen seems to eliminate the "magical" component--at least for me.

But now that all of my little ones are asleep in their beds, I am starting to feel that we really did experience some Christmas magic.

We had stories from Grandpa . . . and Grandma's turkey dinner (not to mention Eggnog trifle--which I suspect may be the best dessert ever),


lots of laughs with the cousins,


new PJs all around,


everything we asked Santa for, including BOBA FETT's SHIP

and a BELLE DRESS!!!


Alaina was happy with good books to read

and new babies to hold.

Of course, her favorite toy of all was--no, not a box--but a plastic cup from the cupboard, into which she sang "Silent Night" repeatedly throughout the morning :)

I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say my kids got a sleigh full of presents (that will keep them busy playing for a long, long time) . . .

or to conclude that the magic of Christmas lives on in our little family :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010



A couple of years ago, I wrote about what might be called Jason and my "anniversary curse"--where something always goes wrong to spoil our anniversary date. We never know how the curse will manifest itself--it has come as everything from being diagnosed with gestational diabetes to choosing the wrong restaurant.

Last year we had our newborn Alaina with us, and she had a diaper explosion down Jason's shirt; the year before I found a hair in my dinner--you get the picture (See "Happy Anniversary? Let's Hope So," Dec. 16/08 for full details!).

This year, however, we celebrated our anniversary--our 8th--without incident.


I know what you're probably thinking: one of us must have broken a mirror on our wedding day, and our seven years of bad luck are now over.

I know this would be the most obvious explanation. BUT, today I realized that Jason and I actually celebrated our anniversary a day early, since December 19th fell on a Sunday.

Today has seemed pretty uneventful, too, but you never know . . . it's still only 6:00!


And yes, I had to crop the kids out of all the pictures to have some of me and Jason . . . maybe next year we should celebrate our anniversary with a photo shoot--plenty of ways THAT could go wrong!!

Not that I'm superstitious :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting Ready

Friday was Ben's last day of school before Christmas, so now we are REALLY getting ready!

Alaina has been walking around singing "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright." She sings the first two phrases in a really low voice then goes into a super high pitch for the "all is calm, all is bright." She wakes up in the morning singing, and even tries to sing while drinking her milk :)


One of the songs Benjamin sang with his class at the school Christmas concert was called "Old Toy Trains." I guess this inspired Ben, because this afternoon he got out his old wooden railway (which he has been "too old" to play with for quite some time now) and built an amazing track, all around the Christmas tree! He is calling it the Polar Express :) I love to see him playing with his trains.


Earlier this week I saw a picture in a magazine of chocolate chip cookies dipped in chocolate, and Janae and I decided to try it out. I think these might be good enough to leave out for Santa!


Janae has also developed a bit of a nutcracker obsession this year. She loves watching Barbie in the Nutcracker (I have to admit, it is one of my favorites, too!), and we also saw a Children's Theater live production of The Nutcracker earlier this month. Now Janae is trying to dress up like a nutcracker!


What would life be like without my kids and their obsessions? :)

I think it's safe to say we are almost ready . . . and there's less than a week to go!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Surely Not the REAL Santa


Benjamin and Janae are getting to the age where they are starting to realize that not everyone who wears a Santa suit is actually Santa. These days it is not uncommon for them to say something like, "I don't think that is the real Santa because I saw the string holding his beard on." They are getting pretty good at identifying impostors.

Well, last night we had our housing complex's annual Christmas party, where "Santa" always makes an appearance. For the past few years, Jason has played the part of Santa--so Benjamin and Janae have known they were dealing with Daddy, rather than the real Saint Nick (the square belly might have also tipped them off--Jason never had much luck with using pillows as padding!).

This year, though, Jason refused to put on the sweaty red suit and fake beard--so we weren't sure who would be playing Santa . . . or if it would be the real Santa visiting our hall.

The so-called Santa who arrived seemed pretty authentic, but it was actually Alaina who was not convinced.


Sill, Janae ran up to him screaming, "I'm getting a Belle dress!!!!" (the only thing she's asked for this Christmas, so I guess she was sure Santa had brought it).


When Janae opened her gift, though, we were 100 percent sure that this had not been the real Santa.


She got a coffee maker!

She, Alaina, and even Benjamin have been having a great time making coffee (I've tried to pass it off as a hot chocolate maker, but it's a bit difficult, since they know how hot chocolate is made!).

I can't help but wonder what real Santa would bring a Mormon girl a coffee maker?

I guess Alaina was right after all :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Unfortunate Incident OR Great Idea for a Stocking Stuffer

When my sister Anita came to visit this summer, she brought me two novels to read: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

As difficult as it may be to believe, I have trouble reading novels when I have a child under a year old--so I didn't have too high of hopes for getting through these books . . . at least not until Alaina was sleeping better.

One day, though, I thought I'd try reading while holding Alaina--and a week later I was through the first book. Another week passed, and I'd finished the second book! I then had Jason read both books (always need someone to talk to about the books!), which he also did in just over two weeks.

The third novel in the series, Mockingjay, had just come out in hardcover, so I requested if from the library. There were 42 holds on the book, so I estimated it would take about three months for our turn to come.

A few days ago, Jason asked about the status of our request, and when I looked it up, I found we were down to #3 of 38 holds. Good news, right?

Well, today I got the email saying our material had arrived . . . but when I read more closely I saw I had accidentally requested the sound recording, rather than the novel.


When do we have time to listen to a non-child-friendly book? We just don't.

So I thought I'd better try again. When I made my request, I saw that we were #58 of 58 holds on the book.

At this point I have only one more thought on the matter: