Friday, December 31, 2010

Elder Dog

So, when my brother left for his mission in July, he gave Jared a blue stuffed dog. Park had this dog for a long time; I remembered it when we were growing up. So, it's old. Jared named him 'Elder Dog' after the missionary uncle who gave it to him.

The week of Christmas, Elder Dog got a hole in his neck while taking a ride in the washer and dryer. Jared was really distrought. I really didn't think Jared had any attachments to this dog until he was absent from the crib. Every night while getting ready for bed, Jared asked about Elder Dog, "Mama, where Elder Dog go?" Since we were busy with Christmas, I didn't get a chance to fix him until yesterday. When Jared saw Elder Dog all better, you would have thought two long lost friends were reuniting--- in his eyes I guess they were. It was so cute, I took a picture.


I need to send this picture to Elder Dog's previous owner. I think he should know the dog is loved. :)

Christmas 2010

So, now we're caught up to Christmas Eve and Christmas....



Christmas Eve
A month ago, while hanging out with our friends we realized all of us were staying in town and had no relatives coming in town. We remember the mixed emotions of last year, so we really wanted to show our friends just how fantastic it is to have your own family Christmas. We decided to host a Christmas Eve get together at our house.

Consequently, we spent most of Christmas Eve making food for the get-together or cleaning the house so the three pregnant women coming wouldn't gag and storm out due to nausea. We made: three kinds of cookies, jello casserole (no shredded veggies included), Muddie Buddies, chocolate-cover pretzels and a Pumpkin Trifle. We made the Muddy Buddies for Santa's special treat. We figured Santa gets a lot of cookies, so why not give him something a little different at our house. Jared kept sing-song saying 'making santa's special treat,' it was so cute how excited he was that Christmas was tomorrow.

When it came to party time, all of the women began to realize we made way too much food. We had 10 adults and 8 kiddos (under 5, might I add) in the house and we probably made enough food to feed 10 more adults. Nothing, I repeat, nothing got finished. Everything was fantastic.

The company was even better than the food. We sat and talked, disfused a few kiddo situations, and laughed at the White Elephant exchange. We are really blessed to have such great friends. Unfortunately, since we had so much fun, we forgot to take pictures. I took one during the White Elephant, when the kiddos became excited at the prospect of presents.

After the party, we calmed down a little and the kiddos opened their Christmas Eve presents. This year was a little different because we let them open two presents. They had their jammies (which I made) and they opened their matching Mickeys from the California grandparents (we figured Mickey would get more use if he was able to sleep in their cribs). Mommy and Daddy even got matching candy cane jammy pants (Jared picked them out all by his self). Then we watch a movie about Jesus Christ (every time Jared saw Jesus he was exclaimed 'momma/daddy look Jesus/baby Jesus). Then we prepared for Santa's arrival by leaving out milk, snacks, and a little note.

After the kiddos hit the sack, we set up a few things like our new web cam (present from Oba and Jiji) so we could Skype during present time.

Christmas
At 630am, Greg and I were wide-awake and couldn't get back to sleep. We were both excited to see the kids' reactions that Christmas was finally here. So, we hopped out of bed and went off to make the Monkey Bread (Christmas tradition). At 715, we heard Annabelle and decided it was time to start. We got the kids up and Jared came down with Greg and said, "Merwee Kimmas!" and then said this...



So, we skyped the Seattle crew (530 their time) and opened presents in front of each other. It was a lot of fun. It was fantastic to see each others' reactions, even though we weren't actually together. We actually spent most of the day skypeing with family... we've finally joined the rest of the world, I know. The only problem is now we can't really pretend to pay attention now. ;)

We all got something we weren't expecting... I even got the crafting machine I've been wanting since last Christmas. The kiddos big gift this year was a play Kitchen! Santa had it tucked away for a long time because he got an amazing deal in the fall. It was a good choice. They spent most of the day playing with it.

Another highlight of the day was being able to talk to my little brother whose on a mission. My folks were able to conference us in and it was awesome to hear him and hear how excited he is about the work he's doing. Luckily, we even got Jared to say hi and Merry Christmas. We all held it together until it was time to say goodbye; everyone needed a tissue from the held-back tears after Elder Jackson hung up. The rest of the day was spent trying to clean up the mess of our living room (check the pictures), relaxing and playing with the new gadgets. That night, we had the neighbor crew over to dig into some of the leftover desserts from the night before.

As a result of skype, I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to, but we made a lot of memories. It was a great Christmas at home spending time with each other. We are certainly grateful for the blessing we've been given, but we are most grateful for Jesus Christ and His everlasting atonement. Without Him, we would have nothing to celebrate. He is the reason we have each other, this world, and eternity.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Days Before Christmas: The Editorial

Christmas week was so crazy, but a lot of fun! Jared was really into the Christmas season this year, in fact, he continues to tell us 'kimmas over.' It must have left an inpression on him. Here's a rundown of our week:

Wednesday night: The night we went Christmas light hunting. We tried the temple first, but it just a little nativity display. Cute Jared story: We asked Jared if he was going to get married in the temple one day like Mommy and Daddy and he said yes. Greg then asked him if he like girls and said 'girls gross daddy.' Oh man, Jared's going to be the little boy who pulls girls' hair to show just how much he likes them... I can see it now... Anywho, since the temple display was modest, we decided to google search Christmas lights in SA and found a city on the east side called Windcrest. Their Christmas lights are so famous that the city's nickname is the 'City of Lights.' I guess you'd call that a good sign. So, off we went. The only bummer about the night was waiting in the line of cars to get to the house who had their lights timed to music. Jared and Belle both pointed to the lights. Jared kept saying 'kimmas lights' 'santa' 'frotee'... you get the picture... he was excited. They both were up way passed their bedtime and passed out on the way home. Good night.

Thursday: This was zoo day. Greg had the day off, so we invited some friends, whose Daddy also had the day off and away we went. This shouldn't surprise anyone, but Jared has that place memorized. He knew exactly what animals were where and kept telling us if we tried to skip things. For example, we didn't feed the goats or birds this time because it was the wrong time of day, so we had to keep reminding Jared about the snakes and alligators in order to get him to forget about the other animals. In the toddler part of the zoo, the kids really love the aquarium. Annabelle was standing and pointing at animals the way Jared did when we took him for his first birthday... I think I even have a picture comparison to do soon. It was a perfect day to go to the zoo because people were out of town or not off work and the construction is finally done. We've got a few more zoo trips to do before our passes expire in March. :)

Next up... Christmas Eve and Christmas!

The Days Before Christmas

T'was the days before Christmas and our house was busy...
getting ready for the day which sends people in a tizzy.
As Christmas drew closer, we took each day,
to remember the Christmas spirit in our own way.

We made cookies, truffles, chocolate-covered pretzels, and more...tons of handmade gifts not found at the store.
Next, to the ward breakfast party we went
enjoying the company, music, and food was time well spent.
In between each outing, we took a few nap or two,and started new traditions to make sure our Christmas wasn't blue.

One cold night, we searched high and low
to find Christmas light with an award-winning glow.

Another day, it will not surprise a reader or two
to find out, we spent it at the zoo!

We said 'Merry Christmas' to our special friends,
to spread joy, laughter and noise that just never ends.
Throughout it all we tried to give, not receive,
to keep the spirit of the babe born that first Christmas Eve.
Jesus Christ is the reason we have all our gifts,
so remember Him and to have the Spirit which lifts.

It was a whirlwind season, and went by so fast,
and we were certainly glad to have Christmas at last!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A little late...

but... Merry Christmas everyone!


I'll post about our awesomely fantastic crazy Christmas weekend soon but right now I need to go rescue no longer napping kiddos...

Yes... I know I have a cheesy grin... Jared has it too.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Video (x 3): Walking, Talking and Christmas Songs

So--- I know I've been slacking with posting Friday Videos, but in my defense, the videos from our camera stopped loading to YouTube with their sound. So, I've started just taking video with my phone and I keep forgetting to upload the newest ones... I know excuses... excuses.... without further ado...

This video is of Jared singing and Annabelle walking. She shows off her skills by wandering around, and even grabbing some leftover breakfast. :) They also show their fascination with the Christmas Tree.



Annabelle has a bunch of words under her belt. It's so cute to hear her talk, but, at the same time, I'm having a hard time with it because she's growing up. She likes to say: Dada, Mama (only when mad), Jaja (Jared), singing 'dirty diaper on the stinking girl,' roar for a dinosaur noise, choo choo for train, kiss noise (she gives them now too), nose, num num (food), sh is shoe, and she recognizes a bunch more. This is her talking to me at lunch time:



Since Christmas season started, we've been teaching Jared some Christmas songs. I'm pretty sure they also do them in nursery because he knows them so well. In this video, from today, he sings his three favorites, "Jingle Bells," "Frosty the Snowman," and "Rudolph." He totally knows if you sing them incorrectly too, for instance Barenaked Ladies sings the Batman version of Jingle Bells on their Christmas CD and Jared CRACKS UP every time he hears it. It's so funny.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So Far...

December has been great. We've been doing fun Christmas activities every day and I've been attempting to knock something off of my Christmas To-Do list every day. The only major thing I really have to do now is make the kiddos Christmas jammie pants. Not too shabby.

Jared loves counting down the days until Christmas and doing all the little advent things we have around the house. He's even learned a few Christmas songs (I know, video is needed).

I've got more stories to tell, but not a lot of time, so a few pictures will have to suffice for right now.

While getting ready for the day, Jared spotted Greg's slippers and he put them on before I could get him redressed. Hence the reason he's in his nightly pull-up.

Ready for church and looking so grown up!

Annabelle got a little baby Belle doll for her birthday and she loves her! She's even figured out how to feed her...
and take her for rides. Oh so cute, I can't believe she's so big. She's a full-fledged walker and has a few words under her belt, but that's another post. :)
Mema and Deda brought Jared some pretty cool dinosaur puzzles when they came down. He's got the picture memorized now, so he was able to do all four without help. He was pretty proud of himself.
I've got more where this came from (including video) so, pray for fast sewing hands so I can blog some more. :)

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