Monday, December 31, 2012

Random Montly Musings

Maybe if I do it at the end of the month, I'll be able to keep up with the updating.  It's the time of year for resolutions.... so this I resolve!

Poor Luke hasn't been feeling well, so we went to the doctor.  It was the whole 'I can't do anything did it's probably just a virus' routine.  So, we wait it out and hope he doesn't get more sick.   On a positive note, we found out he's 14 lbs 5.4 oz.
The kids were at a friend's house the other day watching Toy Story 2.  They got to the part *spoiler alert* when Zurg reveals his paternal relationship to Buzz.  Apparently Jared stated laughing and said, "That's just like Star Wars."  Yep, the four year old got a cultural reference.  Hilarious.
Annabelle had her own Star Wars epiphany this week.  One morning she randomly turned to Jared and said:  "Jared, you can't like princesses because they're girls, but I can like Star Wars because of Princess Leia."
Christmas was a lot of fun.  Great memories and I've got a few things to write about.
Luke upgraded to his crib after our Christmas visitors.  So now the boy's room is actually the boy's room.  They are both adjusting well, so far.  Since Luke was a quiet, we adjusted just fine to having our room back.
Tonight we have the annual party at our neighbor's house, Italian style.  Should be a fun way to ring in 2013 a little early. :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Experimenting & Playdoh

The kids have been enjoying a couple sets they got for Christmas almost every day since:

The playdoh set...

and science experiments....

Both Jared and Belle have been asking daily to play with either ones... they've been having fun learning and creating. Woot.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Christmas was lots of fun this year.  Mema & Deda came out to celebrate.

Saturday & Sunday
We didn't do much, but the fun things we normally do with Mema & Deda: read, walk and enjoy being together.  Most of the time, they'd take the big kids out while I'd have to take care of Luke.  It was fun and peaceful. It's one of the fantastic reasons for living in South Texas--- the weather every other time of the year than summer. :)

With Greg's new calling, he left us on Sunday morning to enjoy getting the kids ready for Christmas Sunday. Since we had three adults to three kids, I was even able to finish the boys' Christmas ties in time for pictures and church.  Church ended up being wonderful and a great way to lead into Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Monday-Christmas Eve

Since the Baxters had family in town, they hosted our annual 'Family-ship' Christmas Eve dinner.  Potluck yumminess + new tradition of minute-to-win-it games + hand chimes = a memorable evening.  Jared was adamant on trying games this time; so he tried the game where you had to move a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your arms.  He tried his best, and it was definitely picture-worthy.  We didn't keep track of time, this time, which ended up being great.  We just tried the silly games and had fun!

After the games, Lon pulled out the hand chimes and his posters to go with it.  It was the pure definition of 'organized chaos' but I absolutely loved it.  The reason it seemed like chaos was because we needed everyone, including the little kids, to have their own chime--- which meant chimes would go off willy-nilly whenever they were accidentally hit.  Lon tried so hard to keep everyone under control, but to no avail, and it was still perfect. Perfect because we were together with ones we cared about.  Maybe one of these years, we'll be able to get my side down here as well, so it's completely with the ones we love.

Once the party was over, we had to head home for our own family traditions.  The kids have figured it out by now, and were ready for opening one present.  Jared and Belle both loved their new jammies; Jared head-to-toe Agent P and Annabelle with the Angry Birds.  Mema helped Luke open his and he was the cutest snow penguin around.  This year, I surprised Greg with our own new jammies; matching shirts I made for us to where Christmas morning.

Then, it was to bed, to wait for Santa to come.

Tuesday- Christmas

Jared was the first of the kids up, but we were still able to beat him and get the Monkey Bread started. I'm definitely enjoying the time before they wake us up at 5 in the morning--- I know it'll happen one of these years.  Once he was awake, it was hard for him to contain his excitement.  We had to pry Annabelle and Luke out of bed, so Jared wouldn't open everything without them.

The morning was then full of opening presents, huge smiles and lots of hugs and loves. Then, the rest of the day was full of playing with new gifts, and prepping for dinner.  We decided to have the missionaries over for dinner this year.  Greg and I both really like to have them over at least one holiday a year, and this year ended up being Christmas.  They brought a nice message about Christ and made me reflect on the many blessings we have.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Annual Report

 Just in case someone was missed on the list...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Preschool Fun

I really wanted to take my turn at teaching preschool during the holiday because I had a few ideas that I was just itching to do.  It ended up being overwhelming and chaotic, but hilarious and FUN!

We made marshmallow igloos...

A 12 Symbols of Christmas tree...

A Rudolph ornament...

AND we finished it off by having a party on the last day!  We made graham cracker candy house and listened to Christmas music.

Even though it can be crazy at times, I love making memories like this with the kids.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Random 12 Happenings from 12/12/12

In no particular order...

1.  I worked on addressing Christmas cards.  Hopefully I'll get them out before Christmas.
2.  Multiple boxes arrived at our doorstep.  The kids were so excited; nothing says Christmas like getting to know the delivery people on a first-name basis.
3.  Jared and Annabelle were entertained by one of those empty boxes.
4.  Luke took a 3 1/2 hour nap.  Poor little sickie.
5.  We had dinner at Taco C.
6.  We started our second week of the preschool rotation.  This week we're talking about the letter J and doing Nativity stuff.
7.  It was bath night.
8.  Luke barfed all over me (nothing new).  A little different this time because he gagged on his medicine and so I had to give it to him all over again.
9.  Jared read.
10.  We went grocery shopping; Jared and I shivered all the way to the entrance because we didn't bring a jacket.
11.  Annabelle told me I don't know how many times that her best friend's birthday is tomorrow.
12.  Greg continued to train the kids in the way of Angry Birds.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Party Days

Just like any Christmas season, we had a lot of parties to go to...

First up was the ward breakfast party.  The RS was in charge of it again this year; this time I specifically was asked to help with a Hot Chocolate self-serve station.  The night before the party, we got all of the prep work done and ready for the party.  Too bad Luke and I wouldn't get to see how it went.  Late that night, Luke developed his first bout of Croup.  It was so bad I had to take him to the hospital just hours before the party.  I texted/called/sent Greg with instructions knowing full well that a trip to the ER meant I probably wasn't going to the party.  Just like his older brother, Luke needed a little bit of  medicine to calm his chest down and we spent the rest of the time being observed.  We ended up leaving just as the party was over, so we went home to have our own party of rest.  Greg told me later that the actual party was fun, but they were missing us.


Saturday was Greg's big family Christmas party at work.  Usually, they have it on a Sunday, so we don't get to go--- and that's what we were planning.  However, when we got the date in the mail, we both got excited to be able to take the kids this year.  They seriously went all out; it was held in the new fitness facility.  The gym had yummy treats and a huge inflatable movie screen with Christmas Classics on (it was also where the Santa line began).  Outside there were drinks, lots of Christmas themed games and crafts, AND three different inflatable activities.

We decided to hit up Santa first, just in case.  So, we grabbed a few bags of popcorn and joined the line.  It didn't take us too long to get to the big man himself, and we have a little bit of progress this year.  Jared was able to sit on his lap and tell him that he wants a tag reader; Annabelle didn't want to get hear him at first, but was able to get close for a family picture and then tell him from a far that she wants a Princess computer.  And, Luke, well, like the champ baby that he is, he slept through the whole thing.  After Santa, the kids each took a bunch of turns on the obstacle course; Annabelle, then, beat us all in a rousing game of Christmas Bingo.

We had a great time and I really hope that they'll continue to keep the party on Saturdays in upcoming years.


As if we didn't have enough fun on that Saturday, Greg and I had a extra special date night ahead of us.  Our little group of four had a birthday date planned AND we made it extra special this time and went to The Melting Pot.

Greg & I hadn't been there for a few years, and then it was just us, so it was on this date I realized that TMP is definitely a place for a group of people.  We were able to get more on the menu to try and had a little too much fun with the burner plates and stretching the cheese.  It was so good and so much fun.

Like always we had a wonderful time and, like always, I'm ever so grateful for the amazing friends we have here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weekly Gems

*This week I did it!  I went to the store with three kids ALONE!  Desperation (in the form of preschool preparation) will do that to a woman.  The kids were great; apart from making sure they didn't run off because I don't have enough hands, everyone was happy, listened and no one had a meltdown.  I know that won't always happen, but it was nice to have it happen on the first time.

*Luke had his first hospital visit last night and early this morning; we had to miss the the ward Christmas party because of it.  Unfortunately, it seems as though Luke is susceptible to croup.  He had a really rough time breathing last night, so I had to take him to the hospital to get him to calm down.  Basically, the whole time was watching to make sure he was okay.  We did a couple breathing treatments and gave him steroids and he fell asleep.  Luckily, he slept through a lot of the visit, while I read on my Kindle.  The above picture is the sweet sleeping boy in my arms.  

*Like I said above, I'm teaching preschool this month.  The best part of teaching during the month of December is doing lots of fun Christmas crafts with the kids.  I was really worried about teaching and taking care of Annabelle and Luke, but they've been great.  Luke sleep right through it and Annabelle enjoys and participates in everything.

*Speaking of Annabelle, she's got to be one of the sassiest little girls EVER.  And I don't mean it in a bad way either.  During preschool this month, she's takes charge and starts bossing the other kiddos around--- even though she's almost two years younger than them.  "Guys we have to sit on the caterpillar for circle time," "Be sure to give me a job, Mommy," that kind of stuff.

Another sassy thing she did was this: one day this week, while the kids were playing she turned to Jared and said: Jared, you can't like princesses because they're girls, but I can't like Star Wars because of Princess Leia.  Oh, the logic of a three-year-old.

*Between preschool and running errands with my three amigos, we are doing lots of fun Christmas activities.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Self Portraits

Two goofballs that we know found the camera on my phone.  They've seen me use it as a camera and wanted to try it themselves WHILE I was taking care of Luke.  Hilarity (and a lot of pictures) ensued.

Suspect #1: Annabelle

Suspect #2: The Ceiling Fan

Suspect #2: ACTUALLY Jared

Eventually, I caught and took a picture of the culprits.

Look at how innocent they are.

No remorse whatsoever.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dear Santa...

We started our advent activities and the first one--- per tradition--- is a letter to Santa.  Since they don't write yet, I made them a special letter to draw.

Jared was so excited to write (he even addressed the letter).  He asked for a ball, a Tag reader, book, underwear, and a pretend Doctor set.

Annabelle couldn't wait to make all kinds of colors.  She asked for a princess computer & clothes.  She also drew pictures of reindeer, tents, and a tank top for Mommy (to remind Santa). :)

The kids had such a good time; it's so much fun to start traditions as they are getting older.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Luke: 3 months

or 12 weeks to be exact.  I can't believe it's been 3 months already.

SLEEP:  2 naps and sleeping through the night!  Yay for hitting that milestone!  It's so nice to have him sleeping through the night, we're able to enjoy the little boy in our family now.

FOOD: Same, but we might try cereal in the next month... he may not even care...

PLAYING/TOYS:  He's starting to grab for toys now.  He spends a little bit of time his jungle gym almost every day staring and listening to his music.  It's so cute; now that's he's entering the 'not-too-small-to-be-breakable' phase.

PERSONALITY:  He's still one of the chillest babies I've ever seen.  He's so easy going and is really hard to get upset.

MILESTONES:  11/3, Blessing Day *** 11/20, He laughed for the first time.  *** 11/21, Slept from 9 pm to 5 am.

RANDOM:  This is the baby transition time that I love.  He's going from a brand-new baby to a baby who realized there's a world around him.  We're trying to encourage him to roll-over but he doesn't seem to care because we all take care of him.  Ahead for him is his first holiday season and starting to grab things--- so much fun!


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