"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snowy Day Crafternoon

Ellorie got a jewelry making set from her Grandma Allen for Christmas and has been BEGGING me to let her open it. (The box contains thousands of little beads, so I wasn't about to let her tear into it unsupervised.) It was a cold, snowy day today and Mason was playing with friends, so I let her dig in.

Averie loves to be involved, and beading is not quite at her level, so I opened up a package of pasta and put some tape on the end of a piece of yarn so she could make her own "noodle" necklace. She was DELIGHTED! She very carefully and patiently threaded the whole thing herself and has been wearing it around the house ever since. She proudly showed it to Mason and his friends when they came over.

They had a great time and were occupied for quite a while. I should really do activities like this more often with them...

A side note: I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and everything looks great. I will be induced in precisely two weeks if everything continues normally. (This is to potentially avoid a repeat of Averie's 11 minute urgent delivery as we live approximately 20 minutes from the nearest hospital.) This pregnancy has gone by so quickly! The nursery is ready. I hope I am...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

We're home! We had a week long vacation to Utah for Christmas. It went by really quickly, but very full and fun. Christmas this year was with my side of the family. We stayed at my mom's house, but made visits and attended parties and such.

Our first stop was the Clegg family party. I didn't take a single picture! Shame on me. It was so much fun to see everyone and for the kids to play with cousins. (It's hard to live so far away from them that the kids have to get re-acquainted every time we visit.) Grandma and Grandpa Clegg always put on a wonderful spread and host a fantastic party. Grandma's beautiful quilts and handmade gifts to the kids are always treasured! We had a "giving not getting" theme this year and each family took the money that would have been spent on gifts to give to help others. No one missed the presents, and it was a perfect start to Christmas to focus on the giving and not the getting. We love you Grandma and Grandpa! Thank you!!

We stopped by my dad's gravesite before attending the party, and snapped a few pictures. It was cold! We don't make it down there too often, so it was really nice to show the kids and talk about Grandpa Kerry. Ellorie loves the Jesus statue there.

The week at my mom's house was full of all kinds of fun and games. The highlight of every hour was Grandma's clock on the wall that opens and sings a Christmas song on the hour. Averie had a hysterical fit every time she missed it opening. "The clock, the clock!!!"

Ellorie especially had a wonderful time playing with her Aunt Kelsey. She followed her around like a little shadow most of the week.

Mason also became extra good buddies with Uncle Caden, playing excessive amounts of video games, and entertaining the masses.

One of the favorite activities of the week was painting gingerbread cookies with Grandma Gina and Aunt Carlee. Ellorie was amazing with her left-handed frosting abilities, and Averie enjoyed eating more than her fair share of the frosting. Mason made the cutest display of cookies to give to Santa:

Christmas Eve the kids each opened the traditional first gift of Christmas. This year, blankets (and some super cozy pajamas from Grandma Gina.)

After the kids were in bed the "siblings" had a gift exchange and a program. I think this is the first time we have ALL been together for Christmas since I got married. Amazing! I loved spending more than just a few minutes of time with everyone. It was such a fun and relaxing Christmas. (Someone send me a picture of all of us in our matching pajamas!)

Christmas morning was magical as always.
Averie didn't sleep AT ALL Christmas Eve. She was really happy about her new playhouse and Lightning McQueen chair, and sat in it quite stone-faced for the first half hour or so. She eventually came out of her trance and discovered the many presents to be unwrapped. I think the $1 bouncy ball was her favorite gift.

Mason was delighted with everything, especially the Spy Gear. Spoiled rotten!

Ellorie spotted her beloved German Shepherd stuffed animal that she had pined for since early summer. She hasn't let go since. Such a sweet, happy girl.

I was spoiled rotten for Christmas as well. Brandon surprised me with a Kitchenaid Mixer he had mailed to my mom's house. He is in BIG trouble. (I am so excited to use it!)

My mom spoiled me as well. (Thank you for everything Mom!!!) Among her generous gifts was this bread making book I have wanted forever. Now that the Christmas projects are finished, I think it's time for a baking obsession...

The day after Christmas we had one more party with Grandma Sherma in Fielding. The kids had a chance to go snowmobiling, and participate in the traditional "grab bag". It was a lot of fun.

No pictures of Mason on the snowmobiles. He went once and decided it was much too cold to go again. Averie thought it was scary, but I think they all enjoyed the ride. A "grab bag" is a gigantic pile of wrapped presents in which the kids take turns opening. Most of the contents are small food, toy, or useful items, and lots of one dollar bills this year. The kids absolutely love it because they get to open so many presents. We had a fun white elephant exchange with the adults as well. It was fun to see everyone.

The grab bag: Thanks grandma Sherma!

What a fun and full vacation! My only regret is not getting down to see Grandpa Don and Linda (due to location change of the party). We miss you and were thinking of you. Hopefully we'll be able to come visit soon.

We hope all of our family and loved ones had a wonderful and peaceful Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Santa

We had some special visitors tonight at the church Christmas party. Mason was a little bit embarrassed to sit on Santa's lap. Ellorie told him all about her broken arm. Averie really liked Mrs. Claus. It was super cute.

Ellorie's Cast

Ellorie finally got her hard cast put on this evening. She is totally thrilled. They didn't have many choices of colors, so she went with the glow-in-the-dark green, (which is essentially white). It will be positively filthy in five weeks, but hey, it glows in the dark.

She seems to be adjusting really well to having limited use of her right arm. She drew this picture of a zebra yesterday, and then outlined it in marker, completely with her left hand. I can't even brush my teeth with my left hand. Kids are so resilient.

Cub Scouts

When Mason turned 8 last month he started cub scouts. He absolutely loves it! This week he had pack meeting and earned his "bobcat" badge.
He was glowing with pride. He has a really fun group of boys and fantastic leaders. Hopefully he'll keep up the enthusiasm. (Sorry 'bout the terrible pictures. Think the camera is going downhill. It doesn't do so hot in dim indoor lighting these days...)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Averie's Card Table Playhouse

I finally finished Averie's Christmas present. I have had it mostly completed since October, but for some reason those last few stitches took months and months. I made the entire thing BY HAND as my sewing machine was broken for over a year. The only thing done by machine was attaching the panels together, and stitching the door together. I can't even begin to estimate how many hours I spent on this. (Seriously! What possesses me sometimes?!?)

I love how it turned out and hope Averie will love it too. The entire thing fits over a standard card table, so it's really not that big. Most of the "accessories" have velcro and are removable. Let me give you a small tour:

Here is the front entry. And quite obviously my first attempt at hand stitching things. (This was before the felt food.) The stitching is a bit sketchy, so don't look too closely...
There is a little bird and some eggs in the birdhouse.

Around to the right of the house is the mailbox and dog house. The dog somewhat resembles Rocket. Somewhat. The mail is removable and quite detailed.

The backyard has a window and a garden. All the vegetables can be harvested
and placed in the basket.

The left side of the house has a big apple tree with apples that can be picked. It also houses a cute little owl.

It was a really fun project in which I shall never repeat. It's nice to be finished with all my Christmas projects! This baby is going to be here before I know it. I feel my energy going out the window by the day...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Broken Arm

Poor Ellorie broke her arm yesterday. She was just playing with a friend and fell down. Such a freak accident. We weren't sure if it was broken for several hours because it wasn't really swollen or anything. It eventually started swelling a little and was hot to the touch. Since it was obviously on the bone (not the wrist) and too painful for just a bruise, we decided to take her in. Brandon was able to come home early from work and take her to an Urgent care place so I didn't have to haul all the kids in. I'm super grateful for that, because I'm not sure I would have been able to handle it. None of us had a very great day yesterday.

Ellorie was very brave for the examination and the x-ray. It was a clean break all the way through her radius bone, about an inch above her wrist. It was set and seems to be alright, so they put on a "soft" cast, which isn't really soft, but temporary. She will hopefully get her hard cast on Friday, and is looking forward to getting the bulky soft cast off. She doesn't seem to be in too much pain, but I'm keeping her home from school today. It's her right arm, so she isn't going to get much done anyway.

Poor girl! No sledding or swimming for Christmas break. She's also really worried about not being able to play "horses" with her cousin Jenna. ("I have to crawl, Mom!") At least she has two weeks off from school.

She is not a happy camper:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Brandon's Birthday

Friday was Brandon's birthday. I haven't been very good at keeping up on the old blogaroo... But we had a few pictures from the evening. Better late than never I guess:

He had a little surf and turf for dinner, a few presents, a gigantic cheese ball, and fudge jumble in lieu of a cake.

(Averie has a small obsession with blowing out birthday candles.)

Hope you had a great birthday Brandon! We love you!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Giraffes and Zebras

Whew! Finally finished another project. I was going to make more ark animals, but I'm just running out of time. Maybe I can add some more later if I feel so inclined...

Here are the last two "twosomes":

And the finished product:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Produce Co-op

When we first moved here I was so sad to leave my produce co-op group. I lamented its loss for a good year. Well, last week my friend and neighbor told me about this new produce co-op program that has just come to our area! I was super excited. It's set up completely different from the one in Utah, so I wasn't sure it would be the same value, but it appears to be the real deal.

Here's how it works: You order Tuesday or Wednesday online, pay with a credit card, select your baskets and pick-up site, and get your confirmation number. Then Saturday at a designated time you pick up your super fresh fruits and veggies. They were very organized and really easy to work with.

This is what I got today for only $15. (plus a $3.00 charge for first time customers.)

Today it was 9 apples, 7 oranges, 6 roma tomatoes, 10 pears, 5 zucchini, 5 cucumbers, 1 large carton of strawberries, 2 baby seedless watermelons, a large bunch of bananas (8), a large head of leaf lettuce, 3 green peppers, and a large head of broccoli. Not too shabby! It would cost a LOT more than that in the grocery store. (I should go price it out and see how much... but I'm not quite that ambitious.) Everything was the highest quality and looks delicious.

They also offer citrus baskets, mexican ingredient baskets, bread baskets, etc. Every week is something new. It seems to be a comparable value to the group I was with in Utah. I'm so excited to have it again, especially through the winter. Another bonus is that you aren't committed to order every week or two. You can order every time, or just occasionally.

If you are interested you might want to check your area. This group is called Bountiful Baskets, and they deliver to groups in Utah, Idaho, Washington, and Arizona. I'm excited to try some of the other baskets.