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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Projects Unveiled

Here are a couple of the things I made this year for gifts.

I have little scrapbooks of all the kids' first year for the grandparents. They are quite simple, but I just barely finished Rylan's. By the skin of my teeth. I'm finding that it's a lot harder to make time for scrapbooking these days.

Here's the cover:

And here are the inside pages:

For my little nieces and for the girls I made purses filled with goodies:

And for Rylan and my nephews I made some fleece dinosaurs:

And a sort of carrying case for Rylan:

I'm dying to show all the handmade goodies that other people gave us, but I need to take pictures still. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Merry Little Christmas

We traveled to Washington state for Christmas to stay with Brandon's parents. It's a very long drive, but it wasn't too bad this time. The kids are getting better at entertaining themselves on long trips. Once we are there it's always worth the drive.

We got to see my nieces and nephews that were just tiny babies the last time I saw them. The kids got re-acquainted with their cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles as well. It's hard to have family so spread out. Rylan was just warming up to everyone and it was time to go home.

We had a very nice Christmas. I was really sick all week, so I just stayed in bed most of the time and had lots of help with the kids. It's never fun being sick, but it's so great to have help when you are.

Christmas Eve was really nice. Brandon's mom made a delicious dinner and we had a cute little program. The kids opened new Christmas pajamas, we sang carols, and Grandpa read the Christmas story from the bible while the kids acted it out. Averie was Mary, Mason was a wise man, and Ellorie was a very noisy sheep. Go figure. My little nephew Trevor was a great Joseph. I loved it!
And then just when the kids thought bedtime was inevitable, Aunt Tessa pulled out the huge gingerbread houses for them to decorate. Sweet!

They were all so excited. I've never seen Kendra so happy. (Brandon's little sister.) Averie was sticky from toes to eyebrows. Mason made a cathedral-style stained-glass window on one side of his house with gummy bears and sour strawberry strips. Ellorie made the red and green gummy bear shingles on the roof. The theme of their house seemed to be "gummy bears". They invested so much energy into their houses that all three of them fell instantly asleep upon laying in their beds. I've never seen anything like it.

And then they woke me at 2 am to open Christmas presents on Christmas morning. No. I don't think so. Back to bed.

4 am? Nice try. Not yet. Back to bed.

They didn't go back to sleep, but at least they played semi-noisily in their room until everyone else was awake. They were VERY excited to open presents.

The kids were so excited about their gifts. They played happily all afternoon. I was so amazed by the amazing handmade gifts from everyone! I'll highlight them in another post. I'm still not 100%, and I think I need a nap. We had a great trip, but I'm happy to be home. Hope you all had a great Christmas as well!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Live Nativity

We have a vet clinic down the street that puts on a nativity with live animals every year. We went for family night to check it out.

They had shepherds, angels, Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus (a doll.) But then there were all kinds of animals. They were all very docile and the kids could pet them. I loved the burro, and decided that I need to own one some day. He was just so sweet.

There was a horse, a cow, the donkey, a llama or alpaca (I don't know how to tell the difference. Aren't llama's bigger?), some ducks, some funny long haired pigs that were burrowing in the straw, some noisy sheep, and a very pregnant goat.

The people read the christmas story and sang carols. The girls wanted to go through the "line" several times. It was really cold, but afterwards we warmed up with some hot cocoa they were serving. Such a fun community tradition. I think we will go every year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sittin' with Santa

Santa came to our ward Christmas party tonight! The girls were so excited. Averie is old enough this year to really "get" what is going on with this whole Santa Claus thing. She is at a really fun age.

Ellorie was SO excited and gave Santa the biggest hug ever. I didn't catch that one on the camera though. Such a sweetie.

I thought for sure that Rylan would scream his head off and I would get one of those great pictures of the kid crying on Santa's lap. Nope. He was in a great mood tonight, and even somewhat smiled for me:

Averie was hilarious. She was SO excited that she could hardly contain herself. She had quite a long talk with Santa. She told him all about all the toys she wants. "...and a Woody doll and a Jessie doll and Bullseye and Dr. Porkchop and Rex..." Wow! That's a tall order Averie dear. She was delighted with the candy cane.

Mason was a little "too cool for school" this year. He opted out of sitting on Santa's lap. The candy was no additional motivation, as he isn't a fan of peppermint.

It made me a little sad, to be honest, but I understand. I remember feeling the same way when I was his age. His friends were all there and all the "little" kids were waiting in line. The peer pressure is heavy. Sometime it makes me sad that he is growing up so fast! He's such a fun kid. It seems like just yesterday he was Rylan's age, toddling around the house. *sigh*

Anyway, we had a great time at the party. I still can't believe it's almost Christmas!


Rylan started pushing the stools across the kitchen floor tonight. He thought it was the greatest discovery ever. He is actually a pretty coordinated walker when he has something to hold onto. He likes to stand, but never takes steps on his own. It started out as an accident I think, but he ended up pushing the stool back and forth across the kitchen for a good ten minutes.

The stool was a little tipsy, and I was afraid he would tip it over, so we found the baby stroller and showed him how to push it:

Success! He hasn't quite figured out how to change directions yet, but he has the straight line figured out. At least until he hits a couch or wall. He's very pleased with his new accomplishment.

I predict that he'll be walking within a few weeks. Look out world!

Bird Nests and Creative Messes

My cute little Averie is very "in" to drawing birds and nests. I love it. She is learning how to glue and cut things with scissors. She makes cute little paper messes everywhere she goes. And I love it. I walked into the kitchen to find this cute little mess just the other day. She drew a darling little nest, then cut out little birds to go in it.

Rylan helps add to the kitchen floor mess as often as possible. He's big into emptying out the cupboards of plastic-ware. And this is quite possibly the seventeenth time I swept the floor today:

No wonder my house is always a mess. I really can't complain though because MY creative messes are taking over the house. I finally finished all the paper crafting and most of the sewing.

Now on to the wrapping and "tag" ing, and Christmas will be here before I know it!

One More Card

I missed one. Here's my last set of cards for the swap. I'm a little obsessed with robots at the moment. Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Silly Tradition

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree wouldn't be complete without some homemade snowflakes.

Card Swap

Once or twice a year I participate in a "card swap" with my sisters-in-law, and a few others. I finally finished my cards for this one. It's amazing how much longer things like this take with a very needy baby hanging on my leg. Not that I'm complaining. About either the cards or about the child. They are both joyous.

My point was that I finally finished. They're not much to write home about, but I'm putting them on here anyway. This time we decided on a wedding card, a birthday card, and a gift tag. I'm so excited to see everyone's creations!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Boys and Cars

There are certain things that I swear are innate.

For example, little baby girls come with the instant ability to become emotional, easily offended, and give dirty looks. At least mine did.

They also came with a love for fluffy, fuzzy animals and the color pink.

Boys? Boys are a different breed.

Rylan is extremely laid back and easy-going.

He also has been "driving" my plastic dishes around the kitchen floor since he could crawl.

He even makes "car-like noises.

He is only 11 months old. How does he even know what a car is and how to play with one?

I say they must be born with a car fascination.

Mason had exactly the same tendencies. He loved cars until he was about three, then switched back and forth between trains and cars. When Mason was three years old he knew every make and model of car by name, and would frequently point them out and correct me if I was wrong. He knew each and every Hotwheel by name (make and model that is). I fear Rylan is headed down this same path.

Hooray for boys and cars!

Trimming the Tree

We like to get a "real" christmas tree every year, for some (insane) reason.  Maybe it's the smell, or the needles sprinkled throughout my house.  Maybe it's the balancing act to keep it from tipping over as the trunk is usually either too big or too small for the tree stand.  But I think I just love having some semi-living plant in my house when it's so bitter cold outside.  (I can't really keep house plants alive.)

There is a store just down the road that had a few of just the right type of trees.  I've had my eye on them for a few days.  And the kicker was, they were really cheap!  ($25 for a 10 foot tree!)
This one doesn't really smell like pine too much yet.  It's really fresh, and I think it's actually a Balsam fir. Though I really have no idea.  Whatever type of tree it is, it's the type I love.  

I prefer the sparse, well-spaced branches to the poofy, fluffy, long needled bushes.  The needles aren't too spiky, and the lights make it look lacy and lovely.  Once the tree goes up it really starts to feel like Christmastime.  It makes me want to turn on a Charlie Brown Christmas and sing LoooLoooLoooLooooLoooLoooLoooLooo...  

The kids, of course, were delighted.  After divvying up the ornaments, breaking one or two, and hiding their "stash" from Rylan, the ornaments went up one by one.  And as usual, one string of lights shorted out.  But not until AFTER it was on the tree.  So now I get to remove and replace it.  Most of the ornaments are in the middle third of the tree since Rylan removed the ones on the bottom, and the kids can't reach the top.  

I think I'll leave it that way though.  It makes me smile.