Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Family Photos 2014

We took our family photos last month.  Crazily enough, the whole process went pretty easily.  I always dread family pictures, they usually make for anything but nice family bonding.  And I usually leave the session, exhausted, frustrated, and overly stressed.  This year, everyone sat where they were supposed to sit.  They smiled easily and we were done in 15 minutes.  I'm declaring it a Christmas miracle!




Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a great Christmas this year!  Christmas Eve we had the Nichols side of the family over for a dinner of potluck appetizers and a gift exchange.  London, Sariah and I also exchanged our angel gifts, a homemade gift we make for each other every year in honor of our mother.  All three of us gave each other homemade bath salts/scrubs.  We all got a good laugh out of that.

Brody was the first one awake Christmas morning (besides myself, getting the monkey bread in the oven).  When he saw all the gifts under the tree, his eyes lit up as he looked at me and with pure joy exclaimed, "I knew I was on the good list!"  I love the magic that children bring to the holidays!

Sariah and my Dad joined us Christmas morning.  We had a lot of gifts this year!  Some favorites were: Greg - Bluetooth earphones, Lera - haircut/color gift certificate, Palmer - Skylanders Trap Team, Brody - Batcave playset, Archer and Avonelea - Big Wheel bikes.
After the gifts we all enjoyed hot-out-of-the-oven monkey bread for breakfast.  We had a low-key rest of the day, and just played at home together with all our fun new toys.  For Christmas dinner we had our traditional steak pie.  All the kids loved it this year.  I think possibly because I told them the history behind the meal.  I recounted how my granny made it for royalty in England, and how our family has made it Christmases since for three generations.  Whatever, the reason, they were very excited about the Christmas dinner and kept telling me how great it tasted.  What's not to love about comfort food, right?   And Christmas?  And family?  I love know all love it all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Card 2014

Wishing our family and friends a very Merry Christmas!  We love you!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bear Lake Getaway and Sledding

We spent the weekend before Christmas in Garden City with Grandma Nancy and Randall.  The highlight of the trip was sledding in Logan Canyon.  This Christmas, there hasn't been much snow where we live, in fact, pretty much none.  The kids have been dying to play in the snow, and Logan Canyon had plenty of it!  Archer and Grandma went to the car pretty early on.  They had biffed it twice in the first ten minutes, and Archer was cold and done.  The rest of us carried on happily sliding down the mountain and trekking back up for another run for about an hour.  Avonlea even insisted on going down on her own once.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cookie Decorating

We decorated gingerbread men and snowmen cookies for family home evening yesterday.  The kids loved every minute of it!  Although, Avonlea and Archers cookies didn't entirely make it to the decorating process; their heads were bitten the moment they came to the table.

Walk with Santa

We attended the local fitness center's walk with Santa earlier this month.  Santa arrived in a city fire truck, which Brody especially thought was awesome.  We counted down to the trees lighting up.  We took a short stroll outside to see a bunch of blow up Christmas characters.  The kids got their faces painted, did a candy cane hunt and got to sit on Santa's lap.  It was a lot of good, free, fun.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Kid Talk

One of my very favorite things about being a mom is getting to hear the sweet and funny things that frequently come out of our little ones mouths.  Here are the latest gems.

Greg had a talk with the boys about thinking positively and believing in oneself.  A few days later when Palmer recapped how he won a game at school he told me he did so because, "I believed myself!"

Palmer's part in the Primary program: "Some of the things I thank Heavenly Father for are my family, that we have the Sabbath day and that we can attend church."

Palmer learned the little quips in the song Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer at school.  He sang it for us at dinner and instead of saying Pinocchio he said, "Nonocchio" and instead of Monopoly he said "Nononopopy."  He didn't know either reference.  Looks like I need to break out a vintage Disney movie and teach him a vintage family game.

When we surprised the kids with a ping pong table to set up in our basement Palmer excited cried out, "Now we can practice to play at the fitness center!"  Greg responded quickly, "Or you can play here at home!"

On our way home from church Brody informed me, "on the Sabbath day you can watch a church movie, go to church or pay tithing."  I thought the "or" was pretty funny.

Brody's part in the Primary program: "Some of God's creations that I love are my games."

"Mom, do you know why we don't get invited to Jesus' birthday?  Because it's Christmas!"

While at temple square Brody asked me how old the temple was.  I responded that I wasn't exactly sure.  He informed me that he knew.  "It's as old as Galactus."  I think he might have meant as BIG as Galactus, but who knows.

Clicks his tongue (like he's speaking come African language) to say "clean up."

Refers to his blanket as "mine."

When naming pictures of people in our family he calls everyone by name except himself which he points to and says, "my."

Archer is known for being very loud.  During a zoo trip there was a monkey making A LOT of noise.  I jokingly referred to him as an "Archer monkey."  Archer overheard and was very concerned that I thought the monkey was Archer.  He adamantly told me over and over while pointing to himself, "No, my," until I agree that yes, he was Archer, not the monkey.

When I am warning or disciplining the other kids, she repeats everything I say.  We call her little mom.

When I informed her that a Mickey Mouse movie was playing after I got her up from her nap, she ran out of the room calling, "Coming mouse!"

After a very short bout of coughing, she very pathetically looked up at Greg with big watery eyes, and sadly remarked, "Daddy, I sick."

Whenever Archer is mean to Avonlea, she quickly goes up to him, sobbing and wailing, arms stretched out and tells him how to make it better, "Archer! Hug!"

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving with Family

We were able to visit with both sides of the family this Thanksgiving.  We dropped by Emily's home to see the Hess side.  Grandma Nancy and Randall came from Garden City for the holiday.  Emily made just about everything for the meal!  She is such an amazing cook!

We had the Nichols side of the family meet at our house later Thanksgiving day for dinner.  Everyone prepared a couple items so my preparation wasn't very intensive.  I made stuffing, and pies (pecan, apple crisp, pumpkin and whipped cream of course!)  We also had turkey and gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and apples, mixed vegetables, a relish tray, and a chocolate cream pie.

Betty had to leave right after dinner to fly to Florida.  Katie was found the night before unconscious with a sugar level of 14!  Betty has been in Florida ever since taking care of Katie.  Thankfully, Katie has since woken up, however she has a severe brain injury and is struggling to recover.  We are praying for her daily.  She has a long road ahead of her; Betty is not planning on coming back to Utah anytime soon.

How grateful we are for our many blessings, especially our family.  Heavenly Father has blessed us with a wonderful and supportive family.  I'm so thankful that we remain close and that our children are able to enjoy holidays with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  We love them all so and pray for their health and well being.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Date Night Babysitting Co-op

We've been involved in a babysitting co-op group in our neighborhood for the past few months.  There are four families, twelve kids involved.  Each family takes one Saturday a month watching the kids, so the other couples can have a date night with free babysitting.  It's been great!  It's a little crazy the Saturday we have all the kids here, but it's quite often crazy here anyway.  So far we've only had the kids twice.  The first time we put up our waterslide to play on.  The second time we played with flashlights at the park and made snickerdoodles.  Our kids love the co-op nights.  It's like a party for them every week.

Greg and my favorite dates so far have actually been at home.  We get take out, rent a Redbox movie and watch it in our own home, on full volume!  It's been awesome.  We usually watch our grown up movies after the kids go to bed, quietly, not to wake the kids, with subtitles so we don't miss anything we can't hear, and split up the show between nights because we get too tired to finish it.  Watching the latest Captain America with loud surround sound at a decent hour in our own home was heaven.  Oh the things you take for granted before you have little children!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween

October seemed to fly by this year, and before I knew it, it was the week of the Halloween and the kids hadn't even worn their costumes yet.  Usually they have had them on all month for various events, but this year, I think we were just too busy with day to day stuff.

The boys picked their own costumes this year.  I picked out the twins costumes, but they were thrilled with them.  They both love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse right now.

I did get to take the boys to the ward truck or treat the weekend before Halloween.  Greg and the twins stayed home because the twins were contagious with hand, foot and mouth disease.

Other than that, it was just Halloween night that the kids were able to dress up for some Halloween fun.  They were hard core trick or treaters this year!  We all went out together for an hour.  And then I went out with just the older boys for almost another hour.  They soaked up every moment they could of candy collecting fun.

Palmer as Super Mario
Brody as Wolverine
Archer as Mickey Mouse
Avonlea as Minnie Mouse

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Phone Pics

Here are my favorite pictures from my phone, taken the past couple months.
 Palmer and his "pumpkin pet."  He and I decorated it for a school project.
Archer with a whopper of a mouth sore.  The twins had hand foot and mouth disease this month and it was awful!

 Avonlea and Archer taking a break from dancing on the stage at Gardener Village.

 Face painting at Gardener Village
The whole family at the Grizzlies game, free tickets from the library summer reading program.
 Avonlea cheered happily for the players unless the announcers voice came over the PA, then she would get really nervous and turn to me for comfort... everytime.

 Knuckles from the Grizzlies mascot.
 Palmer's school Reflections entry in the 3D Art category.  The theme was "The World Would be a Better Place if..."  He said if there were more trees, and he loves the colors of autumn trees.
 Palmer wrote "tatoday" on our countdown just before we headed to Bear Lake for the weekend.
 The babies rocking a couple of glasses while Mom and Dad were at the optometrist.
 The twins checking out their reflections in the chrome on the bathtub.
 Avonlea ate half of an Oreo and this happened.
 General Conference activities for the boys.  Palmer took the work very seriously.
 Brody's apostle looked a bit like Jack Skellington.
 The twins expressing some major toddler fashion just before church.  Avonlea took off her dress shoes in exchange for some tie dye crocs, and accented with every piece of jewelry she had.  And Archer thought he needed some jewelry as well.
 Party animal cupcakes for cousin Davis' birthday
 Spending a rainy day getting soaked at the zoo.
 Thanks to Greg's influence, Brody stated, "I just went through a Stargate!"
 I made pasta e fagioli for dinner.  The kids called it "perler bead" soup.

 The twins reeking havoc while I took a shower.
 Family day at Greg's work.
A surprise 40th birthday party for my fabulous friend Ces!
 Cupcakes I made for the occasion.  She has great taste, in food and men.

 They begged for a play date and then proceeded to do individual gaming.  At least they talked to each other about it as they played.
 My girlie girl and me.
Cotton candy beards at Golden Corral.