Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Sunday

I loved starting Christmas Day this year by attending our church meetings.  We barely make it to our 9:00 am sacrament meeting as it is, so we knew we'd have to wait until after church to start opening any presents.  Auntie Rie joined us at church and on through the morning. The sacrament meeting was sweet, tender and simple with a lot of music and was focused on Christ.  It was wonderful; the spirit was strong!

Santa was very good to us this year!  Our stocking were filled and the bottom of our tree was full of beautifully wrapped gifts.  The kids opened all their presents first and then us adults opened ours while the kids played.  Greg and I bought all the kids their own Amazon Fire tablet.  Other noteworthy gifts this year include: a drone for Palmer, a Zoomer Kitty for Brody, a Barbie house for Avonlea and a Paw Patroller for Archer.  Greg got Jazz tickets, The Nest thermostat and other small gifts, and he gave me a the Willow Tree nativity (My Mom gave me the set just before we moved in with her.  We put it up in the attic knowing that we'd be storing a lot of things there soon and never found it again.  I've always been really sad about losing it), a gift card for pedicures and some other small gifts. We gave Sariah her a few small presents: books, shoes, movies, etc.  She spoiled us and gave us a ton of gift cards for dates (yay!), slippers, a purse and perfume.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Eve

We had the Nichols side of the family over Christmas Eve for our annual present exchange.  Our kids all got to open a couple presents before the party started: pajamas and slipper.   London and Sariah and I exchanged our traditional homemade "angel gifts."  London gave us homemade soaps and a loofa, I gave a certificate for 48 cupcakes to redeem sometime in the next year and Sariah gave us home canned green tomatoes and the movie  Fried Green Tomatoes.  We had appetizers for dinner (meatballs, deviled eggs, Chinese dumplings, chips and dip, vegetables and dip, little smokies, bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers and tortilla pinwheels).  We also had birthday cake for Jesus, a tradition London started a few years ago.  It was a great night, and a great start to our Christmas celebration!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Four Month Photo Shoot

Sweet little Violet, you really don't like having you picture taken!  You are so nervous of the photographer and just want to be held by Mom.  Somehow we miraculously got one shot with a little bit of a smile, but the worries eyes and sad cry are a much better representation of this photo shoot.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Four Months Old Violet

Sweet Violet is four months old.  Her weigh in with the doctor was not the best this month.  She has dropped off the weight chart.  She went from 66% at birth, now to .9%.  We are going to try introducing solids and an acid reflux medicine.  Her pediatrician thinks she might have silent reflux, which decreases her desire to eat.  It breaks my heart that she is failing to thrive.  I wish I knew how to help her.  This is what is going on with Violet at four months of age.

Stats: 10 lbs. 4 oz. (.9%), 24.75 in. (.75%)

She has learned: to reach and grab at toys, to grab and play with her toes

She likes:
 nursing, toys, lights, Mom and Dad, her siblings, being held, being sang to, baths

She dislikes: being alone, the bottle, being put to bed

Things about her/she does that makes us laugh: kicking her legs emphaticly to bounce in her bouncer, baby coos, gummy smiles and laughs

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Palmer Loves Basketball!

Palmer has been asking to play basketball for the past year, but the season always runs through November and December, which are super busy months.  This year we made it a priority and made it work into our schedule.  He had absolutely loved playing!  I think we found his sport!  He always looks forward to basketball nights, and during the practices and games, he jumps nonstop because he's so excited.  He has learned fast, and was scoring baskets a couple weeks in.  His team has a few really good, experienced players, but even as a newbie, Palmer is holding his own with them.  I'm glad he has found a sport he really enjoys!  I would not be surprised if Greg and I find ourselves in the bleachers cheering him on often throughout his teenage years.

Visit with Santa

We visited with the big man last night.  As we were leaving to the house Archer told us all that tonight's Santa would be "a fake Santa, a big guy in his suit."  However, upon inspection, Brody declared him to be the real deal.  Palmer asked Santa for a new 2DS (his broke).  Brody asked for a Polaroid Camera, Archer asked for a Tracker toy from Paw Patrol and Avonlea asked for a doll house.

Our kids always seem to surprise me with their requests from Santa.  They ask for something that the elves, who get the Hess children's presents ready early in the season, did not plan for.  I hope they are happy with what Santa does bring, because some of their requests this year can not be found or are out of budget.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Three Month Old Violet

Violet is three months old; I can hardly believe it!  She is growing up so fast!  She is a lot of fun lately.  She loves attention and she rewards that attention with a lot of smiles and cooing.  She is also starting to play by herself.  She loves to play in her bouncer, and will do so happily for up to an hour.  Every month she becomes more and more content, but she does still demand a lot of attention. Most of the time, that is not a problem with six immediate family members and many aunts, grandmas and cousins who are happy to provide love.

Stats: weight - about 10 pounds, 24.5 inches

She has learned: to be more vocal, to laugh, to reach for toys, to take a bottle better (she still won't take more than a few ounces from it, but she will take enough to get to the next time I can nurse her)

She likes:
 nursing, bright colored toys, lights, being held, being sang to

She dislikes: being alone, being put to bed

Things about her/she does that makes us laugh: a thin-lipped closed mouth smile she often makes, kicking her legs like crazy when in the bouncer or on the changing table, cute coos and laughs

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Family Photographs 2016

We took our family photos for the year.  It is always so much work, and with a newborn, it was so, so much work!  The portrait studio actually called us and requested that we come in early before they even opened, so that they could guarantee enough time for our large family of small children.  But all the work paid off, resulting in another captured year in the life of our family!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween 2016

We enjoyed several Halloween activities this season.  As always, we went to see the witches at Gardner Village.

Greg and I took the older boys through their first Haunted House.  They were nervous!  I could feel their hearts beats from the outside of their chests.  The actors in the Haunted House kindly took it easy on them.  They both had a good experience with it.

We carved pumpkins.

We went through a corn maze.

 Greg and I had the opportunity to go to Thriller with our friends, Nick and Diana Harmon.  It was a great show with talented dancers and a lot of wit!  We all loved it!

We decorated sugar cookies as a family for Family Home Evening as well as with friends during babysitting co-op.

We watched several Halloween movies: Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice and the new Ghostbusters.  The kids went to a Halloween party with their co-op group; Greg and I went to Aunt Emily's Halloween party and we all went to the ward Fall Festival and trunk or treated there.  And of course, we went trick or treating Halloween night.

We celebrated well this year!