Monday, December 30, 2013

Chirstmas Break Fun

We had a ton of fun during Christmas break. Randy has the entire week off after Christmas so it was great to have the whole family together for such a long time.  We went to Hollywood Connection and rode the rides, played miniature golf and played the arcade one night.

 good times
 We also played in the snow a lot. With or without proper snow gear on.

 It's more fun when snow doesn't get into your pants though.

 Alyssa is the luckiest girl to have big brothers who will drag her around the yard in the sled.

 We have a bit of a sledding hill in the backyard and the boys used it a lot.
 Our happy baby girl

Other than an unfortunate bout of the flu that took most of us out for a week, it was a blast! we love our family, we loved our Christmas celebrations, and we love our new house.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Merry LEGO Christmas!

Before Christmas, we celebrated at my parents house with my family. I didn't take a lot of photos, but we had a ton of fun! The kids received sleds from grandma and grandpa and were super excited about it.
 My favorite part was giving our gift to Ben. Randy and I bought Ben a pretty cool waterproof speaker system. We thought it would be fun to throw in a gag gift at the top of the present to throw him off. He was lucky enough to receive an original painting done by yours truly. It is TRULY one of the ugliest paintings I have ever seen/done in my life. His face was priceless. Randy and I couldn't keep a straight face though so Ben knew it was a joke right away. I told him it was a painting of who he should marry.
 Here is his "real" gift: a speaker.
 Here is our Christmas tree on Christmas morning.  It was really fun to have our first Christmas in our new house. We also had Paige stay with us and that was fun too!
 Our stockings were hung, and filled

 The kids were so excited to open presents, but of course, Randy sat them all down right in front of the unopened gifts and shared his testimony while telling them why we really celebrate Christmas. He also shared Rick and Eileen's gift with the children. Their gift was a donation made in each of the children's names to a Romanian orphanage. Randy showed the kids pictures of the orphans and gestured to all the gifts under the tree and asked the kids "aren't you grateful for everything you have? Do you really need any more gifts?" The kids agreed that they had plenty of gifts and were glad to see that the orphans could have a better Christmas because of Grandma and Grandpa's gift from them.  
After what seemed like forever I'm sure, we finally opened our gifts.

 Everybody got Lego's this year. I have previously banned Lego's from our house and regularly call them "baby chokers." Also, they are not fun to step on. Despite all the drawbacks to having Legos, I conceded that they are a good toy that can have endless possibilities as well as endless amounts of fun. The boys were excited, but nobody was as excited as Jacob was.

 Alyssa playing with Lily's new Barbie car

 Lily and her very pink Lego's

Jake reading to Alyssa under my favorite gift. A new minky blanket from Rick and Eileen. It is the softest, snuggliest blanket ever. I love it. Plus, it's mint green on one side and chocolate brown on the other. It reminds me of an Andy's mint. What's not to like?
 Here we are playing the game "Headbands." It was a gift from my brother Dan and his family. We had a fantastic Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Tyler!

 Our sweet Tyler turned TEN! He specifically asked me to make him a chocolate bunt cake with chocolate frosting. Easy peasy!
 He got some elastics for making necklaces and bracelets (the cool thing right now).
 My parents brought him some binoculars as well.  he was pretty excited.
It is hard for me to believe that Tyler has been with us for ten years. Time sure does fly. Tyler is the most giving, loving, caring person. He is usually the first to jump up and help when I need something. He doesn't complain a whole lot and he is a fantastic big brother. We made a poster all about Tyler for him to take to school for his birthday. On the poster were his favorite things. They included a bunch of his favorite books, basketball stuff and math. I can not get this boy to stop reading at night. I usually find him reading well into the night and have to take away his books in order to get him to go to sleep. He is excited to be in Webelos and brags about being in double digits.  I couldn't ask for a better son than Tyler. He is just like his daddy and that is a great thing to be! Happy Birthday Ty!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


 We have really enjoyed having Amanda come visit us fairly often. One of my favorite days of the entire year was in early December when she came to visit. Randy was out of town and I was totally burned out. Amanda was kind enough to watch  Alyssa for me (after she literally just walked through our door) while I took the older three to go see the movie Frozen. It was wonderful to just sit and watch the movie with no baby to attend to. What made the evening even better happened after I arrived home. We came home to a homemade meal! Amanda had made Chili from scratch along with cornbread and a salad! It tasted so good. Not only did I get a much needed break, but to walk in and find dinner hot and on the table was beyond anything I would've imagined. I almost burst into tears I was so grateful.
 Not only is she helpful and amazing, The kids ADORE her! When asked who their favorite aunt is, they reply with a very enthusiastic "Amanda!" Really, what's not to like, she is smart, she is fun, she takes the time to interact with them individually and their mom is happier with someone to chat with all the time!

 While Amanda was here, we had a rather large snowstorm and we ended up missing my brother Ben's basketball game opting instead to attend my ward Christmas party instead. It was snowing pretty hard and the road was covered with snow. Although our church building is about a half a mile away, we were unable to make it up the hill in my van. Unfortunately, it took us nearly 30 minutes to make it back up the 1/4 mile to my house and another 15-20 minutes to get up my driveway! We only got up the driveway because Amanda drove the car and I pushed it from behind. It was so crazy. I had felt very much alone before she came to visit and I was so thankful Amanda was there to help me laugh through the troublesome moments instead of cry. She is a blessing indeed. 
Thanks Amanda for being a good friend and an awesome sister-in-law! I'm excited for your next visit.