Tuesday, December 31, 2013

{Christmas Day 2013}

Christmas Day always comes and goes in a blur.  The bigger kids hardly slept they were so excited! I always am too (even though we headed to bed after all the prep was done at 2am!).  

We make them wait at the top of the stairs while we turn on the fireplace and music and get all the cameras ready.  

Checking out their stocking loot.  This little boy still loves his Mickey Mouse!

Addy's big request from Santa this year was this doll armoire for her American Girl doll.  She was pretty excited and spent the bulk of the day organizing it.  

We are the last people in the ward to finally cave and get an xbox.  With x-box live to boot = one happy 12 year old!  

We recently got these boys into star wars, so these little figurines hit the spot.  

Rylan requested a robot from Santa multiple times.  Dreams do come true!!

These remote control cars were a hoot on Christmas morning.  Too bad after a couple weeks they fell apart.  

And the aftermath!  We were certainly spoiled by our parents and family with generous and thoughtful gifts.  The day went by quickly talking and face-timing with family and making a big Christmas dinner.  I always get a little sad on Christmas day evening...sad that it's over for another year.  

Ry snuggled into bed with his favorite toys and all was right with the world.  Just as it should be.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

{Christmas Eve 2013}

We started our Christmas Eve morning at OPH (Original Pancake House)....we've done that the last several years...it's the best breakfast joint around and only a mile from our house. 

We felt so treated when an anonymous couple paid for our breakfast!  How nice is that on Christmas Eve??  Just warms your heart that there is so much good in the world. We paid it forward hoping the chain would continue.... 
 My parents were spending Christmas at my sister's house in North Bend this year. My sister graciously invited us to join them for Christmas Eve. We had a blast!  The kids love any excuse to spend time with cousins, but holidays sure are the best!
First up was painting ornaments. I love our little collection of hand painted ceramic ornaments the kids have created over the years. 

My mom was working on another project, and I was a huge help watching her. 

These two had fun with their American Girl dolls.  

A marshmallow fight in the front room is always a good time! It was rowdy and loud and fun!
In the evening we had a lovely Christmas Eve program. Each of the kids performed something.  Addy played a song on the piano.
Rylan sang the 'Hippopotamus' song he learned at preschool. 

Carson played a Christmas carol on the cello.
We sang some hymns together.
And acted out the nativity, of course! 

 The shepherds listening so attentively to the angel. 

These two are so sweet together!
Everyone got new Christmas jammies.

And then we rushed off to snuggle them tight in their own beds in anticipation of Christmas Day!  It was a wonderful and relaxing time together.  Thanks for the invite Apkens!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

{December 2013 Recap!}

So....life with 4 kids just keeps getting busier and busier, throw in a new calling as Primary President, and add in tax season = blogging didn't make the short list of things to do.  But after I printed our 2012 blog book for Christmas last year, it makes me have a renewed effort to capture our memories this way.  It's worth it, but hard.  And playing catch-up just stinks.  But, I'm ready to tackle it the next few weeks.  

Here we go...December was filled to the brim with family together-ness.  We have so many traditions of things to see and activities to do..it's pretty much impossible to cram it all in.  But we did pretty well as I look through all the photos....

We got our beautiful Christmas trees decorated (one fresh tree, see previous post), and one artificial beauty. I LOVE having two trees!

Carson rocked his first orchestra concert on the cello.  

Rylan did a lovely joy on his preschool program.  He even had a little solo in the Polar Express song. Melt my heart he's so sweet.  And Santa even came at the end!  

We decorated our gingerbread houses (4 kits from Costco...everyone must have their own now, apparently). Hours of entertainment. They love it.  

Our Relief Society dinner was a blast. I love our ward!  

I made this new tree skirt.  Very little time for home projects these days, but happy to fit this in while catching up on the DVR shows.  

An Auburn Adventist church puts on "A Journey to Bethlehem" on their massive property each year.  It's a full walk-through story of Christ's birth including major sets, live animals, and dozens of actors. It was our first time attending...it was amazing!  

My sweet Activity Day girls came over for a hot cocoa Christmas party.  I have love, loved my calling in Activity Days. Seriously best. calling. ever.  

We headed up to Seattle to hit two Christmas events in Bellevue with our friends, the Carvers: 
Garden D'Lights and Snowflake Lane.  

Addy and I went to the Nutcraker with some moms and daughters.  Always a festive Christmas activity!

My sister and BIL were in Seattle house shopping, so I took their kids and mine to Fantasy Lights.  Everyone got a chance to peek out the sun roof! 

I had to pull the kids out of school in order to fit in our traditional Santa picture.  We LOVE this Santa and have 5 years worth of pictures with him.  I always consider it a miracle to get a decent shot. Notice Miles on the side...he would NOT sit on Santa's lap!

 Addy and cousin Claire.  Sweeties!

I made dozens of caramel apples for friends and neighbors.  A huge undertaking, but I love how they turned out!  

We had a late start day when 3 inches of snow fell over night.  Kids couldn't have been happier (unless of course school was cancelled completely, but the roads were fine by 9am. Darn.)  

These two attended a boy/girl Christmas party at a friend's house. Are they that old???  

We attended our Ward Christmas party dinner.  The primary kids sang...notice anyone about to advance out of primary?? This pic cracks me up!

Our HOA sent Santa around with a police escort!  

We hosted a white elephant exchange Christmas party that was hysterical.  

I put up a photo booth at the last minute and it was pretty fun!

I also teach Rylan's class in Primary.  We acted out the nativity on the Sunday before Christmas. I sure love these sweet kids!

I had my whole primary class over for hot cocoa and cookies....open house style, which worked perfectly!  

 And re-used the photo booth with the kids!

And my two darlings!  Love them!

And that brings us to Christmas Eve!  Phew...this makes me think I didn't sleep at all during December!  

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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