Christmas with four young kids has got to be the most magical thing imaginable! I LOVE it! Here they are with Santa at the ward Christmas party. Ryken is missing because he went with daddy to pick up our Christmas tree at a far away Costco. On December 3rd, our Costco in town was all sold out of trees and not restocking. It's December THIRD, folks! Get some more trees!! I have a deep love/hate relationship with Costco. Christmas Eve making gingerbread houses. I love my Santa baby!! On Christmas morning, after all the presents were opened, this is what each kid was doing: Galla is playing with her fancy new Barbie house.Finn is getting a feel for his new Heely's (good thing he's got his helmet on inside). Paisley is playing with the magnetic silly face toy. And Ryken is being a rascal, as usual! He figures while everyone else is distracted he'll get into Galla's stuff! Look at that guilty grin! At Sesa and Pa's we got to see cousins. Oh Galla, you look gorgeous in your new dress! :) A quick family picture taken as we leave Nanny and Pop's house. I wish it could be Christmas everyday!
I love ringing in December with my boy Finn's birthday! He hit the high 5 and we celebrated with a Lego themed party. My Finn has a solid body and a smart brain. He is always thinking and asking questions and explaining things in his own "Finn philosophy." You can tell his mind is always ticking! Finn loves to play outside and ride his bike, at which he is awesome. He can be stubborn and hard to crack, but on the inside he's super sweet and loving and very considerate. He gives me lots of hugs and is getting so big he can nearly pick me up! He loves to wrestle with dad and puts up a good fight. We love Finn so much and I'm so happy to be his mama!
True to tradition, Thanksgiving was a day filled with family and food and a whole lot of gratitude (even if 2 of my kids weren't so happy to take this picture): And I think this last picture sums up how we felt at the end of the day: stuffed and sleepy!
Ok, now that Ryken is getting a little more mature and in effect slightly more manageable, I'm starting to feel like I can commit myself to my blog again! I love blogging as a means for a family journal and so I'm going to take it back to play major catch up and then bring it up to present. It may take a while, but here we go... Brad and I took a great weekend trip to the City by the Bay last September for an 8 year anniversary celebration. We had a blast wandering around sans kids, eating chinese, shopping, eating pizza, running along the piers (I think I dragged him on a 4 miler--Brad might say it was closer to 6 or 8 miles...), eating crepes, and strolling while holding hands. It was so fun and the kids were in good hands with Brad's receptionist, Alicia, or, as Paisley calls her, "A-felicia." They were happy to see us when we got home but I think only because they knew we'd bring gifts. I guess we didn't get a picture of the boys with their nunchucks and the such, but check out these beautiful flowers:
We had a fun Halloween season! This was at a great party hosted by some friends. Dorothy and Rapunzel! Costumes compliments of Brad's mom's friend, Debbie. She is an awesome seamstress and whipped up both of these costumes from scratch. They are amazing! The detail on the Rapunzel costume is incredible and it has so many layers...it is heavy! Thank you so much, Debbie, we LOVE them! How perfect is this picture? Follow the red brick road.... My gorgeous girls :) And my fearless Captain America with his cheeseburger sidekick! This is where the title of my post came from. My kids were all crying and ornery when we first tried to take pictures in their costumes. How is it possible to be so sad with promises of tons of candy coming?! (Click on this picture to see the poutiest princess) But we finally got them to smile... ...and I think they enjoyed... ...the "fruits" of their labor. Here is the wreath I made from an old pool noodle and scraps of fabric I had. Here is Brad's spectacular pirate pumpkin!
Finn is seriously doing so well in Jr. Kindergarten. They have a class "pet" named Manny the Monkey that they get to take turns bringing home and Finn thinks it's so cool when it's his turn. This is, like, the only picture I could get him to smile in for months. He wouldn't even take school pictures. We sent him to school with his money in the envelope and told his teacher to see what she could do (short of a melt-down), but he completely refused to go near the camera. Oh well, I guess he saved us 20 bucks. They had a jog-a-thon that Finn thought was pretty awesome. When isn't it awesome to run through a balloon arch?!
We have definitely seen a great advancement in Finn's academic (and social) skills. After school everyday when Galla is whining and crying about not wanting to do homework, Finn is on the other end of the table begging me TO DO homework! He doesn't actually have HW, so I ordered a little workbook for him from amazon and he powers right through those worksheets. He also likes to walk around quizzing everyone one math problems like: "what's 2+2+1?" or "what's 3+3+3?" Sometimes I have to think about it for a second, but he always has the answer at the tip of his tongue!
If you have a little girly girl, then you might appreciate this little gem of a trick:Stick some little plastic jewels to mini glue dots and simply adhere to the ear!Give a little squeeze to the earlobe and they will stay for quite a while. Ours have even been know to last through bath and bedtime sometimes! They work out to be cheaper than traditional stick-on earrings and have a big bling factor!
I'll admit, Ryken's hair had gone beyond unruly, but it was hard to bring myself to chop those baby locks! So I followed him around with the camera for at least an hour capturing every angle of that sweet mess of hair. Then I plopped him in the bumbo seat with an otter pop and started snipping. I had to work fast because he lasted about as long as the popsicle and then it was game over. I think it turned out pretty well. And I'm so pleased with the single curl on the back of his head that decided to stick around...can you see it? There's my handsome man! All grown up and ready to get back to business of tearing the house apart!
We went with my parents to their cabin a few weeks ago. Fortunately there wasn't actually any fever going on (as the title suggests) but it sure was hot! Here are some highlights: I love some good bb gun shootin'! Paisley wasn't so sure at first (notice her covering her ears in the background), but she warmed up pretty quickly. Gun=fun for all ages? That thing's bigger than you, my boy! Galla preferred to stick with the tire swinging and cricket catching. Then we did some cruising on the quads. I wish I had gotten a picture of all the kids on the quads with their helmets and stuff on--they looked so cute and hard-core (it sounds like an oxy-moron, but that's how I'd describe them)! Paisley actually seemed to be the one to enjoy the thrill of the ride the most. She would squeal and yell, "Go faster! Go over the bumpies!" The kids also enjoyed plenty of playing in the awesome treehouse. There is a bucket at the end of that rope that they are putting treats in and pulling up to their hideout. And, of course, there was lots of s'mores making around the campfire. It was good times in the great outdoors.