Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's almost Christmas Eve. . .

How fun that our "little" family is almost big enough to
portray everyone in the story.
We have Joseph and Mary,
a wiseman and a shepherd,
and check out our little angel.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What's been keeping us busy?

We finally got these transformed. . .

into these. . . and delivered them to all our neighbors.
We said "GOODBYE" to our old neighbors
the Valentines.
They moved to TEXAS.
They moved in next door to us when we lived on Elm Street.
We both had two boys
and they were always together.

Now normally Capri-suns would be a weird going away present. . .
but there is a story behind them.

So apparently - unknown to me at the time
when Kristopher was little he would just go next door,
knock on the door, invite himself in, and ask for a capri sun.
So this probably doesn't begin to even pay them back for all the capri suns given to my child over the years - but hey it's a start!

Goodbye, VALENTINES  - we will miss you!

We were very entertained at Kris's preschool Christmas program.

This time he asked Santa for
Indiana Jones "whips".
Thanks Santa for telling him "you'd see what you could do!"

The kids and I spent an entire afternoon at Target
each picking out a toy to donate.
(how hard to be able to pick out any toy (under $10)
and know you don't get to take it home and play with it)

We took the toys to the Fire Station.
The firemen were great.
They let us come in and gave us a tour of the fire station.
Gave the boys hats.
And even took our picture in front of the "old" fire truck.

One of our most fun traditions.
Each year we get the kids together and make all sorts of yummy treats,
and decorate sugar cookies.

I've never seen  a kid decorate a cookie so fast in his life.
He couldn't wait to eat it!

"Kris I think you have enough sprinkles," said mom.

"No, mom I can still see the frostin!" said Kris. 

Even Kara got in on some decorating magic.

Then it's time for the GIFT EXCHANGE.

Kyla got Kale a NERF FOOTBALL.
What Kyla didn't know is that Kale has been wanting a NERF FOOTBALL since school started.
When he opened that gift. . . he was so excited he leaned over and hugged Kyla.
Without even thinking he hugged a girl.
(this is a recreated hug - but it was so fun to see him so excited)

Between the two of us
there are 6 kids. . .

And here they are!
(I like how Kale and Kyla are on the ends -
 all the other kids are belly laughing at Marissa jumping up and down to get the kids to smile but they are too old and too cool to laugh anymore.)

And here is the sad attempt to get a picture of my children all dressed up.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

There's a first time for EVERYTHING!

This morning I had to wake Karalyn up so she could have a shower with me.
It had been a few days since her last shower - now notice I say shower - not bath.
Kara doesn't get baths very often.
For a few reasons.

Reason #1 - we are busier! With the boys there was always a bath and then bed - but with Kale getting older and involved in so much there just isn't time for me to give her a bath each night.

Reason #2 - the boys take showers. When it is time to bathe, the boys just jump in the shower. I can't just bathe all my kids together anymore - Kale is getting older (and more private) and I can't just stick Kara in the shower with the boys like I would if they were in the tub.

Reason #3 - while I LOVE my sunken down tub - it is a pain to give baths in. You have to lean over so far - anyway (and yes there are three other tubs in the house but all the bathing equipment is in our bathroom - that way I really only have to keep up with one bathroom - not 4) 

So for those reasons  - Kara usually gets stuck in the shower with either me or Kyle.

But - today I was feeling guilty. A friend had recently posted on her blog her baby in the bathtub just hanging out - and I was feeling bad for Kara. The boys loved their baths and I was feeling a little bad that she didn't get to enjoy them either.

IRONIC that it was today that I was feeling bad for her not being able to take baths. . .

This is what I found when she woke up from her nap today
(If you think the bed was covered - you should have seen her)

Now I could go over every detail of how I had to scrape "you know what" off my daughter and how somehow I managed to get her clothes off without making her eat to much of "you know what" 

But really the best part of this story is this:

She got her bath and loved every minute of it!

I'm Thankful For. . .

bubble baths
2 bathtubs
utility sink
Lysol disinfectant wipes

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

PLAN B day. . .

Yesterday I woke up with a plan!

1.  Take Kale to school and Kris to preschool.
2.  Stop at Grocery store and buy all ingredients to make 3 different kinds of cookies and treats to fill transformed formula cans with because for family night we would take them around to our neighbors.
3.  Make 3 different kinds of cookies and treats.
4.  Eat dinner
5.  Put on Santa hats and take treats to neighbors.

So the day started out right on schedule:

1.  Take Kale and Kris to preschool - CHECK 
2.  Get phone call from good friend desperate for someone to watch her little boy while she volunteers at the school. (no problem plan A is just delayed by an hour or so)
3.  Get another phone call from another friend who needs a babysitter for a doctors appointment (still no problem right - plan A just delayed)
4.  Husband comes home for lunch (with a co-worker) 
(I decide maybe it was a good thing my kitchen was not destroyed from making 3 different kinds of cookies and treats)
5.  Run to the store with only 45 minutes until older child gets out of school to get supplies.
6.  Come home from store and unload groceries.
7.  Realize that plan A is not going to happen today. There is no time to get treats made - get dinner ready and take treats around.

and it all started with this

Isn't it Beautiful?
It is the new Nativity at the Oakland Temple.

And after seeing it on Saturday night I could not get it out of my head.
It was so stunning all in white with the temple behind it.
I love that Mary and Joseph are together holding the baby Jesus.

So now realizing I have to throw together a Family night -
I knew I wanted to talk about the Nativity.

So we started with this. . .

And as I would hand a different character to each member of my family to put in the stable we would talk about that character and why it is important to the nativity.

It was so neat to just talk about it.
Not read it from a book.
Or have mom preaching to the family.
We just talked about it.
Everyone was listening.
Everyone was involved.
It was probably the best 10 minute family night we have ever had.

Here is what the nativity looked like after we were done.

And thanks to being primary president a few years back I pulled out the posters I had made to the Nativity Song and we all sang together.

And if that wasn't already the best thrown together family night. . .
Friend #1 remember the one volunteering at school
brought over gingerbread (graham cracker) houses that were left over from the class
so we had instant TREAT!

for reminding me that life doesn't always have to be planned!
(and in case you are wondering - I will be in my kitchen all day today finishing plan A)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend of SANTA's . . .

We had a SANTASTIC weekend!

Ward Christmas Parties. . .
Potluck dinner
(our ward got so smart this year and the kids had their own food
bagel bites, chicken nuggets, taquitos and fruit salad - so there actually was plenty of food for us parents)
and a
visit from SANTA himself. 

This one is at that age - where he thinks he still believes - he's not too sure if he's too cool to sit on Santa's lap - but he also knows exactly what he wants for Christmas this year and if this Santa thing really works he knows he better sit on that lap and ask for what he wants.

This one couldn't wait to sit on Santa's lap
(although from this picture he looks a little nervous)
It's all this one has been talking about all week.
He knows Santa is going to bring him exactly what he wants.
(now if he would just stop changing his mind about what he does want)

Not so bad . . .

There it is.
The perfect Santa picture.
I have one just like it from both her brothers,
now I can add hers to the scrapbook.
Thanks for coming through for me.

And here you have my children
#1 thinks he's a little too cool for this
#2 is way too interested in his candy to care what is going on around him
#3  - well you can tell by the look on her face how she feels

The kids did make cute Rudolph hats.
Notice that my "too cool kid" doesn't have the red nose ("not cool" he said)

So the next morning we got up bright and early and headed to

(San Francisco for those of you who don't speak Kristopher)

We found that even the sea lions have been affected by the economy. . .
Where did they all go?

So while in "Santacisco" we:
drove over the Bay Bridge
(and tried to keep Papa quiet about the earthquake of '89 when the bridge collapsed. . . we have an 8 year old who is very afraid of earthquakes)
ate at Boudins
rode the carousal
drove through Union Square
saw thousands of people shopping
 saw some amazing window displays
saw a lot of Santa's
some were smoking
some had short skirts on (with fish net stockings)
some were dancing
some had beards
some did not
some were joyful
some were NOT

But it was a very cold day in the city
so we headed to the

and spent a few hours exploring the world of science . . .

We found this near the end of the day
A drinking fountain made from a toilet.
It was called
"a sip of conflict"
all about mind over matter
Even though the water is the same water that would be used in a regular drinking fountain and the toilet is a brand new toilet - people will hesitate drinking from it
(except for my boys)!