Sunday, December 28, 2008

There is nothing like Christmas morning!!!

Mariah has been asking for a desk for the longest time and we are so glad Santa brought one for her. I don't think we would have lasted another year listening to her begging. She is a delight and love her enthusiasm!

Samantha got the annoying toy of the year. The baby that cries and makes all kinds of cooing sounds! It is actually not that bad because Samantha manages to keep her pretty happy, although we do get shushed a lot in order to keep the baby asleep. She is a good little mommy!
Gabriella loved to play with pretty much everything else except her own gifts. Here she is proudly wearing Daddy's new snow boots. Daddy said she had better not play with anything other than her new kitchen because we happen to know it took Santa almost 4 hours to assemble! Luckily once the obstacle course full of boxes, packaging, wrapping paper and toys were removed from the room she was able to spend plenty of time cooking at her new kitchen. I am sure Santa was happy about that!
Tough boy Joshua was very surprised by his new 4 wheeler. I am a little nervous because he had recently looked at pictures on our friends blog of the husband doing all kinds of crazy stunts on his ATV. I hope Joshua isn't too sad when his barely reaches 4-5 miles an hour. I just have to make sure there are no hills around that he can turn into jumps. (thanks a lot Dale!) I am ready for that yet! After all the gifts were open, Joshua kept asking me if I was sure there were not any other gifts hiding somewhere. He wanted me to make sure I got all the packages out of the closet. I think he needs a reality check and to get a little less greedy. But, if there is any time in life that you can get away with being a little greedy it would be a 4 year old at Christmas! We will keep working on him...
We hope you all had a wonderful, magical Christmas! The New Year is right around the corner and we can't wait to see what it brings!

And, just think, only 362 more days until it is Christmas again:)

Christmas Eve 2008

There is just something about snuggly new pajamas on excited kids that just screams Christmas Eve to me! We had such a sweet, calm Christmas Eve. We came home from sledding, ate cinnamon toast and hot chocolate, and gathered in the living room for the nativity story. This year we took the advice of President Eyring and even though we don't have enough family members for all the parts we made due. The kids loved finding random bathrobes and crowns for the play. I think Gabriella and I were more princess than wise men in our pink and purple sparkly crowns, but Joshua was a the perfect Shepherd watching over his little sheep tucked into his robe pocket. Mariah was a very caring Mary, and Samantha was our angel holding her star high to guide us all. Kris was the narrator as well as Joseph and we all enjoyed the Christmas story one last time for this season. We sang a few carols and enjoyed the lights of our tree.

The kids exchanged gifts with each other. They had picked out the gifts themselves and I loved watching the face of the giver as he or she anticipated what reaction the receiver of their gift would have. It was so special. Kris and I gave the kids pjs and bathrobes and the kids pretty much stripped down right there and got in their cozy things. The kids got all settled down in Joshua's room and actually went to sleep pretty easily. Sledding did it's job!

I hate to see Christmas come to an end, but it was a wonderful night and I was excited for the kids the next day!

Snowman Challenge

A couple of weeks ago we challenged our fellow bloggers to a snowman building challenge. Well, so far the Haymore family is the only ones to successfully complete the challenge. Others (MindyMindy) tried, but had snowball forming failures. Perfect snow is a necessity. Keep trying! The Haymore's are now the ones to beat. They did have a little extra muscle power thanks to a few extra family members, but none the less they are the new winner. So, get building and knock them out of first spot!

Sledding on Christmas Eve

These posts might be a little out of order, but at least they are here. On Christmas Eve when most people are rushing about to get to family parties or dinners we were at home thinking of a way to have some fun, get out of the house, and most importantly--wear out the kids. So we headed out sledding. We heard of a great hill not too far away and grabbed our disks and went. It was a great hill, just right for the kids to be able to climb, but long enough to make the climb worth your while. It was not too cold so we were all happy!

The only bad part of the night was that Kris had the great idea to push me really hard down the hill and spin me at the same time. Off I went, spinning a billion times before I finally bailed and tipped myself over. I get motion sickness really easily so why either one of us thought this was a good idea is beyond me! I was ill for a couple of hours afterwards, I will not be spinning down any hills in the future!

Our plan was successful, we had fun, got out of the house, and got a little Christmas energy out of the kids!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Graham crackers, candy, and frosting...

Kris and I had plans to go out on a date tonight, but we got so much snow today it made leaving the house nearly impossible and very undesirable. So, what was supposed to be a night out turned into a night in. The kids have been waiting very patiently for a chance to make gingerbread houses and tonight proved to be a great opportunity.

Joshua was in a bit of a hurry for his to dry so he hooked up his trusty little fan to speed things along. It was actually great idea. For such a rough and tumble little boy he was very careful and precise with his building skills.
Mariah wished we could have made bigger ones, but maybe next year...
Samantha's little house was a bit stubborn and didn't really want to stay upright, but in the end she made a darling little cottage.
I don't know what to say about Gabriella during the whole process. First, she pulled the empty egg carton off the counter that still had the shells and yolks from the eggs I was using to make the frosting and dumped the yolks all down her shirt--yuck! Second, she climbed on the table and tried to dance on every one's house. I finally resorted to putting her in her high chair, and giving candy as she grunted and pointed to the one she wanted. She knows how to enjoy a party. Seriously, I think I am the worst mom ever. And yes, she did eventually throw up a bunch of the candy she ate:) Fun times...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Now that is a Snowman!!!

If you are going to go to all the trouble of building a snowman you might as well do it big! The kids and Kris had so much fun tonight building a huge snowman. Gabriella and I enjoyed the scene from the living room window. It is too bad there wasn't a lot of snow so he is a little dirty.

Here is our challenge to each of you:

Build a snowman bigger and better than ours and post it on your blog. Then leave a link to your blog on our comments so we can see what you came up with. Be creative, have fun and feel free to pass on the challenge to any one else you think would like to join in on the fun. We even gave you a few hints on how to put the body parts together if you are short on muscle power:) Happy building...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Upstate Hospital Christmas Party

Last night we went to a Christmas party for Kris' work. I think it is the first time I have been to a work holiday party--Wow, I feel all grown-up. It was a very nice dinner party. We got to get all dressed up and enjoy a free meal. It was a buffet style thing and I think Kris ate his weight! I guess I have been underfeeding him. Our friends the Haymore's are also doing residency at Upstate and so they came with us. Can't wait until next year:)

Photos courtesy of Mariah

I know I am making a weird face, but it is the only one we have of all of us.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Not much to report

We have had a quiet past couple of weeks. We have just been doing regular life things I guess. We had a fun Thanksgiving with a couple of other families here at our house. On the Wednesday before the kids and I spent the day in the kitchen cooking. Mariah made the cheese ball and green bean casserole (not the icky campbell's soup one--I am with you there Cianne), Samantha made the cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries, Joshua made the West family traditional green slush, and Gabriella emptied nearly every drawer in the kitchen. I loved having all 4 kids standing up on stools to the counter helping me mix everything up. It was one of those really sweet moments that you wish you could bottle up and keep forever! Thursday we had a very peaceful dinner and a fun time pouring through the black Friday ads. Kris had to go into work at 6pm so the kids and I finished cleaning up dinner and watched a movie in my bed and had a sleepover! What a way to spend a holiday, although we wished that Kris could have been with us the whole night.
We went to this cute little, tiny cabin near our house this weekend. It is actually a museum of sorts. It is two stories, but each floor had just one tiny room. They were having a holiday open house, decorated for the season is a very quaint, sweet way. A very good Santa was there to let the kids make requests. I was afraid the kids would brake him he was so gentle and frail. He had the most tender demeanor. I was glad my kids were able to visit him. They also treated us with cookies and cocoa. A very nice evening. Plus we had the bonus of smelling like campfire from the real wood burning fire place!
Gabriella loves to get into the cereal in the pantry. It is right at her level and so she just helps herself all the time. This time she spilled it on the floor and I am not sure if she was hiding from me under the high chair or if that was where the best cheerios were, but either way she made me giggle when I found her. In fact, she loves to run and hid from me. Behind the curtains is her favorite place. I love seeing her tiny feet peaking out from under the curtain. Usually she is hiding because I have told her we need to change her diaper. We love playing Sardines as a family, you know the opposite of hide and seek, one person hides and everyone else looks for them and when you find the hider you hide with them until just one person is left looking--we usually do it with all the lights off in the house--it is our favorite! She is getting very good at hiding!
If you don't have one, I highly suggest you get one. A nine year old that is! Mariah is such a sweet helper with the kids, they love her!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Late night at the movies

First of all, loved the movie. I don't care what anyone else says! I went to the movie with low expectations because I did not want to be disappointed. All I can say is I can't wait for the next one!!! I went with a bunch of friends to the 12:01 am showing of the movie. Kris was on over night call and so my kids slept at Veronica's house and then I was planning to just come home from the movie and sleepover as well. Of course, the baby had a different plan. When Veronica and I got home I went to get in bed, but Gabriella was in my spot and she was wide awake. After an hour and a half of trying to get her to stop honking my nose and pulling Mariah's hair I decided I had better take the kids home so they could get some sleep. This would not have been a big deal, but by now it was 4am and it had been snowing all night. I went out and scraped the car and started hauling kids outside. I drove about 20mph all the way home because the roads were really icy. By 4:45 am all the kids were in their beds sleeping soundly. When my alarm went off at 7:00 I was very seriously considering letting the kids skip school. However, I was not sure how to explain the the office that the reason they missed school was because Mom was out partying until 4 am and was too tired to get them ready for school. I think people get arrested for that.

So, would I do it all again just so I could be among the first to see Twilight???


What can you get for $.30???

When we were in Palmyra Johnny and Kris went to a dollar store to get some cups (long story) and they came back wearing these awesome clearance wigs. I wish I had a picture of the guys wearing them, but I don't. Somehow both the wigs ended up in our car but if Johnny wants his back he can have it anytime. The kids have had such a laugh watching each other wear them around. One night I came home and found Sam and Daddy reading in bed wearing these wigs. I don't think we have ever had such fun with $.30 before!

My project

Since Kris had a few days off of work I took the time to start a few projects that have been bugging me for over a year since we moved here. We didn't realize when we moved in our house that our bedroom was pink. It has been driving me crazy so I decided to paint. Kris hates painting and I do not enjoy it myself. But, it had to be done! This is a bad before picture.

I love red paint on the walls, but it takes so much paint to cover! So this is the red wall and the rest are Taupe. I love it! But, I am not looking forward to doing the bathroom. I knew I would feel that way so before I started painting the bedroom I started tearing down the wallpaper in the bathroom. That way I would have to finish it, right? It has been a week and it is still not done. I need someone to come visit so that I feel pressure to get it done. Any takers?

Gabriella was sitting on the bed with me and she really wanted my purse. She managed to climb from the bed to the top of the dresser and get my bag. Little monkey! She is the first child of mine that has climbed out of her crib--stinker!!! Nothing is safe in my house. It is a good thing she is so cute...

Stay Home Vacation

Kris had vacation from work last week. We didn't go anywhere but really tried to make the most of the week anyway! Friday we wanted to go to the temple in Palmyra. It is fun to stay in a hotel instead of making the long round trip in one night. Our friends came with us and watched our kids while we went to a session AND as if that wasn't enough they had take out from PF Chang waiting when we got home. So Yummy!

The kids had a great time swimming in the hot tub and hanging out with their friends. We stayed at the hotel that night, but our friends went to their parents house nearby. It is a good thing they didn't end up staying because Gabriella caught a stomach bug and so mom and Bree spent the night dealing with that. Poor girl, it was so sad to see her not feel well. She finally just crashed and fell asleep. Dad helped her out by keeping a sick bucket nearby.

Luckily she felt better by the next morning. Saturday morning we had other friends from Buffalo come to Palmyra so we watched their kids so they could go to the temple. After they did their session we went to a local pizza place and LDS bookstore. The kids managed to refrain from breaking anything at either location so we considered it a success. Since we were so close to Rochester we drove to the Children's museum there. The poor kids were so tired from everything the night before they were pretty pathetic at the museum. We only lasted a couple of hours. It was worth it though because I got to spend time talking to Angela in the "chic car" while Johnny and Kris hung out in the "dudes car". It was a fun trip to Palmyra! We appreciate having such awesome friends that are willing to roll with us throughout the weekend:) And as an added plus, I think everyone we were with escaped the stomach bug that Bree had--Yeah!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

Way back in the spring I heard Carrie Underwood was coming here in concert. I jokingly told Kris I wanted to go for my birthday. I quickly told him I was kidding because I know they would be pricey. Well, he did not listen to me and I was so glad he didn't. He schemed with a few of my best friends husbands and ended up having a fabulous girls night out for my birthday! We sang (screamed) and danced like teenagers all night. Summer, Julia, and Veronica--thanks for helping me celebrate and making me feel 10 years younger! And, of course, thanks to my sweet husband for always spoiling me. (Carrie even gave me one of her fabulous microphones to help me remember the occasion)
Here she is--she is amazing and I can't wait to see her in concert again!
Me and Veronica

Will the leaves ever end???

Just in case you didn't believe me about how many leaves we have, I thought I would post some evidence. This is after I had already cleared the entire yard a few days before!
How many kids are in this picture? Can you find them all?
So many leaves! Luckily our backyard is on the edge of a forest and so we just blow them all into the trees. Is that legal? Nevermind, I don't want to know.
I love the fall and this year the leaves were such amazing colors. I am tired of blowing leaves though. It needs to be done for a third time, but we will see if we get around to it before it snows.

Together they will save the world!

This is Joshua and his buddy Michael. Since we moved here last year these two boys have been inseparable. Because they did not go to school last year they have had a lot of time to be together. His mom and I always joke that they literally love each other to DEATH. They get along like brothers, they play like brothers and they fight like brothers. Joshua often wishes that he and Michael could be brothers. Between the two of them they have 5 sisters so they have to stick together!
I was trying to get a cute picture of them in their superhero costumes, but I could not stop laughing at them! I kept saying can you try to look more tough or show me your muscles or something?!? See what I mean about loving each other to death? Anyway, these little boys melt my heart and I am so glad they have each other to battle the bad guys. They are a force to be reckoned with. Some day maybe the two of them will go on a mission together and really save the world!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

We had such a fun Halloween night. After school the kids carved their pumpkins and they were all very particular about how they wanted it done. Joshua was so proud of his that while he was saying the blessing on the food at dinner he mentioned that his was the "best pumpkin ever and that triangle eyes and a bat mouth were awesome." He takes his role as Ninja Turtle very seriously. (Sorry Katie that it will be coming back to you very well loved.) Mariah was a vampiress, Samantha was Giselle, and Bree was a fairy. The first time we tried to take Gabriella's fairy wings off she threw the biggest tantrum I have ever seen one of my kids have. It was slightly scary how upset she was about her wings. She loved dressing up and caught on to the whole trick or treating thing way too fast. Our neighborhood is perfect for trick or treating. Because it is so great (lots of houses in a small area) we get tons of people who drive to our neighborhood, park their car and gather their candy. One neighbor told us they plan on about 350 kids and usually run out of candy. I believe it, the streets are packed. Even the fire station drives trucks through the streets and have the firefighters hand out candy!

Now I just need suggestions on how to limit all the candy consumption!

Halloween Party

A good friend of ours hosted a way fun Halloween party before Halloween. They decorated rooms in the house all spooky and fun for the kids to wander around in and explore. They did a great job and we all had fun dressing up for the party.
Joshua worked very long and hard to bob for an apple. He was thrilled when he figured out that if you get the stem it is easy to pull out. Gabriella thought the idea of a bucket of water on the floor was awesome and made a huge mess on the floor and herself.
Here is the whole family enjoying the fun party. Kris stole Mariah's wig to finish off his outfit, but she didn't mind. I have always loved Halloween parties, maybe that is because Halloween is so close to my birthday...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our house in the beautiful autumm leaves

I love the trees that stand behind our house. I feel like they protect our little place. In the summer they are big and green, providing tons of shade. In the fall they fire up their beauty and I just can't get enough. Of course all those beautiful leaves will eventually come down and then we have to deal with them in not such a fun way. Until then, I will enjoy every minute of blazing color!