Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's a birthday for Samantha!!!

Because Samantha's birthday is so close to when the baby is due we decided to celebrate her birthday with her friends at the beginning of December. Instead of a regular birthday party Samantha wanted to have a Christmas party for all her friends. So she invited 17 girls to bring some cookies and a pair of fun Christmas socks to exchange. We made Christmas crafts, played some fun games and exchanged the socks and cookies. Everyone had a great time and I cannot believe that we had 17 girls in one room for 2 hours and we all survived!

I thought it was very sweet of Samantha to forgo getting a bunch of birthday gifts and have a party for all her friends instead. She is wonderful!

Samantha spent the year growing! She also kept herself busy with piano lessons, dance classes and lots of swimming this summer. She is a bubbly, happy, easy going person and we are blessed to have her in our family. I often find her making up fun games for her younger siblings and she even keeps a prize box for them to pick things from so she can bribe them to help me with things or behave in the car. Seriously, she is amazing!

I hope 11 is a great year for you, we love you!

Happy Birthday Sammie Bear!!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Olivia is 2!

I can't believe our little Livi is 2! She is such a sweet baby and I hope that she sails through the 2's with no problem. She has funny words such as:


YEEP=also means yes, depends on the level of excitement associated with the yes

Bee-Bee=Gabriella, who is the only family member she names besides Mom and Dad

Bone=phone, she thinks they all belong to her

Wah-Wee=sippy cup

She is such a joy to have in our home. She spends her time carrying baby dolls around, playing with Mommy's make-up, gathering things to obscure places (for ex. she will take all the clothes out of her dresser and put them in the hall closet), and chasing after Gabriella who she looks up to so much! She is a very quiet, self entertaining, disaster making, sweetheart.

I hope she enjoys being a big sister soon. Olivia also has eyelashes to die for--lucky girl:)

Happy Birthday Olivia Grace--you make us smile everyday!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mariah is a teenager!!!

I am certainly not old enough to have a teenager, but somehow Mariah is 13! She is an amazing daughter and we are so grateful to have her in our family. She spent the past year working really hard in school to maintain her status on the high honor roll, playing the piano, running cross country, making the Volleyball team at school and baby-sitting in her spare time! She is a super busy girl, but still manages to be happy and have some fun. For her birthday she invited a few friends to go to an outdoor ice-skating rink and then to dinner. It was such a fun night to watch her with her friends. She is very lucky to have a great group of girls to spend time with. I know she will miss them when we move.

So far Mariah has been a very good girl so I anticipate very smooth easy teenage years ahead:)

Happy Birthday Mariah--We love you!!!!

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a really nice, relaxing Christmas season. There was NO snow, which is very unusual for us. Knowing this will be our last winter here in upstate NY we were really looking forward to the snow one more time. But, so far it is pretty pathetic.

Anyway, we spent the month preparing for Christmas and just having a great time together. This year we had a friendly boys vs. girls gingerbread house decorating competition. Gabriella switched back and forth between the girls and the boys depending on who she thought was doing a better job at the time. A lot of the candy was wet, and after a while we figured out it was because Olivia spent her time putting candy in her mouth, sucking on it for a bit, then putting it back and moving on to the next piece--so gross:)

We had a fun time on Christmas Eve. We made cookies for Santa in the afternoon and then went to see the "Lights on the Lake" which is a local lights display. It was a fun day. That evening we had our traditional nativity play as a family. This year Kris was the poor donkey that carried in Jamie (who is 8 months pregnant) on his back into the living room. The kids thought it was hilarious. At first Kris said he wanted to play baby Jesus, but I don't think the kids could have stopped laughing in order for us to read the Christmas story. So he settled for the donkey. The kids then exchanged the gifts they got for each other. It is always a highlight to see them anticipate the reaction of the person they picked out a gift for. They are so good to each other. All the kids were tucked in by 8:30--we were amazed. They all like to sleep in one room. Joshua woke up at 4am and we made him get in bed with us for an hour before we went for the gifts. I am sure it was one of the longest hours of his life! We enjoyed the gifts and had fun playing for a little while before we had to get ready for 9:30 church. We were even on time:)

The sacrament meeting program was so lovely. Mariah played a piano piece with other girls in Young Women playing the violin, flute and bells. It was beautiful and I was so proud of her. Samantha and Joshua sang a song with a small group of kids. They did great too, I could even hear them singing!

We spent the rest of the day relaxing, playing and just having fun being together. It was a great day! It did make me a little sad knowing it will be our last Christmas in this little house. The time had gone by so fast.

Next year we will celebrate with the palm trees. It will be so weird.

I love Christmas!

Ward Christmas party nativity. Gabriella was a sheep, Joshua was a shepherd and Samantha was Mary.

Joshua thought the boys had a clear win over the girls. I kept telling him that although they had some cool construction aspects, it was all in the details...

One month to go! I swear it lasts longer than the first 8 months combined. We are excited to welcome our new little guy.