Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas...

Tonight, (Christmas Eve) we went over to my parent's house to make homemade pizzas with my siblings and their families. My dad swears that this was our Christmas Eve tradition when we were young but none of us remembers it. Oh well, its fun to do it now. While we were there, we had a surprise visitor. The little kids went wild! Santa came and reminded us that Christmas is about Jesus and because he gave us all the greatest gift ever, that's why Santa gives us gifts-because it makes you feel so good to give others gifts.

Blake's first ever experience with Santa. He did great!

Hannah stayed in the protective arms of Grandma Purcell. Hey, at least she is in the same room as Santa this year. Last year, she hid in the car until he was gone. She did accept a candy cane from him this year too. Progress.

Ryan was excited to see Santa and was one of the first on his lap!

Garrett likes to pretend that he is one of the big kids and is too cool for Santa. (Secretly he loves it! The magic still lives on!)

Afterwards, we headed back home and all gathered around the Christmas tree to hear the Nativity story read from the Bible. Afterwards, as per our tradition, the kids each got to open a present. It is always new pajamas. Who doesn't like new pj's?

They were all so excited to open a present!

Even Blake! This is his first Christmas and he loved to grab hold of that paper and stuff it in his mouth, of course.

Garrett was the first to open a present because he was the best behaved during the story. Good boy!

Ryan was very excited to open his present, he didn't have much time to stop for pictures. Ryan, by the way, gave Blaine and I a very exciting present this year for Christmas. He is COMPLETELY potty trained. Day and night! Yippee for me!!

Here is my cute little family in their new pj's! They are so excited for Santa's arrival tonight. The milk and cookies are all set out, ready for the big guy!

Now that we are winding down from the hectic Christmas shopping season and heading into the excitement of Christmas morning, I try to remind myself what this season is all about. I count my blessings and am so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many friends and family and am blessed to feel their love daily! I saw a quote the other day and wanted to share it with you.

“This year, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and the speak it again.” -Howard W. Hunter

My goal this next year (among others) is to try to remember this quote and live my life accordingly. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Deck the Halls

We finally decorated our tree the other night. Last year we got a smokin' deal on a very nice artificial tree during one of the after Christmas sales. (Thank you Beckie & Chet!).
So, this year, we pulled it out and set it up. Now, you must know I have always been very anti-fake tree but after shelling out waaay too much money for a tree that I just have to remember to water and am constantly vacuumming up after, I was willing to try the fake tree. Guess what? Its nice! Its clean! Its paid for-year after year! This means the tree can go up much earlier too. Yay!

We pulled out our Christmas lights that we have had since we were first married. I forgot last year that the plug on one of the strands had basically disintegrated. Hurray for my awesome hubby who changed out the the plug and saved the day. I think this may be the last year for these strands of lights. Not all of the lights work anymore (actually a good portion do not) but not enough that you notice when they are on the tree. I guess light strands only last 13 years nowdays!

The kids are always so excited to get into the Christmas box and get out their ornaments and the other decorations. Each child has their own box of ornaments, thanks to Blaine's mother, Evelyn. Every year she gives each child a new ornament. Their name and the year are written on iit. The kids look forward to it every year and I know they will be excited to have a set of their own special ornaments to take with them when they have their own families.

Ah, my sweet little man, helping me get ornaments out. So cute!

Blake was so good the whole time, he just hung out in the swing and smiled and giggled at the kids. Such a happy baby!

Here is the finished tree. I think it looks very nice this year. I'm so pleased with it!

One of my favorite decorations in the house...mistletoe!

My four sweeties around the Christmas tree! So excited for Christmas. It helps me have more Christmas spirit and brings back the excitement!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blake at 4 months

Blake turned 4 months on November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. He had his 4 month check up (complete with shots!) the next week. Here's how my roly-poly baby measured up:
Height: 26 1/2 inches (97th percentile!)-I think he's having a growth spurt. He is too long for most of his clothes
Weight: 15 lbs 0.5 ounces (40th percentile)
Head circumference: 43 cm (I don't know the percentile but its probably in the 80's based on my boy babies' histories)

A little bit about Blake:
-He loves to sit up and look around (not by himself yet) and loves to interact with the kids.
-He hates to be left alone
-He loves to grab anything within reach and put it into his mouth.
-He LOVES his bottle and gets so excited when he sees it. He will reach for it and try to stuff it in his mouth.
-He will also snuggle against your shoulder or neck and go to sleep.
-He sleeps through the night!
-He has the cutest little sounds and will chatter away to his toys or whoever is talking to him.
-He smiles easily.

He loves the jumper and all the toys on it.
He has funny fly-away hair that stands straight up on top.
He has chubby cheeks that you just want to kiss!
He is super patient (that has really been a sanity saver for me)
When I give him a bath, he does a crunch and wraps his legs around the faucet and tries to eat it.
There is so much more I could say about this little guy but I'll stop here. I just love him so much!!

Ryan also had his 3 year old check up around the same time. Here are his stats:

Height:35 1/4 inches (10th percentile)
Weight: 29.4 lbs (20th percentile)
Head: 50.5 cm (probably 100th percentile! )

He's just a "wittow guy" (thats what porter says if you ask him is he's a big boy-no he's just a little guy) but we love him lots!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Remember this guy?

Remember this turkey? Garrett had to decorate this turkey for school. Apparently there was a competition (of sorts) throughout the whole 4th grade. He told me today that he took 1st place. Our conversation went something like this, though:
Me: Garrett, how is your turkey you took to school.
Garrett: Oh fine. I won first place already.
Me: First place? In your class or the 4th grade?
Garrett: *Sigh* In the 4th grade. I told you all this already mom. *walks off*

Actually, he told Beckie all about it, not me. Why am I always the last to know?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Other November Stuff

I know I've been really bad at blogging this year. I need to be better because this is my family journal. So, lets catch up a little, shall we?

This November had a few fun things happen.

Garrett lost 2 more teeth. On the same night. He came home from school telling me that they were both loose and he had Blaine pull them out later that evening. That is always an exciting event around here and then the tooth fairy gets to come. Garrett was so excited!

It snowed. One day and then was gone. Yay! The kids love the snow and can't wait to go make snowmen and such. I am happy for it to not be here.

Garrett and Hannah went to the moon. Actually we visited the planetarium in Salt Lake at the Gateway. We had some time to kill so we went in. There were lots of fun things to see and do outside of going to the show. They had a really cool gift shop. Upstairs there was a moon exhibit where the kids could walk on the rocks and explore a little.

There was a Mars exhibit too!

Here Garrett and Hannah are standing on a giant scale and finding out how much they weigh on other planets. It was very interesting and fun for them!

Later that afternoon we went to Disney on Ice. Hannah was so excited and loved every second of it. It was almost more fun watching her face and her expressions about everything. Garrett liked most of it but is true boy fashion, was bored by the end and wanted to go back to Bountiful to play with Ryan & Hailey's kids. We stayed 2 nights with them and they were such gracious hosts. The kids had a great time playing with Mazzie and Bronson. Ryan and Hailey even watched Ryan and Blake for us while we went to the show. Thanks guys!!

Blaine's cousin Ryan had suggested that we take the train from Wood's Cross into Salt Lake City and then we wouldn't have to worry about parking. It was a lot of fun and the first time on a train for all of us. The kids LOVED it and were fascinated by every bit of it!

I even liked it which is HUGE because I have a fear of trains. (Unlike my train obsessed children.) It was really nice not to worry about a car or parking. We took the trax train in Salt Lake as well. Lots of fun!

When we came home from Utah, we had to finish Garrett's turkey for school. He brought home this paper turkey and was supposed to decorate it with something. So, we used red popcorn kernels for the feet and head, caramel corn for the body, colored popcorn for the feathers and we even had a bright red wattle hanging off its beak. Lots of fun for Garrett and Mom!

November has been a great month with lots of fun things happening. We are anxiously looking forward to December! We were very thankful for our blessings this month and hope we can continue to appreciate all that we have!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Ryan! Happy Thanksgiving!

Ryan turned 3 on November 24. That was Thanksgiving this year. We went to my mom's house for an awesome feast. Poor Blaine had to work and he said he had the worst Thanksgiving dinner he has ever had. Worse than the year we had steak for Thanksgiving. That wasn't bad, it was just non-traditional. He said this was just bad food. Poor Blaine. He did get a few leftovers, though.

After the dinner, the kids and I came home to frost and decorate Ryan's birthday cake. I really hate making cakes. They give me anxiety. Ryan wanted a dinosaur cake this year. So I made the cake, cut it out and the kids and I proceeded to frost it. Try frosting a cake with 3 other frosting-covered knives trying to help. Lots of fun and messy. The dinosaur ended up being a brown, chocolate frosting, m&m, and mike & ike covered creation. And Ryan could not have been happier!

He loved his presents. All except one. We got him a game called Mr. Bucket. It looked fun and we thought he'd love it. It is a bucket that moves around the floor the tries to cover the top of the bucket with its hands. The object of the game is to try to get all of your colored balls into the bucket before Mr. Bucket spits them back out at you. Well, Ryan is terrified of this thing. Its great. The other kids love it at least.

So, some things about Ryan at age 3:
-he weighs about 30 pounds and still fits into 2T/24 month clothes with ease.
-he is also pretty short for his age. Porter is 9 months younger yet, they are the exact same size.
-he loves Thomas the Train. Anything Thomas. He can name all the trains, their colors and what they do.
-he likes to run. Fast.
-He is a tease and likes to make his sister squeal. How can you resist his big brown eyes and cute cheesy grin?
-he likes to jump. Like Jack be nimble.
-he loves his blanket. He takes it everywhere and sucks on the corners (totally grosses me out!).
-he is day time potty trained. We are working on the night time thing but his bladder still needs a little time to mature when he is sound asleep.
He loves nursery. He walks himself there every week and has been a great motivator for his friend Pierson to go to nursery as well. I'm not sure what Pierson is gonna do without Ryan next year.
-His speech is pretty dang clear and he can pronounce his "R's" really well. This is a good thing when your name is Ryan.
-He likes to play in the sand/dirt/water and be messy but he also likes to pretend to cook like mommy and daddy.
-He is a candy hound. He can sniff out any candy hiding spot.
Oh, I just love this little cutie! Happy Birthday little man! Hope you have a great year!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Halloween 2011

So now that its almost Thanksgiving, I'm finally getting around to posting Halloween. Halloween was very cold and windy this year (when is it not in Idaho?) but we still had fun. The costumes this year were:
Garrett-some sort of creepy skeleton thing that had blood oozing down its face. The little kids were scared of it!
Hannah-Rapunzel, of course. She even had a long blond wig to boot! (Anybody know how to untangle a wig?)
Ryan-he was a skunk! It was a very warm costume for him and oh, so soft!
Blake-he was a tiger, also a very warm costume for him.

First stop is always to Grandma Great's house. She lets the kids pick their treats (and she gives them lots of candy) and then we have a picture with her. I cherish these pictures. I remember a few years back, thinking that I won't have many more of these pictures with her and I should cherish them. That was 2 kids ago but I still value these pictures of my kids with her. I LOVE that they know her and love her and feel comfortable at her house!

Isn't this the cutest little tiger you've ever seen?

Getting ready for trick-or-treating. Here is Porter (cute little monster with a ghetto booty), Ryan and Hannah. Garrett and Lexie were already out the door, ready to get their Halloween loot!

While the kids were gone, the Brownies came. We love the Brownies sooo much! Thank you Brownies for the new pajamas for the kids and Blake's new rattle. (This is the coolest tradition, in my opinion, and what makes it even cooler is that it was started by my Great-Grandmother and is still going on today!)

I had a brain shaped jello mold so we made a worm-infested, green slime oozing brain for dessert. It looked awesome, this picture doesn't do it justice.

Halloween was great and the kids had so much fun. We always have a great month of October but I'm so glad when its done!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pre-Halloween Activities

So, around our house, Halloween festivities begin days (or weeks) before the actual event. Here are some of the highlights of this year.

First up was witches night out! I look forward to this event every year. This year my sister Beckie came with me and we had so much fun. We paraded around Walmart, went on a scavenger hunt and had a great dinner with games and witchy white elephant gifts. Lots of fun!

Hannah wanted to be a girl witch so she got some killer eye makeup and lipstick. So pretty!

Then, we had our second annual pumpkin carving party with my family. Thanks to Beckie for hosting, feeding us and growing the pumpkins for us. Here is Blake's little pumpkin and Ryan's pumpkin. Garrett carved it for him. What an awesome big brother!

I brought some make your own candy necklaces (Halloween themed) and the kids put them together. Here is Jayson and Garrett sporting their new jewlery.

Garrett had crazy hair day at school so we dyed his hair green for the day. Big hit!

Our last party before Halloween was with some of the Jones cousins. They had a scavenger hunt for Halloween goodies and got to eat a donut off a string. This was a big hit and the donuts were jelly filled powdered donuts no less. Talk about dry mouth!

Hannah couldn't quite sink her teeth into the donut for a while so she mostly rubbed it around her face. Silly girl!

We love Halloween around here and have so much fun leading up to the actual event. Thanks to everyone who invited us to parties. We had so much fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blake at 3 months

Blake will be 3 months old next Tuesday, October 25. Time has flown. He is getting so big!
He is filling out and has fly-away hair. He is super smiley and happy most of the time. So mellow and content. Oh, he giggles too! The best sound in the world! Love it! These pictures were taken around 2 months. He has filled out even more since then!

People say he looks like Ryan but he looks a lot like Garrett's 3 month picture too! He must belong in this family somewhere.

He is sleeping mostly through the night too, which makes for a happier, saner set of parents. Here are his 2 month stats:
Length-23 inches (55th percentile)
Weight-11 pounds, 14.5 ounces (55th percentile)
Head circumference- 41 cm (75th percentile)
My boys sure do have big heads! Haha! Oh well. Lots of room for lots of brains (I hope!).

Blake is such a good baby and I'm so thankful for that. Especially during August. Blaine had a kidney stone towards the end of August/first of September and was not feeling well at all. I was so thankful for a sweet, mellow baby that just went with the flow during that time. Oh, what a huge blessing that is! Love my sweet baby Blake!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Haircut!

Here is my cute little Ryan last month. So sweet with the longest lashes ever!

Here is my sweet little Ryan man this month.

Still has the longest lashes ever!!

And the cutest spikey new do! He loves it! I love it. He looks so different to me. More grown up in some ways, littler in others! Love my little Ryan man!