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!!