Saturday, December 27, 2014

BC (Before Christmas)

The fourth graders at Jansen's school had a living museum. The students chose someone from history they wanted to learn more about and prepared short presentations to share with people who came to "visit" the museum. They were also supposed to dress and pretend like they were the historical figure they chose. Jansen decided to do Ronald Reagan. It was difficult to dress him in character since he doesn't have a suit or any blazers. This is what we settled on. He had some khaki pants he was supposed to wear that day, but boy does he hate his "church" clothes and he decided not to wear them. 

After seeing Jansen at the "museum," Leah and I joined Natalie for lunch. I haven't spent much time at their school, and being there that day reminded me how much I love elementary schools. I don't think I ever want to teach again, but I definitely want to spend more time volunteering there when Leah is a little older.

Emmy is so sweet. She is a very obedient child right now and likes to please and do what's right. She can border on being a tattle tale, but she just likes people to be doing what they are supposed to be doing. She is most difficult at night right before bed, but I think it's because she is so tired. She is asleep almost the moment she closes her eyes. 

A week ago we decorated gingerbread houses. We invited the Kartchner's over who are in our ward and live in our neighborhood. We tried out a copycat recipe that night of Cafe Rio's tortilla soup and it turned out really good. They were wonderful company, and it was a fun, sugar-filled evening.

It's not the greatest picture, but I wanted to capture the moment dad is "attacked" when he pulls in the driveway from work. I actually think all three children are in that pile.   
We discovered a way to keep content for awhile - give her a fruit roll-up still in it's wrapper and let her go to town on it. I'm pretty sure I had to throw that shirt away.                          

I am the Wolf den leader in our church's Cub Scout pack. We took the boys to do a service project at a food bank one Saturday morning. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of Leah. She has acquired another nickname, this one from Emmy: Dubs. I have no idea why.

Emmy and her friends at preschool sang the cutest songs at a little Christmas program. Emmy had been singing this particular song every day all day but during the program I don't know if she sang a single word. I think all the kids were a little distracted by the parents and siblings, but they still did such a great job.

Party in the pack and play!

I took this picture the Sunday before Christmas. I do have other children, but Jansen and Natalie detest church clothes and who knows where Emmy is so I just snapped some shots of these two. They were the best dressed of our crew anyway. 

We loved having our friends the Thomsons come stay a night with us at the beginning of Christmas break. The unfinished playset quickly became a hideout, shelter, and fortress.

It wasn't as warm this day as Natalie's shorts and short sleeve shirt would lead you to believe, but we still got a little soccer in.

We tried out a burger place in town and all really enjoyed it. Well, eating out with Leah isn't really "enjoyable," but we made it work. I think Emmy had fries and lemonade for lunch.

The front room of our house is pretty empty, so I just kind of decided it would be the "Christmas room" this month. It was often a mess, but it was a happy, Christmas-y mess. Nate's mom made our beautiful stockings you can see in the background. Leah doesn't have one just yet so the girls made her one out of paper. It's that pink thing you can see to the right of the others. It just cracks me up.

This picture gets me every time. Those cheeks. That nose. Her chubby little hands. I love that innocent little face. She is starting to babble a lot more and is getting up on all fours. It won't be long till she is crawling all over the place! Her favorite thing in the world to eat and play with is paper.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving, Today, and Everything In Between

Each Thanksgiving since we've been married has been different than the rest. I don't think we've celebrated in the same place twice, and we've done everything from making almost all the food, only making the cranberry sauce, ordering it from Claim Jumper, etc. It's kind of fun to always be changing things up - I do miss being with family though. 

Our kind friends the Harters that we know from Las Vegas invited us to their home this year. We brought the rolls and some desserts. I am not a big fan of pie, and I don't have much faith in my ability to make a tasty one, so I gave that job to Nate. Jansen really enjoyed helping him.

Nate played in a turkey bowl that morning with some guys from church and the rest of the time before the meal was mostly spent preparing food. Natalie hurt her foot while playing in the backyard that morning and there were some prettttttty loud wails and screams as Nate cleaned it and wrapped it up. I'm not sure I want to be in the room when she gives birth some day.

We had a wonderful time at the Harters eating, chatting, watching football, and letting the kids play in the backyard. 

The Harters also hosted a couple Basic Trainees from Lackland Air Force Base. They are almost done with boot camp there.

 The next day our great friends the Nelsons (that we also know from Vegas) came from Houston to stay a night with us. It was so nice having close friends in our home and catching up. We had many conversations and ideas about how to spend our short time together and ultimately decided to just "hang out." We watched football, worked on the backyard playset, played at the park, etc.

We sure love them and can't wait to see them again.

 December always flies by, so we tried to get the tree up and decorated quickly after Thanksgiving. If I remember right, this was a little bit of a stressful evening. Thankfully things got better because the kids just love decorating tree and I wanted them to have a fun night and a nice mommy. :)

A couple days later Nate and found probably 20 ornaments just set on tree branches. No hooks, no ribbons, just ornaments resting there. We had to laugh and shake our heads and their laziness??? or maybe just ignorance.

And of course we have incorporated origami into our tree as that is still Jansen's obsession.

The kids love playing with the nativity sets I have collected. Some are breakable (though not valuable), but we just let the kids play and rearrange them as much as they want.

Leah had her 6 month check up and is weighing in at about 19.5 pounds! Love my little chubs. Her appointment was at 9:20 though and I barely made it back to pick up Emmy from preschool at 12. Lots of waiting at the doctor's office and for immunizations. I hate that.

Natalie had her annual eye appointment. She needs a stronger prescription, which we suspected. She will probably start wearing contacts in the next couple years. She seems so young for that, but the optometrist recommended it and said it may even slow down the changes to her vision.

We will see how long it lasts, but Natalie is currently enjoying doing the dishes.

And this is her latest Christmas list:

Emmy had a happy morning decorating cookies with friends last week.

 Leah was there too. :)

Saturdays are so precious lately. Nate has been working late during the week, but he does have Saturdays and Sundays off. We always have an incredibly long to-do list, but there's always time for pancakes.

Nate was heading out on a run this morning and I suggested Jansen go with him. They ran 3.8 miles, and Jansen ran almost the entire time. 

Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent on the playset. Nate is working really hard to get it done. Emmy spends a lot of time just hanging out there with him.