December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Andrew got a tool workbench.  He was super excited.  And I'm not going to lie, it was super cute when he and Emily ran into the room holding hands.

Emily was excited to see the plate with the little nubs of carrot and peices of cupcake that Santa didn't eat.  She took care of that for him.

Here they are opening their stockings.  Mostly it was a toothbrush and chocolate.  Andrew didn't realize he had been given a toothbrush until tonight when we were brushing his teeth, although he was shown and told several times.  Oh well, I think I would have been the same way.

I wish this picture was better quality, but I loved the big smile Andrew gave when he remembered the stockings and saw they were full.

He was more interested in his tools than in presents, but this one was exciting to him.  He got to the box and said, "A package!"  It was actually Emily's present (tub toys) but she wasn't interested at all in opening gifts.  She was too busy eating cupcakes and looking for chocolate.

Andrew wasn't feeling in a sharing kind of mood this morning, and tried to hoard all the tub toys.  I took this picture as she grabbed some when he got distracted.  Her face kills me here.  And yeah, that's cinnamon icing all over her face.  We had just had breakfast (sausage/egg casserole and monkey bread).

Emily wanted Daddy to rock Pluto to sleep.  It was pretty cute.  All in all, we had a great Christmas.  I got Mike Norman Rockwell's autobiography and a CarTalk Cd.  He had my past blog posts printed up in 2 books.  I thought that was a super thoughtful gift, and we've enjoyed going back and looking at the past 4 years of our lives.  I have been really pensive today, trying to enjoy the little moments with my family.  My friend lost her father on Christmas Eve, and it made me want to keep my family close and show them how much I love them.

I love Christmas, and am really excited to spend some time with our extended families in the next week or so.  I'm expecting lots of laughter, yummy food, and happy memories.

Christmas Eve

Mike has a star chart app on his iPad and they had a little Santa and reindeer flying last night.  Andrew and Emily thought that was cool.  Andrew thought he was flying straight to our house.  I think he was.  :)

A picture Mike snapped while they were watching Santa's progress.

Reading Olivia Helps with Christmas.

Andrew said that Santa wanted cupcakes this year, so we made a big one for him and decorated it.  We also go out a couple carrots for the reindeer.  Here is Andrew carrying it to the living room before we headed to bed.  I was trying to get Emily to not shove her hands in the cupcake.

Part of our tree.  I love Christmas.....

December 23, 2012

More Christmas Fun

Here are some more of our Christmas-y activities!

Christmas came early today (the 23rd) for Mommy and Daddy as Emily turned 18 months this week so was able to go to Nursery!  Yay!  No more upset, busy baby in our classes.  Andrew informed us that Emily had a fun time, played with toys, was a good girl, and didn't eat the crayons.  Woohoo.  She even allowed me to put her hair in ponytails with ribbons in them.  Adorable.

Andrew and I made a snowman for our fridge.  Here he is hiding, waiting for Mike to get home so we can yell surprise.  Unfortunately, this was taken at about 9:30 in the morning.  I had to explain a few times that we needed to wait a while before Daddy would get home.  He said, "I'll say Surprise! And he will say, What?!  A snowman?!"

We made a paper chain and hung it up in the doorway from the kitchen to the living room.  Andrew loves "making decorations."

Eating chocolate chip cookies and watching Frosty the Snowman, all whilst sitting in baskets of clean and folded clothes. Part of this was my idea, part was Andrew's. Can you guess which is which? I like that they're making the same face in the second photo.

I tried to make this into a collage so it wouldn't take up so much room, but now it's tiny.  Oh well. :)  Tonight we ate dinner by candlelight.  It wasn't anything fancy (pancakes and eggs) but Andrew talked about it the rest of the night.  It was pretty fun!  :)

We went to the Guerra's house to decorate cookies.  Andrew had a great time, Emily screamed to eat cookies.  Pretty normal.  :)  Thanks, Chad and Michelle!  Here's the link to her blog post about that night.  She takes such beautiful pictures.

Not pictured: 
1.  Every morning Emily runs in to the tree and begs for the lights to be turned on.  Andrew runs in and says, "Okay, everybody ready?"  Then he plugs it in and we all have to say Oooohhhh, Aaahhhhhh.  Emily will say, "Oooooooooooohhhhh!  Tee!  Petty!"  All while clapping her hands and sometimes jumping up and down.  Every day.  It's a really, really adorable exchange.
2.  Spontaneous dance parties in the living room while listening to Christmas music.
3.  Andrew mentions that Santa is going to bring him tools on a daily basis.  "Mommy, do you know  Santa bring tools to Andrew."  Apparently, I will be getting chocolate, Emily will be getting robots, and Mike will be getting cars.  He's most insistent that Daddy really WANTS cars, and that Santa will put them in his stocking.
4.  Reading tons of Christmas books.
5.  Singing Christmas carols before the kids go to sleep.
6.  Decorating the house for Christmas (We just got most of the decorations up last night.  Slackers.)
7.  Spending time together as a family, and being grateful for this wonderful time of year that makes everything more magical for our sweet little kids.


I turned 31 the other day.  Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes.   The kids did surprise me with their version of handmade presents - I got to change 6 stinky diapers.  Wow, thanks kiddos!  :)  Seriously, though, it was a a good day.  Andrew said in the morning, "Sorry, Mommy.  Sorry but it's my birthday today.  I want a birthday, okay Mommy?  So, sorry about that."  I told him he had had a lot of birthdays this year and asked how old he was.  He very seriously told me that he is now 10.  Wow, these last 7 years have flown by, apparently.

Mike's present was more fun.  All the Sesame Street Old School DVDs!  I think it's funny that a 31 year old woman not only received but was excited to receive Sesame Street for her birthday!   :)  Mike must know me or something.  :) 

December 16, 2012

Update on the Kiddos

I am 31 weeks along now.  Just 9 more weeks to go.  I'm getting excited to meet our little guy, although I am scared to death of being out-numbered with these little ones.  Three just seems like so much.  I know my mother and mother-in-law will pat my head when they read that, but it does seem like a lot. :)  I feel good, although there are days when I can't quite catch my breath and Mario has taken permenant residency in my ribs.  We basically have the baby name list down to two names: Charles (Charlie) and Christopher.  We like both names, and won't really decide until we meet the little tyke.  He's an active little guy.  Very active.  I want this t-shirt.
It pretty much describes Baby C.
This is a picture of Emily with her face pressed against a screen.  It makes me laugh like crazy. 
  Emmie has become even more of a little talker.  She says "I dee-dee" (I did it) for everything.  She calls Andrew "Bubby" probably because we call him Buddy a lot.  Every night Andrew gives her a hug before bed and she gets so excited every time.  Today he gave her a kiss on the cheek and she just about fell over she was so happy.
  She goes into nursery next week, and we are all very happy!  :)  It's hard to believe that our little Emily is almost 18 months.  Her little personality has really shown itself, and we just love that sweet little pumpkin.

 Andrew seems to have grown by leaps and bounds the last couple of weeks.  His speech is getting so good, and he is much better at sharing and helping with Emily.  Tonight when Mike was putting him to bed he said, "Daddy, can I touch your face?  I like your face, Daddy.  I love you."  Um....adorable.  He is really enjoying all the Christmas stuff we've been doing lately, and has made this season so much fun for us.  Andrew will be moving up in his class at church at the new year.  We can hardly believe that our tiny little guy will be a Sunbeam in a couple weeks.   He has always been a sweet little boy, but lately he has been asking to snuggle with us, given us hugs and kisses spontaneously, and saying he loves us.  I like his face.  And I love him.  :)

Cookie Monsters

  We made, decorated, and delivered cookies to some of our friends last week.  Andrew loved helping make and decorate cookies (and did a surprisingly good job of it) and was super excited to deliver them to his buddies.  Emily, on the other hand, mostly just enjoyed eating the mini M&Ms off the cookie she "decorated."

December 14, 2012

A Heavy Heart

  By now, I'm sure all of you have heard plenty about the horrific shooting in Connecticut today at the elementary school.  Twenty children aged 5-10 have been killed, as well as the shooter's mother, and 6 adults.  My heart literally hurts.
  I can't stop thinking about those poor little children, as well as their families.  I keep thinking about all the sweet little kids who were scared out of their minds, and have friends and teachers who were killed.  I keep thinking of that community that is rocked with grief.  I think of the parents whose Christmas is no longer a happy time, of the presents from Santa that won't be delivered.  I think of the father and brother of the shooter, and the pain they must be feeling.  I think of all the parents across America with children in schools, scared that something like this could happen to their precious children.  I think of my own children, and break down in tears thinking how lucky I am that they are alive, well, and happy tonight.
  I know this post isn't the most uplifting thing you've ever read.  Most of the time, the news doesn't get me down.  I know I have a Heavenly Father who is in charge of all that goes on, and that through the Savior we can get through any trial or tribulation.  I really do know that.  This shooting, however, has really shook my soul.
  Some of you may be aware that before Thanksgiving, a young man in town had bought guns and ammunition with the intent of going on a shooting spree here in town.  His mother was concerned that he might be up to something and turned him in to the police, preventing a horrible event to happen to our town and saved countless lives.  I am so incredibly grateful to that mother for being selfless.  It would be so difficult to turn in your child, but her act changed so many lives for the better (including her son).  Heavenly Father certainly blessed us.
  I am holding my kids extra tightly today.

December 7, 2012

Christmas Festivities

We've been Christmasing it up here lately.  Here's some of what we've done. 
Hanging Christmas lights

Making Christmas trees out of ice cream cones, icing, and candy with friends.

Eating the trees as fast and efficiently as possible.  I was actually pretty impressed with how clean this metheod was.

Although Emily's metheod is pretty awesome, too.

This may be my favorite picture of all time.  That's after he ate some sugar sprinkles straight.  He looks like a drug lord, or possibly Uncle Rico.

I've never made a gingerbread house or anything before, so I was super excited to make a graham cracker one with my good buddy Liz.  She moved a few months before we did, and ended up 30 minutes away from Bolivar.  Talk about your good luck!  Love that girl.

Lights at the park.  And no, we weren't going at light speed.  That's just the effect.  We were actually going about 3 miles an hour here.

Emily kept saying, "Woah! Woah!  Woah!" from the back.

Writing letters to Santa

That's my girl.

Picking out a Christmas tree.  All the way there, and all the way back, Andrew asked me to sing "O Christmas Tree" so he could interrupt and quote the grandma from Garfield's Christmas.  Complete with the doo doo's, etc.  He also told me the other day that he was "eating for two now, dear."

Eating snacks under the tree.

Decorating the tree

And just for your info, I love that guy.


  You know how pregnant women get that cute little (or big) belly?  Well, lately I've been scowling at mine.  I'm 30 weeks along now, and feeling it.  I feel good, just....very pregnant.  Plus, I don't get that cute little belly.  I was commenting to Mike a couple of weeks ago that mine looks more like Fred Mertz's stomach from I Love Lucy.  Let's just say I haven't been feeling my cutest lately. 
  I haven't talked about it much, but Mike surprised me by sending me flowers last week, along with a note that said, "Thank you for being so beautiful, every day."
  It made my day/week/month/year.  I have the sweetest husband in the whole world.

December 2, 2012

Christmas Thoughts

  I've been thinking a lot about Christmas lately.  :)  I know, I know.  Shocker.  And although the baby Jesus was missing for a few days from the kids' Nativity set, I've really been trying to find ways to think of the Savior.
  With Andrew and Emily, I was still pretty early in my pregnancies around Christmastime, but being 100 months pregnant right now has really given me an appreciation of Mary.  Poor little lady!  Waddling around, riding on a donkey, and I know for a fact that in order to sleep (relatively)comfortably while pregnant, you need at least 2 pillows, plus quick access to a bathroom.  I'm so grateful for her and her faith in God.  She raised the Savior of the world.  I love her for that.
  You know how sometimes something becomes so common to you that you forget how amazing it is?  I've done that with Christmas songs.  Emily loves to be sung to before she goes down to sleep, and so for the past week I've been singing Christmas songs.  When I have thought about the words, it has really strengthened my testimony in the Lord.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing -
                     "God and Sinners Reconciled"
                                    I am so thankful for the Savior's atoning sacrifice.  I'm grateful that I am able
                                    to repent and mend the wrongs I have done. 
                     "Born That Man No More May Die"
                                    The Savior's Resurrection made it so that I and all those that I love can live 
                                     again, with perfected bodies.  Death isn't the end.  It's really the beginning. 
                                     I'm so thankful for that knowledge.

What a wonderful time of the year!!!!!

November 29, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

  It's officially time to start Christmas celebrations!!!!  I am so excited.  Christmas is literally the most fun time of the year.  I've been trying to make a list of things we can do as a family every day in December (or starting now really).  If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  Bear in mind I have two kids who don't particularly love cooperating. :)  We'll be taking them to the local Christmas parade, making cookies, decorating cookies, getting our tree, stuff like that.
  Today Mike was able to get off work early today, so we decided to go to Bass Pro Shop in Springfield so the kids could visit Santa.  Andrew was excited, and kept telling me he was going to ask Santa for robots.  ...........this coming from the kid who begged for 2 weeks straight for this toy workbench he found in an Aldi catalog.  I'm pretty sure that's what he's getting from Santa.  (Don't ask me how I know...)  But luckily he changed his tune on the way to the store and said he wanted tools.  :) 
  The kids were super impressed with the free (yay) carousel they had there.  Andrew loved it, and Emily started to say "wee" as soon as she got on the moose, and then I had to literally peel her hands off the pole when we were finished.  It was a big hit...

  About a half and hour before we left, Emily was babbling to Andrew, and he got down on her level and here was the conversation:
               Andrew: Elowee, do you wanna go see Santa?
               Emily:  Yeah.
               A:  Yes?
               E:  Yes!
               A:  Okay, let's go!
  I would have bought them a real robot if they had asked in that moment.  It was the cutest, sweetest little exchange.  I'm so glad they have each other.  Anyway.
  They had a really great Santa.  He had a great smile, and when he saw Andrew staring at him in line, he waved.  Andrew got a huge smile on his face and started waving like crazy.  He was really nice to the kids.  Unfortunately, the man takes a terrible picture.  I don't know if he was talking, laughing, or making weird faces to get the kids to smile, but I laughed pretty hard when I got a peek at the photos.  I had to just take a picture of the picture, so forgive the slight blurriness.

Emily and Ol' Long Beard.  She loved his coat and kept playing with the fur.  Pretty cute. 

This one I call "The Santa Sneeze" or maybe "He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sakes Santa, please stop making that face."

November 23, 2012


This year was the first year we made a whole Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves.  It definitely made me grateful for my mom for doing it year after year.  Thanks, Mom!!
Mike stuffing the turkey.  I was so grateful that Mike dealt with the turkey.  I don't do well with raw meat in the best of times, but as a pregnant lady...not happening.

Kiddos watched Garfield's Thanksgiving special while we made mounds of food.

Our menu!  I'll tell you what, this was the first time I've made homemade stuffing.  It was so simple, cheap, and  SOOOOOOO amazingly delicious.  I'm not kidding when I say it was incredible.


The spread!  We were so stuffed by the end of the meal.  Happy, and stuffed.

A closer look at the stuffing.  We baked some of it in the turkey, and some of it in the oven.  Both were amazing, and with a different flavor, even though they were the same recipe.  The one in the turkey was...turky-er.  That's a new word I just made up.

My plate.  I couldn't finish all of it, but it was seriously amazing.  Especially the stuffing.  Heavenly stuff.  Okay, I'll stop now.