Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Morning

At our house "stockings" are a big part of Christmas Morning. In BJ's family they could get up as early as they wanted on Christmas Morning but they could only look through their stockings(which were long soccer socks, etc. the bigger the better). The stockings were in the basement where all the kids slept and all the presents were upstairs under the Christmas Tree. So their stockings were always filled with all sorts of fun things to eat and play with and then at the designated time they could come upstairs for more. So, the tradition has been passed on--not the getting up as early as you want part but the "grand stocking" part. It truly is a festive affair!In my stocking I always get really crazy Christmas socks, Swedish fish, makeup, cookie cutters, a movie, and of course my personal favorite-----Circus Peanuts! Santa knows me sooo well!Cardon got to play Santa. He did a great job!Brinly got American Girl doll accessories to go with her doll Kiersten (which happened to be mine when I was 10 or so). BJ painted her little doll cabinet and let Santa fill it full of wonderful little doll things. It was fun to see her face on Christmas morning! Pure excitement!Amelia got her "Baby Alive" doll from Santa. She has been potty training it ever since.Cardon got "Night Vision Goggles" from Santa. They totally work and are really cool.Jace got a basketball hoop and ball. He made shot after shot after shot. We were all very impressed.From me and my parents BJ got Rock Band for the Wii. It is so stinkin' fun! We have loved playing it already. BJ totally surprised me this Christmas. I had absolutely no idea. The boxes had been sitting in the garage for weeks going completely unnoticed by me and so I was ecstatic when I removed the blanket and saw a computer hutch. We'd just been using an antique table for the computer and the office was just filled with junk. Now I have a lovely desk where I can work on computer things such as this blog. It's been cleaned---d-junked and now is a nice, clean place to be! Thank you BJ!! Surprises are always fun!!!

Brinly made me this adorable Santa plate at school. What a cute project!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Eve

For Christmas Eve this year we were invited by some friends to come for dinner and the nativity pageant. Dinner was absolutely delicious and the conversation wonderful. After cleaning up dinner our kids got ready for the pageant. Each child was assigned a role and came ready to play their part in the Saviors birth. Cardon and his friend Lauren played Joseph and Mary (secretly I hope to use this picture in their wedding video someday). You must admit it would be perfect!!!
Brinly was a shepherd with her friends Emma, and Katie.Amelia was an angel with her friends Emma-Kate, and Lucy and Jace was a...........Well, he played the important role of the horse! I'm sure there was one there (it's better than the skunk costume I was going to put him in).Everyone did a fantastic job----even little baby Lizzy Jane who played the important role of the Savior.Way to go cast. You did an excellent job!The audience was astounded!After a wonderful evening with friends we came home and each opened one present before bedtime. Cardon gave us a beautiful essay about why he was special and unique--indeed he is. Brinly got a web kin, Cardon got hulk gloves, Amelia got a book about a stinky bear from her wonderful Pre-School teacher and Jace got a remote control toothbrush and some cool cars/mat.Brinly then set out the cookies and milk for Santa and threw some carrots outside for the reindeer and then I read the family some good night books (all about Christmas of course). Then it was off to bed with sugar plums dancing in our heads.It was a beautiful night at our house with presents wrapped all ready to go under the tree. All we had to do was wait for Santa to come. I love when the house is peaceful and I can just sit and look at the lights on the Christmas tree. When I was a little girl I would always wake up around 4 am and go upstairs to lay on the couch and look at the twinkling lights in the quiet of the night. I must admit that I would also get a good idea of what Santa brought us as well.

What a fabulous Christmas Eve!!!!!

One Day B-Lated Birthday to Jace!!!!!

Jace was born on December 28th, 2006 in Mesa, Arizona. He weighed 9 lbs. and came out with a head full of dark (almost black) hair. He slept through the night almost immediately and was the easiest baby I'd ever had. He was always content and peaceful and brought that to our family in a time of upheaval--we were selling the house and getting ready to move to Kansas . Yesterday he turned 2. Happy Birthday Jace!!!

I remembered today that my mom sometimes made face plates for us for lunch. So I thought it would be fun to do today on Jace's birthday. Do you like my mac and cheese beard?The Birthday boy or girl always gets to lick the batter for the birthday cake. I let Jace pick which cake mix he wanted out of yellow, orange, or chocolate. He didn't bat an eye and went straight for the good stuff---chocolate!Cardon really wanted to give him a present but we didn't have the kids get anything for him because he's 2 and it was just Christmas (*I know I won't get away with that in the future, but I'm going to use it to my advantage now). So Cardon wrapped up one of his own stuffed animals to give to him. It was such a sweet gesture and I must say---nice wrapping!So now the cute monkey and buffalo belong to Jace.Grandpa and Grandma VanOrman sent Jace the set of balls. He couldn't have been happier. Balls are everything to him right now.
Grandpa and Grandma Lewis sent him this fun farmer car guy. He loves pushing his head and watching him go.

What a fun day for Jace. Church in the morning, a face plate for lunch, batter for dessert, a nap in the afternoon and pizza, cupcakes and presents in the evening. We love you "big guy". Happy Birthday!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Gingerbread House

Every year we build a gingerbread house together. In the beginning we (and when I say we I mean me) would make the dough, cut out all of the pieces, bake it, assemble it and finally decorate it. With 4 kids I have resorted to buying the kit at Costco and letting my kids go wild. I must say--they still love it just as much (tradition still intact) but it saves me oodles of time (great for me). I believe that is called a "Win/Win"! Happy gingerbread building everyone (however it gets done)!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Disney World for Thanksgiving

I realize that there are a few people that think I must be dead. It's safe to say that I'm not dead just super busy and way behind ----on everything. For Thanksgiving we met my parents, sister Ginny and brother in law-Wally and Fam, and my brother Colby and his wife Stephanie in Florida. We stayed in some condo's (supposedly 5 minutes away from Disney World---turned out to be more like 30--but whatever) and played for an entire week. Here we are in the airport. We got a lot of looks with all of these little monkeys--especially Jace who had to have a backpack and carry his own bag or else he threw a fit.The first day we played at the condo. They had a lake but I only touched my toe in it because the water was freezing. The men folk and kids braved it out--but only for a few minutes.We also took a swamp boat ride looking for alligators. We saw a beautiful sunset but no alligators. It was still fun. I think I'm still picking bugs out of my teeth.Finally----Disney World. The kids were soooo excited!!!! It was decorated beautifully for Christmas. It was pretty darn busy but still tons of fun.My brother Colby and Jace hit it off on this trip. They hadn't seen each other since Jace was a wee baby so it was fun to see Colby as Uncle Colby and Jace loved him. He would go to BJ first, Colby 2nd and me last. Oh well!!!Thanksgiving Day we played in the heated pools at the condo all morning and then came back in the afternoon for the feast.Here is my sweet niece Lucy. Isn't she a cutey pie! This trip was my opportunity to be Aunt Karina which I don't get to do very often since we have no family here. It was so much fun!Me and Steph both happened to be fans of the animal prints this year. Rooooar!My mom taught the kids about Thanksgiving with her flannel board . It brought me back to childhood.It was time for the feast!!!! We had all the fixins without a ton of work. It was delightful!After dinner my parents fell asleep in a turkey stupor. We all felt like we were at home--except that it was 75 degrees outside (just how I like it!).That night Santa's Elves's came and visited our condo while we were out at a movie. They brought each of the kids their Christmas jammies and a letter from Santa of all the good things they've done this year and a few things they might want to work on before Santa comes on Christmas Eve. It was magical to watch the kids read their letters and put on their jammies.The next day we went to Animal Kingdom. It wasn't busy at all and we had such a great time. We saw Nemo, Lion King and Bug's life. We went on a jungle safari, went on rides and took pictures with all sorts of Disney Characters. It was so much fun.We went on a water rapids ride and I was totally nervous about getting drenched. Well, as you can see from the next picture---I stayed nice and dry.Colby and Steph got hit by a wave. I nearly peed my pants because I was laughing so hard. Steph didn't think it was very funny though. Ha! Ha!For dinner my brother and brother in law got turkey legs. Good Eats!By Saturday afternoon we were down to just my family and my sister Ginny's. So we went to Sea World. It wasn't busy at all but we did have some pretty big thunderstorms. We all got pretty wet but laughed our way throughout the day. It was great.
At the end of the day we got to feed and pet the dolphins. This was incredible! What an opportunity.

I'm so blessed and thankful to have such a great family. We were able to make memories that will last a lifetime and the cousins were able to get to know each other again. Thank you everyone that came for making it such a great Thanksgiving week!!!!