Sunday, December 30, 2012

December Festivities~

I can't believe December has already come and is pretty much gone! It was a very full, festive, and fun month, and for once I think I almost feel like we did everything I hoped we would during the month! We had Christmas parties, saw lights at Temple Square and at Christmas village, met Santa (twice!), watched plenty of Christmas movies by the light of the Christmas tree, drank hot chocolate, played in the snow, built a snowman, ate lots of good food, did our Christmas Express ride where we drove around looking at Christmas lights in our jammies, sang lots of Christmas songs, read and talked about the Nativity, did a lot of Christmas baking, enjoyed chocolate calendars and Christmas countdown chains, and stayed up late way too many times. Here is a look at some of our December leading up to Christmas!

Can you believe this is the first time I have ever taken pictures of my kids with Santa!? I don't know how I have dropped the ball on that one up until this year, but I was determined not to let it happen again.

Bennett was not very "wanty" this year--he never is. He only asked Santa for a new watch since he lost the one he got last year. Later in the month,  he also decided he wanted a small air hockey game, which he asked for the second time we saw Santa.

Mylie was all business, and named every last thing on her very long list to Santa...right down to the "Reindeer Ears Headband."

The first time Coy saw Santa (pictured  here) he was very brave and sat on his lap for a picture as he was asked, but he had a very guarded look on his face. He didn't ask for or say anything, but he did accept the candycane. The second time we saw Santa, he was actually very excited and ready. He even told him something he wanted which I am sure only Santa himself could have understood.

Yea for Christmas Baking!!! I always have great intentions each year, but never seem to get around to it. Well, we made it a priority this year and actually made gingerbread cookies, wheat bread, white chocolate cranberry cookies, almond chocolate chunk cookies, and fudge this year! I think it helped that Russ had me get myself a stand mixer this year for an early present. The kids' favorite treat was by far the gingerbread cookies. They were DE-licious! Check out She has a lot of great recipes on there, and that is where I got the gingerbread man one.

Oh, we were so lucky to once again get drawn for the Christmas Concert at the Conference Center this year! My parents and I each enter every year. Three years ago I got drawn, and once again this year my name was drawn! My parents have yet to have any success, but it's kind of understood that we will invite each other if one gets drawn since my Dad is the one who always reminds me to do it each year. The concert was AMAZING!!!! Hearing Alfie Boe sing Bring Him Home live was probably the best song I have ever heard sung in my entire life. I had to remind myself to breathe because I didn't want to miss a bit of it and it was literally breath-taking. Before the concert, we like a million other people, decided to eat at Kneaders. Yum! Luckily we snagged a corner seat in there so we didn't have to eat standing up.

It is always an exciting experience to see one of your children really experience the snow for the first time. Coy LOVED it. And after this early snow storm that melted too fast, he spent the rest of December looking out the window and telling me "Mommy, we need mow no." (translation: we need more snow). Luckily we finally got some more after Christmas so Russ was able to take the kids tubing while I was home with a sinus cold.

Russ told me this snowman is Iron Man...

And here are just some cute pics of my boys on a Saturday after their baths.

Bennett has been asking me to make him a quilt for quite a while now. He kept telling me "I really want a quilt." So, in any spare time I could find, I worked on his quilt for a Christmas gift. Finally, Russ took the kids Christmas shopping and wherever else he could to give me some time to get it finished. Bennett was really happy to get it on Christmas morning!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Spooktacular Halloween!

Is it really Christmastime? I'm just finally getting around to blogging Halloween! Well, technically now I am all caught up with this blog because believe it or not, I haven't really taken any pictures (of my own family) since then! I took my camera to our Thanksgiving festivities, but it never found its way out of the bag.

Halloween was so fun this year! I just love getting the kids all dressed up. The weather was beautiful and we got a lot of trick or treating done this year!

This is the first year I've had a child be something "scary." Bennett chose to be Frankenstein quite a while ago. I was a little stressed about how I would come up with that costume, but with a little creativity (i.e. posterboard, paint, crayons, hot glue, and black felt), I was very pleased with the results! And Bennett was pleased, so that was the greatest part. He made a very cute Frankenstein and had some fun acting the part. We were able to use the same blazer he wore when he was Michael Buble 2 years ago; we just stuffed his shoulders (with soccer socks). Cheap and easy costume!

Mylie stuck with her decision from a year ago to be Snow White. That was an easy one for me since she already had a Snow White dress up. I just stiched up the rips and holes, took a tuck in it and added some velcro to the back since we usually have cinched up the dress with a silly band or hair band. I also made her a Snow White headband. One of the funnest parts is getting to wear makeup. I always love getting to add a little mascara to her long lashes...and of course red lips for the final touch.

All in keeping it cheap and easy this year, we recycled Bennett's Scarecrow costume from 5 years ago. It was fun to have an excuse to see that little costume again. Coy made a darling little scarecrow, just like Bennett did when he was two.

The next picture is when Bennett was the scarecrow. Do you see a little family resemblance?

The kids always insist I dress up. When I saw this sweater, I thought: add ears and tail, and I can be a cat. Win-win situation--I have an excuse to get a new sweater, and the kiddos are happy because I dressed up.

Russell didn't dress up this year. I think the kids eventually forgave him :)

The kids learned the art of running from house to house this year. And once Coy finally decided to let us hold him to run in between houses, we covered a lot of ground. Trick or treating is always so much fun in our neighborhood. Once the buckets were full, we headed to grandparents'  houses to eat and visit, and do a little more trick or treating. And as of today, the kids still have candy in their buckets! Coy's is almost gone though, since he got the least and asks for treats the most.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bennett's Birthday~

Two weeks ago, we celebrated Bennett's seventh birthday! He got to do a lot of celebrating! A couple days before the actual birthday, he invited some friends to see a movie--Hotel Transylvania. Then the day of his birthday we had all of the family over for some Halloween food, music, and dancing. He also got taken out and spoiled by Russ's parents the next weekend, and taken out to eat the next week by my mom. He got his fill of celebrating. I think he is excited to be seven.

Here are some pics from the actual day:

He got to open one present real quick before he had to leave for school. It was an Ultra Stomp Rocket! He was excited to finally have one of his own. Plus it helped pass the time later that day while he waited for his guests to arrive.
I love getting to be the mom of this boy.
Bennett with his dad. I am surrounded by great guys in this family :)
Bennett & Mylie = best friends (well, most the time)
He wanted a spider web cake this year (which was nice for me...pretty easy to do that one) and then mummy hot dogs and Halloween fixin's just like last year.

The little witch hat cookies were so fun and easy to make. What did mom's ever do before the internet...Oh, I guess just be creative all on their own.

Jack-o-Lantern vegetables...Yum! And Mummy dogs. I also loved the Halloween-colored tortilla chips I came across at Walmart.
About his presents: Bennett received the first set of Magic Tree House books for his birthday last year. He has since "fallen in love" and has read almost every single on in the past year. I think he is currently on #45. The only thing he asked for for his birthday was Magic Tree House books. However, since he has discovered them at his school library and the public library, he had already checked out and read every single one I got for him. He didn't care though, he still wants the whole collection, and he now almost has it. He loves to read them to Mylie (even though I don't think she really listens most the time). He will just follow her around reading. He wants to make sure she hears all of them. He also just loves playing with and looking at t he actual books. He comes up with all sorts of games to organize them and sort them.
He also got a nice chess set. He has always loved the game chess, and at seven years old he is probably better at it than me.
Mylie wanted to get him a stuffed dog, so she picked out one that looked like Aspen, the golden retriever my parents used to have.
We also got Bennett his own digital alarm clock for his room. He is obsessed with numbers and time and always  has to know the exact minute he goes to bed so he can calculate how much sleep he gets. Now he doesn't have to ask us to check the clock for him one last time before he goes to sleep.
He also got some great books (science, activity, and piano) from relatives, including one about "Trees" that Franklin, his cousin, wrote and illustrated for him (it is the most darling book ever.)
Happy Birthday Bennett!


I can't believe this boy is SEVEN! He is such a joy in our family. I couldn't have asked for a better first child. He is such a wonderful older brother to his siblings and really tries to be such a good person. I can always count on him to always be honest and to always try his best at whatever he does. (Even if that means he is a little too hard on himself sometimes...i.e. perfectionist.) He is such a smartie and loves to read and learn. He is getting so good at the piano and memorizes all of his songs. He loves running and playing soccer and basketball. He is extremely logical and inquisitive and asks a lot of questions...He always wants to know and understand everything he can...even if I'm not so sure I want him to know the answer to everything just yet.

Here are a few shots I took of him just before he turned seven. I bet his smile will look a lot different next year when he turns eight. So long to the cute little baby teeth...