Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow, snow, snow...

I figure I had better post some of our Christmas activities before the list starts piling up so much that I get too overwhelmed to blog it all... so here goes--
It has been snowing here non-stop since last Wednesday!!! We usually get a little bit of snow before Christmas, off and on from October through December, but the big snow fall usually comes in January and February. Not this year. Last Wednesday night we were headed up to a friends house to make a gingerbread house, and thought it looked so cool because it was snowing so hard and it was all sticking. I stuck my hand out the window and snapped this picture. You can't even really tell that it is snowing that hard in this picture, but it was.
We then woke up the next morning to 24 inches of snow!!! In less than 24 hours! I love the snow, I think it's beautiful, but this was too much!!! :) I kept on telling Ben that I wish it was Christmas morning with that beautiful white blanket of snow. He told me that it probably would still be white on Christmas day, but I told him by then it will probably be all brown and muddy. I love it only when it is freshly fallen and like a beautiful white blanket! Little did I know that it would be snowing non-stop for the next week!!!
I am kicking myself that I hadn't put up the trampoline yet for the winter. I kept putting it off and am now praying that it holds up this winter!!!
Snow fall like this for most meant a day off from work. Ben indeed didn't go to work that day, but snowfall like this for Ben meant a day of snow blowing ours and many others peoples drive-ways! Him and his friend Jason, loaded up my parents snow blower and went to work, ALL DAY!!!
You can see here that the snow is actually higher than our deck!
And this is our neighbor boy, who is 9 years old, you can see that the snow by the afternoon was clearly up to his shoulders! And look how high it is on our fence!
Tucker loved to just stare out the window and watch it fall. We mostly stayed inside all day and made yummy Christmas-time treats! :) No complaints from me about the snow! :)
We have not let the snow dampen our Christmas spirit! :) We went up to the Enloe's house for gingerbread houses and Hot Chocolate:
The Whole gang
Carter & Tucker
These two boys are the cutest:

After we made the house, they pretty much stayed here the rest of the night and picked off every bit of candy they could find! :)

I can't even tell you how much Tucker loves our 'Chrisam' tree. Every afternoon when he wakes up from his nap he wants to just rock in the chair next to the tree and look at the lights. He even asked me one day to take a picture of him next to the tree. You can tell he just woke up in these pictures. And you can tell that it is the winter time since it is like pitch-black outside at 4 o'clock in the afternoon!!!

We had our ward Elders Quorum Christmas party last week and we had a 'White Elephant' gift exchange. It was the craziest thing in the world...one of Ben's friends in the ward found this doll at White Elephant and had to get it in hopes that Ben would open it!

Obviously, the doll bears a little resemblance to Ben, and on top of it all, the name of the doll is, 'My Friend Ben'. So he buys it, wraps it up and brings it to the party. We chose the number 13 out of 21, I think! And you will never guess who opened up the gift! Watching Ben open the gift was probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen! It was so crazy, first of all, that no one before us had opened the gift, and that out of all the gifts that were left when it was our turn, that THAT was the one that Ben chose to open! We were at the Mortensen's house, and Aaron just happened to have an outfit that was pretty similar to the one that the doll was wearing. Some old Halloween costume or something. We had to get a picture of them being twins!

We, of course, had to take Tucker to see Santa. It was great, Tucker loved him. I have to tell you a secret that I learned this year...take your own camera and ask them if you can take your own picture. A few friends of mine had told me that if you ask them, they will let you. I certainly didn't want to spend $25 for 3 pictures. So, I asked them if I could take my own and at first they told me that I had to make a minimum purchase from one of their pictures, but I just told them that I have had friends who had done it in the past, and they let me. He told me I could only take 3 pictures, but that was fine with me! So, I was able to take my own picture, I printed out like 10 of them for family and friends and it cost me a total of $3! I'm sure every place is different, it's worth a shot! I think that some of my family members were embarrassed of my frugality. I just learned my lesson last year when we paid a TON of money for Santa pictures and it was probably one of the worst Santa pictures of all time. It could seriously win contests! I didn't want that to happen again! This year, I thought, if it didn't turn out, at least I didn't pay an arm and a leg for it!

Ben is a gingerbread house making fool, and gets really into it and has to make them perfect. My mom got Tucker a gingerbread Train and we invited her over to build it together!

I had to post this picture because I thought it was so funny that in the background my mom is feeding Tucker the icing straight into his mouth from the tube! I didn't realize that she had done that until I saw this picture! I swear that child is so spoiled by her, she gives him whatever he wants!!!

And the finished product:

Sorry for the long post. (who am I kidding, all of my posts are long) I really hope that everyone is enjoying their Holiday's!! We have loved having all of my family in town and are glad that they even made it, with all of this bad weather! Allen and Kelli and Keyton had to drive in it-and that was pretty scary-but they made it! And Kayla and Jason were stranded in the Boise Airport for like 13 hours flying up here from Salt Lake and didn't have any of their luggage for a few days-it was a mess!!! But they all made it safe and sound and we have been having a great time with them here and are looking forward to Ben's parents flying in on Christmas day to spend the week with us!

Merry Chrisam Everyone!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Playing with friends during the wintertime...

Just playing with our friends, trying to stay warm this winter! :)

We love you guys! Lets have these type of play dates more often!!! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My incredible shrinking husband...

At the beginning of September Ben came home from work one day and announced to me that he was going to start eating healthy to lose some weight. He has said that many times to me in the past and it lasts a few days and then I convince him to come to the dark side with me again and eat horribly delicious foods and forget about a diet. And usually he does. This time however, he has totally stuck with his weight loss plan and has lost 35 pounds!!! Even through the holidays he has stuck with it and has not given into my temptations! I have to tell you that I am so impressed with him and proud of him!! He lost it all in about 2 months, and has just maintained his weight since then!
Here are some before pictures:
At Nathan and Angie's rehearsal dinner party at the beginning of August.

And he is going to kill me for posting this one, but here is a close up-on that same day:

And the After pictures:

I took this just last night at the Enloes house, making a gingerbread house:

And a close up of him on Saturday night at our Elders Quorum Christmas Party:
Are you jealous that my husband is a hottie??? :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Family pictures...

The week of Thanksgiving I was also able to take these cute family pictures! I think that they turned out good, but it always helps when you have the cutest little family to work with! :) Taking pictures of a one year old is always an adventure, but he is SUCH a cutie! :)
Thanks guys!

If you're interested at all in getting your pictures taken....call me!!! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend and our 'Chrisam tree'

This year for us, Thanksgiving was a little different. We were family-less. Let me explain...this summer we decided to go to Alabama for Thanksgiving instead of at Christmas time. Not only would we have to buy one less ticket at Thanksgiving time, but all of Ben's family had decided to not get together for Christmas this year, so we thought it was a great plan. So because of that, most of my siblings made plans with their in-laws or others. And with all the dysfunction that is going on in my family right now, and with my dad having to stay in Alaska through the weekend, we thought it was a great plan for Thanksgiving. Anyway...Ben's teacher put a wrench in our plans when she told him at the beginning of the semester that he couldn't miss any school that week. So we were stuck in Spokane and we were family-less. We decided it would be kind of nice to just spend the day with the three of us at home and just hang out all day. I would attempt to cook a nice Thanksgiving meal. And for those of you who know me well, know that I don't cook. But I was looking forward to the challenge! :) We had a lot of our great friends invite us over, which was so nice, but we declined them all. Well, Thursday morning rolls around, Ben is off to the store to buy our food. (no, we hadn't even gone grocery shopping yet!) The Enloe's, our good friends, and Ben's boss, had traded some Playoff tickets to the Spokane Shock for some of my dad's crab. So they had some of my dads crab that they were cooking up for their Thanksgiving meal at their house, and insisted that we join them. Well, because we just love them (and 15 phone calls later) we decided to join them for Thanksgiving! I stole these pictures off her blog....Thanks Sharlene!

At first I felt really bad for crashing their family Thanksgiving...all of Eric's family was in town! But it wasn't long after we got there that we felt right at home and a part of the family! We even went back up on Friday night for Mexican food with the family. (because we could never miss a Mexican meal at the Enloe's!) :) And Saturday night was Hayden's baptism and we went with them to the family dinner after that as well!!! It was so nice having a 'family' for Thanksgiving! :) Thank you Enloe family for adopting us for the weekend!

While we were family-less on Thanksgiving day, the day before Thanksgiving, we decided last-minute to head to my grandparents house for the day! My grandpa had a stroke a few years ago and isn't able to do much anymore. But growing up, it was always my grandpa who had the HUGE Thanksgiving feast, and we would all get together, with my aunts and uncles and cousins. He can't really handle visitors much anymore, so we were just there for a few hours, long enough to eat and say hi and be on our way! It was really funny, because like 15 minutes after we got there, he had my grandma put him in his wheel chair, and wheel him to the dining room table where he started saying a prayer. (he kind of does some random stuff since the Stroke) but we all went with it. And in the prayer, he blessed us that we would have a safe trip home and then when he was done with the prayer, he said, 'ok, bye guys!' like he was already for us to leave. Needless to say, we ate and left in a hurry! But he absolutely loves Tucker and Tucker loves him. Its really cute! We did get to see my aunt and uncle and cousins for a few hours and that was wonderful! We absolutely love them!

me, my mom & my grandma

'Oh Chrisam Tree, O Chrisam Tree...'

Tucker has been very excited about our Christmas tree this year, and it has been so much fun having him help us with everything. Every morning when he wakes up and every afternoon after his nap, the first thing he wants to do is go look at the 'Chrisam tree'! He says Christmas like 'Chrisam'. So everything is 'Chrisam this' or 'Chrisam that'. I kind of don't want him to learn how to say it the right way because it is so cute! He helped us pick it out, and put it up (kind of) and decorate it! (and broke about 15 bulbs and all of the candy canes in the process) :) But its been so much fun! Having a little one around makes the holidays so much better! I can't wait for it to just keep getting better and better for him!

Here, Tucker is telling him where to hang an ornament...

After Tucker discovered the candy canes, this is what he did most of the night:

And the finished product:

I love the smell in our house now that we have our Christmas tree up, its like Christmas can officially begin now! I love this time of year to reflect and realize just how lucky and THANKFUL I am for my wonderful husband and my little family!

Merry Chrisam Everyone!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A month of celebrations...

So I haven't been in a blogging mood lately. I've just been a slacker the past few weeks in general. I actually haven't really done anything... no laundry, no house cleaning, no nuthin'! :) I have been playing with Tucker and totally enjoying the holiday, if that means anything! :) I finally DID do laundry this week and had like 9 loads to do! For three people! I hate laundry! I locked myself in my house all this week and cleaned and did laundry. It sucked. I brought it on myself and just had to do it before my anxiety of worrying about it made me explode.

Anyway....I'm back and have some catching up to do! First of all, Tuckers Birthday Party! As you may recall, my family took Tucker to Chuck-E-Cheese for an early birthday celebration. Since his birthday was so far away, I started planning in my head a little get together with friends on his actual birthday. Something small and quaint and easy and simple. As the idea grew in my head, so did the invite list. I kept on adding kids (and entire families) that I knew Tucker loved. (and I loved, too!) Pretty soon, this small little affair turned into a BIG party. Like too big of a party that any two year old should have. At one point in the planning, Ben asked me just who this party was for; Tucker or ME!!! :) (It was for me.) :) I knew that Tucker really couldn't have cared less if he had a big birthday party or not, but I also knew that he would have fun, and it was just a good excuse to get a whole bunch of my friends and favorite people together!

Once the invitations were out and I started doing the major planning of the event, I realized that our little house wouldn't even fit all of the people that would be there. We had to move it on up to my parents house that has a whole lot of extra square footage! And good thing we did, because we barely fit up there even! Anyway... it was so much fun! I'm so glad we had it! Ben cooked some hot dogs on the grill and we had chips and fruit and dip. Simple and pretty easy. I think secretly, I was paying homage to the summertime. I really do hope to have a child in the summer time one day...it would make for a great party! :) Anyway, here are some pics...

Instead of cake for all the people, I made sugar cookies and let the kids frost them themselves. Here is Tucker helping us with the making of the cookies.

I had to add these before pictures. I covered two long banquet tables in my parents dining room with butcher paper and put play-dough and crayons on the table for them to go crazy with.

Tucker enjoying the food, before people arrive...

And this is after. And this isn't even a full table! There were kids everywhere and Tucker loved having so many friends over to play!

Some of the adults and older kids played in the living room and/or watched football. It was the night of the Utah/BYU football game.

Kids always love to play with Ben's bald head, and during the present opening, it wasn't any different...

Tucker was funny opening his presents, he wanted to play with every single one of them as he opened them, so it took FOREVER to get through all the presents. He got so many awesome presents, that my mom and I didn't even end up giving him ours. We'll save them for Christmas! :) Here, he stopped mid-present opening to sit down and read this book he got. I don't know why he's looking at Carter like that, but I thought it was funny!

He loved it when everyone sang 'Happy Birthday' to him.

It was a fun night. I'm not sure that I would throw a party like that again for a two year old. I think I'll wait for him to be old enough to actually appreciate it! :) But I had fun with my friends, and that is, after all, what really matters, right? :)

In other birthday news...here is what we did on his actual birthday. Have I ever mentioned to you that Tucker is S-P-O-I-L-E-D by my family? Well, he is! On the actual day, which was during the week, my mom took us to lunch and to play at mobius. Mobius is a little kids museum downtown, and Tucker loves it!

And, of course, the day ended with a trip to Ben and Jerry's. It doesn't get much better than this! I plan on having a lot more kids, just to enjoy the celebrating of their birthdays with grandma!

Nathan used to be the lone birthday boy in November in our family. All of us, every single one of us have a birthday in the summer, and then it's Nathan's in November. Well, now Nathan has to share his b-day month, not only with Tucker, but with Kayla's husband, Jason. So, we decided to surprise Nathan on his big day and took him out to eat at one of his favorite restaurants.

Some how Tucker always manages to sneak in and be a part of the spotlight.

One of Nathans best friends was there with us and I think that Tucker had a crush on his girlfriend. We were taking some pictures, and he just went over next to her and said cheese at my mom who had the camera! He is not a shy boy!

Even though we weren't there, I wanted to say a happy belated birthday to Jason. My mom was visiting them in Provo and took these pictures on his birthday. I found these on her camera, and had to give a little shout out, so he didn't feel left out! :)

Happy be-lated birthday guys!