Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow Fort

Friday in the early evening(December 26) Elisabeth and I went out to make a snow man but the snow wasn’t cooperating so instead we built two snow forts: one for the girls and one for the guys, and they even had seats in them! Once we finished and Annabelle was safely asleep in her crib for nap, we called the boys out for a little snow ball fight! It was awesome! No one threw them too hard, and we avoided faces and we just had a blast! Elisabeth and I were laughing so hard that it was hard to get enough strength to throw the snow balls across the driveway! About half way through Charles sat down in his snow fort and just ate snow, but he had fun doing it and Scott held his own pretty well against us two girls.




And snow angels



Saturday, December 27, 2008

White Christmas

We woke up to a very white Christmas! And the snow didn’t really let up for almost the whole day. It’s a good thing we don’t have family around that we need to visit because we were snowed in(always trying to look for the positive in a situation)! We had a lovely Christmas! I was the first one up at 545am(this over anxious behavior must run in the family because after I talked to Becca, my sister, she told me that she only slept a couple of hours…we were both just so excited to see the look on our kids faces when they unwrapped their gifts and saw the magic of it all), but I laid in bed until 630 at which time I got up and put my make up on and then put the egg casserole and the monkey buns in the oven(Scott was now up too), fed Annabelle, and patiently waited until 715am when Elisabeth finally moseyed on upstairs(I was just about to wake her up but I’m glad she made it up on her own). Here’s a picture of Annabelle enjoying playing with the cd player while her siblings are sleeping(which means she can give the cd player her undivided attention and doesn’t have to worry about a two year old boy wrestling her to the floor). We had her wake up Charles and then they went out and opened stockings and gifts and we took lots of pictures. I was very fortunate to have found most of their gifts on freecycle.com a couple of months ago, and in fact one of their favorite gifts, which was the playhouse with all the furniture and dolls and cars, was something I found on freecycle! They played with that for hours today! Here are a few pictures of some of the other gifts that they received from grandparents and ‘Santa’, that’s what it said on the package sent from Bothell, Wa (I’m pretty sure it was my sister Bec, we weren’t going to do gift exchanges this year with extended family so she was being sneaky but sweet).









Did I mention that the kids love their playhouse?
After lunch we shoveled snow and talked with family and then for dinner we ate the yummy turkey and sparkling juice that we received in the mysterious and wonderful red bin. After dinner we acted out the Nativity which is a tradition we started a year or two ago. Elisabeth was Mary, Charles was Joseph, Annabelle a sheep, Scott a donkey and a Sheppard, and I was an angel and the narrator and the camera woman(we have a fun video of this which I may try and post in the future once we have internet again).

Annabelle was the cutest sheep ever!
Christmas was wonderful! Oh and I forgot to mention that Scott and I decided a few months ago that we would make each other gifts this year and we could spend up to $10. This was a fun surprise for each of us(by the way, thanks to a couple girl friends for suggesting different homemade gift ideas):

Scott’s gift to me: 4 beautiful and lamented bookmarks with ribbons and famous quotes typed on each one about reading and why it’s wonderful. (I’m a HUGE lover of books and reading and am always misplacing bookmarks and end up using receipts or I will occasionally just lay the book open flat which is terrible for the spine binding, I know it’s a terrible thing to do! So this was a perfect gift!) He also got me a Sheri Dew book but he says that one was from ‘Santa’(probably because he went over the money limit, but he used a gift card that he had so that was sweet of him).
My gift to Scott: for the past three months I had been keeping an additional daily journal but this one is all about Scott. Each night I would cast my thoughts over the day and remember instances when Scott helped me or a child or someone else, or did anything at all that made me love him more and then I’d write that memory down and express my love for him. They were really simple things like him helping with dishes or chasing after a child or paying me a sweet compliment. It was a really neat experience for me and I think I may do it again. I loved that every night before bed I got to think about everything positive and wonderful in Scott, because it made me recognize all the good things he does daily and it made me feel even more love towards him which I didn’t think was possible(because I already loved him SO much, how could there be room enough in my heart for more!? Apparently there is always room for growth). And now we have a record of it which will be neat for us and perhaps our children to read in the future.

Christmas Eve happenings

  • Daddy had work off! Yay! He is a HUGE help around the house and we especially needed his help baking, cleaning and keeping the kids busy! Thanks honey!

  • We baked lots of goodies- sugar cookies, lemon bars, chocolate covered pretzels and peppermint bark- and dropped them off at neighbors houses(we actually baked the sugar cookies the day before because I knew we’d be really busy on Christmas Eve with the other baking and activities)
  • We went caroling after dinner to four houses in the neighborhood! This was so fun, and the kids loved it, I think we’ll make it a tradition; they have such sweet and clear voices!

  • When Charles gets hungry he takes matters into his own small hands. He will commonly grab the 2lb block of cheese and take a big bite from the side.

  • After caroling we watched, ‘Mr Kreuger’s Christmas’ and ‘The Nativity,’ we put the kids to bed and then put all the presents under the tree, brought the play house in from the shed and stuffed stockings.

Blankets galore!

Charles loves to have LOTS of blankets piled on top of himself when he’s ready to sleep. I thought seven was enough, but apparently not because later on that night when we peeked in on the kids Charles had dragged several more very large quilts from our linen closet onto his bed. And it’s really not cold in our house, we keep the thermometer at 65 and no one ever complains that it’s too cold. Interesting child.


Temple Square

Monday December 22 after Scott got off work we went up to Temple Square with our friends the Arkell’s to see the lights and afterwards we enjoyed doughnuts and hot cocoa(I just had doughnuts…I’ve been chocolate free for 6 years now!)





This picture was taken a month ago on Gina's birthday. I forgot my camera but Gina just emailed this to me, which is why the post is so late.We made her a chocolate peppermint patty cake(one of her favorite candies) and Ben made spaghetti and bread sticks...well actually Gina made the bread sticks.
And here is a random picture I recently took of Elisabeth dancing in her ballerina outfit while humming. I love to watch(and listen) to her hum, she makes the cutest face.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Love

Sunday we had our Christmas choir program which I sang in and so for about 45 minutes to an hour I needed to be up on the stage area with the other choir members which meant Scott was sitting on a pew in the front alone with our three young ones. Since I sat up high facing the crowd I had a perfect view of everyone and I noticed that after we finished singing the first or second song Annabelle started getting really squirmy and then began to cry. And she wouldn’t stop. I could tell Scott was feeling a little stressed, probably wondering if he should take Annabelle out and hope that the two older kids would follow(but this last hour of church is generally a struggle for our kids, they can’t seem to control their manners any longer), or just try and rock her in his seat to sleep. He continued to sit there and Annabelle continued to cry. I was feeling anxious for him and so quickly said a prayer asking that either Scott could handle the kids fine or that someone would please help him. Within about a minute, dear, sweet Brother Clayton who was sitting behind Scott(his wife was up on the stage with me and so it was just him and his teenage son) leaned over the bench and whispered something in his ear. Then Brother Clayton took Annabelle in his arms and brought her out in the hall where he remained for the majority of the meeting. I was so touched by his kindness and by the instantaneous answer to my prayer that I was overwhelmed with the feeling of love and joy and couldn’t stop the tears in my eyes from overflowing. At the conclusion of the meeting I turned to his wife and told her what happened and then I quickly found Brother Clayton and thanked him for his help. Also two other families helped us out during the program sharing toys with Charlie and holding Annabelle when she was brought back in. I’m so grateful that we live in this area because we have the best neighbors and friends and they help ease the difficulty of living in an area with out family near by.


Then, something else happened. Later that evening while we were eating dinner there was a ring at the door and when I finally got it open(the door sticks really bad, especially in the cold weather) there was no one in sight but at my feet I found a big red basket/tub filled with Christmas goodies! There was all sorts of fruit and food including a whole turkey, sparkling juice, hard back childrens books, an activity book, a candle, wrapped presents and even a Target gift card! I was amazed and clueless as to who would have done this for our family! I think it makes it even more special that it is anonymous…since I don’t know who dropped it off I am inclined to feel more love towards everyone just in case they were the deliverers.

We're so grateful for all our friends and family and we're especially grateful to our Savior for his love and sacrafice and for the tender mercies that he so willingly bestows upon his children. Merry Christmas!

Saturday December 20th

Saturday was a very busy day. Scott had his weekly meeting and when he got home we got the kids ready and dropped them off at Elisa’s and then Scott and I went to the temple for a wedding sealing, ate lunch, did a little bit of shopping, picked up the kids and headed for home. Then Scott went Christmas shopping and when he got home we went grocery shopping, ate dinner and then headed over to the Kipps to watch the BYU football game…well Scott watched it. I played with the kids and visited with Jill and Courtney. We all had a great time! Thanks Kipps for having us over and letting our kids play rock band with your teenagers, they had a blast! I wish I had thought to bring my camera! Next time I will, if you’ll have us again J.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Matching Christmas dresses and birthday shout out

The girls had matching Christmas dresses this year(thanks Pepa for handing these down because they’re beautiful!) and Charlie has a nice Christmas sweater so after church on Sunday I thought I’d have a kid photo shoot. I probably choose the worst possible time to take these pictures, I knew they were all tired and hungry, especially Annabelle, but I wanted to get the pictures taken before they changed clothes to eat and play. So here they are:
Annabelle has tears in her eyes in all of these pictures.
I like Elisabeth’s face in this one, she’s trying hard not to get in Annabelle's way: “Okay kids one more. Ignore Annabelle and smile.” “Girls only now! Last one I promise!”
Later that evening I made a birthday cake for my friend and neighbor Maren(Scott designed the cake on a 3x5 card beforehand, and I thought Maren would enjoy it so we did it!). I know it's very simple, but I wanted a cake that would portray who Maren is and I think it turned out well: happy mother and wife who can handle it all carrying a baby in one arm with a toddler hanging onto her with another arm and at the young age of 25. Happy Birthday Maren!(I should have posted this on your birthday, sorry, but at least I saw you right?)

Grazzini Christmas Party!

Thursday night the 18th we went to my aunt and uncles house for a Christmas party and white elephant gift exchange. Luann got gingerbread cookies for the kids to decorate…Parker and Hannah piled on the M&M’s and sprinkles! It was pretty funny watching them trying to eat their cookies. Sharee and David(my cousin) had their first baby a couple of months ago and you’d think they’d be drained and exhausted from lack of sleep, but heavens no! They are young and full of energy, we enjoy spending time with them and watching them horse play.
The kids playing with their new gifts:
Annabelle LOVED the wrapping paper! It’s the age I suppose…I think we’ll just give her a bag full of wrapping paper for Christmas this year.
On the way home our family drove up the street to a famous house where their lights are set to twinkle on an off to the beat of the music from a local radio station. We had seen some of these types of houses on You Tube last year but never in person so this was a treat! The kids loved it!