It is our tradition every year for Troy and I to do a puzzle on Christmas. We stay in our jammies and veg. Of course it is always a challenge to get the kids from destroying it every few minutes. There are always a lot of little fingers wanting to "help". We finished the day after Christmas because it was getting to difficult to hold off children.
Little Miss Muffet with her doll house. She is sporting a few bruises and a black eye from wrestling with Soren.
The kids all lined up waiting to go out to the family room.
The kids waiting to see if Santa came. I am not looking pretty this morning!
Last night for Christmas Eve the family all went over to the Porters. We have been friends with them for years and have spent Christmas Eve with them for the past 3 years. They are like family to us and we are so thankful for them. Last year Olivia was in the hospital with pneumonia on Christmas Eve and Day. The Porters were so wonderful taking care of my family while I took care of Olivia. This year we have a Christmas miracle. Olivia is not sick. Well, not like she used to be. We still struggle, but she is much improved from last year. Last night I ended up giving Logan a sleeping pill so he would finally go to sleep. He was driving me bonkers. The other kids all went to bed fine. This morning bright and early at 6:30 am the kids came and woke Troy and I. As you can tell from the photo I did not get much rest last night. That is one of the things we still struggle with Olivia. She was congested last night and had a hard time breathing. It is our tradition to all wait in my room while Troy goes and checks to see if Santa has come. Then all the kids live up youngest to oldest and they all go out to the family room. Brings back a lot of memories from my childhood. We would do the same thing. I get so tickled to see the looks on the children's faces when they see what they got and start unwrapping presents. Santa brought the kids a Wii this year. They are already having a lot of fun. Olivia got a doll house set. Troy and I bit the bullet and got Soren, Logan and Troy all Air soft guns. What was I thinking? We all have had a great morning and plan to rest and play for the rest of the day. I have already had a nap. Right after the kids opened their presents I went back to bed and slept for a couple of hours. Troy kept the kids busy so I could rest. Got to love the guy! We miss all of our family on days like this, and it makes us want to be closer to everyone. We can't so we make the most of it. Our friends her have become our family, and for that I am grateful. We hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas. We are especially looking forward to have Troys Mom, Sister and her kids coming in a few days. The kids are all so excited to see their cousins. Now just a few more days until the New Year! Can you all believe how time flies?
The kids had a snow day. The wanted to get up first thing and go play in the snow. This is the first time for Olivia. She is in heaven. She hardly knows what to think about it all. Last year she was sick and had to watch out the window while everybody else got to play outside. We are so excited she could play in the snow this year! You could see that Izzie was having a good time too.
Last night was the ward Christmas party. We sang songs, had lots of goodies and the kids had a big pinata. Then, at the end of it Santa and Mrs. Clause came to see the kids. James Simpson was Santa this year so Anna did not completely freak out. Sister Simpson, James Mom was Mrs. Clause. She came up to Anna before they got in costume and told her it would be them dressed up. It was sweet the way she wanted to reassure Anna so she would not fall apart like she usually does. If ya'll don't know, Anna has a phobia of anything in costume. That includes mascots, Tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Clowns, and pretty much all masks. We don't know why, but she falls apart and gets hysterical about it. She has never been able to get around a Santa with out freaking out. So last night was history in the making with Anna. She sat on James lap and told him what she wanted for Christmas. It was funny because she knows James really well, yet she still was nervous. She was very proud of herself. We were proud of her too! Olivia would not go up to him, but maybe next year.
Last night was Anna's very first band concert. There were three elementary schools that participated in the concert. It was held at Rio Rancho High school, so they thought that they were very special. To be honest, I was surprised how well they did. They had learned a lot more than I had anticipated. She got to dress up and wear a little makeup. It was a big night for her. Her music teacher, Ms. Jackson, has done a fabulous job teaching the kids their music. She really is a talented teacher. Anna has a lot of fun going to band twice a week in the mornings. I was shocked that Anna had decided to play the trumpet. I mean really, the trumpet? Anna's mouth is so small, I thought there was no way that she could blow hard enough to make any noise. She does just fine.
Olivia was being silly waiting for the parade to start.
Last night, the City of Rio Rancho had their parade of lights. Troop 714 had a float in the parade. Troy made a sign for the truck and they put Christmas lights all over the truck. Right before they started the fuses in the truck blew out and the lights didn't work. So there they were in the parade of lights, without any lights. I had to laugh. Logan and Troy still showed a lot of enthusiasm for the parade. Anna, Ella, Soren and Olivia all got excited over seeing the neat floats. They especially liked the ones with the horses. One float had baskets from hot air balloons and they were burning the gas. The flames were huge. Soren loved that one. The kids all had a great time, I got very weary and Logan froze. Turned out to be a great night.
Red carnation in little jars. One of my favorite things.
Making the house smell yummy.
My "Tis the Season" banner.
My Snow Guys!
Some of my favorite things are 1. Scented candles. Nothing creates a warm and cozy feel in a house than a yummy smelling candle. During the Christmas season I like to have Baked Apple, Holiday Wreath, Cinnamon Roll or anything that smells like the holidays! 2. Lots of decorations. The ones I love the most, are the ones the kids bring home from school. Kids find the Christmas season so magical, it will always rub off onto me. 3. Christmas treats. There is no denying it we all gain wait during the holidays. I think it is sacrilegious to deny ourselves the treats the holidays bring! 4. The music. It seems to be on at our house 24/7. It puts us all in a better mood, and we find ourselves being kinder to one another. Take a minute to think of some of your favorite things for the holiday season!
This is Troy trying to pose like Nacho Libre. He thought he was being really funny. He tries!
Today Troy turned 37. When did we get so old? I remember when I was a teenager, I thought that the 30's were old. Well here we are. I wanted to write the 10 things that I love most about Troy.
10. He know how to use tools. 9. He irons the clothes. 8. He loves the outdoors (camping, hiking) 7. Is a great cook. 6. He listens to my fashion advise. 5. Extremely good looking. 4. Laughs at his own jokes. 3. Is the best dad the our kids. 2. Is a fabulous husband. 1. He thinks I am beautiful.
Over all he is a pretty incredible guy. I got really lucky when I snagged him for myself. Happy Birthday Honey.
Can you believe that it has already been Thanksgiving? Time goes to fast! This year we had our Thanksgiving dinner a couple weeks early because Mom and Dad were down from Utah. We had all the traditional food and it was yummy. I spent Thanksgiving afternoon with just Olivia. Troy, Logan, Anna, Ella and Soren went down to the Rio Rancho Police department and helped serve Thanksgiving dinner to the on duty police officers. One of the boys in Logan's scout troop made this his Eagle project. The kids had a lot of fun visiting with the police officers while they ate, and you know my kids can talk! Soren asked on if he could see his tazer gun. One policeman took the kids to go see his car and turn on the lights. When Soren got home, he was bouncing off the walls with excitement. They all had a dinner at the police station so I did not have to cook for anyone that night. Love that. Troy took me out to see the movie Australia when he got home. It was a wonderful movie. It was nice just to spend the day relaxing and just watching the kids play. I was proud of the kids and Troy for volunteering the time to the police. I thought a lot on Thanksgiving day of everything that I was grateful for. I am very blessed to have such a loving and incredible husband. My kids are my life. What would I do if I didn't have them. No, don't answer that. They are sometimes naughty, but I love them anyway. My parents, who love me unconditionally. They have always been an example to me. For Troy's parents, for raising such an amazing guy for me to marry and have babies with. I am thankful for all of our family for there support. I could go on and on about what I am thankful for. Let's just say that I am one lucky Mamma.
I know her birthday was on the 20th, but I am just getting around to posting her photos. Olivia had not been feeling well so we did not do a party for her. We didn't want her to catch anything else. One of our good friends Mary came over for dinner and had brownies with us. Olivia thought she was pretty special that Mary came and had dinner with her. It was an enjoyable evening.
I found that out the hard way. I am sitting here at the computer at10:30 at night waiting for some cinnamon rolls to raise so I can bake them. Soren is suppose to bring in a family bread to school tomorrow to share. So needless to say, I waited to the last minute to do it.
OK , here is my horror story about bread making. Last week Troy volunteered to bring in rolls to his office holiday lunch. Last time Mom was here she made this really yummy sweet bread rolls so we decided to use her recipe. I was worried that we would not have enough rolls, so we decided to double the recipe that Mom had written down for us. Half way through making the dough Troy commented that Mom had halved the recipe when she made it here. OK, I had to use two bowls, and almost 4 bags of flour. Some where along the way it totally spiralled out of control. My arms are still sore from kneading that dough. In the end we ended up making like some 90 rolls, a couple of dozen cinnamon rolls, several loaves of bread and who knows what else. There was so much bread dough we had to put it in gallon sized zip lock bags in the fridge. The next morning when Troy opened up the fridge, the bags had exploded all over because the dough expanded so much. I felt like I was in some horror movie. This time I made dough using the bread machine. I was not about to take the chance of being swallowed up by ever growing bread dough!
I know it is a little early for decorating for Christmas, but I just could not help myself. Last year I did not get to celebrate the holidays that much because Olivia was very sick. I literally spent Christmas day in the Christmas Eve and Day in the Hospital with her. Thankfully this year she is doing much better, and I want my family to enjoy the season. On Friday we will put up the tree.
Happy, Happy, birthday Olivia dear. Happy days will come to you all year. If I had a wish, then it would be, a happy, happy birthday to you from me. Our little baby turned 3 today and I can hardly believe it. Troy brought her presents to her in bed this morning and we all sang to her. She thinks this birthday stuff is pretty neat. I asked her if she was going to start going potty on the toilet because she is a big girl now and she said "NO". Well, that just about sums it up. She does what she wants, when she wants. We love her so much I don't know what I would do with out her. Troy and I were not planning on having her when we did. Heavenly Father definitely had other plans for us. He knew our family needed her right away. Olivia has had a lot of health problems, but I know that she is getting better and that Heavenly Father has blessed her so much. One of the funniest things she does now is stands in front of the TV and sings to us. One word "DIVA". She sings Little Miss Muffet, My kitty has gone form her basket and Way up high in the cherry tree. When Grandma Fowler was here last time, she taught Olivia the last two songs. If I try to sing with her she puts a hand across my mouth. I knew I did not sing very well, but when a 3 year old does not want you to sing, then you know you are bad! Olivia is also into her hitting stage. The other night she was hitting Soren and I scolded her and told her not to hit. She reached over and pinched Soren and said " I not hit, me pinch." We were all laughing so hard that I could not scold her again. We all love her so much. Happy Birthday Miss Muffet!
This morning has been kind of crazy for me. I am totally sleep derived due to Little Miss Muffet. She has got a really bad cold, her tonsills are swollen and she is coughing. With her swallowing problems this poses big problems for her. She is up most the night choking on mucus. I know that sounds yucky. We fought her to keep on her Oxygen last night to help her breath, she fought us tooth and nail-literally. I have the marks to prove it. So needless to say we did not have a good night. If any of you know how Soren talks, you will understand how it is very LOUD. This morning during breakfast he would not stop talking. This was some of the things he said to us. Dad, do like plankton? Do you eat it on your cereal? Look this is Africa. What country is this. What do they eat in this country Mommy? Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. You need some detangler in your hair, it looks really bad Mommy Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Is this the way my shoes go? Boo!( He was hiding in the pile of laundry on the couch that I have not gotten around to folding.) Don't yell at me Mommy, I was just trying to scare you. Yes he has been a trial to me this morning, but I love him dearly. Logan told me this morning that he is so glad they are no longer doing skating in PE. "Mom, It was so scary. I would have nightmares about it. It is a very dangerous sport. I don't know why they even allow it. Every time I would stand up, I would fall down. Geez, I'm surprised I was not killed." Is that a surprise to anyone? They are now doing mountain bike riding in PE. Should I be scared?
I am from, computers, TVs, instruments, pillows, tissues, blankets and laundry.
I am from, flowers, flags, trees, cars, trampolines, swing sets, tree houses, toys all over, dirt, and gravel.
I am from going to big green parks, living in cull-de-sacks, schools, walks, stores and hospitals.
I am from getting called "George", "holy cow", "get out of town", "mind your own beeswax", " Come here what's your name", "go away bad dream", and "drama queen".
I am from pumpkin pie, tamales, apple pies, chicken wings, ribs and pudding.
I am from camping, grandparent's houses, cousin's houses, Dions, McDonalds, and Wendy's.
I am from hope chests, under my pillow, and my diaries.
I am from parents, grandparents, cousins, and Butch Cassidy.
Anna wrote this poem for Literacy night at her school. She stood up in front of half of the 5th grade class and their families and read her poem out loud. She has really come out of her shell. This poem really says a lot about our family. The reason behind the "Butch Cassidy" is because Grandma Fowler told the kids a story about him and told the kids that they were related to him. Boy did that stick. It really is quite hilarious that the kids all believe the story. Hope you all get a kick out of the poem! We sure are proud of our Anna. This is a picture of Anna when she dressed up as an American Girl. They had "favorite book character" day at her school last week for Literacy Week. She turned out so cute.
On the morning that my parents left, I received a beautiful surprise. My Dad had gone to fill up the car with gas a run pick up a few groceries for the trip and he came home with a dozen pink roses for me. I was so touched, it was all I could do not to break down and cry. I did that after they left. Let me just say that I have the most amazing parents ever. They have always been there for me and my family and would do anything for us. My kids look to them for an example and I look to them for advice. They my think that they messed up a lot with us kids but I think they did an outstanding job and I hope that Troy and I could raise our kids with the strength and faith that my parents raised me and my siblings. Thanks Mom and Dad for being the wonderful parents and Grandparents that you are.
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." -Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice, 1811