Thursday, December 31, 2009

California Christmas

We had a wonderful time out in California for Christmas and the following week. Jordan took the time off from work AND from technology-use -- no work, no ipod, no computer! So, we just had a super time playing with our family, enjoying the warm California days, spending time with Kathie and Winslow, and celebrating the Holidays.

Christmas morning
Landon trying to hold all of his new cars, trains and trucks at once -- Landon sitting with all of his gifts -- Ellie happily munching on her banana puffs -- Christmas morning :) -- (below) Skyping with Drew, Nathan, and April as we attempted to all unwrap gifts together.

The Nativity
The angel Ellie bringing good tidings of great joy, and Landon the wise man bearing gifts. This is the first time I've acted out the Nativity since I was really young - pretty sweet with Landon and Ellie.

Oakland Temple

Kathie and Winslow watched the kids so that Jordan and I could attend the temple -- really wonderful to go together. Then, they all met us afterwards for some yummy treats and to look at the lights and walk through the visitor's center. I remembered visiting the Oakland temple years ago with a friend in high school, and felt so different this time - so complete to be their with my whole little family.

A stop at the McDonalds play place on the way home made the night complete for Landon and Ellie. :)

Daddy Time
Jordan made great use of his time off, happily filling it up with kid playtime! (Playing legos -- racecars -- wrestling/Ellie protecting -- reading)

The best climbing tree around
Landon loves this! "Did you know I could do this?" or "One little Landon swinging in a tree..."

Outside Fun!
We were so happy to take advantage of the warm weather and get some nice outside time in with walks, a few bikerides, a trip to the park, a backyard picnic, playing ball in the court, running, digging in the dirt...

Just more fun
Landon and Ellie on the handmade sit and spin -- so fun for these guys! -- Landon playing blocks with Grandpa -- sidewalk chalking in December :) -- one day spent looking at houses in nearby Brentwood

Landon baking cookies with Grandpa (with Mater's help) -- Grammi and the kids on Sunday morning w/ their new Christmas sunday attire -- me with my new clothes from Kathie and from Jordan after a fun shopping trip -- Our family w/ Eric Nyholm and kids (one of Jordan's good growing up friends)

New Years Eve
Playing with the noisemakers with Landon- We also played fruit basket which he has been asking to play ever since :), sweet little Ellie, Jordan with his 7-layer dip work of art -- Fun New Years snacks.

Such a sweet happy time to be together with our family. Playing, making plans for the future, enjoying our kids and each other and Grammi and Grandpa -- such happy days!!

Christmas Train Ride

We decided to take the train out to California for Christmas, and it turned out to be a pretty fun adventure. The sleep was rough, but the day trip was great -- lots of focused playtime for Landon and Ellie, beautiful scenery, room to move around and play for the kids -- and just a fun, memorable excursion. :) We sat in the sightseeing car all day and enjoyed the scenery and our kids while they walked, climbed, crawled and played around.

Watching the sun rise over the desert-- one great benefit to a 5:00 kid wake-up call :)
Beautiful views!
Fun times climbing, coloring, sight seeing...
Making friends
We made it! :)

Happy December Days

We had such a wonderful month full of holiday events and fun family time. Here are some of the pre-Christmas happenings of the month -->

Christmas handbell ringer concerts at the Provo and Orem libraries

First Presidency Christmas Devotional

Jordan's week in New York and my happy (and cold!) week with the kids

I had been quite anxious about being on my own with the kids for the week, but it turned out to be just a sweet and precious time for me to really focus on playing with and enjoying my children and the joyful holiday season. And although I was really missing Jordan, with the busy days along with Skype and ichat, our cell phones and emails, and even an inflight video conference with Jordan... It was hard to feel lonely too much! :)

Ward Christmas party

Jordan and Landon sledding a few times on their new 'zipfy' sleds
Wreath making get-together with my mom, Laura and Marilyn

Dinner with Marilyn and Josh when Jordan was gone (thank you Marilyn!)

Running at the track

BYU Basketball game
(we couldn't have told you the score or even remember who played, but Landon sure liked climbing on those chairs, and Ellie has been happily clapping her hands since :)

Thursday kid days -
Landon to Pirate Island with Jordan, and to play with the trains at Toys R Us with Debbie
Ellie to the fabric store with Debbie for stocking fabric, and to Barnes and Noble with Jordan for standing and walking practice

Primary sharing times

Ellie walking practice (she took her first steps on her own this month and is having fun practicing walking all on her own!)

Jenny in town
She came in the day before we left so we did get to spend one day together! :)

Brazilian Dinner with Mom, Jen, Dan and Kel
Jordan cooked some delicious Brazilian specialties for us before we left for California.

Christmas gift crafting
We tried making most of our Christmas gifts this year so I had a super fun month of crafting and creating. (Here's a couple)

(Christmas ornaments in the making for all of the primary kids - from the Primary Presidency)
(satin flower clips/pins for our sisters and moms)

Play group, Orem library storytime, Yoga - the routine things these days.

Christmas treat making -- pizzelles for neighbor friends, and lots of other treats just for fun. (Almond/raspberry rice, thumbprint cookies, brownies, hot chocolate w/ ice cream and whip cream, and molasses cookies twice. :)

Playing at Arctic Circle with the Killians
Always fun to see Brianna, and Landon and Jackson just love playing together

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Friends!

Here's our family Christmas card/newsletter Animoto style. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day!

11 months

Ellie stood on her own and took her first steps this month. She's still practicing and thinks it is such a fun game to walk back and forth from Mommy to Daddy, or to sit on a step and stand up all by her big self. She is communicating so much more and learning how to let us know the things she wants (bananas, spaghetti, crackers and cookies are her favorites these days!) She loves to clap hands or be clapped for with a 'hooray for Ellie!' and loves to play peek-a-boo or other silly games and she loves to share her toys or binks with us. Such a little sweetheart we've got!

(playing under the table -- her favorite hangout spot)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In my purse today

I cleaned out my purse today and was amazed at how much stuff fit in there (my bag's not that big!) So here's the list...

6 kids socks (the reason for Landon's mismatched socks lately...)
1 Landon glove, 1 of my gloves
a spare diaper
2 clementines
bag full of pretzels and graham crackers
5 crayons from various restaurants
lots and lots of maceys receipts, lists and notes, wrappers, fast-food napkins, etc.
stretchy yellow spider
package of smarties
AA battery
bottle of tylenol
jar of babyfood
plastic foam number 4
grover finger puppet
1/2 bag of craisins
plastic rock
gift cards/coupons for Bath and Body works, Michaels, Walmart, Maurices, Penny's, and Costco
3 pencils
biking pant leg strap thing
vaseline lip gloss
toy frog
Boston duck tours booklet
Ellie's 11 month weight/height charts
mini flashlight
a werthers candy
$1.25 in quarters
ear warmer headband
pink baby spoon
cell phone
wallet with library card, amex, chase card, debit card, temple recommend, drivers license
See's chocolate coin

I feel like a true mom with a bag like this :)

Landon in one sentence

"I want to know everything right now, today!!!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Diaper solution on the way...

So often, Landon surprises me with how much he is thinking.

Last night we went and got a flat tire replaced. On the way home, Landon got really upset when he found that we were never going to see our old tire again?!?!? I tried to explain that we didn't need it anymore by giving him the example of Ellie's diapers with something like this "When I change Ellie's diaper, do I save her old one for later? Nope! And that doesn't mean she never gets to have diapers again, because she has new diapers -- and now we have a new tire so we don't need to keep the old, dirty broken one..." Probably a strange example, but it calmed him down and we talked about other things till we got just about home when Landon said,

"I have a great idea!"
What's your great idea?
" I think when we change Ellie's diaper, maybe sometimes we can clean it with wipes! And then we can keep them and save them and not have new diapers!"
I must have discouraged him with my reply (that new diaper strategy didn't sound like such a great idea for the diaper-changer), because he answered
"Oh, sorry -- I'll keep thinking about what we can do for the diapers..."

So, now Jordan has a new recruit in his quest for a better solution to diapers! :)

Christmas Time

We are sure enjoying this happy Christmas time.

Watch out Jordan

Another little computer-pro is on the way...

Landon's just discovered this computer and his new favorite activity is typing words. He'll write Landon and dog again and again on his own or ask us for how to spell Mommy, Daddy, Nathan, April, Kelly, etc. :) And with every word he's just so proud "Come see this cool thing I did! I made LANDON again!"

Festival of Trees

The festival of trees is always one of my favorite Christmas activities. We went on Friday night and had a great time. Lots of fun trees - Landon was loving all of the Mickey Mouse trees we saw, I really like all the simple country-ish style ones -- and this 'Very Hungry Catterpillar" one, mostly for the amazing quilt with it -->
I think my favorite part is probably the yummy scones though... Here's Landon watching the dancers and performers (this is one of the brief times he wasn't dancing along with them...) while we ate our delicious treats
And looking at all the fun Christmas crafts and kids activities...
And one more - just a sweet little doll house book shelf -- maybe someday we'll make something like this for Ellie. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Latest Project

A sweet stocking for Ellie!

Although this is not the greatest picture... I think this really is just about the cutest stocking ever. :) And, quite likely the first ever Bamboo-to-Cricut creation too!

I got the idea from this ruffle pillow on one of my favorite design blogs (Say Yes! to Hoboken)
I've been wanting to do something cute and ruffly for Ellie ever since I saw this -- so I made her stocking with lots of soft fuzzy fleece ruffles.

And her name -- so cool :) -- I used the bamboo tablet to write her name (so it could be in my own handwriting), then made it into an image and used my great new cricut program to cut out the letters with the cricut on some vinyl. (Thanks again Kathie and Jordan for the super gifts!)

Pretty fun stuff!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"My Daddy's working in the Tree House"

Landon on his way to visit Daddy in the tree-house-office :)

Daddy Adventures

Some fun pics from Jordan's adventures with the kids on my birthday while we were out shopping -->

Playing in the MTC volleyball court

Getting ready for hiking up in Rock Canyon (After a run there from our house)

Playing in the little theater area by Rock Canyon

"I will lose my mitten, then I will say 'Meow meow I've lost my mittens!' And you say 'Then you shall have no pie..."

Getting Closer to a Full Night's Sleep...

Our little Ellie is starting to make some progress in sleeping at night! Twice in the last week she slept solidly from about 11:00 till 5:00 -- hooray!

Happy Birthday!

I had such a happy, happy 26th birthday. Jordan let me sleep in, then surprised me with my favorite crispy apple muffins for breakfast. April, Jenny, Kel and I spent the day on a great shopping trip at the outlets in Park City while Jordan watched the kids (all day long!)
We met for dinner at Magleby's Fresh when we got back (yum!) and then Jordan surprised me when I got home with a birthday party complete with streamers all around the house, balloons, noisemakers and a delicious Daddy and Landon made birthday cake.

How wonderful to feel so loved by my sweet family!


We had a fun Thanksgiving at our house this year with lots of our family (Dad and Shauna, Jenny from Arizona, Dan, Kel, April, Heather, and Nathan). Everybody helped make or bring something, set up and clean up afterwards, so we just got to have a fun time in the preparations and visiting. It was really great to spend time with our families.

(Somehow we managed to get lots of pictures of the table and very few pictures of our wonderful company...)

(But it is a very pretty table! :)

I am so thankful, especially for my own precious little family.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Two little babies swinging in a tree..."

I was watching my neighbors little boy Clark today (and tomorrow) -- Landon had a great time having a little play-mate (Clark's 13 months old so I had such fun watching him do all of the things I know Ellie will be doing soon: walking around, exploring, climbing, clapping, etc.) He was loving that Clark could interact with him so much and that he would have such fun smiling reactions to Landon's sillyness.

Landon made up this song and sang it with delight all through the day --

"Two little babies swinging in the tree
Teasing Mr. Landon you can't catch me, you can't catch me
Along comes Mr. Landon as quiet as can be and
those two babies right out of that tree."