Thursday, January 23, 2014
In January, we had all of our family together for a short 20 hours. Thankfully, Mark's sister-in-law was able to meet us and take a few family pictures before everyone went their ways. We won't be all together again for at least another 2 years (now that Caleb has left for his mission).
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Christmas was so great this year. we had all the kids Christmas eve and Christmas morning. We woke up bright and early and came downstairs to see what Santa brought. Mark led the pack down (slowly)
Then the kids came down.
And the scene (at least what was captured in this corner). Santa came and brought each person their stocking a a few gifts. We decided that this year we would focus on family and family gifts instead of individual gifts. We got a new computer, a new trampoline, new video games for the family to play, board games, movies, popcorn maker, etc.
After all the excitement of the gifts, we had breakfast, then the girls left to spend the next 10 days with their dad. Everyone took naps while I went for a run. We then watched a family movie and then prepared for our dinner. We were able to have the LDS missionaries join us for Christmas dinner. I was so excited they would be joining us. I can't imagine being gone for 2 years from your family and it being Christmas. I am so glad the opportunity presented itself. We also had Mark's parents join us. We had ham, prime rib and all the fixings. We ended the night with a big chocolate cake and some games with the family and the missionaries. I think what I loved most is that having the missionaries there extended the day into the night. We didn't turn the TV on all night, it was just hanging out time and talking about Christmas and Jesus. I am hoping having the missionaries every year can become a tradition (especially since over the next 2 years we will be hoping someone takes Caleb and his companion in on Christmas so they don't have to spend it alone)
Christmas Eve was pretty quiet at out house. Mark had knee surgery the day before and was given the instruction of no weight on it for 48 hours. This meant our plans to spend Christmas Eve with extended family had to change. We decided to hang out, watch movies, eat yummy food and enjoy each other. Then, per tradition, it was time to open the 1 Christmas Eve gift (pajamas), change into them, read the story of Jesus' birth and off to bed.
Aren't they cute!!
Mark, in good spirits and heavily medicated
In the new Christmas pajamas
One tradition we have done since the kids were little has been making gingerbread houses. We did this when I was a kid and I think the kids look forward to it each year. This year they each did something a little different, but had fun.
Chase did a gingerbread train (and wanted to pose with a silly face)
Cassie did an entire gingerbread village
Madeline went traditional and did the house
and once the task at hand was done, they wanted to be goofy, which was captured on camera.
As we prepare for Christmas, we must take a time out to celebrate Chase and his 4th birthday. This year he wanted his first friend party. He had been invited to some over the year and with him changing schools, we thought this would be a great opportunity for him to re-connect with old friends. He is obsessed with Batman and all things having to do with Batman, so naturally this was the theme of the party. For easiness, we went with Chuck E Cheese as the location. He was thrilled. Here are pictures of the goodie bags we made for all his friends
Chase with his big sisters upon arrival for the big day. We were worried after it snowed for the first time all season about 6 inches over night that friends wouldn't make it, but they all did.
The birthday boy...4 years old, unbelievable how fast time goes by.
The cake he wanted...anything with Batman and toys on it he could play with later.
Rocking out with Chuck E Cheese on his balloon guitar
blowing out the candles
inside the ticket blaster.
He got some Legos for his birthday and has been obsessed ever since. He doesn't go a day without playing Legos or having the Lego figures in his pockets.
Our family tradition has been the day after Thanksgiving we pull down all the Christmas stuff out of the attic/garage and decorate. This year the kids really took it and ran with it. Mark was still laid up with his hurt knee and I was busy working at the hospital. They did a great job decorating and making it feel like Christmas was coming. As for this little man...he loved it! He is finally old enough that he got into the decorating and Christmas spirit. He could not stop adding decorations to the tree (of course only in the small area of the tree he could reach). I finally had to put away the extra because he wanted ALL the candy canes and ornaments on the tree. It did keep him busy for hours (then mom came and took most of them off and he started again).
This year we spent Thanksgiving hanging out and enjoying it being small and quiet. The day started with a cross fit work out, then Mark and Kacey went and played football. During this fun turkey bowl, Mark was his usual all out self and was going crazy in the name of the game. Needless to say, he came home after hurting his knee and was down and out for the rest of the day (if you know anything about our family, you know this is when he actually tore his meniscus and eventually had surgery right before Christmas). The girls and Chase enjoyed helping with the cooking. Here is the family sitting down ready to eat.
Here is a pie Cassie made. She has become quite the baker and took such pride in making this coconut cream pie from scratch. It even tasted delicious!!