Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Minnesota Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas! We spent it in Minnesota at Summer's house with her family and Michele's family. If you want a play by play of what we did for 6 days click into Michele's blog, if you want to hear about all our inside jokes (even though you won't get them) click into Summer's blog. I am going to try to tell you why we decided to spend Christmas in Minnesota - it wasn't for the lovely weather (the real feel was negative 1 the day we left Rochester - and I got teased mercilessly about my aversion to cold weather all week). Here are the top 12 reasons why this was a great trip -

1. The Mall of America - it is pretty amazing. We spent a day there together - and here we all are (minus Noah who despises having his picture taken). We didn't do any serious shopping but it was like a big party being all together.

2. Christmas Excitement - I don't know at precisely what age opening presents losses its thrill - but it's been a while at our house. These kids were seriously excited - it was so fun!

3. Snuggling Grandkids - does it get any better than this. We had 5 of our 6 grandkids there - pretty awesome for us. Lots of cuddling and loving going on all week.

4. Christmas Jammies - how cute are they?

5. Fun Presents - I decided a few years ago Christmas just isn't the same without toys and kids - it's the perfect combination for fun and excitement and I have missed it.

6. The Trick - this is a family tradition and John needs to train the next generation.

7. Alex's view of the world - she is the funniest girl ever. She is total drama and everything she says is pretty funny. She had us cracking up all week long.

8. Seeing the kids in their snowsuits AND their swimsuits -
just simply adorable.

9. Watching Landon with the little kids. He is so sweet with them - I loved just watching him play and cuddle with them. He may be the favorite Uncle.

10. Baby smiles - Avery couldn't do this when we saw her last. She's adorable.

11. Everyone talking to Tanner in Mexico City - I should have taken a picture to remember the moment - but I think this was what Naomi was doing while we talked to Tanner.

11. Having 5 grandkids on our laps - a little crazy - but John and I are loving this grandparenting thing.

12. Actually getting a picture of Noah - PRICELES!!!!

Thanks Summer & Paul for opening your home to all of us - that's 12 people every day - I know it was a lot of work - but we had such a wonderful time. Thanks Michele & John for being willing to fly across the country with 2 kids under two in a snowstorm - We're so glad you actually made it!! Great times.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm bracing myself -

I just looked at the weather forecast for Minnesota - and now I am having a small anxiety attack -

The forecast for Christmas Eve calls for weather (the real feel) at -1 as a high and -17 for the low. Yes that NEGATIVE 17!!! I have actually never experienced weather that cold.

Summer told me she sort of hoped we would have some REAL Minnesota weather while we were visiting so we could see what it is really like. Well her Christmas wish looks to come true as the descriptive words in the forecast for the 25th and 26th include words like FRIGID and BITTERLY COLD. Man - if accuweather is using those words all I can say is - OH MY GOSH! My thermals and coat might not cut it - you may need to just zip me into a snowmobile suit.

It will be an adventure!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Countdown

I'm getting very excited about this Christmas!!! Here's why:

I will see these cuties in just 5 days:

And these 2 darlings in just 6 days:

And I will get to talk to Tanner in just 8 days!

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It's all wonderful and I'm really looking forward to it.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Random happiness . . .

Are you all getting overwhelmed with my blog posts yet? Well - I'm almost done . . . I just had to share a few more random things that made me so happy this weekend:

things like watching how Alex eats a donut - it made me laugh every time (she ate quite a few) and the results were even funnier -

Seeing Avery a little chubbier and more alert than when I was there last month - and seeing that Summer was getting a little more sleep.Seeing John enjoying his "Grandpa time". Sometimes I feel a little guilty that I get to spend more time with the grandkids than he does - he loves it when he can be there too.
Seeing my daughters with their slings, boppies, and bumbos - stuff that they can't live without that I never even thought of when I had my babies - it makes me happy that they have stuff that makes motherhood just a little bit easier (or at least more convenient).

I do have to laugh at how much Noah hates my picture taking -most attempts at capturing him on film turn out like this . . .
I loved how every time I hear Alex or Noah say something funny - I would hear Landon's laugh right after - it was so sweet. He's so cute with all the grandkids and they all love him.

To sum it all up - we had a great long weekend and I had so many things that made me really happy - I'm thankful for all of them - big and small. Life is good!!!

Goodbyes too soon -

Tiffany, Randy, and Madden had to leave early Sunday afternoon to drive back Chicago and be back for school. We were with them for less than 48 hrs - much too short - but we were glad they made the drive out to be there. I know Summer and Tiff had a great time together during the week - and I'm so glad that they are as close as a 6 hr car drive (I wish I could say the same), but did I mention I am thankful for Southwest vouchers? I LOVE them - and have learned to master the art of accumulating voucher points. So much that we can return to Minnesota for Christmas!

This little cutie will be in Arizona for the holidays - so we are so glad we saw him this weekend and can't wait for Michele, John, Boston, and Naomi to join us for the next round of family fun. Since it's complicated for Paul to get much time away from the hospital and traveling with 3 - is Summer's worst nightmare - we are headed back for Christmas. Thanks Summer and Paul for always making us so welcome in your home. We've loved it!

Avery's Baby Blessing

Sunday morning we all went to church together where Paul was joined by family and Avery was given a beautiful blessing. Avery was wearing the beautiful blessing dress her great grandmother (my Mom) made for Alex to wear when she was born. Avery looked beautiful and was a little angel.
However - when we were back at the house and wanted to take pictures - she was not happy . . .

but we had to get a few more pictures first -
Summer and Tiffany with Avery -
Paul's side of the family -
Summer's side of the family -
We're so grateful to have Avery here and to all be together for her blessing day.

Noah's 6th Birthday

How lucky that Avery's blessing weekend happened to also hit on Noah's 6th birthday so we could help him celebrate with a big family party - with both sets of grandparents and his Aunt,
Uncles, and cousin all there to enjoy the fun.

Doesn't he look happy? We were so glad we got to be there for it all.

It's only fair . . . Alex with her balloon (since Noah got birthday balloons)

After Noah opened his presents - we played with them - the kids had us cracking up -

My favorite was after an unsuccessful attempt of jump roping lessons with Noah's new jump rope I suggested we do the Limbo instead - Paul clicked into I-tunes and we had Limbo music going and - well you really had to be there - but we were laughing hysterically at Alex's dramatic faces as she did the Limbo - pretty dang funny!
The day ended with the guys all watching the BYU - U of U football game - and the girls taking the kids to swim/hottub over at the hotel (so that the guys could watch the game), followed by pizza - a fun-packed day.

Minnesota -here we come

We headed out for Minnesota - VERY EARLY - the day after Thanksgiving for a quick weekend with family and to be there for Avery's baby blessing.

Tiffany, Randy, and Madden were already there in Rochester and Landon had fun with Madden
- he hadn't seen him since he was a newborn.

It was just the beginning of all of our fun.

Thanksgiving Day

We spent Thanksgiving Day at my Mom's in Livermore this year - we all decided my Mom truly outdid herself - the food was incredible! My Mom is a fabulous cook - and she is always trying out new recipes (unlike me - I tend to stick with tried and true for big dinners). We decided she came up with some new - all time favorites. My parents insisted on doing all the meal - what a treat. Since John, Landon, and I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning to head out to the airport I was thankful I didn't have to worry about dishes or left- overs. My parents also invited a friend from their ward - and his two children. His son brought the letters hi dad wrote on Thanksgiving Day while he served in Europe during WWII in 1944 and 1945. He shared several stories and it was a wonderful afternoon.

I have so much to be thankful for - too much to list so I don't even want to start - but this weekend spending time with all the family was definitely the highlight.

trying really hard to win

Had to post about this ottoman here because I REALLY want to win this contest. It would look great in my front room, no? And would be fantastic "time out" stool for Boston! We sure use the stairs a lot...