Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas! We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. Ours was filled with lots of company, lots of food and lots of fun. We had an awesome Christmas. Thank you to all of our family and friends who made this season special for us. We are lucky to have you! Here is a slide show of our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day pictures:


This was an especially exciting year for Jack. We spend Christmas Eve with Chads parents in Bountiful. Jack was asking when we got to go home (which is a first) because he knew that he needed to get to sleep in order for Santa to come. When we finally got home, he was bouncing off of the walls with excitement. He crawled into bed and with a huge smile he said "I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight!" Well, with a little help from the red medicine both of my boys fell fast asleep.

In the morning I could hear Jack's little feet climbing down the ladder of his bunk bed, his bedroom door slowly open, his door close, and then his feet climbing up the ladder. This happened three times in a very short period of time. Finally Chad went and got him. He was so excited! He could not sit still. Nixin, on the other hand, had to be shaken out of his deep sleep. It was sure fun to see Jack so into Christmas. Here is the video of the kids when they came into the front room on Christmas Morning:

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Grinch

It was "Grinch Day" at Jack's kindergarten class today. The kids were supposed to dress up as the Grinch or a Who. This is what we came up with:


He looks pretty Grinchy, right?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jr. Jazz!

Jack has officially started Jr. Jazz Basketball. He is so excited to be playing with all of his neighbor friends. I am optimistic that this just might go better than soccer :) To keep Nixin happy during Jack's practice, we allowed him to be the family photographer. He didn't do too bad.

Temple Square

Last weekend we met up with Grandma Becky and Grandpa Ken to see the Christmas lights at temple square. They were, as always, gorgeous. My camera was not working to the best of its ability, but we did capture a couple of good pictures:





Sunday, December 14, 2008

One More...

Okay, one more funny thing that Nixin said...

We were in the car the other night and we were trying despirately to help Nixin understand what sounds the first four letters of the alphabet say (he's having a very hard time understanding this!).

We start off with letter A.

Erica: "A says aah. A says aah. What does A say?"
Nixin: "Aah"
Okay, got that one.
Erica: "Yes! Aah apple".

Erica: "B says buh. B says buh. What does B say?"
Nixin: "Buuuhhhh"
Okay, got that one too.
Erica: "Good job! Buh, Buh bird".

Erica: "C says cah. C says cah. What does C say?"
Nixin: "Cah, cah, Sophia". (Instantly grinning from ear to ear!)

Chad and Erica laugh uncontrolably! (Don't you just love how I spelled the sounds that the letters make?)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Girlfriend

After brushing his teeth last night, my 3 year old Nixin had the following conversation with his dad:

Nixin: Hey dad, I want to tell you something.
Chad: What do you want to tell me buddy?
Nixin: I kind of have a girlfriend and her name is Sophia...
(Nixin shyly runs away)

Nixin has his first girlfriend! Sophia is a cute little girl in his preschool class. He tells me often that he "played with Sophia today". I guess he's finally decided that she is girlfriend material. I love this age that he is, I love him!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy St. Nick's!

It is tradition in Chad's family to celebrate St. Nick's. Every year on December 5th we read the following story, put our shoes out, leave celery and water out for the horse and go to bed. When we wake up in the morning we find goodies in our shoes. It is so much fun! When Jack went into the living room first thing this morning he shouted "We have been so good this year!". Jack has started collecting nut crackers and "St. Nicholas" has supported the tradition by bringing the boys a nut cracker each year. The boys also got Transformers and pajamas (thanks Roxy!).

Here is the traditional Saint Nicholas Eve story:

In the Netherlands, December 5th is Saint Nicholas Eve, or Santa Klaus Eve. For over 600 years, Saint Nicholas and his Moorish servant, Swarte Peit, have been bringing Dutch children their holiday gifts. In Dutch tradition, Saint Nicholas, the fourth century Bishop of Myra, was born in Spain. The long bearded bishop wears a white robe, crimson cassock and tall red miter (official headdress) and in his white gloved hand he carries a gold colored crosier, shaped like a shepherd’s crook. Each year he and Swarte Peit journey to Amsterdam from Spain.

Usually the saint makes his trip aboard the steamer “Spain.” His retinues follow in the “Madrid.” The boats arrive amid a clatter of ringing bells, gun salutes and the shouts of thousands of boys and girls. When Saint Nicholas lands, he mounts a white horse and rides through the streets in a grand parade with city officials in attendance. The saint always has a whole brigade of Swarte Peits accompany him on foot, on bicycles or on scooters that puff, blow and make explosive noises! The saint and his helpers have a busy day since they always visit and leave presents at the schools and hospitals. In the small villages, he traditionally rides over the housetops on his white horse. He jumps from rood to roof with Swarte Peit at his side. Swarte Peit is traditionally dressed like a medieval page with a plumed hat and black doublet, hose and gloves.

Naughty children fear Swarte Peit, for he carries a large black bag. In it are gifts for the good and switches for the bad. If youngsters are really bad, he may stuff them into the bag and take them back to Spain. He will not return them to their parents until the following year, when they are more polite!

Early in the evening Saint Nicholas and Swarte Peit appear at every door in the village. Shortly before the visitors arrive, Swarte Peit throws pepernoten, or hard round spice cakes, down the chimney or the door opens a crack and the black-gloved hand appears and strews a handful of pepper nuts across the floor! Children sing songs of Saint Nicholas and enjoy eating sweet cakes and wassail. Later that same night while the youngsters sleep, Saint Nicholas and Swarte Peit make their rooftop visits. Swarte Peit slips down the chimney, for the saint must not soil his fine robes with soot. Swarte Peit puts presents in the wooden shoes which the children have set in a row near the chimney. But first he removes the offerings left by the children for the saint’s white horse. There may be a lump of sugar, a carrot, a wisp of hay or a cup of water—each child giving according to their means. Among the presents are chocolate letters, spicy cakes and colored marzipans. Often times, switches are left behind along with the sweets to remind the children to behave.

When his work is finished, Swarte Peit climbs back up the chimney and rejoins Saint Nicholas. Together they whisk through the night from rooftop to rooftop!

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Great Book


In the past I have not been a reader. Over the summer I picked up a book to read on a family vacation (The Kite Runner) and to my own disbelief I really enjoyed it. Then I had to read the Twilight series, of course loving those. I followed those off with A Thousand Splendid Suns, which I also really enjoyed.

My friend Amie suggested that I read The Hunger Games, which I am reading now. I am almost finished with the book and I have to say that I LOVE it! I can't wait to pick it up and then after I do, I have a such a hard time putting it down. I wanted to recommend it to all of my book loving friends.

I learned something about myself the past few months. I really enjoy reading! I never thought I would say that, but I do. I would love to hear what your favorite books are so that I know what to pick up next (Just don't say The Host, I didn't like that one at all, in fact I gave up on it.).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kitchen...Done!

It is officially done! The granite was installed yesterday and the appliances arrived this morning. I LOVE my new kitchen. It could not have turned out any better...okay, well it could have if we would have added a few more square feet, but with what we had to work with, it turned out gorgeous!

Here is a close up of our counter top:


And the finished Product:


Monday, December 1, 2008

The Lists

The lists are in and will be on their way to the North Pole soon (aka Grandpa Ken and Grandma Becky's house). They were so cute that I had to share:


Sunday, November 30, 2008

So Blessed

Another Thanksgiving has already come and gone, and the Christmas holiday is quickly approaching. Our family has been blessed in so many ways and after spending the past week pondering these things I feel truly grateful.

I am so thankful for a wonderful and supportive husband. Chad is my best friend and I love him so much. We have been blessed with the most amazing little boys who are healthy and happy. My family is my life and they are certainly the reason that I look forward to each day.

We have the most amazing extended families. I am so thankful for the good people that they are and for all that they constantly do on our family's behalf. We love each of them.

We have a beautiful home in a wonderful and safe part of the world. We have great neighbors and friends. The people that surround us are good examples to us and to our children. For that, I am thankful.

We have the blessings of a good job, financial security, health care, reliable transportation, food and many uncountable other things. We are safe, healthy, happy, and secure. We are very blessed.

We spent Thanksgiving this year with my dad and his wonderful wife, Debbie, at their home in Hyrum. My brother Luke was also there with us. It was a great day to make the trip, the weather was beautiful. The food was just how Thanksgiving food should be, and the company was great. Here are a few pictures from our day:










We spent the morning after Thanksgiving decorating for Christmas. No, we did not brave the "Black Friday" crowds. The boys helped decorate our beautiful tree and put up the rest of the decorations. They are excited to have a few decorations in their bedroom this year, including Christmas lights in their bedroom window.






We are excited and ready for the Christmas holiday. It is my hope that we can keep the real meaning of Christmas in our hearts and that we can truly enjoy each others company. Happy December!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a weekend!

We are at the end of a really fun weekend. Friday night Chad and I decided to bundle up the boys and head down to Gardner Village. It is such a fun place to wander around. They have their Christmas lights up now and the cute little elves are out. The boys were really excited to finish that night up with a donut from the bakery.


Saturday morning we were up bright and early to go shopping for our new counter top. We found it! We chose a beautiful piece of granite. It was a bit out of our price range, but as Chad always says, "everything is negotiable".



In celebration of my father in law's 55th birthday, Becky treated us all to an awesome time at iFly later Saturday afternoon. At iFly, you are first trained and then suited up before you jump into a crazy wind tunnel. The wind blows so hard that you literally fly. Everyone did it (even though some of us were moments away from chickening out!), including my brave little guys... we've got video to prove it. I will admit that it was scary but it was also so much fun, what a rush! Thank you Becky and Happy Birthday Ken!!!



Monday, November 17, 2008

Cabinets

It has taken every ounce of my free time for the past two weeks, but I FINALLY have my kitchen cabinets painted! They went from worn out honey oak:



To black and white with a little beadboard and knobs:



Jack asked me "how come we have an Oreo house?" I can see what he means, but I love Oreos so it's okay with me. Now the only thing left to decide are what to do with those counter tops. How does it look?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Go, Dog. Go!


Jack has been reading little books and doing quite well at it. Last night we pulled out the Go, Dog. Go! book and my sweet little Jack read all 64 pages of the book by himself! I am so proud of him. He is so smart.

Pancakes

We have a little chef on our hands! Nixin loves to make pancakes and he is really good at it. He can make an awesome batch of pancakes (with a little mommy help, of course!). Saturday morning he said "What day is today?" and I told him that it was Saturday. He said "Is that the day I go to school?" and I told him that it was the day that we all stayed home. Then he said "That means it's pancake day!" and into the kitchen he ran. He is such a sweet boy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fire Station


Today we went with our ward play group to the South Jordan fire station. My boys loved it, in fact I think that all of the kids loved it. They watched a fire safety video and then toured the station. I learned a lot and my boys are still talking about it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Murphy


I am just realizing that I have forgotten to introduce an important part of our family to this blog. Murphy is our daschund (or wiener dog, as our boys like to call her). She is the laziest, cuddliest, sweetest dog that we could have ever asked for. We have had Murphy for almost 5 years. The boys love her so much. The first thing they do every morning is find Murphy, who is usually hiding in a pile of blankets somewhere, and give her loves. Chad might love her even more than the boys do...he tries to sneak her into our bed all the time because "she is cold" and I tease him that he gives her more cuddles than he gives me. She can to a total of 5 tricks: Sit, Give Me Five, Bang! (Roll over onto her back), Speak, and Sing. She LOVES to sing. If you sing a song and wiggle your pointer finger at her, she will bark along. It's pretty cute really. She loves to eat Iams dog food and bones. The funniest thing about Murphy is that when she is out of food or water she will bring you her dish. She is a wonderful pet and we love her.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween 2008


Let me just say that we live in the funnest neighborhood ever! Halloween night was a blast. The streets were packed with families trick or treating, friends everywhere, our neighbors, the Leewellyn's, have the neatest Halloween yard that I have ever seen, the weather was wonderful, and the kids got hooked up with so much candy. Jack and Nixin both have completely caught on to the idea of trick or treating and it really made it so much fun this year. Oh, and our costumes were a hit! Jack and Nixin were ghosts and Chad and I were the Ghostbusters. We were darling if I do say so myself.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nightmare


Wanna know what we love? We LOVE The Nightmare Before Christmas. We love the movie (my kids have it memorized, seriously), we love the book, we love Jack Skellington, we love the songs from the movie (Nix sings them all the time and it is darling) and we love that the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is transformed into The Nightmare Before Christmas during the holiday season. As Jack Skellington would say, it is "splendid".

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Giant Pumpkin


Look at this GIANT pumpkin! My dad worked hard all spring and summer to grow huge pumpkins. We were lucky to be the recipients of his biggest one. He and my step mom had to roll the thing out of their car, across our sidewalk, and then it took the 3 of us to roll it up the front steps. My dad thinks that the pumpkin weighs about 150 pounds! I don't think that we will get around to carving it. Instead, I think it will sit on our front porch through Thanksgiving as a fall decoration. Then what? I'm not sure. It will have to be destroyed somehow to get it into the garbage can!

Homemade Applesauce

My kids have a new favorite food, Homemade Applesauce. It is so easy and it is delicious!









4 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a saucepan combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Allow to cool then mash with a fork or potato masher.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Aubrey


This is a picture of my friend Aubrey and her family at the beach in California. Isn't it a great picture? Aubrey made the decision to go through the temple this past weekend and so I wanted to make a special "congratulations" post for her. I am a horrible, awful friend who let the date catch up much too fast and forgot to make the arrangements to be there. I am sorry for that Aubrey. I hope your day was wonderful! Congrats.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Disneyland 2008


We made it home from an amazing trip to Disneyland! The car ride was nice, the weather was great, the boys were so brave, the rides were fun, the food was good and our hotel bed was comfortable (I'm dying to get a new mattress). It was crowded there this year, but that is our only complaint. The boys went on every ride that they were tall enough for--which included Space Mountain for Nixin and the Tower of Terror for Jack--and loved them all. It was a much needed vacation and we had a wonderful time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Balboa Pier Slide Show

I finally put together a slide show of our amazing day at the beach!


Monday, October 13, 2008

For Luke


This past week my brother Luke lost a dear friend and brother of his own. Cody Cooper passed away on Saturday, October 4th. All of us who have been blessed to know him will truely miss him.

I love you Luke, hang in there!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Balboa Pier


Hello from Balboa Pier! We had such a wonderful time today at the beach. The weather was perfect, the ocean was beautiful, we enjoyed shakes at Ruby's Diner and, to top it all off, we saw dolphins--real live dolphins--swimming in the ocean! It was amazing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Son of a #@?*!


After searching for the right shirts, re-arranging Chad's work schedule, perfectly timing the boys naps and making myself as gorgeous as possible, it was finally time to have our family photos taken. Cute Carrie Butler is our photographer (if she will have us again!) and she told us of a great spot at the bottom of Little Cottonwood Canyon. We agreed that canyon pictures would be wonderful and she led us to this amazing place.
It was beautiful. Carrie got a couple of darling pictures of the boys and then we started down this hill into an empty river bed. It would have been a beautiful place for a family picture. I say "would have been" because just as we hop over this huge log that was blocking the way down to the neat white rocks, Chad starts screaming cuss words and leaps back to the other side of the log while holding the inside of his arm. Suddenly more cuss words and now he is holding onto the back of his neck. He ran away.
Not knowing what to do I just stood there still with the boys and Carrie. Carrie so kindly asked if we should go check on Chad and I agreed with her. With a boy holding each of my hands, we climb back over the big log. Suddenly Jack starts screaming and I notice that we are being chased by a swarm of wasps. We were all screaming now and running as fast as possible back up the trail and into the parking lot!
By the time we got up there the back of Jack's shirt was covered with wasps and Carrie had been stung on her arm. Chad got them off of Jack just in time to realize that another wasp had made it into Chad's pant leg and is stinging him. Jack had been stung three times. One on his finger, one on the inside of his arm, and one more on his back. We pile into the car, start to calm down, get in seat belts, and Jack starts screaming "WASP!!!". We hauled out of the car, again screaming. It must have been quite the scene! It took a few minutes to get the guts to go back into the car again, but fortunately when we got around to it, we didn't have any more problems with them. We stopped at the nearest gas station for ice and baggies. Carrie bought the boys a "don't hate letting me take your picture" Slurpee, and we went home. Grand total: 7 stings.
Everyone made it through the night and is feeling much better now. What a scare!!! Jack drew a couple of pictures this morning. One was a picture of himself and a wasp. At the top he wrote "WASP R STOOPED". We feel better, but yes, we are a little traumatized!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hyrum


We had such a fun time this weekend. My dad and Debbie had us up to their house in Hyrum for Sunday dinner. They also invited my brother Luke, my sister Laura and her boyfriend Vince, my Aunt Julee and her family, Debbie's son and her grandkids, and my cute grandpa and his wife Patsy. It was so nice to meet up with everyone. The whole group has not been together in a while so I enjoyed seeing everybody. My dad has a gorgeous yard with plenty of room to run around in, climb trees, feed goats and horses, and play games. Our boys had a blast and the food was yummy. The drive wasn't too bad either. Thanks for having us up, we love you!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

No More Training Wheels!

video

Jack can finally do it! After a whole summer of practicing, Jack can finally ride a 2 wheeler. It has been a little frustrating at times to be the one trying to teach the most cautious child ever to ride a bike without training wheels. But the other day Jack did it and after realizing that he could do it that first time he has been able to do it every time since. He has gotten better and better every day. He is thrilled with himself and it is fun for me to see his excitement about it. I'm so proud of you Jack!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lemon Drop Cookies

Thanks to my friend Camie for getting me her mom's AMAZING cookie recipe! I've made them for events twice in the last week and both times they were a huge hit. I've had many requests for the recipe, so I had to share it on my blog. I hope you love them as much as everyone else has!

1 cup butter
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp lemon extract
2 ½ cup flour

Mix and roll dough into cylinder. Cut dough to create flat, round circles. Bake at 350 degrees for about 9-12 minutes or until the edges become golden. Cool before frosting.

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1 Tablespoon milk
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon Juice
Powdered sugar

Beat butter, milk and lemon juice. Add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Frosting can be spread on cookies or piped on to make them look a little more fancy.