Sunday, February 12, 2012

December - The Lights

In December, we heard the downtown Christmas lights in Caldwell were a pretty good thing to see. So, we bundled the kids, and headed out the door. Or tried to head out the door. This is a shot of Sam after he collapsed mid-crawl because he had so many layers on he was barely able to move. He also has a new pair of winter boots on, that might be one or two sizes too small... Seeing that I was taking a picture of his predicament, he was able to dig deep into his reserve of strength and balance, lift his awkward mass and make his way toward me so he could see the picture I just took. After seeing how cute Sam looked, of course our little Elsie wanted her picture taken too. Here are the little trouble-makers bundled and buckled up. Ready for the big drive, 2 miles up the road. It was VERY exciting. The light show was pretty impressive. So impressive that I told my sister-in-law she should definitely drag her kids out to see them. Shortly after telling her this, my brother was taking some people around the city of Boise on a helicopter tour of the city's Christmas lights. My brother commented that he needed to get over to the Boise Botanical Gardens and see the lights with his kids. The customer's on the flight told Shaun the Botanical Garden lights were pretty nice, but if he wanted to see some good lights he should take his family to see the lights in Caldwell. And there you have it. Caldwell really is up-and-coming. Here we have Elsie & Dad by a snowman. Elsie kept asking Tyler where the snowman was - expecting to see an actual snowman. Finally Tyler was able to help her understand it was a snowman made out of Christmas lights. She was even more excited when she realized that was even possible! A friendly citizen took this shot of us. It was a fun night. The kids didn't complain (too much) about the cold, and we had a great time checking out the local city lights. Yes, that is Sam under all those blankets in the stroller. Might be time to invest in some winter gear for that little guy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

December - The Baking & Sewing

I don't know about you, but for us, December is a pretty big deal. There is baking, cooking, sewing, wrapping, parties, traveling, etc., etc. Therefore, I have decided to post installments of December, in an effort to help you fully appreciate just how crazy, and fun we had. Here we go... Before the fun even begins, Sam is already in the White Almond Bark. I was mixing frosting for the sugar cookies, and turned around to find his chubby little cheeks wrapped around one of his new best friends. After snapping a few quick shots, I was forced to take away his one-pound block of white almond bark (much to his dismay) and put the bag of baking/cooking supplies in a much higher, and therefore safer, location. Here are the girls getting food prepared for our Christmas plates. The younger girls are decorating cookies to take to their Daddies, and Kelli is front and center, dazzling me with her pretzel-dipping skilz. I have never dipped pretzels, or anything else for that matter. Kelli made it look so easy, so I started "helping" only to realize my skilz were better suited to frosting cookies and taking pictures. Kelli - grabbing a quick sample of her delicious pretzels. Here are me and the girls, showing off our great sugar cookies. Elsie is very excited about sprinkles, and shortly after this shot was taken she managed to pry the sprinkle part of the sprinkle bottle (is this making any sense) off of the sprinkles, and proceeded to pile her cookie with the entire contents of the bottle. To which we (the moms are in the kitchen) hear Addie say, "Uh oh, Elsie... Uh - Mom...?" We walked in to find a mountain of sprinkles not only on the cookie, but all over the floor as well. Good thing we have wood floors! It was very easy to sweep up.Not the best picture, but I love it when I catch these 2 sitting in the chair together, reading to one another. It's adorable. Kelli & I spent most of another day putting together these cute little numbers for our family Christmas presents. Kelli's family had my brother's name for Christmas, and made their whole family matching aprons. I thought it was such a great idea I did the same for my Sister and her family (whose name I had this year). My sister called me the day after Christmas to say how excited her whole family was to receive them. Especially her little Ivylicious. We did pockets on the girl's aprons, and made little "tool-belts" on the ones for the boys. They turned out adorable. I'm glad they were such a hit. Kelli & I had a great time making them together. And here we have Sam, enjoying the fruits of our sugar cookie labors. He & Summer did great all day. We had a blast, and looking back at these pictures is already making me excited for the fun we will have again next year.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Here is my adorable little niece playing the in leaves while we rake them up, yet again. She loved all the leaves. We had to keep a close eye on her, so we didn't bury her in the all-consuming piles. We went to a lecture on snakes at the Nature Center in Boise. After getting over her initial distaste for the slithering creatures, Elsie warmed right up and enjoyed petting them. After the snakes lecture we walked around the Nature Park and found two cute owls to take our pictures by. I am holding Sam up so that his head will fit in the hole. Elsie's head fit just right, though. Here's a shot of Sam during Thanksgiving dinner prep. He sat on the counter, chatting away with whoever was in the kitchen. He LOVES potatoes. And thought his Aunt would be able to appreciate them just as much as he did.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


So much for posting one-a-day until I am caught up....Anyway, October was busy, to say the least. The lease on our current crappy duplex rental was quickly approaching it's deadline. We had decided that although we felt better about continuing to rent, rather than buy, we definitely wanted to get into a better place than the one we were currently living in. So began the painful task of calling on rentals, scheduling visits, looking at places, etc., etc. You can see how "over-it" Sam is by his milk-drunken stupor as he lays on the floor finishing off his last bottle for the night. So beings the moving. We found a place that we both LOVE! It's a historical home, with what seems to be a LOT more space. Ironically, it only has an additional 100 sq. ft. than our last rental, but feels like 1200 because it is laid out so well. Also, it has lots of windows and built-in's, so there is also a lot of storage space inside the house. It is a historical home on a busy street, but our back yard is fully fenced and the original hard-wood floors were just too charming to pass up. I L-O-V-E it. This is the outside. Maybe one day when everything is nice and clean I will take some pictures of the inside. Until then, isn't this just about the cutest white house with bright blue shutters you have ever seen!?! This is Sam monkey-walking around on the concrete drive of our old rental while we are loading up the car with boxes. At this time (already 1!) he wasn't able to walk, but loved being outside. Instead of crawling and scuffing his knees, he found this suited his needs quite well. Elsie refusing to let me pack her "like-new" winter boots. She trotted around in this little number for several days. Sam on the phone. It seems like he started "talking" on the phone much earlier than Elsie did. Perhaps because Elsie only saw me on the phone, and Sam sees both me and her, and doesn't want to feel left out. At any rate, I love how he shoves that phone right into his chubby little cheek. Here is Sam grabbing a quick snack and visiting while I pack boxes. Such enthusiasm... Elsie finishing off her Popsicle while we make trips to and from the car with boxes. We had officially moved by the time this picture was taken. We visited the Nature Center in Boise. The kids loved it. Here is Sam in our new backyard. He is enjoying the fall weather while Elsie & I rake up the leaves. Which, by the way, there were a lot of. I had no idea the "joys" mature landscaping could bring to a family. We did have fun, though. Playing in the leaves and working outside together. Elsie insisted on helping, so I grabbed an old broom and let her sweep up the leaves I missed. It was fun to have her working outside with me. Oh! Here is a picture from inside our house. This is a small peak into our front room. The window seals are just low enough that Sam can peak outside and watch the traffic go by. He loves looking outside, and will give a hoot and wave to anyone he sees walking by. Ahhh. This is a fun one. Elsie's cousin was spending the night. After a big, fun day of playing, we gave the kids baths. Sam was first. Once he finished up and was dressed for bed we let Elsie & her cousin get in. I walked into the other room to throw all their clothes in the laundry hamper when Elsie and her cousin start calling for me to please "get Sam out!" I went in to find him like this. He had crawled over the side of the tub (thank goodness the tub wasn't full) and he was playing in the water - fully clothed. I called Tyler in to keep an eye on all of the kids so I could grab the camera. Sam was so happy, and thoroughly disappointed when we pulled him out, dried him off, and quickly put him to bed for the night. Needless to say, we keep an even closer eye on the kids when they are anywhere near the bathroom now. Much too ambitious. Awe. Here are the Halloween pics. Too long in coming, I know. Sam was a dragon. A very sleepy dragon when I took this picture. His regular 6:30 p.m. bedtime routine just isn't conducive to late-night holidays.And here is our precious butterfly. I made the skirt, then braided some of the left-over tulle from the skirt into Elsie's hair. Turned out pretty cute for my first home-made Halloween costume. Elsie loves playing dress-up in the skirt with her cousin, who was also a butterfly.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What happend to September?

Wow. I really can't believe it has been since the 1st of August since I updated our blog. On the down side, I have a LOT of catching up to do. On the up side, won't it be fun to see all of the updates?! I am hoping to pound out one update a day until we are current. Shouldn't take too long, if I do a month at a time, right? Let's see how it goes.... Our great friend, DeNae, made these cute tie-dyed shirts for my kids. The kids love them. Elsie wouldn't wear anything else until we finally had it out and she took it off because it was "smelly" and I was able to wash it. Since then she refers to it as her "exercise shirt". I don't know if this is because it is more of a t-shirt than her other shirts, or if it is because when we get home from the gym and I haven't had a chance to shower, she will come up and sniff me and say, "Mommy, you are smelly!" ONE TIME. ONE TIME I referred to her cute new shirt as "smelly" and now she insists on wearing it to the gym so she can "exercise", and when we get home she will put on a different shirt. Cute. And irritating. Here is a picture of both squeakers with their new shirts on. This was Sam in September. He looks so big here. Elsie, rockin' her shades. She loves these glasses, and every time we head outside she is yelling at me to find them as fast as I can so the sun doesn't "tickle my eyes!" Here she is playing between the wall and the fridge. I guess she got over her phobia of getting stuck in that tight spot. I also love this outfit she is wearing. My sister gave her this cute, fluffy skirt when we were in Rexburg last summer, and I was often trying to hide it from Elsie. She always seemed to find it, though. I definitely need to get better at hiding things... She also loved this bright blue shirt, and ESPECIALLY loved wearing the 2 of them together. I am so glad they look cute together, because this is what she wore during most of the late summer months. Here we have Elsie playing dolls with Dad, who is trying to sleep... How many times do I have to tell him that if he wants a good nap, he needs to go to BED?!? Sam getting into the pantry. I was able to catch them in there before Elsie had a chance to drag him out kicking and screaming. He had been doing this for a couple of days, and Elsie hated it. She would always drag him out by the leg, then go in there by herself (even though there is plenty of room for both of them) and close the door so Sam couldn't get in. Sam would then start screaming/yelling at the top of his lungs until I would come in and open the door for him.At the end of September I was able to meet up with some friends from Colorado and Idaho for the Relief Society Broadcast of General Conference. We spent the weekend at a condo. Shopped, ate, laughed like crazy. I love these gals and can't wait for our get-together next year.