Thursday, December 30, 2010

December Rerun

OK, on to December and the fun we had during it. This is the most low key Christmas I have ever pulled off and it made the season so much nicer. Everyone we know got the same present which we bought back in May, I was done shopping, wrapping, Christmas carding, etc. before Thanksgiving and just enjoyed the season (other than being a business owner which often makes me want to curse at this time of the year).

Here is some of what we did. On a whim one day I decided we should make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. We just used stuff we had in the house. I guess this is Dal's idea of posing nicely for a picture:
Jack really got into this activity. And yes, that is food around his mouth from eating his art:
Nathan's house:

I had a Santa hat photo shoot for our Christmas cards and it left me with all kinds of great pictures of this guys. 

I'm in love...

I'm in Love....
And I don't care who knows it! 
Seeing Santa. I wish Nathan had you know, thought to look at the camera. I love the face Dal is making and made the whole time he was on Santa's lap. He kept his eyes averted and leaned out to avoid too much contact with the big guy.
 Christmas Eve of course included acting out the nativity. My favorite part is Sam the Lamanite who we attempted to slay with marshmallows. Nice of him to play that role, but hey, when your name is Sam, you HAVE to play Samuel the Lamanite right?

And last, the big day:
Adventure is out there! Tell me that those aren't the coolest Explorer hats you have ever seen?!? Aunt Natalie A. rocks!

It was our first time having Christmas completely by ourselves. It was pretty nice. Very relaxing. We built A LOT of legos. We watched movies, we played games. But by 5:00 we were wondering if the day was EVER going to end.

I love that in this picture Dal is very slyly checking to see what Jack is doing. In the next picture he was, of course, making the same face. 

November Highlights

Wow, not only has it been a while since I really blogged, but I even forgot about doing many of the things that I took pictures of. This is why I blog. So that in years to come I can remember the fun I had with my little kiddos.

Looking back to the month of November, here are some of the highlights.

The boys had a short week-I can't remember but I think it was a 3 day week-followed by half days for one full week, followed by the whole week off for Thanksgiving. I love having my kids home and I like to have some plans for fun activities to help us fill our days. Here are two things we did:

We learned about "Pointilism" and some artist who used to do art in this style. Obviously it was an engaging lesson since I don't even remember the artist's name, but we had fun and that's what counts.

Dallen's masterpiece (ok, maybe he didn't get the pointillism part, but still, pretty impressive for a two year old huh?)
Jack's Work:
Nathan's creation:
And the real reason I am even posting about this-so that I can demonstrate my mad art skillz. I mean come on, this baby should be in a museum or something....right?
Second, we made a balloon version of the solar system (idea courtesy of my friend Liz who home schools. I love to see ideas of fun things she does with her kids and then do them myself.)

This is a very rough estimate of the planet sizes in relation to each other and then strung up in order:
 And truthfully, those are the last cool things we have done for a while. 

But then, Grammy and Grampa came to visit along with Josh's sister and her hubby and son for Thanksgiving. It was so much fun. Someone commented to me that they couldn't believe my mother in law was staying for like 10 days. I have to say I am totally cool with it. I like my in laws. A lot. Plus she did all the laundry the whole time she was here. :) 

Here is Gramps with Dal and cousin Danny who are just 7 months apart in age. (And finally one of my nephews at least knows who Aunt Amber is.)

 On Thanksgiving evening we kept with our yearly tradition of a Polar Express Party. Complete with Josh dressing up funny and leading the whole gang around the house in a "train ride" for which they need tickets (which he of course punches). Following that we (or should I say the boys because the rest of us can't stomach it) watch the movie including a break for hot chocolate presented by their tap dancing mama at the hot chocolate scene. This is one of our best Christmas traditions.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Memories

I know I haven't blogged in a long time. Soon I will catch up. My computer which was dead and has my photo program on it was in the shop and now it is back-I just need to upload some photos to it. (In the meantime we had to buy a new computer.)

It's Christmas Eve and before I go to bed I wanted to record a few sweet things that I know I will want to remember in years to come.

This is Dal's first year of "getting" Christmas which has been an absolute blast so far. Today he was making up his own Christmas songs that went something like this "It's a light Christmas song!" or "It's a pumpkin Christmas song!" followed by a "sing with me mommy."

When I asked him what he thought Santa would bring him he said "I don't know." When I asked him what he hoped Santa would bring him he said "maybe clothes." :) Bet he would be thrilled with new clothes.

Tonight we acted out the Nativity. For the 5th year in a row Jack played the baby Jesus. He has a very tender heart and loves babies and so he always wants to be baby Jesus. The kid is sort of busting out of the manger, we may have to move him into a new role soon, but for now we let him play it.

Dallen, when asked which part he wanted to play, insisted that he wanted to be Mary. I tried to explain that Mary is a girl but he wouldn't relent. He figured once he "turned a girl" he could play Mary. After some talking tonight we finally had him being "Daddy Mary."

Nathan was our angel in the nativity, as always. Poor Nathan isn't feeling good at all so he wasn't a big part of tonight's fun. Still, he was sweet as always. When he opened his new jammies the reaction was great. "Thanks mom and dad-These jammies are so cute. Oooh, I love them. Thanks so much!" Then he wrote a letter to Santa that said "Don't you think it's a joy on this blessed season to know on Easter Jesus died and was born for us." He has a beautiful testimony and a great heart.

I love my family. This was a perfect Christmas Eve. We miss our families but we are so happy to be together as our own little family this year (and having Cousin Laura, Sam and Uncle Mike over tonight was icing on the cake.)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Happenings

It is with sadness that I bid October farewell. It's my favorite month of the year, though things have been so hectic and crazy with all my big ideas for fun that it will be a bit of a relief to move on to November...until the holiday stuff starts!

Here are some highlights from our October:

First, the costumes. We had a knight. The helmet (in the second picture) was not originally a part of the costume. This is a leftover costume from years ago but Jack insisted on wearing:
A Wizard:
And a Doggie:

Oh, and I was a witch. My dream is to find a really flouncy black petti skirt to wear with this costume someday:

We went to the Ward Trunk or Treat at the church last week and took some of the boys' friends from school, Amanda (the Leafy Sea Dragon below-bet you have never seen anyone dress up as that before!) and Andrew (Darth Sidius) and their parents.
The obligatory pumpkin carving which creates memories, messes and rotten pumpkins 2 days later:
Big bummer to have Halloween on Sunday this year, but I think we successfully made up for it with plenty of other fun. We hosted a Halloween Bash Saturday night before Halloween as a consolation for not getting to trick or treat. It was a blast and I think we will make it a yearly tradition:
Pin the nose on the pumpkin, Halloween bingo, bean bag toss, pinata (homemade by us), donuts on a string:
(That's my buddy Nithilan from Jack's class at school I love him. He figured out my name (you know, other than Mrs. P or Jack's mom) and now always yells "Hi Ambah!" every time I see him.)
and the best part, homemade rootbeer (or crazy potion full of acid, toxic sludge and radio active powder, topped off my Pluto rocks made by one mad scientist):
It was amazing, fun and the kid's LOVED it!
Tonight we played Trick or Treat Trivia-the boys answered questions and got candy. Then we played a scavenger hunt game in our house. Fun, fun, fun! The boys were busting with excitement and happiness.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010


What have we been up to lately? I haven't blogged in close to a month and even now, I don't feel like I have any pressing things to blog about. It's not that life hasn't been fun or busy, I guess I have just lost my blogging motivation for now.

But I feel an obligation as I imagine grandmothers everywhere sighing when they log on to check my blog and find no new pictures of grandchildren or updates on their latest goings on. (Though certainly a certain sister in law of mine's lack of blogging should be more noticeable. And since I have only 2 sisters in law and one blogs regularly, this one will know who she is.) :) And so, I will blog.

In the past month:

The boys started their first ever organized sport. That is unless you count Nathan's soccer class when he was three from which I have pictures of him picking his nose rather than playing while his best friend Trey preferred to sit on the ball and watch the class happen. I guess Jack took a soccer class when he was 3 too, and loved it, but this is the first "real" soccer experience.

Jack thinks he is a soccer pro and Nathan is tolerating it/enjoying it more than I expected. Nathan's poor team has yet to win, but this week they tied instead of lost, so they were thrilled! Jack's team has won only once, but that was a big win-7-0. One little boy on the team scored 6 of those 7 goals.

I don't have great pictures because my camera has no zoom whatsoever (of of the few things I don't like about it) and it is hard to get a good picture from the sidelines with no zoom.

 This one is for Grandma A. I don't know if you can quite see it, but Nathan most definitely inherited the red face syndrome. 

One Friday afternoon recently me and the boys took a quick trip to the Miramar Air Show. We only had a one hour time window, so we didn't get to see much, just the most important part. The Blue Angels. The boys were going crazy with excitement. We were up close to where Fat Albert and a few of the Blue Angels parked. I didn't try to get any pictures of the Blue Angels in motion-have you seen how fast those things go?

Last, this is why I love being YW President. Where's Waldo. Can you find me?

We had an activity at the mall with about 10 of the leaders dressed up in crazy ensembles and the youth had to track us down and have us sign their card within about 35 minutes. I am proud to say only 3 of the 5 groups found me (I was sitting in the kid's play area with a book in front of my face).

More pictures are sure to come as our Halloween festivities begin...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Having Trouble?

Josh was reading aloud to the boys the other night-Fablehaven. He paused in his reading to take a breath or think or something and Nathan, waiting patiently for him to go on questioned "are you stuck on a word?"  Yes, Josh has trouble sounding out his words sometimes. :) We're still laughing about that days later.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A New Friend

On Jack's first day of Kindergarten they had to draw a picture of something they wanted to learn this year. Jack's picture showed that he wanted to learn how to make friends. :)

Within about 3-4 days in Kindergarten Jack started mentioning each day that he ate lunch with a boy named Andrew. Soon I met Andrew and then Andrew's mom who said that Andrew was also talking about Jack all the time. (And actually, after talking a little we discovered that Nathan sits next to Andrew's sister Amanda in his class!)

Jack and Andrew have quickly become best friends. Andrew is sweet and a little timid at first, just like Jack, but fun and a great kid to be around. We had Andrew over for the first playdate last week and they were in heaven. I am thrilled that Jack has found such a cute, sweet, well behaved friend. They make a good pair. And tell me these kids aren't adorable:

ps-Jack has made several other friends now too, though Andrew is still his favorite. I am happy that he is being friendly and making good friends!

pps-I have also made a bunch of friends-moms on the playground. I had forgotten how nice it is to have to get out of the car for drop off because you meet all the parents. (Only have to do that for Kindergarten, so I didn't have to do it last year.) And it is amazing that my new friends are from all over the world-India, Thailand, Taiwan, etc.  Love it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bad Manners

Dallen likes talking on the phone to his Grandma's. Today he asked to call Grammy so we dialed her number. There was no answer so I told him to leave a message. He was little ticked off that she wasn't there to talk to him. This was his message: "Call me back you stupid Grandma."

Nice. Someone ought to teach that kid some manners.

(ps-He was sick and grouchy, so you gotta cut him a little slack.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bon Apetit

I hosted a meeting tonight at my house for all of the YW leaders and promised them crepes a la Josh if they came. Before the meeting my boys informed me that they had secret plans for during the meeting. I kept trying to get the secret out of them but no one would crack.

This was it:
"Pierre" and "Jacques" were on hand to serve up the crepes-menu, french mustaches, hand drawn Eiffel tower pictures and all. The menu was written in French offering appetizing combinations such as crepe de chocolat featuring a crepe filled with creamy chocolate pudding and topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. The menu offered 5 or 6 options and each lady got to place her order with Pierre and then was served by both Jacques and Pierre while Henri cooked in the kitchen.

My favorite part were the signs on the door (which I didn't even know were there until my fellow leaders start showing up). Jacques' said "Free food today!" and Pierre's said Le Crepe Chateau.

They were a hit! Love these boys! (Especially the big one who just makes it so obvious why I chose him to marry.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back to School

It's bittersweet, but the boys are back to school. Jack was SO excited to start kindergarten. I think mostly because Grammy bought him a new shirt and pair of shoes that I told him he couldn't wear until school started, but still, it got him excited and so far he is loving it. Nathan always loves school, so I knew he would be excited and I knew he would be thrilled.

But without further ado, here are the traditional first day of school pictures:

Nathan, my big second grader. Can I just say that I LOVE this picture of him. It is so Snoodish (Snood is what we call him around here). I think I will be framing it and hanging it in our living room:
Jack, on the other hand just kept looking like he was in pain. He is not in fact in pain, but doing his version of a smile:

Until this one where I got a genuine smile:

(BTW, it was like 95 degrees that day but my boys chose to wear long sleeves anyway.)

And of course, Dallen, aka "Me too" had to have a picture that morning as well:
And, good moms always make special back to school treats right? :) (Actually good moms probably feed their kids fruit after school, but whatever.) Each year I try to do something for their first day of school and here is this year's creation. Jack couldn't tell what they were-I hope you can:

I tell you, that first day of school was nutty! After dropping the boys off at school, Dal and I went out for bagels with some friends, then on to Target quickly, then home to get the cupcakes made before picking Jack up at 12 and then Nathan up at 2:30 and I can't even remember what else other than that I got 44 phone calls that day. Yes, 44. I counted. All but maybe 5 of those were business. That was by far my biggest day of the year so far, which is great, but add that to trying to get all the back to school stuff in there and I was exhausted by the end of the day.

So far school is great. Jack has found a sweet little friend, Andrew. who just happens to be the brother of a new friend Nathan made and who he sits right next to in his class, Amanda. Fun! They both love their teachers and are doing well so far. Of course homework hasn't started yet so they aren't complaining about that every afternoon.

I get to be the "Play Dough Parent" in Jack's class. How cool is that? We made 4 double batches of bright play dough yesterday. I already have big plans for orange and black play dough for Halloween, cinnamon and peppermint scented play dough for Christmas and pastels for spring. I am such a nerd. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life in the Lap of Luxury

I've been feeling a little bit guilty that I haven't blogged about what we did on our trip to Wisconsin other than to state the things we miss or don't miss about Wisconsin. Guilty-like maybe my mother in law is secretly ticked off at me for not showing a little gratitude after a great trip or at the very least for not showing her pictures of the boys having a good time at her house.

Josh's mom and dad know how to show us a good time. When we got home and everyone asked how our trip to WI was I responded that we were spoiled and we loved every minute of it.

The boys have a blast riding plasma cars in the basement with grandma and singing songs at the piano with grandpa. We spent a lot of time just relaxing at Grammy and Grampa's house and I loved it and for anyone who knows me, that's saying something because I usually like to be on the go!

Some of the highlights included:

The best bubble bath I have ever seen:

Chalk artwork on the driveway: Nathan's love message for Grammy-
And Josh displays his artistic talent (that's a bubble spill on Buzz's arm)-

Playing at the park:
Oh wait, I meant the little boys playing at the park:

(One more thing I forgot to list on our "we miss" list-king chairs! I have never seen one of these swings in CA)
Slip n Slide fun:

And of course Josh and his dad pontificated about all the deeper meanings of life and the world's political woes. It's tradition.
I brought a pile of like 10 books with me. I am not kidding. I got through 1 and part of 2 others. But the one I got through was REALLY good.

I wish everyday could be vacation.