Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gingerbread House

For the last 9 days the kids have enjoyed opening up a gift every morning as part of our new "12 Days of Christmas" tradition. Each day they have a new little gift that they can either eat or that we can enjoy doing together as a family. I had a friend who had implemented this idea in their home and I thought it would be a great way to bring us a little closer as a family and give us something to open each day rather than have a mountain of presents on Christmas morning.
Last Saturday we opened up a gingerbread house kit and we spent the afternoon making our gingerbread house. I did most of the frosting while Abby and Landon did most of the eating...I mean decorating with the candy!
Just like a professional, don't you think?!?!?

Looks Like Christmas

For the last two Chrismases that we have lived in this home, we have always had our Christmas tree in our front formal living room. It was nice to be able to see the tree from our front window but since we don't spend a lot of time in that particular room, we didn't get to enjoy it as much as we would like. This year we moved some furniture around and placed our Christmas tree next to the fireplace and it has made a world of difference. We get to enjoy it all the time since it is the room we use the most and it makes the whole house seem more festive.
We also got these huge stockings this year. I love the bells and the little curled ends on them!
Ahhh, I just love the sights and feelings of Christmas!

Rudolph Singers

We had our ward Christmas Dinner on Saturday, December 8th. As part of the festivities, there was also a holiday talent show which Abby and Landon were anxious to be a part of. They ended up singing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" together (Abby sang the main part and Landon was her eager echo..."like a lightbulb!")
They did a great job and were the hit performance of the night!

Sneaky Sneaky

I have never met a little boy who likes to eat as much as Nolan. One night he snuck some chocolate and when we caught him, he immediately tried to hide away in the pantry.
Hiding his face in shame...
Checking to see if anybody is still watching...
And getting a bit perturbed by the fact that we're still there to document the event!
And trust me, if someone is eating anything in this house, you will quickly have this little boy right by your side, begging for a taste of his own!

Sleep like a Boy

Landon is the craziest boy you will ever met. He runs around like a maniac all day and is often up until the wee hours singing and talking to himself in bed. He has recently become fascinated with the Titanic. We have read many different books about the event and have currently been listening to a book on CD from the library for the last 6 weeks. It is about an hour long but we have listened to it so much in the car that he can now recite most of it from memory (which is what he will do while laying in his bed at night.)
Once this boy finally falls asleep though, he sleeps just as crazy as he acts during the day. This is how we found him one night...
Crazy, crazy little boy!!

Hungry Boy

So why do I have a boring picture of cupcakes on this blog?
Because Abby made them for Family Home Evening one night and this little man was very anxious to get his little hands on them!
He became very distraught over the whole situation...
And was very upset that he wasn't allowed to have one until after dinner!
Yes, we are very mean around here!!

Cowboy Christmas

On December 1st, Jason's work hosted a "Cowboy Christmas Party" for all of their employees and families. Abby and Landon enjoyed playing in the maze made from cardboard boxes...
And playing a few rounds of horseshoes...
Nolan was fascinated by the horseshoes too and had a hard time leaving them alone!
They were also supplied with their own balloon creations...
Of course no work party would be complete wihout a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. As you can tell from the pictures, only Abby was excited about this visit. Nolan wanted nothing to do with either one of them while Landon was reluctant to get too close (although he did tell Santa what he would like for Christmas from afar...LEGOs, a Dinosar/Truck and an iPad. Dream big little man, dream big!)
Abby was thrilled to finally be able to tell Santa what she would like for Christmas...a cupcake pop maker, an American Girl Doll and LEGOs. We'll have to see if Santa comes through!
Abby has been asking a lot about whether thing are "real" or not so I thought for sure she would be questioning the notion of Santa and even Jack (our Elf on the Shelf.) But she is still very much a believer in both which makes me happy. I hope she still has a few more years of magic left yet!

Light that Tree!

On the last Friday in November we headed on over to City Park for the annual tree lighting festivities. We enjoyed all the luminaries that had been placed all around the park...
And Nolan enjoyed being gagged by his winter hat (hey, it was his idea!)
After watching the tree lighting, we headed on over to the petting area where we spotted this cute little doggie...
And other animals like goats, sheep and even a calf.
We also enjoyed touring Hagers House which was built in the 1700s. It was interesting to see what life was like 300 years ago (and made me very grateful for all of our modern conveniences!)
It was a fun evening as always and a great way to kick off the Christmas season!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Christmas Season Has Begun!

After a fun-filled Thanksgiving in Virginia (of which I have NO pictures, I know is very disappointing!!) we came home last Saturday and got right to work on decorating our house for Christmas. We got the outside lights and indoor decorations done on Saturday and saved the tree and Christmas village for the next day.
These two took the whole "trimming the tree" business very seriously!
Abby was even patient enough to help Little Nolan hang his first few ornaments.
We were sure to hang all of the breakable ornaments out of Nolan's reach but so far he hasn't messed with the tree too much. Let's hope it stays that way for the rest of the holiday season. time to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As if Soccer couldn't get any better?!?!?

Landon loved his first season of soccer. And then to add to the joy they announced that each child would be receiving a trophy for participating. A TROPHY!!!! Landon was thrilled with this news. Unfortunately I had Stake Women's Conference on that same morning so I wasn't able to be there, but Jason was sure to capture all the excitement on camera!
This is Landon's head coach "Craig"...
Giving him a "high-five" for a great season!
Landon with his new bling!
The only sad part about this whole event was that Abby has been yearning for a trophy for years and was a tad bit jealous to see her younger brother earn one before she did. She promptly declared that she would be playing soccer in the spring. However since we only allow them one activity at a time, I think she will stick to gymnastics after all. Hopefully all that tumbling and flipping will someday result in her very own shiny trophy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

How many doors in your house?

So for about two weeks during the month of September I took on quite the "home improvement" project. We have been slowly undertaking a project around our home that we refer to as "Operation-get-rid-of-the-brassy-gold" (our home is only 5 years old but the brassy gold is just not our thing.) We have replaced almost all of the light fixtures original to the house but there was something bugging me about all the doorknobs in the house. They all looked like this...
I admit that this isn't horrible, but I really wanted a nicer color to complete our "Operation-get-rid-of-the-brassy-gold." We priced out the cost of replacing all 26 (yes 26!) doorknobs in our house and it was going to cost us almost $800 including the plates and hinges.
Then I thought "Why can't I spraypaint these like I did our patio furniture last summer?" So I read/watched a few tutorials and got started. The process included:
1. Removing every nail, plate, hinge, doorstopper and knob
2. Washing them clean then sanding them down so the paint would adhere better
3. Taking them to the garage to prime (2 coats)
4. Spray painting (3-4 coats)
Needless to say this job was extremely time consuming but I broke it out to just 2-3 doors per day and finished in just under two weeks.
And I completely LOVE the results...
The total cost of this project was about $50 (sand paper, primer and spraypaint) so the fact that I saved over $750 was well worth the effort. Plus let's be honest, we wouldn't have spent $800 to replace perfectly good doorknobs and hinges, but $50 was money well spent.
I did almost resort to buying a new handle for the front door...that is until I discovered that a front door handle starts at about $120 (priced at Lowes). So spray painting the front door alone saved us quite a bit of money!!
So far the knobs are holding up great and I am so happy with how this project turned out. Oh, and I'm also very happy to be DONE with it!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Flip Flopper

Our little man is getting one step closer to being able to dress himself. He got this flip-flop on all by himself and was so proud of his accomplishment.