Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve

My parents are in China with my other sister for the holidays so my brother and sister came to our house and arrived the Monday before Christmas. Tuesday we did a little last minute shopping (my brother waited until he came out to shop). We have watched movies, hung out and laughed at old times. It is funny because they are 11 and 13 years younger then me so things I think they remeber they dont.

Christmas Eve is when my family has the big dinner. We had ham and cheesy potatoes. We also had 2 different jell-o salads. One for my brother (strawberry and peaches) and the other for my sister (strawberry watergate). One of my favorite things is to set a nice table for dinner. I love the holidays when I can pull out the Christmas dishes.

Courtney and Daren getting ready to eat.

Another tradition at our house is opening one gift Christmas Eve (PJs). I love matching things so this year the kids were sporting very cute pjs from Carters. This year they also got slippers with Mickey and Minnie on them. Pictures were not our strong point as the kids were running away from the camera, except for Macknezee of course.

Mac was home for Christmas Eve and Christmas day this year so he suggested getting a family PJ picture. (My sisters and my pjs are from Modbe and Mac and my brothers are from Old Navy).

Courtney and Daren sporting their new PJs too.
Funny side note I called to ask my brother what size he would wear for PJs and he said he didnt like actual PJs. I told him if he wanted to open presents he would have to humor me. Then after he got them he didnt take them off for 36 straight hours!!! I thought we all looked pretty cute in our new duds.

After PJs we read The Night Before Christmas and then the kids, all 5 of them, went to bed. Here is a picture of the stockings hung over the fireplace. Mackenzee was so relieved we have a fireplace so Santa can come down it. This has been a concern in years past.

Mac and I then went to wrap presents as we had not even started. We were up until 3:30am!!! The good thing was everyone slept in Christmas morning. That was the best present ever!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Holiday Party" at school

Mackenzee's class had a small celebration today. I have been really lucky Mac has been home for all the celebrations so I can go and help out.

The entire class walked from room to room singing carols to the rest of the school. For a gift each child wrote what they would like to give their teacher. The book was really cute and she loved it. Mackenzee wished her "tickets to wicked (the musical) because she would like it"

Next they made Christmas Trees out of sugar ice cream cones. They decorated them with licorice , M&Ms and sprinkles.
Coloring Reindeer, Reindeer what do you see?

Reading Reindeer, Reindeer what do you see?

After they had popcorn, juice and cookies and watched a few minutes of a movie. Mackenzee passed out these little snowman gifts we made. I have done something for Halloween and Thanksgiving and was not sure if I was going to make anything for today. I am glad I did though because 2 moms came up and asked what crafty thing I made. Let me just say I LOVE my Big Shot (from Stampin' Up!). It made making these super easy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Saga at Church 2nd edition

A few weeks I was checking old blog entries for something and I came my fun experience at church last year the Sunday before Christmas when Mac was working. To read click here. I just laughed (because I can do that now) and thought I was going to be so relieved because Mac is not working this year on the Sunday before Christmas so it will be better... who was I kidding?

It started out great. I got a call at 6:45am from my dad telling me him and my mom seats were changed to 1st class to fly from Atlanta to China. They were so excited and I was so excited for them. We talked for about 15 min then they were taking off so we hung up. I quickly got in the shower and thought man I am doing great on time we will be early to church. The kids got up and we even had muffins for breakfast. Still okay on time. That is where we hit the wall. It took longer to do Mackenzee's hair then planned. I wanted to get a good picture of the kids because I knew they would not look as cute when we got home from church. We were cutting it close but I wanted a good picture. This is where it went downhill.

Mackenzee cute: check
Parker and Mackenzee cute: check


Where is Eliza...
Oh just throwing a fit because she wants to wear tennis shoes not the new shiny black shoes I got her to go with her dress.

Finally we let her wear some other shoes. They didn't match but were a better choice then tennis shoes. Side note: She picked these shoes out at the store. Mac tried to get her to get some other ones and she would not try anything on but the butterfly ones. Eliza then through a tantrum in the store because we had to pay for the shoes and took them off to do so. I have never had a child do that in a store. Seriously she is 18 months!!! We should not be having the shoe battle already.

Anyways Mackenzee got her to smile, just not look at the camera.

At some point during the shoe battle I am saying, out loud "Why cant I get one good picture. Seriously you guys just once I would like a good picture!"

I should have known better because ultra sensitive Parker started to cry. But man Mackenzee stayed right on task throwing in good smiles and everything.
Now as you can imagine we are running late for church and it is raining. We get to church and there are no seats on the end of the rows and people don't scoot in so my 3 kids and I crawl over everyone to get to the middle (Mac had dropped us off and parked the car). Mind you the rows of chairs (we didn't make it to get a pew) were very close together to get more rows in.

Other then Mackenzee being a little crazy wanting to sit on my lap instead of her chair we did pretty good. Parker and Eliza were both quiet. Parker did take off his vest and tie minutes after we sat down. Then Eliza wanted a book Parker was looking at. He would not give it to her and she started to cry. Not real loud and we got her quieted down. There were a few music numbers and the kids listened to them. Then someone got up to do a little talk about Christmas and Parker kicked Eliza in the face (I think by accident but I don't know for sure). He wouldn't say sorry. I picked her up told him that was not nice, remember he is ultra sensitive, he started to cry. By now I was so embarrassed I got up with Eliza to go to the hall. Parker is crying and I grab his arm to lead him over the millions of people between us and the door. He is (in my mind screaming although I don't know if he really was) going "No Mommy No!" I then thought Mac you can deal with him and let go of his arm. This caused him to go falling backwards and land on the ground. I was dying by this point and just wanted to get out of there. We sat in the hall for the last 15 min of the meeting and I have no idea how Mac and Parker did.

Another friend was in the hall with her kids and she said "I have to teach a lesson today on being reverent in Sacrament meeting." Looking at her kids and laughing because they were not reverent either. She then said jokingly "Thanks for making my kids look reverent." I just laughed. The rest of church was great and we even got a few pictures after church even though they were not the best, the family ones are on self timer. I will have my sister take some of the family when she gets here tomorrow.

Tune in next year to see if I am laughing at this year and to see what happens because there is never a dull moment.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Party

A few weeks ago we had our church Christmas party. It was so much fun. The kids could wear their PJs if they wanted to but ours didn't. Luckily it was about half and half so Mackenzee didnt mind. They had a great ham dinner and wonderful dessert. The decorations were amazing. The children sang (it was kind of dark so my camera was not the best). Mackenzee loves to sing!

Then Santa and Mrs. Clause came. We had been prepping Parker all night about sitting on his lap. He would not do it neither would Eliza. Mackenzee was the 2nd one in line and she asked Santa for an American Girl doll who looks like her. (what was his response? the elves are working on it- really they should have a Santa School, I was dying!!!) Mackenzee loved that she got to see both of them. I am not sure what this new smile is but she is doing it all the time!!! It is like a pucker. I tell her to show some teeth but she says no I like it like this (seen in the Mrs Clause picture).

Here is Eliza enjoying the night waiting for Parker.

After Mackenzee finished Mac convinced Parker to sit on Santa's lap. They were the second to last. It was an hour after Mackenzee. The whole way Mac pumped him up. Here is Mackenzee waiting for Parker.
Here is Parker. Cant you tell he was ready? He was fine until Mac put him on Santa's lap. Eventually we will get good pictures of all 3 but I am sure it wont be for a while.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Break

I know this is a month late but better late then never, right? (And I still have summer pict to do so it is kind of early! )

We went to my parents for Thanksgiving this year. We flew home on Friday stopping in Denver. Our plane was delayed in Denver (big surprise there) but only for a half hour. This however was enough time for an injury. Eliza, Parker and Mac were taking a walk to get rid of some energy. They stopped in an empty area and Mac let them run around. Parker went under the chairs and Eliza ran for the escalator. Mac made the choice (right one I might add) to leave Parker and run after Eliza. She was starting to step on the moving sidewalks (going the wrong way). Of course when she stepped on it knocked her down and her fingers started to go under the end. This is when Mac arrived and picked her up. 1/2 second later and she probably would not have any fingers or hand for that matter. Luckily it was just really nasty cuts and missing skin (nothing compared to what it could have been). It was pretty gross to look at. We got her taken care of and it was time to board the plane. That was Friday.

Saturday we helped my parents with some yard work and Mac got to watch the BYU/ UTAH game at my dad's work. We also had Stroud's chicken (if you are ever in KC you need to try it the mash potatoes and chicken noodle soup are to die for).

Sunday was church and FHE. Parker warmed right up to my parents this time. He was so excited that Papa and him matched at church. They both had on vest, button up shirts, black shoes and corduroy pants.

Mackenzee and Parker helped my sister make our treat (brownie cupcakes).

I think Parker got more on his face then in the pan.

Monday Mac fixed my parents kitchen sink faucet. It took a little longer then expected. That night we went to my sisters basketball game.

Tuesday my grandparents came in town. It was great that my kids got to spend some time with them. That night we went to my brothers basketball game. We also got to eat at the Chinese restaurant that I like by my house (thanks Alicia).

Wednesday I started the preparations. We made jello and some of the pies. Mac, Parker, my Granddad and Daren (my brother) went to the College Basketball Experience and Hall of Fame. They said it was a blast.

Look he can dunk and he is only 2!!!

Daren shooting last second shots.

Thursday my two aunts and their families came. Mackenzee made a new best friend, my cousin Haley. This is them in front of the Rainbow Jell-O I made.

Of course we ate and ate and ate. That is what the day is for right?
The food.

My cute Grandparents. I love this picture of them!

After dinner we drove by the new temple site for the Kansas City Temple. I am so excited for it to be built!!! My dad, mom, me, sister (Courtney) and aunt (Nan). It was a little chilly.

We also visited our friends the "Kieffers" (all but Liz). We did forget to get a picture and we even brought our camera! Parker fell asleep soon after we arrived. Mackenzee was amazingly quiet. It was great to visit with them though.

When we got back we had pie and then Parker and Mackenzee made cookie turkeys while the big kids went to the movies and then shopping at midnight (it ended up being not worth it they said and came home shortly after midnight.) The adults hung out and just laughed about the good old times :)

Friday we had a great breakfast dish that my aunt made using none other then Mr. Dells potatoes. Which she brought from Indiana!

I went to my dads store and helped set up some Christmas displays and check out the things he has up there. Mackenzee went shopping with my cousin Haley . She came home with sparkly Hello Kitty shoes and wont take them off.

I did a tiny bit of shopping. I went to Target with my sister to help her get my kids presents so I could bring them on the plane. We left that night and were able to get an earlier flight out of San Diego, our connecting city. We all crashed as soon as we got home. It was a great holiday, fun, relaxing and hanging out with family what more can we ask for? Okay maybe Brit and Jake (they are in China) but other then that it was great.

Daren and Parker

Courtney and Mackenzee

My family plus my dad and his parents. 4 generations.

All the grandchildren at our house plus the great-grandchildren.
Courtney, Hillary, Mariah, Mackenzee, Haley, Alicia, Parker, Aimee, Eliza
Daren, Ian

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Playing in the leaves

We have one tree in our front yard. There were a ton of leaves and the pile was huge. Last Thursday, we raked them all up and then Parker, his friend and Eliza jumped in them for about an hour. They had a blast. Eliza would even run and jump in the leaves. (click on the images to make them bigger)

Can you find Parker?

Eliza is so cute and is getting so big.

Playing together