Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Day

Alec got up around 6:30, climbed into our bed and said, "Is Santa here?" We had left cookies for him the night before and sure enough, just after 7:00 when we all walked out to the Christmas Tree, the plate of cookies were half eaten! We happily looked at our stockings and then ate some eggs and toast before starting in on the wrapped presents.

Alec and Charlie loved their animal towels. Here, again, Charlie is sporting the no-lip-brittney-smile.
Alec wanted to help everyone open their presents. Grandma and Grandpa were especially willing to have them help. Here they're opening the 70+ page photo book of their Sabbatical in Switzerland us kids made them.

Some presents: play tents and matching ties. I wrapped the ties separate and Chris was fooled into thinking I bought the ties. He kept turning his over, looking for a tag and even asked where I got it. When the boys opened their ties, he stared at me in surprise, knowing then that I had made them. Totally satisfying.

Thom and Brittany, at the behest of G-G Archibald took Alec out to feed the birds with some left over bread. The birds were a bit more health conscience then we thought, because they didn't gobble up the butter-fried bread but instead pecked on apples still hanging on the apple tree.

The gifts we'll remember most would probably be the letters Chris and I wrote to our boys with snippets of our testimonies. I'm thankful for the chance this season to think of Christ more. His life growing up and Mary and Joseph's story has particularly been running through my mind. I love the Christmas Season.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Eve

We had a little party with some of the Woodward cousins Christmas Eve. We had Cheese balls, cookies, cinnamon rolls, sandwiches and chocolates. We did puzzles and sang Christmas Carols around the piano. It was really fun to have some extended family time.

Maybe the highlight of the day was Chris' candy canes. We actually had a candy thermometer this time! The dyed parts of cooled much faster than the rest so we had to keep putting them in the oven to heat up a bit enough for us to stretch/shape them just right. They sure taste really yummy.

Alec struggled a bit for 4 or 5 days to want to sit on the potty. I finally got him to try by letting him watch a Caillou episode on my ipod.

Christmas Jammies! Grandma Dixie found the grandkids some super cute and soft snowman pajamas. The photo shoot didn't last long at all, but not because of Charlie! He was hamming it up for the cameras. He'd walk within a foot of Thom's camera and just stare at it smiling and ignoring the bright flash. I know I'm partial but I think he is one of the most photogenic babies ever. We sang Jingle Bells and Great Grandma read us the Night Before Christmas, put the kids to bed then stayed up playing O Heck and talking.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pre Christmas Celebration

Outside play time in the snow. Charlie has just been a charmer this trip. He smiles at practically everyone, albeit while he cuddles into our shoulder. I don't mind a bit. He's started to do the no-teeth, practically no-lip smile that I was known for when I was little. Super cute.

Visit to the Monte L Bean museum. Alec especially loved the ones where one animal was eating another, i.e. a fox stepping on a bird. We went out for ice cream after because Alec used the big potty at the museum.

Gingerbread houses. Someone (our home-teacher?) told me they use a hot glue gun to put the houses together. Genius. We tried it and LOVED it. It took a few minutes to assemble the structure and then we could spend our time decorating it with candies and frosting. Chris designed the cathedral and landscaping, Alec, Charlie and I did the rest.

Helping Grandma make lots of yummy food. Here they're making her famous Challah Bread.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lots of Fun

We've had lots of fun so far on this trip. Our time with Tiff and Todd was a blast, even though Chris and I (and sometimes Alec) were a bit sick. We eventually got out of the house and went to Kangaroo Zoo. They have lots of bouncy castles and some even perfectly suited for kids Charlie's age! He really liked it, but also liked to try and be in total control of how his body moved.

Alec was pretty nervous of any large ones, until he tried a medium one and then he loved them all and was pretty brave to try the big ones. Probably his favorite was one that was baseball themed. There was a spout of air to suspend a ball on and then a bat to hit it out of the air.

Most of the time, we just bounced and jumped around their couches and big bean bag. I was able to do half of Tiff's co-op shift in Mary's class our last day. It was fun to be in an elementary school again.

Now we're at Grandma and Grandpa Archibald's house. Jess and her beautiful kids are here, Edward is here, Thom and Brittany are here... awaiting little Poncho's birth. Alec and Mady play pretty good together. Alec has lots of fun with the marble tracks, K'nex ball thing, and car tracks.

Charlie just loves walking around, flipping the light switch by the stairs on and off, and eating little oranges. He saw snow fall for the first time that he remembers today. He just kept pointing at it and holding his hand out.

Alec tried to go play out in the week old snow the other day and we built a small crunchy snowman. The swingset and snow outside are very tempting. We get out usually once a day to play in it.

We were lucky to have Jess take some family pictures for us with her nice camera (Canon 40D... for our photographer friends who might care :) I can't believe Christmas is only a few days away.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in full swing

Our Ward Christmas Party, complete with full-sized gingerbread houses per family, tri-tip steak, and Santa Claus!

With all this rain and with Alec's potty training we've just been kept indoors for the last two weeks. The boys have had to use their imaginations for keeping themselves entertained. They figured out this fun game where Alec rolls the ball across the piano bench to Charlie who "catches" it and throws/bonces it back to Alec. Its so fun to see them play together.

I made this paper pocket advent calendar and it turned out a lot more fragile than I would've wanted, but we've had fun reading scriptures or Christmas stories each day. We also had our last courtyard party of the quarter this week. We roasted nuts and had a holiday/cultural potluck. It was cold and fun.
This has nothing to do with Christmas, but our kitchen floor was flooded for 2 days. It STANK so bad and ended up being a leak in the wall from our shower upstairs. Ugh, it was awful and I'm glad its fixed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Given Thanks

We had lots of fun/stress giving our thanks this year. We REALLY enjoyed spending quality time with so many family members in smaller numbers. Although that doesn't apply to our Woodward days. There, we enjoyed spending quality time with as many family members as could possible fit in one house. I think the official count for dinner on Thanksgiving was 71.

The stress part came from poor sleeping. Charlie didn't do so well with all the new bedtime environments. He was fantastic during the day, though, and really loved the space in everyone's homes walking in circuits and carrying a toy. Alec did about normal for his bedtime (which at that time was only slightly difficult) and was also great during the day. He actually answered questions from anyone! He even ate at the little kids table across the room from Chris and I all by himself and sat there, quietly eating during the entire Thanksgiving meal. I think he was a bit intimidated by the other big little kids.

On the drive to Utah the kids did remarkably well until the last 2 hours. But all in all, not a bad trip. (The drive home was a different story... it always seems to be that way).

At my brothers house. It was so fun to play with all our nephews and especially to see our newest nephew, Baby Brady. Charlie just stared at him and Alec liked to talk/play with him.

At Grandma Archibald's. She had such fun toys and as always, yummy food. Charlie loved the tent she had out and the basket of easter eggs and plastic rollers. Alec loved the wooden tops and cars and time with his Aunt and Uncles and Grandparents.

At Grandma Woodward's there is the annual rocket launching which happens after the annual Logan Temple trip (With over 50 people you can do a lot of work. It was very beautiful.) We let Alec skip his nap to watch the rockets go up. After being scared by all the noise of the first 5 rockets he asked to go to sleep! Cute kid.