Monday, December 09, 2013

gingerbread houses = serious business!

i love making gingerbread houses. it's one of those things that i must do every year or it just doesn't quite feel like christmas. since alli & tony were in town for thanksgiving we made sure this was part of the agenda the day after giving thanks. 

with a table full of goodies, and gingerbread (and graham cracker) houses assembled, we were ready to get to work. since danny was sick (which was such a bummer!!), bri was at a concert, and my dad was busy with sports on tv, tony was the only adult male who joined us. i was surprised how long he lasted ;)

max however, embraced the decorating tradition (like mother, like son) and worked so hard on his little house. next year we may need to have a little lesson on hoarding all of the candy but he sure did have fun. 

and avery had a blast in a slightly different way :) we couldn't keep her sticky little fingers out of all of the candy bowls! i think out of all the candy she touched, only three pieces actually stuck to her house at the end of it all.

// don't let this picture fool you :) //

after spending a good chunk of time on our masterpieces, we called it quits. here's what we came up with this year:

// alli & tony went with a dr. seuss theme + max took the "cover-every-inch" approach :) //

// mom decorated the cute little christmas tree + i was pretty proud of my creation! //

even though it was wayy past the kids bedtime, i let them stay up for a special occasion after finishing our gingerbread houses: elf!! max stayed up for the entire movie :)

what a great way to kick off the christmas season!! thanks mom for putting it all together and making sure it happened!

giving thanks.

i must admit, after experiencing all we did with our house flood, (and not being totally done with everything by thanksgiving!) i was slightly tempted to focus on all the things that were going wrong in our lives, but i can tell you firsthand that an attitude like that gets you nowhere :)

thankfully, we were able to spend most of the week up at my parent's house and get away from the disaster awaiting us in nephi! it was a much needed holiday break. and even though i was tempted to complain, thanksgiving really was wonderful this year. we have so, so much to be grateful for. 

my grandma held thanksgiving dinner at her house and it was lovely & delicious (as always!)  and alli made some adorable utensil holders. i probably ate 10x more than i should have with a growing baby in my belly, but the baby definitely appreciated all of that good food. i think ever since the holiday, the baby has doubled in size :)

// anxiously awaiting for dinner to start :) //

// i contributed the must-have "wonderful, wonderful cranberry salad", cranberry sauce, green bean & asparagus casserole (thanks to the recipe from chris + julia! so, so yummy), and a homemade banana cream pie. //

// the toddler table didn't work out quite as well as we had envisioned... //

all in all, it was a wonderful day.
so glad we were able to spend it with family!

family date night at "the wall"

my little brother is awesome at the guitar. like, seriously good.

and a few weeks ago he was able to play in solo night at "the wall."
(have you been? it's in the wilk on byu campus).

the kids were clearly enamored by cosmo (max especially!):

and brian did an amazing job! it was kind of a bummer that he performed very first (when there weren't many people there yet...) but i'm so glad that we were able to go and cheer him on!

// it was late, and the kids were slightly zoned out... //

but max perked up when i told him he could draw on the giant chalkboard wall and he whipped out one of the cutest little people ever to grace that wall (i'm sure). it was the first time he's ever added any type of hair to his people! #myheart!

so glad we live (somewhat) close enough to come to family events like this.

we love you bri!!

i heart family history. (in case you didn't know!)

a few months ago i was asked to teach at one of our relief society activities about getting started on family history.

of course i said yes! 

and of course the night i presented happened to be about three days after our flood!

but aside from that, i think it went pretty well. i wanted to liven things up (since the topic of family history work usually sends people running in the opposite direction!) so i created an online matching game and we went around to all of the ladies who tried to make a match. 

if they got it right, there was either a short video clip to watch or i had a little something to say on the topic. i threw out chocolate whenever someone got a match as an extra incentive :)

i wanted to touch on common misconceptions/excuses of family history and offer an alternative approach. here are the topics i came up with:

+ everything has already been "done"
+ i have no idea where to start!
+ i just don't have time
+ my relative is already working on it
+ research resources
+ tips & tricks
+ 52 questions

it went a little longer than i had expected because:
a) i have so much to say on this topic!!
and b) it took them a little while to find matches :)
but besides that, i'm really happy with how it turned out.

i haven't ever taught that many people about family history since my weekly sunday class usually brings in a total of about three people (!!!) but i think/hope that i was able to touch their hearts and help them realize that it's really not as hard as many people make it seem.

thanks to my mom, i was able to come up with a pretty darn cute display (if i do say so myself!)

if you'd like to play the matching game (i highly recommend it! there are lots of awesome video clips from some of my favorite leaders :) just visit or click here!

and since i'm guessing some of you have felt these excuses can apply to your situation, i'm going to address each of them in more detail at a later date (hopefully soon!!!)

as always, if you have any questions AT ALL send them my way! i'm more than happy to help!

halloween in nephi

aren't the holidays so much more fun with little ones around???

this halloween was no exception. 

with our family party, trunk or treating with our ward, main street trick-or-treating, and visiting a few extra houses...the kids definitely got their share of halloween candy. 

max switched it up and was a firefighter (thanks to lynelle!), which was a very smart move since it was much warmer!! (halloween was pretty cold this year!) 

here are our little munchkins ready to hit up the stores on main street:

one of max's favorite treats he got from main street trick-or-treat was this silly pair of glasses. for a while there he wore them all the time!

and that concludes my very belated halloween post! :)

fish lake {year three!}

the weekend before halloween we were able to head down to fish lake for some much needed rest & relaxation. this is the third year that we've gone down to sam's cabin and even though so much effort goes into coordinating schedules, meals, etc...i am so glad that we've been able to make it work. i hope it's a tradition for the next 20 years!! ;)

we ate so much good food, had a corn hole tournament on the back deck (the boys had multiple late into the night...they are a bit obsessed!), stayed up way too late playing games (spot it!!) & talking, and spent time in the great outdoors (this year the weather was the nicest it's ever been). 

how grateful we are for such awesome, fun friends!!
we love you guys.

// this year two additional couples joined us but they were only able to stay for a day & we didn't get a group shot with everyone. the amount of children has definitely increased since we started coming. this year with everyone there was a total of seven!! //

and mostly because i can't believe how small avery was when we started coming, here are links to the past two years for your viewing pleasure: 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

camping out in the great outdoors

back in october, danny had a three day weekend and he came home from work feeling extra adventurous. though it was chilly outside, he and the kids went to work setting up the tent and preparing the fire pit (for the first time!) for our backyard campout. 

we roasted hot dogs, ate lots of chips, watched tarzan out in the tent, and fell asleep with at least 20 blankets on top of the four of us.

thanks to my growing belly, i was only able to make it on the hard, frozen ground until 4 a.m. (thank goodness i could run inside to my warm, soft bed in the middle of the night!) but the rest of the clan made it all night long!

halloween in sugarhouse

i had every intention of posting these pictures before thanksgiving...but our november turned out to be slightly chaotic & stressful. so here they are, over one month late!

everyone (local) was able to meet up at tim & kristina's for a halloween bash and it was such a party! the kids looked adorable in their costumes (cowboy and indian princess, in case you were wondering :) and though they didn't last in them for very long, we did manage to get a few decent pictures.

tim made some delicious pumpkin chili, we decorated pumpkins with tattoos (genius!), frosted sugar cookies, had a pinata (thanks for the tutorial, meagan!!), made "witches brew," played pin the spider on the web, and ate wayyy too many treats & cheetos. 

all of the cousins got a chance at the pinata...except for julia. max has quite the arm! :)

it was definitely a halloween party to remember.