Monday, December 26, 2011

To be remembered - Christmas 2011

Christmas was a lot of fun!
  • Granny Gray's Christmas bingo was SO MUCH FUN! We all loved it.
  • Peter did such a fabulous job singing his "If I could fly like a snowflake" song.
  • Even though Caleb felt yucky he still did great singing "Away in a Manger" in Spanish.
  • Willy was too shy to sing Rudolph in front of everyone but boy should you hear him do it. So cute.
  • Church was wonderful with the music and sitting by my kids.
  • Realizing that my kitchen is a good size for company to come over and make dinner together.
  • Caleb was not sick with his stomach thing anymore. Prayer works and he was feeling great for Christmas day. Thank heaven!
  • Peter made the sweetest and very cutest present for us at school. Each month has a handprint of his painted in a different seasonal shape. So much fun.
  • Taking dinner over to a neighbor and helping him feel a little joy this season as he visited with the Grays.
  • The Gray family is the best.
  • Playing a game with the boys after everyone was gone. There we sat, in the middle of all the mess, playing together. It was a fun pause from the noise of earlier
I love the Grays, I love my little family, and Christmas time is full of so much magic and wonderful feelings. It was great. Now to the new year. We will try to make the most of it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Making the season fun!

We have been up to some fun things to make the most of the Christmas festivities. To name a few: we decorated pine cones into christmas trees. The boys loved it and they turned out cute.
Last night we drove around and looked at Christmas lights. Haley loved all the pretty lights and we found some really great houses.
The one ugly moment of yesterday was being stuck in traffic when I was supposed to be at the doctors office with Haley. Suffice it to say we did not make it to the appointment and I was in a horrible mood and the boys felt it. For some reason I turned on the radio and what song did I find, Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song. So awesome! My season was complete as I chuckled along with the song and my boys were introduced to it. They would laugh when I did, even though they had no idea why they were laughing, and it got me out of my nasty mood. Perfect!
Now tonight the boys got to sleep under the Christmas tree. Actually the only one that ended up under the tree was William. Caleb is on the couch and Peter is in his bed. Funny kids.
Also tonight we pulled out another Christmas craft and made our own paper snow globes. Peter has a collection of snow globes and the boys all love them. So, we colored our own little pictures, painted them with some glitter glue (for the snowy effect) and placed them on their own little stand. Quite fun.
Then tomorrow night is the Christmas Eve bash at Granny Gray's house. It will be so much fun! I love it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The sleepover

Was great! The End.

Just kidding, I will give a few details. The boys were very excited to get together. They came to our house and set up some games. Then after a lot of laughs and reading they finally settled in and slept. Saturday was the day of fun. We ate, they played, and then we did a couple of projects. The boys designed their own Santa's Workshop. We had furniture, stickers to decorate, carpeting, lamps, and a fireplace. And much to the chagrin of my boys, Jonah and Jonathan insisted that there be a restroom in the workshop. Practicality and all.

My favorite project was making the boys into elves. They all enjoyed this. They colored their elf body and hat and then we took their picture and put it all together. I think they are Awesome!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A sweet and simple moment

Today is the day. Spencer and Addison are coming over and then after that we are having the cousin Christmas sleepover tonight. We (I) am preparing for loud noises, crazy-fun moments and possibly a few melt-downs. It will be fun, and awesome. My boys are so looking forward to the sleepover. But before wild day begins I want to remember my sweet boy Peter and how awesome he is. Wednesday was a bit challenging. But as I looked through Peter's backpack I found this little gem of a paper and it made my heart smile. He is so precious to me. He is learning so much in school and I love that he is now learning to sound out words and write them on his own. It added some light and happiness to my day.
Translation: I see Harry Potter.
I see fish.
I love mom.
I love dad.
I love my whole family.
I like Haley.

He is wonderful! Finally, one of Peter's wishes for the season came true last night as he got to see Santa at the Zoo and tell him what he wants for Christmas. He was so jovial after his visit with Santa. He could not stop talking about it. I am glad that sometimes my child's dreams can come true. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A little bit of fun

The past few days we have tired to fill our time with fun things to do together. So often these boys end up playing alone because they cannot agree on what to do together. One night the whole family got involved in a building contest. Each person had a different type of blocks (except mom and Haley, we did boxes) and they had to build something cool with their "material." It was great! The only structure we did not get a picture of was Rob's because his was accidentally destroyed by a child before it could be documented. Oops!
Mom's and Haley's, "Christmas Town"
William's, "A sure foundation"
Peter's, "The leaning tower of Awesomeness!"
Caleb's, "Of perfect symmetry"

Another day we made snowflakes out of Q-Tips and glitter glue. The boys loved coming up with different shapes and then squeezing the glitter on to make it all stick together. That was William's favorite part by far. Haley enjoyed entertaining us with her silly faces.
Finally, it cannot go undocumented that Peter and Haley were happily playing with blocks the other day. Peter loves Haley so much and sometimes it is TOO much for her. But on this day Peter got out the blocks and Haley had fun handing Peter each block as he was making something cool for her. It was a very cute moment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

My friends it is that time of year again and we started it off right! I can find no better sentiment than this song, we have found comfort in being together today and we experienced joy as well. First off we enjoyed a visit from Granny Gray and it was fun to see her and be so relaxed together. After she left the party began! I hold it as tradition in our house to decorate the trees while listening to our favorite Christmas songs and dancing along. It is very fun! Just look at these boys get with it. Haley and I were there too but I am not nearly as cute. Caleb was pulling some awesome ballet and spinning moves and great foot work. Peter was doing head stands and spinning. And Willy was jumping and spinning, it was a moment full of joy. Our trees look fabulous and the lights are so fun gaze at.
Our other tradition for the first of December is to do a gingerbread house. Mid-way through the construction of the house I was not sure if next year I should just buy the candy for the boys and forgo the house itself. Half of the time they were just interested in what candy they wanted to eat. But we triumphed and the house turned out cool. Peter requested that we do a door for the house and he also added the "steam" to the chimney. He decorated the door of the house and when he showed it to us he said it had a face and that it was Frankenstein. Perfect!
Willy requested the tree for the house and Caleb placed the ornaments. We realized the tree looked lonely so I made a person to go with it, with wild hair. Caleb said it was me. :) Then Willy said we needed presents under the tree and the star made it complete. The boys did great. I must say this is the best looking house we have ever done. And the boys did most of the decorating. Yeah! One more little detail from the super awesome house. Here you can see the smile face Caleb added, the "steam" on the chimney from Peter and the special touch of bushes that Rob suggested. So much fun!
Now for the new installment this year. I was trying to figure out what to do for our Christmas countdown/advent calendar. Do we draw one, make boxes? Then I decided to be fun and make these cute stockings for the 12 day countdown (there was no way I was making 24 of these babies). I think they turned out great.
We will hang them up on the mantel like this then as we do each activity we will turn them around to show the backs. The ones with numbers still showing on the front will be how many days until Christmas. Here is a close up:
And here you can see what some of the backs look like. I am happy with how they turned out. And this way we can use it from year to year and I think it will be another fun thing to pull out and be excited for Christmas time.
One more close up. Not to brag, but I am pleased with how this project turned out. I really enjoy the buildup of Christmas. All of the traditions and fun that come along with celebrating the birth of Christ. It is neat to see how it brings my family together and we are able to enjoy each other more. Let the celebrating continue! We are ready!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wrapped up right

Rob is wonderful! I was not going to post about my birthday in specific because how lame is that? But then, I do not want to forget how creatively and awesome Rob was in wrapping and giving me my presents today. This morning upon seeing Haley she was holding the two mixer attachments (with white bows) in her hands. Then tonight each of the boys gave me another present specially wrapped as you see. When I commented on how cool the bows were Rob said he could not find any ribbon, so he made do with pipe cleaners. Perfect! I love him and I love my boys.

Caleb being the awesome kid that he is decided to make me a present today. He wanted to sew something but did not want me to look at the front. I only knew it was a monster. I was supposed to tie up the string in the back, help change colors on the needle and that was it. He told me it was my birthday present and not to look. He did a terrific job and I love it! He did a smiley face in red and the monster. So cool! My family is wonderful! We relaxed today, went swimming in the afternoon, came home for a yummy dinner and then I sang songs to my boys as they went to sleep. Thanks Rob, Boys and Haley for making it a great day!

Thanksgiving time

I love thanksgiving and having kids to do fun things with is even better. First off, the big day's events:
The Grays decided that it would be easier to go out for Thanksgiving dinner instead of cooking it all at home. So, at 11am we headed out to beat the lines and get our yummy dinner. The joke was on us when we got there and the line was already super long. UGH! So, my cute kids and I sat out front, played a game and waited patiently for our food. Don't their turkey hats look awesome. Peter opted to wear his Indian hat from school and the rest helped make their hats. They are so cool! Dinner was good. My kids especially liked the endless ice cream and rice krispy treats. The only down side to eating out was that it was so noisy. We could not talk in a normal voice at all. Fun times.
After that we headed to Granny's house, played around, read books and waiting for a space in our stomachs to open up so we could have a little more pie. I took up a little treat activity for the kids to do and it was fun and yummy for the kids. It was a fun day, we are so glad we got to be together.
Last but not least it is our tradition to make pine cone turkeys for each member of our family. We have done it for the last 5 years and have a picture of each one. We have done pipe cleaners and feathers. This is the family for 2011. And it has character. Rob went totally fancy on us and made a neck, feet and the super ultimate tail. It put the rest of ours to shame. Except for Peter's turkey. He was against any feathers or decoration. He was going way simple and he stated his was the meat. There was no changing his mind. His turkey was plucked and ready for dinner. Therefore we convinced him to cut out a fork, knife and spoon so that the turkey would be ready for the feast. Ta Da! Perfect!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A job well done

We got the call on Monday to be at the school Wednesday morning because Peter's reflection project had won an award and would be moving on to the next level. Yeah, Peter! He was so excited to hear the news and be acknowledged at the assembly. The first photo is really hard to see but it is of Peter receiving his award from the principal. His whole class had just finished making their Indian hats and they all wore them to the assembly. They were so cute. The last photo shows Peter with his award and the project that was deserving of the award. He was so proud, as he should be. He came up with such a good project and it was fun to make together. Good job, Peter!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011- a year at the lake

So, when we asked William what he wanted to be for Halloween a couple of months ago he said, "a boat." Okay. That started the rest of the kids. Caleb wanted to be a fisherman, and Peter and Haley would be the fish. Perfect! The fisherman was easy, make a vest, put some lures on there, give him a fishing pole and he was done. The fish were fun to make. Peter opted out of having fishy eyes so, Haley was the only one with eyes. You cannot see it in the picture but they also had a fish tail at the end of the scales. They looked so cute, especially Miss Haley when she would take a few steps or crawl around the room. The boat was also fun to make because Willy and I did it together. He helped paint it and tape it. And the little fish swimming at the bottom of the boat were fun too.
a few close ups:

Haley was so cute! But it was hard to get a good picture of her holding still.
This is the back of Willy's boat. The motor on there was awesome! And you can see the fish in this picture too. We ended up changing the costume around while trick-o-treating because he just could not keep up with the other kids. We took the boat and put it up on his shoulders then punched out the handle holders to be bigger spaces for his arms to fit in. So, the boat was now higher on his body and he could go faster. He was the hit of the costume parade and he loved it. But after one street he was tired of lugging it around so he took it off and was just a cute kid with a boat following him around.
Caleb could have gone all night. Peter was happy with his loot and the last 4 or 5 houses he just walked with us but did not go to the door. I guess he knows his limits in certain areas of life. And Willy was just excited to have all the candy. Speaking of candy, they all got way more candy than any child needs. That is what Halloween is all about. A fun time was had by all.
Haley loved walking around to each house and seeing all the pumpkins. As you can see from this picture she loved carving pumpkins. She was really enjoying the taste of them. But she also liked seeing them lit up on Halloween night.

Primary Program

About six or so months ago I was called to be the primary chorister. I was nervous at first. I love to sing to my kids, I know the songs and I love to teach. But I was not quite sure about getting up there and teaching the songs. I think the kids think me crazy some Sundays. But I have honestly grown to enjoy/love this calling. I am so excited that all three of my boys will be in primary next year, it will be so fun to sing with them and be with them. Anyway, back to the program.
I was nervous about how it would all go off. At times the kids could sing great, and other times they made me worry. So about the second practice I decided that I needed to start praying for choirs of angels to come down and help them sing the Sunday of the program. Then I wised up and realized I just needed to have faith in the children. We have prepared them all year for this program, taught them and practiced with them. I just needed to have faith in them and that the spirit would be there.
Sunday, the 30th of October, was the day of the program. We got to church early to save my seat right up front and center. Granny and Grandpa Gray, PA and Betty, and Larry all came to support the boys. The boys looked awesome in the white shirt and Grandpa Guido ties, and they were ready to sing and give their parts. And I was not too nervous for the program to start. And it went beautifully! The children were reverent during the speaking parts, not too coordinated on standing up and down together (but that is okay), and they stood remarkably still during the songs so there was not a lot of play. The most important part was that they sang so well! They knew the words, sang out nice and strong, and the spirit was there! Success! During practices I had prepped the kids with me not singing during specific parts of the songs so that it would just be them. I thought that it was important that for the last song, I know the scriptures are true, they were the only ones singing the last line of the song as a final way of bearing their testimony for the congregation. It was perfect! I was so proud of these sweet children. At the very end of the song I dropped out and led them, with only their sweet voices being heard. They sang the words out and I know the spirit was there for all to feel. It was wonderful! They bore their testimony through song and that is what I wanted for them. Plus, we had prepared them, so I had no fear of it going well that day. It was Awesome! And I look forward to the coming year for primary and singing and planning and teaching. It will be terrific!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

We are making progress!

The most important part of this post is of course this awesome girl and that she started taking real steps today! WAHOO! She is up to three! They are still shaky steps and she plops right down afterward, but they are steps! We are so excited. And so is she. After she would walk she would crawl around the room, prancing almost, "with a swing in her waddle." It was great.

Now for the other bit of progress. Being as it is no school for the next two days we decided to conquer the reflection projects that are due in November. The theme is "Diversity is..." and Peter decided he wanted to make a tree house. Huh? I sat puzzled as to how we could show diversity with a tree house. Then it came to us. With all these beautiful fall leaves around we would glue the "diverse" colored leaves to his rockin' tree house and call is awesome! The boys helped cut the twigs, I wired them together. We all glued it to the base then we went on a fall leaf hunt for wonderful, diverse colors. Then we came home and Peter chose which leafs to use and I glued them on in a beautiful fashion (if I do say so myself). We of course had to have a rope ladder, which was properly glued on and, Done! We all think it turned out great and whether or not it fits with the theme this year, we had fun making it. Now tomorrow we will finish off Caleb's project (he has to decide between two) and he will be ready. Caleb also has some sweet ideas for this year, I hope them come out just as cool as we envision.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Party

We had a combined party for Addison and Haley since their birthdays are so close together. We got together at Wheeler Farm and while the kids had fun eating cupcakes and playing the rest of us had fun just talking with each other.
Addison received this cute bike that she seemed very excited about! She is so cute with her enthusiasm for everything.
Haley slowly caught on that people were giving her things and she was genuinely excited about it all. Even the clothes she was given were fun because of how soft they were or the pictures she saw on them.
Then came time for the cake. Dacia made these awesome sunflower cupcakes with ladybugs, there were very cool. This is the cake the boys and I made for Haley. Not bakery worthy by any means but it did the job. William helped make the butterflies, Peter helped with her name, and Caleb helped with the frosting and other assembly projects. A nice group effort for such a cute girl.
Now for the eating. She was not too into the texture of the cake. She kept trying to share it with me but did not like the feel of it on her hands. Eventually she started squishing it in her hands but she did not want to taste it. Only after we gave her a fork did she try a sample of the cake.
Once she was cleaned up we headed out to see the farm animals, which is the main reason we had the party at Wheeler Farm. Haley loves animals, birds that fly over head, books of animals; so it was appropriate that her first birthday was there. She loved looking at all the animals and having so many fans around to wish her a happy day. It was really a lot of fun to be with our family and enjoy the day. Plus the weather was perfect for the party. Horray!
Upon arriving home and unpacking the loot from the truck Caleb professionally styled Haley's hair with a number of the clips that were given to her. She looked Beautiful! Happy Birthday, Haley! We love her smile, the way she talks and has her own way of saying things, her bright blue eyes, and when she lets us snuggle with her in our arms. We also love that is a little rock star, music is something Haley loves. She is a wonderful addition to our family.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011