Friday, December 14, 2012

Lest we forget the celebrating

This December has been full of so many fun things!  Being with my kids and feeling the festive and beautiful spirit of Christmas is wonderful.  To name just a few of the activities:
 Pa and Betty took us to a carousel they are just in love with.  All of the boys had to have a turn on this dragon, each of them were so excited to be out on the town.  They even got to see Santa that night.
 Peter was recognized as Student of the Month for Academic Achievement.  He was very excited!
 We built a child friendly nativity set.  Haley and William love the hands on aspect of the blocks.
 Just a couple of the many crafts we have been doing.  Those are elves if you cannot tell.
 We have been doing the Holiday ABCs all this month.  For each letter I have had the boys draw a mini-picture of what the activity or letter was that day.  Caleb has really gotten into this with great detail.  You can also see the nativity that each of the boys got to make for the letter N.
A close up of Caleb's depiction of the nativity.  He did such a great job.
 And just today my children have been especially sweet with each other.  Haley, being the girl of the family, loves her cinderella.  So, Peter chose to play with Haley and wrapped up a different doll so that he could be with Haley.  So far so good.
Then there are the other two, making a fun mess with legos and enjoying every minute of it.  I will not complain, they are being good to each other.
Not pictured but just as important to remember:  Caleb bore his testimony in church and was so sincere and honest about his simple testimony.  Our oven broke, big time, and thus we receive a new oven for Christmas.  We have had fun ding-dong ditching a few families and also had a few families come looking for us and eventually finding us, bummer deal.

But the month is still young, we have so many other things planned to do and make.  It is going to be fun and memorable, just what Christmas-time should be.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The season is upon us

The pretty and fun Christmas music is playing.  Peter even found a song that he loves so much that he will not let another song play before he turns it back to that one.  Caleb is getting pretty sick of this song, but not Peter.  It seems to be his theme song this year.  It is called, "Spotlight on Christmas" by Rufus Wainwright.  I think Peter likes the catchy, fun beat of the music most of all.
The house is looking very festive.  The trees are decorated and shining brightly.  I was about to clean up the scattered toys and beads strewn everywhere under the tree before I took this picture but then I stopped myself.  I thought to myself that this is my house, with kids and messes here and there, and I am happy with it, and I am thankful for it.  Even the messes, they prove that I have happy, healthy children who had fun today.

 And speaking of fun, these gingerbread houses were awesome to make!  What a fun tradition.  William is not seen in this picture because he was down on the floor, with a pot, about to throw up from eating way too much candy while making his gingerbread house.  But luckily for him, he did not throw up.  Each of us had a mini-house to decorate.  We all loved it!  Yeah for Christmas!  For the music, the decorations, the traditions, the crafts, the fun times together, and the memories.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our turkey family, through the years

I need to document this somehow to remember how cool our family is, and to see how we have grown.  I am not sure when we started this, but 2008 is the most recent photo I can find.  We are awesome!
 2008; Caleb is the King Turkey (with all of the feathers) and William was just a baby so he has the tiny one.
 2009; we opted for pipe cleaners this year.
 2010; Haley is the newest turkey addition and thus, the smallest.
 2011; Rob and Peter went with a vision this year.  Rob was the guy working on feet and pipe cleaner head for his masterpiece.  Peter refused to put any feathers on his and when we started calling it the meat he went with his own vision.  He cut out a fork, knife and plate for his turkey and called it original.
2012; again more individuality and vision.  Rob's turkey is known as the angel turkey to the kids.  And Peter chose to use all owl feathers and make his an owl, complete with a nest and owlets who had just hatched.  We have such a great family, no matter the differences we are awesome!

Thanksgiving/November creativity

My boys and I enjoy making creative messes together and here are a few of them that we have made the past little while.
Our traditional pine cone turkey family.  Each of us gets a pine cone and decks it out with our own arrangement of feathers.  A favorite Thanksgiving activity for sure.
This year we also made dish towel scarecrows.  The boys got to choose what scraps of fabric we had for the patches and place buttons and what not where they wanted.  Here they are without the hats.
 And here are the scarecrows with the hats.  Peter chose no hat, he is the one that always goes for individuality.  You can also see the little turkey softies we made.  Haley has one too, hers is just missing right now.
 Peter is very, very proud of his turkey hat and Native American necklace that he made in school.  
And we cannot forget the yummy food we have made and consumed.  Our second annual pie party was a success.  Our family contributed lemon tarts, chocolate mouse tarts, raspberry mouse, strawberries and cream, and Caleb's favorite home made pumpkin pie with the fun fall tree.
We made yummy rice krispy treat turkeys.
Finally, last night for dinner we made turkey waffles.  Yummy and fun to look at.
And last but not least, Thanksgiving Day we made our fun Native American vests for Caleb and William and a cute turkey hat for Miss Haley.  So cute.  Caleb decorated his with all sorts of symbols and fun sayings.
And we made more yummy treats.  A delicious cherry pie and pilgrim hat cookies.  Yeah for celebrating with food and paper, life is just too much fun sometimes.  I am not sure how the turkey will turn out but I know the desserts will be tasty.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A normal but successful day

On this day of no school we accomplished some very important things.  
 We made our very first snowman of the year.  This is Caleb's very own.  He did it all himself with the cute little face and he was especially proud that he gave the snowman legs. :)
 We made our first batch of delicious snow ice-cream.  This was Haley's first taste and she is a definite lover of snow ice-cream.
 We played in the snow!
Haley discovered she really likes the snow.
 The boys rode a ferris wheel for the first time today and said it was totally fun!  The first time they went up Caleb's face was one giant smile!  Haley was one inch too short to go on the ferris wheel; so she decided to ride the escalator while we waited for the boys.
 The boys petted a stuffed baby skunk and were excited about it.  Okay, maybe this was not the most important of things we did today but I found it interesting that the boys requested that I take their picture with the skunk display.
What a fun day it was.  Hanging out together.  The boys played, they fought, mom cleaned in preparation for the pie party tomorrow, they had fun in the snow!  OH the snow, we are so glad it came and we are happy to have no school days every once in a while.
P.S. Caleb and Peter both had fabulous parent-teacher conferences this past week.  Peter is one of the top students in first grade for math and he is loving Spanish.  Caleb is blowing them away in reading and his Spanish comprehension.  These boys are smart kids.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Recap

The month has come and gone and here I am just posting about it.  Oh well, at least someone can remember it for the future. :)  So, what happened to the Rob Gray family during October?
 We saw a moose!  OH YEAH!  The boys and I have wanted to see a moose since I cannot remember when.  A real live moose, in nature.  So, when we went on a trip through the canyon with Pa and Betty our dreams came true and we saw one, very up close, and it was awesome!  It was actually a family of moose, the dad is the darker one and then there was a mom in the bushes and two babies behind her.
 It was little Miss Haley's birthday and we celebrated big!  Lest I forget how she started the day, she woke up at the very early hour of 5:30 am!!!  Some would think that she was excited to get the day started but no; she woke up very grouchy and sad.  It was a hard way to start the day.  But after nap-time we were ready to go.  She got one of the only balloons I could find in the city, due to the helium shortage and all that nonsense.  She received some beautiful flowers from us and had yummy breadsticks for lunch.
 Then we took her to the zoo.  It was a drizzly day at the zoo and not many people were there.  But all the animals were out and we loved it!
 It was the first time we got to see the panda bear and the seals and it was so exciting to watch them swim right up to the glass and be so personable.  We also watched the baby snow leopard pouncing on and playing with it's mother, we saw the baby giraffe, Haley went on her first carousel ride and loved it, and before leaving we were stared down by a very large tiger who looked like he was ready to eat us.
 Haley was also booted out of the crib and given Willy's toddler bed.  That meant that Willy got a larger bed and now Haley is adjusting to the freedoms that toddlerhood brings.
We carved pumpkins Sunday after the Primary program.  The whole Primary did awesome, by the way, in the program and it was wonderful.  Everyone, even Haley, helped clean out the pumpkins that they grew in the garden and I think Haley is the most proud of her little pumpkin.
 And then there are the Halloween costumes that the boys were so excited about.  They all wanted to be ninjas this year.  So, they chose the color, I sewed them up and they looked awesome!  They loved battling with their daggers and swords, showing me cool ninja moves and getting ready for the candy.
 Haley on the other hand was excited to be a ninja but not so much to wear the costume.  This is one of the only pictures I have of the little orange ninja in full costume; and it is not even on Halloween night.  She refused to wear her costume for trick or treating.  She actually just stayed at Granny Gray's while the boys went out and collected their loot.  She preferred to dress as a screaming banshee for Halloween because that is more what she acted like than the cool ninjas her brothers were.
 Caleb being awesome.  Caleb had eaten too much candy at school that day and so he chose not to eat any candy on Halloween night.  Instead he brought it home to weigh it before devouring.  He collected a whooping 5.5 pounds of candy.  Willy was jealous.
  October went out with a bang last night as Haley woke up in the middle of the night for more banshee action and would not go to sleep until she had her say; 2 hours later.  Boy will I be glad when that girl realizes that she can communicate with words and not screams.
  Now it is on to November.  One of my favorite months of the year.  Heres hoping that we make some more happy family memories.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall colors and dirty kids

Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather, and the fact that the boys had all of the their homework done early, and drive up the canyon to look at the beautiful changing colors.  The boys were excited to point out all of the reds and golden , and they were especially excited to get out of the truck and do some hiking.
 Our first stop was by a little river with pretty red trees and rocks to throw.
 I could not help but take a picture of these cuties surrounded by the golden trees.
 And when we spotted this large evergreen surrounded by a beautiful red we had to stop.  Plus it provided for good climbing and testing of the boys' skills.  It had also rained recently and so the hill side was fresh with wet dirt.  Hence, our newly cleaned truck was no more clean and the boys were loving it all.  Caleb made it up with no problems.  Peter made it up with only a few struggles.
 It is Willy who has not yet mastered the mountain climbing yet.  He needed a little help from Caleb and I laughed as I watched Caleb get behind William and push him up the mountain.  What a good big brother!
 William was pretty muddy and proud of it.
We found one more hiking spot before going home.  Caleb again climbed up effortlessly and delighted in getting to the top of everything.  It was a beautiful and fun afternoon.  And the boys want more of it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The circus came to town

The boys loved it!  Haley was not crazy about the loud music at first.  But thankfully she became entranced by all the lights and animals that we could all enjoy the circus together.
 The lions and tigers were pretty cool.  Some of them kept swiping at the tamer and Caleb was worried there for awhile.
 The elephants were so fun to watch and it was amazing how smart they are.  They were so well trained to know just what to do and where to go.
The motorcycles were AWESOME!  They ended up with 8 motorcycles in that small metal ball and it was so cool to watch them all going around and going so fast.  Very entertaining.  Caleb said that the circus was the best thing of his life.  Plus the theme of the circus was dragons.  My boys love dragons and they really thought the golden dragon that came out at the end of the circus was pretty magical.
So, today we made our own circus.
Peter, of course, had to have his own separate circus but that is another story.  They colored all their own circus animals and performers.  Had the tight rope and even came up with the "circle of fire" for the dogs to jump through.  A very fun time was had by all.