Monday, January 27, 2014

Christmas 2013

Christmas was here and gone so quickly this year. Our girls really wanted to have Christmas at home again this year. I personally have a hard time not being with our extended family, but also enjoy the simplicity of staying home and enjoying the day. Christmas Eve was the highlight of our Holiday. The Brown family has the tradition of bowling each Christmas Eve. We joined them this year, along with some of our good friends, and had a wonderful time. 

After bowling we all headed over to a restaurant called Freddy's for shakes and burgers. It was such a fun tradition that we may need to make this our tradition too.

Latter that day we had our good friends the Sondrup's and Lewis families over for a turkey feast. The food was delicious, and the company so much fun.

We played a white elephant gift exchange game, and the Lewis family has these wonderful chimes to play Christmas carols with. It was a lot of fun.

It took some concentration to make sure you didn't miss your number to hit the notes in time to the song. I think it was the only time the kids really sat still the whole evening. We then watched a few Christmas video's on to focus some time on the real meaning of Christmas.

After everyone left we were able to open up jammies, and a special gift from Santa thanks to Grammie.

Christmas morning the girls were up at 5am. We kept shooing them back into their rooms, but finally gave in at 5:30 because we were all up anyway. To our surprise Santa gave the girls what they really wanted this year….electronics. I wasn't too thrilled, but I'm trying to keep tabs on all the security devices to keep them safe. I just wished they were still asking for younger things. They are growing up. :(

Santa was very good to us. After opening all the gifts from family and friends our basement looked like a tornado had hit.

Sideways Christmas tree waffles thanks to the idea on Pinterest. We didn't eat them sideways, but I can't get the picture to rotate.

Around 4:00 it was time to just get out of the house for a little bit. We decided to head to the gardens at the Bellagio thinking that no one would be there on Christmas. Boy were we wrong. It was so packed that we waited a very long time for a parking spot, and then could hardly walk in the gardens. Who really travel's to Vegas on Christmas? Crazy people!

We still enjoyed seeing the snow flurries, Christmas decorations, and hearing the Christmas music.

It was a wonderful day. I Love My Family!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Christmas Festivities

It's been so fun being Aliza's room mom this year. We had a "reindeer" party right before Christmas break that I thought was fun. They made a reindeer ornament, made a antler hat to be reindeer, played a few reindeer games (haha), and of course had lots of yummy food. I made these cute bags of reindeer food for them to take home. We were all so excited, and ready for Christmas break.

Avery had a violin recital, and did a fantastic job. She did a beautiful job of playing "Humoresque." We were invited to our friends home for a night of Christmas music for FHE. It was a lot of fun. They invited several families over to sing Christmas carols, and each family could perform if they wished. Avery got together with her friend Ellis and they played a violin/piano duet of Silent Night. It was so great that they were able to play it for Sacrament meeting the Sunday before Christmas. I could tell Avery really loved performing for Christmas.

I'm not sure this happened, but it was a nice thought. 

We took a trip to Sam's Town this year to watch the Christmas laser show. Other that the smoke smell, it was a fun show to see.

Everything was decorated for winter, and the best part of the show was that it actually snowed. They had snow machines on both sides of this massive cliff that the lazer show was on.

I loved these cool light up polar bears. I made the girls take one more quick picture with it.

Avery tried out this year to be the "host" for her school Christmas music concert. She go the part and did an outstanding job of introducing each piece for the program. My favorite part was when then tell all the parents to turn off their cell phones, and the rules of etiquette before the program.

Mrs. Canfield the choir director does a fantastic job every year. She always chooses some fun songs along with some fun more serious ones. They sang of not wanting socks for Christmas to Still Still Still which is one of my favorites.

Polar Express

We had the opportunity to ride The Polar Express in Williams Arizona on December 13th, 3013. We drove to Williams on a Friday afternoon to make it there for the 5:30 ride. It wasn't dark when we first arrived, but got dark right as the train started out on the tracks. 

I made the kids bundle up because I thought we would get of the train at the North Pole, but we didn't ever get off the train. The coats came off quickly, and we enjoyed being in our PJ's. It was fun to see everyone dressed in their PJ's ready to see Santa.

We enjoyed a yummy cup of very chocolaty hot cocoa, and cookies on the train ride. They put up a lot of Christmas lights to enjoy on the way to the North Pole. At one point the train heads through a tunnel which they say is a "time tunnel" so we can make it to the North Pole and back in a short amount of time. The train sped up and we all had to raise our hands and scream to make it through the tunnel.

The atmosphere was so much fun. Polar Express music playing, treats, being with your family, it was all amazing. When we arrived at the North Pole Santa was outside on his sleigh with his rein deer waving to everyone. At that point the train needed to go backwards, back to our cars, but as you went back on the tracks Santa disappeared. Everyone is wondering where he is and then he jumped on the train car and came in to talk to each family to make sure they had been good this year. This was the best picture I could get with my phone camera. He asked the girls if they were nice to each other (which they all just kind of looked at each other and giggled), and then gave them a bell from his sleigh. Super cute!

We were lucky enough that Dan and Mikaela and their cute family live in Flagstaff right next to Williams AZ. They were kind enough to let us crash in their home for the night. The next day we spent hanging out with them before heading home.

We went rock climbing which was a lot of fun. Aliza really is a little monkey when it comes to climbing.

My cute nephe, Shad did some climbing too.

We had lunch, and headed home. It was a wonderful weekend. So glad we were able to make the trip.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Family Pictures

We decided that we would go the cheap route this year and try to do our own photo shoot to get a nice picture for our Christmas card. We went out on a Sunday afternoon in November and tried to take turns with some friends taking pictures of each others families. They have a nice camera which they were kind enough to let us use. We headed out to Lake Las Vegas and tried to get a few good pictures. Our kids were being very uncooperative, which was frustrating, but we got a few good ones. 

This picture of Aliza sums up how our pictures went. Aliza was refusing to smile, Avery was being silly, and Abbie was getting mad at all of us for it not going smoothly. Micah and I just laughed because what else do you do.

 Hmmmmm. The leg in the air is a nice touch.

These last two were the best of them all. I'm saving my money for a photographer next year.

Bonnie Springs

After four years of living here, I finally made it to Bonnie Springs with the kids a few months back. We did attempt going one time before, but the town was closed when we got there. We went with the Sondrup family one afternoon kids were off of school. It's about a 45 minute drive out to Red Rock where it's located, and it made for a fun afternoon. 

We stuck around to watch the two man play, and gun fight outside. This old ghost town was fun to explore, but the plays needed a little help. The two older gentlemen acting them out were terrible. One of them was pretending to be a woman during the show with a wig and aapron. Thats how classy it was.

Here we are waiting of the awesome show. Yes, that was very sarcastic.

The best part of the day was the petting zoo. Aliza fell in love with this deer and followed her around for a very long time.

There were caged animals and animals walking around. Lots of sheep, pigs and deer to pet.

Abbie discovered these baby chicks. She was even able to hold one before their mama started to get a bit worried. We found out from one of the staff that they were born just that morning. There were even a few unhatched eggs still under their mom.

They were fascinating to watch.

Aliza wanted to get a picture next to the timber wolf because that is her school mascot. Kristi and I just joked about how Jacob and his family were all trapped behind the fence. Ha….love Twilight

If you look closely Abbie is petting a woodchuck, I think.

There was a pond there with a lot of ducks and turtles. So fun to watch the turtles swim around.

Abbie took this picture below and it turned out so great. She should be a photographer.