Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve Campout

Mike and I have never been big New Year's Eve party-types. Even before we had kids, it just never has meant that much to us. But even more now that we have kids, we would rather just be in. I always figure it's the safest place for them and I don't want them anywhere on the roads after dark with all of the drunk drivers out there. When we talk about what to do for New Years, going out really even doesn't come up. This year we stayed with the tent thing and after the pirate play tent went back down and dinner was over, we let Caleb set up his camping tent that Santa brought him and are having a little camp-out in the family room. Of course we are also passing the time by playing some board games and watching some movies. Caleb is super stoked that I told him he could "for reals" sleep in his tent all night if he wants to and he has nominated Dad to sleep in his tent with him in the summer when we take it camping. I'm glad he likes it.

Pirate Hide a Way

We have been home and gone nowhere for the last 4 days now. We were all going a little stir crazy today and were planning on going out to do something but couldn't agree on anything. Then it dawned on us that the twins hadn't yet put up the pirate tent that Santa brought them. We've been letting them just open things as they decide they want to play with them and hadn't really given it much more thought. Once we mentioned it though, they were all about it. The tent went up and my little pirates were happy as can be for a few hours. Caleb played in there with them for a whiloe too and Mom even went in and hung out with Zaden for a bit.

I think Santa hit this one on the mark and am excited for them to play in it some more another day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day Date

We had a great Christmas and have had fun watching the boys play with all of their new goodies. But I think the best gift of all for me and Mike was when the babysitter offered to take the kids for us one of the days we were off to include Caleb so he could play with her daughter Morgan. Mike had Tuesday off and I have the whole week off so we picked Tuesday and dropped the kids off at their normal time.
We spent the first couple hours here at home cleaning up the remainder of Christmas gifts and putting most of them away and just sitting together talking and enjoying the silence. Then we went out to the mall. We did a little shopping so I could spend my Christmas money. I got me a couple pair of super cute jeans. Then we had lunch at on of my favorite places, the Cheesecake Factory. After we were stuffed, we went to do one of Mike's favorite things, a movie. We went to see the new Sherlock Holmes. Loved it. How can you go wrong with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in a flick together?
Then it was already time to pick up the kids and come home. We both have remarked on what a great day it was together and how we need to have more days like that. We have resolved (hopefully) to do a kid less day-date at least once every season in the next year. Since this one counts as our winter one, I can't wait for Spring!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa was here!

Christmas 2011 - picture slideshow

It was another successful Christmas morning here at the Ouren household with spoiled kids. Santa and Mom and Dad had a good time this year for sure. This is what they got:

From Santa: A tent, sleeping bag, a new coat, his paper he asked for, composition notebooks, Uno Roboto, Bop It, Wii U Draw, Captain America DVD, New How to Train Your Dragon movies, Ninjago lego set, candy and small toys in his stocking.

From Mom and Dad: Dinosaur pillow pet, 1600 piece Lego set, Pirate Skull towel,a book, underwear, clothes, shoes, slippers

From Santa: A Harley scooter, a sleeping bag, a Star Wars Space ship, a new coat, a new Vsmile Pocket game, Cars 2 movie, Thomas the Train Movie, a stuffed owl, candy and to share with Zaden a pirate play tent , faux campfire and roasting sticks.

From Mom and Dad: Another Star Wars ship, a crayon bank, a backpack, a dinosaur pillow pet, a batman Laptop, a book, slippers, clothes, underwear

From Santa: A Harley scooter, a sleeping bag, a pirate ship, a new coat, a new Vsmile Pocket game, Kung Fu Panda 2 movie, Jake and the Neverland Pirates Movie, a stuffed owl, candy and to share with Zaric a pirate play tent , faux campfire and roasting sticks.

From Mom and Dad: A Thomas the train railway set, a crayon bank, a backpack, a dinosaur pillow pet, a batman Laptop, a book, slippers, clothes, underwear

From Santa: A pink exersaucer, Stella baby Doll, Dino play set, and pink laugh and learn tea set, plus legwarmers, binkies, headbands and socks in her stocking.

From Mom and Dad: A ladybug pillow pet, turtle developmental toy, clothes, squeaky shoes

And that's just from Santa and us- Not to mention the goodies and mula from the rest of the family (Thanks Everyone!). More to come tomorrow when the grandparents visit. :)

Mike and I got spoiled as well.

Mike- From me and the kids :A few Blue Ray movies, shoes, a T shirt, dress shirt, A Wii game, Mario toys, a Mario Memory game not to mention the candy, and other goodies Santa left in his stocking. he also shopped for himself a couple months ago and picked up a Blue Ray Player and the Starwars (sixology?) on Blue Ray to go with it.

Me: From Mike: A necklace,new pj's and slippers, DVD's of the TV Show Dahrma and Greg, A CD, a new watch, an Amazon gift card to load up the Kindle Fire I got a few weeks ago, plus candy and Christmas socks in my stocking from Santa. Not to mention Mike came home with Christmas flowers for me after going out shopping on the 23rd.

We also got spoiled from a few other people with cute gifts, gift cards and a little Christmas cash which we will be sure to put to good use. (Thanks again Everyone!)

It's been a great Christmas! Hope yours was just a good.

Merry Christmas

From the Ouren Family to you. We wish you a Very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas Eve!

It's been as busy Christmas Eve here in the Ouren household....which means mostly for me. I woke up bright and early with a bit of a cold but decided it wasn't going to get me down and went to work right away making homemade cinnamon rolls. After that I followed up with a batch of chocolate chip cookies, some hot chocolate cookies and then some sugar cookies for the boys to decorate. On top of that I cooked a bit of a traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls and veggies. After dinner was over and cleaned up we gave the boys and Faith their new Christmas jammies and then let them at the sugar cookies to decorate up a storm.

Zaric would put a few drops on each cookie, tell us he was done and move on to the next one.

Zaden would decorate his and then promptly eat it.

And Caleb showed a lot of effort and creativity this year with his. We were impressed.

Faith mostly watched and got packed around and then played on the floor for a bit.

I gave Mike the task of getting a pic of the boys in their Christmas jammies....this is as good as it got.
We loaded up a plate of cookies for the big man. And we snuggled and watched some of the 24 hours of Christmas Story on TBS.

We just sent the kids to bed and asked Caleb to sleep in the boyz room with them so we can all get up together in the morning. Looking forward to less time in the kitchen tomorrow and more time lounging and playing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

3 months

I'm about a week late in posting this but Baby Girl is officially 3 months old already. She's so much fun, she's full of smiles and giggles these days and has recently learned to stick out her tongue on cue and thinks she's pretty funny doing it. She's learning to use those little arms and has been batting around the toys on her bouncer. She's starting to try to grasp things, she'll be doing that before long. She's also getting the legs down and continually kicks her kick toy when we lay her down on the floor with it to watch the spinnies go around. She still loves those brothers and smiles at them all the time and she thinks the word "babysitter" is funny and giggles almost every time I say it to her. But I think her favorite thing is when her Daddy swaddles her at night and cuddles her to sleep. Momma doesn't do it quite like he does.

We love this little girl !

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zoo Lights 2011

We had a fun family outing last night to our yearly viewing of the Zoo lights. First off, we stopped at one of my old favorite Sugarhouse spots, The Soup Kitchen, for some dinner. We enjoyed some chicken noodle soup and some grilled cheese sandwiches. Then it was time to head to the zoo and bundle up. This year we were able to buy our tickets online ahead of time so that saved us a lot of time since we didn't have to wait in line. Once inside the boys went nuts telling us about all the lights. They were so excited. There weren't many animals out but we did get to see the owl and the tigers up close. One tiger was even sitting by the fence chewing on a bone. We grabbed some hot chocolate near the tigers which was super yummy. The boys started getting cold and crabby after about an hour so we headed out. Once back home, we enjoyed some viewings of Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman then drifted off to sleep in our nice warm beds. It was a good night.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Elf and the Reindeer

We have been trying to stay festive here at the house the last little while. Our Elf on the Shelf (Christopher Pop-In-Kins) that joined us last year has returned. He's been hiding all over the house. He's spent time in the tree, in a stocking, behind a picture, on the chandelier, in each of the kids' rooms, Mom and Dad's room, on top the fridge, above the kitchen sink and it appears that he spent last night star gazing with Caleb's telescope. The boys are having a ball with the elf this year, especially the twins that love to help us search for him every morning.

I also decided to try some fun I found on Pinterest since we were having breakfast for dinner last night and made this stylish reindeer. I didn't have the blueberries for the eyes that it had on there so I improvised with bananas and I improvised with oranges on the mouth but hey, it turned out pretty fun. Out of all of them, I think Mike was the most impressed. Zaric just told me it was a reindeer, Zaden kept telling me it was cute, and Caleb just rolled his eyes at me. Even though, it wasn't' my original idea I give myself props for the recreation.

Tonight we get to join Great Grandpa and Great Grandma's Christmas party in Omaha via Skype and then tomorrow is some Zoo Lights fun. Only 9 Days until Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa Visit

It was finally time for Grandma Nette's Christmas party! We drove to Price and waited all day for the festivities then got ourselves ready. Faith was a pretty happy girl most of the day and kept giggling when I was getting her ready.

Once it was time, we headed down to Grandma's for some dinner and some fun. When what do you know Santa walked right through the door!

The kids immediately flocked to him and had him chuckling from the start.

Caleb sat on his lap and told him he wants lots of printer paper to draw and write on since he keeps using up all of Mom and Dad's. Santa gave him a present which just happened to be the DS game he's been wanting. So Caleb then spent some time showing Santa how to play it.

Zaden would only go see Santa is someone took him and only after I told him he would get a present. He still wasn't impressed. He did love the Vtech Smile Pocket he got though.

Zaric wouldn't come see Santa at all until after he got to open his present and then he decided he would talk to Santa to show him his gift (also a Vtech Smile Pocket) but only from a distance.

Me and Mike snuck in for a pic with Santa.

Faith had just started eating when Santa arrived. So when it was her turn, she was mighty mad that someone took away her bottle. It made for a cute classic pic of Santa and crying baby though. Santa was smart and distracted her with his Jingle Bells for a cuter pic.

It was a very fun evening and all of the kids got something they really wanted from Santa. Can't wait for the big day to actually arrive.

Friday, December 09, 2011


We have been super busy around here and I have been bad not to take many pics. Only a few with my phone here and there. In the last week, we have managed to make it to the Festival of Trees, help some friends move, sneak in some more shopping, and a few other appointments along the way. The Advent calendars are out and in full swing and our Elf on the Shelf (Christopher Pop In Kins) has been hiding all over the house keeping his eye on the kids for Santa. There is no lack of Festiveness in this house. So much so, that I am kinda looking forward to it being here and gone so I can have my house back that's overflowing with decorations and gifts in every nook and cranny. Here's a few pics I grabbed off my phone.

Caleb showing off his muscles at the Festival of Trees.

Faith showing off her Christmas Leg Warmers and cute furry vest.

And my adorable nails I had a friend do to make me more festive. It's hard to get a good pic of your own nails. But there's snowflakes on my ring fingers and candy canes on my thumbs. They are super cute.

This weekend brings Grandma Nette's Christmas party and a chance to see my nieces in a performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!" Also, it will mark the official first delivery of some Christmas gifts. It's going to be fun. Pics of those things to come.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Busy Thanksgiving Weekend

We have a a very busy weekend here. I can't believe we've had 5 days off and it feels like only 2. We have had a very fun time starting on Wednesday when we got all packed up and ready to go to Price for Thanksgiving. On our way we stopped to have pictures taken (below) and had a nice lunch together while we were waiting for them to get printed. Then it was off to Price. Once we got there and got all situated and checked into the hotel we decided to take our nieces DaNell and Maygun on a little impromptu date (thanks Papa for watching the kids) to see another showing of Breaking Dawn (Mike hadn't seen it yet) and to Pizza Hut for some dinner. It was a very fun outing. Once it was over we scooped up 3 of the kids (Caleb wouldn't leave Papa's) and headed to the hotel for a little sleep. In the morning we got up and got ready for Thanksgiving. Here's a pic of Faith in her cute Thanksgiving attire.

We spent the entire day at Papa's house visiting and eating and playing a couple rounds of Apples to Apples with everyone. Then it was time to put on our running shoes and hit the sales (Thanks again Papa and Grandma for watching kids). Walmart opened at 10pm on Thanksgiving night and we were there with bells on to fight the crowds. We got what we wanted (and lots of stuff we didn't know we wanted) and headed back to the hotel for a snack and a couple hours sleep before we hit JCPenny's at 4am. We were able to get what we wanted there even though I had to buy bigger sizes than expected but the good thing about that is that kids grow so they will get some use out of it and for the price, they couldn't be beat. Then it was off to Kmart. Mike and I raced in and made it to the back first to get our goodies. We got most of what we wanted there as well and one more stop at Bealls and we were done. Then again it was back to the hotel to rest a bit and pack up the room.
Once back at Papa's we headed out to brunch at the Cowboy Club with the whole family. Then we stopped by Grandma Nette's for a quick visit. We went back to Papa's and snuck in a quick power nap so we would be ready to drive home. We wanted to leave right before dark in order to stop at the Festival of Lights in Spanish Fork on our way. The boys all loved it and kept pointing out things along the drive. Here's some pics of our favorites.

We made it home and did a little unpacking and watched a Sponge Bob Christmas with the boys before it was bedtime. Saturday came and we brought in all the rest of the decorations and went at it along with a little housework and some laundry in the morning. The afternoon was spent shopping for a few more gifts that would need to be mailed in the next week or so then back home to make dinner and clean up the mess we made decorating. We did manage to sneak in watching A Christmas Story with the kids as well.

Today has been spent cleaning, decorating the outside, doing more laundry and grocery shopping. I can't believe the long break is over and I didn't get all of what I wanted to done. Still so much to do and so little time. Can't the break be 2-3 days longer?

Family Pics 2011

On our way to Price for Thanksgiving, we stopped in Draper at a place called Fotofly to get our family pictures for the year done. It was the first time we had used them and I have to say, I was really impressed. I'll definately be going back there in the future. The slideshow is of all 53 images they took so there are a lot of the same poses, so enjoy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's My Turn

6 days after Caleb's Birthday, it's always my turn to celebrate my own day. It started a little early when I talked my friend Wes into taking me to see Breaking Dawn Friday night as his Birthday present to me (he's such a good sport). Before the movie, Mike came home early and we ventured out to the mall to check out the new stores and have some dinner. Saturday morning we started the day off getting ready spruced up. I couldn't resist putting Faith in this fun outfit. Somethings up with my camera on my phone so I apologize for the blurriness. She was sure ready to party though.

Mike ran to to the store and bought me my own mini cherry pie and some Pepsi for breakfast (does he know me or what?). Then he started on my first Birthday request.....putting up the Christmas tree. I seriously love Christmas and my favorite part of the prep is always the tree. I have tons of other decorations but really I would be ok if all we did was put up the tree and hang the stockings, that's how much I love it. So Mike went to work setting it up for me.

Caleb had a class mates Bday party to attend that day. Since we needed new lights for the tree, we took him and dropped him off at the party and then the rest of us enjoyed a lunch at one of my favorite burger joints, 5 guys. Then we went to Target to get the lights and do a little shopping.

Once we picked Caleb back up and were back home and the lights on the tree, it was time to decorate. Me and 2 of the boys went at it. Sadly Zaden napped through most of that part. But we did save him his special Buzz Lightyear ornament that he proudly put on when he woke up .

Then it was time for the remainder of my day. We ventured off to dinner at Olive Garden, one of my other favorite places. And then it was off to the Grizzlies game. We love going to watch a couple hockey games every year so it seemed fitting to do it as part of my Birthday. I didn't take the camera with us so no pics of the game but we ended up losing 5-3. We still had fun though. Zaric who had missed nap time to decorate the tree ended up falling asleep for almost 2 of the 3 periods. It was too cute not to take a pic. Zaden was really into it this time and paid close attention and cheered and clapped a lot. That totally made my night.

It was a great day spent with my favorite people. Now it's time to gear up for more celebrations with the rest of the family in Price for Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shopping.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An 8th Birthday Party!

Well it happened. Today, my little boy is officially 8! We had a small party here at the house yesterday. It was Lego Star Wars all the way. He was so excited all day and couldn't wait to get a picture by his cake. Caleb put together the Lego ship for the top of it all by himself and was one proud little man.

Right before it started, him and Dad put on their Jedi attire.

Caleb got to open one of his presents early. We got him the Lego Star Wars movie on Blue Ray. So he could have it playing during his party.

We had some fun making up names for Star Wars food, so here's some pics of the spread. We started with Luke's Lightsabers.

And there were Clone Crackers

And of course we couldn't get along without Ewok food. It's a little trail mix those Ewok's use while hiking in Endor. I'm sure of it.

We had some Grievous' Greens. No wonder he stays so skinny ;)

And Vader Taters.

Hans Solo was frozen in Carbonite Jello.

And here's the treat table that housed Wookie Cookies and "Darth By Chocolate". It also held the drinks. Mike made some 2 liter wraps. We had Leia's Lemonade, R2Beer2, Yoda Soda, Obi's Orange, Palpatines Punch, Dooku's Diet and Padame's Pep.

And here he is blowing out his candle. He insisted on just an 8 and not 8 candles. Pretty smart thinking, it you want to make sure you get that wish.

And it was off to present time. He got lots of fun Lego stuff. More Lego StarWars stuff. Some books, a Mario hat and gloves and a fun drum toy. And of course, the NY Giants bean bag chair he's been wanting for his room.

Right after his party, Caleb and I had to dash off. My friend Wes offered us 2 of his season tickets to the Utes game to celebrate Caleb's Bday some more. So we bundled up since it was snowing outside and headed up. It was too cold to take pictures so there are none from the game. But Utes won 31-6!!!

When we got back home, Caleb put on some warm jammies and then snuggled up on his new bean bag to watch some Harry Potter. It was a good day.

I wonder what he'll want to do for his "official" Bday today. It changes everytime I ask him so we'll see.