Sunday, November 25, 2012

Decoration Celebration

It's the time again. Christmas is within our grasp. I don't know whether to be excited or scared that I still have so much to do to get ready. But yesterday we got a pretty good start. It all started when we woke up to find out that our elf, Christopher, had come again a little earlier than last year. He left an M&M message for the kids and a letter and movie along with bringing back out his book.  
Here's what the letter said :
Dear Ouren Kids,
As Santa and I were checking in on all the little boys and girls today, I noticed that you had started putting up your Christmas trees. Did I see that right? 2 trees this year? Well that got me so excited, that I asked Santa for permission to “pop-in” early and start our yearly hide and seek fun.
This morning when you get up, please read my story in the book so we can remember the rules. After that, I want to see you finish decorating that huge tree and the rest of your house. I also got hungry and checked in your fridge. Maybe you could have your mom bake up those cookies in there for a little snack while you decorate?
Christmas is my favorite time of year and I’m so excited for this one and all of the places I’ll find to hide in your new house. But remember, I also have a job to do. My job is to make sure you are being good until Christmas so Santa can put you on the good list. I’ve left you a little candy reminder of that message today.  So Be Good as much as possible, it would be a shame if I had to report back bad behavior to Santa.
Here’s a reminder of my biggest rule. I can NOT be touched or I lose my magic and have to go back to the North Pole. It’s such a long trip there and back, I hope to not have to do it again this year.  And the next is that you have to find me every single morning. Remember to search high and low.
So get to decorating and let’s have some fun,
Christopher Pop In Kins
P.S. Santa asked me to bring you a pre-Christmas gift. Once you are done with all of the decorating, I’ve brought a movie for you to watch. I know Sponge Bob is one of your favorites and I let Santa know that. I hope this is a good one and it makes you laugh. I do love to laugh too. 
Mike had spent the later half of the evening setting up our 2 trees and getting them fluffed and ready for us to decorate, so we let the inside decorating begin right after some breakfast. They were all so excited again and lasted at least 20 minutes before they got bored and went to play something else, but hey I think that's a record.
Baby girl loved the tree. And kept taking the lower ornaments off all day to play with them. This light bulb garland was tangled up. So she took to playing with it...I wish she would have de-tangled it in the process. Oh well she was so happy to have it.

I think the real winner of the day was the 2 Santa hats. The kids played with these all day taking turns having them on.

Here are some of the results. The buffet in the dining room holds a collection of pictures from Christmas's past.

The stockings were hung on the mantle.
Since our big Christmas tree is in the back of the house now, we decided to get a small one for the front of the house that can be seen from the street. We also decided on a theme of 2 colors and went with black and silver. I think it needs a few pops of another color. But haven't figured out which one yet. It's a work in progress.
And here's the finished big one in the family room. It used to be such a giant in our other house. In this house it seems to be just the right size for that corner.

And here it is all lit up last night.
29 days to go!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey and Shopping!

Oh how I love Turkey Day. The food, the family, the football and the countdown, and plotting to Black Friday shopping!
This year was pretty similar to last year. We got to take 2 of our nieces on a date Wednesday night. Pizza Hut and some Breaking Dawn, part 2. This is the exact same thing we did last year with 2 of them. It was so fun, I think we are going to make it a tradition. They kept Mike and I laughing all night. We substituted Schydi for Maygun this year since she wasn't joining us at Papa's, but she was missed. Thanks to DaNell and Schydi for a great time.
Thursday morning we got up early and hit the Thanksgiving Day sale at Kmart. They had more great deals this year than ever before I think and we came out saving loads more than we spent, plus racking up some gift cards for next week. After that and going back to the hotel for a bit, we headed over to Papa's to see how the kids were doing since they all stayed the night there and to watch some football and make our next game plan while the smells of turkey and pie filled the air.
After a super yummy dinner with all the fixins (thanks Grandma Judi), we began to prepare for battle. DaNell painted us up with some glittery war paint. We assigned all of the troops certain areas of the store and converged upon Walmart about 6:30 pm for the 8:00 sale. 
When they said go, we were off! We scored everything we wanted and then manned our next battle stations in the store for the 10pm sale. And when the clock struck, mayhem occurred again! We once again prevailed, thanks to DaNell for being a scrapper and fighting off one guy for an item (we have taught you well young one!).  After checking out, which went amazingly quick this year, Mike and I went to Kmart to see if they had any of the items we wanted there. They had opened at the same time as Walmart so we thought we'd be skunked. But to our surprise, we got them. They had the exact quantity we needed of them left so we put them all in the cart and headed back to the hotel.

Because of the earlier start times, we were actually able to get about 4 hours of sleep before the 5am sale at Walmart. I went to that one alone. I knew what items we wanted to look at and the store was dead so it was pretty dull and I decided against those items once I was there. After stopping back by the hotel and grabbing Mike we went to JC Penney's for the 6 am sale. I have to say, we were pretty disappointed in them this year. We did get a few of the items we wanted but they didn't have any of several of the items in the ad. We ended up having to order them online.

After that we went once again to Walmart and Kmart for the last of the sales and to see if we missed anything. We found a few more items to snag and then it was time for another tradition, brunch at the Cowboy Club with Papa after the shopping. I enjoyed a yummy cheeseburger and swapping war stories from shopping with everyone.

We stopped by Grandma Nette's and I enjoyed a nap in her recliner while she visited with the kids then we went back to Papa's for a bit to play some Apples to Apples (another tradition). Then it was time to head back to the big city. We made another stop just like last year at the Little Acorn for dinner then to drive through the Festival of Lights in Spanish Fork.  I didn't get any pics this year as I didn't take the camera at all. But the kids absolutely loved it. Especially miss Faith who sat on my lap with a perma-grin on her face pointing and telling us , "Whoa" and "wook". I have to be a little sappy and tell you that it brought a little tear to my eye watching her be so enchanted with it all. And her little eyes lighting up. 

It was a great Thanksgiving and Black Friday again and we can already start the countdown to the next. Next stop, Christmas Mania!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

This year I've had a pretty long spread-out way of celebrating my own birthday. It all kicked off last Wednesday when as luck would have it, I was able to snag a few of my old co-workers from my Westminny days for lunch before a training we all just happened to be attending. We had some yummy 5 Guys and caught up on the gossip and set another date in the near future to get-together. That led into later that night when I got to go to dinner with my dear friend Cinda who also shares a November birthday. We had some yummy Garlic burgers and SLP&P and talked late into the night for nearly 4 hours! I love that lady.
The next night (Thursday) was my annual birthday installment of sparkly vampires and hot werewolves. Breaking Dawn part 2 was released. My good friend Wes endured the torture as his gift to me as he's done several years in a row now and we shared some popcorn and let out a "whoot" when Jacob took off his shirt and had a good time. I thought they did a really good job this time. This being the last of the 4 movies. I wonder, what will I drag him to next year? I mean it's kinda tradition now. hmmmm. 
Friday night, I decided to spend at home with the kiddo's and Mike since I'd been out 2 nights in a row and thought it would be nice to make our own little mini Thanksgivig dinner and eat together in the formal dining room. The food didn't turn out as nice as I would have liked. But it was all edible and we had a good time enjoying our new space and eating like a family. We had a turkey breast, some potatoes and gravy, cranberries, green beans and rolls.
Saturday night, my friend Wes was also awesome enough to let me use his season tickets to the Utes game as part of my Bday gift. We invited my nephew Taylor to go with us. It was a night game so we spent the rest of the day at home cleaning and doing chores. But once he arrived we headed up to the U. It was a cold, rainy game but we had a good time, even if they did end up losing.
Thanks again to Papa Ringo and Grandma Judi for bringing up Taylor and watching the kids for us. Since it was late when we got home and the roads were wet and getting icy, they decided to spend the night. So Sunday morning we got to have more of a visit with them which the kids loved.
Then it was time for some more fun with our dear friend Allison who just happened to be in town on her way through for Thanksgiving in Colorado with her folks.  We all got to meet her at Training Table for some yummy cheese fries and a visit. We have surely missed having her around since she left us for Seattle. The visit wasn't nearly long enough but it was enjoyable and I'm glad she got to see how much the kids have grown and finally meet Miss Faith in person. 
Today (my actual bday), the morning wasn't so exciting. Just a regular morning and work routine. Tonight Mike came home with roses and we all went out to one of my many favorite places, Olive Garden, for dinner. He also stopped on his way home to get me a slice of carrot cake from The Cheesecake Factory. I can't wait for my Olive Garden fullness to wear off so I can dive into that.
Happy Birthday to Me indeed. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Caleb!

9 years ago, this little man surprised us by coming into the world 7 weeks ahead of schedule. He is still as fearless now as he was back then and has taught us to take each day by the horns and do it with a smile on our faces.Happy Birthday to our oldest son Caleb. What a blessing this little guy has been in our lives. Even when he's driving us crazy, we don't know what we would do without him.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A NYGiants Party

I can't believe my baby boy is turning 9! It was finally time for his party and since he wanted a football party this year, we only thought it made sense to do his party on Sunday so we could watch some football. Plus it helped that his favorite team, the Giants, were on and the first televised game of the day. Convenient.
He was up early and dressed and ready to go before the rest of us could even gather a coherent thought.  
He was really into a DIY Bday this year and insisted that we make (not buy) his cake and cupcakes this year. Mike and I spent the majority of Saturday doing that.  We definitely won't be making our debut as cake decorators any time soon. But, he was happy with it. 
And he made his own Bday banner with pictures he had drawn for the game. And had written names and stats of some of the players from both teams on them. 
After guests arrived, we dined on some football food (as he calls it).  There were hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, toquitos, and popcorn chicken. Then of course cupcakes and football shaped Cocoa Kripsie treats.  Then it was time to open presents. 
He ended up getting a lego sticker book, an Eli Manning jersey, Star Wars fighter pods, Skylanders Giants xbox game and extra characters, a Starwars Lego set, a Starwars Lego advent calendar, a Super Mario chess game, a pencil box full of pencils and fun shaped erasers, and some cashola. 
All of the kids immediately wanted to open the chess game and play a round or 2. 
Overall, I would say this is one happy soon to be 9 year old. 2 more days until it's official!


Sunday, November 04, 2012

Wreck It Ralph

It was not a particularly busy weekend here at our house for a change. It was a really nice break. We did take advantage of having an extra hour today though and took the kids to see Wreck It Ralph. It was super cute. Little girl slept through a lot of it and the twins actually sat through almost the entirety of it other than one quick potty break and getting up to snag more popcorn.

I asked for reviews after we left and everyone gave it an "awesome" rating. Pretty sure we will be adding this to the collection once it comes out on blueray/dvd. :)

Caleb's 9 Year Old Interview

It's that time again! Caleb's Bday party is just one week from today. And his actual bday is only 9 days away. I can't believe it's coming so fast. We are in for a fun filled week and a half. So here's this years answers:

Favorite color: Blue and Orange
Favorite food: Mini tacos
Favorite sports teams: NY Giants and the Texans
Favorite toy: Lego's
Favorite animal: tiger
Favorite tv show: Sponge Bob
Favorite movie: still Sponge Bob
Favorite thing to do at school: Math
Favorite thing about Mom: She makes me feel better
Favorite thing about Dad: He works hard to make us money
Favorite thing about Brothers: They practice wrestling with me
Favorite thing about Sister: She usually comes to play with us
Favorite place to go: Legoland
Favorite book: Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew- Cape Mermaid Mystery #32
Favorite restaurant: Iggy's
Favorite thing to do: Build stuff with legos and watch movies
What do you want to be when you grow up: A boxer or a police man

And what do you want for your Birthday?
Anything Lego
NY Giants stuff
Mario Party 9 for Wii
Brave DVD
Book about tigers
Phinneus and Ferb DVD's

And look at this handsome school pic that came home last week: