Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Rocks!

Christmas Eve day was a matter of getting things cleaned up around the house- I remember it being a work day growing up too! By the afternoon, the boys were all rather antsy and cranky, so we let them open up this fun Headbanz game to play for the evening! We all really enjoyed it actually :) They also were in and out of the snow all day- we've been getting pretty good snow and are loving it!

Yet again, the boys simply cannot hold still long enough to get a decent Christmas lights pic, but I tried! By the time we had opened Christmas jammies, Cooper was seriously fried- the wait was so close to over! Before they went to bed, in our usual style, we had a fun dance party :)

Each of the boys was excited about their presents Christmas morning-
their faces were so happy and fun!

Later that day, Ryder was so tired he fell asleep while having a snack! My parents and Grandma Laura were over for the better part of the day too- they were sports to play with the boys too...

For the first time in our married life we didn't have to travel on Christmas Day and it was so nice!
Awesome, blessed Christmas Day :)


The Days Just Before

I'm certainly behind the curve posting about the little bit before Christmas
now that it's over, but oh well I guess!

A week or so before Christmas, Cooper and Ryder were trying to "hide out" in the hallway bathroom. When I tried to find out what they were up to, they said they were "doing you (me) a surprise." They were cleaning the bathroom together! Coop had brought Ry in a stool so he could get up to clean the mirror- this sure made me smile :)

December 23 we were in Pocatello for the Buffat Family Christmas Party! A couple of family members ended up being sick and we didn't have all the time we would have liked, but it ended up being a great time anyway. Each family brought pantry items to create several big boxes to give to a family friend in need. Grandma Janie also had candy canes with notes on them about the spiritual significance of the candy that the kids got to "knock and run" around the neighborhood- they loved this part!

We met several of Stephen's cousins at Grandma and Grandpa Reynolds to give them a super-size caroling treat! I think they said they counted 52 of their posterity in their front yard! It was neat to watch them watch us :)

After their house, we all went to the mall in Pocatello to try out a little flash mob style Christmas fun! We all stood in the center court of the mall, in smaller broken up groups, while Stephen started singing solo! Then we all joined in with him- it was pretty interesting! A unique memory for sure! We noticed a few people joining in around us.... and that the Pocatello mall is pretty well a tomb these days :/

Then the next day we got duded up for Christmas Sunday-
don't the boys all look so handsome!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Teacher and Classmate Gifts

Like most kiddos out there, today is Cooper's last day of school before Winter Break!
I'm excited to get to his class to do the games for his little party :)
We also put this little gift together for his teacher.

I thought of all the things she could probably use over the break, it would be just some R&R! Mrs. Schuster is a great teacher! I know she is at the school early and stays late. She is organized and kind and truly cares for these little kinders. I know if I were her, I would be so exhausted at the end of each day! So hopefully this combo of lavender epsom salt bath soak, a magazine and a candy bar will help her take some time over the break to just relax :)

And I realize that, in usual style, I'm too late to be much help to anyone out there,
but if you could use a quick teacher gift, you can click on the tag image below
to attach to whatever relaxing goodies your teacher might like!
Bubble bath, a calming candle, a soft CD- lots of things would work!
I cut around the scallop by hand to create a red border- enjoy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time

This last weekend we traveled home for a Huffaker Family Christmas party! Again, all of my siblings were able to be together- we've been lucky lately! It was awesome being at Mom and Dad's, with both my Waddoups and Huffaker grandparents there as well. We had drawn names between the couples and the kids earlier so we had a fun little gift exchange. I love getting the chance to buy cute little girly things for my nieces!

For some crazy reason, Ryder decided he was going to open his present at random a couple nights before.... his was no surprise! I do believe we'll start this whole Christmas thing a bit later next year- the boys are about fried with all the waiting!

Cooper and I picked some adorable little Lalaloopsy Mini dolls for Quincy. If I had a girl, I would have to restrain myself not to be collecting all of these- they are SO cute! We picked a little magician girl and a firefighter girl for her and she was delighted! Again, hers wasn't too much of a surprise since Cooper told her what it was during lunch... :/

Stephen and I had Ben and Cyndel's names this year. I know Cyndel loves decorating her house and they are about to move, so I made this fun chalkboard for them to hang in their red and turquoise kitchen!

Only the edges are turquoise, but it should look good against her red wall :) It was fun using this chalk marker and picking a quote to go on it. Now they can change it up as they want- they seemed to really like it. Stephen also made Ben a modified clay pigeon thrower. :) They happen to have our names also and gave us the coolest basket of goodies for us to have some "us" time...

I also made this sign for my Mom- now she can hang art or pictures of her grandkids on it :) She has their drawings on her fridge now.

My Dad gave each of us girls the cutest hats! Aren't we stylin' ? ;) My sisters both look good in hats and I usually don't, but I really do like this one!

And I daresay the best part of the whole day was the impromptu Nativity the kids put on while Stephen read (a condensed version of) Luke 2. Ryder is a shepherd- I begged him several times to swap the army hat for a towel, but he wouldn't have it, so this is a shepherd, folks.  He got rave reviews for sure! And isn't Brylee the cutest stinkin' angel ever?!! She kept lovin' on the doll that we used for Baby Jesus the whole time :)

Quincy was thrilled as thrilled to be Mary! She kept telling little snippets about Mary, followed by "Which is Me," said very matter-of-factly... cutest. While getting ready, she was wearing awesome pink high heels, though I don't think they made it into the actual production ;)

And Coop was the lone wiseman, very proudly carrying gold...
in the form of a shiny necklace he found in the playroom :)

Because Mary simply couldn't be without a Joseph, we asked Taron to participate and he obliged happily... handsomest Joseph ever :) This was honestly really touching... comical, yes. But also touching. These little ones know the Christmas story. They know that it is more important and their spirits sure did shine! 

And in other news around our house... I just wanted to add these couple pictures also :) Little Ry has loved playing with this snowman building set that I attached to some magnet paper. I printed these from HERE. Fun little bit of Christmas-ness to fill his time while I'm in the kitchen :)

Cooper's school recently put jars in each classroom and encouraged students to put their spare change in the jars so that the money could be combined to give to a family in need. Well, the idea captured Cooper immediately. He didn't think he had any money that first day, but went to his backpack and coat to dig through his pockets anyway. He could hardly contain his excitement at having found a dollar bill! He went and put it right in the class jar. Then the next time he built and decorated this new fun jar to take for his class to all put money in- so cute! I couldn't help but busting up when he called it "The Poor Jar." Not funny I know, but it still make me giggle! So glad he is a giving kid and is touched by thinking of others :)

Indeed it is the most wonderful time of the year...
so long as I don't have to go into Walmart for the next week...


Monday, December 10, 2012

In Full Swing

I can hardly believe anyone could see this picture and not smile!

The Magicness of Christmas is in full force around here :) Our neighbors across the way sent out a mass invite that Santa would be coming to their home and we took the boys over to check it out. They certainly got the REAL Santa booked for their event- he was awesome!

I wasn't able to get a better pic of Ryder- his visit with the Jolly Guy was significantly more brief!
They both loved how Santa showed up on this cool Camel!

We've been doing our usual countdowns, of course- this one from years past and our fun new tree one also. This year we also introduced Elf on the Shelf...

The boys LOVE our elf, whom they named Jolly with come help from the older brothers. :) They love telling him little secrets and treasure hunting for him every morning...

And while it is adorable and really fun, I have to confess that if I had it to do over again, I might just have let the popular Elf on the Shelf skip our house... I say that because I'd much prefer for there to be even more of this...

The boys LOVE their little nativities that Grandma Colleen finds them each year! I think that the more they think about this side of the season, the better. We're also really enjoying getting in to doing random acts of kindness and even more of that is nicer than more of the trend toward want, want, want and get, get, get...

And in my typical waffle-back-and-forth decision making style, I also have to say that if there is ever a time to enjoy Santa and the magic he adds to the season as well, it is the ages Cooper and Ryder are! Right or wrong, you won't find me squelching their Santa-love either... the sparkle in their eyes, specifically Cooper's, at the true belief in Santa is Awesome! I LOVE how fun they are right now- they make Christmastime joyful for sure!

We recently traveled to Utah to participate in a baby blessing for some friends who were finally about to adopt after lots of heartbreak and struggle. Stephen was able to use all the Hilton Honors points he's accrued over this last year of work trips to get us a free hotel room in downtown Salt Lake! It was a quick trip, but we got the Temple Square lights and a stop off at Smith and Edwards in, so it was long enough! ;) I love these shots of the boys...

Having stayed in a hotel suite, I've definitely been ruined for staying in normal hotel rooms from now on- it made it so comfortable for our whole family! I love these fun traditions and all the others we're thick into too... we just used THIS idea for Family Home Evening tonight and the boys really enjoyed it- check it out if you need a fun Christmas FHE idea too :)



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