Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Heiroglyphics Trail
All of our Arizona hikes so far have consisted of cactus, sage brush and more cactus so we were excited to spice it up with a heiroglyphic trail. Thanks to the Larson's, we've now found our new favorite hiking trail. The hike was easy enough for kids and it was like we hit the jackpot at the end of the rainbow to see all the cool heiroglyphics, play in the caves and slide down the rocks when we got to the top. Kylie just finished a Native American unit, so she especially thought it was cool. Afterwards we went to Alisa's parent's amazing house and had THE best pizza we've ever eaten. They have this authentic pizza oven imported from Italy and I never knew what a difference it could make. When we become millionaires the first thing I'm getting is a house cleaner and the second thing is a pizza oven. And I will eat pizza three meals a day. Enough of the pizza talk, I'm getting hungry...the kids watched a movie in their theater before calling it a day. Thanks so much Larsons, don't be surprised if we invite ourselves over again sometime soon!
Alisa's cute preggo tummy

Joe doesn't look at all uncomfortable
rough start
happy middle
perfect ending

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Instead of enjoying the Christmas season throughout the month of December, it seems like we crammed everything into a couple of days. The whole crocheted hat thing got a bit out of control and although I was grateful for all the orders, I was feeling totally overwhelmed and sad that I couldn't enjoy the holidays with the kids. Once I finished, we hit the holidays hardcore with non stop cookie baking, ginerbread house decorating (this was the first year we finally graduated from the graham crackers to the real kit), Christmas crafts, Christmas stories and movies (I let the kids decorate a Christmas tree in the loft and their favorite thing was having sleepovers under the lighted tree and watching a different Christmas movie each night while they fell asleep. We started reading "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" each night, which was one of my favorites, but they were more interested in just watching the movies. Typical. Maybe next year...), making and delivering neighbor treats, shopping, and blasting Christmas music throughout the house all day long. We were excited to have aunt Jessica come at the last minute and the novelty of her visits could never wear off, the kids love seeing her. The Christmas eve line-up started with a big Turkey dinner. This year I decided to make it fun for the kids and do a sort of candle-light restraunt thing. The kids helped me make menus then they got all dressed up and we took turns being waiters/waitresses and ate a cozy little candle-light dinner. Then came the open-first pj's, and then the nativity. No matter how hard I try to make this part spiritual, it always ends up being the funniest part of the night. The naked "baby Jesus" trying to pull the donkey stole the show. Then we tracked Santa on Norad. I was excited to see they had satellite video this year, but it didn't do much in the convincing department as it was totally obvious that it was computer animated and not the real deal. Good thing Rudolph and his shiny red nose pulled through as we managed to spot him as we sat on the porch watching. The kids slept in our room, and even though Kylie was up at 5:00 they did good to let us sleep until 7:00. Santa didn't disappoint this year and Jayden was excited about his new bike, lego sets, wii games and bionicles. Kylie was thrilled with her Nintendo DS, Heelys and Twinkle Toes. Poor Maddox...all he got was a dump truck and a couple of books. Kylie was swimming in presents when she was his age but I refuse to buy more obnoxious baby toys that take up too much space. He doesn't need presents to know he's loved, right? Right?? I think his favorite present, though, was the bubbles that Jayden picked out for him at the dollar store. I must have been a good girl too, because Santa didn't leave me out this year. I was more than content with my beloved Dyson (which I opened 3 weeks early because I couldn't stand it any longer), but Jason totally surprised me and stayed up until 2:30 on Christmas eve putting knobs on the kitchen cabinets (and then up until midnight the next night finishing the drawer pulls). I've been wanting them for like the past 3 years and I think he finally got the hint :). It was the best surprise ever and so thoughtful. And I'm sure he was equally thrilled with the basket ball shoes that I bought him. That he picked out himself. I think he needs to find a new Santa next year. I suck at surprises. We spent the rest of the day as all Christmas days should be spent, staying in our pajamas, playing with toys, eating leftovers and not doing an ounce of work. It's the one day I can let the house go and not stress about the mess (need I remind you about my OCD...) and just enjoy being together as a family. Ahhhh, I love Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas hayride

Such a fun night. We had our cabin buddies, the Herrerah's and Martinez's (and Jason's sister, Jessica who was staying with us for Christmas) over for dinner and a hayless hayride to look at Christmas lights. The pressure was on to cook up some mean Chinese food, but I cracked under the pressure of eggrolls for 20 (especially since I've never cooked an eggroll in my life) and went for tortilla soup instead. Then came the main event, cramming those same 20 people onto the trailer and driving through the neighborhood to look at the lights. Kylie had brought some sheet music from the neighborhood carolling a couple nights earlier (not our idea, and Jason was less than excited to go caroling, but it ended up being alot of fun and the kids loved it) and we all had fun singing in the freezing cold night. Going back for donuts and hot chocolate was the perfect ending to a fun night.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's nice being able to recycle the kids' old toys....in theory. Too bad he's scared to death of the giant blue rocking dog. Can you really blame him??

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Once again Jayden's school pulled through when it came to the holidays. I've always dreamed of being that mom stuck behind the video camera at the kids' Christmas programs (seriously). It's like a right of passage, and finally I was able to fulfill that dream (although in my dream we were on soft chairs in a heated auditorium instead of on a freezing cement floor in a tent). It was so cute to see Jayden and the other kinders sing their little hearts out and also cool to see them do the nativity, something you never see in a public school. He looked bored throughout most of it, but I loved when I caught his eye and he would get this huge grin and wave. Awww, that's my little man!