Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yesterday, we took the kids to the snow, along with Grandma and Uncle Ronnie. It is a tradition to make the trek up to Yosemite, or somewhere along the way that has enough snow to play, sometime between Christmas and the start of school. This year the snow level is pretty low and we didn't have to go very far to find plenty of snow. We stopped at Lewis Creek.

These first pictures were taken through the front window of our car as we drove up. It was a beautiful drive. It's a good thing Brian was driving, I would have been dangerous with the wheel and the camera, lol.

The first thing about snow play is learning to make the perfect snow ball. Brian is giving a lesson on how to do it right.
Here is Jacob testing out the technique on Dad.
When you live in a place where it doesn't know, it doesn't make much sense to invest in snow play equipment. So you have to be creative. Here we Nate getting ready to sled down the hill on a box retrieved from a Christmas gift still in Grandma's car.
Nate was having a blast with his box!
You can't tell in this picture, but Brian and Nate are sledding on the sun shade from our car. It actually made a pretty good sled. Thanks go out to another family there who we got this idea from.

And sometimes a still picture just does not do justice to the activity. So, I will leave you with this very short clip:

I hope you all take time to play this holiday season. These are the thing moments memories are made of.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here is a sneak peek at Christmas morning:
Note: no children were injured in the making of this video.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I don't know what the weather is like this time of year in Bethlehem. Honestly, I don't even know exactly where Bethlehem is, it could be in the southern hemisphere, where it is now summer. Either way, I cannot imagine giving birth in a barn. Joshua was born "naturally" without medication (not by choice, just bad timing). But, we were in a hospital, with air conditioning, since it was September. He was my first and it was scary, but I was in good hands. I cannot imagine being in a barn with my just husband and the animals, doing it alone.
Six years ago today, I brought home a small bundle of a boy. He was born surgically, in a sterile hospital, with good pain medication! Before we left the hospital, my nurse gave me a final dose of the "good" pain medication, not because I needed it at that time, but because she knew I was planning to go straight to our Christmas Eve service at church. I think she might have been my Christmas angel that year. There is something magical about about having a baby, a newborn, at Christmas. The attention we got at church was kind of fun too!
Tonight, we went to the Christmas Eve service at church and my Christmas baby sang in the children's choir. I must admit, my eyes got misty. There is still something very special about Christmas Eve and that baby I brought home six years ago.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's tough having a birthday right at Christmas. Nate's birthday is just five days before (although he was due the day after, which wouldn't have been much better). Who's idea was it to baby a Christmas baby? Well, there's a story about that...Let's just there is something about men's retreats (which happened to be in March) that make men very loving and affectionate when they get home. And, well March to December is nine months...enough said.

So anyway, planning a birthday party for a Christmas baby requires strategy. And we're still working on it. We try to make his birthday special and separate from Christmas festivities. So, when he has a party it is usually a bit over the top. But, then he has only had three parties in his six years. Because, let's face is Christmas is not a good time to plan a party. Of course, we also celebrate his birthday:

Last year it was just the six of us at home, with cake and cheetoes.
This year was one of those "I actually planned a party" years. Anyone who knows Nate, knows he tends to be a bit on the high energy side (understated?). So what better better place to have his party than somewhere he can run and jump and not get into trouble for it. Pump it Up is such a fun place for a party, especially in the winter when the kids just needs a place to burn up some energy.
Here is Jacob and my niece Faith.
Better move quick Mia; here comes Emily!
Pile up at the bottom of the slide, Priscilla and Jacob.
Here comes Nate!
Yes, I got in on the fun too!
The air hockey table was a hit too!
Nate and his friends waiting for cake!
The Wall*E cake. Caution: Costco blue icing is DARK blue. It will turn your lips blue and your teeth blue! The kids got a kick out of it. The parents, not so much.
Meet Toby Smurf! Mel, I hope that came off easily.
I will spare you all the opening presents pictures. But, I will say that the Moon Sand was THE gift this year. He played with it for over an hour last night and several times today.
It's a good thing too, because Santa had it on his list too, along with a sand table so he can take the stuff outside, because it's all over my kitchen floor right now.

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us. We had a great time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Whew...Crazy BUSY day here. TWO soccer pizza parties. One at 1:00 and one at 2:00. At trip to Build-A-Bear at the mall, which was a nightmare.; 45 minutes in line to stuff a bear! One Spiderman teddy bear outfit that cost more than the bear. A hair cut for Nate, so he won't look like a ragamuffin tomorrow, that turned out worse than the the hair that needed cut.

I need a vacation. What? I'm on vacation? HA!

Here's Nate's soccer team celebrating a great season.
Nate with Coach Jamie and his cool trophy.
Here's Jacob and a couple of teammates getting pizza.
Jacob's quite proud of his trophy!
Fluffy, AKA Spidey Bear, shares Nate's birthday.

And tomorrow...we will party!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spreading a little Christmas cheer. Last week we had the opportunity to walk Christmas Tree Lane. For those of you not from the area, it is two miles of homes with beautiful lights and displays. They close the lane on two nights during the holidays for people to walk through.
Merry Fishmas! The local high schools paint murals each year to display along the path. This is the one The boys' school did.
Here's Nate helping out the elves. It was a cute display.
This one of my favorite displays. The toys are animated. That is a Mrs. Beasley doll in the rocker. I don't know if any of you remember Mrs. Beasley. But, I still have one of these dolls from when I was about two years old. And she is well loved! She has long since lost her glasses and her pull cord doesn't work. But she still makes me smile. And this display makes me smile every year too.
New this year. A few of the little boys' favorites.
Walking in a winter wonderland...
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the SNOW! Yes, in Fresno. Ok, so it wasn't real snow. But, Nate was lost in the magic. My little boys have never seen it snow. They have only played in the snow after it stopped falling and it was safe to drive in the mountains. (There is a slim chance that it will snow here next week. It only *snows* here about every ten years. Fingers crossed.)
Even the big boys felt the magic, a little.