Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

This month, as with most Decembers past, was CRAZY busy.  Even though I sent out Christmas cards early-ish, had our tree up on time, and tried hard to have all of our gifts bought before December 1st(I was NOT so successful on that one, but did try), the month still slipped right by. I am one of those people who start playing Christmas music at Thanksgiving, want Christmas lights up on the house, enjoy the smell of gingerbread and baked goods wafting through the house(and ending up in my tummy!) and I always hope for snow.  Which is why I wish the month would just slow down a I can enjoy the whole experience of Christmas with my family in real time, not just fast forward.

The fam on Christmas Eve
The boys putting out treats for Santa (we hear Santa likes Egg Nog...aka 'Special Milk')
That being said, we did have a fantastic Christmas season.  I baked a ton.  So much, in fact that I went through pounds of butter! We talked about the Nativity with the boys as much as possible so they would understand it wasn't all about Santa and presents at all.  I had the boys make each other gifts this year too.  Beckett painted up a 'treasure box' for Asher (on the bottom he had me write, "Asher, share this thing-y".).  Asher made a coupon book for Beck, and he has actually been redeeming them!  It's really sweet to hear him say to Asher," Which coupon should I use?" Asher came up with the coupons all by himself and they range from things like making Beckett's bed, and helping him clean up to playing games with him.  Too sweet.  It ended up being a really great thing for them, and for me.  They both love their thoughtful gifts:)

Corey's parents came into town for the holidays and stayed for a couple of weeks to celebrate.  The kids always love it when grandparents come to town! 

On Christmas Eve, we read the accounts of the Nativity in the Bible, watched some Christmas video clips, sang some songs, and ate some good food.  The boys left out cookies and some 'special milk' (aka egg nog, we hear Santa likes that too!), opened up some new jammies, and were off to bed to dream of Santa's sleigh.  We decided to do the traditional New Mexican luminarias on our sidewalk/yard.  Unfortunately, there was too much wind, so we lit them on Christmas Day instead. They were beautiful though, and the boys helped fill bags with sand and put them out with us.

On Christmas morning, I woke up at 6 a.m., excitedly waiting for the boys to come and 'wake us up', but to my amazement, they slept until a staggeringly late 7 a.m.!  We all came downstairs together and took in the Christmas treasures around and under the tree.  It was a wonderful morning, and the kids had lots of fun opening up their presents.  They were both sweet about receiving their gifts, especially Beckett, who is still very excited about everything he opens.  Christmas dinner was at our place, and we served up a very non-traditional, but yummy dinner of fajitas, sides and a fun peppermint cheesecake cake, which, sadly, we were so full, we barely made a dent in it!

Some favorite gifts this year would include:  Asher- loads of Legos, his snap circuit set (so cool!), a kickball, and soccer wii game. Beck- Imaginext space shuttle, giraffe dreamlite (now named Dreamy), and a Twins shirt.

 Asher sporting one of Beck's super-hero get-ups while opening presents, and Beck with a few of his favorite things:)


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What a Merry Christmas it was:)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Such Good News

This past week we found out some really great news.  Our little Beck has had renal reflux since birth (found in utero, actually).  Over the past 3 plus years, he's taken an antibiotic daily(until things started looking better last March), and once a year we took him in for a renal ultrasound, and a vcug...basically a strange way to see if his kidney still has a kink in it, and it is NOT fun.  The only upside to it is that Beckett gets to eat Jello.  I don't try to deprive my children of Jello, we just never really eat it, and because of that the stuff is like magic when he suddenly can't have real food.  We just pull out some 'Jigglers' and ta-da, it's like he's eating cookies for breakfast.  At least that part is fun for him.

We were really hoping this would be his last one, since after the previous 'study' they found that it had lessened from a grade 3 to a grade 1.  There was a chance it was gone but he'd need one more set of tests to be sure.  A week and a half before Thanksgiving we went in for it, and this past week we received the results and were thrilled to hear that YES, in fact it is GONE!  Yippee!  I cannot tell you how grateful we are to hear this.  Beckett's lil' kidney has fixed itself up, we just had to have a little patience and faith. We are so thankful for a healthy little boy with a happy little kidney:)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

Oh, I do love a long weekend.  Corey had the whole time off, so we had lots of fun family time together.  Thanksgiving Day was busy.  First thing in the morning, we all headed over to Old Town area for the Turkey Trek.  Corey decidedly signed us all up this year.  One thing you should know is this.  I. Don't. Run. Period.  Ever since my very early 20's when my knee began to feel like it was being sawed in half after about a mile, I called it quits on jogs of any kind. Until this year.  And true to it's history, my knee started in about an eighth of a mile in, as well as some strange side-ach-ish pain, but my pride wouldn't let me stop, so I went ahead and ran the whole thing, albeit fairly slowly.  We had to start at the back of the group and had a huge double jogger, so that didn't help our time. Corey on the other hand, is a runner and always has been to some extent, so it was a sacrifice for him to submit to such a running time, but he said we'd do it as a family, so we did.  It was, however, a great way to start Thanksgiving, and despite the pain, I'd do it again. Maybe.  Ash and Beck ran their kids run and had a blast.  Asher takes it very seriously.  You'd think he was prepping for the Boston Marathon by the look on his face at the starting line.  Man, that boy loves to run:)

The main event this Turkey Day was at our house, and we were joined by Adam and Kayla.  The food was great, and we had a nice afternoon.  Kayla and Adam left us that evening headed for Walmart and all that is Black Friday, where they executed a well orchestrated plan and totally scored.  They're so brave.  My family loves Black Friday, and started making it more of a tradition around the time I got married, and somehow it's just never clicked for me.  Hoards of trytophan induced, sleep deprived shoppers thrusting all their greedy hands in for the last object of desisre.  It just plain scares me.  My dad was even shoved down last year, all in the name of dealio on some sheets.  Ridiculous.  I stick to the safety of online shopping, and then we venture out around 9 or so, when all the best deal are long gone and we can shop in safety. 

All in all, a fun and yummy Thanksgiving, until poor little Beck came down with a nasty virus that lasted a week.  We also were able to spend some time with my sister Jen and her family, which we always love.  We were able to finally meet her sweet, new baby, Ella. She's so happy!  Regrettably, there are almost no pictures to show any of our fun-ness, except for our run.

This Thanksgiving I am reminded, as always, how much I LOVE my family.  Love, love, love them so much.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Balloon Fiesta 2012

Does this balloon look close?  That's because it is.  And this is the view off of our deck every morning for about two months.  When it sounds like a fire-breathing dragon is flying over your house, and your dog starts barking, you know a colorful display is about to float overhead.  They are so close, you can wave, and the passengers will  wave back, and of course, they often land at any of the several parks within a couple of blocks from our house.  I still don't feel like we take them for granted, and I hope we never do!  I still run and grab the kids to see them, like a kid myself.  It's just fun.

We headed out to the Balloon Fiesta on a week day again this year, trying to avoid at least some of the crowds. The day we went there were loads of balloons going up for the Mass Ascension. There was also supposed to be a morning balloon glow(something new!), but we mostly missed it because of a mistake on my part. Corey was NOT thrilled with my miscommunication, and I felt awful about it. We usually buy tickets online, and this year it was up to me and I totally forgot, so bought them right when we were heading out the door. Of course, when you do things like this at the last second, the printer never works fast enough and your internet is going at turtle speed. So, we missed the glow:(

We all loved it, as usual. The favorites this year were the 'Lion King' balloon, and the Fireman, and Horton(upside down), but it's so hard to pick when there are SO many to behold! This was our first year without a stroller, which made maneuvering the crowds easier, yipee! The boys were cutie pies, and enjoyed all the craziness and fun balloons. Til next year!


Sunday, November 4, 2012


Halloween this year was the real deal.  Our kids are both at ages where they totally understand and appreciate that the holiday is all about dressing up, having fun and getting candy.  On a side note, I was hoping with all my might that at least Beck might want to be a cutie-pie animal of some sort. It was not to be, and I was disappointed.  At Costco, Corey showed them the cool boy costumes and it was over.  Asher came out with a Fighter Pilot costume and my 3 year old ended up being a member of a SWAT team (I was actually pulling for the Astronaut, which seemed somehow sweeter). They were beyond excited about their costumes, trying them on several times before the big day.  Corey and I were no fun at all this year and didn't plan anything, although at the last second, Cor came up with a rock star costume(ooohhh, how I wish I'd taken a pic) for the trunk-or-treat, so I guess it's just me that wasn't any fun!

We carved up some cool pumpkins, and on a note of garden-pride, the headless horseman one came right out of our backyard!  It was pretty cool to watch it grow, and the kids practically considered it a pet.  I think they turned out great this year though! We did help the boys...a lot...but trusting them with knives just isn't going to happen yet.  They grew tired of it fairly quickly anyway:)

We went to our ward trunk-or-treat, where the boys left with more than enough loot from games and trick-or-treating.  Then, the following night they topped it off by trick-or-treating on our street.  Wowsers.  So much candy. The boys were thrilled with their hard earned booty though.  Asher's candy of choice this year was...everything, and he organized it all into piles, just like we used to when we were kids. Beck was drawn to the suckers, namely the dum-dums, and not just one at a time. 

Halloween night we had a fun dinner of chili and cornbread with Adam and Kayla and then headed out into the night.  They both were really into it this year. Asher was trying to be speedy and run from house to house, while Beckett had a comment for every house.  For example, at one house he asked the woman at the door why her house wasn't decorated?  At another house he told them they had LOTS of candy, after which the owners offered him some more.  And still at another, he told the people what a cute dog they had.  Seriously, at every house he had something to share.  So, so funny.
After they came back, Asher helped hand out candy, which I actually think he liked doing as much as he liked getting the candy! 

We had some good Halloween fun this year! I am secretly holding out a smidgen of hope that one of my kids will want to be a cute, snuggly creature next year instead of something with a gun or a sword.  The big boy costumes are just another reminder that they're growing up!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October's Happenings

This month flew by, and as I looked back through some of the photos, I started to see why. We were busy, but we were also having lots of fun.  
The past few years, I've decorated the outside of our house with webs, spiders and other Halloween stuff, and the boys love to help.  Here they are 'spooki-fying' our house this year.  They LOVE putting out decorations for different holidays, but I think Halloween is almost their favorite.

This particular photo was snapped right after we came home from church (hence the churchy shirts).  The words that came to mind when I saw this scene was "Sell! Sell! Sell!"  They looked like a couple of Wall Street crazies, but it was oh-so-cute. Oh, and check out their computers:)

Beck has been going to his Tumble Tots class for the past few months(and some of last year), and it's a favorite every week.  He is so proud of his feats, and calls it his 'school'.

Soccer has been a mainstay of our weekends for the past few months.  Asher really enjoys being out there kicking the ball around, and is learning some good skills so far.  He's just finished up, but the Spring season will be here before we know it.  The other thing Asher is spending more time doing is reading, which makes me so excited.  It's kind of like magic when you kids start to's as if there's a whole world they didn't even know about all around them and they just discovered it.  Very cool.  And his teacher at school was reading some 'Ready Freddy' books to the class, so it's really sparked his interest even more because he loves these books.  I'm so proud of my little reader!

And so, the month has been busy...and Halloween isn't even here yet!  We did find some time to make Halloween cookies though.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

September Stuff

Wahoo! I am loving September.  We've had lots to keep us busy, but I feel like we've done some really fun things as well, to mix it up a bit.  For starters, it's my birthday month.  Now, I'm not a huge fan of my birthday, especially of late since every year I add on now seems to be showing on my face, my body, and sadly, my brain.  But since we still haven't figured out how to actually turn back a little time(I'm not asking for much, really!), onward I go.  On the flip side, Corey is an absolute birthday lover, so he tries to make mine fun, and it works.  I really enjoyed my birthday...we went out to lunch, shopped a bit, and then hit the newest Bourne movie (love spy movies!) sans kiddos.  It was a lovely day.  And a few friends around to think of you is always a nice touch too.  Then, there's Facebook on your birthday...a way for people you haven't seen in years to send you a quick salutation.  It's odd, but oddly enjoyable.  Anyways, thanks to family (especially, and my boys, they always make it a worthwhile celebration with mandatory banners and hats!), and friends it was a good birthday.  Minus that getting older thing, of course:)
 Last week, Asher had a fun pajama day and mini-fair day at school. They each brought a collection or single item to show off to all the first graders.  Asher chose to bring his trophies and awards, which he's already accumulating.  His exhibit included 2 soccer trophies, a t-ball trophy, a Turkey Trot ribbon, and a science fair ribbon from last year.  He was so proud!  And Beckett is quickly becoming an honorary first grader.  He's been coming with me some of the days I volunteer and has been an absolute gem!  The teacher let him sit in the extra desk on mini-fair day and you would have thought it was Christmas, he was so happy about it. 

On Friday night, we had la nuit francaise (aka French Night!) at our place.  Last month was 'Reitzel' at Aaron and Meagan's...aka German Night.  We're getting together each month, reflecting upon the culinary customs of our ancestors.  I think we'll run out of focusing on our roots before the year is through, but we are already talking about others, and I'm so excited.  French night was 'un bon moment', and the lack of pictures is strictly due to all the eating we did instead.  Adam was present, but somehow not pictured, and Kayla headed out of town but will be back for the next soiree!  We had brie en croute(so easy and fun to make, and will definitely be doing again), french onion soup, french bread, savory crepes with a chicken and mushroom filling, and creamed brussel sprouts (ala Julia Child).  Dessert was delicious...scratch made eclairs by Aaron.  YUM.  And some Perrier to drink, which nobody cared for but me.  It wasn't so bad, really.  Even the kiddos enjoyed some of the food.  And Asher has been eating leftover crepes with every filling imaginable the past two days.  Yes, I wore a blue and white striped boatneck shirt, and really wanted to tie a red bandana/necktie around my neck(but didn't) and REALLY wanted to make everyone wear berets(but again, didn't).  Oh, the ideas that were sprouting up in my mind!  But in the end, simply food and family won out, and was a good choice. Can't wait for the next month's get together!

And last, but definitely NOT least.  Here is my Asher, reading a beginner chapter book...I'm so proud!  He loves these Ready Freddy books, and tears through them in a few sittings.  It's so cute!  As a book-lover myself, I am excited to see my oldest find an interest of his own in reading. Welcome to the wonderful world of books, buddy! Love you! xoxo