Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I got Casey's stocking done this year (big sigh of relief).

Bennett's (obviously) stocking

Our "mantle" there's actually a fire place behind that wall, previous owners just plastered over it for some reason. We told Ben that it will magically appear again when Santa comes since we still have the chimney.

Home made Belgian Waffles Christmas Eve morning and Jeff and I were good and didn't eat any.

Candy canes and Angry Birds

We watched a few of our favorite Christmas movies, Ralphy and Randy remind us of Bennett and Casey, especially now that Casey's hair is cut.

Coming out into the living room Christmas morning.

half awake

Bennett's present from Santa. We told him he was too young for a remote control helicopter but I guess Santa thought differently. He wanted this so bad.

Casey's present from Santa, a Cars race track. I love his sleepy face.

The first presents opened from mom and dad.

Casey has decided to potty train himself so Santa brought him training pants in his stocking. We are so proud of him! We really haven't done anything to encourage him to do it but he's decided it's time to be a big boy.

Christmas at Nana's

A couple of cuties with fake smiles.

There's some real ones.

Casey in his Toy Story Tent, he loves it!

playing with bokeh 

Not a baby any more. Love those buns!

Casey really looks like Bennett here.

We had lots of fun with cousins

The boys

It truly was the most wonderful time of our year. We have been through so much this year, it's an understatement to say it was nice to celebrate Christmas with all that behind us this year. It was completely different than last Christmas. And we are even more excited to see what this New Year will hold for us. I saw a quote on Pinterest :

 "Things don't go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be." Charles "Tremendous" Jones.

That's exactly what has happened to our family this past year. We are stronger than ever in our marriage and relationship with our kids and other family.  We are constantly reminded of the importance of living your life to the fullest, making it known to those you care about how much you love them, being grateful for all the simple and small things, forgiving and not holding grudges because life is short and it's just not worth it. We had an eye opening experience that has allowed us to stand back and look at our life and reevaluate how we are living it. I'm happy to say we haven't made many changes.

Here are some snap shots of our Christmas this year:
Making Christmas crafts with Grandma.

We said goodbye to Casey's "hippie hair".
We had fun making our Christmas card photo, here's a few out takes.

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas we wish you all a healthy, happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Benny boy is 5 years old today! Five years ago today we were waiting in the hospital for what seemed forever watching Christmas movies like Home Alone and Muppet Christmas Carol.  The song "It Feels Like Christmas" will forever remind me of him coming into the world. What an adventure it has been since then!
Bennett I can't believe I get to be your mommy. You are such an awesome boy and I've loved watching you become the little person you are with all your silliness, individuality, caring, love, funny little sayings, sleep hugs ;), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches hugs. I just love you kiddo!
Some things you've enjoyed this year are:
Angry Birds (playing it as I type this)
Super Mario Brothers
Lego Star Wars, Batman and Pirates of the Caribbean
Starting Preschool - you are so SMART!
Spending lots of time with cousins and visiting Jaxon in Washington 2x
First Swim Lessons, you're a natural in the water!
Going to the Enchanted forest for the first time
Favorite foods: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Belgian Waffles and yogurt parfaits from McDonalds.
Sharing a room with your little brother
Getting your first dog, Lucy
telling knock-knock jokes
I can't wait to see what this next year holds for you little guy! I love you like a peanut butter sandwich! ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Halloween and Munkin Boys

Time to get caught up! Halloween was extra fun this year. We didn't have a ward Halloween party (weird) but we had lots of fun visiting with Grandma, watching Bennett participate in his pre-school's costume parade, baking pumpkin pies and bread and going trick or treating. This was the first year we really went trick or treating, every other year we've just done the "trunk or treat" thing (when every one at our church Halloween party hands out candy out of their trunks and you go around to every car in the parking lot and trick or treat). I'm so proud of how polite Bennett was he always said his please and thank yous and Happy Halloween.  One of the highlights of Halloween this year was Casey's word for jack-o-lanterns: Munkin Boys.  He had to say "Hi Munkin Boy" to every one we passed.  Whenever went to Target he'd ask to go see the Munkin Boys.  Then we went just a couple days ago and they had Christmas decorations up and Casey was very disappointed. He was running around where they kept the Halloween decor and was saying "Where Munkin Boys?" He wasn't impressed at all with the Christmas trees and lit up snowmen. He wanted his Munking Boys and "Giant Spiders".
Right before trick or treating, Wild Thing #2 is already grouchy.

At Bennett's preschool. They are having indoor recess.

Trick or treating

Grandma came to see his costume parade.

Casey making himself at home in Bennett's classroom.

All the little girls were so sweet in their princess, butterfly, and bumble bee costume. My favorite was a Mermaid that is Bennett's little friend Nicky. She was A-DOR-A-BLE! (Didn't get her picture though.)

Bennett has such a great teacher, Mrs. Samples. She was the Cat in the Hat . I had contemplated having the boys be Wild Things 1 and 2. I should have done that, it would have been perfect for school.

This year Ben wanted to be the same thing he was last year, Captain America. While we were trick or treating there were some dads dressed up as soldiers (and little boys) and the dads commented that they loved his costume. Only I was sad this year he didn't have his AWESOME shield I made him. Someone stepped on it and it broke. :( We had it displayed on Bennett's shelf headboard forever. I was pretty bummed. But he got a plastic one from the store.
Casey went as a dinosaur or dragon.  His tummy roared if you pushed it. He was really tired that day but had fun participating in Ben's school costume parade and sitting in his stroller while we trick or treated. It was cute because Bennett would ask people to give him candy for his little brother. It reminded me of The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown special.
I just love this time of year. When I say that though I think of how much I love spring when the weather starts getting warmer or the 4th of July. I guess I just love when the seasons change. It's refreshing. I'm so excited for Christmas this year, to celebrate it with out any fear or sadness. And we're all looking forward to 2012 I have a feeling it will be a great year for us.

My current obsession

Raising Cain, The Emotional Lives of Boys. Read it, just do it. It's only 258 pages long and it will change how you view and interact with boys. If you have a boy in your life, whether you're a parent, teacher, mentor or friend, you need to read this.
"...But as their manuscript progressed, Kindlon and Thompson realized a simple "how-to" would not do. "In the end," they write, "we found that the best advice we had to offer was simply to understand boys as they truly are ­ rather than as they appear or as we wish them to be. Our deepest wish is to pull aside the curtain boys so tenaciously draw around themselves and offer you a look inside their hearts and minds. If we succeed, we hope that you will see more clearly the ways in which our culture conspires to limit and undermine their emotional lives. We hope you will understand boys better, and above all, we hope you will enjoy them more"
Read an interview with one of the authors, Dan Kindlon, PH.D. here.