Thursday, December 30, 2010

Birthiversamas 2010

So I already posted about the Anniversary part of our "Birthiversamas," now on to the Birthday/Christmas part. We had a lovely "White Christmas" with about four inches of snow (Not that we ever played in it. The kids didn't ask, and I am a wimp when it comes to cold. But it was pretty to look at!).
Peter loved his new train and this T-ball set. 
Benjamin's Christmas had a strong Star Wars theme, which he loved.
 This new 500 piece puzzle of Jerusalem was a hit. Paul and Benjamin worked on this together for days. 
Nora loved her new stuffed bunny as much as a 5 month old can. I loved the new copy of the book I received, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." Our old copy has been missing for a while now, and I was surprised how much of it I had forgotten. Like the part where it says that naps outside of the crib after four months are essentially worthless. She has always been a car seat/swing napper, but lately, that hasn't been working, as her naps were only about 30 minutes, and we were all walking on eggshells just to keep her asleep. I started putting her in her crib for naps this week, and it's been amazing the difference it's made! 
Paul's had work off this week, which has been really nice. We all get cabin fever now and then, but it's been so relaxing to just be together with nowhere to go. Paul also turned 30 this week! We had a small birthday celebration with Abby, Patrick, and his mom, Susan who is in town. 
 And tonight we're headed off to a friend's house for a White Elephant/non-bithday celebration (he didn't want a birthday party) for him. But I made sure to emphasize the 30 on the cake. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

And to All a Good Night!

Not only did we get Grandma with us a little this week, but Grandpa was also able to drop in for a couple of days! What a perfect Christmas present!
Of course we took them to our favorite wintertime spot, the Science Center.
We got to share our Christmas Eve festivities with Grandma, Abby, Patrick and Gloria. We had a wonderful dinner together, then did a live nativity and opened a few gifts. It was a fun evening!
Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We had a fun little ward Christmas party yesterday where our primary did a live nativity. Benjamin wanted to be a Wise Man.
They did a great job! Someone filmed a clip of them singing that you can watch on YouTube.
At the end, we had a special visit from Santa! I like how hesitant Peter looks here.
We thought that for our anniversary we would grab dinner and a movie. I suggested we see "Tron," since it was opening this weekend. Paul has been looking forward to this movie for almost a year now! I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. It was pretty fantastic, and the architecture and interior design were awe inspiring. It was very fun!

Friday, December 17, 2010

She's Here!

For all those interested parties, Paul's sister Abby and her husband Patrick are now the happy parents of a beautiful baby girl!
Gloria was born on Wednesday, but we got to meet her for the first time today. Nothing quite like a newborn to remind you that your five-month-old is a giant.
Grandma also flew in today! We love having Abby and Patrick nearby, and are excited to have a new little niece around too!

Anniversary and Addendum

Six years ago today, we were partying here.
Six years ago tomorrow, Paul and I were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City temple. And it was by far the best decision I ever made. I love this guy!

Oh, so I'm finally getting around to making a baby book for Peter, and I've been sorting through all his hundreds of pictures. Digital photography is sure a miracle, but there's nothing to compare to a physical book of photos. Benjamin loves flipping through his, and so do I. I think because Peter doesn't have a book yet, it's hard to even remember him through all his different stages. But when I came across this one...
...I was reminded again of a certain little girl (see below). I think these two kids have a lot of similar expressions.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I've Seen That Face...Somewhere Before!

Five points to whoever can guess the movie reference. Nora is five months old today! We are all enamored with our sweet little redhead (except maybe Peter who still refers to her as "baby" instead of her real name and won't allow her anywhere near him).
She is getting better at sitting up. She also enjoys eating her toes whenever she gets the chance.
Her personality is like Benjamin's in some ways, except that she's a lot more cheerful and friendly. You can tell that she wants to be big, and sometimes gets frustrated at not being able to move around like her older brothers. Here's her five month shot, in keeping with the progression.
So does anyone else think she looks a lot like Benjamin did as a baby? I think she's a more petite feminine version, but their faces have striking similarities. They're definitely related!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Four Point Five

Benjamin will officially be four-and-a-half tomorrow, which I think is a delightful age! He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his skin and very engaged in the world around him.
I remember him at two-and-a-half, right around the time when Peter was born, and how challenging that was. Peter's going through a little of that now, probably frustrated that he can't communicate as well as he'd like, but mostly frustrated at being a little too small and a little too big. Anyways, Benjamin is a lot more happy about having a new baby around this time. He loves playing with Nora and being adored by her. He gets a little wild sometimes, giving her "jiggy-back-snides" (which in our house are crazy piggy-back rides) around the house and shaking her tiny arms a little more aggressively than we'd like. But it really is night and day from the first time we were doing this with baby Peter.
Benjamin and Peter continue to be best friends. Putting them in the same room was a little rocky at the onset, but it is so nice now to wake up in the mornings listening to them playing and giggling in their room together. They're still boys of course, and get a little rough with each other sometimes. Peter has just started to test his own strength on Benjamin and now knows that he can have the upper hand. Benjamin is usually pretty good about not retaliating though, especially since he knows that Santa is always watching.
This year, he seems to be a lot more interested in the logistics of Santa Claus and his helpers. He decided to write a letter to the elves, and was delighted when they secretly took the letter he left outside for them. He wrote it himself, and asked for one thing: the Star Wars Echo Base Lego set. It will officially complete his ice planet of Hoth that he's been earning little by little. He also made sure to include his address so that Santa would know where to bring it, and said the necessary "please" and "thank you."
He's gotten to be a very confident little reader now that he's finished all of his Max the Cat sets. For his last prize that he earned, he read 11 books- mostly easy ones from the library and some Dr. Seuss. He's so cute after he finishes a book, announcing to Peter and Nora and whoever else will listen how proud he is of himself. Prompted by this last conference, we decided to start reading a few verses from the Book of Mormon every night, and he does a pretty good job reading a verse by himself. He especially loves reading the "And it came to pass..." verses.
He loves going to preschool three days a week, and has become very focused on counting. Every day, he usually works on the "chains," which are kind of like multiplication. Recently he's been busy working on his "big" seven-chain, which is seven cubed, or 343. Each of the beaded chains adds together to make a square of 49, then the squares add together to form a cube. This kid has a lot of focus and drive (but not so much when it comes to making a gingerbread house. I was so excited to make these this year, but he just quickly slapped on some animal crackers and some rice noodles for "hoses" and called it good).
He loves school for the social aspect as well. His best friend right now is probably Alex, who he's making gingerbread houses with here. They're really cute together.
Every day when I drop him off at school, he gives hugs and kisses to Peter, Nora and me. He is the first to greet Daddy when he comes home with a big hug and a kiss. Benjamin has a great enthusiasm for life, which is infectious. I love this little boy, and especially this little boy at four-and-a-half.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Joseph and Mary's Story

Our Stake puts on an annual Creches and Carols exhibit, and each year that I've lived here, I've gotten involved as a designer. Our entire building transforms for the event- track lighting and Christmas lights, tons of Christmas trees, draped walls, thousands of nativities, and live musical performances. It's a ton of work, but I guess I'm one of the crazy people who think it's worth it. This year, I was given the Mary and Joseph room. My good friend Natalie (who also has three small children) helped me put this room together. So here's the tour going around.

Here's Mary's annunciation.
There was a scripture hanging on the wall here, but it didn't make it into this shot...anyways, this table has different "vessels" across it, drawing from Alma 7:10 "she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel..."
Here is Joseph's annunciation.
Hanging here is the scripture found in Matthew 13:55, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" We used old carpentry tools here with some wood shavings and rough cut wood.
I have a very supportive four-year-old, who wanted to come and see what Mommy was up to every night this week. :) This table has the scripture found in Luke 2:4, "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)" We used different Jewish items here.
Here's the other end of the Jewish table. I was lucky enough to find someone who had all sorts of fun things to work with- beautiful Jewish things, all the old carpentry tools, and pretty little vessels. Anyways, that's what I've been up to for the past few weeks. It's been fun, but I'm ready for a little break!