Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is at our it at yours?

Any favorite traditions? Share!!!

We love to have our Christmas Eve Party with all yummy party foods to eat! Then we open up one present (pjs) and get dressed up in them. I told Wade this year it would be fun to open up a new Christmas DVD and watch it that night too! Of course, leave out the cookies and milk and carrot and put our stockings out. I CAN'T WAIT!!! The kids are LOVING it. Charlotte keeps counting how many sleeps til Santa comes! This is the best part of Christmas!!! OF course, we'll take our turns opening presents the next day. Have a yummy breakfast, listen to Christmas music, have a yummy dinner! Maybe this year, we'll finally have the patience to sit through a movie at the theater! ha ha ha ha. I loved that tradition growing up.

And I said we should do something for Christmas Adam (Dec 23rd) and he's like let's eat Chinese food! That was a good idea. Now he just wants to celebrate festivus (same day).

Some day, my dream is to have a posh, family Christmas party that night (on the 23rd). We dress in our Christmas dress best, sing Christmas hymns or special Christmas music (not about Santa, etc), put on a beautiful Christmas concert on our grand piano, the kids will have learned their music pieces on the piano, violin, cello, etc. And we'll have beautiful treats and drink egg nog and hot cocoa and bubbly and be an intimate affair and of course invite some friends because they need to enjoy the music too.

The Blizzard!

Tuesday, November 23rd we decided to head out to Oregon for Thanksgiving. Wade had to work but was able to leave with permission right after lunch. This gave us time to go to Charlotte's Thanksgiving feast at school. We wanted to leave earlier so we could get a good head start before the blizzard reached Utah (which the National Weather Service hasn't issued an actual blizzard warning in almost 14 years). We were all packed so all we did was hop in the car the minute Wade got home. So exciting.

Partly cloudy skies and SUN. The sun was bright and beautiful! YESSS. We made it!! Well, until Snowville. We saw these DARK clouds up ahead.

And then BOOM. The storm. It was crazy. When it got to that point, a police car was just in front of us. He put his lights on and pulled to the side. We were behind him but felt we should pull over. So did the Jeep behind us. He told us the I-84 is closed in Idaho and to go home. I was so mad. But we needed to be safe. So we booked it home. We got out of the storm in about 5 minutes and raced it home.

When we did get home, Wade hurried to Macey's. Got some supplies for the day and some dinner. And we watched the blizzard start. It started in 3:15. And it was awesome. It snowed crazy for hours. Some people didn't think it was that crazy. I thought it was. I grew up in Oregon. Seeing one snowflake would be calling it crazy (cause seriously, that meant a 2 hr delay for school. NOT JOKING...well just a little). Down south they got less and less of it.

Ten minutes into the storm!

about 45 minutes into the storm.

We decided to make the call of not going til the morning. Just in case some miracle the snow all disappeared, right?

But I wanted the kids to go play in the snow after it had settled down. So it took forever to put their gear on but once we were out there they LOVED it. Played, rolled, built in it! They had a blast and so did I!!

Wade already used the snowblower but I'm sure we got almost a foot of snow!

I love this picture of Charlotte walking. She never really has played in the snow before. For a few years, she had her walker or was too unstable. But she just RAN into it. It gave me nice warm fuzzies inside. :)

Isn't this kid just oh so cute?!

After Charlotte walked across the lawn, she just dropped in the snow and made snow angels! I never taught her. Must be one of those things that kids just know how to make!! :)

These kids just are so much fun!

PS. This is the next day. And no, no no. No. We did NOT cut down a tree. ha ha ha ha. My friend totally thought that was a tree stump! It is a sad sad snowman. I really wanted to make one with the kids but the stupid snow was too dry. So I had to use a bucket. And then I couldn't find any sticks or rocks buried in the snow! So this is my snowstump.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The decorations go up...

Since we were heading to Oregon for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to put up the Christmas tree before we left so when we came home, it was Christmas! We wanted to get the decorations up too but yeah...didn't happen until we got home.

But I love our tree. One day I'll have "MY" tree, with all the gorgeous ornaments in my special front room on display. But this is our tree. And every time we get the ornaments out, I totally remember where I got (most) of them and the really special ones. Some of my favorite ones are: the zapatista (rebel from Chiapas Mexico) that comes with a gun! Our big gigantic snowman star (see picture below), Our nativity shooting star made of Rimu from NZ and a few other precious ones. Sometimes I think the ornaments don't really stand out against our tree but that's okay, it's still beautiful to us!

This is the result of the kids decorating. 2 ornaments on one branch! SO AWESOME! :)

Both of the kids putting the first ornaments on.

Charlotte mesmerized by the lights.

I'm SO excited for Christmas this year. Charlotte's is remembering all these things that we did last year. She remembers the M&Ms that go in the snowman plate, the advent calendars with chocolate in them and other things. And she is the one that loves to move the snowman along on the calendar too! And Jack is just talking about cwismas trees, cwismas lights, snowman,sanna claus, reindeer! I asked what he wanted to do today and he said he wanted to make cookies! We're going to have so much fun this season! And that we'll be really able to show and tell them the true meaning of Christmas.


We headed out to Colorado for the first time in both of our lives. Wait in all 5 of our lives. It was a whirlwind trip. We left on Sunday, October 3rd to Boulder and returned on Tuesday October 5th. Her appt was for that Monday! Charlotte and Jack were awesome driving all that way!!! But Kate....oh was hard. But we did it!

Anywho, Charlotte was approved for a study to see if her left ear can handle a cochlear implant. It was just a bunch of tests that was conducted and they took several weeks to analyze it. We actually just received the data a couple weeks ago. And it was inconclusive. No data saying it would be good or bad to get it. Crazy. Our trip was paid for by their study so it was good to get the information no matter what.

We've never been to Wyoming? Have you? Oh man. NO OFFENSE. But HOLY COW. It was pretty boring. And I've traveled from Utah to Oregon many times and it was gorgeous compared to that drive. Colorado was beautiful. It was fun to see what it was like.

On the drive there, we stopped at the Little America in Wyoming (closest to Utah) and of course had to stop at the same place on the way back. The kids loved it. Thought the playground was fun!!

We didn't have that much time to go and do touristy things but we did go down a couple of streets where it's just pedestrians. Whatever they're called. It was fun. I seriously never have seen so many (stereotyping here...) tree hugger like and naturalist people. And I'm from Oregon. ha ha ha ha. There were some fun things for the kids to see and they had a great time playing on all these things!

The kids had THE best time at the hotel! They think it's so fun to go the "house". ha ha. Charlotte made a great friend there. The lady that puts the breakfast out in the morning. On the 2nd day, Charlotte wanted to put all the dirty table cloths in the dirty laundry and put new ones out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wade's an American!

Citizenship day was November 10, 2010! Congratulations to Wade! I'm so sorry this is a late post but I'm doing it now so that's all that matters, right???

It's been about 3 months of waiting after sending in the hefty bill and papers but he had 3 appointments before this day. He's been wanting to do this for several reasons:
1. He doesn't lose NZ citizenship. So he's a dual citizen. He wouldn't have done it if he had to give that up. (PS, Charlotte's a dual citizen and when we can, we'll do the same for the rest of the kids!)
2. Traveling abroad is so much easier. There's no worry of keeping track of travel documents, tickets, etc. And the chance of losing the green card...WOAH. That would be a nightmare.
3. Deportation. Although this would have most likely would've never happened, you never know!
4. I'm sure there's more, but these are the biggest reasons.

And guess what!? Wade didn't marry me just for citizenship! HA HA HA. Had to throw that in there.

It was such a good day. Thankfully, the sickness/pneumonia/pink eye all happened less than 48 hours of this so we're so blessed it didn't happen earlier.

Wade had to check in early but they let all friends and family come at that time too. Technically they weren't going to let us in until a 1/2 hour later to the auditorium but thankfully didn't have to wait in the lobby for long. We sat on the balcony and Wade sat below in the main auditorium. We watched patriotic images on the screen before it started too. It was a great atmosphere. He sat next to a South African, Iraqi and Somalian.

My wonderful friends, the Tippets, came up to it too. We weren't going to have anyone there with us, except the Midgleys but a family illness came up, so I randomly told Jen about it that morning. And luck would have it and Gary was off of work! If they didn't come, I would have died. Not literally. It was hard taking care of all three kiddos with their help so I'm so grateful they came.

When it started, they first had girl scout/cub scout kids bring out the flag. We said the Pledge of Allegiance. What was funny, the girl holding the flag's pants fell down! It was so funny because she just kept going! I swear if I had a video, I would've sent it into AFV. And I would've won 10,000 bucks for sure. Then a woman sang the national anthem. And said the last line wrong too. Wade couldn't believe it! It didn't don on me that it was the wrong words until he retold me what she said. So funny too. And then she sang another patriotic song. Woo hoo.

Had a nice patriotic talk.

Then they did the oath!

They brought the microphone around to any of the 125 new Americans if they wanted to say anything and Wade did! I wish I could've heard him. The kids were screaming in my ear. But it was awesome. He speaks so eloquently.
Oh I forgot! They played "Cause I'm proud to be an American" well whatever the title of the song is. And everyone sang it. Kind made me laugh but it was cool at the same time because they were really feeling the patriotism!

Then that was it. They handed out --in quite the fastest, orderly hander outers ever-- citizen papers!

We went down to visit the Midgleys in the hospital and went out to dinner. GoodWood Barbecue. LOVE LOVE LOVE that place. Quite American like in food so that was perfect. It was simple. And I wanted to do more for him but by the time we got back it was too late and when I wanted to throw a little American party that weekend, we were full blown into pneumonia, pink eye and Kate's sickness. It was crazy! But it was an awesome patriotic day. We'll never forget it.