Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2009

I had thought about posting earlier, i.e. during our trip to Utah, but then the paranoid person in me thought that would be telling the entire would that our home in Iowa would be empty for a week, and I didn't feel like doing that. And then, of course, we were busy having fun so I didn't feel to bad about it. I had thought about doing several posts separating all of the things that we did but I've decided just to do one HUGE Christmas post.

To begin:

We left Iowa at 4am when there was 10 inches of snow on the ground. There were plows out, and we following one for part of the way down to I-80. We also passed a plow in the ditch which did not inspire a lot of confidence. Morgan said afterward that we had no choice but to keep going because none of the plows had plowed the exits so there was 2-3 feet on the side. Luckily once we got out of Iowa the roads weren't too bad. But the first day our 9.5 hour drive took us about 15-16 and the second day the 9.5 hour drive took us about 13-14. That does include having to stop and eat as well as feed little boys.

We had a lot of fun in Utah, visiting my family. Eli was absolutely in love with his Aunt Erin, and Daniel was okay too. He is still asking where they are. :)

We had a good time going to Salt Lake and walking around the Gateway center, Eli loved the fountain. We had a good dinner and the Lion House and then a nice time walking around Temple Square and seeing all of the lights. Eli LOVED seeing the Temple, his face just lit up the first time he saw it that evening.

Walking around Gateway.

Showing Daddy the Temple.
Our Family at the Temple. (Josh is in the black and white sling.)

For Christmas Eve we went to my sister's house for the afternoon. There was a lot of traffic problems (a construction crew was picking up the last of the orange barrels and holding up traffic, argh!) We barely made it to Rachelle's house before the "special visitor" was scheduled to arrive. In fact as we were pulling into her neighborhood a 'crazy ya-hoo' stopped & parked in front of us. As we pulled around him we saw that it was Santa, and then we were happy that he was waiting and we would beat him there.

Eli was very excited to see Santa. He was the first one to receive a present and was not scared one bit. This was his first real time getting a present from Santa and we didn't tell him to wait to open his present, so he just opened it on Santa's lap. After he had opened it Santa asked Eli what he wanted for Christmas, if there was anything that Santa could bring him. Eli just looked at Santa and said, "This." Pointing to the toy he had already received. Ah, the joys of childhood.

Eli opening his present from Santa.
Josh and Santa Claus
The kids and Santa

After Santa Claus left we did some sledding on a hill nearby and after a delicious dinner Morgan read Luke 2 while the kids played the parts of the nativity story. Eli got to participate as a shepherd and enjoyed himself.

Eli and I going down the hill. (I only went down once, made it to the VERY bottom, then had to pull Eli up in the sled. Needless to say, I am definitely out of shape!)

Morgan is strong enough to carry Eli on his shoulders up the hill.
Eli and his cousin Nathan. What a pose!

The shepherds were supposed to spread the news, right? What better way than with a cell phone!

Unfortunately I left my camera at my sister's house Christmas Eve, which meant to pictures on Christmas morning. I'm so forgetful! Aargh! It was fine though, and we had a good Christmas morning opening stockings, presents and eating swedish pancakes for breakfast.

Morgan got his gun for Christmas and we went out after breakfast to try it out. I got a new coat and temple dress for Christmas as well as a wonderful set of books from my mother-in-law. Eli just loved his train set that we got for him. Each of the grandparents got him a book for Christmas and he has enjoyed reading them. Daniel and Erin had our families name for Christmas this year and got us some bullets for Morgan's gun and a huge pile of Children's books. I think Erin gets a deal on them since she is a teacher. But two of the books, especially are some of my favorites and I am glad to own them now. Thanks so much!

After Christmas we had a good time hanging out with family and playing games. Morgan and Eli went and played basketball with the some of the family. And I stayed up way too late the night before we left to play games and watch a movie.

Since I didn't get pictures of my Mom and Josh when she came out after he was born I made sure to get some this time, and just wanted to post them. I sure love my mom!

It was so nice to see all of the family and get to spend time with everyone. Utah had some big snow storms while we were there, but Saturday when we left it was nice and clear. The roads were great on the way home. I even drove for several hours both days so that Morgan could get some rest. These last few pictures are of our car ride home and then Eli opening two of the presents that we had left at home.

Proof that I drove!
This is what Eli looked like most of the drive. I am glad for the pacifier, but I know that it needs to go soon, and then what will we do?

Luckily Josh slept most of the time. We were a very lucky family.

Eli was mostly happy during the drive. Even on the way home when our DVD player stopped working, he was an exceptional boy.

Sometimes Josh complained and he has started to be a thumb-sucker. I don't really want him to be, but part of me likes that he can soothe himself.

Morgan was great on the drive and did most of the driving. I am so thankful that he supported me in going to see my family for Christmas.

Eli opening a present at home. He loved opening presents and was a little confused when other people opened things without his help.

I almost forgot one thing. We have a cell phone now. Not really, but sort of. Because of the crazy weather when we were driving to Utah, (and our lack of calling my parents) my mom and dad got us a prepaid cell phone for Christmas. We kept it on during the drive home and my parents would call to see how far we had made it. It was really nice to be able to have that connection. It will be nice to have the cell phone with us as we drive down to visit Morgan's family in Chillicothe. It is just an all around nice emergency preparedness sort of thing to have. Thanks again Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Magic Words

I really should have insisted that Morgan write a blog post about this, since after it happened he turned to me and said, "That is blog worthy." But since Morgan is busy and rarely finds the time to update his blog the story would remain untold unless I took it upon myself.

As most people know, as a parent you will go through all sorts of different antics in order to get your child to eat their food. We, of course, are no different. To get Eli to eat his dinner we have lawnmower bites, race car bites, dump truck, garbage truck, bob the builder, people bites...etc. You get the picture. Another one of our methods is involves trade-offs. Eli will ask for more juice and we will tell him to take a bite of food first and then we will fill his cup. This has worked quite well, we'll add a little juice to his cup, he drinks it, takes a bite, more juice, another bite.

Well, last night at dinner the following scene played out.

Eli: I need more juice.
Me: Can you use a nice sentance?
Eli: Will you, mom, more juice.
Me: What's the magic word? (I'm looking for please)
Eli: Eli take a bite, have more juice. (Which he proceeds to do.)
Me: Please?
Eli: Please.

Then today Eli was talking about how he wanted to play with a train, and specifically train tracks. (We are getting some for him for Christmas and he was there when we bought them, although this is the first time he seemed to remember them.)

Eli: Mommy I want train tracks.
Me: We don't have any. Maybe you'll get some for Christmas.
Eli: Mommy I want train tracks.
Me: You'll have to ask Santa Claus.
Eli: Where's Santa Claus? Where's Santa Claus? (I think he thought that if he found him right then he would get the train.)
Me: I think you'll see Santa in Utah.
Eli: Go to Utah, Grandma's house find Santa.

Later in the day, talking to our neighbor Eli says: I'm going to Utah to find Santa Claus.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Saturday we went down to Coralville (not Chillicothe, I'm just crazy) to spend the day with our good friends the Ortegas. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of stuff. There was disc golfing, shopping, games, napping, crying and playing. (The last three were mostly done by the kids.)

While we were there we also put Josh on their play mat (we don't have one yet, that is Josh's Christmas present). Anyway, Jamie and I are talking while Eli and Isaac are having naptime. Jamie looks at me, and says, Did you move him? He rolled over.

So I had to get a picture of Josh on his tummy. 3 months old and has rolled over! Of course it was only once and like any child just doesn't seem to plan on doing it again, but we are excited, and in the picture he seems mightly pleased with himself.

Josh playing on his back.
Josh pretty happy with himself.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eli Says...

Today I was sneaking some skittles. Eli sees me.

Eli: Eli candy.
(I go to the kitchen to try and distract him. I see his partially eaten candy cane.)
Me: Eli, you can have a piece of your candy cane.
Eli: No mom. No candy cane. Put it away.
(Thus ends the requests for candy.)

Today again...I have Josh on my lap putting him to sleep. Eli is watching a Baby Einstein movie.
I get up to take Josh to his bed.

Eli, seeing me: Time to read a book, HORRAY!
(Really, how could I argue with that, so we read books.)

Monday: Family Home Evening.
I was giving a lesson on Christ's birth.

Eli: Eli give lesson. (Goes and gets the new Nursery manual (AWESOME by the way!)
(opens it to the lesson on prayer.) Holds it up so that Morgan and I can see the pictures.
Eli: Heavenly Father, thank you day, name of Jesus Christ Amen. This picture girl pray, boy pray. In Jesus Christ Amen.

I'm sure there are other funny things that Eli has said, I just can't remember them now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Random Photos

Eli shaving with Daddy. He likes to do everything, "Just like Daddy does."
Josh has really gotten into sucking on his fingers and hands. Although usually it is his other fist that he has shoved into his mouth.
Eli loves Josh. When Morgan went in to get Eli up one morning he saw Josh was already awake. Eli asked if Josh could sleep in his bed with him so Morgan put the two boys in together for a few minutes.

As a side note, thanks to everyone for the background ideas. I decided to go to thecutestblogontheblock website and was really impressed with how easy it was. At least to do some basic background stuff. Thanks everyone!

Ward Christmas Party

Eli "writing" a letter to Santa.
He loves to get his picture taken.
Helping clean up afterwards.

We had our ward Christmas party last Saturday and had a great time. Morgan and I volunteered to cook a turkey since we recently acquired a roaster. Morgan did all of the work, he cooked the turkey then cut it up and got it all ready for the party.

It was fun to talk with members of the ward in a more relaxed setting. We also stayed and helped clean up afterwards. Eli really liked loading the chairs and he and a couple of other kids tried to put the cart away, but it was a little too heavy for them.


Morgan took these pictures, which means that this nap must have been on a Saturday or Sunday, I just can't remember which. I do remember that I was very tired and wanted to lie in bed. Eli was taking his nap and Josh had been sleeping when he started crying. So I brought Josh in bed with me and held his hands - eventually he fell asleep.

I never actually fell asleep, I was trying too...eyes closed, etc. Morgan came home, saw us and grabbed the camera. It was nice to have Josh fall asleep like that, but it would have been better to actually get a nap. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Small boys

Here is as lovely picture of Josh.

And below...the STORY.

So my lovely sister sent me a cute outfit for Josh. Its 3-6 month and fits Josh pretty well since he is so tall. My boys however, are quite skinny. Here is a picture of Josh wearing the vest, and then one with Eli wearing the same vest. It zips all the way to the top. (Eli is showing off his muscles.)

It makes me laugh to see them wearing the same clothes, but what is a Mom to do?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I need help!


So Morgan and I are pretty sure that we are going to get Eli some sort of train set for Christmas. The problem is that I have no idea what way to go! I'd really like to get something simple that many brands would be able to work on, but I have no clue. Any ideas? What have you found is best?

Thanks for the help!

New Template

Yes, I changed my template. No, its not super cool either. I admit, I only use the templates that blogspot offers. I look at everyone else's blogs and see their pretty backgrounds, constantly changing to fit with the seasons and I realize that it can't be too difficult.

I have two problems. One, I don't know how to get some of the really cool backgrounds. I found one place from my S-I-L's blog but you have to pay and I am way too cheap for that. And second, I like that my blog comes up really quickly and doesn't take a long time to load because it is trying to find the pretty backgrounds.

(Just so you know, I picked green to fit with Christmas. Smart of me, eh?)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

O Tannenbaum

This is our 6th Christmas together, and this is our second or third tree. We've never gotten a tree when we were planning on crossing the country for Christmas, never got one while we've been living in Iowa, and may have only had one one year when we were in Provo.

I will admit, this Christmas tree is also fake. I am okay with that. Number one, I don't have to worry (as much) about my kids swallowing parts of the tree, is is much less messy, it will not die, no water necessary, simple to set up, and it came pre-lit. Not too shabby if you ask me.

So last night for Family Home Evening we had a lesson on Christmas and the birth of Christ and then set up the tree for our activity. Today during nap-time I set up most of the other Christmas decorations. I love the feeling that this season gives me. Just having the tree set up started little butterfly's of joy hopping in stomach.

Horray for Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

November Photos

Reading books with Grandma...a little too early in the morning.

Once there was a snowman.

Josh and Eli
Happy Birthday Morgan!
Audrey's birthday. We had to light the candles twice because Eli blew them out the first time, and wasn't happy when I didn't let him blow them out again.

Playing games at Chuck E Cheese
This is Eli's camera smiling face - when he says Cheese. (We need t o work on it.)

Eli's face after I let him lick the brownie beaters.