Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everybody!  We had a great time celebrating Christmas together this year.  We decided to stay home and wake up in our own home on Christmas morning for the first time ever in our married life, and it was a lovely morning!  Leading up to Christmas we made a family of gingerbread people, went sledding with Grandpa Walton, mailed packages, did a little last-minute shopping, and then finally it was Christmas Eve!

We let the kids open their Christmas jammies, got them all dressed, read the Christmas story in Luke and let the kids act it out with pieces from our nativity set, left out some cookies and milk for Santa and then tucked everybody in, after laying out the Christmas morning ground rules.  The kids were excited, especially Ryan.  Calvin and Sophie went right to sleep, but Ryan tossed and turned for a good long while before he actually fell asleep.  Michael and I got to bed around 11, so not too bad, but then Sophie woke up around 2 with a tummy ache.  She just wiggled uncomfortably and moaned and was pretty sad.  I think we let her eat too much junk on Christmas Eve...but finally she fell asleep again for good around 5.  So when Calvin and Ryan bounded in at 6 asking if it was time to open presents, Michael and I were pretty tired still!  We had told them we could go into the living room after 6:30, so we snuck in a little more sleep while they played in their room.

Despite her lack of sleep, Sophie woke up happy, and at 6:30 we all marched into the living room to see if Santa had come.  The kids were very excited about their stockings and their one Santa toy.  Sophie got a doctor kit, Calvin got a land and water r/c car, and Ryan got a Blutrack race car track that went all the way down the stairs and did a couple of loops.  It's one you can reconfigure any way you want.  He saw it and yelled out, "YES!!!!! I GOT EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED!!!!!" After they looked at those toys and their stocking goodies, we opened the other presents under the tree, taking turns youngest to oldest and then let the kids play with everything while Michael and I made pancakes and eggs for breakfast.  Can't go wrong with pancakes, whipped cream and strawberries!  It was a great morning, and we had a lot of fun playing with the kids.

Michael snuggled Sophie into submission and they took a nap while I made a Christmas bread wreath and frosted a cake and then we had a quick lunch and headed down to Eagan to visit with Ken, Kelly, their kids and Grandma and Grandpa Walton!  It was a lovely Christmas day, and we let the kids play and run amok.  Ryan and Luke spent most of the afternoon sledding in the backyard, and they all had such a nice time!  And we had fun getting dinner ready and talking and listening to favorite Christmas songs.  We missed having Danica and Zack with us, though.  Maybe next Christmas!

On Christmas night we headed back home and tucked the kids into bed at a decent hour.  They all fell asleep within seconds, they were so exhausted!  It was a great Christmas.  We had such a nice time with family and reflecting on the birth of our Savior.  Merry Christmas!

The kids all dolled up in their Christmas duds for church on Sunday:


Ryan frosting some gingerbread men:


Sophie trying not to freak out while frosting gingerbread men:


Our family as gingerbread people:


Sophie and Grandpa sledding:


Michael and Calvin getting ready to go down:


Grandpa and Sophie doing a high 5 after a successful run:


Ryan coming up the hill for the millionth time:



The little munchkins in their matching Christmas jammies:


Checking out the living room on Christmas morning:


Emptying out their stockings:


Michael and Sophie taking a Christmas snooze:


Ryan and Sophie trying their hand at the snare drum on the 26th:


Love this one.  Sophie is a very serious drummer:



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Michael's Got a Brand New Bag


Caroline gave me an early Christmas present!

I got a new laptop recently and needed a case for it. Caroline made me a really nice one out of my dad's old Army duffel bag.

It started out something like this:
Then like this:



And turned into this:


I wanted a top loading case so the case can stay in my backpack, and I'll just slide the laptop in and out of the top.

She used foam padding and some fuzzy but strong material for the inside. The handle stayed in its original position, but the eyelet and latch got cut and moved so they could close the flap.


 On the back side of the case is a pocket that will fit the charger, or a notebook or whatever. If you look closely under the handle you can see it still says "MOORE" from when my dad used it.

  

The material is thick canvas, and that with the foam and inside liner was nearly too thick for her sewing machine. She had to manually turn the wheel on the machine sometimes to give it a little encouragement. She worked hard on this thing and it turned out just how I wanted it!

This is definitely my best Christmas present this year!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving!

We had an excellent Thanksgiving this week!  On Wednesday we left early and headed up to my parents' house in Grand Forks, ND!  Kelly and Ken and their family arrived shortly after we did and we started our feast preparations and general craziness--let me tell you, 7 kids really fill up a house!  We had such a great time, though.  As always, Grandma and Grandpa treated the kids to all kinds of fun things, and they had an absolute blast.

I had a lot of fun getting our meal ready with everybody.  It's so great to be together with family!  We played canasta, plotted way too many desserts, brined a turkey (as always, thanks to my bff Liz for the best brined turkey recipe in the world!), made my mom's old standby roll recipe--best rolls in the entire world, washed a million dishes, and ate a lot of strawberries!  It was so much fun.

On Thursday my Mom made everyone waffles for breakfast, and I actually took 2 naps while Michael wrangled the kids and Mom and Kelly finished rolls and last minute preparations.  Thanks, guys!  Everything turned out great, and at 1:00 our feast began!  It was the stuff dreams are made of, I'm pretty sure.  My favorites are cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, hands down.  We were so stuffed by the end, but hardly made a dent in the amount of food we prepared.  So we just kept eating it for every meal over the next 3 days.  Sweet.

Then we had pie and cheesecake for dinner!  That's my kind of dinner!  In between we all napped, watched some football, played games, and went for a (short and freezing) walk.  Then the kids put on a couple of plays on the stage that my parents had custom built in their basement playroom.  It was awesome! And after tucking the kids in, Kelly and my mom and I checked out some black Friday sales!  We had so much fun, even though it was freezing!!!

On Friday we had a relaxing morning and let the kids play outside in the snow.  Even though there was just a sprinkling really, they had so much fun!  After lunch and naps we headed to an indoor waterpark for the afternoon.  The kids had SO much fun.  Sophie discovered the medium sized kid waterslides, and we were allowed to go down with her, and she did them non-stop for about an hour.  She was in heaven!  Ryan was big enough to go on everything by himself, so he was, of course, incredibly pleased about that.  Calvin had fun doing the big slide with Michael, the lazy river with me, and the smaller slides by himself.  We all had so much fun, so thanks for taking us, Mom and Dad!  It was such a fun day.

On Saturday we had a nice time decorating my parents' Christmas tree and playing games. Ken and Kelly headed home with their family and Grandma and Grandpa took our kids out to buy a whole bunch of gumballs.  Grandparents are the best, hey?  We tucked the kids into Grandma and Grandpa's bed to watch a movie after dinner, and then finished the day up with an easy bedtime and more canasta!  I finally won, for the first time in years, so that made it even MORE fun!

Today we slept in while Mom and Dad got up with the kids (Ok, this may have happened every morning we were there--so many reasons to love Grandma and Grandpa's house!) and then packed up and headed off to church with them.  We had a nice time, and after church we stopped back by their house for a quick lunch and then headed home.  It worked out perfectly, and we made our best time ever, just under 4 and a half hours.  We only stopped once to switch drivers, the kids didn't even get out once and all of them napped.  Success! 

So, it was really a great Thanksgiving!  Thanks so much for having us, Mom and Dad!  We love you!

Me and my good friend, Mr. Turkey!


The kids at their table waiting for the grub:


The spread at the grown-up table:


Evie and Grandma enjoying lunch:


Me and Michael and some asparagus!


Ryan's first snow angel of the season.  He looks so happy!


Sophie and Lily playing around:


The kids putting on their "First Thanksgiving" play.  Evie and Calvin were Indians, Lily, Luke and Ryan were pilgrims, and Sophie was the turkey.


Little baby Cora sure loved Uncle Michael's hair!  Fun fact, Cora has one blue eye and one brown eye.  Awesome!


Another fun fact: Cora likes to eat people.


Grandma and Sophie having a snuggle:


Grandma and cute little Cora burrito:


Sophie helping decorate the tree:


Ryan helping out up top:


Grandpa helping Evie put on the bow:


My three little kiddos ready for movie night!


Grandma and Grandpa snuggled in and watched part of it with them :)






Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Halloween!

Well, it's been about a month since the last post, whoops!  So, I figured it's high time I posted about Halloween.  We had a great Halloween this year!  We carved pumpkins with friends on Sunday evening, and then on Halloween we were watching a couple of friends at our house, so I made some creepy Halloween treats!  The kids had fun with them, and we had a great time.  Then, when our friends went home, I let the kids open their bags from Auntie Janny and they went beserk.  Candy, coloring books, Halloween cups, you name it!  They used the bags for trick or treating later, and left Janny's treats in there, so we only went up and down our little street and the kids were feeling pretty proud of how full their bags were!  It was a nice evening, and we had fun being together.  And of course, the kids had fun getting candy. 

Here are some pictures of our little munchkins:

My little piggy:



Little piggy checking out her tail:


Where's Waldo!



Ryan requested to be a leaf this year.  I couldn't even find an online tutorial, so we blazed our own trail and made this baby up from scratch.




All three getting ready to trick or treat.  Calvin is wearing his winter coat underneath his Waldo shirt.  He said, "Hey Mom!  Now I'm CHUBBY WALDO!!!!"



Sophie out for a Halloween stroll.  She just loved her bag!  Thanks, Janny!





I do have pictures of the pumpkin carving and the creepy treats, but they are on the other camera, and I have looked high and low for it with no luck!  So maybe next time!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Who did we loan our power paint roller to?

Once upon a time we had a Wagner Power Roller (for painting, it's a paint roller with a paint bucket attached) and we loaned it to someone. Probably someone who reads this blog. Except we can't remember who. If you have it, can you let us know?

Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3's Company

These kids are at such great ages right now!  Not necessarily always easy, and certainly not always well -behaved, but I really do love our life right now.  The kids play together so well, they all take turns being the good ones and the difficult ones, and they all have their own strengths and quirks and things I really just adore about them. 

It will be fun to see what a fourth thrown into the mix will do (fun, right??? right???).  They are all excited about the new baby.  Sophie likes to remind us of things we all already know, like "Mom, you're a girl!" and "My toothbrush is orange!"  Lately she has added "Mom, there is a baby growing in your tummy and on my birthday it will come out and I will hold it and it will say 'Hi!'"  Calvin and Ryan are constantly thinking up names to suggest to me and saying other random things about the baby.  And whenever I am eating something when they are not, Calvin says "Mom, you're eating that for the baby, right??"  Yeah...for the baby...right...They are all pretty excited.  And Ryan is pretty relieved that I'm feeling better.  It was hard not telling him, because he was really truly worried about me for the 6 weeks that i felt awful.  He would get this really worried tone and say things like "Mom, why aren't you feeling better yet?  Do the doctors know what's wrong with you?  When will you get better?  What did the doctor say?"  It was sweet, but I felt bad not being able to tell him what was going on.  He's a sweet boy.

They have all been good helpers and good snugglers and just really good kids lately for the most part, and I have been loving it!  I feel so blessed and lucky to have such great kids.  Here's a little update on each of them:

Sophie
-loves her purple dog and her kitty cat from Janny and snuggles them every night.
-loves to play "family" with anything and everything.  Dinosaurs, pieces of paper, cars...
-has a goldfish named Captain Pete who lives in her room.  She LOVES to feed him and watch him nibble his food.
-plays extremely well with Calvin when Ryan is at school.  They are so cute together.
-once while sitting with Michael and Sophie, I had done something that merited an eye-roll from Michael, and I teasingly said to Sophie "Sophie, Mommy complicated Daddy's life."  Sophie now repeats this to me all the time, but her tone is more of a scold, "Mom, you complicated Daddy's life!"
-LOVES nuts
-still laughs the best/longest/loudest for her Daddy.
-is downright rude to pretty much everyone outside of our immediate family when they say hi to her, ask her if she would like something, or basically interact with her in any way.  There are a few exceptions, but not many.  She gives them this glare combined with a pouty lip and usually runs and buries her head into my legs.
-loves the color purple and anything with polka dots.

Calvin
-loves race cars, talking about race cars, imagining things race cars would do if they were right here, and pointing out any cars that go by with spoilers or dual exhaust pipes. 
-snuggles his doggie and the bear that was given to him by my MBA girls when he was born.  He named him Raspberry. 
-Still has his same old stormy Calvin face when he doesn't get his way, which seems like most of the time (I'm guessing, from the frequency of it).
-Still strikes a pose before he runs and works his elbows like crazy while running, just like he always has.
-has a really good memory.
-quotes movies and talks about movies more than anyone I know.  And he doesn't even watch movies very often!  It kind of worries me.
-is such a giving little boy.  Usually if he has something and Sophie or Ryan (usually Ryan, because he can be such a stinker about certain things) want it, he gives it right up without a second thought.  It is very sweet.  Although I really do think he is just enabling Ryan to throw his little fits...
-loves to snuggle when he wakes up.  He is my best snuggler.

Ryan
-is getting really really good at Spanish.  The other day he said. "You know Mom, I think I'm getting to the point where I'm just going to start speaking only Spanish to my family."  Then he goes off in Spanish.  I don't speak Spanish, by the way.
-is getting really good at math and adding and figuring things out.
-always has a plan for something he wants to build.  The other day he and Calvin were discussing the specs for a cage they wanted to build for a grasshopper they found in our front yard.  It sounded like it was going to be about 5 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 6 feet tall, so the grasshopper would have enough room to jump around.  Here was going to be a window with no glass near the ceiling so they could feed him and check on him, but high enough so that he couldn't escape.
-always seems to remember about his homework right after I've tucked him into bed.
-takes really really good care of Sophie.  He is a great big brother to her.
-Calvin is his best friend.  They have so much fun playing together.  it makes me really happy.
-loves to race people, especially when he thinks he can win.  Turns out he has a pretty inflated sense of self esteem, because he always thinks he can win, therefore he always wants to race.
-seriously can NOT leave the bathroom after brushing his teeth until he has spit, gargled for a good long while, spit again, and then gotten a nice long drink.  Do not interrupt this process.  You will pay for it.
-has a grand plan for if he ever encounters any bad guys.  He always says, "I'll just tell them 'Hey, I'm on your side!  I'm a bad guy, too!' And then they'll believe me, and then we can all just run away!"
-is so grown up these days I can hardly stand it.


So that's my kid update.  They are awesome, and I wouldn't trade them for the world.  Now here are some fun pictures from my photo shoot with them on Monday:

I think Sophie's serious little face is funny.  And I love that she really wanted to hold Ryan's hand.



They can pretty much all smile on command at the same time.  This may never happen again in my life!


Typical personality shot:


I really liked this one:


Calvin's face in this one totally cracks me up:


Love these little sweethearts:



This one is already hanging on my wall.  I love it!


Little Sophie girl is growing up!


Love those blue, blue eyes:


I love this one!


What's this? A genuine Calvin smile??


This kid is getting too old too fast!


I sure love these guys!