Friday, December 30, 2011

Big Bear 2011

We just got back from our annual Big Bear trip, we packed in lots of activities in our 4 days and 3 nights there.  Here are some highlights...
Sledding with the kids...

Going out to eat for Holly's 25th Birthday!

Just Dance on the Wii, I'm pretty sure this is the funnest game ever, but I'm also sure that you look like a total dork while feeling like the coolest person on the planet ;)

And hanging out!
There always has to be a game of Settlers of Catan!

Singing songs with Clara!

It was lots of fun with too little of sleep (lets just say that I am so thankful that the kids are both tucked into bed in their SEPARATE rooms!)  And lots of wonderful memories made!  Now we are getting ready for our next big event...a New Years Eve and birthday bash for Taylor.  We sure know how to keep things crazy, on the drive home we were all texting and calling each other with last minute things that we needed to pick up and accomplish before the big event tomorrow.  It's going to be crazy, but also lots of fun.  Happy New Years!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We had a cozy Christmas this year.  We stayed home and both of our families came to us! My family came over in the morning and had a huge breakfast and then did our gift exchange.  My sister was back east visiting her in laws , so it was a small group.  Later in the day Jordan's family came over, and we snacked for lunch, did our gift exchange, and then had a delicious dinner.  We had a roast, cheesy potatoes, salad, and homemade bread.  Our favorite Christmas presents this year were our wheat grinder from my grandma, and our new bread maker that we bought for ourselves.  We are planning on buying our wheat whole (wheat berries) and grinding it to make flour and then baking our own bread.  It is so delicious and so healthy!  We sang Christmas carols, watched The Elf, and relaxed and enjoyed spending time together.
My family doing our gift exchange.

The kids LOVED opening presents!

Trying out the grinder...our grinder & bread maker...our first loaf!

My uncle's dog Jake...our delicious roast!

Singing Christmas Carols...Jingle Bells, Silent Night...
The young group, and our friend Shauna who stopped by to visit!

This was Coleton's first Christmas, and he was so much fun!  He can entertain himself really well and loves to crawl and explore things.  He loved playing with all the packaging of toys and presents, than the gifts themselves, of course.  Clara loved celebrating Jesus' birthday and was so cute and excited with each present she opened.  These times just get more and more fun with the kids, and I love that Clara is getting old enough to teach her the real meaning of Christmas!  Now we are getting ready for our annual trip to Big excited!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Hotel Del

Clara being goofy and not wanting to take a picture ;
I am a huge fan of Coronado, and especially the Hotel Del, it is a very nostalgic and romantic location.  We had the opportunity of going on a date night a week ago to "An American Christmas" which is held in the ballroom of the Hotel, and if you can remember my experience last year where I developed a very nasty stomach bug on the way to the show, and couldn't enjoy it one bit! I definitely jumped at the chance to go and see our brother and sister-in-law, Jesse and Holly, perform.  I enjoyed it immensely, the food was delicious, and they make you feel like warmly welcomed guests.  There was a lady sitting at our table who was staying at the Hotel, and she offered us 4 tickets to "skating by the Sea" which I have always wanted to do.  It is not cheap to skate at the Del and I was so excited to get them! We met Jesse and Holly at the rink which is right near the water, and skated away before they had to be at the show.  It was very fun, Clara had a little trouble keeping upright at first, but she got the hang of it!  It was an absolutely gorgeous day at the beach, and a perfect southern California Christmas activity!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

I have never ever made a gingerbread house, and I decided that needed to change!  We invited some friends over, and undertook the huge project of creating gingerbread houses.  I wanted to make the gingerbread from scratch and I used this recipe here and it was spot on.  Everything was perfect, from the consistency, stability, frosting, and it tasted delicious!  The kids had waaaaay to much candy, but you can't blame them, you place bowls of candy in front of any toddler and they will attempt to shovel the candy in their mouths until you take it away.  Clara and Lauren had a blast helping and they kept each other entertained until the adults put on the finishing touches.

 I definitely see a new yearly tradition in the making!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Christmas Season...

We have been busy lately, but mostly with little holiday activities.  Last Sunday we went to a local Christmas tree farm to pick out our tree.  They had a pony ride, a jumper, Santa Clause, crafts and cookie decorating.  We went after church and Clara loved running all around and doing everything.  She was pretty brave when it came to sitting on Santa's lamp, she walked up to him and said, "Merry Christmas!"  Then when he asked her what she wanted, she said she wanted a Christmas Tree, too cute!  Later that evening we had Grammy & Pappy over and decorated the tree.  Now our house feels complete and Christmas can begin!

The kids just seem to be growing up so fast lately.  Coleton is army crawling all over the place, and he just started trying to give kisses, they are big, open mouthed, slobbery kisses...but sweet none the less!  He also has figured out how to put his pacifier back in his mouth, which is a wonderful accomplishment in my book!  Clara is just so full of personality, one funny thing is that she was completely attached to the baby Jesus in my nativity set.  She would carry it around everywhere with the manger, and put him to bed, or feed him a little bottle.  One time I let her bring it into her crib with her for nap time, and a couple minutes after I leave her room I hear her yell, "mommy, baby Jesus needs a blankie!" So I went back in and put a small washcloth over baby Jesus ;)  Uncle Taylor has been trying to teach her some Spanish, she can have a little conversation with you,"Hola, como estas? Bien...y tu?" Lately the kids have been waking up earlier than I would sometimes like, so I will bring her in bed with me.  She'll sing "Jesus Loves Me" perfectly all the way through and it is so sweet, if I open my eyes to look at her, she stops singing, and bossily tells me, "no mommy, it's not time to wake up yet!" I'm pretty sure I have said that to her a million times, and it's funny when they start using your words against you!  She also has a lot of her books memorized, she can sit there and read almost complete stories word for word all by herself, it amazes me.  For example she has the house that Jack built memorized, and can say perfectly and from memory...This is the maiden all forlorn, that milked the cow with the crumpled horn, that tossed the dog, that worried the cat, that killed the rat, that ate the malt, that lay in the house that Jack built.  She is one smart cookie!