other December fun…

It seems I’m very good at not keeping up with details of our everyday life.  We have definitely been busy with Christmas fun around here, just no pictures to go along with that! We did celebrate a big birthday for Grandpa…


and we got him the best gift ever…


yeah, that’s a signed photo of Judge Judy. just for my dad. Can’t compete!

and the kids have seen Santa a few times already…


…so when Santa showed up at our ward Christmas party, they both had no desire to say hello. (Doesn’t Luke look so happy? We told him he had to get a picture with Santa to get a cookie (at Darin’s work), so he did it begrudgingly.)

The tree is trimmed, the cookies delivered to the neighbors, the nativity has been played with, rearranged and set right again, the presents wrapped and hidden away, the Christmas cards hung, a few final homemade gifts in final stages, and the countdown mouse is moving everyday. Now if only we could get it cold enough to snow on Christmas!


A Christmas Wreath!

Well, for years I’ve thought about a wreath for the door. I have a little door décor for almost every month of the year, but from the thanksgiving turkey we jump to the snowmen, which is good for January, but not Christmasy enough for me. Wreaths can be expensive and I’m not really sure which look I want.  Then I saw a white feathery one online and thought that might look good against our door and I have feathers!  So here it is…


Not sure I love it. I might still play with it.


At least it stand out against our door.

A little Christmas cheer!

Preschool is awesome!

So the kids had Polar Express day. And they were VERY excited to wear their pajamas to school.  They acted out the whole story… got tickets, rode on a train of chairs, got bells, drank hot chocolate and ate cookies, and met Santa—who gave them presents! Notice that was plural– presents…they were excited and I was surprised to say the least. 


Luke was way excited to get a R/C truck, new army guys and a football. Natalie liked her shape sorter, pony and a stuffed caterpillar, which she said she would give to baby brother because its so soft. However, after further discussion, the kids agreed that he was only a Santa helper, not the real Santa because the real Santa doesn’t come until Christmas. According to Natalie he still needed to bring her lots of candy, because she asked him to!

Christmas in the Park

Last night Main Street McMinnville was all lit up.

Darin exclaimed, “How can you not love this small town!”

Every year a tree is donated for the square. This is the tree for this year.


Businesses were open and lots of places had free treats and activities. 

Several groups performed including the Primary kids!


Luke was pretty adamant that he wasn’t going up there, but when it was time, he walked right up! They sang Away in a Manager and Have a Very Merry Christmas.

It was cute!

Hello December!

Well, we decorated for Christmas Saturday after Thanksgiving, and thanks to online shopping packages have been arriving daily. The kids get really bummed at me that I won’t let them open any! We’ve been watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, and working hard on a few Christmas presents. Can you tell I am excited for the holidays?

And today was the Christmas Parade! Here are the kids waving to Santa


They were really excited to see him and all the other awesome participants. This year the theme was a Disney Christmas. One favorite was the golf cart redesigned as Tow Mater. The kids also loved seeing people they knew, particularly their babysitter Madison dressed up as Tinkerbell!

Yay for Christmas!

(Even though it doesn’t actually feel like it outside, it was 59 degrees at the parade!)

Merry Thanksgiving…

I promised myself I would take more pictures, and yet I ended up with only a few.  We were excited to spend Thanksgiving with family.  We tried to prep as much as possible the night before so we wouldn’t spend all day cooking. We were able to have a little fun… we went shooting! Also, did some relaxing, a little Black Friday shopping planning…

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Of course the best pictures are of Natalie doing a little ad shopping…

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She was just so serious studying the deals and found quite a few good ones!

Mom, Marissa, Dawn, and I went out Thursday night about 11pm, and then again Friday morning about 4:30. We got some great deals, missed out on a few, but had fun.  Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, along with breakfast, appetizers, desserts. I don’t think I ever stopped snacking!

We spent the last month of Family Home Evenings talking about gratitude and the kids enjoyed thinking of everything they are grateful for. In the end, Thanksgiving is all about family, freedom, and recognizing our blessings!


The Big 5!

Luke has the birthday routine down.

All day I heard, “the birthday boy gets to do whatever he wants!” 

Not quite buddy, but close.


He was excited to wake up to streamers in his doorway, balloons everywhere, and presents on the table. He couldn’t wait to open them. He knew there were a few more some where (I had them in my closet and he saw them), but we made him wait until later to open the others!  He requested chocolate chip muffins for breakfast with candles!

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(playing with his new Chuck Truck Track, awesome consignment sale find)

He also requested lunch with Daddy (at Sonic), a visit to the the park (it was such a nice day), and games at Chuck E Cheese (their favorite birthday destination, plus we get the email with free tokens for birthdays!).

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Natalie was happy to go along with all his birthday wishes. Plus we were headed to Grandpa and Grandma’s house to spend the night, so it ended al too perfectly.


The tired out Birthday Boy!

I just can’t believe we have a five year old. I guess I’m not quite so young anymore. We sent the evening watching baby videos of the kids. It’s crazy how much he has grown. No longer does he have those chubby toddler legs. His voice is still pretty sweet and high pitched, but he can be quite a stinker too.  He is very clever. He often has a plan to get what he wants and tries to spin things into his favor. He definitely has his sister wrapped around his finger about 80% of the time.

He can write most of his letters correctly although they take up most of the page. He hasn’t taken an interest in reading on his own yet, but he loves books and remembers most of what we read. Just today, we were drawing the planets. I drew Saturn and pointed out the rings. He told me, “but they’re not really rings.” “oh they’re not?” “no, its really dust.” (We read that months ago!)

He is really into Star Wars and loves to play Lego Star Wars with Daddy.  Its cute to hear him try and boss his Dad, when Darin is using all his patience not to be bugged by Luke changing guys over and over and often shooting him!

He is growing up all too fast. I am glad he is only at preschool three mornings a week, so I get to enjoy him a little longer.

party time!

Since Nat’s little friend party this year, Luke has been counting down the days until his birthday. However, it falls the day before Thanksgiving this year so I told him maybe he could have a party on the Saturday before. Score! Of course, it’s been a little tricky to distinguish between party and actual birthday. He had to have birthday pancakes Saturday morning and had told me the night before that he should be waking up to lots of balloons (I reminded him that he would get that on his actual big day)…


Although this kid is obsessed with Star Wars, but thanks to Netflix and discovering Power Rangers, that once again trumped all other interests… So Samurai Power Ranger Party it was…

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Power Up Food Bar… all kid friendly from mini hot dogs to cheese puffs!

Luke wanted to invite everyone he knew, but he got it down to 10 guests (a couple of sibling duos), in the end 7 were able to make it, but then we had a few extra siblings join so it was a house full! They had balloon swords, played Pin the Buckle on Megazord (the big good guy when Power Rangers join together), Pop the Putties (the bad guys), and made candy sushi (their take home treat). They ate, sang Happy Birthday, ran around the house, and beat each other wildly with swords!

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Happy Birthday Song

It’s hard to get pictures of four and five year olds, but sometimes you can rally a few together…

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Let’s just say Luke was in heaven. He loved having so many friends (and his cousins which he calls them friends too) to play with and celebrate him. He loved his presents too, thank you thank you all! The kid wants to invite friends over everyday, so this was the ultimate play date. He was very grateful.

Now I have two days to enjoy my little four year old before he does turn five…  can’t believe it.