Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!Whew! It just flew by this year! We had a fun filled Christmas day this year. The kids got new clothes from Eric and me this year and each kid picked out a fun toy for their sibling they drew. All the kids got exactly what they wanted from Santa. Alexis got her art kit, Kaleigh got her jewelry making kits, Laney got her my little pony house, Logan got his building toys, Noah got dinosaurs, and Bella got cute little Baby Einstein videos(she loves to watch the T.V., so we thought some videos set to classical music would be good). Eric and I got each other just some small little gifts this year(it's been a tough year) and we made some keepsake gifts for our parents this year. The kids received some cool presents from the g.p. this year. The older girls got some craft kits, Laney got a new barbie, the boys got fun boy toys, and Bella got a fun little baby pull phone toy. My dad got the grandkids a new Wii and they absolutely LOVE it. He also got the younger 3 kids their own little presents, because the Wii is a little too old for them. Logan got a Cars racetrack, Noah got a Cars doodle pro, and Bella got this:
Now isn't that the cutest little smiley girl you have ever seen! She got this bumbo seat. She likes it a lot, but you have to make sure she has a toy with her or else she'll just cry and want to be held. She likes being upright and watching all the kids. Thanks for all the presents and the kids love all their stuff. We've had a fun Christmas, but I am REALLY glad it is over. Now I can take everything down and have my house back to normal again. Yay! Now bring on more snow so I can enjoy playing in it. Hope everyone has had a good Christmas and we hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve 2009

Christmas Eve is one of our family's favorite times! Eric and I have taken both of our family traditions and combined them into one very FABULOUS day! We begin the day out with making cookies for Santa. I use to do this with my grandma every year. The kids just love it and count down the days until they get to do Santa's cookies. We then have sausage, cheese spreads and crackers, veggie tray and chips and dip for lunch. We have my dad join us and the kids always get hyped up even more. I use to have lunch with my grandparents every Christmas Eve(only it was italian meats and cheeses) and we just had a blast just hanging out. We have the kids take a rest and Eric and I begin setting our table for our nice family fancy dinner. Eric grew up with always having dinner with just the family(no extended family)and doing a little Christmas program and reading the story of Christ's birth. We have continued this with our own kids and they just love it! We have our dinner, the kids pick their cookies out for Santa and place them on our Santa plate, we write our letter to Santa, and then the kids perform. This is their favorite part. This year they all sang and danced, even cute little Noah sang a song. We have them say what they want and how old they are so we have it on tape and we let them open up one present. This, again is something Eric grew up with. Every year they all get new p.j.'s. The older kids remember, but they are still excited to see what kind they are. The kids then went and changed into their new p.j.'s and we read the Bible and ended with the Night Before Christmas book. They were all jazzed and had a hard time going to sleep, but finally were settled down for a long night's sleep!Noah's blue car jammies.
Kaleigh striking a pose in her Tinkerbell jammies.

Alexis got Spongebob this year.
Logan got green car jammies, which he said matched him because of his green eyes.
Laney in her princess jammies.
All the kids in front of the tree with their new jammies on. I forgot to take one of just Bella, but these are her jammies(they say my 1st Christmas on them with a mouse and kitty cat). Aren't they all just adorable! Merry Christmas everyone!

Day 24

Our last stocking before Christmas and it was PRESENT! The kids got a new book that they absolutely LOVE! It's a storybook and I Spy all wrapped in one. While reading the story you have to I Spy items from the story in the pictures. Our kids just LOVE books, so they were all thrilled to get another book.Happy Children! Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Day 23

Today's stocking was Alexis's turn and it was PRESENT!
The kids got a new game-Spongebob Memory. It was a lot of fun and all the kids loved it. We waited until Eric got home(late AGAIN) to play and he played along with the kids. Much screaming and laughter was heard throughout our house. The game was a HUGE hit!

Day 22

So, today's stocking was actually yesterday's PRESENT and we picked another one down and it had ACTIVITY(driving to go see Christmas Street and the Christmas Utah house). We also had a cousin's birthday party to go to. It was one busy day for us. The kids' PRESENT from the day before was gingerbread houses. I found a kit with 5 mini village houses which was just perfect for the kids. I built them(all by myself due to Eric being late AGAIN because of stupid work deadlines and cleaning up others' mistakes-not bitter at all, haha)and the kids had at the decorating. They all turned out really cute!All the kids hard at work.
Noah immediately tore his apart and began eating. Silly boy!

Logan having a blast with placing all his candy in patterns.
Kaleigh enjoying all the candy.
Laney figuring out which candy she needs to work with next.
Creative, genius Alexis with her masterpiece.
All the finished houses. I love them all! They are all so adorable and fun was had by all. The houses(left to right) are Kaleigh's, Alexis's, Logan's, Noah's(Eric's favorite), and Laney's. We had planned to go and see some lights before our birthday party, but the weather was HORRIBLE and the streets were a mess. So another night we will drive and see lights. We went to our family party and swiftly came home due to some unexpected puking episodes at the party(fun WAS NOT had by all). Can't we have just one Christmas without sick kids? Is that too much to ask for? Apparently it is, we haven't had a Christmas with well children for the last 8 years! I'm not kidding. Maybe one year I'll finally get what I ask for-EVERYONE to be well! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 21

So today's stocking was Kaleigh's turn and it was PRESENT, however, we put it off and got invited to do an ACTIVITY instead, and this is where we went...
The kids had a blast and although it was cold, it was A LOT of fun-even Bella and Noah were really good. That is saying a lot for them, because they are the youngest and the cold hits them a lot more.
Here's Logan standing and demanding for his picture in front of the blue tree. Every tree that was either blue or green he would point out and say that they were his trees. You see these are his favorite colors and thinks everything that is blue and green are his. What a cutie!
Kaleigh and Logan in front of a train light display. My kids just love their trains!

Cute snapshot of Miss Bella all bundled up and having fun.
A cute little gingerbread house that Alexis, Gabe, and Noah all stood in front of. It was a fun family time spent at the zoo.
Kaleigh posing in front of her favorite kind of animal-giraffes. Funny girl, loving that candy cane from grandma.
The alligator that was after Logan and Noah.
Logan lovin all the lights! This was our first year and we had planned to go as an activity in the early part of December, but our temps had only been 15 degrees-and that's in the day. So I have had to change some things with the stockings due to the weather or kids not feeling well, but they have all loved everything we have done with our new advent calendar. It's been a fun season and we had fun getting the chance to do something with the extended family as well. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and always remember the REASON FOR THE SEASON!

Day 20

So today's stocking was Laney's turn and it was PRESENT! She has had her eye on this one particular present all week. It made a jingle noise so she's been hoping she would get to pick it. It was a present of some crafts. It had a foam gingerbread house kit and some reindeer jingle bell ornaments. The kids had a blast and want to do some more crafts. They are definately my kids at heart. I just love me some fun CRAFTS!Finished Gingerbread House
Logan very intense about placing his gingerbread boy in the exact right spot!

Logan's reindeer ornament.
The girls showing off their ornaments. It's funny how each kid was able to put their own personality into their reindeer. Alexis has a scarf on hers and some fun ribbon going through the ornaments, Kaleigh's has crazy eyes and a funky scarf wrap, Laney's has a cute lit'l bow, and Logan's has a scarf and he did it all by himself!
Putting the ornaments together.
Laney and Kaleigh were very excited about the project and wanted to get started right away!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 19

We are getting ever so closer to Christmas-good, I'm starting to get tired. Today was Logan's turn and the stocking was ACTIVITY! The planned activity was to deliver the neighbor gifts and sing them songs. Well, Logan was super excited to do this until...he woke up with a fever of 103 degrees after nap. So, once again Eric was on his own and took the 3 older girls to deliver the gifts and sing their cute little carols. He said they had a blast and were pooped when they got back home. Logan went to bed early and is feeling a lot better now. He came into my room at about 10:30 p.m. to let me know he was all better and sure enough his fever is gone. I'm glad, because we so didn't want a sick kid for Christmas. We've had that for the last six years straight. Hopefully all will be well and all will have fun!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 18




Today's stocking was Noah's turn and it was ACTIVITY! It was our annual Gardner Village trip to see the ELVES! Everyone had a blast, Logan was a little grumpy, but we still all had fun. We hunted till we dropped and then all got a free sugar stick. Thank you Sweet Afton's! We even managed to get a family shot with everyone in it. We haven't had one of those for awhile now. Merry Christmas Y'all!

Day 17


Today's stocking was Bella's again-because we are going back from youngest to oldest so that Eric and I are last on the 24th, and it was ACTIVITY! The activity was reading some new books and learning to play songs. The Richard Scary's Favorite Christmas Carols book came with a little piano with the notes written on it. All the kids got to play a song and sing. I was busy helping out my dad with wrapping his presents for the kids, so Eric was solo on this activity. He said the kids had a blast and loved the new books. They just love their singing and can't wait to perform for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 16

I absolutely loved today's stocking! It was Bella's turn and so I took it down and it was ACTIVITY!
It was a planned activity and our plan was to get the kids in on service and what it means to serve others and show them that they can help out even in their young age. As you all know, I have been couponing for about four months now and have been building, and building, and building our food storage. Well I have gotten so much stuff that even our big family can't possibly eat before it expires so we decided to pack a big box of food to take to the Utah Food Bank. We packed up veggies, pasta, cereal, stuffing, gravy, soup, brownie mix, fruit snacks, tuna, rice-a-roni, and many other things. The kids had a blast picking and choosing what to pack. I had heard that the bank was low and many more families are using it and so I wanted the kids to see the warehouse, so-Eric and I bundled everyone up and off we went to drop off the food. After seeing the big building they couldn't believe that the food was down. They thought that such a big building used for food storage would be enough, but I explained to them that since there are more people needing food there isn't as much. They all felt really good to help out others-which is exactly what I wanted them to learn(helping out others is a great thing to do and it makes you feel good to give).
We also went and dropped off toys for the Toys for Tots program. Eric and I have done this every year since we got married. It's an important program near and dear to my heart because it is run by the U.S. Marine Corp. My father was a Marine so I like to help out with their cause. We have scored many good deals on toys this year thanks to all the coupons so I was able to donate some really good ones at half the price so more were donated this year from us for the same cost as 2 last year. All in all the kids had a really good time and they even now feel very privileged with what they have. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15

Today's stocking was Noah's turn and it was PRESENT! He's unlike the others in that he picked the smallest present he could find. The present was a cute little board book shaped like a present. He wanted to read it right then and so we all piled onto the couch and I read to them.So excited!
Logan really wanted to be the first to look at the book, but Laney snatched it right up to show it off. The book was interactive. The pages had things to count and find. It was a fun 15 minutes. Yep, that's all the time it took to read it from front to back and find everything. My kids adore books and actually prefer books to almost everything else. They get this from Eric. I love a good book, but I'm not anything like Eric. He could and would spend an entire day in the library or bookstore if he was allowed and able. I like that he passed this love onto our children. It's a GREAT love to have. Books can let you be, do, and live anything you want for a time. Well I gotta get to bed before Bella wakes up again. Happy Holidays and take some time to read a good book!

Limbo anyone?

Day 14

Yay! We're getting so much closer to Christmas(and so much closer to it being over with). The kids are getting more and more excited with each day. They are all bouncing off the walls with excitement. I on the other hand am ready for it to be the night of December 25th so it's all over with. I know-bah humbug! Oh well, I'm allowed to be a bit bitter at the season. Today's stocking was a good one and one that I needed. It was Logan's pick and the stocking said PRESENT! Of course he picked the biggest present left. They opened it and it was a new family game called Girafalaff Limbo. This is a hilarious game. It's kinda geared to younger kids, but the two older ones had a blast as well. We were all laughing and rolling around at the attempts to not knock the giraffe off. The game is played with a spinner that has different ways to limbo(forward bend, backward bend, limbo, birdwalk, monkey crawl, and crab walk). It was fun to see the kids attempt each way. If you knock off the giraffe it laughs and you are out. FAMILY FUN WAS HAD BY ALL!
*pictures are on other post(slide)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

100th POST REACHED!

Yay! I have officially reached 100 posts. Our little family blog has actually turned into my way of journaling and scrapbooking. I find it relaxing and enjoy the fact that I do have a way to keep track of our family events. This year has been quite eventful for us and I have two new loves in my life-our sweet, beautiful Bella and the love of coupons! I know most of you probably don't get my love for coupons, but it has really saved us a lot of money and I'm able to get things that I otherwise wouldn't purchase. So, as a lovely way to show you all how much I just LOVE my wonderful coupons I have decided to give away some of my finds to someone in celebration of my 100 posts. All you have to do is leave a comment, we'll put your name in a hat, and the kids will draw a name. The only requirement is you have to live here in Utah or at least be visiting in the next couple of weeks. Here is what you can win:
I got all these items for free with my coupons and special codes paired with sales.
Glade candle tin(dewberry scent)
glade candle tin refills(ocean blue)
glade holiday candle(peppermint crush)
Bath and Body lotion(winter candy apple)
I just love when I find really good deals and free items. With all the sales going on for Christmas and pairing them with my coupons and some codes for online shopping we have spent only 1/4 of what we usually do for Christmas. This includes buying for extended family as well. I love all of my saving blogs as well. A shout out to my lovely friend Liz who turned me onto them! Happy Holidays and good luck!
P.S. The deadline is December 20th(just so I can put all the names in at once, not that there are that many people who read our blog).

Day 13

Today's stocking was taken down by Laney and it was ACTIVITY. She was so excited to get to pick what we were going to do. She picked make neighbor gifts. The kids all love to bake and help out in the kitchen and they were EXTREMELY excited to decorate our cake bon bons. We made these chocolate ones and we also made green and red ones to all go in cute little bags. I was so busy helping them that I didn't get a picture of them decorating. Just know they had a blast!

This is our cute little neighbor gift. Doesn't it just look scrumptious(they are just so you know).

Day 12

Today's stocking was Kaleigh's turn to take down and it was ACTIVITY. She chose movie and a treat. We made pizzas for dinner(we always have pizza when we do family movie night, so they wanted it for dinner tonight too) watched this cute little movie, and enjoyed movie theater butter popcorn and some poppycock popcorn(I love this stuff, but can't eat much of it). It was a fun family night again and the boys loved that it was a monkey movie. Noah watched with such intensity for a little 2 year old. It was hilarious, he didn't take his eyes off the screen the whole time. Needless to say, he really enjoyed it!

Day 11

Our stocking for the day was a planned ACTIVITY. We were set to take dinner over to Eric's grandparents. We were just going to take dinner and let them eat in peace, but the kids really wanted to eat dinner with them. So, as usual we planned a whole evening with them. We took roast, potatoes, carrots, bread with jam, peaches, and made some homemade bon bons. The kids came up with a whole program which included songs, dancing, a comic drawn by Alexis, and a song that Kaleigh wrote all by herself. She sang it all by herself too and choreographed it as well. Such cute kids. We ended the evening with a bunch of pictures(for posterity) to be able to scrapbook. We love our Grandma and Grandpa Colton.All the kids-minus Logan who said he didn't want a picture.
On second thought- he wanted one, but all by himself.
Bella with Grandma Colton. She's not a girl person. Bella prefers the guys holding her.
As you can tell, she wasn't crying or squirming with Grandpa. She was good for the whole night, but after this picture she was ready to go home and be fed and go to sleep. It was a fun night and the kids all hit their pillows and were out like lights! Fun was had by all again!

Day 10- FASHION SHOW!

Our much anticipated fashion show event has arrived-FINALLY! The kids were so excited for the 10th to finally come and they had a blast at the show. These are some of the photos from the night(unfortunately Eric didn't get the catwalk pictures very well, so we don't have those).The kids waiting for us to go backstage. Aren't they cute!
Noah was being difficult- he wouldn't let me get his picture very well.
Here are the girls all decked out in their outfits. Man, they sure do look old now!
Laney and Kaleigh after hair and make-up(this was their favorite part).
Laney having a blast getting her makeover!
Kaleigh getting all her curls. Such a cutie.
The Bingham students were very nice and loved all the kids. The show was a blast and Bingham High School raised some nice cash for Candlelighters, which we are very happy to hear. The school was very nice and bought all the kids' outfits and gave us a nice gift certificate for the holidays. I must say that we appreciate everything Candlelighters has done for our family in the past and ongoing. We would also like to thank the high school for their genorousity as well. This time of year is the most difficult for our family without Christian, but it's nice to know that we can help others with our fundraising and put a face on families who have been touched by cancer. It's a small thing to do, but we know we can help others in this way!