Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

 The kids got up at about 7:30 this year.  Santa puts presents on the couch at our house, right by each kid's stocking, so Stetson always acts surprised when there's no presents under the tree (besides the ones the kids give each other).  This year and last I had to direct his attention to the couch...  Stetson's favorite present was probably papa smurf (thank you wal-mart ship to store).  Janelle's was a kitchen, Kandace got a ton of church dresses, a razor scooter, puzzles and books.  The kids also got a Wii and games which will be way fun for them when Michael comes home and sets it up.  He worked today.
 Kandace modeling one of her dresses.  Thank you Crazy 8s.
Stetson showing us some of his wii stuff.
We headed home about 9am, opened presents with dad, went to Asays for a delicious lunch and more presents and then went to Mike n Rachel's for treats and to watch the slide show DVD dad made for us this year.  Probably the most priceless gift we could get.

Christmas Eve

 Christmas Eve was...a little crazy for our family. :)  Michael made gnocchi es which are an Asay family tradition on Christmas Eve. They turned out great.  We kept forgetting stuff for it though and had to take a couple last minute trips.  Its nice to have so many stores close by by kind of a double edged sword because if you remember something at the last minute thats not a necessity but something just want, you just go get it anyway and stand in line for WAY too long whereas if we were in Lovell we'd just deal with it.  I decided at the last minute to take some Christmas cookies out to a couple families in our ward that had brought treats to us so that was a little messy and crazy but the kids had fun.

 We went to Clemows for treats and to do the nativity.  They have 3 kids like us but theirs are even younger so it makes for an interesting get together. :)  We love Clemows and are grateful for their friendship

 After Clemows we opened Christmas PJs which was so much more fun this year.  Last year I told the kids on our way home from Asays Christmas Eve that they were going to get to open 1 present that night (I didn't include the fact that they would be PJS).  So when Stetson opened his present last year and discovered it was clothes and not a toy, he was less than impressed and threw them on the floor.  Michael had to work last year, too so it made it even less fun, but this year all 3 kids were thrilled about their PJS.  Yay.
 Michael was not a happy camper when he opened the box for Janelle's kitchen and discovered a gazillion parts/steps to putting it together.  Whoops.  We stayed up later that night than we've ever had to on Christmas Eve but it turned out super cute though and Janelle loves it.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas presents

Something that always seems to sneak up on me at the last minute are Christmas presents for the kids' teachers.  I used to look for cute stuff on pinterest to do (since i'm so crafty baha) but I thought a hand written letter from the kids to their teacher is more meaningful than something I threw together in haste  love off of pinterest. :)  I had to take a pic of Stetson's note he wrote for Mrs. Paulson.  We gave her Martinellies sparkling cider to go with it.  This is what he said: "Dear Mrs. Paulson.  Thank you for being a nice teacher.  We got a gift for you.  Write your guest of what its going to be please.  Then he leaves a blank to insert her "guest" and then a bunch of lines to insert what she would like for Christmas.  I know I'm biased, but this kid cracks me up and I think he's the greatest. :)  Kandace wrote notes to her teachers which was a lot more time consuming since I had to tell her how to spell each word but turned out cute.  Wish I'd taken a pic of hers, too.  I truly am thankful for their school and church teachers.  I know they word super hard.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Smurftastic birthday. Stetson turns 7

 Last night Michael and I decorated the basement with streamers and hung signs.  We did it last year and Stetson remembered and kept asking us if we would "surprise" him like last year.  When he woke up he opened his present from gma Asay and gma, gpa and Jared got to watch on skype.  It was awesome.  We love all the family support we get.  After that Stetson had the breakfast of his choice (strawberry oatmeal and a crepe).  After that he opened 2 birthday cards in the mail, one from gpa Simmons and one from Charlie and Donna.  We took him to school, at 10 me, Michael and the girls brought smurf cupcakes over.  We had to search high and low for smurf stickers to make these.  Kmart pulled through for us.  At 1 I went back to the school to help sort butterbraids for a fundraiser.  I brought Stetson home after school and at home he did a scavenger hunt to find his bday present in the ...bathtub!  Forgot to take a pic.  He loves scavenger hunts.  After that we decorated the papa smurf cake then headed to chuckey cheese where we met 2 of Stetson's friends from school, Brecken Waddell and Landon Greyn.  After a couple hours of rip roarin fun at chuckey cheese we headed home and Steston and I delivered some butterbraids.
Some fun things about Stetson man:
*loves the smurfs
*loves to be silly
*loves to read and write.  Especially loves drawing/writing games, riddles for Michael and I to do during sacrament
*loves to eat cereal and pours his own milk now :)
*has very good manners always remembering to say please and thank you
*has a funny sense of humor
*is always drilling us with math trivia.  In the car, at home, at church.  Kandace is starting to pick up on it and likes to tell us some of her own math facts
*loves to play with his best friend Landon
*loves to sing and really wants to learn more about music.

Steston we love you and are so proud of you.  Happy 7th birthday!

we have texture people

 Yesterday was the big day.  We finally got Janelle's room textured.  Michael mixed the mud in the garage, brought it in and away we went.  We like it for the most part.  It was SO messy.  Mud splattering everywhere so I was constantly wiping it off the walls (we're probably painting them eventually anyway).  Michael rolled the mud and I went behind him texturing with our little texture tool I guess you could call it.  Its kind of like a brush with long bristles.  I want to do thicker mud next time and see how we like that.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ward Christmas party

 Our ward Christmas party was tonight.  We have the greatest YW in our ward.  At every church function they always come find our kids and play with them the whole time.  Its like having built in baby-sitters.  Love it.  Funny story about Kandace's dress.  She's been wanting to wear it to church but Michael didn't think it was church appropriate so we told her she could wear it to the ward Christmas party so she was super excited about it and kept asking us if it was time to go put on her dress.  As soon as Kandace put hers on, Janelle quickly observed and told me "tights, me mommy.  dress.  me mommy."  :)  Her vocab has taken off the last couple months and it is so much fun.  So Michael got her a dress and tights and as they were walking downstairs to put them on, she said " hurry daddy, hurry."  Michael and I looked at each other and laughed.  As I was laying Janelle down I was so filled with gratitude for this beautiful girl and for what she brings to our lives.  I am so blessed and lucky and don't take enough time to slow down and realized the amazing blessings my children are.  I have so many flaws and wish I was a better mom but my kids still love me and show me unconditional love and I'm grateful for each and every day I get to try again and be better.  Upward and onward.
 All Stetson wants for Christmas is papa smurf, phew, that should be easy.  Kandace hasn't really told us yet.

 Last Sunday was our tithing settlement.  I remember when I was little, dad would ask me at the end of the year how much money I thought I'd made.  I remember always guessing about $100 so I'd pay my $10 to the bishop.  I remember loving watching the bishop count the money and write it out on my slip and ask me if I was a full tithe payer.  We had the kids dump out the piggy banks and count all their money so they could determine how much they owed to the bishop.  When Michael got paystubs int he mail from work I would pay our tithing but since they changed it so its all electronic he just does it and I miss it.  I have such a strong testimony of tithing.  Heavenly Father has always blessed us with what we need and its such a blessing for us to be able to to pay it and show our obedience and love for him.  Stetson pitched a little fit that night at the church because he didn't get to fill out his tithing slip.  We felt bad about that but life isn't perfect.  Me and him went and watched the general Christmas devotional broadcast at the stake center afterwards.  I loved it.  I'll take any chance I can get to feel the spirit during this hectic holiday season and think about Jesus Christ and his birth.

George Winston

 "Happiness is the object and design of our existence."       Joseph Smith
I have really fond memories of driving around Northern California listening to George Winston in my dad's old getta.  He is a concert pianist and his music is absolutely beautiful.  He was born and raised in Billings actually and a lot of his songs are inspired by seasons.  Dad said there was a guy over at his shop with some models doing a photography session for California Prom Designs like in the '80s and the photographer had some music playing and dad said he loved and and asked the guy who he had playing and so dad went out and bought him some George Winston tapes and we've been hooked ever since.
George Winston actually came to BYU-I when I was attending and I went to see him and got my picture taken with him.  So all this leads me to last Friday night when Joel, Kambrie, Dad, Brenda, Michael and I all went to a George Winston concert in Billings at the Alberta Bair Theatre.  I loved it.  I hadn't listened to his music for a long time and it was a totally nostalgic experience to hear it all again.  And so calming and enjoyable.  Made me think about talents and how Heavenly Father blesses us with them to enrich the lives of others.  I feel closer to God when I get to partake of someone's talents like I did that night.  So awesome.  George Winston you rock.

popcorn ceiling party

 First of all, I have to say that even though these posts look like Michael is the only one having any fun with the popcorn ceiling madness, he in fact was not.  I scraped just as much off as he did.  Anyway, Michael gets the month of Dec. off of school so I've been putting him to work and getting him all to myself and have been loving it.  I love having a schedule and having plans and getting things done and that's just what we've been doing.  The top pic is Michael scraping off the popcorn ceiling from the hallway upstairs.  It only took us about a 1/2 hr with both of us going at it.  We bought another tarp and you can see we taped it over the stairs so all the dust wouldn't go downstairs.  Michael's idea..he's clever like that.  The last pic is after we finished the master bdrm.  Michael is a lot more attractive with popcorn ceiling dust all over his face than I am.  So we're officially done scraping and now we're moving onto texture and paint!  I wanted to do something more dramatic as far as texture but we're inexperienced so we're using a simple texture brush.  Hopefully we won't mess it up too bad. We went to Lowes a couple days ago and got our supplies.  Michael stopped at Harbor Freight (his favorite store) and got more supplies.  We plan on taping Janelle's room Saturday and texturing Monday.  He has to go back to work in Powell next Tue and will be gone the rest of the week so we gotta hurry and pack all this fun in while we can!  :)  I'm excited to get the texturing done and then paint.  I think a fresh coat of paint will really improve the look of things upstairs.  Crown molding is also on my list.

tub time

Nothin like the 2 cutest girls ever playin in the tub. :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013


 Michael and I enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner at Asays so much that we decided to try our first attempt at making our own, mostly so we could enjoy the leftovers all week! :)  I got this bird from Eleutians when I worked for them like 3 years ago but it was still very good.  We used a recipe in my better homes n gardens cookbook for old fashioned stuffing and it was pretty good.  Next time we'll use smaller bread crumbs and add more broth for a more moist stuffing. We had spinach salad, rolls, yams fried in butter and brown sugar and mashed potatoes.  It was very good, and Kandace got to use her Thanksgiving placemat she made at preschool that she forgot to take to gma Asays.

 Happy Thanks"Sunday" as Michael called it. :)