Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009*

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We had a wonderful Christmas... just us three. :)

We had lots of fun being together and enjoying our happy holiday that ended all too soon.

We are excited for another four day weekend with JC this week...
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We took millions... (seriously) of pictures and loaded up on good Christmas Eve food, treats, and snacks.

Christmas Eve we spent cuddled up together on the couch watching movies, talking to grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, etc via skype!

It was awesome being able to be a part of JC's family Christmas Eve festivities.

We love Skype! Zenock loves it too, unfortunately he thinks Grandpa and Grandma live in the computer. He also begs me regularly to talk to Aunt Emi on the computer.

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We let Zenock open two presents on Christmas Eve...

Of course he got new jammies...

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And Grandma's present was an animated Nativity dvd for us to watch.

It was a great teaching tool and by the end Zenock was telling us all about baby Jesus.

A perfect way to start our Christmas celebration!

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JC and I had fun waiting up for Santa Claus to come and get a sneak peak at what he brought!

Four days before Christmas Zenock gave JC and I the BEST present ever... A FULL nights sleep. He slept all through the night from 9-8. Hallelujah! The next night he woke up once, but then slept in until 9:30!!! Since then, he has slept through the night EVERY night!

It was a perfect present.

Especially for two parents who haven't slept through the night since their baby was NINE months old. (No joke) He also has NEVER ever in his life slept past 8:00 in the morning. Nine thirty was absolutely amazing! :)

He normally wakes up around 7 and we hear him come running through the house to our bedroom, open the door, and say, "Mom, I want a {shake}" or a "waffle"...

Christmas was hilarious. He had to run past the tree to our room. We heard his little feet running and then suddenly come to a halt... A few seconds pass, then our door opens- he leans in and yells, "Mom, DAD! My bike! Presents! Santa came!"

Priceless.

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HE was so excited and pumped up for his new bike. I have never seen such excitement on one little boys face. Seriously, it was hilarious to watch. :)

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He is the proud new owner of a four wheeler!


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It took us a half hour to get him to get off his bike and to open his "other" presents.

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It took us all morning to open presents. After he would tear into the present and open it, he would want to get it out and play with it for awhile.

He loved his Handy Manny tool belt set! Thanks to his cousins Hannah and Madeline! :)


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Awhile back Zenock got a little nerf gun at a restaurant and played with it for hours shooting JC and I. I was shocked that he even figured it out on his own and could work it. I was excited to get him the real thing... I made sure to get two of them for JC and Zenock - from Mom. Still wondering if that was a wise decision. The other night I got pelted right in the eye... and it wasn't Zenock who hit me.

More stories coming...

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Drumsticks! I think we might have a musical genius in our house... He loves everything to do with music. JC taught him how to take a wooden hammer and drum on a tin box... He carries around his little boombox and will turn on the music and drum along. The wooden hammer scared me a bit, so I found some "real" drumsticks with soft tips so he can drum on anything he wants now. (It's also a little bit quieter now!)



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JC has asked for a game system our entire marriage... Every year I've made up an excuse why we can't or shouldn't get it. Example: He was in school and he wouldn't study as much if he had one. Secretly, it was because I don't care for them all that much... Maybe it has something to do with the enormous amounts of time I spent when I was first married/dating watching JC and his friends have, "Nintendo tournaments." I hated those days-nights. :)

Last year I had him convinced I got one. He was devastated on Christmas when we didn't really get one and I felt really bad. So this year I made up for it- everything he wanted!

I went with the Wii, because I told him it is more family oriented...

(I still have a grudge against those xbox days.)

We had a lot of fun playing games all day... Zenock even got to join in.

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Zenock got another vroom-vroom car (remote controlled) that he can drive around.

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He loves anything that can drive.


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Farm Set from Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Emily...

Grandpa is always telling/inviting him to come visit him on the farm and help him drive the tractor.

Whenever we talk about a farm or see a picture of a tractor or a farm... It is "Grandpa's Farm."


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Through out Christmas Day JC and I had numerous nerf gun wars... These weren't simple little I shoot him and he shoots me. They were all out wars... lasting upwards of an hour. It was hilarious hiding all over the house waiting to get the perfect shot. :)

It was also hilarious when Zenock got hit...

He would act so dramatic and get up, yell out "Ouch DAD!", grab his side, and limp away.

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He had just been hit and was on his way down. :)

Classic.

Sadly... when it's just three of you, you have a lot of entertainment to make.

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The guy behind the gun...

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Another just been hit...

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Playing with his train set from Grandpa and Grandma Larson... He LOVED it!

We loved spending Christmas at home this year and enjoyed making new traditions and memories. We also loved being able to talk to numerous family members through out the day on Skype.

We definitely got spoiled and feel very blessed for all that has happened this year and all we have been able to do! We can't wait to see what 2010 holds in store for us!



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We had the {A's} over after Christmas for a little DDR competition... It got pretty intense.

I'm sure there will be plenty more. :)

Hope you had a Happy Holiday!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December :)

We have had quite the December! I can't believe we are only two days from Christmas! :)
I told myself to keep things simple this year...
I wasn't going to do all the little things... like Christmas cards... I thought maybe I would skip a year...
A few days AFTER Thanksgiving my cute husband asked me when we were doing family pictures for Christmas cards... (This is the same husband that HATES family pictures for Christmas cards.) I thought... "OK, I'll do a Christmas Card." AND, then it started...
I quickly rushed to call a photographer and on the coldest day in Alabama's history...
We took pictures for a Christmas card. :)
This cold COLD outing may or may not have resulted in my child getting a serious ear infection... (some type of random bacteria growing out of his ear!) Lovely... We haven't dealt with ear infections since he got his tubes in last January. After two doctor visits and 4 different antibiotics... HE is finally feeling happy again and running around the house singing, "Jingle Bells" saying, "Ho HO Ho, Merry Christmas!" and inviting our mail man who I am sure is sick of bringing packages to the door... (that's what you get when all your family lives out of state!) to come in and play.

Then sometime in our crazy December... Our computer crashed again. The blue screen of death which we lovingly refer to it as, appeared for the fourth time this year.
After thoughtful consideration... we decided to trash the dang computer and buy a new one... (Although, now I can't say if it was a good thing or a bad thing since I'm really loving this new computer. Just glad that I had all of my scrapbooking and pictures on my portable hard drive!)

We've enjoyed fun Christmas parties and events with friends.
It's a good thing I finished Christmas shopping and wrapping presents early in December. :)


The last couple of days we've spent in the kitchen making treats for neighbors and for ourselves...

One

Want to be my neighbor???
Zenock loves treats and is always negotiating for "one more."
***
I feel like today things have finally calmed down a little bit from our busy month and I'm set to enjoy the rest of the week...
Today we made sugar cookies...
A fun tradition I remember doing every year with my family.

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Zenock was a great help in cutting out the trees and stars...

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And throwing flour ALL over the floor.


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And eating the cookie dough. :)


But, it was LOTS of fun!
We are so excited for Christmas... counting down the days...
I can't wait to surprise Zenock with his present. He will be so excited. He is at the perfect age for Christmas. :)
Hope you have a Happy Holiday!

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Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shadows...

I absolutely am in love with my "SWEET" little boy. He has been so perfect lately. I love the way he comes up to me when he's been in trouble and says,

"Sorry Mom, I'll be good."
(sometimes telling Dad before hand... "I was bad, I'm gonna go tell Mom sorry.")

or

"I love you Mom... I love you SO MUCH!"

Little things like that make my day.

I love when he is in a cuddling mood and tells me...

"Mom, Hold me like a baby, ok?"

Of course I'll never say no to that.

or when he gets excited...

"I'll take a nap and then we can go play with friends, Woohoo!"

or when he compromises with me and says,

"How about this one..."


Zenock has never been a good sleeper. He wakes up at least once every night... (It's been about six months or more since I remember not waking up). He runs into our room and tells me, "Mom, I so scared."

Monday night we had our FHE lesson on prayer. One of the things we said was that we could ask Heavenly Father to help us not be scared. That night when we said prayers with Zenock it went something like this...

Mom: "Help me to not be scared..."
Zenock: " Help me to not be scared... of shadows and Peter Pan and Captain Hook."

IT was so dang sweet and cute and heart wrenching! So much was meant in that sweet prayer. What have we done!!! It was an eye opening moment, knowing that as much as he loves Peter Pan... He is also terrified. At least we know what he is scared of now. It looks as though our trip to Disneyworld in the spring might have to be delayed awhile... (sorry Kami.) Can you imagine if he were to meet Captain Hook and Peter Pan in person!?!

My poor sweet innocent little boy.
Oh how I just want to hold him and protect him from ever being scared.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow!

Saturday morning after persistent calls from Zenock I got out of my warm bed and headed into the kitchen to get him his "shake." As I was walking I noticed out my front window it had SNOWED!
In Alabama??!!??


Zenock and I were SO excited. You see... we have been dreaming of a white Christmas!

And it doesn't snow in Alabama... usually.


We got bundled up and headed outside to play in the snow. Knowing all too well it would be gone by lunch time.



It was freezing cold! We loved it!

I have missed Utah Snow... It's been a long time... too long since I have seen it. It made me incredibly homesick for Christmas at "home" and to think that my sweet little boy doesn't know what REAL snow is.

(It is scary to think that all of these little things are up to me to show, provide for, and teach him...)



Because it never snows in Alabama... I swear half the neighborhood was outside taking pictures of their homes and kids... We just thought we would join in. Who knows if it will happen again!

It has literally been raining "buckets" for the last 10 hours straight. You haven't seen rain until you live in the South. The quote: "When it rains, it pours!" takes on a whole new meaning. I'm not sure how things haven't flooded yet. Here's hoping that at some point it turns to snow tonight... I'm sick of the rain! :)

***

Do you ever just sit and think and have ten different conversations with yourself or have ten thousand thoughts running through your head at once... This would be me. right now.
Can't sleep.

So much is going on, so much to think about, to share, to consider, to do, to accomplish!

I am reading Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue" right now. Love it. She seriously is one tough lady. I recommend it... inspiring... and I agree with her on most everything! I wish I had her determination, focus, and energy!


One of these days maybe I will get it all done. :)


Thursday, December 3, 2009

thanksgiving week.

A couple of days before Thanksgiving, JC and I took Zenock to the Botanical Gardens Galaxy of Lights display. It was a fun family outing...

(Yes... my eyes are closed... ignore it. :)


Except for the whole Santa visit... Apparently, we aren't ready for him just yet. :)
He's got plenty more chances to meet Santa this year.

Also, while JC and I were getting things ready and putting things in the car, Zenock was sitting in the front seat "driving" as usual. After we got in we realized what he had been doing... putting pennies in the cd player. Let me just say copper and electronics don't work together... AT ALL.
It shut down all the electronics in our car. (Not good when everything in our car is electric - even the odometer.) SO... lesson learned. Zenock isn't allowed in the front seat ever again.

Tickets to galaxy of lights = FREE (Their card machine broke as we drove up.)
Penny in the cd player = $1300 (You read that right.)
Family night Fun. :)

***

Thanksgiving 2009

JC and I decided to host Thanksgiving for a few friends at our house this year. We had a great time planning and preparing and enjoyed being in our own home. :)

JC had this great idea to "deep fry" a turkey. My thought was absolutely no way. I knew something would happen. In my mind all I kept thinking about was the news reports on Thanksgiving about all the people who start fires by deep frying their turkey...

He enlisted the help of his friend Mike...

They used a camping stove, a canning pot, a large stick to stir, and chicken wire to strain...

I have to give them credit for not burning my house down.

JC and I turned it into a competition... I cooked a turkey to, just "in case" we needed a back-up.

He won.

I liked mine better.


Zenock and his cute friends patiently waiting for food...

They played so cute together all night.


Later we found Zenock sitting in one of the babies car seats... surfing the internet on a blackberry.

We had a great Thanksgiving with good friends!

We feel so blessed to be where we are and to be a family.

***


Friday (Black Friday!) I got up at 3:30 to hit the sales. Oh... how I love a good sale! I live for Black Friday.

A friend and I shopped all morning... Kohls, Target, Old Navy, Sams Club, The Mall, and back to Kohls. No fights were witnessed this year, but we had a great time and got some awesome deals.


After coming home and catching up on some missed sleep, we decorated for Christmas.

We shopped for a Christmas tree... (JC insisted on a REAL one this year.)


I love having a fireplace to decorate and a place to hang our stockings.



I also love having a real Christmas tree and am thankful to JC for insisting on it. The smell brings back so many memories of when I was little.



Christmas isn't Christmas with out peppermints and red and green m&m's.



Cute, right? Super Saturday craft idea from a few years ago. :) I love it.


I love having the outside of a house to decorate as well. A house at all for that matter. There is nothing better than being able to sit cuddled up on the couch with all the lights turned on, good holiday scents in the house, and Christmas music on as loud as you want it.

Zenock makes us turn the lights on ALL day. I am totally ok with that. :)

I can't believe it is December! The busiest most wonderful time of the year! Our calendar is already full with fun activities and every day there is something new to add to it. We are excited to spend time with friends, as a family, and enjoying and making new traditions.

the sink.

Zenock was helping me make cookies for an event we were going to the next day... After driving me absolutely crazy, I finally stripped him down and told him to play in the sink.



For the first 10 minutes he played like this...



Then there were a couple of minutes like this...



When I looked over again... he was giving himself a bath.

Two year olds have all the fun. :)


More pan...

The other night as I was laying in bed with Zenock trying to get him to go to sleep. The wind was blowing really hard outside... I turned to Zenock and said,
"Zennie, Can you hear the wind? It's windy outside."
Zenock replied, "WENDY!? And Peter Pan and Captain Hook?"

Yes... He's obsessed.



(Zenock - Peter Pan and Mom - Captain Hook)


I apologize this picture is extremely blurry... Maybe you should complain about it to JC and then he will buy me a new camera. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Projects!

JC was gone last week for a conference back in D.C. I hate when he is gone... I have to keep myself busy with projects so that I don't worry or go crazy with my thoughts.

I had lots planned!

Zenock and I did LOTS of Christmas shopping. :) We are almost done.
(I am so, so, so excited for Christmas with my little family!)

I also was able to check some projects off my list...

We bought Zenock a bedroom set back in Texarkana... We didn't expect him to climb out of his crib at 16 months and to be in a "big boy" bed at 17 months. We didn't really want to put him in the bed that we bought him because it is really nice and sits high up. So we ended up buying this toddler bed at Ikea. I have been so sick of looking at it's "bareness" for the last year and couldn't wait to paint it.

I painted it back in October and absolutely loved how it turned out!



I have this awesome creative friend that told me how to paint it and then antique/stain it.

It was perfect for his "Baseball" room.



When JC saw this quilt in the PB kids magazine he told me WE had to get it. "Zenock had to have it... every little boy needed a baseball room like the one in the magazine." I wanted to wait until we moved to get it and a month before we moved I was checking online to see if "by chance" it was on sale... Sadly... It was completely SOLD OUT!
I then called the three pottery barn stores in the D.C. area and begged them to see if by chance they had one. Luckily, one of the stores did! It was the floor display and they had just taken it down and put it in the back. They gave it to me for a great price! :)
I love good deals.


I never liked the way Zenock's baby room turned out, but love his room now. It fits his personality perfect.


One of my projects last week was to do a beadboard wall and then do a shelf the length of the wall to put all of his baseball stuff on. I decided to hold off for awhile on doing that and ended up just putting up "a" shelf. But, I still love how it turned out.



I also decided to copy my Mom and ordered this cute window from ebay...

It was way cheap and was supposed to be "antique white," but when it got here it was... PINK!


It was a fun project...



It helped with the bareness of the walls in my kitchen. I am amazed at how much "decorating/money/stuff/time" it takes to decorate a house! One of these days, I might be able to fill the walls. :)

I also have 3 big planter ledges in my house that got decorated while JC was gone... (pictures to come.)

I had so much fun painting Zenock's bed... I am now on the look out for more furniture I can paint. I have noticed myself staring out the window every time I pass the little thrift shops. I am not a garage sale/thrifty person. I wish I could be! :) I just have this eery creepy feeling of owning something that once belonged to someone else. We are talking about serious issues. I honestly think that that "item" might be haunted and I just don't want it in my house. I'm weird... I know. But, just maybe one day... if I find that perfect piece of furniture it might help me over my fears.

I've got lots of more fun projects planned for down the road... stay tuned. :)