Wednesday, December 21

december 25

merry christmas everyone!!!

we hope you have had a wonderful christmas season and that you enjoy every ounce of this wonderful day with your families and friends.  we are so grateful for Jesus Christ, whom we celebrate, and the gifts He gives that we enjoy. 

december 24

december 24th:

drive around and look at the lights

well, we haven't officially taken our drive yet, as we still have to eat dinner and open pajamas, but it's on the schedule for our christmas eve activities.  kate always enjoys a drive and beth seems to like it as well.  we turn up the music and let the girls dance themselves silly and give us a good laugh.  hope you all have a great christmas eve tonight!!

better get to bed early so santa doesn't skip your house - and like my mom always says:

if you don't believe, he won't come.

and like someone else said on pinterest:

if you don't believe, you get socks.

december 23

december 23rd:

make rice crispie treats

i had to get jessica's top secret rice crispie treat recipe :)  weston says it's the best, and he's right.  every time we've sampled hers, it's always the perfect combination of flavor, chewy, and crispy.  i whipped up the batch and promptly handed the pan over to its rightful owner.  looks pretty happy :)

december 22

december 22nd:

make gingerbread cookies

we quickly made the dough and then spent the next hour or so letting it chill - all the while i heard several renditions of "mommy!  is it time yet?"  
she was beyond excited for cutting out cookies.  kate also loved eating whatever pieces of gingerbread dough she could sneak from the countertop.  once the dough was ready, we rolled it out and kate went to town cutting out shapes.
once they were cooled enough, both girls wanted a bite.  while kate is more of a gingerbread dough fan, beth loved her entire cookie!

december 21

december 21st:

see the lights at temple square

last year, we went to salt lake late so we were on temple square around 9pm.  it was great - while it meant a late night with the girls, it also meant slightly fewer crowds of people.  we chose to do this again this year.

we loaded up the girls and the van with a crazy amount of warm gear - but we used it all except for one blanket!  it was definitely a cold night so we were glad we had all of the layers.

beth missed out on most of the lights because she was so wrapped up in the back of the stroller - she was in her own little cocoon.  at the end of the evening, though, weston bundled her up in his arms and showed her what she'd been missing.  her audible gasping was reward enough for the drive :)
kate loved looking at the different nativities on display and her favorite part was looking at the model of the salt lake temple inside the south visitor's center.  
if you have or haven't seen it, here's an interesting sidenote:  weston got to work on that project a couple of years ago.  he assisted the church photographer for a few days inside the temple.  they went everywhere - including the very top, up to the cantilever that holds the angel moroni on top of the temple.  
i was able to see a handful of the photos and it was incredible to see the innards of the temple, not to mention the gorgeous meeting room (can't think of what to call it except maybe the priesthood room?)  they photographed every square inch of the building so the model maker would have a plethora of reference photos to create what you see in the visitors center.  anyway, take a look at the model next time you're there.

december 20

december 20th:

go get hot chocolate

this is a simple activity for the calendar, which i love.  aside from weston's love affair with soda, none of us are big time on drinks.  but when the frigid weather hits in the season leading up to christmas, i love hot chocolate.  kind of like the snow, once christmas comes and goes, i have no use for it :)

we went low-key and picked up some cocoa at the gas station.  this year was the first time kate would try it (i told her it was like chocolate milk) and she loved it.  
beth watched her big sister drink from the mystery cup and gave me the look like, "ok mom, well where's mine?!?!?"  we filled up the spare sippy cup with some of kate's cocoa and beth drank it down in about 10 seconds.  
happy girls!

Monday, December 19

december 19

december 19th:

take treats to a friend

in the evening, we loaded up a plate full of caramel popcorn and sugar cookies and drove out to see weston's grandparents.  kate was thrilled to pick out cookies she had painted to take to grandma and grandpa.  while we were there visiting, she even talked grandma into sharing the treats with her :)

you all know how trying to get a picture works... you end up with a few outtakes instead of what you were really looking for :)

december 18

december 18th:

go to a local christmas activity

i've sort of turned these couple of days (local activities) into "spend time together as a family, out of the house"  this turned into going bowling as a family and with some good friends, the scott family.

back in high school, weston and i had to take a hiatus from bowling together.  at that time, i was pretty decent and he was not so much.  therefore, a fun date night turned into a night with a pouting boyfriend which is never very fun.  i'm sure he would love to be reading this...  good thing he doesn't ever look!  anyway, as the years have gone on, we haven't bowled more than once a year - if that.  so i wasn't sure what to anticipate about our respective games.  i started off my first frame, and the game, with a strike!!  i felt the luck :)  i finished my 2 games with 142 and 127, respectively.  we had a great time, weston got a few strikes (and won both games, by the way), kate loved pushing her bowl off the dragon slide, and beth loved the freedom and excitement.

december 17

december 17th:

read a christmas story

weston's mom gave us this "kit" a few years back.  there is a wooden tree and then several ornaments to hang while you read a story.  in the story, santa claus entreats you to "teach the children" the meaning of christmas, as well as the individual meanings of the symbols with which we celebrate.

kate had a great time listening to the story and hanging each ornament on the tree as we talked about it's particular symbolism.

it's been a good teacher for me, too!

Friday, December 16

december 16

december 16th:

make christmas cookies

we woke up this morning and got out the paintbrushes, food coloring, sprinkles, and cookies that were baked the night before.  
while none of us particularly like sugar cookies, kate loves the decorating and so, we make them again and again. 

hopefully we can give them away to sugar-cookie lovers...

i decorated a handful, kate decorated a lot, and i even got weston to decorate 3 or 4.  

december 15

december 15th:

make caramel popcorn

it always surprises me when i do any christmas baking - wowza that's a lot of butter and sugar in every recipe!

 halfway there

 kate and beth are excellent helpers


Tuesday, December 13

december 14

december 14th:

make a gingerbread house

beth was excited

 step 1 - start by gluing the pieces together and hope they all fit somehow... i have yet to make a gingerbread house (using kits even) that don't have to be "jerry-rigged" together with ample amounts of glue...i mean frosting

step 2 - give toddler smallish amounts of candy to decorate each section so you don't end up with one side of the house decorated and the rest plain, brown gingerbread

 step 3 - ask toddler to smile at the camera and show off her finished gingerbread house.

 step 4 - slightly monitor the amount of frosting and candy consumed by toddler in place of afternoon snack (but mostly spend your time blogging and facebooking...)

december 13

december 13th:

go to the movies as a family

we took the girls to see puss in boots.  it was quite an adventure - i haven't taken beth to a movie for at least 6 months and hoped she would do better than last time when i spent about 70 minutes of a 90 minute movie in the lobby...

this experience was only slightly better :)  but kate liked the movie and i was just glad there were only two other people in the theater when beth started the "squealing with delight" phase...

family movie night is always memorable!

december 12

december 12th:

mail out christmas cards
it always feels good to drop that huge pile in the mailbox!

now, if only we got as many back in return.... ;)
are christmas cards going the way of the dodo???

december 11

december 11th:

watch a holiday movie

kate's pick was rudolph's shiny new year.
thank you, abcfamily 

i tried to take a picture of her watching with her huge popcorn bowl,
but these are the results...

taking a huge handful of popcorn

 me: look at me
kate: i am!
little liar... ;)

december 10

december 10th:

christmas sewing!!!

ok, this is no fun for the girls, but i have to squeeze it in somewhere...

first, the christmas dresses

i had envisioned something entirely different, something that included matching dresses with a fancy overskirt... didn't quite happen.  i had many a tim gunn "make it work" moment :) but actually, i am glad the original plan didn't come to fruition - i really dig the coordinating but not matchy- matchy dresses.

kate got a "princess" dress - complete with large ruffles that twirl to her heart's content
 beth ended up with a sweet little baby dress with a single deep pleat and bow
 and, as usual, we used buttons from great grandma colton!

and next?  the christmas eve pajamas
 it was slim pickings at the fabric store for christmas fabric... i wanted something wintery, preferred some pink/purple (can you even believe it??), and really wanted something warm - think flannel or maybe some minky fleece or something.

couldn't find it.

so i compromised - i found this cute cotton print and picked up some checked flannel for lining.  yes, i lined their pjs...
so it will be like they're wearing little jackets to bed... yes, they're on the heavy side....

oh well.

december 9

december 9th:

read a christmas story

i got out one of our books full of different christmas stories. 

we read a couple of stories about giving over receiving and then a poem about the star on christmas night.  when i asked kate what one of the stories was about, she threw her hands up in the air and said, "pirates!!!"

one of the boys in the story had received a coloring book about pirates so, while i wish that wasn't what she took away from the story, at least she listened to some of it :)