Thursday, December 31, 2009

Romping in South Fork

Our dog has a lot of energy. A lot. I believe that her energy level even surpasses that of our kids. Woah. So, we try to take her on lots of walks and regular romps, our favorite romping spot being South Fork. Here are a few favorite photos from some recent walks in the canyon:

Sam is our professional snowball thrower for Chorney. He's really good at finding hunks of snow (Utah snow generally doesn't pack very well) and chucking them for the dog. Between chasing snowballs and her full-speed laps around us, romps work off a good bit of Chorney's energy

I just can't get enough of these two in their snow gear! They're like two little snow elves and they just crack me up as they waddle over hill and dale

Two cuties pause for a breather (Ben's hat is part of his 2007 Halloween costume, GIR the alien disguised as a dog. Apparently I made the hat with plenty of room to grow)

Nobody has to teach this kid to eat snow - the second we get out of the car she's consuming it by the handful. We do try and direct her away from the parking lot snow

A happy, romping family (sans Daddy, who's working every day through the holidays)

The boys' favorite activity is filling the stream with snow and screaming with gusto about damn snow dams. I'm pretty sure this is the only reason they acquiesce to the romps

When time allows, the boys like to take a few slides down the hill. Funny thing that they're so tired during the walk but then have plenty of energy to scramble repeatedly up an icy hill to sled down...

Chorney's doggie beard does freeze up rather nicely - I think it makes her look distinguished

And we get views like this on the drive home! God bless Utah

Ad Update

Wow - I am totally blown away! In the month of December, your 4,700 visits to this blog, combined with clicking on ads that are interesting to you, have netted $20.07 for orphan nutrition in Kazakhstan! Awesome!

I just posted a $20 donation to SPOON. Way to go, you guys. Think we can do even better next month? I better start thinking of entertaining blog post topics to suck you in to daily visits...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Stockings were Hung

I had every intention of finishing Sasha's stocking with plenty of time to spare... which sounded like a good plan until it intersected reality. But I finished the stocking before midnight on Christmas Eve, so that counts as on-time, right?!?

Even with the last-minute panic, I'm pretty pleased with the results. I love how the design honors lots of different pieces of Sasha's heritage! Steve suggested using colors and detail from the flag of Kazakhstan and I included a babushka on Sash's snowlady as a nod to Sasha's probable Russian ethnic heritage.

So, before Christmas officially hit, all five stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Boy did that feel good :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Christmas War

No better way to round out your Christmas day than an all-out Nerf battle! Ben got a new Nerf gun for Christmas and there was no better way to test it out than a multi-generational war.

Buddy was outnumbered, but what he lacked in numbers he made up for in passion, formidable firing faces, and ingenuity. He pioneered the "leave through the basement door and run around the outside of the house to execute a surprise attack in the living room" technique, which proved very effective and hilarious to onlookers (me).

I also particularly liked Steve's tenderness as he taught Sasha to wield her weapon. It's sweet that they can share father-daughter moments like that.

Unfortunately for Buddy, you can only use the "run around the outside of the house" attack once - it loses its element of surprise the second time. He learned this the hard way as Steve and Sam ran madly around the house locking all of the doors and forcing Buddy to return through the doggie door. Now that's a good culmination for a fantastic Christmas day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Morning

Our Christmas morning started with our traditional interpretation of the Christmas Story from Luke's Gospel (that is, it's a tradition for our family, but the reading itself is completely non-traditional). Sam did a great job as our narrator while Daddy, Ben, and Sasha were in charge of the dramatization. There was more throwing of the Bethlehem cast than in previous years and fewer wise man vs. shepherd brawls... but it was still a loud and violent retelling of the "Silent Night." Oh, and after several attempts, Sasha finally decided that she could not fit inside the stable after all, much to our collective disappointment.
And the rest of our Christmas went similarly well - plenty of excitement and lots of smiles. Here are the photo highlights:

Sash got lots of help opening gifts, which had the unfortunate effect of teaching her that everybody needed her help opening their gifts as well

Sam was rather excited about receiving the complete Calvin and Hobbes Treasury

The boys refused to let us remove the tags from their new coonskin caps... the tags facilitated the crossed eyes

Admittedly, we did have a couple of Sasha melt-downs... the parts of the day when other people got to open gifts were challenging.

Now that is one happy girl in one completely wrecked living room!

Christmas dinner on Mommy's new placesettings! Note Ben's very festive bagel-and-cream-cheese dinner. Fa la la la la.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we open stockings and then head to church in the hopes that our new treasures will keep busy hands occupied during the service. It's a good theory, and as you'd expect, actual results may vary.

That boy sure does have a goofy grin...

...I can't imagine where he gets it!

And then we donned our finest and it was off to church!

The pre-service family picture went remarkably well, with the exception of Buddy, who seemed to be surprised by the camera in every shot.

I guess I shouldn't bemoan Sasha's "cheese face" - it could be worse, she could photograph like her grandfather!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tie Dye Christmas for 5

We had a lovely Christmas - filled with many humorous moments that I'll strive to find time to blog about over the next few weeks. For now, however, here are photos of this year's tie dye project... I ran out of soda ash and didn't realize it until it was too late to buy more, so I feel that these don't represent my very best work, but such is the risk of a high art form like tie dye. This year's theme? Scooby Doo (combine a van and a dog and you've got a family favorite). And if you're curious, here are photos of tie dyes past: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

We didn't realize that Ben hadn't fully consumed his Christmas bagel before we sat down for the photo. I believe this may be a high (or low, depending on your point of view) point for his grossness.

Of course, Chorney couldn't let a full mouth like that go without attempting to snag a bite for herself! I particularly like Steve and Sam's expressions in this picture

Now Sasha stands up to mimic Grammy's waving as she attempts to redirect attention to the camera

And, finally, a decent family picture. Hooray for our first Christmas tie dye shot as a family of five!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Morningstars

Relax, everything's going to be all right;
Rest, everything's coming together;
Open your hearts, love is on the way!

We wish you a bright and joyful Christmas, filled with the hope of the Light of the World. Peace and love to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Independence - 3 (the Christmas Edition)

Imagine my surprise to see my daughter wake up, come downstairs, march over to the tree, plop down, and proceeded to turn on the train and make it chug-chug, choo-choo, whistle, and ho-ho-ho without batting an eye! I didn't even get the benefit of a, "No, no, Mommy, I do it, I do it" this time - it all happened so fast.

I blame her brothers. I keep telling them to never ever ever teach her anything but clearly they are very disobedient boys.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tree Trimming

The tree is finally up and decorated, thanks to late-night lighting by Steve and lots of ornament hanging by Grammy, Sam, and Ben. Sasha likes to help as well, like today when she grabbed my hair clips and felt squares (I'm making her stocking) from the table and used them to adorn the tree.

I do love decorating the tree... each ornament holds memories and significance - ornaments inherited from past generations, ones I made in elementary school, an ornamet for each year of Steve's life, the boys' fabulous creations from years past, and fun trinkets we picked up on trips and vacations over the years. We have hundreds and hundreds of ornaments, and when combined with the lights, the bubble lights, and the Hallmark animated ornaments that my grandfather gave us our tree is, well, very festive.

Sasha really likes the tree. The first morning it was up she walked into the living room, gave it one gaping stare, looked at us, and gleefully shrieked, "tree, tree!" complete with sign (which we never taught her, so we're still a little puzzled on that one). She likes to decorate and un-decorate the tree and we haven't lost any ornaments to her enthusiasm (yet), although Chorney has consumed a few.

Here are a few shots of my adorable children decking the halls:

Sam shares my enthusiasm for ornaments

Proper placement is essential, you can't rush into these decisions

Finally, the perfect place for that ornament

When you're pondering decorations with such intensity, the tongue just has to come out to help with the thought process

"Mom, why do you keep telling me to look at the tree with a sweet smile? This is weirder than you usually are when you get behind the lens."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Walden School Christmas Program

Two days ago/the 18th I had a program. It was a mix of any time of the year and three Christmas and two Halloween and it was really fun. But Sam didn't do it, the reason that Sam didn't do it, he doesn't like hand motions and there was a lot of hand motions. But he still participated by really cheering us on after every song.

Our very best one was We Wish You a Merry Christmas. My favorite I have to say is the Peppermint Twist. The Peppermint Twist was really fun. I say the one that had the most hand motions.


Editor's note: Mommy's favorite song was undoubtedly Puff the Magic Dragon. This Land is Your Land came in as a close second. God bless you, hippie school.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gingerbread Personality Studies

On Saturday we went to a super-fun birthday party and each kid got to decorate and bring home their gingerbread houses. I just had to share these with you, as a short study in my children's personalities.

Sasha: Whatever, sure, I'll stick some candy to this roof, and then it's time to go run around the room like the crazy toddler I am!

Ben: Sweet! Time to cram as much sugar on this house as I possibly can! (Actually, the house was even more spectacular but by the time I took the photo the marshmallows and several other "decorations" had already been gnawed off. And if you're wondering about the lollipops on top, it's a TV antenna. Very redneck-clever if you ask me.)

Sam: So, you say that I can take all of the candy on my house home, eh?

Sam, cont: Well, then, why would I bother with tedious decorating? I'm just filling this baby with as much candy as she can hold! (this large hole was created for ease of photography, the candy was actually stuffed through the small hole on the front side of the house)

Who's the strategist in our family?


Related Posts with Thumbnails