Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Day

We had a wonderful Christmas this year, but without the photo proof.  I was too busy enjoying myself to take many pictures, and the ones I did take were horrible low light messes.  I guess I just ought to stick to automatic until I learn more.

Anyway, Tyler first woke up at 2.  I then spent the rest of the night in his room on the top bunk.  We were up for good at 6:30.  Tyler was thrilled to discover that he was indeed on the good list and Santa did in fact leave him some gifts.  Legos, a pogo stick (which turned out to be a big hit), books, video games, candy.  I can't believe I didn't even take the picture of all the presents like I do every year!

The babies were up by 7.  They didn't get it all, but still had fun.  Brady's favorite present was a set of balls from Tyler, and Carter loved the Magna Doodle in his stocking.

We had a delicious breakfast of casserole, caramel rolls, and fruit (except Tyler ate his Lucky Charms that Santa left).  We spent the rest of the day relaxing. I loved it.  I even got a nap!

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.  I love our spiritual Christmas Eve.  We focus on the Savior, remembering that he indeed was "born that man no more may die."   Then there is the magic of Christmas Day.  As a parent, watching Christmas through the eyes of your children is even more amazing.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Pics

Maybe next year.

Our gym has a Breakfast with Santa each year.  The Santa there is awesome.  Unfortunately, Brady and Carter didn't agree.

Houston Zoo

This post is dedicated to anyone who has had to shovel snow within the last week.  :)

Yesterday for another Christmas Break activity, we headed out to the Houston Zoo.

Please note what we are wearing.  It was a record-breaking warm day in Houston, and we loved it!

 This is how the babies were all day.  Point and grunt.  I'm sure it's not the best way to see the zoo, from a stroller, but they didn't seem to mind.

Thanks for inviting us Krissy!  We had such a fun time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Birthday Boy

Each year we have to decide how to celebrate Tyler's birthday.  Being born the day after Christmas kind of stinks.  This year, we opted to have a bowling party the Saturday before Christmas.  We didn't have the greatest turn out, but we sure did still have fun. 

I have a million pictures of the boys in their stroller.  They really loved watching all the kids bowl.

And impatient Dan just couldn't wait until his actual birthday to  give him his present.
Yes.  A 4-wheeler.  He has loved it--been on it everyday since he got it.  What a lucky kid. 

But really, I am the lucky one.  I love this boy and am glad for all 7 years he has been a part of our lives.

Our cookie party

I love the fact that we get a whole week off from school before Christmas.  It has been fun to play with Tyler.  We have done our best to stay busy.

Yesterday we invited some friends over for a cookie decorating party.  I spent Monday baking, and we were ready to go yesterday with 100 sugar cookies.  I didn't think to take a picture of that stack, or even everyone's cookies.  But let me assure we, we had fun.  And boy were they yummy.  I love sugar cookies, and it just isn't Christmas without them.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I have loved seeing everyone's blog posts of Holiday decor.  This is not one of those posts.

I have been accused of being a Scrooge this year, but I disagree.  With this
Um, yeah we have graduated to climbing onto the kitchen counter!
going on at my house, I have decided to pick and choose what to spend my time and effort on.  That means I cut out the tree this year.  Do I miss it?  A little, but we are still festive in other ways.  We actually got the outside lights up this year, the mantle and stairs are decorated, and we put out our nativities (high and in rooms the babies don't go in).  We have our Holiday playlist going, not to mention the discovery of Pandora Radio.  It most certainly feels like Christmas at our house.

I have actually really enjoyed the time we have spent together this season too.  We are reading our Christmas books again this year.  We have looked at Christmas lights.  We've been playing games.  We've been doing our countdowns, including the Lego Advent which we love.  Next week is baking--I'm waiting for Tyler to be out of school so we can do it together.

One other thing we were able to do is go to breakfast with Santa.  This is how much the babies loved it:

But we had some good food, and Tyler sure found a lot of fun stuff to do.

So we are in Christmas mode here at our house.  Loving it, and counting down to the big day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Prep

As usual, December is proving to be busy.  We have been trying to get ready for the holidays, all while chasing after two crazy toddlers who love to make messes and an almost 7 year old who does not like to be neglected.

Since I have yet to post anything for the holidays, I thought it would be appropriate to share this video. I love it.  And it reminds me that while December is always busy, there is a reason for this wonderful time of year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Vacation Recap

Finally, now that we have been home for a week, I have found a minute to talk about our vacation last week.

Several months ago, Dan decided he needed a little break from work, and in order to not have to take quite as many vacation days, proposed we head out of town for Thanksgiving.  I thought this was a fabulous idea.  He searched the internet and found a wonderful house for us to rent in Destin, Florida.  We invited 2 other families along, and had a blast.

I never did take pictures of the house, but here is a picture of the pool:
We loved the pool and spent some time in it everyday.  Just ask my friend Kelsey.  She even jumped in to get Tyler when he was struggling one time.  :)

And to get even better, if we headed out our front door, and walked about a football field, we were at the beach.

Typical Dan--he only thought he was getting a vacation.  He was on his Blackberry every stinkin' day, even Thanksgiving!

We also went to The Track one day and had tons of fun riding bumper boats, go-carts, and amusement park rides.

Do you see how much Carter loved this ride?

But Bryson sure enjoyed it!

We also managed to fit in shopping, golf, the movies (loved Tangled), and a mostly home-cooked Thanksgiving Dinner.

It was a great vacation.  Having a house and no set schedule was the only way to do a trip with 10 kids, including three 1-year-olds.  So where should we go next year for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 29, 2010


Do you see how proud Brady looks in this picture?

That would be because he climbed up there himself.  And yesterday, it was the kitchen table via the bench.

Heaven help me!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Things that matter most

"When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles.

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks.

The wise resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life. They follow the advice “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” In short, they focus on the things that matter most."--Dieter F. Uchtdorf (LDS General Conference November 2010)

Last week was full of sick kids.

Sunday Carter woke up with a fever, and when it spiked to 103 I took him into urgent care where we got him an antibiotic for an ear infection.  We spent all Sunday snuggled up together.

Very early Wednesday morning Tyler came down to our room, and we ended up together in the bathroom for several hours, followed by snuggling all day.

The thing was, I had lots of stuff to do.  Suddenly my big long to do list was no longer important.

It made me think of the above quote by President Uchtdorf.  Why don't I stop and slow down more often?  Why is it that I only do that when I'm forced to?  All those things I thought I had to do, we all survived without doing it.  Do I really focus on what's most important?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tyler pics

Going through photos and found these.  The first is crazy sock day for red ribbon week.  We had to make a special trip to Target to find some crazy socks.  Luckily it was before Halloween, and we found these Frankenstein toe socks.

And here is the 50th day of school, and our attempt to dress Tyler from the fifties.  And notice he is showing off his muscles.

Man, this boy cracks me up.

(I am actually posting on my blog because the babies are sleeping, and have been for 2 1/2 hours!  This hasn't happened for months.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Rambles

1.  Am I the only mom still feeling the effects of daylight savings?  Brady has been humming every morning at 5 since the change.  And mean old mom leaves him there until 6:30 or he starts screaming, whichever comes first.

2.  Yesterday, I had 20 minutes when both babies were sleeping.  That's it.  And since the only time my house is clean is when they are asleep, it was a disaster until 8:00 last night.

3.  Any multiple moms out there have a suggestion for what to do when one twin needs more sleep than the other?  Is our only option to separate them?

4.  Tyler is such a sweetie.  For the past few months, Dan and I have been getting up at 6 for our scripture study.  I've discovered that unless I schedule it in, it doesn't happen.  So quite often Tyler comes down, and we are still reading.  He is always asked to sit quietly while we finish.  This morning he came into our room carrying his own set of scriptures and asked if he could read with us. 

5.  I love living in Houston this time of year.  We get some chilly days, but for the most part, our weather is gorgeous.  I just have to remind myself of that all summer.  At least we have October/November and again in March/April.

6.  With the lovely weather, we have been spending more time outside--which we all love. Yesterday the babies got to try out the wagon for the first time.  They loved it.

So the pictures don't really show it, but I promise they both liked riding in it.

7.  The memories of the lovely red wagon.  We got it when Tyler broke his leg, which I wrote about here.

8.  I've decided that I really like leftover Halloween candy.  Luckily I have also learned to like the gym.

9.  Brady and Carter have both been asleep for almost 45 minutes.  Let's see how much longer their morning nap lasts.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall, finally

Yeah!  Fall has finally arrived in Houston.  We spent last Saturday in shorts and tees, and for the last 2 days we are in jeans and hoodies.  Granted, our fall weather is the lovely high of 62 as opposed to freezing temperatures elsewhere.  I love it.  We had hot cocoa for breakfast and have finally pulled out all our new fall clothes.

On Monday, I swapped out the Halloween decor for the Thanksgiving/Harvest stuff. 
Here is my front door with my scarecrow wreath.  I also got a good look at my yellow mums.  I love yellow mums on porches for fall.  Well, obviously mine are a lovely shade of brown.  I am a mum killer.  One of these years, I am going to keep my mums alive until Thanksgiving.  It's my goal.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

National Adoption Month

Did you know November is National Adoption Month?

I am certainly grateful for the blessing of adoption.  It was the selfless sacrifice of our birthmother and the tireless effort of our caseworkers that brought us our miracle x2.

Ha! Now look at them:

Our agency contacted us about a month ago.  They were just trying to network and gather more adoptive families.  They actually had several birthmothers who needed to place quickly--and not enough families to show them.  While we are not quite ready to take the leap again ourselves, it did start the conversation between Dan and me.  Once the twins get just a little bit older, we are going to begin the adoption process again.  I can't help but feel someone is still waiting to join us.  And thanks to the miracle of adoption, we will be able to complete our family.

Here is the link to our entire adoption story.