Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Makes You CRAZY!

Pre-dawn jitters and uncontained excitement tend to cause jubilant and extreme euphoric conditions amongst a few of the children.

Friday, December 16, 2011


 The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas always seems like a whirlwind, but typically I feel like I'm just going going going non-stop, but this year I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels.  We have gotten a few things done.  Such as...
 Casey wanted a new TV for Christmas so we purchased and installed that (with a little help from Miles).  Then we promptly felt guilty for spending so much money on a TV and returned it for a much less expensive model.  It may not have all the bells and whistles but we enjoy it none the less.  (in the above picture please note: the adorable wreath (my sister in law Jessica organized the wreath making craft at thanksgiving and I've loved having it), Our newest Christmas tradition "Wilson the Elf" who is resting in the wreath (my mother-in-law sent this little guy to us and it's been a blast having him even though Bennett insists "That guy's not magic"), my adorable advent calendar (Sarah organized the advent calendar craft at thanksgiving and it's been so fun, each day we do a different activity).)
 We got a new (used) tree on Craigslist!  It was super exciting.  Casey picked it up after the kids had gone to bed and we got it all set up and the light put on while they were sleeping so when they woke up they were so excited.  Then they helped us decorate it (one of our advent activities).  (please don't note the cluttered room and shifty tree skirt in the above picture)
 We also attended our ward Christmas party where our wonderful Relief Society president took it upon herself to take family Christmas pictures.  I wish I would have realized what a special treat this was and coordinated outfits.  Maybe next year...
 Porter and Maya joined a choir group at school and they had their performances.  The first performance was at the zoo and we froze our little toes off but they did a great job.  As we walked in Maya got all huffy with Casey because he made her wear her coat and by the end of the evening she was crying because she was so cold.  Daddy knows best. 

As a special treat Porter and I got to go to a Hockey game last night.  Casey got two tickets at work and Porter and I got to go to the game together.  It was so fun and now Porter is totally in love with Hockey.  He's really wanting Hockey gear for Christmas (unfortunately it's a bit late to be making requests).  I hate that I forgot to take the camera to the game.  Porter was so excited and cute!

I think Christmas time is always a little difficult to manage with all the planning, extra activities, buying of gifts, travel plans, and then there is still all the regular stuff.  Every year I think "I really should have done this differently", but I'm learning and maybe by the time I grow up I'll be a pro. 

Monday, December 12, 2011


I can't say it emphatically enough... I LOVE HOLIDAYS!  I absolutely love having Casey home and everyone relaxing together (if you can call frenzied rocket building relaxing).  The Elmer's have a tradition of setting off rockets on Thanksgiving day and the Porters have happily adopted the same tradition.  This year was fun because we finally had a few kids old enough to dabble in the art of Rocket Science!

While the men folk construct the rockets we women toil away in the kitchen and whip up some fine vittles.  I think my mom caught Casey sneaking a pre dinner taste.  Hanny looks like she probably told on him and Sarah and Jessica just though the whole situation was hilarious. (ok, not really this picture was staged).
The launch went well this year.  The weather was great.  Usually it seems like we are all sitting around freezing our buns off and counting down over and over and over, but this year the temperature was pleasant the repetitive counting down was just as annoying as ever:)

Such a good looking crew.  Not only were the kids involved in the building of the rockets this year, but they also made themselves useful by chasing down the rockets.  We make a game of trying to catch the rockets before the touch the ground.  Typically Grampy is the only one who catches rockets but this year was a little different.  Grampy was still hurting from too much turkey bowl so he failed to catch a single rocket.  The closest was Landon who scooped his rocket off the ground just as it touched.  Wow the kids are really growing up!
The ever competitive Sarah shoved Grant out of the way and snagged his rocket causing toddler tears and Landon and Addie to question their moms kindness. 
Bennett had a great time playing with Unkey James who, despite being sick, got all kinds of smiles and giggles from Mr. Serious.
Casey built his rocket from scratch this year.  You can see how excited he was.  Unfortunately his rocket broke as soon as we got there so he quickly repaired it and let it dry until the last launch of the day.  It didn't go well.  It shot off at an odd angle and stuck in the ground nose first.  The kids grabbed it before he got there and left the nose cone in the ground.  We never did find it. 

The day after Thanksgiving my parents rented out the local Rollerskating rink and we burned off out turkey 80's style.  It was so fun for everyone to cruise around the rink.  As soon as we got home Porter scarfed down several pickles in order to wash out the pickle jar as a "Rollerskating Fund".

Doesn't my dad look like he's having fun?
This picture of Casey is totally priceless.
I guess rollerskating is kind of like fireworks.  You just can't help smiling.  My friend from Philadelphia, Elaine and her family came also and it was so fun to see them again.  She told me that when her mom was our age she tried out for a roller derby team.  After a day of skating I think I might take up roller derby.  It'd be a great way to exercise!
I love these pictures of James and Jessica helping the boys out.  Miles actually really liked having his skates on but I think the action on the floor was a bit daunting for him.  Bennett on the other hand preferred hitching rides on James.
Yes, I also rock at rollerskating, but I don't hold a candle to Mr. Joe Cool himself (Brad).  And we wonder why rollerskating isn't cool anymore...
Oh, and I had to clean gum out of Bennett's hair.  This picture looks pretty creepy but I swear I wasn't cutting him and he didn't bleed at all (but he did whine a lot).
One day when the kids were getting a little crazy my mom divided the kids up into teams and had them go on an Alphabet scavenger hunt around the yard.  It was pretty fun and cute to see them all searching for different items.  The big kids did a great job of helping the little guys with the letter sounds.  My Aunt Rhonda and her husband Scott came with their girls Jenna and Carly.  When I asked Carly if I could take their team picture she said "Ok, are you done now, cause I want to do the hunt".

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My sister Sarah and her family came to visit us a few weeks ago.  It was such a great time having them here.  We decided to make it a surprise and not tell the kids, but Casey kept telling our kids that there was going to be a surprise, so I finally told them that the surprise was going to be a meteor shower.  Sarah had a tougher time keeping the secret seeing as her kids had to drive 4 hours and knew something was up, so she told them they were going to a museum and that they were going to stay at a rental house over night.  These pictures are of the kids as we walked outside to see the meteor shower.  Check out Porter and Maya's faces in this picture.  They were so thrilled to see their cousins.  Way better than a meteor shower.  

As always we had so much fun together.  I had gotten two free passes to COSI (the science center) so we exhausted ourselves spending the day there.  There was a fun little play area when you first walked up so we spent a while running around and climbing on everything.

Check out Bennett and Grant fighting over the metal ant.  Grants face is priceless!
Then we went inside and checked out all the great stuff there was to explore.  Like making energy and astronaut toilets.
Next we all went outside to the pavilion area where we had lunch and played with all kinds of outside things.  There was a pulley system set up that enabled you to lift a car, and a cool contraption that would suck balls out of your hands and shoot them into the air.  

On the top level there was a really awesome kids area.  They had water tables and even had little infant chairs so Ender got to splash around to his hearts content.

There was also an area dedicated to gadgets.  There was all kinds of building materials and the older kids had a great time putting together little creations.

The last area we visited was a section where you went through different time periods.  The kids loved this area!  There were lots of interactive ways to expierence each time period. 
On our way out we snapped a few "group" pictures.  Everyone wasn't in the picture, but it still turned out cute for those of us who were patient enough to let me take their picture.

We did some wrestling lessons.  The kids had a great time throwing each other around. 

Events that were not pictured:
  • Sarah fixed the sewing machine my mom let me borrow!!!
  • Sarah helped me get all my crayon bags sewn for primary!  I am so so so happy to have this done.
  • The kids played outside a bit (thank heavens for nice weather)
  • We went to Jeni's Ice Cream and paid $20 for 2 pints of ice cream!  It was so expensive but so so so delicious.  I was happy to see that the ice cream we've made from her cookbook are just as good.  I think I'll save myself the money and make it myself (so I can eat more of it!).
  • The kids made some melty bead projects
  • The adults played the bean game
  • Landon and Porter played football quite a bit and even convinced the dads to join them a few times.
It was such a great visit and I can't wait to do it again!