June 2012

Thursday, February 21, 2013

More December Fun

December 7, 2012 - We were invited to our old ward's Christmas party and loved seeing everyone. It seems amazing to me how many people we got to know in such a short time in the ward (about 8 months). I also went to a cookie exchange party with Reed's preschool teacher. Way too many cookies were sampled and brought home, but it was a good time.

December 8, 2012 - We went to our ward Christmas party. It was a little weird just because we were brand new. We had only been to the ward the previous Sunday, so didn't really know anyone. But, we all had a good time. I loved the pjs and breakfast theme. Plus the kids got to ride on the "Polar Express." Pretty cool. Plus, Reed actually sat on Santa's lap this year! He really is growing up! Eve talked big, but when it came down to it, it was not going to happen. Aria just started screaming when we tried to hand her over.

First time without crying :) 

The "Polar Express"

As you can see, they were going pretty fast. I wanted a turn, but it was for kids only. 

After the party, we went to the live Nativity. I remember going with my parents a lot (not sure if it was yearly, but I recall at least a few times) and loved it. I wanted my kids to get the same experience. So, we went, froze a little, but enjoyed the presentation. The kids LOVED the live animals and Eve could not keep quiet - she had so many questions and thoughts. I was truly touched with how they presented the birth of our Savior. Afterwards, we got to see the baby Jesus and pet all the animals (sheep, horses, goats) and Aria was ecstatic about touching the sheep! She really is my animal-lover. Now, every time she sees a sheep (usually it's a pretend one), she just gets so excited and yells what she thinks is the word for sheep and points. So cute :) The kids even got to sit on a horse. Tyson's uncle, Mark, is in charge of all the animals, so he let the kids sit on a horse. They all did it - way to be brave!

A lot of December was taken up by the kids play kitchen that I made (Pictures to come). It was made from Tyson's Grandma's old entertainment unit. It got sanded, then prepped, then painted white. For the doors, I chose an orange color because I ended up making little valences out of Tyson's Grandma Zobrist's old tablecloth (plus some aprons!) that was an orange and white checker. So, the fridge doors had to be orange, along with the stovetop knobs. The handles for everything did not actually come until after Christmas (a long and frustrating process...I should have just not special ordered it - even though it was cheaper) and have not been put on because a tragedy happened on Christmas Eve. As it was being transported from Tyson's parents to our house, one of the doors flew open and broke! They tried to fix it with glue - it lasted for a few days, but then broke again. So, I have to do the doors again. Thus, I do not have a proper picture of the kitchen as of yet. But, it will be coming. Oh, I also put number and a start and stop on the microwave, plus spray-painted some old cds black and then painted them with mod podge for the stove top burners. It really did turn out awesome! Thank you, Pinterest for getting me to try new things or at least making me think I can do it. I am usually surprised at how not hard it is or how good it turns out.

Another big thing we did in December was helping a family. The Walker kids all contributed how ever much $ they could and then Kimber, Tifani, and I went shopping for presents and food for a family. This was what we did in lieu of presents to Grandma and Grandpa Walker (and in our case Grandma and Grandpa Rowberry as well). The family had fallen on hard times, especially when their new baby (#3) had to be in the hospital NICU for a few weeks. Plus, the husband has had a rough time finding a job. Just a lot to handle for a young family. We ended up really brigthening their Christmas. I helped pick out all the presents, but I was most excited about doing a fruit/veggie/nuts basket. I just really felt that it needed to happen. So, I filled a large basket and here is how it turned out:

It just makes me want to eat it! It looked so good. Here is everything we were able to get together for the family (presents, plus lots of stuff to stock a pantry, along with laundry detergent, and the fresh produce basket): 

We went to deliver the basket on Friday, December 14th and it was truly amazing. I was a bit nervous because I didn't know the family that well, but that did not matter. We brought everything to the door and I rang the door bell. The 9-year-old came to the door and said, "Mom, there is like 300 pounds of food here! I don't know what to do with it!" The mom was a bit confused and asked if there were people at the door as well. We were still there. She came to the door, saw everything, and burst into tears. You could see the shock, awe, relief, and thankfulness written all over her face in about a second . She gave me the most giant hug and it was all I could do to not break down and cry as well. We all went in and chatted for a few minutes. She was just very grateful and the true spirit of Christmas was really made clear. We all left on such a high. I love the feeling of giving - it is just amazing. Best Christmas present of the year! 

December 20th we went to the Shark Reef with Reed's preschool class. I had never been, so was as excited as the kids. Reed, Eve, and Aria all loved it! Aria got so excited about all the fish, she could have stayed all day! I think Reed's favorite part was seeing the divers clean the tank. It really had the attention of most of the kids. He also told me, "Mom, I bet daddy would love that job!" You are right, Reed - at least as a 6-month job, it would be awesome! He already knows how to scuba dive. Eve was brave and stuck her hand in the water where the sting rays were swimming. All-in-all a great field trip! Plus, we got the extra bonus of going to lunch with daddy after it was over. He is at Mandalay Bay right now, which is where the Shark Reef is located. Yahoo! We were all excited about that! 

Playing before we went inside. 

Captivated by the fish 

The Gila Monster (I think) 

Sting rays

The sea life was just amazing! 
December 21st Jared and Beckie got to town, which is always exciting. My kids simply love them - especially Aunt Beckie. :) I mean, they love Jared as well, but they always ask when Aunt Beckie is coming to visit again. Beckie, you have truly wrapped my kids around your finger - way to go!

So, we had planned a few fun outings - the first of which was going to the Ethel M cactus garden to see the Christmas lights. I had been to the garden many times in high school (mostly because I could go and get a piece of chocolate from the factory as well) and loved it. Seeing the Christmas lights was amazing! They were so colorful and bright. It just makes me wonder who had to put all those lights on the various cacti in the garden and how they avoided being permanently punctured. Despite the cold (it is December, so it does get cold - just not as cold as other places), a good time was had by all. Plus, we all sampled some chocolate and toffee. Yum!

Reed had to stand by the green lights. They were his favorite. 

The crew - plus, we met up with Shauntelle and John and the girls

December 22nd we went to the Bellagio to see the flower garden and the water show. Those are my favorite things to do on the strip. I think it would be pretty awesome to be in charge of designing the flower gardens. They change fairly frequently and it always amazes me! This Christmas was no different - just amazing!

The entrance - I loved the giant bells!

The most talented xylophone players I have ever seen . They had 2 mallets in each hand! 

Aria attempting to pose. 

My kids loved the ice skating penguins. What's not to love about penguins, right? They are always dressed up, slide around on their bellies, and live in families. Love it! 
By the giant Christmas tree. 

They all loved the water show, but I think Reed may have loved it the most. He kept mentioning how cool and amazing it was. 

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