June round up

I've been so bad at blogging lately. I want to but I just haven't had it in me.

It's been a busy month. We had 2 birthdays (Nic 4, Ben 12), Father's Day, lots of Baseball, too many doctor and dentist appointments with a little fun sprinkled in between. 

I plan to do individual birthday posts for the boys. I guess we will see if I have it in me.

Here are some highlights from the last month.

Goodbye 2013

Happy Holidays and goodbye 2013.  Here is a look at the Christmas card I designed this year.  I took an annual report/info-graphic approach and listed out our family stats.  It's fun to see our year this way. I noticed I fell behind on blog posting this year.  Not really sure why... maybe it was all of those baseball games? In 2013 I posted just over 100 times and in 2012 I had an all-time high record of 287. In 2011 I posted 238 times. Whoa. That's a lot of posting - thanks for sticking with me over the years.  I am happy to have this online journal and it'll be nice for the kids to go through one day.

So on this last day of of 2013 (my last post for 2013) I wish you all a Happy New year and lots of love,  happiness, luck and health for 2014. 

North Pole express

On Friday we took a train ride on the North Pole Express. We met a few nice elves, Mrs. Claus and even had a visit from Santa.

While heading to the North Pole we enjoyed Hot cocoa ("hot coke" as Nic calls it), famous chocolate chip cookies and caroling. Santa faces us all bells. It was a festive, memorable and fun night.

Hohoholiday party

We had an immediate family Chrismas party last night at Geoff and Ky's house. We missed celebrating with Beau, Nichole & kids and Shawn, Lisa and kids. The timing just didn't work out this year for everyone to be together.  We made due and the kids had a blast all the same. It was a nice surprise to see Aunt Julie, Uncle Mike & Karen and Ky's parents Pam and Doug. We sure had fun.

Like a dummy I didn't get a big group picture. Ug, I wish I had.

There was excellent food & desserts, fun games, white elephant, and a visit from Santa. 

Nicholas was so thrilled to see Santa. His eyes lit up the second he saw him and he proceeded to tell Santa all about his elf. Santa remembered sending an elf to Nicholas and the dialogue they had about "elfie" was super cute. Nicholas asked for a flashlight friend, and surprise, he magically recieved one. A Christmas miracle! The older boys were happy to see Santa too. They both enjoyed sitting on his lap and listing their Christmas wishes. Look how big Andrew is?! Right now he is almost 5'8" (he has grown 3 inches in the last year). The bigs boys recieved Legos and were happy. Ben spent the rest of his evening putting his set together.

Geoff & Ky... Thanks for hosting such a fun party!

Thanksgiving round up

We had an excellent Thanksgiving holiday. We were blessed to have Chris' mom, sister and kids (Nina & Billy Jack) share this day with us. They are out west on a 10 day vacation and are visiting most of the national parks in southern Utah.

This is the first Thanksgiving I have exclusively cooked, from the appetizers, to turkey and sides, to pies. The consumers approved and said I did a great job.

I brined the turkey and used this amazing recipe. It worked great, really easy to do. 

I made most if the sides the day before and got them all ready to cook.  You may recall the sweet potato recipe (here) from a few years ago. I also made quick dinner rolls. So easy. While we did have a few vegetables, I made a "salad", more like a pretzel dessert. But the recipe called it a salad, we are going with it.

We ate, relaxed and enjoyed our great company. We are very grateful for family. 

Happy belated Thanksgiving.