Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Moments, part 1

I love this time of year when so many memories are made. One of the best things is just spending time with our extended family members. Here are some of the moments that I want to remember.

*Eating stuffed french toast that my mom made for us after we finished opening gifts. Yum!

*Watching Sportscenter with Andrew on a lazy weekday morning

*Watching Nacho Libre with Paul, Daneen, Mom, Dad, and Andrew(who fell asleep 1/2 way through.) Such a funny show.

*Playing the game of LIFE

*Playing the Family Feud DVD game with my family. I'm not as good as I think I should be, but we have a blast.

*Watching Chrlotte's Web and seeing Whit sit on Gigi's lap for over 1/2 the movie.

*Watching B & W play with their cousin, Carson. They are SO cute together and play together really well.

*Watching BYU KILL Oregon in the bowl game. What was up with Oregon's UGLY uniforms?

*Watching NFL games with Paul, Andrew, and my Dad. We all play fantasy football and this was a big week--I overtook Paul for 2nd place, but Dad's still winning. (Andrew plays in another league.)

*Enjoying cable TV...especially the Discovery Channel. I remember now why we don't have cable. I would be such a couch potato. We've especially enjoyed watching "I Shouldn't Be Alive," "Man vs. Wild," and "Mythbusters."

*Visiting the Dinosaur Museum. I love that place! It reminds me of being a kid when I went through an I-want-to-be-a-paleontologist-when-I-grow-up phase.

Does this look like a scene straight out of Ice Age?

The kids got to dig for fossils

*Sledding with our little family.

*Eating YUMMY Mexican food with my family. My favorites--chicken and rice, beans, homemade tortillas, and even some of Modi's tamales. Delicioso!

*Driving around on Christmas Eve to look at Christmas lights. This is one of the traditions that my family had growing up and that has continued with our little family. We saw some really pretty homes and one neighborhood where the whole street worked together and told the Christmas story from Luke with big storyboards on the lawns. How cool is that?

So it's the kind of thing that's difficult to capture on film.
I tried.

*Sitting at the kitchen table making Christmas bracelets with Daneen.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Hope your Christmas has been filled with happiness, love, and joy;
that the Spirit of Christmas stays with you throughout the year;
and that the upcoming year holds wonderful things for you.

Love, Andrea, Andrew, Whitney, and Brandon

Friday, December 22, 2006

We've been published

So, my friend Sandy e-mailed me and informed me that our family Christmas photo from a couple of years ago was in a magazine! I didn't even know. I have a friend from BYU who has become a scrapbooking celebrity. She's amazing. She's published several books and is one of the editors for Creating Keepsakes magazine. We showed up in one of her Christmas card photo layouts.
Click to see it larger.
Do you see us on the bottom row?
Why did it have to be the photo
where I have a funny head tilt and
Whitney is still bald?
Oh, well. It's still pretty cute.

So, I've already crossed "getting a manicure" off my list of things to do before I die. Do you think this counts as getting published in a scrapbooking magazine? Not exactly what I had in mind. :)

Whitney eye update: Her suture is finally starting to dissolve. Yeah! I guess Dr. Buckley knew what he was talking about.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Whitney got her first taste of snow this week. Literally. She took a handful and licked it off her glove. I don't think it was yellow. :)

She's also had a blast playing outside in it. Is this really MY daughter?

The first thing she said when she saw snow outside:
"Can I go make a snow angel?"
I'm not even sure how she knew what
a snow angel was, but she was a pro.

She made 3 and wanted to keep going, but
I was wimpy and told her I was ready to go inside.

She also tried sledding for the first time.
Here she is with big cousin Ethan.
Her expression says it all.

I remember why I don't like winter.
But at the same time, snow really is
beautiful to look at it....from a warm, cozy house.
And I even took a couple turns sledding.
Weeeee! It IS fun.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Brandon and Whitney's latest scoop

Brandon has had a really fun week at school. On Monday, I got to go into the classroom and help a few of the kids decorate gingerbread houses. It was so fun. I've gotten this impression that Brandon is the most talkative, least obedient child in the class. It was good for me to be around the kids for a good chunk of time and see that he's just like the other boys! I worked with 3 boys and 2 girls. The girls were both sweet and creative. The boys were all silly and loud. At least I know Brandon's not alone.

Here's the masterpiece.

Then yesterday, his class took a field trip to watch the Nutcracker ballet. I had never even been to a ballet before! So, lucky me, I got to go along. The ballet is beautiful! The costumes are so elaborate. I kept thinking, "Whitney would love to dress up in that!" I wasn't sure if I'd be able to understand a story told with no words, but it was cool to see how the dancers could do just that with their movements and facial expressions. It was an hour long performance--I think they might've shortened it for the kindergarten-age audience. Brandon's favorite part was the sword fight between the mouse and the nutcracker. No surprise there. About 45 minutes into the show, he was looking SO bored and tired. He asked, "Is it over yet? Is it ALMOST over?" But then when it did finish and I asked him what he thought he said, "I loved it! It was great! Can we come back next month?"

One of the details I DIDN'T get...
Who was this guy with an eye patch?
Brandon thinks it was Clara's godfather.

I think the snow queen dance was my favorite part.
SO beautiful.
My least favorite part: seeing men in tights.
Eeewww. Couldn't they wear something else?

Today at school all the kindergartners got to wear their pajamas and bring a stuffed animal to school because they're watching The Polar Express. I guess they're even getting hot cocoa and cookies when they reach the north pole. How fun for them!

Brandon took his stuffed Elephant (named Andrew)

Whitney's eye is still bugging me. There is a little spot on the inside corner where she had her surgery. It has been there for quite a while. It looked like a little something was stuck in her eye, but never went away. I finally e-mailed Dr. Buckley about it yesterday. He said it was a suture(stitch). Didn't sound concerned at all. I e-mailed back to see how long it should take to dissolve. I just sent it and haven't heard back yet. Poor Whit, that can't be comfortable.

I don't know if you can see what I'm talking about,
but it's in the middle of that red circle.

Both kids got to go bike riding outside yesterday afternoon.
I love Carolina winters!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas decor

We were Scrooges this year and didn't put up lights outside. I kept thinking, we'll do it next weekend, but it never happened and now I think it's too late. We do have a wreath on the front door, if that counts for anything.

Here are some of our decorations inside:
This Nativity from Andrew's mom is my favorite
piece. Isn't it beautiful?

We got a different piece from the set each year
for the past several years and I LOVE it.
The faceless figures add a touch of reverence...
and mystery.

My mom gave us this cute Christmas village a
few years back. I haven't been able to put it out for
the last couple of years because little hands would
destroy it. This year I decided the kids were old
enough and we set it up. So far we only have
one broken piece. Not bad.

Our good friend, Greg, travels to Sweden for
work and picked up this Nativity set for us there.
It is great because it's wooden and the kids can actually
touch it. (Unlike my other one--they have to keep their
distance....and I mean a BIG distance.)
The above pic is how it looked when I first set it up.

This is how it looks most of the time, now
that the kids can have their way with it.
Angel standing on sheep
Camel and donkey on top of the palm trees.
Wise men gone AWOL.
At least they're having fun with it.

I think when I'm older and have more places to put things and fewer tiny hands to break them, I would love to collect Nativity sets. The Deseret Book Christmas Catalog had some awesome ones from around the world.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Christmas tradition

Every year, we make an ornament to add to the tree. We've done different things over the years, but usually I just buy some from Michael's and we paint them. The kids love it.
Whitney was into layering. She wanted
to try every color. Some of them twice.
Made for some interesting combinations.

Brandon did an awesome job painting his!
This is the first year where he had distinct color
changes. I was very impressed.

Andrew was very unhappy about the way
his turned out. He didn't know what he was getting into
with the gold glitter paint. I think it still turned out pretty good.

And here's mine. I felt terrible last night.
I got a weird little sickness that only lasted
a few hours, but I thought I was getting the
flu. I tried to hide it for this picture, but
it didn't work so well.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Fun date

Andrew's such a good sport. I'll come up with random date ideas and he always comes along and has fun with me. This weekend we decided to go ice skating. We went once last year and it we had a great time, but both had our share of bruises the next day.

I called the rink earlier in the day to see how late they were open. They informed me that it was "Christian Date Night." What's that? "Oh, it just means we play Christian Music." Can anyone come? Andrew thought this was the funniest question--Honey, we ARE Christian! I know that, but I didn't know if you were supposed to be registered in their Christian club or something. Anyway, they said YES, anyone can come.

I think what they really meant was that it was HIGH SCHOOL NIGHT. We were 15 years older than 90% of the people. The other 10% were closer to our age, but had their young kids with them. I guess we're the only young married couple who would choose to go there as a date. But it was great. I loved it.
I think Andrew has been secretly sneaking over there
at night when he says he has Bishopric meetings because
he was a good skater this year. He didn't fall once!

I did better than last year, but I still took one little fall.
I wasn't even going fast, but still managed to get a nasty
bruise on my left knee.

Of course it had to happen while Andrew had
the camera in his hands.

We went to Krispy Kreme for some yummy hot cocoa
when our ankles had had enough. And the kids were
even in bed when we came home. (They rebelled last week
and were still awake.)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Little blurbs, Brandon's basketball game

*I finally e-mailed Dr. Buckley some pics of Whitney's eyes to see what he thought. He said it was too early to be concerned and that there was nothing we would do at this point anyway. Let him know how things look in 3-4 weeks. I have a sinking feeling that we are not in the clear with her eyes. Boo.

*Brandon got an interim report card this week. His teacher said, "Brandon is making good progress but...." Why couldn't she have just stopped there? Why did there have to be a BUT? :) She says he rushes through everything and his work turns out incorrect, incomplete, or sloppy. She also said he still talks to much. I guess he hasn't made MUCH progress because those were the same problems he was dealing with at the end of the first grading period. I wish she would throw out a little more praise for him, but I guess she's just letting us know what he needs to work on.

*I finally made it to the temple! After being foiled on more than one occasion, I went to the temple in Raleigh this week. Big, big thanks to my friends Jayne and Diane for watching Whitney for SEVEN hours while I went. Now, those are some good friends! Jayne's mother even had to pitch in for a little while, but it all worked out. It was supposed to be our monthly women's temple trip, but it ended up just being myself and one other friend from church. We really enjoyed it. It was great for me to really focus on what's most important again. The temple always has that effect on me.

*Today was Brandon's first basketball game of the season. It was SO fun. He played basketball last year, but he was so young that it was not very competitive and definitely more for fun and to learn basics. It is still for fun, but that competitive nature of the game is starting to kick in. And it was a really good game. Before actual play begins, each player on both teams gets to shoot a free throw. They really count toward the score. Both teams scored 1 point each out of 8 shots. They play 5 minute quarters and Brandon got to play in 3 of the 4.
He played some pretty good man-to-man defense.
Maybe I should call it boy-to-boy.
He got two or three steals in the game--way to go!

Here he is in-bounding the ball.
I don't think that's exactly the chest pass that they'd
practice, but it worked.

He didn't get off any shots this time.
He's one of the shorter players in the league,
so it's going to be tough.

The Golden Eagles (his team) won by two points!
The final score in the game before us was 4-6, so
these two teams must be pretty good.

Family Photos

We took family pics this week for our Christmas cards. We splurged a little this time and ended up getting a CD with all of our photos on it, even the ones we didn't purchase. So, I won't spoil the fun by sharing the same ones we're mailing out, but here are a few of the others.
Pretty cute.

Ready for a career in modeling.

I felt like with my black shirt on this black background,
I looked like a floating head. Yikes!

I love these smiles because they are more
"real" than most of the others.

It is a lot of work to get all of us ready for family photos. But I guess it's worth it. It's fun to look back over the years and see how much everyone has changed. OK, Andrew and I haven't changed much since last year, but the kids have really grown up.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Can we build it?

Yes we can!

I feel like someone pushed the fast-forward button on my life right now and I don't know how to press pause!

So, I don't have much time to blog, but wanted to share pictures of our annual gingerbread house building night. Andrew tied it into to FHE. He did a lesson on the wise man and the foolish man and building your lives on the foundation of Christ. Very clever.

Brandon did most of his by himself this year.
He built it with no roof because it was an "art room"
and he wanted everyone to be able to see inside.
I guess those two sprees on the inside wall are the art.

Andrew built a gingerbread temple.
Very impressive Angel Moroni on the top!

Here is my little house.
I thought the shingles on top were very cute.

And, finally, Whitney's creation.
She put the skittles on by herself.
I really liked her marshmallow chimney.
(I promise I combed her hair this morning, but it came out!)