Wednesday, August 26, 2015

december 2014

I finally figured out where these pictures were stored on our new (meaning our less-old) computer, so I can finally finish up last year. I'm just a little bit behind....

The first weekend in December is always the Exxon Holiday party. It's always great. This year the kids received these teddy bears after sitting on Santa's lap and they are still a favorite.

These graham cracker houses were a spur of the moment idea to deal with some stir crazies and some need for holiday excitement. They were a huge success all around. 

Anna went to the coolest birthday party ever for her friend Meryn. It was at Rocky Top Ranch in NRH. The girls played on the playground and fed the farm animals. Then they ate some hot dogs her dad had grilled while the girls were playing. After cupcakes were horse rides, a hay ride, and smores the girls cooked themselves on the fire. It was the perfect crisp fall day and the girls just got to run and play, get dirty, and be kids. It was a magical afternoon.

Levi started drawing all Star Wars all the time. Here's Yoda fighting Darth Vader.

Anna had a speaking part to open her school holiday concert. She was nervous, but we practiced speaking loudly and used a little foot tapping trick to speak slowly enough. She did great. First there was a concert for the whole school in the afternoon.

And then another in the evening for parents

Emily was cute, of course. This might have been her first little pig tail.

Katrina let us borrow Naomi's dress from Seth and Natalie's wedding so the girls could match for church. What you can't see is that Anna is also wearing red glittery shoes like Emily. After taking a few pictures, Levi wanted to wear his silver bow tie from the wedding and join in.

One night we walked around downtown Grapevine to see all the Christmas lights and decorations. They call themselves the Christmas Capitol of Texas, so there was a lot to see! The kids really loved it, especially the synchronized light and music display by where we parked. Later, Van and Ruth took the kids for a sleepover and Sam, Emily, and I went on a quiet dinner date. It was nice and sorely needed.

Christmas Morning! The best present under the tree.

Our three little elves.

We flew to my parents' house on Christmas day. There was lots of snow to play in, so we went sledding, built snow men and snow forts, and drove around Salem pond to see the lights while we sang Christmas carols. I loved getting to see lots of my cousins from both the Holt and Stay sides of the family, but mostly I loved seeing my kids have fun with their cousins. They are great friends.

At the new and improved Bean Museum in Provo.

Gabriel loved to give kisses!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

november 2014

This was one of my favorite outfits on Emily. It was a hand-me-down from the Burgoynes and she wore it all the time. I wanted a picture of her in it before she out-grew it (you can already see it stretching here) so I took these.

Some early morning girl time one Saturday

I finally succeeded in making a passable pupusa!

Some family game time interrupted by a little Christmas jammie photo shoot

I LOVE that Emily has her finger in her mouth in this picture too

So menacing

We were going to go on a train ride this morning, but Dad said, "I'd rather build you a swing set with the money we would have spent on the train." So he did! With some help from Sam, of course, and with lots of "help" from the kids. 

We LOVE it! Why didn't we get a swing set earlier? I will never be without one again. We celebrated with dinner at Joe T. Garcia's in Fort Worth.

That large yellow thing in Levi's hand is what they call a "nacho." It's a crispy corn tostada shell with tons of melted cheese on it. Levi called it a giant cheesy chip. He was so sad when they were done that he asked the waitress at the end of the meal if he could have another one. He was very pleased.

On Sunday, Rodney Puplampu drove up from Austin to see Mom and Dad. We've known him since my Dad was his Scout Master in Detroit. He had married Trina while they were on their mission in Germany and wanted to introduce her to them. She is absolutely lovely and we had a fun dinner together and got to see their gorgeous wedding photos and new house photos and Mom and Dad told them about their mission.

Goofiness after dinner

This is Levi's warrior face...

Anna got sick one evening, so we kept her home from school and took her to the Perot Museum with us instead. She was done throwing up by the time we walked in the door of the museum (as in the last time was in the parking lot) and we used tons of hand sanitizer :)

This guy was so cute. The museum wasn't very busy and he was explaining every single display in the space hall to us. We had moved on when he came up behind me and said, "Do you want to see some fossils? I'm allowed to do whatever I want, so I could get them out and show them to you." With an invitation like that, how could I resist? And of course it was cool to see and touch several different fossil samples.

Emily cooking with me

Dad added a baby swing to the swing set

At the weather station at the Perot museum

Sweet and sleepy after dinner

Levi had about a month where it was almost impossible to get him to go to bed in his own bed. This was a night where we just let him fall asleep on the couch

We always like to paint when Grandma comes

photo by Levi

Anna relishes the rare occasion when she gets to feed Emily and she's so sweet and patient while she does it

I bought this little sweater romper not long after I found out I was pregnant. I didn't even know what I was having, but I figured it would work for a boy or a girl. She always looked so cuddly in it.

The rest are photos from our afternoon trying to take a family picture for our Christmas card. Ruth bought a DSLR on black Friday and we were the guinea pigs. However, I wanted Levi to wear a vest and Levi did NOT want to wear a vest. I think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.

You can see me and Levi way in the background where I am pleading, bribing, threatening him to
wear the damn vest!
It didn't work. I was not employing any good parenting skills in that moment and felt terrible later. I apologized and gave lots of hugs.

Thankfully, chubby babies make it easy to smile

By some miracle, the vest is on! Papa and Grandma worked really hard with their silly faces.

Look at the relief! It's over!

So lucky to get to live near grandparents! Especially ones who are so involved and loving.