Friday, December 30, 2011

This is for you, Dan!!!

A couple of days ago Joe was talking to his brother, Dan on the phone. Since they live far away, we rarely get to see them and apparently he likes to check the blog to see what's been going on. Dan mentioned that I'd been slacking on the blog (teasing of course) ...but he is so right! There are lots of reasons/excuses that I can use (tired, sick, PREGNANT, busy, etc) But, I still want to fix it! So, I've been working on getting caught up. I just figured out how to back date the posts that I'm working on so that they actually show up in the order the pictures were taken. So, there are "new" posts showing up as far back as August :-) Why, you may ask, would I bother to post pictures with the dates that far back when no one will take the time or even know to go back and look at them??? Well, that's because the main reason for this blog is our Family Yearbooks. I compile all of the pictures and posts from the past year and then have them printed in book format. (A link to the 2010 book is at the bottom of the blog)We have three years so far, 2011 will be number four. I love the books that we've made so far and have a lot of catch up for this book to be here it goes!

Thanks, Dan, for the reminder!

Oh, and yes, for anyone who may still read this blog and didn't already know, we are expecting a baby at the end of May. So far, no major problems, just lots of reminders of how difficult pregnancies are for me. But, the baby is healthy and growing. We go in for the "official" ultrasound in a couple weeks to confirm the gender. We've had several ultrasounds so far...but they have been a little too soon so give a definitive answer...but we think that we know what it is. Stay tuned for an update!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Big Day!

Here are a few pictures from Christmas at our house. We never end up with as many pictures as we should, but at least we have a few...and lots of video! Here's a quick look...

Christmas Eve PJ's
This a tradition that we do with the kids, but Joe surprised me this year and had some for me as well! 

The rest of the pictures are Christmas morning...

This kitchen set was from G&G Lodge and she LOVES it!

We gave her this princess doll and dress-up set. She had to put the dress on immediately, right on top of her PJ's! 

Sam is checking out the new Hero Factory set, probably making sure it was the one that he'd requested :-)

Andrew opening a new game...not quite sure what to think about it!

Since we have 9:00 church, we had to take a break from the presents to get ready for church. Luckily, we only had a one hour service and then we came right home to dig in some more!

Sam had been wanting an Etch-a-sketch for a long time, he was really excited!

Andrew with his new Rocky from G&G Lodge...that's his excited face :-)

Sam was showing Abby the Finn McMissile car that he got from G&G Lodge

 Abby and her new doll. She has a ton of baby dolls, but she still gets just as excited about a new one. She even rotates through her babies to make sure they all get enough love and attention. What a good little mommy!

Grandma and Grandpa Olson came to church with us and sat with the kids since Joe and I were in the choir. After we came home and finished opening presents, we ate brunch with them then they hurried off to their ward. Later, we went to their house and had dinner and opened the rest of the family presents. It was a great day. A good mixture of family, presents, and naps! But, we did really miss Rob and his family who just moved to Arkansas. :-(  Family gatherings just aren't the same without all the cousins to play with!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting in the Holiday spirit!

We have been getting VERY excited for Christmas around our house! Here's some pictures to show a few things we've been up to...

Sam found this Santa hat and decided "dress up" as Jolly 'ol Saint Nick. The beard is made out of paper and taped to his cheeks :-) 

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we pulled out the tree and ornaments. They love to decorate and look at each ornament as they come out of the boxes. It's always a little more stressful for me with so many little hands grabbing for the potentially breakable ornaments. But, this year I was the official ornament-hander-outer and it proved to be a much happier experience all around!

These are the Christmas jammies that Grandma Olson made for them. They got to decorate the T-shirts at Grandma's house on Thanksgiving. So fun!!!

We also had a new Christmas guest show up this year as we got our own Elf on the Shelf who the kids named Jingle. We're excited to see what sort of mischief Jingle will get into!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cousin Pictures

Last year, my mom started a new tradition with the grandkids. She makes them all Christmas PJ's and gives them out on Thanksgiving. This year, she let each of them design their own snowman for the shirts and then appliqued them on. The kids LOVED them and we got these cute pictures of them all together.

The Whole Crew

The "Big Kids"
The kids who can stand on their own :-)

Best Buds!
These guys have been the best of friends since they were babies.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Abby!

Abby turned 2 years old, finally! She has been talking about her birthday for weeks! Ever since her cousin Ollie's birthday at the end of September, she has been waking up everyday and asking, "Almost Abby's Birthday?" When the big day finally came, she woke up to balloons, streamers, and some presents to start the day off. For breakfast I got doughnuts, which I thought would be a fun treat, but it turns out that none of the kids would eat them! Strange kids!

This year, the boys helped me decorate the cake. They were so excited to help! They each got to decorate a butterfly (after I frosted it). It thought they turned out pretty cute!

Later, we had the family over for dinner and cake. It was lots of fun. We had "breakfast for dinner" since that is her favorite meal. I made waffles and scrambled eggs...probably the easiest birthday dinner EVER! After dinner she opened presents, with lots of help from her brothers!

 This is the princess towel the Grandma Olson made for her.

 She also got a baby that crys when you take out the binky and LOTS of stuff to care for her babies such as bottles, bibs, a highchair, etc. She is such a little mother!

 Here's the birthday girl with Grandpa Olson and her cousin Ollie. She is such a Grandpa's girl!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's going on with ANDREW?!?

Andrew has not quite been himself lately...

He got these plastic teeth at Halloween and is obsessed with them! He makes a pretty cute little vampire!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

With Halloween on a Monday this year, it managed to stretch out into an entire weekend of activities. The result: WAY TOO MUCH CANDY!! But, it was lots of fun and the kids all looked cute in their costumes!
Friday night we had a dinner followed by a Trunk or Treat at church. It was so packed! Plus, since the weather was cold, rainy and windy, the candy gathering was reassigned from the parking lot to the hallways. It was craziness! Our church building is U-shaped instead of a complete circle, so as kids got to the end of the hall, they had no choice but to turn around and get smashed with the rest of crowd of candy gatherers (young and not so young!) I was glad that I was standing in one place handing out candy and Joe took the kids around!

Here's some picture of the kids in costume just as we were leaving for the church party...

Here's a shot of the boys in the "costume parade"

Saturday was of course taken up by soccer games and pumpkin carving (see previous page).

Monday was the actual holiday and was jam-packed with activities. I was in charge of the party in Sam's classroom so I was very busy leading up to that getting all of the last-minute details figured out. As always with his parties, I brought the camera but was too busy to remember to pull it out and take pictures! Right after that, we hurried home and go the other two in their costumes and headed to Joe's work. They invited the families to come and go trick-or-treating from office to office and then they had treats in the breakroom. It was fun and Joe got to show off the kids in their cute costumes.

After that, we headed straight to my brother's house. We had dinner with my family and then headed out in a group to hit our favorite neighborhood on the South Hill. The cousins love going together! Here's a shot of them together before we left. We're missing one cousin from the shot, but Ollie and his parents caught up with us later :-)
 I think this was the first door that we went to, Sam is probably being picky and making sure that he gets something that he likes!

We were off to a good start and then....the battery on the camera died! Oh well, it was a fun night. They lasted way longer than last year and got way too much candy. We were all exhausted by the time we called it quits and headed home. It was a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Time!

Today we carved our pumpkins for Halloween. The kids are always excited about this, except when it comes to actually getting their hands dirty! They can't stand cleaning "the slime" out of the pumpkins. So, it usually turns into a mommy/daddy job with the kids looking on and occasionally picking up a stray seed or two.

Andrew, our little artist, was very careful to draw out his design ahead of time so that we knew exactly what he had in mind.
Here's how it turned out... 

Sam, with his huge pumpkin. He always like to pick out the biggest one he can find!

 Abby, showing us the face that her pumpkin is making!

The finished product...

Sadly, this is the last we saw of Abby's little pumpkin. Sometime between lighting them before the kids went to bed and going out an hour or two later to put out the candles before we went to bed, her little pumpkin was kidnapped! The kids were pretty sad about it when they found out in the morning. We never found any "remains" in the street, we even drove around some looking for it, but no luck. So sad!