Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve Eve - Calvin's Birthday!

What does every 14 year old boy want for their birthday, especially when it's just 5 days after Christmas: cash. Well, too bad. Instead Calvin got a new room. He changed rooms with Owen and Simon, who have been sharing a smaller room with our dog Cricket, and their sister Annie (who in theory shares a room with Norman the baby, but since he sleeps in a totally dark, door shut early int the evening, Annie's room is really her dressing room, and her sleeping room is with Simon and Owen. Too much details.) Well, Calvin switched rooms, but as a happy trade, his gift sent him to Ikea where he picked out some new bedroom furniture.  Happy birthday to my fabulous son.  He's smart, good looking, honest, kind, hard working, sincere, and thrifty. He finished his big day with some friends at the Star Wars movie (which eh's already seen:~) Looks like tomorrow we'll be assembling some Ikea furniture.  10 points to the birthday boy!

Lunch at Ikea. Ryan got the veggie balls (an attempt at mimicking the swedish meatball: fail.) Calvin opted for the chicken fingers and a yummy slice of chocolate cake, and I was pleased with the salmon.

Annie's gift to Calvin was this:
Two muscle men, glued onto this tray, with fish tank rocks, and that sign "Exercise Room." There just aren't words to articulate it's awesomeness. It must be viewed in person.

I got one of those hat loomer things. I've been working on this hat for Annie for a few days and I finally completed it.  I know it's as easy as a paint by numbers sort of craft, but it's always exciting to create something that turns out well!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Flippin Awesome!

Our family had an afternoon adventure at this Bounce House that Preston tried out with some friends. Something called " The wAIRhouse" as in air, as in bouncing high into the air on trampoline type things. Fun.  No one broke anything. Ryan did a fabulous front flip. I did probably one of the ugliest backflips that the place has ever seen. Everyone got a good workout.

Getting ready to do some tricks in the pit.

Simon having a great time.  Everyone gets a giant sticker to wear that tells what time you got in and what time you're supposed to leave. We paid for one hour, 
which was plenty of time to get our bounce on.

In preparation for Calvin's 14th birthday tomorrow, he got his teeth cleaned.
(Of course, in real life, this dental cleaning has absolutely nothing to do with his birthday.  

Annie prepared dinner all by herself tonight.
It was incredible: chili, sour cream, cheddar cheese, toasted garlic bread, and italian sodas.
Totally fun, and well done my sweet ten year old daughter!

Barney Rubble

In an effort to entertain the tools (and truth be told, to keep my mind off the fact that I am normally thawing out in warm sunny AZ during this time of year) my younger 4 and I went bowling, played in the arcade, grabbed some tacos (hard shell!) and burritos (Simon loves burritos), hit the pool and finished the outing with a trip to the craft store Michaels.  FHE (family home evening ) night found us once again belting out our favorite tunes into Annie's new karaoke machine. Karaoke tip #1: Summer Lovin is actually a pretty awkward duet when sung with your teenage son.

Owen and Annie both bowled very well.

Owen was the winner with a score of 115. He got two strikes in a row, 
which apparently is called a Barney Rubble.
Q: What do older siblings do when their 7 year old brother wins the game of bowling?  
A: Put him on their shoulders and declare him the Champion!

Annie counting arcade tickets.
Norman looks very interested.

Owen counting arcade tickets.

This is what Simon chose to buy with his arcade tickets.
Why do I not have a surprised feeling?

Norman was asleep during the pool so he stayed in the stroller. The room was a bit steamy and when he woke up he was a rosy pig.

Ryan singing Elton John's "Daniel."

Owen singing the "Whip, ney ney song."

*** This post is for Monday, December 28th, 2015***

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Breakfast of Champions

My dear husband made this for breakfast this morning:
waffles with pecans and bananas,
loads of bacon. Now that is!

Norman sleeping at church.
Those rosy cheeks look just like Saint Nick!

He was given slocks for Christmas.
Cuteness over load is your 9 month old wearing slipper socks.

Ryan took a picture of me making alfredo sauce for dinner. I love alfredo sauce, and I love dinner.

Our kids got t-shirts for Christmas from my in-laws.
Anyone recognize the symbol?

The Day After

Today we got to play with our new toys and to redeem some gift cards. Good times.  We also got to purchase trash bags. I usually buy them at Costco, 200 bags in a box, so it seems like the box lasts forever.   Today was relaxing fun.

The family enjoying Annie's karaoke machine.
Owen singing "Happy."

Simon opted for "Titanium."

Annie sang too many songs to count, but in this picture she's belting out "Frozen."

Ryan chose an Adele song for me, because I sound soo similar to Adele...
so I had him sing the song "There is no Arizona." Whenever I'm missing AZ, I play this song and sing at the top of my lungs. The entire Smith household knows this song extremely well.

We put up a baby gate at the top of the stairs.
He's so cute, and we don't want him taking a dive.  

**** This post is for Saturday, December 27th, 2015****

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Day!

We have no garbage bags. Ryan had to dig through the garage to locate some leaf bags (which we have plenty of because although the leaves were raked into piles, we didn't finish the job and get them bagged. Other than that minor hiccup, this was an absolutely lovely Christmas, spent at home for the first time in our 17 years of marriage. Still missing my extended family, but grateful for the yahoo's that are in my very own household.  Too many blessing to count. Joy to the World, The Lord is Come!

The line of children waiting impatiently (well Preston looks pretty patient) to get started on the Christmas presents.

Cricket had loads of delicious wet dog food to celebrate this special day. 
She's normally a dry dog food sort of girl.

Of all the lovely gifts, this particular treasure brought a special smile to my face.
Ryan got this for me, and I have let my entire household know that they are welcome to use this mug.

Simon got a camelback and wore it all day.
Love that kid!

I purchased a favorite game from my childhood and forced my family to play it.
Flash Match! Good thing we still have a VCR.
They all loved it and the kids keep begging me to play it again. But Ryan does not.

We had an Italian Christmas dinner, and an absolute favorite dessert, thanks to our year in Scotland.
Sticky Toffee pudding.  Delightful! We were also joined by some lovely neighbors.

Simon bedazzled this crown for my gift. Isn't it lovely?!

My friend made this beautiful Christmas arrangement, complete with the beautiful angel statue.
It's so gorgeous, and will even last for a few weeks!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve!

Ryan and I took advantage of Christmas Adam and did all our wrapping yesterday. So the only wrapping we did on Christmas Eve was just helping the kids. Best Christmas Eve ever!

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to eat like the shepherds did when Christ was born... those ridiculously wealthy shepherds.  We had couscous, hummus, veggies, cheese, crackers, gyros, and martinellie's sparkling cider. We're getting older or were just lazy this year, because we usually dress like shepherds and eat on the floor.  This year, we just wanted to eat.

Pigging out.

We all love gyros, and we hardly ever eat them.  I bet if we had them all the time, this meal wouldn't seem quite as special.

We loved having our puppy with us this year, and he loves couscous.

We attempted to play a song on the chimes... and by that I mean everyone complained for 8 consecutive minutes, didn't follow the numbers to know when to play the notes, and basically sabotaged this whole activity. If it's not easy, and requires a little concentration, then we Smith's don't want anything to do with it!!! I was none too impressed.

Following the chime fiasco, we opened our Christmas jammies.
If I could wear this everyday, I would.

Christmas kids.  Annie, Simon, Preston, Norman, Owen and Calvin. 
1 Sister, 5 Brothers. The boys always win.

I love technology.  We used some sort of magic to put Luke 2 up on the screen to read 
about Christ's birth from the New Testament.  When we were done, 
we watched a family favorite "While You Were Sleeping."

***This post is for Thursday, December 24th, 2015 - Christmas Eve!***

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Force Awakens my Force

Lucky for us, The Force Awakened last night.  Our family (minus our two teen sons and our wee baby) headed to the theatre to watch storm troopers attack, and Harrison Ford shine. Overall, I give it two thumbs up. I would make a few adjustments, but those would be officially titled "spoilers" so as a Christmas present to those who haven't seen it, I will keep those thoughts to myself... for now.

My force was awakened. 
I want a turquoise light saber for Christmas, only a turquoise light saber will do...

Norman playing with Cricket.

Cricket kissing on Norman.
She's the best dog in America. When she had enough "Norman time" she just gentle stood up and walked away. What a lucky baby to have such a sweet intro to dogs!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DMV take two!

A few months ago Preston took drivers ed, filed out forms, took his test, and got his temporary paper license, and waited for his real one to come in the mail. And come it did.  I grabbed the mail as we were headed out on a family adventure. Preston wasn't with us. I opened it and thought "What an attractive picture of my handsome son." A few weeks later Preston commented about how long it was taking the DMV to send him his license... and thats when I realized, with horror, that someone in the family, most likely myself, had probably accidentally pitched my 16 year olds drivers license.  All I can say is that profuse apologies were offered, and he took the news incredibly well.  Today, our schedules were finally able to match with the DMV and we ordered a second license.  This isn't the first time I've done something vexing to this son, and I'm sure it won't be the last. But for only $18, I was able to make things right... I just need to make sure that he gets the mail from the mailbox for the next 3 weeks.

Doesn't he look impressed?!
I love the random dude in the back that's giving the peace sign for our photo op.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Scones and Shrek

My husband knows that the way to my heart is food. I got an early Christmas delivery this week: I am enrolled as a member of a gourmet food of the month club. Yeah Ryan!!! This month that translated into some wonderful lemon poppyseed scones, clotted cream, strawberry preserves and some black tea (which we don't drink for religious reasons, so I admired the box, then sent it on it's way to the rubbish pile.) If you have never had scones with clotted cream, then that needs to become a top priority!  Basically, breakfast was amazing!


Yes, that is bacon in the top corner of the picture. You will never go wrong when bacon is part of your healthy diet.

Good morning bath in the sink.

Norman thought sitting in sacrament meeting was lame, so we hung out in the foyer where we able to enjoy the special Christmas program over an intercom type speaker.  FYI: The program was fabulous!!! Loads of songs; heartfelt testimonies of the Savior. Annie came to assist, and is trying to get Norman to crawl to her; a new skill he learned on Thursday night. What a champion!

We were able to have dinner with my Grandfather tonight in his home, which is always so very inviting. The meal was average (which we brought) but the highlight of the evening was decorating gingerbread men with him.

We had such a great time just eating and chatting.

No one is looking up because this is serious business.
Whenever I think of Gingerbread men, I always think of the movie Shrek.

Lord Farquaad: [playing with Gingy's legs] Run, run, run as fast as you can / You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man! 
Gingerbread Man: You're a monster! 
Lord Farquaad: [tossing legs away] I'm not the monster here, YOU are! You and the rest of that fairytale trash, poisoning my perfect world. Now tell me, where are the others? 
Gingerbread Man: Eat me! 
[spits in Farquaad's face]
Lord Farquaad: I've tried to be fair to you creatures, but now my patience has reached its end! Tell me, or I'll... 
[reaches down]
Gingerbread Man: NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons! 
Lord Farquaad: All right, then! Who's hiding them? 
Gingerbread Man: Okay, I'll tell you... Do you know... the Muffin Man? 
Lord Farquaad: The Muffin Man? 
Gingerbread Man: The Muffin Man. 
Lord Farquaad: Yes, I know the Muffin Man. W-who lives down on Drury Lane? 
Gingerbread Man: Well, she's married to the Muffin Man... 
Lord Farquaad: The Muffin Man? 
Gingerbread Man: THE MUFFIN MAN! 
Lord Farquaad: She's married to the Muffin Man...