Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NC visit

We took a quick trip to NC to visit my dad, Leslie, and lil' sis, Layni. The girls played great together. It was sad for them to say goodbye.

We were treated to a delicious turkey dinner (Chuck's favorite) and lots of relaxation. I had refused to cook a full turkey and etc dinner for Christmas eve, I wanted a ham. We cooked our ham, but never ate dinner, more on that later. My dad and Leslie are always up for cooking a big turkey dinner, so Chuck still got his Christmas wish.

We also took a trip to Cook-Out for shakes and a Cheerwine float. Yummy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Christmas at Home

This is mine and Chuck's 6th year celebrating Christmas together and this is the 1st year that we celebrated at our own home! It was great! We loved getting things ready for the kids the night before and it was fun for our little family to celebrate in the morning.

Leland was dead set on getting a hula hoop this year. She was so excited when she saw a "hula hoop shaped" present under the tree. She later confessed that she saw it while going to the bathroom before they were allowed to come out front. She was so excited about it even though she can't keep it going for more than a half a second.

We decided this year that Lucy should get her own baby doll, but I really didn't want to add to the collection that we already have. So I got the idea to have Leland choose one of her baby dolls to wrap up and give to her sister. Leland was very excited about it and of course, Lucy didn't seem to mind that it wasn't brand new and loves her "new" baby just the same.

Left - The girls dancing to Sleeping Beauty songs.
Right - This is how Leland usually hugs Lucy. Poor Lucy usually comes away from a hug with a bright red face and red marks on her neck. What a tough girl!

I was lucky enough to open a big surprise of a present - a video camera. Chuck and I have wanted one for a long time and Chuck found a great deal on Black Friday. He had gone shopping by himself, so I had NO IDEA that he had gotten it. Once I get it all figured out we will be posting more videos.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! If we did afford to send out Christmas cards, this would be the picture we would use, but since most of the people I would send it to read this blog, consider this your card. We sure have enjoyed seeing all of you cards this year. It's a great way for me to collect everyone's addresses.
We are so grateful for this time of year to focus on our families and our Savior Jesus Christ. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful children and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.

We have called Lexington our home for a year and a half now and in a few short months we will have to say goodbye. We look forward to great things ahead for next year: graduation from law school, an actual paying job, and a new town (TBD) to call home.

We hope that you all have a joyous Christmas season and remember the blessings from your Heavenly Father in your lives each day.
I love these cute girls so much! How in the world did we end up with such blonde kids?!?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My not -so-baby, baby girl!

I feel like I should write a little about my little Lucy, who is not so little anymore. She is growing up so quick. She is starting to talk more and more and has quite a personality. This is her latest favorite spot to sit and chill. It gets even better if her sister pulls her around for a ride.

She is an eater! Sometimes I think she is a bottomless pit. She will eat a full meal, then play for a minute or two then go to the pantry for more food. She will grab what ever is in her reach. Usually it's something practical like, graham crackers or a fruit leather. One day she drug out a big bag of potatoes.

We were doing the chocolate advent calendars. You know the ones with the waxy, not so yummy chocolate for each day until Christmas. One afternoon I come into the front room and Lucy had scooted the chair over so that after she climbed up on it she could reach the calendars. She had about 5 chocolates and a gum drop from Leland's gingerbread house stuffed into her mouth.

Here is Lucy getting excited about Rudolph. Notice her "ho ho ho" near the end.

She loves to dance. Her favorite is to spin in circles till she is dizzy. When she wants something from you she will grab your finger and pull as hard as she can until you follow her.

Her favorite words - mom (not mommy), daddy, bye, baby, help, pee-you, and cracker (which I need to get on video cause it's hilarious to her her say). She has started to say some of her friends names, but we still can't get her to say Leland. Her friends are Ty, Anna, and Jace, so those are easier to say I guess.

She is a very happy girl and has an infectious smile. She loves playing with her sister and her friends. She loves looking at books and being read to. She likes to run everywhere. Especially when you are trying to change her diaper or her clothes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Preschool Program

Leland had her preschool Christmas program last week. She has been learning the songs for a few weeks. Her favorite being Joy to the World. She was so excited to be singing a song about her, since her middle name is Joy. (She seems to think everybody must know it is about her.)

It was so cute to watch her up there with all the other kids. As many of you know, Leland is quite the singer and enjoys singing for one or two people. So, we expected her to be the same on stage. Not so much. She wasn't scared or embarrassed, but more amazed at all the people looking at her. She would sing a bit, then kind of just stop and look around like, "Whoa, look at all those people looking at me!" Then she would sing some more to show them that she could. Then she wanted to see Chuck to make sure he saw how many people were watching her. (Of course, there were about 40 kids up there, but not in her mind.)

The picture on the right is Leland and her teacher. We were also grateful that my aunt and her foreign exchange student were able to come to the program too.

Leland especially loves her pretty 'Santa' dress that she was finally able to wear out of the house. It is a hand-me-down from my sister that I think my mom bought a few years ago. We have definitely gotten our wear out of it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lex at night

Chuck for some time has wanted some good pictures of our town at night decorated for Christmas. We do not have a fancy camera, but with a small tripod, he did a great job. He was running all around in the cold, waiting for cars to pass, so he could find a good shot. I was surprised by how patient the girls were waiting in the car. Here are some of my favorites.
This is my favorite one. I love the moon in the picture.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Journey to Bethlehem

A local church puts on this Night of Living Miracles - Journey to Bethlehem. We were not able to make it last year, and heard so many wonderful things about it, that we didn't want to miss out this year. It is for 2 weekends in Dec. It was unbelievable!! (it looks my head is on fire in the pic - Ha!)

It was so much more than just a living Nativity - it was as if you were walking through Bethlehem, with a market place, a camel, donkey, and other animals. You were even given a gold coin to pay your taxes.

Every 20 minutes was the 'program'. Angels came up on a hill and visited the shepherds. Then Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and kings came walking through the city. A manger was set up back behind the city.

There were no words spoken, just music playing. It was very emotional. It was a great portrayal of the birth of our Savior. It was nothing like I have ever seen before. If you live close by and missed it this year, you MUST do it next year. It was a great way to be reminded of the reason for Christmas.

While we were walking through the city, Leland hugs my leg and says "Thanks for bringing me, I love it here!" What a sweetheart!

At the end of the procession, Leland wanted to talk to Mary and see baby Jesus. I told her that it was just a doll and she proceeded to tell the lady playing Mary that her baby doll was Baby Jesus in the play the night before (at our church Christmas party).

Oh Christmas Tree

We finally brought our tree in out of the garage and decorated it. It has a very small trunk, so my quick thinking husband had to rig something up to get it fit in our tree stand. I think he did a great job.

It wasn't a perfect shaped and full tree, but it holds the lights and ornaments. The presents will fit nicely under it. Chuck did a great job finding it.

Leland put the star on top. She kept screaming at first, saying that the branches were scratching her legs. Chuck finally was able to get her close enough to put the star on.

The girls are very excited the tree finally is decorated. They did a great job helping.

We collect Christmas tree ornaments throughout the year when we travel (borrowed this idea from a friend, Chrissy J. I remember talking to her about it one time during VT and it stuck with me). I love pulling out the ornaments and remember all the fun trips we have been on. It's hard to find cute, inexpensive ornaments sometimes, so we will get a key chain or magnet and add some ribbon to it.

Here are our new ornaments added to our tree this year.

Club 33, Disneyland - Dec 2007, Shamu tail, Sea World - Dec 2007

Douthat State Park, VA - August 2008, Chicago, IL - Oct 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deck the Halls!

I've put up a few decorations this week for Christmas. I've really been focusing on our church Christmas party that I am in charge of (which is tonight) and Chuck has been focused on school, so we haven't put up our tree yet. We do have one, but it's been sitting in our garage all week. After tonight I think the excitement will set in, instead of just being concerned about this party.

In an effort to spend no money to decorate for the church Christmas party, we went and cut some little pine trees down to use the greenery as centerpieces. A lady in our ward said that she would take us up to a field by a local college where they are clearing land for their new athletics stuff. Chuck and I went in the rain and cut a few trees. We were covered in mud and kept getting caught in the thorns, but we got a FREE Christmas tree for ourselves that Chuck cut down, along with what I needed for the party. I will post more pictures when we actually decorate the tree.

I absolutely LOVE my nativity. My mother has been giving me pieces for the past few years and now I have a complete set. It is Willow Tree and very simple. My absolute favorite thing about it is that Mary is holding baby Jesus. Most nativities Jesus is in a manger. There is just something very sweet about Mary holding and looking at her son. I love it! (Thanks Mom)

A few years ago in an after- Christmas sale I got some picture frame stocking hangers. Well for the last few years, they have had the Target symbol in there instead of a cute picture. The idea of changing it to a recent picture every year, just isn't my style. Plus I could never find the right picture. This year I had an idea to just put our initials in the frame. I stitched with red thread onto white paper and it turned out so cute. Leland enjoyed helping me stitch the letters too. (Since the picture I have added some of that fresh cut greenery around the frames).

Leland made a ginger bread house at a Primary activity at church. She did a pretty good job.

I tried to help Lucy make one, but she just kept pulling the candy off of it to eat. I finally determined it was a lost cause.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Love Cowboys!

Since Friday was Chuck's last day of classes for this semester, we decided to go out on a date to celebrate. We started the evening going to a cocktail party for the law school. It was a nice event to get a little dressed up and visit with some of Chuck's professors and classmates.

We then changed out of our "cocktail" attire and into jeans and sweatshirts to go to the Professional Bull Riders Challenger Tournament at the VA Horse Center. I love going to a rodeo, even though I've only had the opportunity to go to a few. I have been excited for the past few months, ever since I first heard that it would be in Lex.

I am a true country girl at heart, even though I didn't grow up on a farm and have only ridden a horse, I think, twice in my life. I love everything "country" and watching cowboys ride a bull for 8 seconds is one of those country things I love. While they were starting the tournament, I realized a few reasons why I love cowboys so much. Now this is a broad generalization, and not to say that if you are not a cowboy you are not these things, but here is my list:

Cowboys ...
- LOVE the USA. They love their country, they send their sons and daughters to the armed forces, they are volunteer firefighters, they are proud of their heritage. The introduction of the flag and the national anthem was quite impressive.
- LOVE GOD. The prayer before the start of the bull riding was awesome. Every cowboy went to their knees while they thanked God for their country and their life. They asked for protection for themselves and for their animals. It brought tears to my eyes. (BTW - a prayer is said before every NASCAR race too.)

I love that my husband has embraced my cowboy love lately. He was very excited about the PBR night and got us some great seats. He is also now the proud owner of a camo hat and a pair of Wrangler jeans (not the tight kind, but Wranglers none the less). He is now on the look out for a nice belt buckle.

During the intermission we went to the balcony area of the arena. We were pleasantly surprised that no one was up there, so it was a nice quiet escape for a little while. Chuck's asthma did not like all the dirt the bulls were kicking up. It also gave us a nice view of the barrel racing.

It was hard to capture much in pictures, but here is a short video of the rodeo fun.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good Deal

Chuck bought Leland Sleeping Beauty on DVD back in October, the day it came out of the Disney vault. He had me look up different stores prices to find the best deal. The cheapest was Best Buy for $14.99. Since then, I have found 2 rebate deals for the movie on the bread we always eat and some apple juice. The rebates total $9, now our brand new DVD only cost us $5.99. It makes getting Leland's favorite princess movie as a Christmas gift for her this year even sweeter. I love a good deal!

My husband wants a Garmin for Christmas (he wanted one last year too, but didn't get it). He gets giddy everytime one of these commercials come on. Maybe if I can find one for $5.99, I'll get him one.

One for a man
in a little van,
get there with ease,
hair in the breeze.

One for commuter
on motor scooter,
rolls down a hill,
bugs in her gril.

One for the sport,
where are the shorts,
ah, very tight,
made for a bike.

One for a nun,
out for a run,
wrist keeps a log,
what she has jogged.

One for a viking
out for some hiking
find the village,
he will pillage.

Find what you want
find what you wish
there's even one
to find the fish.

Give a give a give a give a Garmin
Find something fun for everyone
Garmin dot com Garmin dot com

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Meeting the new cousin

The girls and I were lucky enough to stay longer than planned in NC so that we could spend time with more cousins and meet their newest cousin Sarah.

Leland loved holding Sarah and would give her the sweetest looks. Lucy enjoyed holding her for about 5 seconds and gave her a nice slobbery kiss right on the lips. I think she also poked her in the eye in those 5 seconds as well. Babies with lots of cousins and older siblings are more durable than you think.

Every once in a while we would catch her with her eyes open, but she slept through most of the cousin mayhem. What a trooper.

It was so nice to see 3 aunts & 3 uncles, 9 cousins, and Nana & Larry during our visit to NC. Thank you McBrides for a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you Benners for staying longer than planned. Thank you to a wonderful husband and mother who did a lot of driving to make it possible for me to stay with family longer. Thank you Morris' for a cute new neice. We have a lot to be grateful for and family is always wonderful to visit.