Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Festivities!

We started off our Christmas festivities with our annual trip to see the Washington D.C. Temple lights and international nativity scenes. They are beautiful. Kate loved the purple tree! And of course, we took advantage of proximity and stopped by Cafe Rio for an early dinner beforehand.

Here are some of our favorite Nativities.

South Africa



Next, was our church's Christmas party. Ben was the only one who would sit on Santa's lap!

Santa stopped by our neighborhood one night. The fire department brought him in their truck. He handed out candy canes to all the kids and even called a few of them by their first name!

Next, was Kate's preschool Christmas party. They performed a play in which Kate was the "Mom." She was so excited to bring a purse to school and insisted on wearing a skirt to dress for the part. She decided it would be fine to sit on Santa's lap this time around. Jacob of course still refused!

Next on the list was our first visit to the well known 34th Street in Hampden, MD! The whole block decorates for Christmas. It was quite the sight! You know you are in Baltimore when you see crab lights and a Christmas tree made from hubcaps!

Our neighbors brought over a gingerbread kit for the kids! They had so much fun putting it together!

Next was Ben's Holiday party at school. He presented his project on "Chinese New Year," and built a graham cracker house! He did a great job and not surprisingly was the cleanest kid in the class post decorating!

On Christmas Eve, we opened our traditional pajamas, set up some cookies and milk for Santa, and read the Christmas story from Luke 2. We had pancakes shaped as mittens and snowmen for dinner.

On Christmas morning, David and I woke up at 6 and got ready for church. The kids woke up at 7. We opened presents and even had a few minutes to spare to take a few pictures before heading to church at 10. The kids loved all of their presents. Ben's favorite....his lego watch. Kate loved everything. My favorite of Kate's presents was her 1983 vintage Cabbage Patch kid. The smell of it even brought me back to the year I was 4! After church we had a fun, tasty and relaxing Christmas dinner with our friends, the Nelsons.

And last but not least, here is our 2011 Christmas Card! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gobble Gobble!

With no family within hundreds of miles, we spent our Thanksgiving with some of our Baltimore family. The Nelsons (our friends from Arizona) were brave enough to invite us to their home for the big day in addition to our friends the Dalleys (Texas) and the Christiansens (Utah). They were very kind to postpone the meal until 4 pm so David could join us. He was working nights during Thanksgiving week so he woke up, ate & ate & ate and then went back to work.

Our Hosts & the Turkey

The Moms (Krista, Liz, Karen & Heather)

The kids loved spending the day with their friends and despite the number of kids it wasn't as crazy as I had imagined it would be.....maybe because I'm use to crazy Thanksgivings with lots and lots of kids around! I guess it felt like home. Heather bought each of the kids their own coloring books and had a designated "boy" and "girl" table.

Kate insisted on saving her preschool crafts from the week prior so she could dress up for dinner...she "promised" her teacher told her "she had too"! She was a pretty cute little pilgrim though. As always, Kate loved our traditional cranberry mousse....the number one reason why I know she is my daughter.

The day was not complete without the special turkey cookies made by Ann Clover (ALL of the kids adopted Maryland Grandmother)! She dropped them off on Wednesday for the big party!

We had a great day! We have much to be grateful for, and on this Thanksgiving good friends were at the top of the list!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Ben turned 7 on November 14th. I still can't believe it. I don't know where the time has gone! Seems just like yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital at a meager 3 pounds and 15 ounces! We were quickly welcomed back to reality from our cruise by celebrating Ben's birthday with his party on the 12th, the very next day. I knew it would be a little crazy to do it then, but I wanted to get it over with and not push things towards Thanksgiving. We also thought it would be fun to do it while Sue was still in town. I had nearly everything prepared before we left on the cruise. Fortunately, I got all my ideas from my sister Ruth so it wasn't too difficult to plan. The kids had a great time and by the time it was over we were more than worn out.

On Ben's actual birthday we spent the evening at Red Robin....Ben's choice! He was very proud to wear his new Ravens jersey to the restaurant. For those of you not familiar with Baltimore....nearly everything revolves around the Ravens in this town. Every Friday (when there is a weekend game) is purple Friday day at school. Up until now, Ben stuck out like a sore thumb without his Ravens gear. I'm not sure how he survived Kindergarten. One day when he unintentionally wore his BYU jersey to school on a Friday the kids on the bus teased him and told him BYU wasn't "even a real team" and there was no such thing as "the Cougars." A few tears were shed. We were thankful Jimmer turned that knowledge around during basketball season during which time Ben proudly wore his Jimmer gear at every opportunity! So this year, David researched the players and decided to go with #92 Ngata since our first choice Todd Heap had just been traded to the Arizona Cardinals. I think Ben looks great in purple....good thing since he will be wearing it every Friday!

We had a great time at Red Robin. Ben ignored everyone while they sang happy birthday to him but loved his birthday sundae....Kate on the other hand was not pleased that they didn't bring her one too! Fortunately, Ben decided to share!

We made it through dinner despite 2 long trips with the kids to the bathroom and a spilled full cup of chocolate milk. It was a special treat to have Grandma Jacobs with us for Ben's birthday. The kids loved having her here and were sad to see her leave. On the way home from Red Robin I asked Ben if he had a good birthday. His response, "No, a great birthday. A double great birthday. A triple great birthday!"

I am very grateful to be Ben's mother. He is a very special boy. It was a great treat to go to his parent teacher conferences this past week and hear absolutely nothing but praise. We are blessed to call him ours!