Friday, January 2, 2015

The Firm Christmas Party


Jared's firm had their Christmas party at a fancy place.  Now I can't remember the name, and I couldn't really figure out what it was.  It wasn't set up like a restaurant or a hotel.  So maybe it was just a fancy reception center.  But there was valet parking and when we entered someone took our coat.  Fancy waiters walked around with trays of wine and appetizers that I didn't know how to eat.  We got our goblet of fizzy water (which I don't like, by the way) and mingled.  

I always stress out about these events because I'm uncomfortable with fancy.  I don't know what to wear, so I stress about my outfit.  I'm nervous I won't be able to join in the conversation because I don't know what's going on in the legal world and I'm not up to date on current events.  But I always have more fun than I think I will.  No one has ever been weird about my not being part of the corporate world.  Lots of the people have kids, so people asked about Christmas preparations, our kids, etc.  But people are always surprised by how far away we live from downtown.  When people ask why we live so far out I say that it's because Jared loves me.  I tell them that I have family there.

Anyway, we talked to lots of people and made our rounds.  We were both tired though.  So once people started getting food and sitting down to eat, we skipped out early.

This photograph was taken at the party.  I like the way it turned out.

Pink

The day before Amber left, Luke got pink at school.  Pink means "outstanding behavior," and he gets to pick a reward when he earns it at school.  His teacher has given pink more than I expected, so most often now he gets to go to Bass Pro shop or take a trip to a special playground, but since this was Amber's last night, we went to Rainforest Cafe which is one of the boys' favorite places.

Dean wasn't really in the mood:


Micah loves the fountain there


Everyone likes the fish


Libby, Sadie, and Cara joined us.



We also made a stop into the Sketcher's outlet.  I've become a *little* bit addicted to Sketchers since discovering their Memory Foam shoes.  I am in love!  Amber said she'd like a pair, and since the outlet is always buy one/ get one 50% off I "had" to get one too.  And, of course, Cara and Libby couldn't be left out :)

And then a final stop at Bass Pro shop.



I like pink days.  Such a great excuse to slough off homework and play.

Thanksgiving Break and Luke's Birthday

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving break.  My sister Amber and her son Dean flew into town early, and she got to stay with us at our home for a few days.  I, of course, didn't take as many pictures as I should have.  But I at least got this one to prove that they came:


Since starting my job, I'm always a little bit behind on things in the house.  We run out of our food staples sometimes before I can make it to the store-- things like that.  So the first couple of days she was here she mostly accompanied me shopping.  I had to do some birthday shopping also because Luke's birthday was on Thanksgiving day.

The ONLY thing he asked for was a Power Wheels.  I guess we're suckers, but it's pretty hard not to get him the ONLY thing he asked for.  So we debated it out and decided that if Christmas was very simple we could spring for the Power Wheels for his birthday.

My brother Michael met me at the store and loaded it into his truck, so we were ready for the big day.  The day before Thanksgiving Amber moved her stuff over to Michael's, her husband Trevor flew into Houston, and our good friends, the Sorrells, came to visit for Thanksgiving.  We were very good friends with them during law school.  It was like old times when Justin and Jared would put together Luke's toys on Christmas Eve while Nancy and I talked, made hot chocolate, and added the sticker appliques to whatever toys he was getting.  This time, Justin and Jared put together the Power Wheels.

Luke was SOOOO excited when he saw his Power Wheels on his birthday morning.  Unfortunately he couldn't drive it for about 6 hours because the battery had to charge for 18 hours before the first use!  But he was happy just to sit in it and pretend to drive.


He was veery good about sharing.  He let James (the Sorrells' little boy) have a turn.


And Hazel had a turn.


Jared and Justin went on a bike ride in the morning.  The kids mostly pretended to drive the truck, and Nancy I did some cooking and talked.  It was very relaxing.  Late afternoon, we all went over to Michael's for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a full house with our family, Michael's family, Amber's family, the Sorrells, and a couple of Michael's co-workers.   This is from the feast:



After dinner, Jared read the proposal of George Washington for a national Thanksgiving holiday.  The idea behind the holiday has nothing to do with the "first thanksgiving" which probably didn't happen AT ALL the way we are taught.  But whatever.  His proposal was all focused on thanking God for preserving us as a nation.


And then some relax and game time.  So sweet!


The day after Thanksgiving we went to the Houston zoo with all our families (minus the co-workers.)  That was very fun, but the zoo was a zoo, and parking was a nightmare.  The Sorrells and us had to park pretty far away, so we had a long walk to the zoo.  At the end Nancy and I waited with the kids while Justin and Jared ran to get the cars.  Then we stopped at Ikea on the way back.  I think Ikea might be Luke's new favorite store.  He was very impressed by how big it was.  And I was impressed with the cinnamon rolls.

Justin, Nancy, and family had to leave on Saturday morning.  It was such a nice visit!  I wish we lived closer, but we did some planning, and I think next summer the Wilkersons and Sorrells will meet up again in Orlando for a Disney trip.

A very last minute "Wait!  We have to get a picture together before you leave!" picture.


Saturday afternoon was Luke's birthday party at the roller rink.  I was a little bit nervous because Micah's friends didn't like skating at all, but Luke's friends had lots of fun.  It was pretty simple.  He invited 3 friends from school.  They are the friends he has from riding the bus.  I am SO, SO GLAD that he switched to the regular bus instead of the special needs bus this year.  He has learned quite a few bad words since riding the regular bus, but he has real friends!  That's worth a couple of bad words, right?  Anyway, his party was lots of fun.


Birthday kids get to go into the money machine.  Luke stood in one place looking a little bit confused as the dollar bills swirled around him.  2 dollars landed right on him and he at least grabbed those ones. So he came out $2 richer.



Pizza and cake



On Sunday was our family dinner.  Luke was excited to see Jennifer and Grandma Debbi!  He was very excited about his bow and arrow!  (And Jared was maybe just a little bit more excited than Luke.)



So it was a great break and a great birthday!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Elf on the Shelf

One of Jared's coworkers told me about the Elf on the Shelf at last year's Christmas party.  I asked Santa to send us one.  He arrived about a week before Thanksgiving.  Our elf's name is Peter, and it is his job to watch Luke and Micah and report back to Santa each night to let Santa know if they have been naughty or nice.  Hopefully Santa will be pretty forgiving because Peter has seen a lot of interesting things and been privy to some interesting conversations such as, "Micah, I've told you time and again.  YOU CAN'T PEE IN THE DRAIN OUTSIDE!  YOU NEED TO COME INSIDE AND USE THE TOILET!"  One time Luke was doing something he's not supposed to and I told him, "Peter can see you!"  Luke just replied, "No he can't.  He's looking the other way."  It's true.  He was looking the other way.  So even though the motivation might not be all it could be, it's still fun to find Peter each morning.  And the conversations about Peter have been very fun.  Luke wants to know how he moves around and how he gets out of the house and how he comes back in.  What does Peter eat?  What does Peter do while we're gone?  Etc, etc, etc.  So if you don't have an elf and your kids are old enough to get it, then get one.  Pretty fun!


Missing Top Teeth

Sometime in November Luke lost his first top tooth.  He is scared to wiggle his teeth, so they will be loose for months before they finally just drop out.  It happened while he was home sick.  Luke is wearing his backpack, not because he is coming home from school, but because his new backpack arrived in the mail.  With his birthday money from Mima and Papa, he got a Lightning McQueen backpack, and with his birthday money from Grandpa and Grandma he got a matching lunchbox.  His old backpack ripped, so we actually ordered his new one a couple weeks before his birthday.



Looks pretty different, huh?

Family Trip to Blessington Farms

My friend Carrie introduced the boys and I to Blessington Farms last spring break.  The boys had asked to go back several times.  Finally, the first weekend in November, we made it back.  And Dad got to come too!

Blessington Farms is a working farm that is also an outside play land.  The boys (all of them!) loved the big slides.




Luke's favorite thing was the pedal cars.  He kept wanting to go back.  When we went over spring break, Micah wasn't big enough to reach any of the pedals, but this time he was tall enough to reach them on the smallest cars.





Micah wanted to ride the barrel train, but he also didn't want to wait in line.  There was 1 empty barrel, so I put him in with a stranger.  Good thing he didn't care.


While Micah jumped on some hay bales, Luke pulled Jared around in this wagon.  Pretty tough!


We also had a picnic by the pond, went on the hay ride, visited the barn, and dug in the sand mountain. I just didn't get pictures of those things.  It was a very fun day!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Galveston

In the first part of October, Jared loaded us all up on Saturday and took us on a trip to the beach.  Galveston is not the best beach, but it is pretty close and we had lots of fun.  We went to Galveston Island State park which has the still side and the wave side just on opposite sides of the road.  We didn't know that at first and started on the still side.  This turned out to be super nice because it was great for wading and there was a lot of empty beach.  



Even the dogs did some wading.  Phoenix liked the water, but Griffin hated it.





We tossed Cheetos to the seagulls and tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to dig in the sand.  But we had a great time.  

Then we drove to the other side and saw the waves.  The boys had SOOOOO much fun jumping in the waves.  I sat on the beach with the dogs and watched my boys play around.  It was perfect!  The only thing that would have made it better was if I had taken pictures :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Best Friends



A Frozen Halloween

I know pretty much every little girl under the age of 10 wanted to be Anna or Elsa for Halloween.  I was a bit surprised when my boys announced they also wanted to be characters from the movie Frozen.  Micah was Hans the bad guy.  Mima (my mom) made his outfit as it was impossible to find a store-bought costume.  I'm glad he has a grandmother with sewing talent.  His outfit turned out adorable.  He tried it on at Michael's house and made Libby Rae put on her Elsa dress.


He built a sword out of legos and spent the afternoon pretending to attack Elsa over and over again.  Luckily Mima or I took turns being Elsa, so Libby was safe.  She actually built her own sword and did some pretty good attacking herself.


On Sunday before Halloween we carved our pumpkin.








This is at the ward Halloween party.  They posed with friends who went as (surprise!) Elsa and Anna.


Playing ball at the party


This is from Micah's Halloween parade at school.  
He was the ONLY Hans.




On Halloween night we had dinner at Michael and Cara's with some friends.  Then we all went trick-or-treating together.



Grandma Debbi joined us for trick or treating.  So fun!


Libby Rae refused to let anyone carry her bucket until the VERY end of the night.  It finally became too heavy for her to handle any more, but she was a trooper til the end.