Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Performances

I wanted to share a video clip of Brock performing at his very first piano recital. I was slow getting my camera ready record, so I missed Brock introducing himself and his song. plus the first few notes. But at least I got something!

"Good King Wenceslas"

This is Brock and his fabulous piano teacher, Mrs. Cole. Brock started lessons in September from a wonderful woman from our church, but after abut 4 lessons, she moved out of state! We were sad, but found Mrs. Cole from a list of music teachers in the area provided by the middle school. I just started cold calling some of the teachers, and Mrs. Cole just happened to have a student recently need to withdraw, so she had an opening, and it happened to be on the same day Brock was already used to having lessons. Just seemed meant to be! We couldn't be happier. I love that the student having lessons right before Brock is older (maybe 12 ish?) and Brock can see what a few years of lessons can lead to. We are so proud of his hard work and willingness to practice and even perform in front of a big crowd! (his teacher has 21 students, and each one had several family members attend so that adds up!)

We like to get our kids each a chocolate advent calendar each December. One evening Brock realized he had missed a few days. (He is not that into candy - he still has Halloween candy left) so he asked if he could get caught up and open a couple doors. I said sure, and to our dismay...most of his chocolate was already missing! No doubt his 2 year old sister had something to do with this. I expected Brock to feel sad, but he thought it was funny.

This was my favorite song of the night. Sorry it is bouncy, Jenna kept tapping my arm and trying to climb into my lap so my arms were bouncing all over. But be sure to watch until the end, they had a little surprise in store for us!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santas of Christmas Past

2007. Allie was not quite 2 years old and would not even consider sitting with Santa, but Mrs. Clause gave her a candy cane and bear to hold, so she reluctantly agreed to at least sit with her. Brock was 3, and totally willing to sit with the Jolly Old St. Nick. (I have yet to visit a Santa as authentic looking as this one. He and Mrs. Clause were at the Christmas craft show in the Idaho Center arena in Nampa, ID.)

2008. Brock was 4, perfect age for cheesy forced smiles. Allie was 2, still young enough to be nervous and reluctant. Jenna was just shy of a year old...young enough to not know what was going on.
2009. Brock is now 5 and really gets it. Allie is now 3 and so shy she wont even look at Santa. Two year old Jenna follows big sister's lead and needs to sit on Daddy, not the strange man in red.

2010. Brock is totally over sitting on a grown man's lap. Allie gets the tradition, but would rather stand by brother than sit on Santa's knee. Jenna, now almost 3, is strong enough to really refuse to go near the man. Maybe next year. Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Atumn Catch-Up

I am afraid I haven't been the most diligent blogger as of late, so here is a smorgasbord post of a bunch of random things! Enjoy.

Jake has become quite the shot gun fanatic with all the business trips to various hunting lodges. Doesn't he look dangerous in his orange vest? I love that he gets to go have some man time to kill things, but I have a freezer full of pheasant I will probably never prepare. Come on by and get some if you'd like.

Allie has completed her "green book" and can move up to the yellow book. She really wants to keep tumbling and definitely wants to play soccer again.

Woohoo - the foam pit! During Jenna's mommy and me tumbling class, I jumped in too. Its so fun, but there is a trampoline under the foam cubes and every time you move, its sort of like quick sand, its a fight to pull yourself out - its awesome!

The ladies in our ward have a play group once a month, usually focused on the holiday (if any) for that month. My friend Heidi had this adorable craft at her Thanksgiving play group. You stick some tooth picks in an apple, then place some fruit loops on the picks, top it with a marshmallow and you have some feathers. Then add candy orange slice for a head - and viola! A turkey!

Completed turkey! Jenna's didn't have a head or marshmallows on the feathers, because she ate those parts. Allie was more interested in a completed turkey.

Since the weather has been so nice, I took the van through the car wash the other day. I heard Allie say, "Jenna I will hold your hand so you won't be scared." This is what I saw.

Something about getting out the Christmas stuff that makes my kids go nuts. Does this happen at your house?

About to load the Christmas tree. It was super cold that night. Perhaps someday I'll post some pictures of the tree all decorated...but don't quote me on that. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Spider-Man

Brock has a rock climbing class once a week at the YMCA. He had been asking about one for a while, and since we are only doing one session of Bball in the winter, I figured this fall was a good time to sign up for a class. He loves it and got a lot higher than I ever imagined for a beginner. I am not hugely afraid of heights, yet i never really go anywhere high, so perhaps I am a big chicken and I am just in denial...but Brock seems to have no fear in that department - see for yourself...

More than half way!

This is a video clip of him making some good progress, then slipping off!

But he made it!

This video puts the actual size of the rock in perspective. Brock makes it about that high each time its his turn, but hasn't quite made it past that ledge to the cave. Maybe by his last class. I am just glad he enjoys it. The day I told him I signed him up fro rock climbing class, he about tackled me with a big bear hug and repeated Thank you! over and over. Well, I aim to please. The girls are currently in another round of tumbling classes. I hope I remember to bring my camera to a class or two this month. Allie is one move away from completing her "green book", which is the beginners class. Jenna and I do the mommy and me class with the other 2 year olds. At first she was afraid of the huge foam pit at the end of the trampoline, but now she begs me to throw her in! And I do.

The morning after the Trunk or Treat party, we woke up to this mess, and this story from our little miss Jenna.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

We had lots of Halloween activities this year. I don't have the patience to post a ton of pictures for each event, so you'll have to settle for just a couple from each.

I planned some Halloween activities to play with the kids to help pass the time until time to go Tick or Treating. I printed off some Halloween BINGO cards and we used marshmallows as the markers. It was fun, we played 3 games because we were having such a blast.

I was surprised that Jenna didn't just eat all her marshmallows...she really enjoyed the game, and was even the first winner.

Here are the girls all set for trick or treating! Brock was having some costume malfunctions and needed a couple more minutes.

Our first stop!

Some of the houses in the neighborhood were quite spooky - we loved it!

This house, the "Dracula house" as we call it, gives out full size Snickers each year. We never miss this house. :)

Really cruising now!

At church, I teach the 7 year old primary class. I invited them over for a Halloween party. Tons of fun! This photo is of "pin the face on the Jack-o-lantern" game.

Decorating cup cakes.

Trying to pop orange and black balloons with no hands- So funny!

Waiting for the Trunk or Treat at church to begin.

This is my friend Diane and her family. They usually have clever coordinating costumes, this year was no different! I love Pac Man! Last year (I think it was last year, maybe 2) their three girls (this was before the baby girl was born) were little pigs, and their son was a wolf. Wish I was creative and dedicated enough to make the costumes ;)

I am a co-room mother this year for Brock's class. So me and one other mom were in charge of the Halloween party. Since it was in the morning, we had muffins, fruit, ham and cheese for a snack. We figured that was better than a cupcake at 9am.

We did toilet paper mummy wraps (they even got to wrap thier teacher), we had a candy corn relay, decorated a picture frame (we even took their photo and had them developed by the end of school) and each kid got a balloon with a few prizes inside they had to pop.

It was a good Halloween weekend. Hope your's was great too!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This and That

Koch Industries had a Fear Factor fund raiser. Employees would purchase a vote for the person they wanted to see eat a bunch of super nasty naturally Jake was voted to participate. Everyone new he would be a great competitor and hilarious- which he was. He didn't win, but I am just grateful for the photos. Take a look at what my poor husband had to eat! (And no Pam, pigs feet do not smell like bacon.)

He said by far...the fermented bean were the most difficult to eat. I googled them to read about what exactly they are - the photos look repulsive! They are basically rotten pinto beans in a sticky stringy sauce. Ick!
Here he is trying to get them down - poor Jake!

On a less disgusting note, we have had a fun month of Halloween activities. Brock has chosen to be Darth Vader, Allie is Ariel, and Jenna is Minnie Mouse. In this photo, Allie wanted to try out the ears that go with Jenna's costume.

The day I drag out my Halloween tubs is always a fun one at our house. The kids scurry around trying on the costumes from past Halloweens, and its a messy, noisy, fabulous time.
Bat girl Allie with bunny ears, Buzz Lightyear Jenna, too tight Iron Man Brock.

I like to have a treat baking while we decorate the house, this year was chocolate chip cookies. Simple, but a favorite. Jenna, as bat girl, was really wanting to grab a cookie hot off the tray!

Soccer season is officially over, but I did get this cute picture of my girls climbing in a tree at Brock's last practice.

Jenna is finally tall enough to pedal Allie's old big wheel. We have gone on a lot of bike rides now that the icky 100+ degree summer is over. Its been gorgeous here! You can see Allie up ahead on her bike in this picture.

Jenna has a new disdain to holding my hand in parking lots and stores, I guess its an "I am too big for that" thing, but she will hold Brock's hand. I am so glad he is always willing to hold her hand when I ask him too, he is a great helper for me!

In closing, here is a little diddy, by my favorite two year old.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Granny and Pop

Jake's parents came from Idaho to visit for a couple days. It was fabulous and we loved every minute of it, I hope they enjoyed it as well!

Early morning session of Wack-a-Mole with Pop.

Heading home after Brock's soccer game.

They brought us some Halloween goodies that Jake's sister Pam sent for us. These huge gooey eye balls were included. The green one burst while Jake and I were wrestling for it...hope that liquid isn't toxic - it got all over me! It was pretty funny.

We went to the Apple Jack Pumpkin patch, which is my favorite pumpkin patch of all the ones I have visited. I forgot my camera, so I made everyone pose after we got home. It was such great weather this year, last year we went in our winter coats!

I LOVE the look on Jake's face in this photo! It seems like every year I am surprised by how disgusting the inside of a pumpkin smells.

We got 6 pumpkins this year, but we only carved 4 so far. Here they are - which is your favorite? Can you tell who designed which pumpkin?

Happy monkeys with the jack-o-lanterns.

Larry brought us some of his Idaho potatoes. I put it next to one of my store bought spuds (grown in Texas). Hmmm...can you tell which is which?

And speaking of photographing produce....I bought a bunch of strawberries to make some jam (so my mother-in-law will think I am domestic). This was one of my berries. I thought it was cute. I pushed up the leaves to make it look like it had spiky hair. Then I chopped him up and tossed him in the jam. Que sera sera.