Sunday, December 30, 2012

Texas Size Christmas

To think, we use to have food texture issues with this adorable toddler.  Look at him now...sitting in the famous Cattleman's restaurant of the Fort Worth Stockyards holding a T-bone and ready to try out his new eye teeth.  He could not be more delighted with himself.
Blake represented his Texas heritage well that night.  He stayed on that bone for a good 20 minutes.  I am not even sure how we separated the two of them. 
 Cattleman's restaurant is still a cowboy's steakhouse.  We were the minority with plenty of cowboy hats around us.
Here's a photo of mom and dad awaiting their fine steak dinner.  Matter of fact, dad was SURE his prime rib was better than any steak at the table! 

We were only in Texas for few days.  But here are a few of our favorite highlights...
Blake and Louie on a Texas Longhorn Bull.  Blake was not sure this was the best idea.
But Louie loved it!

Blake truly did like riding his own little Shetland pony much better!
Aunt Laurie, Grandma Hoot (Hunter) and Louie walking down the Main Street of the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Riding the Christmas Choo-Choo around the stockyards.
Running around the church gym, playing choo-choo with Grandpa Hoot's walker, and flying Uncle Jeff's remote control helicopter.
Making muffins with Grandma Hoot.
With my siblings:  Jeff, me, Kate, Blake and Becky. 
It was a quick trip but packed in some quality time with my family in Texas.  I don't think Louie will forget camping with Uncle Jeff in mom and dad's garage with a space heater.  Louie was in awe with many questions as he watched Jeff put up the tent, blow up the air mattresses and set up the sleeping bags.  At this point, sleeping on real bed wasn't the preferred option.  Both Louie and Blake loved being spoiled by their aunts and uncles and playing with their Texas cousins.  I think this will be a repeat trip... but only if Uncle Jeff will bring his tent!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Morning, Park City, Utah 2012

Christmas morning is always a blur!  Cody and I are adjusting to the fact that we are up earlier than usual, trying to get something substantial into our boys before they discover the candy in the stockings and getting a Diet Coke to wake up our brains to get in gear for Christmas!  Louie was delighted to find the train, Koko, in his stocking from Santa!  Blake loved his toy Dyson vacuum (just like Mommy's) and Elmo rock band.

I bought a new waffle iron for one of Cody's Christmas gifts this year.  I found out his dad had a traditional Christmas morning breakfast of waffles and eggs when he was a child.  So I decided to continue the tradition with our family. It was delish!

After opening presents, we went to Grandpa Wayne and Grandma Marcy's house for Christmas lunch.  As we drove up the driveway, Blake announced, "Ganpa, Ganpa!"
Marcy buys a new ornament for each grandchild every year.  It represents their current interests and has a spot for their picture.  This year, Wayne got a surprise ornament of him on a yellow 4 wheeler; one of his favorite hobbies.  I think he liked it.
Throughout the year, Marcy has talked about this robe from time to time.  She found it at a spa and has described it as a huge hug.  So we splurged on it and bought one for her.  She still talks about it but now owns one!
Warming by the fire with Tiff.
He doesn't have much patience for this picture.  He was delighted with this car carrier and wanted the plastic off immediately.
Back home again, Blake resumed his vacuuming...and couldn't be more pleased with himself.

We really tried to "do it all!" this Christmas.  Despite 10 straight days of radiation in December for Grandpa Wayne, he seemed to find the energy to cut down Christmas trees in the mountains, go to a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert, frost Christmas Cookies, and go on the Polar Express.  We will cherish those Christmas memories with him. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

It Was Magical!

On Christmas Eve day, we spent the afternoon on the Polar Express (Heber Creeper) and had a magical time.  We were with family, singing Christmas Carols, telling Christmas jokes, drinking hot chocolate and eating chocolate chip cookies!  There were elves, Mrs. Claus and Santa.  Louie was finally able to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas..."Koko and Brewster" (the names of two Chuggington trains).  To which Santa replied, "What?  You want a rooster!"  We laughed at Santa's comment all the way home.  And of course at the end of the ride, Santa gave out the first gift of Christmas, a silver bell.  Louie knew the story and knew the significance of holding onto the silver bell. It was a magical day!
Blake dancing in the isle to Jingle Bells!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sugar Cookies for Santa

Tonight we made sugar cookies with Aunt Tiffy's family, Grandma Marcy, and Grandpa Wayne.  Louie designated himself to be in charge of the sprinkles.  His older cousins are very indulging with his requests.  And as for Blake, he designated himself to be the taste tester.  Then he noticed we were piping the designs on with frosting.  So he created his version by using his milk bottle to add designs to his cookies.
Green is Louie's favorite color right now.
Our finished product for Santa.
"Night-Night Grandpa Wayne!"
"Night-Night Grandma Marcy!"

Monday, December 3, 2012


I think this is Blake's first time to walk through snow, make tracks and eat it.  Both Louie and Blake were LOVING their winter wonderland adventure.  The pictures say it all...
Making choo-choo tracks.
And, it's time to go inside for hot chocolate.
"Cheeeeeeese"...Cocomotion machine (hot chocolate maker) is always a favorite to anticipate when it's going to stop and have hot chocolate ready at the perfect drinking temperature.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Street Party

Happy Halloween 2012!  Louie wanted to wear his costume from last Halloween.  I tried to explain to him that he could choose a different costume each year..."no" was his response.  So we happily dressed him in a small Woody costume and matched Blake as a Mr. Potato Head.  We had a grand time walking around the neighborhood collecting candy!  It's fun to see the adults get into dressing up, cauldrons with dry ice and fun music.  It's more like a street party!  Louie wasn't so sure about this vampire but once the candy was deposited in his bucket... no big deal!
In this last photo, Blake wanted to be a big boy and stand against the the doors and NOT on Mom's lap.  Just growing up sooooo quickly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Small Joys in Life

Here are a few fun photos of everyday life that I don't want to forget.  The boys are growing and changing so quickly.  During these sweet moments, I want to freeze time.
Louie's First Day of Preschool with Ms. Jeannette and Ms. Marcie
Blake's First attempt with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Murphy has volunteered to clean up at a moment's notice.
Blake would not let go of this broom for about an hour.  Not sure how much he...cleaned?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Louie's First T-Ball Game

Louie was up to bat at his first T-ball game.  In a flash, all these thoughts flooded my mind...
Would he sink or swim? Then, the Christmas cartoon of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer comes to mind when the "young bucks" are trying out to pull Santa's sleigh.  There are weak attempts, name calling and rejection from peers.  Could my Louie compete with his peers in the real world?  Then I stopped the runaway train of protective mom thoughts and settled on, "Oh my...this is just T-ball; relax."
The first pitch came, he swung and missed.  Coach realigned him to the T.  Next pitch came and he hit the ball with ease. And then chaos erupted onto the field...loose ball!  This is where 4 year old enthusiasm trumps all training and any attempt at position control.  T-ball then turned into tackle football.  And once a four year old has gotten the ball, the last thing they want to do it throw it away to first base!  Those coaches were trying to herd a bunch of cats to coax a throw to first base.  I was mesmorized by the show and so was Louie which caused him to pause before running to first base.  By the time he made it around the chaos, the ball had beaten him to first base.   
As he came off the field, I noticed he didn't care if he hadn't made it to first base.  I don't think he was aware that he was "out!"   He was proud to have hit the ball!  In his mind, he had pulled Santa's sleigh that day...and that was good enough for me.
Here's a photo of Blake salivating to get on the field with Louie!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Preschool doesn't start for the boys for another week!  It has been too hot to play at the park or go for a walk.  We have been inside a lot!  And poor Murphy is taking the brunt of it all!  Louie will play "doggie" with him; which means he is his constant shadow for eating, napping or playing fetch (Louie gets upset when Murphy beats him to the ball).  So one evening around 5 p.m., we had unusual lowered temps of about 93 degrees.  We headed outside and blew up the pool to cool off and give poor Murphy a break.  Well, I guess Murphy had gotten use to his new companion and wasn't going to be left behind.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Detox from LIFE

I don't quite know how the beach does it... but it does. For us, it can peel back the layers of stress and everyday worries and leave us more relaxed.  I don't know if it's the rhythmic waves of the ocean, the walks along the beach or all the amazing food we enjoyed.
OBX (Outer Banks, North Carolina) has been a well loved vacation spot for us.  For many years, Cody and I have been there with friends in our single days.  This year, we thought it might be fun to revisit with our own little family.  Even better, Tiffiny's family (Cody's sister) decided to join us for the week.
It was so nice to have pure family time.  For us, it's all about slowing down.  Dylan and Louie were inseparable...chasing the waves, digging in the sand or playing with toys at the beach house.  Blake wasn't so sure about the sand but did opt to taste it.  Dylan and Jake (both 8-10 years older) are such good cousins to Louie and Blake.  I was so impressed that these teenagers would take so much time with our little boys.

At the beach, it's really relaxing to have the time to cook, bake and try out new recipes.  Essentially, we have the time to concentrate on something new.  Tiffiny made these yummy homemade mozzerella sticks to go along with her steak dinner.  Cody wanted to make our new favorite fajita recipe with homemade tortillas... but there wasn't a rolling pin to be found.  So we wrapped Tiffiny's hair spray can with saran wrap and voila!   We were able to roll out our tortillas quite easily. 
After our week of detox, we took Tiffiny's family to tour around Washington, D.C.  They covered all the sights from Mt. Vernon and Smithsonian Museums to a tour of the Capitol. 
I think this last picture of Louie sums it up...fantastic 10 days but ready for a nap!