Monday, January 30, 2017

Emmett turns 7!!!

Oh Emmett. I know you have been counting the day's to turn 7 but I'm still not sure how it happened. My cute little snuggly boy all getting big and growing up. You're such a dream of a kid and I'm so happy you had a wonderful birthday.

Emmett requested Taco Salad for his family birthday dinner on Sunday and for dessert, chocolate decadence cake. I made a pumpkin pie too because that's what I do at the last minute, start freaking out about not having enough food. Thankfully though, between the big crockpot of beans, the shredded pork and the ground beef, we literally ate tacos/taco salad/burritos for the whole week following the party. It was fabulous! No meal planning needed for that week.

Emmett scored in the present department, getting all of his little hearts desires. Football cards, notebooks to store them, games, veggie chips (of which he binged on and gave himself a tummy ache) and money that we all know he will save.

We played around the world with math facts that night with our family, per Emmett's request.

Then on Monday, it was the annual Martin Luther King Day Birthday Party for Emmett. It's super handy that the kids never have school that day and we've established it as a great day for his birthday each year since we still then have our weekend and all of his friends young and old can come to the party. He invited 10 friends this year and with their siblings we had 23 kids. The forecast predicted snow so I booked the indoor field at the local soccer park so the kids could run around and the boys could play a football game. The usual. The day turned out to be gorgeous and sunny and crisp but regardless, it was easy to go and play, and then leave, and all the kids had a great time playing and running around. 

Afterwards the McManus boys came home with us to our place along with my mom and the Olsen kids and Jama and her kids. That was my personal favorite part of the whole day. My mom came with two orders of garlic fries. All the kids playing, moms talking, Jama cutting my hair in my living room... Those are the good ol' days. 

I'm so thankful for this boy, Emmett Douglas. He is such a light and a peacemaker in our family. He is happy and helpful and considerate of everyone's needs. He is wise and patient and though he is working on his humility, he is smart and sarcastic and a pleasure to parent. Happy Birthday Sweet Emmett.

And for the record, the parties didn't seize after the long weekend. We party long and hard for birthdays around here so on Wednesday he got apple crisp for breakfast, that he requested. Luckily for Gage and I after the kids went to school we finished off the rest of the pan of crisp. We are suckers for fruit crisps!! Then he brought Oreo's to school to celebrate in his class AND after school my mom picked up him and his siblings and she and my dad took them to Buffalo Wild Wings for a birthday dinner date and then shopping for his gift. Jeff and I quietly stayed home and ate burritos. fyi.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

This Christmas


There is something about Christmas that makes everything right in the world. It's tangible and contagious and this year, like others of the past, brought all of us so much joy and wonder.

In no particular order....
Braxton's Christmas jammies were hillarious. They were a last minute purchase at Target and they didn't have his size so I acted logically and bought my size. But he rocked them non the less and was a super great sport about them.

I had bought all the kids spirit wear through the school and then forgot about it in the closet so they got a present later Christmas day, once I remembered. And they loved their spirit wear.

The kids and I all went shopping one day down south at Hobby Lobby and I let Braxton, Adelle, and Emmett go next door to the dollar tree and I seriously thought they got lost coming back and I had them paged on the intercom of Hobby Lobby. It was nerve racking for a few short minutes.

All the kids bought/made gifts for each other and were spot on with their choices. Gage picked out the long gum, rolled around the spindle for Adelle. Her favorite. Emmett wanted to get a Seahawks jersey so bad for Braxton but I wouldn't let him spend that much money so I helped him choose a poof ball hat, Nike, and Braxton, no joke, hasn't taken it off since Christmas (except at school and during prayer). He loves that hat!! Braxton made his dad a new boot taker offer thing with  my dad and worked really hard on it. Adelle bought Emmett and Braxton soccer cards. etc. It was special. I love to see them giving willingly to each other.

We had a week-long cousin camp between our house and my mom and dad's there were lots of sleepovers. Brent and Jess and Isaac were in town and everyone wanted to hang out with them and then Lesha came to town with her kids and all the cousins got to play, continually. We played in the snow at our place and everyone worked together to build a gigantic snowman that was taller than Umpa. We played on the 4-wheeler in the snow and had snowball fights. We made and decorated ginger bread men to leave out for Santa. We painted little wooden ornaments that Jeff sawed for us and homemade soap with essential oils to give as gifts.

Jeff bought me my Christmas present and gave it to me early so all season I could enjoy my diffuser. I love it.

Jeff and I hosted Christmas Eve and we served homemade chili and cornbread along with fresh apple cider that we had pressed and froze this past fall. We had my parents, Brent, Jess and Isaac, and Kate. We also had the 1st Annual Christmas Eve Talent Show and that was a great addition to our other Christmas Eve traditions this year. Adelle and Kate did a gymnastics routine. Braxton showed us how to make a yarn hat ornament, Emmett played Jolly Old St. Nicholas on the Piano. Let's see.... Jeff and I sang a new rendition of "Baby it's Cold Outside" that had everyone laughing out loud and my parents followed that act with their acted out version of "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer." Brent and Jessica were the Grand Finale with their fancy lip and tongue sync version of "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas."

After the family all left we read in Luke, like we do every year and then we read The Night Before Christmas. The kids got out cookies and milk for Santa and hustled off to bed. Santa got busy and I lazily laid in front of the fire and offered moral support. Our Bishop, and neighbor, saved us at 11:00pm with a C battery that one of Gage's Santa gifts required.

Jeff woke up extra early to feed the chickens before coming in to welcome Christmas morning. All the kids were happy with their gifts. Emmett even remembered Hercules and gifted him with a new squeaky ball.

Santa left cereal boxes in all of our stockings so we each got to have our own little breakfast cereal.

We went to church, since Christmas was on a Sunday this year, and it was a beautiful, combined Sacrament meeting with the other wards in the building.  The kids sang beautifully and Isaac wanted to tackle Gage during all of Sacrament meeting.

The day was beautiful so the kids and I decided we wanted to run/walk to my parents for dinner instead of drive. Jeff picked us up along the way but we got pretty far. It was sunny and crisp and perfect for a stroll.

My dad had a fun game planned for everyone with cotton balls and vaseline. Emmett took it serious and beat everyone by getting the most cotton balls to stick to his face. Jeff won through Emmett.

Lesha performed her talent Christmas Day singing her own version of a Christmas tune but Peter didn't get to see it since Corbin was home sick.

Interestingly enough I don't remember much past 5:00pm on Christmas. Maybe I was in a prime-rib coma?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The beginning part of December

Oh December? Where did thee go? 

December was a whirlwind of snowy merriness. Ha! That was my perception on a good day. On a not so good day, December was frigid and left a whole lot of things undone. Either way, big things happened of which I want to make note.

At the beginning of the month Emmett received the Good Citizen Award for his class. It was given to him by his Teacher, Mr. VanDyken,  for being Trustworthy in the halls and on the playground. It was really sweet to go to lunch with him and Gage even got ready in Seahawks gear since it was a game day and the whole school was showing their spirit. Some of our good friends from church, also were given awards that day so we all got to celebrate together with a special lunch.

Emmett is wonderful and his teacher is like a grown-up Emmett. Super tender and mild and they are great buds.

Also at the beginning of the month I hosted our RS Christmas social for our ward. The Presidency brought yummy soups and it was great to just gather together, eat, sing carols and share in the Christmas spirit.
Adelle brought home this Christmas book from a teacher and it ended up being the greatest story of the season.

Jeff's mom requested Bacon Crispers, which apparently are only sold in Canada these days so Jeff and I made a detour one night during one of our Temple trips. After almost loosing hope when the first stop didn't carry them, we found them at the next store and pretty much cleared the shelf! What momma wants, momma gets ;)

Emmett was a sweet shepherd at the ward's Christmas party. Adelle was an angel and Braxton and Gage were also shepherds. All the kids sang, along with the youth and other members.

When we got home that night, Emmett lost his first tooth! He's been waiting on that for a while and was happy to have a tooth to put under his pillow.

Our 3rd flock of chicks came the first week in December. Unfortunately so did the snow and ice! That resulted in the overnight delivery being delayed and 1/2 of the boxes of chicks were lost in the mail. It was such a catastrophe. Freezing temps, wind chills, and new babies struggling for their lives after starving for a whole 24 hours. The second day we lost 40 of the "Snowflakes" as we named them, resulting in a flock less than half the size intended.

Lucky for me I have all these little people in my life who help me to see the bright side and made themselves merry skating on the frozen pasture. 

 Gage woke up early one morning, early in December, and when he saw the snow excitedly asked, "Does this mean it is Christmas?" It was really sweet. That day he was the first one out in it. Schools were cancelled for the kids two days of one week and delayed another day. It was fun to play in the snow, but also freezing with the windchill. The temperatures this December have been so low! Jeff is a kid when it comes to the snow and we had fun pulling the kids and some of their friends on sleds behind the 4-wheeler. Benefits of having property for sure! The kids and I made a snowman one day too and it was so funny because Hercules, our dog, kept jumping up and grabbing the arms of the snowman and running around with them. He loves sticks! And sidenote, Hercules loved the snow as well!!

The kids had their own unique lists for Santa this year. Braxton asked for a football helmet, a running/tracker watch, football pants, and football and soccer cards. Adelle asked for a beanie-boo stuffed owl, and coloring set. Emmett asked for tennis balls to juggle, football cards, and a binder to keep his football cards in. Gage asked for a Seahawks jersey, and a beanie-boo stuffed wolf.