Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Years Eve

We always like to do appetizers for NYE dinner, so this year with Leah, we had a delicious menu.  She made pigs in a blanket (I think those were the most popular thing!).  For dessert we used the chocolate fountain that Travis got me for Christmas.  It was soooooo goood!  

It was so fun having Leah with us for the holidays.  I feel like it made everything so much more special and fun for us.  Thanks for coming Leah!!


We love going to the Zoo, we go every few months, and with Leah visiting, it was the perfect excuse.  

Audrey brought her favorite stuffed bear to the zoo, so that he could see the real bears.  She is so thoughtful! 


We actually go to see the Lions eating!!  It was pretty cool!

Audrey also brought her little elephant, but we didn't get to see the real elephants (maybe it was too cold?).  

Our favorite animals are the baboons because they interact with people so much.  They put on a great show as always, they love the kids!  They will play peek-a-boo, it is so cute!!


It had been a few years since we last went bowling, and with Leah in town (and a few coupons that were expiring at year end) we decided to go.  

The touchscreen was very difficult to use, and my typos were extreme.  From top to bottom: Rach, Leah, Travis, Audrey, and Phoenix.

Phoenix and Leah were tied up until the very end, which is pretty hilarious.  Leah pulled ahead just in time to save herself the embarrassment of losing to a 4 year old.  

We had a ton of fun, and plan to go back again.  We also went roller skating when Leah was in town, which was really fun as well.  We got cotton candy, and nachos and cheese, and after our wobbly legs got used to skates again, we had fun doing that as well.  

Christmas Day

Phoenix wanted one thing, and one thing only for Christmas...a "Lightning McQueen Bike". Santa delivered!!  Before Christmas, every time I would take Phoenix to Walmart he would insist on riding the Lightning McQueen bike (as fast as he could).  

We were SO glad that Leah could come during Christmas!  It really made everything more fun!  She brought the kids this cool stuff (gel-like balls and "snow") and they loved it!!    

I got Leah addicted to Vampire Diaries when she was here (insert evil laugh here).  

Christmas Time

Here are a few pictures of our tree decorating...

Audrey with Twinkle...

Our ward had a Potluck dinner with a live Nativity starring the primary children.  Phoenix was a Shepard, and Audrey was an Angel.  They both had fun participating.  

Christmas Parade

Audrey gets to be in the local parade every year with her dance school.  This year the weather did not cooperate, it was cold, cloudy, and eventually rainy.  Luckily, Travis got us some Krispy Kremes and hot chocolate to keep us warm.  

You can see Audrey, swinging her pony tail.  This is the ONLY picture I got of her!! 

After the parade, the fire department has Santa visits with cookies and juice. The kids have fun (despite Santa's obviously fake beard).

Children's Choir

Every year our church hosts a Nativity event during December.  They have many different musical numbers over the course of 4-6 evenings, along with hundreds of Nativities set up for people to enjoy.  This year, both kids participated in the children's choir.  Audrey was a model participant, she learned the choreography, she practiced the songs, and she even volunteered for a solo (they ended up cutting the song the night of because they couldn't get the recording to work).  Phoenix was...not.  He spent the whole time going from one microphone to another (they kept turning them off on him) singing as loudly as he could (mostly gibberish) and he couldn't have cared less about anyone else.  I debated if I should even claim him as my own after it was done.  

Both kids had a great time!!  Phoenix did so well in practice that I was somewhat surprised that he would care so much about the microphones.  Audrey is looking forward to doing this next year...and Phoenix may need one more year before he is ready.

A few family pictures...

The photographer I wanted to use this year was too busy, so I had a friend snap a few pictures of us at the farm across the street from our neighborhood.  

The farm owner was SO nice, and he let the kids pet the ponies!  Have I ever mentioned that I love living in the South?  People here really are nicer.


Yes...I have one year left of the 20s.  My birthday was on a Saturday this year, so we had the whole day together as a family.  I am not sure if there is a curse or something, but generally the kids are both horribly behaved on my birthday...and this year was no exception!  We saw Frozen together, and that was AWESOME!!  Then we had a mid-afternoon lunch at Cheesecake Factory...I pretty much always choose there for my Birthday.  Travis did an awesome job making me feel special and loved.  It is always nice to be remembered on your birthday by those you love most (family and close friends), and I had a lot of love.  Thanks y'all!

I guess that I should have posted this sooner than 4 months after the fact so that I could remember more details, but I guess in my old age (haha) my memory is already starting to fail me.  

A Night With Elves

I know that a Christmas post (or 4) may be a little late in April...but better late than never, right?

We started off the Christmas festivities with the Marbles party.  This was our first year going, and we will probably add it to our annual traditions.  The kids LOVED it!!  They got to dress up in their jammies (our elf, Twinkle, brought them both a new pair), and there were so many fun activities for the kids.

Audrey's favorite room by far was the Elf Training room.  They had a center where she got to practice her present stacking skills, and they had a reindeer grooming center...she was in heaven.  The day after this party Audrey dressed up as an elf and played all sorts of elf games.

The kids loved playing with the "snow", and Auntie Leah brought them their own for Christmas!!

Outside they had s'mores and hot chocolate.  I don't think "hot" is descriptive enough... it was more like 2degrees-away-from-boiling hot chocolate.  I had a cup thinking that it would cool down, but after 10 minutes it was still burning!!  I ended up throwing it away because I was scared that I might drop it on a kid (accidentally of course).  

When I was younger we would always go to the IBM Christmas party, it was awesome!!  Since we do not have a company party to go to at Christmas time, this was a great substitute for our kids!