Wednesday, January 7, 2015

second half of December

The rest of our December...
I found this duck nativity set at Hobby Lobby for a buck!  It is really cute and the kids loved playing with them every night in the bath.  I tried going back the next day to get more and they were all gone. 

Filled my whole gas tank up for $27.55!  I don't even remember the last time it was THAT cheap!  All my Fry's points added up.

I swapped with a friend and watched her girls one night and then she came and sat at my house another night after our kids were in bed.  We went to a late movie and saw the Hobbit.  I'd never been to the AMC theater before...and can never go anywhere again!  Comfy, soft, recliner chairs to watch the movie in - it was awesome.

Brooklyn giving Jake a mani/pedi.  Jake is a good brother and usually goes along with her ideas.

We spend lots of time at the park!  I love how many good parks there are so close to our house.  Just last night John asked Brooklyn what we did that day and she said we spent all day at 2 different parks, which was pretty much true.  Remmy loves the swings thankfully because she is getting too heavy to hold the entire time.   She'll just chill happily in the swing.

We met friends Nate and Kayla and their kids at Chik-fila in Scottsdale the Monday night before Christmas and then went to the train park.  It was PACKED.  John dropped the kids and I off and we had to wait in line just to get tickets.  There was a huge line to do the train and see all the lights, so we opted just to walk around and let the kids ride the carousal.  They also had random characters walking around to get your picture taken with, some a little creepy I thought.  Jake wasn't in to that, but Brooklyn was.

My parents gave us zoo passes for Christmas this year to the Wild Life Zoo.  We had Phoenix Zoo passes our first year in Arizona and used it enough to get our money worth, but didn't go a whole lot.  This zoo is so much better we think and closer to us too!  Very hands on and closer to the animals.

There is a kangaroo walk about where you literally can be 5 feet from them.  Pretty cool.

And my favorite part of the zoo, the giraffes!  We have fed them every time we've been and the kids love it!  They squeal with excitement and laugh when the giraffe licks their hand. 

Brooklyn isn't banned anymore from doing my hair.  I think she learned her lesson.

On Christmas Eve this year we got together with friends.  The Woolford's hosted and it was a full house!  Us, Frischknecht's, Quirl's, Bartholomew's, Knight's, and Schmidt's.  We had soup, salad, appetizer's, homemade rolls, slush, and dessert and it was all delicious.  We started at 4 and ended around 6:30, so every family could still go home and do their own traditions.

The kids acted out the nativity.  Brooklyn was an angel, Jake a wise man, and Remmy a sheep.  It was the cutest little nativity ever.

We did one of the Woolford's traditions and read the Polar Express.  After Riley had finished reading it the doorbell rang and every families elf had left the kids a bell from Santa's sleigh.

Once we got home we got Christmas pajamas on and the kids opened new slippers.  We turned off the lights, sat around the tree, and sang Christmas songs.

The kids were all in bed at 7.  I set everything up inside and John finished putting the swing set together in the backyard.  I LOVE holidays with kids - I never imagined it would be as fun as it is.  I was giddy and so excited going to bed that night.

Christmas morning the kids woke up around 7.  I snapped a quick picture of them all in our bed.  We lined up youngest to oldest, just like I did growing up, and ran in to see what Santa had brought us.

Brooklyn got a little pet shop doctor kit, Ariel play dough, build-a-bear gift card, and other small things in her stocking.

Jake got a Captain America mask (which is the one thing he asked for and really wanted), a new superhero to add to his collection (hawk), build-a-bear gift card, and small things in his stocking.

Remmy got new binkies, puffs, and a picnic set.

John got a bike seat so now we can go on bike rides again as a family.  We have a trailer that seats 2 kids and now the extra seat.

It was a fun, slow, morning.  The kids took their time opening each present and were excited about every single one.

John made eggs benedict for breakfast (yum) which was a tradition for him growing up.  After breakfast John discovered a card from Santa in our tree about one more surprise for the kids....a swing set!  I went outside first so I could record their reactions and was so glad I did!  Brooklyn called it a...."a......PARK!"  It was really cute and they were so shocked! 

happy kids!

We showered, got dressed, and kept playing with our new toys.  After lunch we drove to the airport to pick up my parents.  Jake fell asleep on the way - so worn out!  It was so fun to have my parents here.  We opened a few more presents when they got here and then I finished making Christmas dinner - french dip sandwiches, a salad, fruit, and my dad's favorite slush that he grew up having.

My mom, the kids, and I went to build-a-bear two days after Christmas and let the kids use their gift cards.  My mom got a Santa bear, Brooklyn picked an Elsa bear, and Jake a spider man bear.  They loved it and sleep with their new bears every night.

The Bowen's arrived on the 27th and overlapped my parents stay.  It was a full house, but so much fun!  Emily and Kate stayed at our house along with my parents and the rest in a hotel room.  My kids are always in heaven with their cousins and they just play, play, play.

this picture was Sunday morning getting ready for church - lots of hair to do!

We swam at the hotel the Bowen's stayed at one afternoon and they treated us to dinner at Red Robin after.

I wish I would have taken more pictures when they were here.  The time always goes by so fast! 


  1. The kids are looking so grown up!! Remmy's smiles are killing me, so so cute. Can't wait to see everyone soon! Looks like a fabulous December!

  2. What a fun christmas! Loved seein all of the cute pics. That nativity was a great deal! I bet it was fun having family down! Cousins are the best.