December 27, 2016

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas 2016

Christmas is by far my favorite time of year!  I love the glow from all of the Christmas lights and all the traditions we've kept and new traditions that we've started as a family.  It's certainly a very busy time of year, but it's worth all the craziness!  I'm always sad the day we take down the tree.

Christmas Eve is spent with the inlaws, they come up mid afternoon and we have a nice dinner (my homemade spaghetti and meatballs) and this year we decided to attend church down the street, something my MIL had been missing out on since coming to spend Christmas Eve at our house.  I was excited that Mother Nature didn't rain on our parade this year, and so we were able to do luminaries.  We got rained out the last 2 years.  It was nice that the boys are all older so they were able to help out more getting them ready.

Getting the bags prepped!
Evan helps put the candles into the bags!
Each bag gets a scoop of kitty litter and a candle
David was excited to help light them.
The luminaries all lit!  They are so pretty when the glow!

After church we got back to have the boys open their traditional Christmas pajamas.  This year they were actually excited for the ones that I chose!

Traditional Christmas Eve gift!
And of course it would not be Christmas Eve without the reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Each of them got to take turns reading pages from the story!  And then it was time for bed!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...
Ready for bed!
The beauty of a glowing Christmas tree!
The boys are ALWAYS up early on Christmas morning, but our rule is they have to wait until 7am to go down stairs.  We like to give everyone a chance to sleep in a bit.  So while we wait for the grown ups to get up and get their coffees made, I take the traditional picture at the top of the stairs!

Then it's time to do their stockings and presents from Santa!  Santa leaves them a letter, which David reads every year and hides one of their gifts, leaving them clues on how to find it!  It's been a fun tradition that they look forward to every year!

The traditional scavenger hunt!
Our annual Christmas morning picture!
After Santa gifts have been opened, we warm up cinnamon rolls and have some breakfast.  The boys help sort all the gifts and then we do round 2!

The boys finding out that we are going to NYC in April to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway!
Then it's time to clean up, get dressed and take our traditional family portrait before the inlaws head out and we get ready for my family to arrive.  The prime rib goes into the oven and I start getting some warm appetizers ready.

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When my family arrives we do another round of gift exchanges but it's the Prime Rib dinner that everyone looks forward to!  This is my 6th Prime Rib and I think I've pretty much perfected it!
And the evening would not be complete without our family portrait!

December 18, 2016

Getting into the Holiday Spirit!

I love this time of year!  It's always busy but it's so fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything!  As is our tradition, we took out all of our decorations the day after Thanksgiving and began putting them all up!

Playing with the Christmas Lego sets that we put out on the piano for decoration!
Trip up the tree with Christmas stuff!
Charlie had to work the weekend so I set up time at the studio to do the boys Christmas portraits so I could get my Christmas cards ready!  We had some fun getting into the Christmas spirit with some props and the cocoa booth!

Santa, Reindeer & Elf
David, Shaun & Evan's Hot Cocoa!

Another Christmas Spirit tradition is going to the parade!  I met up with my mom and sister earlier in the day and we first headed to the mall so I could get the boys pictures done with Santa!  Afterward, we parked our car nearby where we planned to watch the parade and walked down the street to get lunch at the local pizza shop!

David and Grammy ready to watch the parade!
The kids are ready for it to start.  It was a really nice day to be out, not too cold!

I needed to be in at least one picture!

This year Charlie and I made it back to NYC for Christmas!  He has a conference he can attend their and I enjoy tagging along!  We got to see Book of Mormon and then while he was at his conference, I treated myself to the Illusionists show which featured The Clairvoyants from America's Got Talent!

Rockefeller Center!
I couldn't help feeling a little guilty about our trip since the boys had their 12 Days of Christmas Concert with the Finches Choir.  I was thankful for Auntie Kristin and Omi for getting them ready and to their show and seeing them preform!

Anutie Kristin text this to me before their opening show!

The Music school took this picture and used it on their website!  That is Evan singing Solfege Santa!
And the last Christmas Spirit bucket list item is the annual glowing tree portrait!  I do plan to do this up until they head off for college!

October 31, 2016

Halloween Fun 2016!

We love Halloween and dressing up!  It was a busy October with two big school events, but we still found some time to get the decorations up (even if it was a couple weeks later than normal) and we had a blast Trick or Treating with our friends.

Tapping in the Trick or Treat sign!
Our skeleton fence!
While shopping for their Halloween costumes, the boys had a little fun!


And it would not be Halloween without the traditional Halloween Portraits!

Zombie Hunter
Black Panther
Connor from Assassin's Creed

Trick or Treating was on a Monday this year, but we still invited friends to come to our neighborhood to join us.  We didn't make the whole loop, but they still walked away with tons of candy!

Ready to go!
The whole gang!

September 2, 2016

Back to School 2016

It's that time of year again.  First day was August 30th this year.  This year has a lot of significance, it's the first year Evan will be in school all day, the first year in a new school for Shaun and David's LAST year of elementary school.  It's going to be a great year.

David's Back to School Interview
Shaun's Back to School Interview
Evan's Back to School Interview
Back to school would not be complete without supplies and haircuts!  They are looking sharp!  I did a lot of the back to school shopping when they were in camp so no pictures of that process this year.

Back to school sneakers for Shaun
The day before school Evan had the chance to come in and see his first grade classroom.


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Ready to head to the bus stop!
At the bus stop!

Pep talk!
Here comes the bus!

Bye mom!
Awesome first day!