Our Christmas Eve nativity: Mary struggling to hold baby Jesus, and Joseph. I played all other characters.
Christmas is so much fun when you have kids that are old enough to really enjoy the magic of it all!
Most of the morning was spent like this- Daddy handing out presents as fast as he can to excited kids!
Modeling her new Tinkerbell apron. Alexa got Ariel.
I love Christmas time, there are so many fun things about it, but I really love on the focus of Christ and Christ-like love. It's fun to teach the girls about it, and find fun ways to incorporate it into our traditions. This year we ding dong ditched about half our stairwell, and the girls had a blast. I'm not sure how secretive we were, since there was much giggling, and peeking to see if doors were opened, but boy, did they love it!
For Thanksgiving we went to OR, and when we got back, I wanted to start decorating right away. However, I went and got our tree out of the garage and set it up and realized how dinky it looked in this new condo, soooo, I talked Mike into letting me get a new one. Quite the difference, huh?
Many mornings and afternoons were spent like this, coloring parties next to the tree, watching Christmas movies. I think we watched all the animated ones about 10 times.
We also got a LOT of snow. I think it snowed for about a week and a half straight. Luckily, it was over Christmas break (and weekends), which meant that a) we had a white Christmas and b) we didn't have to worry about driving to school at all when it was really bad.
About a week before Christmas we went and saw Santa. They had tables set up next to the line so the kids could write letters to him, and then a few days later, he mailed us a letter back!
Kaelyn was a little under the weather, so she looks a little drugged in the pictures, but no tears! First time since she was a 4 month old!
She was NOT into this forced hug, though!
And what's up with the ever changing Christmas lists? We never had to deal with that before, Alexa always had anywhere between one and, like, the whole Toys R Us catalog on her list, and it stayed constant from November all the way to Christmas. Then this year, it was constant until about, oooh, the week after black Friday. Aka, a week after I had "finished" shopping. Then, it changed pretty much every time we asked. Please tell me that phase ends soon!
One sure fire way you can tell Kaelyn is under the weather is if she actually naps during nap time. I think we were going to go pick Alexa up from school this day, and I had to wake her up to go. I laid her on the couch and she slept through me getting her boots, coat and hat on her.
In the beginning of November we went to Disney on Ice, and the girls LOVED it. They wore princess dresses and watched with rapt attention. Kaelyn didn't let us take one good picture of her during the whole thing, I think because she was perturbed that we were disturbing her. We didn't even take pictures during the show though, so who knows?
This is a clip from our favorite part of the show; Rapunzel and Flynn did aerial ice skating/dancing. I didn't even know that was a thing, but it was pretty awesome!
The girls just had a blast, and loved seeing all the princesses. Yesterday we went up to Temple Square and drove past the place we saw this at, and as soon as Kaelyn saw the building, she recognized it and started telling us all about the show. I was amazed that she remembered so much, including what building it was in!
The princesses with their prince after the show. Doesn't Kaelyn's hoop skirt just crack you up?
Kaelyn has started waking up and coming to "cuddle" with us (me) in bed. Usually this happens in the morning and she just takes daddy's place after he leaves for work, but this night she came in at about one, started out between us, and then was sprawled all over me. She literally had one leg over my stomach, and one arm over my face, just making herself comfortable. Mike and I were cracking up because she just kept shifting more and more on top of me, and somehow the laughing did not wake her up. Eventually I got up to put her back in bed, and as soon as I stood up, she just completely took over my spot.
Luckily she hasn't been doing that as much, all though we found it pretty funny.
Before we left for Thanksgiving, we went to the Riverwoods tree lighting and the girls got to meet Elsa. I think that was their favorite part of the whole thing!
As if the week wasn't filled with enough Halloween activities, we decided to fit even more in on the day itself. In the morning we got the girls all dressed and then went trick or treating at a couple of stores.
Toys R Us was our first stop, and it was empty. And the girls were scared of Geoffery. If you'll notice in the next 3 pictures, we had him scoot a little closer to them during the picture taking, hoping they wouldn't notice. It worked pretty well.
Except that you can tell that Alexa totally just realized what happened here.
The girls thought it was so fun to trick or treat at stores. We went to a grocery store, and there were a lot of kids there doing it as well. We also continued our tradition of pumpkin shaped pizza for dinner, and then went trick or treating.
Link, Princess Rosalina, and Princess Peach.
Link and Zelda.
Oh, and Kaelyn got a shiner during her quiet time by taking a nose dive off her toy box, so Princess Peach had a black eye for the real Trick or Treating. I love this picture, she looks so put out!
We had a much busier Halloween season than normal; it was a lot of fun, and the kids especially loved it. First, we had a Clue dinner party at Kari's house, and I made this cake to bring. And of course, I have to show it off, because I'm vain like that :) The party was a lot of fun, we all dressed as characters, then essentially played clue with us as the pawns. I was Ms. Peacock, and Mike was Colonel Mustard.
During the week, the girls and I decided to go check out another pumpkin patch that I had heard about. It was a bit of a drive, but was free and had a lot to do. We really liked it, the only problem was the 5 field trips that were there!
They had a huuuuge corn pit, and a really good, tall hay maze for the kids.
They also had a petting zoo (with a kangaroo) a little haunted 'maze', a couple of slides, and a hay ride. The hay ride was the painful part with the field trips, because the kids would all just swarm and ignore all the other people that had been waiting. It was worth the wait, though. The girls had a blast, and it was a nice long ride.
Then one night we carved/painted our pumpkins.
Mike loves that he has to clean mine out, too! :)
The girls loooooove painting their pumpkins. I thought for sure Alexa would want to carve hers this year, but no, she was excited to just paint them again! Less work for us!
On Friday, Alexa's school had their Halloween parade, which we had to go early for since she's in afternoon Kindergarten. It was pretty cute, and she was the only Rosalina in the whole school. The most popular costumes we saw were Anna and Elsa (of course) and Star Wars and Batman.
After the parade we ran to IHOP for free pancakes, which the girls loved.
And then back to school for Alexa, where she had her Halloween party. Kaelyn, miraculously, slept almost the whole time Alexa was at school. It. Was. AWESOME!
Soccer season ended a few weekends ago, and while it was a lot of fun, it is nice to have weekends back. We've only had a handful of game free Saturdays since March, because there's no break between the seasons.
We got team pictures done a couple of weeks before the end, and we were only missing 3 kids.
This is pretty much the only picture from the last game. Coaching meant that Mike was in charge of all the pictures, so we didn't get a lot :)
This was definitely a new experience, and a bit out of my comfort zone. I think Alexa enjoyed having me as the coach, in fact, she's already asking if I'll do it again next year, but I'm not sure yet. It was a little hard with some of the kids, and there were some things that I wasn't a fan of (like when only 2 other kids showed up to our last practice, or the games when we only had 1 sub) but it was really nice seeing the progress the kids made, and earning a free sport season for Alexa!
I don't think we've ever gone to a pumpkin patch twice, although a lot of that is just how much we've moved. This was our first Halloween in Utah with kids, so once again it was a new patch. We liked this one, it had pony rides, a tiny corn maze, free food, a country store, and a hay ride (that we skipped because of the line). I think that we might keep looking and try to find a better one next year.
Kaelyn LOVED the pony ride. It was her first time, and she did great. It was actually Alexa's first pony ride, too, but only because every other time she flipped out as soon as we got her on (or near) the pony. She actually wanted to skip it this time, until she saw how excited Kaelyn was. Nothing like peer pressure, and getting shown up by your little sister, right? She ended up enjoying it too, just not to the extent of Kaelyn.
They both really liked messing around on all the old tractors this place had.
And they thought the corn maze was pretty cool, but it was pretty sparse, and wasn't really maze-like at all.
They did really enjoy the slide, although not the hay that got stuck everywhere.
After all the fun stuff we picked pumpkins. Alexa got a monster- the biggest out of all of ours, and Kaelyn refused to get one big enough to carve, and actually ended up picking a white pumpkin. Guess that will be a good canvas for painting!