Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our Big Boy

I still have catching up to do on the blog, but I want to remember forever how adorable Matthew is right now. He loves thinking about himself as a big boy. He refers to himself as such regularly. He loves that he is now in sunbeams and primary. And I love that I am in primary see his adorable face every Sunday. He is so good and does well sitting with his class. He listens and participates as much as he is able. I hear him at home, singing the books of the Old Testament, which is a song we are working on the primary. Today, we went for a walk down the pathway toward the park. He had his little three wheeled scooter. At one point, his scooter tipped over, and he hit the ground. I hesitated to react, knowing that it could influence his. While pulling himself to standing, he said,  "It's okay, it's okay I am brave. I don't cry because I am a ninja, and ninjas don't cry." All in his sweet little three-year-old voice. How my heart swelled for my big boy! I love him so much.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas Eve

 As is our yearly tradition, we had Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa Barnett. We missed Aunt Amber, as she took a trip up to Washington to be with Blake and Maren and the boys. Grandpa had made a couple of soups for lunch. After eating, we relaxed. Grandma had prepared a little Christmas thought, with a bag of candies for each grandchild.
 The gift-opening commenced. Grandpa had made some beautiful things as gifts. The girls each got a wooden box, in which they can hold all their treasures. They love their boxes. Matthew got a wooden bench with storage underneath. It is sturdy and handsome. It is in him room, holding his books. He likes to use it. Colin got a tennis bag he was very excited about (it was one of his top three desired gifts, which he kept reminding us of). Micah got an outdoor basketball, which is one thing he really wanted. And we all got movie gift cards. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa! We Facetimed Blake and Maren this evening, and somewhere in there Micah asked why we couldn't go visit? It was decided. We were going to use Chad's remaining days off after Christmas to go visit them in their new home. Exciting!
 Later that night, after the kids were tucked into bed, Santa came!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas Hats and Gingerbread Houses

 Dad made Santa hats for each person in the family (Doug and Rachel and their kids, Chris and Gabby and baby girl, Mom and Dad). They are beautiful, and we wanted to get some Christmas pictures in our hats. This family one would be the one I'd send out with Christmas cards. I wish I would have planned ahead, instead of right before Christmas. Anyhoo... It's been about 7 years since I've sent any Christmas cards out anyway.
 There were other contenders for Christmas photo which didn't quite make the cut. Let us see who is to blame, haha. #1:

 #2
 #3: Well, goofy...
 Mom and Aunt Shelley came over with the hats, and to make gingerbread houses.
 Earlier this day, before church, I was all dressed, ready to go. The girls saw the idea I was going with in the scarf. They thought it was brilliant (naturally!), and picked out a couple of my scarves for themselves. Then we did a song and dance called "Mommy Style," which I cannot show in a book, but trust me, it was awesome. They know what's good when they see it.
 Back to Mom and Aunt Shelley being over. We worked on gingerbread houses while listening to Christmas music. The boys teamed up with Grandma.
 Matthew was just happy to eat...what IS that he is eating?
 Creativity takes careful execution.
 Aunt Shelley was on board with the girls.
 They worked well together.
 Matthew helped. And snacked. Well, let's be honest, everyone did.
 Earlier, I'd had the table set with the red tablecloth, china, candlesticks, the whole shebang. We had stew and rolls. Then it was down to business with gingerbread houses.
Aunt Shelley was in Utah because she was supposed to go in to have the battery in her pacemaker replaced. Come to find out, after many tests, she doesn't even need the thing anymore! Her change in lifestyle, along with modern medication, and remedied her. Wonderful news! She was surprised, relieved, and thrilled with the news. We were all so very happy for her!

Snow Day

 We got a ton of snow, and all the kids headed outside. (Chad had shoveled the driveway...I believe Colin helped with that.) Chad remembered Micah's special request to build a snow fort this winter. He created a large pile of snow. The kids helped to add snow to the mound, pack it down, and dig it out.
 Mira, working hard:
 Daddy-O:
 Lots of fun!
 And the completed snow fort. We even had a neighbor come across the street to check it out. It it pretty neat.

Colin's Orchestra/Jazz Band Concert

 This first picture has Colin being introduced by Mr. Neves, his orchestra teacher. Colin was asked, with only a couple weeks' notice, to accompany the jazz band on the piano. Colin worked hard at it, and Mrs. Mathews spent extra time helping him get them down. And he did awesome! I was so proud of him. Proud that he'd accept the challenge, and proud that he worked hard to get the songs down.
 Then Colin performed with the orchestra. They played a few songs, one of which was funny. Something about demented aliens (Colin will likely tell me I'm wrong, they were something else). They'd scream at different points throughout the song. It's a wonderful thing, this opportunity to be this boy's mother and see him learn all these new things that I don't know how to do. And he does them so well!

Matthew's Preschool Christmas Program

 Matthew and his class had been working hard on their Christmas program in preparation to share it with family. Dad and Colin had to miss it, due to Colin's basketball game. But Grandpa Miller, Micah, Ella, Mira, and I were there. And we were so happy to be there! There were so many funny and adorable moments. When you get a group of preschoolers together, that's bound to be the case.
 Matthew and his teachers, Miss Melissa and Miss Becca. Matthew had been having a hard time with going to preschool. He would cry and refuse to go into preschool. His teachers made an extra effort to greet him with cheerfulness each time he first came in, and that made all the difference. He no longer has that difficulty. I am so relieved!
 The Little Learners sang a bunch of Christmas songs. The theme for the year is 50's sock hop, so  for a couple of songs, they put on these glasses. Adorable!
 Matthew did such a great job singing! I was so proud. At this age, they try so hard to keep up with the words, but they're all just a beat or two behind. There was one boy who kept running to the edge of the stage to shout "It's my preschool!" Man, there were some funny moments.
 Before the program got under way, Micah helped Matthew navigate around on this little wheelie scooter. And he defended him when another boy tried to take away a toy. Micah's concern for his brother shows.
 The kids made me promise to record the whole thing. They watched the musical numbers once we got home. Colin makes sure to be Matthew's buddy.

Pinewood Derby (with Bonus Matthew's Number Three)

 Matthew loves to build with his Fisher Price train tracks. He'll make different shapes, and gets excited when he can identify it as an oval, or something that looks like a letter. He even sleeps with his train tracks. The downer with that is that if the shape breaks apart, he'll run out to get me to come fix it so he can sleep with it in tact. I loved how he made the number three. He was very excited to make "his" number! We put it right by his door, and he liked it there.
 Micah participated in the Pinewood Derby. It was a rough start because the track had electrical issues and wouldn't register the cars racing. Finally, they got it working, and the excitement was palpable. These are so fun to attend, because the boys are a lively bunch. They are proud of their cars, and look forward to the big races!
 Micah had a great time. His car looked great, thanks to Dad and Grandpa!

Lights at Temple Square

 In the past, whenever we've gone to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights, it has been terribly cold. We decided to get smart this year and go at the beginning of the month. Thus, getting us into the Christmas spirit, plus the added bonus of staying a little warmer! We still needed jackets, but the cold wasn't so biting.
 At the Reflecting Pool. We walked around to look at the nativities from around the world. Matthew was very interested in the water that flows downhill from rectangular pool to pool.
 I don't remember what Mira was telling me here, but her expression cracks me up. That, and Matthew's exasperated pose.
The lights were beautiful. We went into the Assembly Hall and watched part of a performance by a children's choir. With Matthew attempting to climb all over the pews, we just couldn't last very long.

 Love those smiles.
 Ella:
 Mira:
 Micah:
 Colin:
 (I think, at this point, Matthew wasn't going to put up with anymore picture-taking nonsense.)
 We love going up to see the Christus, with the surrounding painting of space. It's beautiful.