Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trim the Tree

This is just going to be an overload of pictures of the night we trimmed our tree. It is so fun that the kids are old enough to remember our ornaments and get excited when taking them out. Wow - we are the parents creating the traditions for our children. Will our children think it just happened or will they realize we do it consciously to help create lasting memories for them. As a child I thought it all just happened - now I know how hard my parents worked to make a wonderful life for us. Thanks mom and dad.

Mr. and Mrs. Clause - as Jack put it.

I want to kiss you Mrs. Clause!

Stockings go on feet of course!

Luckily we have just enough for every one to have a pair.

And a tree skirt...

...perfect for twirling.

Yep, this one too.

Our special ornament. It is the last one we put on right in the front and center of our tree - it was Jack's turn this year.

Maddie has broken more ornaments than the other two combined - I think we've talked about it so much she would only put on ornaments that wouldn't break - which isn't many on our tree.

Jack was quite particular when placing his ornaments.

Jacee was in charge of it all!

I love this one. He is such a sweetie.

Now that the bustle of the holiday season is over - I can sit down, go through some pictures and blog - more to come!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Cousin Christmas

WARNING: If your name is Jennifer Brewer - STOP reading now!

Boy, I wish our family liked each other. If they did, we might get together the first week of December for our annual Cousin Christmas Party.

If we liked to be together, we might compare how big the kids are getting - even outgrowing their moms.

If we liked each other, there might be some smiling.

If we liked each other, we might enjoy being with three generations under the same roof.

If we liked each other, we might enjoy sharing our sugar cookie masterpieces.

If we liked each other, we might let the little ones use almost ALL the sprinkles on one cookie.

If we like each other there might be kissing and frivolity in the kitchen.

If we liked each other, we might smile instead of look tired and grumpy (just showing you it wasn't all fun and games Jen).

If we liked each other we might like to listen to stories about how Grama stole Ricey in the fourth grade when his girlfriend was out of town.

If we liked each other, we might not care who looks taller in all the pictures.

If we liked each other, there might be some hand holding in front of the Christmas Tree.

If we liked each other, we might be happy whenever anyone gets a 12 during the Christmas Tree Game.

If we liked each other, we might like to get close for pictures.

If we liked each other, we might not eat our cousin's m&m's.

If we liked each other, we wouldn't have spent so much time in the garage trying to bust open the holiday burrito/submarine (can you guess this is what Uncle Steve was in charge of - notice the array of weapons to choose from behind Jack.)

If we liked each other, we might take a break from frosting to smile for yet another picture!

And if we liked each other we wouldn't compare what hot chocolate mix-ins were the best (hmmm, no pic).

Yep Jen, we just want to assure you that we don't like to be together and party was no fun at all!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So, I finally decided to do something with my kids that was a little school-esque. We made a Thankful tree this November. I told them they had to put one leaf on everyday of something they were thankful for, they did a little bit more than that! It was nice to have this daily visual reminder that we are surrounded by blessings and all we have to do is look for them. Maddie mostly just drew circles or mo-mucks on hers. I plan to save the leaves and we can look back at each year's blessings. It was a fun November activity. (I have a computer file full of December ideas - haven't done any of them yet!)

Monday, December 6, 2010


As many of you know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Thanksgiving. Mostly because we all cram into one room and sit and enjoy each other. This is what is usually happening the majority of the time, just hanging out being together.

I think grampa prefers it when there is snow on the ground by Thanksgiving - that way he can get out the snowmobile and take the kids on rides. They love going on the bump and over the canal.

The talent show is always a highlight. Jacee and Jasmin doing an original dance to Justin Beiber's Baby. This year it seemed to be the Jacee/Jasmine/Nia/Tayler show. The best was when they put on a skit about how grama and grama met. According to them grama was quite forward and making quite the moves on grampa!

Nia on clarinet while Jacee and Jasmine sang.

Jack also did an original performance to Justin Beiber's Baby. He had some sweet moves!

I think he was channeling his father's days as a break dancer.

Just more general silliness.

We always keep some ramen noodles handy for when my picky children won't eat anything.

Maddie and Kiera. She finally warmed up to some of the older cousins.

SiSi and Jada.

Jacee and Jasmin sporting some ill-gotten loot from Grama's jewelry box. I hope she can find all her jewelry that was sported by her granddaughters during the weekend.

More of the aforementioned jewelry.

Some of the more hearty stock of the family.

Love just being together and strengthening family bonds. I will mention that things were a bit off. Two families couldn't make it and it just seemed weird all weekend. Everyone got a room at the house, there was leftover turkey on Friday (something unheard of in these parts) and the treats seemed to never run out. We sure missed the Steadmans and Ackermans!

We did get snowed in and didn't leave Idaho until Monday afternoon. After trying to figure out what to do, we all just sat back, played some games and enjoyed each other for one more night.

Sure do love our family!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Losing It!

Jack has been losing teeth like crazy. He lost two the same week so they both went under his pillow at the same time. He is in hog heaven thinking he's the richest kid ever! The money is burning a hole in his pocket - he can't wait to get to the store.

I know this is quite the picture - but when I asked what he was doing - he said he was being a pirate - arrrgh!

This is a pic of the hole on top before his tooth started coming in at light speed - and you can see the one on the bottom is pretty loose. He's really not a fan of loose teeth - he babies them. He doesn't really brush around the loose tooth and he will NOT wiggle it with his tongue. But - they finally practically fall out when they are ready - no pulling required!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm in Denial

Wow - I have been putting off this post. I can't believe my baby has started pre-school. I join the neighbor hood preschool and this year we didn't start until October, which was actually fine with me. I almost didn't put her in it. If we don't have another baby - this is it. My youngest starting school. It makes me a little sad. It seems with Jacee I was gung-ho to put her in everything but now that I know how fast the time flies, I just enjoy Maddie being at home. There's time enough for all the activities in the future.

She wanted a picture by both the witch and the scarecrow. The scarecrow was outside and she could barely open her eyes for the pic. I tried to shade her but you can see it didn't work so well.

I have discovered she's going to be that child that is wonderful for everyone else, but a stinker for me when I'm the teacher. Yep, she has been sent to her room for a time-out every time I have taught so far. Good times!

Love you Maddie, try not to grow up too fast. Mommy loves you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let the Family Time Begin!

It's funny. We live close to three of my brothers and four of John's sisters - but sometimes, weeks and weeks go by without us seeing them. Last weekend, we finally got to spend some quality time with John's side.

My niece, Cassie, was Marian the Librarian in her school's production of The Music Man. Everyone who lived in Utah, plus Grama and Grampa, plus Camille and Linsee from Elko went to see the play. John had to work and I had Maddie and Jack so we didn't go - but luckily Jacee did. She loved every second of it! (Except the kissing her cousin was doing on stage!) Lori hosted everyone before the show and then kept all the little girls for a sleep over. The next day we all met up for some lunch and eventful shopping. We are lucky Lori was with us because she chaperoned all the little kids for free ice cream at Coney's while the rest of the adults sat at Paradise Cafe - thank Lori!

This little get together just made me excited to get on with the holidays! It seems once Thanksgiving hits we get together with family a ton. I can't wait!

To all those heading to Burley - watch out because we are leaving bright and early Wed morning...the race is on!