Fall Festivities

Grandpa Steve invited the kids down for a Halloween Party at the Elks.

James and Amara were thrilled! Maya was happy to go, but she wanted nothing to do with costumes! Stephanie and I had found her the cutest little garden nome – though she put up a fuss with the whole thing & won. She wore a festive little t-shirt instead! Her Mama, however, was all about dressing up! Stephanie makes herself into a pretty-cute & friendly witch!

The Littles had lots o’ fun decorating their pumpkins. James’ pumpkin actually won a contest.

The 3 Amigos.

Stephanie ~ the friendly witch, Jessica ~ a tiger, Stacie ~ Ruby, our cat

Pumpkin Buckets filled with Happy Meals – a sleeping baby… on our way home!

A day full of FUN and a little candy too…

Pumpkin Patch

Saturday morning we made our annual trek over to Bi-Zi Farms, a local pumpkin patch, to search for pumpkins, sip on warm cocoa, look at farm animals, find our way through mazes, enjoy a hay ride, and take part in some good old-fashioned fun! It’s become a tradition since moving down from Alaska to visit this pumpkin patch… only this year we were late arriving at the patch only 24 hours before the BIG day! The plus was very few people. The minus… well, we had to really look for that just-right pumpkin!

We found them no doubt. Though we did spend lots of time looking through this…

Though after searching we each found something great!

James was the first to make his find – the BIGGEST pumpkin!

I found the smallest pumpkin -

Abbie searched and searched. She didn’t want a too-big or too-small or too-tall or too-squat pumpkin.

Josh chose this one, but set it down… misplaced it and ended up with something even better (or so he says!)

With our perfect pumpkins, we walked up the hill to catch a tractor ride back to the festivities.

All smiles on our hay ride!

Abbie was a great sport heading through the little-maze with James

Grinding Corn

and this was super-cool… It pulls all the kernels off and spits the cobb out the other side.

Once home and warmed up, we turned our pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns!

What a mess… but a fun-filled day for sure!


Abbie taught James the art of coloring eggs this year. It was a fun, yet frustrating task…

…in the end the eggs were bright & beautiful!

Gramma came for the night and helped the kids color eggs. Aana and Upa came too.

Gramma brought baskets full of treats…

You gotta love James and his favorite treats! He LOVES candy, but he LOVES fruit even more.

Aana & Upa’s basket to James are these blueberry and raspberry bushes, now James can create his own berry patch here in our yard like the one he spends hours in each summer at Aana & Upa’s.

Everyone, even Max, woke up to a basket full of treats on Easter morning!

We met my grandparents at Spirit Mountain Casino for Brunch and had a tasty meal and fun spending the afternoon together.

A color-filled, egg-filled, treat-filled, family-filled fun kinda day!

…and James turns 5

Janurary 12, 2010

The night before the BIG event, the kids (James, Abbie, & Chandler) decorated lots and LoTs of cupcakes. They decorated little cakes for school, chocolate ones, yellow-cake ones, and fun-fetti ones! Lots of colors and sprinkles were necessary…

We ended the evening with pretty cakes!

James party was full of family & fun!

Gramma & James

James and his brother (as James calls Max!)

…and all the cousins celebrating James BIG day!

Maya is very excited for her 1st Birthday! We are practicing with the fingers in the cake!

New Year’s

New Year’s Eve filled our house with family & friends. We had a wonderful night of conversation, food, and drinks. 20 of us surrounded the TV at midnight to take part in the countdown to to the ball dropping into 2010. It was amazing to look around and know we have so many wonderful people in our lives… a perfect welcome to a new year!

New Year’s Day proved to be a lazy day! My mom cooked a big, tasty breakfast and we lounged the day away in our PJ’s. It was perfect. Mom and Stephanie helped us clean up the mess left from the night before and we enjoyed being home. The kids decided to try out James new Easy Bake Oven. Abbie supervised. After 20 minutes tasty little cake was made.

Of course, Max likes to be everywhere the kids are… so he watched and waited with the kids as the cake baked!

Speaking of Max,

it amazes me that he has only been apart of the family for a few days. It feels like he has always been with us. He is so comfortable and relaxed and a joy to be with! We LOVE him! Last night we all snuggled in the bonus room and watched the movie Up. Max snuggled right in with us, it was fun! We take him on 2 walks a day; one first thing in the morning and the second after dinner. This morning we jogged together, he is a real motivator for me!

PS. did I mention how much he loves to be with the kids… so sweet!

Merry Christmas

After only 5 hours of sleep, the kids snuck into our room and woke us with a very excited, “Merry Christmas”. We all went downstairs where I insisted on making some coffee first. Next, we opened stockings which is my most favorite thing to do! I just love stockings filled with special little treats. Judie, Larry, and their foster-boys came down with gifts galore and some Cinnabon Rolls. We opened gifts together, shared some coffee, rolls, and a fresh pineapple margarita (a tradition).

After enjoying all of our new gifts and a fun morning, we packed up and headed to my mom’s house where we spent the rest of the day and evening with my mom, grandparents, and my sis&fam.

It was a perfectly wonderful day full of food, fun, relaxation, and excellent gifts! The only thing we didn’t get this year was snow…

Christmas Eve

We shopped all morning, baked cookies in the afternoon, wrapped presents in the early evening, enjoyed some snacks and treats with our families into the night, watched the kids open their gifts from one another.

Abbie gave James Splashy the Whale, a game he’d been wanting for so long!

James gave Abbie a Bop-It, a game she’d been asking for since fall…

We all had fun trying out the games. After the families went home and kids set out the treats for Santa and his reindeer… (in this picture Santa had already eaten most of the cookies and taken the carrots Rudolph)

Josh and I got back to work wrapping. We ended up falling into bed about 2:30 in the morning…

Winter Traditions

Abbie played her flute and James sang his little heart out at their winter concerts. Both were special and our families attended.

The kids worked together this year to complete a beautiful gingerbread house.

1st annual fruitcake. Why did I make one? Josh’s Grandma wished for one slice for her Christmas gift… we have lots leftover. Fruitcake anyone?

Holiday Parties

As the holidays rolled in, I wanted to fix some tasty treats and Josh found some tasty drinks, so we invited the family over for an old-fashioned holiday party! The festivities came complete with the gang dressed up. Fancy Stuff!

James was not so happy to see everyone ring our doorbell all dressed up while he was in a t-shirt & sweats…

So we dressed him up and took some more photos!

Abbie and Chandler dressed up in matching jammies!

The Cinnamon Bear

Josh listened to this old-time radio show growing up and the Christmas after Abbie was born, we listened to one episode each night as we traveled to work as Bar Manager and Waitress at Hudson’s Bar & Grill. Each holiday season we talk about the Cinnamon Bear, and this year we decided to share this lovely tradition with our children. With dinner or before bed we would all gather round my laptop to listen to Jimmy & Judie on their adventures to find the silver star to top their Christmas tree. As the kids enjoyed the adventures, Josh and I ordered a silver star and surprised the kids one afternoon by topping our tree with a silver star!

Tree Hunting

One Sunny December morning we bundled up and walked down our road to the Snow Angel Christmas Tree Farm. We didn’t know what to expect as it was so close to home. We were pleasantly surprised; this tree farm was run by a lovely couple and we introduced ourselves as the new neighbors!

We found so many perfect trees it was hard to decide which one to choose. After we cut down our tree, we were offered cocoa and peppermint sticks; what a treat!

After getting the tree home, we realized just how big the tree was! We had to rearrange the family room just to accommodate our beautiful tree!