Thursday, December 31, 2009

Candy Land

One of Morgan's Christmas gifts this year was Candy Land. We play lots of games in our house, but Morgan is too young for most of them, so we thought it would be good to have a game that Morgan could play. We weren't sure how well he'd get it though.
We played it for the first time the day after Christmas. Morgan LOVED it immediately and did so well! He surprised us on how fast he picked it up. Pretty much he can do it himself. We only need to help him find the right spot occasionally. (He sometimes skips over the correct square if it is too close to where he starts.)
But he knows the rules. First you pick your color of playing piece.
Then you pick a card.
Then you do what that card says.

He especially loves drawing the special cards. (Icecream cone, candy cane, gum drop, etc). He's a good sport too. He doesn't care if he is one space away from winning and the next card he draws is the gingerbread man, taking him back to almost the very beginning. He doesn't care if he doesn't win.

I've played Candy Land with Morgan every day since that first day. Yesterday he bullied my mom into playing with him, (though really it didn't take much to persuade her) and right now he is playing by himself because mean ol' Mommy wanted to blog instead of play.

Who knew this would be such a hit?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Christmas

Oh the Christmas post. This was our first year as a family to spend Christmas alone. We opted out of traveling this year, and since we our families both live in Idaho, we just had our own Christmas. It was kinda fun doing our own thing, but before we did it we had to argue over which family traditions we would adopt and make our own.
Christmas Eve we cleaned up the house especially well, (I did, anyway) because Santa doesn't come to a messy house. In the afternoon we started on the Christmas dinner. We made ham, funeral potatoes, asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, and rolls. Aaron invited a co-worker over who didn't have any other Christmas plans. We ate. We chatted. We had pecan pie and ice cream. Co-worker left. Then it was time to play games.
First we played a couple rounds of Yahtzee, because Morgan can play that one. (Sort of.) Then we played Jenga, because we thought Morgan would get a kick out of it. Then I decided it was time for the traditional Christmas Eve gift. This was a my family tradition, off and on, which I wanted to adopt.
First Morgan.
Then Daddy.
Then Mommy.
We all got pajamas. This tradition might not always include the parents, but this year pj's were needed (or wanted) for both of us too, and it turned out that we all got some.
We figured out how to use the timer on the camera, which we have never done, so we could get a family picture of all of us in our new pajamas.
Soon we sent Morgan to bed with the promise that Santa would come while he slept and leave something for him. Morgan was positive that it would be "cars and trains", like he'd been talking about all season. He was right.

So Aaron and I played Santa. In my family, Santa left one big gift for each person, and didn't wrap it. And he filled the stockings. Aaron agreed to run with this for our family too. So, while Morgan slept, we played Santa and got to play with Morgan's new train set before he did as we set it up. But in the midst of putting that together the power went out. Aaron found a flashlight and we continued. He prepared my stocking with the flashlight, but it came back on while I was doing his. Yay for power.
By now it wasn't even quite 10:00, so we stayed up watching tv for awhile, then went to bed.

I slept fitfully, as is another Christmas tradition for me, out of nothing but excitement about the next morning. Plus, I wanted to be sure I heard Morgan wake up. I didn't want him going into the living room without us. Everything worked out fine. Morgan woke up around 8:00, and we went to see what Santa brought. He was SOOO excited to see the train. We all looked through our stockings, then it was time to make the big traditional breakfast. This was the tradition that Aaron insisted on bringing from his family. Breakfast before presents. So we made french toast, sausage and bacon. I melted part of the microwave door with the griddle. We ate breakfast. Then we opened presents. Oh what fun. Morgan got way more than he needed, and enjoyed it all.

One of the things I got for Aaron was this flat cap. I think it suits him perfectly.
The rest of the next two days was spent playing with new toys, watching new movies, and eating junk food.
Morgan loves his train.

And we love him! And Christmas! We love Christmas too. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve!

We're so excited about Christmas.

A day or so ago we did a Christmas craft. We made Morgan some reindeer antlers.

This year we are staying home for Christmas. It will be our first Christmas alone, with just our little family, and we are looking forward to it. Also missing the family festivities at the same time.
But since we are a state away from our family, we have been getting packages. Oh what fun. One of the perks to staying home for Christmas. Yesterday we got a big box from Chanel. After removing the presents we had a big box of packing peanuts. What is one to do with a big box of packing peanuts? Well...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sugar Cookie, EVERY cookie is a sugar cookie

On Sunday I was feeling the urge to do something Christmasy. What is more Christmasy than baking? So I thought back to the traditional goodies that my family made. Peanut Brittle was always a personal favorite of mine, so I wanted to make that. But then I realized we don't have any peanuts. And it being Sunday and all, wasn't going to go get some. Then I thought of fudge. We always made fudge. But...we don't have marshmellow cream. We did, however, have all the ingredients for sugar cookies. Though Aaron and I agree that sugar cookies are some of the yuckiest cookies there are, I made them anyway.
One batch makes SO MANY cookies! This was the first time in my adult life that I've made these. And, since we don't have a rolling pin, I used a kitchen glass to roll the dough. And since we only have one seasonal cookie cutter, (a snowman shaped one that we got from Cookie Cutter, the kid haircutting place) I had to improvise with different shapes as well. I used the same glass that rolled the cookies to make circle cookies. You know, Christmas tree ornaments. And I just shaped the candy canes by hand.
I made frosting. It turned out way too runny, so icing the cookies was a chore. Especially since there were so many to do! I got Aaron and Morgan to help me though.

The cookies turned out rather ugly. However, we didn't want any more than we had to keep, so we still gave some to our neighbors. Poor them.
Ah well. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Move the star down!

A couple years ago at a Relief Society Super Saturday thing I made a cute little Christmas countdown thing. This year when I got it out, I explained to Morgan that everyday we would move the star down once, and when it gets to the bottom it would be Christmas. I don't think I really expected him to get it, but I was proven wrong.

Most days he excitedly reminds me to "Move the star down, Mommy!" and he watches with glee as I do.
Sometimes he will get very excited about the presents under the tree and want to open them. I remind him that we have to wait for Christmas to do that. So, using his three year old logic, he will tell me again to, "Move the star down."
I love how excited for Christmas he is. It's really quite delightful. He often requests me to sing Christmas songs. If we're listening to them on the radio in the car he spouts out with, "A Christmas song!" He tries to sing along, even when it's clear that he doesn't know the song. Occassionally we'll hear him sing, "Felee navida." He couldn't choose a worse song to latch on to, but it's cute anyway.
He's very tuned in to everything Christmas. Santa Clause's, lights, the manger scene, everything. He asks Aaron and I what we want for Christmas, as well as some adults at church.
Little kids sure do bring the excitement back to Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Little Too Much Adventure

Our weekends generally include at least one trip to "town." This weekend was no exception. We had some small errands to run, then we were going to make a fun night of riding TRAX from Midvale up to Salt Lake, where we would get off at Temple Square to see the lights. Since we would be spending much time out in the cold I brought along Morgan's winter hat. He wore put it on himself in the car, along with some old 3D glasses he found. I couldn't resist the pictures. Crooked hat and silly glasses.

We got Morgan all excited for the train and Christmas lights, and were on our way.

Riding the train. So happy!

We joined the throngs of people on Temple Square to enjoy the lights. It was COLD though.
We even stopped at the assembly hall and watched a free choir concert. Very nice. By now we were cold and hungry though, so we headed back to the train. We got on around 7:20, I want to say, and began our trek south. However, we only went for a stop or two. The driver came on to announce that, "I'm sorry, but this train will not be able to go any further south. Please get out and walk to the court house station." Ugh!! We had no choice but to obey.
Along the way we saw the flashing lights of a firetruck in the distance. We approached and saw also two stalled trains, the yellow police tape, and articles of clothing strewn across the pavement by the train. What? I just found out what by looking it up. It is quite gruesome, really. Apparently a man tried to ride the connectors between two train cars and during a turn either fell off, or jumped or something just as another train passed. He was pulled under the train he rode, his leg was severed, then was hit by the passing train. Suffice it to say, he didn't live very long. That happened at about 7:30. Here is a report of it.
We eventually made it to the next stop, where a crowded train was waiting to go further north, but was also stalled. We stood in the cold for quite awhile, regretting our little plan for adventure. Soon the standing train was emptied of passengers and changed over to a southbound train. Oh goody. We didn't like being stranded in down town SL. We boarded the train and waited several more long minutes before the train left. And Morgan was squirming the whole time with a full bladder.
Finally, we made it back to our cold car. We found a restaurant and a bathroom, then headed home. We arrived home at about 11:20. Oy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


We got a new flat screen tv a couple months ago. It came in a big box. The bottom portion of the box is very sturdy. I know it's ridiculous, but it seems like I should be able to do something useful with it, so I haven't thrown it out yet. I likely will eventually. But where I can't think of anything for it, Morgan sure can.
Prop it on a chair and you have a slide. Climb up...

Slide (scoot) down.

But sometimes the scooting knocks it out of place and you end up like this. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dolphins at SeaWorld

Here's just a little video of us feeding dolphins at SeaWorld last month. I've been meaning to get this up, now I finally did.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The sky is falling?

Late last night, or early this morning, I awoke to a frightened call from across the hall. It went like this: "I don't like it, Mommy, I don't like it!" Followed by a long wail. So I rushed from my warm bed to comfort my child. I entered his room and he was pointing at the ceiling, "I don't like it! It's falling down!" I looked up. He was pointing at the air intake vent right above his bed. Let me assure you, it was not falling down. However, when the heater turns off it makes some strange knocking sounds. The heater had just turned off.
I put my hand on Morgan's chest to comfort him and felt his little heart pounding furiously. And he was shaking. I gave him hugs to comfort him, then put a couple extra blankets on him, one of which he promptly covered his face with and kept his head covered as I left the room.

Oh. A funny thing he said the other day. It was night time and we were outside and it was starting to snow. Morgan looked up at the snowflakes descending toward him and said something like, "Look! The stars are coming down!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It can officially be Christmas time now!

Here is a run down of our day yesterday.
After lazing around at home for awhile, we got in the car and headed for Tooele. We were momentarily detained by two trains that were crossing the tracks. Morgan is really starting to get in to trains these days so we let him get out of the car to watch it. (When asked what he wants for Christmas he always says he wants trains and cars.)

We stopped at Wal-Mart for a few items, and upon returning to the car this is what we found.

Ugh! Someone crunched into our tail light and then took off. Wonderful. Don't mind the horribly dirty car. Not much you can do with the snowy, slushy roads.

Our next stop was Home Depot because I think that is the ONLY PLACE IN TOOELE that was selling real Christmas trees. We were getting really worried there for awhile as we crossed through the whole town, looking for Christmas tree stands and seeing zero. Home Depot is the very last place of business in Tooele, so if they didn't have any trees we would have had to go in to Salt Lake or something ridiculous.
But, like I said, Home Depot had trees. Phew! However, they had maybe a total of 18 to choose from. One rack of 6 had the tallest and most expensive trees. So we didn't even look at that one. Another rack of 6 had the shortest, and ugliest kind of trees. We didn't consider that rack. So, we had one rack to choose from, with 6 trees on it. There were two different kinds of trees, Grand Firs and Noble Firs. I didn't like the look of the Grands, and since there was only one Noble on that rack, the decision was pretty much made for us. Sometimes fewer options are better.
Morgan had a nice, (uncomfortable looking) nap on the drive home.

So when we got home we put on some Christmas music, (thank you Pandora) and decorated the tree. I love having a Christmas tree.

I have no idea why this picture wouldn't rotate. It did in iphoto. But I really like his funny litte super star pose.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Child's Nativity

We have a little Nativity set that Arielle made for us. When I decorated for Christmas this year, Morgan was very excited and interested in everything. I originally had this Nativity on top of the piano, but when we brought the gingerbread house home, we needed a place for it. There wasn't one readily available, so I took the Nativity from the piano and put the gingerbread house there instead. I put the Nativity in a place much lower to the ground. In fact, it's just about a perfect level for Morgan.
This is how I generally lay it out. Baby Jesus in the middle, with the other characters surrounding it and facing slightly toward the manger, but mostly out to the room.

In it's new home, I often find Morgan playing with it. I don't mind; it isn't breakable or anything. Yesterday before going to bed, I was turning a lamp off right next to this little table and noticed that my Nativity wasn't how I left it.
While Morgan played with it, he rearranged it into what is surely a more accurate representation of how the first Christmas night looked.
I thought it was so sweet, and showed such innocent understanding. I haven't done a very good job yet, teaching Morgan about Chirst's birth, but it would appear that Morgan already understands what is most important.

Which reminds me. A week or so ago, a lady from the ward came over briefly to speak to me about our shared calling. We had just decorated for Christmas, and Morgan wanted to share his excitement about it. So, while us adults were trying to discuss things Morgan was shouting, "It's Christmas time, it's Christmas time!" Then, to my surprise and pleasure, he said, "And Jesus time!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gingerbread House

My aunt invited us over to her house to make gingerbread houses. She kindly made the gingerbread and icing, and even provided the board to put it on. They had lots of candy, and we supplemented with some of our own.

First we decorated the individual pieces, then we put it together with the icing. Then we prettied it up some more and added more candy.

Morgan insisted on being in most of the pictures.

Just because he's cute.
Morgan helped my cousin Elizabeth decorate their Christmas tree. He loves this family.

They made a house too, but it had some issues staying together. In the end, they gave up on these particular roof pieces.
After I did all the landscaping, Aaron added little icicles to the house as the finishing touch.
We all had hot chocolate and cookies too. That's my cousin Emily.

Our finished product. Nothing fancy. We aren't expert gingerbread house makers by any stretch. We're no Tiffany. :)
Now I need to find somewhere to put it.
Thanks for having us over, Martins! We had fun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Is this what busy means?

For the past month or so, I've been really busy. And that lifestyle really doesn't suit me! I'm just not the busy type. But I don't see my life un-busying anytime soon.
Now, when I say I'm busy, I am probably describing something that most of you would balk at. You readers with jobs, school, multiple kids, etc., would likely want to throw darts at me if I explained exactly what I meant by my "busy". So I won't go into it. Let's just say that holidays and two callings on top of my normal mom/housekeeping duties kinda take up my formerly taken for granted free time. The time when I could read. The time that I used to write. The time that I shamefully used to check and recheck my email, facebook, blogs, and family site.
Hey look at this guys, it appears that I am complaining when I have nothing really to complain about! Oh yes, I am gracious.
Anyway, just thought I'd blog.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

We went to Idaho for Thanksgiving. We stayed with Aaron's parents, but on Thanksgiving day headed to my parents' house. My dad's brother's family came too, so it was lots of fun.
Before we ate, some of us played football. This tradition usually includes the next door neighbors and a homemade trophy, which the winner of each year keeps. But this year they were out of town, so we just played with our cousins. Still fun.

Then we had dinner. Yay!

Friday I got up early to go shopping at 6:00. First stop: Wal-Mart. I met three siblings, one sis-in-law, one cousin, and one Jonathan there. There weren't even any lines there! Next stop: Shopko. The line zigged and zagged through probably about ten aisles. All I know is that it took FOREVER. We also went to Kohls, huge line there, and Ross. Ross didn't appear to have special sales, but we still seemed to get the best prices there. After five hours we were finally done.

Without even a nap I went and played Volleyball with the family. Fun fun fun.
This is Morgan on the way home between two big boys. He loved it.
Saturday was spent with the Nelsons. I went to see New Moon with Chanel and Arielle. I must admit, I loved it.
Morgan helped Grandpa hang Christmas lights.

Yay for Holidays.