Sunday, January 22, 2012

just dance

Our good friends got Just Dance for their wii for Christmas. To most people that probably wouldn't mean much, but since we make a habit out of mooching off of them that was great news! I had never played that before, but now that I have I am a believer! It was so much fun! I had just got out of the shower when the called and asked us to come play, so that is my excuse for looking so gross. Since I like to claim to be a dancer, this was right up my ally and I really got into it. Since we forced our men folk to participate, Chad also got to play. He wasn't quite as enthusiastic about it. The first song he basically only did the arm that was holding the controller. We mostly played girls against guys, and our hubbies had to try to beat our scores. By the end of the night Chad did get into the spirit of things, and our friends even got us to do one of the duet songs together. This was the first time I had ever considered the possibility of owning a wii...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

turning 4

My baby girl turned 4! So weird and crazy that so time goes so quickly. Chad and I often just sit and stare at our computer screen saver and watch her and the boys grow up over and over. It is bitter sweet. So, with this being our last year at Village Green we decided that we just couldn't pass up the opportunity for Aimee to have a birthday party with the kids that make life so great for her here. Since her birthday falls over the Christmas break there were several of her friends that were out of town. That turned out to be a good thing. It would have been hard to narrow down the friend pool since there are so many little kids here, and just inviting those that stayed like us was just right. There were her and Porter, and about eight other kids, all in her Sunbeam class. We went old school with this party, mostly because I don't do all of the cutesy details that I don't think my four year old would care about anyway. We had Pizza and juice, then played a balloon relay race (with was just a tad over many of their heads). Then we played musical chairs, duck-duck-goose, and freeze tag. We ended with heavy-heavy-hang-over, presents, cake(the part that I had more fun with than the kids) and ice cream. I think everyone had a good time. The only problem that came of the whole thing is that Porter keeps asking when his birthday party is.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


At quarter to seven I finally had to wake the kids up. I haven't been that eager to start Christmas in years! It didn't take much. All I had to do was mention that Santa had come and they were wide awake! I admit part of my rush for getting the morning started was that I wanted us to have plenty of time to enjoy the morning before getting ready for church. It was perfect. We let Aimee and Porter find their presents and rip right into them. Santa mostly brought things like shoes or clothes that the kids needed, although he did manage to also get them each the item they asked for when they sat on his lap. They didn't really mind. They just loved opening things. We also put a picture of the Jesus under the tree to try to make sure he was the focus of the day, and talked about why we have gifts. Chad is a great teacher to our kids! They could see more presents under the tree when we told them it was time to get dressed, but did their best to be obedient. We sort of had three phases of opening gifts. Once that morning for the Santa gifts, and twice via Skype with each of our parents, so they could see the kids get excited about the things they had given them. The grandparents spoiled us all! It was a fun way to spread out the fun of the day. We very much enjoyed celebrating the day by going to Church and taking the sacrament. I can't think of a better to thing to do on Christmas than to partake of the greatest gift of the all, our dear Savior, Jesus Christ. Chad even got to set by us during the meeting! With our Bishop out of town Chad had quite a bit to do before coming home, but I was grateful that her was serving at representing Christ on his birthday. We had our traditional Eggs a la Golden Rod for dinner instead of breakfast due to the time constraints. It was great to be with my little family and still see and talk to our families back home. The Spirit was in our home and although it was a busy day it was pretty near perfect. It was a Christmas I won't soon forget!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

christmas eve

Christmas Eve growing up was always a big deal, and something that I came to look forward to more than even Christmas morning. While it was bummer to not be with our families for a holiday that is, at least for us, all about family, we had an amazing time! We were in the planning phases of coming up with a big fancy Christmas Eve dinner when our dear friends, the Jacobsens, invited us to their house. We were told we would be having the traditional Jacobsen Christmas Eve dinner followed by a short "program." She even used her fingers as quotes when she told me about it. The had also invited a couple from our ward that had been baptized just last Christmas. It has been a rough year for this couple. They have been separated for half of it and clinging to their testimonies. I visit taught the wife this summer, but when I returned from visiting family found that she had moved out of the ward, alone. Like I said, it has been a rough year. That night we drug our crew over and had a wonderful dinner. Then, Matt Jacobsen, doing his best to tailor his program to my kiddos and this older couple who are very young in the gospel read a children's book about serving at Christmas and showed a video. Even though you could tell it was past a certain 2 and 3 year olds bedtime, the spirit was there. It was the perfect beginning to Christmas. Chad and I would like to continue our families Christmas Eve tradition, but add this kind of "program." We would also like to try to open our home to someone who might need it. It was very much our honor to be there. We ended the evening on a fun note by getting ready for bed in our new jammies. Chad and I decided to make each other and the kiddos matching PJ's as our gifts this year. We have never given each other a Christmas present during our marriage, and it was fun to do something so personal. Chad did a great job on Aimee and my night gowns. And my boys looked pretty cute in the flannels that I made out of the material Chad picked out. He returned a dish to our friends that night. She just had a baby a few weeks earlier and said when she saw him at the door in his jammies, "Whoa, you can't do this to a girl who just had a baby. I just peed a little seeing you!" I'll take that as a compliment! Finally we played Santa for the very first time. It was pretty fun eating Santa's cookies and seeing our tree reflecting light off of all the wrapped gifts. We absolutely loved it all!

pre-school christmas pagent

One of my favorite things about Aimee's pre-school is that it is a catholic school. While most of the time it doesn't mean anything is different, it did mean that they talked about the true reason for Christmas during the holiday season. When I was a kid I remember learning lots of cute little Christmas songs in Kindergarten and preforming them for our parents, and I was lucky to be the recipient of the same cute program that had many of the same song s. Well, the truth is that I got to watch her do the first little poem. She then tried to leave the stage area to be congratulated. When we tried to tell her to stay there and keep going, she got upset and started to cry. We then watched the other children sing all of the cute little songs while Aimee sat on her Daddy's lap getting all of the affection she so desired. The teachers also took the time to put together a nativity program where each child had an assigned part and they read the Christmas story out of Luke. Aimee was an angel. We talked her into going back with her class for this portion. The kids spent the entire time playing with their costumes (I made all of the shepards costumes). It was so funny and so cute! Then they did a wardrobe change and ended by singing some Christmas hymns. Here she mostly played with the little fake candle they held, but i still enjoyed it. Porter got to eat the cookies and punch he had been eyeing the entire program, and we were very entertained. Overall it was a great event!

Monday, January 9, 2012

seeing santa

Aimee and Porter were so exited for Christmas this year! The whole concept really sunk in, and they could wait to experience it all. The ward Christmas party and it's special visitor was no exception. In fact, we were first in line to sit on Santa's lap. When they got the green light to go, Aimee wasted no time and actually semi-tackled the poor man! He wasn't quite ready for such a vigorous response but was very sweet about it. Porters excitement mostly stemmed from seeing the giant candy cane he got once he posed for the obligatory photo. That was not my favorite part. As always, Pratt was just happy to be a part of the action.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

christmas set up

Last year I had this picture in my head of how magical setting up all the Christmas decorations would be. I think my childhood memories didn't quite reach back to the ages of my kiddos, so when things started getting chaotic, I got frustrated and the image I had of how I thought it would be just didn't happen. This year my expectations were not high. In fact they were pretty low. It worked out because it was a whole lot of fun for all of us. I'm sure it helped that Aimee and Porter were big enough this year to do more than dump everything out of the storage bins. They helped put ornaments up on the tree and set up the nativity. It was the perfect start to the Christmas season.

making sugar cookies

Right after Halloween we were feeling the loss of that holiday. There had been so many activities, and now there wasn't a whole lot for the kids to look forward to for a while. It had gotten cold enough outside they finally had to play inside, and we needed something to do. Chad, having some time suggested that we do a service project, and really let the kids do the whole thing. Cookies are our fall back, and that seemed like a good project for them on a cold afternoon. Luckily Chad spearheaded this one. I typically don't have the patients for the mess that comes with such hands-on help. I usually let the kids dump an ingredient after I have measured it, or let them hold an egg or something before I crack it, but Chad got down on the floor with a bowl and a spoon and let them do it all. He is a pretty amazing dad! That night for family home evening we delivered plates and plates of cookies all over Village Green and in our ward in Council Bluffs. There were some less than perfect looking cookies, but we had a great time making a big mess!