Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas Day


Every Christmas morning I feel like Buddy in Elf and i just want to yell with tons of glee "SANTA!" Such a giddy and exciting morning. Luke was still young enough to not quite get what his stocking was all about so he carefully looked at each thing and would have been content with simply his new book about puppies :) He is so sweet and it was my pleasure (as it is every year) to watch all my babies discover so many treasures and surprises.

 My bid kids have been on a no candy diet since the first of November (completely of their own accord—they hoped I might pay them a big reward for being so healthy for a full year and so I will). But we gave them Christmas as a free-day and they were so very excited to eat treats! They wasted no time pounding suckers and chocolate.

We opened our tiny lot of family gifts too. Since we are headed to Hawaii in January we kept Christmas small. Isn't a plane ticket to Hawaii a million times better than presents under the tree? (not to mention a whole lot more than our usual Christmas budget!)

 Olivia's new doll from Target. Close enough to the real deal but much more affordable for a little one who loves her dolls but isn't quite ready for a hundred dollar version (she may not take the best care of her dolls—but they get played with a ton!)

Bean opening Legos. I know this because that's all he asked for and every gift from everyone was indeed a Lego set. This boy knows his passion!

Luke and me opening his 2013 yearbook that I made for him. He has been loving it a lot since then and really likes to look at all the kids' books filled with pictures of people he loves. These books are a huge effort to create but they are well-loved, well-used and can document my kids' lives as the perfect, concise scrapbook for each year.

My cute parents dropped by in the early afternoon in time to check out all the goods and even read to Luke before his nap. Love this little shot of my dad and Luke. We are so lucky to have grandparents living so close!
Livs and I played with her new Ariel play-doh for a bit that day. Her curls were too adorable all day. I was obsessed :)

We didn't really do gifts this year as I was totally spoiled in September with a new road bike and then Joseph bought a new suit in November. But my hubby snuck in a few fun things for me to use on my brave adventures in outdoor exercising during the cold winter. So far I have been pretty consistent with at least 1 or 2 outdoor runs each week. The bike seems way too cold still and will probably hibernate sadly in my garage until February when I steal her away to SG!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Christmas Eve


This year it was a crazy day around here! We've been trying to get together with local LeBaron siblings once a month since Neil and Ruth Ann have been gone on their mission. Somehow December got lost in the shuffle and on Dec. 22 Joseph threw together last minute plans to host everyone here for a morning brunch. We kept it low-key with Joseph making Tahitian pancakes and Mary and Tom bringing breakfast casseroles. It was much less work than our fancy Thanksgiving feast was last month and it ended up being a great addition to our day.

We tied in the great LeBaron/Adams tradition of singing a bunch of Christmas carols and thanks to amazing technology we had John, Maggie and Nanny (with Flori and fam with her in Texas) all face-timing on different phones to join in with us!

We also opened our LeBaron sibling and cousin gifts. Ours were from the Braun family but those who had theirs shipped in from out of state family brought them over to open all together. We had Bob and Mary this year and made them their wedding DVDs plus sent them fancy little fries and fry-sauce holders for our favorite fry-guy Bob. We also had the Gardner kids and sent them a few games and the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat DVD. Mag told me they were hoping to grow their collection of musicals.

A close-up of this darling's curls. 
The sponge curlers worked like magic on her and these wringlets lasted a full 2 days!

Of course we had our traditional Christmas Eve later that day at my parents' house. They hired some photographer neighbors to come take pictures of everyone before we lost the natural light outside–and because of that I didn't take any of my own! But I will add them in when we get them back. It's such a fun night to dress my littles up and join with family to celebrate the blessed event of our Savior's birth.
Big kids eating dinner (Bean and Will making awesome faces...)

Little kids eating (kind of anyway—they have too much fun to really eat anything!)

 Shepard girls ready for the nativity.
Cares told me she is never being one again because the outfits are way too itchy :)

 My only picture with Luke holding still and Brigg being baby Jesus

These funny kids this year: no angels and no animals but at least we had 4 kings once Brigg decided he didn't want to be the baby anymore :) Cec and I tried to fill in the gaps:

 My beautiful Olivia. She was a sweet and reverent Mary through the whole thing.

And then it was time for gifts from and for Grandma Bobbi and Grandpa Sherm:

 I sure love my family

Home again later in the evening to read scriptures about the Savior, change into Christmas PJs and set out stockings for Mr. C. Excitement and joy were at an all time high all day. What a glorious holiday!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Baby Boy is 2

Delicious, darling Lukie Bear--

Happy Birthday! How in the world are you 2? These years with you have flown by too quickly, but you are still an adorable, snuggly, hilarious, busy baby and I am so in love with you. This year was full of so many changes, huge ones, like learning to walk, talk, sing, dance, pray and generally make this family adore you more than ever (how that's possible I don't even know!) We think you are the cutest, funniest and wiggliest bear. You make us laugh all the time with your silly prayer tricks, singing the songs from Frozen with all your heart and passionate faces, and the cute things you learn everyday. We're so grateful you're in our family and love you with all our hearts. Happy 2nd birthday!

The birthday boy had a few simple requests for his birthday including "yummy doughnuts" "let me go" (seeing Frozen) and dinner with Grobby (Grandma Bobbi and Grandpa Sherm). He loves all things Elmo so it was an Elmo birthday for this babe. He got a new shirt, new DVD, Elmo figurine and school bus, and LOL Elmo from my parents. It was such a fun day and one we all enjoyed playing with our favorite toddler.

Luke and me watching Frozen. Even seeing it for the 2nd time he was totally transfixed and sat on my lap for at least 75% of the show. Of course he sang along with all the songs too :)

Love this sweet, energetic boy with all my heart!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gardner Elf Hunt

I am so proud of us for bringing our real camera along on this advent activity. We planned ahead to join my little sis Heidi when she was in town, and we lucked out having my big sis come join too. It was a cold, cold morning but the kids had lots of fun together, and we stopped for a little hot cocoa break which always helps!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December Advent

This month is so much fun with my littles. I am pretty sure I was in heaven during December as a kid, getting so excited for Christmas. But it is a hundred times better as a mom! I love planning fun things to do as a family and feeling the excitement from 4 sweet babies, knowing I can play wish granter—too much joy for my heart.

I documented our advent pretty well on Instagram so just a recap for next year:

1: Countdown paper chains
2: Window gels
3: Missionary package for an elder needing some love from afar
4: Ward Christmas Party
5: Christmas lights scavenger hunt
6: Late night with Tiago and Isabel (foiled by a very sick Livs)
7: Choose out a tree with Smith cousins and grandparents
8: Watch Polar Express
9: Make foam ornaments
10: Homemade glitter play-doh
11: Christmas word search
12: Nutcracker (girls)
13: Make rice babies while boys see Hobbit
14: Elves at Gardner Village
15: Lights at Riverwoods
16: Make snowflakes
17: See Santa at Traverse Mountain shops
18: Paper strip Christmas trees
19: Snow play and cocoa (luckily we got dumped on that day with 11new inches!)
20: Watch Home Alone
21: LUKE!! See Frozen (again :) and go to dinner
22: Smith party at Em and Pam's
23: Sibling gifts and cousin playdate
24: Open yearbooks from Joseph and me AND Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's

Christmas PJ's. 
I take this pic early on the month on a happy, laid-back night just to make sure I can get a good one of happy babes. Love these darlings with all my heart.

Monday, December 2, 2013

2nd Annual Turkey Trot

Joseph and his siblings arranged one of these last year and decided we needed to keep it a tradition. This year we did it the Saturday after Thanksgiving which was so much easier for us—after the rush of the holiday was much better.

We had a great turnout too. Lots of Adams family came (Joseph's great-grandpa was a turkey farmer so they have turkey love in their blood :) We had Bruce and Lynette and 3 of their kids (and spouses), Dave and Andrea and all their family, Uncle Dan and his little Samuel (Bean's age), and then Jim, Mary and Seth and crew, all of my family and Cec and her 3 oldest. Mike and Lydia who recently moved for work were in town too and joined in.

Luckily it was another lovely November day (for Utah anyway :) and went off without a hitch. Bentley was out of the gates like a little sprinter and he kept up the lead with Joseph and Ethan while I pushed my littles in the double stroller. When hubby passed me on his way back he took the stroller back with him and I got to run for about a mile and 1/2 to round out a 5K. Then we all hung out at the pavilion eating fruit and muffins and snacks everyone had helped bring while kids played around on the playground.
 Had to rock the snazzy tights.
They are fleece-lined and super warm and I'm thinking I need a second pair in another color or print.

 Brothers rocking their mustaches for the last day of Movember. 
Hubby shaved his chin for the old trucker look just for the race :)

 Cousins ready to run!
Eth and Will did great during the run and then went home and both threw-up later that afternoon, and then Maddie was sick after them :( The gift that kept on giving! Somehow my family escaped the idea how that happened...

 Cares and Tillie

Tillie came later with Seth and the kids since they had a friend's baptism to attend.
She didn't run in jeans—just came to hang out with all of us.
(Joseph was done pretty quickly so he went back to get our Caresie who was determined to keep going and make it the whole way. She felt slow but did so well for a 7 year old! You can see him behind Cares coming to the finish for the 2nd time)

Horsley fam post-race

 Luke loved the Adams' dogs and they happily shared lots of yummy bites :)

 Cute Braunies

Leo LOVES my hubby! 
He is actually a huge fan of any and all dads (not women so much) which is funny and endearing.

 Beans and Finch—cool dudes

Love this cute pic of these 3. They were the first ones done with the race (along with Ethan). Speedies!

Who is up for next year's race? We'll be there!