Wednesday, December 30, 2015

christmas in pictures

We got back on Monday from a great Christmas up north. Some highlights:

Opening presents was, of course, a big highlight. This year, Legos were a theme. :)

Always fun to have Grandma W. make the trip down to see us during our visit!

Christmas feast.

Speaking of feasts, the whole weekend was filled with yummy food...
Cameron: Blueberry Jello Salad
Kelly: Chocolate Cake 

Chris: New York Steak ...

Bike rides. The kids loved navigating around all the enormous puddles left by the rain.

A very fun Christmas :)

p.s. I got my Hallmark movie fix each night as well. Speaking of TV, Chris and I are ADDICTED to "Making a Murderer" on Netflix. It is a documentary following a man falsly accused of a crime, but then later accused of another crime. I would post a link, but I don't even want to Google search it for fear of spoiling what happens. It is fascinating and I have been known to stay up until 10:00 p.m. just to finish an episode!! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

robolights = awesome

*I'm very picky when it comes to iced coffee. Very. I texted Chris the other day with this pic and wrote, "A still full iced coffee at end of our trip. Didn't like the first one so went back thru drive-thru. Still didn't like the second one :) thought that would give u a chuckle" (in my defense, Jack n' the Box is always consistent...but even the worker said the coffee was extra strong that day!)

*The Bass Pro Shop with Jen and her girls on Monday. Such a fun morning!

 *Baking at Nana's house yesterday.

*I introduced the kids to the best Christmas movie, White Christmas. They lasted about 30 minutes. In their defense, it does have its slow parts. :)

*Our original plan was to leave for Chris' parents today. However we couldn't get off until this afternoon, when most people would be leaving (Chris' traffic app actually emailed him telling him that between 2:00-7:00 this afternoon would be the worst traffic). Anyway, we knew the kids would be disappointed in pushing our trip back, so I took them out to the desert for a fun morning.

We started at a park and then made our way to what turned out to be, "The best place ever", in both their words. There is a house in Palm Springs which has been coined, "Robolights". I simply can't describe it other than...weird, but awesome. A huge backyard has been turned into a wonderland of garbage created stuff. During Christmas, it's most popular at night because it's decorated with lights. However I know my kids would be too scared and so our daytime visit was perfect. It is so worth the trip and we will definitely go back!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

fake snow

*We had a BIG hike planned for yesterday. It was the Skyline trail, one we plan to eventually complete (meaning from the bottom of the Palm Springs Tram to the top), but which we were going to do another practice run on. 

Unfortunately the night before, my stomach started acting up. I still wasn't feeling well in the morning, but really didn't want to cancel for Cam's sake. My dad suggested we do a hike closer to home. I thought for sure Cam would be devastated, but to my surprise he was totally up for switching plans. :) 

We ended up doing our Wildwood hike (in Yucaipa), but completing the entire loop, which we had wanted to do for a while!

 Cam was super excited when we stumbled upon some ice/snow.

*While we were gone, Chris and Kendall spent the morning together out in the desert. Here they are at the street fair at College of the Desert. He gave her $10 to spend and she was beyond excited to do so. This scarf was her first purchase.

*Looking back, while it was a fun hike, it wasn't the smartest idea on my part. Of course it ended up making me feel worse and I spent the remainder of the day in bed. To give me some rest, Chris took the kids to dinner and to see Christmas lights. They had a blast!

*While they were gone, I realized I had run out of Advent trinkets for the following morning. I did NOT feel like going out, so I did some quick internet research and found a recipe for homemade snow. Perfect. Luckily (thanks to 11 hours of sleep!), I felt much better this morning and was able to watch them make their snow. :)

*Poor Chris hates the smell of my corn heating bag, but man did it feel good on my stomach yesterday!! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

killing kennedy

*Yesterday Kendall was talking about a little guy at her school who does not live with his parents. Cameron said, "I'm thankful for my family. You know, if I had a choice to give up Lamar (a stuffed animal) or have my whole family die, I would choose my family." Wow. :) I'm glad to know where we rank. Ha! :)

*Last night we went to Applebees with the kids. I'm sure I need to lighten up, but do we have to have tablets everywhere we go? Do kids really need the restaurants to also give them an option to play games at every table?  I realize that sometimes parents just want a nice dinner and need some entertainment for their little ones (as did we when the kids were little), but it just seems like tablets/phones have turned into an automatic rather than a last resort. Okay..I'll step down from my soapbox. :)

*One of our advent days has always been decorating a gingerbread house. This year I was too late and Costco had run out of them. I instead purchased the Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit. It was funny to hear the kids confusion with, "Why do we have to make them ugly???" :)

We invited the quads over for the decorating:

*I have about half an hour until I sub and the kids already left for school. I just finished my hot chocolate and am watching Gilmore Girls. Ahhh... :)

*I finished Killing Reagan last week and am now reading Killing Kennedy. REALLY good.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

cream cheese pie

*This past weekend we celebrated Christmas with Chris' brother's family (and his parents) since we won't see them on the actual day. The kids had a blast together. Cameron was elated with the gift he received from his cousins...a gift card to REI. :)

*On Sunday we went to my parents' after church to hear about my dad's recent trip to India. Here we are watching the videos he took.

*One of the downsides to Netflix is that they can add and remove shows anytime they want. We are only in season three (out of seven) of West Wing and just found out they are removing all seasons on Dec. 24. :(

*Dear Walmart, I guess our nice new Black Friday dishes were just too good to be true. Two out of the three sets we ordered contained a broken dish and you are proving to make returning said dishes a pain in the rump. 

*I love that my husband is so funny. We can be anywhere and the comments he consistently comes up with are just too hilarious. Sometimes it's just us in the car and I can't stop laughing. :)

*My mom made this cream cheese pie on Sunday. She's made it several times over the years and it never disappoints. It is SO easy. It actually was the first time Chris and the kids tasted it and they all raved. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

raking leaves in skates

*Last night Cam had a birthday party to attend. I had a headache and wasn't feeling that great, however we went and I'm SO glad we did. He had a blast and really needed it. He has been feeling extra overwhelmed lately (Chris and I are still working on figuring it all out). This party was small (which he commented several times on how much he liked that aspect) and all the kids were his own age. I LOVED seeing him enjoy himself so much.

His first experience with stuffed crust pizza!

*I've been having a couple of these each day. My coffee with creamer is good, but not as good as homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows. :)

*The Pokemon ship appears to have sailed, which I'm more than okay with. I just could never quite understand them and I think Legos are much more fun! I'm glad Cam has been back into them lately, putting together his Christmas set and adding more and more each day to the village he created. :)

*It's now been almost two years since we had cable. I've completely adjusted, however this time of year I really do miss my cheesy Hallmark movies. Netflix has a few, but not very many. :(

*Yesterday I paid the kids and the quads 50 cents to rake the leaves in our yard. Apparently raking is far easier in roller skates. ;)

*This week I've had one full day and two half day sub jobs. I love the half days because I can pick up the kids from school so it feels like I didn't really work. :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

christmas lights

*Saturday we went to Bass Pro Shop. We hadn't been in a while and it's always fun to see how they decorate for Christmas.

*Cameron really wanted to go to REI (since it was only a few blocks away), so we stopped there for some hiking book browsing.

*Hooray for Claim Jumper Happy Hour on Saturdays! The kids love the soft pretzel sticks (only $2!).

*Tonight was our second night walking around the neighborhood looking at lights. I haven't been overly impressed with the number of houses lit up and am hoping that number will increase the closer we get to Christmas. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2015


*So excited that the last season of Parenthood is coming to Netflix this month!

*Advent started in our house a few days ago. The kids were soooo excited. I had stocked up on 99 cent store stuff but this morning was Cameron's favorite so far. I left a note for them which read, "You are invited to a snowball breakfast in the living room". I gave them mini-powdered donuts (the "snowballs") for breakfast. 

While they ate, they watched "Winter Wonderland for Your Home" (on Netflix). It is basically different snowy scenes put to music (it's actually quite relaxing to watch!). They loved it. :)

*The BEST apples in the world are on sale now at Staters...Ambrosia.

*Thanks to numerous hikes pre-hiking boots, my tennis shoes had gone way downhill, to the point that the soles were very thin. :)  I was super excited last week to find a cute pair at Costco for only $24! It's nice to not feel every rock I step on anymore. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

new dishes

*Chris and Cam went hiking last weekend while Kendall and I attended a birthday party.

*I spent a lot of time this past weekend putting up our outside lights, only to have them short out two nights later. I'm working on figuring out the rotten strands. They WILL get fixed because I didn't go to all that work for nothing!

*It's been a long time since Chris and I have had a sitcom we both enjoyed watching together. I think we've finally found one...The Grinder. It's very Parks and Rec humor (if you liked that show). :)

*Chris was up super early Thanksgiving morning in order to buy a Christmas present for Cameron during the pre-Black Friday online sale. He stumbled across these and decided to get a few sets as our Christmas present to one another. The colors go perfectly with our kitchen and I can't wait to get them!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

universal studios...harry potter!!

*We celebrated the official day of Thanksgiving with my mom (my dad is still out of the country). The morning started out with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I enjoyed having it on in the background and Kendall seemed especially into it. Maybe it will be a tradition as I know it is for millions of people. :)

Cameron decided to make another train track around the table (he did this as well at my in-laws'). This one, however, was quite special in that one of the cargo trains held our butter. Every time someone needed some butter on their bread, the train was sent around the track. :)

Dessert was a new experiment and has now become a favorite of mine. It was awesome!!!

*Cameron is excited to announce that he has officially started his own blog. It's a hiking blog and I'm sure he would ADORE it if anyone wants to leave a comment. :)

*I got half way through putting our outside lights up yesterday. My numb hands drove me inside. :(

*I will find a way to make THIS happen!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

thanksgiving #1

This past weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving with Chris' parents. It was a quick trip, but fun none the less. :)

The kids helped a lot with the food prep. Here Kendall is getting her hands dirty by helping combine all the stuffing ingredients. 

Wayne got up at 4:00 a.m. to put the turkey on the smoker. Here the kids are helping him check on it soon before the meal.

The feast!

Being outdoors on their property is always a highlight. The kids and I went on a few bike rides around the country roads. Here Chris had taken the kids on an after Thanksgiving feast walk. 

IHOP for breakfast before we take off has been a tradition for a long time. :)

 This morning the kids were SUPER excited to start decorating our home for Christmas. This is one of my favorite days too. :)

p.s. This past weekend my friend, Jana, invited me to a clothing swap party. I come home with two great pairs of jeans (it amazes me that I found two pair when good fitting jeans can be so hard to find!) and several other items. Such an awesome feeling to get super cute clothes for free!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

coconut coffee

*Last week the kids had Veteran's Day off from school. Their request was a trip to IKEA. I let them each pick out something to buy and Kendall chose a stuffed toy. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. It's obviously from the story, Little Red Riding Hood. The weird part is that the little grandma can literally be stuffed inside the mouth of the wolf. The wolf's shirt then opens up so you can take her out of his stomach. Hmm...

*Last night my parents came over for dinner before we all headed to Chris' softball game. My dad leaves this Friday for a missions trip to Africa, so he showed us a very cool cartoon/video telling the, "Creation to Christ" story he had been practicing (which he'll tell to people when there).

*The installer came yesterday to deliver our desk top for the kids' new desk, which Chris' dad made. It looks beautiful and adds so much to our loft. Thanks, Wayne!!

*I tasted the yummiest coffee the other day at Costco. Oh, wow. There was obviously more sugar than coffee in it, which I'm sure is why it was so amazing!

*Last night Kendall's noise machine shut off at 4:30 a.m. She went in and woke Cameron up to help her. She went right back to sleep. Cameron? Not so much.  Thanks, Kendall. :(