Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Favorites

I just thought I would share with you a few of our Christmas Favorites:

Christmas morning has to be one of my favorite mornings of the year to get out of bed. The kids came in our room at 6:45 a.m. They are never allowed to go downstairs until Mike has confirmed that Santa really did make it. After the green light Danny, Ryan and Nathan rushed down the stairs with Lydia a few steps behind.

One of our favorite family traditions is that each of the kids have to hug the person who gave them their gift. This picture and the next, are a couple of the Sibling Hug Snapshots of the morning. (Don't you think it is so funny how Lydia's foot came up in the air?)

Ryan and Nathan's Sibling Hug Snapshot

One of Lydia's favorite gifts was from her Grandma and Grandpa Swensen. On Christmas morning she couldn't get enough of her new princess dress, and hugging the doll that was wearing the same princess dress.

There is no question that one of Nathan's favorite College Football Teams is Boise State. We all loved cheering them on to victory in the Fiesta Bowl.

Santa brought a little Fisher-Price 4-Wheeler for all of the kids to share. It has helped create some of our favorite fun moments. Even after it snowed, Mike went and shoveled the entire sidewalk that runs around the perimeter of our back yard. He wanted the kids to be able to keep riding. During those few days (and even still) you could always find Mike and I staring out the back windows, watching the kids drive around and around and around.

This is my favorite Four-Wheeler picture. Doesn't that look like fun?!

Here are some of my favorite Little Girl Blue Eyes. Lydia is wearing her new Sunday dress and bow.

One of my favorite silly moments was later in the afternoon. I came around the corner and found all of the kids trying out Ryan's pretend Spiderman Shave Kit. Several times through out the day and several times through out the weekend Ryan insisted that he had new whiskers growing. "I better use the shaving cream again," he would say. (side note: Danny-I think you missed a spot...)

We love spending Christmas time together and sharing in all kinds of favorite funny and special moments. They are sure to make some of our favorite memories.

Here's hoping that your Christmas was filled with Favorites, too!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We got to have a very nice Christmas Eve at Grandma Dildine's house. It was fun to share in some traditions and spend time with cousins and other family. Thanks to Mom and Dad Dildine for hosting. It is certainly a big crowd when everyone comes over!

Danny is next in line to dish up his feast. Ham, funeral potatoes and Jell-O salads were on the menu...potluck style.

Here is Nathan enjoying his dinner surrounded by LOTS of cousins. I think there are 31 cousins in the family now.

Grandma Dildine always has a way of making special and memorable moments for the grandchildren. Here she was telling all of the kids a Christmas story about a little sheep named Joshua. You can see Lydia just behind the Nativity, with a yellow flower in her hair.

After story time and singing "Away in a Manger" some headed out to do the yearly neighborhood caroling. Mike's brother-in-law always brings the trailer filled with chairs and blankets.

Once we got home from The Dildines, Lydia, Danny, Nathan and Ryan, got to open their Christmas Eve Present.

The kids always get coordinating pajamas, but this year they also got a Christmas pillowcase made special for each one of them. They are not really asleep here. (I'm guessing Ryan's face is the one that gave it away!) ;)

And Wake Up!!

The kids were so, so excited. Christmas is such a wonderful time to be a kid.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Early December

December was a busy and festive month. This year I really tried to enjoy every second, rather than getting stressed out. We had parties scheduled every weekend and just as many basketball games (maybe more). In between all of the "hustle and bustle" we found some moments to spend as a family. I got to have a mommy date with each of the kids and take them out to buy little presents for their brothers and sister. Usually each date ended with a trip to Starbucks for a gourmet hot chocolate with whipped cream--a holiday mommy date tradition.

This is a picture of Nathan with his atom that he made for school. He and I stayed up late one night getting it completed together. Carbon was the atom he chose. I really enjoyed telling Nathan about my seventh grade science project with my dad: a very detailed 3-D model of the Water Cycle. Do you remember that Dad? How do you think we did?

Here we are doing our annual Sugar Cookie evening. Danny picked out a stocking and wrote the icing inscription "Dan Rocks" (simply because he couldn't fit Dan-ny)...perfect with red and green sprinkles.

Mike and I got to go to a birthday party with some friends. It was a Murder Mystery that took place in 1962. I got this awesome dress on Ebay and my jewels were from Forever 21. Man, they have some flashy jewelry there...for cheap! I went as the movie actress Doris Daily.

Mike picked out his smooth outfit at the DI. He went as the magician, Harry Hoodunit. He even studied up on some card tricks to impress the other guests. It was so fun for all of us to get dressed up.

The kids always find it very exciting to decorate the tree and the house. They run around, holding different decorations, saying, "remember this?" and "oh, I forgot about this one!" I also love unwrapping the ornaments one by one. It probably sounds silly, but it always feels to me like seeing an old friend you haven't seen for a long time.

My mom has been sending us a few ornaments every year since we were first married. Each year, at the beginning of December, she sends us a package and we all get to open an ornament that was hand picked just for us. Lydia took her job of placing ornaments very seriously.

She was sitting here for quite awhile! Take your time and enjoy it, Lydia. Before you know it we'll be putting our "old friends" away until next year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November Highlights

About Mid-November Lydia and I went to stay for a week with my sister Angie, in San Diego. I wanted to share some of the highlights from the trip.

Highlight #1-Hanging out with these three kiddos. I can't even remember what the three of them are watching here, but whatever it is, it looks VERY interesting, doesn't it?! :) From left to right: Madison, Mitchell and Lydia

After Lydia and I were there for a week, Mike and the boys came to meet us for Thanksgiving.

Highlight #2-Making a huge Thanksgiving dinner with Angie. I think it is pretty funny that I felt like I needed to "pose" with the potato masher.

Highlight #3-Eliot's yummy Thanksgiving turkey cooked on the grill!

Highlight #4-A trip to Disneyland. Here all of the kids are making "Mickey Ears" with their hands.

Highlight #5-The look on Lydia's face when we bought her her very first Princess Dress. Cinderella is Lydia's favorite.

Highlight #6-Meeting up with our good friends the Fabrizio's. They were up from Las Vegas for a quick little getaway. We went to a science museum and to pizza with them.

Highlight #7-Visiting the USS Midway. It sits right on the harbor in San Diego. This picture is taken on the flight deck, with the skyline in the background.

Highlight #8-Beach weather in November! Our whole family loves the ocean. On our last visit to San Diego Lydia was scared of the sand, but this time she was thrilled to run free.

Highlight #9-Del Mar Swirlz is always a must. Thanks to the cashier for taking all of our picture together.

Highlight #10-There were SO MANY other highlights.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For the Grandparents

It has been a little while since I posted. I took these pictures over the weekend. I hope you enjoy them.

It is so fun to watch Ryan play basketball. He LOVES it and it is really building his confidence.

I thought this was a cool shot of Danny. It looks like his new basketball shoes are working great. As a side note: Mike and I bought him these shoes last weekend on our date night. When we all got up on Saturday morning, Ryan had taken marker and ballpoint pen, and written "R's" all over Danny's brand new shoes. Good for Ryan's handwriting practice...Bad for Danny's shoes. I spent about an hour of the morning scrubbing and coaxing out the ink. After nail polish, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, magic eraser and rubbing alcohol, I was able to fade the writing enough to where Danny wasn't devastated.

It has been really fun to watch Nathan's team play. He is number 24. Last week his coach named him Defensive Player of the Game. Way to go Nathan!

On Sunday morning I decided it was time to trim up Lydia's hair. This will have been her first REAL haircut. Her first haircut was from her helpful older brother. Good for Ryan's fine motor coordination...Bad for Lydia's hair. Anyhow, since the top is slowly starting to grow back in, I decided to bring up the bottom a little...well I thought it was a little.

When you brushed out Lydia's waves they were all the was down her back, but really thin because of her previous "haircut". I was so worried that once I cut off her darling, perfect ringlets that Lydia would have straight hair from that moment on.

I adore Lydia's smile.

Lydia's hair ended up a little shorter than I had planned. But the reason her hair ended up this short is she still has ALL her curls!! So fun.

And now Lydia and I are off to spend some time with my sister in San Diego. I hope you are all doing well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We had a very eventful Halloween yesterday, as all of our Saturdays will be until Christmas.

Nathan had a game first thing yesterday morning.

Directly following Nathan's game, and in a different location, Ryan had his first official basketball game. This is his team trying to do some warm-ups. I do have to say I was pretty impressed with his five-year-old form.

After a quick bite to eat at Pizza Hut, we all went to Danny's first game of the season.

After that we went home and regrouped for 2 hours while I finished Lydia's costume. Once we had all the costumes in order, we went back to where we had started the day...another game for Nathan. Good thing I like basketball so much!

And this little gal is going to have to love it, too. She really likes cheering for her brothers.
Next we grabbed a burger at a drive-thru and then headed over to Grandma and Grandpa Dildine's to visit and do some trick-or-treating in their neighborhood.

Nathan really was wanting to be something funny this year, rather than "cool." His original idea was to be a duck, but when he did not find success in fitting into any of the toddler duck costumes, he settled on a gorilla.

This is Danny as Jango Fett. He had to explain to me several times who this Star Wars character was. Danny thought it was pretty cool that one of the boys down the street was was dressing up as Boba Fett, Jango Fett's father...Who knew?

Ryan love, loves his toy race tracks and so it seemed natural that he would want to be a Race Car Driver.

Lydia has been saying for 2 months that she wanted to be a Pink Butterfly for Halloween. For some silly reason I was determined that she looked like a true butterfly...not a fairy, or a fairy princess, or a butterfly princess. There was only one door where the woman handing out candy said, "You make such a cute fairy!" I didn't shout from the dark street, "She's a Butterfly, A Pink Butterfly!," though I wanted to. :)


Hope your Halloween was Happy, too!