Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

...and by that, I don't mean snow. It's been nothing but rain here for the last few days.

Here is Tucker playing with Hawkeye at Ben & Elisha's.

Gary has had a tradition to paint a Christmas village house each year since he was little. Each year the village gets bigger. Here we are just carrying on the tradition with the Callister family.

Tucker was pretty upset when he ripped off the feet of the Elf that Grandma Haroldsen gave us. Pretty violent, I know. He just kept saying "uh oh!"
 He tried to put them back on, but they just wouldn't stick. I finally glued them back on for him.
Here we are at the Johnson's. They cut their own tree, and it was pretty tall. They needed a ladder to get all the lights on. That was the first thing that Tucker went after and climbed up to the top. He loves any kind of ladder. We have to keep our eyes on him at Lowes and Home Depot for sure.

Here is Tucker opening his present at the Bolin Christmas Party.
 It was a Buzz Lightyear!
 He loves pushing all of the buttons.
Well, Sophie didn't handle Tucker's present quite so well. She got one of these for her birthday a few weeks ago. Apparently she thought that Tucker's Buzz Lightyear was hers. I can't help but laugh at this one.
Don't worry, her dad went back to their house to get hers so she would settle down. Good thing they didn't live too far away. One Buzz Lightyear + two kids= one kid not so happy! Two Buzz Lightyears + two kids= yay---two kids happy!
Here Tucker is hanging out with some cousins.
Today I had to grab some things at the mall. Tucker knew exactly who this was as we walked up. He pointed and said "Ho-ho-ho!" I almost just didn't bother with letting him sit on his lap because I was tired of shopping and wanted to get home. But I'm glad I gave in. Look how happy Tucker is! And Santa didn't even have to give him any candy to get a smile out of him. All the other kids were crying, but not Tucker--no siree! He must somehow understand that this is one guy he needs to be good around :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recent Happenings

Here are some pictures of what we have been up to lately. We have been out of town A LOT. 

A couple weekends ago, Gary went to SLC for work for the weekend. I told Gary that when he got back, that our house would look like Christmas had thrown up all over it.  ...and it did. :)
I decided that since we are cheap and didn't want to go all out on lights etc. that I would paint the windows all festive-like, like they do at all the stores. Here is Tucker taking a turn at painting.
 At the Dicken's Christmas Festival, Tucker found a rocking horse that he just couldn't get enough of.
Tucker found a buddy at Gary's work party. There are hardly any boys his age around here, so it was fun for him to hang out with a boy for once.
 Tucker is wearing the gift that Gary got for the white elephant exchange.
There was a post about play-dough that smells good on This & That Creative. I made some for Tucker that smelled like gingerbread. He did try to eat it. And then tried to eat it again.

Tucker met Santa at the ward Christmas Party. He liked Santa because he gave him candy. It was way funny. The guy who played Santa, had a little daughter at the party and she sat on his lap about 4 times and had no idea whatsoever that it was her dad.

I roasted a turkey for the Christmas Party and afterward I took the leftovers to make a homemade turkey noodle soup. I had just put the broth in the fridge so I could separate the grease from the top. All of a sudden Tucker yelled, "HOT!" I turned around to see that Tucker had thrown his sippy-cup into the broth. 
He was seriously getting into everything! I made homemade noodles for the soup and got the flour from a big bucket that I dragged into the kitchen...and yup! Tucker got into that too. When I got after him, he took off down the hall screaming. Check out these little flour footprints
That night  I was finishing up a painting for Gary's Grandma & Grandpa Birrell. It was for Christmas, but we got the sad news that Grandpa Birrell had passed away. I had to speed up the painting to get it done so we could take it up north for the funeral. Tucker got into my palette too getting oil paint all over his blanky.
I totally didn't even get a picture of the painting when it was done. I think because it was crunch time to could get back up north. It was a sad time, but we all felt so comforted knowing that death is not the end, and that he is not struggling with Lou Gehrig's Disease anymore. He lived an amazing life and was a huge sports fan. He had some tickets to a BYU game that Saturday, and Sandy and Wade, and Gary and I got to go instead. We really enjoyed it even though Gary and I didn't have the chance to change out of our dressy clothes that we had worn to the funeral. 

Here is Tucker and his cousin Luke playing cars at the luncheon after the funeral.

After the basketball game, we went to the Grand America to check out the gingerbread house competition that Sandy and Wade entered. This is the house that Sandy and Wade made. The windmill worked and everything. Turns out they won the competition and now they get to stay in the Presidential Suite at the Grand America that  costs $5000.00 a night! Lucky them!
 They had people and a Christmas tree inside and everything. It was seriously amazing!
We stayed the night at Gary's mom's house and Tucker got into Uncle Nate's shoes. Putting on peoples' shoes is one of his favorite things to do.
And here is Grandma Haroldsen helping Tucker take a bubble bath in the jetted tub.
 Tucker loves Brutis. He was so ready for Brutis to take him for a ride.

Stay tuned--I still have more to update!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thanksgiving (A Little Late)

Wow. As I am looking at pictures, I realize how much I need to update!

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving. We ended up going up North to my Grandma & Grandpa Lee's for dinner. Leave it up to my sister, Abbey, to get headdresses and pilgrim outfits for everyone. She wanted it to be real authentic-like.

The pictures are all foggy because the camera was left in the car and got to a very chilly temperature.  It was freezing. Very very cold. Tucker kept repeating "Brrrrrrrrr!" throughout our whole trip. He knows what cold is now. He also took a dive into a snow bank while we were up there. I can just imagine him thinking, "Wow, that looks white and fluffy like a bed." only to realize it was very much not like anything he'd ever want to take a nap on.

My family all gathered around the table
Two little indians (One was trying to get away)

My little nephew Jajue helping my brother, Andrew, out with his headdress
The camera had finally warmed up :)
Tucker and Great-Grandma Lee
Tucker and Great-Grandpa Lee

Well, then came the infamous Black Friday. Gary seriously gets all giddy about Black Friday like he is a little kid waiting for Santa to come, and I am not even kidding. I'm talking about him being so restless that he can't even sleep anyway. We got most of all our Christmas presents taken care of in one day! And we got great deal on a new TV while we were at it. Tucker was mostly excited about the box as you can see :)

 Tucker and his little box house 
Peeking out the window 

Well, I have a lot more to post about...so stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sharing the Holidays

I love Christmas. Okay, so most of us do (minus the few scrooges here and there). But I especially love sending and getting Christmas cards! It's kind of just that time of year to get caught up on the most recent family pictures of friends and family with an included warm holiday greeting.

We just had our pictures taken by my friend, Adri (check out her blog HERE), who did an excellent job photographing us. She is especially good with babies and toddlers! Well, anyway, I've been itchin' ever since she took them, to get our new pictures on a Christmas card! 

That's exactly what Shutterfly does, so needless to say, I was excited when I stumbled upon them. Check out these cute Christmas cards HERE, that are perfect for such holiday greetings! There are also some good ones HERE. How do you decide with so many options?

HERE is one that I really like!

We are wearing brown in our pictures so I was thinking that these might go well with our pictures.

Find this next one HERE.

And this next one HERE.

They also have other picture goodies out there for you who want more than just Christmas cards! One option that I think is great that they do is custom photo calendars found HERE. I think that photo calendars are great ideas for Christmas gifts!

Also check out to see how you can get 50 free cards for yourself, HERE! Some friends recently got some cards back and they turned out great! I have totally taken up on this offer! How can you resist? 

A Couple of Hints to the Crossword

6 Down: Megs has been busy sewing

12 Down: We have a ping pong table in the basement that Gary practiced on

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Since it is Thanksgiving, I thought I would list just a few of the things that I am grateful for.
  • my family--my great husband and our little mischeivious boy
  • that I have a knowledge of the reality of my Savior and Heavenly Father
  • cleaning up after a little boy all the time
  • when hard work pays off
  • that we survived the blizzard of 2010 (haha)
  • cars, electricity--all the things that those poor pioneers lived without--I know I would have never survived a winter without these things
  • the wonderful family that grew up in and the wonderful ones that I married into
  • Christmas and seeing peoples' faces light up when you give them their gifts
  • my talents
  • good friends that still hang out even when they have kids and life slows/speeds up a little for them
  • black friday deals--mostly I think it is fun to see Gary get so excited about them
  • Gary's contagious smile--(his Grandpa Schaugaard has it too!)
  • the funny things that Tucker does that Gary and I can't seem to stop talking about
  • that when Gary and I are trying to go to sleep at night we think, "Let's go get Tucker up and play with him!" because we just can't get enough of him
  • honest people
  • uplifting entertainment
  • music
  • our home
  • being a mom and being able to be a stay-at-home one
  • summer time--when you don't have to wear 50 layers of clothes to be at a decent temperature
  • my new sewing machine
  • thoughtful people
  • my computer
  • my camera
  • Paypal
  • when Tucker snuggles and lays his head on my shoulder
  • moments when you start laughing so hard that your stomach gets a workout
  • that I get to watch cable at the gym and that it is literally 2 minutes away from our house
  • when you can't think of too many things you want because you are so happy with what you have
  • my ancestors and their lives that ultimately affected my own

Oh...I feel so grateful and I couldn't possibly list everything. I hope to remember to be grateful everyday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Doodlepaws Extraordinaire!

Tucker (Doodlepaws Extraordinaire) has been such a good boy today. So much in fact that I thought that it was worthy of a blog post. 

I have been babysitting a little boy that is 9 months old on Mondays. At first Tucker was a little jealous because Owen likes to be held a lot. Today, he ran and got Owen's bottle when Owen was crying. He shared his toys with Owen and even tried to feed Owen some licorice. He helped me when my hands were full, by throwing stuff in the garbage for me. He wiped up his milk that he spilled on the floor. He was even helping me put the laundry in the laundry basket.

Then, as if he hadn't shined enough to earn a gold star already, tonight he did something that we didn't expect, HE ATE HIS DINNER! We had Fettucini Alfredo with chicken and broccoli. I don't know what it was. We try to feed him what we eat for dinner every night! I was very pleased with him today!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Wall

I just wanted to post about our Thankful Wall. 

I did a post about it on the This & That Creative Blog found HERE, but thought it would be fun to post on our family blog as well. I am actually super surprised that it has gotten so much attention in the crafting blogosphere!  A special thanks to:
  • Dot To Dot This, who featured it on their blog HERE
  • Tip Junkie, who featured it as a Thanksgiving project HERE. There are tons of other great ideas on her post, so check it out! 
  • U-create, who posted about it HERE.
  • Tatertots and Jello, who wrote about it on their facebook page HERE
  • Pirates-n-Princesses, who posted about it on their facebook page HERE.
  • And my awesome cousins, the Brockbanks. I think they are the actual ones that got this Thankful Wall started years and years ago and spread the tradition to my family!!!
Here's the post:

Since I was a little girl, we have had a tradition in my family to have a "Thankful Wall" during Thanksgiving. This is this year's version that I created!

Usually the Thankful Wall consists of a large sheet from a big roll of poster paper stapled to the wall.

We leave it up from the beginning of November throughout the Thanksgiving holiday and we all get to write down the things that we can think of that we are thankful for. It has been such a fun tradition, and I look forward to the Thankful Wall every year. I even had one with my roommates when I was single and in college. It's especially fun to have if you are the one hosting Thanksgiving Dinner so that all the guests can write down what they are thankful for. It definitely helps keep the meaning of Thanksgiving on your mind.

This year, I had decided to put a little more into our Thankful Wall. I have had this huge frame that I got at a thrift store for like $2 that has been hanging around my house.

It's an odd size, so I haven't been able to find any canvases to paint or prints to put in it. So I decided to do the DIY chalkboard from our earlier post by Kristin, found HERE, and make a Thankful Wall that we can use year after year.

I spray painted the frame white, used some chalkboard paint on a masonite board we cut for the inside (and by saying "we" I mean my amazing husband), and I cut out some white vinyl on my cricut for the "I am thankful for" part. I found some perfect little cornucopia shaped baskets that I added some ribbons to and nailed them to the frame to use to hold the chalk too!

I let my little boy write what he was thankful for on there too, because he was just begging to use the chalk on the chalkboard when I put it up. I think I see a tree in there somewhere...it's fun to interpret.

Some of you may notice the "bloating" listed as what someone was thankful for in the last picture. I had originally wrote boating, but my husband came home and asked me why I wrote bloating down on the Thankful Wall. Obviously he just didn't see it right, but after noticing that, he decided to put an "l" in there anyway, and I just left it there. It seems like every year there is a little joke with the Thankful Wall. It's part of the fun!

Some great ideas for variations that viewers have given me are:
  • use a framed dry-erase board
  • if you have the glass for your frame, you can leave it in there and use dry-erase markers, and even do a cute background behind your glass
  • leave the board up all year long, with or without the vinyl

So now you know how to start your own Thankful Wall, if you haven't already! It will be a tradition you look forward to every year that helps keep the meaning of Thanksgiving alive.

***Since I posted this, my husband has added "Power Tools" to the Thankful Wall. I just had to write next to it, "...and that I benefit from the power tools too!" because he is always busy helping me with some new crafty project that requires power tools. So I've also added, "my husband" to the wall. I couldn't have asked for a better one! Oh the list keeps getting bigger and bigger. There are just so many things to be thankful for!

What are you thankful for?

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