Thursday, December 29, 2011

Randy's Birthday

We are going to post out of order and share some pictures of Randy on his birthday before I write about Christmas. For those of you who don't know, Randy's birthday is the day after Christmas (Dec. 26), and there couldn't be a tougher day to have a birthday. Randy hates it, I have a hard time every year pulling things together, and the boys are in care less mode. So it is really hard. But, we work with it.

Randy wants the same thing for his birthday every year-- to take down Christmas. He wants the trees out of the house, the decorations put away, and the lights off the roof. Well this year it was a nice sunny day, so he was able to take the lights down and the decorations got put away for next year. While he was vacuuming up pine needles, I heard him cursing at the vacuum. Randy hates our vacuum. He cried when our last one died, and he has never found peace with the new one. Apparently it wasn't picking up pine needles like he wanted it to, so I gave him one of his birthday presents-- a shop vac. He was very excited and there were no more expletives flying around our house as he happily vacuumed the pine needles that had covered our floor.
One of our Christmas trees this year.

This year, Mark and Dax helped me design the cakes. Both he and Dax were upset that I was just baking a sheet cake. They thought dad should have fancy cakes like them. Dax said dad should have four basketball cakes (he had two basketball cakes on his 2nd birthday this year). Mark thought we should do an entire baseball field of the Boston Red Sox. So we compromised. I made round cakes like I did for Dax's birthday, but we turned one into a baseball and the other into a Red Sox cake. Check them out!

Dad likes to put on a good show for his kids!

I even invited Randy's sister and family over to have cake and play games. It turned out to be a very fun evening. I hope that Randy had a happy birthday. I won't tell you how old he is because that is another birthday present I'm giving him!
Love this guy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

I am going to be completely honest and say that I often dread making gingerbread houses. It is often a messy tradition and I usually end up building three houses (mine and my two boys). But this year I was actually excited. Our good friends, the Haws family, were coming to make gingerbread houses with us. And the evening did not disappoint. Mark was big enough to design his own while I just helped a little with the construction and Randy helped Dax. I was very impressed with how well all the children built their houses and there was hardly any mess. It was nice to have someone to share it with this year and we had a ton of fun! Each house turned out so unique and the kids enjoyed jumping off the couch for the last 30 minutes while the grown-ups chatted. It was a great night and we hope to do it again next year! I have included the icing cement recipe I use (I got it from Randy's sister) in case anyone wants to use it. It sets up very quickly which is important in building gingerbread houses and it is really easy to make.

Icing Cement
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat egg whites until stiff (about 2-3 minutes). Add cream of tartar and powdered sugar a little bit at a time (I usually add the cream of tartar and about a cup of powdered sugar and beat that all up, then add another cup and so on). Beat until stiff. Use immediately or store covered with a damp cloth.

Dax with his rambler style gingerbread house (the roof only caved in 3 times).

Mark's A-frame gingerbread house.

Lucy with her trendy apartment including balcony.

Norah and Mandy's fully landscaped cottage.

Millie and Zach's bell tower.

Benny's southwestern motif! I wish you could see his car, but it's parked in the back.

Friday, December 16, 2011


On Tuesday morning, it snowed for a few hours. The boys were SO excited. We had to go and enjoy the few hours it was out there. By lunchtime it had all melted, so I am glad we went out when we did. I am not a huge fan of the snow, but I hope it snows again soon so my boys can be as happy as they were Tuesday morning. Here are some of our pictures of our snowy morning.
Mark's 6 inch snowman. He used leaves for arms, eyes, nose, everything!

Yes, Dax is shoveling the street.

Mark is the king of snowballs. He is trying to catch me off guard here!

I think Dax forgot how to sled. 

Mark wishing dad was home to pull him around the yard.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Temple Square

Tonight we headed up to temple square in Salt Lake to see the Christmas Lights. We went early so we could take pictures of the boys by the temple for their temple books (if you want to know more about this click here). Then we headed off to eat dinner at a place Randy'd had his eye on for awhile-- Iggy's Sports Bar (it was so-so). When we returned to temple square, it was jam packed with people. I think it was more crowded than at General Conference time. Despite all the people, the boys loved seeing the lights and for some reason, they really liked listening to a high-school choir in The Assembly Hall. There are lights everywhere on temple square, by the Conference Center, and reflecting pool. We had a really fun time. The only disappointing part was that Mark and Dax really wanted to take a ride on the carriage, but the line was way too long and it was almost bedtime. So we'll have to head back up another night, but next time we'll go when it's not Christmas time.

Mark's temple picture

Dax's temple picture

Someone handed them these free temple pictures (pass along cards).
They thought they were amazing!

Enjoying the lights by The Conference Center

I love Dax's face in this picture! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I love 2 year olds

Tonight we had found a neat Christmas experience called The Living Nativity in Alpine, UT. We had no idea what to expect, so we were unprepared for being outside for two hours and almost froze to death. But it was totally worth it. Read more on my other blog about it.

On the way home, I asked everyone what their favorite part of the night was and here were the responses:
Dad--When baby Jesus looked right at me.
Mom--Seeing baby Jesus with his mom and dad.
Mark--Petting the animals and seeing baby Jesus.
Dax--Finding a penny in my pocket in the gas station bathroom.

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