Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Storybook Island 2014

So perhaps this will become a yearly post since it's so fun going to Storybook Island to view all their Christmas lights. That and I learned to take better photos, sort of. Although, the price did go up this year. It was $12 for all of us to get in, but since that supports Storybook Island, it's worth it. 

I made everyone stop before they ran off so I could get a shot. It was a gorgeous evening for this - not too cold.

I was pretty outraged when I heard on the news that some idiots broke into Storybook Island not long before they were set to open and cut or destroyed a ton of their lights. Ding dongs. Glad they were able to fix everything in time. 

Here's the Three Little Pigs House. The kids kept pointing out how the big bad wolf on top of the chimney was dressed up as Santa.

We had the littles all snuggled up in the double stroller - which is a bear to push with the bigger boy in front. But he wants in and out so it worked. 

They're all headed to Pooh's tunnel. This is my favorite part of the park, lit or unlit. We spent a lot of time playing here as kids and it still seems magical. 

Cheese in the tunnel! 

Pretty tree house. 

I climbed over a line of Christmas lights and onto a bench  to get a better view of the park.

Pretty sure it was a full moon that night too. Perfect!

I love this one.

 And one more.

At this point we were nearing the exit. Santa was on the deck of that building with the icicle lights. Long line! 

This was near Smokey Bear's house. Is that right? Maybe that's just what I call it.

Here's the end of the line in the baby area. 

Rock on for having a nativity Storybook Island! 

Since our first walk through was so fast we decided to go again. We took our photo with the Santa who had no line. 

The tree house again because I love it. 

The kids would have loved to go on the new train but our cash was gone. I was glad for that.  

Ready to go home and go to bed. Fun night! 

Samuel's finger - a 2nd injury

Back in October while Terry and I were purchasing our new mattress, Samuel sliced his left ring finger in the store's door (as far as we can tell since he couldn't describe it very well). And now, only about a month later, he injured that exact same finger again.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we went out to the ranch to hang out for the afternoon and Samuel put his left ring finger in some part of the tractor door shortly after this photo was taken. It swelled up immediately and he wouldn't calm down so we took him to urgent care.

They did an x-ray and found a very small fracture in the bottom-most bone of that finger. It wasn't on a growth place or the knuckle so they splinted it and said to come back in a couple days. At that time the doctor looked at the x-ray and said he wasn't even completely sure if it was a fracture, re-set the finger in a better splint and we were done. We took the splint off a few days later, after about a week total, and he's been just fine. In fact, when he's complained about his finger still hurting, he shows me the wrong finger! Clearly it's not bothering him anymore. We just had to be sure though. Hopefully he can avoid hurting that finger any further in the future. What can he do next? Get it torn off completely? Silly boy.
you can't tell very well but that ring finger was pretty swollen and discolored. my cell camera is pretty awful.

mom's advent stocking garland

My mom is crafty. I don't like crafts at all! She is a rock star crocheter, if that's even a word. I tried learning in college and didn't have the patience for. She also weaves fair award winning baskets and even had a business selling them when we were little (those craft fairs were no fun for any of us though I think), sewed tons of clothes for Steph and I when we were little and can always get the knots out of necklace chains. I can't do any of that stuff. My sister inherited her skill.

I told her I liked this crocheted advent stocking garland thing off pinterest a couple years ago, and after she completed our Christmas stockings with yarn to spare last year, I guess she just decided she'd make that advent garland too. And it's awesome! Terry found an advent reading schedule here but we've steadily gotten behind. Oh well. It still looks great.
always a little dicey getting everyone to sit still for 3 minutes of reading...

Here's what the original looked like. She bought some holiday leaves to weave on but I didn't like it. I'm a plain jane like that and I think it's great all by itself. Thanks mom!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

tree decorating 2014

Right away when we returned from tree hunting, we started decorating. Terry had bought a new star and a few strands of lights from Menards on Black Friday and thankfully they all turned out fine. Noah helped me by following me around the tree while I wound each large branch with lights. It's a Kveene thing. We use tons of lights.

This was Evie when we got started. She was totally riveted and excited.

He's a good helper. 

Almost done.

The kids get to put on all the unbreakable ornaments and I hang the fragile ones high up. I just don't see the point of a designer tree or changing it's theme every year. I like our old fashioned ornaments that are full of memories.

Good looking boy. 

Evie is showing off this ornament that a Gburg family gave her when she was a baby.  

This is one of Terry's favorites that he brought back from China - Bruce Lee.  

When Terry came in after hanging the outdoor lights the room was beautifully complete. 

Terry made Samuel the engineer of the train, which he loved. Unfortunately, now Ezra has broken all three trains.

Go Samuel go! 

When Ezra got up from his nap he was mesmerized by the tree. His cute little smiles were so precious.  

Of course, since then, I've had to move a lot of the ornaments out of his reach. But somehow he's still be able to get the candy canes down and gnaw on them through the plastic even though they are like half way up the tree. Little stinker. 

tree hunting 2014

We were on the ball this year for tree hunting. We bought our tag early and headed out the very next day after Thanksgiving. The weather was gorgeous and we had a new plan for where to hunt - up Nemo Road, which is actually extremely close to our house. I had specific directions but since we were worried we had passed the turn we stopped when we happened to see a bunch of spruce trees next to a creek and a bridge. 
Poor kids. The sun was blinding them.

On our way over to begin hunting I was temporarily spellbound by the view from the bridge. Untouched beauty.

After crossing the bridge we trudged east through the snow next to the road's shoulder scoping out the trees down the hill. 

Ezra was wiggly and wanted to walk too - it was probably easier last year to haul him around in his little car seat bucket. Because when I did put him down to walk, he fell over, got snow on his hands and cried. Next year will be simpler.  

 Having seen all the trees to the east we turned around and searched west of the bridge.

This was a potential but we passed it up. Perhaps my brother got it though since they came here too a few days later.  

Samuel liked the saw. 

We walked back to where we started and decided on this little tree. It was just right. Not too tall or wide and pretty full for a spruce.  
Evie's face cracks me up.

It sure wasn't very, I mean my husband is one strong lumberjack. :) 

Victory march. 

"Wait! Stop for a picture!" 

While Terry got the tree tied down the rest of us admired the stream. And the kids tried to throw ice chunks down and break that thick ice over the stream, which of course didn't work.

I managed to get one good shot of all of them. Not in birth order like I wanted, but good enough. 

We were just having Noah take our photo in front of the car like we usually do when Terry unexpectedly grabbed me and did this. Noah said it was "disgusting" and Terry replied, "Just wait until you get a wife. It's awesome." 

the cutest lost Evie photos

While I was making my yearly photo and photo book order online earlier this month, I was searching through old albums and found these forgotten Evie pictures that my sister took! Little Evie was just a little toddler with the very best baby cheeks of all four of my kids. We must have been visiting home, probably for Shari and Jesse's wedding

Unfortunately these are downloaded from facebook because I don't know if Steph still has the originals...

Look at her face! She was just so incredibly cute. Of course she still is, but she was my only girl baby and that's special.

I miss her as a baby.

Contemplative Evie 

And here's the money shot. I wish these weren't grainy but you get the idea. She's adorable.

Under my parents cherry tree. 

Walking around in the grass. 

Big blue eyes, big chubby cheeks and lots of messy hair. 

Rocks are fun when you're a baby.