Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Little Ballerina

 Ryley finished off her first dance class, and she loved it.  Sadly she wasn't feeling all that well for her final class when we got to come in and watch all that she has learned.  I was able to see where some of her dancing moves that she has been doing lately have come from, and it was fun to hear all about them making sundays on their toes, or how to manipulate a pizza slice. I never had the opportunity to take dance, and it is really fun to watch Ryley.  I have registered her for another round of classes, I guess as long as she is loving it as much as she does now,  I will keep registering her.

It's December!

 It is finally December, and I am soo excited for all things Christmas.  I just love this time of year, with all of the excitement and fun.  I love coming back to the true reason for the season and slowing things down a bit.  I love a fun decorated bright and cheery house, I just love it!  This year December 1st was a Saturday, and a busy one for our family. 

At my kids school they do something called Service Saturday.  It is a day put on by the jr. high hids, and kind of like a Christmas fair. There is a bake sale, a place to write letters to Santa.  You can get a picture with Santa, do a craft, or decorate a cookie.  All of these things cost money, but I don't mind at all, it is a fun outing for the family and all of the money raised goes to local charities.  I LOVE to see those jr. high students so involved, and I was particularly impressed this year with how a few of them went the extra mile to help my kids through some task.

After we had gotten out fill inside the gym we ended the trip off with a hay ride outside.  I waited for Jordan and the kids, and I froze, I am sure that they were plenty cold on their ride as well.
Then we all climbed back in the van and carried on out to Kananaskis  to find the perfect Christmas Tree. This is something we have done since Skyler was a toddler, and we love it, our trees never look like the farm trees bought at a tree lot, and more often resemble what Charlie Browns tree looked like, but it is a fun tradition, and one we intend to continue.  We were lucky enough to have Mom join us on our adventure, and we scoured the mountain looking for the very best tree. I do think this years tree is a step above our previous years, but we made Jordan scale the mountain above the river to get it, then he had to pass the tree up to me, and climb back up with the saw.

Our day didn't end there though, even though my pictures do.  We then rushed up to my cousin's house to get pictures of my Grandma Darker with all of the great grandkids.  Then The kids carried on to a surprise 80th birthday party for Grandma while Jordan and I made out way back home to get ready for his work Christmas Party.  It was a busy day for sure, but definitely put us all in the Christmas spirit.

a Teddy Bear Picnic

Ethan had a Teddy Bear Picnic at school, and this is what I made for him to take, they just turned out so cute.  I was really excited because it took very little effort!

Ready for Church

Look at this good looking group of kids.  Here they are all ready for church at 8:30 in the morning.

Skyler started Basketball

 Skyler has now entered the world of basketball and he really enjoys it.  He could have started out last year, but Jordan thought that it was too young.  I on the other hand think, if most kids are starting this young it will be harder for him to really get into it if he starts out much later and doesn't know what he is doing.  He is a decent dribbler, now that Jordan has spent some time working with him - it wasn't so pretty in the beginning.  But he is not super strong moving the ball up and down the court.  He shy's away from the ball (after getting hurt a few times) under the net, but he greatest strength right now is stealing the ball.  He literally just watches for his chance to take the ball from another player, and he is pretty good about not fouling the other players.  I have a lot of fun watching him, and I am excited to be able to play in the driveway this spring and work with him. 
(Skyler is number 1)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chocolate Card

Jordan made me this great Chocolate Card that I can include with all of our gifts this year.  I LOVE it, now people will know what flavor they are eating without me having to tell them every time.  Yay for homemade chocolates, and yay for a husband who helps me with my crazy ideas!

Halloween 2012

Halloween was a fun, but busy day for us.  I was able to spend the day with Ethan in his kindergarten classroom in the morning and help him carve a pumpkin, then Ryley and I both spent the afternoon at the school helping out.  During the costume parade Ryley decided that she needed to dance - we were sitting at the very front of the gym, and she started dancing to monster mash, and thriller in front of all 500 kids.  Skyler and his class thought that it was super funny. 

Then right after school I took the kids tot he mall to trick or treat, it was cold outside, and none of my kids chose costumes that would really do well over a snow suit.  They didn't get a ton of candy, but they had fun, and got some cool collecting cards from one of the game stores.  We came home for some dinner and then it was time for tick or treating.  The kids did about 12 houses before they decided they were done, and came home to hand out candy.  The kids were just as excited about giving out candy as they were about getting it.

Ethan was pretty funny, he would decide that he only wanted 3 candies.  He would go to the first person and ask for 3 candies, and they would kindly say no, just one.  He would go to the second house and ask for 2 candies, they would kindly say no and give him one, then he would go to the third house and they would give him 3 candies, and he would give 2 back and say that he only needed 3 and now he had 3 and walk away.  It puzzles me as much as those poor people he gave candy back to.

We had a very serious looking Darth Vader, and fun loving batman, and the cutest little minnie mouse that you ever did see.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin carving

 We did this as another Sunday activity, and it was a lot of fun.  Skyler was the only child who would actually put his hand inside the pumpkin to help clean them out.  Ethan was the only one who wanted to draw his own face instead of using a pattern.  I was named master carver as I was given the task of cutting out everyone elses designs.  I am looking forward to the kids growing up and taking more initiative on some activities, like cleaning the guts, not gonna lie.

Cousins party

I don't get any more kids, but we can leave that discussion for another day.  For now what is important is that whenever my Sister in laws have a baby I am quick to offer to babysit any time.  I crave that baby time.  Tamara never really took me up on it, at least not when Scarlett was a baby.  Jocelyn hasn't until now, and it was soo fun.  The kids were thrilled to have their cousins over.  Baby Brooke was never without attention from either me, or the kids.  We had pizza, and then had a movie party with popcorn.  I think that we need to start doing this more often.  We need to intentionally plan cousin dates, and the baby is always a nice touch, for me at least!

Exe exams

The family all had eye exams on Saturday.  We are lucky (at least for now) that we can just go and see Grandpa to get our eyes checked.  I wanted to get a picture of Ethan with the glasses on his face because it was a pretty funny sight, but I just wasn't quite quick enough.  For now we are glasses free for the kids, and it is just me that has all of the extra hassle and expense of glasses.

Haunted Houses

Mom came home after shopping with Eric and Taneil with a haunted house for everyone to decorate.  It was awesome! I am always looking for fun things for my kids to do on Sundays that we can either do together, or that can keep the peace in our home while avoiding video games, and keeping the tv watching to a minimum.  In fact, as I am sitting here recording this the kids are all spread across the great room with beads and string everywhere, but there is peace (relative) and quiet (again it is all relative) in my home. This day was especially sweet for me because my brother Eric, and his wife Taneil were here, and my brother John came over as well.  It had been the primary presentation earlier and they were all there to support my kids.  John was taking great care to do what my kids wanted including leaving a piece off of the house so that Skyler could eat it (Why this kid likes eating stale gingerbread I will never know!) Everyone had a great time, and my day came to an end when I tearfully called my brother and thanked him for the time and attention that he gave to my kids that day. I am the only one in my family that has any kids (for now) and so my brothers haven't gone through all of the emotions associated with kids, and maybe they never will, maybe it is a girl thing, or just a crazy Melanie thing.  Regardless, it was a fun family activity, and it filled my heart with gratitude for my siblings, and my family.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

no more TV

so we got a new TV on boxing day - the kids wrecked it, it was under warranty and therefore they replaced it.  We got the replacement 6 weeks ago - the kids were in heaven, and happy to have a tv that worked again.  My precious little devil of a daughter decided to spray the tv with the bottle I use to do her hair.  We tried again to see if we could get it fixed, nope there is rust and corrosion and no tv for the Nielson's. I feel like crying - not because I need a tv really bad but because it was 6 weeks old, and tv's are not cheap!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cross Country Runner

Skyler was on the cross country running team this year, and he had a lot of fun.  He is not a super strong runner, but was thrilled with his participation ribbon that he got at the end of his race. 
At his first race Grandma and Grandpa Nielson would run and help encourage him to keep going, and at his last race it was me.  Thankfully Jordan had the other 2 kids at home, it was COLD.  But I ran my 1 km trying to encourage him to keep going.  He didn't come in last, and he was happy so I guess that is what counts.  It was a good experience for him, and he is already talking about running next year.

Thanksgiving Day weekend

On the long weekend we had a lot of fun.  Friday night we were able to go through the new temple here in Calgary and take the kids, and John and Amanda with us.  It is a beautiful building, and I am so excited to have one here in Calgary.  Then when we got up on Saturday morning we started our jouney down to magrath, but instead of just driving to Magrath we made a few stops.  The first of which was at the Aviation Museum in Nanton. Truthfully I didn't expect too much from it, but the kids loved it.  And how appropriate to reflect on our freedom as we were looking at lists of thousands of people who died in WWII in the airforce alone. The kids were able to climb inside one of the real fighter planes, and look around, and then they were able to climb into a cockpit and play with a flight simulator.  I am grateful that for now none of my children are pilots.
We piled back in the van and drove to Lethbridge where we did a little bit of shopping for halloween costumes, and then went to see Brave in theater and pigged out on popcorn.  We spent the night at Sandy and Kims - which for some reason is a favorite for my kids, and then Sunday we were able to watch conference and enjoy a family dinner with my grandma and grandpa Fox. We don't know how long we have left with them, and grandpa has gotten kind of mean, not like he is mean, but the dementia is really bad, and he doesn't act like himself.  Sometimes it is really hard to hear him say things, mean and hurtful things that he never would have said to us.  Ever! I was very grateful to see him though, and give my grandma a big hug - she is one of the best women there are.  Life is good.  Then we drove home so that I could go and serve dinner to 28 missionaries on Monday.  It was a long weekend for sure, but fun, and one to remember.

Halloween Wreath

I really like having a wreath on my door, and I didn't have anything for halloween that I liked.  This was by far the easiest wreath that I have made, and I love how it looks.

Halloween parcel for Stephen

Stephen is still serving in Layton Utah, he has been there for 5 months now.  We have some great fiends who decided to leave us and move to Utah, but live really close to Stephen and have taken care of him for us.  They were up for a visit and offered to take a pkg back for us, so I madly put something together.  I hope that he enjoys it.
The bonus to having a friend take it back to him is that I could wrap it all pretty and not have to worry about it being destroyed in the mail, so here is what he got.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Not enough pockets

Last Night we went out to dinner to celebrate Mom, and we were eating at Red Lobster.  It was all you can eat shrimp, and mom's shrimp was taking a really long time to come out, and the kids had all finished eating and were getting restless.  Ethan started to pack up, and wanted to take all of the little boxes of crayons home, and his pictures.  He started shoving stuff in his pockets, but quickly ran out.  So he started to put stuff down his pants, yup he sure did.  Mom caught that one and informed him that it was not the best place to store things.  Ethan is not one to become discouraged though and undid his zipper on his pants and started shoving things in that way.  I just about died, but showed him that he had back pockets to his jeans and all was well with the Nielson Family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Family Photos 2012

Family Photos.  I love having an updated photo every year, I think that it tells the story of our lives, and the different stages that our family is in.  This year Jordan suggested that we do photos while we were in California and I loved the idea.  With the help of some friend we did find a photographer that we could afford, and we took photos at woods cove which was a really great little beach with rocky outcroppings, and really just beautiful.

On our way south to take pictures Ethan informs us that he has to pee.  I ask if he can wait and he says yes.  Moments later he starts rocking and I could tell that he really couldn't wait (why do kids wait so long to tell you that they have to pee?!?!?!) We were at a light right next to a restaurant so Jordan pulls in, and I unload kids and head into the bathroom.  As I go to load kids back into the van Jordan asks what we are going to do about Ethan's peed pants - what I just took him to the bathroom.  I look at his booster seat and it is covered in pee, I look at the back of him, and he is covered in pee. Well not enough time to do anything about that one - he fell in the water right?

We got to the beach and started taking photos and Ryley stubbed her toe on one of the rocky out croppings and starts to bleed.  Awesome, I can't wash it off in the ocean so I start bothering people on the beach to see if I can use some of their drinking water.  There was a kind couple who helped, but now Ryley is whining and does not want to be put down. 

All in all it was super fun, and we did get some shots that I really like, it was just full of excitement.  Also not gonna lie - a lot of the pictures are taken on an angle and that bothers my type A personality and so Jordan already photo shopped some so that they can be straight and even, just the way that I like things.  Enjoy.