Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I loved getting ready for Christmas this year. I did almost all of my shopping on line and used the Freebies2Deals web site to find some of the most amazing deals on things my kids really wanted. It felt like Christmas day all month when the UPS man came to my house to deliver another package. So when it was finally time for the actual day, I was ready.

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve at Jeff and Suzie's house. Since is was on a Saturday, we started early at 2:00 p.m. which I loved so I didn't have to entertain the kids all day. We had yummy food, sang songs, and played with their pool and fooze ball tables, but the best part is spending time with family.

I also love the acting out of the nativity. I thought Miles would jump in this year, but he still wouldn't have anything to do with dressing up of being a part of the show. He did watch it all intently though. The other kids seemed to take it more seriously this year, especially Mason and Allie who were Joseph and Mary. Allie held on to baby Jesus so lovingly and sweetly. It was really cute.

Christmas Morning

I was surprised that my kids slept as late as they did. It was 7:00 a.m. before I finally heard Mitchel get up. We got the rest up and went downstairs to see what Santa had brought.

A new bike for Mason. (He wanted a dark green one, but Santa must have run out of green paint or something)

A Hot Wheels wall track for Max. He also got three other sets that connect to this one.

Miles got Chuck the Truck. He talks and races around the room.

Mitchel's picture just got deleted from this blog and I can't seem to get it back, but he got a Kinex for his Xbox.

I made a delicious Christmas breakfast of muffins, bacon, eggs, and chocolate milk. Then it was time to get ready for church. Luckily, I had planned ahead and made sure that all the clothes were ironed, layed out, and ready to go. I had joined the ward choir this year and we had practiced for months to get ready for our Christmas day performance. It was beautiful and really brought the Christmas spirit. I am glad I got to be a part of it.

After church we opened the presents from Mom and Dad. I got just what I wanted from Mike, a Kindle Touch! I love to read but I hate going to the library and I always seem to wrack up too many fines (I think we owe over $30 right now). The kids got more games for the Xbox, some movies, and LOTS and LOTS of LEGOS!! I think everyone was happy. Mike bought his own gift this year, a blue ray player. Another gift was that I wasn't sick this year. All my boys had a little cough, and Mike had a bit of a cold, but all of that didn't touch me, which I am very grateful for.

After our presents we went to G&G Millers for lunch and opening presents with the Miller cousins. A wonderful afternoon. Then back home for the evening to play with our new stuff and just chill out. It was a perfect day.

The day after Christmas was actually my favorite though. The morning was spent watching the kids build all their amazing Lego creatures. That afternoon, Mike and I went to see "Mission Impossible." Awesome movie!! That night we went to Missy and Jeff's for the Harker family party. We found out that Aunt Kari is expecting another baby, so that was good news. I was able to give Matt and Holly their wedding video (finally) and gave everyone a copy of the movie I had made for Pat's life, including the awesome surprise birthday party we held for her this summer.

I am so lucky to belong to two such amazing families. I am so glad we all live close enough to get together and enjoy being together. It was a great Christmas and I feel very blessed!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Tree Photos

I decorated my tree this year with all new decorations that I bought last year on clearance at Target. I like how it turned out. It reminds me of a "Who" tree from the Grinch that Stole Christmas. Mitchel actually did most of the decorating and I think he did a great job. We still haven't had the chance to take a "real" family photo, hence the reason I didn't send out Christmas cards this year. But one Sunday before church I did manage to get some cute ones of the boys in front of the tree.

We are all so excited for Christmas this year and for the chance we have to be together. I personally feel very blessed and grateful this Christmas season for the many blessings I have in my life. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us and helping us through all the ups and downs. I am so grateful for our Savior and the sacrifice and love he gives to us every day. I am grateful to be teaching my children the gospel and I am even more grateful for their tender hearts. They really do want to choose the right and follow Christ. I am so blessed to be a mom to these amazing young men. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingerbread Houses with Grandma

What would we ever do without Grandma Miller? Last Christmas she bought these awesome gingerbread house kits on clearance and gave them to me to save for this year. They were in perfect shape and so for a Friday afternoon activity we thought we would but them together. The best part was that Grandma Miller showed up at our door at the very minute we were getting them out, so she stayed to help us put them together! So much fun!
We have learned in past years to NOT try to use frosting to stick the walls and roof together. Instead we use hot glue and everything stays together perfectly. Then we have tons of frosting to put on all the candy.

It's fun to have all my boys at an age where they all can participate and they all think it is fun, even Miles. He was very proud of the buttons and eyeballs he put on his gingerbread man.

Here are our finished products. We couldn't have done it without Grandma's help, so we are so glad she stopped by.It made the afternoon much more fun (and much less stressful for me!)

Good job Harker boys!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving California Trip

Thanks again to my awesome sister Tracy, we were able to get away for Thanksgiving break to sunny California. My kids have been wanting to see Legoland for a long time now and so Aunt Tracy made it happen. We left Tuesday afternoon and drove to Vegas where we spent the night at my very good friend Julie's house. She was so kind to let us all crash there. The next day we drove the rest of the way to San Diego. We had a week long pass to Sea World, so we started out there.
The most important thing to see is the Shamoo show and we actually saw it twice. The older boys sat close to the front and got splashed on by the whales during the show. Luckily, I had thought ahead and made sure they all had ponchos with them. We also saw the Sea Lion and Dolphin shows. All of them were amazing and the boys loved them!

Sea World only has a few rides, the most thrilling being Atlantis. It gets you soaking wet, so again, I was glad I had the ponchos with us. The boys rode this several times.

When you get off that ride there is a huge tank full of sting rays. Very cool!

The penguins.

Sea turtles.

And lots of fish!
We had our Thanksgiving meal here at Sea World. It just wasn't the same as being home with all the family eating turkey and such.

The next day it was off to LEGOLAND! The weather was perfect, but since it was the day after Thanksgiving, it was pretty crowded.

This was one of the first things we saw, Lego Mount Rushmore. I had to take a photo since this is kind of a special place for our family.

The rides at Legoland are okay. Not too thrilling and certainly not as creative as Disneyland. But the cool thing at Legoland are all the things they have built out of Legos. This Christmas tree was huge!

We also met some very amazing characters build out of Legos. They have a whole area dedicated to Star Wars where everything was built out of Legos. It was amazing to look at and probably my favorite part of the whole park. Here we met Darth Vader.

Chewey and R2D2

Later we met Harry Potter and Hagrid.

And even Indiana Jones.

The next day we went to Sea World again to see everything we missed the first day. Then it was time for the long drive back home. It was a pretty quick trip with lots of driving, but I know it is a trip my kids will remember forever.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Party

My sister is awesome! She decided to throw a family Halloween party this year and make everyone in the family come dressed up. Her house was decorated so cute and she had plenty of activities and fun food for the kids. We had a ghost, a fireman, a cheerleader, Superman, Harry Potter, and a lame Dad who wouldn't dress up.
My mom's was the best! The green face paint totally threw Miles for a loop and he wouldn't even come near her for the first hour of the party. Eventually he warmed up to her though. My kids loved hanging out with all their cousins.

Steve and Brenda won the best costume contest. Totally hick, white trash people. They even had a bumpkin dog. Hilarious!
The two super heroes. (Isn't Tracy looking great!)
I also was pretty lazy when it came to finding a costume and so I dug out my old Taylorsville cheerleading uniforms. Sixteen years and four kids later, they still fit!!! I was so excited.
Our activities included Bingo, eating Halloween themed food, carving pumpkins and a balloon popping game. We also threw in a little Wii "Just Dance."

Great Party! Maybe we should make it a annual tradition?