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A little diddy about Carter

Carter is such a character! He has been killing us lately with some of his antics. Like the other day when I heard hysterical laughing coming from the kitchen and went out to find this . . .

Carter had a bowl full of soapy water and was rubbing the bubbles all over his belly. It was a MESS, but how do you get mad when you’re laughing too hard to talk?

He has been a big fan of dressing up lately, too. Here he is working on his workbooks while wearing his hat and Swiper mask — “What? It helps me concentrate.” (Around here, fleece hats are considered dress up since it’s too hot to wear them outside!!)

This video is my favorite. He had just come out with his new jammies on and was demonstrating exactly what that bear on the front was doing. The laughing fit in the middle was a result of Daddy coming at him with “tickle fingers” — love that snort! His face and little clap at the end kill me every time.

[Video taken Nov. 11, 2012]

Thanksgiving week — Fort Worth Parade of Lights

Friday was a beautiful day and we headed downtown to the Fort Worth Parade of Lights. We found ourselves a great seat — despite only getting there a few minutes early — and pulled out the glow sticks.

The kids loved these glasses.

This parade is so much fun to watch. (These photos are from the newspaper — mine didn’t turn out because of the lighting.)

Carter loved the horses. As soon as one pack passed he started telling me that he wanted to see “more horseys.”

Thanksgiving week — the big day

Since Thanksgiving was just going to be the four of us this year, I decided to make it as simple and relaxing as possible . . . so we all could enjoy it. To accomplish this, I decided to only make the side dishes that we really love. This would cut down on effort as well as allow us to eat more of the good stuff without getting too full on the OK-but-not-my-favorite stuff.

Our three side dishes included orange rolls (because it just isn’t Thanksgiving without those), marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes (because we just don’t have those any other time during the year), and green-bean casserole (not something I grew up with, but something I recently realized that I love). DJ was in charge of the turkey and selected a nice small turkey breast.

In keeping with my goal to make Thanksgiving easy, I made two of the sides ahead of time — sweet potatoes on Tuesday, green beans on Wednesday — and had them sitting in the fridge, ready to go into the oven. First thing Thursday, DJ got the turkey into the slow-cooker. Then we all headed out to the turkey bowl.

It was really nice weather and the kids and I had fun playing soccer while Daddy played football with the old men.

When we got home, the only food left to make were the orange rolls. The kids had fun helping.

By 3:00, it was finally ready. Yummy!

Unfortunately, we were just a tad too late for Carter! I guess we should have tried to squeeze in a nap before dinner.

We had a yummy strawberry-rhubarb pie later in the evening with Nancy Walton, whose husband was working on Thanksgiving, and that completed our simple and delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Here are the things that went on our Thankful Tree this year:
Raine – Momma, my room
Carter – Daddy, toys
Momma – Stay home with my babies
Daddy – Happy family

Thanksgiving week — ICE!

We stayed home this Thanksgiving and spent the week having fun with each other. It was a fabulous week.

Wednesday evening we headed up to Grapevine to see ICE! at the Gaylord Texan. What an AMAZING display! They set up a tent with massive refrigeration units, drop the temp down to 15*, then truck in two-million pounds of ice and some Chinese sculptors. The theme was DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar.

Our first stop was the coat check where they issued us each a coat. (This is Texas after all, we don’t have the kind of gear you need to be comfortable in that climate. It was in the upper 70’s outside. We couldn’t even put on our fleece jackets until we were inside where it was cool.)

Did I already mention that the sculptures were AMAZING!?!!

Family shot.

Raine loved the ice slides and went down over and over.

Carter loved it too. He had a little too much bum-friction though; he had to lay down and scoot himself with his feet. It was hilarious to watch. He thought it was great.

The final room featured a beautiful, crystal-clear nativity with the Christmas story playing over the speaker system.

After we finished ICE, we walked around the atrium looking at all the Christmas decorations.

This life-size gingerbread house was very impressive. It was made from 2100 bricks of real gingerbread, 1000 pounds of sugar, and 50 gallons of icing.

The kids loved all the train displays.

What an AMAZING outing!

Proud Primary-program parents!!

We finally have a child old enough to participate in the annual Primary Program! Yesterday was Raine’s debut performance and she did a fabulous job.

For the program this year, each child was given a topic and then wrote their own speaking part. Raine’s topic was the Word of Wisdom. I sat down with her to work on it and this is how the conversation went:
Me: “What is the Word of Wisdom, do you remember?”
Raine, with her best ‘why-mommy’ face: “Why did Jesus tell them to drink wine?”
Where did that come from? I didn’t even expect her to remember that the Word of Wisdom was about food, let alone to have some deep theological questions.
Me: “Um. Uh. Well. Um. How about you go ask your dad?”
The look on her face told me that wasn’t going to work so I had to come up with something quick. Unfortunately, I had never heard an explanation that I really believed . . . so I made one up.
Me: “Well, because back then they didn’t have refrigerators to keep their juice cold. So after they made the juice they turned it into wine so it wouldn’t go bad. But today we have fridges so we can just drink juice.”
I thought it sounded pretty good, and Raine seemed to buy it.

The part she came up with was: “I choose the right like Nephi by eating good food and not eating bad things. Heavenly Father blesses us to be healthy when we obey Him.”

During the program, we had the Junior primary kids stand along the banister, instead of at the pulpit, when they said their parts so parents could see them better (and so we could control the mic better). I was helping the Sunbeam class during the program and so held the mic as Raine recited her part . . . perfectly! . . . from memory! After that, the entire primary sang “Wise Man, Foolish Man” while the Sunbeams did the actions up front. Raine was a little more reserved than she had been in practice, but she still got those flood hands WAY up above her head. In practice, she and George looked like they were leading a Pentecostal revival during that song, it was hilarious. Raine is such a performer!

This was also my first Primary Program as a leader. Unfortunately, it was a “baptism by immersion”! I was asked to write the script, which was more just assigning topics and staying on top of parents to help their children, so it wasn’t too bad. But then, just as we were getting down to crunch-time, our president had a baby.

I haven’t been involved in a Primary Program since I was in the program as a child, so I had NO IDEA how things were supposed to run! Fortunately, the 2nd Counselor had been involved somewhat recently so we were able to wing-it pretty well. I think it all worked out OK in the end — I don’t know for sure, like I said, I was sitting with the Sunbeams so I really didn’t see much of it. DJ said it was the BEST performance he has ever seen . . . but he may be a little biased!

Halloween 2012

Here we are at our Ward’s first-ever trunk-or-treat.

Raine loves dressing up so Halloween was right up her alley. Several weeks ago, she told me that she wanted to be a pink bunny for Halloween. I don’t know where the idea came from but it was a good one — i.e. easy to make — so I did some google searching and made it happen. She wore her costume all day at school and then couldn’t wait to put it on again to go to the church.

Carter, on the other hand, was not so keen on dressing up. For school, I only managed to get his t-shirt on him. He put on his cape for the trunk-or-treat, but just wore shorts along with it. Here he is with his favorite babysitter Savannah (“Nana”) the super-nerd. They’re so cute together!

Good thing it was 80* on Halloween so Daddy could sport his island garb.

Grandma and Grandpa Anderson didn’t dress up so they were the designated candy-hander-outers.

October 2012 photo dump

Life has been a little busy around here this month with all the new cases I’ve been appointed to, not to mention preparing for the primary program while our president is on maternity leave and trying to enjoy the gorgeous weather. As a result, the month will be summed up with yet another photo dump.

10/2 – I’m not sure why the kids were playing outside in their jammies, but here they are one morning picking leaves for “supper.”

10/4 – Daddy took the kids “fishing” at our neighborhood lake. (Is it really fishing if you are using a fish-shaped weight on the end of your line rather than a hook??) The kids loved it and no one got injured, so it was a successful outing!

10/4 – Family movie night . . . complete with popcorn!

10/6 – Ice cream outing while Daddy was at the Priesthood session.

10/8 – Nice day for a trip to the zoo.

10/14 – Carter figured out how to use the camera a few weeks ago so now I REALLY find a lot of randomness on my memory stick. Every once in a while though, amid the numerous shots of household furnishings, I find a cute one that he has taken.

10/22 – Speaking of randomness . . .

10/25 – The weather can be a little variable this time of year. But 80* in the morning dropping to 60* in the afternoon isn’t going to slow us down. We just throw on some cold weather gear with our shorts and we’re off to play.

September 2012 photo dump

I feel like I’ve been failing to record our everyday life lately. So to make up for it, here is a giant photo dump from my phone to capture the everyday “us.”

We have been reading a lot of books, like always. (I’m lovin’ these choo-choo underpants!!)

It cooled off enough for us to venture out to the zoo to see all the new babies. Here is Asha, the greater one-horned rhino.

And Tatu, the zoo’s new baby giraffe.

There were days when we played so hard that we literally dropped where we stood.

And there were days when we stopped to smell the roses (growing in our backyard).

We spent time with our friends (especially Hudson and Cade since their mom was nine-months pregnant).

Daddy converted Carter’s crib into a toddler bed. After that, we never knew where we would find these two kids when we checked on them before going to bed.

I felt like we made a million cupcakes the week of Raine’s fourth birthday — some for school, her real birthday, birthday party. The kids didn’t mind having plenty of beaters to lick!

Raine has loved her new dollhouse.

Carter gets in on the dollhouse action too. He likes to push the button on the fireplace that plays music and then bops around to the tune.

We have been doing plenty of bike riding in the evenings.

We dog-sat for our neighbors and the kids thought they had died and gone to heaven. All Raine talked about was taking care of Casey. She learned all his commands and eventually he even started listening to her . . . sort of. Carter wasn’t so sure about Casey at first, but after a couple days they were best friends.

Raine’s 4th birthday party

Many, many months ago Raine informed me that her birthday party this year was going to be at Leapin’ Lizards bounce place. Why? Because she wanted to dance with the lizard. She had seen a group dance with him on one of her visits and she decided right then and there that she was going to dance with him too.

She never wavered in her determination to dance with the lizard, so I booked the party. I didn’t want a huge party so we only invited a few of her closest friends from church and school. They started out jumping on the inflatables.
Raine, Carter, Zachary, and William

Finally, her big moment arrived . . . Ziggy was in the house!
Elyse, Carter, Daddy, Raine, Ziggy, Hudson, Boston, and Cade (some of the kids were a little leery about that big lizard and didn’t want to get too close)

Can’t you see the excited anticipation on Raine’s face? She obviously hides it well. Talking to her about it afterward, she told me that dancing with Ziggy was the best moment of her life — she was all smiles and animated. In the moment however, she was all business.

After the dance we retired to the party room for some pizza and cake.

Then they inflated the giant throne for her to sit on as she opened the presents — she thought that was pretty neat.

Here are a couple video clips. In the first one, watch Carter’s nose as he gets to the bottom of the slide. The second one is Raine’s big moment — unfortunately, cut short when the camera ran out of space on the memory card. The third one is her with all her party guests.

Raine’s big number 4!!

Raine turned four on the 21st and couldn’t have been any more excited!

We went to the zoo that morning to kick off our celebration. We rode the train . . .

. . . and the carousel.

We petted the goat . . .

. . . and climbed the African termite mound.

That evening, after a dinner including apples with peanut butter — Raine’s request — we opened presents.

Raine received a doll house with loads of furniture, a doctor kit, and . . .

. . . a big-girl bike!

Raine is an extremely bright, right-brained, sweet-heart of a girl. She loves school and playing with her friends. She asks questions constantly; she wants to know about everything. She is always pretending and has an incredible imagination. School, house, and primary are her favorite things to play. She loves doing crafts and art projects. She is the sweetest big sister and is always looking out for her little brother — who absolutely adores her. She is very independent and a big helper. We sure do love our Raine-bug!