Monthly Archives: December 2014


Since Christmas, there has been a lot of this:





And some crafting.


Raine got a charm bracelet kit where you paint the charms before stringing them on the bracelets.


Carter wanted to paint too, but Raine wasn’t going to let him anywhere near her charms, so he painted at the easel instead . . . samurai sword in hand.


Carter is in a phase where he only wants to wear pajamas. As soon as we get home, he runs to his room to put on pjs. He’ll even wear multiple pairs in a single day. So, despite being dressed the rest of the day, here he is in pjs in the middle of the afternoon.

Although, the clothes he wears out aren’t much better — he refuses to wear pants, unless they are pajama pants. It is a major fight to get him to put on jeans (and don’t even get me started on the drama involved in putting on Sunday pants). Most of the time we work out some sort of compromise where he can only wear flip-flops if he has pants on or he has to wear both a sweatshirt and a jacket if he is going to wear shorts. I keep thinking that one of these days he’ll get cold enough to realize that Mom is right and he should wear pants, but it hasn’t happened yet.


When he was done, he explained that it was a picture of bricks falling into water. Apparently there was a building full of bad-guys and the Hulk smashed it.

We’ve also ventured out to do some shopping and visit the library.


Upon leaving the library this afternoon, we found our new favorite treat place.


Joe’s has, by far, the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted — and I’ve had a lot of good ice cream in my life. This place not only makes all their ice cream in-store, but also makes their own chocolate for the chocolate ice cream base. Their triple-chocolate ice cream is beyond words! I have a feeling that we will be making a lot of trips to this local joint in the spring — especially since it is within biking distance!

I told Raine that we can go back as soon as she learns to ride her bike — although, I may not be able to wait that long. That girl lacks any sense of balance and it could be years before she figures out that you can’t lean to the side and expect the bike to stay upright! It is absolutely exhausting to hold the back of the bike while she is trying to ride. We took the peddles off her bike for a while to see if she could get the hang of it as a balance bike, but I’m not sure it did any good. Physical feats of coordination just aren’t her forte!


This little monkey may be riding before she is . . . now that we finally got him a bike!


Speaking of Raine’s struggles with physical feats, about a month ago she sadly confided in me that she was the slowest runner in PE that day. Upon further questioning, I found out that Raine is frequently the slowest runner in her class. She was obviously self-conscious about her less-than-stellar performance in PE, but it was a good opportunity to point out how everyone has different talents. She may be the best reader in her class, but someone else is the best runner. I tried to help her understand that she needs to be sensitive to others who are struggling with something she can do well, just like she wanted her friends to be sensitive to her feelings when she came in last. I’m not sure the empathy lesson really sank in, but it was a good teaching moment. And it was a teaching moment for me too. We all know that I’m not the most sensitive person when it comes to feelings — I may have laughed just a little when she told me that she was the slowest runner in her class — so I had to work on my empathy as I listened to her. My natural instinct was to tell her to buck-up and go run some laps — I get it from my PE coach mom — but I reeled it in and showed some sympathy!

Rather than force her into sports, I try to encourage her in the things she loves! Unfortunately, my rudimentary “girly skills” always limit the grand ideas she has. As soon as her fine motor skills catch up with her creativity — so she doesn’t have to rely on me to implement — she’ll be the girliest girl on the block!


Marble runs are more my thing!


Christmas 2014


Christmas morning did NOT start bright and early at our house! Carter had crawled into our bed in the wee-morning hours and promptly fell back asleep, like he does fairly regularly lately. He was not to be disturbed when Raine rushed in shortly after 7:00, so she snuggled up and waited. Finally, we’d had enough waiting and woke up that sleepy head!


The kids opened the presents in their stockings first. When Carter pulled out the geode from the bottom of his sock he got a real concerned, puzzled look on his face and said, “Huh? A lump of coal in my stocking?!!” We assured him that it wasn’t a lump of coal, rather a really cool rock that he could crack open to find crystals inside.


We always open presents one at a time, from youngest to oldest.



This is my favorite Christmas tradition! Mmmmmm, Godiva’s dark chocolate hot cocoa mix!




When the presents were open, we made Belgium waffles with berries.


As we were cleaning up, Carter discovered more presents by the second Christmas tree in the library! When we were setting up the trees, Carter had asked if we would get double presents since we had two trees — that kid is always thinkin’!




Daddy went to work setting up the trampoline . . . with a little help.


Carter received exactly what he wanted; he kept telling us what a great Christmas it was.



Mid-afternoon we had our Christmas turkey, marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, and orange rolls — because it just isn’t a holiday without orange rolls! (And with two ovens, it doesn’t even take extra planning to make it happen — I love this new kitchen!)

(I forgot to pick up green beans at the store, it just doesn’t look right without a true veggie!)

Raine pulled out her new cakesicle maker and whipped up a tasty treat for us before bed.



Raine still expects snow on Christmas, no matter how sunny and warm it is outside. But even without it, we had a pretty magical Christmas!

Christmas-eve Eve and Christmas Eve

After some last-minute Christmas shopping on the 23rd, we stopped by Bass Pro Shop to ride the carousel…


… decorate owl gingerbread cookies…


… shoot the laser rifles and the bow and arrow…


… and look at all the animals. This little animal lover couldn’t get enough of the polar bears, cougars, bob cats, wolfs, and this kodiak bear. All the animals he loves without any scary growling or movement!


On Christmas Eve we settled in front of the fire to watch the Polar Express.



Gingerbread houses

This afternoon we made gingerbread houses after church. (With church starting at 9:00 and no extra meetings, or even callings for that matter, we have all sorts of time for family activities on Sundays now!) Here are some photos of the fun:






Raine’s Christmas program

The 1st and 2nd Grade Eaglet Choir sang two songs during Christmas Chapel on the last day of school. This was Raine’s last day at Temple Christian School — after the break she will start at the public school near our house.



Eaglet Choir singing “Bethlehem Night” (sorry about the abrupt ending, I didn’t realize how full the memory card was before it started)

Raine received the Honor Eagle Award during chapel as well!


After chapel, it was time for the class Christmas party. They ate food, made a craft . . .


. . . and played games.


Then it was time to say good-bye to all her class-mates, especially her best friend Belle (there were some tears).


Ms. Cepeda, her teacher, was not there, but the principal, Mrs. Schweitzer, gave Raine a big hug on her way out and told her how much she loved her.


We walked to the office and officially un-enrolled Raine on our way to the car. We will miss TCS, and all the great teachers and staff, but we are also excited to start a new chapter at the new school. (And to not drive 25 minutes each way, twice a day!)

December festivities, so far . . .

12/4 We bought our Christmas tree! After checking out the $350-$750 flocked trees at the local tree lot, we headed down to Lowe’s to buy this beauty. It just isn’t Christmas without the smell of pine!


12/5 We attended the Colleyville tree lighting. They had all sorts of carnival games for the kids to play, crafts to make, cookies to decorate, a balloon artist…


… and Mr and Mrs Clause.



12/6 Breakfast with Santa at the Lion’s Club. Our former home teacher gave us a ticket to the event and it was a lot of fun. I didn’t get any photos though!

12/6 River Trails Ward Christmas Party. This was our final farewell to all our Ward friends. The Ward members wrote little messages to us on Jenga blocks — it will be a great memento of our time in that ward!

12/12 Colleyville Ward Christmas Party. The theme was the Polar Express and they went all out! It was fun to meet more Ward members and get to know them better.

Raine telling Santa that she wants an inventing kit.

Carter telling Santa that he wants a Tasmanian Tiger! (You know, the ones that went extinct back in the 1950’s.) These kids have seen too many episodes of Wild Kratts!

12/14 The Cosby family invited us to their home to re-enact the nativity and eat cookies with them and the Burgoyne family. Both of these families have a 6-year-old girl, they both also have a 4-year-old (one has a boy, the other has a girl), we’ve become fast friends!


Carter’s first field trip

Yesterday, Carter’s pre-K class took a field trip on the Polar Express.


Ms. Tricia passed out snacks while we waited to board.


The Grapevine Vintage Railroad cars were all decorated for Christmas, it was really neat.


Carter and I shared a seating area with his buddy Jack and Jack’s grandma.



The conductor punched our tickets as we started moving down the tracks.


Santa made an appearance about halfway through the trip.



Carter really enjoyed his candy cane! (Good thing I put some wipes in the backpack, that was one sticky mess.)


After returning to the station, we had lunch at McDonalds, where the kids could run and play!