Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

This is part of what we did this Christmas:

This Christmas was a bit crazy for us. We were in the middle of moving. That meant, no tree, no decorations, most everything in boxes, and I was feeling a little blue about it all.

Then. . .

Christmas eve came along. We spent most of the day packing and upacking. We got most of our stuff into the new place and our beds set up so we could have Christmas in our new home. That night, after the kids were tucked into bed, Jim and I stayed up late digging through boxes trying to find the kids' presents. After they were found, we kept digging until we found our Christmas stuff. Jim got the lights and tree skirt out. We also found a few stockings. We hung the lights around the room, and taped an outline of a tree with the rest of the lights onto our new living room wall. We layed our tree skirt under our "tree", and then Jim and I got to wrapping the gifts for our children.

It started to feel like Christmas.

I started getting that excited feeling. The kind of excitment where you want to fall asleep so morning comes faster, but try as you might, you can't drift into slumberland. I couldn't wait to have our little Christmas with our little ones.

Morning finally came and the four of us, with dog in tow, headed downstairs. Tralee didn't know what to think. I think she was a bit overwhelmed and didn't want to touch anything for the first few minutes. She started crying everytime we tried to touch or show her something from her stocking, so we waited a few minutes, fed Tralee some food, and let her wake up a bit more before opening the gifts. Once the shock wore off, Tralee was geared and ready to rip and tear. She was an expert present opener before all was said and done. Hunter even got in on the action. Both of our kids were blessed with several new toys, clothes, and books. Santa brought me a new vacuum (hooray!), and Jim got an old school Atari with loads of games from his sister Sue. Now we have an Atari and an old school Nintendo. Who needs a Wii? Not us! :)

My family back in Wisconsin has a tradition of eating Chirstmas brunch with the extended family at my Nana's house. We always have quiche lorain, cream filled crepes with raspberry sauce, ham, kilbasa, cherry kringle, cranberry bread, and other delicious food. Since we've been married, I try to make at least part of my Nana's brunch to carry on the tradition. I made the crepes, quiche, and ham this year.

After eating all the yummy food, Jim blew up the bouncy house in our bonus room and we spent a good part of the morning playing in it with Tralee and Hunter. Our camera was still at our old place, so the only pictures we have from Christmas morning, are the ones we took on our computer of us playing in the bouncy house.

Tralee was in heaven
She didn't want to stop playing to take this picture
Hunter woke up from his morning nap and had fun rolling around inside the bouncy

I was sitting at the computer and looked up just in time to snap this photo of Tralee giving her baby brother some loves. Melts my heart.
My babies playing with their Daddy on Christmas morning.

We had a VERY happy Christmas. I don't know what I was so worried about.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Very Canadian Christmas

A few weeks ago we squeezed into our green truck, and headed towards The Great White North. Our trip to Canada was for two reasons. One, to deliver a beautiful vanity Jim built for Ross and Judy, and two, to hang out with family and have a Canadian Christmas.

Our adventure began early Wednesday morning almost two weeks ago. We debated which car to drive, and I'm glad we decided to take the truck since it has four-wheel-drive and newer tires. Lucy (our vehicle sans 4WD and in need of new tires) probably wouldn't have made it through some of the roads we traveled. Most of the roads were good, but the closer we got to Canada, the rougher the conditions were. The good news is, with Jim's wonderful driving expertise we made it to Mountain View, Canada alive and well. However, I don't think I've ever been happier to get out of a vehicle in all my life. Our travels took longer than expected since the weather was a bit naughty. Being cooped up in a truck with little leg room, and two impatient children for fifteen hours wasn't my idea of fun. But we made it safely, and I'm grateful for that.

Night one we hung out for a bit and went to bed.

Our first full day we hung out, and watched Jim build the vanity. He did all the cutting and staining at his shop, and then assembled it up in Canada. It's always fun to watch him in his element. Tralee had fun playing in Grandpa Ross and Grandma Judy's garage. Hunter fell asleep while Grandpa Ross was holding him. As you can see from the photo below, Corky came along too.
Here are a few pictures of the finished product. Beautiful if I do say so myself.

Jim's sisters, Nikki, Cammi, and Channing (or as Tralee calls her, Auntie Tranny) all showed up on Friday. We played games, ate food, worked on puzzles, watched movies, and had a grand ol' time together. Jim's sisters are a lot of fun.
I love the picture below. Tralee REALLY loves Grandma Judy or as she calls her Mama Return. Return is Judy's nickname from Ross, and since Tralee can't say Judy too well, she calls her Grandma (Mama) Return. Tralee crawled up by Grandma Return, handed her a book, and they read for a while together.

Hunter and Auntie Cammi
Nikki has a black cat that lives with Ross and Judy. Her name is Misty, or as some affectionately call her, Fleabag. Tralee LOVES Misty. We waited as long as we could to show Misty to Tralee, because we knew as soon as we did Tralee would be obsessed. It took about a day before the cat was out of the bag (pun intended). After that all Tralee wanted to do was find the "titty." This was a bit problematic since Misty sleeps in Ross and Judy's room, and Tralee gets up around 6am. Every morning, as soon as she woke up, she wanted to go see Titty. We held her off as long as we could.
Grandma Judy found a whole bunch of toys for Tralee to play with while we were there. Tralee's favorite was a Beauty and the Beast tea set. Mrs. Potts made bubbly sounds and talked to you when you pushed on her lid. Tralee had to push the lid every time she poured us a drink into one of the Chip cups. Tralee really loved playing tea party with Grandma Return. She would pour a drink, wait for Grandma to take a sip, and then say, "It's too hot!" Then Judy would pretend to spit the hot drink out. Tralee got a big kick out of it. She really loved that tea set. She loved it so much, one night she fell asleep holding onto Mrs. Potts. Even more incredible is HOW Tralee fell asleep. Look below.
She wedged herself between the ottoman and the couch. Silly girl. Daddy came to the rescue and carried her to bed.
Saturday morning was our Christmas in Canada. We were all super excited. I was just happy Tralee was feeling better, because she had a rough night the night before. She woke up coughing, crying, tugging on her ear, and saying "ow!" Poor thing had an earache and a virus. She passed it onto Hunter who cried almost the whole way home from Canada. As soon as we were home I took them both to the doctor and got them on antibiotics. I'm glad I did. Hunter ended up having a double ear infection. Both kids are on the mend now. Ok. . . back to Christmas.

We had THE BEST Christmas morning up in Canada. We were SOOOO spoiled by our family up there. I'm so grateful for their generosity! Judy, Ross, Nikki, and Channing made sure our kids had lots of fun presents to open and full stockings. Jim and I also had stockings and presents as well. I wasn't really expecting anything, so it was a big surprise to see all the gifts for us. We all love our presents, so THANK YOU Ross, Judy, Nikki, and Channing!!!
Here we are waiting for the madness to begin
Grandpa Ross was the presents hander-outer.
Tralee had to be reminded on how to open gifts. She figured it out, and became an expert before all was said and done.

Hunter was just happy to be there
Tralee made sure that everyone had bows on their heads.
It might be really "fat girl" of me, but I was SUPER excited to see that one of my gifts was Hawkins Cheezies. I LOVE these things. You can only get them in Canada, and I crave them all the time. It might have only been eight am, but I broke into those babies right away. I just couldn't seem to help myself.
Below are a few pictures of Tralee and Hunter playing with one of Tralee's cool Christmas presents. Sadly, this gift was dropped and it broke the next day. Too bad. We'll have to find another one, because it was a big hit.

Jim built Judy a crown molding shelf for Christmas. He and Ross wrapped it, can you tell?
The most fun thing to do after all the presents are unwrapped is play with your new toys.
Saturday night we ate a delicious dinner that Judy and the girls prepared for us. Grammy Jacobs came over, and of course we played cribbage that night. It's so fun to play crib with Grammy.

We stayed inside the whole time enjoying each other's company. We would have gone outside, but it was always -15 to -30 degrees. That's some CRAZY weather. We had a lot of fun inside though.

I just want to thank Ross and Judy again for being such great hosts. The food was delish, the gifts were perfect, your hospitality was wonderful. Thanks to Nikki and Channing to for all the yummy food you put together, and for the gifts! Maybe next year Jim will have to build something for you again so we can make the trip up there. :)

So, that was our Canadian Christmas. Just a few more days and we'll be celebrating Christmas in the US!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thanksgiving in St. George

We celebrated Thanksgiving in St. George with some of Jim's family. The trip was quite the experience. The thought of documenting everything that happened is a little overwhelming, not to mention trying to pick my favorite photos from the hundreds that were taken. So, I'm just going to touch on the highlights of our trip.

The highlights are:

- Picking our niece, Cassi, up from school. We all went, dog included. As soon as we saw Cassi we started screaming, "Cassi! Cassi! Hi!" As soon as she saw us she smacked her head in embarrassment. Her face was bright red, but you could tell she loved the attention! It was awesome.

- Being with family. All eleven nieces and nephews were in the same place at the same time. That's the first time that's happened! Tralee had the best time running around with her cousins.

- Hearing funny stories about Jim, and the rest of the Jacobs kids while sitting around the table

- All the yummy food -- need I say more.

- Going to the spinning park. So fun!

- Playing kick-the-can and soccer out on the golf course at night

- Lip syncing night.

-Decorating Cookies

-Going to Mesquite for crablegs

- Decorating Adrienne's Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music

- Watching everyone mug on Hunter. He's just one of those babies you gotta squeeze.

- Going out for Frozen Yogurt

- Tralee going to her FIRST REAL movie. We've taken her before when she was a baby, but she just tagged along with us 'rents. Jim actually took her to a kids movie with his nieces Tandra and Cassi. She loved it, and then fell asleep.

- Seeing my friend Lauren. Her parents just built a home in St. George and she flew out from Wisconsin to be there for Thanksgiving. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to get together while we were both in town. We had a lot of fun talking late into the night on Saturday.

-Tralee's first haircut. Aunt Cassi cut it. Thanks Aunt Cassi! I still need to get the pictures from that. They're on Adrienne's camera. Jim had ours with him, so I used the first camera I saw to document the cut. Once I get the photos, I'll post them.

Our little family had a lot of fun.

Now for the REST of the pictures:

Cousins Cassi, Katie, and Tandra

I like Hunter's little pose on this horse. His little heine is pushed out.

Tralee loved this little horse as well. Always petting and "feeding" it.

We call Tralee and Colleen "the twins." They look similar, and are only a few months apart in age.
Henry and Hunter -- The oldest and youngest of the cousins

Tandy and Hunter

Jim and Kelly

Cassi, Katie, and Hunter

Uncle Dan taking the twins on a walk

Henry and Tandra, the oldest cousins

I love the above picture. Hunter just pulled Colleen's hair! Haha! It starts already.

Jim and Cas

Keaton and his girlfriend (me). When Keaton was around four-years-old he told his mom that he had a girlfriend. When she asked who, he answered, "Aunt Leslie." Since then, whenever I see him I ask, "Am I still your girlfriend?" The answer this Thanksgiving was still, "Yup." I know someday the answer will change, but until then I'm happy about our little relationship.

The older cousins: Henry, Tandra, Cassi, Keaton, Katie

Aunt Adrienne and Hunter

Tralee, Brody, and Lexi rolling down the hill

It looks like Tralee is saying, "Don't take my picture!" She probably was.

Jim, Hunter, and Tralee -- in the middle of a jump.

The twins

Our sad attempt at a family shot

Tralee and Hunter . . . don't worry you won't be getting these as our Christmas cards. We tried.

Aunt Cassi and Hunter

Uncle John pretending to be 12-year-old Jim playing nintendo. Jim used to sit like this, and get mesmerized in whatever game he was playing. We have a picture of him around here looking just like this. Funny!

Katie and me

The little cousins (minus Kelly and Hunter) watching a movie. Brody, Tralee, Colleen, and Lexi

That's all folks. Stay tuned for Christmas in Canada!