Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Working on the Car

The tires on our car needed rotated, so James did it himself.  He had some help though. 

 Logan bringing out the jack.

 Using all his strength (and body weight) to jack up the car. 

Helping put the lug nuts back on when the job was all done.

James & I both really appreciate what a big helper Logan is.  He's usually very willing to help out too. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Coast & a Birthday

We have not been up to much around here except getting over being sick.  The kids and I had upper respiratory infectionsIt laid us flat for about 2 weeks, when all was said and done.  We're recovered now and feeling much better.  Ready to start a new week tomorrow.  

I do have some pictures to show you from other times, I just never got around to blogging about them yet. 

 We went to Rockaway Beach for Thanksgiving.

 It wasn't the best weather, but that wasn't the point of our trip.

This is the view from our hotel room!

 And this.

We hung out as a family and enjoyed the view.

 Logan loved how close the seagulls flew to our window.

 We also had a special birthday last month.  James turned 40 on 12.12.12!!!  It was finals week for him though.  He had a final on his birthday and then had to study for another one.  

It was Soup for Finals that day as well.  That's when the spouses of all the optometry students bring in soup and bread and the poor, overworked, stressed out students can have yummy, warm soup.  That makes it all better.  

A friend made this cool poster that says, Happy 40th James! with a bike going "over the hill."  In black of course.  We got the whole room full of optometry students to stop eating soup long enough to sing Happy Birthday to him I took a couple hundred cupcakes to Soup for Finals also

It was as fun as we could make it for being in the middle of Finals Week.  

 He also got a new handle bar for his bike.  It's what he wanted.

The kids left a trail of black streamers all over the house.  It started at the front door and went around footstools and chairs, under the dining room table and zig-zagged up the stairs.  It ended at the closet in Taylor's room.  James had to follow it to find their present for himWhen James got there, the kids jumped out and hugged him, of course, it looked more like a tackle than a hug.  That was the kids' gift for their daddy.  They came up with it all by themselves.  

He got another surprise too, an unexpected visit from his brother, who lives in Utah.  We met his parents and sister and her family for dinner and James saw someone who looked like his brother.  Then he took a second look.  It was his brother!  He'd flown in just for the weekend, just for James' birthday!  It was a great surprise. 

Then started James' 3 weeks off between semesters.  We had Christmas and New Year's and lots of family time.  





Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Polar Express

One of the fun things we did this Christmas was to take a ride on the Polar Express.  Unfortunately, the pictures I have are from my phone and they didn't turn out that well.  But here they are.

 The kids were super excited to go on a real train ride.

 They each received their very own Polar Express Ticket! 

Tickets, please!  Tickets!

There was even a conductor to take their tickets!  They each got a letter or two punched on their tickets.

We all got "Hot Choco-lot!!!"  Yum.   It came in these awesome mugs that we got to keep as a souvenier.  

 Then Santa Claus, the "Big Man" himself, came onto the train.  He sat with each of the kids and gave them a "silver" bell.  

It was a fantastic evening.  We went with family and just had an enjoyable evening.  

Now the kids want hot chocolate often and just have to have it in their Polar Express mugs, while we listen to the song "Hot Chocolate" from the soundtrack.  

My brother-in-law is a photographer and he took amazing pictures of our "journey." 

Then for Christmas we got this incredible gift!  A photo collage of our Polar Express trip.

Zoomed in a little.  You can see the fun he captured on film.  I love the one at the top of Taylor shaking the bell to see if she can hear it.  Also the one of her with her best friend/cousin and the one of her on Santa's lap.  The one of Logan drinking his hot chocolate is great too, with the mug.

Another zoomed in shot.

So I think we can all recommend the Polar Express if you ever get the chance, but be sure to take as much family as you can, because they are the ones that make it special!




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas 2012 (Part 2)

Okay, here's part 2 of our Christmas festivities.  This one's all about the presents. 

Well, before I get to the gifts, I had to make new stockings for all of us.

The stockings of my youth are enormous and we can't afford to fill them (even though our stockings were usually filled with things like shampoo and conditioner, socks, underwear and toothbrushes, etc. 


So I made much smaller ones.  Now they hold a toothbrush and not much more.

Logan's stocking has birds on it because that is what he loves right now.  Taylor's has butterflies and is pink and sparkly because those are the things she currently loves.  James' is the blue one and mine is the other one.  

Taylor was easy to buy for this year.  Here's her new butterfly embroidery kit.  (Yes, it turns out I was premature in buying this.  She is a still a little young for it).

 A butterfly purse. 

 A butterfly book (with butterfly stickers and butterfly temporary tattoos).

 A purple butterfly toy, from her cousins.  That's all she wanted this year, "butterfly toys!"

 And lastly, butterfly earrings for her recently pierced ears. 

 Logan made Taylor a "word book."  Its a little book of most often used words, made up of Logan's old spelling lists and some of our own adding.  Logan alphabetized them and wrote out each word himself.  It took him a long time to complete, but he did a great job.  Taylor's used it a lot already.  

 Back in October, Taylor was into "curly" hair.  The best I could do was to braid her wet hair and let it dry.  So for Christmas she got real curlers.  She was so excited to try them out.  She wasn't able to sleep on them though.  Too uncomfortable.

 But they stayed in for a few hours and she got her curly hair!

She bounced around the house and swished her hair around and had to show everyone.  She said it felt funny, but she liked it.  

 Taylor got James a calendar with pictures of her and Logan on it. 

 James got the kids each a pair of headphones for their Nexus devices.  These headphones are especially made for children and have sound limiting technology to prevent the kids from being able to listen to anything too loudly.  

Logan wore his for the rest of the dayHere he's opening his new Lego Ninjago Encyclopedia, which came with THE GREEN NINJA minifigure!  That was all Logan wanted for Christmas, The Green Ninja. 

 Logan using his new headphones. 

 Logan loves birds, so I found this little bird ornament.  It was the only bird thing I was able to find.  He's pretty pleased with it though.  

 Logan has earned some belt loops in Cub Scouts, but didn't have the belt.  We got him one for Christmas, so I brought the belt loops he'd earned and had them in my pocket.  He opened the belt and was super excited.  He started explaining to Grandpa that he had these belt loops that go on it, as I pulled the belt loops out of my pocket and gave them to him.  He was shocked that I had them with me.  "How did you know?!?" he asked.  

 James had a little photo book made of all the hikes that he and Logan had done this summer.  It made a very special gift. 

 James also found a really cool pocketknife for Logan.  It's made out of wood, blade and all, and it's a kit, to build it yourself.  I think this turned out to be Logan's favorite gift. 

 They put it together...

 and glued it when we got back home. 

Then Logan sanded it a little until it was nice and smooth.

He carries it around with him everywhere.

 For Taylor's gift to Logan, she got a empty photo book and put all Logan's little Lego instruction booklets in it.  His Lego papers are a little more organized now.  She was soooo excited to give this to him.  

Logan got James a set of shiny, silver, valve stem covers in the shape of a skull and cross bones.  Logan had told me that he really wanted to get James a Christmas present that had something to do with bikes.  So Logan went out into the garage, "to look around and see what Dad needs."  He came back in a few minutes later and said, "You know what?  I'm really tempted to just go upstairs and ask Dad what he needs for his bike."  

Then just today, Logan came in the house from being outside with James.  He told me he had some good news and some bad news.  

"The bad news is, those valve stem covers don't fit on Dad's bike.  The good news is, they fit on mine.  So instead of letting them go to waste, Dad put them on my bike!"

   Here's another picture of Logan opening his stocking.

 And here's a picture of Taylor when she first saw her new butterfly earrings. 

I think that about wraps up our Christmas.  Taylor took her ornaments off the tree today.  Logan said he didn't want to yet, "it's still too soon."  

So that's my goal for tomorrow: take down and put away all the Christmas stuff.  

I'll also try to continue to catch up on the blog.