Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

As if I needed a reminder on a reason that I love living in Vegas...we ventured into the unknown frozen tundra of Utah to spend Christmas this year. Besides being tough to get everything ready and into the car for our frosty adventure, I am glad that we got to make this trip and spend this time of year with my family. We spent time at several family parties getting caught back up in the lives of my many cousins.
At Great's Christmas party there was a talent show and I anticipated that there would be lots of instrumental and singing talent so we decided to spice it up a bit with our own magic show. Blake and Ethan did one magic trick each and then we had the grand finale of cutting Ethan in half. It was funny. Ethan and I played a Deck the Halls duet on the piano. We tried to get Blake to do his armpit fart Jingle Bells song but he was too shy.

Of course, we had to go to the lights at Temple Square. We went on Sunday night and it was beautiful. The weather was nicer than we anticipated but we still bundled the boys in strollers. I enjoyed the lights but I especially enjoyed walking around the Visitor's Center. The Church is so organized! I felt very proud to be a member as I walked through. The kids enjoyed it, too.

My mom, once again, organized a great time. On Christmas Eve we went to Brick Oven for lunch and then the Alvin and the Chipmunk movie. The kids had a great time with cousins.

We spent Christmas morning with the Mauss' and Santa was good to remember that we would be there instead of Vegas. Ethan got a gear bike, Blakers got a jet ski game and an MP3 player, Keaton got a race track, Darren got running gear and I got a Mac computer. Darren always throws in a good surprise. Up until very recently I have been against getting a game system for the boys. I just want them to play outside and be more creative with their time. But I have to admit that I am slowly starting to think that it would be fun to have one to use as leverage...maybe they'd stay in bed at night or stop fighting or stop giving me attitude or... wishful thinking?
Jill and Justin were good to us and let us stay at their house. Ethan, Blake, and Jackson got a long pretty darn good. It was fun to watch them play football and tackle each other. Little Jackson is a tough little guy. Bowen was his usual jolly self- that kid has such a gorgeous smile. It is contagious. I don't know if Jill and J-Dog will ever let us stay again. Keaton got the stomach flu on Christmas Eve and was sick for the rest of our trip. We actually cut it a day short just to get him out of there so that we wouldn't get everyone else sick. But we didn't leave until after the boys had a chance to go sledding. We went to a nearby school and they had so much fun! Conditions were perfect- the snow was fresh and soft and it had just started to lightly snow. It's times like this (when I'm warm) that I can see why Utah is fun in the winter.

Merry Christmas!

ps- maybe next year if I start in October I will get a Christmas card together?!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Year of a Million Dreams

We've made it a tradition to go to Disneyland at Christmas time. The festive decor, spunky holiday music, and special Christmas effects all come together for great memories. This year was even more special as Jill, Justin, Jackson, and the Francis and Fellows families joined us in the tradition. We hopped from park to park for three fun-filled days. The weather was a bit unpredictable as we anticipated rain for a couple of the days but we only had to throw on the ponchos for an hour or so on Saturday. Ethan had the time of his life with his friends, especially Ethan Francis. He probably rode the Screamin' ride 10 or more times without getting tired of it. In fact, I took him one last time on that ride just before we left on Sat. night and he made time to say "good-bye" to the ride (a few close onlookers got a smile out of this)and then he kissed his hand and patted the seat and bid farewell until next time. Blakers is tall enough to ride some of the scarier rides and he loves them. He wanted to buy a toy at every store. He chose a box of stretchable lizards and snakes and three (yes, three) plastic cell phone. He took turns talking on them, sometimes two at a time. As he was talking to his friend, Trevor, I told him that he should call Santa. He informed me that Santa isn't in his phone! By the end of the trip Jackson and Keaton both had their own phones and were busy closing some big deals. Keaton loved the merry-go-round and Small World. He also enjoyed just walking around while we waited for everyone else to ride. This was the first time he acted anxious about some of the darker rides like Pirates and Haunted Mansion. He's such a delightful guy. The highlight of the trip for Darren was, hands down, getting the Dream passes. Seriously, you should have seen him. I thought we'd won the grand lottery by the way he was acting when he found the Dream pass people and got a pass for the second day in a row. That's right! The man had his dream come true twice. He kept the used passes and plans to frame them in a shadow box. I think they may even take presidence over other important documents like birth certificates and our marriage license. As for me, I just feel lucky to be the one who gets to go back to the hotel for a nap with the little ones. Did I mention that I love this time of year...Disneyland or not!

Thanksgiving 2007

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. From the mom point-of-view I loved it because we got to spend time with family and I only had to make a salad. From the kid's point-of-view it was great because we got to go to Uncle Dean's house and play with cousins. Our boys love going to Coley and JJ's house because cousins are so fun! They have dogs (Keaton was in heaven), a theater, ping-pong, and lots of stuff to do outside. Our cousins are especially great because they are so awesome with my boys. It's been a blessing to have the younger grandkids in the Bryan family because the older cousins are such great examples to my kids. This Thanksgiving Ethan played dodge ball with older cousins and Blake enjoyed all the ride-on stuff. I don't have any pictures of Keaton because he went down for a nap right after eating and we had to wake him when it was time to leave. Could this kid get any sweeter!? After enjoying a great dinner and playing, we went home for a bit of down time before meeting up with our fam again to go to the new movie "Enchanted". I love, love, love this time of year. I'm most gratful for a forever family and the gospel that makes this possible. I'm a blessed gal.