Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Santa Claus is coming to town

This Christmas season was more fun than I could have hoped for! Simon, now 4 years old, was old enough to understand Santa, and to really enjoy what Christmas is all about.
Here are a few random shots from the beginning of December:

We got out our Christmas decorations, and the boys tucked our little owl friends under our red Christmas blanket. It was so sweet, I had to share.
 The boys also got to try dippin' dots style ice cream for the first time. It was a hit! They sell this stuff at the grocery stores now and I have a feeling this will be a new family favorite.


I let the boys paint Christmas bird houses. I felt especially brave and let Simon free with my acrylic paints, no more washables for him! He loves lots of color in his pictures and paintings and he added as much color as he could to his cute house.

We chose the washable paints for Ryan. He went at it like a pro. His house turned out so cute!

We added some ice and jingle bells to the boys' houses and mine was covered in glitter! I can't wait to get them out next year to show the boys what a great job they did!
 Our tree. Every year Jeremiah have a fight  discussion about what color of lights to put on our tree. I vote white lights, he votes for colored. Once again, Jeremiah won. (I couldn't find the white lights)
 We have had this tree since the year we got married. I think we paid $20 for it at Wal-Mart. It has served us well.
The boys were excited to put up the tree but they were even more excited for this:
 The Christmas TRAIN!!! They played with it non-stop until the batteries were dead.

I threw in some homemade gifts this year. Somewhere between shopping, decorating and preparing for Marie's wedding and company, I found some time to make some stuff.

This apron was for my neice, Allison. She loves helping her mom bake.

For my sis-in-law Dana and her girls, I made a box of hair clips, pins, and headbands.
 My favorite project this year were the cookie jars. I made one for Randi, and one for Dana. I designed the monograms and cut them with my vinyl cutter. My mom loved them too so we made some for her give as gifts. We made one for my Grandma Udall and one for Aunt Darla.
I also made some shirts for Talyn, a couple of printed tote bags, and  big FAT elf shelf-sitter for Sue. I forgot to snap pictures of him, We call him PJ, Prince Jingles. Hopefully I can get some pictures later.

On Chrismas Eve Eve (Dec 23rd) We headed up to RV! We were hoping for a white Christmas but all we got was a couple of inches of snow outside of Show Low. On Christmas Eve we got a flat tire. :(
Jeremiah, my hero, changed it in no time but the tire was blown and can't be patched so we have to buy a new one.

Christmas Eve night we went to my Grandma Udall's house for the annual party. We had some spicy, delicious, mexican food and lots of dessert. We listened to the family missionaries talk about what Christmas was like in the mission field. When it was Jeremiah's turn, Simon decided to stuff a huge green olive in his mouth and it made him throw up! ewwww! 
After the clean up, we had a white elephant gift exchange. Then we headed home to wait for Santa.

 I didn't get many pictures on Chrismas so here's what we've got.

Simon was sick on Christmas Eve and Christmas and I had to drag him out of bed to open presents. He was happy once we started.

 My favorite reaction of the day. This is the elf, PJ, for my MIL. I think she liked it. lol.
 We had to pack up most of the toys after they were opened so when we got home we opened everything and our house looked like Christmas all over again.

I think it wore Simon out.  He snuggled behind our big leather chair for a snooze.

The gifts were great but the best part about the whole trip was being with our family. My favorite memories always spur from family game nights and just shooting the breeze with the people we love the most.

Thanksgiving and "The 40"

I simply adore this time of year! Thanksgiving through New Years Day is a time filled with fun, family, parties, and presents!

On a not-so-happy note, Jeremiah lost his Grandma Tuck this year. She was an amazing feisty woman who I had the privilege of knowing before Jeremiah and I got married because she lived just down the street from my family. She always loved having family around for the holidays. This year was the first in a long time that some part of Thanksgiving and Christmas wasn't spent with Grandma Tuck. We will miss her dearly.

When she passed away this year Jeremiah's family purchased 40 acres from her estate. The land is near Saint Johns Arizona and it is only a 20 minute drive to get there so we spent some of our Thanksgiving time out there riding 4-wheelers, picnicking, and collecting rocks. About a quarter of the land is sprinkled with bits of petrified wood. We even found some sea shells scattered around.
The kids had a blast pushing around big trucks, crunching leaves, and digging in the soft dirt.


 Our second trip to The 40 was the day before Thanksgiving. There was still snow left on the ground from a previous storm and it was windy and so cold! (Cold for a desert rat like me.)  Once we got out to the land we realized that no one had any fire making supplies. No matches, no lighters, nothing.

So Jeremiah broke out his survivor-man skills and in no time he had built us a fire with nothing but a bit of newspaper and a magnifying glass.  To him it was no big deal. To us, he was our hero. Now I have to make sure there is a magnifying glass in our survival kits.  

Ahhhh, warmth!

Then he went out to gather rocks to go around our fire pit. 

 The kids pushed around their trucks and filled them up with "cool rocks".

"Look a bug!" 
Aunt Veronica knows how to get the boys' attention. She is such a good mom to her boys!

I didn't get any pictures on Thanksgiving day. We spent most of our day with the Hall family, visiting and readying the feast. We ate a huge meal with them and then we dropped by Great Grandma Myrna Udall's house for dessert and a lot more visiting. You know how us Udall's can be. We talked and talked until our kids were tired and cranky then we took them home to bed.

On our way back to the Valley, we ran into some road problems, more snow had started to fall which melted immediately on the wet roads. We were making good time and made it through Show Low while the sun was still shining. Then we ran into this:
It wasn't dark when we first arrived on this scene. The cars stretched on farther than we could see. We inched our way forward as we watched the sun go down and the water on the roads froze to solid ice.
 And we waited. . . and waited. . .  and waited.
Once our line of cars started moving we celebrated in our car until we went around the corner only to find another longer line of cars stopped and waiting. We almost turned around, only the roads were so icy we were afraid we wouldn't be able to. The safest route was to stay on the road and wait for them to open it up.  After about 2 hours of waiting we finally made it past the accident that had us stopped. A highway patrol truck had flipped on it's side on the shoulder of the road just next to a deep ravine. 
Our 3.5 hour trip took us 6 hours!!!
Luckily the kids slept through the whole thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!
(Simon made his headband and necklace at preschool.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Wedding Bells

They did it!

 Congratulations Marie and Josh!

What a wonderful, and busy time of year! This has been a year of weddings in the Udall house. We have gained 3 new brothers in the last 6 months! Mom and Dad Udall have watched 6 out of 7 children get married. The last one left is Jason (18) who will be graduating from high school this year!

We are so happy to welcome Josh into our family. Yesterday he and Marie were married for time and all eternity in the Mesa Temple.  The wedding was beautiful and the bride was breathtaking. 

 diggin' the red shoes.

Josh's family was so fun and we fell in love with them right away. They made the trip down from Utah for the wedding. (The pic above shows Josh's step-mom and his dad.)

awwwww. . .

Aren't they so cute!?! I can hardly stand it!

The temple was buzzing that day. There were 42 weddings/sealings going on all day long and there were brides everywhere! Every couple who walked out of the temple was so full of joy they were glowing. It was enough to bring tears to your eyes.

And we had plenty of family to share this special day with. We missed Melesa and Brett's family, and we missed Aimee and Franc. All of the other Udall siblings and spouses were there!  Grandma and Grandpa Udall and Uncle Ted, and even Aunt Pam and Uncle Bill made it! We were so happy to see each one of them. I can't believe I get to be a part of such a great family! I love them all so much!
(I'm going to have to snatch some pictures from the other photographers to show off the rest of the fam.)

Welcome to the family Josh!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cheese! Take my picture.

Yesterday I got to get my 12 week ultasound to make sure Baby #3 is growing and healthy.

Our little one is about 6cm from crown to rump and was showing off for the camera, jumping and stretching and twisting, sucking on fingers.    So. Cute.

It is fascinating to see how much this baby has grown in a matter of weeks. 2 weeks ago we had a gummy bear and now we have a mini baby!

Hi Mom!

 Baby's legs.

Just after Christmas we get to go back in to find out the gender.

I have a feeling this one might be a girl.

I'll let you know in 6 weeks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby Train

I haven't quite figured out how to tell 4 year old Simon about the new baby sibling that is coming. We have asked him a few times if he would like a new baby brother or sister and he always replies enthusiastically "good!!" 
About a week ago he came inside to tell me that I just had to go see his sidewalk pictures he was working on outside.

He loves to draw trains.

 But these trains were extra special.

He drew his family driving the trains. The biggest one is daddy, the next biggest with the coal car is mommy, he is working on the Simon train in the picture above, and on the left side of the picture you can see 2 little trains.

Ryan, and baby.

I guess our little hints have worked. He knows a new sibling will be joining the family. And he or she is already a part of our train lovin' family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I can't hold it in any longer!

Wanna hear a secret?

Baby Hall #3 is coming!!

I'm 11 weeks pregnant with our little "gummy bear".

Doesn't the baby look like a gummy bear at this age? (This is our 9 week ultrasound)

Pregnancy is extremely rough on me. I've been on 2 prescriptions so that I can actually eat, and that affords me some good days and some bad days.  It was rough with the other 2 boys and it has been even worse with this one. A girl maybe?

Little gummy bear's arrival date is expected to be May 30th, my mom's birthday!!  If we get to have our baby early, like we did with Ryan, I may even get an early birthday present.

In the mean time I have closed down my Etsy Shop until I start feeling better. I am still working on some special orders and even some projects for my kids.

It's hard keeping pregnancy a secret. Especially when I am sick and chubby,  and I can't find anything in my closet that fits me so I end up having breakdowns aimed at my poor, supportive husband.

Poor Jeremiah just takes in all the mood swings, morning sickness, sleepiness, and over all grouchyness,  and gently tells me he will be glad when non-pregnant Jeni comes back. lol. 

Sorry Jabes.
Only 6 1/2 more months to go!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Next time won't you sing with me?

Ryan has become a budding singer. And of course I enjoy every second of it!
He sings all day long but my camera has always been to far away to catch it on video.

Yesterday, he and Simon had spent the morning rummaging through my jewelry box. Simon found Ryan a silver "I Love You" necklace (which he so appropriately named because it has a heart on it.) For himself, a long strand of faux pearls. He stuck them around his neck and proudly asked "Mom, do I look my best?"
ha ha. I love that kid.

Anyways, back to the singing.

I finally caught the two boys singing a duet of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. (Notice they are still wearing mom's necklaces.) It was the fifth time in a row they sang the song so they are past their sweet little voices and belting it out as loud as they can!

(I apologize that the picture quality isn't that great.)

Here's a proud mommy moment. 2 year old Ryan singing his ABC's. 
Smarty pants. I love this kid!! 

Ryan's other favorite songs include:  How much is that doggy in the window? (or kitty, buffalo, elephant, etc.), the Thomas the Train theme song,  and  I am a Child of God.

Simon sings right along and loves making up new words and adding his own twist to the songs. Yesterday he was singing "How much is that Cheerio in the door?"

And who can forget the classic "How much is that door in the window" creak creak?

Life would be so dull without these boys.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lions and tigers and crayons, oh my!

Trick or Treat!
The treat is that I'm actually blogging while the pictures are still fresh off the camera. The trick is. . .  trying not to smile when you look at the pictures.
Simon really wanted to be a train engineer, or a train. Yes, more trains. I mean, I love trains but c'mon, I have to draw the line somewhere, right?
So, a few days before Halloween I sat Simon down in front of the computer with me and we searched and searched through hundreds and possibley thousands of costumes. Luckily, in those pages and pages of costumes, he found one that was as cool as a train costume and simple enough that I could make it for him. (yay!!!)

A little bit of felt, flannel, cardstock, and velcro later we had this:
 Ta Da! The cutest green crayon on the block!
 I am happy to say that he loved his costume so much I could barely get him to take it off.

And if you are wondering, yes, his favorite color is green.

Ryan wore the lion costume I made 3 years ago.  The one I slaved over to sew on all the yarn for hair, just to learn that Simon hated the hat and wouldn't wear it.
It was even worse with Ryan. I couldn't even hold it on his head long enough to take a picture. And when I finally bribed him with candy and trains and he finally put it on for about 2 seconds, my camera battery died!!!
He was SO mad at me for making him wear the "Ryan Lion hat".  I gave up when he started ripping out the yarn hair. lol.

He made the cutest little Ryan the Lion, even without the mane.
He did like his tail. 

Saturday, we threw the annual Hall family Hall-oween party at our place. Everything was kind of last minute since I haven't been feeling all that great.
 These are the graveyard cupcakes I put together for the party. They were scrumptious chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter & cream cheese frosting rolled in crushed Reese's puffs (for dirt) and topped with white chocolate-dipped pretzel and marshmallow "bones"!
Almost as scary as Simon's scary crayon face.

On Saturday after the party we took all of the kids to our ward Trunk-or-Treat. I left my camera behind so I have no pictures of all the fun stuff that went on there. There was tons more food, a witches' kissing booth (where they gave out chocolate kisses), a fish pond, a big spinning wheel, a pumpkin walk, and a donut on a string booth. Simon tried the donut-on-a-string game. So. Funny.

Everett, Keaton, Ezra, Alison, and Bailey all came along too. We all enjoyed dressing up, I wore my pirate costume from last year and Jeremiah dressed up as an old fat man! He had the best costume of the night and he threw it together in approximately 2 minutes.  Everyone thought he was the Ricola man. lol.
Good times.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Si and Ry

Si and Ry