Ready to Go!

Payson brings his little notebook with him. He got one (each kid did) in his stocking and he has a very long story about Mario he’s writing. He’s very proud of it and takes his book very seriously. I love it.

Ember needs a basket to carry all the things she wants to bring. Mostly her baby dolls and her new diaper bag and anything else that is just like a grown up mom would bring. She’s obsessed with being, “Ember mommy” this week. She’ll even respond to me telling her something with, “Okay, but don’t call me Ember, call me Ember mommy.”  photo 116eresized_zpsb472b55f.jpg


We’ve been dying to go sledding this year! This trip was cut short since we didn’t get out of the house early enough (it was a busy day!) so I really want to go with all the kids again but I need to buy Everett a snow suit first. He was pretty bundled in his car seat but I want to be able to hold him outside of it and walk to the hills further away (they’re bigger hills further away) so hopefully I find a snow suit online. I really don’t want to go to a store and shop again.  photo 075eresized_zps84189dbd.jpg photo 079eresized_zps6a696769.jpg photo 082eresized_zps4d33ddcc.jpg

I took the littlest two into the car before everyone else to warm them up. They were pretty warm as it was but the temperatures dropped fast once it hit sunset!  photo 085eresized_zps6e2f313d.jpg

About all I saw of Allan and the older kids the whole time:  photo 091eresized_zps7453a956.jpg photo 092eresized_zpscdf6efa7.jpg

It was Ember’s first time sledding! When we got there she told me, “I don’t think I want to go sledding. I’m scared to sled!” I told her it wasn’t too scary and we’d go on a small hill. When she saw the hill we’d use she perked up. I sat on the sled and she ran right over and climbed onto my lap. We went down the hill and she squealed and laughed and wanted to try herself immediately. She went down the hill on her own a bunch of times, laughing the whole time. It was adorable.  photo 097eresized_zpsd14b5473.jpg photo 105bwresized_zpsbedd158d.jpg photo 106eresized_zps760f314e.jpg photo 149eresized_zps2c7b0b6f.jpg

The Day After Christmas

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Ember pretended to break her leg and I bandaged her up with Everett’s splint from the ER. Later Sierra did, too. Brooke and Payson wanted turns but by then I was sick of bandaging legs (we used all four bandages and it was time consuming and I needed to start dinner) so I told them we’d do it the next day!  photo 117eresized_zps4b8d3e5f.jpg photo 118eresized_zpse1425a73.jpg

I even gave her a lollipop to “feel better” and everyone kept asking her if she was feeling better, if her leg was doing better, how she was, etc. She was loving it and I think for a while she slightly believed she really did have a hurt leg!  photo 128e2resized_zpsd804418b.jpg

Sierra’s turn, she got a lollipop, too! (Don’t worry, the other kids did too!)  photo 141eresized_zpsa84fb9c5.jpg

Christmas Day!!

Christmas Eve photos of the tree.  photo 020eresized_zps6c11e5b8.jpg photo 025bwresized_zps654ee7d7.jpg photo 041eresized_zpsefb069d3.jpg

Ready to come downstairs to see what Santa brought!  photo 054e3resized_zpsb1519cd1.jpg

This year we took turns opening presents. Everyone watched as each person opened a present and then the next kid got their turn and we just went around and around like that. It took two hours to open presents because we took our time and the kids played with each thing as we went. It was the BEST Christmas we’ve ever had. It was peaceful and calm and happy and joyful and just plain old perfection. Seriously just the best holiday season (though so freaking busy!) and the best Christmas day. I will never forget December 2014!  photo 055e2resized_zps560b25fb.jpg photo 056eresized_zpsce645990.jpg photo 057eresized_zps7cc5dd55.jpg photo 080eresized_zps6958f5cc.jpg photo 089eresized_zps74d0ff8b.jpg photo 108eresized_zps695d254f.jpg photo 112eresized_zps2098e867.jpg

Ember carried that stroller wheel around for a few minutes without even realizing she still had it in her hand.  photo 119eresized_zps2f612b86.jpg

Sierra decided it’d be fun to be a Christmas bunny.
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Everett’s started to get into this position and try to push up into standing on his own. He can’t do it yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was standing on his own within a month.  photo 132eresized_zps06e06ea8.jpg photo 138eresized_zps7511725c.jpg photo 140eresized_zps9a4fab01.jpg

All the kids were so sharing with their toys! They let each other play with their toys freely and they were all super nice to each other and just loving and happy. I was so proud and relieved that everything was going so well!  photo 142eresized_zps21c3cfeb.jpg

I thought Everett would like the remote control car and Sierra’s walking horse because in stores he loved toys that moved on their own and laughed and jumped up and down over them. At home… nooooooo. He started screaming and crying and was terrified of both those toys! It was so sad! He spent the rest of the day whipping his head back and forth looking all around each room he entered to try to make sure neither toy was near him. So sad! To this day he’ll cry if he sees the remote control car or horse, even if they’re not moving!

After an hour or so and safely up in his high chair he was finally willing to laugh about the crazy noisy, moving toys below! (Though about one minute after I took this he got nervous again and started screaming and I had to hold him again. lol)  photo 145eresized_zpsf5a605c3.jpg photo 150eresized_zps9e1cbdb0.jpg

Those darn ginormous toys were a HUGE hit! My kids are in love with those things and take them everywhere they go in the house.  photo 153eresized_zps87bcda9c.jpg photo 226eresized_zpsa283c11f.jpg

Allan ended up helping Payson with his lego sets and I helped Brooke with hers. Fun 🙂  photo 156eresized_zpsf788571c.jpg photo 162e2resized_zpsb2c5d9d5.jpg photo 163eresized_zpseb679dba.jpg photo 192eresized_zps9995c240.jpg photo 194eresized_zpsc4b99a6f.jpg photo 214eresized_zpscf0d365e.jpg

A couple of Allan’s cell phone pictures of the day.  photo photo2eresized_zps6cd8a6cb.jpg photo photo3eresized_zpsd3d1613f.jpg

And then Christmas dinner! I made a ham for the first time.  photo 021eresized_zpsc5342e93.jpg photo 024eresized_zps7a169315.jpg

Loving on my baby.  photo 081eresized_zps96358276.jpg photo 096eresized_zps5e9a5b37.jpg

Playing in the snow!  photo 136eresized_zps64a7d9b7.jpg photo 137eresized_zpsdf320451.jpg

Always hot chocolate.  photo 148eresized_zpsee0853d9.jpg

Ember fell asleep in Everett’s old swing!  photo 043eresized_zps9e87ecd9.jpg photo 048eresized_zpsccb1e7cf.jpg

One morning Ember came into my room and was wrapped up in wrapping paper. “This is my dress!” she told me. I taped the back of it for her and she wore it until it ripped and fell apart. She also found the candy canes that morning and played with them before we all (well all the kids) put them on the tree.  photo 163eresized_zps8a7dbefa.jpg photo 173eresized_zps4e317a91.jpg

New Fish

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Brooke’s wanted a pet for forever. Allan and I feel like we have an entire zoo living with us, what with five freaking kids and all, so we’ve been firm on saying no, not yet. But poor kids, they are desperate for some animal friends and Brooke asking for a fish this year seemed pretty low key. I mean, a fish! Easy, right? So we went to Petco and got her a Betta. Ember was the only one still awake when I got home and she was pretty excited about ‘Gilbert.’ I don’t know where she got that name or why she thought it was named Gilbert but the second she saw him she started calling him that and Allan and I were so amused we let her call him that for the week we had him before giving him to Brooke on Christmas morning.

Brooke ended up naming the fish Tropical because it said tropical on her fish food. Then she changed it to Cade because we told her how we’d had a fish when we were first married and we’d named it Cade. So right now the fish is named Cade but who knows what it’ll be named next week.
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Oh yeah and shortly after this Ember put herself to sleep in the play room while I took the fish upstairs to hide it in our bathroom. She set up a pillow on a chair besides the bean bag chair and pulled a blanket over herself and had quite the adorable little bed.  photo 035eresized_zps0a7928ad.jpg photo 039eresized_zps99938af6.jpg photo 030eresized_zpsc59fff0a.jpg