Friday, December 21, 2007

A Night In Bethlehem

Our ward did something different for the Christmas party this year. We had a night in Bethlehem and everyone dressed in biblical attire and we traveled back in time.

It was really fun. I can't say that our clothes were very traditional. The girls were sporting princess togas but we got in the spirit. Tyler almost wore my pink bathrobe (he said it would be dressing in the colors of his family) but in the end we all opted for togas.

We were given money as we came into the market and there were booths where we would purchase food. Can you see me holding the little money bag?

At the butchers we got some ham and turkey and at Carb's Inn we got rolls and potatoes, etc. The girls liked the bakery the most of course and we made several trips there at the end of the meal.

It was a really neat experience. At the end, there was a short program where we sang and saw the nativity acted out. I was very impressed with the ward for trying this. I know it took a lot of effort from many people, but I think it was one of our best ward bonding moments. I mean, how can people sit on blankets together, sing Silent Night, and not feel closer?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Hope She Never Changes

Everyone knows June has her own sense of style and I keep wondering if that will be the way she is forever or one day she will snap out of it and start matching things. Well fortunately, there is no change in sight. My Uncle has an eight year old daughter and he sent along some hand-me-downs that she has outgrown. I love getting clothes from people. My girls do not care in the least. They are always thrilled when 'new' clothes come their way. The Taufa's are often dropping off bags of surprises for the girls and it always feels like Christmas.
So I unloaded the clothes on my bed and June dug right in asking what was her size. She picked out a skirt in particular that she needed to wear right away. Her little pre-school shirt was too long and it was covering most of the skirt, so I told her to go choose another shirt to wear. There were plenty of options that may have not matched exactly but would have been somewhat coordinated. Perhaps a solid color with a small design. But no, she went for the shirt that may have matched the least.

She thought the outfit was great and she wanted pictures and Daddy to come home right away to see it. She eventually found a crocheted belt that didn't match either, but by this time, who's keeping track. It is so odd to me, but at the same time, I hope she never changes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

In a One Horse Open Sleigh

...or carriage, as this truly was. The Riverwoods Mall has a free carriage ride on Monday nights.
It is strictly a first come-first serve basis and it isn't a very long ride, but the kids sure enjoy it. The carriage just travels around the Mall and then back to the beginning in front of Tucanos.
I actuallly think the travel time is just right for restless kids and then of course there is the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory nearby to snag a treat from at the end.
It isn't a fancy ride but this is our second year running and we really enjoy going.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And Then They Reach That Special Age When...

Okay Mothers, you could end that sentence with so many things, it boggles the mind. In fact I think it would be funny to have everyone submit three and we could just laugh and laugh. But all seriousness aside, I am here for a specific purpose.
My youngest has reached that precious age where she has learned to take her own diaper off. Ever child gets there and some are more fascinated than others. June was really bad about it, and Robyn passed that stage in a breeze. And now Ivory has arrived. We came home from a Christmas party the other night and found her sleeping like this...
That is interesting I thought. When I told the babysitter to change her diaper I am pretty sure she would put a new one on. There are some babysitters I might question (unfortunately), but the one we had that night was reliable. And so that left really only one person. I guess June or Robyn might have sneaked in and taken it off her, but they are really too young for those kinds of pranks. Tyler might have done it, but he was with me, so... it was my darling Ivory.
My next hope was that it was a fluke. But subsequent naptimes, and random occurences in the afternoons have led me to believe otherwise.
The real fun is finding out whether she is wet or dry. In the picture above, she was still dry, but at nap time today, no such luck. And this afternoon, when I found her in her room holding her diaper, I would say she was 85% dry (if you can give dryness a percentage?). It really just means that she's growing up. Not really my baby anymore. Little stinker. Let's just hope she skips the running down the street naked phase. It's too cold for it now and by next summer she should know better, right? (fingers crossed)

Monday, December 10, 2007


Happy Holidays from the girls

Advent Activities

We have had a lot of fun doing our advent activities. I have been woefully poor about taking pictures. This mostly involves forgetting the camera wherever I go. Last Saturday with all the snow swirling around, we braved the storm and went to visit Father Christmas. He is a nice man who looks very much like Santa (he has the beard and glasses) but he isn't there to talk to the children about what they want for Christmas. Instead he talks to them about problems they are having and what they can be doing for others. You bring a card with information about your child and someone reads the information to Father Christmas on a ear microphone while your child talks with him. This lends to the mystery about how he "knows" so much. The kids seemed to enjoy it and Ivory even sat on his lap after being offered a candy-cane. I forgot my camera of course. There was even someone from the Deseret News asking us questions. We may be in the paper soon (who knows?).
Other advent adventures include crafts, caroling, and face painting.
This one was so easy and the kids love it every time. I didn't catch June until after she got back from school (hence the faded candy cane).
There is no treat for this last week. I just didn't feel like making the one we pulled out of the jar, so there you have it. I hope to get back in business this week.
Oh, and how are you doing on your conference reading? I am staying above water, barely, but I enjoy every one that I read. Don't get too busy this season to forget the important things.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Nativity

Well the Christmas season has started in earnest. We don't have anything nearly as fun as Keri's elf Dugan, but we do have a family advent calendar in which we open a door daily and do an activity. The biggest hit so far has definitely been the chocolate advent calendars. We did a treasure hunt to find them on the 1st and the kids delight in opening them each morning (nothing like chocolate for breakfast--wish I had one).
Monday night we put together our Nativity letting the girls help place the pieces. I really like Nativities, but they are usually quite expensive. The only one I have bought myself is the little Fisher Price one (adorable) and I have another one if any one would like to purchase it ($25). I sold one on Ebay last year (for $40), but it would be a lot easier to not go through all that work again.

Regardless, we do have a very nice Nativity given to us at our wedding (there's one good reason to get married right before Christmas). But it is HUGE! In our first two apartments, we didn't even have room to set it up. With a house, we have more space now, but it takes over most of the kitchen island.

I was hesitant at first, but the house felt so empty without it up. So we did it for FHE. The kids loved putting the pieces in and hearing the story again. They like the baby Jesus most of all. Robyn asks to play with it, and that is precisely why I got the Fisher Price set. Our large nativity is not so child friendly, but I will let her stand next to it and move a few things around.
It was good to sit down with the kids and recall the real reason for the season. I love the Santa side of Christmas too, but it wouldn't be Christmas without Jesus.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lazy Blogging

We went to the Festival of Trees last week, but instead of taking my own pictures, I brought along Erica. Actually, Shannan came too and we had a great time. I forgot my camera so she took some pictures and instead of having her send them to me, I thought you could just check out her post. It covers all the good stuff. How that's for lazy. I may hire her full time to take my pictures and post my info. Hmmm, wouldn't that be a dream job.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Okay, I know it looks like this cake caught the measles, but it was soooo yummy. I used an extra cup of raspberries (because I like 'em) and I used a different size pan because I don't know if I have even seen a 10" pan. Oh, and it cooked a lot longer in my oven. I stopped counting how far over it went and just watched it until the middle stopped jiggling. But there you go. I think this one is a keeper. It is one of my favorites so far and the kids scarfed it. Sorry I haven't been an interesting blogger lately. I'll try to get back in form.

Raspberry Upside-down Cake

Great served warm or cold!

18 ¼ oz. pkg. yellow cake mix and ingredients to prepare cake

1 c. raspberries

¾ c. sugar

½ c. whipping cream

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Pour into greased and floured 10” cake pan. Place raspberries over top of cake mix. Sprinkle sugar over raspberries. Gently pour whipping cream over top. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let stand for 10 minutes. Turn upside down on a plate to serve. Makes 10 to 12 servings.