Monday, December 28

let's get COOKIN!

after receiving so many wonderful kitchen gadgets and gizmos (including: 4 NEW shiny, light-colored cookie sheets...perfect for rolls and cookies; a candy thermometer...great for caramels; a wooden spoon from my amazing sis in law cathy...oh how i love wooden spoons; an amish rolling pin; and of course, an orange le creuset dutch oven), i couldn't wait to get in the kitchen and test them out!

this morning before church, and consequently before a shower or makeup, i seared up some onions and a roast, mixed in some beef broth and garlic, and let my beautiful little 5.5 quart dutch oven work some magic. it was the most comforting thing after an InSaNe day in primary to come home to the most TENDER, most JUICY, most PERFECT roast ever, all thanks to this little magical pot! oh, i do love my little pot!

Sunday, December 27

let the wild rumpus start!

getting ready for christmas morning was SO MUCH FUN! after J and E went to bed on christmas eve, chris and i had a blast putting together a kitchen set for them from grandma and grandpa brower. we drank bubbly by the tree, opened a couple presents from each other, and went to bed exhausted in the wee hours of the morning filled with anticipation for the excitment to come! i really felt like a little kid again with butterflies and visions of sugarplums!

jack loves to pretend to cook. lately his favorite thing to cook is porridge (like the three little bears, of course!). he puts 6-12 golf balls in a bowl and stirs it up, pours it into cups, and serves it hot! we knew he and ellie would have a TON of fun with a kitchen set, and hopefully we will be eating a lot more than just porridge from now on!
ellie girl adores shoes and it looks like these ones have a little growing room

remember this picture from august back in amish country in ohio?
santa knows me well :)
i had to post this because of jack's smile. i havent ever seen him smile like this before and it makes me laugh when i see it. he is holding a masterpiece from cousin cade.
ellie carefully tucked her mulan barbie where she knew it would be safe
le creuset, thats all i can say is le creuset!!!!!!! YIKES! im excited!

some how santa knew we would be going to ma and pa browne's and he hid our stockings over there, also a browne tradition. he left the kids a note telling them that he and rudolph hid the stockings in the garage and jack thought this was great fun. then he wrapped grandpa up like a big present. what a sport!

when we were in ohio this summer, ellie found a toy at her cousins that she went NuTs over! i saw it at target and let my mom know about it for a christmas idea. she knew exactly what it was when she opened it and has carried it around with her everytime we've been at their house. you'd think chris and i like it because she has become quite the little alphabet scholar these past couple days, but really its just her cute little booty shakin' that we like the most!

christmas RoCkiN' eve!

the leishman's, payne's, and smith's joined us for christmas eve this year. 8 adults and 8 kids. during our planning we titled it "christmas rockin' eve" but it probably should have been called "christmas gain 15 pounds eve". we had an appetizer table, chinese for dinner (complete with 10 pounds of sweet and sour chicken and 50 pounds of pork fried rice), and chocolate fondue for dessert! we also had a white elephant game for the kids and one for the adults. it definitely was a rockin' christmas celebration!

scott and amy were the lucky winners of this fabulous do rag and aaron was the recipient of some "as seen on tv" bumpits. we had a lot of laughs with these.

i think jack needs to learn a lesson in manners from jenna:
this was the only picture we got with the ladies because someone lost our camera part way through the night... i wonder who could have done that... ok, it was me, but i did eventually find it! i hope someone else got more pictures of the adults.
mmmmm chocolate
after the festivities, we got jammie-fied and went over to grandma and grandpa's to read the story of christ's birth and also attempt to recite the night before christmas, a tradition of my family.

there is a story behind these pj's.
we went to bass pro shops a couple weeks ago to see santa. when we got there, jack had wet his pants and ellie's diaper leaked. the odds of that happening any other time.... slim to none!
so, being kind people and not wanting santa to have a wet lap for the rest of the evening, we ran into bass pro, bought some matching union suits, changed out in the car, and headed back in to wait in a 1 hour line only to have ellie scream and hit when she was set on st. nick's lap. i love this time of year!
and yes, the jammies do have bum flaps :)

a little christmas cheer

we went to a local outdoor mall (coconut point) to walk around and enjoy the cool christmas weather this week. the little ones loved the humungous trees they have set up on display.
ellie girl has been so attached to her pappa the past month or so. he is the first person she asks for in the morning and if she sees something cool all we hear is "daddy wook daddy wook" over and over and over! it is so sweet and chris has really enjoyed the attention :)

the best present i could have asked for this year was a potty trained jack. last year for christmas jack received some potty training supplies that quickly went into the closet and werent used until june. we have been working with this little guy since then. we tried everything, or so it seemed. the only thing that worked was to bribe him with a fishing pole from santa. we had tried this before, but from us, not santa, and it didnt help at all. oh well. im just glad to say 6 months later HE'S POTTY TRAINED! YAHOO! and we had nothing to do with it. some kids at our ward christmas party made fun of him for wearing diapers and then thats when he decided to grow up a little. so thank you, whoever you are, for making fun of my son! ellie has shown an interest in it and has had a few successful visits on the pot, but i dont think she really grasps the concept yet. all in due time.
this is what happens during family scripture time...i dont know if we are teaching them the right things...
sleepy heads and best buds...and weirdos...

Tuesday, December 15

a mish mash

here is a little pictorial summery of our past week!

these videos are long and a little dry, so auntie rikki may be the only one who will want to watch the whole thing :)

...for the record, jack can say the whole alphabet, just not when i ask him to. i'll occasionally hear him when he's playing or drawing and he sings to himself. ellie actually has the tune down and tries to sing it too, now if only she could talk...

ellie loves all music but her favorites are anything by the White Stripes and she also LOVES "Take on Me" by A-ha. if she hears anything with a beat, she'll start dancing!

what can i say, she's got great taste in music :)

Thursday, December 10

for kersey dearest

these aren't the best family pics. in fact, after we took them, chris said "do we want to try taking some more tomorrow?", to which i responded, "if you want to get the kids ready again :)". we were hoping to use one for our christmas cards this year (i know i know, procrastinating to the max!), and we will, but the quality just isnt the best. oh well.
for your viewing pleasure kersey:

this was my personal fav. chris wasnt sold on it. so we moved on.

and this was chris' favorite. so i settled. at least it is a REAL genuine smile on all our faces. grandpa was trying to get ellie to smile, which made us all laugh and spit and do weird things.
the picture was too dark, and in the lightening process our skin turned alien-ish. its even worse on our'll see what i mean...