Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Henry Turns 3!

We sure love this little man!  He gives us a run for our money for sure, but he can be incredibly sweet and funny and charming too.  He has grown so much this year.  He's gone up three shirt sizes!  He's huge!  

He enjoyed his birthday.  We had tasty cake, and he got some fun presents:  some cool trucks, a Cars book and....

a "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" sword!  A few weeks ago, Henry was poking around in the spare bedroom (where I had gifts not so well hidden), where he uncovered this gift.  I walked in to find him holding it in his lap, staring.  I asked him what he was doing, and he looked up at me and almost whispered "Mom!  It's a Jake sword!"  I took it away, telling him that it was supposed to be for his birthday.  Then almost every day up to when we left for Idaho, he asked if it was his birthday.  He was so excited for this sword!  

And this year is his first-ever birthday questionnaire (now that he's old enough to answer questions about his favorite things):

What makes you happy?  when I find my cars (they do get lost a LOT)
What is your favorite animal?  Elephants
What is your favorite thing to eat?  Cheese!
What is your least favorite thing to eat?  Usually anything served at dinner time, except for rolls.
What is your favorite thing to do?  I don't know (though if this was jut his mom filling it out...which it is, the answer would read "watch shows".)
What is your favorite TV show?  Jake and the Neverland Pirates
What are you really good at?   (he wouldn't give me an answer to this)
What is your favorite movie?   Cars
What is your favorite color?  Red (like Lightning McQueen)
What is your favorite thing to wear?  His Lightning shirt
What is your favorite song?  He's always singing the theme song to Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Who is your best friend?  Carter
What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?  Be your pal
What is your favorite thing to do with Dad?  Go to Daddy's work (when we go out to lunch with him)
What is your favorite sport?  Baseball
Where is your favorite place to go?  Mikey's house (his cousin's house)
What is your favorite book?  Cars book
What do you want to be when you grow up?  (and this is a direct quote)  "get bigger"

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Christmas in Idaho

We spent a great, though bitterly cold, Christmas holiday in Idaho Falls.  We bought a minivan, so the drive was super comfortable and fit us all (and all our stuff) nicely.  When we got into town, it was dry - no hint of snow - but the temps were freezing!  Still, we braved the chilly temps to head to the zoo.  Harper was the cutest little snow baby ever!  

We met Katie and Nels there, and the kids had fun running around together.

It took a lot of self control for Claire to stand at this distance from the penguin.  She reeeeally wanted to run up to that bird and be friends.

After the zoo, we warmed up with some hot chocolate and cookies with Great Grandma Nelson.

We went for pizza in Ririe.  We got two 32-inch pizzas to feed our group.  That's probably the biggest pizza I've ever seen.

Claire and Henry shared a room.  Originally, a sleeping bag was set up for Henry to sleep on the floor, but he wanted to share a bed with Claire.  They had fun.  For as much as they fight and pick on each other, they really seem to like each other when they think no one is looking.

Christmas Eve brought another visit with the great grandparents as well as snow!

Harper just smiled for Great Grandpa Nelson.  (How lucky are my kids that they get to see so many great grandparents!)

This year's Christmas Eve dinner theme was Switzerland.  

There was fondue!  

Tasty Gluhwein

The meal included Rösti (potatoes with bacon and cheese), salad, and Pastetli, a meat pie in puff pastry with mushrooms and a yummy sauce.  It was soooo good!

For dessert we had cookies.  Lots of tasty cookies.  I made Linzer cookies. Claire took this picture of them (not bad!)

We had a variety to sample - anise cookies, gingerbread with chocolate, lemon cookies...they were all so good!

And we couldn't have Christmas Eve without doing fishy-fishy!  

Christmas morning was fun, of course.  The kids were happy with all their loot.

Henry loved his Santa present, even before it got out of the box.  (That Santa is one smart dude!)

Harper snuggled up to her Uncle Trent.

And Grandpa took Henry out to the garage to see a real race car.  

I think Henry was impressed.

The kids braved the cold to enjoy rides on the snowmobiles.

Henry played hard.  

So did Harper

And then we got a spontaneous visit from Erin!  We all loved having her with us for a few days.

For something to do, we drove up to Rexburg to visit our old stomping grounds.  There are a few things that have changed since we graduated 15 years ago.

It was surprising how much of the campus was unrecognizable.  This (the Taylor Building) was the newest thing on campus when Erin and I attended Ricks College.  It was dedicated our first year at Ricks.  It is now surrounded by newer buildings.  Even the street layout is changed.  

We went into the Hart Building, which, in addition to being the field house, was where we attended devotionals and even the graduation ceremony.  I couldn't believe how small it looked!  

So much has been renovated inside the student center, that we could only figure out where we were by locating areas with original flooring, stairwells, or by finding a brick wall that hadn't been replaced.    Favorite lunch spots and other familiar locations were no longer there.  It was very disorienting.

The same could be said in the library.  But some things, like the stair wells, were the same.  

Our first year at Ricks, I remember having to pay something like $1 per 10 minutes to get on the Internet.  It was the first time I'd ever been able to surf the web, and back then, there wasn't much to browse!  I also got my first-ever e-mail address as a student at Ricks College, and the the only computer lab on campus was in the library (as pictured below, except the computers were on the other side of that glass wall).

Because the Internet was so new back then, all of our research papers and projects were done using books and articles in the library.  As English majors, Erin and I spent a lot of time using these literary criticism books.  We laughed to see them still in the library.  I wonder if they are ever even touched any more.

And at the dorms!

We also drove around Idaho Falls quite a bit.  Erin wanted to get some pictures of the temple and the falls, and she took some pictures for Adam and I as well.

Adam was up to his no-good shenanigans, of course.

It was probably -5° out, but it made for some pretty skies and frozen falls.

And before we new it, our time in Idaho Falls was over.  It was hard to say goodbye!

Harper Turns 3!

We sure love this little girl, and we were excited to wish her a happy birthday.  But, of course, this little sassafrass decided to have so...