Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 2015

We spent a full week and a half together as a family this month, it was so nice not having to worry about all the extras (homework, school, work, dance, piano, etc.) and being able to just be together as a family without the run around. 

The highlight of the month was obviously Christmas!

We had a great ward party with Santa! 


Tried to get out the house each day by going on winter walks!

I shared a post about my kids sleeping.

We visited Frankenmuth.

We all were a little sick New Years Eve but still had fun together taking it easy at home! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Frankenmuth

Their is a cute Bavarian town called Frankenmuth located a little over an hour north of us. Frankenmuth is known as the "Christmas town" and is famous for Bronner's which is a Christmas store open year round. They also are known for their chicken dinners so we decided to check it out over Christmas break. It was fun to see the town and Bronner's was a cool store but we were not impressed with the chicken dinner. The highlight of the trip was getting into a snowball fight in the parking lot and just being together as a family!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas

We had a great Christmas this year! The kids were really excited and full of energy and at the perfect age for a Christmas full of magic and tradition. Joe had a full week and a half off of work and the kids had a full two weeks home from school so we had lots of time together which was great! We missed seeing extended family and had a few sick days but for the most part we really enjoyed our break, especially the little things like the smell of our pine candle burning, Christmas lights, sitting by the fire, drinking hot coco, and thinking of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

Each Christmas I take a "seasonal picture" of the kids to put on our yearly family ornament. For this years picture we got a few shots of the kids in their winter clothes drinking hot coco. It has been one of the memories the kids live for...they LOVE to go outside and play for a bit until they get cold and then come inside and warm up to hot coco. This year they all had their own special mug which made it extra special. 

We spent Christmas Eve with a few families from our ward. We had a yummy Christmas dinner, crafts, reenacted the nativity and had a gift exchange. We really enjoyed being with members from our ward family and loved watching the kids play with friends. Ali was really excited to be Mary in the nativity reenactment and James thought he was a pretty awesome sheep. 

This picture was taken right before bed on Christmas Eve, the kids were so excited!!

Christmas morning was magical, the kids were so excited! Truthfully, so was I...I couldn't sleep and felt like a kid again only this year my excitement was for my kids. I kept waking up worried the kids would go downstairs and I would miss the moment. At 4:45 in the morning I woke up to James yelling "Look at all the presents, this one says J-A-M-E-S it's for me" followed by Ali giggling. My heart sank as I realized the kids were up and Christmas morning had started without me. I hurried downstairs and was so grateful that they hadn't opened a single present. I sent the kids back to bed but their excitement wouldn't allow for sleep so they played and waited patiently for Hannah to wake up.

It only took a few minutes to open presents and I loved every one! James loved getting a few lego sets and a bunch of star wars toys Joe played with as a kid. Ali loved her vanity and received 28 chap-sticks/lipsticks. Hannah loved her new dollhouse, pretend cooking food and Sofia doll, 

We had a yummy pancake breakfast and spent the rest of the day playing and sitting by the fire.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sweet Dreams

I try to tuck my kids in each night and kiss them goodnight...my very favorite though is when I go into their rooms shortly before I go to sleep to check on them. They always look so peaceful and no matter how hard the day has been my heart is filled with love for each one of them. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Winter Walks

The girls and I try to get out of the house each afternoon, most days we just walk to the mailbox or run errands but one of our favorite things to do it so walk to the lighthouse right by our house. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gingerbread Houses

One of our favorite holiday traditions is making gingerbread houses. We made them with friends this year. Amy made yummy gingerbread, the recipe she used is linked here at: simply recipes.

Friday, December 11, 2015

North Shores Ward Christmas Party

We had a great ward Christmas Party! The primary kids did a great job reenacting the nativity and had a fun visit with Santa. We enjoyed being with friends and the yummy breakfast. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 2015

We enjoyed fall in Michigan and tried to spend our last semi warm days outside. It was a windy month and we had our first snowstorm about 2 weeks ago, it snowed all day and we woke up to this beautiful Winter Wonderland!

James finished up his Flag Football season and Ali and Hannah started Dance! We spent cold days indoors and had fun playing with friends, the girls had a Tea party in the dark and had fun Jumping on the Bed.

We spent a week traveling over Thanksgiving break and visiting family. More on our Thanksgiving Trip here. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Trip

We spent Thanksgiving break driving and visiting family! We visited 7 different states (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Michigan). We stayed with Joe's sister and her family in Missouri for the majority of the trip.

 We spent an afternoon visiting my Grandpa & Grandma Riches in Kansas, their cow had a baby calf while we were there which was AWESOME, they named him Porter James. We had a lot of fun feeding the cows and riding grandpa's tractor and even got to go on a hay ride. I learned how to make pie's with my grandma and we ate them for Thanksgiving. 

We enjoyed staying with Joe's sister Becca and her family. The kids had so much fun playing together and Becca did a great job with Thanksgiving dinner. It was fun to be with family on Thanksgiving and we stuffed ourselves full with ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, stuffing, cookies and pie. 

We spent an evening with my Grandma and Grandpa Smith and their dogs in Kansas Friday night. We enjoyed sitting by the fire and visiting while the kids played with the dogs and toys. Hannah was mesmerized by the koo koo clock. We also enjoyed a yummy dinner together. 

We spent a late night with my sister and her family in Iowa before heading home. It was a quick visit but so much fun. The kids love being with their cousins and I loved seeing them.