Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nielson Family Pictures

We couldn't let the fact that the entire Nielson Family was together pass us up. We wanted to get pictures done but we only had the following 2 days to do it. How awesome it is to have Elizabeth always so willing to be our fabulous photographer! She found the perfect setting for us and the pictures turned out stunning...which is pretty amazing considering how many little ones we had to work with!
The entire family...
 Just our little fam...
 Grammy, Grampy, and the grandkids...
It was freezing that morning and the kids were trying really hard to be good. When they started to struggle, Grammy promised a toy for each if they promised to be good for the pictures. She delivered with a trip to Target right after we finished...
Doesn't get much better than that!

Thanksgiving 2013

This Thanksgiving was particularly special because we had all of Tucker's family in town. I don't remember the last time we spent Thanksgiving with the entire Nielson Family so it was greatly anticipated! We spent our days leading up to Thanksgiving by catching up, shopping, playing, and talking some more. It was so nice to have everyone together!
Thanksgiving Day was a huge success. We started the day with the parade and food prep at Susie's. The cousins were having a ball and us adults were happy to get everything ready. The amount of food that was prepared looked like it would have fed an army...I think we ate a fifth of it...but it was absolutely delicious!
Our day with the Nielsons...
Cute Sophie was the best babysitter all week. All the kids loved her, especially Clara!
 The girls-Mindy, Drew, Susie, me, and Tiffany
The boys-Dave, Tucker, Tanner, and Tyler
The little girls were constantly getting dressed up...
Getting ready to eat...
The little girls table:
The big kids table:
It really was such a great day, but it wasn't over yet! After dinner, we took the kids to my parent's house for another Thanksgiving! That meant more cousins, more fun. We even did another Thanksgiving Talent Show. Roman told jokes, Karoline danced, and Capri showed a video of her dance. It was all too dang cute!
Roman and the boys playing rough...
Me and my best friend...
I love Thanksgiving because I love being with our family. They are what I am most grateful for. Especially this guy...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Our First Big Snow of the Season

The kids could not wait to get out there, something so special about the first big snowstorm! And it was the perfect excuse for me to try out my new camera...

The snow came just in time for the holiday was perfect!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Karoline's Preschool Talent Show

I have never laughed so hard. This talent show was more entertaining than any other talent show there ever was! But let's not get ahead of ourselves, we need to start from the beginning.
Karoline came home with a special note talking about an upcoming talent show to prepare for. It gave several ideas for talents including reciting a poem, doing a dance, telling a joke, singing a song, etc. Karoline wanted to sing a song and when I asked which one, she replied with "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam. As sweet as it was that she wanted to sing a primary song, I didn't know if it was appropriate for school. I asked if there was any other song she would like to sing. She then said the ABCs. She had known the ABCs for a year and although I didn't think it was very exciting, I didn't want to put the kabosh on a second song choice. Too, it was one less thing I needed to worry about, right?!
So, the day of the show Karoline sang for me just to make sure she wasn't going to do anything silly. She sang it perfectly so away we went. When we arrived, one of her classmates was all dressed up in a butterfly costume. London was not happy about the fact that Georgie was dressed up and she wasn't. She was crying and upset and came to sit with her mom. When it was time to sing a song with the whole class to start the show, Karoline decided to be sad as well. At this point, I didn't think Koko would even go up. She wouldn't leave my lap and kept telling me she didn't want to do anything.
The show started with Georgie, all dressed up, performing a tap dance that she choreographed...very impressive. Some others sang and others told jokes. Then it was Karoline's turn. To my complete surprise, as soon as her name was called, she went right up. She took the microphone and said, "My name is Karoline and I am going to sing the ABCs." I couldn't believe it! She was going to do it!
She began..."A b c d e f g" but then went all over the place..."h i j k..h g s f" and some other random letters. Oh dear. That was not the ABCs. She ended abruptly, got her treat, and came and sat down with a big smile on her face. I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. Cheri and I both had tears streaming down our faces! Her teacher must have felt bad because she turned to me and said, "She did it perfectly earlier today!" So great.
Then it was London's turn. We had finally gotten control of ourselves. London wasn't going to get up either so again we were surprised when she walked right up as her name was called (it must have been those treats!). Cheri had practiced and practiced with her (note the difference with my prep of a 3rd of 4 children vs. Cheri's prep of her only child!) and London was to sing "Up On the House Top" with actions and everything. So, London goes up and takes the microphone. "I am London Ford and I am going to tell a joke." What? Cheri was confused and after London told the joke, something about a baby crossing the road, we were all confused! She got her treat and ran back to her seat. I asked her why she didn't sing and if she would. She ran right back up and started to sing. London must have been confused with Cheri's first action, however, because she started singing the "Popcorn Popping" song. What was even more funny, was she only sang about 2 lines and then started singing her own song about loving Jesus. The tears started streaming again. Annelise, Cheri and I had aching stomachs after that! I bet all of the parents and teachers were wondering how we could possibly be laughing at our kids, but it was that funny!
Such a great show and one that I will never forget!
Here she is and I really was so proud of her...

Halloween Disneyland Style

Disneyland goes all out for Halloween. Main Street is plastered with orange pumpkin Mickeys and the giant Mickey Jack-o-lantern is spectacular. It makes the Happiest Place on Earth that much happier! Grammy was oh so kind to take all of us, Tyler and Mindy's family, and Tanner and Drew's family. We stayed at the fabulous Grand Californian, which made the trip that much sweeter. We had the most incredible weather and it was the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit!
Our first day in the park started by getting ears for everyone. Thanks Grammy!
Dumbo is still a favorite ride and it's even better when you have your cousin Isla with you!
Koko, Nana, and just doesn't get any cuter!
I love this boy. You know he is happy when he lets me take a picture of him smiling!
Clara was such a champ this trip! I swear she never made a peep-she must have loved Disneyland as much as the rest of us! Here she is about to go on her first ride, Winnie the Pooh...
Me and Koko on Winnie the Pooh...she thought it was great!
Clara can't go on a lot of the rides so it was nice to have Grammy and aunts and uncles to take my kids on rides. Here they are ready for Alice in Wonderland...

Karoline loves the caterpillar ride, but she loves her brother even more.
I took the girls on Mater's truck ride and I think they were a bit nervous at first...
...but I am pretty sure they loved it!
Me and my happy girl... always happy girl!
While some of the crew was on Screamin, we took a couple of turns on the carousel...

One of the days was highlighted with lunch at Ariel's Grotto. This is truly magical for the kids. I was worried that Capri wouldn't be into it anymore and had outgrown it all. Karoline was at the right age, but has never been into princesses. However, as soon as those princesses came to visit, they were both in awe and totally loving it! Karoline had just gotten a toy (super random-a plush pea pod with three peas inside) and kept showing each of the princesses!
Even Clara was enjoying herself!
We ran into our best friends!
What could possibly be better than trick-or-treating? Trick-or-treating in Disneyland of course! The kids loved getting all dressed up for the night and playing with their cousins very most...
We got loads and loads of candy but there wasn't much else to do, especially since our kids were asleep within an hour and a half! But again, being with their cousins was the best part...

Such a great trip with this crew of kids-thanks Grammy!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Halloween Happenings

Just as we are getting settled into fall, the Halloween festivities begin. We made an effort to make it really fun, especially because the kids were off track for a few weeks leading up to the big day. Going to see the witches at Gardner Village has become a tradition. It's funny to see the kids go from being scared, to a bit skiddish, to laughing at them. Roman and Capri are past that, but make it fun for Karoline and London.

Here they all are pretending to have hula hoops of their own...
We ate a yummy lunch at the Naborhood Bakery and finished our drinks out with this lovely witch:
I think their favorite witches are the ones over the river. Roman thought the fire hose was hilarious. I even stole a smiling picture because he was that happy...
Look at these two girls looking at their matching boots. Love that I captured these moments of these sweet sisters.

Karoline and London's ballet class got to dress up for the day and Karoline chose to be Tinkerbell. 
Next up, our Annual Witches Night Out! This party is always huge. It's the perfect opportunity to invite new friends, catch up with old friends, and just have a great time with great company and delicious food. I didn't get great pictures because we were too busy having fun. I did have this taken with my phone so it will have to do. (pictured L to R: Liz Boyer, Janelle Olson, me, Kristin Kassing, Annelise Ross and Jenni Viernes).
And yet another Halloween tradition is joining the Curtis family to carve or paint pumpkins. Parents carve, kids paint. It works so nicely this way! The kids creations were just lovely...

Halloween is Here! The kids were off track but were still invited to walk in the school parade. I was hesitant to make the effort, but was so glad I did. They loved it!
Here is my Hulk and witches all decked out!

That night we had our traditional soup/chili dinner at my house with both Tucker and I's families. I love that they are all so willing to come out to eat and go trick-or-treating with us. We truly have THE BEST BLOCK for trick-or-treating. We go door to door around the "horseshoe" and it's the perfect length. All of our friends and neighbors out and we have so much fun visiting as we go. There are always a couple of neighbors with campfires going where we can stop and roast marshmallows, some that serve hot chocolate, and my kids favorite, the Loewens and their cotton candy machine. It is such a great night for all of us!
Me and my Clara pumpkin ready to hit the road!
 And the kids ready to collect way too much candy!