Thursday, January 29, 2015

See Bryn Sew

Bryn has been interested in learning how to sew lately.  She also asked for a bunk bed for her dolls for Christmas.  There's not really room for a 2' bunk bed in her room so I thought sewing sleeping bags for her dolls would be a space-saving solution and satisfy her desire to sew at the same time.  We went to Jo-Anns and she picked out the fabric then helped with measuring, pinning and sewing straight lines.

Bryn wanted her dolls to be comfy so she picked out soft flannel material for the inside and coordinating polka-dot print for the outside so they would be "similar but not exactly the same."  We even made little pillows for the dolls.  I think they turned out really cute.  And when she doesn't want to use them, they fold up and store nicely in her closet. 

Recently, her doll lost a button off her coat so I taught Bryn how to sew it on.  She did a great job, no knots or tangles or anything.  I don't think I sewed a button on that well my first time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Happy New Year

After Christmas, the fun just kept on coming.  Kim and her kids drove down from Sacramento to spend a few days with us.  We went ice skating again.  It was so cold.  My toes were numb.

It think Brayden, Bryn and Ella were too fast to catch a picture of them.  But we got them when they had to vacate the ice for the Zamboni. 

Baking something with Grandma Jake has become tradition and Bryn made sure to remind her to bring something when she came.  This year it was gingerbread men.  The little chefs learned how to roll the dough, use a cookie cutter and decorate their gingerbread men.  I admire Grandma's patience with her little helpers.

Enjoying their hard work...

New Years Eve we had the Courtneys over for games and food.  We didn't all make it to midnight.  Kim wasn't feeling well so she went to bed early.  At 10p.m. Zander came up to me and asked if it was time for them to go to bed.  He looked relieved when I said it was time.  I laid on the couch a little before midnight and dozed off but woke up when I heard everyone saying, "Happy New Year!"  I kissed Justin and went to bed.  Pretty soon I won't make it even close to midnight.  Maybe I'll have my own New Years party at noon.

It was a good week full of family and friends.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Christmas 2015

Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk we put out for him and left us a remote control car in return.  We've had fun taking it over to the construction site and jumping it off ledges and over rocks.  Justin and the boys built a ramp for it, too.

Bryn thought she was the funniest sister ever when she wrapped a play phone and car for Kylie, "Because you keep asking for a phone and you're going to want a car when you can drive!"

Besides being a jokester, Bryn is into fashion design these days.  We bought Crayola's Virtual Fashion Show for her.  She draws the clothes on the models, uploads them to the app and the models walk down the runway wearing what she designed.

Of course, she needed a new outfit and boots to wear to her fashion debut.

Zander is into science so we bought him a Wacky Science chemistry set.  He loves it. And I like that he can do the experiments by himself.  The instructions are simple and most everything you need is provided.  He's made things fizzle and change color...

...and turned other things into goop.

He also got a Perplexus maze ball to exercise his brain with.

And, of course, it wouldn't be Christmas at our house without Legos and a video game.  Lego Fusion is similar to Bryn's virtual fashion show.  You construct a building, take a picture of it and upload it to the app, arrange your city and you have to keep your citizens happy and the robbers and fires under control.  Pretty fun.

Since I feel like Brayden has enough Lego sets to last a lifetime, I tried to find something a little different.  I stumbled across Lego Crazyaction Contraptions.  Now he can build things with moving parts, like pulley systems and such.  He built a mixer one day and used it to stir his chocolate milk.

Bryn was excited to build her Lego Friends Olivia's House.

The task was a little overwhelming with all those pieces so Kylie helped her out.  (When you're Kylie's age and you get things like moccasins, a swim backpack and a wallet, you have to entertain yourself with other people's gifts.)

Reveling in the aftermath of Christmas...

My mom got us a dice game called Tenzi.  If you're looking for a quick dice game that all ages can play, this is a good one.

Justin got the "Fortune and Glory" board game which is fun but takes a couple hours to play.  Kylie got him the "Pandemic" board game that takes considerably less time.  We like to play it with Kylie and Brayden after the younger kids go to bed.

And that was our Christmas!  I know we're very blessed to be able to provide a good Christmas for our kids.  I love seeing the joy on their faces as they open their gifts.  And I really like having them home from school for two weeks.  Yes, it's nice to not have a schedule that we have to stick to but, more than that, I like being together as a family.  My kids are pretty fun people to hang out with. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Christmas Eve

We had our family Christmas party at the park this year.  The weather was beautiful.  The park had plenty to do, including a field with space for pulling kids on the saucer.

Patiently waiting their turn...

There were some games of don't-touch-the-ground tag on the playground.

Kylie was Gracie's buddy for awhile.

We ate a delicious picnic lunch of Cafe Rio pork tacos with all the fixings.  Everyone went home fat and happy ;)

Christmas Eve night we read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible and then the kids opened a present.  This year it came in one giant box.  

Soft, fuzzy blankets and books for everyone! (Brayden is going through a cheesy smile phase.)

The kids all slept in the boys' room and woke us up bright and early at 6:30a.m. Christmas morning.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weird Weather

Three days before Christmas it was warm enough for the kids to put on their swimsuits and jump in the sprinklers on the trampoline.  I pulled out some dollar store shaving cream and they had a California-style snowball fight.

Zander was a little intense with his shaving cream snowballs.

Weapon at the ready...


After the war it was time to get silly with shaving cream armpits.

And lastly, shaving cream art.

The warm weather continued for a few more days.  Kylie, Bryn and Zander went to Grandma House's in Oceanside and it was warm enough to go to the beach one day.  They did other fun things like take a carriage ride, looked at Christmas lights in a garden, made microwaved s'mores and watched their new favorite TV show, "Master Chef Junior".  Brayden chose not to go to Grandma's so we took him to see "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" in 3D.  The movie was fantastic!  We're big Tolkien fans.  Not a fan of 3D though.  The glasses hurt my head after the first hour and, while 3D was cool in some parts, it really didn't add to the movie experience.

Nine days after the warm, sunny weather it snowed!  It was raining pretty hard when we went to bed and the next morning we woke up to white stuff covering the ground.

There was enough to build a snowman.  But our fingers were frozen...we're not properly equipped for snow.  Those are gardening gloves Brayden is wearing.  It was fun having snow for a day but it reinforced what I already knew, that I never want to live in it.  Brrrrrr!!!