Wednesday, December 10, 2014

christmas stuff.

some of the christmasy things we have been up to recently are:

a few weekends ago, we went to my christmas work party.
matt isn't a huge party person, but even he would agree it was a really fun night.
we got to get dressed up all snazzy and go out to a nice restaurant downtown.

we got one of those lego advent calendars for the boys this year.
we are super brutal at remembering to open it every day. suuUuper brutal.
but, when we do remember, it is pretty exciting. our boys are lego freaks!

we have opted out of the elf on the shelf thing again this year.
chet never really bought it anyways.
and, seeing as how it we can't even remember to open an advent calendar, it leads me to believe we wouldn't remember to move that dang elf!

we set up our tree a couple weeks ago.
it is from IKEA. so it fits in really nicely with everything else in our house that is also from there.
it's a real tree, as per matt's request.
i have always been somewhat against the idea of cutting down a perfectly good tree just to use as a decoration for a couple weeks.. but i will reluctantly admit it is nice having a real one.
oh my word, i despise the amount of needles it is constantly shedding!
but i love how dorky and imperfect it is. especially with all our homemade decorations on it.

we went to our ward christmas party this past weekend. 
our bishop dressed up as santa.
the boys were pretty pumped to sit on santa's knee... until it was their turn.
typical.
chet wouldn't sit on santa, but he did agree to stand next to him.
holden wouldn't do either.
his reason? he said santa bit him.
hmmm.

we decorated our gingerbread house for FHE this week. my parents joined us.
we had a lot of fun that night. there were lots of laughs.
i think holden was the funniest part. he just couldn't resist eating the candy.
he would be agreeing to our request for him to stop eating it, as he was shoving another piece in his mouth!
matt was funny too. he was literally throwing candy onto the house.
i like our house this year, despite the fact it is a total mess!

chet has been begging us to put up christmas lights on our house.
the problem is, our house is a townhouse.
smushed between several other townhouses.
3 stories high.
soo.. there aren't a lot of places to hang lights.
but, while at target yesterday, i bought one 20 foot string of lights to put.. somewhere.
chet was so thrilled. he asked to hold the box of lights on the ride home.
when matt got home from work, he took a whole 4 minutes twisting the lights around the bars on our balcony and the boys loved it!
i love how they get excited about the simplest things.

i hosted joy school today.
the letter of the week was J, so we did some Jingle bell crafts.

upcoming events:
- we are going to zoo lights on friday.
- the ady's are hosting an ugly sweater party on saturday.
- the leavitt adult christmas party is next weekend.
- we leave to arizona on the 22nd!
- and i still haven't started my christmas shopping, dang it.
- i also really want to do some sort of christmas baking. but then i remember how disastrous my cinnamon almonds attempt was last year, and then i have second thoughts on the whole baking idea. perhaps the christmas tree shaped pancakes i made the other morning will be the extent of my baking this year! we shall see.
and this one has nothing to do with christmas:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

my husband is tougher than your husband.

my husband is tougher than your husband.
or crazier.
i'm not sure which one it is yet.
i'll explain:

matt had an overnight camp planned with his young men 2 weekends ago.
but the weather was horrific that weekend, so the camp was cancelled. and rescheduled.
the next weekend was lovely. it felt like spring.
the sun was shining and the snow was melting at unbelievable rates.
but the camp wasn't rescheduled for that weekend.
it was the next weekend - this weekend.
and - just their luck - the weather dropped off into the depths of misery again this weekend.
but the leaders weren't thrilled about canceling a second time. so they just went for it.

i had no doubt in my mind that matt would come home at some point in the night.
the snow was falling hard, the temperature was dropping my the minute, and the weather network was posting warnings about the 'dangerous wind chill' and advising people to stay inside.
but matt never came home.
matt and his posse survived the night.
and apparently they even had fun doing it..?

sooo.. part of me wants to say matt is like the toughest guy i know.
but a whole bunch of me just thinks he is crazy!
either way, he showed those young men that he loves them, and his calling, by spending the night when them in that nasty weather.
and i think that makes him pretty outstanding.

(and while we are looking at the forecast.. can we try and figure out what that picture on saturday and sunday is?
it's creepy, whatever it is.)


this morning, our driveway was covered in 8+ inches of fresh snow.
i knew matt wouldn't want to drive on it like that when he came home, and that he would most likely shovel it before he did.
and i assumed shoveling snow would be the last thing he would want to do after his long night.
so i bundled up and headed out to shovel it first.
but, when i got to the garage, i realized matt had taken our shovel with him to camp.
and what do you do when you don't have a shovel?
you grab your kitchen broom and dustpan instead!
haha ok, that isn't what you should do. it was a seriously terrible idea!
but it worked.
and matt only teased me about it a little bit!
i just pray that none of my neighbors saw me scooping the snow off of our driveway with a dustpan!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

gymnastics is all done.

chet & holden's gymnastics classes ended today.
each week of class had a different theme.
this final class was a christmas party. and the kids were told to invite their parents.
i am always at class, because holden and i are in a mom & tot class together.
but matt never comes. so the boys thought it was pretty neat when he did today!
nice work boys!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

france video.

it has been over 6 years since matt and i got to travel to france together.
we spent a couple weeks touring the areas of france that matt served as a missionary.
it was such a fun time - we have a million favorite memories from that trip.
but, don't forget, we were young and poor. so we tried our best to be frugal.
we ate simple meals, travelled via metro and a go-kart of a rental car, and...
stayed in some sketchy hotel rooms.
which, in all honesty, were the things that made for the best memories!

to this day, this short, shakey video is one of my favorites from our trip.
it makes me laugh every time. so i thought i would share.

this hotel room was above a bar. literally, the bartender showed us to our room. it had a skeleton key. and the toilet was at the end of the hall, so we could share it with all the other guests. we remember paying 32 euros for it. which means it cost about 65 bucks.
but in the hotel's defense, it was in the cutest beach town ever, just a short jaunt from the sand.


1 month until christmas.

first of all, whoever the person is that decided it was funny to brainwash our 4 year-old into thinking he wants a little sister for christmas, is in big trouble.
because he keeps saying that's what he wants.
and he is absolutely NOT getting that!
and that's on you, whoever you are. not me.

and, in other christmas news:
we are going to arizona for christmas this year.
we will get to check out my parents new house down there. which is pretty exciting.
plus, my sister and her family are meeting up with us there for the last half of our trip.
so we will get to meet the newest addition to the family, cooper. which is also pretty exciting.
and we can't forget the fact that there won't be any snow down there.
(that might possibly be the most exciting part!)
it won't be the deathly kind of hot that i would kill to feel right now.
but, for us canadians, it will feel lovely.
we will probably even go swimming - we're that crazy!

i'm really not in the christmas spirit yet.
perhaps it's the fact that we will be going away, or that we haven't started decorating, or that i certainly haven't done any shopping, that makes me feel like i'm lacking in christmas spirit.
but, whatever it may be, i'm just not feeling it yet.
we did make an attempt to get in the spirit by participating in 'operation christmas child'.
matt and i have fond memories, from our childhood, of participating in the program, so we thought it would be fun to try with our kids.
i don't think it will go down in history as the moment in our children's lives when they learned to be absoultely selfless and christlike (giving toys to others is oh so hard!), but i do think it was a fulfilling activity for us.
we packed up some toys, craft supplies, hygiene products, and treats for little boys in a less prosperous part of the world. then we wrote them a nice note, drew them a picture, and snapped a polaroid of our boys to send with it all.

if nothing else, it reminded me of how blessed our family is.
matt and i are so grateful that we don't struggle to provide our boys with all the things they need. and that we also get to spoil them with lots of things they definitely don't need, but they love.
i hope those 2 boys that we sent boxes to will feel loved and special this christmas.
because every child deserves at least that.

here are chet and holden with one of the boxes:
crazy kids!

chores.

we have been trying to teach our boys about work.
to teach them that sometimes you need to work hard to earn things - not everything comes easily.
we have been giving them 'special jobs' (aka. chores) to do throughout the week that they are rewarded for once they reach a certain number.

chet's special job this week was setting the table for dinner.
holden's was wiping off the kitchen chairs after dinner. (super lame, i know!)

holden is not a very good chair wiper, if i'm being honest here!
each chair got a little swipe with the cloth, if it was lucky.
but he thought he did a good job, so we enjoyed rewarding him for his job well done.
chet was slightly better at setting the table...
so long as he wasn't distracted by something more exciting. like bubble guppies.
it made me happy to see the table each night, when he announced that he was done setting it.
for example:
dinner is served!

we have such nice boys.
i love them to bits, and thoroughly enjoy watching them grow and learn each day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

good & bad.

the good.

this happened last night:
chet wrote those all by himself!
he has never been very interested in this kind of thing,
so those letters seriously make me so happy.

side note: matt has taught chet to draw poop on all of his pictures.
for example, if we draw a giraffe/bear/dog/etc chet always wants to add a pile of that animals poop to the picture.
dads..

the bad.

this past week has been so cold!
i accidentally left a 20-can case of diet coke in my car and this is what happened:
what a shame. a waste of perfectly good diet coke ;)
oh ya, and a total mess of our car.

matt's winter camp also got cancelled because it was too.. wintery.
is that possible?!
temperatures dropping to -30C with the windchill was what did it in.
i feel bad that all his hard work to plan the camp was ruined, but i have to admit part of me was relieved that matt didn't have to spend a night in a tent in that weather!
hopefully the weekend they reschedule it on will be less ridiculous.

Monday, November 10, 2014

tidbits from lately.

i took this picture the other day when the boys were watching a show.
it makes me so happy!
for 2 reasons:
1. i totally remember watching shows like this! i can't believe our boys are old enough to be doing things that i can remember doing. ahh when did this happen? they are turning into little people right before my eyes!
2. chet was first to lay down on the floor like that. and i watched as holden quietly observed his big brother for a minute, and then slid himself off the couch and down on the floor next to chet. and he kept checking to see if he was doing everything just like chetty. i am amazed by the relationship those two little turkeys have. they are best of friends right now. and i love it!

and here we are doing the worst thing ever - taking selfies.
happy:
grouchy:
be a weirdo:
pretending to sleep:

some more tidbits from life lately:

- chet participated in his first primary presentation this sunday. and it was seriously the cutest thing. matt and i watched with such pride. i swear we had the biggest, dorkiest smiles on our faces throughout the entire thing. unless, that is, i was sobbing from the sweet spirit that filled that chapel. there really is something so special about the primary children. they always manage to bring the strongest spirit to a room. i am so grateful that our boys get to grow up being taught in such an amazing organization.

- chet and holden are doing so good at gymnastics these days. to be clear, i don't think they are on there way to the olympics anytime soon. or ever. i am more just impressed with how chet is learning to be brave and try new things, and how holden is learning to follow instructions. i can't believe we only have a few more weeks of gymnastics, and then we will be onto something new. we are thinking of trying 'sportball' in the new year. it is a class where kids get to learn a different sport each week. for the record, i will support my boys in playing anything but hockey. mostly because i don't want to sit in cold arenas every week. ideally they will want to play basketball or volleyball - team sport, indoor so the weather doesn't matter, little equipment investment, and i like those games:) but if they choose to be band geeks, then i will be the best dang band geek mom there ever was.

- since i just mentioned hockey... matt's brother gave us a pair of his season tickets to a flames game. the flames lost. but we got to eat a malt and some mini donuts.. so who really cares which team won? another highlight was that got a tour of the ridiculously complex system that controls the ice rink. one of matt's counselors in the YM presidency is an ice engineer at the saddledome, so he took us down under the ice during intermission. i know it sounds kinda lame, but it was actually fascinating. i honestly just thought they filled the floor with water and let it freeze.. but i was very wrong. there is a whole team of people who take care of the ice as their full time job. matt almost got to ride the zamboni during intermission, which would have been so hilarious! but it didn't work out. hopefully next time it does.

- i made a quilt! i did it as a personal progress goal. and i think it turned out cute. but, one day as i sat at our kitchen table sewing a quilt with my headphones in (listening to the new taylor swift album, obviously.) matt told me i was a nerd! ruUUUde. especially coming from a boy who was playing 'clash of clans' at the very moment that he called me a nerd. but, perhaps he meant 'nerd' in a cute, intelligent, endearing type of way. 

- we inherited a whole bunch of lego. and our boys love lego. and when i say 'love' i mean 'loooOOOOove' it. they play with it every. single. day. and i step on the dang stuff every. single. day! ugh. but, despite the fact that lego causes me so much physical pain at times, i do love it too. i think it is a great toy. i love watching our boys fit the pieces together into little creations that they are so proud of. sometimes i am blown away by their creativity.

- we are basically celebrities. see:
ok, not really.
moving on..

- the boys and i went to the bow habitat museum & fish hatchery with the clarke cousins. we got to the feed a school of 27,000 trout in the hatchery, and then we spent a couple hours touring through the discovery center. it was really interactive and the kids loved that. i can't believe i had no idea this place even existed until a few weeks ago. 

- matt slammed his phone in his truck door. that means, that for the first time in our marriage, *he* was the first one to break his phone this round!

- chet told me he wants to be a mom when he grows up, rather then a dad. his reasoning? because moms don't have to do work.
but... chet i do work. being a mom is hard work. and i also literally go to work. remember?
"ya, but moms don't drive a truck to work like dads," he says.
oh. gotcha.

- matt is going on his first scout camp as a YM leader this weekend. it was supposed to be a fall camp, but the weather took a turn for the worse this week and nothing about this camp will be 'fall'. it will be a winter camp through and through. i feel so bad for him! there is not a bloody chance i would EVER sleep in a tent in -20 weather. not. a. bloddy. chance. let's hope the temperature rises a couple (dozen) degrees. matt is actually out in the garage right now chopping fire wood. keep chopping, sweetheart.. that fire could never be too big!

- when i was going to school in provo, my roommate's mom got us a wicked deal on those enormous 8 foot bean bags that used to be so popular back then. so, naturally, i got one. can't turn down a good sale, right?! haha. unfortunately, since the original purchase i have never lived somewhere big enough to house this monstrosity, so my parents have been given the great honor of keeping it in their homes. until a couple week ago. when they sold their canadian home in preparation for their move to arizona. and we were faced with the choice to either sell the bean bag or make way for it. i said sell. matt said make way. so we made way. we did some rearranging, and some furniture tossing, and we now have room for the beloved bean bag. it's a bit obnoxious, but our boys love it to bits. they play on it more then i ever imagined. and, if it helps us burn up some energy this winter, i will have to way it's well worth the space it takes up.

and now i will finish off this random post with - you guessed it - more random stuff.
this picture has been floating around our house lately.
it was from our pre-wedding family baseball game/BBQ.
we shoulda worn those outfits on our wedding day. it would have been more memorable!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

halloween 2014.

somehow these super heros got their 80-year-old great grandpa to push them around on his walker!

well, compared to our halloween in san diego last year, this halloween was not very warm.
*but* compared to previous halloweens in calgary, this halloween was quite pleasant.
heck, there wasn't any snow on the ground!
and around these here parts, that's a pretty big deal.
usually everyone ends up wearing the exact same costume... a winter coat and boots.
and it's super lame.
lucky for us, the snow held off until november 1st this year.
if you can consider that lucky...


i think halloween is a weird holiday.
i could easily do without it. i'm assuming most adults feel the same way.
but our boys like it, so it is fun to make it a magical night for them.
plus, dressing kids up in adorable costumes is awesome.

back in september, we asked chet what he would like to be for halloween.
chet instantly responded, 'batman!!'
since chet has never watched any batman shows, we assumed that idea would pass.
but it didn't.
ever.
so we just went with it.
chet got to be batman. and holden - by default - got to be robin.
i wanted the boys to be a happier/brighter version of batman & robin then i have seen in the stores, so off to pinterest i went.
and there i found a step-by-step tutorial of how to make retro batman & robin costumes.
it was perfect.
i followed the tutorial almost exactly and, although i had my doubts along the way, the end result was so cute!
i had a lot of fun putting the costumes together with our boys. it was a fun project.

chet has already decided that that he would like to be a rooster for halloween when he is five.
and a blanket when he is six.
hmm.
let's keep brainstorming, buddy.

aside from the obvious trick or treating on halloween night, we celebrated by carving pumpkins, making really gross halloween cookies that we threw away, trunk or treating in the cranston chapel parking lot on monday night with a bunch of LDS friends, tagging our boys along to a tri-ward youth halloween party - where our boys won 'cutest costume', going to the mall to trick or treat indoors and ride the scary-go-round.
it was a week FULL of halloween-ness.
and it was fun.
but i have already chucked our pumpkins and am ready for what's next!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

thanksgiving.

i wasn't very good at documenting thanksgiving this year.
we did lots of good stuff, but apparently i wasn't in the mood to take pictures of it.
the only one i took was of these dorky little turkey treats the boys and i made:
they didn't turn out quite like the picture on pinterest, but nothing ever does.
..including the halloween costumes i am currently working on!

despite the lack of pictures, i definitely have lots to be thankful for these days - most of all for my family.
i love 'em to bits.


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