Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas Break 2010

The first few days of Cole's winter break were spent inside, doing nothing aside from trying to stay dry and warm. It rained and rained.
So it was such a relief when the rains ended and my sister Amanda invited us to go to legoland with her and her little boy, Connor. Here's Luke and Connor checking out the map.

Riding the train.

Digging for dinosaur bones.

Marveling at the amazing lego creations.

Cole loved it too. Here he is in front of New Orleans.

Had to get a picture with Hagrid.

Feeling great peddling along on this ride.

The next day was Christmas Eve. We had a wonderful get-together with all of my mom's family. I was in charge of helping the kids do a live nativity. Very low key, but I loved it! (It's hard to tell, but Luke was the "star".)

All the mexican food was delicious (the treats were great too!)

There were two white elephant gift exchanges, one for grown-ups and one for the kids. Here are the kids ready to start passing gifts around.

We went back home that night and woke up the next morning to find Santa had eaten his cookies, and his reindeer were mighty hungry too.

Santa also left this letter (ALL of this was Clay's doing) explaining that they were such good boys, that as a special treat he had one of his elves design a magical quest for them, and if they were successful, their Christmas presents would magically appear under the tree.

Along with Santa's letter was another letter, this one from the elf who would be guiding them on their quest. This letter explains that there are 7 noble feats they must accomplish, each one helping a magical creature living nearby.

The letter also explained that this Christmas sparkle and these two wands were needed for their mission.

They were also provided with a map.

Here's Cole and Luke ready to help out some magical creatures.

Most of these creatures lived at this park. Here, they did a magic spell to help a troll living under this bridge.

Here, they helped some pixies. Clay kept himself hidden at all of our stops, but always close enough so that the boys could hear the sound effects coming from his laptop (sense the elf had said that the boys would be able to hear the magical creatures but not see them.)

Well, as you can imagine, the boys were successful in their 7 noble feats and had just enough magic left from their Christmas sparkle to make their presents appear. When they got back home, their presents were all under the tree and there was a note of congratulations from the elf.

Luke was very happy to get his Buzz Lightyear. It was the only thing he asked for this year. Also, I had to get him these wings because he is constantly pretending that he has buzz wings anyway.

Cole is so into maps lately. I searched everywhere to find him something fun and map-like.

We also added to our pet family. We got the boys a snake, which Cole has named Peter. Peter is a baby corn snake and he loves us very much. I regret I don't have a picture of him yet.
The next day, we had a wonderful time at another Christmas celebration, this time with Clay's family. Afterward, we got to spend a couple days with Clay's parents. The boys loved playing with Grandma's new toys,

and walking around the harbor,

and spotting some seals,

and poking at sea anemones with sticks to try to get them to close up,

and Cole insisted on walking to the very very very end of the jetty. We had such a great, relaxing time! Thanks for having us Suzanne!

Once we were back home again, Clay still had several days off work. It was so much fun to have him around all day! We enjoyed so many outings with him like going to see Tangled (which was fantastic)

going out to the yogurt shop--one of those where you serve yourself and pay by the ounce. This place has only been open for about a year but I don't know what this town did before it existed. We love coming here!

Took the boys to the indoor playgound. Luke was the perfect age for this, Cole not so much but he was a good sport.

For Christmas we got year passes to Magic Mountain, so we had to go try it out. Here's Cole and Luke doing some driving.

Luke loves this room where you can shoot balls and vacuum them up.

Cole enjoyed being on stage during this looney toons show.

It was so cold outside! But the boys didn't mind at all. We had so much fun. And I think these magic mountain passes are gonna make 2011 pretty sweet!
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sad book worms

As I've mentioned before, Cole and I started reading the Harry Potter books. I love them passionately, and Cole got completely hooked on the series as well.
The first book is so much fun, getting introduced to the wizarding world.

Second book is another great adventure, light and fun.

Third book, super thrilling, more intense

Fourth book is many readers' favorite. But this is where Cole and I ran into some trouble, around page 700 or so. A death. When I read the words to him, "(blank)was dead", he was in shock for about 10 seconds, and then began to cry. He said he was done with Harry Potter. And that was it.
Luckily, part of him missed the nightly ritual of reading HP and after a week he needed another dose of it. And we did only have a few chapters left after all. So we were able to finish the fourth book with some mixed feelings from Cole. But I think he had mostly positive feelings about the book by the time we finished.

Although book five is available to him, he has opted to take a breather. I thought the novelization of Toy Story 3 would be a nice light read. But I was blind sided. I wasn't expecting to have an emotional reaction to this book, but I read the last chapter to Cole mostly through tears. And when I got to this line,

"But Woody knew that the most special part was that it was the last time he'd ever get to play with Andy",

I had to have Clay come and take over reading because I couldn't even choke out the words. We're a bunch of crazies over here huh?

Family Pictures

About a month ago, Breanne took some family pictures of us. I know she must be tired of my gushing over her, but I can't help it. She is such an amazing photographer! So talented! She did my sister's engagement and wedding pictures also and holy cow, the pictures are unbelievable.
But for now, here's our little family (that many of you may have already seen on fb)

This post is also a small tribute to Cole, and to better explain my thoughts about him I have to talk about a movie. I saw "Mr. Holland's Opus" about 15 years ago when it first came out. I loved it then and still love it. For those of you who have seen this film you'll remember that Mr. Holland dedicates and sings the song "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon to his son, Cole. That scene is so touching, and now as a mom of two boys, calling a boy "beautiful" is so poignant. That's exactly what little boys are. And of course, I love when Mr. Holland ends the song with, "Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Cole". Oh, it's just too much. Cole has become my beautiful Cole.
I love how he loves us. It was not at all surprising to hear him say to me the other day, "Oh my dearest darling mother, you are an angel descended from above". I love how close he feels to Heavenly Father. He told us last week that he has decided to start saying prayers before he eats his lunch at school and that he did so that day. He bore his testimony for the first time last month. He practiced for weeks beforehand and when he got up to speak it wasn't the generic primary testimony you usually hear. I love how he will not let us skip FHE, ever! Clay helps him prepare every lesson and he loves writing out FHE lesson plans, or as he calls it, his agenda. I love how he loves music, and will sing for anyone anytime no matter how large the crowd. Also, he is the only child I know of who has "humble days". These began because he was constantly shooting down our praise for him, saying things like, "No, I'm not the best, you are the best, I'm the worst". I wanted him to start accepting compliments by simply saying, "Thank you". He held firm to his belief that it's better to be humble so we compromised. Half the days of the week are "humble days" where he can disagree with praise for him, the other days are called, "thank you days" where he just has to say thank you when he's given compliments.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop here for now. I love both, no wait, all three of my beautiful boys!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wedding #1

For months we have been looking forward to two weddings in the family. In December the first wedding came. The beautiful bride was my cousin Alexa. She and her husband Christian were married in the SD temple.

The newlyweds

My grandpa Tommy and grandma Lyla

My uncle Jimmy (and father-of-the-bride) with his 3 other gorgeous daughters.

Then onto the reception for some dancing (Luke and cousin Annie)

And some relaxing

And pictures with the bride.

And among the guests was this couple, baby sister Katie and her fiance Ryan (wedding #2, which I shall get to later).