Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas - Part 2

Christmas morning...oh how I love the excitement. The looks on my kids faces when they open their treasures is priceless. This year I was ready with camera in one hand and video camera in the other...all the time. :) Well, I made Justin film some of the time too. We paused it a few times to wrap our arms around our little ones. :)

Preparing to enter the family room....ohhhh...pins & needles! Don't you love the baggie eyes?

Love Bree's expression...this is when she saw her play kitchen!

Of course it came with a new baby and a built in high chair to feed them!

The boys enjoying their new basketball hoop. 

Gunner gave Bree a "little baby" which she embraced right away

Caleb opening one of his presents...In year's past he hasn't seemed to grasp the idea that there's something exciting underneath the wrapping paper. This was the first year that idea clicked and he was really excited to open his gifts! 

This one is for Great Grandpa Taylor. Gunner discovered Charlie Brown this Christmas and loves him now. Once he saw what the book was, he was a little excited! Thanks Great Grandpa!

Love it when my kids enjoy watching each other open their presents!

Gunner wanted a robot for Christmas most of all...little did we know the reason why. As soon as he opened it he said "My robot! Now I have someone to help me clean up all my toys!" 

Justin...going crazy over his presents from the kids...he loved his socks!

One of Gunner's presents was a Spiderman Web-shooter. He's been asking for this since May of this year so Santa finally brought him one. As soon as Dad went to take out some of the trash, he geared himself up and sprayed his Dad down good. Way to go Spidey!

Last of all, we ended our opening of presents with our traditional "jumping and rolling in the wrapping paper." It seems like there's always so much, why not play in it?

Merry (very late) Christmas!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Collages - Part 1

One of our family traditions at Christmas is reenacting the Nativity Scene. I remember doing it since I was a little kid. As teenagers me & my cousins would complain out loud that we didn't like doing it, even though I secretly liked it. What's not to like? Getting dressed up is always fun. My aunt always had the best costumes.

So, we passed the torch to our little kids and let them reenact the Nativity Scene. Gunner was Joseph and the other girls in the pictures are my cousin Todd's kids. Jocelyn, Brinley & Amelia. They are the cutest girls. Jocelyn is just a year younger than Gunner so naturally, she was Mary. Caleb was a shepherd and Breezy was an angel. She made sure the baby Jesus was taken care of at every point. She took her part very seriously. :) During the presentation she would walk over and check on the baby Jesus doll to make sure he had a blanket and was tucked in to his straw bed. I'm surprised she didn't try to run off with him!

Since I took too many pictures (as usual) I made a few collages of our Christmas week. 

For Christmas Eve, we take turns between my family & Justin's family. This year it was my family's turn for dinner and to spend Christmas Eve together. My parents out-do themselves every year. We had a delicious ham dinner with all the fixings and my Mom did a little devotional about the true meaning of Christmas and why we give each other presents. 

I love the picture below of my parents carving the ham together. They are hilarious. :)

We ended the night with some yummy dessert and then the kids got to open one present. New Christmas Jammies! I felt cool this year because I had a theme for their matching PJs. They all love Toy Story so as I did all my pre-Christmas shopping on Amazon, I found Woody jammies for Caleb, Buzz for Gunner and Jessie for Bree. I thought they looked super cute!

Next up is Christmas morning, Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner. We really know how to party. :) Until the next installment...Peace out!

Oh and P.S. All the digital scrapbook papers & elements are from Summertime Designs, of course!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Seeing Santas

My kids had 2 opportunities to see Santa this year. Their first time was at our ward Christmas party where we waited in line for over 30 minutes. It was worth it, Caleb and Gunner both loved seeing him. 

Bree kept saying "I see Santa, he nice!" But, once she actually sat on his lap, it was a different story. Even as we waited in line, I kept coaching her that he would give her candy and she could tell him what she wanted for Christmas. Once I handed her over to the big guy, though, she was quite certain I had totally lied to her:

Yes, I am that mean Mom that gets excited to see their kids with Santa only to find out that the white beard and white hair scare the crud out of my kids when they are 2. I had to get the picture! She'll thank me when she's older. 

The next opportunity with Santa was on Christmas Eve Eve. Santa actually came to my sister in law's house! All the Cook cousins came (we missed you Brown family!) and it was a really special event. The kids got lots of one on one time with St. Nick.

Before he came, Grandma Cook told all the kids a Christmas story and reminded them the true meaning of Christmas and why we give each other gifts. She's such a sweet Grandma!

After that, the Big Guy made his entrance and all the kids were enthralled! Well, all except for Miss Breezy. She was scared out of her mind. Santa came in ringing his sleigh bells and shouting "Ho Ho Ho" and that was enough for Bree to be instantly glued to my leg & screaming at the same time. As if I didn't scar her badly enough the first time, she would have to go through it again. Poor Girl. Why is her mother so mean? 

The kids got to see Santa youngest to oldest which meant Bree was one of the first to see him. She wouldn't sit on his lap so I sat with her. She did start to come around a bit when she realized she was getting a present AND a piece of candy out of the deal. But, still wasn't touching Santa!

Gunner was very excited to talk with Santa. He definitely had a few things to tell him. For instance, he had to tell him his age, where he went to school and what street we lived on, to make sure of course that Santa knew where we lived. 

He wasn't expecting a present so it was really great that Santa came so prepared!

Caleb was overly excited. While each of the other kids took their turns, he patiently waited until it was his time with Santa. This boy is so darn cute. He had lots of things to tell Santa too. She showed him the sign for "Santa" in his own Caleb sign language (similar to signing Grandpa) and was just super happy to just sit and visit with the Big Guy himself!

Natually, he LOVED his present. He's such a bookworm. :)

I think one of the best parts of the night was what happened next. My niece Annalise visits with Santa, receives her present and then also tells Santa that she has a loose tooth. She had been scared about pulling it out, but all of a sudden got brave and asked Santa to pull it out for her! 

Turns out that her tooth wouldn't budge but it was a great moment to see Santa trying to pull a tooth! Plus, I dont think Santa wanted her to think he would do anything to hurt her. :)

Before he left, he gave Grandpa Harvey a big hug. Grandpa seems to have the best connections!

Goodbye Santa, see ya next year! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

A few randoms

Below is a bunch of pictures that I just love but they don't really have anything to do with one another. Just fun. Enjoy. 

Gunner did a Thanksgiving program at school. He was so proud!

Breezy without pigtails. So in love with this girl! 

Caleb had a cookie decorating party at school. He was really happy to be back at school! He and his buddy Yueng Seoung playing their instruments.

We love Sonic sunglasses!

Gunner has been learning about the human body at school and proudly displays his full body picture of all our organs. 

The Larson girls came over for St. Lucia day. I snapped some pictures of them, the little beauties and after, they had lots of fun playing in the leaves. 

My niece Annalise...isn't she gorgeous?

My other niece Ava...future model for sure!

A beautiful sunrise in December. Love the firey red sky!

Gunner was so excited for Christmas, he could barely contain himself! Me too. It's so fun to put up the tree and decorations for Christmas. 

The end for now!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I know I know, I am the worst blogger lately. My sis in law told me I've disappeared from the blogging world so I'm trying to make some time to post a few pictures. Life has been busy, and when my internet is slow, I don't have the patience to wait for things to load to Blogger. :) 

Anyway, this month was a great one. At school the boys had crazy hair day so we combed their hair all funky (as funky as we could comb boys short hair) and they were excited to participate. I sadly didn't get any pictures of them :-(. Since Bree isn't so rushed in the morning, I did her hair as "crazy" as I could and she let me take a few pictures outside. She's so fun. I love it.

This was the best shot I could get because she kept running away from me. :)

I just love her smile!

This month Caleb had a field trip to Mother Nature's farm. My sis Kristin and her daughter joined us for the day. We had lots of fun going on hay rides, seeing the animals and choosing our pumpkins to take home. 

 This is Caleb's "Deep Thoughts" pose. Love this boy!

Caleb's class picture 

He had so much fun there. He is really in his element when it comes to seeing farm animals. He's loved them since he was a baby. Cute boy!

Gunner also had a Kindergarden program with a dessert feast afterwards. He did a cute program with songs. The video is still loading on my computer so I'll have to post it here when its done. 

This month we also had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent it with Justin's family this year and as always had so much fun together. It was great to reflect on how many blessings we have as a family. We've seen so many miracles occur over the past few years. 

My sweet sis in law Tiff took this picture of us to help me out with our Christmas card this year. I'll have to post the outtakes soon. The ones of the kids are pretty funny. :) 

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Poor Caleb

On November 12th Caleb had his first hospital stay. Poor little guy had been sick for 2 weeks with a cough and fever when he stopped eating and drinking that we finally decided to take him into urgent care. The doctor at the Urgent Care took an X-ray of his chest, diagnosed him with pneumonia and told me that he was not getting enough oxygen so we needed to get him checked into the hospital right away.

Since we know a great Children's hospital (Cardon Children's Medical Center), we opted to go there. We were in the Emergency Room for a few hours while they prepared a bed for Caleb and went over medical history, etc.

The few hours we spent there were the toughest. Caleb was very combative and did not want anything to do with all the oxygen masks, cords and all the things that go along with measuring how his little body was doing (blood pressure, oxcimeter, etc). His oxygen levels were in the 80s when they should have been 98-100. He was dehydrated, extremely tired and very overwhelmed with so many people coming at him with different tests. Poor kid just didn't understand what was happening. :(

Once he was transferred to the Pediatric ICU, the doctor on call there told us that the best way to help him rest would be to sedate him so he wouldn't fight off the oxygen mask as well as the other tests (more x-rays, bloodwork, IVs) they needed to do. This proved to be great because Caleb settled right down instead of working so hard to get everything off of him. He ended up being sedated for 2 full days and slowly weaned off of it so he could do breathing treatments and begin to heal his little lungs.

Justin, being the great Dad and husband he is, decided to stay most of the nights with him. Isn't he the best?

Caleb did have lots of visitors, presents and treats....which he loved once he woke up :-) 

Uncle Tyson stopped by to help give him a blessing. Poor buddy looks so tired. 

The next day he woke up very slowly and was very mellow but still loved to watch his movies!

He wanted to cuddle a lot, which Mom always loves. :)

My parents.

After 3 days Caleb was finally able to get out of bed and go for a ride around the ICU. He was too weak to walk so we took him for a ride in the wagon. He loved getting out of the room! He was only permitted to go a little ways but he kept pointing in different directions to go for a longer walk. 

The next day he was allowed to go outside! Yea for fresh air! 
Craig & Crystal stopped by so Justin and I could spend time with the other kids at home for a night. Thanks guys! Crystal does respite and habilitation for Caleb. She's fabulous!

Miss Amanda (his former teacher of 2 years) heard that he was sick and she came by 2 nights to keep him company, cheer him up and even brought him a present. He adores her! 

After 4 days in the same place, it looks like this little boy is feeling better! We wish that were enough for him to come home. His oxygen levels were still too low to let him go just yet. But at least his personality was coming back!

Finally, after 7 days of being in the ICU Caleb was able to come home! They sent us home with breathing treatments every 6 hours as well as other antibiotics to help him fight off any further infections. Caleb was so excited to bust outta there! 

He was so happy to go home, sleep in his bed and be with his family again. We love you Caleb and are so happy you are healthy again! No more pneumonia! 

It was a kind-of a weird feeling to be back in the hospital again. I told this to a few people, but I remember walking into Caleb's room and almost feeling happy...knowing that we'd be leaving in a few days and not coming back...I knew that we'd be leaving without any diagnosis of cancer. And that was a comforting feeling to me. I know it might sound odd, but it was just a feeling that everything would be okay. We needed to get Caleb better then things would go back to normal. Or as "normal" as our crazy life is. :-) Anyway, this time with Caleb being so sick made me appreciate him and be truly thankful for this sweet little boy. 
We love you Caleb!