Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

For Thanksgiving Break we headed up to Las Vegas to be with Nathan's parents.  Actually the whole family was there!  Brooke's family wasn't able to come because Mark had to work...we missed them!  But it was definitely a full house.  Nathan's mom has been begging him to help her build two triple bunk beds in the play room for times like this.  We went back and forth about doing it before the break but it just never happened.  In the end we decided to build them and we all pitched in and pulled together and got one of them built the day before Thanksgiving!  The other one Nathan and his dad finished up on Friday.  I have to brag about my husband.  He practically designed and made up the plans on his own (with a little help from and her double bunk bed plan...we adapted ours from that).   And they turned out so great!  We didn't have time to stain them yet because people were dying to sleep in them!  That'll have to happen later.  Despite the chaos, full house, screaming children, and dozens of trips to Lowe's and Target, it was a pretty successful venture, overall.  :) 
Discussing the plans.  I'm not gonna lie, I helped for the first couple hours and then left
the building to the boys and went out with the girls to buy bedding!
Justin and I were in charge of putting together the head and foot boards.  And don't
let this picture deceive you...Justin did all the work
Sawyer and Taryn testing out the beds and the new bedding...this is one of the rare moments
these two weren't at eachother's necks!

They turned out so great and the kids love them!

We had an ugly sweater party on our last night to kick off the Christmas season...Andrea came well
equipped with lots of fun 'minute to win it' games for everyone to play!  It was a blast.

We also had a white elephant gift exchange...we learned last year to make sure and get
all good gifts for the kids on this one.  You can never go wrong with candy...
My little family forgot to pack our ugly sweaters.  But we managed to find something decent
in the house...haha

The week before driving to Vegas, Erin came to visit all of us AZ folks.  We went to True Foods Kitchen
for Andrea's birthday...

Little Red Riding Hood and the Gang

We managed to figure out a costume theme for the family this year.  I don't think we need a lot of explanation, but just for fun--Nathan was the hunter, I was the grandma, Violet was Red Riding Hood, and Sawyer was the BIG BAD WOLF (imagine this said very loudly in a 2 yr old voice whilst growling).  I was getting a little worried when he was still trying to tell me the morning of that he was going to be the grandma and I could be the big bad wolf.  But in the end he was happy to be the wolf.  We went trick-or-treating like 3 times total (Midwestern school event, trunk or treat at the church, and a neighborhood up the road with Kristie and her family). Sawyer loved it every time.  We are new to the whole 'getting mounds of candy in one night for our 2 yr old' we pretty much just let him eat it all in like 2 days (minus the chocolate which we promptly set aside for ourselves once he was in bed).  Nathan decided (as the dentist in the family) that it was better to ruin his teeth for 2 days and be done than for him to have a little every day.  I was ok with that because once it was gone I didn't have to deal with the constant struggle to find it/whine for it every day.  But anyways, we had a great Halloween this year!  Even Violet seemed to enjoy all the tromping around.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jerai's Visit

I'm posting this out of order but I need to get it done and I'm missing some pictures for my Halloween post at the moment.  The first weekend in November Jerai came down to visit us here in AZ!  We were so excited to have her all to ourselves for a few days.  The first night she spent at Kristie's getting some fun platinum blonde highlights.  They turned out great!  The next day we packed up our kids and went to the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.   It was lots of fun and the kids did surprisingly well.  That night we hung out at my place and just relaxed and caught up.  On Saturday Nate and Wes watched the kids so we could all go to Time Out for Women!  I've been wanting to do it for a while now and it worked out great that Jerai was here the weekend it was in Phoenix because it was such a fun thing for the three of us to do together.  I felt super uplifted and motivated when I left there!  That night we grabbed the rest of our families and walked around in Scottsdale at a shopping center and got hot chocolate.  Jerai flew back home Sunday morning.  It was a perfect little weekend together and I'm sad I don't get to see Jerai more often!  We had lots of fun memories to reminisce about and it's neat to see how our families are all growing and going different places yet our experiences as mothers and wives are still so similar!  Thanks for visiting Jerai!  We love you!
This was at Time Out for Women
At Fashion Square Mall (by the way Jerai is about 20 wks (?) preggo here...
can you even tell?!...she looks so great!
Cute little girl...even with a plug in her mouth ;)
We love our Ergo Carriers!
So I was getting frozen yogurt and Jerai captured a pretty awesome
 little scene below...
Unfortunately this is not the first time this has happened...
if that kid could just sit still for more than 2 minutes and
quit trying to escape every restraint I put on him! haha...oh well

Pumpkin Carving

We had a super fun Halloween season this year.  Sawyer absolutely loved every minute of it.  The Hurst's came over for pumpkin carving and pizza one night and we all had a great time.  The little boys picked out the design they wanted and the big boys carved them while the little and big girls sat on the couch and talked :).  Perfect.
Alright I'm posting both of these because Sawyer was only in one of them but Violet wasn't looking in that one...

Those boys are so cute

Nathan's pumpkin...way to go honey
I made pumpkin pancakes on the Sunday morning before Halloween!  Yummy!

And this is unrelated but these girls were just so cute the other day!  Ahh!  I can't decide whose cheeks I want to bite into first!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Playground

I'm in charge of organizing the playgroup for our ward so now that summer is (finally) over I started things back up again at a playground down the street. We don't usually have a super great turn out so I recruited Kristie and her kiddos to come along the other week! Our boys just have so much fun together and we are all LOVING the cooler weather. It was a great little morning :).

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Deadwood Saloon

Nathan has been dying to throw another Murder Mystery party with his friends from school. Last October I was pregnant in my first trimester which equals tired, nauseous, and unmotivated. So this year I gave in and we put something together within a couple weeks! It's always a lot of work but it's so fun because both Nathan and I get pretty into it and in the end our marriage is still intact! I consider that some successful party planning :). Everyone that came did so great with their costumes and with playing their parts. I also divided up all the food assignments this time which helped out a ton! It was super fun in the end and we all had such a great time! (And I have to give a HUGE thanks to Kristie and Wes for watching Sawyer for us that was so nice of you guys and so great not to have him in our hair during the last few hours before the party) So here are some pictures of our night.

We made saloon doors in the front! Welcome to the Deadwood Saloon!
Our guests!  Aren't their costumes awesome?!  Nate did a great job with photoshop here too...

Banana Bread for party favors

When everyone arrived they received an envelope with a name tag, money, and their 'objectives for the evening

Nate's Grandpa Larson in Mesa lent us this horse saddle. Sawyer thought that thing was so stinkin cool!

We made a little 'back porch' scene out of our sun room. We had a fake fire pit and all the food out there.

We pretty much rearranged all of our furniture for the event!

Nathan made the Wanted Signs. Those are the actual people that came to the party as the 'outlaws'. He did a little photoshop magic on a picture of them...I thought they turned out fantastic!

The 'bar'

Everyone drank out of mason jars or IBC root beer bottles. One of the characters was a bartender and he did a fabulous job playing his role in the kitchen all night!

We all ate out of pie tins

Nathan's firepit creation

The poker table

The Outhouse

Right after the murder took place. That's the Marshall taping the body outline! Hilarious...He and the Sheriff then drug his body to the couch!

Most of the boys that were there that night! (A few had to leave before we took this picture)

And here are most of the girls. I was just so pleased with all of the costumes!!!
Kristie did my hair!  She did a fantastic job, as usual.