Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Photo Shoot

We had such an amazing Christmas this year. I am not sure where to start.  It was the first time since Kirsten was a week old that our entire family has been together.

 Since it had been seven years, we had some professional pictures taken.  So I will start by sharing those.
All four kids and five granddaughters.  What a great looking family!
 Although John looks slightly outnumbered!
 Five Granddaughters
Katie, Kaley, Kirsten, Sarah, Emily


 John, Anne, Laura, Jennifer

 The "littles"
Katie, Kirsten, Emily
 Anne's girls

 We all love John to pieces, the little girls especially.  We caught him playing around with them between pictures.

 Kirsten
 Katie
 Me and my precious girls
I am so glad that we were able to capture these beautiful memories.

Christmas with the Allemans

We celebrated Christmas early this year with Jeremy's parents because they were headed to Utah for a few weeks over the Holidays.  I was not allowed to post pictures earlier so as not to spoil Christmas for the other Grandkids!
 His parents are amazing and made the most wonderful Christmas presents this year.  Dad made wooden Thomas the Tank Engines for each of the boys.  Can you believe how amazing those are?!
 Mom made a Tinkerbell apron for Kirsten and a Princess Cape for Katie.  Perfect for both girls!
 Mom also made us a family history book full of the most amazing stories of our ancestors.  It was a labor of love and a treasure to have in our home.

Winter Party

So on top of everything else, I am also the Room Mom for Kirsten's class at school.  Among my other responsibilities, the most fun is planning the parties.  For their Winter Party, we made Snowman Crafts and decorated sugar cookies like snowmen.
 Then Stacey (Azalea's mom) read them a wonderful story full of paper art.  Ms Olson also gave them each a gift of a book and some stickers.
 Kirsten and her best friend, Azalea
Kirsten and Ms Olson
I cannot believe that we are half way through 2nd grade!

Christmas Dancing

Both of my girls celebrated Christmas at their dance studios in fun ways.

Katie had a Christmas party and they told the story of the Nutcracker through stories and dances.  The little girls go to do the dances.  It was so cute.
 Katie was not sure what to make of meeting the Nutcracker.
Kirsten's dance studio had performances for each of her three classes.  She has become such a graceful ballerina.
 This is her Saturday Ballet class
 On December 1st, she started a Jazz Class.  She has learned so much in just 3 classes.  The did  a really cute dance to "Santa Baby"
 Kirsten's Monday Ballet class with her teacher Ms Jamey. 
I could not get the videos to post here, but I put them on Facebook if you want to see my dancer in motion!

Star Student

The week of December 10th to the 14th, Kirsten was the Star Student for her class.  
At the Friday Good Morning Ogle Assembly, Kirsten was able to go up on the stage and dance with the other Stars, including her good friends Keeton and Ally from our ward.  
 Grandma Alleman, Aunt Megan, Grandpa Lowe, and of course mommy and Katie were able to come and support her and cheer her on.

We are so proud of Kirsten.  She is the star of our lives everyday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Poser

Yesterday, Katie brought me the camera and demanded that I take her picture.  I told her to smile and this is what I got.
Personally, I would like to know how my two year old learned to pose like that?!

Visit from the Burrs

We had the wonderful privilege of a visit from our good friends, the Burrs last week.  Amy was my first really good friend as a mom and our families instantly became close.  About four years ago, they moved to California.  We have been able to go out there and visit, and they come out here to see family too, so luckily we have been able to stay close.  

When they lived here, we got together almost every Friday night for dinner, and desert, and then we would play Munchkin while the kids watched movies.  So of course we had dinner.  I also made an awesome Chocolate cake!  Ben was thrilled to be old enough to be at the adult table!
Meanwhile, Kirsten, Joseph, Joshua and Katie made it through two movies while we played and visited.
 Kirsten has always lovingly referred to Benjamin, Joshua and Joseph as "my boys"
 Our game took almost two hours.  We had some pretty impressive hands going.
 Matt even took some time to show me how to use my new computer with Windows 8.  Now I no longer want to throw it through a window every time I use it!  Amy took some time to add the fine tuners to Kirsten's violin and re-string it for me.

It was such a great visit, but it is always so hard to see them go.  We are hoping to get out to California sometime in 2013 to let Katie meet Mickey and to have a Munchkin rematch.  Thanks for taking time to come and see us.  We love you guys!

The Nutcracker

Saturday was a special day for Kirsten and me.  I took her to Fort Worth to see the Nutcracker put on by the Texas Ballet Theatre.  We let her wear her Christmas dress early, and she looked so beautiful.
 It was her first time to see a professional ballet production and her first time to the Bass Hall.  She kept saying that it was the most beautiful place, other than the temple that she had ever been.

 We had great seats.  We were on the first row of the Gallery, so no one in front of us!
 As we climbed the stairs, she said she felt like a Princess going up to the tallest tower.
 She even lost her shoe walking up the stairs.  
 She loved the performance. She asked if I thought she would be able to dance like that one day.  I told her she could if she worked hard enough.  She is such a dedicated little dancer.

After the show we spent some time walking around Sundance Square in Fort Worth.  It was her first time there as well.  She loved the plant sculptures.
 I let her pick the restaurant, and she decided on Mi Cocina for dinner.  She was a great dinner date!
We topped the day off with a trip to the cupcakery, then headed home.  We were both worn out, but had so  much fun.  I love spending time with my little girl!

Alexa the Elf

After Thanksgiving we gave in and got our girls an Elf on the Shelf.  Kirsten named her Alexa and I made her a skirt, and she is now part of the family!
 So everyday Alexa watches our girls.  Then after they go to sleep, she departs for the north pole to give a report to Santa.  The fun part is that she is always up to some new antics.  The girls wake up every morning so excited to see where she is today. Here are a few of her antics this week.

Playing with Kirsten's DS
 Taking a bath in a bowl of marshmallows 
 Getting stuck stuffing marshmallows in daddy's stocking
This morning we found her as the captive of Darth Tater.  Tomorrow morning she will be having a tea party in the Barbie house (don't ask me how I know that....)

It is fun, but thank goodness it only lasts for a month, because we are running out of ideas!  I found this article about how the Elf on the Shelf will ruin your whole life pretty hilarious and so true.  What we won't do to make our kids happy!

Thanksgiving

I know that it has been a few weeks, but we did actually celebrate Thanksgiving this year.  We got up early on Saturday morning and headed up to Oklahoma.  We met my mom and grandparents at Golden Corral for an early Thanksgiving dinner.  Katie loved sitting with Grandma and eating ice cream.
 Kirsten has a blast with her cousin Bryce.  They always have so much fun together!
 After lunch we headed out to Grandma's farm.  My cousin's daughter, Victoria, came out too.  She is also in 2nd grade.  They had fun chasing chickens and running around the farm for a few hours.
 We headed home about dinner time and let the girls fall asleep in the car.  It was a quick day trip - but definitely worth it.

We had so much fun having Kirsten home for an entire week with us.  She and Katie spent hours everyday playing Barbies together.

On Thanksgiving, we headed over to Jeremy's parent's house.  They had almost 30 people there for dinner. It was so much fun.  My mother-in-law set all of the tables so beautifully.
On Friday, Jeremy was able to work from home, so I headed out to do a little Black Friday shopping.  It was a wonderful week and I loved spending it with my family!