Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

We seem to be having a trend of "memorable" Christmas's and this one was no different. Three our of our last 6 Christmas's have been spent in what I affectionately refer to as "limbo-land." We seem to always be finding ourselves living in transit or in temporary situations around the holidays. Every time this happens, I make Ryan swear to me we will not move in the fall ever again. But, some things are out of our control. We make the most of it though. It is hard being without our stuff and our own decorations but this year, we did things Charlie Brown style. The majority of our tree decorations are homemade. We had popcorn string as well as fruit loop string. There were homemade snowflakes and other decorations. It was fun making them together as a family. The kids attention span did not last long enough to even decorate 2 feet of tree but Ryan and I had a good time finishing them up on our own. The kids fell right to sleep while we were up late Christmas Eve night putting together things for Santa. It was challenging putting toys together while getting yelled at and the walls pounded on by the neighbors for being too noisy. Ahh, the joys of apartment life.
The kids were a bit spoiled by their grandparents. The major gifts they got from us was a Nintendo DS for Kutter and a Princess car for Payton. Payton was disappointed it was not the Barbie car. (The princess car was on special for $100 cheaper) We tried to convince her that it was a princess car for a princess. She bought it, for now. Santa brought Kutter some Star Wars stuffed animals while he brought Payton some Barbie dolls and accessories. (I have officially become a sell-out) Maggie got a few fun toys which she loved all of them. She is the first of our kids that actually played with the toys at Christmas instead of the boxes or wrapping paper.

Ryan was spoiled with a new TV for the apartment. We were going NUTSO without one. He actually got that present about a week early. He also got an iPod so we could get all his lame-o songs off mine. Ha ha ha. He spoiled me with a new Kitchen Aide mixer since mine was "lost" on our last move. I also got a pair of much wanted earrings and some pampering items. He always takes such good care of me.
For Christmas breakfast, we headed over to the Barnes' for some Eggs Benedict. This was my first experience with eggs benedict and I am officially hooked. It was the yummiest stuff ever! We then went home and napped and played with toys. We went back over to the Barnes' for a combined Christmas dinner. We had ham and potatoes and all the fix ens. It was very, very, very tasty.
It is hard being so far away from family and friends at such a significant time of year but we made the most of it. All things considered, it was a pretty dang Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Franklin Does Christmas!

We were so excited to find out that Kutter's school actually celebrates Christmas! It seems like Christmas is being taken out of so many schools, it was so refreshing to be somewhere that the world has not taken over yet.

The kindergarten put on a little singing program. Kutter was the M. He got to hold it up and say very proudly..."M, is for the Magic of Christmas!" They sang a few Christmas songs that represented the letters of the alphabet. It just reminded Ryan and I of when we were kids and were able to do these little programs. It was such a surreal experience to be the ones there watching our child do the things we remember doing ourselves.
After the singing program, they invited the parents back to the classrooms to make little gingerbread houses with our children. It was so much fun! Let me tell you, the little kindergarten room gets pretty crowded with all the kids and all the parents. The gingerbread houses we made were graham crackers stuck to a mini-milk carton. It was fun to watch Kutter just create with no direction. I like to see how kids minds work. It is also funny to watch him put a candy on the house, then put a candy in his mouth. I am certain he ate more than ended up on the house but it was sure fun. I was so glad Ryan was able to be there and experience this special moment with Kutter as well. I was also glad Kutter's teacher, Ms. Borcher, offered to take a picture of us all together. It is a rarity that both Ryan and I get to be in a picture with our kids at the same time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Making Gingerbread Houses!

One night, the kids and I decided to make a gingerbread house. You would think that would be no problem since you can buy these kits to make it all easy for you. For a normal person, it would be easy. But you see, I am not normal. I found it very difficult to get the frosting bag cut open, then I could not use it right, and I ended up a mess and the house looked like poopy. But the kids had fun decorating it so I guess that is all that mattered. I realized that I need to let loose a bit more. I was twitching watching my kids put the candy on because they were not putting it where the picture on the box showed it going. It was a difficult thing for me to watch. But it was a fun memory nonetheless. I am quite proud of our family's little creation. Not bad for our first and possibly our last gingerbread house.
This second picture says so much to me. Maggie finally noticed the gingerbread house right in front of her and realized it was within her reach. She goes for it only to be intercepted by her brother. I am just quite impressed at Kutter's ability to hold Maggie, protect the gingerbread house, and smile all at the same time. That's my boy!
I love Payton's little wrinkle nosed smile in this picture. She has some of the most animated facial expressions of anyone I know. You should see the dirty looks she is able to give me. She is very talented!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kutter's Second 1st Day of Kindergarten

Honey, we are not in Arizona anymore!
Kutter's first day of Kindergarten at Franklin Elementary was on Dec 8, 2008. Let me just say it has taken quite the getting used to for me to have to wake up extra early just to allow enough time to get Kutter's coat, gloves, hat and boots on. Not to mention the fact that my car's are in severe pout mode and will not run for us unless we warm the up for at least 15 minutes before going anywhere. I guess that explains why I am only getting 150 miles to a tank of gas. Whoops! The nice thing about the weather in Iowa, is they cancel school for even the hint of snow. Either that or they do a late start which gives us an extra 2 hours to convince ourselves to get out of bed. The first 10 days of Kutter's start of school, only 2 were full days. The others were either cancelled or late start due to weather. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoy late start days. But it is funny, even at 10:30am, I am still taking him to school in my P.J.'s. Poor kid!
Now back to Kutter.....Kutter had a great first day. He came home saying he likes being the new kid. For a solid week he begged that we can move more often so he can always be the new kid. He says that everyone has to be nice to the new kid. He did take his new found fame to a new level when he took it upon himself to become the class tattle tale. He felt since he was the new kid and so loved and respected that he must announce every mis-behaviour that happened around the classroom. Kutter is an expert at following the rules (at school anyway), so he just wanted to make sure everyone was as good at following the rules as him. I was a bit mortified by the discovery of Kutter's tattle-tailedness. I would rather my kid be the class clown that the class tattle tale. But when sitting down and discussing things with him, I discovered that he had only the purest of intentions. He really did think it was his job to tell the teacher everything that happened. I guess his teacher, Ms. Borcher, told him on the first day that he should come tell her if anyone is mis-behaving or being mean. I think she meant if they were being mean to him. I am happy that the teacher tried to help Kutter feel comfortable and now I can see how Kutter took this statement so literally instead of the intended purpose of just making him feel comfortable at his new school. He is much better now. In fact, I don't think he tells his teacher anything, even if it is warranted. I guess we need to work on him finding a middle ground.
We are really liking the school here and the education seems to be top notch. Kutter is one of only two LDS kids in the school so that is interesting. It is all quite the adventure!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kutter's Stats - Age 6

Height: 4 ft 11 1/4 inches
Weight: 53 lbs
Here is a picture of Kutter doing two of his most favorite things in the world: playing DS, and hanging out with his daddy.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kutter's Real Birthday...Party #3

Kutter's actual 6th birthday was spent in a hotel room. The Holiday Inn Express in LeMars, Iowa. The kids affectionately refer to this place as big Iowa. Ryan tried to make it extra special and decorated the room in the middle of the night. When Kutter woke up, he wanted to have a little photo shoot with his little buddy, Maggie. It was cute! All throughout the day, Kutter kept referring to himself in the 3rd person. But not just by his name, he would refer to himself as the "birthday boy." He would say things like, "the birthday boy is thirsty!" Or "Payton is not being nice to the birthday boy!" It was cracking me up!

Ryan took Kutter on a little outing to the dollar store. He came home with some fun junk (reference the first picture and Ryan's glasses). We got a cake from Wal-mart's bakery. We went to lunch and McDonald's, of course. He wanted to go to McDonald's for dinner too but we had to but the kibosh on that one. My arteries can only handle so much McDonald's in one day. We convinced him to go to Archie's, a local steakhouse. It was most excellent! They made a big deal and special dessert for Kutter so he liked that. All in all, with 3 parties and a full day devoted to attention only on him, I think Kutter had a pretty darn good birthday after all.
Happy Birthday our little man! We love you so much. You bring so much joy to our lives and we are so filled with pride that you are ours. You are one amazing young man!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We're Here!

In case any of you were wondering, we have safely arrived to our destination. I have officially left hell, and arrived in hell frozen over! Ha ha ha. No seriously, my butt has not thawed out since we arrived!!!

Our current residence is a Holiday Inn Express. We found an itty bitty apartment (unfurnished) that we will hopefully move into this weekend. If any of you need gift ideas for me for Christmas, I would recommend gift certificates for massages or chiropractic visits since I am facing weeks of sleeping on the floor. Ouchy!! What a Merry Christmas this is shaping up to be! We miss you all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kutter's BD party, #2...Colorado

On our long trek to Iowa from Arizona, we stopped for the night in one of our favorite places on earth, Colorado!!! We stayed at our parents away from our parents house, the Jenkins. They were so excited to see us and had not met Maggie yet. They were very prepared for our arrival and had set up a mini-birthday party for Kutter. Dale picked out a giant cookie and they had it decorated for Kutter. They had plenty of gifts for all the kids. We came away totally outfitted for the upcoming colder climate of Iowa. We are so blessed to have Sharon and Dale in our lives. Our kids are really lucky to have so many people who love them and consider them family. I know and have always known that the reason we went to Colorado was to meet Sharon and Dale. I cannot imagine my life being complete without have them in it.