Sunday, December 27, 2015

Florida: Day 1

Our flight was at 6:45 so we were up early! Although, between low batteries in our smoke detectors (why do they always start chirping in the middle of the night?!? Chirping sounds pleasant, screeching is a better word for how that sounds at 2 am) and Myles wanting a midnight snack...I don't know if we really needed an alarm-we'd been awake for awhile! We were all excited to begin our vacation!

Myles' first flight. 

Luke taking the safety instructions very seriously.

This is the face of, "I can have the iPad the whole time?!?"

Seeing Krista and her family after 18 months was like no time had passed at all. We even met each other's babies for the first time…and they met each other. :) I have missed her. We still keep in close contact, but there is something about just being with a great friend. 

The kids reunited and picked up right where they left off.

That night, we headed into Disney Springs to eat at the T-REX Restaurant. We were positive the kids would love this experience. Emma looks for the T-Rex dinosaur first thing every week when she is dropped off in nursery (not a doll or book or kitchen toy--a T-Rex). Luke loved 'The Good Dinosaur' movie. The dinosaurs were very lifelike. Every15-20 minutes there would be a meteor shower. It felt fairly intense at times, especially when the dinosaurs all started roaring. All of us enjoyed the atmosphere and food. 

Young paleontologists hard at work in the restaurant's fossil dig area.

Unfortunately, Cody had to work late. Bryan likes to fuel those "Mormon rumors."

The kids liked seeing "Manny" from Ice Age.

…and Manny's baby.

After dinner, we made our way to the lego store where the kids created and raced their lego creations.

Emma was more captivated by the princess than the Legos towards the end. I think Luke could have stayed until they closed. He is definitely in the Lego phase/stage.

Such a great way to kick start our trip!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Demo Day

Our wood floors were schedule to be replaced while we were visiting Florida. We decided to pocket the money and did the demolition part ourselves and tear the old floors out. For the most part, it went well. Luke looooved helping out with this project. We made sure to remind him that this was the only floor he could do this to.

Our friends even helped us out.

Party Time

Within a 24-hour period, we attended 3 Christmas parties/socials. One of the highlights was arriving at a nice country club with Luke wearing his rain boots. Somehow, that one got past both Bryan and I until we were walking into the clubhouse. The hour drive back home wasn't going to happen. 

This was at Nielson Wealth Management's Christmas Brunch for their clients. 
Pam and Lura (office receptionists)
Mike * Bryan

Bryan arranged to have the young marines there for a toy drive. They received some very generous donations. Emma and Luke kept trying to convince these guys that the toys were really for them.

Keeping it classy.

Party Animal.

This girl loves to get dressed up and head out for a party. I'm right there with her!

Our church did a great job with the Christmas party.

I couldn't believe that all three were sitting on Santa's lap, let alone all three smiling! Next year, we'll work on looking in the same place. 

Deck the Halls

Emma and Luke really look forward to decorating for Christmas each year. Their enthusiasm and excitement is contagious. We cranked up the Christmas music and made a royal mess setting up Christmas. Myles even crawled around in the chaos with a big smile on his face.

Myles was extremely helpful putting the lights on the tree.

We put the binki in his mouth so he would quit trying to taste each ornament! :)

Early Christmas Gift

We surprised the kids and let them open an early gift from us. They each received a ticket with Minnie or Mickey on it. We then showed them some clips of where these tickets would let them go. Luke clued in immediately and was going bonkers. Emma took a few seconds of watching Disney World clips and then she was full of questions and excitement. Myles kept sleeping. :) Knowing my children, I decided to make a countdown chain. Some of the ideas were to write your favorite Disney character a letter and let them know you're coming, have "Mickey" pancakes, play a new Disney match game, pack your bags, pick out treats at Dollar Store for plane ride, etc. This was a hit and helped to pass the time until we were off on the airplane.

Getting haircuts wasn't part of the paper chain, but a necessity before the trip!
This was Emma's first professional haircut. She's given herself several trims. 

Friday, December 18, 2015


The day before Thanksgiving, we took Luke and Emma to see 'The Good Dinosaur.' Luke loved it. As long as the popcorn and treats were flowing freely, Emma thought the movie was "awesome," too.

We hosted two families for Thanksgiving. I put a few emails and phone calls into Japan for some pointers in the kitchen. My mom encouraged me to make some of the dishes ahead of time and then just warm them up. Everyone contributed to the meal and made me feel like I really got off easy for hosting! It worked out perfectly doing it this way. For the dressing, I made my Grandma Munns' recipe. It smelled and tasted almost exactly like how I remember it. I felt quite a sting of homesickness and missing my family when the familiar smells started to fill our kitchen. I have such tender memories of Thanksgiving out on my grandparents' farm. I am thankful for those memories. It is fun to start making new memories with my own family here.

I had some cute helpers in the kitchen.

On Thanksgiving Day, Emma and Luke were beyond excited to have fiends come over.

I think there were 16 of us, 6 adults and 10 kids.

Apple and Snickers Pie were our contribution for dessert. Others brought banana cream, vanilla and chocolate cream and a pumpkin dessert.

He was digging the turkey and peas.

Love me a man that looks good in an apron!

A few of the kids headed to the hill behind us to go sledding. It was chilly and not much fresh snow. They enjoyed a few runs before coming inside to warm up.

Bryan and I both reflected on some of our blessings. Last year at this time, we were told that Emma's MRI results were normal and within just a few days her seizures stopped. Praying that she continues on this seizure free path. This year, we were especially grateful to be in our home. It was a bumpy ride, to say the least, closing on our home, but we feel content that this is where we want and need to be. Happy Thanksgiving.