Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Act 4; Scene 20: Two Christmases

Christmas started a bit early for us this year.

We first gathered at the McFarland home in SLC on December 21st.

We had a delicious artichoke chicken dish with rice pilaf, delicious salad, and a plethora of other delicious items. One of my favorite table additions was this beauty:

A butter tree! 

Of course we all love watching Tommy open presents. He is very focused and on-task:

Thomas loves his fisher price Nativity. He is particularly fascinated with the camel.

We took turns wearing crazy outfits (well....just us two crazies)

Then the next morning Robert and I got to go see the Christmas Music and the Spoken word broadcast in the Conference Center.

Spectacular. Great Christmas date for Robert and I.

We also took some family pictures

And one day later we headed to St. George for Christmas round 2! (Or, the "official" Christmas)

We had so much fun...

Eating tons of delicious food!

 This is Mike eating pie and popcorn (what a great combo!) a few hours after our delicious Christmas Eve dinner of prime rib, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, raspberry jello, and steamed broccoli.

Our Christmas morning German pancakes--I'd say the poof was a success)

And opening presents on Christmas morning!

Same intensity. This kid is one focused present opener!
Roy giving us his best reindeer look.
We also had fun playing with the dogs! They are pretty much Tommy's best friends. Rosie, Roy, and Tommy took turns getting the ball away from each other, and playing copy cat.

Giving Rosie kisses
We also had fun exploring some more of St. George, including Dixie Rock, Brigham Young's home, and the Tabernacle. Next time we hope to make it to Kolob Canyon and Snow Canyon.

Climbing on Dixie Rock
All in all it was a FANTASTIC Christmas break, and we are sad that it is over. But now we are quickly approaching 2014--onto bigger and better, right?

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Act 4; Scene 19: An Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to us!

Today marks the one year date of us moving into our lovely little Lehi house.

Exactly one year ago me, Tommy, and all of our stuff was stashed in the kitchen while the carpet cleaning guys took action and we waited for the carpets to dry. I tried to put Tommy to nap in the laundry room--fairly unsuccessfully. And I nursed Tommy on a bar stool leaning against the wall a few times, while we waited and Robert was at work.

Glad we're a year away from that day :-).

Some of our favorite things and improvements in the house so far:

  • Painting the living room and kitchen--with two toned gray and white. Lovely.
  • Adding a sectional couch to the living room
  • Completing the "parlor" room with two gorgeous original paintings (thanks, Dad!), and a reading corner with trendy chair, side table, and table lamp
  • Cultivating and growing a huge garden overflowing with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and green beans.
  • A new area rug for the living room
  • Having a garage (the best!!!!)
  • The view of the backyard and park--gorgeous!
  • Being so close to Provo and Salt Lake
  • Being so close to a large shopping area (grocery, home goods, clothing, garden, everything!)
  • Living right next to a field that is usually full of cows
  • Planting dozens of tulip bulbs. Can't wait to see that this spring!
It's been a great year so far. We're so excited for many more in our house. I wonder what changes this next year will bring?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Act 4; Scene 18: And That's a Wrap

Two days ago, Monday night, was the closing night of White Christmas at the Lehi Arts Center.

And my, what a ride!

Who would have thought I could be cast as a back-up dancing chorus girl, and be successful at it?!?! It was a blast. I loved learning tap dance routines, and am glad for the awesome dance experience I got. I also LOVED my elegant 1950s costumes. Here are some shots of a few of them:

 Chorus girl outfit!

for the night club scene
"practicing" dance on stage
Chorus girl in action!
"Snow" scene on the train
And I'm so sad I don't have a picture of my cute Santa chorus girl outfit! I'll have to track one down and post it later. 

Anyway, we sure had fun. It was especially fun to be able to sing and dance along with all of the old Irving Berlin classics in the show. 

And of course, while I was gone Daddy and Tommy had some great times before bedtime.
Here they are watching Lord of the Rings--Robert says, start 'em young. (Oy.)

And here's to having our evenings together again just in time for Christmas! (And to not doing my hair in pin curls every morning!)

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Act 4; Scene 17: Let's Play Hide and Seek

Last week Robert and I substituted the 3/4 year old Sunbeam class.

45 minutes is a long time for those sweet little restless bodies! We put a puzzle together, played games, told stories, and sang songs about being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They seemed to be engaged in the activities--but every five minutes or so one of them would ask if they could play hide-and-go-seek instead of the game we were playing. Apparently all of them really wanted to play hide and seek. I told them if they were very reverent, we could play hide and seek at the end of class.

And of course, they did not forget that promise. :-) We ended up with about 5-10 extra minutes. I looked around the tiny classroom with nothing but a few chairs (that is all that would fit in there!) and one small table. I thought, Hmmmm, hide and seek might not work so well in here.

Apparently that was just my lack of imagination. True to my word, I supervised the hide and go seek game at the end of class. And the kids LOVED it. They loved closing their eyes and counting. And every time, most of the kids would hide under the table, or behind a chair--completely visible to the "it" person. But that "it" child would walk around the room looking under chairs and around the room until they got to the table or behind the chair and cry out, "I found you!"
In one round, Michael, who was "it" opened his eyes and looked right at the rest of his "hiding" classmates. Then he proceeded to walk around the room saying, "Where are they? I don't know where they are! Where are you?!" In the exact sing-song voice that parents use when they are trying to "find" the kids in hide and seek. 

Except I think parents usually think that their child has no idea that the parent can actually see them and know exactly where they are when they say those words. But Michael knew that he could see these kids "hiding," and these kids new that Michael could see them. But because of the limitations of the room, he had to find a way to make it interesting--had to find a way to search for the hiding spots. So he did what he had heard his parents do--fake that he couldn't see them while he "searched" until he made his way over to the table, crouched down, and said, "I found you!!!"

And you know what? The kids squealed with delight when he found them, even though they knew the whole time that he could see them. 

Do you think our kids actually know when we're faking that we can't see them, but go along with it because it's fun to play anyway? Because why should they let something as little as not being able to hide well ruin their game? Why not have delight in the game by using a little imagination? And why not employ the same technique their parents use to make the game work? 

This little game at the end of class was eye opening to me. To see these kids mimic so well a parent-child interaction made me really think about what my children see in me and learn from me; especially when I am not thinking about teaching them. It also made me realize, once again, how smart kids are. So much smarter than we think. (I wonder how many things they pick up on that we are unaware of?) And how inventive--I mean, why not use a little imagination to make things work?!

I hope you have a chance to sub a sunbeam class, too!

Happy Sunday!

Act 4; Scene 16: Wow...Two Holidays Behind!!!

It has been far too long since I have posted.

Things have been, shall we say, CRAZY around here.

But I found these pictures from Halloween and Thanksgiving and I had to recap! Indulge me in a picture tour of the last two big days in the last 2 months :-)

Here's how our Halloween night turned out:

We started with a meal of witch hat quesadillas and Halloween chips

Here's our spread for the after trick or treating party

jack-o-lantern punch!

Zookeeper Lauren with Gorilla Dustin and monkey Sawyer

Then on to making haunted houses. The graham crackers didn't stay up so well for me. Or maybe it was my design...here's the 3 picture destruction by gravity:

I added candy corn to make it look like a fire destroyed it...

Annie and Erin's awesome haunted house

Lauren and Dustin's room themed house

Robert's haunted church and church yard

He's definitely an architect!
Fun Night!

Now...on to Thanksgiving!

We went down to St. George to visit Grandma and Grandpa Center in their deluxe mission home for this holiday. And we had so much fun that I am sadly lacking pictures! But here are a few from that fun week!

Enjoying the little playground right next door

Rosie just wanted to join us for dinner!

Couldn't resist putting this funny picture from the visitor center up!

The temple at the tree lighting ceremony
I wish we had a picture of Tommy at the swimming pool (also next door). He had a BLAST. He was only sad that we wouldn't put him down in the 4 ft deep water to swim on his own. :-) Swimming lessons for this kid when he's old enough!

We had such a lovely time and are excited to be there for Christmas too!

Whew...feeling a little more caught up now :-)

And now...on to Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Act 4; Scene 15: Happy Halloween!

Here's to the haunting, creeping, and spooking

Laughing, tricking, and looting.

This year's jack-o-lanterns

Happy Haunting!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Act 4; Scene 14: Goofball

Daddy captured these goofy pictures on his new fancy iphone after church this Sunday.

What a goof. He really looks like a goofy old man with the sun shining on his static-just-after-nap hair!

We sure love this guy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Act 4; Scene 13: The Big Reveal! (Almost)

Since we've already been to one Halloween party, and are about to pop in at some more, we thought we'd give the big costume reveal a bit early.

But this year's costume is a bit harder to guess. Even people that have seen us in costume don't know who we are. It is rather, um, specialized, shall we say?

So here's the deal--this is the reveal picture, but it is also the FINAL hint.

Do you know who we are???

Happy Haunting!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Act 4; Scene 12: Spiders and Monsters

Our neighbors invited us to a Halloween party, and asked us to bring cupcakes.

Here is what I came up with:


Thank you Kris, for the kit!

And Monsters:

Mostly because I ran out of spider legs
Thanks to Kim for the bloodshot candy eyes!

And our final Halloween costume hint!!!!


We are made of lots of felt and foam.

Keep guessing!