Monday, December 26, 2011

Point Defiance

On the Monday after Christmas, we went to the Point Defiance park in Tacoma to enjoy the beauties of nature.  The park has great views of the Puget Sound, a old-growth forest, and a nice road through it all making it very accessible (we drove).  Someday we're going to get a "family" car so that I don't have to sit in the back seat on Jeff's lap while he's wedged between two car seats....someday.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Christmas day was a big success.  We had so much fun together and it was really special that my Mom and Dad could be there with us.  We decided to have a smaller budget this year because we're planning on going to DisneyWorld in late January (our kids don't know yet).  They still ended up with way more toys than I planned on.  Oh well!

Here's Claire dressed up as Rapunzel with her matching doll...that's probably the last time Rapunzel's hair looked good.  Now I know why they named the movie Tangled.

Later in the day, Claire changed to the Aurora costume and matching doll and then fell asleep on the family room floor.  Our little Sleeping Beauty.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cookies for Santa

On Christmas Eve, the girls and I decorated sugar cookies for Santa.

I have not found the perfect sugar cookie fact the sugar cookie is my baking nemesis.  They either are tough, or too cakey, or the dough is so soft it just coats everything it touches.  So this year, I bought a mix thinking that would be better.  Nope!  We skipped the cookie cutters and just had round, drop-style sugar cookies instead.  I wasn't going to fight with the dough...Santa would know and then I wouldn't get any presents.

We did have fun decorating though.  Lily's first move was to dump about half a bottle of yellow sprinkles on one cookie...then we had to re-use those sprinkles and we ended up with more yellow and italian-flag (red, green, and yellow) cookies than I would've liked.  Oh well.  Santa didn't mind.

Here's the finished product.

Here's Claire after sampling the cookies.  Yes, that is frosting up her nose.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas in Seattle

My parents came to visit for Christmas and we planned some fun things to do together as a family.  Some of our plans had to be tweaked because Jeff ended up needing to work a couple of the days he'd planned to take off.  However, our trip downtown could not have been done without him so we waited until Friday to see the sites of the city.

We took the commuter train into downtown.  That's how Jeff gets to work every day, but the girls and I had never ridden it.  It was really smooth and quiet and NICE!  Lily and Claire were confused that they didn't have to be buckled in so they found handles to hold onto.

Here's my parents.
And here's me!  I got a new shorter haircut that is much easier to take care of.

Our first stop was to get our name on the waiting list to see Santa and Nordstrom's.  We heard that Santa was the real one so it was worth the 3 hour wait.  Fortunately, they call you when its time to come wait in the 30 minute line inside so you can keep doing your site-seeing.

Next we went to see the gingerbread village display inside of the Sheraton Hotel.  It was awesome!  I think my brother, Skye (who is a baker), would have freaked out.  There were a bunch more, but these 2 were my favorites.

Then we went to Pike Place Market - a must do if you ever visit Seattle. (hint, hint, Haley!)

On the way back from the market we stopped at a popcorn shop and my dad got us all some caramel corn.  It was the best I've ever had!  They had so many different flavors so I asked Jeff to take a picture of them in case I want to replicate the shop in my own home.  I don't know why I want to make a million kinds of popcorn, but this place as so inspirational to me that I kinda do. If you click on the pictures, you'll probably be able to read some of the labels.

Then we got the call that it was time to go meet Santa!  We walked back to Nordstroms and Santa's elf told us that the wait upstairs was much less and equally impressive.  Hooray!  We only had to wait like 5 min up there and they gave us free cookies and cider.  Santa was great and knew the girls names and made sure they'd been extra good this year.

After that, we went to eat lunch, visited Jeff's office for some sweet city views, and went to Lake Union.  We enjoyed seeing the wooden boats and the sunshine.  The girls played tag in the park with Daddy.

Then it was time to head back to the King Street Station to catch the train home.  The station is in the international district so we stopped to buy some pastries at a Chinese bakery before we got on the train and enjoyed eating them on the way home.  My coconut sweet bun was really good.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

As Claire transitions to fewer naps, sometimes she crashes in a random spot and I find her later.  Well I'd been reading to Lily and I hadn't heard from Claire in a while so I went to find her.  I found her sleeping on the stairs.  It was so funny I had to take a couple of pictures before I moved her to safety.

She's even wearing the Sleeping Beauty dress up dress!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making Gingerbread Houses and the Santa Parade

I wanted to make Gingerbread houses with the girls this year, but I didn't want to buy a million bags of candy that I don't even like to eat.  I saw that they had a craft at the library to make them, but by the time I got around to signing up they were already full.  However I noticed during my 6am run to the local grocery store (I really needed more corn starch for Joy School that morning) that they were also going to have a free time to come and make gingerbread houses.  Hooray!

Jeff helped Claire and I helped Lily.  It was really fun to see how different our houses looked even though we used the same materials.  The girls had a lot of fun.  I even managed to get the gingerbread houses home safely and displayed them throughout the holiday season.

After we made gingerbread houses we went to downtown Sumner for the Santa Parade.  It was fun to experience the parade in the historic downtown area.  It was actually pretty crowded!  It was also very enjoyable because it was sunny (sometimes rare during a Seattle area winter).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jeff's Mustache and New Office

Since Jeff took these pictures, you all deserve to see them.  He'll regret it later....I'll  make sure that he never grows another mustache.

And here's the view from his new office building.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sweet girl

Claire is starting to outgrow her nap so sometimes she'll skip a day our fall asleep close to dinner time.  One day she fell asleep on me and it was so sweet. She just doesn't hold still enough these days.  It reminded me of when she was a baby.

Preparation Fair

Puyallup had a preoaration fair that was announced at church so we decided to go.  The fact that they had free bike helmets for the kids was a big draw.  The girls favorite parts were the fire truck and the life flight helicopter.  I thought it was good to learn what to do if a volcano erupts (since we live closer to one now).

Claire loves eggnog

I hate eggnog, but Jeff loves it.  He decided he needed to teach our girls to enjoy it too.  They both love it and ask for it whenever they see it in the fridge.

Black Friday

The day after thanksgiving we didn't do a lot of shopping (thanks to walmart opening on thanksgiving night).  We spent the day with the Cheney's and went swimming and ate pizza.

That night we decided to go get our christmas tree and return my library books.  The library was all blocked off so we asked the police officer what was going on and he told us that Sumner was having their annual christmas bridge lighting at dark (so 5pm).  We decided to go spur of the moment.

We enjoyed the free hot chocolate and the fireworks after the bridge was lit.


We had a great thanksgiving with friends this year.  Each family brought a few dishes and pies to contribute.  We made the turkey and it was so juicy and good!

Jeff is growing out a moustache for november for men's cancer awareness.  He and I both can't wait until december so he can shave it off!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

We wish you a happy Halloween! If you couldn't tell, for the ward Halloween Party, Claire was Cinderella Tahlia was a fairy mother, Jeff was a 70's game show host (notice the extra long, skinny microphone), and Lily was Rapunzel.
For actual Halloween Trick or Treating Lily was Ariel, the mermaid, and Claire was a fairy.  So cute!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Point Defiance Park and Some Pictures of the House

Since today was a beautiful sunny day, we went to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma after church.  I had been there one time with my mom, but Jeff had never been there.  We had a great time exploring the forests and beaches.  There are amazing views of the Puget Sound and the forests are so green its easy to forget its Fall.  If you come visit us, we'll take you there!

Since it was such a nice day, Jeff decided to snap some pictures of our house, our view, and our decorated front porch.  (For some reason, no one else in the neighborhood has decorated for Halloween.)  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Pizzas

We made personal "pumpkin" pizzas for dinner tonight and it was really fun.  I just made pizza dough, but instead of the usual - one large - I made 4 small pizzas.  The girls enjoyed decorating theirs to look like a jack-o-lantern.  We used pepperoni, olives, and mushrooms.  Claire ate all the leftover olives and started stealing other peoples. That girl is a lot like her father.

Friday, October 21, 2011

YMCA Halloween Party

I am really loving this Halloween/Fall season.  My kids are getting into it, especially Lily.  She's changed her mind about what she wants to be for Halloween like 16 times.  In fact, I thought she was going to be Rapunzel, but then she decided she was going to be Ariel for the YMCA Halloween Party.  We'll she what she decides for the ward party and for the actual Halloween day.  Claire decided to be Belle and I only had to redo her hair twice...that's pretty good for Claire.  She looked really cute.  For some reason I didn't take any pictures, but a YMCA employee did and promised to email me so when that happens, I'll post a picture.

Lily likes to hear about spooky things (but not too spooky) and has been drawing ghosts and vampire costumes.  Claire HATES spooky things and if things get even remotely spooky she starts to cry (like when I pretended to be a witch).  Good times.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lily's Joy School Halloween Party

Lily has really been enjoying Joy School once a week with the kids in her Sunbeams class. This week they had their Halloween party. The parents were invited to the end to see the kids sing their Halloween songs in their costumes.  It was so cute.  Lily had a little bit of stage fright and danced really timidly and sang really quietly even though she knew the song really well. Oh well!  Here's Lily in her Rapunzel costume.