I am not feeling so chatty, so this will probably be mostly a picture update. A picture is worth a thousand words right? In that case I'm saving myself 16,000 words. Works for me. 

I knew we got a lot of snow during our blizzard but
I never thought to find out how much. Can you guess? 20 inches.
That is a lot of snow.  Luckily Jeff's parents and grandma were still
able to make it out for Christmas. 

All the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

Until I moved them because they were hiding my gingerbread house. 

It was a tradition in my house growing up to take a picture
on the stairs before we could go look at what Santa had brought us.
Looks like it went over really well right?

Lauren got her melty beads. It was all she asked Santa for.
She is so easy to please. 
We went sledding on Christmas day. The snow was to
deep and the wind was too chilly so we didn't last too long. 

Callum's dump truck. It is smaller than the one his friend has
and when he sat in it (like he does with his friends) the truck
fell over and he hasn't really touched it since. 
"Oh, I'm just sitting in a princess chair, driving a pony car."
Seriously one of my favorite pictures. 
New outfits from Grandma Marlene. 
We got a lot of fun toys at Christmas that are thankfully keeping the kids entertained during the Christmas break. The girls have had a lot of fun getting to play together all day long, but I will be happy when we go back to our regular schedules. I've realized that I am out of practice at taking my three kiddos with me places. With Lauren at school and Kenna at preschool I usually run my errands with just Callum. Coincidentally we have no milk, eggs, yogurt, and we are almost out of bread. I think I will have to hunker down and go to the store because I don't think we can make it until Wednesday.



It took her six hours and a bribe of some candy if she could do the puzzle all by herself. But she did it. A 100 piece puzzle. That is some mighty determination.


Gingerbread House

This was my first time making a gingerbread house I can't say that it was very successful. First of all I cut out all the parts before I baked them, which wasn't terrible except the fact that the warped a little bit. I wasn't very careful about the thickness and the ones that were really thick have fluffy windows. So for the purist gingerbread maker this house is a disaster because there is a ton of hot glue holding this thing together. I also was a little unsure of how done they should have been when I took them out of the oven. Because they weren't hard when I tested them I left a couple of them in until the were crisp in the oven which basically means that they are burnt. Lessons learned: Next year be diligent in my rolling, and take them out when the are still soft. They cool hard. 


Once There Was a Snowman

On Sunday we awoke to beautiful snow. Not very much in the morning but by afternoon there was about 4 inches of super wet perfect snow. The girls woke up put on their snow clothes and went outside all by themselves. Jeff and the girls walked to the church to help shovel the sidewalks before the 9:00 church started. He said that they weren't a lot of help but that they had fun.

After church and nap time we bundled up (it really wasn't even that cold) to build a snowman and play in the snow. We had a lot of fun. Probably the best snow playing experience I have ever had. The snow was perfectly wet and made our snowman easy and fast to build.

Making snow angels. 

I love this face. 

Jeff getting tackled in the snow by Lauren
(I can tell because of her gloves)


Weird Dreams

I have been having super weird dreams lately. I have always been one to remember my dreams but they have seemed so vivid and I have been having one almost every night. So I thought I would share them because they are fairly ridiculous.

1. I had a dream that I was helping out with a young woman's activity and the were playing a game a charades. One of the girls couldn't get the group to guess what she was acting out so she asked me to help her with it, so I get up and start dancing around and mimicking this girl, but I have no idea what the word is because she didn't tell me and nobody ever guesses it and I was a little resentful because we could have totally gotten the group to guess what the word was if only I had known what it was. The kicker? I never found out what it was that I was supposed to be acting out.

2. Aliens. I mostly blame this dream on watching Men In Black last weekend. It was getting kind of scary so I was glad when Lauren came in and woke me up because she needed help going to the bathroom.

3. Zac Efron. In my dream I was a total fanatic and I was kind of stalking him. Insider information was that he was going to be at the mall looking for a ring for Vanessa (this is clearly pre-break-up). He apparently wanted to find one like her Grandma's (or to replace one that she had loved but lost). So anyway, I felt like I could help him find one like it. So I approached him and offered my services. Turns out the owner of the jewelry store knew exactly where to find one that Zac was looking for. Hallmark. (Strange huh)? Even though he knew where to go I went with him. It turns out that Zac didn't really like fans or more precisely stalker fans. But it didn't bother me. In the end he was being followed by paparazzi so he and Vanessa took a private plane to Houston Texas and Zac entrusted me with driving his SUV to Texas. It turns out that I have family in Texas (not in real life but in my dream) and Zac was a little wary of having to meet them to get his car and keys from me. I told him that they wouldn't be a problem and wouldn't even talk to him. So he gets to the house rings the door bell and my family (not my real family, but my dream family) opens the door pretty much bombard him with hugs and questions. Then drags him into the house and makes him eat some pie.  And that is all that I remember. It was pretty funny. But now I am questioning if I should end my star crush on him.

4. Jeff dumped me. I don't know if we were married or just dating, but there was another guy who wanted to date me and Jeff told me that I should choose the other guy. I started to cry and he said "we are good together for a little while, but not forever." There was really no background to this dream but "the other guy" was kind of dreamy. When I woke up I felt a little confused and told Jeff never to dump me.


Christmas Trees and Christmas Bells

This year we were at my parents house for Thanksgiving and as is tradition we went to get a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Jeff and I decided that we would pick out our Christmas tree too and just bring it back to Wisconsin with us. Ummm. Dumb idea. First of all the tree sat on top of our car for three days, which as a side note made our van really easy to spot in a parking lot, secondly it made us get horrible gas mileage. On the way down to Nebraska we stopped for gas one time on the way up we had to stop twice.
Anyway it is a great tree and hopefully it will last until Christmas.

The tree we picked was pretty much the very first
tree that we saw. Good thing too because it was
really, really cold. 

I am pretty sure that I have a picture just like this for
every Christmas that Jeff and I have been married.

Lauren and Sofia wheeling in the goods.
Our tree making the journey home. 

I could not get these girl to smile normal. They really did all the
decorating down at the bottom. I have only moved a couple
of things. I guess that practice run on Grandma's tree got
them seasoned and ready for our tree.  
Yesterday our little family rang bells for the Salvation Army. We were at our local grocery store and when I was signing us up on the internet it said that singing was highly encouraged. I kind of put off practicing any Christmas songs with the girls until Saturday morning where I then realized that the know only three Christmas songs. Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls (thanks to Barbie: A Perfect Christmas), and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We were scheduled to ring bells for one hour. And singing those three songs over and over was a bit monotonous and the girls got pretty tired of standing and singing, but they did great and I think really enjoyed it.
The girls rocking out to "Jingle Bells" they were a real hit
with the older ladies. 

Callum really enjoyed biting the bell more than ringing it. 


I am thankful for. . .

I couldn't let the month of November pass without writing at least in part some of the things that I am grateful for.

1. I am grateful to have had safe travels this Thanksgiving season. We did a lot of driving and on our way home today realized that we had driven 10,000 miles since our last oil change. Oops. We added a quart of oil and even then it was barely at the minimum line. Oops again.

2. I am grateful that the roofers started to work on our unit the day AFTER we left. I am not sure but I think that they are finished.

3. I am thankful that I got to meet my new sister-in-law Lissette and her daughter Sofia. They are both very sweet. Among that list of new acquaintances I got to meet my niece Charity's husband Patrick and their daughter Addison. (Yes. That is my Great-Niece).

4. I am thankful for the gospel. My sister-in-law Amy was diagnosed with leukemia the day before Thanksgiving and our family fasted for my brother and her and their family to have faith and comfort in this time of trial and heartache. I was very special for me to see my family come together and coordinate to hold a special fast for them.

5. I am thankful for the temple. This weekend my Jeff and I got to go the temple together to do an endowment session. My sister Alissa and my Dad came too. I was happy to be there to feel the spirit.

6. I am thankful for friends. Old friends and new friends. While we were in Nebraska we were able to visit with some of our friends in Omaha and after we left I realized that they felt more like family to me than just friends. Hopefully soon my new friends will feel like old friends.

7. I am grateful for my very large, very loud family. There was lots of laughs and lots of good food. (I usually am assigned the task of setting tables and napkin folding, but this year I was in the kitchen helping with food and boy was that a chaotic place to be. I think next year I will opt for table duty). I wish that more of us could have been at my parents house for Thanksgiving and be able see some of my family I haven't seen for a while.


Girl Scout Cookies

Jeff and I wanted Lauren to feel a part of something. A something that didn't cost a lot of money. A something that wasn't too time consuming. So when we heard about Lauren's school having a girl scout troop we decided to jump on board. After all, they only meet once a month and all you have to pay for is the smock and the book. SOLD.

So Lauren and I went to the first meeting where we were informed that cookie sales would start the next week. WHAT? I guess they just throw you into the deep end. So last Saturday while the weather was so nice we packed all of our cookies into our little wagon and went out as a family to sell Girl Scout cookies. It was really fun. Lauren would handle the money and Kenna would handle the cookies. They made a pretty efficient little team.

And, with that we still have a lot of Mango Creme left. Anybody want to buy any cookies from this cute little Daisy Girl Scout, and her adorable assistant?????????


BuSy BuSy

I am not even sure what to blog about first. There have been so many things happen since I last blogged.

1. Jeff's parents came to visit. We went to the zoo and the World Circus Museum. Saw a magic show and graced the Dells with our presence. We spent the night so that we could go to the indoor water parks and went down awesome water slides. I love that about Jeff's parents. When we went to Sea World with them I didn't go on any roller coasters until they did and they convinced me to. Same thing happened with the water slides.

2. Halloween

3. Post Halloween stomach flu

4. Callum's first haircut

5. Lauren joining Girl Scouts

Callum wasn't crazy about the merry-go-round

For some reason I love this polar bear. He walks with a funny waddle. 

Kenna had a field trip for her preschool while Jeff's parents were here
and Grandpa Bill came with us. Kenna got to dig up carrots. I wish I would
have gotten a picture of how muddy everyone was. It had rained for like a week
Kenna looks less than impressed, doesn't she? 
There was also a pumpkin patch at this farm and we
brought home a few. Not this one though. 

These next pictures are from the circus museum. These mirrors were hilarious.
I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.
Another Carousel. Someone who worked at the museum offered to
turn it on for us. The kids were excited. I was less inclined as they
make me a little nauseated. And this one was a particularly rickety one.  

The museum has the largest collection of circus cars. They were
amazing. And they were from all over the world.

Jeff's Dad trying the uni-cycle

The cabin. Apparently this was the best place to sit. 

Callum hated the water park. He basically snuggled up to me
the entire time not moving. Here we are floating down the lazy river. Kenna
was too busy going down the baby slide to join us. 

This is a picture of the slide Kenna went down approximately
1,000 times. 

I'm not sure what is happening in this picture. I was home napping
with Callum, but I thought I would share it anyway. They are
exploring Goth Park. 

I forgot to mention that we went to the Capitol building and took
the tour. Lauren always had a question to ask the tour guide. 

Since it was so cold outside we went to a nursing home across the street from
our house. We did have one incident with the matching costumes when
an old lady wouldn't give Kenna a piece of candy because she
had just given her one. Kenna started crying because it was
Lauren who got the candy and not her. 

Our potato head family.

Family tradition of donuts on a string. We had a party with
some friends from our ward. I love Joe's and Jeff's postures. 
Eliza, never even touched her donut. 

Round 2. Husband/wife competition. He totally beat her. 

Kenna, I see you cheating
Before the haircut

After the haircut. I always feel that once they get their haircut
they don't look like babies anymore. 

Sick Lauren

Sick McKenna. And yes that is the hardwood floor she is asleep on.

Thanks to everyone's illness and everyone sleeping so much, I got three  books read in a week. 

 We have had a fun month of October and we are sure that November will not disappoint us either. Jeff has vacation this month over Thanksgiving so we will be going back to Nebraska. Lots of fun to look forward to.