Wednesday, December 31, 2008


this year we were blessed again, to recognize the love of our friends and neighbors. it is a favorite family tradition (as recorded by my friend Erin,) to visit all our friends and neighbors during the holidays to give them a little treat. this year delivered popcorn and visited over 50 families within a 2 mile radius! we cannot adequately express our gratitude at living in such an amazing neighborhood. thank you for another wonderful year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

a California Christmas

this year we spent Christmas with the Beardsleys in California. we had a lot of fun, and did so many wonderful things packed into a too quick 5 days! first, on Christmas Eve a special visitor came to Grandma and Grandpa's house. though he was really sweet and many children young, and old were thrilled to see him, Madeline remained very skeptical, if not afraid of Santa Claus. she didn't sleep at all that night and on Christmas morning, when Anna came to say that Santa had come, Madeline froze with sheer fright. she would not come out of Corbynn's bedroom, and i had to carry her up to the presents and explain that Santa had LEFT them all, and was not hanging around. all morning, when someone would come in and say, "oh, Santa came!" her eyes would dart around making sure he wasn't actually in the room. too funny!

Avery had a good first Christmas. she was the only of our 3 children who slept at all on Christmas Eve. she sat quietly while the presents were opened and even smiled an laughed with everyone, before taking her morning nap. seriously, have a mentioned what an awesome baby she is? i couldn't be happier, or more well rested! (okay, i could be more well rested, but i can hardly complain she's such a great sleeper!)

despite being utterly frightening to Maddie, Santa was really good to the girls this year. he left a note explaining that the kitchen and playhouse they asked for were waiting at home, and then hit them with the surprise present of a Barbie Jeep. and princess gear. they played on the Jeep for hours, a day even, arguing about who was in the driver's seat, before the battery was charged up and ready to go! and when they went, both girls decided they liked the Jeep stationary, or settled in as passengers. Henry got a cool new Jeep too, and Anna was all to happy to ride with him rather than drive her own vehicle. Santa did not fail Nalu this year, giving her a rawhide bone and anti-shedding vitamins. she surprised us all by rooting around in the gifts and discovering her own. everyone was trying to stop her from getting into trouble, not realizing Santa deliberately left the dog a present. we were shocked since Nalu commonly has to be directed to chunks of meat dropped on the floor by the children. i guess it's a Christmas miracle that she sniffed out her own gift! another Christmas miracle was the pinpoint accuracy Ashlyn had in her gift-giving this year. i don't think Santa himself could have predicted the need Collier had for a neon green/yellow sweatshirt depicting the classic canvas by Brandon Bird, nobody wants to play sega with Harrison Ford. and really - no one does, so true. and Austin's life was incomplete without the same startlingly beautifully colored sweatshirt, with a portrait of Phil, that's right, music legend Phil Collins. not to be outdone, Corbynn's gift was this perfect tribute to the perfect "man", vampire? and for me, just what i needed. though i have already trapped my man, we tend to disagree on the future of our family, namely the numbers. those who knew me as a child know that i always wanted a big, no HUGE family. i'd been overheard saying a good round dozen sounded about right. however, as a more mature marrying-age woman, i realized this may in fact kill me in more ways than one, (childbirth, lack of sleep, teenage years) i decided big was 3 or 4, and was terrified at even those meager numbers. fast-forward to present time when i have been overheard to say, "the more i have, the more i want," and with 3 i look forward to at least 1 or 2 more now my terror has been transferred to my husband who wonders how to feed us all. well, Ashlyn is here to help me. she gave me "birth control" gum.i just pop one of these babies, and say, "well, gotta take my birth control," and pow, i'll get my fourth child for sure. win/win, right Jase? 'cause i'm on birth control?
i can't remember/didn't take pics of her other gifts, wait, oh yeah- there was the Liberace paperdoll set for my dad, and air freshener for Collier's new car with a dude skipping and the caption, "skipping, running's gay cousin."
then Christmas night, 3 big packages were opened by 4 rambunctious children. the packages contained approximately one million beach balls. i don't think i even need to describe how this went over. really, a hit of a gift. that's grand slam gift-giving Aunt Tashy!
during the traditional Christmas naptime for parents, the kids did not nap themselves (oh except Avery of course) but rather, joyfully played with their toys - oh and my makeup. now you may remember the close call i had a while back thinking the girls got into my makeup- well this time it really happened. these are the faces that woke me up from my nap. (who am i kidding, i never took a nap. really they just roused me from a waking coma.) yeah. so, in an effort to keep the kids otherwise engaged, Jason invented the hit game, "throw the kids."
it still made a big mess, but this one was easier to clean up!
later that night, we gathered as a family for a delicious Christmas dinner. friday, we met some friends at the beach and enjoyed going to Collier's basketball game. the girls ate some of their Christmas candy, and passed out for a short time in the car. at nightfall, we all went to long beach to check out the lights. it was freezing. Avery was only comfortable wrapped in Grandma's coat. but we still had fun, although this picture doesn't really look like it. i know some of my family was able to capture the joyfulness that these two cousins displayed that night, holding hands, singing carols, skipping and running along. but this is the one shot i got. in front of the Rudolf they were so excited to see. can't you tell?
and Saturday, we got to see even more cousins when Uncle Ralph, Aunt Nita, Aunt Lori, Aunt Sandy, Uncle Mark, Brendon, Caitlin, and their families came to visit! oh what fun!

and by the way, Maddie thought Ralph was Santa and wouldn't go near him all night! we'll see if she warms up to the jolly man in the red suit next year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

happy birthday Daddy!

Anna and Madeline get just as excited, if not more, about other people's birthdays as their own. today, they are super excited to with their Daddy a happy birthday. we've been wrapping presents and making cards, and not the least of things to do for Daddy: cleaning the house. we love Daddy!

as for me, i am having some special feelings for my man. Jason, every girl dreams about marrying prince charming, tall dark handsome, and all that. surface stuff. but what astonishes me each day, are the ways you have become the man of my dreams, the ways i didn't even know i was dreaming about. the absolute trust i am able to have in you gives me a deeper sense of love than i ever thought possible. all of the twitterpated feelings i had when we first started dating are still there, along with a deep admiration for the kind of loving husband and father you have become. i love how dedicated you are to all that you do, and i feel like i have been able to become myself with you by my side. thank you for loving me. happy birthday! (oh, and please don't be mad at me for posting these pics, i just loved the way you looked when you got home the other night.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

decking the halls, trimming the tree

so, we've been on the go the last 2 weekends, and finally settled in now. we got a tree and spent some family time, trimming it up. we also got a new camera, and even though Jason thinks i'm crazy with it, here's his contribution. also, our little momma's girl changed her tune for a night and gave daddy some big time love. this made daddy's day! (maybe year?)Jason taught Anna how to do "shaka" and once she mastered it, she was hooked. here's Madeline's attempt. Avery was an angel as always, seriously a dream 3rd baby. later this week, i took the girls to see Santa. i wish i would have brought my own camera! these guys did not even try to take a good shot, and Avery was sleeping! what a waste. this weekend, we hit the outside of the house, even though there's only 2 weeks left in December. (i was a little Grinch-y and suggested we forgo lights this year.) anyway, we have our lights on remote control so, we taught the girls to say the magic words to light up the house, they love it. gotta love the magic of the holiday season.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

viva las vegas

so Jason won a trip to Las Vegas through work! hurray! now, i guess most people wouldn't bring their 3 kids to Sin City, but we're not most people. when you have to take one, why not take them all right? anyway, on Friday we had a little Hoover Dam action and checked into our hotel. we stayed off the strip at the Red Rock. it was a really, really nice hotel. i could fill an entire post with pics i took at the hotel, but Jason made so much fun of me, i'll just keep those to myself. as for our vacation - we wanted to be where the action was. we had hyped the girls up for Circus Circus, thinking this would be really exciting, and took them first thing Saturday morning. they were pretty luke warm on all the games, and even the shows. they won some prizes (kids under 12 win everytime, yay!) and we headed back to the hotel for naps. later that day we went to the Venetian, and they went nuts. they loved the Grand Canal and all the water! they were running around saying, "water, water!" i was left scratching my head. it was a fun weekend. we got together with some family to celebrate my cousin David's wedding. he and his wife Jodi are crazy, (just kidding guys) and were married during the Las Vegas Marathon. unfortunately, we missed the ceremony and even the finish line festivities due to kid issues, and just plain old traffic. but i saw pictures, and it looked like fun! the race ended at the Mandalay Bay, so we took the girls to Shark Cove. another hit attraction, apparently my girls love all things water related. good to know!