Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catching up

So first, here are some more pictures from last week when Jennie, Junie and Olive were visiting that Jennie took with her camera...
Also, we went to a ward christmas party for our ward on wednesday and Steven saw Santa for the first time! :) I don't think I was actually that exctied about Santa, just excited about a cute photo opportunity.
Steven and I are now in California. We're having a great time here, but we miss TJ lots... He'll meet us out here on the 21st. We can't wait! Until today, it's been gorgeous here. It rained all day today, but it didn't bother me that much with all the nice weather we had before. On Sunday, after church, we went home and got stuff for dinner and then headed to the beach. It was amazing. I never want to leave....
The kids took a bath together so we of course had to get some pictures :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

I was so excited to put the christmas tree up this year, and thought it would be really fun to wait to do it until my sister Jennie and her two kids got here. The more the merrier, especially with a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old involved. So on saturday, Junie helped TJ put the tree together,
Steven and Olive helped with the lights,
Olive was so excited to put up ornaments,
and we all helped Steven open up his ornament and put it on the tree
Afterwards, TJ read Steven a book. It was so cute :)
Other than that, we've had a great week so far just hanging out!!
(just to explain, this nifty little thing Steven is holding is something we got from Jennie that we can put solid food in and he can smoosh until he can suck it out of the little holes in the mesh)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let the Christmas cards begin!

Christmas cards are one of my favorite things about Christmas. It's actually the way I kept track of TJ over the years, so we can thank them for getting us together. This year, Shutterfly is giving away 50 free christmas cards for posting about them, so I jumped at the opportunity. I've actually had a few experiences with Shutterfly at this point, and I love them! For the past two years we've had our Rands Family Reunion. All of us always take lots and lots of picture there which is great! On Shutterfly, you can make share sites which is a great way for us to put all of our pictures together and then put them into a book. So now, I have two great books from our family reunion, which I love!

I guess now that we have a kid, it's time to start sending holiday cards out. They have awesome ones! There have been a few times when I've used them to send cards to people that I want to make a little more personal. It's fun because I can put a picture of the person on the front of it! Here are a few of my favorite christmas ones...

They have really cute ideas for great little gifts for people too! There are photo calendars
and mugs to just name a few. I'm excited to take advantage of all the options they have!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Giving

So I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever posted twice in one day, but I just really wanted to post about this. My friend Rosalyn who took our family pictures is having a contest right now on her blog about Christmas Giving. You can read about it here: http://rosalynphotography.blogspot.com/2010/12/gift-for-giving.html
Anyway, I decided to enter and it reminded me of an awesome tradition that we had in my family growing up. My favorite tradition was doing the 12 Days of Christmas. It was this awesome thing that my parents came up with where they would make up rhymes for each of the "days of christmas" involving everything from canned pears to kazoos. We would then pick out 2 or 3 families that we thought could benefit from it. Sometimes it was a new family in our ward, or a friend from school. Then, on December 13th, the fun began! Each night, we would take our "gift" and poem to their house, ring the doorbell, and run/hide. Growing up, being the runner was the thing we all wanted to do. So, that would go on for 11 nights as we tried our best not to get caught or give away who we were. Then, on night twelve, Christmas Eve, we did everything the same as usual, but this time, at the end of our poem we said Love, The Rands. That last gift was the best, too. It was a print that my sister had done of the Baby Jesus in pointillism. It was our way of sharing the gospel and the true Christmas spirit with those around us. It was something I'll never forget, and an amazing way that my parents instilled the spirit of service in all of us. I haven't done this yet since I've left home, but I definitely want to! It's hard since we usually travel over christmas, but I am determined to make time for it.

Thanksgiving + 8 months

This is gonna be a long one...
We all went to Indiana for Thanksgiving to spend time with TJ's family. I was really excited about it, but a little nervous about how Steven was going to do on the plane and how the time change would effect him, etc. We traveled to the midwest with him once before, but he was only 3 months old, and so was still sleeping all the time so it wasn't as big of a deal. The plane ride definitely could have gone better, and worse. He basically starting crying as soon as we got on the plane. We could sporadically keep him entertained, but he would still whine, and I knew he just needed to go to sleep. There was a lady on the plane that even offered to walk around with him for a little while to give us a break. Finally, I got him to sleep, and even though he didn't sleep for very long, it definitely helped! We had been super lucky and the airline people at the gate had moved some people around so we could have a row to ourselves. It was obviously very helpful!
When we got there, he was so excited to see all his family! It was so cute. The Wilson's had only met him once, so he was still pretty new to them. He met Kate for the first time and gave her kisses (kind of) but then got very distracted with her bow.
On Tuesday, we all went to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis. It was super fun for the kids and the adults.
Thanksgiving was so much fun, filled with deep frying a turkey in the rain, making frog-eye salad, Steven's first thanksgiving meal (out of baby food) and opening ornaments from the cousins.
We had our first mix-up with baby Steven and Uncle Steve... Even though I knew Steven didn't have an ornament (it was from the Detro's and we didn't bring it with us), without even thinking, I watched while he opened a gift addressed to Steven. When he opened it to find glass bottles, we were all a little confused. Then, I used my head, and realized he must have opened something for Uncle Steve. I'm sure this won't be the last time they get mixed up...
He was still very happy though! All he wanted to play with was the wrapping paper.
On friday we got some family pictures taken. It was short and sweet since the kids (and Uncle Steve) were not too happy with the chilly weather.
I had helped Katy and Kelly make pajamas for the little kids and they turned out super cute! I was just sad I didn't get a pair... again! ;)
I thought it was the cutest thing that Dylan was holding Steven's hand!
And then we did the circle game! Even the Detro's got to join us via google chat. And there was some awesome stuff this year too! I guess all that black friday shopping really paid off, even if TJ and I did almost die and everyone was very sleep deprived...
So that was Thanksgiving! We were so sad to leave and come home, especially because that meant being in the car that Jill and Randy are lending us (how nice is that??) for 30 hours! The drive wasn't horrible, though, and Steven did a lot better than expected. He slept most of the time, and only spent about 3 hrs total crying. Hopefully that means that he'll do well when I drive to CA with my sister Jennie and her two kids in a little over a week.

The last order of business is that Steven is now 8 months old! I seriously can't believe how fast he's growing!! He's getting better and better and crawling every day, is getting into everything, makes the funniest noises, and has starting pulling himself up on things. It's so much fun to watch him discover new things. He is just the best little guy :) It's getting harder and harder to take picture's of him with his sign though. I've resorted (as you can see) to just putting it off to the side and trying to get both of them in the picture. oh well.