Christmas Day

It's only appropriate to blog about Christmas now that all my Christmas stuff is put away.

First thing Nate did when Dustin woke him up was come running back into the bedroom where the rest of us were all nestled all snug in our beds yelling, "MOM!!!!! Santa brought two bikes!!! A red one and a pink one." ARGH! Thanks for spoiling the surprise for your sister. Oh well, at least he was excited.

I was super proud of myself this year because for the first time EVER, I feel like I didn't go completely over board on presents. We decided each of the kids would get one gift from Santa, plus some books from Mrs. Claus, one gift from us, and then one gift from each sibling. Once you added in stockings,gifts from Grandparents, cousins, Aunts and Uncles -- they still got plenty of stuff.

You wouldn't even know Sadie got presents because she wouldn't even open them. Once she found the chocolate in her stockings, she was done. My parents got her Rose Petal Cottage and the first thing she did was open the oven, "Where are the cookies?" When none could be found, she put all her half eaten chocolates in there.

If you asked Nate what his favorite toy was, he would say, "All of them." He was especially excited for his Transformers. After a week of practice, I'm actually really good at transforming them back and forth, but Nate says my Transformer voices stink. Sadie bought him some boy dress-up after Halloween. When he opened them he was so excited, "You bought me these so I don't have to wear girl dress up anymore???" Oh yeah honey, because we forced you to wear that pink tutu for 2 years.

Ellie got a lot of clothes/jewelry/shoes/purses. . . all that big girl stuff. She was super super excited to open up my sister's gift -- the one thing she had been begging for and I SWORE I was not buying her -- Puppy Grows and Knows Your Name. The dog has springs in it so it grows a little big everyday and you hook it up to your computer so it learned Ellie's name. It will say things like, "Thanks for naming me Candy, Ellie."

After breakfast burritos -- per Rogers family tradition, you can tell he grew up with all boys, no sweets to be found -- we took the kids out to ride their new bikes and scooters and scooters. I love Arizona weather on Christmas day!!! My kids have been out with the neighbors on their bikes
Nate STILL hasn't gotten that haircut.
before he rode his bike he INSISTED on getting all his gear on.

Sadie brought out her doll stroller from Grandma and Papa Rogers. Our kids were so sweet and so grateful for every gift. I love how excited little kids get over everything. As always -- a perfect Christmas Day.


Twas the Night Before Christmas

We started off with our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with friends. We missed the Hortins and Kimballs who both moved this year :(, but luckily for us the Critchfields are still here and we invited a new family from the Ward who have a girl Ellie's age, a boy Nate's age and two twins a little younger than Sadie and Taten. Dinner was soup in bread bowls and mini pizzas for the kids -- I learned my lesson after years of the kids not eating a bite of soup and filling up on sugar cookies. I think they actually ate something this year!

After dinner, we did the nativity. Ellie lost the intense Rock-Paper-Scissor battle to be Mary, so I suggested she be the Angel. Apparently if she couldn't be Mary, she was going to be some sort of farm animal. So yeah, she's whatever animal has large white ears and makes this face.See the face again in this picture?? And I can mock the HUGE animal ears because I made the set myself. Nate chose to be a Wiseman. So you'll never guess who was our twirling angel!

Then there was cookie decorating which was interrupted by a knock at the door. Sadie thought she'd be helpful and carry Taten's PJs in for him. HOORAY! They're not hyper at all. Seems like they still got plenty of sugar.

Sadie decide she still wanted to decorate cookies. After everyone went home and we got the kids in bed, the real fun began. Dustin had to put together a doll stroller, a scooter and Rose Petal Cottage while I put the presents out. Plus he hadn't wrapped a single one of my gifts. At close to midnight I decided I was no longer useful and headed to bed.

Dustin finished up around 1:30 and then Nate woke us up at about 4 with a coughing fit. Even a breathing treatment couldn't get him to calm down, so sweet Dustin took him out to the family room to watch TV. I guess it took him 2 hours to get him to go back to sleep after seeing the presents.

The girls woke up about 8 and came into bed with me while we waited a few minutes before waking Nate up. And the rest. . . is Christmas Day. Another day, another blog.


It's Beggining to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I think we're officially ready for Christmas. Poor Dustin is going to be up all night putting toys together -- but it's his choice. I'm done with my duties except for one last present that came yesterday.

Friday I had the kids sit down and make a list of everything they wanted to do this week. It is a really long list filled with low expectations, so it's been easy to fulfill:

1. Watch Christmas movie -- CHECK
2. Elise's Christmas Party -- rescheduled due to rain
3. Cut snowflakes -- CHECK
4. Go to the gym -- CHECK
5. Open Christmas Presents
6. Eat lunch -- CHECK
all of these day to day suggestions are Nate's
7. Play games -- CHECK
8. Eat dinner -- CHECK
9. Cuddle Mommy -- CHECK!
10. Sing Christmas Carols -- tonight, but we did have a lovely rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town
11. Change Sadie's diaper -- CHECK lucky girl
12. Keep the house clean -- Uhhhhhh. I did run SIX loads of laundry on Monday and Dustin folded and put them away for me
13. Destroy Lola's Blog -- CHECK
Enjoy it for yourself
14. Make cookies
15. Take a nap -- CHECK PLUS
16. See Bolt -- CHECK
17. Nate buy Mom a Christmas present -- nate may be the worst secret keeper because I'm pretty sure it's a pink water bottle.
18. Get Nate a haircut
19. Go to Pre-school -- CHECK! Santa even came
20. Read books -- CHECK
21. Watch Mamma Mia -- CHECK apparently Dustin does not love this movie as much as me
22. Go to the Nutcracker -- CHECK
23. Go to Church -- CHECK
24. Kiss Mommy -- check
25. Christmas Eve party at our house -- 9 more hours
26. Eat cereal -- CHECK
27. Play Barbies -- CHECK

Like I said, simple list. I must have disappointed my kids so many times that they realized to set the bar low and ask for things like naps.

Yesterday we got our BEST Christmas present for the year. We opened a package from Dustin's brother, Chris and his wife Shauna to find this
At first I thought they had sent us an ornament and I was thinking, "Uh helllllo, our baby is due in June" and then I saw the two little penguins! After 8 years we are so excited for them to finally have some babies in their home!!! And selfishly I'm so excited for our baby to have two little cousin buddies.

I could hardly sleep last night after the news! I honestly think this made my Christmas. It will be fun to see Shauna pregnant -- with TWINS! They will be such wonderful parents and I know they have wanted this for so long. I guess if you're going to have twins, first off is the time to have them.



Ugly Sweater Party

Honorable Mention.
You know you're a good husband when you'll wear a sweater from Wal-Mart's Ladies section

3rd place with their smokin' hot White Elephant gift.
Mike is Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. Homemade dickie and all!

2nd place
I just love the whole ensemble. She looks just like a teacher in her jumper.

Grand Prize Winners
Jay's sweater is not only meant for a lady, but it has shoulder pads and everything.

Some of the losers

Some of the cheaters, I mean winners

The hot white elephant gift. Scott won a no-name camera at a golf tournament and had no idea it would be such a coveted item. REALLY? A no-name digital camera or a ceramic clock. . .hmmmm.

Scott and Katherine also have excellent taste obviously if these are the ugliest sweaters they could find. I have one of Jeff and Becky too somewhere on here. Also NOT ugly sweaters.


Because I can only remember what I have pictures of

So I can barely remember what day it is, much less any fun stories, so you get a blog in pictures. Being "googley" for the 4th time has really cramped my style. I've been sicker, achier, and sleepier than ever before so hopefully you'll all forgive my lack of blog love lately. Oh, also fatter faster than ever before.

I saw these cute ornaments made with kids thumbprints and thought it would be fun to make. Please note that Ellie drew her own snowman face and added a hat. The lips make me laugh. I think I need some sparkly fake snow inside. If only I still had some leftover from my birthday surprise 2 years ago.

We had an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. I seriously love my friends that they were willing to wear such hideous things. I have pictures of everyone that came, but they are on the Bryner's camera, so for now you just get the two that we took on our camera. Wait until you see the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place outfits. I don't think Janel looks quite ugly enough. Just hot ;D And Amy's cute little shirt actually lit up. Sean is a party pooper obviously. First we played a Christmas movie trivia game. I had audio clips and you had to name the movie Family Feud style. Now tell me, if I played something to the tune of
"You hope while I hurry
You pray while I plan
We’ll do what’s necessary cause
Even a miracle needs a hand"
Would you know what movie that was from? Because NONE of our friend have ever seen it before. You would have thought we made the whole movie up. If only I could write lyrics that awesome. We also did a White Elephant exchange where we came home with a lovely AVON clock which Ellie then stole and took to school because it was so beautiful. The bummer -- it got broken and I had to throw it out. Darn. And by broken, I mean the gold ring around the face came off.

We picked our kids up about midnight from the babysitter's house and NONE of them had fallen asleep, plus they still woke up around 7 am, so church was SUPER fun the next day.

Santa sent us one of those Elves that all our neighbors have -- can you find him? We were so happy to get him because that night the kids cleaned their rooms WITHOUT crying. Emphasis on THAT night. That ONE night.

We named ours Buddy after the movie Elf. Nate named him Nate. So if you call him Buddy, Nate looks at you like he has no idea who you are talking about. Even Sadie has fun trying to find him every morning. One morning he joined our already full nativity. That picture is kind of like a hidden picture. How many things can you find that aren't from the original nativity?? Ellie's Primary teacher gave them each some pieces of her nativity that she added to ours. I love our midget wisemen.

Today has been the 1st day of Winter vacation. Now normally I love vacation, but the sheer number of fights I have broken up today is enough to make me pull my hair out. How does that song go? "And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again." I know we'll eventually settle into a routine of having Ellie home again and the balance shifting. . . probably right before she goes back to school.

On their last day of school -- free dress day WOO HOO -- I helped throw her class party. It included feeding 125 1st Graders breakfast a book exchange, reading The Polar Express -- where they got these lovely, hand-made-by-me, jingle bell necklaces Christmas Bingo and this uber cute craft I found on the internet. E-mail me if you want a template. I thought they were a pretty cute and easy kiddie craft. They're snowman candy bars.

How do I even end this post? Can I just end it? OK, I will.


OK, so let's update this thing

I'm too lazy to upload any pictures, so you'll just have to wait a day or two to see what we've been up to. Instead you have to put up with a little story.

Last night we had a total tangent dinner conversation. It started with Nate saying that he would like to go to McKenna's house. I then informed him that McKenna doesn't have a house right now since they sold their house and they're living with her Grandma. Which then led to Ellie asking when we are going to move. "Never." OK maybe a slight exaggeration, but not anytime soon. "But what if we have 3 more babies." To which I replied, "We're not having 3 more babies -- we're having one more baby and that's it." PS My kids still don't know I'm pregnant -- aka "googely" my sister's codeword -- despite multiple hints and slip ups.

So then they kids wanted to know what we were going to name the one last baby and they sat around throwing out names. Apparently the fictional baby in their heads is a boy since all the names were for boys and pretty much all names I would never name a child. Ellie's suggestions were mainly kids from school -- Arnold, Chandler, etc -- and Nate liked the name Nate. I was teasing Nate that we should name the baby Transformer. Well you would have thought I told the kid he was going to meet Thomas the Train with his reaction. "Ohhhhh mom! Let's name him Optimus!!!! Please please please mom???"

I tired to move onto other equally ridiculous names like Bob the Builder but his little heart was set on Optimus. "Mom, I love Optimus. Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaase?" So now I'm actually scared to tell them that I am pregnant.

PS If you didn't know -- I'm pregnant!


Toot toot #2

I know -- Braggy McBraggerton over here. But when you're an uber-righteous family like ours, your beautiful wonderful children fill your life with many amazing, blog worthy things. This one involves the youngest two.

Nate woke up with a little bit of a snotty nose and he's been a little congested all day. Dustin was getting Nate and Sadie out of the bath -- while Ellie and I were having an amazing mother-daughter bonding craft moment in the kitchen, you know the kind where Christmas music is playing in the background and she tells me I'm her best friend and she'll love me forever. . . OK, back on subject here.

So Dustin is being the amazing father he is and drying off the younger two when he has Nate blow his nose. Out comes his snot and it's blue. Hmmmm, odd, Dustin thinks and so he has Nate blow again. And what pops out but a blue plastic jewel!!! AHHHH! He had stuck it up his nose who knows how long ago. How was that thing not driving him crazy?

Dustin comes out to show it to me and we're laughing while he throws it away and I tease him that I should go get the camera for the blog when Sadie comes running down the hallway, "EWWWWWW! Ew ew ewwwww!"

That's when we both realize that in all the jewel-up-the-nose fun that we forgot Sadie is diaper-less. "SADIE! Did you poop on the floor?" Nooooo. "SADIE! Did you pee on the floor?" Nooooo. "SADIE! Did you do anything on the floor?" Nooooo.

Well genius child #3 is apparently not so bright -- or not as righteous as the rest of us -- because she totally pooped on the floor in Nate's room. Dustin did offer to wait to clean it up till I got the camera to take a picture for the blog. He is *so* thoughtful.

Toot toot

What's that sound -- oh that's me tooting my own horn. Let's start off with my beautiful wonderful children.

Ellie got a Principal's Award last week. She got it for "Great sentence writing and being a classroom role model." Way to go Ellie. As you can see from the picture, she also lost her two front teeth, so we've been singing, "All I want for Christmas is my two Front Teeth" all week.

After 3 months of speech therapy, Nate can say CAR instead of TAR. I'm so happy. It takes some reminders sometimes, but everyone once in awhile he'll just pull it out all by himself.

Saturday was the big race and I'm proud to announce that I survived. I actually was really proud of how well I did. Here we are before the race, freezing our tooshies off. At least we live in AZ, so the weather was actually gorgeous. According to people with their GPS and Nike plus, it ended up being 10.8 miles and I'll tell you what. . . I'm going with them. It felt realllllllly long.

About mile 7 I started thinking, "Wow, my feet hurt. And my knees, any my lower back, and my ankles. . ." By mile 8 I was singing "Keep Trying" from Yo Gabba Gabba in my head. If you don't know this song, you're really missing out. Finally towards the last mile of the race, I was about to start walking and wait for Amy to run with me because I didn't think I could finish by myself when the lady next to me says, "You can't walk -- I'm running with you." So thanks random stranger for getting me through.

And of course a big thanks to Jill, Katherine and Amy -- the best running buddies a gal could have. I never would have gotten this far without you guys!!! You made every mile worth it.

Also, I am completely done with my Christmas shopping. HA!

In the "boo news" category -- I haven't touched my Christmas cards. I was thinking, "Hey at least all my friends are slackers too" and then I got my first Christmas card in the mail yesterday. Boo to Katie Bullock!


Tell me you can relate

Why was Thanksgiving so late this year? I feel like I have one less week to squeeze everything in. Yes, I'm blaming Abraham Lincoln for my procrastination.

Monday we managed to get our tree and Christmas decorations up for FHE. I let the kids do most of the tree this year and while they didn't do a bad job, there are definitely some funny spots on our tree. Like a clump at the bottom where Sadie chose to hang all her ornaments. Or the glob of green ornaments at Nate's height. Plus a few totally blank spots on the sides.

The bad part -- Nate now thinks every morning is Christmas morning. He'll run out and look at the tree, "Awwwwww, Santa didn't come." I really need to get my advent calendar stuffed so he knows when the end is.

Sunday instead of taking a nap, I stayed up and finished up my Christmas cards. I made them. Next year I SWEAR I am not making them. Really -- don't let me make them. PLEASE! I started making a few, didn't love them and started over making another kind, didn't love those. . . you get the gist. So there's like 20 of every kind of card. I'd let you pick out which one you want -- but you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

By Wednesday I realized that actually making the cards was not getting them out of my house and so I set off to print pictures, letters and get envelopes. I thought Micheal's would be great since I needed a few other things from there for Ellie's class party. HOLY COW -- they wanted $4.50 for 10 envelopes. I was in a time crunch, so I sucked it up and got the envelopes and then walked past the $1 spot, when what to my wondering eyes should appear. . . ENVELOPES! Of course they're completely the wrong size, but I decided that my friends didn't care that the envelopes would have 4 extra inches of space because it saved me $30. If it were $5, even $10 you know I would have sacrificed for you, but $30 is a lot of money to waste on something that gets thrown away. You still love me, right?

I was feeling so productive until I got home to start addressing. Then I started hating myself again -- why can I not write down an address in my address book? I'll go to look someone up and I'll have their address from two houses ago. So then I have to e-mail them AGAIN -- because I'm sure I did it last year too -- and do the lame, "Oops, I need your address." And I'm sure they're thinking, "I've lived here for 6 years and you still don't have my address? Are we even friends?"

Plus in all my awesome productivity you know what I forgot -- STAMPS! So this is what my table looks like right now. I think we'll be eating dinner at the bar for awhile. And don't be expecting your card anytime soon. And if you're really worried about getting a card, I would send me your address, just in case.


This is going to get long

I've been pretty much MIA for awhile since we've had a plethora of company at Casa Rogers. I like to call it, National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Holiday -- complete with camper and everything!

Dustin's parents flew in last Saturday and by Thursday we had picked up a few more brothers and their families. In an effort to accommodate everyone, Doug -- Dustin's oldest brother -- brought his camper and parked it our front so we could all hang out as much as possible.

You all know how the weekend was, so I'll pick up with Tuesday. I took Cheryl to the spa for her Christmas gift. It was a sacrifice I tell you! We got hour long massages, then hour long facials, then a long lunch followed by pedicures. I did not want to leave, but I did have to make it home to pick the kids up from school. Yes, that literally took the entire day.

It even rained that day. I thought Ben was so cute when he came to pick up Ellie at the door with his umbrella.

Grandma also broke out the pillow cases she made for everyone, which led to a hallway sleepover. I don't know why they couldn't sleep somewhere softer.

Wednesday was cook-cook-everything-we-can-before-Thanksgiving and pie-making day. According to Nate, he loves pie. I couldn't think of the last time he had pie, but he loves it and blueberry pie is his favorite. Luckily Grandma Rogers is a skilled pie maker and also a sucker for a cute face.

Ellie picked out caramel apple nutty pie, but we got a plain apple pie out of the deal as well. Two pies for one request!

Thursday I got the privilege of hosting my first Thanksgiving without having to do any of the work. Between everyone we divided up the food and Dustin made the stuffing and veggies. Everything was really yummy and Sadie ate a dinner almost entirely of Trader Joe's cranberry sauce and rolls.

We also browsed the Black Friday ads and played some Rock Band

I guess some people went out early for Black Friday, but I slept in until after 8 and only braved the crowds later that afternoon. I didn't even buy anything. Casey and Sarah were trying to find an Iron Man DVD for her sister for Christmas and we couldn't find on at Best Buy or Wal-Mart. We headed over to Target and the DVD area was a MESS! Couldn't find one stinking DVD left and people are pushing and shoving everywhere you turn. So we decided to browse through the rest of the store and then head out. On the way out we're walking past the check-out stands and there is an entire display of Iron Man DVDs. Neatly stacked and completely untouched.

We also got a tour of the Arizona Train Museum. Nate was in HEAVEN! When we left he threw a huge hissy fit because he wanted to "Stay there forever and drive the train."The brave souls willing to be in a picture. I can't believe I climbed up into that engine with my kids, but I did.

We also tried out Joe's Farm Grill as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. So so yummy. Although Dustin got the Thai Chicken salad -- blech. I guess he should have known better.

The rest of the weekend we fit in some Saboteur-- complete with a fabulous Maddy spazz out, a lot of MarioKart, Ellie made a bazillion Miis, Uncle Casey had to read the Pigeon books a few hundred times, some more shopping, lots of eating, a broken toilet seat, ELF, putting the Christmas lights on the house. .. and a trip to the ER.

Sadie busted her chin open while playing in the garage -- she fell over backwards on the umbroller -- and had to be whisked away. Nate and Ellie actually cried more than Sadie did. She came home with a Belle sticker and Casey and Sarah had bought her the Pigeon stuffed animal from the pigeon books. Nate really wanted the pigeon because after all, the pigeon is blue, so he must be a boy, but I told him he could have a present when he had to get stitches. He then ran around for the next few hours telling us he hurt his wrist the night before.

WOW -- that was long and now I'm really hungry thinking about all the good food!