Every year since before I knew him Ben has been making a gingerbread house for his nieces and nephews and now his own children to decorate! We all look forward to this tradition and one more reason to get together during the holidays. This year we did it at our house. The new house accommodated it well.
Now that Ben’s parents live here in Utah we have a new tradition… they invite our family over for some Christmas time just with them. We get to exchange gifts. We eat some yummy snacks and just enjoy being together and enjoy the Christmas spirit. I really have the best in-laws. They are great. The kids all get a new ornament from them each year. I love that tradition. The kids love finding all of their ornaments and hanging them on the tree each year. This year we had red velvet cookies that i loved and Rick made his toffee and we had norwegian shortbread cookies that are a Netteshiem Christmas classic. The boys got a few new games that we had to try out right then and there. Actually all gifts were opened and played with before we left. And Millie slept the entire time.
The fun just keeps on coming and so does the craziness. This time of the year is so full. We are trying to soak it all in and stay sane at the same time. I actually think we are doing a good job…
Last Friday we hosted a family party for my mom’s extended family. My Grandparents came and my Aunt and Uncle and some cousins with their kids and some of my siblings. It was a simple but fun evening. We just visited and snacked. We took a few minutes to get a family picture of Grandma and Grandpa with a bunch of their Great Grand kids and we sang a few Christmas songs. I love my family and am grateful to be so close to so many of them.
Ryan and Tara decided to sleep over that night so after the extended family left we still had a lot of gaming and fun with Ryan and Tara, Joel and Megan and Sean and Brady and Bracken. Then Michael was just getting home from his Europe trip and he came to stay the night as well. We had a ton of fun and stayed up half the night (3am) and had a blast. The next day we jumped right into gaming and snacking and the kids played great. Joel and Megan came back over Saturday afternoon and made and decorated cookies with the kids! and that evening we let Taylee babysit so the adults could go out to dinner. FUN FUN FUN
The fun continued the next day when we headed over for some Nettesheim fun. We had a family dinner and our cousin/sibling gift exchange! Being with family is so fun and easy and awesome. The night went way to fast and we enjoyed giving and receiving gifts.
Monday night we got to go visit with Grandma and Grandpa Becker and have our family home evening with them. It has become a tradition for us to take our puppets and tell the Christmas story. Gladys always gets to be Mary and Ray likes to be a Wise man. The little kids clung to me the whole time until Grandpa brought out his treats. We love this time of year!
the crazy boy deserves his own blog space 🙂 Raymond Thomas – 22 months (exactly)
Raymond is unlike our other children. Not only does he have a different look, he also has a mischievous personality. He can be so much FUN and he can be so much WORK. I love his serious face in this pic. He loves to figure things out and do it on his own.
Here is Ray with the BIG BOY cousins. He thinks he is just part of the crew and THEY are so good to cater to him and let him tag along. He is a tough little boy which makes for some fun.
We finally went to the WOOD PARK. My other boys went to this park all of the time – they were spoiled. This was Raymond’s first time since he is big enough to enjoy it. He had no fear and climbed all over the park. There was no keeping him in baby land. He is adventurous and fearless.
Ray Tom’s art work!! This kid has drawn on my walls more than… More than I thought was possible. This was the bathroom wall. He also tagged the bathroom door and floor and then I discovered a wall in the loft! I can only recall scrubbing crayon off the wall one time with all 4 older kids put together!! Of course this phase coincides with our brand new house (my angry face). Thankfully I am still well stocked with “magic Erasers” from an old roommate.
Look at that smiley laugh! SO ADORABLE
Playing with Christian and Rose. Ray is really good at playing but he is also in the “everything is mine and I want it my way” stage. He has no concept of sharing. His brothers and sisters are used to him getting his way but “older, youngest in their family” cousins struggle with his stubborn personality.
We love our little “Bubbas”. He is a great sleeper. Great with a spoon. He is a funny dancer. He tries to talk and actually tell me what he wants – LOVE when that happens. And he does the best “cheesy” smiles for the camera.
3 months – just like that my new born is a big 3 month old baby girl:
Millie Marie is a good baby. She has just started cooing, giggling and smiling. She is always excited when someone talks to her. She is finally outgrowing her poopy stage – she was always poopy – you change her and she poops. I couldn’t keep up. When I wrap her well and with lots of warm blankets she can sleep for hours. We had her out in the cold in a snow suit and she fell asleep around 9pm and didn’t wake up until 6am , the snow suit might become her new jammies! 🙂 She has started to be pretty consistent from 11pm to 5 or 6 am. I can handle that. 3 months seems to be the magic age for our babies. Millie sometimes likes her paci and sometimes finds her thumb. She likes a bottle when offered. We love her little smile.
Can you believe Christmas traditions are under way?? We made it to Cabela’s and Santa was there and the kids tried not to ask for more than 10 things each! I did give them a lecture that Santa would think they were rude if they asked for too many things 🙂
And We Are OFF – Snowy weather AGAIN!
we went to Carl’s Jr with the Netty crew after seeing Santa. We love our traditions!
We have a birthday girl! Cali has been so excited for her birthday. She memorized the order of birthdays in our family and has been waiting literally all year for her turn. She is the youngest of all of her friends. I treat her like she is 8 but she is FINALLY 5! She has grown up a lot this year. I can’t remember the last time she threw a major fit. She is helpful and fun. Competitive but girly girl. LOUD. We love CALI.
We had the young women in the ward come and do her birthday party!! They did hair and nails. They played pin the Tiara on the Princess! They played a balloon game and they played make a snow man as fast as you can! We opened presents and ate cupcakes and everyone had a good time. This was our first friends party (thanks to the ward auction) and all of the kids loved it. Everyone that Cali invited was able to come!