Thursday, December 24, 2009

The stockings were hung............

I love this picture of all the stockings hanging by the fireplace at my mom's house! This way she and my dad get to have all of their kids, kids-in-laws, and grandkids there with them on Christmas even the ones who are far away. The fun part is these are the stockings that we had growing up. When we left home my mom wouldn't let us take them with us - she just makes us new ones! And each new addition to the family gets one too! And I think there's one for the dog.....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alexis and Her Groupies

A few weeks ago we went to the movies to see "A Christmas Carol". The movie was great but it was an even better treat when Alexis ran into some of her best pals!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Julee Gets the All Clear

Last week Julee had her final follow-up with the plastic surgeon for this go round. With the exception of gym, she has received the all clear from the doctor to resume her normal activities. Gym will have to wait until after the Christmas break. The last of her dissolvable stitches have disappeared and she even went back to the orthodontist yesterday. Poor girl! It will still be a few weeks before her upper loosens up completely and she will continue to do some massage therapy on her lip a few times a day. Other than that, she is good to go. We are grateful to a skilled surgeon who definitely had Julee's best interests at heart. Here is a little mini timeline of Julee's progress.

November 16th - the night before surgery

November 17th - Going home after surgery

Noveber 20th - 3 days after surgery - still lots of bandages

November 26th - Celebrating Thanksgiving without the bandages

December 5th - Just a few stitches left but you can hardly tell

We are amazed at how quickly she has healed;
and are thrilled by how beautiful she (still) is!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Best Birthday -- EVER!

Alexis said today was the best birthday ever! Here are all the reasons why:
25 ice cream cone sugar cookies to take to friends at school!

A present before breakfast!

7 inches of snow which means NO SCHOOL!!

Mom allowing herelf to be pelted with snowballs (if you look
right in the center of the picture you can see the snowball flying through the air)

More presents!!

Opening presents BEFORE dinner!

Throwing snowballs at Daddy on our way to birthday dinner at Chili's!

The staff at Chili's singing their version of Happy Birthday!

Free ice cream sundae - mmm chocolate!

Enough time before bed to start building the Indiana Jones temple!
Not pictured: Several birthday phone calls and a 45 minute long distance
birthday chat with cousin Kylie!

Happy 9th Birthday Lekkis! We love you and are glad you had such an awesome birthday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Yesterday we spent the day putting up the Christmas tree and deocrating the inside of the house for Christmas. It is one of our favorite seasonal activities. From the moment the tree box hits the living room floor, the excitement is overwhelming. Julee and Alexis have tree decorating down to a science. We love to sit and listen to them engineer the whole process - "Wait, there are too many in one spot here" or "You better put one back there; it's looking pretty bare" or "You can't put that blue ornament there-it's too close to that other blue one". For the first few days after it's finished, one of us is always commenting about how pretty the tree is. After the tree, come the other house decorations. Our favorites are the Nativities and the Nutcrackers. By the end of the evening, we were all set. Now we just enjoy the decorations and wait for Santa....
The tree

The Nativities

The Nutcrackers

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

This year we had a great Thanksgiving holiday! We spent the morning at home watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is pretty sad that I am more into it than the girls. We always watched the parade when I was growing up so it doesn't seem like Thanksgiving without it. We were in charge of the turkey and mashed potatoes this year so that went on in the background while we watched Santa come to town. For dinner we got together with 2 other families we are friends with. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and turkey dinner was AWESOME! After lunch, the ladies scanned the Black Friday ads and Rick taught all the kids to make catapults out of clothes pins, plastic spoons, and electrical tape. The kids loved it and mounted an all out marshmallow war against the army miniatures. It was hilarious to watch it all! After the catapult war, some more people came over and we had a dessert party. There was as much dessert as there was actual dinner! It was such a fun time and we are thankful for such wonderful friends!

I didn't manage to get a picture of the buffet table before we all ate, but here is the turkey fresh out of the oven. It makes me hungry just looking at it.

An unexpected dinner guest? Or is that Alexis?

The catapult specialist

Who will surrender first?

The battle continues

The dessert table - what's not to love!

P.S. My friend and I were among those crazy people at Target at 5am on Black Friday. We made it through 13 stores, McDonald's for breakfast, and Chipotle for lunch before we called it a day. Insane? Yes. Fun? Absolutely!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Update on Julee

Julee is recovering nicely form her surgery. She is looking forward to her follow-up visit on Tuesday where they will take out stitches and clean her up a little bit. She has invented new ways to eat solid food with a spoon without ever touching her upper lip. Yesterday she even felt okay enough to work on some homework. She continues to be a trooper, never complaining about anything. Julee amazes me! Alexis has been pretty amazing as well considering she is the one not getting all the attention. Julee is the first person she looks for so she can check on her and see if she is feeling better. The other morning before school, Alexis left a note for a still sleeping Julee. It was so simple but so sweet!

Alexis' note
(written on white paper in black pen so it's a bit hard to see when I scanned it)


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday Pictures

Last Sunday (before Julee went in for her surgery) we took some pictures of the girls in their Sunday best. I love how their individual pictures below scream their actual personalities.

Alexis is really not taller than Julee - she is standing on the porch and Julee is on the steps

It kills me they are growing up so fast!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poor Julee, Poor Teddy

Disclaimer: This blog post and all pictures included have been preapproved by Julee
Because she continues to grow up (sniff sniff), the time has come for Julee to have some more lip and nose revision surgery for her cleft lip/palate. Yesterday was the big day! We all got up in the middle of the night in order to be at the hospital by 5:45am. I was surprised how awake and relatively happy we all were so early in the morning. Rick and Alexis dropped us off and headed back home to get Alexis off to school. Julee and I checked in and the very long day began. Julee was in surgery for almost 3 hours while her surgeon performed his magic. She tolerated the procedure well, and the surgeon said he could not be more pleased with the outcome. We spent an hour or so in the Recovery Room and were then transferred to a surgical room on the Pediatric unit. Julee was scheduled to stay overnight, but her doctor said she could go home later in the evening if she was feeling ready and passed all of the 'tests'. Follwing an afternoon of internet television (since they charge you to watch the TV in your hospital room but they have free WiFi?), ice water, apple juice, chocolate milk, jello, pudding, a trip or two to the bathroom, a couple of walks around the unit, and just general restlessness, Julee had passed the tests and was READY to go home. She now spends her time in the comfy chair - queen of the remote control. I am amazed at how awesome Julee is handling everything! It is all taken in stride and she has not complained or cried about ANYTHING! The lucky girl is out of school until after Thanksgiving and it will be a week or so before she will venture from the comforts of home. She gets her stitches out next Tuesday and has been promised (by her doctor) that she will be ready for turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.

Julee and Teddy get settled in the morning of surgery

A ride to the preop area is next on the list of fun

Teddy closely guards Julee's surgery number as we wait in preop

Looking ready to go home (Obviously, there are hours in between these pictures but those pictures are not really blog appropriate)

Teddy starts to feel not so good as we wait for Julee's discharge papers

Teddy is REALLY not feeling well.
(As the mom, I'm glad this was Teddy and not Julee)

A good nap in the comfy chair makes everything better
(notice that Teddy has taken up residence in the chair next to Julee)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Special Halloween Treat

This year Rick had to work Halloween weekend so he did not get to go play with us on Halloween night. We missed him being there, especially the girls, since he loves to take them trick or treating as much as they love to go! When we came home from our friends' house, we found that Rick had missed us too. The girls were thrilled to each get their own rose!
Isn't he great?

The Stash and The Swap

I didn't get any pictures of the girls trick or treating on Halloween but I did get proof of the stash. We always get together with friends so that the kids can all go out together. This year it rained all night long but that seemed rather irrelevant especially if you were under the age of 16. Once all the kids have been around the neighborhood once or twice, it is time for the annual candy swap. They organize all their candy, deciding what stays and what can be traded, and then the bargaining begins! What a great time we all had!

The Stash

The Swap

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trunk or Treat

Every year the youth in our ward host a Trunk or Treat for all the families. They set up a bunch of games carnival style and pass out candy treats as prizes. At the end of the evening, the kids (including the youth) get to go trunk or treating and the holiday season officially begins. This year it rained so we had to improvise a little, but it didn't seem to ruin anybody's evening.

Alexis and her friend with scary teeth

Julee and her friend were in charge of the Ghost Walk

Hall or Treat? Classroom or Treat? Or just total chaos?

Julee and her friend make faces for the camera

Alexis going through her candy stash

No more tricks, no more treating, just lots and lots of candy eating

Monday, October 26, 2009

An unusual moment....they're getting along

In an unusual moment of cooperation and teamwork, Katara (Julee) and Ang (Alexis) work to defeat Zuko and Azula. It is music to my ears to hear them laughing and getting along so well while doing the same thing in the same room in the same 5 square feet......

Wait---I think I hear tempers and quarreling...
Those WERE smiles right?