December Antics

Weekly Happenings: This past week was a pretty average one for us. We just kind of puttered along at our normal pace and just did our thing. The main fun thing that we did was go to the zoo this morning. We like to take advantage of our passes when the weather cools down. Today it was pretty chilly (I think it’s about 47 degrees right now), so the zoo was rather deserted. That was fun for us, though…we got to do a lot of things that we normally don’t do when it’s more crowded.

The Weekly Weather: It’s been a mix of mild and cold. We did have a nice rainstorm come through yesterday which made school pick-up interesting, but we survived. πŸ™‚

What Paul’s Been Up To: He’s been busy at work along with getting to spend a lot of time with Joseph (who has been soaking it up). Joseph’s favorite thing for them to do is to go out to the office and watch videos and play video games. He loves having “Dad and Joseph time” as he calls it. πŸ™‚

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I’ve mostly been doing my regular stuff. I did get to go to the Relief Society Christmas party which was a lot of fun, as always. 

What Joseph’s Been Up To: December is always fun at school. He’s been doing dress-up days, fun activities, and he loves getting to hang out with his friends at recess.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been a ball of fun, sass, and sweetness, haha. It’s sometimes a challenge to figure out exactly what she wants since her vocabulary is still rather limited. She’s good at telling me what she DOESN’T want (a firm shake of the head and a little sweet “no” usually does it), though, so most of the time it’s simply a lengthy process of elimination, haha. She is running everywhere and wants to do EVERYTHING that big brother is doing. It’s entertaining at times and crazy at other times.

This Week in Pictures:

Showing off his Yo-kai watches.
This is the reindeer ornament that Abigail insists is a cow. She ignores me when I tell her it’s a reindeer (or she just looks at me and says, “Cow…coooowww…moooo!”).
She loves this singing and dancing snowman.
She probably played with it for a good 20 minutes.
I love seeing how happy they get with the fun Christmas stuff.
She looked at this page of the book for a long time. You guessed it, it has cows on it.
Why have only one steering wheel when you can have two?
I was in the kitchen when I heard, “Stuck?! I stuck?!”. I came to check on her and found this. Like the good mom that I am, I took a picture before helping her out (she wasn’t too upset).
Joseph needed new church shoes and wanted new boots. Luckily, those two things are not mutually exclusive in Texas. He also insisted on taking a “dance move” picture.
I told him that if I took the “dance move” picture, I needed a “normal” one, too.
With Little-Miss-Grabs-a-Lot in the house, the lights that I normally put under the bookshelves had to go elsewhere. I really like the effect they have here.
These lights were fine since she can’t reach here yet.
My Christmas lighthouse if probably one of my favorite decorations.
Sometimes I like to just sit and take it all in. πŸ™‚
These two sure love to hang out together!
I’m glad I put some touchable ornaments along the bottom of the tree. She loves to wedge herself in and check them all out.
Friday night selfie! Her reindeer that she got from Santa at Bass Pro’s a couple weeks ago had to be included, of course.
Checking out the spectacle bear.
She kept saying, “rawr!” when she saw the bears.
Nose-to-nose. πŸ˜‰
“Hi, Daddy!”
Joseph loves the bears, too.
This one was walking back and forth so we got to see it a lot.
Hanging out on the hippos.
Abigail wanted to be right on top, but I was afraid she’d take a tumble. She was okay with me being behind her.
It’s rather hard to get them to both look at the camera at the same time.
There we go…but what’s with that tongue?!
That girl and her crazy tongue!
Sitting on the lions is something they don’t normally get to do on busier days.
Joseph wanted to be staring off into the distance like the lions. Abigail apparently followed suit.
A boy and his boots. 😊
We let Abigail have her first Dum-Dum. She seemed intrigued by it but was done with it after about a minute or so.
When you didn’t really get a nap yesterday (other than the 20 minutes you snuck in while on the way home from the zoo) AND then you didn’t get a nap today (1:00 church), you fall asleep on the way home from church and fall asleep so hard that you don’t even wake up during your diaper change (you finally wake up when Momma changes your clothes since she has the audacity to make you sit up). Sweet baby girl.
 

Holiday Fun

Weekly Happenings: We got to do a few fun holiday things this past week. Last Saturday we went out to the zoo to see the Christmas decorations. It was fun seeing how excited the kids got. I think that’s what makes the holidays for me as an adult. Then on Monday, we went to Bass Pro’s Shop to see their holiday fun and to get our picture taken with Santa. Abigail was NOT going to be left with Santa (even with Joseph there), so we all stayed in the picture so that she’d be comfortable-ish. She still was apprehensive, but she didn’t cry (if that had happened, we totally wouldn’t have left her on his lap). She really liked the plush reindeer that she got after taking the picture (I kinda wish they’d given her that first…she might have been a bit happier for the actual picture, haha). Both she and Joseph loved playing with all the toys in the kid area afterward. It was a pretty fun night.

The Weekly Weather: It’s been a mix of colder weather and then milder weather. I must say, November might be my favorite month for weather in South Texas.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He helped decorate the neighborhood entrances, he’s been busy at work (getting some overtime in), and the like.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: Errand-running, play-dating, baby-snuggling…

What Joseph’s Been Up To: His class went on a field trip to the Doseum, which is the children’s museum downtown. He had a ton of fun and then was excited that they’d get to go to a nearby park to eat lunch afterward. It was a really fun day for him.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s popping more words out (she’s pretty good at repeating stuff if I say it slowly enough). She understands A LOT of what we say, and can follow simple commands. It’s crazy to think that she will be two in just a few weeks!

This Week in Pictures:

She had just figured out how to turn on the singing Santa dog.

I love seeing these two play together.

This was a really fun cut-out at the zoo.

Next to the Zoo Lights sign.

The sign behind them says “North Pole”. They loved this section a lot because…

…there was fake snow falling.

Abigail loved the “snow”, too.

These wreaths are some of my favorite decorations there.

I love these boys more, though! If Joseph looks bummed it’s because right before taking this picture we told him to take a break from eating his popcorn. He loooooves popcorn!

Since the Zoo Lights tickets are included in our annual pass price, we decided to splurge and get each kid a (luckily rather inexpensive) souvenir. Joseph got this light-up sword.

Abigail got a light-up necklace.

Soaking up the silence with just the tree for light is one of my favorite things to do in the evenings.

Here’s our Santa picture!

Target practice.

Big brother duty.

The decorations at Bass Pro’s were so fun!

Playing with “dirt” (kinetic sand).

Playing with Lincoln Logs. It probably looks like she’s building here, but nah…

…she was dismantling ones that other kids had made and left…

…one log at a time, I might add.

So, Joseph is really into Beyblades right now (even though he has yet to actually own any). They are basically a spinning toy that has a zip-launcher. Once they are launched, they can “battle” each other and whichever one falls over (or falls apart, depending on the type) first is the loser. Joseph loves to create things that look like a toy he likes, even if it can’t necessarily function like that toy. This is the perfect example: he found stuff on the playground at recess and made his own Beyblade and launcher. That kid!

That little thing in her hand is a tiny plastic sea turtle. She carried that thing around all evening, was extremely upset when she couldn’t find it (she was sitting on it), and was just as relieved when I retrieved it for her.

Enjoying the park on a nice day.

I found this adorable ornament and couldn’t help but bring it home with me.

I also found this cute candy cane sign.

I love anything that looks vintage-y and this fit the bill!

Joseph and one of his buddies at the Doseum. His friend’s mom went as a chaperone and sent me any pictures she took that happened to have Joseph in them.

Eating lunch at the park after visiting the museum.

I sure love this boy!

His class.

Whenever I turn the phone so that she can see herself, she always wants to push the button to take the picture.

Someone absconded with my necklace…good thing she’s cute!

My December board. πŸ™‚

Wahoo! That says $1.98/gallon for gas, y’all.
 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Weekly Happenings: This past week started off with a pretty momentous occasion. We were able to go to the Alamodome and see President Nelson (the prophet and president of our church), Elder Bednar (a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for our church), Elder Ochoa (a local leader for our church), and all of their wives speak. Even though it was a bit crazy (there were almost 24,000 people there), it was so great. The spirit was very strong and it made an impression on all of us (well, maybe not Abigail, but that was to be expected).Β Elder and Sister Ochoa both shared their conversion stories as well as their testimonies. Sister Bednar talked about some things she learned from a time they lived in Texas that she related to the Gospel (I don’t remember all of them, but two of them were to find joy and to always try to be a good representative of the Gospel). Elder Bednar talked about being fully committed to the Gospel. Sister Nelson talked about what it’s like to be married to the prophet (and about how he receives revelations at all hours of the night sometimes 😊). President Nelson talked about how we all have challenges and limitations and how we need to be patient and trust in the Lord during those tough times. The choir sang one of my favorite songs: It Is Well With My Soul (the Mack Wilburg arrangement). It was a wonderful night! I found a pretty good article about the even which you can read more about here. After that night, the rest of the week was pretty average, with the exception that it ended with Thanksgiving fun (we went over to our bishop’s house and enjoyed the meal with them and another family) and getting to put up Christmas decorations. I love this time of year!

The Weekly Weather: Brisk, dry, and mild. Typical late fall weather for us!

What Paul’s Been Up To: Aside from work, he was pretty busy not only helping to put up our home decorations (he always tackles the outside) but he also helped to put up the neighborhood decorations as well. I think he’s looking forward to relaxing the rest of the day and tomorrow!

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I made my very first pie completely from scratch for Thanksgiving and it turned out great! As for Christmas stuff, I had the fun task of getting to decorate the inside. It’s always fun to see the kids’ eyes light up as stuff comes out. Abigail kept saying, “Wow! Wooooah!”, which was fantastic for my momma-heart to hear.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He enjoyed having a short week at school, loved getting to play with friends on Thanksgiving, and really soaked up some “Momma-Joseph time” when we got to decorate the tree last night after Abigail went to bed. Oh, and he absolutely loved getting to put the mini tree up in his room.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been quite the ham this week. She also surprised me the other day. When I told her that it was nap time, she got pretty upset and cried out, I kid you not, “No! I no tired!” Yup. A full-on sentence (a bit garbled, but I could tell exACTly what she said). Once I got her calmed down, she ended up sleeping for two and a half hours, so I guess she was tired after all. πŸ˜‰ This morning, she popped up in her crib when I went to get her up for the day and the first thing that flew out of her mouth was, “Tree? Tree?!” She’s in love with the Christmas tree. Her favorite ornaments (that she’s allowed to touch, ha) are a little mailbox one, a wooden reindeer one (that she calls a cow), and a red satin one (I can’t really fault her there; it is pretty shiny and soft).

This Week in Pictures:

Sometimes one wakes up before one is ready. Luckily, there is usually a Momma to snuggle with when that happens!

She’s constantly on the move, but I had to snap this picture. This is one of my favorite dresses on her and the little cardigan just pushes it over the edge!

Waiting for the devotional to begin. Abigail was rather intrigued with the seats (even though she did get slightly stuck a couple of times).

I sure love this little boy!

The Darr men.

“Hi, Daddy!”

We didn’t want to get there as early as we would have needed to get good seats because that would have been too long for the kids (Abigail barely made it as it was), so we ended up pretty high up. They did have big screens so that we could still get a good view of the speakers and choir.

Elder Ochoa

Paul zoomed in a bit to get a picture of the actual stage.

Elder Bednar

President Nelson

A portion of President Nelson’s talk. Many of the General Authorities for our church have a Facebook page (that is run by an approved third-party) and this was posted on his Facebook page.

This was a portion of Elder Bednar’s talk.

My very first all-from-scratch pie. I was pleased with how well it turned out.

Here he is with his tree. πŸ™‚

The piano decorations. A lot of childhood memories rest on there.

Here’s the house all lit up. I love that Paul does the column as well as the windows that face the street (those he does on the inside. since they’re too high up to do on the outside).

I also love that he makes the garage door look like a giant present. He uses red duct tape and for the vertical line, he makes sure to do each panel individually so that the door can still function. The projectors are fun, too!

Tree! We made sure to put the (thus far) Abigail-proof ornaments on the bottom part. Paul also bungee-corded it to the table.

Checking out the ones in her reach.