Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Phew, after all of this posting, we have FINALLY made it to the Christmas Day post!  Not that we did anything spectacular, but there was a lot to fill in!  So Christmas morning finally found us, and for *once*, it was nice to see my hubby get excited about something....or rather, more excited than me.  He woke me up and grinned and just about shoved me out of bed, silly.

We made Marin drink her sippy cup of milk before we went to see the gifts, just to have something in her tummy.  Look at this excited girl!  And check out that little puppy Owen is holding; his name is Jingle, and Owen loves his sweet new puppy, and now takes it to bed with him.

Marin got a real tea set from Grandpa and Grandma, and we have already had a little tea party, she loves it!
 Owen, the big brute, evidently could not wait a second longer for his candy, and busted right through the middle of this plastic tube, sheesh!

 We hold with my family tradition of separating the gifts.  Family gifts go under the tree, and Santa gifts are grouped together in different areas around the room.
 Santa left a sweet note for Marin thanking her for the delicious monkey bread.

 Owen, sorting through his stocking stash.
 This year, Santa brought two tiny boxes of cereal for each kid as stocking stuffers.  It worked out great, since we don't buy that kind of cereal, and it's kind of a treat for them, but WAY better than filling with only candy.  Plus, the kids got to munch on something while we waited for breakfast to bake while opening gifts.  I think this might be a new tradition!
 What little girl doesn't love a cupcake purse?
 Getting into ripping off the paper.
 Ahhh, the hubby with some new tools.  You can bet he was a happy camper!
 Owen got a dress-up firefighter outfit, and he LOVED it.  He wore it all day and kept saying "firefighter!!".
Trine and Barry came over for dinner that night, and we kept it pretty simple.  I made some lasagna roll-ups, which were soooooo delicious.  Totally making them again, and I will have to share the recipe on my food blog!
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas season.  I am so glad that Christmas is at the end of the year to help an otherwise very sad and cold end of the year, become a magical and wonderful celebration.  I am grateful to Rite-Aid for playing Handel's Messiah while I was searching for a stocking stuffer...we need more real Christmas music that pays tribute to Christ, and we need more people to *hear* it!  I am grateful for the many wonderful things that have happened this year, and I am grateful for the not so wonderful things that have yes, given me a few more wrinkles, but have brought me closer to my Savior.  I hope to carry this wonderful Christmas Spirit with me into the new year and make 2013 one of our best year's yet.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Family Talent Show

We had a SUPER fun family dinner and talent show the Sunday before Christmas.  And when I say super, I mean totally super *awesome*!  We feasted on a traditional Scandinavian dinner of cabbage and carrots, parsnip mash, Swedish meatballs, lingonberry sauce and other amazing dishes.  So delicious!

After we finished our meal, we commenced our first annual Family Talent Show!  We really did make an effort to have everyone find a talent, and I totally struggled, but we found success in the end!!

Bestemor and Barry did a cute puppet show on the true meaning of Christmas, told by Chico the Chicken (from Mexico).

 Justin the Great performed his mind reading trick!
 Kristoffer being amazed at Justin's mind reading abilities.
 Marin attempting to sing and dance...while Owen tries to assist.
 Marin doing some more dance moves.  Owen's talent was making animal noises, by the way.
 Estelle played a song on the piano, she did great!
 My amazing hubby performed a Christmas medley on his sax; have I ever mentioned he played the sax?
 My talent was sharing a rendition of "T'was the night before Christmas" that I had rewritten which chronicled our Lyman family adventures over the past year.  I'll have to put in another post and share it!
 Our final talent that Kristoffer and I shared, was making a fruit salad.  Quelle ordinaire?  Not quite, my patient friends!  Kristoffer may have worn the apron, but his arms were behind his back, while I stood behind and used my hands in place of his.  It was pretty darned funny, if I say so myself.  No pictures, but just imagine Kristoffer doing the commentary with a Mexican accent, and Samantha trying to cut up fruit with a  butter knife.  Oh yeah, we totally rocked it.

A Gingerbread House

I really, REALLY wanted to do a gingerbread house this year, but I really, REALLY didn't want to spend an entire day making it.  As a mom of two, I am learning what shortcuts I am OK making, and what shortcuts are totally not kosher in my book.  Fortunately, the gingerbread house fell into the 'shortcut' category!  

I bought a gingerbread house kit at my favorite grocery store for around 10 dollars, and it was a BLAST.  All pre-baked and cut.  Frosting and candy included; just open and assemble!  The kids had a ton of fun, and I think I may have been getting a bit creative myself...before my four year gently reminded me to stop hogging all the candy....

Marin with a mouth full of candy to get her creative jive on.

 Look at that pretty house, cute, eh?
 Love my sweet girl.
 Owen saw no point in putting the candy on the house, it was immediately directed into his mouth.
 Despite all of the munching, we had enough candy and more than enough frosting, I was quite surprised!
 We loved decorating our gingerbread house this year, totally worth it, and totally worth the shortcut!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pre-Christmas FUN

Before Christmas, we found a few fun things to do, of course!
Marin and I made cookies and went a little crazy decorating them.  Aren't they just so vibrant and wonderful though?  They really turned out super cute, and Marin did a great job.  We roped daddy into helping pass them out to our neighbors while I was at work.
 And, we found a Groupon for a great deal on a membership to the planetarium.  So, we bought it!  It was nice to take the kids out of the house, and have a place to go now.  We saw their Christmas movie in the movie dome, and Owen was mesmerized, it was super cute.
 The ball maze.
 Marin on the moon....
 ....and Marin on Mars.
 Our ward had our Christmas party at the Stake Center, and it was a good thing since it was a HOPPIN party!  We had a great potluck breakfast, and the kids got to sit with Santa and Mrs. Claus (we loved having Mr. Claus there, she was a huge help with the little ones).
 Marin with her little Primary friends.
 Kristoffer doing some networking.
 Christmas Eve, we went to Ikea, had lunch at Culvers, and picked up a few things at Winco, and look our sweet, sleeping babes.  Just so cute!
 Christmas Eve, after Santa came.  So pretty!
 We had a perfect Christmas Eve together as a family.  We tried reading the story of Christ's birth in Luke...that didn't last long.  So then we watched the Nativity story on, which was perfect.  It brought such a wonderful spirit.  And then Marin and I made monkey bread for Santa...which, by request, is going to be a new tradition.
I was so happy to spend that time with my own little family.  I love building new traditions with just us, and watching our children grow each year!

Preschool Christmas Program

Marin had her preschool Christmas program the other week, and it was absolutely adorable.  That moment of parenthood where I suddenly felt really old...and like I was MY parents!  Either way, it was adorable.  She performed two cute little Christmas songs with her class and another class, and it was so sweet.  I just loved watching my little girl interact and accomplish something which, is kind of a challenge for a four year old!  She did great, we are so proud of her!

There's my little Marin in the middle with the pink pants.

 Working hard to remember what's next!

Sweet girl, all done with her performance.
 A picture with little bro.
 Look at that cutie face, oh my goodness, I just love that girl.
We are so proud of Marin.  I had a short conference with her teacher before break, and Marin is such a smart cookie!  She has been doing great with her letters and sounds, and will be ready to start reading in January, ack!!  I cannot even believe that!  Her teacher also mentioned that she has really progressed socially; initially Marin was quite shy and uncertain, but has really come out of her shell, and I am so grateful for that.  I can teach all the self confidence in the world, but having Marin be able to implement that confidence completely independent of my presence is so wonderful.  Look out, world!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Journal Entry: Finding Christ Through Grief

I am hoping that someday, my little blog will turn into a real book...a journal, for my children and grandchildren to read through someday.  A journal to bring laughter and tears, and perhaps even a few moments of contemplative wisdom to a future generation.

So I write with the images and thoughts of this horrible school shooting that took place today in Connecticut.  A shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and 8 adults.  I am beyond heartbroken for this tragedy, and for the grief stricken parents and families who lost a child or mother, or wife, or husband or father today.  Being a mother of two sweet children, I become overwhelmed to even imagine my poor daughter being in that school today; being terrified of some maniacal stranger with a gun, perhaps watching him shoot her classmates, and fearing for her life.  My soul chokes in anguish to even imagine how it must have been for these poor, sweet, innocent children, and the helpless teachers who tried to protect them.

My plea to the world, and to all who will lend an open ear, and heart, is to find Christ and initiate Him in your home.

The controversial Christ that no one seems to believe in until we need something, like strength, or mercy, or peace and comfort.  He lives.  If even you doubt of His divinity, and can only even grant that He was a mortal man who lived on this earth, His teachings of love, faith, peace, charity, kindness will change your life, and the lives of your children.  We have become so lax, so lazy with our duties as a person, and a parent, that we have slipped into a spiritual coma, and have become dead to the promptings that are screaming in our ear to wake up and take action!  The world is teaching our children!  See what the world has become?!  A terrible, dark, evil fortress of suffering and deceit.  The world will tell you lies.  The world will tell you that you don't need Christ to be a good person, that you don't need Christ to raise good kids.  The world will tell you that there is no hope, that there is no Christ.

I am telling you...that He lives.  You *do* need Christ.  Your *children* NEED Christ.  He and only He can offer the peace and guidance that will save the lives of countless people.  If we fail to do the right thing, if we fail to teach our children of Christ's pure love, and send them out into the world to be taught by Satan, then who else can we blame in the end but ourselves?

If there EVER was a time to reconsider bringing Christ into your home, NOW is it.  The world will continue to become darker, and we must provide ourselves and our children with the way, the truth, and the light that will guide them through.  As a mother, I PLEAD with you to think of how today's events could have been so very different if someone had applied the principles of Christ's love to this singular man who has inflicted death and pain on so many families.  

I need Christ, and YOU....whoever you are reading this, you need him, too.

I pray for the sweet families of the fallen today.  May they know that a loving Savior is tenderly embracing each of those children, no matter student or teacher.  That there is a warm, happy homecoming for them without pain or fear.  And each of the fallen today, are praying that WE can all return to Christ.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Well if this isn't the modge-podge, catch-all of all blog posts, I don't know what is!!  Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Sooooo, my Turkey Trot!  I went, I ran, I survived!  I will say that waking up on a cold Thanksgiving morning and hauling myself out of bed at 630am to drive 30 miles and pay to run 3 miles with a bunch of strangers, I really questioned my sanity!  BUT, I ran the whole thing, no walking, no stopping, just a straight run!  It wasn't what I thought, though.  I was hoping for a bit of adrenaline to breeze me through the first mile, but no such luck; I couldn't even hear the "GO", so all of the sudden people started running, and we were off!  It was still a hard run.  Running is still hard for me, but I did it!

Marin and I with my flowers and chocolate from the hubs....notice who's holding my chocolate....

 Terrible lighting, and well, no make-up, but here you have it!
 So, then we spent Thanksgiving at Kristoffer's little sister's house (Melodie is the cute brunette in the front left).  Everything was wonderful!  The food, the family, the games.  We played Apples to Apples (one of my FAVE games), and we were all having so much fun.  I waaaaay over-ate on the dessert end, and actually lost it when we got home; was that TMI?
 Decorating the Christmas tree!  Marin hung just about every single ornament, she was on FIRE, this girl was, wow!  I hung a select few special ornaments...but only after I pried them from Marin's little fingers and a few complaints.
 Owen trying to help, cute buddy.
 Look at that sweet face!
 Focused on that tree!
 Happy girl.
 This year, we've started the 'Elf on the Shelf' tradition.  It's been super fun, and a way cute way to look forward to Christmas.  Marin loves finding where the elf is hiding every morning, and so far, he has crunched on a candycane, hidden in the ornaments on the tree, given us a string of cranberry garland, taken a marshmallow bath, and given us magic gum-drop beans (which we planted in sugar and they grew lollipops for the next morning).  Christmas is soooo magical having a 4 year old!

 Aaaah, this is Owen tonight, on his FOURTH bowl of leek soup!  Happy boy!  Wait for it........

 And this is Owen last week, not eating ANY dinner, and not being able to have dessert.  Not a happy camper.  Such a tough lesson to learn when your little :(  He'll get there, big sister has caught on, and he will too.

 December, the Children's Discovery at Gateway has admission for 2 dollars less than regular price!  So we hopped on board and took the kids this past Saturday.  So fun to watch them run and learn and play and interact.

 I could not pull Owen off of this little stool, he loved it.
 He loved wearing this hat at the construction zone, such a little boy!

 Marin, taking charge!
 Having a little princess moment, the crown and wand light up, so it's extra wonderful.
 Flat rate boxes ship pretty much anything these days!

I'm sure I'm missing a few things here and there, but I will try to keep up on the blogging!