Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Christmas

Christmas Eve we were lucky enough to have 2 extra guests for dinners- the new Spanish elders for our ward. They enjoyed pizza and tamales with us. We as a family watched a movie together, made a gingerbread house (thanks Tammy), read the Nativity, opened new pajamas, left out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and off to bed. Peter and I did some final wrapping and putting out of presents while watching a movie together and enjoying a fire! It was a great night!
The next morning the kids were thrilled to find Santa came to our house!
The blur would be me and Arabella and 2 anxious boys at the tope of the stairs.
The Santa fun! I was glad to discover that many toys are now secured with a paper like twine instead of those horrible wires. If you look behind me you can see our new TV and shelving units to replace our old entertainment center. (We also moved the piano where the old TV was and turned a couch to seperate the living room from the kitchen.

Jon has loved these swords or light sabers as he calls them.

Joey had a great time with these transformers and Peter and I not as much fun trying to get the one into a truck! Check out those pjs- ironman!
Joey and Jon gave Arabella her own car!
Breaking into the transformers.
Assembling the hot wheels color changing thing with a skull and a sponge for a brain. Jon kept putting the sponge brain on his head and saying that he had 2 brains blaaaahh!

Arabella's new doll and "neigh" and she and I had a good time playing cooties.
Then we watched some movies and played the day away. We hung the new TV- Peter loves a chance to use tools. We took toys out of packaging (this is not my favorite part of Christmas) and putting batteries in those that needed it. We then had the Spanish Elders over for dinner
(this was planned) for some Chinese food. We decided to break from traditional food. I then had to work Christmas night and it was a good night at work! I hope you all had a great Christmas!

The Christmas Bird's

My parents and Jana with her 3 kids- Sadie, Trevor, and Will- came to see us just before Christmas. They came on Saturday the 18th and left early the 22nd. It was a long drive for short stay but we made the most of it!
We stayed up late on Saturday talking and playing.
Sunday, we had a great time at church and then a little driving tour of Lewisvill and Flower Mound and then we had the missionaries for dinner. Sadie thought it was the same missionaries they had fed not too long before coming. She could not believe they were here too, so funny!
Monday was our big adventure day. It was beautiful outside! We spent the day at the Fort Worth Zoo. It is a great zoo!
It is set up in such a way that just by following the path you will see everything. Here we are on the path!
Jon started growling at this tiger through the glass and it started to paw at him. It was quite amazing. It startled us at first because it had been pacing back and forth but it seemed to be keeping its eyes on Jon.

Checking out those big cats. (That is Sadie I am holding up.)

Feeding the birds. There were so many and the birds were hungry!

Silly Joey!

Kangaroo statue
Dropping money into a wishing well. it made different animal sounds as the money fell in! We probably put in a dollar's worth of nickels and pennies. The kids loved it.
Mom and Dad with Jon

I really tried to get them to both smile at the same time but at least in this one Sadie and Trevor were looking at the camera. Jana has some great pictures from the zoo, I will have to get them from her.

After the zoo, most of the kids fell asleep in the car so we let them sleep while we ladies did a little shopping at the Grapevine Mills Mall.
We had some shakes and headed to the Gaylord for the ICE show where we met my cousin Lexie and her family. It was so fun to see them.
They give you these warm coats to wear gratefully because it is 9 degrees in the show.

Snoopy's house and stack of bones.

Love Lucy and her help desk. But I love the 2 in the blue coats more, obviously.

It was so amazing to see all of this carved out of ice.

They have these slides carved of ice part way through and we all had fun. Arabella and Trevor had a good time on the little kids one.

Go Joey Go!

I was not so fast but it was fun! That is Sadie on the left.

Jon would fly! His first time down he went so fast Peter could not get a picture!

You may be wondering who this is, well so are we?! I thought it was Peter and the lights kept making the focus go in and out as they flashed on and off and so I have a picture of a man I thought was Peter. So sorry dear!

I love these boys!

The improved Charlie Brown Tree.

We were all getting a little rosy nosed and cheeked.

The final thing was this incredible nativity!
After we all went to eat at Rosa's.
Tuesday we shopped and played and my dad mowed our lawn and leaves which he thought was better than snowblowing 18 inches of snow which is what my brother was doing at my parent's house. My family helped us do some rearranging of furniture so that we would be ready for our big gift from Santa. I am so thankful for their willingness to make the long drive. We love having visitors and showing them where we live.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Coming Soon!

We have not fallen off of the face of the planet. I have so much to post about: my parents and sister Jana with her 3 kiddos visiting (Fort Worth Zoo, Gaylord ICE exhibit), Christmas, and just the genearl happenings of our life.

  • We did have over the English Elders twice and the Spanish elders twice in 8 days to eat dinner with us. They were eating dinner with us on Christmas day when my rice cooker decided 10 years of service was long enough. It is pretty hard to eat chinese food without rice; gratefully I had made some brown rice in a pan and we finished cooking the white rice in a pan it just didn't finish until we were almost done eating. But, today I replaced my rice cooker and even upgrader for a little bit bigger one since our kids are gradually eating larger portions. I figure that if this one lasts 10 years we will be glad for more rice.
  • I had my first meeting with my new presidency and I am so excited for the chance to work with new people. I had a wonderful presidency before but it is fun to have new insights, wisdom and talents to draw upon.
  • I finished a good book tonight "I am Number Four". A very good read; I had not planned on finishing it today. I had a period of time that I could read and then all of a sudden it was the climax and I did not want to put it down.
  • Peter and I finally saw Harry Potter and we really liked it. We had both recently relistened to the book and so of course there were things that we wanted to see that were left out or altered but overall it was great!
  • I am going to one shift a week next week. I more than excited to have the chance to be at home with my family one more night a week; to tuck the kids in bed or give them baths, snuggle with Peter or read a book with him. Silly things but the things that I miss out on when I am at work. On the flip side of my shifts I am so sleepy I don't feel like a very good mommy or wife because I don't usually do anything around the house the day after I have worked.
  • I am looking forward to a new year full of possiblities and experiences. It somehow makes me realize that our Heavenly Father has so much in store for us and he is just waiting for us to get to that point in our lives for Him to share those things with us. I can only hope that 2011 will be as amazing as 2010.

Watch for pictures of some of the above activities to come soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jonny 5!

My awesome son Jon is 5! We had a full day of various things not birthday related so we tried to make the morning all about Jon. Peter picked up donuts for breakfast and we opened presents. He shared his favorite cheeto cheese balls from Sam's club in the big plastic barrell like thing with his preschool. Then he got to go to Emmerson's house after school to which he replied, "This is the best birthday ever!"
I wish more than anything I would have had a video fo Jon opening this present. It is the Battle Force 5 Combi Mobile. All he could say was oh, oh, oh yeah over and over! He could not get the paper off fast enough. It was hillarious! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Bird!
This would be the "awsome backpack" that he got. He needed a bigger one for his papers from school.
Truly delicious donuts with candles. We will be doing a party and cake on Friday so we did the candles in the donut. Bless Jon, because when asked what he wanted for dinner he wanted the leftovers from the night before- really! I was thrilled, all I had to do was warm up more corn.
Jon keeps our family laughing! He has a lot of energy and loves to run and is getting quite fast. Peter and I find ourselves shaking our heads more over Jon than any of our other children. If Jon does not want to do something he really does seem to consider the consequences which usually involves some questions to one of us and then the determination if the reward is worth the action required. What a character! Jon also did an amazing job at karate and earned two stripes to give him a total of 3 so he can test for his new belt tonight! I love my Jonny and I love all of his little personality traits. I love to watch him sword fight on the Wii (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Rabner) and I love to hear him sing. Our family would not be the same without Jon!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas is upon us

So this is not in chronological order, but right now with so many glorious things going on and the Spirit of Christmas in full swing nothing really seems in order, so it is par for the course. :)
Up first we have Jon's Christmas Concert for Preschool that was Dec. 8th. It was absolutely adorable! The kids did a great job. There were a few "save me Jesus" type songs but Jon now knows Joy to the World and loves when he hears it at church or on the radio and he joins in. He is sitting next to his friend Emmerson.
Yes, they have camels on their heads. Each class was a different part of the nativity- angels, donkeys/barnyard animals, etc.
These sunglasses were worn during one of those Jesus save me songs. It was great!
The video at the end of this post is of one of those songs (Peter took more video with his work camera that I do not have right now so I may post more pics and videos later). Arabella partially knows this one because Jon sang it alot. It is a catchy song. Arabella and I went with some friends to the Gaylord (a huge fancy hotel) and saw their Christmas display. It was really cool. We are going to go there with my family next Monday and I am excited to see it with the lights on.
We picked up our Christmas tree on the first Saturday but waited until Monday to decorate so the branches would relax some. It is a lovely tree and the kids did a good job decorating.
Joey wanted a train under the tree and since we have a million Thomas pieces that is what is under there. We even wrapped the cargo and put small bows on the packages so it looks extra festive.
Such good helpers- really everything was quite evenly distributed.
It has been cold here but really only on Sundays-weird! My wonderful Peter started a fire on the first Sunday night so we would be extra toasty while we watched the First Presidency devotional. Jon and Arabella had to sit like me.

Lewisville City has a Christmas celebration at Town Hall with a parade and this year the cub scouts walked in it. Doesn't Peter look so good in that uniform and hat.

Our Relief Society activity this month was the production "Women at the Well". It was wonderful! We had a great turnout and we had asked sisters to invite the less active in our ward and to invite friends and neighbors and they did! The cast was made up by the women that consistently attend our additional meetings so I was pleased when the nearly 60 chairs we set up were nearly full. The spirt was definitely felt by all. My friend came and she loved it. I gave her a Book of Mormon with 3 Nephi 11 marked so that she could read it and understand who Jon and I were supposed to be.

My song starts out by saying "Come close my precious child..." so, I decided I should have a child to sing to and Jon was it. He actually learned a good portion of the song although he did not sing it while we were performing. He still asks for it when he is going to sleep at night. If you would like to see more pictures from it you can go here. We had a beautiful backdrop painted by a sister in our ward. I gave her a painting dropcloth and told her what I had in mind and she was incredible. I feel so blessed to get to serve with so many amazing women.
On that note, my presidency was released on Sunday (except for me). There were some changes that needed to be made in our ward and it affected my presidency. I have had such strong women supporting me. I will miss them. I am excited for the chance to work with new sisters and have new views, opinions, insights, strenghts, etc. I will miss the old I would not have survived with out them but I look forward to the new.
I was delivering some RS Christmas things on Sunday and I was so overcome by the truthfulness of the gospel. I love that we believe in revelation. We have modern day prophets that teach us from the scriptures and show us the way to navigate through this latter day dispensation through that revelation. The church has so many amazing members in it. I was also struck by just how many do not realize what there true potential is. I taught the RS presidency lesson this month and I focused on Believing Christ. It is funny how that is so hard to do. I believe in his teachings and his many miracles but because I live in the world and I am subjected to the enticements, judging, and input from the world it becomes easy to doubt that I can ever be good enough, strong enough, worthy enough to recieve all that my Father has in store for me. Yet, my life has been filled with so many good and great things daily that I should never doubt him. I can become what the Father knows I can and wants me to become. It will be a day by day process and I will not always make forward progress but that is where the atonement comes in. He never expected me to be able to do it without help and so He provided me with a Savior. Christ was born in humble circumstances, a teacher among the masses, a lover of all men, liberal with his time and godly power, was willing to pay the price even though he knew it would be harder than anything ever done or ever to be done in this world. He was then crucified and most gloriously resurrected. My song for our RS meeting was called He Came For Me and I know that without a doubt, I just wish more people knew that . Also, you are about to hear Jon's little song and you know what, I do have the joy of the Lord because he did save me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving in Tennessee

We were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with part of Peter's family in Tennessee. It was a great trip! Peter's parents rented a house that was perfect; it had 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and a great kitchen with a large enough table for us to all eat together. We split the drive up between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and it was beautiful! Peter and I especially enjoyed the drive because we did something we love- read a book together. Peter's boss loaned us the first book in the next Camp Half Blood (Percy Jackson) series. We have about 90 pages left and have not had time to read since getting home but guaranteed we will find some this weekend!
My pictures are not completely in order. We were smart enough to download pictures from each others' cameras before we left. Thanks for some great shots!
Lanell loved holding the babies (Ryker Wood on the left, Arabella in the middle, and Sophi Booth on the right).
Fun with cousins-Alexandra is on the right.
We took our Wii and there was a whole lot of playing that went on.
The leaves were beautiful! I wish I could have seen them about 2 weeks ago, the trees were probably full of leaves but the ones that were left were great colors.

We had enough time to hit the Chattanooga Zoo when we arrived on Wednesday. It was small but it was $1 Wednesday and I got a 50% discount with my Dallas Zoo Pass=$2.00 for the whole family. There alot of monkeys and they were quite active.
A dracula deer- fitting for Jon to pose by since he has been a dracula for 3 years for Halloween.

We were by the ponies and Arabella thought that was great!

Grandpa, Anthony and Alexandra met us at the zoo.

Making pies the night before Thanksgiving. It made for a perfect time to visit and catch up with one another.
The kids were a little too full of energy Thurdsy morning and so we had played with them in our room for a bit and when they had wound down some they caught a ride out.

Getting ready to ride out.
Then some of our group went on a little hike.

They were throwing rocks into a little pond until Jon dropped a fairly large one on Peter's head from up above. Peter had a headache for awhile after.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with tons of food but we forgot to take any pictures. We played a lot of games (board, card, dice, etc) as well. So fun!

Friday we went for a train ride to a train yard and there was a museum where this old poster was displayed. Yes, his leg is missing.

Peter and I had been trying to catch each other making silly faces with the camera but this one is just a classic Peter. There are some "nice"shots of me but since Peter never posts you won't be seeing them. :)
Family picture in front of a train.

This was on Satruday morning- a little card making.

Back to the trian. Look at those cute babies all bundled up!
After the train we ate turkey sandwiches and then went to the Children's Museum, the kids only had 90 minutes until it closed and I forgot my camera. It was a fun museum with some great permanent exhibits. Then we had dinner and watched a boat parade on the river. The boats had Christmas lights on them. It really was cool!

This is how Jon spent about 90% of his time at the house. Anthony was often on the other side of Jon. He loved having someone to play with him and help him through the games.

Saturday morning, Grandma & Grandpa took Alexandra and Joey to Ringgold which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the battle there during the civil war.

Then we all met up at Chickamauga to see the visitor's center. It was really interesting but Arabella has a short attention span so I did not quite get to read all of the plaques I would have liked to.
Part of the battlefield. It was the 2nd bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Saturday after the battle field we went to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and saw their model train exhibit. It was impressive. They had tried to replicate as much of Chattanooga and the surrounding area as possible. The details were impressive!
Arabella posing with some "neighs" in the display cabinet that told about how they make models.

Joey could not get enough.

The actualy Chattanooga Choo Choo- it does not run anymore.
We spent all of Sunday driving home and the drive went really well. The kids were great! Thank you to all of the Rabner Family that worked to make the trip so fabulous!