Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had such a fun Christmas in the Gardiner home. Although it was below zero, Santa and his reindeer still managed to make it to Alaska! The reindeer even ate the frozen carrots that were left outside. The kids slept in until 7:00 and I couldn't wait any longer, so I made more noise than usual and guess what?! They woke up! (Brett loves this side of me! When we were first married, he thought I was crazy waking up at 5:00 to open presents. He said, "We don't even have kids! Why are we waking up so early?") After opening presents we had a pajama day, lounging around sleeping and playing with toys.

Jenna did not want to wake up! She just kept yelling, "Back to bed! Back to bed!" (Hmm, I wonder who she takes after?) In fact, after she woke up and saw the presents she ran back downstairs and tried to sleep. I didn't let her, of course, because I was so excited!

This notebook was the first present Jenna opened. A few minutes later we handed her another present and she said, "No, I already opened one." It took a lot to get her to give in and open more. Man I could have saved a ton of money!

Dallin and Jared had no problem tearing into their gifts!

Santa made Jenna's Christmas dreams come true. She LOVES being a princess! (She's really into posing half tipped over....something new for her, maybe associated with princess status.) I love the high heels and crack up as I watch her trying to walk in them. She kind of reminds me of myself, which is why I avoid them at all cost!

Jared was so happy when he opened his new train cars and cargo set. He also loves his basketball, soccer ball and football. When he gets excited he talks a mile a minute. It's so dang cute!

The kids loved the choo choo train that Santa brought. Too bad he forgot to bring the batteries to make it run! Poor Santa just had too much on his mind! Dallin got spoiled this year too. He loves his new dinosaur book, bubble gum machine and underwater dino and guy. He is so passionate and yelled and screamed with excitement every time he opened a gift.

Jenna was dying to go out and play almost all day! So late afternoon, she finally got herself dressed in Jared's coat and hat and went outside. The two of us ended up in the garage, sitting in the van, listening to her favorite songs. After that, I pulled her in the sled and made snow mountains with her. What a fun day! I wish we could celebrate Christmas every day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pre-Christmas Festivities

It's been awhile since I updated our blog, so I thought I'd share some of the fun things we've been up to this month. We are so excited for Christmas and have been very busy preparing for Santa's arrival!

On Sunday morning we all got dressed up in our Sunday/Christmas best and headed off to church! I can't believe we actually got a couple of good shots of the kids. (I admit, I was being a little, okay a lot, psycho as I was trying to take these in a hurry before running off to choir! I hope Santa will still come and visit me!)

Behind those beautiful smiles they're saying, "Please Mom, can we be done?!"

My friend, Erika, and her husband invited us over for a fun party. Santa came and Dallin finally got to tell him that he wanted a "dinosaur underwater sea diving guy." Man, it's amazing that Santa gets it right every time, even with a description like that!

The boys and I spent some quality bonding time making gingerbread cookies for Santa to eat.

They were YUMMY! We did manage to save a few for Santa though! Hmm, for some reason I really don't think Santa really needs them.

Jenna is so excited for Christmas and loves her little reindeer that one of my past students gave me.

Yeah! We did it! We actually made a gingerbread house this year. (Okay, so I cheated a little and bought a kit, but at least I made time to do it!) Mom, I will never know how you had the patience to do several, made from scratch, each year!

Okay, I look so stoned in this picture, (Hmm, could it be all the frosting and candy I ate?!) but I just think Brett is so dang handsome, so I had to post this!

Wait! Santa has aged a lot since the above picture with Dallin! (I just had to explain to Dallin that Santa can't be everywhere and sometimes has elves help him out! Whew! That was a close one!) Jared wasn't too sure about the whole Santa thing. He chatted with him from a distance, but wouldn't sit on his knee. I can't say I blame him! He asked for a cargo addition for his train set.

Jenna loved this first encounter with Santa. (The second one didn't quite go as well.) She asked him for princess clothes.

Look! It's Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors and Mary! Some of us had fun dressing up for our ward party and some of us didn't. And no, there will not be a baby filling that manger any time soon!

Once there was a snowman! Dallin and Jared built this cool dude all by themselves! Don't you love the leaf eyes? We still have a few inches of leaves under our snow!

We had a fun playgroup party at our house! The kids exchanged gifts, ate lunch and had a great time!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun!

Happy Halloween! We hope your day was as fun as ours! Our kids did very well scoring candy for their parents, um I mean, uh... for themselves. They enjoyed "trunk-or-treating" at the church as well as knocking on a few doors. It was pretty chilly so we were home by 7:15, although it felt like 10:00!

Yesterday the kids began with pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. Why not start the day with chocolate chips and syrup?!

Mr. Crocodile, Jenna the unicorn (I know...hideous costume but it was warm and free. Besides that, the cute little girl makes up for it!) and last, but not least, Dash. This picture was taken last week at Dallin's school Halloween party. They had fun playing games and even went through the haunted hallway. Jenna is still talking about the "scary guy" that was there!

Our playgroup got together for our annual Halloween party. The kids had fun playing "Hot Hook," (It's like hot potato except played with a hook hand.) "Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Bat," and a balloon popping game. They also ate pizza and frosted cupcakes. Thanks Hayley! You are the best party thrower in town!

Boo! Can you say VERY SCARY UNICORN!!!! Maybe we could call her Dracucorn!

Okay, so last year I carved our pumpkin by myself because our kids were grossed out by the guts inside. As many of you know, when I was about 7 years old this girl in my class brought pumpkin seeds to school to share with her friends. Her dad had laced them with drugs, so those of us who ate them got pretty sick. To this day I can't stand to look at a pumpkin seed. (Maybe I should get therapy!!!) So until my kids get bigger and can decorate their own, I made an executive decision that we would decorate our pumpkins with markers this year. For those of you who think I'm a party pooper, I just have to let you know that I even let them use permanent markers. That's a big step for me! =)

The sugar high wore off quickly. Once Jenna was in her seat in the warm car she went to unicorn land. I was very bummed, however, when she got home and was wound up from her 5 minute nap.

I think Dash is done being Incredible! We drove for about one minute and Jared was out. It's a good thing he was clicked in. It would have been just tragic had he fallen out of his seat into the empty candy bags behind him!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Excitement, Embarrassment and Pain!

Dallin finally reached the milestone that he has anticipated for many, many long months. HE LOST HIS FIRST TOOTH! He hates seeing blood so I thought he'd be freaked out, but the tooth practically fell out when he touched it. He was so excited and celebrated by doing a dance and going crazy. He had huge expectations in the Tooth Fairy department. He thought maybe she'd bring a whole dollar. (Man, I hate inflation!) I told him that his tooth was pretty tiny so maybe the Tooth Fairy would wait until a bigger tooth came out before she started handing out dollars!

Ouch! Jenna likes purple so she decided to add a little to her face. She was running through the living room and tripped over Brett's foot, which sent her flying into the rocking chair. I was cuddling her and Brett and I were saying, "Jenna, it's okay. Be tough!" She just kept crying though, which is very unlike her. Then I noticed the big bump and we decided maybe we should show a little more empathy. (Once again, we deserve the Parents of the Year award!

Dallin wanted to be like his sister so somehow he managed to flip our heavy oak dinner bench on his toe. This picture really doesn't portray the way it looked. It was so swollen and had a bump under the toenail. After being uncomfortable throughout the night we took him to the ER. He fractured a bone under the nail and has to wear a boot for 4-6 weeks. Joy! I hope it doesn't snow while he has to wear it!
Dallin loved hanging out on the couch being waited on hand and foot! I don't know what they're looking at in this picture because the t.v. is located on the other side of the room.
This is my favorite picture and Jared will be so mad at me some day for exploiting him! The night that Dallin broke his toe he wanted to sleep in our bed. Jared didn't want to sleep alone so we let him sleep in our bed too. A couple hours later I heard a sound downstairs. When I saw Jared sitting there with his pjs down around his ankles I thought, "I can't believe he wet my bed!" I was so mad! After examining our bed I realized that it wasn't wet at all. Then my eyes were drawn to a glistening puddle on the floor. It dawned on me that Jared thought the little table was the toilet. I started laughing so hard and ran up to get Brett. Of course I just had to get a picture! Brett strategically placed the alarm clock and I clicked away. The next morning when Jared woke up he asked why he had different pajamas on. He didn't remember any of it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to School!

Okay, I'm going to try to hold back my level of excitement with this post. Some moms really dread their kids going back to school because they miss them so much when they're gone. How do I say what I'm feeling without looking like a terrible mom? I AM SO ECSTATIC THAT I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF!!! Don't get me wrong! We had a very fun summer, but the arguing was getting pretty annoying and my house needs a major overhaul!

Jared is so excited for preschool this year! On his first day he took his three books that he knows how to read to share with his teacher. Look at that smile! Can life get any better than that?!

The day after Jared started preschool Dallin went to first grade. He came home and said that first grade was very boring because there were no toys. Man, it stinks to get older!

Hmmm, Jared is smiling, Dallin is smiling and Jenna is very sad that she can't go to school with the big boys. She's probably just thrilled to get to stay home alone with Mommy! No worries Jenna! I have big plans for us!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fun at the Fair!

Man I love the fair! I love watching my kids have fun, the food is great, I get to hold hands with my cute husband, and if you're a people watcher like I am, you can't find a better place to be entertained! No really. The hosts of "What Not to Wear" would be beside themselves as to what to do! They could do 2 years worth of shows with what they'd find here! Gotta love it!

The zoo train is always such a big hit! I'm sad that Dallin will probably want nothing to do with these rides next year! What are we going to do when he wants to go on the twirl-spin-and-barf rides? Brett and I don't do well with those. I guess we'll have to invite a friend! Aunt Shannon or Aunt Natalie?!!

Jenna was in heaven. She loved this ride and the helicopter one too.

I grew up on a ranch, so as a child the animal barn was my least favorite place to be! My kids love it! I wish I never would have introduced them to the rides! I could have saved a lot of money over the past few years!

The kids loved this little bunny. The little 4-H boy was so nice and patient to let all of the kids pet his little rabbit.

Dallin saw these and just had to drive one. He promised he'd go home and do lots of jobs to pay for it! He was so careful to stay on the dirt path. Even though he got lapped a few times by the other drivers he got out at the end and said, "I won the race and I didn't even drive off the road!" That's my boy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fun in the Sun!

The other day our friend Hayley invited us over to play in their new pool. In the early afternoon she started filling the pool with the hose. She also added hot buckets of water to make it a little warmer. (It was only about 66 degrees outside so we knew the sun wouldn't heat it too much.) She even hooked the hose to her kitchen faucet so she could add more hot water. Two and a half hours later (and no hot water to be found) the pool was still filling up! I couldn't believe Owen, Hayley's son, just dove in face first. The water was FREEZING!! Later the pool buckled and the water started flooding their backyard. It was so funny watching our delayed reactions. "Hey, where's all this water coming from? Augh!! Hurry! Fix the pool!" I'm sure her husband was delighted when the lawn was way too wet to mow that night!

While Owen and Dallin enjoyed the water, Quinn, Jared and Jenna had fun playing with the toys!


Last night for Family Home Evening we took the kids to try out their new tennis rackets that Grandma and Grandpa Gardiner gave them for their birthdays. We had so much fun attempting to hit the ball! We learned two things from the whole experience.....One, Jenna needs her own racket and two, we definitely need to go again. We had a blast and we all need a lot more practice. Help us, Uncle Steve!

You go girl! Jenna loved this, but didn't last too long. She ran to play on the slide while the rest of us played some more.

Look at that form. Actually Jared did pretty well when he wasn't being a wild child!

After Brett worked with Dallin on keeping his forearm straight, Dallin started hitting the ball a lot better.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


This week was actually pretty uneventful, except for the fact that we had two sunny days. One of those days was spent at the zoo and the other at two different parks. I've learned that when the sun does pop through this summer I need to drop everything and go out and enjoy it!

This is Jenna's new dollhouse. This is where she will eat, sleep and pretty much live until she outgrows it! Our friend was having a garage sale, so I couldn't resist! (Just what I more big toy in my house!) The kids have been having fun though! The house is already filled with stuffed animals. I'm sure in future years Barbies will take over!

Dallin was so excited for me to take this picture so we could put it on our blog. This is a snow leopard from our zoo.
Brett taught the kids what an owl says.....
"Hooo, Hooo, who's your daddy?!

This is Jenna's version. These kids don't stand a chance
with us as parents! We are such nerds aren't we?!