Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Bit of Sadness

We spent some time as a family last week just doing fun Christmas things together. This has to be my favorite picture of the week. Just the pure joy and happiness she has making cookies with us. If we had sent out Christmas cards this would've been it.

S got to be a sheep in the family nativity this week. She has to be the cutest sheep in the play!

I usually do my posts on Sundays because that is when I get some good uninterrupted quiet time. My grandpa Carlson passed away a week ago Saturday and we took some time to go help with things at my parent's house in preparation for Christmas. We put up a tree, lights, cleaned, and started dinner. Writing this it seems like an eternity ago. My mom and dad were in Idaho with his father when he passed on Saturday. Some siblings and I all went up to help out as a surprise. I sent mom a text asking when they were coming home. She texted me back that they were home but at church. We suddenly had a deadline to get everything done. They pulled up, but didn't get out of the car. Eventually they came in. Dad was crying. He hugged each kid and grandkid for a good while and thanked all of us. He let us know how much it meant to him, and how grateful he was.

We spent Christmas Eve with my family in Brigham City, then came home that evening. S woke up at 6:30 Christmas morning, and went to bed late. Consequently she was pretty tired and took an early nap Christmas Day. She was so fantastic and loved everything about Christmas morning. Over and over we heard "Present, Open it" She was so excited for everything! We let her open something, play with it, and when she was done we would move on. Of course it took longer this way, but I think it was more enjoyable all around. She put on some of her dressups and danced around the room.

Emptying stockings :)

A Lego Train- HUGE hit with her!

A toy for Dad

Disney Characters

From Grandpa and Grandma Carlson. This was a lifesaver for the long car ride to the funeral.

A little blurry because she was so excited! She wanted to put on all her dress ups :)

Our little monster

Her first outing in the snow this year on Christmas Day :) We waited a long time this year for the snow to come!

Daddy and Scarlett at the graveside.

The sons as Pallbearers

Grandpa served in the Air Force, and received military honors.

These boys are so sweet. After the viewing, back at the hotel they gave grandpa a hug and said, "I'm sorry your dad died." It made all of us cry. 

At this point she had been in the car for 3 hours. All she wanted was to walk around. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Second Week of Christmas

This week was WAY to busy! I'm SO grateful for a bit of down time today :)

We spent some time this week just reading stories. I think this one has been her favorite for the past several months. She loves to "read" the parts that she's memorized with me :)

I have been working on this stocking for her for about a week here and there. It took a lot of time, but I'm super happy with how it turned out. Hopefully she loves it too!

We got news late last week that my grandfather who had previously fought lymphoma (and beat it) now had the cancer return accompanied by leukemia. I got a text from my mom that he really wasn't doing well. I called my dad and he was on his way to Idaho. I really felt like I needed to head up there. We didn't tell my dad we were coming, we just showed up. I called both of my sisters who lived here and we ended up all driving up together. It was a sad thing to be doing, but great company and a fun sisters trip. Because it was late when we got there we went directly to the hospital. My dad and grandpa were so surprised to see us. It brought a smile to both of their faces which made it totally worth it. Because it is flu season they don't want children under 18 visiting. I sat in the lobby alone with the two kids while my sisters spent time with grandpa. My dad came down for a few minutes. The picture below kept these two busy for quite a while. Who knew there was such thing as an automatic opening trashcan?! I did take a video of it, but for some reason can't get it to upload :/

This next picture seems pretty insignificant, but was huge for us! A mom and her 5 kids (6-15 maybe?) walked into the lobby and seemed to be looking for something. One of the older girls came up to me and said, "We're doing random acts of kindness. Can they (meaning the kids) have these?" I almost started crying right there. How thoughtful of a mom to teach her kids something so selfless. I told them we had been in the car for over 4 hours and how much we appreciated their kindness. It only cost a few buck, but meant so much to us!

We finally hit the hotel. The four of us waited in the car while Jessica went in to get us a room. Cousin J had at least slept part of the time, but S was awake and talking the whole way. You'd have thought they'd have been ready to crash....SO wrong! I couldn't get Scarlett to sleep until after 11. We all made sure to turned off all alarms. We woke up shortly after 8. That wasn't nearly enough time for S and I think she is still trying to catch up.

Two cute cousins in the morning before checking out of the hotel.

The next morning we went to visit grandma at home. We couldn't make that drive and just see grandpa because he was in the hospital. While we were there a home health person came by. She said she had heard about grandpa and wanted to see if grandma needed anything. Grandma said she was okay, and that her grand kids she hadn't seen in a while were there to visit so she'd like to visit with us. The home health employee said, "It's sad that it takes something like this for people to come visit." I felt like I'd been stabbed in the heart. Who was she to judge me? Did she know we lived 4+ hours away, all of us had small children who shouldn't be around people who are sick, and grandma and grandpa had been sick a lot this year? I'd never say something like that. Who am I to judge? Shortly after that we headed up to the hospital to see grandpa again. Dad was already there. We all took some time. Grandpa had had a really rough time as we were getting there and my uncle thought that might have been the end. After we had all spent a few minutes with him we went to the lobby to decide what to do next. Did we stay up and support my dad? Did we hit the road? We felt like the kids at least needed a little break, and  we all (dad included) needed a little break from the sadness of things. So, we took a 30 minute ride out to Cami's house. She's been there only a little over a month, and her new place is super cute! It was a cousin's birthday the day before and we shared cupcakes from her birthday after lunch. I wish I could have shared S's reaction when we go out of the car at Cami's house. Maci was on the stairs and as soon as S saw her there was a high-pitched scream of "Maciii!" She was beyond thrilled to see her. It made it harder to leave, but I'm so grateful that we got to see them this weekend as well as again at Christmas.

Cami has a fun little play ground at her apartment complex. We took all the kids outside to get some wiggles out before we got back in the car for a long ride. To say the ride home was long might be an understatement. There were lots and lots of toddler tears.

One of the best things this week. We had the most beautiful sunrise. I saw it out the kitchen window as I was doing dishes. I made sure to tell Brett so he could enjoy it too :) It's not a stellar photo, but it does the job.

Brett was trying to think of a fun date for Friday night. I had several things that I had pinned on Pinterest that had lots of ideas for date nights at home. Let's face it. Everyone needs to be able to take a break, enjoy time with their spouse, and not pay out the nose to do it. We did a "color me mine" at home. The top is Brett's creation, and the bottom is mine :)

We had our annual cooking day with grandma for Christmas on Saturday. Grandma was kind and thoughtful enough to have a fun few crafts for the grand kids. They made Santas and Christmas trees. Somehow I missed  a picture of all the treats we created.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

First Week of Christmas

This week had a bit of a rough start. Brett called me at 7:00 Monday morning...which meant that I had to wake S up to be able to leave. He was on his way to the airport and his car died when he stopped at the gas station to fill up the car with gas. S and I went to pick him up and take him to the airport. Then we had to go back and wait for a tow to come pick up Brett's car. It was quite a long morning, but despite it all Scarlett was incredibly happy all day!

We have a 25 days of Christmas countdown for S. We found these socks at Target for $1, and she totally loves them! Most of the things in her countdown are part of a nativity, but we have a few fun things here and there.

We ordered a shutterfly book from the last year (2013). I am a year behind, but we got it done :) I love this page. Nearly 1 1/2 year ago this happened. I am SO grateful that Scarlett was placed with our family. She has been such a blessing in our lives. These were days we will truly never forget!

S loves Christmas lights. We always get such a great reaction from her as we drive around. One evening I decided to stop at S's cousins house as we drove by. Her cousin had just turned 16, and had tons of birthday balloons that she insisted on sending home with us. It totally made her whole week! She has played with them everyday, and they have brought her an indescribable amount of happiness. 

One of our favorite things from this week was going to The Livivng Nativity as a family. S loved every aspect of it: animals, soldiers, wisemen, and of course Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. My favorite thing with her was watching everything she did. She interacted with everything that went on. When we went in the barn to see Mary, Joseph, and Jesus she was so excited she kept saying, "Mary, Mary..." She touched a little boy next to her and pointed at Mary as she was saying it. "Mary" heard her and it brought a little smile to her face. Scarlett picks up Mary, Joseph, and Jesus muliptle times a day and just plays with them. I love that she is learning that this is what this season is about. 

S loves cooking with me in the kitchen. She always says, "help you, help you!" She always wants to have the beater when we are done mixing things too. I have no idea why she likes bread dough, but anything in the mixer is something she thinks she should eat raw.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving and Christmas Prep

We decided to start our week out by getting our Little People Nativity out for part of family home evening. S loves Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. We have multiple child friendly Nativity sets, and S loves each of them!

S loves blocks and building. She asks to play with them on a daily basis. She talks about the colors as she builds. S is getting to be quite a good builder, and is balancing blocks well. Sometimes she wants to knock them over herself and then wants to knock over what I've built too :)

We spent a bit of time putting up Christmas lights. S loved to be a helper and watch what we were doing. By the time it was dark and she got to check things out she sat on the front step and repeatedly just said, "" She absolutely LOVES Christmas lights!

S has been carrying around Mary and Joseph all week. She'll call them Mary and Joseph or Mom and Dad. This night she took them, she had them holds hands. She looked at us and said, "Mom, Dad hands." She also had them kiss too. As Brett and I watched it and talked about it, it made our hearts happy that she relates those things to what moms and dads do.

This is one of the only pictures I have from Thanksgiving. I guess I kind of just feel weird getting my camera out at the dinner table. Thus, this was dessert after. We brought a chocolate cake layered with peppermint infused whipped cream, covered in ganache. To say she loved it might be an understatement. I sat by her, and she kept saying, " you...more." This picture was in the midst of that. The arm reaching out toward you is her with her spoon.

The day after Thanksgiving we went up to visit my family. We left early Friday morning. It was probably one of the easiest drives up there ever with all the crazy people that felt they had to hit the stores for Black Friday. S talked all the way there about her cousins, mainly Maci. They loved playing together while we were there. I love how much they love each other and how happy they are together.

While we were there Cami did my hair for me, and she gave S her first haircut too. She was so cute as Cami took a few snips :) I think she does a great job. I'm grateful that she's willing to spend part of her vacation time doing hair for our family.

We wanted to get a Christmas tree this weekend since Brett was home, and we wanted to enjoy it for as long as possible. We have bought them at Home Depot the past several years. This year was no exception. It was fun to watch S walking around the trees and feeling each of them :)

She was so careful to help us with the breakable nativities as we got them out on Saturday. I have one that is similar to "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" book as well as the Willow Tree set.