Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fun Times

Because I'm a teacher, I'm home for the holidays. I love being home and having time with my family. Lately, we've been doing a lot of chilling, which is a pastime I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy. We've been utilizing the convenience of Netflix and playing with new toys from Christmas. Kyson and Kris got glow-in-the-dark hats in their stocking, so I tool some pictures on night. It's difficult to get a good picture of stuff that glows in the dark, especially when your three-year-old doesn't want to hold still long enough for the picture to be taken. He wants to see the picture that hasn't been taken yet.

Today, Kyson and Kodi were playing a lot. It is so obvious that they love each other so much. I love
watching them together (as long as Kyson doesn't get too rough). Kodi idolizes her big brother and would do anything for him, while Kyson loves to make his little sister laugh. They're quite a pair. I'm so grateful for this time and look forward to the day when we have more time to spend together rather than working so much. Someday.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Love Christmas

Every year for Christmas we fill the entire day and never really have a chance to just be. We decided to change things up this year by going to my parents' house on Christmas Eve, and then my parents can visit each family on Christmas day. I think it worked out a lot better.

Christmas Even started out with Subway that my parents ordered and we all chomped and chatted. Subway is always a nice meal for the holidays. Subway is a nice meal for any day. Then the real fun began. We played a game called Compatability and it was hilarious to play this with my sister and parents. I've wanted to since I played it last year for New Year's and now that it''s finally happened - it didn't disappoint. It was nice that my niece, Chelsie, dropped in for a shirt time as well. After games and lots of laughter came presents. Kyson was so well-behaved and grateful. He was saying thank you and giving hugs. He didn't always wait for his turn to open the present, but what can you expect from a three-year-old. The entire evening was wonderful and I hope we start a new family tradition with this.
Christmas morning was just as great. Kodi was the one to wake us first at 6:30am. I was really hoping to sleep until 7:30, but not this year. Apparently, Kodi was too excited to wait. We brought her into our bed to see if she's fall back asleep until Kyson woke up, but she was ready to go and played the entire time. Finally at 7ish, I took her downstairs until Kyson woke up. At 7:30, Kyson came downstairs and saw the presents under the tree. His first response was, "Wow." But when I asked him to go wake up Daddy, he said, No," and ran to play with a toy meant for Kodi.

When everyone came downstairs, Kyson started handing out the stockings and going through all of his nifty toys in there. He was so patient and nice. Even when we got to the actual presents, he would pause after each present to play with it. If only this angelic behavior would have lasted all day.

After presented we had cinnamon rolls and watched The Polar Express. Kyson watched the movie in his new play tent he got from Grandma and Grandpa Tinsch the night before. Then Grandma and Grandpa Tinsch came over. We had more presents and lunch. This year, I cooked my first "Christmas Dinner" and I think it turned out okay - I liked it anyway. Later that evening Jen, Bill, and Josh came over and boy that was a treat. Josh is such a good sport. He played with Kyson so much and I know Kyson just loved it. Kodi was too tired to care, but watching Kyson and Josh was so fun.
For the rest of the evening, Kris worked on setting up our new PS3, and Kyson sat in his "house." It was a wonderfully relaxing day and so nice not to be gone all day visiting everyone. I guess the stress will come tomorrow when I'm trying to clean up the house and de-clutter the old to make room for the new. I think I enjoyed this Christmas more than I have in a long time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Newsest Addition

On December 10th, we received a phone call from Rusty and Amy saying that we're getting a new nephew. That same day, the adoption agency called them up and asked them if they'd be interested in hearing about a
baby that was born the previous day. Typically they have a lot more information and notice when considering a child, but they decided to hear more about it. They seriously thought about the situation, and knew that he was meant for their family. They named him Eli Isaiah Hansen. He was born December 9, 2010 weighing 5 pounds and measuring 17 inches long. He was born at 32 weeks gestation and will be in the NICU about 6 weeks.

Eli is only 9 months younger than Drew, who was also a premie. I know that this will be a challenge, but they know they can make it work and are excited to have little Eli in the family. It will be fun when he can come home from the hospital. Did I mention how much I love December birthdays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Birthdays

I've never been a huge fan of December birthdays. I didn't want my children to have birthdays in
December because it's too close to Christmas. I
wasn't thinking of the financial piece, I was thinking about how it would suck for them. Well, I have the privilege of having two nephews and a brother-in-law with December birthdays - all from the same family. We went to Colin's birthday first and it was a lot of fun. Colin is a sweet, mellow little boy. I think Kyson had the
most fun being able to play with his little cousins. Amy was a good sport and was playing with all the little guys. I hope she knew what she was getting into. Well, still ahead is Rusty and Blake's birthday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Part II

On Thanksgiving day, we spent the day with Kris' family. We had dinner with his parents and his brother and family came over later for pie. It was a very nice day, except the morning started out very stressful.

I started dinner at 8:00am. The internet said the turkey would take 4 hours in a roaster, so I went safe and put it in 5 hours early. The plan was to eat at 1:00. This wouldn't have been a problem if Kris had been home to watch the kids while I worked on dinner, but due to circumstances out of our control, he was unavailable the entire time. I sent him at 8:00 to go get a newspaper from Smith's and he waited there a while, but it wasn't arriving. He called me and said he was going to go to Maverick and see if it was there. Two hours later, he called me from Walmart and said, "No one has a paper. Walmart was going to call their distributor and find out where it is." So he came home and by this point it was 10:30.

Although much of the morning had passed, it was still okay, because the real work begins an hour or two before dinner. He left again to go to my parents to get the paper from them. They have a subscription and said we could have their ads. While he was there, he was snatched up to hook up their new televeision and he didn't get back until noon. While he was gone, Kyson leaked through his pants and got two couches dirty, and Kodi spit up all over her chair. I had to pull up the little Spot Bot cleaner to get it all out. It took a lot of my time and I was getting nervous about getting dinner finished. When he arrived at noon, I thought, "Yea, at least I have the last hour to get this dinner done, without trying to take care of the kids." I thought wrong. He hadn't been able to shower because he was gone all morning, and he went up to shower. Needless to say, we didn't eat on time. I didn't get food on the table until close to 2.

The meal was good, even though it was late. And I'm grateful our company was understanding. We ate at 2 and had plans for Rusty and his family to come over at 4 for pie. By the time 4:00 came around, we were still cleaning up dinner and not hungry enough for pie, so we called Rusty and relaxed on the couch while the kids were sleeping. We watched The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I'd never seen it before, and I have to admit, it was really good. It was such a nice and relaxing afternoon.

The real fun began when Rusty and the fam arrived. They came close to 5, and all the kids started playing immediately. Kyson loves his cousins, but sometimes it gets a little difficult because Kyson knows not to hit or push, but his oldest cousin is six and is in Karate. Although he does kick and hit for fun, Kyson doesn't know the difference, and then he starts doing it too, to be like his cousin. All four of the little boys were running around, playing rough, and being little boys. Kyson really enjoyed it. I did too, but was worried about someone getting hurt. Worries aside, it was a wonderful evening. It's nice when we get all the family together.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Part I

Last year my family had Thanks- giving in the middle of December because my mom had just had a hip replacement and couldn't get out of the house. This year, my family decided to have Thanksgiving early because my mom had choir practice on Wednesday night before the big day and wouldn't be able to prepare. This opened up Thanksgiving day to invite Kris' parents over for dinner.

So Thanks- giving was the Sunday before Thanks-giving and I was a little leary about it especially when my dad called to say that we were going to go bowling after dinner. I thought bowling sounded fun, I just didn't know how fun it would be when I have small children who need naps. I have to say, the day was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed everything.

We had dinner at 1-ish and Kodi slept while we ate. Kyson said the prayer for the big dinner. It wasn't as entertaining as his typical prayer. Half way through it he tried to have a conversation with me. I whispered to him to say "Amen" and when he did, we started passing the food. It was nice that we didn't have to play the "Not it" game about who was going to say the prayer.

Dinner was so fantastic! I loved everything about it. I thought that Kyson might eat a few things, but I was wrong. He really liked one thing in particular - ranch. He asked for some on his plate and I thought it would be to dip his roll or something, but no, it became an entree on his plate that he ate it by the spoonfuls. I was so disgusted I had to take a picture.

Next came bowling. Kodi woke up just as we were getting ready to leave so the timing was perfect, but Kyson still hadn't gone down for a nap. He'd never been bowling before, he ate a lunch that consisted of Ranch, and he hadn't had a nap. This could have been a lethal combination, but it turned out well enough. He wasn't an angel, but he could have been worse. He did pretty well at first, but lost interest quickly when he saw a game room at the bowling alley with rides. He could be bribed to throw the first ball, but that second ball he wanted nothing to do with it.

My father was the most enter- taining. He and my mom used to bowl on a league back in the day, and they brought their own balls and shoes like regular pros. He wanted "competition" on his lane of bowlers so Kris, Josh, and I joined his team to try and give him a challenge, although, we weren't as experienced as my father. Well, my dad didn't disappoint, he got many gutter balls and was getting more and more disgusted with each frame. I don't think he even broke 100. We teased him mercilessly and we enjoyed every minute of it. Kris, surprisingly was very good. He nearly broke 200 and at one point got four strikes in a row. I had no idea he was such a talented bowler - it's a good thing he was bowling against my dad, he needed some competition.

The entire day was so much fun and even though my children weren't perfect, I'm grateful that my family loves them unconditionally.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family Times

I rarely write about religious things but, this time I'm going to make an exception. In the month of October, our ward made a theme of Family and ways to improve your family. Essentially they wanted to teach about how we can keep our family on the straight and narrow. While there weren't any revelations about how to do this (pray together, family home evening, family scripture study, etc), lessons and talks gave me a lot of suggestions and things to think about.

There are a few things I've been doing differently since the lessons of October. One is the way I treat my children. Like most parents, I can get angry and lose my patience. When that happens, I yell. One day in Relief Society, they said something that really stuck with me. The way we react and treat others when we are frustrated is how we are teaching our children to deal with frustration. So if we yell and hit, that's what our children will do - and they'll think it's okay. I hadn't thought about the kind
of example I was setting. I was only thinking about dealing with the problem at the moment.

Even though I know that family prayer and family scripture study are really important, we often forget about family prayer and don't have time for family scripture study. In one talk last month, a speaker said that a friend of hers had done family scripture study by reading only one verse per person each day. When I heard this i thought, "I can do that." We decided after dinner while we're already together at the table, we'll read from the scriptures. We've been doing a good job with it and I'm quite proud of us. Since we've been doing these simple things, Kyson wants to pray more and he wants to read the scriptures.

Tonight we read about Nephi returning to Jerusalem to get the plates from Laban and how they were staying in tents in the wilderness. Kyson understood and even prayed for tents tonight in his prayer. Last night in his prayer he prayed for hot dogs, Avatar, Bear Lake, Bob the tomato, Babe the pig, the couch, and the singing wrestlers from Veggie Tales. He's really enjoying praying and to be honest, he never lets us pray anymore and I'm fine with that.

I feel like these small things are making us happier and making a difference.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Every year I have high hopes for fun times, thinking that my children will have so much fun with the holidays, which in turn means they'll be fun for me. Well, I have a difficult son. Kyson refused to wear a costume last year, so I didn't take him trick-or-treating. This year I thought for sure he'd want to be a part of it all and he didn't. I didn't buy him a costume because every time I showed him one, he didn't want to wear it. He screams if I try and put it on anyway - you'd think I was beating the child.

I finally went to my sister's house because she has a big box of Halloween costumes that her children had worn in years past. I hoped I could find something he'd wear. Well, I kind of did. There was one costume that was supposed to be a grim reaper kind of thing with a robe and "exposed ribs." I believe the costume was size 12. Obviously, the robe wouldn't fit, but I could get him to wear the ribs for a minute or two at a time. I thought with a bit of training the weeks before Halloween, that maybe by the time the holiday came around I could get him to wear some ribs. It worked. he looked ridiculous and it really wasn't a costume, but it was something. I liked to believe he was an X-ray machine.

Wearing the "costume" was a success for both of his preschools, the ward party, and Halloween night. He went trick-or-treating with his friends the Holts and Kris told me that when he'd go to the door he'd say "Trick-or-treat! I have bones!" After he came home from trick-or-treating, he was so excited about all the little kids in costumes that he'd have to come to the door and babble incoherent interjections. It was fun.

Kodi, on the other hand, is too small to care. We put her in an adorable ladybug costume and she never compleained once. Next year she'll be more aware of what is going on and I truly hope that she isn't a fighter - I need a lover, not a fighter when it comes to Halloween costumes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

BFFs and Good Times

Our next door neighbors are the absolute best. Their three youngest girls are friends with Kyson and they truly are his BFFs. He's always asking if he can go play with his friends, and we can use them for any form of bribery. If he's being bad, he can't play with his friends. If he won't eat dinner, he can't play with his friends until he eats; I even threaten to send his friends home if he won't try going potty. Friends are great leverage. Occasionally, their friend Rebecca will come over too. They sometimes play games, play on the jungle gym outside, or just watch TV. I don't think Kyson cares what they do as long as he's with his friends.

The girls really like Kodi and the dogs too. They always want to feed Kodi, cuddle with her, play with her, and what-not. They also do really well with Leroy and Fran, which is a very good thing because Fran gets a little cranky around children. It's just great for everyone.

When Kodi isn't playing with her friends,
another favorite pastime is playing in the mail. Every so often, I'll go through a large stack of mail. I throw the stuff to be recycled on the floor and make piles of other things on the table. Kodi loves to come and play in the pile on the floor. It's quite cute to watch her get so excited about paper.

Kyson and Kodi also have a play tent.
Occas- ionally we'll put it up and let the kids play in it. We haven't put it up for a very long time because Kyson gets a little too excited and starts beating up the tent. This most recent time, he did get a little violent, but he managed to settle down so we could keep it up. Kyson and Kodi watched Avatar (the last airbender cartoon) while laying in the tent. It was so adorable.