Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011: Santa came and so did the snow!

I was beyond excited that Austin's first Christmas was a white Christmas! It started out on Christmas eve looking like this:

There was a lot more snow that fell all day, but it all melted same day. Sad. BUT this is what we woke up too Christmas morning!!

Santa came for a visit as well! He felt much more at home in Lubbock this year because of all the snow, so I think it made him extra generous this year.



I don't really have pictures of the boys opening up presents because we took video instead (and it's a long video), but Jackson got a digital camera for Christmas from Grandma Marlow and Great Grandpa Marlow and he managed to get a couple good shots. If I can figure out how to get them downloaded to the computer I'll add them.

Christmas at our house 2011

I keep forgetting to put of pictures of the decor this year. I mostly blog this for myself, so I remember what I did the year before. This way I can keep the ideas I really liked and change up some things I didn't like as well.

Entry way:

Entertainment center:

I had to include these cute monkeys because we found them for the boys (both for $8 at Sam's) and I think they are just adorable!

The Children's nativity: Since our first Christmas when I was pregnant with Jackson I have been looking for a nativity that the kids could play with. Thanks to Target I finally found one this year! I think I was more excited than they were that I finally found one, but they loved playing with it.

Pictures and advent calendar: (Jackson completely understood the advent calendar. It helped him get really excited for Christmas, and it saved me from telling him how many days till Santa visits 1,359 times a day).

Desk and nativity:

Back window:

And finally, our tree:

My crafty Christmas!

I made quite a few gifts this year for family. I don't have any pictures, but for my grandpa I am recreating an awesome picture of his hands with the boys' hands, and I also made him hand warmers because he walks every morning and it's very cold. For my mom and mother-in-law I made a few goodies that will help them pamper themselves. First, I made a peppermint foot scrub and a citrus body scrub. Then I made a cute book mark for their favorite book. A little pampering never hurt anyone!



For my mom (because I already did this for my MIL) I decoupaged a heart keepsake box with pictures of her life on the lid, and pictures of her family all around it. It came out pretty well.




For our friends and neighbors I made some yummy sweet breads and my world famous fudge (Elf Bait), along with a few ornaments I crafted.

Uncle Brian comes home from school!

My boys have been blessed with really great aunts and uncles, but unfortunately most of them live very far away. My little brother, Brian, is the only uncle the boys see all the time and they LOVE him! The last couple weeks Jackson talks about Uncle Brian ALL DAY LONG. Uncle Brian just started his first year of college and it's about an hour and a half drive from here so he has been away for a few weeks. As soon as Uncle Brian came into town he promised Jackson he would come see him first. Jackson was ecstatic! And Uncle Brian made good on his promise!

Please excuse the ridiculous shirt Uncle Brian is wearing, we don't condone such apparel in this house usually. And I don't know what's going on with his hair, I think he was just in a rush to come home... at least I hope that's what happened to that mess. Uncle Brian is just a big kid himself, I think that's why the boys love him SO much.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I couldn't help myself...

Today the boys are in matching sweaters and I couldn't help myself, I had to take some pictures of them. They're so flippin cute! And they really do love each other so much. Austin adores Jackson, and Jackson is so protective of Austin. I know one day they will fight and yell, but I'm completely enjoying how loving they are right now. My cutie little munchkins!



It wouldn't be a true Nuffer photoshoot without an outtake.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas cards are out!

Our Christmas cards were ready for well over a week before we actually got them out because our family has been plagued with illness in some form or fashion for about 5 weeks (ridiculous), and because we've had lots of snow already!! Anyway, now that I know a lot of you have already received the card I want to post the picture of the boys because I LOVE it so much! This was the ONLY good shot I got (and it was sheer luck). They boys were genuinely playing and laughing with each other and I just happened to catch the picture.

I love these two little boys more than I can ever explain. I know my mommy friends understand exactly what I'm saying. They make my heart so filled with joy and love. I just love them to pieces!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First snow day of the year!!

Shockingly enough Texas got it's first snow day of the year before my friend that lives in Wisconsin! Thankfully, Jim had the day off so we were able to enjoy the weather from inside where it was warm.

Since we couldn't go outside because we are all sick, I decided that Jackson could help me make some cookies inside instead. We made chocolate chip cookies and (my favorite) chocolate crinkles. Jackson was a big helper, but he wanted to wash his hands every time he got messy- which was pretty often considering we had to roll each cookie in powder sugar. He's my ODC mini me and can't stand to be dirty.

Since we are all sick and we just keep getting sick, I decided that we needed to clean, clean, clean! We need to get these germs OUT of our house!! While we vacuumed the house Jackson watched cartoons, but the noise disturbed him, and this is the face he had the whole time he was watching the cartoons while the vacuum was on. Apparently, he did not appreciate the noise.

St Nicholas Day

This is the first year that Jackson is understanding Christmas, Santa, and Christ's birthday. I LOVE IT! We celebrate St Nicholas Day by writing Santa a letter and we told the boys that Santa's elves would come that night (last night) and take their letters and leave a treat if they'd been good (rocks if they'd been bad).

So last night I cut out all the toys that Jackson has had his eye on from all the zillions of toy ads we've received recently and Jackson glued them on a letter to Santa.


Then we put their letters in their stockings for the elves to see.


The elves came last night and left Jackson some Starbursts, (he only eats Starbursts, M&Ms, and gummy candies- no other treats. He's the only kid I know that refuses and runs from treats) and yogurt melts for Austin.

We also had FHE and we talked about how Santa and Christ are alike, and how Christmas is the celebrations of Christ's birth. We didn't emphasize that Christmas is a celebration of Christ when I was growing up, but I want my children to know that Christ is the whole reason for Christmas. Santa and presents are just something fun we do to teach us to give. Wish me luck, I'm starting from scratch!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Christmas card time!

I love love love to send things through regular mail. It's becoming so archaic, and it makes me so sad. Real letters and cards are not often given these days and it is a real tragedy. Technology is fantastic and I don't know what I would do without it, but handwritten letters and cards are left in the wayside. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is real cards sent through the good ole' US Post Office! LOVE it!!

Today I finished taking and printing off the picture we will be adding to our Christmas card this year. I chose to buy cards this year that I can send a little note in with a picture instead of buying the cards that are just the picture... if this makes sense? I used to write a personal note in every card and I haven't done that in a few years because there isn't really a place for a personal note on the picture cards.

So I'm starting my Christmas cards right now and I'm so excited! I'm grateful to add a little personal note to each recipient again.

Here's an out take from our little photo session this afternoon. I love these boys!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Santa made an unusual visit to our house on Thanksgiving...

In the form of an egg.

We were preparing for Thanksgiving dinner and while boiling some eggs we realized we had a very special visit from Santa! Hilarious.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My little turkey

It's Austin's first Thanksgiving and I couldn't find a cute "My 1st Thanksgiving" outfit for him, so (thanks to Pinterest, again) I made him a Thanksgiving shirt. With a brown onesie, a little felt and string, I made this for my little turkey...

Front:

Back:


I can't wait to see him in this Thanksgiving shirt! He's going to be adorable!

UPDATE: Here is Austin on Thanksgiving wearing his turkey shirt.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

A cute little thank you

Once again, my Pinterest obsession has yielded great results! I missed classes last week and I wanted to give a little 'thank you' to those who subbed for me. Thanks to Pinterest I came up with these little notes. (Sorry for the poor picture quality, I used my phone.)


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Maybe a new birthday tradition...

I just have one brother and his birthday is 5 days before mine, so it's been pretty easy to keep up with him. Jim, however, has 3 brothers and a sister, and now 3 of his siblings are married, so the birthday's just keep adding up. My forgetful brain can NOT keep up. Anyway, I've been looking for a cute and thoughtful way to send birthday greetings to all the aunts and uncles since we've been married. Almost 4 years later I think I finally have an idea!

My idea is to make a birthday sign every year and have the boys take a picture with the sign for whatever family member has a birthday. Then send the person the picture with birthday greetings. Then every year they will have a different picture with the boys as they grow and I won't feel guilty missing anyone's birthday without proper acknowledgement. I also thought that it would make a great photo album for us if we keep each person's birthday picture with the boys and watch their growth progression throughout the year.

I just started the tradition with my little brother and Jim's little sister. Happy Birthday Uncle Brian and Aunt Julie!!



Uncle Brian's Happy Birthday picture had some funny outtakes...

What!?!? Huh?!?!

Austin suddenly noticing the big brightly colored sign.

And both boys fake laughing hysterically.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Austin's first meal at the Table

Austin is our little beast baby. He didn't get the nickname "Big Papa" on accident, he's huge! Even bigger than Jackson was, and I thought Jackson was big. He eats a lot to keep up with his quickly growing body. He's eating what we eat already! Here is Austin's first dinner at the table eating exactly what we ate, spaghetti and garlic bread (plus some banana).

And this is his after picture. He took it down!

He ate more than Jackson did last night. What happened to my little infant baby boy?

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Give Said the Little String"

Tonight we learned about how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. A couple funny FHE moments occurred, as always. The first funny moment was when I asked Jim to come up with the opening song. He asked me if I knew the "Give Said the Little String" song. I thought, "hmm, no, but I know the 'Give Said the Little Stream' song". He just looked at me funny, so I sang the song I knew and he said, "all these years I thought it was the 'Give Said the Little String' song. Stream makes much more sense!".

The other funny moment was when I asked Jackson if Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love Baby Austin and he said, "NO! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love Daddy!". Austin always gets the short straw in Jackson's world.

Then we made these fun Thanksgiving headbands. Jackson usually LOVES hats and any other accessory he can put on his body, but tonight he was not liking the turkey headband (so I made it into a turkey wristband). Out of 196 shots, this was the only decent picture we got of them in their adorable turkey headbands.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Thankful Tree

Pinterest gave me the great idea of the Thankful Tree. I collected some branches from the backyard, the Cricut cut out some "leaves" for me, and then we filled the leaves of our Thankful Tree with all the things that we are grateful for. I asked Jackson what he is thankful for and some of his responses were: sticky tape, the Thankful Tree, outside, and pancakes. He makes my heart happy. I can't wait to continue this tradition every year! Here is our 2011 Thankful Tree.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A month of gratitude

Everyday I will edit this post for something I am grateful for that day for every day of the month of November.

1. Today I am grateful for my family. I wasn't sure I would get married or have children, and I have been blessed with both.

2. Today I am grateful for being productive. I'm grateful I have the health and capacity to clean and organize, and that I am able to do so while staying home with my children.
--I'm apparently trying to hurry and get through November because I posted 2 on the 1st. Oh well, this will count for today's.

3. Today I am grateful for my students. I really didn't want to go in to work tonight, but I'm so glad I did. My students needed me and it was good to talk with all of them. Students are why I love teaching!

4. Today I am grateful for quiet moments to myself. Jim is sick, Austin is teething, and Jackson is... well, 3, so I'm doing everything alone and it's been a long day. I'm grateful for 10 quiet minutes because sometimes that's all it takes to rejuvenate myself so I can jump back into the game.

5. Today I am grateful for my extended family and how much they love Jim and our boys.

6. Today I am grateful for Jackson's sweet voice coming through the monitor and his vivid imagination. Apparently, Dora was having a very perilous adventure in his room this morning.

7. Today I am grateful for FHE. It never goes the way I plan, but it always turns out well. Jackson is quite opinionated these days, and he keeps things interesting.

8. Today I am grateful for Big Papa. He's getting so big so quickly! Even though he's definitely Daddy's boy he still has a little room for mommy. Tonight after my shower I walked out and he immediately started smiling and kicking and reaching for me. I have no words to describe how much his excitement and reaching meant to me. I love my little cuddle bug!

9. Today I am thankful for drive-thru's. It sounds silly, but I was so tired today and I was so grateful to be able to grab some Taco Bell and go home with little effort and virtually no clean up. Yay!

10. Today I am grateful for the health of my children. Austin had a stomach bug at the beginning of the day, but played through it like nothing was wrong. I am grateful that at the end of the day he was keeping down Pedialite AND milk. I'm so very very grateful for their health. It is truly something I'm grateful for every day of their lives.

11. Today I am grateful for 2 things: First, my little brother who turns 19 today. He has grown into a very kind and loving man with integrity (and that's not easy to find these days). I'm very proud of him. And second, I'm also very grateful for all the men and women who have fought for my freedom, especially the freedom of my children.

12. Today I am grateful I can just my boys as guinea pigs, so that I can play out all my crazy craft ideas on them. Poor Austin, he gets the brunt of my crazy.

13. Today I am grateful for the lesson about the Millennium in Relief Society today. I felt the spirit strongly reminding me of the truthfulness of the gospel AND it answered so many questions that have been lingering for quite awhile. Thank you Sister Hoke!

14. Today I am grateful for the Spirit that reminds me and teaches me invaluable lessons anytime I'm willing to listen.

15. Today I am grateful for my eternal marriage. Jim is my very best friend and my most favorite person. I'm so grateful for our communication skills and our strong relationship. I'm SO glad I have him forever.

16. Today I'm grateful for my life. I turned 32 today and I am healthy and strong. I have a fantastic family that I am so very grateful for, and amazing friends that continue to bless me.

17. Today I am grateful for the resilience and cheer that children naturally have. Jackson has some mean allergies right now that just appeared out of no where last night, but he is still happy and cheery and joyful even though he has to blow his little nose every 5 minutes and his little eyes are so very watery. It's so cute to watch him play and dance while little allergy tears run down his sweet little cheeks.

18. Oh my, I'm very behind, time to catch up! Today I am grateful for my job. My students are amazing. I'm so grateful I'm just part time and that it's only nights- such a blessing to our family.

19. Today I'm grateful for Jim. He's AMAZING! Truly my favorite person and my best friend. He is always sweet and kind, and always thinking about how to make me feel loved and special. He's my favorite!

20. Today I'm grateful for both of my children and the miracle they are. They are so very different from each other, but they love each other so much already. Jackson wants to be with Austin all the time and Austin thinks Jackson hung the moon. No one is as cool as Jackson in Austin's eyes. I pray with every fiber of my being that they will remain close forever.

21. Today I'm grateful that it's Sunday and we get to stay home and get well. We've all been ill a lot the last few weeks and we're rarely sick. Hoping we kick all illness today!

22. Today I'm grateful for a week off school. I really enjoy school, but having a little time off is quite a stress relief. I'm also grateful this is such an easy semester. Phew!

23. Today I'm grateful for the student standing outside that was truly grateful and happy for the little treat I gave her as I was leaving work tonight. She made me feel joyful as I ended my evening.

24. Today I am grateful for my grandmother. She changed her life to raise me (while my mother worked and went to school) and she didn't have to. She's very strong and keeps our family glued together.

25. Today I am grateful for the dreary weather outside and that my family is cozy inside.

26. Today I am grateful for Christmas which is less than a month away!

27. Today I am grateful for this time of year and that I have 2 boys in my life to share it with. Every holiday is 100 times better when there are children!

28. Today I am grateful that Jim has the day off and that we are able to run errands. It seems mundane, but having him home is nice and it makes things much easier.

29. Today I am grateful for my education. It allows me to help and teach others and there is nothing else in this world I would rather do! ...and I get paid to do it. Double blessing.

30. Today I am grateful for Austin's 2 bottom teeth little smile. He smiles almost every time I look at him and those two teeth could not be any cuter! He has 4 teeth as of Monday, but I can only see his 2 two bottom teeth and they make his smile perfect!

Homemade taggie toy

Ok, first, I can't believe it's November already!! I'm glad because I LOVE this time of year, but so extremely sad because Austin's first year is going by so ridiculously fast. So very fast. Right after the holidays I have to start planning his 1st birthday. :(

So when Jackson was born taggie toys (which is what I call those toys with tags all over them- I don't know what they're really called) were all the rage in the baby toy world. I didn't understand why they were so popular because Jackson didn't have a tag affection. Austin, however, LOVES tags. The boy can find the tag on anything and he will chew and suck on every tag he can find all day long! Finally, I understand the obsession over taggie toys and I set out to find Austin some cute taggie toys. I went to every store around and I could not find one single taggie toy. What happened!? 3 years ago I couldn't go anywhere and not have taggie toys on every toy corner, and now they are no where to be found. Well, Austin still needed a taggie toy to feed his tag hunger, so I decided to make one myself with a little felt and ribbon. The whole project only took me a few hours and I hand stitched the whole thing.

Just as I thought, he loves it!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween activities are winding down

It's the end of October and all of our Halloween activities are winding down. All we have left is trunk or treat at church tomorrow evening. Here are some of our final Halloween memories for 2011.

Jackson at Heritage Halloween. He was having so much fun, but a little too moody for smiles.


I love this picture because of his shadow. Love it!


Here are the pumpkins we carved and that Jackson decorated. Sorry about the red eye, I couldn't fix it for some reason.


And finally, the cookies we decorated.


You can't even tell the difference between the cookies Jim and I decorated and the cookies Jackson decorated. So either he's an amazing cookie decorator or we are really really bad at it. ...I choose to believe that he is a decorating genius!