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Christmas 2014

Christmas is my favorite. With the kids, every year gets better and better. Except for the puke. I think every year since we started having kids someone has puked on Christmas. Next year’s goal: No Puke.

I love all of the things about Christmas.

Christmas Cookies

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Scary Santa Photos

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Family Parties

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Christmas Decorations

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Christmas Eve Traditions

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Christmas Morning

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We had a busy and fun season. It was fun to have the boys understand more of the meaning of Christmas this year. They loved talking about baby Jesus and trying to do nice things for each other as their present for Him.

And we’re still singing Jingle Bells.

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Three Year Old Twins

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The twins officially survived their Not-So-Terrible Twos in November and dove head first into the Oh-So-Terrible Threes. There is at least one good thing about this stage: no more diapers. I’ll take it.

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Carter enjoys playing cars and trains, pretending and being with people. He has a pretty good imagination and likes to talk to us about all sorts of things. He is sensitive and emotionally expressive…at both ends of the spectrum. ;)

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Big brother’s photography skills at work

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Cooper enjoys playing with cars, balls and puzzles. He is a pretty feisty little guy and can go from giving sweet hugs and kisses to swinging fists in a matter of seconds. He loves music and can recognize a tune from the first few notes.

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The twins are mostly really good at playing with each other. They come up with all kinds of games. A recent favorite is Tractor Tipping. They take Mater, McQueen and all of the tractors they can find into the dark den (because obviously tractor tipping happens at night). Then they get Mater and McQueen to make noise and all of the tractors tip over. They can play this for hours. They also play house, Toy Story and Mario Brothers Soccer regularly. Sometimes they let their big brother join.

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They got big boy beds for Christmas and all three kids are now in a new bedroom in the basement. Isaac is very good at reading a few books to himself and then going to sleep. Carter and Cooper are very good at laughing and playing and jumping on their beds. Usually Mom and Dad have to intervene so that some actual sleeping occurs. I am glad that they are such good friends.

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These boys are looking forward to being big brothers soon. They think it’s funny to invent names for their little baby. Sho-sha is their most consistent creation. They like to give my belly hugs and kisses and often tell me that they are going to help the baby drink his milk and play with his toys. They are also excited to read him stories and make him laugh. I hope they are not too disappointed by the newborn non-laughing stage. I’m actually really looking forward to all the “help” I’ll have. My last experience with new babies was very much lacking in the helpful sibling department.

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Waiting “in line” for a turn on the bike.

The twins graduated from Nursery to Sunbeams at church in January. They love it. They are actually getting better and better at sitting through sacrament meeting too. The amount of times Derek takes them out (roughly 1-5 instances a week) hasn’t changed, but the reasons have changed: fewer tantrums and lots more potty breaks.

They are growing up both too fast and not fast enough.

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Happy Birthday Cheesers

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Isaac the Four Year Old

Isaac turned four in November. He is such a good natured little guy.

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He is the stereotypical oldest child: obedient, responsible and protective of his younger siblings—practically perfect in every way. He loves to “help” work around the house. He’s pretty good at gathering, sorting and folding the laundry. He needs a little help getting the machine going but other than that I think I should maybe turn the whole job over to him. He also loves following his dad around the house with his tools and helping him work on whatever project needs done.

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Isaac is starting to notice words everywhere and wants to know what everything says. Dad can even get him to sound some things out. We’ve been doing a little neighborhood preschool exchange with four other boys Isaac’s age. He goes two times a week and it’s been a good experience so far. I think it’s helped him solidify some letters and sounds. It’s also been fun for him to have a few little friends in the area. I thought the couple of hours that he’d be gone wouldn’t be much of a break for me since the twins are still at home but it has turned out to be a great block of time for all of us. The twins really enjoy playing together without their big brother The Supervisor. And when the twins play well together, Momma gets a couple of hours to get things done. Win for everyone!

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Isaac is very sensitive to the Spirit and easily understands the gospel. I am always impressed that he can retell some of the lesson he had in primary or in Family Home Evening.

He loves to dress up and play pretend.

We started Suzuki piano lessons in September for Isaac. He has really enjoyed it. He’s progressed quicker than I expected he would. He even helped me record some of his songs on a cd as a Christmas gift for grandparents. He has a great teacher and he’ll have some fun opportunities to perform this coming year. He just had his first recital a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been taking Suzuki teacher training classes as well, so being Isaac’s piano “coach” has been a good learning experience for me and a fun, new way to interact as mom and son. I hope we can keep enjoying it together.

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Overall, Isaac is happy and fun to be around. I have been dreading these school age years (ages 4-12) as a mom. I just really enjoy baby and toddler-hood (and am even looking forward to the teenage years) but have been unsure of how to parent these years in between. Isaac is easing me into this next phase and helping to make it a pleasant transition.

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I’m grateful for this quiet contented boy that reminds me so much of his dad. They both bring a calmness to our home that we (especially me) really need.

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November Holidays and Happenings

For the first few years of our marriage, Novembers were pretty momentous: a marriage, our first home and all three of our babies came in November. Now we celebrate all month long. This year we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary, the fifth year in our home, Isaac’s fourth birthday and the twins’ third birthday–not to mention birthdays of a grandma, a great-grandpa and an uncle. Oh yeah, and then there’s Turkey Day. This year we also welcomed a new little cousin to the month of festivities. We were sad we could only make his acquaintance via pictures and Google hangout.

The top accomplishment of November 2014 was potty-trained twins!

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This was the third attempt and it finally took. Disney on Ice was coming to Salt Lake on Isaac’s birthday. We decided that would be a good birthday gift for him so about 6 weeks before the event we told the twins we’d take them to see Buzz and Woody too if they learned to go potty. It was a good incentive and the boys caught on much quicker than I expected them to. I was so happy and grateful!

Disney on Ice was SO FUN. The boys helped me decide on having a Toy Story birthday this year so it was very appropriate. We rode the train up from Thanksgiving Point and they were super impressed.

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During the show we got to see Mater and McQueen first—which was awesome (Ariel and Tinkerbell in the middle—which was just ok) and the whole second act was basically Toy Story 3. The boys were in heaven. And of course for dinner there was pizza.  After all that we still got to take the train back home. It was a fun birthday celebration.

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We had a couple of family parties later in the month complete with Toy Story cake, decorations (Isaac insisted), gifts and photo ops.2014-11-16 19.40.32

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After all of the birthdays were over, Derek and I took off for a lovely anniversary weekend in Salt Lake. Every year we pretty much do the same thing: see the newest Hunger Games (it always coincides with our anniversary), eat at Settebellos (the restaurant from our first date), get a massage and do a little shopping. This year I got our movie tickets in the VIP theatre at the Megaplex in Sandy. I had heard about it a few times and thought we’d splurge. I’d probably make sure we got the recliners next time. The seats we got weren’t all that great. The experience was fun though.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family at Grandpa Hitchcock’s new house. It was just a few of us and it was really nice. Plus turkey and mashed potatoes are my favorite. We have a lot to be thankful for. I am grateful for a good husband, a warm home and three beautiful children. I love that we get to celebrate these blessings right before Thanksgiving every year.

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October and Halloween

I love Halloween. I was feeling ambitious this year and the boys were pretty excited about bats and spiders and things so we spent all month making decorations and costumes.

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I should have taken this picture when it was really dark out. Oh well. The witch silhouette was pretty awesome.

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For Fall Break my mom invited us down to Palisades State Park for an overnight trip. We had a fun time playing with cousins and the boys loved the cabins complete with bunk beds. Here’s a picture of the littlest boys playing on the big rock.

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I love coordinating our family’s costumes every year. My kids are still fairly easy to convince young so we’ll see how many years I can indulge in matching attire. The boys are old enough to have somewhat of an opinion so I gave them a few matchy options and let them vote. I thought Toy Story would be fun or Monsters Inc. I was also keeping twinner costumes in mind like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum and, of course, Things 1 and 2 were options. The boys unanimously voted for Mario Brothers. I don’t know why that was the top of the list (we don’t play it all that much) but I have to admit I was super excited to make a Princess Peach dress.  I was also really lucky to find some awesome tutorials for Mario and Luigi hats and even a Hammer Brothers outfit (adapted from this Bowser costume). Isaac was super insistent on his choice of character.

I was working on costumes until the minute we walked out the door for the ward trunk or treat. I still had finishing touches before Halloween night but I think they turned out pretty cute. At least they were a fun challenge for me to make. (Derek is a good sport to put up with me.)

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We went down to Jaker’s in Springville for a pre-school field trip. I should have gotten a picture with all of the boys but here’s me and my boys at least.

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My friend Anna from high school invited us to go to Cornbelly’s for a family date night one Saturday night. I forgot jackets but it was a beautiful night and we had lots of fun.

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Our friends hosted a Halloween party the week before Halloween. Look at all those boys! We forgot to get a picture of the kids before all of the families with girls left.

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On Halloween night Derek took the boys around the neighborhood trick-or-treating while I stayed home to hand out candy. I should have just gone with them. We only had two groups of kids knock on our door. That happens every year. You’d think I would learn… After trick-or-treating we went down to Springville to show off our costumes to Grandma and Grandpa and the cousins.

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