30 Days of Thankfulness: Day Four

Day Four:

I'm thankful for Annie's interpretive dance during FHE singing time.

She knows her cue. We say, "Welcome to Family Home Ling-a-ling" (long story) and she goes nuts. Her favorite dance tune is, "Book of Mormon Stories," as you see in the video, but she gave us a nice lyrical number tonight during, "Families Can Be Together Forever."

Annie, you crack me up.

And I'm thankful for you.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! Have you all sunk into your chocolate-bunny-induced stupors yet? We're still recovering from the sugar rush, as well as the usual Sunday runaround, but I wanted to share pics from our Easter week.

We were lucky enough to share our Easter celebrating with Grandma Nancy, who came to visit from Wednesday to Saturday. Unfortunately, both she and I fought illness during the week, but we still managed to have a good time. Mostly, we hung around home to give Grandma some quality grandkid time, reading lots of books and playing trains (Nathan is obsessed with Thomas the Train). We spent Friday afternoon dying Easter eggs -- and Nathan's hands. :) Nicole was especially proud of her pink, sticker-covered egg. She is one girly girl, my daughter.

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Okay, well it's not quite miraculous, but we've had a rare thing these past few days: SNOW!! I was on the phone with my sister-in-law, Rachel, on Christmas morning, when out the window I saw a swarm of white flakes pouring onto the ground. Seriously, one minute there was nothing, next minute we had a blizzard. It even stuck to the ground for about 3 hours or so! I know all you Utah residents will think I'm nuts to get excited about that little snow, but it's such a rarity here that we couldn't help feeling even more Christmas-y than we already did.

Your Christmas gift dilemmas solved!

I found Dave Barry's annual holiday gift-giving guide on the Deseret News website and had to share. Go check it out at Dave Barry's Holiday Gift Guide and thank me for turning you on to all these great gift ideas! I mean, who doesn't need watermelon-flavored, Freud-head lollipops....

Festival of the Trees

It's official: December is here, and the Christmas season has begun at the Mauery house! When I was a kid, one of our traditions that kicked off the holiday season was going to the Festival of the Trees. Recently, I discovered that Portland also has a Festival of the Trees and was very excited to take my kids there, thus starting our own new holiday tradition.

We decided to hit the festival on Friday afternoon, so I piled the kids in the car and we ventured to the Oregon Convention Center on the east side of the Willamette. I always get nervous driving across town by myself -- crossing bridges at 50 mph can be a harrowing experience -- but we arrived just fine and went looking inside for the fabled festival. This took a while, because the convention center is HUGE! Enormous! Gigantic!! We seriously had to walk for 10 minutes to get there, which sounds easy enough, but when you're pulling two kids with you, it seems a LOT longer. But we finally made it -- whew!

I Am Glad for Many Things

Inspired by other friends' blogs, I wanted to put together a list of things I'm thankful for. In no particular order, let the blessing-counting begin!

1. My husband. I knew I loved Vernon when I married him, but I didn't know how much I could love him. Every year is better!

2. My kids. We have our days when we don't get along, but the cliche is true: mothering is the hardest and the best thing you can do! I laugh more with my kids than I do with anyone else.

3. Baby wipes. Totally indispensable!

4. The internet. Using my computer, I can keep up with friends and family from one coast (shout out to James & Rachel) to the other (yay for all us west-coasters!).

5. Blocks. Wood blocks, Legos, big, small, doesn't matter. We love building tall towers.

6. Good friends, past and present.

7. Kleenex. We just finished a month-long round of colds, and I learned a new appreciation for this humble product.

8. Cute shoes. I need some new ones, by the way. Christmas present, anyone? :)

Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Day. One of my favorite holidays. One of last holidays not completely given over to commercialism but so hard to keep focused on with all the pre-Christmas stuff already going on. (What IS Santa going to bring to my kids this year?)

But I digress. I do love Thanksgiving. The turkey, the stuffing -- especially the stuffing -- the pie, the family time.... It just doesn't get much better than that. We had a great day today. The kids drew pictures of what they are thankful for (is it a coincidence that they both said, "Dad" first when asked what they wanted to draw?)

Preschool Pilgrims

Nicole's preschool class put on a Thanksgiving feast this week. The kids made the centerpieces and wore costumes. Nicole's class were pilgrims and wore paper hats and wide collars. I think they're pretty darn cute. Nicole, however, was too enamored with her "feast" to give her mother a smile for the camera. :) Grapes, popcorn, and corn muffins are apparently completely enthralling to my four year old. Hope our real feast is as fun as this!