Family Photography


Sledding on Mt. Felix

Last weekend, we had a really big snow. I usually grumble when it snows because I hate to shovel snow…especially on a cold winter day! But March snow is different. It usually warms up the next day after snowing making it fun for the kids to play outside without freezing to death.

Our house has a small slope on the side, so the kids decided to go sledding on the side of the house. Unfortunately, it’s a short slope and the kids couldn’t really get a good run in. So…we decided to build a snow ramp at the top of our driveway! I have to say, it was a genius idea.

Jackson was our test pilot and helped us get our ramp just right for a fast, smooth ride.




And Benjamin wasn’t far behind.



I thought Lily would be content watching, but she wanted part of the action too. She was so happy when we brought out the toddler sled and sat her in it.



Big Daddy didn’t attempt a ride, but he was helpful giving the kids a good push.


We all had so much fun, but it didn’t last more than a day. With the intense sun and warm weather, our ramp was all gone the next day. I think the kids are wishing for one more BIG snow before spring starts!




Our Week in Paradise

The first week in January, we all headed to Sanibal Island for some rest and relaxation. I know what you’re thinking…that was two months ago…but I took some fun pictures and wanted to share them. I’m hoping to get back in a rhythm of posting every week, but we all know how well that’s been going for me.

I’ve been to Florida twice. Both times in the summer…and hated it. Each time it was very hot, very humid and don’t even get me started about the bugs. After the second time, I told Big Daddy I would not be returning to Florida. Big Daddy spent many summers in Florida while growing up before his parents moved to California, so when he proposed we go to Florida in January, I thought I would give it one more try. Interestingly…Florida is AWESOME in the winter. If I would have been there one more day, I probably would have invested in a time share. I was so tempted!

We spent the majority of our time on the beach…looking for the perfect shells, building sandcastles, and searching the ocean for unusual animals. Sanibel2013StarfishJack



We would send Big Daddy out to sea with a sand bucket and he would bring us back all kinds of creatures to look at before returning them back to their home in the ocean.



Sanibel2013SandDollarLily Sanibel2013BeachJack



Lily loved the beach as much as the rest of us.


One morning, it was overcast and cool so we decided to explore the island and found a really nice park.



Big Daddy and Lily walking on the beach at sunset.


The condo we stayed in was right next to this working lighthouse. I wish we could have gone to the top!


Our cuties walking into the sunset!



Christmas Wrap-Up

We finally made it back to our daily routine after what seems like the longest vacation of my life…although I’m not complaining…I love to sleep in! I won’t bore you with a ton of back dated photos, but I will give you a few highlights of the Christmas season since my last post was early in December.

Benjamin had another Christmas program. This time with his preschool. He did a great job and really loved preforming with his classmates.  KritterChristmasProgram2012_3The two girls on either side of him are his “gal pals” that he likes to play with. I asked him one day what he plays with these girls. He said they like to play princess. I asked if he plays the handsome prince. He said no…he likes to be the queen. Haha!

Benjamin made the cutest gingerbread house at preschool.  When I picked him up, I asked his teacher if everything was edible. She said yes, but laughed and said she couldn’t imagine him wanting to eat it. Really??? Candy…frosting…graham crackers??? She must not know him very well!!!



Benjamin and Lillian went to the mall to visit Santa. I was so happy nobody cried, but as you can see nobody was thrilled to be there either…including Santa. Maybe next year everyone will be smiling!


We spent Christmas morning at our house. Everyone was spoiled rotten with more gifts than they really needed. Lily got some much needed clothes. She is growing like a weed! When we were in China this summer, Lily was wearing 6-12 month clothes and they were too big…and now she’s wearing 18-24 months. It’s crazy to me how much she is growing! Lily also got a really cute kitchen that’s just her size.


Benjamin was so happy to finally get all the mini Avenger action heroes. I find Benjamin and his heroes all over the house fighting crime.


Jackson loaded up on snowboarding equipment and gear. He also got this super fast sled. He is officially ready to go snowboarding in the mountains and sledding at home.


After Christmas, we headed to the beach for some sun and relaxation (hopefully I can post some photos soon).

We hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday season!

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Outside Lights {December 5}

Our house has a pretty steep roof, so it is highly unlikely that I will ever have lights outlining my house. One year when we lived in Kansas, Big Daddy outlined our house with lights. Apparently, he nearly fell of the roof and that was the end of that. And since I am afraid of heights, I’m not getting on a ladder either. So, we have lights around our door…something I can do by standing on a stool.


Did anyone notice Lucy’s nose pressed against the window? She’s double checking to make sure I’m not going anywhere. Notice Lillian’s not at the window? She probably ran to the kitchen as soon as I closed the door to climb on the table.

We did add a new addition to our outside lights this year. Our very own Frosty the Snowman. I tested him out in our dinning room. The boys and I were so excited to see him get taller and taller…over 6 feet tall. Lucy and Lillian weren’t so excited. Lillian ran from the room screaming, Lucy was trying to attack Frosty, and the boys were cheering! What a crazy moment…wish I would have gotten it on video!


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Advent Calendars {December 4}

Today, we put up our advent calendars. I know, I know…I’m four days behind. Benjamin pointed that out right way when we started with 4 and skipped 1-3…one situation when I wish he wasn’t so smart! Our family has two advent calendars. The calendar below was mine when I was little and made by my Mom. I love that my kids are able to put the ornaments on the tree just like I did so many years ago.


Day one is always the star and day 24 is always the Santa. The kids love to guess what object will be in the pocket. A lot of time and effort went into this calendar. Thanks Mom! Of course, Benjamin has done a lot of peeking! He just can’t help himself. He is so excited.


The next advent calendar I bought when Jackson was four. When it was just Jackson, I would put a little treat in it each day.


Now that there are three kids, it’s really had to put three treats in one little pocket. So, I decided to put a little piece of paper in each day that says what the gift is…piece of candy, special trip to Yogurt Land, download from iTunes, ect.


And like most things related to Christmas…Benjamin is doing a lot of peeking!


Hanging the Stockings {December 3}

Did anyone out there believe that I was going to be able to make one blog post a day for the December Daily challenge? Haha! I really wanted to, but really…I should have know better. Life always gets complicated in December. So today, you will be bombarded with a weeks worth of posts.

Two years ago, I was dying to get matching stockings for the family. We had all been using old stockings from our childhood…not that that’s bad, but they were all starting to look a little worn. Jackson was using a stocking that Vivian had given Big Daddy one year and I don’t even remember what Benjamin was using. The only problem…we knew Lillian was on her way eventually and wanted her stocking to match too.

So, I went ahead and bought stockings two years ago and had everyone’s name monogrammed on the stocking. I even bought one for Lillian. Her’s has been tucked away for two year and I can’t tell you the joy I felt this year hanging her stocking up with all of ours for the first time.


The next dilemma was that the stocking holders were completely mix-matched…and not in a good way. I was dreaming of the stocking holders at Pottery Barn that hold a photo, but $30 for one seems like a lot, especially when you need five! So, I decided to make my own. I took apart the old mix-matched ones, bought frames at Hobby Lobby, spray painted everything red, and reassembled them. I think they look good pretty good for a refurbished project. Now…I just need to get some photos in them.


Big Daddy was out of town last week when I started this project. He called  to check on us and could hear the shaking of the spray paint can in the background. The first thing he said to me was “what are you spray painting and is it mine?” Haha! He has so little faith in his wife!


Benjamin’s Church Christmas Program {December 2}

The first…of several…Christmas programs was tonight. Our church has started a tradition of putting on a Christmas program every year at the beginning of December. This is our second year participating. Last year, I was on the stage helping the kids and didn’t have an opportunity to get any photos. This year, I was able to enjoy the whole program and was a member of the audience.


Benjamin did a fantastic job! Unfortunately, a very tall girl was standing in front of him. So, it was difficult to get a clear shot of him. I was the teacher for Benjamin’s Sunday school class for the last two years. Since returning from China, Lily and I have been staying home on Sundays. She’s just not ready to be dropped off at Sunday school yet.


It was nice to see all the kids I have worked with the last two years. Of course, Benjamin was the cutest!


Doesn’t he look handsome in his new Christmas sweater!