Monday, December 27, 2010


Just after Christmas Chris had made plans for us to meet up with an old friend, Pascoe. Chris and Pascoe went through Officer Candidate School (OCS) together just after Clara was born. In fact, Pascoe was the first person Chris met from his class when he went to Pensacola. (I knew I had nothing to worry about when Chris told me he met Pascoe and they were going to church together in the morning (Sunday)!) After OCS Pascoe was stationed in Pensacola with us, and was one of the few people who came to the hospital when I had Jonathan. He and Chris have kept in touch since then. Pascoe has since gotten married and started a family of his own. His parents live about 2 hours south of here, so Chris and Pascoe made plans to get together while Pascoe was visiting his family for the holidays.
The stomach bug had left our house, but not entirely. It left me with nausea and tinnitus that I could not shake, so unfortunately I sat this out too. Chris loaded all three kids in the van for a weekend of fun with an old friend. I hated not being able to catch up with Pascoe and meet his family, and even more, I hated not being able to spend this time with Chris now that he was finally home...AND on leave!

Over the hills and through the woods, to Pascoe's house we go...


The kids got to do all kinds of fun stuff (while Matthew napped back at Pascoe's parents' house)!

Uh-oh! Clara's driving!


Who doesn't love a tire swing?

Getting higher!

Not sure about this tire swing anymore!

Really not liking the tire swing!

Clara and Patrick (Pascoe's son)

Lucky horse shoe

Chris and the kids on a horse

Riding with one arm around each kid

Notice Pascoe's holding his hands up...that's right, Jonathan's driving!

Clara's turn

One of these things is not like the other...

On the fence

Petting the cow

Horse play!

Pascoe and Jonathan petting the horses

Pascoe and Clara with the horses

Come here. Let me kiss you!


Busy Beaver

Chris and the kids

Pascoe, Chris, Jonathan, and Clara

See what happens when your husband goes away with the kids on his own...Jonathan's shoes are on the wrong feet (he doesn't know how to tie on his own).

Cow skull

Let's see, the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone...

More bones.
The kids had a great time hanging out with Pascoe on his family's ranch. I wish I hadn't missed out on all the fun, but Chris really enjoyed catching up with Pascoe and the kids had a blast!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jonathan's Reading!

With time off of school and work, Chris got busy teaching Jonathan how to read!

He's doing great!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas at Larry and Sandi's

The stomach bug was most inconvenient in terms of Christmas dinner. Chris had signed us up to host Christmas dinner for his family and their friends. I started shopping for the food and baking almost as soon as we got back from Fallon. Christmas Eve, Chris was forced to call his Aunt and Uncle to let them know that they were now hosting instead. Thankfully they were extremely flexible with the plans, so Chris took all the food we had bought for Christmas dinner over just after the kids opened presents in the morning. He came back and retrieved the kids and took them over after nap time as well. I still wasn't feeling great, so I stayed home to rest, and to keep the stomach bug to myself (noble of me, I know!)
Once at Larry and Sandi's, there were more presents to be opened!

Matthew LOVES these Shake 'N' Go cars!


Chris introduced Matthew to whipped cream!

Then taught him how to do 'Whip-its'!


That's right -- the guys are cooking!

Aunt Mary and Grandpa John

Turkey's done!

Jonathan wrestling with cousin Joshua

Don't let those boys fool you, looks like Aunt Sandi got conned into cooking some, too!

Table full of blessings!



These singing snowmen have gotten to be a tradition for my kids at Larry and Sandi's. When we moved to CA 3 years ago and into Larry and Sandi's house, Jonathan was about the age that Matthew is now. That first Christmas, Jonathan just about ran the batteries out all on his own, dancing with the snowmen. Now, it's Matthew's turn!

Merry Christmas

We made it back home just a few days before Christmas, and just a few days after that Matthew ended up with the stomach bug. Before we were able to discern that was what he had, he was kind enough to pass it on to Clara and Jonathan almost simultaneously (he'd also just gotten some shots and we initially thought his symptoms were just a reaction to the shots). Clara and Jonathan were up late into the night on the 22nd, I finished the night out with my own version of the stomach bug.
So, needless to say, this is how the kids spent Christmas Eve...
Chris and I weren't doing much better. I spent Christmas Eve in bed, and Chris laid on the couch watching TV, while Clara and Jonathan snuggled up on the living room floor and Matthew played around them.

They still got their Christmas PJs, though, I typically wash them and wrap them beforehand. This year we simply gave them the PJs

Matthew liked his!

I love this tradition!

The kids were still excited to see the presents under the tree Christmas morning, but on the plus side, we got to sleep in a little since every one was still feeling a little puny!

They wasted no time opening presents, but the festivities were much more calm than usual. They'd even take breaks to lay their heads down to rest. At the same time, I was taking all the pics from the recliner, if I couldn't get the pic from where I was, I didn't get it. I wasn't moving for anything!

Jonathan got Clara's Leapster and some new 'boy' games for it, and Clara got a Nintendo DSi XL!

Carrie had mentioned that the kids really enjoyed playing Perfection while they stayed at her house. Jonathan was excited to get his own!

Jonathan opened up his cape (by his left hand) that I had spent a lot of time picking out for him. I'm not sure if it was due to the baby blue color of the cape or the little bit of glitter in the black felt circle around the lightning bolt on the back, but he immediately expressed his displeasure of being given a 'girly' cape and set it aside. Here Clara was trying to talk him into seeing how cool it was!

This was the very next present he opened as he exclaimed, "Just what I always wanted, Boy clothes!"

Clara got a lot of clothes for Christmas, and was excited about her new wardrobe!

Matthew enlisted Clara and Jonathan's help in opening his presents.
Squeaky shoes! I love these things...most of the time!

A Microphone!

Put a microphone in his hand and he automatically takes on the 'rock star attitude'!

Born to be a Star!

It didn't take long for Clara to get on her new Jasmine costume. Then it was time for the kids to open the presents they got from Grandma Yonka and Grandpa Michael.

More clothes and a remote control car!

The one thing Jonathan had asked Santa for was a 'Stuffed Christmas tree, with lights all over it, that sings and dances to Jingle Bells'. This one had all of that...except it sang 'Rockin' around the Christmas Tree' instead. He was upset about that little inconsistency at first, but quickly got over it as you can see! He sat like this for hours on end...long, long hours!

The next day when everyone was feeling better, the kids got to go test out their new plasma cars!

The plasma cars were a big hit... were Matthew's squeaky shoes!

Matthew's starting to get the hang of the plasma car too!

See?! He's helping me steer!

Jonathan got Clara a science kit for Christmas.

Their first experiment was making a bouncy ball!
They mixed the powder with some water, poured it in the mold, then Clara held it in cold water for 2 minutes.

Removing the ball from the mold

The next experiment was making lava lamps. They started, first, finding the differences between oil and water.

Observant as she is, Clara had no trouble noting the differences between oil and water.

They touched both liquids to see what they felt like...

'Oil is more slippery and slimy', in case you were wondering.

Their 'lava lamps' are in the test tube rack. (Essentially colored oil and water, shake them up and watch the oil bubbles float around in the water.)

The kids had a great Christmas, as you can see, despite, the stomach bug! On the bright side, the stomach bug forced us to slow down and spend a lot of time together, just the family.