Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Merry Little Christmas 2014

Christmas is our favorite holiday. Not only because we get fun gifts like these
Stocking stuffers, literally.
And a big 'ol keyboard from Santa,
But also because we get to celebrate and decorate in light of the birth of our Savior, the Messiah.

Christmas day was a merry little one, with our two little ones. It was so fun to see Reina prepare for Santa and his reindeer with fudge (no time to bake cookies!), carrots, and a picture she drew for him.
We always begin with stockings, then breakfast. Reina really wanted oatmeal for breakfast. Score! Easy and healthy! Then it was time to read Luke 2; the story of Jesus' birth.

Favorite gifts this year? Reina says it was her Frozen journal and clothes. I was totally surprised as I spent very little or thought on these. I guess my love of clothes is rubbing off. Oops!
Paul's favorite was a grip for a gun. Yep, pretty lackluster. While snapping the photo, I said to Paul to look excited. He made "creepy guy" face.
Baelor's favorite gift were these foam snowballs that Uncle Bryan and Aunt Wendy gave us. We had a spectacular indoor snowball fight since there was no hope of any outside.
My favorite gift was a circular sander. Yippee! Oh, and a fanny pack. I hope I'm not growing a beard?!?
I sure do love my little family!
We are sometimes serious and are ready to bop each other on the heads
Sometimes we are completely silly and yes, laugh at each other
We went super casual this year since it was just us. I think Paul especially appreciated not having to
 dress up. We quickly set the timer to snap a couple shots.

I am grateful that we have extended family nearby. On Christmas eve we only had to go a few minutes away at my sister Sanni's house for a potluck dinner. Of course Mummi, Papa Will and cousin Karter joined us. We are lucky to get together so often; yet another blessing.

 We even joined Mummi in making Finnish pulla bread! We should do this every year!

I am blessed that despite health struggles, I physically feel good. Although I may have just two children, they get lots of loves from us.

Despite having a disease, I am able to have a fulfilling life and a positive future ahead.
I love my pink scarf for $2.50 at Goodwill, and a pink room can have Christmas decor, right?
On Christmas Eve, we were able to see Grandpa Scarborough in the hospital. He is having some health concerns right now, but it was a good time playing Chutes & Ladders and Zingo with him. How did he manage to get them gifts even without being able to go shopping. He always seems to surprise us!
Christmas dinner was apparently delicious according to Paul who kept complimenting me over and over with moans and yums.
The ham I have to credit to Costco. I blended yukon gold potatoes (my favorite) with brussel sprouts, broccoli, and sauteed onions and baked simply with salt and coconut oil. Even Reina asked for more onions! Since it was just us I could experiment with making a sugar-free dessert. I did a nut and pretzel base with cream cheese, pudding, and cream layers. I must have fooled everyone in a diabetic-friendly dessert. Although anything looks pretty in a fancy little flute.
We are truly blessed each and every day of the year, with each passing year because of Him. He lived a perfect life and loved us each so dearly that He suffered and atoned for us. I've had too many moments where my mind cannot comprehend the act that He performed. Even for Him, our Savior pleaded with His Father to remove this cup that He had to bear. Even Him. Someone who was created pure and of godliness. Even He needed to call upon His Father. I am forever in His debt and to whom I try everyday to be better. I should not make His life and atonement be in vain. What a joy it is to have this wonderful opportunity to be reunited with Him and our Heavenly Father again! I look forward in continuing to learn and grow, even if it may be arduous and full of bumps to be reunited with my family in our Father's kingdom!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

All of Fall

As winter begins I better recap just a few fun things from fall that I didn't post already. I'll recap mainly in the form of pictures.

First Portland Trailblazer game.
Mama and boy having a good time.

The first day of November, cousin Lauren had a horse-themed birthday party! It was FREEZING COLD, but nothing beats riding ponies. At the beginning, Reina was thrilled. A little while later you could see the complete terror in her face. She would be mouthing "I want to get off", as we would smile and wave at her upon each passing. When she got off the pony she told us she was afraid the pony's foot would get stuck in a hole and make her fall. What a sweet girl for not making a scene over her horrific experience.

 Even siblings were invited. Baelor was a good sport. He could have gone 'round and 'round all day!

I happened to dress the kids in argyle one day for church so I suggested the theme to Paul. Darn, I don't even have any argyle stockings!

Both Reina and Baelor love when I make oatmeal. Since they are quite impatient in the morning to make real, slow-cooked oatmeal, I've been making homemade oatmeal in the crockpot the night before. It's delicious with apples, cinnamon, chia seeds, a little cream and vanilla. The kids like it topped off with raisins and a dash of milk.

November was REALLY COLD. What made it so cold was the clear skies and the forty plus mph easterly winds. I have never seen so many large trees uprooted and fallen here in Vancouver. I should have taken some pictures! I mean massive trees with roots taller than me standing!

I'm not a big fan of pancakes, but when they are super-thin they are delish! My family likes them sprinkled with sugar. These ones happened to have pureed strawberries in them.

Going backwards in weather, just a week before Halloween we had some really warm weather. I had a day off of work and decided to take the kids along with friends, Abby and Emily to the "fun" library that has a whole floor devoted to children and play. It's kind of like OMSI but of course it's free so not quite as spectacular.

Reina has known and played with Abby since she was maybe two years old.

Part of the play day included the assisted trampoline thing at the mall. Reina was brave enough to flip many times this time. You go girl!

We even stopped at Value Village for some entertainment!

We had Grandma and Grandpa Guinn over for taco salad and ice cream, and they also joined us for my free Red Robin birthday burger. It's kind of strange that we don't see Grandma Guinn everyday like we used to when we lived at their home.


One of my dearest childhood friends, Tisha and her two daughters, invited us to an art studio for kids. I expected someone to be in charge and help with an idea. Nope. It was a little daunting with a bunch of artsy craft items that you could create whatever with. Reina made a couple canvas paintings and a bird. Baelor made a mess. Usually I like to do fun/creative things. This time I just felt like a pre-school teacher trying to keep everything and everyone from getting paint all over their faces or making a large mountain of glue. And you wonder why I teach high school?

p.s. I didn't intentionally wear my glasses to look more artistic. Do I have a prescription? No. Just fulfilling my juvenile desires of wanting glasses.

From girly arts and gymnastics to wheels and mud, we enjoy it all!

Playmates: Graison, cousin Karter, and Claira
Lately, our home has been invaded by THOMAS! We usually have to dance around the Thomas tracks as putting them away daily is seriously a waste of time. I tried at the beginning of this train phase of putting them away. It just made more work for me, so now they get put away every 2-3 days. We are just glad that Baelor has substituted taking Thomas (or four Thomas') to bed at night instead of his pacifier. Yay!