Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas morning

Here are some pictures from Christmas morning.  Santa visited Pendleton (we already opened our gifts to each other in Florida) and the kids opened their gifts from their cousins/grandparents/aunts & uncles.  You see Kaden and Ashtyn were quick to embrace our tradition of getting up Christmas morning and stuffing a piece of chocolate in our mouths.
The one bringing gifts is my youngest sister, Jan, doesn't she look festive?

The Nativity

It is our tradition to do a Christmas devotional on Christmas Eve.  As we have added little ones to the family our program has been adapted and now consists of the children acting out the nativity.  The kids love dressing up each year to celebrate Jesus' birth.  
Starring: Ashlee (Jan's daughter) as Mary, Austin (Jan's son) as Joseph, Kaden, the angel of the Lord, Kai (wise man), Elsie (Jan's daughter) wise man and Ashtyn (Jaime's daughter) a shepherd.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snow, beautiful snow!

Since we got here we've gotten about 20 inches of snow!! What a better Christmas gift could we get than that?  The kids love playing in it, that is until Kaden fell into the frozen fish pond in grandma's backyard. Kaden has been grandma Gailey's shadow since we got here, he even curls up in her lap and sits still (something he never does for me).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Not sure whose idea it was to make all the children look like rudolph but they sure had fun pretending they were Santa's lead reindeer.

Annual Gingerbread Cookie Decorating

Every year my mom gets a gingerbread house and cookies for the kids to decorate.  They LOVE decorating, eating the candy/frosting and spending time with their cousins.  Naturally, Kaden was the first to dip his in his frosting and start "chowing".  Cousins: Elsie, Kaden, Kai, Austin, Ashlee, Ashtyn

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas that almost wasn't

I have been meaning to blog about our trip for almost a week, and now that I am through the trauma of it all I think I can finally sit down and write.
It all started with a peaceful trip to Orlando last Wednesday morning.  Matt bought us tickets out of Orlando (about 2 hours from Jax) to make the ticket prices more reasonable.  Our flight was to leave at 3:00 p.m., we left Jacksonville at 9:30 a.m. so in PLENTY of time.  
We get there, try and check bags but since Matt is traveling with a firearm we need special attention.  He carefully read all the regulations several times over to make sure he would be legal (he has flown with guns before, no problem).  They were very understaffed so the checking in process took about an hour.  The lady behind the counter, who knew nothing, proceeded to fight with Matt and tell him he couldn't travel with them in the case he brought them in.  Finally, she involved TSA and after much sweat and frustration we were able to pay our $15 per bag (yes, you now pay per bag) we were able to check all four.  That wasn't before I had to unpack mine, transfer some of the weight into Matt's bag so he could put the firearm case in my bag (you are charged over $100 for luggage over 50 pounds).  O.K. so we go have a little lunch, take the kids to the bathroom and wander down to the gate.  We get there and find out our flight to Denver has been delayed (this is on UNITED airline).  What does that mean?  We miss our connection from Denver into Pasco, Washington.  Mind you Matt paid more money to fly into Pasco because it's about 1 1/2 hours from my where my family lives in Oregon.  After waiting for about another hour in line Matt finds out we have the option of being stuck for 3 days in Denver or flying to Portland, Oregon (which is about 3 1/2 hours from my family).  We chose the option to fly into Portland because staying in an airport in Denver for 3 days with the kids didn't really seem like a party to us.  We get into Denver with like 5 minutes to spare so Matt and I RAN about 50 gates to try and catch our flight to Pasco.  UNITED wouldn't hold the plane for us so we missed our connection.  We tried to figure out what we were going to do once we got into Portland since there were major winter storm warnings.  My sister, Jaime, spent probably 3-4 hours on the phone with UNITED that night.  Matt decided to rent a car and a motel room (all unplanned expenses).  Our flight out of Denver to Portland kept getting delayed so Kai was sleeping on the aiport floor, Kaden was running "amuck", Matt was swearing and threatening to get us a flight back to FL, I was crying.  It was HORRIBLE.  We finally board the flight to Portland and by this time have almost been up a full day.  We get into Portland, wake the kids up and drag them off the plane to get our luggage.  We wait, and wait and wait.  NO LUGGAGE!!!!! We had no clean clothes, no toothbrushes, nothing! Matt files a claim at 1 in the morning (4 our time), rents us a car and we set off to find a motel Jaime had booked us.  Couldn't find it so we wake her up at 1:30 in the morning and finally located it.  We get in the room and I kid you not, SUB ZERO temperatures.  It felt like the heat hadn't been on ever.  Coming from FL, it was probably an 80 degree temperature difference for us.  Matt tries to heat it up by turning on shower/faucet and microwaving towels for the kids to curl up with.  We get in bed, sleep a few hours only to be awakened by phone call saying there is no way we can make it to Pendleton because of the road conditions in the car we rented.  Jan's husband, Lance, calls back and booked us flights from Portland to Pendleton (tiny commuter plane, very expensive).  We think we are all good, we board that flight and start on our merry way.  We get 1/2 way to Pendleton and we have to TURN AROUND and fly back to Portland because there is a failure in some deicing thing and conditions in Pendleton were horrendous.  Good to go again, get on another plane and head to Pendleton again.  We get there and can't land and there is talk of rerouting us to another city (which nobody could've gotten us from because of the weather).  The cute pilot circles the runway while the snow plow is trying to clear enough space for us to land.  He lands with 1/4 mile visability,  snow DUMPING all around us we get off the plane finally.  Jaime cried as we landed.  We got here and UNITED still had no idea where our luggage was, we called every few hours and no more information, no more help.  After a couple days MATT was the one who finally found our luggage in Pasco at a Horizon counter.  The person who helped him was from Skywest. Bottom line, UNITED sucks and we have never been treated so poorly but customer service agents before.  We still plan to seek help and be compensated for our troubles.  You all know how ocd I am about cleanliness, whether that be my home, my clothes, my kids, whatever, so to see my kids in the same clothes 3 days and sleeping on airport floors was enough right there to cause a nervous breakdown.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Early Christmas

We are going to Oregon for Christmas in two days (and it's SNOWING there) so we decided to exchange gifts before we left.  Kai got home from school and has been asking me since he set foot in the car when we would be opening them.  Of course we had to wait for dad to come home.
Kai has been really funny, all he wanted for Christmas was a toy called "Beast Bash".  We'd go to Toys R Us and he'd say, "I really hope that Beast Bash in under the tree".  Drawings that came home from school consisted of the "BEAST BASH".  We didn't let him open it first because we were afraid he would be done with that.  I love this age (for both boys), they are really easy to please and so fun to watch.  We got Kaden a Diego Scooter, he rode it in to brush his teeth, parked it near his bed and kept saying, "I love you" (to the scooter, not us).  
Matt put a lot of work into my Christmas this year, he put together pictures from our wedding (yes it has been almost 14 years and we have no framed pictures).  This was before the digital age so he had to use photo shop, blow up pictures, run to have them printed off, etc.  Very thoughtful! He also put together a frame with pictures of Kaden (we have one of Kai that Matt put together one Mother's Day but had none up of Kaden).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Pig pen"

My sister in law, Abigail, came over for the day yesterday and brought the little girl she babysits with her.  As you can see Kaden had a very good time in our 75 degree December weather.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas party

We had our ward Christmas party Friday night.  It was an enjoyable evening.  We had dinner, there were musical numbers and crafts for the kids.  I thought it was cute, Kai was really hungry and kept asking, "when can we order?".  He sang with a small group of primary children, "Picture a Christmas".  Kaden loved the crafts.  He kept snatching the little red pom poms off the girls craft next to him.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Too funny not to share

Kaden and I have walked Kai into school and waited with him since the first day.  The other little kindergarten boys have always obsessed about who got to sit by Kaden in the hall in the mornings.  This past week Kaden has decided however, he likes to sit between the two girls dressed in pink.  Today he gets his book, plops down between the girls and says, "I went poop today".  Can you tell what the focus has been with him in our household?  :) Guess we need to work on his pick up lines!