Monday, November 30, 2015

A Christ Centered Christmas: Peg Doll Nativity

This little peg doll nativity has been a fun way to incorporate the Christmas story into the kids' play. I snagged a package of peg dolls here, added a bit of string and felt to them and voila! So, so simple. We have a glass nativity set that the boys were always wanting to hold and play with, which usually made me cringe; especially with Cohen, who is still learning the meaning of the words, "soft," and, "careful." I loved the idea of them having their own wooden set that they could play with and I didn't have to worry about! We've lost baby Jesus a few times, because Cohen tends to cart him around most haha. I'm glad he loves him.  It has also been a good conversation starter as they play with and ask questions about different characters in the nativity.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Christ Centered Christmas: The Giving Manger

This week I am excited to do a few posts with some simple ideas that we are doing with our kids to have a Christ centered Christmas. I love doing every Christmas activity I can think of; the gifts, the decor,  the lights, the treats, the family traditions, and everything that comes with the holiday magic. I love spending time with my family, I feel purpose when I am giving and serving those around me, I find peace when I learn about Christ and his life, and there is nothing better than creating memories with those I love.  It is what makes this such a wonderful time of year.  But, I think what really makes it so special, is the feelings of joy and love through out the holiday season.  When I draw nearer to the Savior, it is easy for me to feel that joy and love.  His love is what fills my heart so completely with peace. I want to make sure that I am helping my kids draw closer to our Savior, especially during this Christmas season. What greater gift can we give?

"The season is not about presents, it is about His presence."

I saw a friend post about this cute Giving Manger on Facebook and loved the idea and message behind it.  It comes with a book, a manger, straw, and a baby Jesus.  The book tells the story of a family who decides to give gifts to the Savior by doing service for others all season long.  With each act of service a piece of straw is placed in the manger.  The hope is by Christmas day the manger will be full of hay for the little baby Jesus to lay on. I remember doing something similar growing up and really enjoying it.   My hope is that this will be a sweet family tradition that will help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas and one that we can all look forward to year after year.

After reading the book and setting the wooden manger on a table, we decided our first act of service would be to make and deliver sugar cookies to a friend.  Hayes was my big helper and is already coming up with more ideas for ways we can serve and fill the manger for baby Jesus.

"...when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God."
-Mosiah 2:17

You can find the Giving Manger here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Every once in awhile Joe has to update his business photo with Wells Fargo and gets his portraits done with Brandon Burk.  He really just needs a few head shots but Brandon always gets all sorts of awesome pics of Joe.  (Probably for my benefit.. Thanks Brandon ;)) Anyway, they are just too good not to share a few! He basically should just be on the next cover of GQ, am I right?!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Counting My Blessings

My days are spent hanging out with 3 of the craziest, cutest, sweetest, most energy filled little boys.   I was thinking the other day how busy my days are, but also how not busy my days are. Let me explain... 3 boys 4 and under is busy.  Everyone always needs something from you, all the time with very little breaks.  But, since they are all so young, we don't have a lot of activities or places we need to be.  We can just be together and play or do whatever we want pretty much every day.  Hayes is a creative soul and always has ideas of what we should do each day.  "Let's make instruments and be a marching band! You sit here and we will throw you candy." "Mom, you can just make us astronaut helmets and me and Cohen will be on a rocketship." "I know, how about first we get happy meals and then we go to the library and then we can do a project. Is that a deal?" Seriously, he never runs out.

One day he wanted to find big leaves for his "collection." (One leaf he saved on his dresser.) Anyway, we had nothing else going on, so we got ready and hopped in the car and headed off to find some really great leaves.  We ended up at a nearby park with tons of leaves to collect and to play in.  It was just what we needed.  It was perfect weather and the boys enjoyed throwing, crunching, and burying themselves in piles of leaves.  I just felt really grateful that day to spend my days watching them grow.  Even though I'm so tired right now I could sleep for 3 days straight, it is easy to count my blessings.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015

Our Neverland crew had so much fun with Halloween this year.  We had a family party at my parents house on Friday night.  Saturday was filled with a ward trunk-or-treat and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.  The boys really loved handing out candy to everyone that came trick-or-treating to our house later that night too. We may have had to make a quick dash to the store because we ran out of candy by like 7:15! Whoops! Apparently we live on a popular trick-or-treating street :) We love Halloween!

Family Party

My mom always makes parties so cute and fun for us.  The kids loved all of the fun games and their special treat bags for their Halloween movie.

Sooo many good treats including my grandma's homemade spud nuts!

We're never growing up!
Peter Pan and the lost boys!

Halloween bingo!
The kids all got their own popcorn and treat bag and snuggled in the toy room for a Halloween movie. 
Cute cousins!


I couldn't get enough of this cute "lost boy."

So "stinkin" cute right?!

Hayes and Cohen with our cute neighbors.

Cohen caught on to trick-or-treating quick!
Probably the best night of this chocolate lover's life haha.
We put the bowl of candy up high so the kids wouldn't sneak it all night.
Cohen is no dummy though haha.