Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Terrific Two

Jack and the beanstalk, Jack be nimble, Jack sprat, Jack and Jill, Jack in the box, Jack horner, In the house that Jack built. We just didnt' think through this one did we? Oh well. We sure do love our little Jack. He turned two last week and we are enjoying every second of this kid.  He aint that tall, he aint that heavy, he aint got much hair and he likes to hit Ivan.....hard, but other than that he's close to perfection. He doesn't cry a lot, he says the cutest things, he eats so good, not only food type, but the ability to feed himself without a mess, he sleeps like a champ and plays so cute.

Happy Birthday!

 Jared turned two in Dec so we celebrated together

Mikes side- Parker turned 17 in Dec so they also celebrated together

Friday, January 6, 2012

Our 2012 Christmas

Well we didn't really capture the magic of Christmas in pictures this year. I didn't take one single picture of gift opening or Christmas morning or Christmas dinners with family. I did manage to find a few pictures of some events and of some thoughts or traditions I wanted to record though.

December is always a fun, but busy month for everyone. We had the ward party. Same as everyone else. Ivan sat but wouldn't speak, just held his own cheek. Jack wouldn't sit.

Mike grew up with this train around their tree and his mom let us borrow it for a few years while the boys are young. They loved it, but I think Charlie loved it more. He could watch that thing go round and round the track for days.

Most people are creative and have beautiful, themed, Christmas trees, but not us. I'm not creative. I have ornaments I've gotten over the years and saved, and feel attached to and want to use. Like these little ladies I got from high school and snow college drill team advisers.

And this cute little bear holding a block with an "R" for Rebecca. Can't remember exactly where I got it though? A friend of mine has an ornament party each year that I look forward to. Everyone brings a wrapped ornament and through a gift exchange game you go home with another ornament. This year I went home with the one I brought. I had to have it because it seemed like a good fit for this year. I got some fun rainboots and Ivan has to wear rain boots everyday.

And we wanted to start the tradition this year of going out the first of the month and letting our kids pick out an ornament to add to the tree and then letting them open their Christmas pajamas. I got 4 of these darling little old fashion books (Ivans holding) that you can write in so after each Christmas we can write the date and let the boys write something in them. They are sooooo cute!

And these ugly things are the ornaments the boys picked out this year. I don't know what Ivan was thinking when he picked the bee? Jack broke the tire on the car and so it became his by default. This was our trial year I guess.

We do our Nielsen family Christmas party a week before Christmas. I had to get this picture of my mom and her sister Ronda. She's got two other sisters, one in Elko and one in China teaching English for a year, but they are all so cute and look so much alike.

I always thought Mike liked getting together with my family? I see how you are honey.

We went to a live nativity at Liberty park this year. It was really neat. Cold, but neat.

I snapped this picture and when everyone looked at me I realized they asked us not to take pictures.

Mike took the boys to see the Reindeer

Christmas Eve morning we thought we would be brilliant and go out to breakfast. Turns out everyone else thought that too. I don't know why we didn't realize that's what people do. A gazillion people, service not so good and food not so good. But Ivan did get this cool balloon.

On Christmas Eve growing up, with all my aunts and uncles and cousins, we would put goodies plates together and take them to the truck stop for the drivers who weren't going home for Christmas. I don't think we did it for too many years, but it is and awesome memory. We've decided to start it up again this year with my family on Christmas Eve.

Our only picture of Christmas day or any gifts. The boys got these guns that they love. Actually I think Mike might love them more. He is having a great time "hunting" with them.
The week after Christmas was great. Mike didn't have to work. Grandma & Grandpa Balle came out one day to see what the boys got. Pulled the boys matresses out into the family room and watched movies and slept there almost every night. We probably watched 6 movies over the weeks time. More than we've watched in the last 5 years.

And believe it or not- this is one of my favorite parts about Christmas. I LOVE  getting Christmas cards adn I actually love passing around neighborhood treats. I look at them alot and I leave them up through January and sometimes February. Look closely, we've hung them in order of who we like best. ;)
J/k we didn't.

New Years was great too. We can't believe it's been another year. We still love each other and we still love life. I'm actually so grateful for our blog. We printed off 2009 & 2010 a few months ago and love having the record. With the close of this year we are ready to print 2011. Cheers!