Sunday, December 20, 2009

I finally got one!

A family picture I don't hate, that is. Granted, I wouldn't blow it up and hang it on the wall necessarily (Katie's squinty face gives me pause on that idea), but it is a pretty good picture (as you know, even with the wierd pose, it's still a pretty good picture of Isaiah). If I'd had it before I sent out my Christmas cards, it would have gone in them. Thanks, Mom, for playing photographer for 30 seconds as we rushed to get to church this morning. It was so worth it, don't you think?

Notice, I cut the feet off. Half of us were barefoot. But what are stocking feet compared to everyone smiling?!

If you didn't get a card from me, or even if you did, Merry Christmas from the Ellis Family. And best wishes for 2010!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Favorite - Isaiah's Picture Face

Normally, this frustrates me to no end. But looking back on it, it's hilarious! This is Isaiah's "picture-taking face." No joke.

Also a frequent face I get for pictures:

I hear it's a 6-year-old thing. Let's hope so. (But in the mean time, we can laugh at the pictures, right?)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Spirit of the Season

I have been having a hard time getting into the spirit of Christmas this year, not really knowing why. I noticed it first when everyone was so excited to decorate this year. It seemed like everyone I knew either struggled not to, or did put up their tree and/or decorations before Thanksgiving. One family in my neighborhood had theirs up the day after Halloween! I've been excited for the Christmas season, but haven't felt like rushing into it. And now it's nearly upon me, and I'm still feeling a bit Scrooge-y.

Tonight I had a thought: maybe it's just really hard to top last year. I don't think last year was a particularly amazing Christmas, really the only difference was Max. See, he was so little, still a newborn at Christmas last year, and having a newborn forces you to sit down and have lots of little quiet moments (unfortunately a lot of them in the middle of the night, but still . . . ). Those quiet moments give you an opportunity to think, and even if all you do is stare at the lights on the Christmas tree until your eyes cross, somehow the peace of all that sitting still really helps you feel the Spirit more than all the hustle and bustle of normal Christmasy things.

And of course, there is nothing to help you identify with the Christmas story more than holding a little infant in your arms and imagining him, and you, sitting in a barn, surrounded by stinky animals. I am so grateful for Mary and her sacrifice, and I'm so grateful for my Savior.

I hope this year I can, somehow, find some quiet moments to just sit and look at the lights on the tree and think of the Light of the World. And I hope for that for all of you, too.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

Being the veritable elf I am, I was all holly and mistletoe this evening as we put up our Christmas tree. Okay, I whined and complained a lot. There's a story behind that. I may blog about it. Or I may choose not to expose that ugly side of my personality, we'll see.

But here is one Christmas decoration that really made me happy, and I made it myself:

I have to thank Haley for telling me about this craft. Knowing how talented she is, hers will turn out gorgeous, I can't wait to see it! She pointed me in the direction of Nanny Goat. Here is where they link you to Eddie Ross, where the idea came from, and here is their finished product.

Tell me your favorite . . .

blog. Okay, not just your favorite, since I know you would all choose mine (haha), but a great blog to get ideas from, be they recipes, craft ideas, ideas to use with your family or kids, etc.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sous chef

Today was not the best day for me, so instead of cleaning and Christmas decorating I bagged responsibility and spent some time cooking with the kids.

While Max was napping, I kept a promise I made to Katie yesterday to make oatmeal cookies. I had four recipes for cookies that had oatmeal in them, but was missing ingredients for all of them. So, we checked in on my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes, and found what we call "CowGIRL Cookies." We had such a fun time, and Katie did so much on her own, I was so proud of her. The cookies were easy and turned out beautifully, but unfortunately, Katie didn't like them at all (I think she's not a fan of butterscotch chips--I thought they were good).

Then, while Katie and Isaiah were playing with their cousins this afternoon, I initiated a new kitchen helper.

Max and I just made pizza, but it was so fun to see how excited he was to be involved. Memo to self: do more one-on-one projects with my littlest man.