Top Ten of 2015

Our top moments of 2015:

10.We love the above-average amount of snow we’ve received! We’ve done lots of sledding and snowman-making.

9. Kylan put up a 40-foot ham radio tower.

8. We faithfully cheered our Cougs to a bowl game, and they won!!

7. Kylan had an emergency appendectomy.

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6. Lainey had her dance recital in June.

5a. We flew to the Midwest in September to visit family (and Lainey was lucky enough to get a giant swan).

5b. Four generation-picture from our Midwest trip.

4. After climbing out of his crib, Henry graduated to a toddler bed.

3. The kids all continue to love their swim lessons.

2. Lainey started preschool.

1. Brody Thomas arrived on May 7th and made us a family of five!

 

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What a great year! We love laughing together and enjoying the life with which God has blessed us. Looking forward to what 2016 has in store for us. (But seriously, 2016, if you didn’t have any babies in store for us, that would be A-0kay with this family.) Happy New Year!

Christmas, 2015

Story told by: Brody

It’s my first Christmas!! Lainey hasn’t stopped talking about today, so my hopes were high for a fun day!

I woke up first to find out that Santa had come last night!

After eating a bottle, Mommy and Daddy put some reindeer antlers on my head. (Apparently Lainey and Henry had also worn these on their first Christmases, so I tolerated it for the sake of tradition.)

Lainey and Henry were awake by 5:45, and excited to find their presents! Lainey recently visited Santa just so she could tell him that she wanted an Anna doll and a matching Anna dress. She wasn’t disappointed.

While we waited for everyone else to wake up, we opened stockings!

I got a rattle with cookie monster on it. (Henry sure talks about this guy a lot, so I’m sure I’ll love it.)

Henry got an AMAZING utensil set. I can’t wait until I can use a fork and spoon!

It didn’t Lainey long to put on her dress! She loves it!

Uncle Jaron and Aunt Tiffany gave Lainey an umbrella that she used right away!

The first official gift opened of Christmas was a present Lainey made for Mommy and Daddy at preschool. She couldn’t wait for them to open it! It was some beautiful ornaments on which she worked very hard.

I could only handle so much Christmas excitement before I got tired, so while I took a quick nap, everyone kept opening presents.

Lainey loved her princesses!

Henry put his truck magnets to use right away.

Na Na made Henry and Lainey some amazing Cougar capes!

Cougar to the rescue!!

Aunt Tiffany helped Lainey with some coloring.

Henry loves his car carrier!

I woke up from my nap and got right to work eating paper.

Daddy gave Mommy the perfect mug.

I got an awesome dancing alien. It appears I may need to share with my siblings.

Our cousin, Graham, sent us some great presents. One of the presents was a cookbook for Lainey. She started picking out recipes as soon as she opened it!

Grandma and Grandpa gave Henry a trampoline so this crazy kid can get out some energy. Henry was very helpful while Daddy put it together.

It’s a hit!

For the rest of the day we played games, watched movies, and had a yummy Christmas dinner (ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and apple pie). Lainey ended the day by trying to apply her new Christmas lotion. What a perfect ending to a perfect day. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve, 2015

Story told by: Lainey

On Christmas Eve we got dressed in our nice Christmas clothes for our Christmas Eve church service.

I have been talking about this dress and my sparkly shoes for at least a month. I was SO excited that it was finally time to wear them!

We attempted a family picture, but that’s about as difficult as herding cats.

The best of the family pictures.

Na Na and Ba Ba ready to go!

Uncle Jaron and Aunt Tiffany in their nice clothes!

One last picture with Na Na before we head to church!

When we arrived home from church, I discovered that Santa had brought us a present!! (I made everyone aware of this present with lots of squealing.)

We ripped into the present to find PJs and books from Santa. (He must have made a quick stop to deliver this present, and will come back later for the big haul.)

Christmas pajamas!

Henry and I immediately sat down to read our books. It appears that Santa couldn’t decide on just one book, so he had to bring us two books.

I love the books about Pout, Pout Fish, so Santa gave me the Christmas version of this book.

And Henry loves Little Blue Truck, so he was very excited to see this book!

Reading our books with Daddy.

Leaving cookies for Santa! Now off to bed because SANTA IS COMING!!!!

In-House Entertainment Has Arrived!

Story told by: Lainey

Na Na and Ba Ba arrived last night! We got right to work on playing “Baby Jesus and Mary.”

Pregnant and trying to find a room to stay in.

Loving on baby Jesus. (He was born in one second, and I didn’t break a sweat. I’m great at having babies.)

Henry wanted a head covering as well.

After we went to bed, Mommy and Ba Ba bonded over their deep love for puzzles! (Ba Ba has his “puzzled” look on his face.)

We went out sledding quite early this morning.

Na Na was my sledding partner. The snow plow had just put gravel on the hill, so we didn’t go as fast as we wanted to, but it was still fun.

Mommy and Brody hung out at the bottom of the hill.

Daddy and Henry went sledding together. Henry didn’t express how much he loved it, but he kept asking to do it again, so that’s a good sign!

Ba Ba and I conquered the snow mound by the school.

Then Daddy helped Henry and I test out the small hill in the school field.

Daddy was tired after all of that running, so he asked for a break on the way home. It slowed down our walk home quite a bit.

After naps it was time to decorate the cookies that we had baked yesterday!

I was big enough to do the sprinkles on my own.

Brody came over for a bit to decorate his first sugar cookie!

If only he could eat this cookie….. Sorry buddy! Next year!

There’s a cookie under there somewhere.

Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Jaron arrived from Saipan around lunch time today (they traveled for over 40 hours to get to Washington).

I convinced her to eat her cookie (instead of saving it). I think she was pretty happy with her choice. Yum!

Some of the finished product!

Henry’s reaction to being done with cookie decorating.

In less than 24 hours, this 1000-piece puzzle has been completed. Well done!

Baking, Crafting, and Sugar Skating

Story told by: Lainey

We had another day of snow! It wasn’t nearly as much as Wednesday, but just to be safe, we canceled our plans with friends and had a fun day at home together.

We haven’t done nearly enough Christmas baking, so we got to work early this morning on candy cane brownies.

Henry’s turn to mix the ingredients.

My turn. (Notice that Henry doesn’t love sharing? Story of his life.)

Now he’s happy. Mixing in the final ingredient!

Brody happily ate his cracker while we made brownies. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Time to put the brownies in the oven.

Mommy starts cleaning up, and we dutifully help by licking the spoons and spatulas.

Yum!

We had to crush up the candy canes, so I got to stomping.

The finished product! While we waited for them to cool (the hardest part!), we got started on a fun craft that I picked out on Pinterest this morning.

Mommy had previously glued popsicle sticks together so we could start painting them right away. I’m making Rudolph.

Henry asked to make Olaf.

After we painted these, we had to let them dry before we moved onto the next part of the project.

Up until this point, it had been quite an idyllic, snowy morning. Brownies baking, kids crafting, and Christmas music playing. Mommy had been feeling pretty good about things, until…

SUGAR SKATING!!!

We wanted to ice skate, so while Mommy was washing out the paint brushes, Henry quietly grabbed the sugar off the counter and poured it all over the family room floor.

Then we licked it off our own feet.

And then we licked it off each other’s feet.

After Mommy had a talk with us (and after we washed off our feet, changed our pants/tutus, and cleaned up the ice skating rink), it was time to test out the brownies. They were delicious!

Next we watched part of the Rudolph movie, and then came upstairs to see that our popsicle sticks had dried. Time to finish our craft!

Mommy also made a Santa to join the crew!

Snow!!!

Story told by: Lainey

We woke up this morning to snow! So. Much. Snow. Schools were canceled, roads were closed, and cars were in ditches. We also canceled our plans so we could play in the snow (and so we could stay safe)!

We anxiously awaited Brody’s morning nap, and then out we went! We started by helping Mommy clear off the sidewalk.

More accurately, I helped Mommy while Henry carried his shovel around.

Henry wasn’t exactly sure how he felt about this cold weather, but I love it!

I plopped right down to make a snow angel.

Next we started building a snowman. Henry kept asking if he could climb it. He wasn’t thrilled with Mommy’s answer.

After some great teamwork, Mommy and I finished the snowman!

We did a kid-sized snowman because that’s what I wanted (and because we had a time constraint with Brody’s nap).

I named him Olaf (obviously).

Henry didn’t seem to trust Olaf.

He wanted nothing to do with him.

Mommy pulled us around the yard for a bit in the sled.

Then I took matters into my own hands.

There is the teeniest, tiniest hill on the side of our house, so I attempted to use that for sledding.

Mommy and Daddy really need to find me an actual sledding hill this year.

Putting my face in the snow entertained me for a good five minutes.

We had a blast outside! Before lunch I prayed that God would bring more snow. If the forecast is correct, then I may get what I prayed for!