Monday, January 14, 2013


the night before chrismas the boys sprinkled some reindeer food on the grass
left some cookies and gogurt out for santa
said a very quick goodbye to stoic
and headed to bed, excited to see what christmas would hold!
they woke up, and for once they didn't demand breakfast first thing in the morning!  apparently breakfast hunger vanishes on christmas!
here's the opening:
kade (he's opening a tube of fake bugs)
crewser proudly showing off his new book "i stink" (don't worry, it's about a garbage truck)
justin, excited about the new watch he got
here's what brody was hoping for
here's the twins big gift
it snowed that night and all morning long, so by afternoon, our house looked liked this:
 the boys were so excited (we were too!)
crew and brody did a little white christmas trampoline jumping:
kade stayed inside, a much warmer decision!  
with all the snow outside, crew and kade needed somewhere to ride their ride their new bikes, so we had a little bit of this going on inside:

later that afternoon we went to rob and jana's for dinner.  the boys had fun opening their gifts, we feel so blessed that santa took such good care of our family this year!  


we finally got access to season one of downton abbey, and powered through both seasons in two weeks, finishing the night before the season three premiere.  of course now i'm like everyone else, waiting seven whole days between episodes.  i'm in definite withdrawals.

might i add that i would love to spend hours leisurely going through downton- it's amazing gorgeous!  additionally i'd like to add that when i first saw pictures of the show, and just how many characters there were, i thought it was absurd! i mean how do you keep up with everyone's story?  but it's fabulous and i thoroughly enjoy each character!!

christmas eve

 ten years ago justin and i had our first date!!  it was christmas eve so he picked me up for a lunch date. we ate at in n out and then followed up with some christmas shopping at the mall (he still had gifts to buy!)  so we've tried to make it a tradition to always have burgers on christmas eve, i love it!  and now that in n out is in texas, we made it pretty official!  funny how it was just the two of us back then, i almost can't even imagine/remember what that was like!  now we celebrate with the boys!
justin, crew and kade
me and brody

this year justin tried to tell the boys our story, which was a valiant effort, but wasn't regarded very highly!  brody seemed to remember some parts, but seemed a little confused that there was a part of our lives where we weren't married.  funny, that seems a little weird to me now too.  i'm sure thankful i've got justin and that we had such a fun first date ten years ago!  

elf on the shelf

we're so lucky one of santa's elves had come to watch our boys throughout christmas time!  i've seen people give such cute names to their family's elf, names like elfie, jingle or tinsel.  our boys picked the name "stoic the red."  catchy isn't it?  the origins stem from none other than "how to train your dragon."  hiccup's (the main character) dad is the leader of the vikings and he is a humongous burly guy named stoic the vast (you know, cause he's vastly huge) so naturally stoic the red came about.  anywho, he arrived here on december 1st:
 along with a book explaining why he was here, to choose and name for him, and the rule that he can't be touched (or he'll loose some of his magic). While you can talk to him, santa's asked him that he not respond back.  each night he flies back to santa to share his report and appears the following morning in a new spot.  Every morning before breakfast the boys scour the downstairs to find stoic the red.  oddly enough he's always out of the boys reach (smart elf)
here's some of the boys favorite places they've found stoic:

on the mantle riding the snow owl
climbing up the cabinets
unfortunately one night he was attacked by a t-rex, i think the attack must have bent him out of shape cause he was a little naughty the next couple of days
 the following morning he was in the golden raisin box on top of the fridge and had spilled a bunch of raisins on the floor
another day he tp-ed the chandelier
he was then caught sneaking hershey kisses
he snuck into the freezer for ice cream
  after that he was nice enough to build us a little lego tree, i think he was trying to make up for his naughty behavior the past few days.
one day brody had asked him some questions about elves (you know, elf logistics) and the next morning we found stoic at the computer, he typed up a note to respond to brody.
the last night he was on the fridge ice/water maker, which was in reach of the boys, and surprisingly, they didn't grab him!
every morning before we'd get out of bed we'd hear the boys' excited hushed whisper of "where's stoic the red?  where's the elf?"  i think every morning i got up with a smile hearing the excitement in their voice over stoic's new landing place!  i might mention that this elf did absolutely nothing to improve their behavior through bribery, but i loved the holiday magic and excitement it brought to the boys!  we're already looking forward to next december!


this year the ashton's joined us for thanksgiving!  grandma lill, grandpa clarke, grandma diane, shauna, alyssa, ryan and mike all flew out for a few days.  the boys loved having visitors!!  it was so fun to have everyone here!  these pics are from a few of the activities we did:

here's kade, grandma lill, and crew keeping score for a backyard baseball game.
walking to dinner with uncle ry-ry
clarke getting a little crazy on the playground equipment
the clam before the storm
loads of food to load up on!
on friday we went to downtown fort worth to visit the stockyards, we've actually never been (shocking, i know...)  
kade and crew getting ready to watch the cattle walk, and keeping warm in dad and grandpa's coats
here comes the cowboys leading the cattle down the main street.  
i took video of the cattle walk, thinking it was this huge, famed thing.  the video lasted 45 seconds, the picture above pretty much fills you in.
walked around downtown, while alyssa caught a ride on this wooden horse.
grandma lill, grandma diane, shauna and alyssa took the boys on a stagecoach ride, the boys loved it!
after some initial trepidation about a pony ride (and who can blame them), the stagecoach ride loosened the boys up, and gave them the confidence to ride.  thankfully the twins requested that shauna and alyssa walk with them so i was able to watch from outside the guardrail.
the ashton's opted for bbq that night so we hit up hard 8 and the original ashton kids snapped some quick pictures. 
the next day before everyone left we took some family photos.  here's how our little family's turned out: 
we're big fans of grey key photography !

It was a busy couple of days but really fun.  I love watching the boys interact and keep all their family members on their toes!  we're thankful we could have so many visitors to share thanksgiving with!

Friday, January 11, 2013

school pictures

early in october brody's school took pictures and i was so excited to see how they turned out!  we got the digital proof and it was not. good.  his glasses were falling down and they definitely took the picture before he smiled. it totally made him look like an old man, think like carl fredrickson in up.  naturally i elected the retake, we practiced a bit the morning of, and he came home with this:
whew!  that's all brody! 

in november the twins had picture day at their preschool, which seems silly, but i love it!  i was definitely nervous to send them off, who knows how this would go!  at the end of the day my carpool buddy dropped off the boys and said "one of the twins' teacher said not to expect a great picture."  my apprehension mounted.  finally they got their pictures back.  i opened crew's first, and started laughing at this:

such a tough guy- never wants to crack!  i've said it from the beginning, a smile from crew must be earned!  he doesn't normally going around smiling all whilly nilly!  his teacher apologized for his picture and explain that the photographer took a good 20 minutes getting crew to smile and apparently she "did everything short of cartwheels to get that picture" she continued, "at least he looks pleasant right?"  hilarious, and oh, so very crew.

i nervously opened kade's envelope and saw this:
hooray!!  talk about stepping up!  kade's been so shy since starting preschool without crew and i totally thought he'd be too timid to smile, but it's great!!
  I'm happy with how all three pictures turned out, but of course something as mundane as school pictures had to have a little chaos thrown in!  hooray until next year!