Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Morning

I wanted to document the time so nobody thought I was exaggerating. This is after we had gotten started and I thought of it, so subtract ten minutes or so. This is also after keeping Tyler practically tied down in our bedroom for half an hour before allowing him to wake up his brothers and sister. Here we go.....Santa did indeed come. After all the worry Tyler was quite relieved. I wasn't too worried about it. I was confident he was coming. After all, we have great kids. Maggie saw her kitchen and didn't leave it alone for the next 2 hours. I bet Santa had a late night trying to put that thing together. I bet there were lots of things on it that made his frustrated too, like poor assembly directions and crooked screw holes...if I had to guess.
And even though Joey got woken up early he was having a great time claiming everyone else's gifts as his own while he ignored the things Santa left him. I am going to tell Santa to just bring us empty boxes next year. Boxes and maybe some tape and mixing spoons. Joey loves to play catch. So when he saw the ball he picked it right up and started playing.
Maggie got dishes and food to go with her kitchen.
Tyler was in heaven. He got everything he really wanted. It was a short list this year so his odds were better as far as getting his favorite things. Just look at his face.
Out of all the presents from me and Eric, grandma and Dick and everyone else, Jacob's favorite gift was this pocketknife Santa left him.

Cotton candy, yum!
As I said, Joey had a lot of fun getting into, or in this case, onto, the other kids' presents.
The boys both got scooters!

Finally Joey discovered what Santa left him, a blue rocking dog, just his size!
More presents, presents presents!

It was really a great Christmas, the kids got what they wanted, they loved their gifts, and we got to go to Church a few hours later to remember what Christmas is really all about. Tyler's verdict? "Best Christmas ever!"

Christmas Eve

I am separating Christmas into sections. First comes Christmas eve at Aunt Jessica's house. I am sorry about all the pictures but I can't figure out how to do a collage. Grandma gave all the kids their new pj's. And here's the result of trying to get a picture with 8 kids in it to all look cute at the same time....
"Okay, look over here, smile! Joey joey joey!!! Smile!"
"Jake, push your hat up, look over here guys...Ashley smile...Maggie, look at the camera!"
"Okay, guys. come on, smile and look over here! Joey Joey Joey! Peek a boo! Maggie over here! Ashley smile!"
"JOEY! MAGGIE! ASHLEY, smile! Guys, look over here!"

For some reason my pictures posted out of order and I don't really feel like going through and rearranging things. So this is what you get. Eric helped out Santa with a tooth a couple months ago and Santa was so grateful he told Eric that he would come over and hang out with us and meet with the kids. Really, he was very grateful...
All the kids got a picture with him...

Santa told us the story of the Night Before Christmas. He gave each of the kids a little treat, we sang songs, but the real troopers of the night were grandpa...Santa was showing us what one of his elves look like....
And Uncle Mat. I am pretty sure Santa put spit on his forehead.....I guess Mat has been naughty this year.
Joey was very interested in the action.
Maggie was hot and cold. Half the time she didn't want to go near him, then the other half she was interrupting his story and walking up to him and talking to him.
This shot was a total coincidence. All the kids were sitting on the floor so I took a behind shot and look--you can see all 4 of my kids! Funny.
Santa telling us stories.
This is when he first arrived. I love the look on Tyler's face, pure magic.
It was such a fun night and really brought the spirit of Christmas to us.

Apart from Christmas, Maggie has decided she wants to wear lipstick. She came downstairs the other day with my lipstick all over her face. This is right after I told her she couldn't do that anymore....
She doesn't take rejection well.

And one of the boys must have taken this picture...
I just want to remember my tree that way. Yes, the boys decorated it, but they did a good job. Now, however, after Joey has gotten to it, the top half of the tree has so many ornaments you can hardly see any greenery. The bottom half? Bare.

Rewind to Thanksgiving

Let's travel back in time together all the way back to Thanksgiving. We went down to St. George with Craig and Sharee for Thanksgiving weekend. It was the Swenson Family off-year (everyone has Thanksgiving at their in-laws) so we decided to crash Craig and Sharee's weekend down in sunny St. George. We had a blast. Grandpa brought his Rhino so we did a lot of exploring out in the desert. Climbing, hiking, rock collecting. You name it. The boys thought they had died and gone to heaven.

We had that Rhino packed full--Craig, Eric and Tyler in front, and me, Sharee, Maggie, Joey and Jacob in the back. I am pretty sure we exceeded the weight limit. But it is one tough little vehicle! We had planned to go to Chuck-A-Rama for Thanksgiving dinner but when we got there the line was literally wrapped around the BLOCK!!! A friend of mine went and said they waited in line almost 3 hours. We decided to ditch that idea and headed out to Mesquite for a casino buffet. I have to admit I was skeptical of the quality of a Mesquite buffet, but the one we went to was actually really good. I was pleasantly surprised. And the fact that we only waited 15 minutes or so was a major bonus.

On a side note, Joey has a new habit of falling asleep while eating lunch. I mean, mid-bite...
Poor little guy. Stay tuned for a Christmas update.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Whose behind? Mine.

A whole month gone by and no blogging--time is flying! I had uploaded these pics a while ago but forgot to post them. So here's a quick recap of Swenson family life....

We went up to Temple Square in Salt Lake City for a Family Home Evening night a couple weeks ago to see the lights. They were gorgeous! As usual. It was cold so we bundled everyone up. I have to admit one of the more frustrating things in my life right now is getting kids into gloves. Anyone have any tips? Getting gloves on my kids is like trying to slip a limp fish into....well, a glove! Ugh. In spite of that, we managed to get everyone warm and cozy. I am pretty sure Joey was the most comfy of all.
Me and the kids and just a glimpse of the lights. I know, I have a conehead. But I was warm!
The kids were very interested in the Christus statue in the visitor's center. We explored a bit there and even took a quick tour of the conference center. (BTW, for all you women out there...go into the bathrooms there--more stall than you can even imagine. I think the bathroom is the size of a football field).
Here we are exploring the Visitor's Center and reading about how the church helps deliver food to those in need... Jacob was particularly interested in this. Maybe that's why he doesn't eat, because he plans to donate his food to the needy.
All in all it was a fun night and the kids were generally well behaved.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Merry Christmas from all of us!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Family Circus

In case some of you have wondered why I named our blog the Swenson Family Circus, it is because that is exactly what it is. I took some liberties borrowing from the actual Family Circus cartoon--I should just use that as my family chronicle instead of a blog. These faves are up on my wall--they could have been snapshots from my life...

On a side note, I am sure all mothers feel my pain when I say my kids are constantly asking questions that have no answers. Or at least no answers I know of. Yesterday though, Jacob asked me a question I KNEW the answer to I thought it would be a one shot deal-one question, one answer. This is how it went down...

Jacob, holding up a gold dollar coin: Mom, how much is this?
Me: A dollar.
Jacob: No, how much is it?
Me: A dollar!
Jacob: No, mom, how MUCH is it?
Me: ONE dollar, 100 pennies.
Jacob: NO! HOW MUCH is it?
Me: Jacob, it is one dollar, that's how much it is!
Jacob, in a very exasperated tone: Mom, you just don't understand what I am talking about...

I guess not.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guess who turned 3!!!

That's right, my little Maggie-Moo is now the big 3! Maggie is so much fun. She is totally girly--will only wear skirts, loves church because it means she can dress up in her nice dresses, loves "pretties" in her hair, loves the color pink, and is our little princess. But even though she girl through and through she can hold her own with her brothers. I have to admit she has hit a bit of the "terrible twos (and threes in this case)" with her tantrums, but, hey...the girl knows what she wants. She's a little spitfire and keeps us laughing all the time. She likes to be naughty but flashes her coy smile and it melts your heart anyway. We love you Mags!

To celebrate I decided to make a rainbow cake. It started out as a lot of work (meaning dirty bowls and spoons) but was coming along nicely... Doesn't this look pretty?
Unfortunately, the pretty ended there. For some reason the cakes would NOT come out of the pans. I begged, pleaded and bribed but it was a no go. I don't know why--I've made this exact recipe before and I greased and floured the pans, but I think it may have something to do with the food coloring? I don't know. But I was...let's just say a bit annoyed since mixing all the colors took forever and lots of dirty bowls, etc. I tried to cut around the edges, scrape them out, no luck. So I finally put them back in the oven for a few minutes in the hopes it would help. After cutting off the sides and literally slamming them over and over again, and scraping with a spatula they finally came out. Needless to say they didn't look pretty. Half the cake was still in the pans. Ugh. But with a little frosting finesse I was able to mostly salvage what was left...

The inside didn't come out as pretty as I had hoped. But the recipe I used was different than the recipe for the rainbow cake (it just said to use a mix which is thicker than homemade batter so mine ran a litle). But Maggie still thought it was so pretty. And served with rainbow sherbet it still tasted like cake....with a lot of buttercream frosting filler!
Her cousins and aunts and uncles (sans the Cardons who we miss!) and grandma came over too. Sam helped Maggie open her presents...
She loved them all!

And yes, I did want her to look cuter for her party but she wasn't having it. She didn't want her hair up and she wanted to wear that outfit. I figured it wasn't worth the fight.

That may not have been worth the fight but this was...
Look closely and you will see an ENTIRE BAG of pretzels thrown all over the living room floor and crushed in pieces. This is what I came upstairs to after exercising the other day. Maggie was literally dancing on the pretzels to make them crunch, Joey was in heaven eating his heart out, and Jacob, as you can see by his guilty "uh oh" expression knew what was coming! They were all over, it was a new bag! This pic only shows half of it. Needless to say I was not happy.

On a brighter note, Tyler had his very first Pinewood Derby last week. He wanted and designed a bear car--dad and mom helped him carve and paint it (we don't trust him quite yet with the power tools). We warned his he wouldn't win because of non-aerodynamic shape, but he actually did pretty well. He won several of his races and came in around 8th out of 18. Not bad!

We all had a ton of fun and he got the award for Most Creative. Good job Ty!