Monday, December 24, 2012

A bed for Baby Jesus

This Christmas Eve our family is making a bed for the Baby Jesus. All day long, as we do acts of service, kindness, and love we will put pieces of "hay" in the manger to make a soft bed for Jesus. When I explained it to the kids, their sweet faces lit up with excitement. Immediately, they jumped up to start their service to someone else. Ayden unloaded the dishwasher and Ellie cleaned up the living room. And they have been speaking very kindly to one another and trying to find other ways to put the hay in the manger.
I remember doing this one year growing up and thinking it was so special. I'm excited for our family to have this tradition. I love the feeling of peace and love that is already filling our home. I thought this idea would go along perfectly with The 25 Days of Christ that we've been doing. It's a great way for our children to understand the true meaning of Christmas: serving and loving others the way Christ did.

Birthday Not Forgotten

Spencer and I have birthdays only 3 days apart and about a week before Christmas. We don't usually do anything big, just a dessert and dinner of choice. The kids always make us special posters displaying our old age and loving words. But other than that, we don't make our birthdays a big celebration. 
But this year, Spencer went outside the box with a big Surprise.
I LOVE the Forgotten Carols! It's one of my favorite Christmas stories and we've made it a tradition to watch it on DVD every Christmas Eve, but I've never seen the live play. So I was VERY excited when Spencer presented play tickets as a birthday gift! He's been planning this for 2 months, what a sweetheart. It was so fun to watch it live and to see the tiny changes that happen in live performances. I think I had a smile on my face the whole time. Well, except during the song Mary Let Me Hold Her Baby, I bawled through that. Tears were streaming down my face! But I always do, no matter how many times I hear it. It reminds me of special people in my life.
We had so much fun going out together and sharing this. It was the perfect gift. I love that Spencer knows me so well!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What we've been Up to

These last few weeks have gone by so quickly and I haven't had time to blog all that we've been doing. Here's a long post (sorry) of what we've been up to the past few weeks. 

I LOVE putting up Christmas in the house and always want to get it up right after Thanksgiving. Spencer...not so much. I tease him that he's a Scrooge. But this year, I did get the Christmas tree up earlier than December 1st and Spencer was willing to forgo his "scrooginess"  and get lights up on the house. 
last but not least, the star on top
 We've also been getting to snuggle with Katie's baby, Kaleb. He is known in our house as "baby Kaleb" not just Kaleb. If you leave out the "baby" part, Tate goes "Kaleb what?" until you fix it and say the whole title. 
Ayden can't get enough of him and will hold him as long as he can.

 Ellie loves holding him too and especially loves his toes. "they are so tiny" she always says! I love that she's wearing curlers in her hair for this picture. It was in preparation for a Christmas Party.

 We also have had a few family parties to attend. The first was a bowling party with the whole Shaw family. 
goofy boy!

 All the kids had a lot of fun, Spencer is included in this category too. He played in a game against all the men in the family. I'm not sure who won, but I do know it wasn't him. All his hours of Wii bowling did not pay off. 
Ayden didnt want to have to use the ramp and wanted to bowl all by himself. Half way through his game, I think he came to understand the value of the ramp for little arms!
Ellie loved it, and no matter if she hit a pin or not was just happy that her ball made it all the way down the lane. 

 Our next family party was with my Aunt Paula and Dave Millett. She's not really our aunt, she's my dad's cousin, but we've always called her Aunt Paula. And they were kind enough to invite us to their family party. Santa even made an appearance. Tate was the only one who didn't want to sit on his lap.
Ayden asked for football cards

Ellie asked for Tinkerbell fairies
Tate was too nervous to sit on his lap, but he did whisper to Santa what he wanted while I held him, which was football guys. 

I was able to help in Ellie's class for her Christmas party. My neighbor Keisha and I put the party together and it turned out pretty cute. The kids got to make reindeer headbands and Christmas ornaments using their fingerprints as snowmen, and of course decorate cookies. Their teacher invited all parents to come for small Christmas concert.

Ellie loves singing so this was her favorite part. It's adorable how they all paid special attention to their teacher for their hand actions. I love Ellie's face in this picture, she was so excited! 
Miss Andrus does a wonderful job with her class and we are so thankful Ellie has her as a teacher.


We've had a very busy month and are looking forward to some days together as a family. The kids have been doing our advent calendar and "count down to Christmas" blocks. We also started a new tradition called the The 25 Days of Christ.(see the link) Every day has an ornament that corresponds with a scripture, picture, movie, and quote about Christ. It's been a wonderful thing for us to do together every night. And the kids love it, they always ask what ornament is next. We would recommend this for everyone. We wish everyone a beautiful holiday and can't wait to enjoy ours!
watching Christmas movies together

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New cousin

Last weekend, we got to meet the newest addition to Katie and Adam's family: Kaleb. He's such a sweet baby and my kids absolutely love him. They couldn't wait to hold him. I think Ayden was the most excited out of all 3. 

 At first Tate was a little wary of Kaleb, which was really weird because all week Tate had been pushing a baby stroller and "baby Kaleb" all over the house. Eventually, Tate got used to the idea that Kaleb was a real baby. 
Ayden didn't want his turn to end and kept asking for more. Afterward, he came over and whispered "Mom, when are we gonna have another baby?" He loves babies right now.

Ellie loved holding her new cousin too, but I think her favorite part was when Aunt Katie let her put lotion on Kaleb's feet. She was so careful to warm up the lotion in her hands first and so gentle as she put it on his feet and toes. And being a true newborn, Kaleb slept through every bit of it!

Tate got a turn to "cuddle" with Kaleb on the couch, which meant he got to lay down while holding him. Kaleb was awake this go around and the kids were mesmerized by him. Tate loved looking at his fingers!
We are so happy for Katie and Adam and so thankful they are willing to share these little moments with us. We love you all and are so excited for your new family. Congrats!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Who needs an Alarm clock...

...when you've got sick kids. I hate it when little kids get sick. They can never tell you exactly what's wrong and you figure it out too late. Last night, Aunt Dani took all 3 kids for a sleepover at her house. Wonderful! Spencer and I got to enjoy a nice evening together while the kids did crafts and movies with Aunt Dani. Perfect evening for everyone......or so we thought!
Around 11:15pm, I was just falling asleep when Spencer says "Do you have your phone up here in case the kids need something?" I'm not kidding, 30 seconds later my phone rings and it's Danielle telling me Tate has thrown up all over her. Joy. So we quickly went to Danielle's house and picked up Taters. He was laying on Danielle's bed, freshly bathed, looking pale and sad and the only thing he said was "I want Daddy." The poor little guy was so pathetic. 
After getting home and settled, we were just about asleep when Tate started up again. 3 more times through the night, and we were all exhausted. We chuckled about the Bill Engvall bit about nothing will make you go from laying sound asleep to jumping up out of bed wide awake like the sound of a child puking. So true!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Stupid Blogger

Not me the blogger, but Blogger the site/system/template whatever it is. Urgh! I was updating my blog tonight and went to make a change to my layout and somehow ended up changing my entire template. And now there is no way to get back to my original because blogger doesn't allow that type of template anymore. So after about 2 hours, of trying to figure out how to get back my original, and lots of frustration and maybe a-not-so-nice word here and there, my blog now looks different. So if you noticed, kudos to you!

Welcome to Candy Land

This year was Ellie's first time having a birthday party with friends. We chose a Candy Land theme. I came up with this idea a week before the party, why, why, do I these things to myself. Luckily, Spencer and Danielle were very helpful in getting it ready and it turned out great.
We turned our backyard in to a Candy Land board game. 
We spray painted the color squares that the kids would move to. And then there were different stations of activities that they got to do once they landed on that square. 
Our Gingerbread Tree
 At the Gingerbread Tree the kids got to color a gingrebread paper bag for their treats and goodies. Then they moved to Grandma Nutt (who looked more like a mom with a perm from the 80s) for a beanbag toss.
Our attempt at Grandma Nutt
 After Grandma Nut, the kids got to move around the board and they got stuck at Lord Licorice's spot where they had to do something silly to get away. Then they moved to Gum Drop Mountain where they had a peppermint on a spoon race.
Courtesy of Spencer
 And after Gum Drop Mountain, they got to frost a cookie at Princess Frostine.
It turned out to be a lot of fun and Ellie had a blast with her friends. 
getting ready for peppermint race
waiting for her turn to move

friends coloring their bags

After each child made it through the game, we went inside for cupcakes.
supposed to be a Candy Land cake
Ellie and Dillon

Bella, Taylor, and Emma

Rylie and Ruby

Katie and Brianna

Kaylie and Ayden
Ellie's first party went very well, but we were all very tired afterward! I think it will be awhile before I attempt a big party like that again. Well, probably next summer for Ayden's party, I can't help myself!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another year wiser and older too!

Happy Birthday Ellie Mae! Ellie's 6th birthday was November 2nd (I'm late posting this due to the chaos of the week). 
Ellie was very excited to share birthday treats in her kindergarten class; she chose donuts. She came home wearing a special birthday crown from her teacher. She wore all night and even on Saturday.

  And her daddy surprised her by picking her up after school with a bouquet of flowers. So sweet. I love that he does this for her. 
She was so excited for her special day. For her birthday present we got her a new bed. The poor thing has been sleeping in a toddler bed for far too long. Spencer's sister was getting rid of a twin bed and offered it to us, which was wonderful! And I took Ellie to IKEA to pick out a new duvet cover for a comforter we already had, she thought she was helping me pick it out for a cousin and said "I wish I could get one too."  She was so ecstatic when she saw her new bed set up with the comforter she picked out!And her big brother also got a birthday gift. He chose to get her some "girl" Legos. Which she has not stopped playing with. All in all, a good birthday!
Ellie is such a wonderful part of our family. She is sweet and kind, but also has a sassy side. She is our artist: loves to draw, color, paint. Ellie loves anything crafty. She will spend hours doing crafts and creating new things. The artwork she brings home from class is always very detailed. And she loves to display all her artwork. She hangs up every piece, and I mean every piece, on her walls. She loves jewelry and takes good care of the ones she has. Ellie loves to laugh and giggle and her smile is so beautiful. She is such a good helper for her little brother. And she's quite the social butterfly. She asks lots of questions and is working hard to read. Ellie Mae, we love you so much and hope you have a fantastic time being 6!

Happy Halloween!

This year for Halloween Ayden wanted to be a mummy. I honesty had a hard time with this one, not because I think mummies are bad, but it came out of nowhere. Usually, when Ayden picks a costume its something he's really into (BYU football player 2006 and 2011) or really wanted to be (Santa Clause in 2009). So when I asked him why he wanted to be a mummy, he said "because I can't think of anything else." So I kept putting off the costume until a few days before. Surprisingly (after a lot of hot glue) it turned out really cute, or scary or whatever. 
 Ayden didn't like the makeup part because it was itchy, but he looked great.
 Spencer, on the other hand, had fun drawing goofy things on his face.
Ellie decided to be a cheerleader this year, and luckily, for me there wasn't a lot of costume preparation. She already had the costume from Nana James and after a quick trip to the dollar store for pompoms, she was set. And Taters was a monkey. When we tried to think of costumes for him, Spencer really wanted a monkey because that's a nickname he has for Tate. And once again, luckily for me, my co-worker gave me a box of clothes for Tate that happened to have a monkey costume in it. Done!

help from big brother

We loved being back in our neighborhood for trick or treating. It was such a fun night with tons of people out. The streets pretty much shut down to drivers due to the mass of kids and parents walking around. Ayden loved being able to go trick or treating with his friends and it was cute to watch them interact together. After about 30 minutes, Tate was done. I asked him if he wanted to get more candy and he goes "no, I just want to go home." The kids had a blast and have enjoyed eating their candy. My kids can thank Papa James for my #1 rule about halloween candy: if I find any wrappers or trash on the floor, your candy is mine. They've obeyed that one very well!

Carving Pumpkins

Carving Halloween pumpkins is not usually the most joyous of times in the Shaw house. No one but me is willing to "gut" the pumpkins and touch the seeds and stringy mess. Ayden and Ellie like the idea of carving pumpkins, but don't actually like carving pumpkins. This year, we were mean parents and laid down the law, and told them that if they wanted carved pumpkins, they had to do it themselves.Oh, the torture. Ellie opted out of this family event. 
love the grumpy face

 Ayden really didn't like touching the guts. Can ya tell? But he did it, with minimal amount of whining. I think he was proud of himself that he actually did it. Once the pumpkins were ready, they decided on their design. Ayden wanted to use different shapes for the face and Spencer went with a "starry night" theme, as he called it. 
love Ayden's face in this one

busy at work
The boys had a lot of fun getting their pumpkins ready and I had fun because I didn't have to be the one doing it all this year! Maybe next year Ellie will want to join.
finished products

In Love and War

Spencer and I tend to get in water and food fights when we cook in the kitchen together. Water fights where it looks like a bathtub was dumped on the floor, cookie dough fights, cereal, are just a few. A few Sundays ago, one such fight occurred and the weapon of choice was flour.
I was minding my own business rolling out delicious homemade rolls, when out of nowhere I'm attacked with flour.
 Of course, I retaliated and threw flour back.
We actually didn't end up with much flour on us; most of it was on the floor and counters. The kids thought it was funny, too.
I love this guy very much and appreciate the fun and laughter we share.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I don't really have anything specific to post about, but I thought I would give a small update of each Shaw for you. 
Tuh Tuh Tuh...Tate

Tate is such a good boy and has been having a blast at daycare. He loves seeing his friends there and plays very well. He's kind of been a stinker with naps lately and I hope it doesn't mean he's growing out of them; we love our little sleeper. Tate has a lisp that has worried us a little. We had his speech evaluated by Kids on the Move and our worries were put to rest. His speech abilities are actually in the 89 percentile for his age. Tate's hardest sound is 'S' and I didn't know a way to show him how to get his tongue to work so he didn't make the 'th' sound. We were given some exercises to help him form his sounds correctly and already we can tell a difference. We ask him to say "tuh tuh tuh Tate" and then "sss sss sss Snake". He's doing so well with it and already picking up on the 'S' sounds on his own. So proud of you Bubba!
 Ellie Mae
Ellie has been busy with school and soccer. Her soccer season ended on Tuesday. She did a very good job and enjoyed playing, now she has requested to do dance. We'll see how that works out. She was chosen as Student of the Month for her kindergarten class. Her principle came and presented her with a certificate and pencil. Her teacher said she chose Ellie because Ellie is always a good helper and helps the other kids if she finishes with her work first. She also said that Ellie is very caring and makes sure that everyone in the class feels happy and special, that she is a good friend to everyone. We made sure that Ayden got to be there when they did the presentations and he said "yeah, Ellie is those things." Definitely!
Ayden J.
Ayden has been busy with school and making sure to watch his Cougars on weekends. A few weeks ago we had parent/teacher conferences and his teacher said she loves having him in class. He is one of her best readers and asked him to read to the entire class to show them how to use voice inflection. She says he does so well with voice inflection and flow that she wanted him to teach the others; I think he was a little nervous but felt good about himself.  He and Spencer were able to go to the BYU broadcast center and attend a taping of BYU's pregame/post game show of the BYU vs Notre Dame game. They were in the audience and got to see Brian Logan (former corner back). Of course, it was recorded at our house and we got to see them in the audience. The day included free lunch (pizza: Ayden's FAVORITE) and watching the game on the HUGE screen. 
Spencer has been working for Morgan Stanley, a financial company and has been enjoying the laid back atmosphere. And last week in church he was given a new calling. The bishop was reading a list of names of people with new calllings and announced that "Sister Spencer Shaw has been called to be the assistant scout master and 11 year old's teacher in primary." It was pretty funny and he was teased all day about being called "sister" Shaw. Last week he was able to do a cabinet job for his old boss and he loved it. He said he didn't realize how much he missed it, but he was very sore the next day!
I have been busy with work and kids. I work for an internet company that sells children's jewelry TinyBlessings (our Ellie is on the website modeling some necklaces.) and it's been very busy. About 2 weeks ago, I was there on a Friday night until 8:15pm. I love where I work because they are very flexible about sick kids or school events. I am also the 2nd counselor in our Primary and that's been a fun opportunity for me. It's my month to teach sharing time and I have enjoyed teaching the kids about the blessings of the priesthood. With Spencer being in Primary with me now, I have warned(threatened) him to not make faces or distract me! So far my warnings(threatenings) have worked.

So that's what's happening with us. We're staying busy with everyday life and enjoying the beautiful fall weather here. We did see snow on the mountains last week and can't wait for it to be in our own yard. The kid are very excited for Halloween. Ayden has decided to be a mummy, Ellie a cheerleader, and Tate...we've haven't figured his out yet. Any ideas? Well check back in a few weeks to see what we came up with.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Craft

Aunt Katie gave us a Halloween craft to make with the kids. They had a lot of fun painting and decorating these.
They each got to make a ghost, pumpkin, and frankenstein out of popsicle sticks. Tate did a very good job painting his own sticks and really didn't get too much paint on himself. Ellie's favorite part, even after my hesitation, was the hot glue gun. She kept telling me "I've got this mom.". I still helped her! Ayden's favorite part was hanging them on our tree outside. They each cut out their own pieces for the faces, even Tate. We gave him the extra dull safety scissors and after about 20 minutes he had one eye cut out!
their finished crafts
goofy kids
We put them on our tree, but we forgot to turn off our sprinklers so the bottom ones kind of fell apart! 
Thanks Aunt Katie for giving us the idea for their Halloween craft.