Monday, December 17, 2012

Picture A Little Baby Jesus

Tonight for FHE we talked about the story of Jesus' birth. We had all the little people and animals and other props carefully made for each part of the story. Each piece had a magnet on back so it could be added as it's part was read. The boys drew the scenery on the white board. In the upper left hand corner Harley drew a picture of himself (its in red and a little hard to see in this picture). At first I was going to tell him, no, that he was not part of the nativity. But then I thought wait, yes he was, we all were! So I left it there and when we read the part about, "a multitude of Heavenly hosts..." we told them that they (and we) were there and sang with joy when our Savior was born. Thanks for the reminder Harley!!!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Birdies and Angels

Tonight we went to two Christmas parties: One was an open house that Reed did for his clients, the other was Kason's preschool Christmas program and open house. Both of them were awesome!
First of all we spent last yesterday and this morning turning all of this into 30 pounds of fudge, 60 bags of caramel popcorn and kettle corn, nine dozen cookie, and a batch of family size brownies. All for gifts and refreshments at the Christmas Open House that Reed did at his office for all of his clients.
Here is the fudge. All wrapped up and ready to go home with guests. We have been doing fudge for Reed's clients since he started with Edward Jones. In the past we have experimented with many different flavors, butterscotch, orange cream, white chocolate (just to name a few). With everything to do this year we thought we would keep it simple and did just peanut butter, mint and chocolate (two batches of each). The peanut butter turned out really good this year!
Here is the popcorn. We did caramel using my mom's baked caramel corn recipe that is so so GOOD! And then we made kettle corn with festive red and green sugar. It turned out good, but is way better fresh. There is a reason they cook it on the spot when you get it at fairs and stuff. 

Here are all of the kids in their fancy Christmas clothes. They were very good and friendly to everyone at the open house. I was such a proud Mama!

Then we headed out to Churchland for Kason's Christmas program. He has had so much fun learning Christmas songs and making Christmas decorations. It was awesome to have him share it all with us!
We left Ella with Reed. She had such success charming all of his clients that Reed didn't want to let her go. But Harley and i waited patiently and ate tic tacs until the program started.

Here is a little video of the program. So funny! They were hiding the jingle bells behind their backs until the chorus - Kason couldn't even sing he was so focused on hiding the bells. This was by far his favorite song they sang. It was organized very well and they did some really cute songs! Kason teach told them to sing like, "birdies and angels," and they did!

After we had cookies and punch in the "Fellowship Hall". Kason goes to preschool at Churchland Baptist Church, so of  course the program was in the big old church that they meet in for preschool. I had only ever been in the classrooms before, it was fun to see a little bit more of the building and go into the chapel.
Here is Kason and his buddy Gage. They have such a good time together.  They can play for hours and hardly ever fight.

If he looks tired it's because he is. This is at the end of a long day and a long week filled with lots and lots of Christmas excitement. He generally handles it very well, they both do, but every once in a while there will be and outburst or a tantrum to remind me that little boys can only take so much Christmas cheer before they become overwhelmed. We have Reed's work party tomorrow and Ward Christmas Party on Saturday night, I hope they can hang in there.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fa La-La-La-La

With only 14 more days until Christmas we are just getting started on our holiday festivities. Last week we all went up to DC for a session at the temple. Unless we go up with another family, Reed and I take the kids with us up to DC and just trade off doing a session and staying with the kids. We always get Cafe Rio and usually hang out at the visitors center while we are waiting for the sessions to get over. The grounds were beautifully decorated with lights.

Inside the visitors center they had an impressive display of Christmas trees and  nativity scenes from around the world. The boys took turns trying to spot baby Jesus in each one.

Here we are in front of the temple. I did the 6 o'clock session and Reed did the 8 o'clock. We were there pretty late, but I was glad we ended up going at night o we could see all of the lights. The kids were so excited about all of the lights and decorations and being at the temple that they actually behaved very well, despite the late hour.

Almost as good as temple square in Salt Lake :)

Kason had just learned a little poem or song about the nativity at school so it was fun for him to recognize all of the different parts and people. He especially likes the "special star" part

For family night last week we went to a train show held a little church in Virginia Beach. The Hampton Roads Model Train Engineer club puts up a huge (and very detailed) display of model trains every Christmas.

Of course Harley managed to derail one of the trains within minutes of walking in the door,  but the rest of the visit was relatively uneventful and quite enjoyable.

Harley was very drawn to this bear that was standing at the entrance. It was connected to a microphone that someone sitting behind a table talked into. There was a speaker in the bear so he would moved his mouth and it looked like he was saying whatever the guy behind the table was saying into the microphone. Harley didn't know about the guy behind the table and thought the bear was actually having a conversation with him. As you can see in the picture he was both fascinated and terrified.

Harley would have nothing to do with Santa Clause, even when he found out that Santa had candy canes, which is unusual for Harley since he can usually be motivated to do anything for candy. Ella wasn't going to sit on this guys lap either.

But Kason was brave and told Santa that he wanted a helicopter for Christmas. Although, as he told us later, Santa did make him a little nervous.

Tonight for family night we went to Kelly's nursery and picked out a beautiful Christmas tree. The people there were very nice and since they were all sold out of their smaller less expensive trees they gave us 10 dollars off any tree we picked!

Here is the winner! It is so hard to get a good picture of all of us. Grampy is out of town and since we were in her neck of the woods, we met Grammy at the nursery and she joined us for family night. 

All wrapped up and strapped to the car.

Then we got it inside and started the much anticipated chore of decorating.

It was magical!

All of the kids really got into it for the first little while and we had a lot of fun listening to Christmas music and making the tree beautiful.

Here is the finished product. They candy canes went on last and were definitely the Piste Resistance.  I have a feeling they will be the source of a lot of conflict over the next couple of weeks as Harley lives for candy. But we will see. 'Tis the season to be jolly!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Halloween (A Little Late...)

...but still very relevant at our house. The boys LOVE Halloween. Even now that we have started really getting into Christmas their favorite Christmas song is called "Monster's Holiday"to the tune of "Monster Mash." Anyway, we celebrated it very well.

Kason was a Mummy

Harley was a garbage man
(same as Kason two years ago)

And our little pumpkin was a little pumpkin

The kids got their first candy from Grammy after a yummy chili dinner at her house

That's Ella's, "I think I'm so clever for getting away with this," face as she retrieves the handful of candy that she just got from out of her pumpkin. Her favorite candy was of by far the lollipop.

All ready for some Halloween fun.

Then we headed over to do some serious trick-or-treating in a friend's neighborhood. Here is Kason  with his buddy Gage.

We ended up getting quite a group together. The kids were nonstop running from house to house for about 2 hours straight. We all had a really good time.

Ella got our and did a couple of houses (the ones with the really good candy), but mostly enjoyed the night from the safety of her stroller. She really liked the candy part, but wasn't too sure about all the spooky costumes and decor.

Harley, although not able to run as fast as the bigger kids, was a very motivated trick-or-treater. Unlike his brother who can give or take sweets most of the time, this kid lives for candy! Anyway, he stuck with it until the last half hour or so and then took over the stroller when Reed took a very tired little pumpkin back to the car to sleep.

We love Halloween! It was really fun seeing the boys get so into it this year and trick or treating with friends made it all so much more exciting. We are still working on our huge bowl of candy, which Harley still asks for first thing every morning, but after putting our decorations up today Christmas is now in full swing at the Sloat household! And will be over before we know it. So, check back in another month or so for an update on that Holiday ;)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oh Sandy!

We haven't been hit as hard as expected by Hurricane Sandy (or Frankenstorm as it has been referred to), but it has made life a little more exciting none the less. We went to fill up the car on Saturday and our usual 7-11 was out of gas. The stores were selling out of things like milk and batteries. Reed said that one check-out worker commented to him that if this hurricane doesn't end up hitting us very hard, people will have all the batteries they need for Christmas. Well, it looks like Suffolk is going to be set.
Here is the gang all ready to set off. Today, before lunch we headed out into the rain to see how much the water has come up since it started raining Saturday afternoon (and to get out some pent up energy)
It was puddle heaven out there.

The boys enjoyed taking turns splashing around...

...all the boys

Here is Kason with his flashlight that he insisted on having (even though it's the middle of the day) in case the hurricane makes it dark. Might as well be prepared right?

And Ella was pretty much thinking, "Why in the world are we out here guys!?" But she endured it like a champ.

Down at the boat dock we found the Grand Daddy of all puddles!

The boys out is knee deep water where there is usually just gravel. On a normal day the water is clear back where that boat is, just a shallow river that runs up not far past the dock.

This kid had the time of his life until he tripped in water that was above his knees and went under. After that he still had fun, but wasn't quite as trusting of the puddle, probably for the best.

Ella even got a little adventurous and let her daddy push a little way into the puddle.
The water was really cold, but it was fun to play in for a little while. We were only able to lure the boys away with promises of hot chocolate when we got home.

This is the James River bridge, just a few miles from our house. Almost completely under water. Yikes!

Sandy is expected to make landfall north northeast of us sometime early tomorrow it looks like Delaware, New Jersey and New York are going to get the worst of it we are just getting 30 mph winds and rain lots and lots of rain. It is expected to clear up by Wednesday, so we may have a soggy Halloween, but at least the skies will be clear.