Russ, Shalae, & Kids

Monday, January 9, 2017

December 2016

This might be my last blog post... as of 2017, I will be uploading our family's pictures to a chatbooks account and printing them as our picture journal. But here is a look back at what December 2016 was like for us...

Our Elf (Simon) showed up on December 1st and brought each of the kids a chocolate advent calendar. (Abby ate most of hers by day 3.)

Cute napping buddies

Noah got to go to a Suns game with his friend Nathan Graff. He had so much fun!

Abby got to go ice skating with mom and dad and all the youth for a mutual activity. She loved skating with dad, especially after he found her a little contraption to hold on to...

Sophie and Abby went to the little breakfast with Santa party that our ward put on. Sophie got a picture with Santa but Abby didn't dare go near him!

(She was happy to sit in his seat after he left though!)

We hosted the Sherwood family Christmas party at our house this year. We had fun eating dinner together, playing Christmas games, sitting by the fire, and teaching the kids "slap leather"!

I love that I was able to capture this picture of Abby playing with our nativity sets.

This was my first batch of peppermint cookies. Over the span of a couple weeks, I made 14 batches of these cookies. Each batch made about 36 cookies, meaning I produced about 500 cookies. They are so yummy!

Each of the kids wrote a letter to Santa this year, and Abby was the one designated to turn them in to the north pole mail drop!

We had a few different combined mutual activities during the month of December - ice skating, and also caroling. Russ pulled the youth on a trailer as they sat on hay bales and caroled throughout our ward boundaries. At the end they stopped at our house to drink hot chocolate and hang out around the fire.

Suzanne had a cute little pajama party for the kids one night... look how cute they all are in their matching pajamas!

Noah went on a campout with all these boys... it was on a wet and windy weekend. I was so nervous about him being miserably cold, but of course he was fine! He also hiked Picacho Peak on the campout.

Noah's second time doing baptisms for the dead, his first time with his deacons quorum!

Russ took Abby out for a ride in the desert all by herself one day. She loved it, but came home crashed for several hours...

... conked out after riding with dad in the desert! We had to wake her up after several hours so she could go to her dance recital.

Look at my pretty girl! All dolled up for her recital.

Her class danced to "Christmas Cookies" by George Strait and she was so cute up on stage. She's on the far right.

(with her BFF, Kozie)

We also got back her pictures that were taken in November:

Every year I take an updated picture of Noah that he can give his grandparents for their wall. The lighting in this picture is horrible but Noah looks handsome anyway!

 This screenshot (below) was one of the highlights of my year... at the beginning of the year, I set a goal to get in shape. I had a goal to lose 10 pounds to get back to my normal self, but I also wrote down a pretty lofty goal that I really didn't believe I would accomplish, and that was to lose 15 pounds. My love for chocolate ganache cookies (from Fiiz) at the end of 2015 had got out of hand and I put on some weight and just didn't feel healthy. I committed myself to do Kayla Itsine's work out program. I knew I couldn't do that AND dieting right from the get go, but eventually I started dieting as well. I was never totally successful at dieting until I started counting macros (using My Fitness Pal) in August. By doing that, I was able to lose weight and keep it off, without feeling like I was depriving myself of much. I hit my 10 pound goal mark and was able to lose even a few more pounds. Every week I would get REALLY close to my "ultimate goal" but then I'd treat myself on the weekend or go out on dates and then my losing streak would stop. On my birthday I totally splurged, then it was Thanksgiving and I splurged again, then it was December and I basically splurged the whole month. However, I never missed a work out and was much more conscious of what I ate in years past. It was just a few days before Christmas when I weighed myself and was UNDER my ultimate goal weight! I took a picture of the scale and sent it to Russ. I was shocked and so happy! It wasn't even the number that made me happy, it was the fact that I actually accomplished my goal which had felt impossible so many times before that day. I will toot my own horn and say that I worked really hard and deserved that moment. I feel so much better having that extra weight off. I don't think I look much different but I definitely feel better and my clothes fit much better. The screenshot below is what appeared when I logged my weight that day that I came in under my goal.

Abby and I visited Grandma Riggs' grave on her birthday and took some poinsettias.

We got to babysit Clark and Ivy one day and had the best time. They are the cutest babies and at such a fun age right now!

Noah got his cast off a few days before Christmas. He had broken his arm earlier in the month while playing basketball on the playground during school. The doctors weren't very impressed with the way it was healing after the cast came off and he got an x ray so we are hoping that the next x ray shows better improvement. He is so anxious to get back on the basketball court with his good arm working the way it should.

The week of Christmas, we had a little party on mutual night with the Miamaids. I had lots of fun making the invite, planning some games,  and decorating for it...

These 3 girls are only half of our class but we had lots of fun with them! They are such sweet, cute, and entertaining girls!

(Kennedy, Stephanie, and Whitney)

I always have to document how I decorate for Christmas so I can remember what to do or what not to do for the next year. So here are the different parts of our house, all decked for my favorite holiday:

Christmas Eve was Simon's last day with us. He brought a disposable camera with him and in a cute little note, told the kids they should use it to capture fun memories on Christmas Day!

We delivered some peppermint cookies to Grandma Sherwood (she LOVES them!) on Christmas Eve then went to Red Robin with the Baldwins.

Noah holding Hudson, who is wearing the Santa pajamas that Noah wore as a baby!

Before bedtime on Christmas Eve - we all had matching PJs!

 This is out of order, but these are the best of the pictures taken on Christmas Day with the disposable camera. Abby and Sophie took most of these and had a great time with the camera!

Christmas morning! Santa brought Abby some Peppa Pig toys, 

he brought Sophie a polaroid camera and film, 

and Noah got a drone!

These are all such happy Christmas morning pictures...

Grandma Price came over and opened presents with us. Shes holding a cute calendar that Christy made for her in this picture.

Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, so the kids all opened up matching church clothes the night before. We went to an hour of church and it was so nice to spend part of our day thinking about our Savior and singing hymns about Him.

Abby was pretty excited to get back to her toys after church!

We spent the afternoon with the Sherwood family, having lunch and doing a few gift exchanges. It was sad to not have Grandma and Poppy there, but they were on facetime with us for a few hours though!

We went to Grandpa Price's house that evening and enjoyed some time with part of the Price family. We came home and got back to playing with new toys!

The day after Christmas, we took some side by sides out to the desert and went riding. It was a pretty cold day but we were bundled up in warm clothes and rode with blankets covering us. It was a lot of fun for the kids to have some cousins come with us! Suzanne, Tyler, Scott, Ellie, and Lucy came.

Abby got to go with Alisse and her kids to the museum and by the looks of these pictures, she had so much fun being with her BFF cousin Davis.

Abby always gets the job of leading the music at Family Home Evening... she loved singing "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger" all month long.

This girl is such a crack up. As I took this picture, she was telling me about how she's too big to be sitting in a high chair anymore. So I asked her if we should put it away for the babies and she said no.

We had a fun time spending New Years Eve with just our own little family. We ate dinner at In & Out, then went to see the temple lights on the last night they were on. After that, we went to see "SING" at the theaters and ended the night watching the countdown on tv.

At midnight, we went outside to blow our horns and see our neighbors' firecrackers, and the Manutais were also outside blowing horns and banging pots and pans. So of course I had to capture a cute picture of Abby and her little bff, Kozie. 

That wraps up our 2016!