Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well Christmas has come and gone and it seems so weird that its almost the end of the year. I love Christmas. I love decorating. I love the food. I love buying gifts for my family and friends. I love reading the story of our Savior's birth. I love everything about this holiday and so naturally when its over- I'm a little sad.
But this year, like all the years past, was wonderful. It seems like each year Christmas gets to be more and more fun- mostly because our kids get older and older. Although Tanner still didn't quite understand what the big deal was- he was so much fun to buy for.
Tanner got a few little presents, some books,a dvd, clothes and puzzles; but then his big gift from us was a tricycle. He loved it. Although I'm not sure it was his favorite gift of the day. Nanny and Papa got him a remote control race car that moves by chasing a light. The remote is like a laser flash light and when you shine the light on the ground the car chases it. Tanner was pretty much enthralled with that. So props to Nanny and Papa for getting him his favorite gift this year.
Tanner on his new trike- despite the look on his face- he really did like this gift!
Tanner driving his race car
Bailey got mostly clothes, a photo album, a few books, a sit and play/ stand and walk music center and a rolling hippo ball toy. Since she could care less, we are counting it as a very sucessful Christmas. I loved all her gifts and can't wait until she is old enough to enjoy her toys.
Here is the run-down for our Christmas
I left the kids with Chris for a couple of hours on Christmas eve day to do some last minute shopping- this is how I left them. Can this picture be any more precious?

On Christmas Eve we went to my parent's house and had a big family get together. There were a ton of people but it was fun to catch up with some family members that we havent seen in a long time. Then after everyone left except the immediate family, we brought out the gingerbread house. The little boys got their hammers and with a little help- they destroyed their first (of hopefully many) gingerbread house.
Tanner was loving it. He mostly wanted to eat it. Clark didn't quite know what was going on.
Tanner tried to just eat it whole
Then he tried using the hammer
Victorious! See his mouth full of gingerbread house?
Tanner opened his and bailey's Christmas pj's and after their baths they got dressed in their Christmas sleepers.
Love these snuggly kiddos
Tanner loving on his sister.
You can't tell in this picture- but Bailey loves her brother and she loves when he loves on her.

That night I filled the kids stockings. I think picking out the stocking stuffers is my favorite part of Christmas. I love finding just the right gifts to put inside. I think I get that from my Mom. She always did such a great job on our stockings.
Here were the kids stockings. I filled Chris' at like 3 am- so he wouldn't catch me

The next morning we woke up and watched Tanner go through his stocking.
He was so excited. After every little thing he pulled out he would say "Whoa- Gank Goo" - which is how he says "Thank you" So that was pretty much adorable. Then we helped Bailey discover her stocking and she really enjoyed her teether. It vibrated and she thought that was pretty awesome.
Here is Bailey with all her stocking loot
trying to devour her teether
Then we rushed to get everyone ready for church. Our awesome neighbors brought over some yummy cinnamon rolls for us too.
Family pic before Church

Here are my darling kids in their Sunday dress clothes for Christmas
Bailey in her dress
After church we headed back to our house to change clothes and then go to Nanny and Papa's to open presents.
I was so excited to get Bailey dressed. I had peiced together her outfit and I loved how it came together. We did a dry run a couple days before- but I hadn't finished her onesie- so it was a topless dry run- which in my opinion was even cuter. Seriously love the chubby baby bodies!
Pretty darling huh? Here are a couple with her shirt on.
here is a buns shot
Tanner, of course, wore a Christmas shirt too.
Here are both my babies
When we got to my parent's house, the little kids were so tired that we decided to do the toddler Christmas first.
So Clark and Tanner opened all their presents and Bailey's- they played a bit and then we put them down for their naps.
Then we ate lunch and did the adult Christmas. Once again- my husband and family spoiled me rotten. Seriously- way too generous.
Then it was pretty much dinner time so we rushed to finish everything and we ate a DELICIOUS Christmas meal.

After that- our kids were still kinda tired so we decided to head home. We skyped with Chris' family in Oregon for a bit and then enjoyed a nice quiet evening after the kids went down.

It was such a wonderful Christmas. I wasn't real excited when I found out Christmas was on Sunday this year, but I decided I almost liked it more this way. It really helped me refocus on what we were celebrating. I enjoyed all the beautiful music and I'm so grateful for that sweet baby that grew up to redeem me from my sins. The birth of our Savior was such a blessing to this world and I'm grateful that we set aside some time to celebrate that.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. See you all next year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tanner and Bailey's Letters to Santa

I'm so looking forward to the time when my kids can write their own letters, but until then here are their letters to Santa.
Tanner's Letter:

Dear Santa,

This is my third Christmas,
so by now I’m kind of a pro.
So sit down Santa and let me tell you
a few things you ought to know.

A big kid like me wants lots of toys,
but here’s a few I really need.
Some books, puzzles and a race car,
one that can really, really speed.

But I really need my little sister
to hurry up and grow.
If she was bigger we could run and play
and watch some TV shows.

I could show her all my many tricks
and how to keep out of trouble.
We could play outside and ride our bikes
and maybe blow some bubbles.

So if you’ll bring some Christmas magic,
we’ll get this baby growing.
And before we know it she’ll be big enough
to practice her ball throwing.

I know I can count on you St. Nick,
you never let me down.
So hurry over and don’t get lost,
we just moved to a new town.
Love, Tanner Herb age: 2

Bailey's Letter:

Dear Santa,

My big brother tells tales of Christmas eves
and Christmas mornings past.
He says they are days of fun and wonder
and go by way too fast

He says I should write what I want in a letter
and get it in the mail.
Otherwise, come Christmas morning,
I’ll have a reason to cry and yell.

So Santa here is what I want,
pay attention please.
I’m going to make it really clear
and put your mind at ease.

I want to play with my big brother
but make sure he takes care.
For I’m still little and I don’t want
to get squished by the Tanner-bear.

I want Mom and Dad to hold me
and never put me down.
For every time they do,
I feel the need to fuss and frown.

So hurry over to our house,
I’ll leave cookies on a plate.
I hope you’ll bring me what I want,
and make it worth the wait.
Love, Bailey Herb age: 4months

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its Beginning to Look alot like Christmas

Again I know its been awhile...I really don't know where the time goes. We are all alive and doing great. As of today Chris finished his last final- so no more grad school for 4 weeks!!! YAY!!!! Bailey is growing like CRAZY. Seriously she's huge! And Tanner is as happy as ever. He's really becoming a great big brother. Christmas is in full swing around the Herb household. The first day of December we went and got our tree. I made Bailey's stocking and had it embroidered. I've finished my Christmas baking and delivered all 10 plates of cookies. (Don't get me started on what a disaster baking was this year- it was a 3 day event and my poor kids watched so much tv for those 3 days...) My Christmas shopping is mostly done, thanks to amazon prime! And we've really been enjoying the holiday season so far. We even had our first snowfall of the season. Granted- it was only about 1 inch, but it totally counts. We were "elfed" with some cookies at our front door. On Dec. 2nd we went to the annual Christmas parade. It wasn't real cold but it sprinkled for about 3 minutes so we were bundled up. The kiddos all bundled. I love their smiles Here are the kiddos and I. Tanner was way to distracted by the flying candy and wouldn't smile for a picture. Sweet Kitty Bailey Such a good dad. He ended holding her for almost the entire parade. When we got home we decorated our tree and watched the Christmas classics with the kids. Tanner and Bailey love snuggling on the couch. Our tree Uncle Joseph came over and helped me put up our Christmas lights. We had an unusually warm day- it was almost 60 degrees outside, So Bailey got to help. On December 5th we headed over to ASU for the "Jingle on the Green". It was indoors this year (thank goodness because we nearly froze last year) and the kids got to sit on Santa's lap. Bailey was completely indifferent and Tanner loved his beard. He kept caressing it like a creeper the entire time he was on Santa's lap. Here is a pic of Tanner on Santa's lap. (Don't ask me what his arms are doing...) Then here is a picture of both kids. Like I said- Bailey couldn't care less... On December 10th we went to our Ward's Christmas party and Bailey sat on Santa's lap again. Tanner did too, but he was not a fan this time around... Growing up we'd go to my Aunt Ginny's house every year on Christmas Eve. We'd all visit and play and then before everyone left, all the grandkids would pile into her kitchen and we'd all smash this amazing gingerbread house that my Aunt Ginny made from scratch every year. Don't get me wrong- she made it just for us to smash and we looked forward to it sooo much. Well last night my little family made our first annual gingerbread house. Tanner really liked helping me put the frosting on. Then he discovered all the candy and it was over. I lost him after that. But we finally got it finished. We are going to start the tradition with my parent's grandkids. This year on Christmas eve, Tanner and Clark will smash our gingerbread house together and get to eat whatever they want of it. I'm so excited. I know it sounds like a weird tradition but we loved it growing up. So I'm hoping the boys will enjoy it this year and maybe next year Bailey will join in. As you can see, Tanner was super excited about making this gingerbread house Here is Tanner with our oh so amazing Gingerbread house. He's pretty proud of it. Anyways, thats what we've been up to. My sister Laura flies in on Saturday and we are all going to get her from the airport and then we are going to silver dollar city to see the lights. So I will have more pictures soon. Then Sarah and Johnny fly in on Wednesday and its going to be non-stop partying with my little sisters. Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day

We started out the day totally relaxed-watched some TV, ate breakfast, got in some morning snuggles with the kiddos.
Bailey and Dad snuggling on the couch

Then I headed for the kitchen to finish up my contributions to the big thanksgiving meal. I made 4 pies, rolls, deviled eggs and a corn casserole. That took most the morning.
Tanner helping me roll out the dough for the rolls

Then we headed over to my parents for dinner. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Seriously- best turkey I've ever had!
Check out the darling place settings Stephanie made (yes- they are cupcakes)

and our bountiful spread of "num nums"- as Tanner would say.

Then we relaxed and visited. The kids enjoyed themselves playing in the basement, in the ball pit and the cardboard box fort Uncle Joseph made.
Bailey and I in the Basement- watching Tanner and Clark play. (She'd lost her little dress by this point)

Then around 8 pm Chris took the kids home and I left for BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING!!!
Stephanie (Aaron's wife) and Julieta and me drove two hours to Springfield and stayed there shopping until about 9 am. My feet and back were aching so bad. I felt like an old lady. We got home at about 11 am the next morning and I was completely exhausted. Like- I wasn't really functioning...it was bad.
Luckily- now I have slept and life has resumed as normal. Its been a great weekend and I've really enjoyed my little family. Its so nice having Chris home and have him able to play with us instead of doing homework or working on the house.

I have so much to be thankful for this year. Recently, at my parent's request, Chris and I saw the movie "Courageous" It's a little cheesy but has the best message about the importance of strong righteous fathers. (I may or may not have teared up more than once while watching it)Anyways- it made me really appreciate how lucky I am to have such an AMAZING husband. He works so hard for us ALL day, then comes home and does homework at night and then works on the house on the weekends. Isn't he fantastic?
The movie also made me appreciate my sweet babies and the time I have had with them so far. I know I complain about Bailey being a crier and being harder than Tanner- but I really am grateful to have her in our lives and so happy she is part of our family. I am grateful for the 4 months we've had so far with her. LOVE THAT LITTLE GIRL! I'm also grateful for my sweet little two year old. He makes me laugh out loud EVERY day. He's such a happy little boy that brightens the world around him.
So to sum things up-I'm grateful for my family. They make me so happy and I feel blessed to get to be their mother/wife.

I'm also grateful that Chris has a job he loves. I worried our first year here because he couldn't find his niche. But now he loves where he works and what he does and that makes it so much easier for him to go to work in the mornings.

I'm grateful for family. I don't know what I'd do without my parents. They are so supportive and willing to help out whenever we need. I love my siblings and all they do for me. And I'm grateful for my amazing in-laws. Deveney (my mil) has been here 3 times in the last 3 months just to help out. They are all awesome!

Lastly, I'm grateful for the gospel. I'm grateful for the doctrine of eternal families. I'm grateful for the blessings of the temple. I'm grateful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father and the ability to pray to him at any time and for any reason. I'm grateful for the priesthood and its presence in my home. I love the gospel and I love what it does for me and my family.

I hope you all can count your numerous blessings and recognize God's work in your lives. I know I've been blessed beyond measure!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A little bit of this and that...

Sorry for the lack of blog presence...Here's a little of what we've been up to.

Tanner's favorite place in our house is the back porch. I also love it because I can put up the child gate and let him play and play. He will blow bubbles or ride his bike for 30 minutes without stop. Then he checks to make sure I'm still watching him and goes right back to playing. He loves being outside and thankfully we've had a beautiful fall.

Playing in the leaves

While Mimi was here the kids wore the hats she made for the first time. Love love love them!(Bailey didn't love wearing hers)

Helping mom make cookies for our sweet neighbors- who mowed our lawn for us!

Also- this is Tanner's new obsession. He's always been great at smiling for pictures- but now all he wants to do is be the one taking them. Ridiculous right? He goes around the house flashing the camera and yelling "CHEESE"

Second newest obsession- Scissors. Don't worry- he only uses them while in his highchair and I watch him closely (Resume breathing Mother) But he is actually really good at them. While I was making the Pompoms for Bailey's room he sat next to me and cut for 2 hours. He's so intense.

Bailey is growing like crazy. Seriously- you would think we fed her miracle grow. She's huge. Just over the 90th percentile for weight and height. Little chunk! But she is getting to be more and more fun. She's laughing more and smiles when she hears our voices. She really loves her Daddy. Every night when he gets home he gives us hugs then picks up his girl. She just beams at him. I LOVE IT!

She's even doing better at "tummy time"

And she's loving the bumbo

I just love this little face.

Also- love dressing her for winter (Mostly because I love dressing her in boots)

She discovered her mobile about a month ago and now it will calm her for about 10 secs. But she was so enthralled the first time she noticed it
Tanner loves his little sister

We're doing great. Staying really busy (finally got our garage cleaned-thats a huge step- I could actually park in my garage now)But everyone is healthy and happy and hoping to stay that way.