Monday, December 20, 2010

Washington's Trees

Day #19- We took a drive around D.C. last night to see the Capital and White House Christmas Tree!

Great Wolf Lodge

Day #18: Fun at the Great Wolf Lodge!

Granny Came

Day #17: Granny arrived safely and we headed for Williamsburg and the Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate Nash's birthday. The 112 miles turned into more than four hours of travel because of the joyous holiday traffic on the East coast. The kids were still able to catch the show, the inside snow, and story time with Rowdy the Reindeer. Nash ate his birthday cake about 10PM and then opened his presents.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Color A Nativity

Day #16-We had our first snowfall of the winter. Only a couple of inches, but perfect for slicking up our hill for the boys to get some major speed sledding. They love crashing into the pool fence which made me so nervous that I finally just went inside. Couldn't watch any longer. They both survived and they sure savored their hot chocolate when the fun was done.

I found this cute NATIVITY PRINTABLE and the boys worked on it most of the afternoon. They had fun playing with it, although their play was a tad irreverent, like when a 747 crashed into the angel and killed her along with her pet donkey.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snowflakes and Birthdays

Day #15- 30 years and one day after Scott entered the world, came his second son. Spunky little Nash Joseph turned 4 years old today. However, he isn't actually aware of that fact. We are waiting until Friday, when Granny comes into town, to celebrate the blessed event. There is something about Nash's boyish naughtiness that makes him absolutely irresistible. He is funny and squeezable and we feel so thankful to have him in our home.
Today he told me, "Mom I might be crazy but Harley is completely out of control!" Then when I was complaining about the mountain of laundry I had to tackle he said, "It's your fault mom, you make us wear clothes."
Also this afternoon I came around the corner and saw him standing on the counter top with one of my snowmen Christmas decorations. His pudgy arm was wrapped around his snowman friend and they were having an intense conversation about what sounded like the local weather forecast.
And since it is his birthday here's another story. About a month ago he crawled into bed with me. He turned my head so that we were nose to nose and he tickled my face for a few minutes until he fell asleep again. He left his little hand resting on my cheek. I was in heaven. I kept so still hoping it would last for awhile. Well, it didn't. He woke up and was apparently freaked out that someone was so close to his face. He took that little hand that was so gently resting on my face and smacked me as hard as he could with it. He's adorable, if I do say so myself. We love you Nacho!

For our December to Remember activity I decided that we would make snowflakes. I had this idea of creating a snowflake curtain for my kitchen window. I could see the boys and I gathered around the kitchen table happily cutting snowflakes and chatting about the day's events, while Harley sat merrily in her highchair. The boys made ONE snowflake and I spent most of the night making the 28 more that I needed for my Snowflake Curtain. By the way I sewed the flakes together after I cut them out. A bit of a nightmare, but I do like the way it turned out. Unfortunately, the boys probably won't remember our special time gathered around the kitchen table, since it lasted for all of 5 minutes. They will probably remember that they ate chips for dinner while mom sat in a pile of little tiny scraps of white paper with the rest of the house falling to pieces around her. Despite the mess I am going to bed anyway. Although I admit to a totally irrational fear that I might kill over sometime in the night and people will see my house in this state of disastrous chaos. I worry that it will be the only thing they can think about after I am dead. "That poor Melisa sure had a dirty house!" So, I want you to know, this mess was for the sake of the snowflake! Give a girl a break.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Daddy's Birthday

Day #14- Scott is getting a little sensitive about his age so I won't say anything about him turning 34. The truth is, we love him even though he practically has one foot in the grave.
To celebrate we transformed our dining room into a 5 star restaurant. We called it CHEZ MOMMY! The boys were supposed to be waiters. What can I say,they were pretty lousy. We ate a four course meal prepared by "moi" and then Scott opened presents. Of course, he had to wear the official Butler-Family-Birthday-Hat throughout the process.
Nash gave him some chocolate covered popcorn-because chocolate is Nash's favorite thing and popcorn is daddy's. Atley gave him an ashtray that he made in art class, but since "you don't smoke dad, you can just put your wedding ring in it." The boys also made lots of signs and pictures to decorate the walls. Nash drew one portrait and then he made me add the following caption, "Happy Birthday! To Dad Butler."

In other news, Harley is turning into quite the mischief maker. She is already trying to peek at her Christmas presents. Get a load of where I caught her this evening. BUSTED!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Joy to the World

Day #13 happened on a Monday night, which is designated as Family Home Evening in our church. This is a special time to be together as a family have fun and learn more about the gospel. First, we watched the Joy to the World DVD, a Christmas movie produced by the LDS church to commemorate the season. We have watched this movie every year since it's production. It is a beautifully simple film that our children can enjoy as much as we do.

Thanks to a brilliant idea my mom told me about, the boys and Scott built this snowman game out of a box. Then we saw how many marshmallows we could get inside of the snowman's mouth. We kept Harley safe from the crossfire by putting her in the laundry basket.

When we finally freed her from the laundry basket the most memorable part of the evening happened-Harley's first crawl! She didn't mess around with the army crawl nonsense. She went straight to all fours. Of course she was definitely motivated by her desire to chase the vacuum and find any stray marshmallows.
Finally, cookies and milk before bed. I made my favorite ROLO Cookies. Here is the recipe. They are especially heavenly if eaten in large portions.
2 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Margarine
2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
30 Rolos
2 Tablespoons Sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients except the rolos and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Form dough balls around one rolo and then roll in sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

The Christmas Angel

I wrote this in memory of our sweet niece who turns 11 today but is celebrating her birthday in heaven.

The Christmas Angel

Our story begins with the Holiday birth,
Of a Christmas Angel here on this earth.
In a tiny body with eyes bright and blue,
Shone the spirit of one, most valiant and true.
With Holly and angels all gathered 'round,
A life began, a new love was found.
Her soul was so strong. This child was different.
And all who beheld sensed her spirit was brilliant.
Her journey was short, though she taught all she met
about patience and faith, things we cannot forget.
Then just one month after her passing,
came another baby girl, with hope everlasting.
I like to believe they met somewhere above.
And the Christmas angel taught what she knew about love.
I imagine them there, each without worldly pain.
And the Angel was cheering her on as she came.
They were sisters in heaven and cousins below,
Now she’s an angel companion to help the girl grow.
She was the most cherished gift we ever were given.
Yet we understand the joy she must now know in heaven.
So, we will be reminded with the smile of each twinkling light,
Or the eastern star shining so very bright,
That the one we love is never far.
Just as sure as that glowing new star,
We love, miss, and hold her dear.
But never doubt that the Angel is near.

In loving memory of Alexis Holly Butler.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gingerbread Man

Day #12- Are you getting tired of the gingerbread stuff, because I am but, Nash's very favorite book is The Gingerbread Man. He says it has the perfect balance of drama, humor, and poetic justice. Well, he doesn't actually say that, but he really loves the book. And when we made gingerbread cookies a while back he didn't want to eat them because they were too CUTE!! So, last night I sewed them some felt Gingerbread Men. They decorated them with buttons, ribbon, and more felt. The best part according to Nash, "I don't even have to eat him!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gingerbread Nativity

Day #11: Gingerbread Nativity Party!!!

National Harbor

Day #10-Today we went to Christmas on the Potomac at National Harbor. It's a really fun place to eat and shop. The kids particularly love the PEEPS store. For the holidays there are lots of fun crafts and activities for the kids. Also, Gaylord National Hotel is located at National Harbor. The hotel hosts a huge water fountain show choreographed to music and lights, plus a toy train ride, indoor ice rink, and much more. The boys had a great time watching the fountain but they got soaking wet. Therefore, we had to watch the Christmas Fireworks from the car. They stuck their heads out of the sunroof and still had a great time.