Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Nash's Baptism

As prepared as we thought we were when we packed the car and set out to leave for Nash's baptism, we still had drama.  Things were going remarkably smoothly considering one child and one mother had strep throat and another child had a double-ear infection. The baptism boy was well, so we just had to survive the day and I really believed I was prepared for anything and that I had thought of everything. After, the electricity went out for Atley's baptism, I felt certain I could handle whatever happened.  Oh, how the mighty fall!  Granny, Grandma Butler, Atley, Nash, Harley and I went to the church at 7:30 AM to fill the font, set up the chairs and the refreshment tables, get the slide show ready, practice songs and talks and take pictures for the big event.  Dad and Grandpa Butler had to get themselves ready and pick up the pre-ordered donuts and hot chocolate and be there no later than 9:15 AM.  We got the chairs set up. Atley practiced his song and Harley practiced her talk to perfection.  The font was filling on schedule.  We decided to set up a different room for the donut and hot chocolate bar.  Somewhere in the midst of all the chairs and font filling I lost my phone.  As we were setting everything up I realized I had forgotten the whipped cream.  I frantically searched for my phone to call Scott and have him bring some. I couldn't find it, so I had to use my mom's phone. I discovered an exasperated voice on the other line. Scott had been trying to call me for over an hour. He was no longer at home and the donut order wasn't anywhere near ready. We also discovered in our conversation that neither of us remembered to bring an extra white shirt. There was no time for him to go home again before the baptism.  He would just have to put a wet shirt on under his suit jacket and there would be no whipped cream.  Now if the Dunkin Donut guy would hurry up, he might just make it on time.  In all the confusion, I realized I hadn't turned off the font. I raced down the hall to shut off the water. It was about a centimeter from flooding.  The moment Scott and Nash got in, it would surely be overflowing all over the church floor.  What to do?  The only way to unplug it would be to get in the water.  We sent Nash in naked.  Unplugging it was no problem.  It was at a reasonable depth in a couple of minutes and so we told Nash to dive down and plug it back in.  He dived down but could not get it plugged back in.  He tried again and again, but his bootie kept bobbing back up.  Guests were arriving and witnessing three women gathered around the font directing a naked boy with words like, "Reach, Stretch, Your not trying hard enough." I am fairly certain some ran away in horror.  We even sent him into the font with a broom, but try as he may,  he could not get the plug back in place.  The font was draining fast. I had to turn on the water to try to offset the water we were losing.  Everyone was there and all they could hear was water draining and water running. The microphone wasn't working properly and I couldn't get the TV to work for the slide show that I had spent hours putting together. Still there was no Scott or Grandpa Butler and everyone had already been waiting for ten minutes and the water was draining fast.  Finally, Scott  arrived and a friend had offered to run home and get another white shirt-one small crisis averted.  We started the program with the soundtrack of a very loud babbling brook as mood music behind my talk on Baptism.  Of course, at this point the water pouring into the font was ice cold because the hot water had been exhausted at least an hour earlier. Additionally, the water pressure couldn't keep up with the rapidity of the drain.  Half-way through my talk I saw Scott get up and leave.  A small moment of panic for me-but he quickly returned soaking wet up to his knees and miraculously the sound of draining and running water stopped.  Luckily, he decided he better wade in before there was no water left. Nash was baptized in 2 feet of water, but he was baptized none the less. When he came out of the water he rightfully exclaimed, "WHOA! That was cold!"  Atley's solo was amazing and Harley's talk was fantastic. The microphone miraculously worked for both of them. I completely lost my voice about 20 minutes after the baptism and it didn't return for 3 days, another tender mercy. The slide-show was a big bust but the boys dressed quickly, so I am the only one who was disappointed.  Despite the stress and drama, the spirit was felt by all who attended, even those friends who are not of our faith.  It was a memorable day for all of us and one not to be forgotten by Nash anytime soon.  The hot chocolate and donut bar was a big hit. Thanks to the mother of Nash's best friend I even got one picture of him in his Baptismal whites!  Also thank you to another friend who grabbed my camera and took pictures of all the festivities, when I was too rattled to remember.  Thank goodness for great friends and the power of prayer.

Nash's 8th Birthday

Nash celebrated his 8th birthday a couple of weeks ago.  The highlight of turning 8 was of course his baptism, more on that later. We also took him to a Baltimore Ravens football game.  He is their #1 fan!  It is almost ridiculous how deep his obsession goes. He literally makes himself sick with worry when he watches a Raven's games.  He loses his appetite and goes completely berserk if they lose.
Here he is meeting his favorite player Dennis Pitta a few weeks before his birthday.  
  Seeing the game in person was almost more excitement than he could handle. He was a nervous wreck. Thankfully, they won and he was instantly the happiest boy on earth. He could not stop talking about it for days.  We got to the game early enough for him to be able to get close to the field and see the players up close. He was stunned, as we all were, at how enormous they were in person.

When we got home from the game we ate birthday cake. Unfortunately, I failed to buy candles so, just to clarify, Nash is not turning 33!
He had his favorite, P.F. Chang's, for his birthday dinner and contrary to the look on his face in the picture above, he loved it.  
Happy Birthday Big Guy! We love you lots.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

It has been a busy and wonderful month! Here is a glimpse of some of our Christmas festivities, starting with Christmas Day and working backwards.
The kids didn't really specify what they wanted this year, which made Christmas morning a big surprise and for the most part a happy surprise.  Nash loved "The World's Biggest Gummy Worm."   Atley's favorite was the globe he got from Granny and Harley loved her robot dog, apparently, the real one wasn't enough.
Santa brought Harley a bigger bike. She had no trouble getting used to it. Now she can go even faster!
We ate Christmas Eve dinner at our favorite restaurant and it was awesome not cooking!
Per tradition the kids opened one present from us, which, as always, was pajamas, but they also received new sleeping bags.  They starred in the Ward Christmas Nativity and made a last minute request to Santa.  Ispy came faithfully each night.  His Gingerbread House is one of my favorites.
This year, the day before Christmas Eve, I gave each kid money to buy gifts for their siblings.  They were so excited. They loved the shopping and finally understood, just a little, how much fun it is to give. They opened their sibling gifts  Christmas Eve morning and were elated with what was chosen for them.
No Christmas season is complete without the building of the Gingerbread Messes, I mean the Gingerbread Houses.  I am not a huge fan of this tradition, but the kids seem to like it despite the frustration and the fact that Gingerbread is nasty.
Grandpa & Grandma Butler & Granny were here for a few days before Christmas. We had a great time at National Harbor at ICE and the National Botanical Gardens.
The boys had a holiday piano recital. Atley played Joy to the World.  Nash played Torches Here Jeanette Isabella. Their hard work paid off and we were super proud of their performance.
We are so grateful for the birth of our Savior, His life of example and especially for His atoning sacrifice for us. We feel truly blessed to feel our Savior's love and the love we have for one another!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Teacher Gift Ideas #2

I saw this wonderful idea HERE, to make Christmas Potpourri. It smells wonderful and is something easy enough for LITTLE kids to help with. I had to make seven for Harley's preschool teachers. It only took us about 10 minutes and it was a big hit. Click the link above for a list of ingredients!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Puppy for Christmas

The kids' Christmas gift from Granny came a little early this year and with a lot of fur attached.  The Butler's have added another animal to the zoo, a Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles/Bichon Frise Mix). They named her Splat, which I really hope isn't a foreshadowing of her demise. I am exhausted  and feel like I have a newborn again but I already love her fuzzy little self, poop, puppy puke and all!

They all love Splaters, but Harley probably loves her best. Harley lays on the floor and just lets the puppy lick her and wrestle her.  It is the sweetest thing in the whole wide world and I am fairly certain every little girl needs/deserves a puppy of her own. Next year a pony for sure!

Here we are at the vet, ALREADY!  The cat and her got into quite a rumble and Lucy Cat scratched Splatypuss'  eye terribly.  So, now we are giving eye drops to an animal and probably going without food for a week. No worries Splatimir Putin you are totally worth it, for now!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Teacher Gift Ideas #1

My very most favorite store in the whole wide world is a jewelry store called Charming Charlie.  As I have probably mentioned before it is like Claire's for grown women.  That is where I went shopping for the boy's teachers' gifts this year. Their teachers are all young and super stylish. So, we went with some trendy necklaces with a little tag that said, "YOU ARE A GEM!" Yes, the teacher's name has been snowflaked to protect the innocent!

Cookie Exchange Time

I have two cookie-exchange parties this week. I know, I am so totally popular!! Actually, it is because everyone knows the chubby girl can bake a mean cookie. Can you say HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN?  Who cares right? That is what New Year's Resolutions are for.  I am taking OREO TRUFFLES. They are easy and oh, so very yummy! Although, I am not sure if a truffle is a cookie or a candy.
(Don't Judge the Truffle by its cover! I'm not a very skillful dipper)

Oreo Truffles
1-15oz. Bag of Oreos
1-Block of Cream Cheese
Chocolate for Melting
 (White or Milk Chocolate works)

Crumble Oreo's in mixer or food processor. Reserve a small amount of crumbs for later.  Add cream cheese and mix well. Form balls with Oreo Mixture and place in freezer for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt chocolate.  Remove truffles from freezer and dip in chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with crumbs before chocolate hardens.  Keep refrigerated.  Makes about three dozen truffles.


Not really sure how it happened because I am fairly certain that just a few days ago I was bringing this dark-headed baby boy home and stuffing him into a Christmas stocking to get the cutest picture ever; and now he is almost 8 and getting baptized next Saturday.  We are so excited for him! 

Ispy the Elf-Help Thou Mine Unbelief

Yes, you have all met him in Christmas' past and he arrived again this year by mail, soon after Thanksgiving, bringing with him a Playmobile Advent Calendar. Ispy has been up to his usual elf antics which generally include references to poop and other potty-talk trickery. Pooping Hershey Kisses always make my irreverent children giggle. One night he even sneaked into the boy's room and painted their toe nails while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads. Unfortunately, we have approached a year where there is only one-true believer left in our household.  This really backfires on me when I threaten the boys with, "Be nice and remember Santa is watching." So, Ispy and I have worked really hard to get those unbelievers to doubt their doubt and be ever fearful that they are being WATCHED!  
First, with the magic of modern technology, Ispy managed to capture an image of the Jolly Old Elf himself creeping back up our chimney one night after checking in on the kiddos. 
Needless, to say they were a little freaked out. 
Second, Ispy left them each a little book full of pictures of themselves throughout the year as a reminder that he has been WATCHING all year long!  
They were even more freaked out.

 These books are actually a printed compilation of my Instagram pictures that I had made into three adorable books HERE!  (3 for $10)
That good little elf even left us a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas! 
(I think I saw him buying this flannel Nativity at Michael's for $6.99)

Anyway, we love our elf and I will keep you abreast of anything exciting he may come up with during the days leading up to Christmas.