Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas!

We opened our Christmas pajamas on Saturday evening. (Thanks, grandma!) Sunday morning we enjoyed a breakfast of fruit, cinnamon rolls and orange rolls. We enjoyed church and came home to some lunch. We didn't start opening gifts until around 1 pm (after putting jammies back on, of course) and enjoyed a relaxed time together, including a fun visit to the neighbors. Here is a highlight for each of the children:

Abby - She has wanted a unicorn pillow pet ever since the week after Christmas last year. Her reaction to seeing it was priceless. Abby loves anything cozy and this certainly fits the bill!
Briton - Briton asked for a variety of things but one of the first things he asked for was a backpack. He loves Thomas the Train so Santa brought him a Thomas backpack. I was a bit concerned that he might wonder where all the other things he'd asked for were, but he was (and still is) thrilled with the backpack. He has loaded and unloaded it countless times!
Hannah - Our cute little one still doesn't get the present idea, but she was pleased as punch to walk around and figure out what the rest of us were up to. She received some clothes, a doll cradle and doll, some winter accessories and more.
Of course, with all the presents, toys and stuff the kids got, here is what has received the most attention over the last couple days:
The missionaries helped them cut doors into the boxes and they have loaded them up with blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, toys, etc. It has been really cute to watch. Last night the kids asked to sleep in their "cozy places". I was skeptical about how much sleeping would actually take place, but they surprised me...and even slept in a bit. (Mike suggested that next year we hang out at the entrance of Walmart and ask people with big boxes if we can give them $5 for the boxes instead of all the other gifts.)
(PS These are from the new beds the kids received.)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Pre-Christmas

I have not blogged for a while. Before I make a Christmas post, here are some of our other December comings and goings. More than comings and goings we've had "stayings". December has been a relatively low key month for us and we have (intentionally) kept it pretty calm.

The pictures are in reverse chronological order...

Abby had her preschool Christmas program and we were happy to all be able to attend.
We celebrated Mike's birthday.
One of our favorite December traditions is the Peacock Road Tree Farm. I have posted about this the past 2 years. We enjoy taking the train to the North Pole to visit Santa in his cottage and roast marshmallows and drink hot cocoa. This year we ran into some friends while we were there and enjoyed visiting with them. We also took the horse wagon to see Santa because the train was full. It was a fun change.
Briton is involved with Michigan's Early On program for his speech services. We have loved all the support they've provided to him and to us. (We're sad that when he turns 3 in February he'll transition out of Early On.) Last year, we missed the Early On Christmas party because of our new baby so we were excited to attend this year as a family. The girls got sick so it just ended up being Mike and Briton that attended. Mike raved about the party for days afterward! They had such a good time and the organizers were nice enough to send goodie bags (complete with cookies and decorating supplies) home for Abby and Hannah. We have some great videos of Briton playing the games - throwing puff balls at blow up reindeer to knock them down. He was, ahem, a bit over-anxious to hit the reindeer. Maybe I'll get some of the videos uploaded:)

November 30th was the first real snow storm out here. It was a doozy. We got 8-10 inches of snow and the schools were closed for a day:) So much fun! Lots of playing, sledding, shoveling...
And, here are the kids in the tub with mountains of bubbles.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy birthday, Hannah!

Today we celebrated Hannah's 1st birthday. The real birthday is Sunday, but with Brian and Amy in town for Thanksgiving we wanted to make sure to include them in the festivities.

This afternoon we visited the local Christmas tree farm and picked out a beautiful tree. The weather was beautiful! (Incidentally, last year's trip to the tree farm was the day before Hannah was born and was very cold.)
Here we are with the winning tree:

She did not fully grasp the present opening...
...but the cake eating was quite the hit.
We loved that the minute we put the cake on her tray, she pulled the candle out, paid no attention to it and went for the frosting. We blew it out when she went for the "pinch it out" technique.
Hannah is the most patient baby in the world. She is adorable. She loves to be involved with her brother and sister. We think she is great!
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Here are my children. They are not all looking at the camera, but I can't really blame them because this picture was the one thing that was holding them from trick-or-treating:)
Here we are post trick-or-treating where it wasn't as hard to get them to focus on the camera. They looked adorable.
The octopus costume has been worn by all three of the kiddos.


11-months means wiggly and hard to get a picture. It also means adorable, happy, active and loving. My favorite things about Hannah right now are:

  • that she will eat anything
  • that she gives big open mouthed kisses
  • that she adores her brother and sister
  • that she is sleeping well
  • that she decided to take a binky (hence, the previous entry)
We sure love Hannah!


Abby turned 5-years-old. 5 is a milestone. Abby thinks so, too. (It was cute when the morning after her birthday she brought me one of her favorite outfits and told me we had better save it for Hannah because now that she is 5 it doesn't fit.) Abby is a delight in our family. She is creative, independent, happy and bright. We love her very much. Her personality and spirit are such important and needed parts of our family.

Abby, Briton, Hannah and I celebrated the morning of her birthday with a trip to Impressions 5, the local children's museum and McDonald's. That afternoon we had a fun birthday party. 10 of her friends came and I think that the kids had a nice time. She opened her family presents the day after her birthday due to some crazy schedules so it was fun to extend the festivities.

I think that my favorite part of the birthday celebrations was being the mom helper in Abby's preschool the day before her birthday. We celebrated in her class that day. October has been a busy month for our family and I feel that we've been jumping/racing from one thing to the next. It was so nice to not have any "lists" to think about for a couple hours and just focus on Abby. Her teacher asked her if she wanted mom to be the snack helper for the class or if she'd prefer that I just play with her. I was pleased (and slightly surprised coming from my uber-independent girl) that she said that she thought it would be best if I just played with her. It was a great day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grandma Mary

Last Friday, Mike's grandma passed away. We knew it was coming. She was a loving and energetic grandmother and we will miss our visits with her. She had a strong testimony of the gospel. I remember seeing her in the Salt Lake Temple a few times while she and Grandpa Frank were working there. I am glad that we were able to spend some time with her on each of our visits to Utah this year.

Mary's obituary

Friday evening (yes, pretty last minute) Mike jumped on a plane to travel to Salt Lake. He took Hannah with him. I know that surprised a few people but being that she still flies for free Mike knew that people would enjoy seeing her and he looked forward to the one-on-one time with Hannah.

Mike was able to spend time with his parents, siblings, Robinson aunts and uncles and all but one cousin (as well as other friends and family members). He stayed at my grandma Nielsen's house a few nights and they enjoyed time together.

Abby, Briton and I missed dad and Hannah but also enjoyed doing some fun things while they were gone. (Briton's phrase of the weekend: "My baby. I miss. My house." He really missed his baby and wanted her back in his house.)

Pictures: Mike and his siblings/cousins; Mike's immediate family at Hope's grave (same cemetery); Hannah at Hope's grave; Mike, Hannah and Grandpa David

The next week

Monday morning we headed out to Frankenmuth, Michigan. We loved it! Frankenmuth is a Bavarian town in rural Michigan with a few resort-y hotels, a chicken restaurant, shopping and the biggest Christmas store in the world. The Christmas store was our draw. Seriously. It was big and fun. Michiganders also like indoor water parks. We stayed at a hotel with one. It was perfect for our kids. The best part about it was that they didn't have height restrictions on the slides! Our kids are little so they are never allowed to go on waterslides. Here, as long as the little ones were accompanied by an adult, anyone could ride any of the slides. Brilliant! We spent two days in Frankenmuth. Wednesday we bid a sad farewell to my parents. Here are some photos: