Friday, February 21, 2014

National Christmas Tree

So one of the things the girls were most excited about when we moved to DC was the national Christmas Tree... Afton had seen pictures of it when she did a report on MD at the end of her kindergarten year, so we were sure to see it (it's a live tree) as soon as we visited the mall the first time (maybe it was the second time?). But seeing it lit up was something else! it was funny to me how it appeared to be glowing pink from farther away, but as you got closer you could see all the colors. We went up one evening for Family Night and hiked through the cold night to see it.
the kids were totally captivated!
there were also little trees in a large circle around the walkway for each state and territory-we saw all of yours ;).
Malachi mostly stayed in the stroller... it was COLD! and he had a blanket there :)
close enough to see some of the colors, and the train track underneath
I was impressed with the extensive train track village under the tree... it was quite extensive!
maybe this isn't the most flattering picture of the kids, but it makes me smile :)
look, I was there too! and Asher! (his nose turns bright red whenever he's cold, I don't think he was too cold, but it's kinda cute)
and a few sites on the way back to the car:
Rayna's a budding photographer too! I liked how the white house was lit up behind us...
and the scaffolding was coming off the Washington monument! so exciting!
we may need to work on saluting... see the capitol in the background?

ummm... Christmas?

yep, I'm finally getting to blog about Christmas... I might be a little behind. To make a long story short, we had a great holiday. It was wonderful having paul home and not worrying about getting homework done :), and I think the presents were pretty fun too. Evidently I didn't take any pictures of Christmas Eve though--oops! we made our traditional bread bowls and soups (beef stew and potato leek), and we took some to a new family in our ward. They are clearly in the military too, as they were moving in on Christmas Eve (eek!) despite having 4 kids under 5... so they were too busy to join us. It was fun to meet them. We also had our reading of the Christmas story from the scriptures, with all of us playing multiple roles to act it out (it may have been better that I didn't get pictures of that!). The kids got to sleep in front of the fireplace downstairs in the attempt to catch Santa filling stockings in the night. they may have missed him, but the stockings were all nicely plump in the morning (again, no pictures... I'm feeling a theme here). but the tree was also well-stocked, and it kept us busy for a while after breakfast.
look a picture!
Rayna's stocking grapefruit! her favorite :)
I think everyone was very happy with their presents, lots of new toys, and some treats too. I was proud of my girls, they each managed to get 'real' presents for the other kids, so they're now experiencing a bit of the giving, as well as the getting.
Malachi LOVES toys in a way my girls never really have, so it was especially gratifying to see him lovingly playing with everything... even taking the bubble-bath for a tractor ride!
when we were finished with presents, we decided to go outside to enjoy the sun for a little while... but mom and dad made the kids put on thick socks first... I think we were forgiven pretty quickly too!
the real present...
and of course, dad got in on the action too!
and later that afternoon, we had our first new popsicles... because hot chocolate is too boring by itself now :) j/k. we got this great popsicle maker from grandma f, and have been making dozens of fancy popsicles for the last few months! starting with hot-chocolate and marshmallows:
a couple days later we had to take the tree down, because it was getting so dried out, Paul threw it in the backyard until compost-day, but the kids got ahold of it before then.
literally, got ahold of it! they drug it all over the backyard and had a grand old time playing with it!
they even carpeted the trampoline... silly kids, those needles hurt when you jump on them!
we love Christmas! even when we reflect back on it at the end of February :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

temple lights and anniversary

playing catch-up is a bit ridiculous now, but here goes another old, old, old post :)

first snowman of the season (with the cutest face too!) (though he did get another one when afton had to go inside)
here's a bunch of pictures from the DC temple lights. I took tons of pics, but I don't dare post too many... maybe I should have been more selective in which ones I uploaded though, there were definitely some better than these, but it's easier to just keep these ones, and hope you get the general idea :)
visitor's center
the kids' favorite tree, it was all purple and gold with various depictions of the wise men (some quite large), and peacock feathers! they also loved the 2 trees in the main foyer with dolls from all over the world in costume.
live nativity, captivated kiddos
passing stranger taking family photo... you get what you pay for I guess :)
we had a lot of fun that night, it was gorgeous weathe, really perfect for wandering without getting cold
cqan you see the kids? it's a little dark, but they were posing, and having a blest
rayna's turn to take some pictures too!
these were from our 9th anniversary--paul got a chocolate fountain, and the kids loved it!
really, really loved it.
unfortunately, Rayna was a bit sick that day, so I didn't get a picture of her, though I did let her dip a bit of banana in just a tiny bit of chocolate... and she did go crazy when we pulled it out the next time :)
I gotta say too, these last 9 years have flown by! I'm sure glad we have eternity to go!
(sorry, I know it's cheesy, but it's true! and yes, the fountain works for cheese too)