Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas dawned bright and early and lucky for us it was even a white Christmas (the only day I find snow to be acceptable and wanted....)!  Trevor and I were up, but no kids.  Hmm... Someday they'll be waking us up, but today we had to wake them up!

First things first, we had to go through our stockings.  Ryder didn't even get halfway through his before he had eaten 2 or 3 pieces of chocolate.  We had to help him get through it and by the time it was all dumped out he said very calm, but happily, "cool."  He could have been done then.  He was content.  Brody exclaimed over every little thing, but was ready to open presents.  He knew the drill.

 The kids were not overly indulged, and many of their presents were things they needed like socks, shoes, and underwear, but they were pleased with everything.  I am always so proud of how happy Brody reacts to everything he receives.  He is very appreciative of everything, even the not-so-fun things he gets.  With two boys so close in age, things tend to come in twos.  They often get the same thing because mom, dad, and Santa know all too well that it is easier that way and their are a lot less fights.  The biggest hit of the day were these remote controlled Thomas the Tank Engine trains.  They drive as well as any remote control car, but of course are way cooler because they are Thomas...and they actually steamed!
Trevor and I had decided that we were not exchanging gifts this year.  There really wasn't anything either of us wanted or needed.  We had both recently bought some new clothes, so we were good to go.  I literally got him nothing.  He literally did not follow this agreement and surprised me with a Kitchen Aid stand mixer that I have wanted for years!  I could not believe it.  It was a thing of beauty.  Seriously.  As awesome as it was, I could have strangled Trevor...also, SERIOUSLY!

After that we went over to Trevor's parents house.  All of his family was here this year.  We hadn't done much for anybody except made these homemade board games, and they were a great hit!  As simple, and relatively inexpensive as they were, they were probably one of the best gifts we have ever given.  We were there only briefly, so the boys could open their gifts there, and then we were off to my mom's for breakfast and for the boys to open their gift from grandma there.

At 'Red' Grandma's we also had a homemade board game to give, but then it was time for our traditional stuffed french toast.  It was kind of a small and sad gathering.  My brother Spenser and his wife Stormy weren't there, and just a week before my other brother, Kade, entered the MTC to start his mission training before serving his 2 year church mission in Peru.  We enjoyed the few that were there, but I'll be so glad when we are all back together again.

We left my mom's, got home, had a nap, and then headed back to Trevor's parents for a Christmas dinner.  We were able to enjoy that and then just visit.  We eventually busted out the new game we had made and played several (loud) rounds before coming home.  As far as gifts go, it was a smaller Christmas all around, but I think it was one of the most enjoyable Christmas day's I've ever had- especially with Trevor's family this year.  I say every year that I don't care about the gifts so much as being with everyone, and this year it was really true.  It was fun to laugh, play, and enjoy each other's company.

Despite how busy Christmas day tends to be, and how fast it is over, I wish that every year could be as fun as this one was.  Or I'd take a year even more fun too....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

'Twas the night before Christmas
and at the Waite house,
there was something{s} stirring,
but it wasn't a mouse!

Excitement was hung all over with FLARE!
For St. Nicholas was coming and soon would be there.

The kids each opened 1 gift in a zap.
Jammies and slippers to wear during their long winter's nap.

Soon we all nestled snug in our beds,
and visions of sugar plums danced in our heads.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Activity

Just days before Christmas we woke up to find, Dash, our elf on the shelf, had brought us a fun little project to do as a family.  It was a gingerbread house kit.  We haven't ever made a gingerbread house before so this was a new and fun thing to try out!  There was just one problem....

Dash was sitting on top of the box the gingerbread house came in.  Not a big deal, right?  Wrong.  Remember we aren't supposed to touch our elf or he loses his magic.  What to do?  What to do?  I asked Brody what he thought we should do.  He put his fingers to his chin and thought hard for a minute before exclaiming, "I know!"  He glanced over at the hutch holding some of our dishes and said, " we should just get a plate and scoop him on it!"  That was a great idea I told him, but he made me think of one even easier than that.

Out came the kitchen tongs.  Dash was safely removed from his sitting position on top of the box and delivered to a perch on the branches of the Christmas tree where he could watch us decorate the gingerbread house to our heart's content!

Brody and Ryder got busy right away pulling out all the contents of the box.  We are not ones to go out on a creative limb, so we looked at the different examples of ways to decorate the gingerbread house and let Brody pick the one he liked so we could roughly have a guideline.

Trevor and I did pretty much all the icing and let the boys put on all the candies.  Being that they are 4 and 2, there was no pattern or order to the candies, but it didn't matter.  They were having a blast.  Just the day before, in the news we heard all about a shooting at a school where 26 (i think) children and teachers were killed.  It literally made me sick to think about.  Even more sick to think of how the families were doing.  Especially at this time of year.  Decorating this gingerbread house was made even more special.  Trevor and I just treasured the moments (even the mess) and were feeling grateful for our little family.

At some point in the decorating, Ryder left the table and took the liberty of helping himself to licking out any last drops of icing left in the bag we had put on the floor out of the way.  He was happy digging into the icing, and Brody was happy to have all the creative decor left up to him!

The finished project was super cute and graced our table as the centerpiece until after Christmas.  The only problem was Ry asking almost daily if he could eat the candy off the house!

A Christmas Countdown

Remember back when you were a little kid in school and you made those paper chains to countdown for Christmas?  Well, I do.  It was so fun to tear off a link of the chain each day in anticipation of Christmas, and then counting down how many days until Santa Claus would come.  Sometimes I even got a little too excited and would rip off more than one.  Then even though my chain may have said there were only 5 days left, it really was 6 or 7.
I decided this would be a great craft for my kids to do.  I am normally not one to do crafts because I can be a {bit} controlling.  It takes almost super human strength for me to sit back and let my kids do their thing.  Its one of my major faults.  If point A should connect to point B, I like for that to happen....not point A to point B,C, and/or D even though that is just letting my kids be creative.

I got out the paper and cut the strips myself and put them in a pattern so I had some control, but I gave them their own glue sticks (even Ryder, the 2 year old!) and let them get to work.
Ryder really could only put the glue on the strips and I had to link the chains for him, but he was in heaven!  He created his countdown in true Ryder fashion.  It was fast, a little all over the place, and of course without an ounce of patience he would shout as I put the link together, "Nuh-er one!"  Meaning another one.  If I ever dared try to guide him, he would get angry with me and say, "No!  I do it!"

Brody could glue his links and put them together all by himself.  He worked at his countdown just typical to his personality as well.  Meticulous, patient, and long.  Ryder was finished way ahead of Brody.
Once they were finished each boy had their Christmas countdown hung up on their door.  Each day, the boys remind me that they need to cut a link off and then afterwards we count how many days are left.  I think we'll make a chain every year now.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Holiday Cards

Every year I think, "this will be the year we send out Christmas cards."
Guess what, folks?
Its not going to be this year.

This is as good as its going to get.
Merry Christmas from the 'growing' Waite family!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Holiday Visitor

On Thanksgiving night, we were at my Mom's house hanging out with the fam when we decided to read a new book to Brody and Ryder.  This book was extra special.  It was The Elf on the Shelf.  As I sat on the floor and read it for all to hear, we learned all about the magic of the elf and the job that he or she does. 

If you have never heard of the Elf on the Shelf, let me give you the shortened version.  Sometime during the holidays, an elf may come to live at your house.  This elf is Santa's helper.  He watches the girls and boys in your home to see if they are being naughty or nice.  Each night the elf returns home to the North Pole to report back to Santa.  But be careful!  This elf CANNOT be touched!  If he is touched, he may lose his magic and won't be able to fly back to Santa.  Each morning before the kids wake, the elf will be found in a new spot.  Oh, and don't forget, you must name your elf!

Brody caught on to the story pretty easily.  I asked him questions after we read the book and he knew the correct answers.  We decided our elf would be named Dash, and we'd have to leave red grandma's house and go home to see if he had come.

Sure enough, Dash was sitting in one of our stockings (and yes, my Christmas decorations had been put up the previous saturday...I was super anxious!).  The kids were SO excited.  Uncle Spenser and Aunt Stormy had come over and Brody kept telling Spenser, "DON'T touch DASH!"

Now each morning the boys come running into our bedroom to tell us where Dash is that day.  He has mostly perched on different spots up high, but he has gotten into a little mischief.  One morning Dash was on top of a picture frame holding a dry erase marker because he had drawn mustaches and horns on the boys' pictures.

Just today, Dash had built himself a chair and table out of the blocks and was sitting there with a small bowl of cereal.  I guess Dash had the munchies.

 Dash has become a fixture in the Waite home now and we'll be sad when he leaves us Christmas eve, but we look forward to all the Christmases to come when he'll visit.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today I'm especially thankful for family.

Thankful for the one I was born in.  Thankful for the one I married into.  Thankful for the one that Trevor and I have created together.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meeting Santa

Believe it or not, our kids haven't ever sat on Santa's lap to tell him what they want for Christmas.  We don't live near a mall where they would have the opportunity, and in the past our church Christmas party has been more centered around Christ and they haven't had Santa so they missed the chance then too.

This year there was a huge 2-day Christmas craft & boutique in town.  Santa was making an appearance on the second day.  I was SO excited about seeing our kids on Santa's lap! 

Santa was seated in his rocking chair, surrounded by Christmas trees, Mrs. Claus, and even a little elf passing our mini-candy canes.  It was so fun.  I asked Ryder if he wanted to go see Santa and he said yes.  Trevor was holding Brody and asking him if he wanted to see Santa and he said a flat no.  Some serious convincing was going to have to happen.  Trevor was so patient and telling him he would have to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas so that he would know what to bring.  Brody's smart little self said, "How about you just go tell him, Daddy?"

Sometimes I get so frustrated with Brody being afraid and timid.  I worry about him missing out on some of the most fun things in life because he is so cautious.  Then my heart softens and I really feel for him, because I was the same exact way as a kid.  Always the typical oldest child.  Played it safe.  Never did anything that would or could cause harm.  Didn't disobey because I hated letting my mom down.  I totally get it.  However, we still push him a little outside of his comfort zone at times when it comes to things he really shouldn't miss out on.

Finally, when I got in line with Ryder, Brody and Trevor did too.  Ryder was just intently watching Santa.  I think he was more in line for the candy, but he wasn't acting afraid.  Trevor had knelt down and was talking to Brody saying that Ry-ry was going to go sit on Santa's lap and so he could too.  Brody said, "How about....Ryder just tells Santa for me."  He really wasn't going to do it.

We were at the front of the line, with only one kid in front of us and Trevor said, "You know Ryder is going to freak out, right?"  Um, yeah.  I was totally banking on that.  He was fine in line and everything, but I knew the moment he was placed on Santa's lap we were going to have a problem.  It may sound mean, but I wanted him to cry.  What's childhood without a picture of you screaming on Santa Claus's lap?

At some point Trevor somehow convinced Brody to at least go STAND by Santa.  We got Ry up there and the crying started while Brody just stood and stared and I think tried to say what he wanted.  Then Mrs. Claus made the big mistake of putting Brody on her lap.  HAHA!  It was hilarious.  Ryder red-faced and crying on Santa, and Brody lip-quivering trying not to cry on Mrs. Claus.

Brody told Santa at some point that he wanted a firetruck and Santa said he would have the elves get working on that.  Then they were given candy canes, and all freak out was forgotten. 

And I got my much wanted and very classic childhood memory of the boys on my camera.  Priceless!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All things Halloween

The week of Halloween this year was also the first week of basketball.  At our house that means Trevor puts on his coaching cap and I don the single mom cap.  Okay, that's a bit dramatic....maybe.  What it really entails is our life and our schedules revolving around practice and game times. 

Monday ended up being the best time to carve pumpkins.  I usually like to wait as long as possible so that they aren't shriveled by the time Halloween night rolls around.  Practice was going to be out earlier this night so after Trevor came home, and we ate, it was time to get busy turning our pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.

Brody was so ready.  He'd been telling me for a week or so just what kind of face he wanted on his.  Their may have been a few modifications we made to his original idea, but he was happy with the end result.

We stripped the boys down to their respective diapers and underwear and let the mess ensue.  And ensue it did.  Seeds, and pumpkins guts were everywhere!  So was that lovely smell only 4 open pumpkins can make.  Ry kept scooping out more and more stuff and each time would scrunch his little face and say, "EEEWW!  YUCKY!"  But did the gross-ness slow him down?  Absolutely not.

Halfway through our pumpkin process our home teachers stopped by unexpectedly.  I think Brody answering the door in his undies, may have made them a little uncomfortable, but what do you do?  They just dropped off some cupcakes.  It was a great treat, and provided a little 'break' for our hard-working carvers.  Chocolate cake crumbs mixed in really well with all the rest of the crap on our floor too.

When all was said and done Trevor made his old stand-by pumpkin that says Trick or Treat, mine had a moon and stars (also a classic I've done many times), Brody's was a true jack-o-lantern with a cute face, and Ryder had a Mickey Mouse head."  Success.

Halloween arrived on Wednesday and we participated in the annual Halloween parade.  I have always somehow ended up one of the very last stragglers in the bunch so I decided to bring our little double stroller and push the boys to make it go quicker.  Trevor got home from work just in time to go with us.  Each boy got a balloon and enjoyed the ride. 

Lots of kids and their parents were walking the parade route and I soon saw some of my cousins with their kids.  Trevor and I have a niece and 2 nephews that we rarely see, so I always say if my kids are to have cousins to play with and grow up with, I have to rely on my cousins kids.  I jumped on the opportunity to get a picture of all the ones that were there.  I believe on my mom's side of the family there are 26 great-grandkids and I saw that I was going to be able to get a picture with my 2 boys, Julie's 3 girls, and Jaymi's 4 kids.  What I didn't know was that there my other cousin Ginee was there with her 3 so we missed them.  Either way, it was really fun to see all these little cousins together!

 After the photo 'session' (because that's what it seemed like trying to get all of them just to look in the same direction), we continued on our journey.  Brody and Ryder waved to cars passing by and those parked along the route watching.  My mom even looped around twice so that they could see her more than once.  It lets them wear their costumes even longer, and makes the day a little more special.  Doughnuts were offered at the end but we skipped it knowing all the junk that the kids would get later.  We did stop into Trevor's mom's office and showed the boys off in their costumes to all the ladies she works with.  They were a hit!  To say the least...

We headed home and while I made a yummy dinner of french bread pizza and caramel apple cider, Trevor took the boys trick or treating.  I decided since we only take them to a few houses anyway, that I'd stay home and answer the door for our few trick-or-treaters as well as make dinner.  This year we had a whopping 20 kids!  I always want more to come, so maybe next year it'll be even better.  A few kids commented on how much they loved our jack-o-lanterns too.

Brody and Ryder came home with far more candy then necessary (like usual).  The few houses they go to, tend to give them more then once piece of candy....usually closer to one handful..

Halloween was a blast for the kids.  They were such cute little pumpkins.  I love the holidays with little kids!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Primary Program 2012

Once a year in church the primary takes over the main hour of our 3 hour block of church.  It is one of my favorite times at church ever!  This year was a little different for Trevor and I though.  This year we actually had a kid IN the program. 

The primary consists of kids ages 3 to 12, and they sing songs during this program and have little individual speaking parts.  There are hundreds of songs they learn in primary so there is always a theme to the program and this year's was "Choose the Right." 

Brody got dressed in his new Sunday clothes and practiced his one-liner part a few times before we headed off to church.  We left a litle early knowing that it was going to be packed, and also because people tend to have 'regular' seats they sit in each week and we knew we weren't going to sit in our 'regular' spot because we wouldn't be able to see Brody.  I definitely was feeling those first-day-of-school jitters for him, but when it was time for the kids to sit in the stands facing the congregation Brody left our pew and hopped up into his assigned front row seat without a problem.

For a while I taught in the primary and I used to get emotional watching the kids I had been teaching all year long.  Imagine how it was today.  I cried once {or twice...} the first song started.  I just could not believe that our Brody boy was old enough to be in the primary program!  Holy cow.  He is in the youngest class of kids in the primary but that did not stop him from singing his little heart out!  That kid knew every word to every song.  He did great.  In between songs he would sit in his seat and raise eyebrows at his dad, Uncle Adam, Uncle Mike, or grandparents.  Yeah, that's right....the whole family was there.  Can't say that I blame them. 

Once it was time to say his part, Brody walked up to the pulpit and said in the microphone, "He forgave those that hurt him."  Between his cute little voice and the inflections he put on certain words, it made the congregation give a soft chuckle.  Then again towards the end the little Skousen girl sitting next to him put her hand on his chin trying to turn him to look at her, and Brody swiped her hand away also making those watching give another little laugh.

It was so neat to have our son up there, showing his sweet spirit.  I hope that he always loves church, and that Trevor and I can provide him with enough gospel knowledge to make him not only learn, but thirst for more.  I hope that he will stand up for whats right and have strong convictions.

Such a good day to be a parent.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Waite "Punkin" Patch

I love Halloween.  I love fall!  The leaves, the colors, the smells...aagghh.  If only it would last longer.  It seems like summer holds on for as long as possible (which, by the way I am NOT complaining about), and just when it really and truly feels like fall, its stupid cold winter.  Bleh.

Every year I look forward to carving pumpkins and dressing up our little munchkins.  What I don't enjoy is paying for costumes.  Anything that is super cute and not cheap looking is, well, not cheap!  I could make the kids' costumes except that I'm totally deficiant in the sewing department.

When I pulled out our fall decor I found a pumpkin costume that someone had given us in a bag of hand-me-down clothes years ago.  Brody was so excited!  He said that he wanted to wear that for Halloween.  Unfortunately for him, it was Ry-ry's size, not his. 

Then I remembered.....my mom probably had an old pumpkin costume that I wore as a little kid floating around somewhere.  She went on the search and found it!


The only thing was, my little pumpkins sure looked skinny.  They needed some plumping up.  I knew no amount of dinners were going to do the trick so I invested in a little stuffing.  I bought 2 bags for under 10 bucks.

Cheap and cute costumes?  Doesn't get any better than that, my friends.  They are the cutest pumpkins I ever saw!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adventures at Church

Church and being reverant for little boys is hard.
Well, I guess its probably hard for kids in general.
We only have experience with two rambunctious little boys.

Today, for one reason or another was especially hard for Ryder.
He did not want to sit still.
He definitely didn't want to be quiet.
He ate all the snacks I brought (cheez-its, string cheese, fruit snacks) before we even got through the first hour of church.

Brody didn't even want to go to church.
That is not normal for him.
Once we were there, though, he was just fine....

During the last hour of church Brody needed to use the restroom.
Not a big deal, right?
He is a big boy.  He knows the drill.
He told his teacher and then went.
I guess he had to go #2.
I guess he decided he needed help wiping.
So he came out of the bathroom and into the hallway with his pants and underwear down around his ankles.  
Sister Marian Issaccson, her daughter Hannah, and Sister Latisha Leslie were the lucky witnesses of this.
Brody announced with a typical no shame 4 year old attitude, "But I'm Done!"
As if, they should have known.

Sister Leslie quickly found Trevor around the corner from the scene of the crime.
Everything was remedied.
Except, maybe my embarrasment. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

2 is Cool!

Like every morning these days I, Ryder Joel Waite, woke up bright and early on September 9th.  MY birthday! 

Mommy won't move me out of my crib and into a big boy bed because she likes to keep me caged.  Boo.  I tried one time to climb out myself, but I fell and it was the last time I tried that.  Me and my big brother have worked out a new system though.  It works great.  I wrap my arms around his neck, he wraps his around my waist and then hauls me over the rails of my crib. 

Mom and Dad didn't get to see me react to the streamers hanging in the hallway.  They didn't get to see my face as I found the balloons and streamers hanging over the table either.  All because Brody helped me out while they were still in bed.  Their loss, I guess.  However, I was so excited that I wanted them up.  Right then.  I pointed at my balloons and yelled into their bedroom, "See!  See!"  That is how our day began.

There were a couple of presents on the table for me.  Brody had 'bought' them for me!  He told me that they were matchbox airplanes.  Then he told me again.  And several more times after that.  Mommy and Daddy kept yelling at him to not say what was inside the gifts, to let it be a surprise.  I don't know what all the fuss was about.  I'm 2 for goodness sakes!  My attention span is like 2 seconds long.  I didn't remember what he told me.  I was still surprised.  Brody had a really hard time letting me have these airplanes.  They were pretty neat.  He just wanted to play too.  Lucky for him, I was feeling nice, and I shared.

It was a pretty low key day.  We ate yummy pancakes, I got a new tricycle from mommy and daddy, and then had church.  I marched into the church swinging my arm and strutting down the hall like I owned that place.  Because I do.  Didn't you know?

After church Mommy made lunch and while I was picking at it, our home teachers showed up.  They came just for me!  Brother Mullenaux, and his son, Beau remembered my birthday and had a little gift for me.  Brody really wanted to open it, but Mommy and Daddy had to remind him that it was MY birthday and that he already had a birthday.  It was just so nice of the Mulleneaux's!

After a good long nap and some dinner it was time for everyone to come over for cupcakes!  Brody is always my champion and was quite upset with Mommy for not making me a cake.  He felt that she was doing some great injustice to me.  She made little banners with the number 2 on them to stick in the cupcakes because he made her feel so guilty and she wanted me to feel special.

We opened gifts before singing Happy Birthday, and I got gifts very similar to Brody's.  I had my trike that I got earlier in the day (instead of a bike), a helmet, and a dream lite.

When it was time to blow out my candle I tried touching it first.  That wasn't the best idea and Daddy stopped me before anything bad happened, but then I got to blow it out and that was really fun!  I ate 2 cupcakes to celebrate being 2, or maybe it was because most of it ended up on the table. And chair. And floor....

As I went to bed that night with the stars shining on my ceiling from my very own dream lite, I couldn't help but feel happy about my very special and fun day!