Monday, December 29, 2008

Family picture take 2

With picture taking comes the inevitable reluctance to sit and smile and conform to the mass. Kirsten is demonstrating this so well, but just wait.
Now Zachary couldn't be left out of the fun. Kirsten is trying to pass the time till mom has everyone dressed and ready to go.
Now even mom is joining in the grumbling. I didn't think that we could pull it off taking a family picture with a timer on the camera.
We were making some progress with the picture shoot. Camera would take one picture then Nathan would run after Caleb to the camera to reset it again and then race back to their places. On one such event, Caleb failed to stop running and tripped into the wall. Just our luck a goose egg began to form. We were getting out the ice to combat the growing problem.
Through it all Nathan stayed pretty optimistic and we did have fun! I didn't think that we got a keeper picture and so we went to Walmart, which didn't prove fruitful, but we bought 2 pictures anyway and the kids got a doughnut for their efforts. Now you know why we don't get family pictures that often (way too much work). Mom stresses way too much. The resulting picture is our opening picture on the blog... not too bad!

Family Pictures take 1

Caleb is the willing subject as Nathan sets up the camera on a the stool for a family picture shoot. What a handsome, barefoot little man!
Line them up, now Nathan has three willing and eager subjects to shoot the camera at.
The kids were really getting into it. I love the free for all pictures. They really catch their personalities!
Next we added a chair as a prop: Zach is really into body parts and functions right now...ugh! He thought he was being funny and we all thought these pictures were a hoot! We might live to regret this later.
This is the "up high and down low" picture. I guess it can be said the same about takin pictures; you definately hit high and low points.

Christmas day 2008

Christmas morning the kids got up around 7:15 am (not bad huh?) and we tried to stall them with breakfast while we waited for Aunt Camille and uncle Andrew to arrive for presents. We enjoyed all the breads and oranges that we made and received: amish, poppyseed, and etc along with the fruitsnacks that santa added to the feast!
Then it was presents time. We started out with individual opening;that didn't work so well. Here is Caleb being helped out with the playing of his guitar. Siblings can be so helpful.
All the kids got keyboards from Grandma/pa Gale along with the microphones for extra enjoyment. The boys were trying out the pianos along with their vocal cords.
The big gift that santa brought this year was a WII system along with Mario Cart game. Nathan and Kirsten are trying it out. Finally something that grown-ups and kids alike can enjoy. Caleb is on the sidelines stabbing uncle andrew with his knife that collapses with contact. (That's the last time Mrs. Claus will ask for help with stocking stuffers.)
Allie enjoyed her new bone. I think she actually stayed there for a full hour and chewed. This is amazing for allie. She is a quite active dog, but we love her anyway.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Back at home with dad

On Saturday the kids begged Nathan to take them out in the snow. They got all bundled up as you can see caleb looks like a little summo baby in his gear.
They had some fun in the snow and even chased allie (our 4 year old chocolate lab) around for awhile. Aunt Aubrey was over and volunteered to take pictures so I could finish the Christmas cookie cleanup inside.
The family pose with the extra snow on Zach. Brrrrr!
Then inside for hot cocoa before off to deliver the cookies.

zachary's Christmas program and party

We made it back from Washington at 8:30 pm Wednesday night so Zach could make his 2pm and 7pm performances. He worked very hard on his part and singing. His part as we all know it now was, " Christmas is children trying to sleep." Well done Zach.
Friday afternoon Caleb and I helped out in Zach's class Christmas party. We decorated snowman cookies and then ate them. These are Zach's table friends. Sierra, Caleb, Zach, Rylee, and Gavin. Rylee lives across the street from us and Gavin lives next door kinda fun.The kids also got to make a white and blue bead snowflake. Who knew that oriental trading had those too in little kits. Awesome.
Another mom did music time with nose makers; the kids were well entertained. Caleb couldn't decide if he wanted to finish his cookie or join in the fun. He just yo-yoed.

What else did we do at Grandma's?

The grandkids reinacted the birth of the Savior. A tradition that we have done with my cousins, but now that we all have kids they can do it.
We can only be still for so long. The boys started a sock war with Uncle Mike. I was a target too, but moved to a more neutral zone. Mike's such a good sport.
Being with family was so much fun! We planned another family get together this coming August 2009 in Wolf Creek in Utah. I can't wait.

What did we do at Grandma's house?

The boys had a blast with Uncle Joe and Uncle Chris. They built this fort that went right across the big room downstairs. Look at all those blankets. Good thing grandma still has some boxes to put away cause the fort building just wouldn't be the same with out them.
Uncle Joe took Zach and Caleb sledding down the hill in the backyard on one of the many snowy days. First Joe would sled down with Caleb and then...
he would carry him back up to the top of the hill. What service! Caleb didn't last long. He wanted to be out with the big boys, but man it was cold.
Joe is sliding down the hill on his snowboard. It was a work in progress. Zach waves goodbye for now. Kirsten was sick with the 24 hour flu that was going around and missed out on some of the fun.

Sharing, Snitching and eating.

Here are the pictures I was referring to about the bouquet squabble. Jessie wanted to hold the flowers in the 1st picture with melissa, but mikenna got to because she's the youngest. Now that that picture is taken Jessie still wants a turn. She is asking "please."
When the nice way didn't work she tries brute strenth. Mikenna is a little concerned but is holding on. She's got older sisters after all. I'm such a nice aunt, I sit back and just snap pictures instead of intervening. I was curious as to what would happen.
Caleb had been holding this cracker forever. I gave it to him to help him wake up for the picture taking. Now he witnessed the flowers show and decided to share with Jessie. She wasn't interested. Dancing was funner.
Here is the snitching. All the tables were loaded with food for the reception and the kids hadn't eaten yet. The grapes, olives, crackers, cheese, meat etc. were very popular targets.
Tanner had to have the olives on his finger before consumption. Isn't he a cutie!

Reception family shots

The Michael Gale Family: Kaylee, Mikenna, Kassidy, Kiera,Dorothy and Mike
The Nathan Stitt family: Kirsten (is that a grimace of a smile, pictures aren't that painful), Caleb and Zachary. Nathan had some freelance jobs back in Utah and wasn't able to come this time.
The MJ Macias family: Jessica, Tanner, MJ, and Lisa. They surprised everyone by calling at 4pm Friday night and saying they were on their way from California. The trip took them 18 hours. They arrived Saturday around 10 am only to stay for the day and leave the next morning for home. You guys are amazing! I'm so glad you could come.

Kennewick Reception for Chris/Melissa

The reception is Kennwick was beautiful and so were the people. The nieces did the traditional wedding pose of holding a the bride's dress. Corinne has the same pose. There was a disagreement over who got to hold the bouquet...stay tuned for more pics.
The Gale grandkids in there fulness. What a fabulous sight. Can you tell who belongs to who? Bottom: Mikenna, Kaylee holding Ethan, Jessica, Kirsten holding Tanner, Kiera, and Kassidy. Top: Zachary and a woken up Caleb.
All the past and present brides. Dorothy, Lisa, Melissa, Corinne, Me and Mom. I know it's not the most flattering pic of me, but I do this look so often its hard to find a good one.
The men and boys of the family, plus the beautiful bride.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"What a Big Boy, Caleb!"

Caleb has been keeping a close eye on sister and brother when they use the potty and has decided that he needs to us the potty too. On monday, December 8th, he wanted to sit on the potty when the kids got home from school. Usually, I would just have him wait and then sit on the normal toilet with the seat adaptor, however I remembered I had this one down in the crawl space and went to get it. The other kids thought that Caleb's potty was really cool. Aparently so did Caleb. Zach sat down on the stool next to him to keep him company. Caleb sat down and after a minute said," potty." Then he stood up and there was really potty in there. The first picture is him after he went potty and I made him sit back down so I could take a picture. ( yes, that is him smiling). The next picture is the evidence, but I had to show nathan the proof and didn't want to save it till he got home from work. Both grandmas ended up potty training Kirsten and Zach one each after I just couldn't get it right. I guess Caleb will either be "third times a charm or three strikes and you're out." Time will tell.

Answers to what I do all day!

Whether on the real phone saying,"hello" to grandma or on the pretend phone; Caleb loves talking on the phone or carrying it on his shoulder and walking around the house like mom. Check out the bruise on the forehead. Does this bring back memories of another little boy named David who isn't so little anymore?
We also play alot of car. Today our added variety was using the cutting board as a ramp. Caleb had a ball and it kept him entertained for about a paragraph of my book I was reading from the couch.
I'm still working on snapping the picture when he is smiling and before he wants to see himself in the camera himself.

It's home depot time once again!

Caleb is really starting to act two. He wants to do everything himself. He can be pretty animate about it too. Good thing Nathan's hand was waaay back there.
Yes, Nathan opted to be the two for one helper with Kirsten and Caleb. I'll give him that when we discovered that he helped build one out of two of the easels right. This is an ongoing joke between Nathan and I and now you all too. Every home depot activity so far nathan we help the kids build something and then I'll help take it apart and build it back correctly. We haven't figured out the cure yet, but we will keep trying or rather nathan will. I guess this is what makes us a good team, things break I fix them, things need to be made, nathan creates. I have to have something to start with and Nathan can make something great out of thin air. What a talented husband I have!
A friend of ours was so nice as to take a picture of us all hard at work. Well almost all of us.
Can everyone say,"cheese." Check out Caleb's face. We are still working on the smile, not scowl.