Friday, January 29, 2010

Christmas in Spokane Finale--Sledding

The day after Christmas we headed up Mt. Spokane to see some snow and go sledding. Isaac "got to" stay home with Daddy, since we were worried about his breathing. The rest of us had a blast!

Actually, Finley wasn't too crazy about sledding. As long as we weren't sitting her on or near a sled, she was pretty happy.

Grandpa took each of the grandkids down the hill with him.
Sareny loved it! Grandpa told her she went the farthest and fastest down the hill, and she was pretty proud about that.

I'm pretty sure this was Maira and Marcela's first time sledding.

Sareny loved it and never wanted to leave!

I tried hauling Finley up on the back of a sled, and she did not like it.

We had a lot of fun playing in the snow. We left Spokane a couple days later and did the drive to Overton in one day. We were sad to be leaving and had enjoyed such a wonderful time with family. The good news--we get to see some of them in four days at Disneyland! We're so excited.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christmas in Spokane part 3--Christmas morning

For me, Keith, and Isaac, Christmas morning started around 3:30 am when Isaac woke up having a severe asthma attack. He was really struggling to breathe, and I felt terrible that I had forgotten to pack his inhaler and nebulizer. Nancy and Verne got up with us and we were able to borrow some medicine for Isaac. After a priesthood blessing, one inhaler treatment and two nebulizer treatments, Isaac was breathing normally again. It was quite a scare though! We were pretty close to calling 911. The ironic thing--after getting home and unpacking, we realized that I had actually packed an inhaler.
After getting a little more sleep after that excitement, everybody was up and ready to see what Santa had brought. Marcela was very proud that she was not the last one up! Somehow, we managed to fit 18 people, plus all of their presents and stockings, in one room. It was quite a crowd, but it was fun. I have never seen so many presents in my life!
My handsome man checking out his stocking.

Daddy helped Finley with her stocking.

Sareny got a new princess clock from Santa. It illumintates the ceiling with stars and wakes her up in the morning with a princess song. It has been a great help on school mornings!

Okay, this is another one of my favorite photos. When I was looking through my pictures, I noticed Isaac trying to blow up this balloon, so I cropped the photo to zoom in on just him. It just makes me chuckle.

It looks like Finley has already been sampling treats from her stocking.

All the girls got a little doll with a wagon from grandma and grandpa.

Isaac loves Transformers and was excited to get this one from Santa.
Keith and I got some nice gifts too. I got a fabulous new camera from my fabulous husband, and a new temple dress and other things from Nancy. Every year, Keith tricks me into thinking he is not spending very much on me and that I should do the same, and then I always end up with a much nicer gift than he does. So Keith got a new electric shaver, which he really needed from me, and a really fun game called Dominion from his mom.
Anyway, we enjoyed a really nice, relaxing Christmas day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Christmas in Spokane part 2--Christmas Eve

We had an awesome Christmas Eve. After a delicious dinner, we went out to the farm's store so the kids could take turns at the pinata, which is a long-standing Christmas tradition in my family. Apparently, we don't get enough candy in our stockings the next day, so our dietary sugar needs must be supplemented the night before via the pinata.
I forgot to mention earlier that there are two foreign exchange students living with the Fallstroms this year. Maira is from Ecuador, and Marcela is from Brazil. They were both so nice and incredibly fun to be around. Below, Maira helped Finley take her turn at the pinata.
Pretty sure that if you put a large stick in Isaac's hands, he's going to start whacking at something or someone, whether there is a pinata nearby or no.
Sareny got a few good hits in.
Isaac and Jese became fast friends. They had a lot of fun running around and playing together.
While Finney isn't exactly smiling, she is letting Maira hold her, so that is saying something!
The group: Blake, Sareny, Katlin, Zack, Marcela, Jese, Finley, Maira, Gabriella, Isaac. I don't remember why, but Keith's sister Marla didn't join us for the festivities. And even if she had, I seriously doubt she would have let me take her picture.
My favorite part of Christmas Eve--the children acting out the nativity. It is just so sweet and precious. Thanks to Nancy's ample supply of fabric, we were able to wardrobe the actors pretty well.
Finley was a shepard. (really, there are only 2 girl roles in this story, the angel and Mary. Although in real life, I'm pretty sure the angel was a man.)
Isaac was also a shepard.
And guess who Sareny was??
I think this is the silliest picture of the whole trip. I love it!
Once again, Daddy was enlisted as a donkey, and Jese was Joseph.
The kids were so serious about their parts and took their roles very seriously.
The angel Katlin came to tell the shepards the wondrous news. We enlisted Uncle Noel to be another shepard.
Everyone was so tender with the Baby Jesus.
We had two wisemen, Marcela and Maira.
I love in this picture how Jese is holding the baby's hand. It is just so sweet.
Most of the cast, including Tyler as the star.

I thought this was a really beautiful reenactment of the Christmas story.
Afterwards, we did a really fun white elephant gift exchange. Some of the gifts were pretty hilarious. I won the much coveted jester hat (which I'm not kidding was really cool,) but since I knew Marla really wanted it, I traded it to her for some cocoa, mugs, and some other nice things.
Our little family finished off the night by driving around a nearby neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. In addition to our kids, we also took Jese, Katlin, and Maira along for the ride. In Ecuador, people don't put lights up on their houses, and Maira really enjoyed the elaborate lights displays. We stopped at the especially cool ones so she could take a picture of them. It really was a magical Christmas Eve.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Christmas in Spokane part 1

We spent this past Christmas up in Spokane and had a really great time. We picked Sareny up from school on Friday the 18th and just drove straight through to Spokane, arriving around 2:30 pm the next day. I was completely surprised by how good the kids did, and we were fortunate to have clear roads the whole way.
We had run out of time before leaving Phoenix, and the kids hadn't sat on Santa's lap yet, so we made a trip to the mall in Washington to see the big man himself.

Okay, I wasn't really that impressed with this particular Santa, but at least we got a cute picture. I thought it was pretty cool to have their cousins Katlin and Tyler in the picture with them.
Later on, the kids got to help grandma feed the alpacas and goats.

They were cold, but loved it.

We were so glad that Grandma Nancy got all this cold weather gear at second hand stores for us. She found snow pants, snow boots, and coats for Sareny, Isaac, and Finley. It made playing outside so much more enjoyable.
I love this picture of Finley and her grandma!

I think the only caption for this picture is, "Finley lay there like a slug. It was her only defense." Do you know the movie that came from?

The kids on the farm.

Sadly for us, it didn't really snow the whole time we were there. I had really been hoping to see some nice snow falls, especially for the kids to experience it. But even without snow, we still got a lot of use out of the snow clothes and had a great time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Sareny's class did a science section where they studied different types of wood and paper. To finish off the section, they invited parents to come help their child create something out of scraps of wood and paper that we had sent in.

Sareny's dad got to visit her in the classroom and help her construct a beautiful pink butterfly. I think they both had a fun time.

We're so glad her school encourages parents to be so involved!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gingerbread houses

We like to make little gingerbread houses every year at Christmas time, and this year we were able to invite some new friends over for the event. Sareny's best friend is a little girl named Lisa from her class, and luckily, Lisa's family lives a few streets away from us. That's pretty fortunate when you consider that it takes me about 20 minutes to drive to her school. This year, Daddy helped Isaac make a house, and I helped Sareny. Finley wasn't too concerned that she wasn't making a house, she just wanted to eat much candy as she possibly could.

All of the kids together with their finished projects.
Lisa, Mia, and Brianna.

Isaac, Princess Finney, and Sareny.

We had a great time with Lisa's family and are so glad that Sareny has made such a great friend at school.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Decorate the tree, hang some ornaments, come help me!

We put our Christmas tree up just after Thanksgiving. I love Christmas ornaments, and it seems I have passed that love on to my children. They each have their own box that holds their own special ornaments, and they are so excited each year to bring them out.

One of our favorite traditions is that everybody gets a new ornament at the top of their stocking Christmas morning. It is common knowledge that I put the ornaments there after Santa has already come. This year the girls got sparkling tiara's that represented their princess Halloween costumes. I tried to find a knight for Isaac, but couldn't, so he got an abominable snowmonster instead. (In case you're wondering, I got a tiara too, and Keith got a large diamond-y thing. Okay, both of them were really for me.)

Our tree was pretty loaded up with ornaments on the top, and completely bare on the bottom. Those of you with kids will know exactly why.