Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a wonderful Christmas.  We have been having tons of fun all month long.

Anna and Nicholas have spent quite a bit of time being Mary and Joseph.

Anna has become quite the little cook.  Making Christmas treats was so much fun with my little helper.  I love that Anna can do so much to help.  We were able to make fudge, peanut butter fudge, popcorn balls, gingersnaps, sugar cookies, and we are going to make caramels tomorrow.

Anna and Nicholas both love music.  Christmas songs were sung all month long.  The kids love it when I would sing Christmas songs as they were brushing teeth.  

Anna learned two songs to sing with the Primary kids.  She even went up to sing with them on Christmas day in church.  Too bad we have no idea where she was standing, we would have loved to watch her.  She came back beaming, "I sang with the kids!"  Here is the at home performance.  

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is reading Christmas stories.  We had no problem getting 20 minutes of reading in each day.  Reading stories on your own, with dad, or with grandma we really just read all day during Christmas time.

I finally finished our Christmas stockings.  I don't know if I am 100% in love with these, but I like them WAY better than our old stockings.

Devin's parents did the 12 Days of Christmas for us again this year.  We love this!  We took turns opening one present each day.  We are so grateful for all the time they put into this fun tradition.  Several gifts this year were memory books from the Baldwin/Olsen families.  What treasures!  I didn't get pictures of the books, but I do have pictures of puzzle day and jam day.

Christmas Eve we went to my mom's house and did the Nativity.  Anna was the lovely Mary once again.
Nicholas was,  well...something between King Herod, a Wise Man, and the Angel with the Star. (Sorry for the red eye, he was having way too much fun running around, this was the most clear picture we could get, he wouldn't stay still.)

We were extremely grateful for 1 o'clock church Christmas day.  We had plenty of time to open presents, play with toys, eat, and even take a family picture before we went to church.

Anna was pretty excited to finally get her train and fairies.  She had a chance to sit on Santa's lap the week before and she was pretty ticked that when she asked him for a train and fairies that he didn't give it to her right then.  The waiting was worth it.  She can't get enough of them.  Nicholas loves the cars and his little push car.  Both kids love each other's toys.  They are learning to share pretty well.  Anna loves Nicholas's nap time because that means she gets to play with ALL the toys.

We had a great Christmas.  We hope that even with all the fun Christmas traditions that our kids can remember what Christmas is really about.  We loved reading the nativity story each day.  We have a advent calendar that tells part of the story each day.  Anna has the story pretty much memorized.  We tried really hard to focus on the nativity each day so they could remember what Christmas is really about.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Did you know that there are certain themes for anniversary gifts for each year you are married?  Each year we have gotten a good laugh at the traditional and modern gift suggestions.  Our fifth anniversary is coming up, so one night I joked with Devin that I was going to get him a hunk of wood.  Now if that isn't romantic, a nice 2x4, I don't know what is.

But it turns out Devin gave me the best hunk of wood a girl could ever ask for.  You see we have a nice cold storage room.

As you can see, there are no shelves.
We have been stacking food and things on the floor.  Devin decided that the time had come to build some shelves.  He called up his brother Gene, who I consider the Michael Phelps of wood work, and they got to work.

Anna loved "helping."  She didn't love the loud noises, but she just had to be there.

Now we have this.

Wow!  How cool is that!!!  Now that is my type of wood.

I now get to put all of this ...
back onto my beautiful new shelves.  Christmas might just have to wait, I've got a really fun organizing project just waiting for me.

If you are looking for an expert wood working guy, give my brother-in-law Gene a call.  HE IS AMAZING!!!!

Christmas Time

Christmas Time is in full swing here at the Baldwin house.
Anna helped put up the Christmas tree.  She loves pushing the button that makes our pre-lit-pre-decorated tree move up and down.  
I use to mock Devin for buying such a silly tree. But I have come to love it.

Our ward did an awesome service project for the Ward Christmas party.  We made Infant Kits with the goal of having each child in the ward be able to take a kit and place it in the manger, a gift for a baby, just like the gifts for the Baby Jesus.  It was an amazing experience working as a ward to gather and make the materials needed.  The night of the ward party all the materials were ready, we put together our kits and reached the goal.  It was neat to see the kids take their gifts to the manger.  

The thing I loved was that Anna really got it.  
She understood that there was a baby somewhere that needed a blanket, just like the Baby Jesus.
It was quite the sight. 

The next day we made gingerbread houses with the Hendersons.  Devin and I swallowed our "what kind of cool gingerbread house can we make" pride and just helped Anna decorate the house.  She had a great time.

The rest of the crew did too.

Nicholas enjoyed having all the toys to himself.