Thursday, December 29, 2011

Larger than Life

So, I have spent a few years coveting all the beautiful canvas pictures everyone has on their walls.  Wishing I had the money and the picture to forever want on canvas.   Then one day earlier this year, I came across a picture system that was the answer to my problems - cheaper, big as I want, and because of the price I don't feel too bad about replacing it every now and then.  It is IXXI.  

For Christmas we ordered the picture I wanted.  In fact it might be one row too wide and one row too long.   My kids are now larger than life on my wall.  I smile every time I see it and can't wait to have a house again were it will fit even better.

Putting it together and hanging it was so easy.  No nails or screws in the walls.  Each piece is printed on plastic, so it is durable.  

There is an even cheaper option.  There are software options that will cut your image into smaller pieces that you can then print out on your home printer for a similar look.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Japan

The best part about having Christmas in Japan is that we are usually done opening presents here while our families in the states are celebrating their Christmas Eve.  So we can rub it in a little that Santa likes us better because he visits us first.  We are definitely counting down to Christmas 2014 - In 2014 we will be with family (10 Christmases without our families is a long time).
Charlotte's Christmas wishes consisted of a "binky" baby (baby with pacifier), pink wig (pictures to come) and a fairy wand.

I decided that Tennyson wanted a baby to bath with, a teddy bear and a Japanese toilet seat.  In these pictures she is growling at her Teddy Bear after she noticed it under the tree.  They of course became fast friends.

Grahm wished for Lego Pirates of the Caribbean Wii game, Ninja clothes, and Harry Potter wand.

Jayce requested a Chemistry set, Lego Harry Potter DSI game (the second one), and Star Wars Lego Ship.

Jason was blessed to receive the Doctor Drill-n-Fill, now he can practice whenever he wants.  Santa also brought some clothes and a glass fishing buoy.
Santa brought me a rice cooker, a baby carrier and the coolest picture of my kiddos (I will share later).

I loved having the chance to go to church on Christmas Day, it is to bad that our church does not offer Christmas services every year.  It helped me feel like the day was about more than Santa.  I am so grateful for the birth of our Savior and His life and example.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  We hope you enjoy the kids being home for a few days and all the traditions!
The template for the card can be found at Simple as That.

(By the way - Jayce was supposed to look annoyed (it fits this age) and Charlotte didn't feel well).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tackle Football

The season is finally winding down.  We have 2 events left, trophy ceremony and Round One (fun day).  This was an intense season of football.  They started practicing in September.  The first 2 weeks they practiced every night for 2 hours.  Jason was gone during the first few weeks and I thought it was going to kill us, I had little kids getting sick at practices and trying to keep them happy for 2 hours.  Towards the end of the first weeks Jayce wanted to quit,.  I talked him into waiting until Jason was home so he could help him out.  I could only kind of help.  The couch cushion was a great tackling dummy (the big one with a little elbow in it!).  It helped a little until Jason was home.

Jayce did really well for a month or so, he was enjoying the games and practices.  Then suddenly he was sour again and we struggled with practices off and on until the last 2 weeks of the season when he really wanted to quit.  He decided to hang in there for $50 (no complaining was required).  Towards the end of the season he was playing for almost every offensive play.  He had come along way.  Their team is ranked #1 in the league for his division.  It is always fun to be on the winning team.  Our team won every game except the 2 we tied.

At his teams banquet he was given the award for Biggest Heart.  I can't think of a better award to win for an athlete.  They commented that they thought he was going to quit and hung in there and that he never cried (I think all of the other boys cried at least once).   You should see his arms, he is getting way to big.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sumo Grahm

This was a really fun event the school sponsored.  I have a new appreciation and understanding of Sumo Wrestlers.  They might have belly's, but they are solid muscle.  They can even do the splits.  Sumo Wrestling is a sacred sport.  If I understood correctly it was meant to be getting back to nature - just man vs. man.  After their demonstration they let children volunteer to try out some of the moves they were shown.  Jayce did not get selected during his assembly - but Grahm did.  It was lots of fun.  I am glad I decided to go.

PS -  I turned on my heater today, finally!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Program and Honor Roll

Grahm performed in the first grade Thanksgiving program.  They recited several poems and songs.  It was cute and Grahm was a cheese ball.  Tennyson wanted to get to him so badly during the performance.  He is growing way to fast.

Jayce pulled through after he realized grades are serious business and ended up on the Honor Roll.  We are so proud of him for working hard.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

School Projects

I have a hate love relationship with big school projects.  I love them because I get to spend a little more time with my kid working on something together (and the crafter in me enjoys it).  I hate them because, well... they are work and one more thing in my already busy schedule.  We have a had a few this past month.

Jayce was assigned an Indian project.  Jayce wanted to do a poster, the crafter in me hates them.  So, I persuaded Jayce to build a replica of a dwelling.  We of course chose Cherokee (that is the tribe Jason belongs to).  After doing some research we started building.  We had to enlist Jason's help on the construction of the bones of it all.  We tried to not just have it look like a replica, but be built correctly as well.  We were close, but not exact.  I had fun and I think Jason and Jayce did too.

Grahm was assigned to make a vest out of a brown paper bag.  It was part of his costume for their Thanksgiving program.  We made it the day before it was due (of course).  I didn't like the design so I started trying to get it to lay down like a vest should.  We had it looking nice.  Grahm was a little nervous of it after I had verbalized that I had made it wrong.  I offered to get another bag and re-make it correctly (I was even hoping, then it would lay better).  He said no and ran off to play.  Well at 8:00 am the next morning (30 minutes before we need to leave) he announced that he was going to be too embarrassed to wear the vest we had made.  Why did he have to pull that card, why didn't he just say he didn't like it.  So we scrambled to finish packing lunches and made another vest.  At the program I saw lots of different looking vests, the first on would have been fine.  Oh, well.

Jayce was recently assigned to make a clothespin doll.  Why?  I still have no idea.  Jayce chose to make Harry Potter.  This was an easy project and I really was able to stress being careful each step of the way so the final looks good.  Lucky for Jayce his mom has a huge scrap bin and we were able to find black fabric to make a cape.  His teacher tried to keep it!  Now he is hanging on the tree.