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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gifts from Santa

Santa was VERY generous this year. Aside from the sweater, hat, and mittens Savannah is wearing (courtesy of a loving Grandma and aunt), and the new king size bed she is sitting on, he also brought me the camera I have been eyeing for months now. I have been giddy with the awesomeness of my new camera, and although these pictures probably don't look any different to you, just humor me and tell me they look great. :-)

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December 25

My living room is not very big, but that is where the tree is, and so that is where Santa left his stash. There were presents everywhere! Savannah and Logan's piles were blocking the front door because there was no other place to put them, but luckily no one was planning on going anywhere. :-)

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Christmas was so fun this year. Our kids are at such a great age to get into the spirit and anticipation of the holiday. They each got a video letter from Santa a few weeks ago and ever since Logan has not stopped talking about Santa and what he said to him. All he wanted for Christmas was a "helihopter," and Santa made sure to fill his request. Savannah was so much fun to watch as she unwrapped gift after gift. She "oohed" and "wow-ed" over everything. Her big gift this year was a kitchen, and it has already been such a hit with both her and Logan. I am sad to see Christmas end, but it was such a good Christmas that I can look back with fond memories and look forward to doing it all again next year.

(My) Home for the holidays

Instead of packing up the car and heading to my hometown for the holidays, all my family came to us! For a solid week we had 10 adults and 5 kids (all under 4-years-old) living under our roof. Everyone was there minus my brother who is serving a mission in India, although his Christmas Eve phone call brought us all together in spirit. Some of the week's highlights included:

1. the Lights at Temple Square and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building,

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my cute dad
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my brother and his beautiful wife
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Logan trying out uncle Byron's glasses
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2. the Discovery Gateway Museum,

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3. sledding at Soldier Hollow,

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my brother with his daredevil son
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such a beautiful day
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4. and our Christmas Eve program.

the traditional Christmas Eve PJ picture
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Somewhere in the middle of it all, we managed to get a family picture. As our family grows exponentially, it becomes increasingly difficult to get us all together for a picture. As I mentioned, we are missing my youngest brother, but aside from that, this is us!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A builder in our midst

"Reindeer"
An original creation by Logan Pendleton

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Monday, December 14, 2009

A night in Bethlehem

Our ward hosted "A Night in Bethlehem" this year in place of a ward Christmas party. Everyone dressed up in Biblical attire and the cultural hall was transformed into a Bethlehem marketplace. We were taxed two cans of food as we came in, but then we were free to enjoy some period-appropriate crafts, games and food as we watched the annual butchered-but-endearing pageant. The kids thought it was great, and as Logan and his friends chased each other around and under the feet of the adults, it felt eerily similar to the New Testament movies we watched in seminary. If nothing else, I sure had fun designing our getup!

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(Picture courtesy of Logan.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let the holidays begin

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful

Today I am thankful for...

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and

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and

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especially when he gives me these.

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And today, I am especially grateful for building toys, and the hours they keep my son out of my hair while I prepare for the feast of the year.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Temple-Logas

Logan has a fascination with temples. He likes to associate them with the people who live by them. For instance, there's Grandma Pendleton's temple (Provo), Zach's temple (Oquirr Mountain), and other Grandma Mackay's temple (San Diego). As we were driving home yesterday, I pointed out the temples as we drove past them and identified them by their proper name. As we passed the temple closest to our house, I told Logan, "That's our temple. It's called the Timpanogos temple."

Logan gasped in excitement and shouted back, "The Temple-Logas temple? For me?"

I laughed aloud, then made him repeat it several times to ensure I had heard right. He realized soon enough that it wasn't really named after him, but Logan--like his dad--will do anything for a laugh, and hence repeated "Temple-Logas" the rest of the way home.

I love you, little buddy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This post is brought to you by the letter "F"

Logan has been attending a neighborhood preschool and last week was our turn to host. The letter was "F," so I thought it would be fun to go on a field trip to the fire station. Unfortunately, the fear of large groups of children passing h1n1 to medical personnel caused our local fire stations to suspend all school groups. "Well," thought I, "we'll just have to make our own fire station."

We started by giving everyone a fire hat to wear. The girls were less than interested, but the boys couldn't have been more enthusiastic.

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We talked about fires and firefighters, then we made firemen out of toilet paper rolls. (If you ask me, the chubby one is a little unrealistic. Who's ever seen an overweight fireman?) We also played an improvised version of Chinese fire drill on the couch.

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We ended "class" with a game of Cranium Caribou, which also provided an unforeseen *ahem* opportunity to teach about lines and waiting your turn.

It may not have been as good as the real fire station, but it kept 4 two- and three-year-olds entertained for an hour and a half, which is good enough for me!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To run or not to run...

This summer has been a turning point for me in terms of exercise. A neighbor suggested we trade kids so we can run/bike/whatever kid free and it made all the difference. During that time I prepared and ran in a 5K, triathlon, and marathon relay, thereby doubling the number of races I have run in my life. Although I didn't notice much of a speed improvement, I did increase my endurance and overall stamina. But more importantly, I just felt better. Maybe it was in my head, but it was enough to get me back at it week after week. I even found myself enjoying my runs, which I'd NEVER done before.

But alas, I am a fair weather exerciser, and the weatherman says the fair weather is quickly coming to an end. On my run this morning I found myself wondering if this winter would be different. Will I be able to motivate myself to bundle up and run when it's 30 degrees? When it's raining? When it's snowing? Maybe. Or maybe not. Time will tell.

As one of my favorite photographers says, every post is better with a picture. And since I'm not in the mood to post a picture of me in my running getup, here are some from this morning.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

My letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know what a fantastic job you have done in past years with our children. Their Christmases have been "merry and bright" which is what every new parent hopes for. You are very much appreciated in our household, and I am thankful every day that it is YOU and not ME trying to prepare the perfect Christmas during this hectic and chaotic season.

I can only imagine how challenging it must be to find toys that (a) do not have a bazillion pieces that could be lost, swallowed, or dumped down the garbage disposal, (b) make minimal (if any) noise so I can maintain my sanity from day to day, (c) provide some small sort of educational value so my kids don't grow up completely illiterate due to my negligence, and (d) are reasonably priced so your workshop doesn't go broke. What a job! I am truly amazed that one man can do it all, since I am certain I could never accomplish all those things for my two children alone.

I might be able to do it if Christmas fell in July, but certainly not in December when I am trying to do so many other things, such as finishing a 6-month project at work, furiously editing pictures for holiday cards, and winterizing my house and yard, to name a few. During this crazy time of year, I am especially grateful that I do NOT have to add "Santa" to the list of hats I wear.

So thank you, Santa, for not forcing me to enter a toy store or mall in October, November, or December. That is truly the best gift you could give me.

Sincerely,
A young mother

P.S. My children come first, but if you happen to bring something for me, I'd really like a pair of boots. Thank you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween

Usually I can't wait for Halloween to pass so I can start listening to Christmas music, but this year I had so much fun planning and putting together our costumes that I almost didn't want it to end! I hope I still have this much fun when my kids start having an opinion about what they wear. :-)

First, I'd like to introduce you to our little ladybug. Precious? I think so.

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Next is our sheriff. He rules the town around these parts.

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And finally I'd like you to meet Dr. Gregory House and Dr. Lisa Cuddy.

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Our Halloween fun began Friday morning with a neighborhood party. We paraded around the block, made googly eyed pumpkins, and decorated scary Halloween cookies.

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That afternoon we visited my office where cubicle world had been transformed into a spider's lair. I knew it was going to be a long evening when both Logan and Savannah hit a sugar high at 2:00.

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On Saturday, we got an early start trick or treating in our neighborhood. To help speed things up, we loaded the kids in the wagon between houses.

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Savannah didn't have any trouble picking up on the concept of trick or treating. Look cute... pick candy... put in bag... repeat. Logan was very polite and did great minus one small instance of "Trick or treat, smell my feet...". Now who taught him that? (Grandma.)

All in all, it was a great holiday and I can't wait to do it all again next year.

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