Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!


We had an awesome Christmas this year. I think it this was my favorite. 

We started off the season with an advent calendar. We did things like go hiking; buy a journal/diary for vacation; go Christmas light looking in your pajamas; buy Christmas gifts for siblings; buy Christmas gifts for a family in need; family game night; and review the Christmas story and true meaning of Christmas. The last one makes me chuckle because the Sunday after Christmas, we were in Texas and the boys had stayed the night at my parents' hotel. Sunday morning, my mom got the grandkids together for a bible story since we weren't going to church. She starts to talk about the Christmas story, and I guess my boys, especially Wes, were beyond bored. They were telling my mom that they had already talked about this story at home. They were sighing, moving around constantly, and throwing themselves back like it was exhausting. Oops -- the life of 8 year old boys on the go . . on vacation . . . during Christmas time.

Baking cookies was on the list (they did it with Grandma Fischer -- I don't bake)

One of the Christmas light houses that we visited had a petting zoo that included horses, cows, and mules. We spent a lot of time there loving on those animals. I wanted a mule for my backyard after that.

Our neighbor's house. (Home of boys' best friend, Sullivan)

Decorating our house was another item on the list. Our new neighborhood goes all out for Christmas. It is part of city light tours on Christmas Eve, and there is a line of cars to get into our neighborhood. EVERY SINGLE NEIGHBOR puts out the lanterns on the sidewalks on the 24th. It is beautiful. We were out of town this year (don't worry concerned neighbors, we had someone set out our lanterns for us), but Jim and Sherree visited the neighborhood and sent us pictures. There was even a house by ours that had "dancing Santa Clauses". Seriously, men in Santa Claus costumes were in the front yard dancing to music.

Because we would be traveling during Christmas, we celebrated with Adam's parents on December 15th. This was one of my favorite days of all time. After opening presents, we decided to go on a bike ride on the dirt hills by their house. We were out there for hours. The boys (Jim and Adam included) kept trying to conquer dirt mound after dirt mound while the girls cheered them on. At one point, Adam talked me into riding his bike from halfway up a steep and bumpy hill. It was terrifying and I screamed like a baby the whole way down. Not again. Wes also went down that same hill (but from the top) . . . and he had an amazing crash that we caught on slow motion video. (Thank you, bike helmet.) There were some tears shed, but once he saw that awesome video, he was a superhero. Calvin let everyone know that he was the smart one because he knew a crash would happen, and that's why he didn't go down the hill from the top.

Watch out for the Fischer Five bike gang

Me getting ready to bike down from halfway up the hill. Adam holding the back of my bike and yelling at me to lift my feet and go. I'm yelling back of course.
Determined. He was going to make it up the hill without stopping. He did it.

Family Photo, Take 1

Calvin opening up his first set of snap circuits. Perfect gift for this little creative engineer.
Toys R Us gift cards, oh yeah!
Alemitu using a Build-A-Bear gift card for her first time. She made a pony.
The boys and their friend, Sullivan, playing tetherball (Christmas present)
On Christmas day, we were almost halfway through our vacation. We spent Christmas with my sister and her family. It was wonderful! All of the kids got new bikes from Santa Claus.

Christmas Eve at The Batsche House. Levi is checking out Adam. Alemitu is not wanting that to happen.
Chloe and Calvin hanging out
Bathed and dressed in comfy pajamas . . . waiting on Santa Claus.

Don't forget me! I'm in Christmas jammies too!
Christmas Morning Craziness
Aunt Jenna bought the girls matching Sophia pajamas
A few days after Christmas, we celebrated again with my parents, older sister, and her kids. Unfortunately, no one took pictures of the gift exchange. Not one! We all regret that, but I promise we had a great time together. I guess the photographs will just have to live on in our memories.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Calvin's Thanksgiving Turkey
We had a great Thanksgiving! This year was special for several reasons. Normally, we travel somewhere north of Phoenix over the Thanksgiving holiday. It is usually our favorite time of the year, but this year we were traveling over Christmas instead. This Thanksgiving was special because we got to stay home and spend it with Adam's family -- something we haven't done in years. And to make it extra special, we hadn't spent much time at all with them in several years and this new beginning created happiness and THANKFULNESS from everyone. 
Adam's parents and his aunt and uncle came over for Thanksgiving lunch. Other than a couple of things I made, they brought the entire dinner to us. It was delicious! We left the patio door wide open to let the fresh air and beauty of the day inside. And people -- this was so special, I purchased a table cloth. It may not have fit on the table exactly, but I purchased a tablecloth -- nothing was going to ruin this dinner. 

After dinner, Adam decided it was time to teach the boys how to drive the golf cart. So they both took turns driving on the golf course (because honestly, what else is there to do on a golf course?). Their grandparents were brave enough to ride. The boys are growing up way too fast. 


In the evening, we went to the movies. And not just any movie theater, we went to iPic with the huge recliners, pillows, blankets, and pure comfyness. Adam and I had a few problems with this situation though: (1) We ate turkey for lunch; (2) turkey makes you sleepy; (3) we were basically lying in a bed to watch . . . . a kids' movie. All this equals -- prying our eyes open to stay awake. I am pretty sure I managed to see the entire movie, and I am also pretty sure I caught Adam snorting one or two times. After the movie, I asked the old people, er kids' grandparents, if they fell asleep too. With confused looks as if I asked a silly question, they answered 'No'. Oh yeah, um, us either. 

This is how Wes fell asleep Thanksgiving night. No joke.
It was a GREAT Thanksgiving. The timing was perfect. I can't promise we won't travel again next year, but maybe we'll take a few people along with us.

Wes' class put on a Thanksgiving play.

Playing fuseball with cousins the day after Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fall 2013

We had a great fall! Below are some pictures with descriptions of what we did:

The boys got to sit in a helicopter when they went with Adam to pick up some gear for a shoot.
We've went on a few hikes this fall. Normally Alemitu will say, "We are never going to make it, Guys!" Then, at the end, not only did we make it, she gives us a trophy or a medal.
Calvin went to a friend's birthday party at a rock climbing place. Calvin does great in individual sports, and so it wasn't surprising that he was the first kid to make it to the top. What I love about Calvin is that instead of doing something easy for him over and over, he immediately moved on to a really difficult climb. After trying and failing for quite some time, the guide told him to take break so someone else could have a turn. A few minutes later, after completing another easy one, Calvin got right back in line at that hard one. He loves a challenge!

Adam celebrated his 34th birthday. He wanted to go to Dennys so he could spell out his age in bacon. (Tribute to his favorite TV Show 'Breaking Bad'.

My parents came into town, and we were able to celebrate my mom's birthday.
We played some miniature golf and had a great time. This was Alemitu's first time to play, and she loved it! She would normally hit it a few times, and then go put it in the hole with her hand. "Yay! She wins!" This place is really close to our house (Adam grew up playing here), and so we want to make sure we go more often.

One of Alemitu's favorite things to do is help her dad in the garage. She will tinker around with his stuff, and then she finds her own things to "fix". But mostly, she just rides her tricycle in the driveway and never stops talking.

Adam painted the boys' old bikes, and customized them so they were more like BMX bikes. There were some free wheel issues, but this was a test to see how they would do with real BMX bikes. They boys loved their "new" bikes. Wes learned the word "customize", and we haven't stopped hearing about his "customized bike" or his "customized lego guys" etc. He loves the idea that no one in the world could have one exactly like it.

The boys getting ready to ride their bikes down the street for a birthday sleepover with their friend, Sullivan. Even though this wasn't their first sleepover before, I just felt like they were growing up before my very eyes as they rode away down the street.

I tried giving the dog a haircut. I failed. Miserably. Adam made me take her to a professional groomer the next day rather than let her grow it back out (or put a T-shirt on her like I tried to do originally). Speaking of haircuts, I also quit doing hair this fall. My focus is on Adam's business, and so I need to take a break from doing hair right now. It was a hard thing to give up, but I know it was the right decision.
Our church, CCV Scottsdale campus, celebrated its first year
My dad and I let Adam and my mom win. I mean, it was my mom's birthday after all. It was the nice thing to do.
We have had LOTS of playdates with friends. There was one week in the fall that we had a playdate 4 out of 5 days of the week. The kids have loved staying in touch with old friends, and playing with new friends as well.
Tricycle riding girl - even in her pajamas.
Relaxing at the park.
The kids were pretty popular the week that we brought the stomp rocket. We go to this beautiful park with friends every single week, and the kids haven't gotten bored yet.

She asked me to take this picture.
Alemitu got to hang out with my good friend Bridget, and her daughter Faith (Alemitu's good friend). Bridget text me this picture of Alemitu getting her make-up done at Sephora. Alemitu was in heaven.
At the end of summer, Adam's grandparents came out for a visit. The kids love playing with them.
Alemitu making great-grandpa go to bed.

Great Grandma wanted a granddaughter for so, so long.
Another playdate with friend, Hunter.