Saturday, December 24, 2011

How to Stop the Grinch Tonight

Emmett shows how to effectively stop the Grinch if he comes to your house tonight.
Emmett stops Grinch

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

Merry Christmas!
2011 Christmas card

2011 Christmas letter

Thursday, December 22, 2011


In the wake of Avery's birthday, there's been a lot of gold fever in our house. Well, for Travis and Avery anyway. They're having a great time of it. On this night Travis panned some of the pay dirt Avery got for his birthday and found some of Avery's very first gold.

First round of calling Mom out for a picture.

They sucked it up with their snuffer bottle.

Round two had a couple bigger pieces that they needed me to get tweezers for to put in Avery's little glass vial.

And round three. I just take pictures when they call and then go back in my nice warm house.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Avery's 7th Birthday

On December 1st my first baby turned a whole 7 years old! We celebrated that night as usual with a family dinner out to eat, his choice Red Robin of course, and his birthday party a few days later.

It was another Transformer party. We played pin the autobot symbol on Bumblebee.
Travis, Avery

Being the birthday boy and going first is sort of a raw deal because you can't feel where anyone else has placed theirs to get oriented.
Travis, Avery

The boys thought his skills lacking, but just wait until they go!

And for good measure here's another shot of most of Avery's friends who were there.

Emmett has a turn
Emmett, Travis

Carson has a turn, but it's Nicholas who nailed the sign perfectly on Bumblebee's chest.

Autobot, Autobot, Decepticon!
boys autobot autobot decepticon

An Optimus Prime pull sting pinata.
Avery Transformer pinata

The strings were kind of hard to get off. Carson was particularly funny.
Carson Transformer pinata

Mad candy dash!
boys candy dash

Time for presents!
Avery presents

After all the friend gifts it was time to open Mom and Dad's. For as long as we can remember Avery has been obsessive about money. For a while now he's really big into gold. One of his favorite shows is Gold Rush on Discovery, and now he and Dad also watch Gold Fever on the Outdoor channel which apparently Travis grew up watching. (PS: one of Travis' dental assistants just saw the Hoffman's from Gold Rush at our Red Robin's just a couple days ago. She said they were just as trashy there as they are on tv.)
Anyway, so for Avery's birthday we got him a gold pan, a big bucket to pan with, pay dirt, and some sand bags from Home Depot to practice on. Actually, on Gold Fever they saw you can get a $2 bag of sand from Home Depot and come up with as much as $20-30 of gold in it. The guy on the show did that when he was in California though, and I'm sure it makes a difference which quarry your local Home Depot's sand is shipped from. Not to mention just panning that is a lot of time for not a lot of return.
Avery pay dirt

Avery knew exactly what he got but was left so speechless with joy that Travis kept prompting him with, "Well, Avery, what is that?"
Avery Travis pay dirt

Time for cake! Avery's aunt Angela made his cake again, a giant Optimus Prime bust. That was A LOT of cake. We had less than the #7 shoulder during his party.
Transformer cake

Transformer cake

Avery blows candles

That night, Avery couldn't wait to try out panning! Dad demonstrates.
Avery, Travis, Carson, Emmett

And Avery gives it a try.
Avery panning

He was super in to it.
Avery panning

He's done it several times since then and has also run dirt through a sluice box that Travis beefed up from one he had made a long time ago and I never knew about that's been sitting in his Dad's shop.
Avery wants to run dirt all the time now. All the effort and time it takes doesn't phase him at all.

Sunday night we had a joint birthday party with cousin Alli with the family. Grandma and Papa found a big hit with this toy and the Human Body book that Grandma and Grandpa Benjamin got Avery was a necessary read that night and lots of reads since.
Avery shuttle

As for Avery's stats as a new 7 year old, it's the same story: he's still tall and skinny with 90% weight but off the chart tall.

Happy Birthday Avery!

Monday, December 19, 2011


We went to my hometown Spokane for Thanksgiving. One of the first things we did there was take care of all my mens' hair because we finally had some convenient time. Emmett had decided earlier in the week that our discussing haircuts meant he should try and take care of his himself. Chop chop chop and the top of his head was nice and short!

While at my parents a dip (or several) in the hot tub is a necessity. I think Emmett saw the stack of swim suits when I was packing, got excited and grabbed his... so I didn't realize it didn't make it into the suitcase. He threw a big fit about not wanting to go in in underwear, even tho the first time in Jace was also in his underwear. Eventually, he calmed down, told me he was okay now and would be nice and wanted to go in. It's funny how he works out controlling his temper.
Travis, Emmett, Avery, Carson, Chloe, Jace

Dominoes have also become and important part of visiting Grandma.
Carson, Marcella, Emmett, Avery

Carson, Marcella, Emmett, Avery

Marcella, Emmett

Thanksgiving day was a big one with LOTS of people. 23 I think? Here's a look from each end of the table. Not the biggest it's ever been at my parents, but close.
Thanksgiving table

A family of five from my parents' church joined us for Thanksgiving and we had a lot of fun with them. I ended up being particularly glad they came. The mom, Jessica, joined me for Black Friday and was an excellent shopping buddy! I was planning on going Black Friday shopping for the first time whether anyone wanted to join me or not. My two cousins visiting from college decided to join, but college students can't really go and SHOP like I was planning, so really I just kept them out really late. But since Jessica came too, the girls got to go do their thing and then just hang out while they waited for us. I had so much fun with Jessica! We left the house at 10pm... and I climbed in bed at 6:40am! And I could have kept going... I didn't get into Nordstrom Rack like I wanted to... We did WalMart first, but I'm never doing that again. Not unless there's some huge purchase I'm making that will save me loads. But then we went to the mall and I would definitely do that again!

Silly hand stacking with Grandma, Uncle Benji, and Jessica is hidden behind Carson.
Benji, Avery, Marcella, Carson

There are no pictures from Friday... probably since I slept half the day...

Emmett trying out the organ

He thinks he's pretty cool.

Catching cousin Jenna and Julia eating and Jenna gave me the crazy evil eye. Sorry Jenna, it was funny.
Jenna, Julia

Time to make Yummy Nummers, (a new tradition?) since Grandma made them with the boys when they visited us back in July.!
Step 1: Look cute, even if you're making a silly face at Mom

Step 2: cut some mini pie crusts.

Step 3: brush the "edges" with egg

Step 4: Add filling (we just did canned raspberry pie filling this time instead of making apple pie filling)

Step 5: Attach the top!

Step 6: Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and they're ready to bake!

But where's Emmett? We got down to the last crust left and I put a hold on anyone doing it until I could see if Emmett would wake up to do one (he really needed to get up).

Step 1: Try to finish waking up...

Look at that concentration

Smile Emmett! Look at me and smile! ...or just do those things separately...

Before the Saturday fun ended, my cousin Tammy, thankfully, wanted a picture with my sister and I, so now I have proof of my existence there too. I have to do a better job of remembering to be in pictures too. And no, Morgan isn't wearing my hat, apparently she had just a couple days before bought the same one I've been wearing a lot lately. She has good taste.
Morgan, Tammy, Laurie

Sunday morning before we headed home, I finally got a picture of the "instrument" the boys had been playing the whole trip. They're just different sized rubber bands strung around the knobs on this dresser.

It was a super fun trip! I came away realizing that I took very few pictures and didn't get a single shot of my Dad! I have bits of him in the yummy nummer shots and that's all the evidence that he was there. Sad!