The Fog Between Christmas and New Year’s Day

Story told by: Lainey

We’ve been living in the fog that is the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It’s been a great time where we’re still in vacation mode (even though Daddy had to work a few days), there are new Christmas toys, and still tons of sugar in the house.

The day after Christmas we found out we needed to buy a new dishwasher, so Daddy spent a few hours installing it. Way to go, Daddy!

While Daddy worked on the dishwasher, we worked with Mommy on putting together our new Lego sets (while Brody slept because that kid is a nightmare when it comes to working patiently on anything).

I’m getting to the age where I can follow Lego directions on my own!

I needed very little help from Mommy for this castle.

I’ve enjoyed having lazy mornings with the boys.

We got out of the house one day to meet Mac and Ivy at Planet 3 (the trampoline place).

Mommy and Christy even got in on the action!

Our fantastic babysitter, Taylor, asked to take me on a special date. Of course!!!

She took me out to lunch, and then to get my first-ever pedicure!

After pedicures, she took me back to her house to watch a movie and eat lots of delicious treats. Thank you so much, Taylor! We love you!

We cheered on the Cougs in the Holiday Bowl against Michigan State. It didn’t go well. At all. But we still love our Cougs! See you guys in September!

Na Na and Ba Ba gave us these awesome activities for Christmas. We spent two full days coloring!

After the coloring was complete, we put them together!

The boys shared this rocket.

And here’s my gingerbread house!

Mommy took Henry and I to see “Coco.” We really liked it! (And Henry and I devoured that giant tub of popcorn.)

Mommy learned how to use her new Instant Pot. She made loaded cauliflower soup. It was delicious! (And she even used her new immersion blender for this recipe as well!)

On New Year’s Eve, we had yummy 2018 pancakes for dinner!

Brody also helped Mommy make cupcakes for New Year’s Eve. (Only the best sous chefs can pull off sunglasses and no pants.)

Our favorite tradition on New Year’s Eve is to stay home and play games all night. We love it! We started with this fun game from Uncle Jeff!

Next up was Zingo!

Then Hungry, Hungry Hippos!

And finally Zimbbos!

Next we pulled out hats and blowers for our 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve celebration! (We can’t quite make it to midnight. Nor do Mommy and Daddy want to attempt it with us.)

Netflix has countdowns on it, so we used one of those to count down to our celebration.

Mommy made special treats to toast to the New Year.

Cheers!

The treats were a hit!

And messy! We enjoyed our treats, and then were all in bed by 8:30! Happy New Year!

Mommy and Daddy stayed up until midnight playing Ticket to Ride and drinking wine. They laughed and danced and had so much fun! Favorite tradition!

Today we’ve had a great lazy morning watching the Rose Bowl parade.

Perfect way to start 2018! Happy New Year!

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Top Ten of 2017

It’s been a fantastic 2017! Here are some highlights from our year….

10. We had some sweet friends invite us to experience wheat harvest on a combine.

9. We had an epic summer of camping. We couldn’t pick just one trip, so here is one picture from each excursion.

8. Lainey continues to love dance, and performed in her recital in June.

Lainey R WEB-1

7. Henry and Lainey both got to swim with Dede (and Brody gets to join in 2018).

6. Henry started preschool and Lainey started kindergarten.

5. After waiting for what felt like forever, Henry was finally old enough to play t-ball.

4. Brody is loving his class for gymnastics.

3. Lainey lost her first tooth (which was followed shortly by her second tooth).

2. We remained as dedicated of Cougar football fans as ever.

1. In fact, we took our Cougar fandom to a new level with our Halloween costumes. Go Cougs!

Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us! Happy New Year!

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Christmas Pajama Pictures, 2017

Pictures taken by the wonderful Ileia McCall Photography!

Robinson 2017 Web-16

Robinson 2017 Web-15

Robinson 2017 Web-12

Robinson 2017 Web-9

Robinson 2017 Web-2

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Christmas, 2017

Story told by: Lainey

We had a wonderful Christmas! Such fun to celebrate the birth of Jesus!

The tree in the wee hours of the morning. Mommy loves this peaceful moment of Christmas morning.

I was so excited for Christmas, though, that I woke Mommy and Daddy up at 1:20, 3:45, and finally at 5:20 to ask if it was time to get up yet (even though I can read my clock and knew it wasn’t time…a girl’s gotta hope, right?). Mommy and Daddy sent me and Henry up to my room with the iPad to watch a Christmas show while they peacefully drank coffee.

Santa was busy!

At 6:30, Mommy let us wake Brody up (who, of course, for the first time ever was sleeping in), and we waited at the top of the stairs for the “okay” to head down.

Here we go! Santa always leaves our big present unopened, so we were thrilled to find these surprises waiting for us.

I got twin Hatchimals!

Brody got a “PJ Masks” race car.

And Henry got a Ninja Turtle lair. Great job, Santa!

Next we opened stockings!

While we waited for the-best-ever breakfast casserole to bake, we had cookies. Cookies at 7 a.m.?!? Best. Day. Ever.

Then it was time to open presents! Gma and Gpa made sure I had some great American Girl accessories for the American Girl doll I bought a couple of months ago. Thank you!

Brody got lots of “PJ Masks” toys.

We’ve been loving non-fiction books, so we got quite a few of those.

We took a break for the breakfast casserole!

And then back at it! I got a great movie from Grandma and Grandpa. Thank you!

Mommy had someone make a unicorn hat for me. I love it!

Brody loves everything to do with minions, so he was very happy to get the movie.

We got the coolest rocket ship and gingerbread house from Na Na and Ba Ba. They’re big enough for us to play in, but you get to first decorate and color the sides of them. So cool! Thank you!

And they gave us a really fun play camper!

We spent a lot of time in the camper. You’ll also see the awesome robot dogs that Gma and Gpa gave us!

Daddy was very touched by the work gloves that I bought for him with my own money. I noticed that his work gloves were getting very dirty, so I asked Mommy if I could buy some for him.

Mommy and Daddy also loved the present that Henry made for them at preschool.

Mommy ordered Daddy some of his favorite specialty beer, but didn’t realize the size of the bottles. I guess Daddy has some drinking to do.

We got lots of great games this year! That will give us some great family time together!

Present opening is done! Now we play!

Na Na sat with me for a long time and became the expert on Hatchimals with me.

After taking care of the egg, the Hatchimals started hatching much sooner than expected. I later admitted to Mommy that I was both scared and excited while this was happening.

The Hatchimals sing “Hatchy Birthday” when they are born.

Brody did puzzles with Mommy and Daddy. Thanks for the puzzles, Aunt Jaffer!

Brody and Ba Ba got some snuggling in.

After a lazy morning, we decided it was time to get out to enjoy the beautiful snow. Nothing better than a white Christmas!

On our way home, Henry pulled Na Na on the sled. He’s one strong boy!

After lunch, Brody (and Ba Ba) took a nap while we played with our new games.

I love my new Lite-Brite!

I also love my new Belle dress!

When Brody woke up, he also pulled out some of his games.

And after lots of playing, it was time for a delicious Christmas dinner!

A great end to a perfect day!! We were thoroughly worn out. Henry asked to go to bed at 5:45, and Brody and I followed not long after. That’s the sign of a good Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone! We hope your day was just as fantastic!

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Christmas Eve, 2017

Story told by: Henry

It’s Christmas Eve!! We’re so excited!

We woke up to a fun message in sprinkles from Elf.

Daddy and I started our day with a good shave.

We went to church this morning, and after a quick lunch, we went to Joseph’s house to talk to Santa one last time before he started delivering presents. (Santa always comes to Joseph’s house a day or two before Christmas, so we were happy to join in on the visit.)

We each took turns telling Santa what we most wanted.

Mommy and Santa were both relieved that none of us changed our most wanted item on our list.

After Brody took a nap, we dressed up for Christmas Eve service at church. I looked so handsome in my church clothes! (Brody was your typical I-don’t-want-to-do-anything two-year-old.)

But he did cheer up for a picture with Na Na and Ba Ba.

It was a beautiful Christmas Eve service. In between the people in the pews, you can see us up front for the children’s message. We ended the night by singing “Silent Night” to candle light. This is one of Mommy’s favorite parts of Christmas.

Brody and I don’t remember this tradition, but Lainey made a beeline for the tree as soon as we got home because she remembered that Santa always brings us a present while we’re at church on Christmas Eve. We opened it to find matching pajamas and a new Christmas book!

For a late dinner, we had pizza (with paper plates). Super easy! And super delicious!

Matching hot chocolate pajamas!

Before going to bed, we each picked out a cookie (and milk) to leave for Santa.

Lainey also wrote Santa a note to encourage him for his long night.

We ended the night by reading our new book with Mommy. And now we go to bed because SANTA’S COMING!!!

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Christmas Adam

Story told by: Lainey

We’ve had a great Christmas Adam today! But before I show you those pictures, here’s a few from yesterday!

We had lots of snow fall on Thursday night, so Friday morning meant playing in the snow! Henry was very proud of the arms he found for our snowman.

Daddy took the day off, and Mommy was getting her hair cut, so Daddy took us outside to play (and a neighbor came by to capture some pictures).

When Mommy got home, we got to make sugar cookies together. (Except I was in a quite a mood, so I chose to lay on the ground with my giant giraffe while Henry helped Mommy.)

We made egg-free cookies and dyed them red so we would make sure to know the cookies that were safe for Henry.

Na Na and Ba Ba arrived yesterday afternoon. Shortly after arriving, we went to watch the Cougar basketball game. Cougs won!

Just moments after getting us in bed, the power went off for hours. Na Na is amazing and just happened to have some lanterns to use.

The adults ate treats and talked by lantern for the rest of the night.

This morning I got to work on a craft with Na Na that I’ve been talking about since summer. We spent just about two hours working on this.

A mermaid!! I love it!

Thank you, Na Na!

Aunt Tiffany, Uncle Jaron, and Vern came down for the afternoon. It was a blast!

We got to exchange presents with each other.

While Vern and Brody took a nap, we decorated cookies.

Ba Ba was very detailed with his cookie decorating.

After cookie decorating, we played Heads Up. Girls vs. guys!

Although the guys can’t pose for a picture, they can play this game well, and they managed to win. Good job, guys!

After Aunt Tiffany, Uncle Jaron, and Vern headed home, we loaded up the car to find the best Christmas lights in Colton/Uniontown.

Here’s the award we handed out!

We had yummy candy canes in the car while searching.

After driving all through Colton and Uniontown, we had almost finished our search when we happened upon this house. It was BEAUTIFUL!!

Hands down the winner!!

The owners weren’t home, so we left the award on their door.

Best in Show!! Way to go!

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Snow, Gingerbread Houses, and a Trip on the Polar Express!

Story told by: Brody

Christmas is getting close, so we’re packing in all of the Christmas fun we can!! And we’re loving it!

We had our first big snow this weekend, so we got outside early on Saturday morning to enjoy it. I’ll actually keep my gloves on this year, and as it turns out, that makes being outside in the snow a lot more fun.

Henry and I tried to have a snowball fight with Daddy. It was fun until Daddy threw snowballs in our faces.

After I helped Daddy clear the sidewalks, Daddy helped us build an awesome snow fort.

Thanks, Daddy!

We woke up this morning, and immediately went to find Elf (as usual), but could only find his hat. We were confused.

And then we found him with Polar Express tickets!!

It’s the day for our annual Polar Express movie night!!!

We went to church this morning. Daddy and I looked super duper handsome.

During Sunday School, our sweet teacher, Kassidy, made a Happy Birthday, Jesus cake.

We got to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, and enjoy some delicious cake.

We also decorated ornaments, and got goody bags from Kassidy. Thank you for being a great teacher!

After lunch we got to decorate gingerbread houses.

I decorated a little, but was pretty insistent about just eating the candy. Mommy cut me off at some point, but I refused to be happy about it.

The logs and the fire in the front were Lainey’s idea. I was responsible for the person crawling out of the window. (That’s completely normal for a gingerbread house, right?)

Success!

After gingerbread houses, it was time for our Polar Express dinner!!

My favorite was definitely the snowballs (donut holes).

After dinner we changed into our pajamas and grabbed our tickets.

Daddy was the conductor, and punched our tickets before we entered the train.

Lainey got an “L.”

Henry got an “H.”

And I got a random bunch of holes because Daddy said a “B” was too hard. Ummm, not cool, Daddy.

Time to start the train!

When the servers on the movie came into the train to serve treats, we ran upstairs to get our own treats. We had snowflake pretzels, candy cane tree suckers, and hot chocolate. Delicious!

We then continued the movie while enjoying our treats.

A perfect end to a weekend packed full of Christmas activities. This house is definitely enjoying this Christmas season!!

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Winter Concert and Christmas Cruise

Story told by: Lainey

Yesterday was a big day! It started with my winter concert at school in the afternoon.

Before going to school, Mommy got a couple of pictures of me in my festive clothes.

Joseph’s grandma got a good picture of us at school together!

Here are my songs!

Mommy accidentally cut this song a little short, but you get the idea.

Immediately following the performance, we had to pick up Daddy at work and head to Coeur d’Alene for the light cruise! We have had almost no snow this winter, but on Friday it decided to dump snow. A lot of snow. What is normally a two hour drive, took us 3 1/2 hours. It was a stressful, treacherous drive.

Our plans for dinner had to be changed because we didn’t have time, so we had to get food from a gas station. (Mommy and Daddy didn’t seem thrilled about it, but we were stoked to be getting popcorn, cereal bars, and bananas for dinner!) Once we arrived at the resort, we got stuck in traffic. With some distance to go, we all jumped out with Mommy to try to make it to the check-in point before the boat left, while Daddy went to find parking. We are running through snow drifts, the boys are falling in the snow, they’re both crying, and Mommy keeps dragging us and encouraging us to run with baby steps so we don’t fall on the ice and snow. We’re wet and sweaty when we arrive at the check-in point, and they tell us we have five minutes before the boat leaves, so we’ll make it! Then they ask for the tickets. Mommy looks for them and discovers she had dropped them while running through the snow. She asks if there was anything that could be done, and they tell Mommy they’re not sure if they’ll have enough time to do something, so Mommy promptly burst into tears in front of Santa’s elves. (Mommy may have just about had enough.) Turns out a crying mother is the only ticket they need, though, because they let us right onto the boat after that.

Waiting by the boat while Daddy runs to join us.

As the boat was leaving, we saw the Grinch running along the dock.

Checking out the neat light displays along Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Then we bundled up to head outside on the boat because we were nearing the North Pole. (Notice Daddy still in work clothes because he didn’t have time to change. He was running through snow in work pants and dress shoes.)

After 20 minutes or so, we arrived at the North Pole! There’s Santa!

Listening to Santa reading names off the nice list.

My face when Santa read our names off the nice list. We made it on the nice list!!

Family picture on our way back from the North Pole.

We got some delicious hot chocolate to warm up.

Despite the chaos and stress to get here, the cruise itself was really fun!

But then we had another 3 1/2-hour treacherous drive home, made even harder by more snow, less light, and no visible road lines. Also, Henry and I accidentally switched waffles for breakfast a couple of days ago, and he ate my waffle with egg in it. His reaction to eggs can be delayed by up to three days, so last night on the way home is when it kicked in. Poor guy screamed and cried most of the way home because his tummy hurt. We pulled in to our house just minutes before midnight. Mommy and Daddy got us into bed, and Daddy declared we’re never doing this again. We’ll see if he sticks to that, but I do have a feeling that it may be a little while until we see you again Coeur d’Alene Light Cruise.

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Christmas Program!

Story told by: Lainey

We’ve been working on our Christmas program at church since the beginning of November, and today was the big performance day!

Henry was a star, Brody was an angel, and I was a shepherd (which is perfect for my career goal of a sheep farmer)!

We had a dress rehearsal before the performance and got a group shot of the whole crew.

We had some great motions to our songs.

The candles may have been a bit of a distraction to two-year-old angels.

For those of you who find us absolutely fascinating and really want to watch our songs, here you go!

Here are both the dress rehearsal and performance versions of “Away in a Manger.” In the performance version you can see a little bit of where I come on stage.

I’ll also give you two versions of “Camel Camel.” The first one shows more of Brody, the second one shows Henry being very distracted by shoving tinsel in his costume.

We came back to church tonight for the big Christmas dinner! The kids had their own tables.

Me and Chloe

Mommy and Daddy sat with the Hein and the Powers families.

After feasting on turkey, stuffing, casseroles, macaroni and cheese, potatoes, and much more, we hit the delicious dessert table! Yum!

And we ended the night with crafts. We love this church!!

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‘Tis the Season!

Story told by: Brody

We’ve been enjoying all things Christmas-related lately!

Henry and I got to have a hot chocolate date with Mommy last week.

Within the first minute of trying to drink the hot chocolate, I had covered myself in it, so Mommy requested straws.

We had my friend, Desmond (and his family), over for a yummy brunch last weekend.

Thank goodness boys, girls, and adults each had their separate tables.

We went to Advent Craft Night at our church last weekend. We started with gingerbread houses. Henry foolishly put his together. I decided not to waste the time, and just got right to work on eating the gingerbread house components.

After all that work, Henry started eating his house.

Lainey’s masterpiece!

Mrs. O’Loughlin helped Lainey on another craft because Mommy was chasing me everywhere.

We enjoyed making stick figure people.

On Sunday morning, we joined Concordia Lutheran Church. It’s the church connected to Henry’s preschool, and we’ve been going there for the last few months. I, however, didn’t want our family to appear too perfect, so I made sure the congregation knew what they were in for.

We made sugar cookies to bring to our home group. Yum!

Henry’s preschool had a Parent’s Night Out where we all went to watch a movie, do crafts, and eat yummy snacks while Mommy and Daddy went on a date. It was a win-win for everyone!

I got to have a play date with Anastasia and Cleopatra this week.

Henry and I also got to have a fun play date with Weston at our house.

We still walk to pick up Lainey from kindergarten most days, but the walk is starting to get pretty darn chilly.

On Tuesday night we go to see Santa!! We were all excited! Lainey made sure to let him know she wants a Hatchimal, Henry told him about the Ninja Turtle castle, and I told him I’d like something related to PJ Masks.

After close observation, Lainey declared that this was the real Santa because his beard was attached to his face and she didn’t see any strings. She also said that she now knows that Santa has gray in his beard.

And here was my shining moment! Santa Butch!! I love this guy.

Mommy planned a fun Rudolph craft for us. But we hijacked it.

From right to left…1) The intended Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer craft (made by me…AKA Mommy), 2) Rudolph the Green-Nosed Reindeer (made by Henry). In a vest. That we made sure would still show his green belly button. 3) Pudding the Robot.

Friday was a great day in school for Lainey. She got to decorate gingerbread houses AND she got to have a pizza party that her class won from the firefighters a couple of weeks ago. She said she doesn’t want to eat her house because it looks too perfect (but that won’t stop me from trying to sneak a bite).

Today we woke up and went to our church for the annual Candy Cane Hunt. Before heading outside, we got to enjoy some crafts.

Time for the hunt to begin!

Lainey, Henry, and I were all together in the 0-5 age group.

And we’re off!

I found one candy cane right away, and hung on to it for the entire hunt. I was pretty content with it until Mommy convinced me to get this second candy cane.

Henry found five candy canes!

After the hunt we had a cupcake walk.

And then I demolished my cupcake (very little actually made it in my mouth).

Lainey and Mommy had a fun girls’ afternoon. They first went to do some Christmas shopping. Lainey wanted to purchase gifts for me, Henry, and Daddy with her own money.

She also couldn’t resist purchasing a little guitar for herself. She serenaded Mommy while they waited for lunch.

Tonight we did another one of our favorite Christmas traditions – the drive-thru nativity! We put on our Christmas PJs, piled in the front with Mommy and Daddy, and slowly drove through the parking lot of the church that hosts the nativity.

After finding out that the inn was full, we drove on to see baby Jesus, heard the angels singing, and got some delicious candy canes. We love this tradition!

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