Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry, Merry Christmas!

We have had a wonderful holiday season and would love to share some of the highlights of our day with you.  The sun was shining!  The kids were smiling!  And we have some memories to cherish!

The day started early with cinnamon rolls and moved to stockings!  The kiddos loved the candy and chopsticks from their cousins in Okinawa, Japan!  Such a treat for all of us!  Thank you!

John had so much excitement as he discovered new Pokemon cards, a binder to put them in, and Nerf bullets for the Nerf guns!  He couldn't wait to start organizing all those cards!

With a diary and a new watch, Kelsey is ready for life in the new year!  She's already finished her Christmas entry in the diary and reset the watch for the correct time.  She loves the new bracelet Grand Grammy sent too!


Bekah loves her new bracelet and necklace!  Her birthday jewelry box is going to get some awesome use with all of the hair accessories and jewelry she got for Christmas!

Kelsey and Bekah were squealing with joy at the new Lego Friends set!  And the Nutcrackers are going to be their new tradition together!

Jack loves the new Lego set and now has a box to store his Legos in!  Organization means he can play longer and the vacuum won't eat as many pieces!


Joe wanted to play with his sidewalk chalk (yes, it was almost 60 degrees today!) and new Play-doh!  Such fun is coming for this little man!

Jason wanted everyone's candy.  He was willing to take it off the other kids' hands while they weren't looking!  He was definitely happy to be a part of Christmas this year!

And Shawn looks awesome in his new black cowboy hat!  The camera just doesn't do this hat/man justice!  Hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas!  We are looking ahead to all of the adventures next year!  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's Your Birthday, Bekah!

Happy Birthday, Bekah!  Has it really been seven years since you came to our family!?  And look how big/grown up you've gotten!  Well, today it's about you!   Thanks for being such a great member of our family!

Bekah was so generous to share her birthday with Daddy's CHL class (concealed handgun).  She made little sewing stuff and played outside in the 70 degree weather!  That's something you couldn't do seven years ago in Utah!

Here are some of the pictures from her birthday!  Thank you, family, for making her day so great!


Bekah is lovin' her "dollars" for each year!  Now her Tooth Fairy money will have a friend with her birthday money!  And she begged for a baby blue BB gun!  We'll post a picture when we have her name finished on it.  Shawn was a little busy today... 


And giddy laughter erupted when she saw a new Lego Friends set....AND a jewelry box!  Bekah is so excited for her gifts!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Family Pix for 2014

We have a tradition of updating the family pictures just in time for the Christmas newsletter!  So, I'm putting the individual kid pictures here...mixed in with their news.  And you can see all the good stuff that has happened to us over the past year!

 John is still John, leading the family to the unknown of Pokemon and Wakfu.  If you don’t know what these are, that’s alright.  Ask John.  He will explain it all. 

Now that he’s in fourth grade he has been learning the finer points of fractions and beginning to discover those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.  We are trying to get him to branch out and read a lot of different kinds of books.

John is also looking forward to being a Webelos scout (his last year as a Cub Scout! Eek!). He's vowed to have his Webelos before Pinewood Derby in April. Lofty goals for this one! Go get 'em, John!
 Kelsey turned 8 this past year and was baptized in the heat of Texas summer.  What does that mean?  Well, it meant we all celebrated with the best shaved ice we’ve ever had with flavors like strawberries n’ cream and root beer floats. She has been loving attending Activity Days with girls her age and growing her own testimony in Jesus Christ.

Kelsey has also been developing her talents by teaching herself to play little tunes on the piano. She loves music and has joined a school choir twice to sing: once with a group for the "National Anthem" at a hockey game and again for a caroling group at a school Christmas bazaar. Awesome!
Bekah has no teeth.  Okay, so she has teeth but the Tooth Fairy has been growing broke.  Each tooth that has been lost has been another adventure for Bekah.  She carefully places it in a baggie for the Tooth Fairy to find and then places the bag somewhere obvious.  I think one night she even left a drink of water for the TF.

Her helpful, thoughtful nature has translated into helping her teacher at school. When she noticed the behavior in the classroom was a little crazy, she asked her teacher if her mom could diffuse some essential oils in the room to help the kids calm down. Her teacher agreed and Bekah has said her classmates are so much better!

Bekah also loves riding a two wheeled bike (something she learned how to do in a day without training wheels!).

 Jack has decided to go by “James” at school and “Jack” everywhere else.  I guess that works out since there's another "Jack" in his class.  He is learning to read, to write, and to count like a pro kindergartener.  He will bring home his art projects, do his homework as quickly as possible, and then race outside to play!

He has also learned how to ride a bicycle in a week. It may have been a couple of days but he's really getting the balance part of it down! And all without training wheels. When he sees something he wants, Jack is all about making it happen.
 Joe turned 3 this last year and while he was a little disappointed that he wasn’t going to school yet, he has enjoyed spending more time at home with just Mommy and Jason.  It gets a lot more quiet after the four older kids leave for school in the morning.  That just means Joe gets all of the scissors, crayons, and other toys to himself. And he has enjoyed cutting paper and drawing pictures all by himself.

With the weather turning a bit more rainy, Joe also asks to go play at McDonald's almost every day. He's ready for jungle gyms and something to climb up, down, and all around on. Just like his big brothers, he wants to be active and athletic. Go, Joe!

Jason doesn’t even know he’s little.  Though he turned 1 in August, he thinks he’s just as big as the other kids.  He doesn’t want to go to bed without his siblings and he certainly doesn’t want to be contained in a crib.  But he will follow and do anything he can...preferably unassisted.

This little man is definitely ready for Nursery class at church (for those 18 months to 3 years old). Since Mom and Dad help out with the Primary (youth Sunday school ages 3-11), he's been loved by all of the kiddos there. I don't think Jason knows what it's like to be without other kids, nor does he mind one bit.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

What's a better way to celebrate a birthday than to make it a three day event?  Nothing!  Every year we celebrate Shawnukkah over the course of three days that involve traditional pizza, pie and presents.  This year was no different and the kids loved giving attention to Daddy on all three days.

And since Shawn doesn't like pictures of himself, we took pictures of his new cowboy boots and loads of memories from the kids.  Enjoy the excitement!

Happy Birthday, Shawn!  We love you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy Halloween!

It took all I could just to snap off three photos of the kids in costumes this year!  They were so excited to get out and start collecting candy!  Oh my!  They were also so proud to wear their costumes.  They had been begging all month to wear their cowboy hats, guns, and other gear.  They had an enjoyable night and even Jason was out collecting goodies from the neighbors.

I think this may be the last year, however, that we get to use our little frog costume.  This particular costume has gone through almost all of our kids.  Sad to see an era go....but looking forward to all of the fun years ahead!

Bekah...being Bekah!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Texas Stars With the Colloton Clan

We made a family night of a Texas Stars hockey game and had so much fun!  All of the kids (including Jason) loved watching the game.  It was fast moving and kept the kids entertained.  I was a little concerned that the little ones (Joe and Jason) would get cold but they were just fine.  They all got a little wiggly and wanted some of the overpriced concessions, but who doesn't?

It was so much fun that Kelsey, John and Bekah went back a month or so later!  John and Kelsey got to sing the National Anthem at the beginning of the game with other 3rd-5th graders at their school.  They had a blast at the game too!  Looks like we found something the entire family enjoys!


Go, Stars!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Our Whirlwind Trip to Utah

Since moving to Texas we have had to learn that UT does NOT stand for Utah.  It means the University of Texas.  But this summer we went back to in Utah for a few days (literally).  And it was a trip we had been anticipating all year!

4:00 am!  Rise and shine, Mom and Dad.  Kiddos, go back to sleep while we drive.  We made it to New Mexico the first day and then on to Utah where Jason was introduced to REAL grass for the first time in his life!  His reaction was priceless!

"Safe from all that green stuff.  Don't move, Mommy!"
The rest of the kids were just grateful to be free from the truck for a few minutes to play on the park in Moab, Utah.  Then it was off to Orem!


We spent some time with some wonderful friends; visited the American Fork temple; and saw a few family members all before we had to pack up and go home!  Yes, we were only in Utah for two days.

Back through Moab but no time to stop at the fancy park.


The kids got to climb some red rock at our breakfast pit stop.


Then on through New Mexico and back home to Texas.  Like I said, a whirlwind trip.  And there is no place like home.