Saturday, December 10, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas has founds its way to the Richards' home! Finally!
The boys could not be more thrilled about all the decorations, music, candy, and preparing for the 'big day'. What I have enjoyed most has been seeing how excited they are and being able to teach them the true reason we celebrate Christmas. 
One of my favorites Christmas activities this year has been our new guest, Shelf the Elf. Yes, he is an Elf on the Shelf, but Daniel was set on calling him Shelf since that is where we first found our red little friend. Shelf has kept us (Bryson and I) on our toes this holiday season as Daniel expects him to fly to the North Pole every night to report to Santa, and naturally, he has to fly back to our home and land in a new spot each morning. We messed up one night and Daniel was very confused why he was in the same location the next morning. Another time he fell and Daniel found him face down on the ground and was just  distraught. I explained that he was just resting and distracted him with something in another room. I then quickly put him back on his perch in the kitchen. Despite a few 'incidents', it has really been a very magical thing for him.
And both Daniel and James love the advent calendar filled with candy. I have been surprised at their self control in only opening one box every day. We are all very excited for Christmas to come! 

The first day we met little shelf. What a cutie!

Making delicious sugar cookies

James was not as interested in making the cookies as he was eating them

Last year we went as a family to cut our tree down at a Christmas farm. This year Bryson has not had a single Saturday off to go do this, so we opted to just go get our's at Loews this year (at 9 at night!). It is a gorgeous tree and smells so wonderful in our house. 

Yesterday we woke up to this winter wonderland! Daniel was so excited to show James the new snow. I told them we could go play in it after breakfast, but when we were done eating, it had melted. I am not going to lie, I would not be sad one bit if the snow melted away every morning. 

One of Daniel's many silly poses. He is wearing his new Christmas sweater from his great grandma.

Soon the boys got sick of decorating the tree and moved onto their favorite pastime- wrestling.

 And this activity always ends the same way- with someone crying. This time is looks like it was Daniel who got hurt :( 

James has really taken an interest in our Little Tikes nativity set. I think I may see a few individuals here that most likely did not visit baby Jesus. Can you guess who?

And here is Shelf the Elf in his current location. He is such a cute little guy (but there is something a little creepy about that smile). As Daniel reminds all of us- be good because he is watching you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

5 months

Andrew is so squishy, cuddly, and scrumptious. I honestly feel badly for him sometimes because I attack his face so much with kisses- those cheeks are SO hard to resist. 
He is babbling more, grabbing things, and starting to roll around a little. He is still so mellow, sweet, and easy going. And he is STILL NOT SLEEPING at night. Maybe this month he will figure it out?
I am sad that these past 5 months have flown by so fast. 
Andrew- please stop growing so quickly!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Below are a few funny things that Daniel has said to me this past week. I have to write these things down or I know I will never remember them. 

And this picture is from tonight. He wanted to stay up and read in his bed. He said that he was not tired and needed to do some 'studying'. I left and came back in his room about 5 minutes later to find him like this:

A few nights ago Daniel asked me to stay in his room and cuddle with him. After we cuddled a few minutes, I said it was time for him to go to bed and that I had to leave. He asked, "why do you not cuddle with me until the sun comes up mommy? You only cuddle with daddy until the sun comes up". I told him, "well daniel, mommies and daddies cuddle together at night. Someday you will have a mommy of your own to cuddle with (although I don't like to think about this!)". 
A distraught look came to his face and he said to me, "but mommy, that mommy will not sound like you and will not have your eyes. Her will be different". 
Oh little daniel! What a sweet heart! Can you stay 4 years old forever?

Last Monday, during FHE, I let Daniel decide (since James was asleep and Bryson was working) what he wanted to talk about that night. He said he wanted to learn about how Heavenly Father and Jesus made the world and write a letter to Santa. When we started our letter to Santa, he told me to write that he wanted an IPad like his cousin (it is his mom's, but she will sometimes let him use it). 
I looked at him in disbelief- he wanted what!?!! How could he be already asking for such expensive gifts (I mean, I don't have and iPad)
I told him that Santa could not bring that and that mommy and daddy were not going to get that for him because it just cost too much money. Our conversation was cut short when I had to go change Andrew's diaper. While I was doing this, Daniel came over and placed a penny on my lap. He goes, "this is for the IPad mom. This should be enough". I just started laughing!! 
Maybe our next FHE should be about money?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


This post is overdue, but Daniel & James started preschool this year. Well, I am not sure if you can call James' class 'school', more like 2 hours of playtime once a week (and a very quiet morning for me).
They both go to Precious Kids which is at a Methodist church near our home. It is the cutest school.  I had the opportunity to be a teacher's helper a few weeks ago, and I was very impressed by all that they are doing and learning in their classes so far.
Daniel with his teacher, Mrs. Hadzima

Jamesie getting ready for his first day (with cars in hand).

What is so funny to me is that I was so worried about James. For those of you who know him, he does not talk very much and can be very stubborn (but is very sweet!). I figured this would be a recipe for disaster, but every time I pick him up his teachers tell me how "wonderful" he is in class and how he listens so well. I smile and say "great" but in the back of my mind I am thinking "really?! James Richards? Ok!!?" James seems to love it, so I am really happy I signed him up this year.

Daniel is another funny story. He LOVES preschool. He LOVES Mrs. Hadzima. He also really has fun with all his little buddies in the class. And according to Mrs. Hadzima, a little too much fun. In our parent teacher conference (I did not know they even did these in preschool) the she told me he was a little too talkative and wiggly. He also seems to 'zone out' during the lesson. I am well aware that Daniel is wiggly, has a LOT of energy, and pretty much never stops talking. And both the teacher and myself realize that he is a 4 year old boy, so we are working on some goals for him to become a better 'listener' and less wiggly during his lessons.
When I told Bryson about my conversation with his teacher, he notified me that he was always in trouble in school for talking and was often sent out of primary as well. GREAT! And how did I not know this until now?
Luckily Bryson turned out alright :)

This is the adorable Thanksgiving necklace Daniel made for me at their 'Harvest Party' last week. He has insisted that I wear it everyday. This weekend I had a break since he has been out of town for his uncle's mission farewell with Bryson :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

4 months

Somebody is 4 months today. 
This blue-eyed, strawberry blonde boy just makes me melt. He is has been my easiest baby. He sleeps anywhere, rarely cries, and giggles and smiles non-stop. 
He is so much fun!!! 
This month he found his hands and spends much of the day sucking on them. He makes the cutest little noises and squeals (with a fairly loud voice). His brothers fascinate him and his daddy always makes him grin. 
And he is a chunk- 17.5 pounds as of yesterday. I guess that is what happens when you eat all day (and unfortunately, all night too).
We love you little A. You are such a sweet little bug. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Last Saturday we made our annual trip out to Stokoe Farm (our favorite pumpkin farm here in upstate NY) to get pumpkins for Halloween. The weather was a bit chilly (in the 40's) but the boys did not seem to mind. 
Daniel picked out "the perfect pumpkin for crafting", as he said. And the following night we 'crafted' (not carved) our pumpkin together as a family.
I just love fall here in upstate NY! There is not better place to be this time of year. 

James was so mad that we tried to get him to take a picture. He just wanted to look at the baby calf behind us. 

Here comes James down the slide!

And here is an action shot of Daniel running towards James right before his knee made contact with his head. Poor James (who looks so happy in this shot) cried for quite a while after that!

Daniel LOVED this zip line

The boys kept giggling as they played with the pumpkins in our kitchen 

James loved this baby pumpkin and carried it around all night.

Looks GREAT guys!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trunk or Treat

Happy Halloween! Well, it is almost Halloween.
Last week we had our ward's annual 'Trunk or Treat'. It was freezing cold and raining, so the kids did not get to trick or treat out of trunks, but around the church. They still had a great time! And I am really excited about tomorrow night- Halloween is the best. 

Daniel chose his Halloween costume this year. At first he wanted all of us to be the 3 bears. I would have been goldilocks. That would have been SO cute. But he saw a vampire somewhere and made his mind up that he HAD to be a vampire. Despite the fact that he looks a little too scary for a 4 year old, I think the costume looks great!

my chubby little dinosaur baby

this is the best picture I got of James' costume from that night! He may have been a donut coma since he parked himself right by the treat table most the night and ate at least 15 donut holes (and there may have been more eaten when we were not looking). Someone in our ward told us that he started taking one bite out of donuts and putting them back on the table! yuk!! 


Bryson came strait from work- so he was a doctor (how original) I was a witch, James a spider, Daniel a vampire, and Andrew the dinosaur. 


A few weeks ago I had the chance to meet one of Bryson's Brazilian mission companions, Andre Sampaio. He came to upstate NY  for a business trip from Brazil, and we made a trip to Palmyra with him as he had never been to any of the church sites. 
The leaves had just started to turn, but it was still warm- which made for a perfect fall day to enjoy the sites.

view from top of Hill Cumorah

outside Joseph Smith's home

i am not sure why i am looking up in this photo? 

Andre and Bryson. They were companions in the Porto Alegre, Brazil mission 10 years ago and are still friends today. 

Sacred Grove