Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve, Eve

We spent a fun night on Sunday with my sister and her family and my dad and Debbie. Since Meredith was leaving town the morning of the 24th we decided to celebrate a little early. We had a tasty roast beef and mashed potato dinner, it couldn't have been better! After dinner, the kids were more than anxious to open their presents and almost started without us!
Debbie has a tradition of buying everyone an ornament every year, which we love! My mom used to do the same thing so that has always been a fun tradition. The kids were excited to open their ornaments, Hayden got a red Bicycle, Bryn got a My Little Pony, I got a cute pregnant lady, and Andy got a computer personalized with his name! The kids had a crazy time opening their presents and afterward, enjoyed playing in the wrapping paper which they referred to as snow. Meredith and I were excited to get our pressure canners that we have been wanting, now we don't have to borrow from other people when we can!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Family Night Out

I called Meredith today and asked if they had any fun plans for the evening. I thought being the Saturday before Christmas we needed to do something fun. So we decided to meet for dinner and then take the kids to the outdoor all play area. The kids had a great time together, Meredith and I shopped while the husbands kept watch over the kids. We were all freezing, even Andy complained that he got really cold sitting watching the kids. Apparently Steve and Caroline ditched the play area for warm stores while Andy froze, I mean really, it was 51 degrees outside, brrrr...
Brynley and Caroline

Brynley really wanted to get on the caterpillar with the big kids :(

Our last attempt to get them all on before a few were crying from being squished!

And just for fun I had to include this awesome sign we saw in the parking lot, does it look wrong to anyone else?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The sad life of a little Gingerbread house...

We'll call this the "Before Picture"

As I posted last night, we made a Gingerbread House for FHE a few weeks ago. I would say it lasted a few days before the kids figured out that they could actually remove the candy and eat it, actually I think Daddy may have taught them this but I'm not sure :) Anyway, a few days ago I walked into the kitchen to see this:

Yes folks, Brynley must be the smartest kid in the world, she got a chair from the other room, took it to the kitchen counter, climbed on top and started eating the candy off of the house. Hayden later joined in. A few days went by and I caught Bryn doing the same thing again. Our sad house today:

The funny part is, could there be any less appetizing candy? Seriously, I'm a pretty nice mom and if Brynley had asked me for a piece of candy I probably could have found her something a lot more tasty!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Time!!!

Who doesn't love this time of year??? I love everything about it, even the fact that I haven't gone to bed before 2 am every night this week, it is so worth it! We've had a lot of fun in the Ashton Household the last few weeks and so I thought I would recap with a few pictures. We usually put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving but due to a boutique I had all weekend, we didn't get it up until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Here are a few pictures of the kids decorating, they did a really good job on the bottom of the tree and at about the 4 ft. mark!

Andy was a doll and even got all of the outside lights up that weekend while I was gone. Meanwhile Hayden stood at the foot of the ladder asking him for 3 hours if he was almost done yet!
A few weeks ago we made our Gingerbread House for Family Home Evening. The kids thought it was so cool, Brynley mostly just ate the candy but Hayden really got into it. He's not one who likes to follow a pattern or anything so he just put candy wherever he wanted too. I put the roof panels on upside down which made it hard to pipe frosting on the shingles so I didn't even try. When we were done Andy said, "Can I go buy another kit and make one myself?" I guess the asymmetry of the thing was really bothering him!

Last weekend the kids enjoyed the neighborhood's annual "Winter Wonderland" where 30 tons of snow was trucked in for sledding and playing in. I was a vendor at the craft show that day so Daddy was in charge (My nieces were staying with us so he had two extra kids and thus forgot the camera!) The kids thought the snow was fun for a few minutes and then got too cold so they opted to play in the bounce houses and at the playground instead!

This past Monday we went to the Mesa Arizona Temple lights after having dinner at our favorite Mexican Restaurant - Rosa's. It was so cold outside, I don't think Brynley knew what to do with herself! Luckily I had just bought her a coat two days before! The kids loved the lights, Bryn's favorite part about Christmas is driving around and for every house that has Christmas lights she says, "Lights on!! Lights on!!" So needless to say, she was mesmerized.

We couldn't resist taking a picture of the Reflecting Pool, isn't it beautiful?

On Tuesday, Andy and I went to see The Forgotten Carol's, a tradition we started 3 years ago. We had a great date that night and really got to reflect on the true meaning of the season.

I took the kids to have their picture taken with Santa today. It was at our new outdoor mall and actually quite cold and windy! We got a decent picture after having to wait literally 10 minutes at the front of the line while a mother chased her 7-8 yr. old daughter who was crying hysterically to make her take a picture with Santa. Seriously, at a certain point, you gotta give it up! This girl kind of freaked Brynley out so we didn't get a smile out of her but she sat there none the less.

We are all looking forwards to Christmas and being able to spend time together as a family. We can't wait to head up to St. George on the 26th and spend time with Andy's parents. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snowball Gala 2007

As many of you know I volunteer for an organization called Golden WHEEL (Women Helping Educate and Enrich Lives). This past spring I was elected to serve on the board as the secretary and I was also in charge of the catering for our annual Gala. This year the Gala was held at Jobing.com Arena, where we hosted 560 guests from the West Valley. Typically we raise abour $250,000 at the evnet and this year did not disappoint. The decorations were incredible and the the Auction items were some of the best we have ever had. The food was sure to be the best we have ever had, and although some of the tables received cold food (for which we are being nicely compensated) it was truly amazing! Andy and I enjoy working the Glaa each year, he and a friend are always in charge of the "Big Board" for the auciont and they have a great time. by the end of the evening my pregnant body could not take another second in heels!

After the Gala, Andy treated me to night at the Wigwam resort, complete with Breakfast, a bubble bath, and spa treatments the next day! As we were driving back to Gilbert, we noticed an amazing rainbow so I started taking pictures of it. Almost simultaneously Andy and I bothe said what will we ever do with these? So I said, I'll post them on my blog, hence the reason for the rainbow pictures!

Intel Christmas Party with the Cousins

Every year, Intel throws a fun Christmas party for the employees and their families. This year we took Caroline and Lindsay along for some fun. The kids were greeted by a clown who made Rudolph hats for each of them and a flower balloon for Brynley. Bryn really wanted a hat so by the end of the party she managed to snag one from Caroline!

The kids had a great time decorating cookies, making ornaments, getting their faces painted and watching a model train. The highlight of the day had to have been the goody bags. They each received a very high quality Intel tote bag filled with a myriad of interesting gifts. They each received some sort of shirt from a past Intel event, one was from an event in 2002, another from 2005, all ranging in size from large to 2X. Lindsay received a picture frame that doubles as a sticky note pad complete with the Intel logo, and Hayden got an Intel insulated coffee mug. The best gift however, was definitely Caroline's small wooden box with a funny bug inside, dressed to look like Santa! It was a very fun day!

The Tucson Zoo

A few weeks ago the kids and I had a chance to meet our friends, the Bernigers, to go to the zoo in Tucson. It's a long way to drive for a zoo, but it is the coolest zoo ever! The animals are really close to the kids and they love being able to almost touch the animals. The Phoenix Zoo is terrible. Most of the time you can hardly see an animal because they are sleeping in the a small patch of shade! Anyway, it ended up raining that day, of all days... None of us were really prepared for it but we were literally the only people in the zoo. The kids didn't care that it was raining at all, in fact it was a bit of a novelty for them!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I think I started this blog back in August, so about 3 1/2 months ago. It sat virtually untouched the entire time due to lack of time for this kind of thing. Finally, I feel like my life is not too out of control and I spent a little time tonight trying to actually customize it a little bit. I told my sister I wouldn't have any posts up by the end of the evening so she said I had to, here you go Meredith, my very first post and it is oh so boring... Check back in a few days, I promise you will see many fun and exciting things, I'm sure you can't wait!