Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Time is Here

A couple days before Christmas we made graham cracker houses. This was always the tradition growing up in our house. I hadn't made one in the last few years though, so it was fun.

Christmas Eve was spent with my family. We watched a Christmas movie and played games. Claire played dress up and had fun playing with cousins. Later that night, Grandpa read the Christmas story and we sang the carols along with it.

Claire dressed up her cousin DJ... I'm not sure he knew what to do about her. :)

Christmas morning we opened our stockings. We normally would have put an orange in Claire's stocking, but we figured she'd like the banana better. She was a lot more interested in opening presents this year, it was fun. After opening our stockings, we joined the family upstairs for breakfast and to open some presents with them. We then went back downstairs to our place to finish opening our presents.

Claire seemed pretty happy with her gifts. We got her a little table & chairs set that she started pulling around right away. :)

For church we went up to South Jordan to Lindy's ward where she was directing the choir in songs she had written and arranged. It was exciting to hear. After, we had dinner at their home.

After dinner we went back down to Spanish Fork to spend the afternoon and evening with Scott's family. We had dinner and dessert and celebrated our niece Tasha's birthday.
We had a wonderful Christmas. It was so nice to see and spend time with all our family. We are grateful for our Savior and his birth and this holiday season to remember him and the blessings that he's brought unto our lives.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

25 Days

we began the month with a goal: do something Christmasy every day of december before Christmas day. unfortunately, the month didn't quite go as planned. on some days we did multiple activities and other days we did nothing. some things were put off for next year and other things were made up on the spot. and a lot of Christmas movies were forced to be counted. we did a few other things as well i would count, but these are the ones i could get pictures for. hopefully in the future we can be better about sticking to our original plans, but it was still a fun month, full of fun activities. :)

1. visit temple square in salt lake city and look at all the lights
2. put up the Christmas tree and decorate it
3. watch 'how the grinch stole Christmas'
4. drink some hot chocolate/ apple cider
5. make our yearly ornament for our tree
6. buy a new Christmas movie and watch - this year it was a set with frosty, rudolph, and others
7. bake cookies and give away to our friends - mostly ate them though, sorry :)
8. attend our ward Christmas dinner/ talent show
9. read 'the polar express'
10. watch 'a Christmas story'
11. go up to idaho for heidi's graduation
12. post our Christmas card on our blog
13. watch 'a charlie brown Christmas'
14. buy a Christmas popcorn tin and eat it
15. go to the festival of lights down in spanish fork
16. watch 'a boyfriend for Christmas'
17. read the december 'ensign'
18. make snowmen - we unfortunately didn't get any snow, so we had to make them out of craft paper, which was a lot of fun still and we stayed warm
19. watch 'elf'
20. make gingerbread houses
21. go to church with lindy, amber's sister, who wrote and arranged several wonderful songs that the choir performed during sacrament meeting
22. watch 'it's a wonderful life'
23. eat a wonderful Christmas breakfast amber made
24. read 'luke 2'
25. open presents :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

heidi's graduation

on the bright side, amber is officially a part of my family. see, we have this thing we lovingly refer to as the "bryson curse". in essence, we have not been blessed with the best of luck when it comes to automobiles. so when we decided to take a quick trip to byu-idaho to attend amber's sister's graduation, we had to worry a little. and sure enough, our 4 hour trip soon became a 9 hour one. amber had just taken over driving, so i thought we were safe. but 15 minutes later we found ourselves with a flat tire. the series of events to follow included discovering we had no tire iron, calling amber's parents for help, them being only a few miles ahead of us but having to drive 20 minutes before the next off ramp to flip around, them not having a tire iron either, looking for a walmart to buy a tire iron, realizing a little too late that our car has non-standard lug nuts, then waiting for aaa to come to our rescue. then, after an hour wait at the tire place, we found ourselves back on the road with a new tire and $300 less rich. good grief.

we finally made it up to rexburg, and after a quick visit with amber's aunt and uncle, we headed up to the college to see heidi receive her diploma. i'm a little jealous heidi. okay, i'm a lot jealous. i so can't wait to be done with school.
after the graduation, we headed back over to amber's aunt and uncle's to celebrate mom and dad's birthdays. we enjoyed some cake and celery sticks (for amber).

the next day we had a wonderful breakfast provided by the dawes, then we went for a quick visit up to the college to see amber's old stomping grounds. i guess it's changed a lot since her day. it's a nice campus, but way too cold for my liking. after our tour of the school, we went with the family to look at some cabins that amber's parents are looking into buying. it was a lot of fun looking at all these huge dream homes.

the trip home went a lot smoother. we stopped in ogden to visit with my brother and sister-in-law, kyle and courtney. they were having a family party and the frazier's were kind enough to let us crash it. after a quick visit, we continued on our way and were home a little bit later. it was a short little vacation, but it was much needed. way to go heidi. we are proud of you. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November C's

Because this month was so busy, I have to admit I didn't put too much thought into my goals. Again, for my Create I made a few Christmas presents and so I'm not going to share what I made in case the recipients look at this blog. :) I am in the middle of a project though which I worked on a lot this month. I'm trying to make a jean quilt. I have the top put together, but now I have to figure out how to do the rest. :)

Scott chose what he wanted me to make this month for my Cooking goal and he helped me make it. :) We decided to make donuts and it was a lot more tedious and time consuming than we thought, but it was fun making them together and they were yummy to eat afterwards. :)

I wanted to make a Christmas card this year (I never have before) and we got family photos taken a while ago, but still haven't gotten them back so I decided for my Capture I would do my own little photo shoot to get some pictures that I can use to put a card together later. Claire was pretty good for it, but it is getting harder to get her to stay still and do what I want. :) Raisins are her favorite snack though, and they help tremendously in getting her to sit still and smile. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Lights at Temple Square

Since we had family in town until Saturday we decided to go up to Salt Lake City and see the Temple Square lights Friday evening. Last year we never went up because I was a little worried about bringing Claire out into the freezing winter air but this year we decided to go for it. She seemed totally unaffected by the cold air and I think she enjoyed looking at the lights. :)

Everything was lit up so pretty and despite the fact that most of our time was spent making sure we had everyone with us (there were so many people there), we really enjoyed seeing it all. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

thank you day

thanksgiving really is one of my favorite holidays. family, friends, football, food, and fun - it really is a perfect day. thanksgiving started this year (as it always should) with some football. this year it was the bryson family versus my brother's ward. it was me, my brothers kyle and ken, my sister becca, my nephew henry, and my cousins jake and pat. that poor ward may never be the same. :)

after football, i headed home to get some sleep because i had worked the night before, which meant i unfortunately had to miss some of the big mcclellan festivities. we had the browns visiting all the way from missouri, the dawes and heidi from idaho, the kerbys came down from south jordan, and the betts dropped by later for dessert.

one of my favorite mcclellan traditions is where they write out what they are thankful for on little slits of paper, then they link them all together and hang them on the Christmas tree. it really does help me remember what really is important during this holiday season.

after spending time with the mcclellan side of the family, we went and spent time with the bryson side. the elliotts had driven over from colorado, the dedows came down from bountiful, becca from salt lake, and kyle and courtney made the trip from ogden. we ate some food, played some games, ate some more food, then ate some more food.

it was such a wonderful day. we are so grateful to have seen so much family who could travel safely from all over. i wish everyday could be as much fun as this one, but we'd all probably weigh 400 pounds if they were.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Tidbits

It's been a busy month, hence the lack of posts this month. I can't say we've done a whole lot lately, but we've kept busy with the usual day-to-day things associated with going to school, working, church callings and raising this little girl. Claire has been growing so quickly and becoming less of a baby and more of a little person every day. We are loving it. :)

She is getting more independent every day. She knows what she wants and knows how to get it most of the time too. She loves to sit in her little rocking chair and watch Blue's Clues or Curious George. She also has recently decided that she must sit in the big chair instead of her high chair to eat her snacks. She makes the funniest faces sometimes. :)

She loves reading her books. There was a time period where I thought she had lost all interest in books. She would pull them off the shelf just to make a mess but she never would look at them. But now she pulls them off and brings them to me to read to her. Her favorite game at the moment is to go through each page and point out the dog, or the baby, or mouse, or whatever I ask her to find. It's fun to see her recognize words and know what it is I'm asking. :)

She is so proud of herself. We're pretty proud of her too. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

October C's

I'm a little behind on blogging right now, but I just wanted to do a quick update on my C's for last month. :)

Create: So I made something last month, but I can't show or tell what it is since it's gonna be a Christmas present. ;) I did make a little fall decoration though for our place. I found the idea off of Pinterest. It was super easy to do, pretty cheap and I think it looks really cute! (I put together the candle decoration, not the pumpkin).

Cook: This month I made Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese, a recipe from here. It was a little difficult to make, but that was probably cuz I was just trying to follow a new recipe. It turned out really good actually and it made quite a bit so we had it as leftovers for a few dinners. :)

Capture: I actually had a few opportunities to take pictures this month, it was great! The first photoshoot was of a little girl in our old ward. Her mom wanted some 18 month pictures of her daughter and remembered that I had offered once before so she asked me and we took pictures in an orchard, which was really fun. The second was a soccer photoshoot that I mostly just helped out with. My sister in law was taking pictures of a soccer team and they wanted a few individual shots of each player and some team shots, so I came along and helped out. And the third was some family pictures my sister asked me to take of her. She wanted very fall looking pictures so we drove up the canyon to get some more fall looking photos. I think they turned out well, you can check out my photoblog to see more. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, Part 2

We had a pretty busy Halloween weekend, but it was pretty fun. It started Friday night when we went to a party some friends of ours had down in Spanish Fork. We dressed up and ate yummy food. Claire participated in a cake walk and won a glow-in-the-dark wand. :) Saturday our ward had a Halloween carnival. We walked around the booths that they had, but they were more for older children so we ended up spending most of the time in the kitchen where I was helping with the refreshment booth. We got our family picture taken at the photo booth afterwards. :)

Check out our costumes... Scott is Bedtime Bear (not sleepy bear, grumpy bear, or goodnight bear, but BEDTIME Bear), I am FUNshine bear and Claire is Share Bear.

Our pumpkins were looking pretty sad by Saturday... Monday night, they were really scary considering they were both shriveled up almost to the point of not being recognizable. :)

Our little Claire Bear.

Sunday was super busy. Just as a side note, I got a calling in our new ward as the Primary 1st Counselor and this Sunday was my first time teaching Sharing Time. It went alright, but I was happy to be done with that first one. Sunday night we had a family get together. We didn't get to show off our costumes or anything, but it was still fun seeing everyone.
And then Monday we wore our costumes most of the day. I had to work and I got to wear my costume to work. Scott picked me up and we took Claire trick-or-treating to a few family and friends' houses down in S.F., and then headed home and walked around our street a little. At first she was a little nervous about the whole thing, but towards the end, when she realized we were filling her little bucket up with things, she got pretty excited. :)

The first picture with me was at the beginning when she was a little scared and the one next to it was at the end, so you can see how comfortable she got later on. :)

After trick-or-treating, we came inside and helped pass out candy. Claire kept running over to our bowl of give-away candy and snitching some for her bucket. :) She really enjoyed this Halloween and it was so much fun for us seeing her get all excited. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

halloween, part one

i've never been a halloween guy i suppose. sure i love the free candy, but dressing up in ridiculous outfits? it's just never been for me. i have pretty much dedicated my life to trying my best to hide my goofiness from the world, so willingly putting on the goofiest clothes i can find has always seemed counter-productive. it's a pride thing i guess. i can't do too many silly things or i lose my "coolness", or whatever. it's funny how getting married and becoming a father melts that pride away. now all i want is to bring a smile to amber and claire's faces, and if that means being a goofball, i guess so be it. :)
so halloween has become a much bigger holiday to me in recent years. we now do it all: pumpkin carving, decorating, scary movies (not that scary), and yes, even costumes. we started the halloween festivities this year with pumpkins. amber and i used a couple patterns and carved up our pumpkins up real nice, and we're pretty proud of our finished products. but the funnest part of this year was setting a little pumpkin and some paint in front of claire and letting her go at it. she loved it! it was so funny to see her dip her little brush into the paint color of her choice and turn the pumpkin so she could get the side she wanted. we may have a little artist on our hands. :)
we'll leave you with the pictures and video of our pumpkins for now. stay tuned to see our fun costumes in our next blog. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Playdate

Last week we went with some of Claire's friends to a pumpkin patch. Claire wasn't sure what she thought of the pumpkins at first and was a little hesitant to get close, but she did seem pretty amazed at how big some of them were. :)

We then had Claire and her friends, Leah and Emma pose with their little pumpkins. They all look a little embarrassed... probably cuz us moms were all cheering and jumping and yelling their names trying to get them to smile. :)

After going through the pumpkin patch we went through the corn maze. It was tricky and we almost couldn't find our way back out! :)

There was a petting zoo, a playground and some other fun things for kids to do but I didn't get any pictures. The petting zoo had chickens and goats which the later I found out Claire isn't too fond of. She started crying when one of the goats started Baa-ing at us. :(
Overall though, I think she had an enjoyable time. :)