Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ooohhhh this might get addicting!

I posted on The Pink Teapot blog the other day something very profound that my mom said to me and I'd love to share it with friends who don't necessarily look at my etiquette blog often if at all. Here is the link to what I said and I just can't get it off my mind. Cord and I are heading to Idaho for a funeral this weekend and these things are just in my heart. If these things make even one person think...and maybe that person is just me...then I guess it's all worth it right?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Have yourself a merry little christmas

First of all, our thoughts and continued prayers go out to our dear friends who are hurting right now with sickness and sadness for different reasons in their lives. You know who you are.

That being said, we had a quiet and intimate Christmas at home and enjoyed every moment. Usually on Christmas eve, we go over the Christmas story from the Bible, but this year, I found a new book that uses direct quotes from the King James Version of the Bible and also hymns and other sacred Christmas songs with beautiful illustrations. We used this for our guide on Christmas eve after playing our traditional Christmas eve game that we open every year, which was Blokus this year...thank you to Steve and Sheri for your suggestion, this was a perfect and fun game for the whole family.
On Christmas morning, we lined everyone up as normal on the basement stairs and had them walk in while Cord video taped them with his new camera (Santa came early for Cordy). we do "Santa" first, then we just pick random presents and we watch each other one by one open presents...mom and dad always wait until very last. Our stockings are the very last things we open and we even had enough self control this year to take a small break to eat breakfast...muffins and breakfast casserole. After all the present commotion, we got all the kids suited up and Cord suited up as well, and they all went outside while I had a chance to video them and clean up a bit. We went to Cord's parents later that day for a while which is always so fun...and I can't remember what time I fell asleep on the love sac...I was a little tired!

We finished off our weekend by going sledding again
, all of us, along with family and friends. It was so much fun. I've ended the weekend not feeling so well, I'll leave it at that...but it's been crazy...and now the kids are home for another week or more...it should be exciting! Have a wonderful new year!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Stop. Hammertime!

Cord is not going to appreciate the fact that I'm putting music on my blog simply because he doesn't like to listen to music while he reads. I, on the other hand, love to listen to music while reading, stirring dinner with the other hand, and singing to my babies all at the same time. I am truly from Generation X!

Our Christmas traditions

Over the last twelve years, it's been so much fun to combine Christmas traditions and create our own. I thought I'd share our traditions with you!
  • Cord insists that we not decorate until the day after Thanksgiving, which is a holiday we both enjoy so fully, we don't want to distract ourselves from it (same with Christmas music, although I personally could listen to it all year long and put my tree up in October if he'd let me).
  • We try and make it to the Messiah sing in and then I proceed to sing the entire Messiah along with MoTab all month long!
  • We love to give neighbor gifts that mean something...some years we're more successful than others.
  • Christmas chain- we make a chain of strips of paper inter-linked and on each strip is written a blessing in our lives because of the gospel. Every day we take a few off and read them.
  • We love good Christmas movies that must be watched every year: Meet me in St. Louis, Miracle on 34th street, It's a wonderful life, The bishops wife, Christmas Vacation (a classic!), The Grinch who stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Clause is coming to town, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, and Home Alone....to name a few!
  • Candy cane countdown to Christmas.
  • We read a story about Christmas every night, either a book or one from my personal collection of inspirational stories.
  • Baking and gaining weight seem to have become a Christmas tradition...I'd like to avoid the latter this year!
  • We try to give back...
  • We eat dinner on Christmas eve, which is different from my family...it's a Norwegian tradition. We have prime rib and yorkshire pudding along with many traditional side dishes. We then open one present (always) pajamas, we read the Christmas story in the new testament...and we used to act it out, but Cayden is getting too cool for that so we're going to tweak that a bit this year.
  • We stay up late on Christmas eve...you know why!
  • On Christmas morning, I get up early and make breakfast casserole and orange julius. We line the kids up in the kitchen or on the stairs, youngest to oldest and then introduce them into "wonderland".
  • After we open presents (and get a good nap) we enjoy leftovers and play games and watch movies...we also go visit Grandma and Grandpa.
  • One more fun thing that we do after Christmas, we get out all our neighbor gifts that are edible and eat them on New Years Eve!
This probably isn't the complete list and I'm always looking for ways to make this time of year special and carry that feeling throughout the year...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Finally here!

My brother in law is going to be SOOOO happy that I'm finally doing a family blog...this is for you Gordon! I thought this would be a great place to share the happenings in the Ottley household and then you all won't have to get that boring Christmas letter that I author every year...you can just check out our blog.

I want to thank Hannah Craner who also re-designed my other blog The Pink Teapot, she has done a wonderful job embracing a vision that was really hazy for both blogs. For this blog I told her that I loved yellow and red, with a touch of blue...and that I loved visiting Provence, France and those colors. She's done wonders, thanks again Hannah.

I hope this is fun and that I can keep it up, I'm excited to try.

Our year in review-January to April

has been full of adventure and surprise! Let's see if I can adequately re-cap the year.

I took a trip to CA that we've done annually for the "Hansen" siblings. We went shopping a lot and ate tons of fantastic food...best two things to do in LA. We've gone to CA every year (this was the 2rd annual trip), we went to Carmel, CA our first year which also consisted of those two great things!

I have never seen snow like this! Our entire backyard was covered, and I mean covered...with snow. Our six foot fence cowers beneath the weight of this white fluffy stuff. Cord had to trench out a walkway every morning and every night in order to feed the chickens. At one point we had literally 10 feet of snow piled up on our driveway with a small tunnel for our cars (there's a firepit, tramp, and lots of bushes where you see those trees sticking up).March:
What a fun-filled month! Some of you know we went on a cruise- for everyone who didn't know...we went on a cruise! It was a total blast, we took Holland America to the Mexican Riviera for a week and we went in style. We had our own concierge at our disposal 24/7 which was fabulous. Cord and I went alone, those are memories I will never forget.
Lots of fun! We had a beautiful Easter, we traveled to CA for spring break and enjoyed rides in the limo, and Cayden placed 2nd for his den in the Pinewood Derby.

Our year in review-May to August


While Cord and Cayden went to a campout, the girls and I stayed home and had a slumber party! The kids all participated in the school dance festival, and Eliza fell in love with our friend Jeff during our Memorial Day party.

I wanted to do something special for the girls while they were dressing up, so we played with our Halloween make up! The girls were in a children's chorus, and we loved hearing Hannah play the piano at her recital.

We had so much fun in July. We got a brand new kitty, Annabelle, and the kids love her. We had house guests and enjoyed fireworks at the cul-de-sac of fire!

We enjoyed the last of the warm weather and got ready for School. It was Madelyn's first day of "full day" school...first grade, she was so excited...Cayden...not so excited that day, but loves school now.

Our year in review-September-December

signifies the beginning of a birthday whirlwind! We start with Hannah's birthday two days after mine and the rest of our birthdays (except for Eliza) happen in the next two months! Eliza is the caboose in every way with a February birthday. October:
was sooo happy about his itunes gift card from Grandpa Doug! Halloween was a blast with all my girls rebelling against the princess look this year. Cayden chose who else but Albert Einstein for his biography book report and was so sad we couldn't find the white crazy wig to complete his look.

We spent Thanksgiving in California and we were so busy enjoying ourselves, we didn't get one picture! November was a busy month, not many pictures to document our craziness!

Eliza enjoys dressing for the winter, unfortunately she forgets the clothes! Merry Christmas to you all, we love you and are so grateful for our many blessings, most of all for the birth and life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May the choicest blessings be yours!