Friday, November 28, 2014

Andersen Family Thanksgiving 2014

We had a pretty mellow Thanksgiving this year, it was surprisingly wonderful! My parents and siblings all went to Townsend to see family for Thanksgiving, so we spent it with Lon's family and my father's relatives in the Heights. We were hoping to go up to Townsend to see my mother's relatives this year but as that sounded good in the summer, we just didn't have the funds to actually be able to make it happen. With my car breaking down in August, we spent more money then we had originally planned and couldn't afford to save up for a trip. I am sad about it, but hopeful. Lon reminded me that it only meant that we would have to postpone the trip, not cancel it entirely. We can probably save up for it again after Christmas is over and go in the spring, maybe for our anniversary. That would be cool because we would be able to see everyone AND it would kind of be like a "surprise" or "spontaneous" trip for my family. We usually only try to go up to Townsend for the three big holidays in the year- Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Fourth of July. If we went in April, it would be totally random, and totally awesome for both us and them! :D I am a little excited, even though it stinks not being able to be up there now.

Turkey Day morning started with watching the Run Turkey Run 5K on our block, while watching both parades on tv (or maybe the same parade, filmed by two different channels and at two different times? Not sure on that one lol) and a messed up breakfast… 

Look at them, running on OUR street! So awesome! Run turkeys!
After our traditional Thanksgiving morning, we headed over to Lon's parent's house for our first round of Thanksgiving meals. Grandma Amber and Grandpa Steve were there, as well as Aunt Ariel and Uncle Chase. It was a much smaller Thanksgiving gathering then the Andersen household is used to, considering that they have six children. But we had a wonderful meal with them regardless. We had a glazed ham with green bean casserole, candied yams, mashed potatoes with gravy and rolls. Yum! We watched a few movies with them and then had pumpkin pie or pecan pie for dessert.

Then we loaded back into the car and drove over to my Aunt Carolyn's house in the heights. There was a considerable amount of traffic close to Walmart, apparently we had planned on leaving right when everyone else wanted to for Black Friday shopping. It took us almost an hour to get there! Blah! :/ It was definitely worth it once we did though! Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Rick were there obviously, as well as my cousins Garrett and Julie. My cousin Ashley and her daughter  Sophie were absent however, only Cody ended up being able to come because Miss Soph had the stomach bug that was going around. Poor sweetheart! Great Grandma Carol and Great Grandpa Floyd were there, as was Great Uncle Jerry. We had four generations of family present! :D

At Carolyn's house, we had turkey. It was pretty cool because we ended up having both ham and turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. ;) She had stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes with gravy and rolls as well. It was a delicious second helping of dinner! Yum! Afterwards, Alan and Anna played in Sophie's playroom for a good hour. They really were looking forward to see her, Alan especially! He was quite sad that she was sick, he followed her dad around the house until he left!

Look at the SIZE of this dollhouse!

All in all, it was definitely a low-key Thanksgiving. But it was still a great day, celebrated with my loved ones and my beautiful family. That was all it needed to be. :) I have so much to be thankful for (everyday not just Thanksgiving) and the biggest thing is my amazing children. They light up my day all the time, I wouldn't be where I was without their love and happiness. I love you guys!

I hope everyone who is shopping today is safe and courteous to others, fellow shoppers as well as the employees of the stores you are shopping at! We try to not participate in Black Friday shopping, unless its online, because I have many loved ones who work in retail. Black Friday shouldn't just be about getting the best deals, it should also be a day to give back to those who need it. There are a lot of people at the stores today that are volunteering their time for the less fortunate. The bell ringers… The marines helping with Toys for Tots… Be sure to give back to them, donate a toy or some spare change, and be sure to thank them for their service.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my wonderful readers!

I am very thankful for all of you! You are all so wonderful! I hope that your Thanksgiving is full of happiness, love, laughter and family. No matter who you are, where you live, or what your situation is, everyone has something to be thankful for. My family has a list so long, it keeps growing the more I think about it! We have had a rough year and some months, but we are getting back on our feet again. That is one thing to be thankful for right there! All of the support we have received from family and friends is another thing. There are many, many more!

We are about to head out for our Thanksgiving festivities, so I will have to drop back in tomorrow and share my "Thankful List" with all of you. But I do hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and that everyone is able to spend it with someone they love and care about. That is all Thanksgiving is really about… Being thankful and being with those you love. Lon and I do not have much for our family right now, but we are together with the children today. And we are thankful for so much! :) Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Weekend for the Siblings

This weekend was a weekend for my sisters lol. Saturday was the annual Griz and Cat game (an important Montana rivalry, if you haven't ever heard of it). Since both my sister and her hubby go to University of Montana, we are totally supportive of the Griz! So we had to wear our maroon AND totally harassed anyone that I saw in Navy Blue lol! I mean, I had to! Its a Montana tradition!

And of course, the wonderful Grizzlies won! 

That same night, was Aunt April's first formal dance of the year, Twirp. I remember when they called it Sadie Hawkins, but apparently they think that "Twirp" is a much more attractive name for a semi-formal where the girls ask the boys. In that case, we should rename Prom "Dork" in my opinion. But I digress… Aunt April had asked me to come take pictures for her, since Aunt Natalie (the only other person in our family with any photography skills) was still in Missoula. So Anna and I made a little trip to the Yellowstone Country Club to photograph Miss April.

That place is one swanky place! I forget that almost every time I go there, but dang! It is nice there. :) April was with two other girls and their dates, they made a nice group of six kids. Much better then the twenty plus group she went with last year lol. Much more low-key. I was a little concerned with how Anna would act, worried that she might get bored and started destroying their fancy things. But she was a very well behaved little miss! Everyone kept commenting on how nicely she was sitting and eating her sucker on the chair. I think that may have helped some lol. :P

The two prettiest girls around!

I took a handful of the traditional formal dance photos. There were some newer ideas that I had never heard of, like the girls wearing the guys' jackets and the guys wearing the girls' corsages. That was weird… But most of them were adorable. And April's dress was gorgeous! She looked like a total model, especially with those red heels. Wild girl! :P She had a great time at the dance, which btw was Great Gatsby themed- LOVE IT!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Car, New Babies and the Nutcracker

We ended up getting the car! Its perfect and I love it! It is a silver 1996 Mercedes-Benz with a sun roof. Oh I love it so much! The best part about the whole thing? I bought it 100% by myself. Yep! Paid $3000 in cash and felt like a BOSS! Whoop, whoop! It is so awesome being an adult sometimes. :D I know, its not an apartment… But we are taking baby steps to a better life for our family. First comes a new car, then more hours and more money, then a place to live. Lon and I have a plan made, it will just take some time. Which does suck on the hard days. But on days like today, days when all my hard work has finally paid off, days like today rock!

I have yet to really settle into the car, I haven't even cleaned it up or taken a decent photo of it! I had Lon snap a quick one for me this morning (we have to wait until after work before we can get it registered) but I think that it doesn't even do it justice. It just looks so fancy and so nice! How did we get so lucky?

Isn't she a beauty??

My bestie's little sister also had her first child via c-section yesterday afternoon! Congratulations Kourtney and Tory! They had a healthy little girl that they named Karleigh! I have only seen photos so far but she looks just perfect and absolutely smooch-able! I just want to hold her and coo at her! :D We will go visit her hopefully sometime tomorrow evening, once Miss Kourtney and Miss Karleigh have gotten comfortable and figured out the swing of things. I cannot wait to meet her! Congratulations to Kourtney, Tory and their families! Love you guys!

We are right smack in the middle of Nutcracker season at the YMCA dance studio. Our performance is the Friday that the school district releases for Christmas vacation, we have roughly a month left until the performance day! I have almost finished all of the auditions for the main parts (Clara, Frieda, Nutcracker, Mouse King, etc) and will be announcing them to the students next week. I also have so much costuming planned out, I could go crafting crazy!

I made my craft list the other night, it is just a wee bit bigger then I had originally planned it would be. Oops! :P I have 8 "presents" to wrap for my party kids, 10 tulle skirts and headbands to make for my baby snowflake ballerinas, 6 tulle skirts and wands to make for my sugar plum fairies and 7 mouse hoodies for my hip hop kids. Not to mention the mass of snowflakes I want to cut out for the winter wonderland and the cardboard fireplace I need to build. That is so much stuff!

Thankfully, I will have a lot of help. I asked several staff members as well as a few dance moms to assist me at the Christmas party. I decided that we could just all craft there, instead of leaving all the hard work for me lol! That way, the kids can each bring a holiday treat to share, a present for the White Elephant Exchange and we can work on our costumes! It will be perfect!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alan's New Haircut (And hopefully mine soon too)

Alan's hair has just been growing, and growing, and GROWING lately. Or so it seems… It recently has grown so long that his bangs are now in his eyes. And with his glasses been broken (he broke them wrestling with Aunt Ariel several weeks ago, we are waiting for his replacements now), there is nothing blocking his little eyes from all of that hair! He has refused me cutting it since the last time I cut his hair, I butchered it pretty good lol. See exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

But it was starting to get ridiculous and I felt like it was interfering with his seeing, so I convinced him to let me trim it slightly. After some bribing, he agreed. So last night before bath time, I trimmed his whole head for him. I wasn't able to get a photo of his hair before I cut it, but here is a good example. Its his Pre-K school photo! So handsome! :D But look at those long curls! He definitely was in need of a trim!


And after!

I am quite proud of my trim job, I took my time and made sure to check each trim with my fingers. I did cut it slightly shorter then I had originally planned out, but it still looks really good! I did WAY better BY FAR then the last time I cut his hair! Refer to Exhibit A!!! :P I have even received several compliments on his hair at work and at his school! Yay!

We are looking into buying a car this week, so wish us luck! Most of you may remember how I lost my car a few months ago. The brakes went out and I hit another vehicle, totally my car. We have been saving up since then and finally have enough to invest in a good, reliable car. Hopefully this is the one! :D I know I say that all the time about cars and houses lol! We need to have to have wishful thinking though, right?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Sunday evening, it snowed.

Still leaves on the bush, with snow all around loll

The residents of Billings were horribly upset, Alan and Anna were so excited, and I couldn't really care less lol. Born and raised in Montana, I am quite used to seeing snow in November. I was actually more surprised that we had a WARM Halloween instead of the usual snowy Halloween. Snow mid-November was nothing for me, it just meant that I needed to start looking harder for either a new car or new place to live. But surely nothing to get too upset or excited about lol.

Yesterday, I took the kids outside to play for a few minutes. It was in the teens outside, but we Montanans are never afraid of cold weather! We just know how long to be out lol. :) The kids were in total hog heaven! They are complete snow puppies, the opposite of their mother and father. They must take after Aunt Natalie and Uncle Jake, that's it… :P

Alan chased me around, trying to peg me with a snowball. Anna walked all over, watching the footprints she made in the snow. We tried to make a snowman, but the snow wasn't quite right. Didn't stop Alan from trying over and over again though lol. Anna wanted to make a snow angel, but would lay down and hop right back up from the cold. :D Silly kids!

Do you like the snow? Has it snowed where you lived, or are you one of the lucky ones? We are supposed to get more snow this week too! Good thing my kiddos love the snow!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Anna's First Trip to the Dentist!

Alan and Anna recently went to the dentist for their biannual checkup. They go to Legacy Smiles and see Dr. Stuart there. He and his staff are just wonderful! They are so kind, so helpful, the kids just love them! Alan and Anna enjoy going and seeing their dentist and his sweet staff! :) I could be biased because Dr. Stuart is one of my good friends' fathers lol, but he is still just wonderful!

It wasn't just any ordinary trip to the dentist though, oh no! It was Miss Anna's first time at the dentist! Now Anna doesn't quite have all of her baby teeth yet, she is still missing her canines and her two year old molars. But Dr. Stuart told us to bring her in regardless. :) The wonderful dental assistant showed Alan and Anna all the dental tools right away, so that Anna wouldn't be nervous.

But missy was very brave!

Miss Anna was a great dental patient! She didn't like the sunglasses they had her wear but when the dental assistant asked her to put them back on, she listened to her. Then she let the dental assistant count her teeth and brush them with the electric brushers they have. I was very surprised! She was even okay with her using the sucker tool and the teeth rinsers! Good job Anna! :D She did draw the line with flossing though lol. I am not surprised, I hate flossing too. Its something we all have to do though! :P Then when the dentist came, she let him look at her teeth too! She was a little afraid of him at first but when we told her that we were going to "count" her teeth again, she opened her little mouth right up! She received a good grade on her teeth, no problems that Dr. Stuart could find! Yay!

Alan also did a wonderful job! Since it was Anna's first visit, he had to go to the next area with the other dental assistant. He was very brave, even though he had never gone without Mama. He let them take X-Rays too! Great job Alan! Mama and Daddy are VERY proud of you! Alan also received a decent report on his teeth, he has some problem areas we need to work on and he needs to floss more, but otherwise good. That is probably the best report we have had with him lol!

After the dentist appointments, I took Anna home to take a nap with Daddy and took Alan to his doctor appointment. It was his five year old well child check up, a few months delayed lol! :P He received his Kindergartener shots and also a book about the Safari! Pretty cool! Also, he was super brave while getting the three shots! He only cried a little and still thanked the staff afterwards! My brave, super sweet little man! Mama is so very proud of you!

I totally had to take him to the nearest yogurt shop as a reward. We both bought two HUGE bowls of chocolate yogurt, then filled them to the brim with various chocolates, fruits and other goodies. We were both only able to get through about half of our treats lol, we probably just should have shared. :P But it was a great mini-Mama and Son date, a wonderful celebration of Alan's bravery!

Alan LOVES "Serve Yourself" Yogurt Shops!

I am so proud of both of my kid-lets! Good job Alan and Anna! Way to be such big kiddos!