Saturday, December 25, 2010


We had a wonderful Christmas this year. It was a bit of an adventure as some of us were sick all day yesterday but we are doing better today so hopefully no one else gets sick so we can enjoy the rest of Christmas break.
We had originally planned to have Christmas Eve dinner with some friends but with the unexpected illness we had to improvise. Joe cooked a delicious dinner for those that were not sick and we had a quiet night here at home. We read the Christmas story from the scriptures, opened pajamas and watched Christmas movies.

Christmas morning was so fun!!!!! We decided to try a new tradition this year as far as how we planned gifts for the kids. We decided to give everyone 4 items. 1-Something you want. (Santa helped us out with this one.) 2-Something you need. 3-Something to wear. 4-Something to read.
We were hoping this formula would help us keep Christmas simple and affordable. But it's amazing what happens when you add gifts from grandparents, cousins and friends. After setting everything up Chiristmas Eve, Joe and I looked at each other and said, "I thought this was supposed to be a 'small' Christmas!"
Everyone was thrilled with their gifts. We had a great time watching everyone open presents. Then we all got dressed up in our new clothes and went to breakfast!!!! (One of my favorite traditions!)

Tommy's loot:
Dallin's Loot:

The Girls:
Emily and her "Emily" Doll:
Julianne and her "Julie" Doll:
Becky and her "Rebecca" Doll:
A Happy Mess:

Becky's Birthday

Yesterday my little girl turned 11!!!!!
This year we celebrated her birthday on the 23rd.
For breakfast she had a pancake birthday cake and then opened presents. Her favorite by far was a DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) game her Grammy sent her. It's one of those games that you just plug right in to the TV. We don't have any kind of game system at our house so all the kids thought it was pretty cool. The girls have been plying it non-stop since she opened it.

That evening we took everyone to Medieval Times! None of the kids have ever been before and I haven't been since high school. They all thought it was so cool to eat dinner with their hands!
All the kids really got into the show, cheering and waving their flags for all the knights. One of the knights even tossed a flower to Becky! It just made her day. :)
We had one little hang-up when Emily decided to throw-up all over the floor half way through the show. We made it through the night though.
Happy Birthday Becky!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Piano Recital and Preschool Program

December is always a busy time of party's and recitals. This last weekend was no different.

Emily had her preschool Christmas program and class party on Friday. She was so cute up there in here angel costume. She sang her little heart out. Then we got to go back to her classroom and listen to stories, play games, and decorate a gingerbread house!

I invited my piano students and their families over this weekend for a mini Christmas recital and some treats.
They all did a great job.

Julianne played a duet version of Silver Bells. She sounded awesome!

I made Becky perform at my recital too. (Just to make it a little longer since I only had 4 performers :) She did great.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Six Months Old!

My baby boy is 6 months already!!!!!!
I can't believe how fast he is growing up!
Tommy is such a sweet and good-natured baby. He is a BIG boy too. Already in 12 mo. clothes!
He is sitting up on his own. I just started him on a few solid foods. He likes squash and bananas the best so far. He loves to babble. He gives hugs and kisses. He likes to be in the middle of everything that's going on. He is sooooo close to crawling. He actually does everything else but crawling. He army crawl/inch worms across the room already. He gets up on his hands and knees or hands and toes and rocks back and forth. I think he'll be all over the house in no time!

First Snow of the Season

The first snow of the season is always exciting!

The kids were home from school of course. It wasn't really enough snow to play in or build a snowman but the kids had fun anyway!

Tommy had fun watching them out the window. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Becky's Recital

This year Becky "graduated" from taking piano lessons with me, and she moved on to taking piano from Sister Valerie Harris, an amazing musician and piano teacher in our ward. She has blossomed under Val's instruction and I think it's been a great thing for her to be accountable to someone else besides mom when it comes to piano.
She had her Christmas recital this afternoon and she did a great job!!!! She played an arrangement of 'O Come all Ye Faithful' in the style of Mozart. She had a lot of fun learning it and she performed it beautifully!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Clara's Christmas

This year Becky and Julianne participated in their ballet studio's version of The Nutcracker called "Clara's Christmas". It was a great opportunity for them. They both love to perform and they did such a great job!

Grandma and Grandpa Nattress flew in for the weekend to watch the girls perform. We had a great visit with them. Seeing them always makes us remember how much we miss them!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


We had a great Thanksgiving! I realized it was our 6th Thanksgiving here in Virginia. It's amazing to think how our lives have changed in the last 5 years. We have so much to be thankful for.
I know it sounds cliche, but as I look back I am most grateful for the people in our lives that have made this move to Virginia such a wonderful one.
I remember our first Thanksgiving.......just a few months after we moved across the country, away from everything and everyone we knew and loved.
I was so homesick. I was counting the days, hours, and minutes until we were going to be on a plane, headed home for Christmas.
This year, I have to say, Virginia feels like home. Over the last few years things have changed so that many of those we love most are now here.
I still get a little homesick for family and friends back west, especially around the holidays.
But, I will cherish the memories we've made here forever.

Daddy and Tommy having a little pre-feast nap....

Thanksgiving is always more fun with cousins!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

October Wedding Bells

I realized I never posted about my trip to Utah back in October for yet another wedding! (I guess that's what happens when you have cute nieces like I do! :)
My niece Laura was married back in October and Tommy and I were able to make a super quick trip so I could be there. We flew out the day before and flew home the day after but it was wonderful being there and seeing everyone.

Tommy and Uncle Joe:

Laura and her beautiful sisters! I can't believe my three oldest nieces are married now! Wierd!

As we were walking around the temple grounds we got to see the new temple exhibit at one of the visitor centers. They have this model of the Salt lake Temple where you can look right in and see what's inside. It was really neat, and I'm sure it is a wonderful missionary tool for non-members who come to see the temple.