We had a fun, not quite as planned day, but still, a lovely Christmas.

Jane got some new dress-ups (on 75% off after Halloween) and she asked Santa for Princess Legos. Thankfully, he found them.

Colin's Santa present was a blue Transformer motorcycle.

The transformer is a little tricky and needed some Daddy help. Poor Brian, here he is still with his hospital wristband. He had to go to the ER in the middle of the night with an extreme ear infection. His membrane ruptured, which we found out is not fun. He's starting to feel better but not the Christmas Eve we had hoped for.

Christmas carnage.

Colin found the pickle ornament and got the pickle prize. He was delighted.

Baby Kate was a little unsure of this unusual day.

She loved her new toy.

Not long before I took this photo, she had a blow out that was dripping down my leg and onto my shoe. She then spit up all over her new sweater, and had a second blow out later in the day. Still a nice Christmas, it has just taken more out of us than we expected.
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It has been a wild month. Brian was gone for about 8 days while I was sick which thankfully, I survived better than I thought we would. The weekend before Christmas Brian had two more Messiahs in Boise. As it is not too far, we loaded everyone up for the weekend. Above are the kids in the hotel. They were delighted to go on a little trip. Colin said several times how he wished we could stay longer.

Downtown Boise is really cute. I had intended to take photos but everything is just a little harder with 3 kids.

The hotel room was fun for a while, before Colin and Jane got sick of each other.

Brian and the same conductor and soloists were also in VA. Our kids got to play with two of the singers' daughter. Colin and Jane were delighted, and she was a very cute girl.

Not long after we were home from Boise, Kate and Brian got the cold that we had been passing around the house. Kate was so sad sick, and Brian's illness has taken some unexpected turns. They were cute napping together.

I had the camera close and got a handful of everyday happenings on Winter Break. Lunch in jammies!

We have also been painting rocks. Colin can't decide if he should keep his rocks or sell them.

Just general craziness here. It was not quite the week before Christmas we thought we would have.
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Brian got these cute photos of Colin when we were unpacking Christmas decorations. I got this Nutcracker at a 5k fundraiser that my friends and I did in 2000. It was a ballet fundraiser and we ran in dramatic tutus made of garbage bags, tiaras, lots of make-up, etc. Kind of glad a lot of my young adult life was before digital cameras, blogs, and facebook.

No photo, but the other day I caught Colin and Jane setting up our Little People Nativity set and rolling a ball to bowl them. I had to tell them that we do not bowl the Holy Family.

Jane is always excited about anything electronic these days. We have had many, many tantrums involving Nana's ipad or Daddy's smartphone.

Both kids love to cuddle Kate. So cute!

We are rounding out a week without Brian. It has been very long, but we are surviving. Thankfully my mom is close but I try to not ask too much of her. My heart goes out to single and military moms. Brian is in Virginia singing Messiahs but back Monday morning. Just one more Messiah gig this season, then full focus on Christmas and a nice break.
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The day after Thanksgiving we went to a great tree farm in Alpine, Utah to get this beautiful tree. This is where our mis-adventure began. Since Brian is very, very particular about the tree, we were planning to have him drop the kids and me off to play somewhere while he made his choice. That did not quite work. He and the older kids tromped around while I nursed in the car. I then took the kids to get hot chocolate and cupcakes while Brian refined the tree search. He found one he liked, geomarked it on his phone but then could not find it again. While he was lost (although he says he was not lost) Jane was loosing it and making waiting very hard for me with baby and Colin. I had brought the camera and thought we would have a fun time at the tree farm but no, not so fun. Every year getting a tree is kind of hard so Brian said maybe that is the new tradition. Next year we are going to send Brian well ahead of time to make the choice as the farm lets you tag a tree as early as Labor Day. It is a lovely tree and needs to last until Epiphany. We are excited for a visit from Befana since she found our kids in Italy last year!

Mis-adventure #2: We let the kids camp out under the tree for just this one special night. (Maybe hard to tell in the photo, stories by Ikea night light light.) They were very excited and got to bed way too late. Colin woke up sick the next day and complained the light of the tree did not let him get a wink of sleep. Great.

Of course both kids ended up in bed with us. With baby Kate this does not work so well. We hope for better luck next year.

It is a gorgeous tree. The icicles look really great.
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A while back, Colin was thinking about how we have Stucki family photos and Hinckley family photos, but since he has Michael in his name, he wanted a Michaels' photo. We got 3/4 of the family Michaels (sadly one Michael nephew was missing). The first Michael Hinckley is in the frame. Strangely, all the Michaels had similar stripped shirts.
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I realize we may be exceeding the legal limit for extreme baby cuteness. She is so sweet and I just want to play and coo at her all day.

Jane loves her too. I'm happy to have some photos of the sisters.

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About a month ago now, Kate had her blessing. (So hard to blog with 3 kids! And so behind on our family books I make from the blog. I was making good progress but then got stuck in our Japan trip from the summer of 2010. I hope to catch up, our kids love looking at the blurb books.) Anyhow, in our church father's give new babies a name and blessing. Brian gave a beautiful blessing, which I wish I could have paid more attention to rather than dealing with Jane. Jane did settle down in not much time. She had been excited for the blessing and frequently in her prayers would bless Kate for special blessing. Now Colin and Jane both ask for Kate to have health and strength in their prayers, so sweet! And Jane went through a long period in her prayers where she would bless Nana to set the hoses.

Kate wore the family dress that goes back 50 years now. She slept through most of her photos.

She finally got a little smiley once she was in more comfy clothes.