‘Tis the Season

I haven’t always been very good about getting Christmas cards out every year but this year I scrambled at the last minute and am so excited to share our cards thanks to Minted! I scheduled family pictures seriously the day before we took them and you know what? It actually was the most low key family photo session ever. I didn’t have time to stress about getting everyone’s outfits perfect or anything like that! I just kind of went through our closets and hoped everything would look okay together and I’m super pleased with how they turned out! The quality of these cards is so good! Thick paper, beautiful rounded edges. Every detail was perfect, I especially loved the envelopes!

Minted also came out with these killer pin boards to display our Christmas cards and I’m so in love with the custom fabric I was able to choose. I wanted something that I could use year round and I can’t wait to put it in our laundry room in our new house next summer! Won’t it look great in a Texas home?! 🙂

I love our buffet in our front room. It’s the perfect spot to add a few things for every holiday and makes our house that much more festive. I’m going to post a few more family pictures in another post soon so make sure to keep an eye out!

-LWPH

This post is sponsored by Minted but as always, every word is my own.

My Perfect Mess

I have to say, as much as I’d love for my house to be perfectly tidy all the time, with three kids that is just impossible. The second you clean up a mess they’re off making another one and it can be exhausting. Okay, beyond exhausting. I love those kids of mine more than words could describe but my “perfect mess” is not finding markers on the wall or the moss from our plant strewn all over the living room — no thank you! I’m really thankful that STAINMASTER® has created a campaign for all of us to share our perfect mess because so much of social media and blogs are all white homes and siblings that hug even while they sleep. That’s all wonderful! I wish sometimes that was my life but it’s not and I couldn’t be happier to partner with them to share My Perfect Mess!

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Carving pumpkins is M-E-S-S-Y. Our son, Holden, is hilarious and would hardly even touch the goop. He has never liked to be messy but he sure loved to manage us all. We were calling him Manager Holden as he was cheering us on (literally) and telling us to let him know when we were done with each step. We were dying laughing and it was so fun to see a glimpse into his possible professional future! We did get him to scoop out a few pumpkin seeds before he switched into his manager role.

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We had to put Sawyer in “baby jail” because this kid loves a good mess but also loves putting small things in his mouth (like pumpkin seeds). We were surprised to see that he actually loved watching everyone working and didn’t cry to get out once! I think his teething self didn’t mind chewing on that bar while he observed!

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I’ve somehow become the official pumpkin carver of the family and I actually have a lot of fun doing it! I don’t remember doing a lot of it growing up (not saying we didn’t but #mombrain) so discovering that those little cheap tools actually do something was a lightbulb moment!

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What I love most about our perfect mess is that we were creating a somewhat controlled chaos but it was such a beautiful family moment with everyone working away, Halloween music playing, laughing + dancing together. The kids were even going around the yard practicing trick-or-treating! The holidays are such a rad time to share with kids and it’s memories like these that I truly believe I’ll look back on as the best days of my life. And i mean, I’m pretty proud of this pumpkin! Arm workout for the week, check!

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STAINMASTER is running an amazing contest where YOU can enter to win free flooring for one room in your home and a $500 retail gift card by posting your perfect mess on social media with #MyPerfectMess and tagging @STAINMASTER in the caption. I think we could all use $500 for some Christmas shopping coming up!

This post is sponsored by STAINMASTER but, as always, opinions are all my own.

-LWPH

>looking back on 2010

>Well, 2010 was kind of crazy for our family.


We bought a house…



We had a baby…

We survived our first road trip with Holden…


We lost someone we love…


But got to catch up with a lot of family…


We celebrated a lot of “firsts”…[including Christmas!]

So happy that I get to spend 2011 [and forever] with these studs…

Goals for 2011:

  • attend the temple once a month
  • exercise once a week [i hate working out]
  • read our scriptures daily [this way harder than it may seem]
  • get my life organized again
  • read 2 nonfiction LDS books
  • cook four times a week

We hope everyone has a safe & happy New Years!


The giveaway ends at midnight tonight. Go here to enter! 


-Little Wife Power House

>more Christmas fun!

>I told you…FOUR Christmases! It’s just been so much fun to stretch out Christmas. Luckily we have enough family that we might get away with this every year. muahahah 🙂 


We went over to my Mom’s tonight. Emily, Steve, John, and Chris all came down from Utah and Julie made the trip from Dallas. What a wonderful family we have. We opened presents first since the amazingly tasty chicken pies took a while to cook. Here are a few pictures of the shenanigans that ensued.

[they have a major bromance going on]

I had to take a picture of the loot we scored at Gigi’s. She spoils us [with gifts, with love, with everything].

[yes, that is just OUR stuff!]


[casey, look at my apron from robert! mrs.clause&santaholden]

Mom & Lori ordered these pies from Harry&David. We saw them on Oprah. “If Oprah likes them they have to be good” was our thought and we were so right! They are SO good [especially the gravy, right guys? :P] Check them out!


I’m so excited to use our new pots & pans! My mom surprised us with those. I’ve been complaining about our pots & pans for months [terrible. emeril. don’t get them.] and she was so sweet to think to get us those. We’re home now and are probably going to watch How To Train Your Dragon [thx mom]! I feel so blessed. I feel blessed every day but especially blessed this time of year to spend so much time with those I love [and the presents don’t hurt ;)]. 


Goodnight from the Andersons!

-Little Wife Power House

PS Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Only 5 days left!!

>christmas lights around the neighborhood

>After Christmas at Allan’s parents we drove around our neighborhood to look at the lights before they are all taken down. We were seriously impressed with some of them! We better step up our game next year. We are going to do our usual after Christmas run to get some awesome outside decorations [at 50% off :P] for next year. Here were some of the best.



The last one won “Best Decorations” for the neighborhood. We agree! It was so beautiful. We just sat there for a few minutes looking at the house. 

I’m making cinnamon rolls to bake in the morning and Allan is wrapping some presents for me 🙂 And yes, we are wearing our sexy PJs. 


Check in tomorrow for my 100th Post Christmas Giveaway!!

-Little Wife Power House

>Christmas with the Anderson[s]

>What a fun day! I love having so much family. That means Christmas seems to last a bit longer. We get to have FOUR Christmases this year [didn’t they make a movie about that??] Two on my side, one on Allan’s, then the most important one…OUR LITTLE FAMILY! 


We did Christmas today with Dad, Elizabeth, and Robin. First we went to Kobe’s for lunch. That is only our favorite restaurant ever. I could eat it every day…It started out a little rocky with the H man:



Luckily he quickly shifted gears…



Let me tell you, they spoiled us. Especially little Holden. That’s part of being a grandparent right? Spoiling your grandchildren. It was santaholden’s first go at unwrapping presents and he did better than I thought he would! He loved playing with the paper [it crinkles. should have expected that.] He even ripped some! 


Then we went to Allan’s parents for some more Christmas fun. Games, burgers, family, presents, love. Sterling got me an AWESOME recipe box with AWESOME recipe cards! I was so happy when I opened it. Here are some pictures from the festivities.


[carrie&jett were folding their arms! how.cute.is.that.]



I just love this time of year. I love our family and am so grateful for our Savior and everything He did for us. 


-Little Wife Power House

>Ugly Christmas Sweater Party 2010

>We had our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party last night and I have to say, it was a hit in my opinion! It was a mostly family party this year [I think we will alternate family party then friend party each year]. There must’ve been 30 people there [with only 3 friends]. Having a big family on both sides is crazy fun! Check out how awesome everyone’s outfits were!

[santaholden&daddy having fun]


[jett with a mouthful of casey’s amazing oreo balls]


[me&julie with her cute new haircut]


[my two favorite sisters]

I covered the table with butcher paper and they colored with Christmas Crayons. We also had cookie decorating, party favors, a Christmas movie [Rudolph], and bowling for the kids:


Here are a few pictures of the food and I’ll include links to the recipes [at least for the food I made]:


Go here for the pumpkin cheesecake muffins
Go here for the chicken quesadilla pinwheels
Go here for the hot mulled apple cider
I’ll type up the recipes for the snickerdoodles [yum] and Lori’s sausage dip [so good] if any of you want it! 


Can’t wait until next year’s party! Thanks to everyone who came and to my awesome photographer [Lori}! 


Happy Sabbath!

-Little Wife Power House

>Gingerbread Houses

>I know, I know…I just posted…but I wanted to post about the Gingerbread Houses we made on Saturday before I had too much to write about that they just fall by the wayside…


I found this homemade gingerbread house tutorial here at Oopsey Daisy [love her blog]. I can’t wait until Holden is old enough to help me build and decorate the gingerbread houses. I think it will be much more enjoyable next year since I worked out a few quirks. 1) the recipe says to chill for 3 hours. DO NOT make the day before and chill overnight! The dough gets rock hard and dry which makes it almost impossible to work with. That’s after letting it sit out for a long time and adding a little warm water. 2) keep the glue [aka burnt sugar] warm on the stove while building the house. 3) cut your pieces as straight as possible! It really, really makes a difference. I used a pizza cutter and my houses were still a little “special.” I’ll try harder next year…


 [casey&joe building their house and allan in the early stages of construction]

[the finished products! yay for gingerbread houses!]

[the proud participants]

The tree idea was also from oopsey daisy. I can’t take credit for anything [like I said – no creativity bones in my body]. They are just ice cream cones turned upside down, smothered with icing, and decorated. What a great idea!

Hope you guys are getting into the Christmas season as much as we are! I will be be prepping all week for our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Saturday. Check in next week for pictures!

-Little Wife Power House


>Christmas Crayons

>I’m not a very crafty person but I saw this a few months ago and I’ve been dying to try it. I thought our Christmas Party on Saturday would be the perfect opportunity! My plan is to make these chunky crayons, cover our kitchen table with butcher paper, and let the kids draw pictures of Santa, reindeer, whatever they want. I’m trying to come up with as many kid friendly activities as possible so they aren’t just running amok in my house 🙂





I found the silicone baking pan at Target for $1 and bought a 64 pack of crayons [used 4 crayons per tree]. I put them in a 375 degree oven for about 7 minutes.

I love these so much I’m definitely making some for our Sunbeams class to use! You could make these out of any shape.




-Little Wife Power House


PS I’ve been up since 3:30 AM! What is wrong with me?

>

Happy Thanksgiving! 

[his onesie says “I’m stuffed!” I love it!]

Hope everyone’s Thanksgivings were great and full of family time. I slacked a little on my Gratitude Challenge there at the end so I’ll catch up now. What better day than today? 

Day twenty-five: I’m grateful for date night. It was such a great weekend. 
Day twenty-six: I’m grateful for Jennifer coming over and helping me fold laundry today 🙂
Day twenty-seven: I’m grateful for my camera so I can capture all these wonderful pictures of H. 
Day twenty-eight: I’m grateful for Christmas. The holidays, really. It’s such a wonderful time of the year. I especially love Christmas because I love picking out the perfect gift for people and being able to focus more on Christ.
Day twenty-nine: I’m grateful for baths. They are so relaxing.
Day THIRTY!: I’m grateful for all of the other blessings in my life that I didn’t mention on this list. Allan and I were talking tonight about how blessed we are and it’s hard to mention every single thing.

-Little Wife Power House

>date weekend!!

>So this weekend was nearly perfect. It was date weekend 2010! My amazing mom agreed to watch H Friday evening and Saturday afternoon so Allan & I could spend some time alone together. We haven’t been on a date since H was born and I have a feeling that it will only happen a few times a year. Sad but true. We hadn’t been to the temple since before H was born. We used to be great about it. We first started going every week [and that actually lasted longer than I thought it would], then it went to every month, then once H was born temple visits were non-existant. That was priority numero uno this weekend!

[the husband & I before going in]

I took a picture of the temple but none of them did it justice. The temple is just so beautiful! At about 9:30 I made the mistake of thinking about food and couldn’t stop after that [breastfeeding moms – you know what I’m talking about]. The second we left, we stopped at the first Whataburger we could find and at the time I thought it was the best thing I had ever eaten. Allan says hunger is the best spice! The next morning, I woke up and made pumpkin pancakes for us

. Perfect fall breakfast! I’m definitely making them again. We sat by the fireplace on a blanket and ate picnic style. 


We lounged all morning and it was perfect. We haven’t had such a relaxing weekend in a long time and we needed it. My mom came over and took the boy so we got to go see HARRY POTTER 7! I’m not going to ruin it for anyone, don’t worry. Buuuut it was GREAT. Action packed, sad, and definitely darker than I was expecting. I only fell asleep for 15 minutes or so 😉 We got pumpkin cheesecake [it’s that time of year to take advantage!] from The Cheesecake Factory [SO YUMMY!] and headed home to relieve Mom so she could go out to Dallas. We ended the evening with putting up our Christmas tree and decorations. We had to take advantage of the free time because who knows when we will have another chance!


[we love christmas!]

[husband hard at work]

[Yes, that is Santa Mr. Potato head as our tree topper :P]
One last picture. We were given this adorable robe and I kept forgetting we had it and he’s almost too big for it now [babies grow out of clothes too quickly] so I had to take a picture. Enjoy!


 -Little Wife Power House


>Trunk or Treat 2010

>Tonight was our ward’s Trunk or Treat. We definitely weren’t missing it this year since Halloween is on a Sunday so we won’t be able to go. Today was kind of an off day in the Anderson household. Allan worked from home today since he was still a little sick and Holden was just so happy that he skipped a nap! He didn’t want to miss a second of Daddy time. So by the time Trunk or Treat time came around, H was not a happy camper. We still went and we were really glad we did. We got to hang out with Jenn, Babe and their boys and see some friends. I love Halloween!

{Husband and Holden then Jennifer and Superman…er, Jett}
{Maybe one of my favorite Holden pictures…ever}
{Me and H}

{Holden by the end of the evening}

Holden passed out about 20 minutes before we left and was seriously sacked out. I hardly ever get to hold him while he’s sleeping anymore so I really enjoyed it. Holding a sleeping baby is one of the most calming things, in my opinion. He was a trooper even though he was a little cold and a lot of tired. Can’t wait until next year when he can toddle around! 

-Little Wife Power House

>The 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

>

I have to start the gratitude challenge with: 
I’m grateful for my son. 

The first picture was one of the first times I got to hold my sweet baby boy after he was born. The second picture is one of his newborn pictures that we had done 5 days after he was born. I saw this idea on my sister’s blog {My Montessori Moments – check it out if you ever need great ideas for teaching your young ones!} and she got it from another blog. I think this is such a great idea – especially with Thanksgiving coming up. I have so much to be grateful for. This 30 day challenge should be a breeze :P. The only trick will be remembering to do it every day! Our family will be reading it on Thanksgiving Day as well (thanks, Lori!). Hopefully I can get my busy husband to do it, too. Spread the word! I’d love to see this on my friends’ blogs!


-Little Wife Power House 

>Pancake Breakfast 2010

>This past Saturday, the Guerreros hosted their annual Pancake Breakfast and we had a blast! Lori really should look into party planning…she is that good! She made pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin/chocolate chip muffins…there were pumpkin donuts, juices, games for the kids – all of the elements of a great party! The rain even *mostly* held out for it! I’m not sure how Holden felt about the rain…


{Allan’s makeshift umbrella}


{My adorable nephew, Asher}


{“Say Halloween!”}



{Lori is really talented!} 



{Some of my favorite people :P}



{JR popping a balloon to get his prize.}

It was a great time with family and friends. We can’t wait until next year! Thanks for having us Lori, Robert, JR, and Asher! We love you guys! 

-Little Wife Power House




>Halloween Party

>Casey and Joe had their annual Halloween Extravaganza on Monday. Pumpkin carving, yummy treats, prizes…what’s better than that? I love this time of year. We got to put Holden in his Halloween costume a little early! So fun. 


{Holden and his Aunt Jaimie. Both are decked out in their Halloween best!}


{Joe getting all of the pumpkins ready to carve. Their house looked great!}


{Husband loving on Holden}

We decided not to do the Zombie Party at our house again this year for a few reasons:

      1. I don’t have time to plan it.
      2. Things are a little tighter in the money department 
      3. Last year’s party wasn’t the biggest hit (in my opinion)

Maybe next year if those things change and I have time to come up with fun activities for the party we’ll do it again. It was fun getting together with friends but we basically just chatted in zombie costumes :P. We are going to the Pumpkin Patch in Flowermound this weekend with Mindy, Levi, Aiden and hopefully the Bigleys. We also get to go to the Guerrero’s annual Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning! What a fun weekend I have to look forward to!  

I’ve been testing out cloth diapers all week so that’s still to come 😛

-Little Wife Power House

>Baby Gap is dangerous!

>I love Baby Gap. Their clothes are SO cute and great quality. Some of my favorite onesies are from there because they are just so soft and I don’t have to worry about the fabric irritating Holden’s skin. We went to Gap today to buy Allan some new pants. We had a Groupon for $50 and since the pants were 40% off (and we HAD to spend the entire $50), we ventured over to Baby Gap. I can never just get one thing but we did pretty good – only got two things! And boy are they adorable. Just look at this hat and mittens!


{I can’t wait until it gets cold enough for Holden to wear this!} 



We also got Holden’s Christmas PJs. I love cable knit sweaters so this was perfect. I know it looks huge, it’s 6-12 months but the 3-6 was only up to 17 lbs and Holden is already almost 14 lbs so I have a hard time seeing him fitting into the 3-6 size come the end of December. Here are his Christmas PJs:



Adorable, right?! I can’t wait for Christmas. I already know this Christmas is going to be the best one yet because we have Holden here with us. Every Christmas will only get better from here on out. 


-Little Wife Power House

>Happy Halloween!

>

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Doesn’t it look like he’s about to give you a hug? And look at that onesie! I LOVE TARGET! I have found some really cute Halloween outfits there for a very reasonable price. Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween from the Andersons!

-Little Wife Power House