Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January so far

This month has brought a break from the business of the fall and the fun rush of the holidays.  We've just been going at life, and it's been nice.  I wish I could say I had accomplished all kinds of cool things, but really I haven't.  The one thing that I've spent the past week working on in my free time is finally making a baby album for Alayna.  She's super excited and can't wait for me to finish.  

We had all of Matt's family here this past weekend.  The whole gang, all 19 of us were together for the first time in two years.  It was nice.  We had family photos taken, and I also took a few, which I'll share later.

I have a few business things I need to work on while I have time (the behind the scenes time sucker stuff) :)  I'm learning how to design albums, and trying to design a brochure (design work is not on the top of my love to do list).

I've done a lot of cooking and entertaining, but I think that's pretty much the norm for us :)  We were commenting the other week on how we love our house and we love to fill it with happy people. Such a blessing.

The big camera hasn't been out much this month, and that's okay.  It makes me excited and refreshed to bring it out again after a little break.  So for now, here's a few things from January....

My kids have recently taken to climbing the trees in the backyard.  This does make me a little nervous (especially since Ethan just suffered a minor concussion last week), but geesh, I think tree climbing is a right of childhood.  Oh the fond memories I have of my brother and I playing in our apricot tree as kids.

We got to enjoy an hour of free play at Redlands Gymnastics Club.  Ethan was super excited to get to join us (as Alayna started gymnastics here three weeks ago).
We watched the Flores boys for about 24 hours the other week.  The kids loved having a sleepover.  WE took them to play in the snow and out for lunch to Del Taco.  Unfortunately the sleepover ended pretty dramatically when Ethan fell off the trampoline and onto his head and suffered from a concussion.  We took him to the ER to get checked out.  Thankfully it was minor.  It was scary though.  Boys....
Uncle Dan holding Stephen this past weekend. 
Fun at the park

 Most weeks we enjoy lunch after church with Matt's parents (although Sid can't come until he is a bit stronger).  We love this time to chat,
This doll house gets played with EVERY. SINGLE. Day.  Seriously the best toy I ever bought for her.  She is constantly pretending and imagining.  I love it.  Lately she plays with all of her little tiny dogs and calls it her "dog house".  She also got some Barbies for Christmas.  I'm not sure who enjoys them more, me or her :)
Here we are playing in the snow in Forrest Falls with the Flores boys.  The kids only lasted 20 minutes before they wanted to leave, haha.  Mostly because no one had mittens and their hands were freezing.  They did have fun while it lasted :) 
The four Hekman siblings. So fun to have everyone together this past weekend.
I mentioned that Alayna recently started gymnastics.  She LOVES it. . It's so fun for her to have something of her own to do :) 
Winter sunsets are the best.  I never fail to enjoy  them.  I never tire of our view.  From the backyard we get to watch the hills/mountains of Oak Glen change colors and from the font yard we get to see the magnificent skies as the sun sets.  I am always in awe.
 Matt grew up reading the Bible every single night after dinner with his family.  I love this idea.  We have read our children's Bible to the kids after dinner each night since they could understand.  It's part of our routine and I love it.  As they grow older we'll move to chapters out of the regular Bible.  This is our second time working our way through this one.
Ethan taking one of his dogs for a walk. 

We have a lot a couple of houses down from us.  Ethan has said he is going to buy it and build his house there for quite some time.  I love it.  I tell him I'd love to have him close :)

Me and a friend took our kids to the Children's hands on museum in Hemet over Christmas break and the loved it. 

Date afternoon!  My mom babysat and we got to enjoy lunch at The Elephant Bar and then a movie.  We saw the James Bond movie and really enjoyed it.
Another picture from the children's museum (I can't change the order of pictures when I blog them from my phone).
I have a girl come babysit every Friday for three hours so I can work.  She's wonderful and the kids adore her.  The past few weeks I've forgone the working and instead had some "me" time.  I've gotten my hair cut, a couple of massages (from the 12 Matt gave me for my birthday), and this past week I went to Ross and used a gift card and then had coffee and read a book at a local coffee shop.  It's been pretty wonderful to have a little "me" time since I'm not swamped with work right now :) 

Alayna enjoying her big girl bike.  She went on a ride around the whole block.  I was impressed. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Eve

This is officially my last post related to the holidays :)  We decided to have a fancy dinner for New Year's Eve.  The Flores' came over and spent the night, and we had a great time.  We even got all dressed up.

I tried to set my table extra fancy.  We even busted out the china and nice silverware :)  I had fun putting together a little centerpiece with things I had on hand.

So, as you would at a nice restaurant, we started out with a drink at the bar.... I had an extra dirty gin martini.  For some reason that drink makes me feel classy, lol.  Not pictured is the array of fancy cheeses I had.  The most interesting one was a caramelized onion aged cheddar.

Our handsome bartender.  He makes great drinks.

It's kinda fun to get gussied up for a classy dinner :)

And now, onto the food.... mmmmmm. I made a prime rib roast (my first), and oh my.... it was DIVINE.  This is now going to be our new holiday tradition, I am so cooking one of these every year.  I used this recipe and it turned out fantastic.  I served sauteed Brussels sprouts, which I cooked in bacon fat :)  They had bacon, red onion, and a few other seasonings in them (including brown sugar).  I also made mashed potatoes and an arugula salad.  It was the perfect combo.  Dessert was a Williams Sonoma flour-less chocolate cake.  It was very rich.

We even had some after dinner club dancing.  We were joined by the little ones who can't resist a good dance party ;)

Even the dogs got in on the action.

And of course we had to toast at midnight (although for the kids we had them toast their apple cider at 8:30 when we put them to bed).  The adults stayed up until nearly 1:00 am.  We had fun playing the game Things from about 10:30-midnight.

We like to talk about how much money we would have spent had we gone out and done this somewhere, makes us feel good about ourselves ;)  This would have been a very expensive night out, so we feel quite accomplished that we enjoyed ourselves for 1/4 of the price.

So there you have it, New Year's Eve at the Hekman wine bar and fine dining bistro.  In the moring we awoke and had our traditional Ollie Bollen (made by Matt) and watched the Rose parade.  We went on a nice long walk, had fondu for lunch, hung out, played games, and enjoyed a very relaxing day.

They aren't naked, just shirt-less.

Happy New Year!  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Kind of Boxing Day

Today is January 2nd and I have to admit I was quite excited to go to the gym and eat a normal diet, lol.  I feel like we've been partying for two weeks straight, and it's been fun, but it's always nice to return to a normal diet :)  However, I still have a couple more holiday posts that I need included in my blog book/memories, so here is one of them....

For the past several years we have made it a tradition to spend Boxing Day at the Flores'.  This year Jolene didn't have the day off so we instead decided to have a sleepover on the Friday following Christmas.  Of course it was super fun, as any time spent with them is.  Ethan decided he wanted to sleep on the top bunk WITH Christian, so that's how they slept.  As the kids have gotten a little older it's become extremely relaxing to be together because the kids go off and play the entire time, and are VERY excited to have friends, and we get to hang out with our friends.  It's a total win-win situation.  The icing on the cake is that now that they have a little dog even the dogs have a buddy, lol.

We got to have some of the famous Flores tamales for dinner.  They always make sure to save us some from Christmas.  I love a good home-ade tamale :)

My girl is silly :)

The kiddos playing in the play room in their jammies in the morning

Self portraits in the mirror :)