Friday, December 30, 2011


 This was Ryder's second Christmas and it was a lot of fun!  He wakes up early, usually around 5:30 or 6 so we went out to see what Santa had brought.  He got a big ride-on tractor and he immediately loved it!  Santa also brought another truck with some blocks inside, a "Choo-choo" shirt, and some storybooks on DVD.  He also got a lot of cars and trucks in his stocking.  We didn't have a lot of time to play because we had to get ready for 9 AM church.  Ryder had a really hard time during church, probably because of the excitement from the morning.  After church, we went home and opened presents with Kevin's family.  I was really excited to get a Kitchenaide Mixer this year from Kevin and Chad and Jeannine.  I have wanted one since we first got married.  It is a really pretty color called silver cocoa. I love it and can't wait to start using it! Ryder got a lot of clothes, and some books, and movies (Cars 2, and Mater's Tall Tales, both really big hits!)  Every time he opened a present that he wanted to play with right then, he would spaz out wanting to open the package NOW!  We couldn't move fast enough for him!
 Tractor from Santa!

 More things from Santa

 Ryder playing with his new Mater toy he got in his stocking.  Ryder has a SERIOUS Mater obsession right now.  If you don't know, Mater is a funny tow truck from the movie Cars.  Ryder always wants to watch "Nay-na" (which is how he says Mater)

 Kevin's stack of gifts

 Ryder opening a book from Grandma and Grandpa Briggs

 Reading his new book with Grandma

 Dave and Brianna gave Ryder a plastic, bouncy ball and he loved it!  He was throwing it and kicking it.  He mostly loves to sit on it and try to balance on it in different ways.  These two pictures show how he kept straddling the ball and balancing like that.  He was very entertaining to watch!

 This was a big truck set from Dave and Brianna and Grandma and Grandpa Briggs.  Once Ryder got the wrapping paper off, he pretty much went ballistic waiting for us to get the trucks out of the package.

After opening presents, we got to talk to Kevin's brother, Casey, in Georgia through Skype.  He comes home from his mission in June and so he only has about 5 months left!  He looked and sounded really good!  He got to see Ryder who has definitely changed a LOT since Casey left.  Ryder was only about 2 weeks old!  After talking to Casey, we had the Briggs' traditional blueberry cream cheese Christmas morning casserole. It was delicious!  

After eating and Ryder's nap, we headed down to Orem for round two.  I felt bad that my family had waited to open presents until we got there.  We didn't get down there until around 4!  It was fun being with everyone and seeing what everyone got.  Ryder got a bunch of books, clothes, and more cars.  He also got some Thomas things from my parents.  A really fun present my parents gave him is a wiggle car.  We haven't put it together yet, but when we do, he is going to love it! 
At one point, my mom opened up a present from my Dad that choked her up and made her so emotional, she couldn't say anything for several minutes.  It was her original wedding ring with a new diamond set in.  The original diamond fell out years and years ago and so there was a CZ in there since then.  It looked beautiful and obviously meant a great deal to my mom.  Chantelle and Rashell even got teary eyed watching my mom's reaction.  I'm so thankful for my parents and their example of an awesome marriage!

 Ryder's new car that plays music from Colby and Rashell.


Ryder wearing his new shirt from Santa

After opening gifts, we had dinner.  My family always does a yummy fondue dinner on Christmas.  It was so good this year!  There were two cheese pots, an oil pot, and a broth pot.  The dipping choices were steak, french bread, sour dough bread, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and apples.  For dessert, we had chocolate fondue with strawberries, pineapple, grapes, cake, mint oreos, and brownie bites to dip. Makes my mouth water just remembering how good it was!

There were a couple things we did during December that I didn't get any pictures of.  One was my Grandma Nelson's annual Grandma's Cookie Bake.  It was amazing and so much fun as always!  The other thing was Kevin's Grandma and Grandpa Rino's 23rd of December party. There was good food, a cute nativity play, and a fun gift exchange.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we went down to the annual Christmas Eve party on the Nelson side of the family.  It's always a lot of fun, especially the white elephant gift exchange!  We had good food and good company!  I love my extended family and I am especially thankful to my grandparents for the great example they are to me in so many ways! I forgot my camera, so here are some pictures my mom took...
 My cousin, Jeremy, and brother, Logan.  Good looking guys!

Payton, Chantelle, Me, and Kevin eating some baked potato dinner. I think Kevin was trying to tell my mom not to take the picture because he was chewing haha.

The three musketeers, Payton, Ryder, and Riley.

 The whole Nelson group!

 My mom with Riley and Payton

Logan with my Grandma Nelson

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spreading Christmas Cheer

One thing that I wanted to do this year was some sort of service to help us focus less on the commercial side of Christmas and more on the real reason for the season.  I made a couple gift baskets with goodies and we went to a local nursing home.  We asked if they had anybody that didn't really get a lot of visitors.  They told us about two women who would probably love to visit with us, especially since we had Ryder and they love babies.  We found them and one of them was just about to go to bed, so we gave her the gift basket and told her we don't know her, but we wanted to come wish her a Merry Christmas.  She lit up so much and said "Oh thank you!"  She looked at the gift basket and said "How beautiful!" and then went to her room to go to sleep.  The second woman, Lillian, invited us in and we visited with her for a little bit.  She showed us her antique spoon collection, pictures of her family, Christmas cards she had received, and her teeny desktop Christmas tree that Kevin helped her plug in since she couldn't reach.  She told us to treasure our little family and that we are all we need in life. It just about broke my heart because I could see a picture of her and her husband, who I'm sure had passed away, and I bet she especially misses him around the holidays.  At one point she was looking for something for Ryder to play with, and she found a little stuffed bunny for him to keep. She was so sweet to us!  I don't know how well she'll even remember our visit, but it definitely made an impact on us.  I hope we brought a little cheer into her Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gingerbread Train

 My Grandma and Grandpa Nelson gave us a gingerbread train kit and we were really excited because Ryder LOVES trains.  After dinner we pulled it out and Ryder immediately started saying "Choo choo!" over and over.  He helped as much as he could, but he mostly was trying to eat everything.  I had never seen a gingerbread train and I thought it turned out pretty cute.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We took Ryder to see Santa last year, but he was so little, he didn't care at all.  This year, we didn't know how he would react.  He actually did great, as long as he had his little truck to hold on to.  I love Christmas time with my little buddy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New shoes

Ryder was lounging around in one of my shirts for fun one day and decided he really wanted to try on his new church shoes.  It made a very interesting combination!  He loves wearing his church shoes.


He has also worn them over his footed pajamas!  He cracks me up everyday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cookie Exchange Party

I thought it would be fun to have a cookie exchange party before it got too busy with Christmas coming up.  It was fun and there were a bunch of yummy cookies.  Everyone brought two dozen cookies and left with over a dozen.  We had hot chocolate and I made gifts for everyone to take home.  Everyone received an oven mitt, a Christmas spatula, and a cookie cutter.
 Kevin's Grandma and Grandpa Rino enjoying some cookies.

 Ryder didn't know about the cookies yet...


Oatmeal- Grandma and Grandpa Rino

Chocolate Chip Rolo Cookies- My mom

Snickerdoodles- Me

Chocolate Mint Chip- Chantelle

Lemon Sugar Cookies- Carol

 Chocolate Chip- Jeannine and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip- Rashell

Homemade Oreos- Me

 Sampling some cookies

After Ryder had some cookies, he was on a bit of a sugar high!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's That Time of Year

We had a great Thanksgiving this year.  I didn't get any pictures though.  We had dinner here at the Briggs' house and then went down to Orem for Pie and games.  It was a lot of fun.  After Thanksgiving, it's officially Christmas time (never mind that I had already been listening to Christmas music since the beginning of November...)  One of the very first things we like to do each year to sort of kick off the season is go up to Temple Square and look at the Christmas lights.  Ryder was too young to care much about it last year, but he REALLY loves our Christmas tree and the lights, so I knew he would love the Temple Square lights.  On Saturday, we all bundled up nice and warm and got there not long after the sun set.  It was beautiful, as always!  When we first got there, Ryder yelled, "WOW" and was kicking his legs like crazy!  He loved it!  He also really liked the sheep at the nativity display.  He kept saying "daaa" over and over, which is how he makes a sheep noise.

 Ryder really liked the statue of Jesus.  We didn't have to tell him who it was, when he saw it, he said, "wow!  Esus!"  He loves Jesus so much!


 I love this nativity.  It's so peaceful!

On Sunday, my mom had tickets to something new this year called "A Night in Bethlehem"  My parent's next door neighbors own a reception/community center and they set up the building to look like Bethlehem.  There were little shops with basket weaving, animals, bread making, etc.  They have you go into another room and they do a really cool program.  They tell the story of the birth of Christ and have you join in singing some songs.  At the end, all the little kids get to walk up to the front and see the baby Jesus.  That was so sweet.  For the night in Bethlehem, you are supposed to dress up.  We all had fun trying different things on to look the part.  Ryder was so cute in this little robe :)  I love this time of year because of all the time spent with family and so many fun traditions!

Trying to get a toddler to sit still when they don't want to... never works out!