Monday, December 19, 2016

Miller's Annual Ugly Sweater Party!

This is an event I look forward to all year. Our friends have thrown an Ugly Sweater for the past several years. We look forward to gathering all our friends each year as some have moved and our wards have changed. This year her invitation said wear your "ugly sweater/outfit/jammies/sweatsuit;whatever fits your fancy." So we took advantage of that! We decided to go in German attire, lederhosen and all!
If you marry a German, you go as Germans! Here we are in all our glory!! There were three categories for prizes..The best sweater, the most original, and the lamest. We won for the most original, so it was a success! Second year in a row we won.
We ate some yummy food and played games and then had our white elephant exchange. The hot item was this lovely calendar that Emily made. Each month had one of the men featured. Ragnar was the featured Keltic man for April :) haha!!
Here was the crew. We looked amazing ;) We sure have a fun time and we love this group of people!

Nutcracker Performance 2016

One of my favorite traditions with my mom is taking the girls each year to the Houston Ballets Nutcracker performance. I think this was Ella's 7th year and Channing's 2nd. We have tried to go to a couple amateur performances, but the one downtown is so much better, so we stuck with that one even though it is expensive!! 
Here are all the girls who could make it that live in Houston. My sister Natalie, my mom, my sister in law Chira and her daughter Charlotte, and then us of course.
We walked over and ate at the HardRock Cafe for lunch before the performance. It was delicious. 
We had great seats. There was snow and confetti that came down on us from the ceiling a couple times. The girls loved that! Also, the rats came through the walkways and the girls weren't as keen on that ;) It was a new version of the nutcracker, it definitely felt more modern. It was a little strange since we are so used to the original version, but it was still a great performance. We love this tradition!

Weekend Fun

A couple weekends ago we went over to the German Festival in Tomball, Texas. Ragnar was excited to eat his sausage and Reibekuchen. We had fun walking around the shops and reminiscing about Germany.
It was a cold morning! Sadly the only pictures I got were of the kids in the petting zoo area.
Their cousins got to join them so they had fun with that!
On the way home, the girls and I stopped at our community "Winter Festival". The boys had both fallen asleep in the car. We did some of the crafts and then rode on a train ride.
We also did our annual gingerbread houses. The girls did their house and the boys did their house. 
We love this time of year!!

Spelling bee 2016

The annual Eagle Springs Spelling Bee took place on Thursday, December 15th. Ella has qualified all three years. She was a runner up participant in 3rd grade, and in 4th and 5th grade she participated. This year was Cavin's first chance to make it. He tested and made it in. Two kids from every class in grades 3-5 are able to participate. Cavin actually found out he made it in before a couple days later when Ella found out. Ella was really hoping she would get in again so that they could study together. 
This a picture of the morning of. They woke up and were a little nervous!!
Ragnar took the day off to come watch them. There were a total of 40 kids who made it in from the school. Cavin was number 20, and Ella the last person to go at number 40.
Cavin's first round word was "pebbles" which he spelled correctly. There were a lot of kids that got out in the first round. He only made it two the second round and misspelled "Biology" which he knew how to spell but I think he was nervous.
Ella was the last one to go and her first word was "flexible" and 2nd round was "cupboard", 3rd round was "gnarled" and 4th round she misspelled "mystic", for some reason she said mi instead of my. She finished 13th. 
I am so proud of them for trying out and even being able to participate in the spelling bee. They did a good job. I don't think that either of them have gotten less than a 100 on their spelling test more than a couple times ever. They do well and are great students and I am lucky to be their mom!


During the month of December Ella has a lot of performances with her school choir. They sang at Barnes and Noble the first week of December to start the Christmas season off!
Doesn't she look adorable in her Santa hat!!
She sang for her school a few times and then they had a winter concert. Her grandma and Aunt Natalie joined our family to watch her perform.
She doesn't particularly love that she's in 5th grade and supposed to be the big kid on campus, but she is still too short so she's on the front row. Me on the other hand, I love that I can see her well!
They had cute songs and we had fun watching her do what she enjoys! 
The Fifth grade also had Patriots Day which Ella loved. They had to dress up in their colonial attire and spend a day doing activities that they did in the colonial times. She made corn husk dolls, candles, bags, and butter. She loved it!!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cavin's Fall Soccer Season 2016

Cavin began playing soccer when he was 5 and has been with the same team for 6 seasons now. He has loved playing with many of the same boys, and I have loved watching how much they have progressed in the past few years. Today was the U9 tournament. The boys played hard!
The first game was at 9:00 and they won 3-0 against Salazar. Next they played at 12:00 and won 3-1 against Alamia. They fought hard and it was hot outside. Finally they made it to the Championship game and played the Aquino team. They were ahead almost the whole game and then the other team tied at the end. The tie put them in a shootout.
Here is Cavin getting ready for his turn. He had a good shot, but it was blocked. Several other blocks and they ended up losing the game. The poor boys started crying, they were devastated, but they played really hard. I was so proud of them!
There team name was Iron Strikers. Coach Roland was the head coach and Ragnar was his assistant coach. Cavin loved having one on one time with Ragnar while going to practices together and doing something they both really enjoy.
They felt a little better knowing that only first and second place got trophies. 
Cavin is definitely motivated by a trophy!
I wanted to add Cavin's official season photos. 
We went to Culvers after the game to celebrate a great season! Ragnar unfortunately had to go to work, but we tried to enjoy ourselves nonetheless. We sure love Cavin and his hard work on the soccer field!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Mother's Birthday weekend!

My mom turned 60 last month and her birthday was less than exciting. She said that what she would really like is to have us all together. We talked about some plans and this past weekend we worked it out and celebrated.
Friday night we went to downtown Houston and stayed in a hotel. We ordered pizza, played a few games, and watched a little tv. Unfortunately our hotel accommodations were not as promised and so this hotel didn't even have a movie channel but we did the best we could. The kids had fun just being together.
Saturday morning Chira, Coleton, and Caden joined our famliy in the 15th annual Rockets Run. Our family loves this event every year. We were well within walking distance from the hotel, so we woke up early and walked over to the race! 
The kids were excited about the kids 1 k. Everyone in my family ran the 1k along with their two cousins and Aunt Chira. I later ran in the 5k.
 They were lining up!
Pre race selfie!!
Deacon saw a huge sign like this next to the start so he just kept saying "Ohhh James Harden" over and over until the race started! Caden finished first in 6:30 and then Coleton, Cavin, Ella, Channing and Chira who kindly ran with Channing, and then Deacon and Ragnar came through in about double Caden's time. Ragnar said Deacon ran the whole way! Nice job for a barely 2 year old! 
My race was right after and I finished in 22:52. Not terrible, but not as good as in my prime. I was 11th out of 580 women and 97th out of 1325 total racers. It was a fun, good race for me.
Here are the cute kiddos afterward minus Ella who was watching her friend finish.
After the race we went over to Discovery Green and played at the park!
After a long race for Deacon, you'd think he'd be out of energy! That boy was on a mission! He kept going on everything and going down the slides. At one point he went on a short version of the monkey bars. He held on for a couple and fell off, as I was watching I was waiting to see if he cried since he fell on his stomach. Nope, instead of crying he jumps up and cheers "I did it, I did it!" He is an active boy who loves to use his body!
Chris only had about a foot to go on the slide ;)

After that we went back to the hotel and had a late breakfast and got cleaned up to go back to my parents house. We played games and then my brother Corey who had flown into Dallas for a conference came in as he had driven down to meet us. We went to Lupe Tortilla as just adults and it was nice to enjoy a quieter dinner!We missed his wife Stephani and my sister Marisa and her husband but were glad to have 4 of the 5 siblings there.
Chris engaged the kids in a flag football game as we ate homemade icecream and hung out!
This is how the kids looked on the way home after about 10 minutes in the car. I would call that a successful weekend! It didn't go perfectly, but I hope my mom knows how much we love and appreciate her and that she felt loved. We are so grateful for her in our lives and I am so grateful for the example she is to me and what a wonderful support she is to our family. We love her!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Halloween 2016!

We sure love this time of year. The weather is hopefully going to start to cool down and I love all the family activities around fall and winter time. We got a visit from Daphne for her birthday weekend which we enjoyed. We always love spending time with her.
We carved pumpkins with her. Typically we just paint the pumpkins, but the kids wanted to give carving a try..You can tell from the picture that Cavin wasn't loving digging out the pumpkin! Needless to say, his molded outside fairly quickly as I was not doing his dirty work!
Channing opted to just paint hers which I much prefer.
Cavin finally made something work thanks to Daphne's help!
Daphne came down for her birthday but also to watch the kids in the yearly Primary program that they have every year.
Here is our before church selfie! Love this crew! The kids all remembered their parts and did a great job! They are good kids!
The kids also had crazy hair day at school the next week and the girls wanted spiders in their hair! I did my best!
The next week was filled with 3 Halloween parties. It started with the Rockets Trick or Treat in the Suites which the kids love each year.
Ella was Hermione since she finished reading Harry Potter this year and was excited about the character.
Cavin was Harry Potter, and a cute one at that! He also has been reading Harry Potter and he and his sister are pretty close and love to do things together still.
Channing had to be something that involved wearing high heels ;). She is in love with shoes and only wants to wear shoes with heels. She was Belle this year!
Deacon...well, he was tricky this year. He only wants to be something related to sports. He wanted to be James Harden because we all know he is obsessed with him, but he was a Rockets player last year. So... we settled on a German soccer player since his next love is soccer and Germany. He is often cheering through the house, Go Germany Go! Every flag we pass in America is a Germany flag to him, not a United States flag, but we will let it pass cause he's so cute!

After the trick or treat, we had a church trunk or treat and Halloween trick or treating. Between it all we had WAY too much candy!
Naturally the kids and I love to sort it each year. It was a fun Halloween holiday.