Saturday, December 19, 2015

Fun with the Newlyweds


Noah's birthparents, Katie and Drew, got married in November!  I've already written about my personal thoughts on that sacred day, but I wanted to share more photos from the occasion.  They had a beautiful outdoor wedding, and Noah was thrilled to be their ring bearer.  Sally was thrilled to get to wear her princess coat (compliments of Aunt Sarah, of course) and hang out with Grandma during the ceremony.  I'm sorry, but I have the cutest kids in the world.  No contest. 


What a perfect day.  

A few weeks later, we met up with the newlyweds in Heber, Utah to ride the Polar Express.  Noah was just a little bit excited to ride on a real train with his favorite people.  ;)  You can't pull anything over on Noah, and he definitely did not believe that we were on the real Polar Express ("Mom, this is a diesel, and the Polar Express is a steam engine!"), but he was still thrilled to go for a ride.  It really was a magical evening, perfect to get us in the mood for Christmas.  And hey, Ryan and I had our first kiss on this same train in Heber over ten years ago, and it was fun to relate our love story to the newlyweds. :)

We are beyond blessed to have Katie and Drew in our lives, and we love the memories that we are making with them every year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Noah Who Stole Christmas


Written by Dr. Suess
Adapted by the Nielson family 
Photographed (with some difficulty, threatening, bribery, and crazy-mom moments) on Halloween 2015 and December 2015
Gifted to the grandparents and birthparents as a fun holiday surprise!

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot.
But the Grinch who lived just North of Who-ville did NOT!


The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath
Was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath.


"And they're hanging their stockings," he snarled with a sneer.
"Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!"
Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!

For tomorrow he knew, all the Who girls and boys
Would wake bright and early, and they'd rush for their toys!
And then! Oh the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then  the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they'd feast! And they'd feast!
They would feast on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast-beast
Which was something the Grinch couldn't stand in the least!

And THEN they'd do something he liked least of all!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing.
They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing!

And the more the Grinch thought of this Who-Christmas-Sing,
The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop this whole thing!
Why for fifty-three years I've put up with it now!
I MUST stop this Christmas from coming!
But HOW?"

Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!

"I know just what to do!" The Grinch laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat.
And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Grinchy trick!
With this coat and this hat, I look just like Saint Nick!"

"All I need is a reindeer..." the Grinch looked around.
But, since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found...
So he called his dog, Max. Then he took some white thread
And he tied a big horn to the top of his head.

Then he loaded some bags and some old empty sacks
On a ramshackle sleigh, and he hitched up old Max
Then the Grinch said, "Giddap!" and the sleigh started down
Toward the homes where the Whos, lay a-snooze in their town.


All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care
When he came to the first little house on the square.
"This is stop number one," the old Grinchy Claus hissed
And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid down the chimney, a rather tight pinch.
But, if Santa could do it, then so could the Grinch.
He got stuck only once for a moment or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue
Where the little Who stockings all hung in a row.
"These stockings," he grinned, "are the first things to go!"

 Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!...
Then he slunk to the icebox.  He took the Whos' feast!
He took the Who-pudding!  He took the roast beast!
He cleaned out that icebox as quick as a flash.
Why, that Grinch even took their last can of Who-hash!

Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with glee.
"And NOW!" grinned the Grinch, "I will stuff up the tree!"

 And the Grinch grabbed the tree, and he started to shove
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who!
Little Sally-Lou Who, who was not more than two.

  The Grinch had been caught by this tiny Who daughter
Who'd got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at the Grinch and said, "Santy Claus, why,
Why are you taking our Christmas tree?  WHY?"

 But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"Why, my sweet little tot," the fake Santy Claus lied,
"There's a light on this tree that won't light on one side.
So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
I'll fix it up there. Then I'll bring it back here."

And his fib fooled the child.  Then he patted her head
And he got her a drink and he sent her to bed.
And when Sally-Lou Who went to bed with her cup,
He went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!...

 It was quarter past dawn, all the Whos still a-bed
All the Whos still a-snooze, when he packed up his sled,
Packed it up with the Whos presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!
"Pooh-Pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming,
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"

"That's a noise," grinned the Grinch, "That I simply MUST hear!"
So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low.  Then it started to grow...

But the sound wasn't sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so! But it WAS merry!  VERY!
 He stared down at Who-ville! The Grinch popped his eyes!
The he shook!  What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!  IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
The the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!"

And what happened then...? Well in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he...

The Grinch carved the roast beast!

The end.


 Many thanks to my patient children for cooperating with my hare-brained schemes and creative whims!  Cutest Sally Lou-Who and Grinch in history!