Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Eve Take 3

Yes, we had one, well 2 more places to hit up if you count the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at church. It was AWESOME...the title was "All is Well". We took Olivia into the service with us, she did great and got to sing along to 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' that she knew from school. She also got to hold a candle at the end!

Then we all went to my Dad's parent's house. This year was a first. We had EVERYONE there. It was my grand parents, their 3 kids and 3 spouses, 11 grandchildren, 6 spouses/fiances grandchildren, and 6 great-grand children!!! That's 31 people produced from 2 people who fell in love and followed Jesus!

We ate and talked and at the end we always light a candle and sing 'Silent Night'!

This year, since the great grand kids are getting a little older, on of my uncles decided to have a little fun with them and Santa!

Before we got there, he hid a walkie talkie above the fireplace. Then after everyone was there, he went back to the bathroom and started talking on it as if he were Santa!!

Olivia kept telling him, "If you just push a little, you can get down!!" He asked them what they wanted for Christmas and played around a little with them! He also told them to keep their rooms clean. And you better bet, as SOON as we got home, she started cleaning up her room!!!

She was so excited!

Fun with our 3rd cousins - though it feels more like 1st cousins!

We were exhausted by the time we got home...we crashed the next day. But it's all been worth it! Robert was a trooper and stayed up late to put things together! He let me get to bed! Apparently he was up late because one of Santa's toys was pretty complicated!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Eve Take 2

Back to Christmas Eve. After lunch we went to my parent's house for our Christmas. We put the kids down for a nap and got to have some "adult time". We had a little sharing time like we do every year. Dad told a great story about how God is always in control, even when things seem like they couldn't get any worse!

Then to PRESENTS!!

I got this awesome portable mini photo printer! So now I'll actually get some pictures off my computer! My brother gave me the softest robe EVER - I have it on in the pic! :-)

Robert got some tools....

And a pink wait....that's Olivia's!! Oh yeah, onto the kiddos!!

So we knew Landon was getting some train stuff for Christmas, so we thought a train table would be awesome for him! My grandfather BUILT one for him. It is absolutely beautiful!

He also made 2 drawers that are on wheels that go underneath to hold everything! WOW, Poppop you are truly amazing! We've cleared out a spot in his room for it! He loves it!

Olivia got a Radio Flyer scooter - which I don't have a picture of - but she's been enjoying riding it around outside. It's great because it has training wheels on it and she can really ride it and not fall over! And of course, so can Landon!

They also got some books and Olivia got a cute suitcase - perfect to take when spending the night out!! :-)

Thanks Mom and Dad!! We love you!!

Notice the CUTE outfits, thanks to my mother-in-law, who is AWESOME at picking out cute kids clothes! And she know I love to match them - Olivia and Lillian's match!! :-) She really has a knack for kids clothes!! Thanks Mimi and Poppy!

On a Side Note......

Lillian slept ALL NIGHT in Olivia's room!! Hopefully this is a gradual transition to the sisters sharing a room. Next year, we'd like to have twin beds in there for them!!

I remember sharing a room with Lacey and it was pretty fun!

YAY Lillian!! She's getting so big!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Indians!

Every year my mom likes to get some RANDOM cheapo toy that will entertain the "boys" (i.e. grown men) for a while on Christmas Eve/Day. Last year it was these jelly flyers. They had a ton of fun making up games with them. One of them was to see if they could throw them across the house to each other and catch them in their mouths!!! This is an action shot of Robert catching it in his mouth!

This year, it was these cool, homemade foam bow and arrows!! They played "cowboys and indians" with them.

Notice the feather in Robert's hair!!!

What will we ever do with these boys!!!

About those plasma cars....

This may not be funny to ANYONE out there but I have to post it. The kids got those plasma cars for Christmas. They're just funky riding toys for outside! Well, we sent them outside to play with their new toys and found this instead!

The poor kids couldn't even enjoy them - the grown men got a hold of them! Believe me, Robert had the other on in no time. This is my crazy brother-in-law Mac!

It gets better. He had the brilliant idea to take it to the giant hill on the ROAD!!

Now let me set this up. Mac didn't think TWICE about the fact that no one was stopping traffic, or if the plasma car was even capable of such speeds! We started DYING laughing (that's why we can hardly talk). When he crosses the 4 way intersection (with no cars coming thank GOD) he lets out a "WOOHOO!" Then, he's still going SO FAST he turns around in the circle and comes halfway back up the hill!!

It wasn't long after that that we see Robert and Mac (coat tails flying) were racing down the hill together! ON THE CHILDREN'S TOYS!! We know what to get them next year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eve Take 1

We had three places to hit up Christmas Eve. We had to cram them all in because there was no other day for us to see anyone! Robert went into work at 6:00 am to hopefully be off around lunch time. I got up and just started getting ready for the long day ahead!

First up, my mom's parents!

This is my immediate family!

We opened presents and ate really good!! YUM YUM!

The kids got these plasma cars.....that I think the son-in-laws enjoyed more than they did - more on THAT later!! hehehe

More toys to ride down the driveway!! Which means....they have to go OUTSIDE!! YAY!

The kids also got flashlights - which they LOVED!! It's so funny how the simplest toys can be the most fun! They've been looking at shadows and closing themselves in closets just to turn them on!

Our old video camera broke Christmas Eve...our newer one is being fixed and we couldn't get it back in time. So unfortunately, we aren't going to have many videos of this Christmas like the previous years. I'm hoping the camera store can at least get what I had already videoed off the tapes onto DVDs!

Robert and I both got some clothes and some great festive coffee mugs that are also big enough to eat soup out of! And we had some Santa Fe soup Christmas Day! Thanks Aunt Kathy!

We love you BB and Sugar! I'm glad we figured out a way to see everyone this year! Thank you for all of our presents!!



Now....a series of posts to share our Christmas! Some of these will be more geared towards my immediate family - like my out of town in-laws! But hopefully all will enjoy!

First up, Robert's family!

We all got to sit on Santa's lap!

Lillian thoroughly enjoyed her presents wrapping paper.

She also really enjoyed some of Landon's gifts - thanks to daddy!

We got to play with all of our cousins that we haven't seen in a long time! It was so much fun to see everyone! Oh, and the kids did really well on the 4 hour trip down there!

We ate good and just got to hang out! It was so much fun!! We love you guys and we'll see you soon!! Not so much time will go by next time!

Thank you for all of our wonderful presents!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Still Goin' Strong!!!

We had our trip to Brusters Dairy Queen (BTW as I type this, I heard an ornament fall and break - due to kids standing on chairs reaching up for the "nice" ornaments! - this is why I don't have a "nice" house yet!)

Ok, I'm back from vacuuming up poor round Santa ornament. Where was I, Ok....Landon stayed dry all day and even did #2 in the potty! All day today he's been dry - we had a little accident but I think it was more my fault. We also went out and about and he went to the bathroom in Target!!!

He stayed dry during nap!! This morning I decided to do a "Potty Chart" and every time he tee-teed on the potty he got to put a sticker on it. As of 6:23 PM, there are SIXTEEN stickers on the chart! Are you KIDDING ME!! He's peed SIXTEEN times in the last 11 hours!! GOOD NIGHT!

Well, I'm thrilled that he cares. He is even starting to go into the bathroom by himself!! PRAISE GOD!! Seriously, I've been waiting for this to kick in. Hopefully, this crazy next 6 days won't mess him up too bad!

YAY Landon!!

P.S. My kids have lost their minds as of right now. They've been going CRAZY all day - running and throwing things...getting into things they know they shouldn't - RUNNING like crazy people through the house......They are going BAZURKO (i.e. - their brains have fallen out of their heads!!) (If that's even a word) Thus begins......................dun...dun...dun....the Christmas MADNESS!! No, seriously, I'm looking forward to it all...they're really excited, and I know that I'll just have to take a few days to recuperate!!

Ok, off to put the kids to bed........LITERALLY!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Better Not Jinx This

I hope I don't eat my words later but I think we might be FINALLY getting Landon potty trained! He has just not been interested in it at all. Olivia was determined to wear her "pretty panties" and stay dry. She was quite easy to potty train actually. Landon is just so laid back he's more than happy to just keep on goin' in the diaper. But having TWO kids in diapers is not a joy ride. I'm ready to just have ONE in diapers!

They say never start when you have a big change...moving, BABY, etc. So now that Lillian is 6 months old (TODAY!) I think he's adjusted by now.

He's been dry all day...and even through nap time!!!! HELLO!??!?!!? To go through nap staying dry out of the blue! Hopefully this is his "window of opportunity" for me! I'm more than glad to take it and run...even if it means staying home a few days!

Of course, bribing him with a trip to Bruster's if he says dry all day is helping a little too! But ONLY if he stays dry until Daddy gets home.....And it's 5:10 right now....

Needless to say, I've spent the majority of my day in the bathroom "hi-fiving" Landon A LOT!! :-) Hey, I'll do whatever it takes!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Treehouse PART 1

We have a great backyard. That was one of the very appealing things about this house for us. Fenced in, BIG, shaded a good bit, and lots of room for outdoor things. But it's been a little lonely over the past year. Until one day, our neighbor who has older kids said "If you can get it out of the ground, you can have it!" She was talking about a wooden playground/swingset in her back yard. It didn't have ALL the bells and whistles but we were mostly interested in all the lumber we could use!! It also had a ladder and monkey bars.

Well, Robert took it down one day and this weekend, finally got to start building something in our back yard. He doesn't really know where he's going with it yet. I'm sure it'll have many phases. But the kids CAN'T WAIT!! I can't wait either....anything that gets them playing outside sounds GLORIOUS! :-)

Hopefully it'll turn into a sort of fort/hideout for them to stir up all sorts of imaginative adventures! I like that it is actually built into a tree - a real treehouse!!

It's really a win-win situation for everyone. Robert gets to be all "manly manly" and use his tools. The kids get a new something to play with. And I get to force send them outside to play in it!! hehehe

I'll keep posting updates as it comes along! Yay for crafty husbands!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Secret Indulgence

I have a HUGE sweet tooth - it's really bad. And my biggest "secret" sweet indulgence (right now anyway - I'm always finding something new to indulge in) is so delicious - and fun and easy to make. So I thought I'd share!

I melt some semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl slowly in the microwave. While that's cooking, I make little peanut butter sandwiches with whatever I can find! This is the fun part - get creative! Today I did vanilla wafers, saltines and whole wheat ritz crackers. (Like the "whole wheat" ritz are really going to make it healthier - HA!).

Then when the chocolate is melted, dip the sandwiches in the chocolate (covering completely) and set on wax paper to dry. I like to put them in the freezer after that!!

My favorite time to eat them is after dinner when the kids go to bed...that way I can enjoy them without them begging for one!!

MMMMMMM......I'll be having one (or two) tonight!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Fun to Have a Daughter!

This is what is so fun about having a girl! I love that she like her toenails painted. I love that she lets me flat iron and play with her hair. I love that she wants to put sparkly lotion on after her shower. I love that she has fun playing in my makeup! I love it that she loves going shopping with me! I love that she likes wearing dresses and bows! She's like my real life baby doll! :-)

When my sister was in town last weekend, the girls (my mom, sister, Olivia and I) all jumped in the car to go and get pedicures! Olivia sat at my feet intensely watching the lady do my toenails. Then she got to get her own done. She picked out a beautiful pink color!

It'll really be fun when Lillian is old enough! Just some things to look forward to enjoying with my daughters one day! I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Petting" Santa

We had a "Santa Sunday" brunch after church this past Sunday. The kids knew they were going to see Santa and sit on his lap! Of course the only thing I can think of is "YES, all dressed up...MUST....GET.....CHRISTMAS...PICTURE!" Also knowing I could bribe them with sitting in Santa's lap to potentially get a good picture. Bribing's okay for that...right!? :-)

We took a bunch of pictures, and actually got a few good ones! Our Christmas card is my background picture now up top! :-) So after that one was taken, we rushed to find Santa. Last year Landon would have NOTHING to do with Santa. This year, well, he was open to the idea. Thanks to Olivia!

We got in line and threw them all on Santa's lap! Lillian and Landon couldn't quite figure out what was going on. Landon reached up and "petted" Santa's beard....I wish I knew what was going through his head.

Then Olivia told him what she wanted for Christmas

And Lillian occupied herself with a spoon! I love this age...where they can sit up (but not crawl) and play with things around could be a totally random "something" and they are so amused!


Since I was 5 years old my Dad's family has gone to THE Club (looking out over the city!) for his birthday and Christmas every year. It's such a fun time...we all get dressed up, take pictures, eat good, and DANCE!! Of course Robert and I treat it like a date night...might as well get as much as we can out of the babysitter, huh! (Thanks Kendall!)

Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!

My grandparents are still a huge part of our family! We are so blessed to still have them in our lives! When we are all together, there are FOUR generations present! How may people can say that! I am so thankful that my kids know their GREAT-Grand parents! I cherish the times that my kids get to spend with them! It is valuable beyond their precious comprehension! My grandparents pray for all of us EVERY day! It would be an honor to compare my relationship with the Lord and my relationship with my husband to theirs one day...they are truly an example to us all!!

Yes, my DEAR sister...that another post in itself!!!

These dove have been here since we were little! And we have our picture taken with them every year!!

We always look forward to this night during December! I hope it will last many more years! The whole family is really hard to get together - here we are missing about six - not counting the six great-grand kids!

Thank you so much Mimi and Poppop for keeping our traditions going for so long! I hope there are still many more to come!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Farewell to the Lizard

I should have been cleaning, ironing, washing something, mopping or addressing Christmas cards. But I just couldn't. It's WAY too beautiful outside! 80 degrees in December?!?! So we packed up food, a blanket, and 2 bikes and headed to the park. It was great - I think I even got a little sunburned. We had the park to ourselves for a while. We were there for 2 hours - I'm not sure if I've ever stayed at a park that long by myself.

We took Ham, or Hunter, or Ella...whatever....and let it go back into the world! :-) It wasn't hard at all for them to set it off. We watched him climb back up the tree! I'm just glad it made it through the night.

The even waved it goodbye!

Then we PLAYED!!

The rode their bikes all the way down this huge sidewalk - Olivia was FLYING! Landon played a little safer!

Lillian hung out on the blanket trying to pick up cheerios the whole time! She was so happy being outside! Gotta take advantage of this beautiful weather!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

So...we have a "pet"

We had a long fun weekend. Needless to say, I had a lot of catching up to do today! Including around 7 loads of laundry! AHHHHH...I was behind a bit! So around the 3rd load or so, I went down to the basement to start another load. But this time, I JUMPED!!! I just wasn't expecting it - but it was a sweet green lizard keeping watch over my dryer. So..........I decide to catch it for the kids. I figured it would keep them occupied for at LEAST a day or so!!!

I caught it and put it in one of Robert's coolers I found in the basement! I was actually kinda excited about telling them about it when they woke up from their nap! I wouldn't let them bring home the turtle from the lake...but I can handle a lizard for a few days. Then OF COURSE we'll let it go "back to it's parents" in a day or two!! hehehhehe

Well, they were THRILLED to have a new "pet". Landon wouldn't go near it. But I found something for them to keep it in - V8 Splash bottle that I cut holes in!

They named him "Hunter"...or "Ham"...or "Ella" have a few names......they couldn't decide.

See it in the bottom of the bottle??

Olivia was VERY concerned about him...she even came back out around 9:30 PM to check on him. I think she was a little worried about it getting loose in the house!! :-) I think we'll reunite him with his family tomorrow!! :-)

Friday, December 7, 2007

The New "Ballet" Class

Has this what ballet classes have come to these days??????

Just Funny

Landon was in timeout the other day...I can't even remember what he had done. But I looked over at him and he had FALLEN ASLEEP!!

I guess he got the point of his punishment.......................

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our Candy House

When I was growing up, every year we made a candy house. But not one completely from scratch. My grandfather made these wooden candy houses that we reused every year. Well, he made my family one a few years ago! And we've been making it every year with the special "7 minute frosting".

It's easy to go and buy $30 worth of candy (mistake we made last year) for something so small. This year, I pulled out food from the cabinet to help decorate! So we only spent a few dollars on this one!

I think Landon ate more candy than he put on! See him chowing down in the background!

Lillian just watched us....

So, we'll see how long it stays intact! Landon's already eaten part of the roof off. And last year our poodle would sneak pieces off too. Or we'd find a little smoothed out part where she had been licking down the icing! HA! Of course, I remember finding it hard to stay away from a CANDY HOUSE when I was little! It seemed so unfair to work on making it and then not be able to enjoy it! And here I am telling them the same thing...."we're not going to EAT this!"

So confusing! :-)