Wednesday, December 31, 2008


My sister Laurie is in town for the holidays. We thought it would be fun to have a ladies lunch. It is great spend time with fun family. We decided to go Houlihans. While eating we decided that Owen Wilson could be my boyfriend. I think that Hugh Jackman is Laurie's. You can all fight her for him. We also got on the topic of new year's resolutions. I am resolutionless. There are is a ton of things for me to work on...patience, house cleaning, weight loss. You know all the regular stuff. I am constantly at least trying to improve on those things. I want to think of something fun...something about not loosing perspective on life..and then in turn being a kinder happier person. I know that is too vague to be a real resolution. I am working on it. What are your goals? How is life going to get better in 2009?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Marley and Me

Christmas night we went to see Marley and Me. We are one of those families that hits the movies on Christmas. When I first saw the previews for this movie my heart jumped. I was so excited about it. It did not let me down. It was real life...many scenes hit close to home. It made me laugh and OF COURSE made me cry. Best of all it made me love my family and Ashley that much more. I completely recommend this move. I sat in front of Ryan in the theater. Toward the end Ryan leans forward and tells me it is going to get sad. A few minutes later I hear sobbing behind me. No matter how prepared you is hard not to be touched.
Owen Wilson is really fun to watch : ) The puppy is cute too.

Great Christmas

I hope you all had a great Christmas. We have been surrounded by family and friends. Just the way it should be, right? On Christmas Eve we went to my parents' house and had a feast and fun. The food was delicious. Last year we started a new tradition. We had a family talent show. It happened again this year. We had somersaults (Andrew), recorders(Ryan and Emily), jokes(Louise), poems(Laurie), magic(Grandpa Bill) and singing(Ben) and songs(Grandma Ginger). Yes, Aunt Edna (Erik and me) showed up and ate some pudding. I am related to some crazy talented people. (check back for pictures)

Christmas Morning
Santa comes..and we have some happy kiddos. Emily is carefully listening to the plan of attack on opening presents. I was awaken by sounds of organizing presents. The presents were already in piles by the time I made it to the scene.
They got new PJs Christmas Eve night.
Excitement was in the air. Ryan was thought it was neat to open presents in new comfy pajamas. Can you guess what Santa brought Andrew? Santa shops Craig's List
Emily was found playing her new games
Family showed up Christmas afternoon.
We had a family gift exchange
This was Fiona's first Christmas.
Baby also got new soft chewable blocks...yummy

This is the second year that we have taken the kids to the dollar store, give them a shopping cart and let them pick out presents for each family member. It gets them thinking about the family, practice independently choosing gifts for others, and a chance feel good about giving gifts. (we stole this idea from friends) I have gotten a kick out of what they find.
Ry found these great teeth for Grandpa.
Andrew chose a heart shaped night light for Fiona..and called it a "Love Light"
Other fun gifts given...a whoopi cushion for Grandma Ginger and lots of the squishy stress balls.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The party

Today the kids had their class parties. Each year I volunteer at one party per kid. This year I found myself in Emily's classroom for the winter party. It was a cute friends. You know the regular stuff.
The night before Em asked me where Andrew was going to be during the party. I told her that he was going to have to come to the party with me. She stopped, thought about it and then said, "Well OK, but make sure he wears his best clothes and wipe him down first." Wipe him down? Like my friend said, "hey at least he had pants on." I think my days of dropping kids off in my pajamas are short lived.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Funny Thankful Kid

Ryan loves presents and it is no secret that it is really fun to give presents to Ryan. He always gives huge, sincere reactions. (let me add here that he did not get that from me..I am the most awkward present opener!) Let me give you some examples of the Ry opening presents. When he was younger any time he opened anything, he would pretend faint because he was so happy. Last year "Santa" gave him a video game that he thought you could not get anymore. He sincerely started crying because he has so happy about it. Today is the perfect example of Ryan's complete thankfulness. The kids come in the door. Right away, Ryan yells, "The bus driver gave us all presents." Ry then opens it and finds a cute Christmas straw. It was really nice of the bus driver.
I am not kidding..for 15 minutes straight he has been going off about this great straw.
"Now I am having the greatest day. I thought it was going to be bad because our class didn't get Oreo cookies."
"This is so much better than a candy cane because it lasts forever."
"It is so funny because I so happen to be thirsty." Takes a drink. "This straw makes the water taste so much better."
"I am going to bring this straw with me to restaurants to use instead of the ones they have there."
I tell him that I am going to take his picture with the straw. "That is such a great idea. Make sure to get the candy canes on it."
"I am so glad you are going to blog about this great straw."
I think he is still holding the straw. I cannot wait to see this guy on Christmas morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas at Macys

A fun thing to do each Christmas time is take the kids downtown to see the Macy's display. I did this when I was a child...when the store was still Dayton's, but now it is Macy's. This year's display is titled, "The Day and the Life of an Elf." Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in the north pole and work at Santa's toy shop? Macy's has the answer. Here are some of our favorite parts of their day.

They wake from their bunks...

and after a yummy breakfast they build cute snow men. Once that is done they go to work at Santa's Workshop. To get there, they get to pass they singing Christmas trees.
These trees were singing and tapping their present feet.
The animals get to help decorate the trees.
The elves sort all the mail from the kids.
Santa gets a lot of mail..these three are amazed.
Once they make it to work they are VERY busy baking, building and painting.
and trying to stay out of trouble.
At the end of the Macy's display is the Macy's Santa. I was sort of hoping that Santa would break out into Danish or send me to Gimbals for a better deal..(I love the movie Miracle on 34th Street and Macys always reminds me of it). Emily skipped the Santa part, but the boys got their wishes in...Ryan went along "for the Sport of it." On our way out we stopped for hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is so yummy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In case you were wondering...

Baby, it's cold outside!
Yes, the thermometer is reading just below 10 degrees and yes Erik just got done telling his sister that it is warmer out tonight than last. To truly enjoy temps like these, you have to stay INSIDE and make one of these (or have someone make one for you).
Erik asked me if I wanted a fire tonight. I promptly said, "YES." I never say "no" to fires. I love the crackling and popping that goes on...and I also enjoy the cozy warmth a fire brings a home. Hot chocolate seems to taste so much better while sitting by the fire. I also never say "no" to hot chocolate. I am not sure if Ashley is ever planning to give up the front row seat. She is a girl after my own heart.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Nativity and Mary

Surprise. We are still getting out our Christmas stuff. At least we are having fun doing it. Setting up the Nativity set brings back thoughts Nativity sets in my past. (I love this peaceful set..)

Growing up, every year my mom would get out her set that she bought in Brazil on her mission.
I remember looking at each piece..and we were always to be careful the the Shepard's staff. My mom would always put out the cool Angel Hair.
Early in my mom-hood days, I painted this set at super Saturday. all my Super Saturday projects...this one has lots of "character."
I was in the thick of it chasing babies around..trying to keep up with the laundry and make Christmas memories for the kids. Pretty much chaos. By the end of this set's first season all the pieces had fallen over except for the praying Mary. (no matter how many times I would fix it). I would walk past the set and think of the strength of Mary in the thick of a scary...exciting time. She stood out to me in her praying, non-falling down ways.
Another nativity set that has joined our household is the Little People set. It was great because the kiddos could play with the pieces. We had it out last year. Somehow while putting it away last year, Mary didn't get to join her crew. An organized mom would, when finding the misplaced piece, put it away so that we would be able to have the set together. That is not how I roll. Mary has been popping up in the strangest places all year long. I am happy to say that she has been reunited with her family.
I will miss her...and the hints of Christmas she brought me all year long. Maybe I will keep out for another year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Months ago, I was able to have my children volunteer at Feed My Starving Children. They really enjoyed themselves. Fast forward a few months and the we find ourselves with a chance to go again. This time the YMCA was putting together a group to go work for 2 hours. I decided that it would be fun to go out in the community and work together for a good cause. We went and worked hard. Our group was able to pack enough food to feed 50 children for a year.

We rotated jobs... for the most part Emily scooped the vegetables and Ryan scooped the chicken powder.
Andrew and I scooped the rice
After we were finished working, we got to watch a video with before and after pictures of children who were able to eat because of this organization. It was amazing to see the difference that we can make in someone's life. They also told a story about a child eating rocks to stop her stomach from feeling hungry. We were then able to have a taste of what we packed for the kids..Ryan thought it was pretty good, but Emily didn't like it very much. We decided it was better than eating rocks and if you were really hungry it would taste AMAZING!

Monday, December 1, 2008

"That's Impossible!"

Andrew and I were driving home from the Y today and listening to Christmas music. The song Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer started. In the middle of the song Andrew says, "that's impossible." I smile and agree. He starts laughing and says, "Yeah, because reindeer only fly and they land on the roof-tops." Can't get anything past this kid.