Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sledding Pictures!

As promised, here are some pictures from our sledding adventure Tuesday. We didn't get very many because the supposedly fully charged camera battery was dead, and Dan's Blackberry doesn't zoom enough for action shots, so I mostly had to take stills, and how many pics of my kids posing in snow gear does a person need??

Emily Grace, the little snow princess!
Emily,fun events

Jared, LOVING his warm new down jacket.
Jared,fun events

Connor, complete with blood encrusted lips after managing to bite his lip after a rough landing. Did it slow him down, though? NO!!!
Connor,fun events

Emily not bothering with a sled
Emily,fun events

Connor was extremely independent about the whole process of sledding, and wasn't waiting for anyone to get him situated, or for getting help shoving off; he just totally took care of himself. At one point, while we were helping Em and J, Connor pushed himself and was heading right for a jump at the bottom of the hill (the one place we'd had the kids AVOID). I panicked briefly, watching my child fly down the hill and go airborn, but he landed, came to a stop, and was laughing hysterically begging to do it again. It wasn't a huge jump by any means, but he definately caught a good foot or two high of air, and then landed several feet out. I ran down the hill with Dan's Blackberry to try to get a picture of his additional turns. Here he is, halfway launched off the jump:
Connor,fun events

Dan tried to get a better one and managed to get him airborn (can you see the shadow underneath him?)
Connor,fun events

I know, I know, we're terrible parents for letting him do that over and over again. I'm sure his little spine is jarred out of alignment, but if you'd have heard how hard he was laughing, you'd have let him do it, too! It was sooooo funny!!!

We had a great time, and I can't wait to do it again. I'm hopeful to go back at least one more time this winter. The kids really enjoyed the snow (something we don't get a lot of in our city), and I really enjoyed the time spent together as a family, with nothing else to focus on but each other and having fun. It was great!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Leah who was very faithful at updating her blog daily. Until one day, all three of her children were old enough to be in school on some level or another, and to be in activities of one kind or another, and she found herself lacking as much time. She tried her very best, and managed to at least update Monday through Friday, and the readers were pleased. But then, a funny thing happened. Her husband took two weeks off from work, and he frowned upon any computer usage that took away from potential family time, and poor Leah found herself without any time at all to keep her blog updated. Short of skipping sleep, maybe?

But alas, her husband went out visiting with his brother, the children were asleep, the preschool newsletter was complete (as much as can be done until people bother to turn in their submissions, which were due SEVERAL DAYS AGO) and she found just enough time to do one blog post before heading back to soak in a hot bathtub filled with her new Sensaria bath salts, while reading Eclipse (for the 2nd time). Her muscles are tired and sore after a day of sledding/tubing with her family in the mountains all day.

THE END

PS If you're hoping for sledding pics, you'll have to wait! The camera we charged up all night and took with us, somehow still had a dead battery when we arrived at our destination. We used Dan's Blackberry, but they'll be poor quality, and I have to wait for him to have time to email them to me. Just know that we had a GREAT time!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Exciting Night!

If my kids weren't excited enough about SANTA coming to visit us Christmas Eve, Emily added to the excitement by losing a tooth and getting a visit from the Toothfairy on Christmas Eve as well. It was a pretty exciting night, and she enjoyed getting to pose with her stocking AND her tooth pillow on Christmas day!

Emily

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's all that flapping and squawking?

It's ME the last few weeks, running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, preparing for the holidays while fulfilling my regular responsibilities. And from the extra loud flapping and squawking sounds, it appears I'm not alone!

I'm babysitting J's little "girlfriend" today and we plan to see a movie this morning to help break up the day a bit. Should be fun!

Happy holiday crunch time everyone. I've finished shopping and finished wrapping, and just need to work on one last thing for my SIL and I'm DONE. WOO HOO!

XOXO

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For my niece-to-be

I wanted to give my niece-to-be a Christmas present, even though she's not born yet. I just thought it would be fun. I also wanted it to be something a little bit unique and meaningful. Because I had made a Build-a-Bear bear for all three of my kids as "to-be's", I thought it would be fun to continue the tradition. To make it more personal and meaningful, I knit a hat for the baby, and in the same yarn, knit a sweater for the bear. The sweater is a tad "baggy" in the front because I was doing it without a pattern (first time I've ever done that!), but overall, it came together very nicely. I didn't think to take a picture before gifting it all (we celebrated with my family last Thursday), so you can't see the flower on the hat very well, but you get the main idea. I cropped the pic way down so you could see the bear a bit better (it WAS a pic of Alisa and Ali opening it):
knitting

I stuck the hat on the bear's head for gifting purposes, but the hat IS meant for the baby's head. Our celebration got moved up an entire week and messed up my time-frame for completing the knitting, so I did take the bear back in order to knit a flower to attach to the front of the sweater, which will match the flower attached to the little hat. I'm excited to see the baby posing in her little hat next to her new bear friend!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Seconds, anyone?

I made Connor mac n' cheese for lunch last week, and while he was happily munching down his lunch and watching PBS cartoons, I sat down at the computer to pay some bills and do some work on the preschool newsletter I'm in charge of.

Apparently, Connor decided he was ready for seconds, because suddenly I heard him proudly announce, "I can get more all by myself; you don't even have to get up!"
Connor

And sure enough, there he was, happily serving himself more mac n' cheese. He did a pretty good job, too! Thankfully, the burner and pot were well cooled off by this point... We've since had a reminder chat about being anywhere near the stove without checking with mommy first! But I have to admit, I was pretty proud of him for taking care of himself that way. And a little sad to see that he's old enough to be doing it. Rather bittersweet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I SAID SMILE!!

I wanted to get a good picture of the kids last night, so I could FINALLY insert it into the photocard template I'd created, upload it for printing, and get the cards back home/addressed/sent out. I made sure the kids were fed, relaxed, and all that other good stuff needed to ensure better succes, then I grabbed my camera and got to work.

Smile!
kids 2009

Not too bad, now let's do one and make sure everyone has their eyes open!

kids 2009

Well... I really need to see a REAL smile on everyone, okay? (passed around some tickles, made some funny faces...)

kids 2009

Come on guys, scoot closer and pretend you actually like each other! And don't tip your head up so high, okay?

kids 2009

woah, wait a minute! What's going on here, let's try that again...

kids 2009

Ha ha guys. Do you have it out of your system now? Let's try again.

kids 2009

No bug eyes, please? Just smile nice, don't cross your eyes, don't bug your eyes, don't wiggle your eyebrows (and yes, all this was happening), sit in the spot where I put you (they were like jack-in-boxes!). Can you do that, PLEASE??

kids 2009

HEY! What happened to REAL smiles and open eyes???

kids 2009

I'm over HERE!!!! And I said no bug eyes.

kids 2009

That's right Connor, I SAID SMILE! Good job listening to your mommy!

I debated long and hard between #1 and #6, finally deciding on #1. I'd rather have the squinty-eyed laughing Jared pic over the crazy bug-eyed pic of Emily.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crafts

Matching gift bag and card set I did for Emily's tap teacher:
card-making

You can't see the glitter glue I used to replicate snow for the trees and deer to be standing on, or the glitter glue snowflakes added on the white background. I think it all came out pretty cute! I need to do another set for Emily's ballet teacher, and one for her elementary school teacher. The boys' classrooms are both doing a group gift, and I'm not in charge of purchasing or wrapping so I'm off the hook!

oh! And you can't smell the peppermint scented Christmas tissue paper I found at Target! It was only 99 cents a pack (unless I read the price tag incorrectly) and you get several scented sheets in each pack. It was an impulse buy, and a fun one!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snowman Slackers

Last Thursday, Jared came home with a snowman traced onto tag board, and our assignment was to cut it out and then decorate it however we wanted to, to be turned in Monday (today). We had an extremely busy weekend, and finally got to it shortly before bedtime last night. Jared wandered the house with me, picking out what supplies he wanted in order to decorate his snowman, and then we sat down and got to work:
school stuff

He was adament that his snowman have spiky blue hair, and he really wanted the grass and the dragon tattoo (that thing that sort of looks like a flower...). He was going to attempt rock n' roll shoes for his snowman, but we'd already glued the grass on AND it was already past bedtime, so I put my foot down on that one.

Emily had the same teacher two years ago, and we forgot about the assignment until the morning it was due, and I hauled her out of bed earlier than normal so we could finish it!
Photobucket

What do you think, should I just go ahead and do one for Connor now and stash it, so when we forgot to do HIS until the last minute two years from now, we can pull it out and be DONE?? ha ha ha!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote of the Week

Connor told my chiropractor about how we'd been putting up decorations around house for Christmas. He was especially excited to talk about the tree (which the kids got to help decorate). My chiropractor asked Connor if we had anything special on the top of our tree (we do, an angel). Connor shrugged and said, "Some girl. She lights up." It was so funny!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

WOW!

I got an order for an all light-blue baby sweater/hat set a few weeks ago. Beyond the light blue request, I was given free reign over the finished product, and this is what I came up with:
knitting

It was trickier than I expected, but I really wanted the buttons to line up with the ribs, and there's a whole lot of planning involved (so many rows in between each button-hole, dividing those rows to know where to place the ribs and still keep the sweater the appropriate size, etc), but I am very pleased with how it came out.

The WOW part? I got a $15 tip (which I tried to turn down), so you're looking at a $50 sweater right there, people...

I'm the first to admit you can get a lot of other things for $50, but I was told that my work was really good, and was appreciated, and was worth every cent. How's that for awesome????

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What a day!

A girlfriend graciously volunteered to pick up CJ from preschool yesterday and keep him for the afternoon, so that I could drop him off at school and immediately head out to do some Christmas shopping. Santa is now done with his shopping for gifts and stockings, and I am done shopping for my kids, for my niece, and the baby-to-be (can't resist doing a little shopping for the baby that is finally making me an auntie!! *grin*). Got started on my mom. Have ideas for my dad, and Dan pretty much said he's shopping for himself this year (works for me!). I was stressed BIG TIME about when I would get time to shop without any of my kids, so this worked out beyond perfectly.

The only downside was that the entire outing was marred by the fact that my van's heat hasn't worked in several days (and our high temps for the day have been in the low 30's, so yeah, it's been COOOOOOOOLD driving around in my van!!), so I was FREEZING my buns off driving down the road, and THEN, the van was trying to red-line and over-heat. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? I filled up the coolant tank and hoped that was the fix, but NOPE. Now I have to take my van in for repairs and they can't get me in sooner than Thursday morning, and have ZERO estimated time-frame for when they'll have it ready for me. I have to coordinate who is going to come pick me (and Connor) up after we drop it off, and exactly WHEN I'm going to squeeze that into our day. ha!

The broken van ruins several plans for the next few days, but hopefully we'll get things worked out. My extremely generous neighbors have granted us permission to use their extra vehicle for the time-being, but I don't want to put a lot of wear and tire and miles on a vehicle that isn't mine, so I will still be limiting my outings to only ones of real necessity. At least I know I have a way to leave the house if I NEED to.

Dan somehow wound up having to pay for one of his employees parking tickets (long story, don't ask, I'm not pleased!)

I got zero cleaning done on the house to prep for J's play-date after school.

However, I am almost done with my Christmas shopping now (YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!) and finally get that weight off my shoulders. Now to fine time to tackle making the 40 greeting cards my neighbor ordered from me (which she will probably get for free as a huge thank you for loaning us her vehicle and saving me having to rent one!!!!!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Emily's Dance Recital--Part Two

Emily and one of her best friends, Katie, before the recital (they hadn't been given their soldier hats yet)
Emily,dance

Emily during the ballet performance
Emily,dance

Emily during the tap performance
Emily,dance

Emily and her cousin, Ali, after the recital
Emily,dance

I hadn't thought about it enough in advance to actually follow through in time for the recital, but I wanted Emily to give both of her dance teachers thank you cards for their work in getting the girls ready for the recital, and choreographing everything, etc, so I spent some time Monday afternoon putting together a thank you card for each teacher. I thought it would be fun to use my new Cricut Cartridge (Everyday Paper Dolls) to try to create a card resembling the dance costumes Emily wore. The lighting in the picture STINKS, but you can get the main idea of the cards. I think they came out pretty well! (if I do say so myself...LOL)
card making

I cut out a yellow football jersey then cut off the big shoulders and fringed it to use for the epaulettes, and cut strips for the shirt. I had to make the hat on my own. I realize now I forgot a little yellow brim, but o'well. I saw Em's ballet teacher receive her card, and she loved that it matched the girls' costumes. I didn't get to see the tap teacher receive her card, but Emily said she liked it.

My little dancing queen is already asking when she can have another dance recital...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Emily's Dance Recital

Emily had her dance recital this past Saturday. It was the "holiday" show, so some shows had Christmas music, and others didn't. All the costumes were sort of put together with stuff we already had, or could get cheaply, but it came together really nicely, I think! Em's first performance was for her ballet 2 class, which was combined with the ballet 1 class. The 2's were soldiers and the 1's were ballerina dolls. VERY cute, but not my favorite, simply because there wasn't a lot of DANCING involved for Emily, and lots of standing around doing soldier poses. However, like I said, it was totally cute. The two other girls I zoom in more closely on are her good friends Katie and "friend" Emily.
video


I LOVED the tap performance. I didn't get to see much of this one being rehearsed because the class is held in one of the dance rooms you can't see into unless you stand outside in the cold, and I am not that die-hard. I was very pleased with how it all turned out. Emily had a BLAST!!!!!!!
video


They held the rehearsal and the recital in the same day (I will say I am NOT a fan of this, btw, what a LONG and stressful day for the parents! LOL!!!), and after the rehearsal was over, I was trying to get her back into street clothes so we could go get some food before the recital, and she was wiggling all over with excitement. It was adorable!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quote of the Week

"When you go into the darkness, then you are in the darkness."

~Connor (age 3!!)

He was so serious when he said it. I've been giggling about it ever since.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Santas

Here are all the Santas that my mother has painted me, every year since I've been married. Aren't they gorgeous? I LOVE THEM!

The one on the far right is the first one I got. The next one in honors our Black Lab, Heidi. The 2nd one from the left is the one I got on our 1st Christmas with Emily. The farthest left... I just love his "baldie head" (as Connor says it!)
santas

The far right Santa's long list is filled with names of my immediate and extended family. The Santa on the far left has "Lambies" in honor of Emily. I was told this years' will have a polar bear for Jared.
santas

I love how unique this one is from the rest:
Photobucket

I am sooooooooooo excited to see this years' Santa!! And I'm interested to see what she finds to represent Connor for a future Santa. I'm assuming devil horns on a Santa wouldn't be entirely appropriate?? ha!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas mishaps so far

1. My Christmas stuff didn't get brought down from the attic until Sunday night (the tail END of a four day weekend, the prime time-frame for doing much decorating)So then it was a MAD scramble Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (between volunteering in kid classrooms, dance twice, gymnastics, more volunteering, field trips, and Girl Scouts) getting the tree set up, covered with lights and ornaments, all the other decorations out, and floors vacuumed in order to be ready to babysit Grace today.

2. Lights all worked when I tested them. Lights had STOPPED working after being strung on the tree. Went to string in a working strand over the top of the not working strand (it was just half the strand and I wasn't messing around with pulling the whole strand off again), and the non-working section started working again.

3. Lights stopped working again. I jiggled the bulbs until I found a sensitive one, then hung Em's Barbie ornament right next to it so I'd remember right where it is in case I need to jiggle it again.

4. Emily took down her ornament in order to more closely examine it. Lights went out again. Had to re-find the sensitive bulb.

5. Set out my gorgeous porcelain Santa collection (my mother has painted me one every year that I've been married) and realized I was missing one. Almost literally tore my house apart trying to find it. Dan found it still up in the attic, thankfully!

6. It's December 3rd and I have had zero time to even THINK about shopping, let alone actually DO any shopping. My next kid-free opportunity is next Tuesday, but it's only for two hours and won't leave time for most of what I need to do.

7. Do I even KNOW what I plan to buy for everyone yet??? (NO!!!!!!) I wonder if it's too late to do my shopping online instead this year?

8. Haven't had Christmas pictures of the kids done yet. No real idea of WHEN that's even going to be able to happen. Gotta throw in a visit with Santa this year, too, at some point. And we'll hope Connor doesn't loudly announce Santa as a fraud like he did a few weeks ago at the mall!

9. My kids have been in a real funk the last few days (very argumentative, sassing, blatant ignoring of my requests, etc) and I swear it's the full we just had moon. But even the threat of "Santa is watching you right now!" made ZERO difference. You know you're in trouble with the Santa threat doesn't do any good!! I was debating finding some jolly sounding man to call my children and play at being Santa and remind them to be good! I'm not ruling it out yet. *grin*

What more can I do but put a smile on my face and enjoy the ride! It wouldn't be the holiday season without chaos and disaster, right? Makes you that much more thankful when it all falls together and you get to spend a fabulous day surrounded by loved ones.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oldies but goodies

Emily had three "lovies" (two are pictured below) that had to be in bed with her at night when she was little. She would rotate randomly between which one she would snuggle, and which ones would just lay off to the side of the bed. When Jared was about 5 months old, Dan asked Emily (who was 2.5), "What do you want in bed with you tonight?" She reached over and patted Jared on the head and said, "I want this little guy to sleep with me."
Emily,Jared

Dan tucked Jared into bed with her long enough to give her a thrill, and for me to take a picture!

PS That lamb ("Lambie") still sleeps in bed with her at night. And Jared does not! LOL

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's that time of year again!

Something about the holiday season brings about the baker in me, and I find myself happily baking things I wouldn't normally feel like tackling. Like "PW Rolls" (so dubbed by several of us faithful Pioneer Woman blog readers).

Take a look at the deliciousness:
recipes

Your mouth is watering now, right? NO? Well, it should be!! PW Rolls are amazing. And the recipe makes lots. Emily and I ended up with 7 trays of 7 rolls each tray. That's 49 cinnamon rolls people! The benefit? We got to drive around and thrill the heck out of some family and neighbors/friends by surprising them with a tray of cinnamon rolls.

I think we'll make a yearly tradition out of making these. It was a big, all-day job, but it was fun to spend time with my Emily Grace, and it was fun to deliver the delicious goodness to people we love!

For the recipe and pictures, click HERE