Monday, December 28, 2009

CHRISTmas

Four Christmases...isn't there a movie by that title? I never saw it, but I think I wanted to at one point. Anyway, that's how many times we celebrated Christmas with family. First it was with J's family on Christmas Eve-church, then back to J's mom & dad's house for dinner and presents. A & C did a great job staying awake and relatively happy. Thanks for all of the great gifts Mamma & Papa and from all of our aunts and uncles, too! Cars can keep C happy for an unending amount of time, that's for sure!
Christmas day we opened Santa gifts. The kids liked that a lot-who wouldn't?! We had gifts in stockings and a few under the tree. They got big kid bikes, which was fun for them! They didn't even see them until they went back around to the tree after looking in their stockings!
After that we were off to my parents' house. We spent the day there with lunch, naps (for everyone!), presents and more food.We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and had our birthday cake. Thanks for a great Christmas Day filled with everything we could have imagined and more! Saturday evening was spent with Mark, Patti, Laura & Kristin (aunt, uncle & cousins) at our house. We are so lucky to have so much family living so close to us! We opened presents and I made lasagna for the first time. It was really easy! The kids were very lucky to get more gifts geared to things they love-cars and art. Thanks for coming! Finally, today we celebrated with my mom's sister (my Aunt Jean) and her family (my uncle, cousins, and their kids). It was a no nap day for our kids and they did great! We opened presents first because with 6 kids under the age of 8, that's a little hard to resist. Again, lots of great gifts-especially some music I'm thrilled to listen to in the car-Go Fish!-because I'm a little sick of our current selection. Thanks Jen & Bob! The rest of the day was spent with lots of conversation, play, and cookie eating. Did I mention cookie eating? And more cookie eating. I'm pretty sure I ate all of the peanut butter cookies with the kisses in the middle. That might be why I feel so ill tonight. This shall pass, right?! We are completely blessed to have a Christmas season so full of giving as we have had this year. Not that it's anything new...we have a very giving, loving, and generous family and always have.

Marlin III

Ok, so we're having a little trouble with keeping fish alive in our house. Yes, we're on our 3rd fish in one week. Marlin II didn't even stay alive long enough for me to get pictures of him! So now we have Marlin III. The kids do know that this one is a different one because we talked about how Marlin would have to go to the fish doctor. So, I came home with a new one (that's red) and they know that Marlin II was very sick. We didn't have the death conversation with the fish...maybe that will still happen, but it was easier in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to tell them that he was sick. We changed the water we're using for this fish (spring water now) so hopefully that will help the situation. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow!



"It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow!" (for all of you White Christmas fans-mom, dad-that's for you!)
Well, it arrived! It really did snow like they said it was going to. I think we've had about 6 inches so far with more on the way. Thank goodness it let up a little bit today. I'm not sure where we're going to put all of the snow!
A & C loved playing on the pile of snow we have on the side of our driveway. It's our mini version of King of the Hill; although there is no pushing each other down...nope-our children are perfect angels. :) Hope you're enjoying the snow too, if you live where we do! And Merry Christmas!

Marlin II

Well, we've already had to replace the original Marlin that Super Paci brought. Marlin the first developed some sort of white fungus around his face, especially on his mouth and eyes. I brought him to the pet store and the woman said it can happen sometimes and there was nothing we could have done differently. I was glad to hear that since we had only had him for less than 48 hours! So, now presenting, Marlin II (pictures soon to come!)! The kids never even noticed that there was a new fish, which is a good thing! Let's cross our fingers that this Marlin does better than the last one!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holidazzle and the 8th floor

We took the kids to their first Holidazzle parade on Sunday. They had a great time! It was a really nice night and wasn't too cold. They were bundled head to toe in their winter gear. A & C were most excited to see their friend Connor. He and his mom and dad met us there too! It was pretty cute because when I told C that Connor was coming, he said, "Oh good! Mom, he's my best friend!" It is fun to hear them say those kinds of things as they get older.
The Holidazzle isn't my favorite thing to go to. Don't get me wrong-there's nothing wrong with it-it's just not that exciting. It's definitely for the kids!!

Then, just today we took the kids downtown to see "A Day in the Life of an Elf." This is Macy's 8th floor auditorium presentation. We didn't see it last year, so it was new for us. The kids liked it a lot and of course, got the traditional gingerbread cookie afterwards (at least that's our tradition and what I always did as a little girl). My only question is, what happened to the plain gingerbread cookies? My only choice today was one with lots of frosting that was $3! Now, is that really necessary?! Not really, but tradition is tradition, right? Then it was off to the 12th floor to eat! We took the kids back on the escalators the whole was down to the first floor after we ate. When you ask them what their favorite part was, they're bound to say, the "exalators." They loved it and so did we! Thanks for taking us, Daddy!

Super Paci!

You ask, what is Super Paci? Well, he's only the best super hero around! Yes, our 3 1/2 year old BIG BOY has given his pacis to Super Paci! Super Paci has in turn delivered them to some of our favorite babies: Baby Caden, Baby Felix, Baby Gavin, Noah and Tyler. Super Paci is so neat...he didn't leave our BIG BOY empty handed...Yes, that is a fish you see!We would like you to meet Marlin. Why Marlin? Well, here is C's answer: "I like Marlin. From Nemo. He's Nemo's daddy!"
I'm pretty sure the whole paci thing was more difficult to let go of for Mom & Dad, rather than for C. He slept through the entire night without waking up for it once...until 7:00 this morning even! C, you are such a BIG BOY! We love you so much!

Making Cookies



Here is another holiday first...making cookies with the kids! Now I know I didn't really "make" them, but at least it's a start. We did have the pre-made dough which we cut out in different shapes. C loved pounding the dough to make it as flat as he could.

A was very concerned about getting the little pieces together-she was my helper when we were ready to roll out the dough again.

Then it was time for decorating them! I figured out that they could frost them on their own and then we used colored sugar and M & M's to add to the frosting.

Can you guess which cookies they frosted? Yup! They would be the ones with lots of frosting and extras on them. If you are coming to our house to eat these cookies, don't worry-I have them separated so you don't get the kid ones. A & C did a great job! We're looking forward to adding more kinds to our baking next year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's the holiday season...


Oh the wonder of a Christmas tree. This year we had the joy of letting A & C decorate the tree with us. It was the fastest the tree has ever been decorated! Of course we had the lights on it already, so it was just the adding of the decorations that was done. I had heard it many times before...the part about how all of the ornaments end up in the same spot. Why is it that kids want to hang the ornaments one on top of another? We had a great time though.

The kids had their day in "The Big Church" last weekend. They sang 2 songs with all of the kids attending Sunday School that day. They sang Away in a Manger and another song I didn't know. They loved it! We were definitely proud parents watching them sing. Look for video coming soon of this perfomance!

Another Christmas time happening was the kids' program at school. Their preschool class sang a song about the day Jesus was born-with Baa-baas, Moo-moos, and Hee-haws all around. They also recited a poem about the 3 wise men-crowns and all! Here they are with their teacher, who is just wonderful!
We've had a wonderful Christmas season so far. I hope yours has been the same!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting

Check out this VoiceThread we created after the kids' Christmas program at school. It is a priceless picture of C. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wordle

Another new thing!
I do love trying new things. Bear with me as I may be overloading you with new technology, but I'm just trying to see what I like best. It is better to try too many things than to not try at all, right?!
Here is my Wordle entitled "Kids." You'll see what I mean as you read the words...

Wordle: Kids

Monday, December 14, 2009

The First Year

As I continue to try out new things, I'm learning along the way. There are so many things out there to try with technology, and I'm just trying to figure out what works best for me. I thought I would try Photostory, but that doesn't work with this computer. Then I tried Movie Maker...couldn't figure out how get the music I wanted to go with the project. So, then I tried PhotoShow. I have used this before, but it's been a few years. The only problem with this software is that you have to pay to keep the projects around longer than 30 days. You also have to upgrade to a premium membership to have the ability to use different music and types of backgrounds, etc.
So, the frustration continues, which happens when we try new things. It can't all be easy!
I hope you enjoy the PhotoShow of A & C's first year!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's all about Him, isn't it?!

It's Christmas time, and we all know what that means, right?! Presents! No, wait...isn't it about Him? Or him? Who is it really about? That's what we're trying to teach our kids about right now-the TRUE meaning of Christmas. J and I just had a conversation about this last night. We talked about how lucky we are that our kids attend a Christian preschool and are learning all about the true meaning of Christmas and are hearing the Christmas story all month long. We're doing the same thing at home, too. Our hope is that in hearing the story every night through the awesome Advent book we have, that they will truly understand what Christmas is about. Take this conversation for instance:
J: "What's coming up soon?"
Kids: "Christmas!"
J: "And what does that mean?"
Kids: "It's Jesus' Birthday!" (they got that part right!)
J: "Well, what do you think we should do to celebrate His birthday?"
Kids: "Eat cake!" (they are my children, after all!)
J: "And what else? Do you think we should give presents?"
Kids: "Yeah!"
J: "To who?"
A: "Me!"
Well, we're working on that piece, but I am reminded that even at the youngest of ages, it's ok to start in with the "true" meaning of Christmas.
May you find your "true meaning," whatever it might be for you and your family!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Santa

I love Santa. I love Santa even more with my kiddos! Tonight we went to see Santa. You know, he took time out of his busy schedule just to make time to visit with the kids. A and C loved him! Last year they were a little hesitant, but this year they did great! They walked right in and had no problems with talking to him and interacting with him. He asked them how old they were, what they did to help Mommy and Daddy, and most importantly, what they wanted for Christmas. A wants Legos. This is new to us! Funny how things change day to day or moment to moment (Mommy, Daddy, take notes!)! Santa started to do a "Lego! Lego! Lego!" song and she thought that was hilarious! She was giggling. C chimed right in with wanting Spiderman (again, Mommy and Daddy, take notes!) and Santa did a song for him, too. Then he talked about listening to Mom and Dad, picking up toys, and brushing their teeth, to which they demonstrated how they do that! He also asked about vegetables and what their favorite one was. A answered "Corn." C answered "Turkey."Hmm...who's been teaching him about vegetables? And, he doesn't even eat turkey! They took some pictures with him and did great! Then it was off to have an ice cream treat. Nothing like having ice cream for dinner! We had so much fun and can't wait to see what Santa really brings us ALL for Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful

'Tis the season for thinking of what you're thankful for. Well, where do you begin? I guess there are so many things to be thankful for. Isn't that what you're supposed to say? The thing is, there really are many different things to be thankful for.
Family
Where do you even begin when you think about family? There's the kids, J, my mom and dad, the rest of my family, in-laws...so many people that mean so much in many different ways. Family is definitely something to be thankful for.
Friends
How would we get along without friends? When I think about my friends, I think about the different groups of friends there are: high school friends, college friends, work friends, new friends, childhood friends, J's friends (which in turn are my friends now)...lots of people to be thankful for there.
Faith
Funny how these all ended up being words that start with the letter "F..." I am thankful that I have my faith. Faith gets you through a lot. If you haven't experienced that piece of it yet, just you wait...you never know when your faith will save you (or someone you love), test you, or give you joy. Faith is...it!
Of course there are so many other things to be thankful for, but these three are probably the most important things in my life. What are you thankful for during this holiday season...or all the time?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Have you ever wondered?

Have you ever wondered how some blogs become what they are? I don't ever think that this blog will become anything more than just our family blog, but what if it does? There are some blogs I read that are incredible. There is so much more to them than just writing and pictures. There is advice, there are recipes, there are comments from more than one person. I wonder, "How did it get to be like that?" Not that that's what I'm going for...
Then I wonder where they get the time to blog all the time. I think about the time that I have to blog and it's usually Sunday nights, like today, when I should be in bed, but here I sit, writing away. I would love to be able to post every day or every other day. Do I have enough to write about? Maybe, but maybe not. I think that there are people who write because they want to remember every single thing there is to remember about their kids or their day. I'm not sure that's what my blog will be. I think it will take some time to morph into whatever it will be.
All of this thinking comes from my digital literacy class, the one that got me to get into my family blogging, and some reflection Candance asked us to do. She asked us what our purpose would be for our digital writing project. At that point I thought it would be to collect family memories so I can remember and our kids can remember various things that happened in their lives. As I think about it further, I wonder if the blog will lend itself to more than that. I suppose that's all up to me, though, isn't it?! We will see...

Swimming Smilebox

Tonight I tried a Smilebox for the first time. It was really easy to use and a fun way to organize pictures, rather than posting all of them on here. I love to share my pictures with all of you and this is an easy way to do it!

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Swimming 2009
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

My Birthday

So my birthday was in November and we did the "normal" thing for my birthday. Cossettas is the usual place so we went there for dinner. The kids loved the pasta which is a good thing, because lately they've been so picky about eating anything other than spaghetti for a pasta noodle. We're turning a corner! Who knew that eating would be difficult at times for 3 year olds. I guess I could have predicted that, but...



It was a great night with family! I couldn't have asked for anything more. We missed out on going to Cafe Latte, but maybe we can go another time soon. I'm craving the chocolate chocolate cake!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trying a video

So I'm trying to upload my first video of the kids. This one is A trying to say "yogurt," which she continues to say, "M-yogurt." Not sure why...but I think it's too cute!

video

One Last Day at the Cabin

We were lucky enough to go to the cabin today! What a beautiful day to be up there. The sun was out and all of (or most of) the leaves were off the trees. It was a great fall day. We did a lot of raking, which will hopefully help out my dad. The kids loved that, as jumping in leaves has become one of their new favorite things to do. Although it's not the greatest of help, nothing beats the look on their face when they start back by a tree and say, "On your mark. Get set. Go!" A does more of a skid when she enters the pile, while C goes full force jumping into the pile. We've had many fun days of jumping in leaves this fall, and today was definitely a bonus one at the cabin.
We love playing with Daddy! Look at this tall stick I found!
Look how high it goes!
And although the Gophers were playing today, we had to wear our Duck shirts in honor of Gayle and Jeff. Thanks for the shirts! Go Ducks! Or as Charlie said, "Go Donald Duck!"