Monday, December 27, 2010

Musical Fun

My dad is a pretty good musician. A closet musician, because most people don't know this about him, but a musician nonetheless. He can play the piano, the drums, the guitar and the accordion. We were at their house last night to celebrate one last Christmas and he got talked into getting his accordion out. Enjoy these few videos of him playing.

Thanks, Dad!

Christmas, part 2

Happy Birthday to Jesus!
Another Christmas celebration, and another Christmas post! Christmas Day brought us to my mom and dad's house for presents and food. What more could you ask for on Christmas!
One thing we didn't really count on this Christmas was having sick kids. Not really too sick, but bad colds just aren't a fun thing to have on a holiday, that's for sure! A was a little worse off than C, but she plowed through and was a champ just the same. The kids opened their stockings first, because Santa even visited Mamma and Papa's house! Lucky kids, that's what I think! We ate brunch and then moved on to opening the other gifts to and from each other.
The kids loved their gifts. C especially loved all of his "Cars" things: new cars he didn't have yet, his "Cars" sheets and his "Cars" sticky wall pictures. A loved her sticky wall pictures and her princess sheets.
The biggest hit with both of the kids though, were the guitars or "cuitars" as C calls them. Yes, our kids got guitars. See for yourself...

They love them and already know their first song. C's is "Schools Out for Summer" and A's is "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Yes, our kids will know some rock 'n roll songs before the winter is over. They love music so this was perfect. You'll see them in their rock 'n roll shirts in another post to come.

Thanks for a fun Christmas Day, Mom & Dad. We love all of our gifts, but love spending time with you most of all.

Santa came!

As you can see, Santa came in our house! Hooray! He left lots of goodies for us and the kiddos.
He even helped himself to some milk and cookies because we forgot to leave some out for him. C got the teddy bear and dinosaur he asked for and A got the Barbie and pink dinosaur she asked for! They got some books, a movie and other little things too. C was excited about his DJ car from the movie "Cars," and A was excited about getting her very own jump rope. There's still some learning to be had with that!
It was fun to watch the kids open their presents and see how different they were while opening...A was all about opening everything as fast as she could while stacking everything up in a pile. Reminds me of someone I know at her age...hmmm. C was more about opening each present and playing a bit with the toy before going on to the next one. Different styles to go with their different personalities!
Thanks a bunch, Santa! We had a great time opening your presents!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas, part 1

Merry Christmas! Eve, I guess...but Merry Christmas anyway! Today was already a very full day with lots of fun and family. I love Christmas Eve best of all. I think it's because I have such great memories as a kid. I remember being at my Great Aunt and Uncle's house with all of my dad's cousins and my second cousins. Santa always came-of whom I was afraid of! We sang, played the piano, played games and opened presents that Santa brought. It was great. As I got older I remember going to Midnight Mass or a candlelight service. We would come home and it started out that I got to open one present with Mom and Dad. I seem to remember that changing to opening all of the presents before going to bed. There were some late nights! Always fun, though.
This year the kids seem to get it. J said it this morning and today in the's not that they didn't have fun last year, but this year is just that much better because they really understand how things work. They keep reminding us: "Mommy, remember Christmas is about Jesus and giving. Even though we get presents too, that's not the most important part." Thank you honey; I will remember that.

Today we started off by going to church. I love our family services because the kids get to participate. They can choose to be an angel, a star, a shepherd or a wise man. This year C chose to be a star and my, did he hold it up high for everyone to see!
 A chose to be an angel and was proud to be one, too! No matter the part they choose, everyone gets a prop to use and then as the pastor tells the story of Christmas, each child goes up when they are asked. Here's what it looked like when all of the kids were up front!
After church it was off to the first stop which was my aunt and uncle's house. Mark and Patti always host a great Christmas Eve. As always there was food to eat and presents to open. Mom and Dad were there, too...after Dad worked a full day. Notice the Grinch tie he's wearing; he plays it up, but he's not really a Grinch!
It was fun to see family who we don't see except for this time of year. After eating, playing, saying hello to everyone and gathering up my cookies for home (thanks, John and Mary!), then it was off to our second stop!
Mamma Sue and Big Papa hosted Christmas Eve. We were lucky this year, too, because J's brother Jake and his family was here too. So that meant that Cousin Liam was here for the kids to play with this whole week.
The kids have had a ball together and tonight was no different. We opened presents shortly after we got there and let's just say I'm not sure where everything is going to go! They got great things that they were excited to open and play with right away. That's always a good sign. J and I got great gifts too...thanks everyone! We ate again-I hope my pants fit tomorrow! The kids lasted longer than I expected and then we were off to home to crash. A was determined to stay awake, which she did, but C fell asleep even before the freeway.

We missed one part of J's family-Dan, Denise and new Baby Aaron had to stay home tonight. Aaron (3 days old!) has to be under the lights for the next while until his bilirubin numbers come down. Poor guy. We're praying that he's better soon!

We were blessed to see so many people tonight. We are thankful for the birth of His son, and are reminded of that daily. "And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Baby! Baby! Baby!

This was the chant around our house today. This morning we got a call from Uncle Dan saying that Aunt Denise is in labor! Hooray!! A new baby boy is on his way. As of right now there is no new news and they're just hanging out at the hospital. Hopefully we'll have a new baby in the family sometime tonight! We're so excited and thrilled to have another baby in the family. And A and C can hardly wait to have another cousin! And now we wait...

Sunday, December 12, 2010


There's joy in our house. Not just because it's Christmas, but also because we're a happy bunch! We have a Christmas decoration in our house that says, "Joy Joy." See?
So the kids have asked, "Mommy, what does that say?"
"What does joy mean?"
"It means that you're really happy!"
"Oh, ok."

Then yesterday C and I were downstairs-I was doing some picking up and C was in the back area playing. He was drawing on the whiteboard and he asks, "Mommy, can you help me? I need some help writing 'Joy.'"
"Sure, Buddy. I can help you."
So I walk over and see that he's written joy, but has the 'J' backwards. He told me it looked like a 'C' so we worked on it. Then I asked him what he drew. See what you think:
He said, "See Mommy. I drew Mickey Mouse. See? I drew him and then wrote 'Joy' because Mickey Mouse is always really happy. So that's why I wrote 'Joy!'" (Also, he clearly has joy himself because he found his first Christmas present wrapped under the tree...)

We surely have JOY in our house for many reasons this time of year!

Snowstorm, 2010

I ate my words yesterday. On Facebook I wrote something to the effect of, "Oh, Minnesota meteorologists...they like to hype up snow just like the rest of us. I'll believe the snow when I see it." Yup, I see it alright! It came during the night on Friday and didn't stop until last night. I've never seen so much snow! They compared it to the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. I remember that one because I was trick-or-treating during it and my dad had to come and get me from a friend's house. This one was very similar in size but I feel like the snow fell faster!

We attempted at going outside yesterday. We lasted all of five minutes. This is how far the sleds got.
This was A and C in the 5 minute period.
A was ready to go sledding but the winds were just incredible! C was in tears because of the wind and the snow-horizontal as you can see. At least we tried! It's too bad because there is about 20 inches of new snow but today the wind chills are about 20 to 30 degrees below zero. Too cold to play outside! Maybe tomorrow when the high is supposed to be 2 above. We'll see! All I know is there sure it a lot of snow. As C said to me yesterday, "Mommy, our 'King of the Mountain' hill is huge now! Daddy told me there is so much snow now!" I guess there will be a King of the Mountain game played...just a little later on this week!

The Vintage Pearl

Just had to share a new favorite site of mine...The Vintage Pearl! They're having a giveaway and I get an extra entry if I post about it, so here I am, posting! Hope I win, and hope you visit the site. Such fun stuff!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa Claus is coming to town

This was one of my favorite songs as a kid. I loved the whole, "He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake." It always seemed to work for me, because I remember always thinking about that and always going to bed like I was supposed to. Anyway...not the point.
The point is, that we went to see Santa tonight! As I prepped the kids for the visit this morning, A said to me, "Is it the Santa we saw at Bachman's?" Leave it to her to ask that question as a 4 year old. My response..."Well, no, that's not the Santa we're going to see. It's a different Santa. See, Santa needs lots of help during Christmas so he has lots of help!" She says, "Yeah. He does need lots of help. So the Santa we're going to see is the first Santa, right?" "Right, Honey. Yes, the first Santa."
Whew! Like I said, leave it to her-the always observant one, ever since they were little! We saw the same Santa again this year. He was joyful and cheerful as always. He asked the kids to help Mom and Dad around the house, brush their teeth, pick up their toys, get along with each other; he's very interactive with them! It really is nice because each group of kids gets a longer time that the usual Santa visit.
A asked Santa for a Barbie and a pink dinosaur and C asked for a teddy bear and a dinosaur. I'm pretty sure Santa will be able to fill those requests! J and I love taking the kids each year. It keeps us young, too! Merry Christmas, Santa!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
Treetops are done and are in the fresh air.
A wreath on the door with red, white and green,
A nativity displayed, Baby Jesus is seen!
The trees are all lit and the kids cannot wait
For Christmas to come; the 25th is the date!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fondue with Friends

A few weeks ago we had the chance to go to The Melting Pot with a group of friends. There were 16 of us that went together. When we got there we were going to be seated at 2 tables set for 8. So what did we do? We sat guys at one table and girls at the other table. It seemed to work out pretty well!
My favorite part of the night was the dessert fondue. We had one that was bananas foster (bananas, cinnamon, a little rum and some other good things) and another that was white and dark chocolate together. Of course that one was my favorite.
After dinner was done we walked across the street to the W Hotel. This is in the old Foshay tower which used to be the tallest building in the city. Crazy to think about! We went to the top where there is a bar/lounge. This was really neat because you actually had a view of the city. There isn't another place I can think of, other than a few pretty expensive restaurants, where you can get a city view like this.
It was a fun night and hopefully we'll be able to do it again some night soon!

Sick is not fun

So I'm sick. Yuck. Feeling great now, but all night I was not feeling so great. I really don't like having the stomach flu. That's all I'll say about that. On top of it all, tomorrow night is the night we usually have our Wine Party (our 9th one this year), and I had to cancel. Boo. I thought it was best, being that this is the same sickness that has gone through about 8 of my kids at school. We're talking highly contagious stuff, it seems. So, here I sit, in bed, still not having had anything to eat, wondering what that will be when I do eat. I know I'll feel 100% soon, but still...this stinks!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

Have you made these before?
I remember making these with my mom when I was younger and today I decided to make them with the kids! My favorite is the one on the left that A made-it looks like it has hair!
We had all of our supplies...candy corn, fudge stripe cookies, chocolate stars and caramel.
Oh-and frosting, too. That's what held our turkeys together! I was in charge of the frosting and the kids did everything else on their own. It was very fun to watch them do it all on their own!
So, here's to turkeys, cookies and anything else you might be making for tomorrow!
Gobble! Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Your own rooms!

Dear A & C,
        Tonight you are sleeping in your own bedrooms. It is the first night you will have slept in separate rooms when you've been in the same house. Are you really that old already?
        I remember bringing you home from the hospital and having you sleep right next to me in the room. Although it was a good set-up, I couldn't do it for long (only 2 weeks) because I woke up to your every sound. So, then it was into the nursery to sleep in the same crib. That lasted until you both became too long for the crib to be able to sleep the short way, side-by-side, so then it was into your own cribs in the same room. That lasted until the February before you turned 3. Since then you've been in toddler beds which worked out well. That is until I would come in to check on you and C's feet would be sticking out through the slats at the end of the bed. Time for something new!
So tonight you are in your own big kid beds. A, you are sleeping in the bed I slept in for lots of years.You have all of my old furniture.
I look around your bedroom and think I could sleep there too because it's so familiar. C, you're sleeping just on your mattresses.
Your "bed" hasn't come in yet, but we're making this work.
You loved sleeping in them for a nap this afternoon (yes, you both took a nap!), and snuggled right in tonight.
       I thought for sure you would put up a bit of a fuss tonight when we tucked you in, but you were both so tired and excited to sleep in your own beds that you didn't mind. A already said, "C, when you wake up in the morning if it's light outside and the clock says 7, you come into my room and let me know. Then I'll wake up too." Each of you have already called it A's bedroom or C's bedroom, which I found so cute. It definitely didn't take you long at all to figure that out. 
       I love that you are this grown up that you already have your own rooms. It's just another sign that you are growing up and getting to be big kids! We love you, Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, November 18, 2010


If you have a little girl, you probably know they can be sassy. Even at 4 years old, we have a sassy one on our hands. What's a mom to do? Good question. Any helpful hints would be much appreciated.
You see, A has become a little bit outspoken a bit. She's always said what she thinks, but she seems to be doing so with a bit more sass than before. She's been saying things like, "You're mean," and "Ugh" with a certain look on her face. Our hope is that she isn't treating other people like this, especially at school, but it might not be the case-you never know.
As parents you hope that you are doing everything you can in order to raise your children to be good kids. You hope you do everything you can to help your children be polite, kind, empathetic...the list goes on. I just keep telling myself this is a phase, right? This too shall pass? She really doesn't mean that I'm being mean to her, does she? She really does want to give me a hug, right? I'm sure she does, and that tomorrow it will be a bit different. I know she loves us. I know she wants to do the right thing. I know she loves everyone around her. It just seems to be all about her lately. Oh the joys of a self-centered 4-year-old.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm thankful for a lot!

We were getting ready for bed and C was waiting his turn for a bath. I went into the playroom to see what he was doing. At first I thought he was just writing words. He had his name written and had started writing his next word: dinosaur. Being the teacher I am, I'm always trying to get the kids to think about the sounds they know when they're trying to figure out how to spell a word. So I helped him with dinosaur and then he starts to write the words "tede bar." (teddy bear) Then he wanted to write tree. H got the t-r-e and I helped with the last e. Finally I asked hime what he was writing.
He said, "I'm writing the things I'm thankful for." Just like that-all on his own.
Can you see what the rest says? If not, here they are:
tede bar (teddy bear)
That was the original order and then he went back to the top and stopped. I asked him who else he was thankful for and he said, "Murray." Murray is Uncle Dan and Aunt Denise's dog whom C & A love to play with. So instead of writing Murray he wrote dog. Too cute!
So the last 2 words at the top are:
I love having something like this from him. It's so sweet and true. They are the things he's thankful for and he did it all on his own. At 4 years old. Pretty neat, don't you think? I guess you could say I'm one proud Mommy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And just like that...

...winter is here! This morning we woke up to a land of winter white. The kids tromped up the stairs around 7:00 and stood at the top of the stairs in our bedroom, looking out the window. Comments heard were as follows...

"Mom! Did you see it?! It's snowing!"-A
"Can we go play in the snow?"-both
"Look at those gigantic snowflakes. They're huge!"-C
"C, did you see the table? The snow is even on the table outside!"-A
"Can we go play outside in the snow? It's wake-up time, isn't it?"-both
"I can't believe how much snow there is. It's even stuck to the window!"-C
"Where are the sleds? You know, the ones that Mamma and Papa got us for Christmas last year? Yeah, where are they? Well, can we sled on them today? But there's snow out there so we can go sledding!"-A

Of course we went out and played in the snow right away after breakfast. J & I hadn't even started putting our things on and I turned around and A was already dressed, head to toe! Again, what a difference a year makes. They both asked for all of their things and got them on by themselves! It was great, and good for them to know how to do it all when they're at school.
We already have 2 snowmen made in the yard, too. That's something we haven't ever made before because the snow never seemed to be just right to do it. So it was very fun to be able to do that already. Snowballs have been thrown. Snow angels have been made. Shoveling has been done. We're headed outside again later this afternoon to do some more playing, and I suppose, some sledding too.
J and I said to each other that we forgot how much the kids really do love winter. They love everything about it. Welcome winter...I suppose you're here to stay!