Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tradition

There are so many wonderful traditions this time of year. The tree, the presents, the Pogacha, shopping, caroling, parties, etc. There are some traditions that are spiritually based and some that are just for fun. Today, I'd like to talk about one that is most certainly just for fun.
People magazine.


People magazine is really a total waste of time. It's trash. But most of it is very interesting trash. I admit to reading it maybe 3 times a year. I mostly love the fashion ones - like the one that comes out after the big award shows showing off the worst and best dresses. And I love to get one in my stocking. Richard is well trained and always fulfills this silly whim of mine. ~He's a good man.~ This year's magazine was especially fun because as I get older I get more and more clueless about what's happening with the "beautiful people". (OK, so maybe my cluelessness has less to do with age, and more to do with the three children taking over my life.)

Do any of you have a silly/embarrassing tradition you'd like to fess up to?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas morning

I WIN!!! I win the prize for being the first looser to post about Christmas morning.

The kids woke up at 7 this morning - just like they always do. I don't think they really understood what was ahead of them, or else they would have been up earlier. Once Asher saw what was waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs it was a little hard to deter him. Here is the scene that met their twinkling little eyes this morning.




Here is how Asher reacted when we told him he had to sit of the stairs for the obligatory picture before he could go play.

Here is Asher's face, seconds later, when he was playing with his new train.

Isaiah's big present was this "Bumbo" seat. I think it may be the greatest thing ever. And so does Isaiah. He's not quite big enough to sit up on his own yet, but in this seat he is the greatest sitter ever. He is also chewing on one of his new blocks.

Naomi loves her new My Little Pony. It changes color when cool or warm.
Here is a horrid shot of me showing off my fancy new boots. Thanks, Mom and Dad! I feel so darn sexy in these boots, it might be a bad thing. (....nope - it's not a bad thing...)

Here, Naomi is playing with her new Princess paraphernalia - including Cinderella's carriage!

And here is my biggest kid of all, Richard, with his new radio-controlled Helicopter.


And just in case you haven't had enough of our bed-head, big-smiles, pajama-clad, Christmas morning - here's a little video.

video

We had a great Christmas Eve, too. My college-buddy, Shanae, and her cute little family came over to our house. We had a great ham dinner, exchanged presents, acted out the Nativity (complete with a wandering Shepherd (Asher), a grumpy angel (Naomi) and a squirmy baby Jesus (Isaiah)) and played games. It was a great evening.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Santa Baby

I just can't stop taking pictures of my Santa Baby. Really. I've probably taken 800 pictures of Isaiah in this Santa hat since I bought it two days ago.





Here, he is half under the couch - which seems to be his favorite place these days. He is slightly mobile in that wiggle-til-I-get-where-I-want kind of way.

I just couldn't resist the juxtaposition of the bare feet and the cozy Santa hat in this shot.


And here, our little Santa was so tired that he fell asleep in this crazy position - and stayed that way for like an hour.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Touching Christmas Thoughts

There is a beautiful post about Christmas and it's true meaning over at Rocks In My Dryer. Go check it out. It's really beautifully written.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12 days of Christmas

This year I found a lot of great little gifts for the kids, mostly in the Target Dollar Spot. Since there were so many, we decided to do the 12 Days of Christmas for Naomi and Asher. We told Naomi that Santa is doing practice runs to our house every day until Christmas to make sure he knows how to get here. Every morning there is something waiting for them in their stockings. So far we've had coloring books, books, a puzzle and necklace, and candy canes. The kids love it, of course, and it's fun for us parents too. We get a little bit of that Christmas morning feeling every morning! As an added bonus, the new toy is a great distraction throughout the day when the kids hit a rut.

Above is the books they got yesterday.

Here are the candy canes from this morning. That's right - we had them right after breakfast. I tried to get them to wait until snack time, but Santa gave them to them in the morning - so they had to be eaten in the morning!


In other news, apparently Isaiah is huge! Look at the below picture to see the comparison of the boys. I know it's probably a funky angle or something - but Isaiah looks practically as big as Asher!


Stop growing, kids! (The one sock on Asher is classic. He always takes one sock off during his afternoon nap. I don't know why - but he ALWAYS does it. It's not even always the same foot!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

in other news...

I saw the following on the site Consumerist.com.

Not Making This Up: The chief operating and development officer of Yum brands, which includes Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver's and Pizza Hut, is named Mr. Hearl. Mr. Hearl is retiring and will be replaced by Mr. Eaton. Seriously. [Wall Street Journal]

The comments on the Consumerist were funny. Let's see if you can top them. Go ahead. Take a crack. There is so much to be made fun of.

Here's what it made me think of: When I was in the MTC one of my neighboring companionships was Sister Butt and Sister Weiner. Yep. For real. Whoever put them together is just CRUEL!

Not good enough

More than a week ago we attempted to take a family picture that was good enough for a Christmas card. None of them were good enough. They're decent - but let's face it... the Christmas card picture gets seriously scrutinized. For some recipients this is the only picture they see of us until next year's card. So it's gotta be good. And for many this will be the first they've seen of Isaiah, because he's new since last year. Anyway - this is why I feel great pressure to have a perfect portrait. We're getting professional portraits done soon (as soon as the huge bruise on Asher's head heals) but we wanted a more casual picture this year.
...I think I ramble too much in these blog posts. ...
The point is, here are the failed pics. Not good enough for a card, but good enough for a blog post.


We were attempting to make a joke by holding the "Peace" sign. I don't think it turned out all that funny.
Also, do you like our crooked star on the tree? It's a mutant tree! Half way up the trunk it splits into two trunks. So we twist-tied the two trunks together, hoping that would help. But it really doesn't. Oh well, it gives it some charm, right?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fancy Pants

Richard and I had a blast at his work party last night. A big thanks goes to his brother Kevin and Kevin's wife Kelly for babysiting for us while we partied away. My hair didn't french twist, and I didn't even use the combs that I so nicely fancied up - but that's OK. I think we looked pretty good anyway.

This was the best work Christmas party that we've ever been to. A nice dinner, great conversation (and music quiet enough that you could still have a conversation), and a little dancing. We even won a great raffle prize.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Making things pretty

I like to make plain things pretty. I remember when I was probably in 6th or 7th grade, walking to a craft store in our little town and just looking for something to do. One specific thing I remember buying is a pink, wide rimmed, floppy hat. I also bought some flowers and glued them onto the hat. I wore the hat to church. Multiple times. (What was my mother thinking?) I felt very sophisticated in that hat. I had probably read Anne of Green Gables a few too many times. I also remember buying teddy bears and making clothes for them. Most of my projects didn't turn out anywhere near to what I thought were going to - but it was fun.
Fast forward to today. I still like to make things pretty. I like to take plain things and adorn them in some way. I've turned the floor lamp in Naomi's room into a "chandelier". I made a great Christmas wreath last year. And getting to decorate my house when we moved in was the funnest thing ever.

Tonight is Richard's work Christmas party. I was just planning on wearing the same thing I wore last year since he is at a new company so none of the same people will be there. But yesterday and today I've been having fun playing dress up. You know how it goes girls... my closet is empty because all my clothes are on my bed after being tryed on in varying combinations. I have settled on something that I think is great. I have the perfect jewelry picked out. This morning I researched hair-do's for short hair and I think I can pull off a partial french twist. I even have my makeup planned thanks to Real Simple magazine. Anyway, all this is to tell you that I had to buy some combs today for my French Twist hair-do. But I could only find plain ones. Plain is no good for a fancy party! Fortunately, I can fix plain. So I got out my super glue and some little craft jewels. And here is what I have now.


The top one is a plain one in it's original condition. The bottom one is the one I prettied up.
I am fully aware that no one is going to notice this small adjustment. It may not even really be visible in my hair. But I feel much better about it. I feel fancy. I like feeling fancy. My world is full of blue jeans and long sleeved T's most days. So a little fancy is good.
Tonight, my brothers can call me "Fancy Pants" like they did in my childhood- and they'll be right!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Musings

Topic 1 - Isaiah is still young enough that he can sleep in his port-a-crib in the family room while we are all busily doing daily life things around him. But he is old enough that sometimes he decides he doesn't want to go to sleep - even though he's tired.

I was about to continue this post by saying something sweet, like "All it takes for him to fall asleep is for me to stand near his crib. He just likes to look at me while he drifts off. Sometimes I hold his hand while his little eyes droop. He just needs to know that I am near."

But since I just spent the last 45 minutes trying every trick I know to get him to fall asleep - I revoke all the sweet sayings about how easy he is and admit that he is a willful child. Stubborn little boy. He must take after his Daddy. (just kidding...sorta...) But it is very sweet when he falls asleep holding my hand or gazing at me.

Topic 2 - Lately Naomi has taken to saying no to me. Just outright refusing to do something that I've asked her to do. Sending her to her room is no longer effective since she loves it up there. So I started putting an X on the whiteboard in the kitchen every time she said no to me and if she gets to 4 X's I'm going to take her Barbies away. She hasn't gotten to 4 yet. So I guess that's working. But it got me to thinking about rewards versus punishment. Should I be rewarding her for not saying no instead of punishing her for saying no? I don't think so, in this case. But when are rewards the better option? And is there another option that I'm not seeing right now?

Topic 3 - Poor little Asher has gotten a cold and is having a hard time sleeping since he can't breathe through his nose at all. He keeps waking up and crying because trying to suck on a pacifier when you can't breathe through your nose is frustrating. Poor little guy.

~~
Those are my musings. Good night all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My #2 Man

I saw this shirt at Costco and just had to get it for Asher. He is my #2 guy, after all!

The bottom, which you can't see, even says "forever". Aaahhhhhh!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

For Grandma in Texas

Supposedly, I only made this blog so that I could get pictures of the kids to my Mom easier and faster. I think time has told that I use it for far more than that. But this is one of those posts that resorts to the original reason. While you all may enjoy, these pics are for Grandma.

These first two pics are of the "Christmas dress" Grandma sent to Naomi (I know, it's not at all Christmasey - but it is the perfect Naomi dress. She immediately started twirling and doing ballet.)

These two are of the cape that Grandma sent Naomi for her birthday. She feels just like Belle from Beauty and the Beast when she wears it (Belle sports one in the movie). I think this last photo really shows off Naomi's inner beauty. She is just such a sweet, angelic little girl and you see that in the picture.
Thanks Grandma, for always sending such great gifts. Naomi loves and misses you.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

First Snow

I think this is a pretty typical blog post these days. Winter has arrived, in weather if not technically, so here are the "first snow" pictures. This is Asher and Isaiah's first time ever playing outside in the snow. Last year Asher was a baby so Daddy and Naomi went out to play several times while pregnant me and Asher stayed inside. But this year Naomi was NOT willing to wait until Dad got home from work to play in the snow. So we all bundled up and went out to play. Asher thought it was pretty cool (wah-wah, I'm so funny). Isaiah was not all that pleased with the situation. I guess that's understandable since all he did was sit in the stroller in a snowsuit and under two blankets. Anyway - here are the cute pics.




Asher loves his "doggie hat" so much that he slept with it several times since we got it.

Poor Isaiah was so exhausted by his hard day of sitting in the stroller that he fell asleep in his snowsuit in the time that it took me to get coats, etc. off the older kids and I.


In other news, I guess I have a confession to make. My "week of want" didn't turn out quite as I thought. I gave in last night and had Richard pick up milk, bread and butter. Just the basics - but I feel bad for not making it. We have had some good meals this week. We even discovered that Naomi really likes tomato soup, which I never would have guessed (letting her "go fishing" for Goldfish crackers in her soup helped). Other meals were "pantry soup" (canned chicken, rice, broth, pinto beans, and corn) and blueberry muffins. Tonight we'll have vegetarian pot pies. The muffins were what got me. I had them half way made when it occurred to me that I hadn't made any powdered milk earlier in the day so we would either have no milk with our muffins or else warm milk. And warm powdered milk could be used as some sort of torture device. Also, butter was on strict rations and I like a lot of butter on my muffins. So, I guess muffins wasn't a good choice even though I was rather impressed with myself that I could make them from scratch. Anyway - we're still wanting other things. But we're not wanting quite as badly. Sorry. I am weak.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas shopping

Today was a fabulous, great, outstanding, fun, exciting, freedomishous day. That's right - freedomishous. Let me explain. Richard works very near to his parents house. His mother watches my kids sometimes (see my recent post). Yesterday it occurred to Richard's mom, Margaret, that I should just send the kids with Richard in the morning and then go pick them up when I'm ready. Really? REALLY? I'd be alone for like 5 whole hours! I get giddy just thinking about it. Really!

So the kids and Richard left the house at 7:30 this morning. I left the house at 9:30 after chatting with my Mom on the phone for a while and getting ready for the day in no particular rush. Then I went to the mall. I went into every store that I wanted. I walked the entire mall - both floors. I went into shops that I had no purpose in going into - it just looked fun. I bought presents for people I love. I scored big at a toy store that was going out of business. I found the perfect gift for my sister and was inspired as to what to get my parents. When I was ready to go, I went.


Let me tell you another story. It goes like this... I LOVE the mall. I love just walking around the stores. I love imagining how great I would look in this or that. Or what shoes I would wear with that. Or what fancy place I would go if I owned that dress. I just like being there. I feel cool and connected to the cool people in the world. Me and the kids go often. But going alone, and with no real timetable, is the total and complete definition of freedom to me. Hence, freedomishous.


So here's to Christmas shopping. And being one of the first people into a mall in the morning. Here's to not having to squeeze a stroller, or worse, a double stroller, through a tiny shop. Here's to not having to mitigate a discussion deciding between riding the train or the carousel. Or forking over the money for riding the train or the carousel. Here's to buying just ONE cookie and eating it all. Here's to freedomishousness.
(*crowd cheering*)

Here! Here!

Monday, December 3, 2007

A week of "want"

I am doing an experiment. Starting right now. Here's the deal, we have "no food" in the house. By "no food" I mean that if I was going to go to the grocery store today it would be a major trip. We have no bread, only 1/4 gallon of Whole milk, minimal cheese, minimal to none of some other staples. We have an ongoing list on the fridge that has 10 or so items on it that I would normally buy at the store. We even have minimal stuff in the freezer since I emptied it out pretty well before Thanksgiving to make room for ice and stuff. But I am not going to go the store this week. Even for bread or milk. I am going to pretend that we are stuck in house because of a blizzard or something (well, at least as far as grocery shopping is concerned - I am going to go to Playgroup and my book club, etc.) We will drink powdered milk (even Asher who is still under 2 and therefore supposed to have Whole milk). I will attempt to make bread (if you have a good recipe, send it my way). We will eat the food that we already have. Because really, we have TONS of food in this house.

This is all motivated by a ridiculous old Christmas movie that Naomi was watching last night. One of the stories was about two little children. They were walking around barefoot in the snow collecting scraps of wood to bring home. When they got home their mother broke a piece of bread into two pieces and gave it all to them. The bread was so hard they had to dunk it in water to be able to eat it. The children said they were still hungry at the end of the meal and their mother burst into tears because there was no more food. Then the children went to bed with holey blankets and dreamed of food and presents, etc. When they woke up some neighbors had set up a feast for them and the mother stood in the background sobbing with happiness.

It got me thinking about how ungrateful I am. My house is full of food. FULL. But it's not the food I want. So I go buy more food. A couple of weeks ago Richard asked if he could take some things out of the pantry to take to work for a food drive. I said sure but asked that he let me pick them out so that he didn't take anything I was planning on using soon. I went through and picked out six cans that had been in there for a while. Then I looked at the dates. All but one had expired. So I picked out five more cans. Two of those had expired. I feel terrible that in this world that really is full of people in need, I am letting food go bad in my pantry because it's not what I "crave".

So no new groceries for me this week. But we won't be starving. We have powdered milk. We have pasta. We have beans and rice. We have soups. We have canned fruits and veggies. We have ingredients to make bread. We have eggs. We have candy. We have anything we need. And if we're missing something - we'll do without, but we'll live. We'll live happily. With full tummies. And we will be thankful to God for all our blessings.

Here is a picture of my pantry as of this morning. Proof that nobody in this house is going to starve in the least this coming week.

*Ok - I just realized that maybe I need baby formula. That would have to be an exception to the "no groceries" rule this week. But if I have to go this week, I'll only get that and I'll stock up so that if a real winter storm hit, we would be OK.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Decking the halls

This morning we bought the tree, during naptime I put the lights up, during TV time I put up other decorations, and after dinner we decorated the tree. So the halls around here are officially decked. How long they'll stay that way is a whole nother story. Asher did a good job of un-decorating the tree while he was awake. I re-decorated it with unbreakable ornaments at the bottom after he went to bed. I fully expect to wish I had never set up a tree at all after a few days of repeating "Asher, no touch" every other minute. But it's all worth it for the pictures and the memories, right?

Dad was handing the ornaments to the kids. Naomi put the ornaments as high as she could reach so that Asher couldn't get them. Asher looked at the tree for a second then dropped each ornament in a pile on the floor.

But he sure is cute - so I guess all is forgiven.

Here, Isaiah is doing a Superman move. Have you seen that Soulja Boy dance? Maybe he was doing that. He is pretty hip, after all.



Naomi decided that the ornaments should all go on the same branch.


And this is my favorite part of decorating for Christmas. This Nativity was given to me by my Grandma and Grandpa Benac. Not only is it a beautiful set, the memories that accompany it are completely priceless. I'm tearing up just thinking about that Christmas.