Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary!


Today is my parents 48th wedding anniversary! In today's world I think that is amazing and I am so grateful for their legacy. I couldn't ask for better parents. I love them with my whole heart and am thrilled for them today. I hope you have a wonderful day and here's to many many more years to come!

*sigh*

So, its back to real life today. And I don't like it one bit! Ryan has had the last 10 days off and I have loved every minute of it. I have also neglected to house, the laundry, the grocery shopping etc. and now I have to do something about it now that Ryan is back at work. Ugh. No desire what so ever! But we have no food, other than Christmas leftovers that are getting a little iffy. My family can barely get dressed from lack of clean clothes, and my house looks like a bomb went off. I know its been clean a few time in the last 10 days, how can it look like this??

I'm debating whether to take the decorations down today. I usually am very staunch about waiting until new years, but I think I might have to do it if I want to really clean the house today. I hate taking down the decorations. Not only is it kind of a pain, and makes a mess before it gets better, but my house looks so empty and drab when I take everything down. It makes me sad. I experience major after Christmas let-down when its all gone. *sigh*

So, we'll see if I actually accomplish anything today. But I had to blog this so that everyone knows I have good intentions. I really do like a clean orderly house, its just so hard to keep up on! Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas!

We had quite a successful Christmas this year. The kids are thrilled with their gifts, we had tons of food and family fun, and LOTS and LOTS of snow. That made it a little tricky when we had to venture out, but we survived and had a great time. Here are a few highlights.

The pre-opening tree.Sant and the Reindeer's treat plate.The stockings.
The aftermath!
The snow! That's a picnic table hidden under there.
Our kind neighbor's father trying to dig out our cul-de-sac so we wouldn't all be stuck.
That's a fire hydrant under there.
I know you can't see that very well, but its major icicles and a huge ice chunk hanging over the gutters, probably at least 6 inches deep and 6 inches thick, its craziness!The food! I forgot to take pictures until we were packing up the leftovers, but it was awesome! Turkey, ham, potatos, sweet potatos, homemade rolls, green bean casserole and, of course, pie!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bubbles


Meet the newest member of our family! "Bubbles" the beta fish! Beth had been promised months ago that once she got this potty training thing under control she could adopt a fish, and Beth does not forget easily. So Friday was the day, we went over to Petco and brought home our new friend. The kids are currently in love with her (its really a him, but Beth just can't stand that idea, so he is a she at our house). It is truly amazing how fascinating a fish can be.

Imagination

Okay, so for those of you who don't know, I'm just slightly baby hungry again. Okay, maybe more than slightly, but anyway...I apparently talk about wanting a baby more than I realize and Beth picks up on it. The other day she started asking how babies get in my tummy, how the doctor gets them out of my tummy etc. Luckily the second question is a little less complicated for me than most since I have c-sections, but still...she's 3 for heavens sake! Anyway, we had a few little talks about it, and she had to look at pictures of me pregnant and in the hospital and her newborn pictures. Well, the other night she comes down the stairs looking like this


The she says, "Okay mom, you are the doctor, you give me some medicine in my back and then cut my tummy to get my baby out, then give me medicine in my mouth so it won't hurt." So I play along and deliver here baby (it was a stuffed pumpkin). She then gets a blanket, wraps it up, names it, rocks it, and gives it to me to babysit, with clear instructions that I am not its mommy, she is, I'm just taking care of it for a minute. Goodness! Is she a little mommy or what?! I'm very interested to see what she's like next time I'm pregnant, I think it'll be great fun.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tradition

Last year we began our yearly tradition of making a gingerbread house before Christmas. I have a great time doing it, but I have to admit, its a little tough for me to let go and let the kids decorate it how they want...I'm a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to decorating things, but the kids have a great time doing it, if not for the finished product, for the candy they get to eat as we decorate! And yes, we did cheat and use a gingerbread house kit again this year...maybe i'll be more ambitious next year and do the real thing...maybe.

I love Christmas traditions, especially the ones that bring our little family together for fun and laughter, even when there is a frosting mess to deal with. I love everything about Christmas, have I mentioned that? Although...the illnesses that come with winter are not my favorite things. I currently battling strep throat, yippee.

Oh, and I learned an important lesson a week or two ago. Beth is now old enough to blab the contents of gifts. Be sure NOT to inform her of secrets! I was careful to not show her Ryan's big gift this year, but she got a peek as I was wrapping it. I told her it was a surprise for daddy and she seemed to understand, so I didn't worry. Then, about 30 seconds after Ryan got home from work Beth shouts out "Daddy, we got you a yellow helicopter!" I gave her a look when she said it, trying to quiet her down and hope Ryan hadn't heard her, and then she says "Why do you have a mad face mommy?" That didn't help...Luckily she didn't know any details, and even got the color wrong...but his surprise is pretty much ruined. Oh well...he has a few other things to open, and now he's just really excited to see what helicopter he got. *sigh*

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo Shoot

Here's a sampling of how well my Christmas photo shoot with the kids went last weekend. I just wanted to make Christmas cards!!!

Here's my very favorite...

Okay, they weren't ALL this bad, I got a few cute close-ups of each of them, but certainly no good ones of them together, and none that show off their cute coordinating outfits. ugh. Now I know why I've always paid people to do this for me. Gotta work on this...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Tag

I've been tagged three times for this so far, so I guess I should finally get around to doing it!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

I love wrapping Christmas presents. I love the paper, the bows, the ribbons...

2. Real tree or Artificial?
I used to be a staunch real tree person, I was furious when my parents bought a fake tree when I was in high school (I think), but now i'm resigned to fake trees, they save money and are less messy with little kids running around messing with them all day...

3. When do you put up the tree?
If I have anything to say about it, the decorations go up the day after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually around New Years...I'm not strict about it, but Ryan is usually anxious to get back to normal.

5. Do you like eggnog?
In moderation, and usually cut down with a little milk.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I have the worst memory ever, so its hard to say. But when I was really little I got the caterpillar friend that worked with Teddy Ruxpin...anybody remember him? My mom already had Teddy so they worked together to tell stories, loved that. I was also HUGELY into Cabbage Patch dolls, so those were always a hit.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
Ryan and my parents and in-laws.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Probably Beth.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, I have 3, but they are all little and cheesy and I would really like a nice one...or at least the Little People one!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. I'm the worst at actually getting them sent, but I always have the best of intentions.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
One year my grandma sent me a package of underwear. Not only was it underwear, thus making it a bad present, they were HUGE! I called them my elephant butt underwear.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Hm, so hard! I love the Muppet Christmas Carol, and White Christmas, and Miracle on 34th street...I could go on and on.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually in October or so, some years are better than others.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Possibly, but nothing I remember specifically.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
All the yummy neighbor gifts, carmel popcorn, sugar cookies (I LOVE decorating sugar cookies), turkey, ham, breakfast casseroles, its all so good!

16. Lights on the tree?
Yes, yes, yes...I need more lights on my tree.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

Again, so hard! I'm not sure I can narrow it down. My current favorite CD is Josh Groban's Noel. Its awesome!!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Luckily all of our family is around here at Christmas usually, so we don't usual travel, and I like it that way. Its so nice to be home on Christmas morning. But traveling would be fun too, I'm sure, but there is just something so comforting about home and family.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?
Sure can!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Usually a star, but I really don't like the one we have and haven't found one I love to replace it, so this year its a Santa hat!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
I usually try and talk my family into one present on Christmas Eve, jammies or something, but I usually don't succeed.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
I don't know, I try and focus on all the positive things about this time of year! :)

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Our tree is mostly red, green, and white. But what I love most about our tree is that almost all of the ornaments were hand made my Ryan's grandma, and Beth's namesake. It makes it really special, and almost all the ornaments are very kid friendly.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Turkey AND Ham, with all the trimmings. :)

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
My main desire is a new bedroom set, my father-in-law is designing one for us! Woohoo! But I also have an amazon wish list of smaller things...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/15JY27M9UASWB (just in case you feel like buying me a present. haha)

I tag...Emily B., Emily A., and Emily F., and Jenny, and people from my ward who haven't done it yet!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My day so far...

Two toddlers.

Costco. With two toddlers.

Snow storm. While leaving Costco. With two toddlers.

Sore neck. Snow storm. While leaving Costco. With two toddlers.

Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My favorite time of year...

The day after Thanksgiving I got up bright and early to get out the Christmas decorations (I like shopping and all, but the decorations were more important)! I LOVE LOVE LOVE decorating my house for Christmas. If I had a a huge budget, I would cover ever inch of my house in Christmas decor. I just love the way it makes our house look and feel. The kids get excited, and I probably get more excited. I am perpetually 5 when it comes to Christmas, it just makes me giddy inside, always has. I took a gazillion pictures of all the stuff I put up, here are a few of my favorite shots...I'm sure I will share more as the season continues, cause I just love it so much, if you haven't gotten that message yet.
James wakes up every morning and begs for the tree lights to be turned on. We sit in the dark for a while just staring at the lights and talking about Christmas, its so fun. I think this will be the most fun Christmas yet, Beth is old enough to really start to understand, and James is old enough to be really involved this year, so I can't wait. I hope I can make it really special for them! Beth already wrote her first letter to Santa. So cute! Today we start opening their countdown calendars...life is grand!

I did do a little black friday shopping, but didn't go until almost 11...still got some great deals though!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Recipe

Since there is some interest in the pie I mentioned earlier, here is the recipe...
It's called Sour Cream Apple Pie, don't let that fool you, some people think that sounds like a bad combination, but it is really NOT. Its DELICIOUS!

Filling:
3/4 C. Sugar
2 Tbs. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 egg
1 C. Sour Cream
Apple slices (I use golden delicious...but whatever you like)

Topping:
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Fill pie shell with apples, mix the rest of the ingredients until smooth and pour over apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with topping and cook 10 more minutes.

I like it served warm, but lots of people like it cold too. I am not generally a pie person, particularly not apple pie, but this pie changed my mind about pie (the recipe came from my sister Doneen, who is the best cook I know, besides my mom of course)! My in-laws now request me to bring it to family gatherings, and my sister-in-law Tina takes it as payment when she babysits for us. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

Finally

Okay, so I'm a little behind on my Thanksgiving blog...its a busy time of year! We had a great thanksgiving this year. Ryan's brother Ken and his wife Angie and their two cute kids were here visiting from Washington, so we got a lot of good family time. Their son is just 6 weeks younger than Beth and they get along SO well, so it was fun for them to get to spend a lot of time together.

On Thanksgiving Day I spent the morning making pies and green bean casserole to contribute to the dinner.
This is the best pie ever, it really is, I know you may think you have a better pie, but you don't. Its true.

We let the kids get a nap, and then off to Grandma Owen's house for dinner! There were somewhere around 20 people there for dinner. Gotta love it!
The food was amazing! I ate and ate until I just couldn't eat any more, and then after a little singing around the piano, we ate pie. Can a day get much better?

James was in love with his cousins, especially the baby. He is SUCH a baby kid, he can't get enough of them. Isn't this the cutest thing ever?
I missed all the good shots of Beth with her cousins, but my sister-in-law got some really cute ones, so maybe I'll get them from her (hint hint Angie) and I can show them to you all.

All in all it was a great day had by all. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too! I'll finish this up with a cute picture Ryan took of me and James.