Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cookies for Santa

I love baking at Christmas. And now, with children, it takes on a whole new light. I would be lying if I didn't mention that there are times that I try and 'hide' in the kitchen- secretly mixing up goodies so that no one knows. After all- it is easier, faster, and less messy I might add, to do it alone. But it is no where near as much fun. Not in the slightest.

After doing all the fancy cutting out part- we tried out a new recipe for cookie 'paint' this year (thank you pioneer woman). It was awesome, and they made such pretty cookies. Not to mention it was fun to see how much effort and time the girls put into it. Sam- well he spent 23 seconds stabbing a cookie with his paint brush and then went to watch Backyardigans.

But he came back when it was time to eat the cookies!

Sam's favorite part- and his true calling- smashing the candy canes:

And the final product from this one evenings baking- our beautiful masterpieces:
Notice the cookie on the top left? Emily made a cookie of Allyson. Complete with green hair. And then I added embelishments including cotton balls stuffed up her nose (she had a procedure that morning at the ENT Specialists office- they stuffed her nose so full of cotton she didn't even look like herself!) Of course I had to take the opportunity to make fun of her, that's just good parenting people.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My favorite Christmas ornaments...........

I love christmas ornaments. I love how I remember each one, where it came from and the time in which it was received. Our tree is, well, kind of an eclectic mumble- but I love it. And every year, as we hang the ornaments, I relive each one. Dan always says "You girls better remember all this, because I never will".
My friend Ronda did a post on her favorite ornaments. I'm totally copying.
The first is this beautiful handpainted hippo ornament. I was pregnant with Emily. It reminds me of her.
This was bought the same day as the hippo- it was for Allyson. I used to call her Alligator.
This was given to us the first Christmas we lived in this house by our brand new neighbors. She made it, and it's special to me because she wanted to give it to me.

This was given to me in a set (who knows where the rest have ended up) by my Aunt Ruthie. It was the year her daughter, my cousin, had died and I helped her to set up her Christmas tree. I can't imagine her grief. I was young- like 10ish? Those ornaments were very special to me then, and still are (even though there is just a couple left now).

This reminds me of my sweet little babies.
I could fill the entire internet with pictures of the kids homemade ornaments, so I will limit myself. Allyson made this when she was four. Emily was a baby. It reminds me of that year, and all the wonderfulness of it.
This is a strange little bahamian dude. It was a keychain that we bought at the straw market on our honeymoon in the Bahamas. It was awesome.Our first christmas ornament. My mom gave it to us. We hang it together, as the last ornament, every year. And always will.These two pictures go together. Allyson bit into one of the handblown soldiers when she was two and had to make a trip to the ER to check for glass. (notice the gold horn in the same photo, that is the ornament I took a bite of when I was a kid- them apples don't fall far!)
And this is the one that Emily bit into one year at Christmas. Same thing- trip to the ER to check for glass. (and tricky me, check out Emily's ornament she made in preschool last year snuggled in the back there :)
Hanging from the center of the tree is a large nail, like the ones that Jesus was probably crucified with. We hang it every year- as a reminder of the gift that he gave to us.

There are tons more. Lots of handmade special ones, some from childhood, some more recent, some by my small handed creatures. All special. All with a story. Sam managed to tip our tree over (imagine that) so they are all mixed up now.
I was looking for Allysons first christmas ornament. I had it engraved for her in the mall. I was a new mom, and forgot to have the year put on it. I was devastated. My dad used his tool (whatever kind it was- that is not my thing, okay?) and added '1999' to the back. He died the next summer. It's very special to me.
There are also several handpainted ones given to us as a wedding gift, such a nice gift.
So that's it- just a few of my favorites. Next year, maybe I'll pick a few different ones to tell you about.
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2008

This just in...................... (or out???)

Sam puked in the car on our way from the orthodontist to the air show office. Looks like the holidays are in full swing.

Merry and Bright

Or not. What a weekend, wheh.

It all started at 3:30 am Saturday morning with the most excruciating pain of my life. Apparently my dentist was correct, last Spring, when he said I would be in a need of a root canal. The pain had gone away, I choose to save my $800.

Until Saturday. The pain was back, and I was crying like a baby. Fortunately my mom came down so I could go to the emergency dentist (aka 'Charge 2X as much because I can Dentist') who gave me antibiotics and narcotics.

Saturday night I loaded up on my narcotics, until my legs turned to jello, and we ventured downtown to see the lights and get a Starbucks on the circle. It was fun. By the time we got back to the car, I was starting to make sense again. Note to self: 2 vicodin is too much.

Sunday- tooth pain subsides. Ahhhh.

We made it to church. And then it happened.

Dan took the kids, all 3, to a movie and lunch so I could sort through our christmas. As a parent, you know what I'm saying. You are out, you find something on clearance or sale, you run home and poke the bag wherever to get it out of the hands of small children. Then you do this 33 more times.

And all at once you don't remember what you have, or where it is.

So I spent the afternoon digging out hidden bags and wrapping them. The house was so quiet. And after hours of wrapping, I was exhausted. But, true to my promise last year made at 3:30 AM Christmas Day- I will never save all the wrapping for Christmas Eve.

Then last night, the Cantata at church. It was beautiful. Just beautiful.

So today begins it- Christmas Break. I find it unfair that we had two snow days last week, because I am already dreading the next two weeks and it's just starting. Not that I don't love having all my children home, I just hate it when they get all 'bored' and start trying to make me nuts.

That, and I'm not looking particularly forward to taking all 3 to work with me for the next two weeks. Joy.

Oh- and did I forget to mention the Arctic Tundra????? You all live here, so you know, but dag gone it's cold. I'm not even sure cold is a fair description. I mean, it's cold when you eat a milkshake, or when you build a snowman, or when you first get into Lake Michigan in June. This is more like frigid, torturous, miserably frosty.

So that's that. Nothing to report. Today I just don't feel 'right'. It is my mission to get through this day and get back into my warm bed. Somewhere along the way I need to finish baking some Christmas cookies. And probably feed my following. But other than that, no expectations.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The story of Jesus' Birth- Preschool Style

"In those days Ceasar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register." Luke 2:1-3
"So he (Joseph) went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." Luke 2:4-5
"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped in in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn". Luke 2:7
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8-11
"This will be a sign to you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger" Luke:11
"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them" Luke 2:16-18
"After they (the maji) had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was." Matthew 2:9
"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh." Matthew 2:10-11
"You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21
Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Yup, a snow day. Part of me is excited, part of me is already tired of these three arguing over who gets to watch what TV.

What to do with a day that you hadn't planned for???? Bake cookies, wrap presents, clean? Who can decide, possibly all three, possibly none. Time will tell.

I went to Castleton Square Mall yesterday to finish my shopping. Yeah, I know. A woman on a mission, I was. I had a plan and just a couple of stores to shop at, unfortunately they were all inside that mall. It wasn't until I got there that I remembered I took the stroller out of my van- hysterical. We'd already driver there, so we were going anyway. Then I decided to rent one of 'those' strollers that look like cars. But look, no cash. There was an ATM near by, so I ran to get some money, and look, no pin number (I got a new card recently and have yet to memorize it). So I went back to get the kids out of the stroller they had already settled into. I explained that we just had two stores and mommies money card was broken, so we'd just have to walk. There was an older woman standing there, and before I knew it she had paid for their stroller and wished us a merry christmas. How nice is that. Such a stupid little thing, like that stroller, made my entire day easier. And although she didn't have to, she did that for me. Thank you stroller lady at the mall.

Speaking of the mall, everything is on sale. I had to stay really focused to not get sucked into all the sales, signs and buy one get 33 offers. Focus Mynde, focus. We did pretty well.

Last night was a skating party for Ally. I had promised all 3 we would go, they all love Ally's skating parties. I was tired, had no plan for dinner and I was tired. And then it happened. The phone rang, and it was that computer woman stating that the skating party was cancelled because of the weather. I love you computer woman. Not that I didn't want the kids to have a good time, it just felt so awesome to be given an entire night that I didn't have.

So we had a nice dinner together, did baths, dan played with the kids in the playroom, I finished some laundry, watched biggest looser, kids to bed at 8pm. It was nice. Ahhhhhh.

Now, off to see what ingredients I have to which cookie recipes. Have a fabulous snow day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The big guy himself....................

Saturday we got to have lunch with Santa. We do it every year, and I love it.

As Santa walked in the door, this was a picture I took of Sam. He was so excited.
That is, until it was time to see him. And then he was a bit apprehensive. But he did manage to spit out "I would wike a big car and all my favorite fings".
And after all, anyone who passes out candy canes can't be all bad.
And Miss Emily- boy she hopped up on his lap and laid it on him. She was very serious and focused, never lost eye contact at all as she talked and talked and talked to him.
She loves Santa Clause.And Allyson did hop up on his lap, mostly for me and the free candy cane I think.And Grandma got in on the action too. Santa Clause walked right in the door and gave her a great big hug. And interestingly enough, Mrs. Clause didn't seem jealous at all!10 days until Christmas. wow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My most favoritest place for lunch

Our favorite place for lunch is at Allyson's school. And lucky for me, she loves to have us join her. Not only does it give Emily and Sam a taste of 'the big kid world', it gives me a taste of it too. Not to mention- the school lunches are really good! Today, we got to join her for lunch and lucky me, it was walking tacos (my favorite!).
What surprises me is that these kids get 20 minutes for lunch. Seems sufficient.
Except the fact that they don't leave their classroom until noon (the start of their lunch time). By the time all the kids washed their hands, lined up and walked to the cafeteria, got their trays and sat down, it was 10 after. No wonder the poor kid doesn't eat but half her lunch on a good day (that and the fact she has to chew funny because of all the metal attached to her teeth : ) I guess that's a discussion I should have with her teacher.
Another favorite was Allyson's first 'dance' last Friday. It was a Holiday Hop for the 3rd and 4th graders. Not like bring a date and dance cheek to cheek kind of dance, just a goofy DJ, hot dogs, candy for sale and lots of games. It was AWESOME. I love to go to things like this with Allyson.
So here are our pictures:
Here is Ally with some of her friends. Interesting thing- see the line on the floor behind them? For the first hour, all boys stayed on that side, and the girls on this side. Me and another mom got to laughing, too funny! Uh oh- see Allyson's deer in the headlight look? She's spotted me with my camera out.
Oh no- here she comes.
Yep- the old 'hand over the camera' trick. "No more pictures mom!"
Of course not honey- just let me snap one of us together.
Drat- spotted again. Here she comes for another 'no more pictures mom' discussion. Jeesh.

Check out these crazy effects! I was on night vision or some wacky crap. Regardless, it was Ally doing the Limbo!
We both had a good time, Ally got to chit chat and hang out with all her friends, and I got to chit chat and hang out with all their moms. Fun night! This event is apparently replacing movie night, halleluia! (never was a big fan of movie night : )