Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I enjoyed myself immensely.
While I was off-duty, my house exploded.
*Sigh* I am constantly torn between taking a little bit of time for myself and working non-stop. I know there's a balance to be found. It just seems that whenever I sit down and take an hour of down time, I spend the rest of my day chasing the mess.
I was back on-duty for lunch. But Lucas helped me clean up the breakfast mess in the kitchen. I then proceeded to reheated leftover pizza for lunch, and the kids cleaned up after lunch. That is a beautiful thing!
You know, come to think of it, I might have pretty much just taken the whole day off. Other than cleaning the kitchen, planning a menu of sorts for the week, sorting & filing receipts, and picking up a bit here & there (oh and washing a load of laundry), I didn't do much today. I actually abandoned my family around 4:00 for some alone time walking through the aisles of Target & Pier 1. I then ordered carry-out from Chili's (thank you Sue & Keith) and picked it up on my way home.
After dinner, we played board games - Blokus and How to Train Your Dragon. Very fun. I like Blokus quite a bit. After games, the kids watched a movie & I plopped again.
Yup, I think that pretty much can be summed up in this statement: I took the day off today.
I like that.
Tomorrow I have work to do.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Today we are going to Mom & Mikes. Spend the night. Hang out. Get up tomorrow and have a family lunch / Christmas event! I'm excited to see my sister and her husband and my sister-in-law (although my brother will be working *sad*) and my nieces and nephews. I'm excited.
This morning I got up and baked one last batch of cookies. I had mixed up the batter last night, but I was all cookied out, so I stuck it in a baggie in the fridge and waited 'til this morning. I am sure I enjoyed the baking much more by waiting. Positive.
Oh, last night I finished up the rest of my baking - I made gingerbread cookies for the first time ever. Shaped like angels because we have no 'man' cut-out. They are good. Really good. But I will share and not eat them all.
Then after the baking (and WAY TOO MUCH prompting and instruction for the kids to pick up their messes... I thought maybe I was gonna start ticking I was so frustrated... sometimes that happens with kids and moms.... last night was one of those times for me), we loaded into the van and drove over to the church for a light show. They have several thousand lights strung up all around, and the lights are synced to Trans-Siberian Orchestra music. The kids loved it. We all did. What I loved most though was sitting in our van, with the music playing on the radio, and the kids piled up in the front seat with us, or just behind us. I loved watching Isaac try to watch everything at once. I loved hearing Meagan's ideas of how the lights knew when to blink. It was cool. Good stuff.
Anyway, this morning I still had Christmas wrapping to do. Got it done. We're ready to roll on Christmas morning! I can't wait! Maybe we'll just open presents today!
No, but really, this year I am going to haul the presents down and set them out under the tree... torture my kids a bit & build up the anticipation. I am SO excited to give them their gifts! SO excited!
So I still have to make a trip to the store because we are almost out of milk, which we will be needing on Christmas morning... now is my only chance to get it before the stores close. And I have to fill up the van with gas. And I WANT to get all of our cardboard recycling out of the garage to make room for the Christmas boxes and such.
But still, I thought I needed to take a minute and sit down and take a breather. No reason to get all up in a bunch. I just want to enjoy this day and relax and take it slow.
Have I ever told you I LOVE Christmas? Because I do.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
- Mix food coloring in small quantities of separated frosting to make red, white (no food-coloring needed), and green; Mix green food coloring with shaved coconut
- Cover bottom Vanilla wafer with white frosting
- Next place the cookie
- Put a small amount of green icing on top of the cookie
- Cover the green icing with green shaved coconut
- Cover bottom of a second Vanilla Wafer cookie with red icing & place on top of the coconut shavings
- If you want, put a DAB of honey or syrup on top of the top vanilla wafer and sprinkle with sesame seeds
- Refrigerate to set frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz room-temp cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick butter, room temp
1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- With electric blender on med speed, mix cream cheese & butter for about 2-3 minutes until very smooth
- Add vanilla
- Slowly mix in sugar and blend well
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thursday night Lucas' mom & dad came up and stayed with us. His mom is a cleaning machine, and so my house was VERY neat and tidy for the party on Saturday! Plus, we just had a great time hanging out, spending time together, doing a little bit of shopping (well, Jane & I shopped... the men and kids stayed home!).
The party was Saturday - right on his birthday! He invited 4 friends from school, and THEY ALL CAME! I was so excited for him! December is a TOUGH month for getting people together! Understandably. There is always a Christmas party to go to, or a family function, or just rotten bad weather. But it worked out beautifully, and Isaac got to enjoy the afternoon with his buddies! He was especially happy that his best friend Carrie was able to come. So was I. I absolutely love watching the 2 of them together. They just get along SO well, and their conversations are the best! Love it!
As for the stats: The party theme was Army. He had a big army helmet cake and little cupcakes with soldiers on top. Kinda looks like a battlefield from this angle - a chocolate battlefield!
It took him SEVERAL times to blow out all his candles. It must be because he's just so old now that there are too many to blow out *lol*. Or, it could be that he had bad aim. It took him so long, I was pretty sure they were trick candles at one point. But in the end, he got them knocked out.
As for presents, he got quite a lot. Some fave's were the army lego kit, the army base set that came with plastic soldiers (like the ones on his cupcakes), the book from Grandma B., his lantern for fishing, and the big giant dragon. He also got some money, so I took him on a Toys R Us outing, and he picked out a lego set (one that I am PRETTY sure no one said they were getting him for Christmas... that's always tough when he wants to spend his $$ 6 days before Christmas!).
For a little while after he opened presents, his friends all went back down to the basement & he stayed in the living room to play with his army base (thanks Grandma & Grandpa W.). Finally I had to tell him he would have to go pay attention to his guests... he could play army later.
So Sebastian picked up where Isaac left off. Apparently the set was a hit all the way around. Even Meagan got in on the action, although she didn't appreciate when her people were bombed or engaged in combat of any form because it 'knocked them down and messed them all up.' Girls.
With such a lovely poem as that, what more was to be done but to print it, frame it, and give it to his teacher as a Christmas gift! Here's the finished product:
His party is today. I hope Mr. T. likes it! Although honestly, I don't know how he couldn't!
Friday, December 17, 2010
Journaling: “During the year of 2009, Lucas & I were blessed to get to know **** and **** and their family. As we spent time with them each week in small group, we developed a trust & friendship that was, honestly, a bit unexpected. So our hearts broke when Christmas came around and **** shared that they didn’t know how they would be able to get anything for their children for Christmas. Right away, we both knew that this would not do. We had been blessed with so much throughout the year. No way could we sit idly by and watch our friends suffer the heartache of financial hardship during the season that celebrates the Ultimate Gift. We, along with others in our group, agreed to do what we could to help. In total though, not much was collected. Initially it had been my intention to give them a $50 gift card, along with the other gifts that had been given as a group. But when the time came, I knew in my heart that I was not giving my best. At the last minute, I took the $200 of Visa gift cards that were in my wallet, and I slipped them, unmentioned, into the baby seat. They left for the evening, & we knew we would not see them again before Christmas. We wanted no Thank You, not notice. We simply wanted to know in our hearts that we had done our best to give and be an example of Christ in the lives of those whom God has placed in our lives. “
(Click here to view full credits)
(Click here to view full credits)
Monday, December 13, 2010
I had to laugh this morning when I saw Lilly lying on the basket of what WAS clean towels. *Sigh* At least someone is enjoying the messy house. I shall be rewashing those towels when she is done with her cat nap. *LOL*
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
This was her earlier today. Post-bath, pre-hair cut. Even when it was clean, dried and brushed, her hair looked like a crazy mess. Long, but crazy.
In a spur of the moment situation like this, there are no appointments to be made. So we went to the nearby First Choice (I think) and just did a walk-in appointment. As we were heading into the shop, Meagan said, "Mommy, can I get it REALLY short?" When I asked her how short she was thinking, she pointed to her ears. Um...No. So we talked about it and both agreed on chin-length.
Yes, that's a lot of hair to be getting rid of all at once, but sometimes a girl just needs a new do. Don't you agree?
She did a great job sitting still. And she was really well behaved through the whole thing... well, other than when she asked the lady if she washed her feet because something smelled bad. "Or maybe it's just your breath" she said rather casually. I about died. Again, with the lack of a filter on my child's mouth. What can you do? She says what's on her mind.
She laid with her head poked out like that for a while, keeping one eye on us to make sure we weren't going to disturb her precious sleep. When she finally decided it was safe, she tucked all the way in. Now she is laying with nothing but one ear poked out (listening for danger I suppose *lol*).
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The afternoon / evening went smoothly too. Chili for dinner... YUM (and chicken noodle soup for the kids. Gone are the days of opening one little can of soup and warming it up in the tiny pot. Oh no! Three cans of soup in the big pot just to feed my three little pigs).
We got the kitchen cleaned up quickly, the kids picked up their toys, and then put away their laundry, got showers, and still had time to play. I love it!
Meagan had some newly-required Daddy Time. Yesterday she absolutely melted down. I mean, it was nuts. When Lucas went to talk to her about it, she said it was because she just wanted to spend time with him, and she doesn't get to spend enough time with him. So he spent time with her (playing a board game last night). Tonight he had to change the truck battery, so she tagged along. She went with him to get the battery. And she stood outside with him while he did the repairs. Perfectly happy to be freezing cold as long as she's with her Daddy.
Isaac also got two bucket-filler awards today from school (for being kind and helpful to others). All in all, a great day! Here's hoping and expecting for tomorrow to be another great day!
I love shiny papers. Bright colors. Fun ribbons. I had to put ribbons on the gifts that my dad & Nancy sent for the kids... that's one of my favorite little memories about Christmas with them. Nancy always had fun boxes with pictures on them, and she always took time to put ribbon on and curl the ribbon ends. I loved that. And it's only fair that my kids should get curly ribbon-wrapped gifts from them also.
I used up some of the left-overs from last year's Christmas wrapping paper stash. It was a a bit beat up, especially from moving from Michigan to Ohio, but it still hides the present that's inside... so it works.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
So we had a different kind of start to the day. Now I feel a little off. I haven't done much that I have to show for. I have gotten all of my pictures filed and backed up on my second hard drive. Now I'm going to work on getting my layout files and my scrapbook files backed up before anything happens. (My laptop has been making a sort of funny static noise when the fan turns on, so I thought I better make sure everything is backed up... just in case.) Hopefully nothing will happen, but it's always better to be safe.
The appearance of new Webkinz, and the ability to actually play with them online, sparked a new excitement in the kids. They all declared that they wanted at least 2 more for Christmas. I told them that Christmas shopping was already pretty much done, but if they wanted to use their own money that they had been saving, they were welcome to do that. So, I promised to take them to the store after school the next day (which was yesterday), and they could use their money to buy Webkinz or whatever else they wanted (as long as they had not already asked for it for Christmas).
After school yesterday, we came home, counted out how much money each had saved, and then headed over to Meijer with their little zip lock bags full of bills and coins. I told them they would each be responsible for paying for their purchases directly... meaning, I wanted them to actually use THEIR money from the bags rather than just giving me their money and having me pay for them all together. The reason is, I wanted them to begin to understand the idea of tax on items, and also to get the feel for making a decision to buy and then having to hand over the money they had earned. I realized it would be necessary when Sebastian counted out his money and had $28 and a few cents. He said, "Then I can get four Webkinz since they're $7 each." I explained tax, and that each $7 item would actually cost him about $7.50. He wasn't too thrilled with it, but understood and complied.
Anyway, the outcome of the shopping trip: Sebastian got 3 Webkinz and decided to put the rest back in his ATM machine. Isaac bought one set of smaller Webkinz that came 2 in a box. He also bought a box of Megablox dragon / fighter ship something or other. And Meagan got one Webkinz and a Barbie electric guitar that sings Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (which I, therefore, have been singing to myself for the past 10 waking hours). They were all thrilled with their choices. They learned about only buying what you have enough money for, and they all had a bit left over to put back into their ATM's for the next time.
Friday, December 3, 2010
So I dug out my titanium metallic paint, a pack of gems, and some tacky glue. All the makings of quite a strange experiment.
Also metallic painted the plate stand I had, so as to dull down the bright gold that it once was. And here's the finished product.
That was project #1. Project #2 was one I've been planning to do with the kids... making Christmas ornaments.
A fun stack of ribbon.
We made a few different kinds... some with paint on the inside and some stuffed with with fluffy stuff (sparkly fluffy pom poms, silver bells, ribbon bits, etc.). They had a great time making them (except for the times when ornaments busted... yes, we had 3 casualties in the process... but no one got hurt, and it all cleaned up okay, so no big deal).