Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Morning 2012: The Short and Sweet

A very quick peek at our Christmas morning. (Saturday December 22, 2012)

A glimpse of some of the funnier moments:

Wishing you and yours a very special Christmas together!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Joyful Comings

We're getting ready for Christmas tomorrow morning at our house.

This month has FLOWN by!  I'm going to miss these kid-version carols. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stalk the Garbage Man Day


Yesterday we cancelled school for our annual "Stalk the Garbage Man, Recycling Men and Mail Person Day."  The small folks and I wrote out a few Christmas cards, gathered some candy canes and added a very little gift to say thanks to our people.

At the slightest sound of a truck, everyone ran to the window to see if one of them was here and then when it was time they dashed outside to wait for our house's turn.   They scampered down to the person (or people), stuffed the card in his hand, shouted "Merry Christmas!" and scurried with the hugest smiles back inside.  SO much fun!  The highlight of the morning was when our garbage man, Ted, jumped down and gave them a card, too.  It's on our card tree.

Then, after baking cookies for later in the day, we decorated "gingerbread" houses with friends.
I wanted to try a "healthier" icing option this year, so I made peanut butter icing--it definitely lacks the snowy effect of our ususal white icing from a canister. ;)  (And those Canada mints?  My grammy always had them when I was little--completely nostalgic.)


Later in the day we put together a few gifts for our local fire department and library and dropped those off.  (Real life note: I've always wanted to do those two things, but I've always been too nervous--but I swallowed my nerves and it was really fun and easy and not scary at all. ;)

And then, last night, we surprised the older two with an under-the-tree campout.

I have to say, the floor is as hard as it looks--but we did it! :)

And that was one fun day of celebrating the Season. :)

(*Blog Note:  I LOVE blogging because it has been a great way to keep track of the moments of our life--I seriously can barely remember what I had for lunch today, let alone all the fun and unexpectedly sweet and crazy stuff that happens around here.  I hope that someday when these people aren't so little, they will have this as a record, too, of the pieces that make up their stories.  I also love and am inspired by reading what other moms just like me (or a little further down the road) are doing to embrace this season of life.  So much of what we did yesterday was inspired by those moms. :) 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Santa Wears Shades

Last week while I was making dinner I pulled an idea from Pinterest to keep the peeps busy.  I cut a few photos out of a magazine, glued them to white paper and asked them to finish the picture.

I had a lot of old Pottery Barn catalogs and found, of all things, a pair of sunglasses in a tray or something like that.  T got those.  

I could think of a lot of things to draw with sunglasses--a person in the sun.  An aviator guy.  A monster.

Not T.  He saw those and thought of Santa Claus.  His hipster Santa:

My favorite part (aside from the sunshine eyes), the cool dude smile. ;)

That kid is too much. :)

One of M's pieces:
 The girl with the go-go gadget arm--swimming with flip flops and dolphins. :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Just a Moment

On this day.

So Sad.

And so thankful.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Heartbroken...

barely begins to describe the depth of sadness we feel about the tragedy in neighboring CT.

For the past two nights we have scooped up our kids to hold them close while they sleep.  And in the messiness of our ordinary days we are trying to squeeze in an over-abundance of "I love you's." 

Our hearts and prayers are with the families who lost their precious loved ones...

**THIS post at Inspired To Action has some helpful links today.   And THIS at A Holy Experience--What to do With A Broken Heart This Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This Is What It Looks Like

When the astronomy book asks you to put on a play to help you remember the discovery of a planet.

It's also what happens when you rope your little brother into playing a part. :)

Here are two short chunks of a completely unscripted play.  We read a rough outline of the story to T and this is the resulting performance--unedited to document real life. ;)   

(They crack me up.)

*A few astronomy notes:  Uranus was discovered by William and Caroline Herschel--professional musicians with an avid interest in astronomy.  Comets tend to follow an elliptical path around the sun, while planets have a more circular orbit. Oh, and planets often look like discs in the sky (referred to by T as a CD and then a CD player.) :)

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Saying Goodbye To Riley

Today is a sad day in our house.  

We said goodbye to one of our cats of 12 years.  

It's been a day filled with lots of holding and crying with our little people.

We are so thankful that we got to have RileyGuy as one of our very best furry friends. 

Such a loyal and sweet kitty.  We have lived a lot of life together.

We miss him.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I'll Need a Wheelchair (from SAM's)

Lately we've been playing the "Don't Grow" game.  The one where we get them to do all kinds of things by telling them not to do it.  Like, "No!  No, definitely do NOT eat those green beans--they'll make you grow and we can't have that."  Or, "Whatever you do, do not rest quietly and go to sleep because then you'll grow.  No growing allowed here."  And, "Absolutely, no reading today--you'll learn too much and your brain will grow."

But this morning, I had this little conversation kneeling on the floor with the dude after telling him that his getting dressed all by himself without me asking was just no good because it meant he was growing up and could he please just stop growing?


He looked in my eyes with great seriousness and said, "But you really do want me to grow...., right?

Me: "....yeah...mostly.  But maybe you could stop for just a little while.  At least maybe you could still give me snuggles as you get bigger?"

T:  Well, someday I really will be big.  I'll be like 50.  How old will you be then?
Me: 80. (!)
T: Oh.  Well, I'll be in my house with my children.
Me:  Hmm...they'll probably be all grown up then.
T:  Then, I'll be all alone.
Me:  You can help take care of me. :)
T:  (Nodding)  I'll bring you to my house and you can live with me.
Me:  Aww...thanks, Buddy!
T:  And I'll go to SAM's and other places looking for a wheelchair for you.
Me:  A wheelchair?!
T:  Yeah, you'll probably need one of those and they have cheap prices there.
Me:  Well, anyway, thanks for taking such good care of me.  You're so sweet to me.

Oh, to slow time down...

Monday, December 03, 2012

Decking our Halls

During Thanksgiving in PA we picked out our Christmas tree at J's grandparents' tree farm.

We came back with this.

And now it looks like this.

When Snapfish sent me a lovely notice that they would be deleting my photos if I didn't order something quite soon, I ordered 210 one-cent photos.  Inspired by THIS last year, we popped a good chunk of those photos on the tree.  I probably should have ordered them in a slightly smaller size, but it works.

 It's definitely unique. ;)  But it is really fun to see all these moments from the last year.
(Bonus: Undecorating should be a breeze.)

Our stash of Christmas toys has been unpacked for another year.

Including our Christmas-book-a-day basket.  (That was a lot of wrapping--I'm thankful M LOVES to wrap gifts. ;)

We're also loving this book all over again.  (The kids are captivated by the grumpy old man.)
 And we're working on our Jesse Tree.

Celebrating this season is so much fun.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Shark Face Birthday

Last Monday we celebrated J's 35th Birthday.  
 I would love to crack a few jokes about his age, but I will refrain because it would appear that in less than a month I will be joining his ranks.  ;)

Post cake, the small crowd broke into shark faces. (Of course.)  
They were really feeling it.  T totally has the wide-mouth shark thing going on, M's got the shark eyes and Bez?  Well, child was flashing those pearly whites for all they're worth.

But in all seriousness, we are so thankful for our J.  He loves us well and we sure do love him. :)  Here's to many, many more birthdays together (shark faces and all).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shopping Today

It's Fair Trade Tuesday--a great day to check out fair trade goods to fill your Christmas shopping list. :)

You can go to Fair Trade Tuesday to see a huge list of just some of the fair trade organizations.

A few of my favorites?

Loving this necklace (With a silver AND gold chain--love that.):

Or this:

Or even these: 
(Hint, hint, J. ;)

Amazing hand-made scarves made in Ethiopia.

Like this:

This week they are offering a different shirt each day (instead of just one for the week).

Today's Cause:

And
Light Gives Heat

Have fun shopping and making the world a better place! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

You! Who is Looking at This!



Here are a few more of my favorites.

From the girl:




And the boy--ALL boy:




And Beza:

(I was away for 3 days last week and Pop awesomely came to help J with the small crowd.  When I asked Beza if she had been chilling with Pop (who she loves), she said, "Pop donuts."  Pop knows the way to her heart. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Funnies: Light Rice

Styled by M this morning to look like Daddy.  (He even brushed his hair.)

Tonight
The Situation: J holding the nearly useless glass measuring cup up to the light over the sink to see the last few remnants of red markings.
T: Daddy, why are you adding light to that water? (Not. Even. Kidding.)
J: Because I'm making extra light and fluffy rice.  

Really happened.  T had like 5 helpings of the extra light rice.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sometimes a Book Can Take Over Your Life

--or just your upstairs hallway.

After reading Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist this week, M wanted to make her very own art gallery.

We do have an "art gallery" in the basement, but sadly, we have two cats on "hospice" who are occupying that place. (So sad...)

After some thought, we turned the upstairs hallway into a gallery with the help of lots of string (tied in rows of three around every door and strung anywhere possible down the lengths of the walls) and a bag full of clothes pins.


A ream of paper and cups of markers.

A shower curtain rod and spare velvet curtain.

Mood lighting.

Artists.
(T often contributes to the scene with performance art.)

And jazzy music from Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

It's kind-of a cool place to hang out (and to finally try this). I just hope our upcoming house-guests like it as much as we do. ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weather Watcher

We have a little weather watcher on our hands--she starts each morning by checking Accuweather on my iphone--for the whole country.  We are treated to the "audible" version of the hour-by-hour forcast with the bonus of the day's high and lows. :)

But, we really have had some crazy weather.  Just before Hurricane Sandy we built our favorite leaf mazes.


The very next week, a nor'easter left us with a few inches of snow.




*While these storms left us unscathed, that isn't true for our neighbors to the south.  HERE is a link to ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  (You can even have items directly shipped to where they are most needed through Occupy Sandy's Amazon's Gift Registry.)