Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas = No Pictures!

Can you believe that Jason only has two hands and can only operate one piece of electronic equipment at a time. This year he chose to use the camcorder, so I have no photos of Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve was nice and quiet (except Charlotte was still not feeling well and that did not change on Christmas Day), we delivered a few goodies and then came home to our traditional Soup meal. We had Zuppa Tuscanna (Yummy!). After dinner we enjoyed the scripture story of the birth of our Savior, we snuggled, we brushed, and we tucked. Then for the first time all December, I curled up on the couch in front of the tree (Jason made me his secret recipe Mint Hot Chocolate) and was still. I love Christmas trees and the lights, I would sleep under it if the hardwood was softer.

Christmas morning I as usual tried to postpone and drag it out a little longer. I get completely ready, Jason thinks I am being mean. I think it helps slow us down and I get to enjoy the kids excitement and its peak for more than a few seconds as they run down the stairs. As I am applying my mascara I hear them giggling, their excited voices discussing what they think they will find - I love it.

Santa once again blessed our home with a visit. He brought play foam (kind of like play dough, less messy and never dries out), matchbox cars, a doll, WII and a game, shoes, jeans, a Damascus steel knife, peace and love (even if I can't verify that it existed outside our house that day!!). Jason and I gave the kids a bounce house that fits in the playroom (get rid of all that winter energy) and a creepy crawler maker. The Geary's gave us clothes (thank you so much), the Millers gave us pillows and a wheat grinder (my mom also made me a super cute apron) and church clothes for the kids (my mom made Charlotte the cutest dress ever - the movie Little Princess was her inspiration). I am going to have her picture taken in it soon. We also were given a handmade salt and pepper mill, a board game, earrings, jokes, squirmles and so much more - everyone really spoiled us. We enjoyed our day and tried to soak it all in. Here are a few pics.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Silent Night! Peace on Earth!!

Another Storm and a Tunnel

Again we woke to fresh snow. More shoveling for Jason, more watching the fun from the window for me, more snow fun for the boys. Jason helped them tunnel into a pile of snow - they loved it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A foot of snow!

Yesterday we awoke to one of the greatest sites on earth. A foot of fresh snow. This of course meant the whole family was home to spend the day together. The boys played in the snow and Jason shoveled and helped the neighbors shovel and shoveled some more. A bottle of pain relievers please!! The city is now a maze of mountains and canyons all created by snow. We are expecting more snow tonight, tomorrow, Christmas Eve and of course a few days in between!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Charlotte!!

One Year's Old!! This year has flown by so fast. I miss the tiny baby, but I love this stage, too. She took her first steps to Daddy today (right on cue!!). She is the happiest baby I have ever met and it is so contagious - that big smile that takes over her entire face. She smiles with every cell in her body!

For her Birthday her Grammy gave her some darling clothes (thank you so much - we needed them). She also got clothes from Mom and Dad, she loves clothes and she tries to put them on herself. Her brothers gave her the Little People Barn and Garage and the Parents' MP3 player (a huge favorite at our house since Grahm was tiny).

For her special Birthday dinner she had fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans (yummy). I was very boring and made her a boxed confetti cake (I didn't even make the icing - shame on me). She of course did not really understand the candle tradition. I had tried practicing with her, but she was not very consistent (maybe she just wanted her Brothers to feel important). After we sang we sat the entire cake on her highchair tray. I had to show her to taste it with her fingers. I don't think she likes to get super sticky, she never grabbed a hand full. Jason dipped her nose in it and then she was trying to eat it without touching it - so funny. Here are some pictures of the event.

Friday, December 5, 2008

St. Nick's Day and evil parents!!

Even though my parents exchange student experience was a disaster, I am finding out it saved me from having Jayce coming home in tears. I have heard many a tale of kindergartner's returning home on December 6 crying to their unsuspecting parents "why didn't he come to our house?" So, Thank You exchange student program. The tradition goes:

On the evening of December 5, you leave out a shoe or a sock in the hopes that Saint Nicholas will stop by and leave treats and toys for the good children and a lump of coal or a switch for naughty children (kind of like Easter in December). This tradition is claimed to be a German holiday, but it is very, very, popular here in Milwaukee. Most places now combine St. Nick day and Christmas together (hmm, I believe that in the Nutcracker the children were waiting for the Christ Child to leave gifts, hmm - another late night research question). You can read more here or here.

Back to the story. So last year we celebrated St. Nicholas Day as an entire family . We lavished them with yummy chocolates because nothing says you are wonderful and good like chocolate. I was surprised when Jayce told me about the other kids getting stuff, since I had never heard of this holiday before. Well of course the exchange student is gone and I had forgotten about this holiday, until Jayce came home to remind us.

I was busy re-scheduling my evening to include a trip to Target so Jayce would not find empty smelly shoes in the morning, when the kids (as is their habit these days) began fighting. Jason stepped in to stop the ruckus which turns (as usual) into Jayce getting a little mouthy and both of the boys not going to time out without a fight. So in a three minute time span they hit the big three:1) fighting, 2)arguing/back talking with parents, and 3) not minding. Jason in his moment of parenting finesse told them that St. Nick would not becoming tonight because they were being naughty.

Now it was out there, we can't take it back, we have to follow through (which is very hard for Jason, he is a big push over - I on the other hand am as unbending as steel).

We had them write Santa a letter asking for their Christmas wishes and they are hoping for the best. So, their shoes have three small pieces of candy (no chocolate) and a lengthy note from St. Nick explaining to them that they are currently in jeopardy of losing their Christmas. Now, we have one holiday that we can take away (sort of, kind of, not really - at least their shoes are not empty or have coal). Will they believe us when we threaten that Santa will not be coming?
[By the way, they were not even slightly distressed this morning. ]

Monday, November 24, 2008

Whew!!! Missed Me?

Well, have you missed me? I have not personally posted since Halloween. That was almost a month ago and Thanksgiving is upon us.

Where did the time go?

Well, since Halloween I have:

made Charlotte a winter coat -super cute!!, Jayce two pajama bottoms, one pajama top (couldn't find cute coordinating fabric), Grahm one pajama bottom (top still to come), started Charlotte's matching pants (for her coat), enjoyed General Conference, SUPER SATURDAY (thanks again Jason for cutting all the wood, yes it was involved cutting/shaping), scoured my kitchen (just so it will be ridiculously filthy Thursday night!!!), baked for the school bake sale, agonized over Jason's studying, missed him terribly while he hunted (which, by the way, I still don't understand. The only reason to be outside in the subzero is if the skiing is incredible and it was the only day I could go and maybe if the tickets were free, not to sit on a bucket for two hours waiting for Bambi - but I do love the Jerky - Thanks Honey!!!!), and slept (all of this made me terribly tired and I now go to bed before 10 - well except tonight!!)

Charlotte now has 2 teeth, she stands on her own, and does not need to nurse between the hours of 9pm and 7am. Where did my baby go?

Grahm has successfully stayed dry one night, and informed me he was wet in the middle of the night twice. It is progress, slow, but progress.

Jayce is loving school and enjoys reading. He likes to read the Magic Tree House books and the A to Z Mysteries. We are so glad he is home for the week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Deer Hunt!!

Jason once again dug out his insulated overalls, hunter orange beanie and vest. He hunted up in Northern Wisconsin on some property of Dr. Navertel (a doctor and Marquette). I will need to pin him down for the whole story (cuz' I forgot it). I know there is something about subzero a bucket, a lung shot, some blood, and frozen deer. Here are some after pics.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Super Saturday Crafts

The purposes of home, family, and personal enrichment are to strengthen faith in Jesus Christ and to teach parenting and homemaking skills.Enrichment is a time for sisters to socialize, learn, and be uplifted.

Please come to Super Saturday where you will be able to socialize, learn and be uplifted. You will learn new skills to help with homemaking. Crafts taught will help make our homes an enjoyable place to be, will help save money on gifts, and help point our family's to Jesus Christ.

Super Saturday

November 15, 2008
Milwaukee City Branch Building
10:00 am


Please Come!!! Nursery Provided (please leave a comment if you will be needing the Nursery)!
A Tentative Schedule (we will be flexible that day!!!)
9am - Prayer, Wood Pumpkins
10am - Primitive Santa and Candy Cane
11am - Exploding Box
Noon- Lunch
12:30pm - eat and listen to a mini lesson and be spiritually fed
1pm - Jewelry/Glass Etching
1:30pm - Scarf
2pm - Framed Quote/Finish up the rest of your projects.


Please sign up here or at church to bring something yummy to share. We will be providing soup with bread bowls and hot cider! This is going to be so much fun, I am getting excited!!!

Free Crafts!!!!

We hope you enjoy this cute craft. These candy canes will add that finishing touch to a gift, your tree, a shelf, a table, (the possibilities are endless)! No need to sign up. These cute candy canes and tag have been antiqued for a vintage look. Please check them out on Sunday. Also, if you would like to make more, we will have extras, the cost is $1 for any sets more than the free one.

Come and assemble a gift for the sisters you visit teach. You can help spread some Christmas cheer! The tag reads: Blot out your troubles; absorb the Christmas Spirit!! This is tied to a roll of paper towels (so useful!!).

Craft #1 - Wood Pumpkins $4/Christmas Gifts $9 OR $3

Bring the colors of fall into your home with this set of Wood Pumpkins.
Please be on time to make this craft. The plaid fabric will differ from what is shown, a sample will be available to view at church.
Add these unwrappable gifts to your Christmas decor. The kiddos can't pick the paper off these.If I provide the ribbon and embellishments it is $9, if you provide your own ribbon and embellishments it is $3.

Sign up through comments!

Craft #2 - Primitive Christmas Decorations: Santa $6/Candy Cane $4.50

This adorable candy cane and Santa will be sure to make the season brighter!!
Teacher - Katie Lindner (unless baby Lindner decides to keep mommy to herself!)

Candy Cane - $4.50

Santa- $6.00

Post a comment to sign up, specify which craft and the number you would like!!

Craft #3 - Exploding Box - Scrapbook Project $8.00

Here is another fun and inventive way to display your pictures. When it is folded up as a box you have a delightful addition to your decoration, when opened it is a darling scrapbook. You can choose any theme for your box. I will provide the materials for a Christmas Theme and a Gender Neutral Theme (colors will work for boy, girl, family, etc..). Go here or here (click on the word here to be taken to a page with lots of ideas) for more ideas.
Sign up by posting a comment, list theme and number you want.
NEED TO BRING: Paper Cutter, bone folder

Craft #4 - Jewelry

Amaze all the women on your Christmas list with jewelry made just for them - or make something just for you. You will learn a new skill, yeah!! Please post a comment and specify which piece you would like to make and how many.

Teacher Janalee Thorpe
Chose from the following: Please note - all metal used is hypoallergenic (if you want sterling silver contact Janalee Thorpe directly

Baby Bracelets: $4.00

There will be a variety of beads available to make a bracelet to match that special outfit in any of the versions shown - or create your own look.

Adult Bracelets: $9.00

Choose large glass beads or metal beads. All smaller beads provided will coordinate with the glass beads.

Necklace: $7.00

The large stone will vary and smaller beads will be provided to coordinate with the stone.

Earrings: $4.00

Craft #5: No-Knit Scarf $6.50 (as seen on

Here's a cozy yet speedy project. Wow everyone with a handmade scarf this Christmas.
Provided for you: Cream Heavy Weight Yarn

You Will Need to Bring: If you want a different color - Bulky Weight Yarn.

Sign up through comments!!

Craft #6: Framed Quote $3

What an uplifting addition to your homes decor. Choose Black or Brown and I will provide coordinating paper and ribbon. Choose your own colors and you will need to provide paper and ribbon. Click on quote to enlarge. You Will Need to Bring an 8X10 Frame. Please select a quote and color through comments, the version in the picture is also available. picture from

Craft #7: Glass Etching $1

Never loose a casserole dish again or make a wonderful gift for someone. You can also fill the casserole dish with a recipe and ingredients for an even better gift!! You Will Need to Bring a Casserole Dish (specify size) and gloves (check with med and dental students). Warning - the Etch Cream states that some Pyrex is not etchable - I etched mine fine, but just so you know. Please select a font in your comment and type the name you want etched (and remember you will be cutting your name out with an exacto knife, simpler might be best).Picture from

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Week of Halloween, Day 7

Day 7 - Fri. October 31 - HALLOWEEN!!

We finished off our week of Halloween by inviting some friends over for Dinner and a Movie. For dinner we enjoyed (if you have a weak stomach you might want to skip the menu!!):
Crunchy Worms topped with Boiled Maggots and smothered in Troll Snot with a side of Stinging Nettle and Curdled Bat Blood. Miscellaneous toppings to enjoy were Basilisk Venom, Chicken Gizzard, Cow Heart, Dragon Scales, Blackened Bat Eyes, Dandruff, Goblin Boogers, and Cobwebs. It was very delicious and I think everyone was stuffed at the end. Before we enjoyed dessert the boys tired the crickettes and larvets - yes REAL ONES!!! We washed it all down with Pumpkin Cookies, Witches Brew and Ghost Vomit.

The boys all helped to make the Witches Brew (sorry, I couldn't make the brew and snap pictures at the same time). We learned some interesting facts: 1) ghosts will escape not matter how hard you try to keep them in, and 2) Dehydrated Northern Dragon Spit when added to Ghost Vomit will explode out of the bowl - I guess fire and ice don't mix!!!!

We then rolled ourselves in front of the TV to watch a Halloween classic - Ichabod Crane or the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Disney. It was lots of fun and I think we have created a new tradition.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Week of Halloween, Day 5

Day 5 - October 29

Jayce's School Party!!! The school sent home a letter describing what they wanted for the party. They wanted the children to dress up like their favorite book character. Great, I now need to come up with another Halloween costume!! Jayce wanted to dress up like Jack from the Magic Tree House books - if you are not familiar, he is a boy who always has his backpack and glasses - so he looks like an every day kid. I told him we would have to keep thinking. I wanted to be lazy and not really do much for this costume. He has all his cowboy stuff, but he has dressed up as a cowboy for two Halloween's (one was a dead cowboy!!). Amanda, told me to do the cowboy thing, there has to be some cowboy character - and then it dawned on me. Jack from the Magic Tree House travels through time to different places, I am sure he has been to the West. Sure enough, he had. So Jayce donned his Cowboy gear and added a pair of glasses. Looks just like Jack!!!

I also volunteered to bring a treat. I turned to good ol' Martha Stewart for a yummy Halloween treat. I think they turned out cute. His teachers said they were a big hit. I dipped pears and apples in white chocolate. The pears are skulls and the apples jack-o-lanterns!!