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. ]