Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

They've been begging and begging...

I don't get what the huge draw is, but Daniel and Hannah have been begging and begging to sleep in the tent that Aunt Sheri gave Daniel last year (2 years ago maybe?) for Christmas. It's intended to be used as a one man sleeping tent outdoors, but it stands up on it's own without being staked down. And the kids LOVE it! It takes up most of the living room floor and drives me crazy, but I put up with it during special times like Christmas break. Daniel and Hannah have both slept in it the last 2 nights, and Sarah has played in it during the day. I guess it's like their own personal playhouse. I'm making them take it down tonight, though, since we'll need the room in the morning to finally be able to open the presents that have been taunting the children for the past week! Sarah wakes up every morning wanting to know if this is the day she gets to open presents. I can't wait to see her reaction when we finally get to tell her "Yes...It's Christmas morning!"

Finally a successful gingerbread house!

The finished product!
Daniel can be such a goofball at times, and this expression definitely shows that!
Sarah doing a great job cleaning up all the extra candy...
No gingerbread house making would be complete without the gingerbread man apron from Aunt Suzie and her guys last Christmas!
What the house looked like before we started decorating it...

We have tried to make gingerbread houses in the past, and they have always been disastrous. We have always purchased the Wilton kits, and no matter how determined I was, they have always failed miserably! I could never get the royal icing to set up hard enough to hold the pieces together. The difference this year is the glue. My friend, Susan Smith--God bless her for this wonderful tip--told me to melt sugar and use that as the glue--and lo, and behold, it actually worked! I had found a wonderful recipe for gingerbread cookies a couple of weeks back so I used that along with the dimensions for a house "form" online. I'm still in shock that it actually worked! It started off as just Hannah and I working on it, but I pulled Daniel and Brent in to help smoosh the marshmallows for the roof shingles. It turned into a great family activity when Sarah joined in. Her main job was "clean up." She went around to every pile of candy and helped clean up that pile! It definitely turned into a fun time--very unlike previous attempts!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Our very first Jammie Drill

We had our first Jammie Drill Monday night. We put the kids in bed rather early for a Christmas break night. Brent went in about 5 minutes later blowing a whistle and yelling "Jammie Drill! Everybody in the car! Go! Go! Go!!!" The kids had no idea what it was all about, and their reactions were quite funny. We found out later that Daniel thought it was a fire drill and even thought there might be a real fire...that's my boy...always creating a catastrophe in his mind if at all possible! We ended up driving to Arby's in town (about a 25 minute drive) and got milkshakes for everyone. We then drove around looking at all the Christmas lights and then it was back home and in bed for the kiddos. What a great time we had...and we definitely plan on doing this "Jammie Drill" thing again. Check out my facebook page for a hysterical video of the start of it all--I couldn't figure out how to get the video to be smaller and couldn't wait for gazillion of hours for it to load both places!
This is what Hannah did for every picture I tried to take...not sure why, but maybe she thought she looked too bad for film being in her jammies and all!

Notice Sarah's Jammies...the zipper split while she was trying to get them off in bed so she ended up running through the house trying to get them done up before she could be part of the jammie drill.
Brent ordering milk shakes from Arby's for everyone.

Sarah realizing that "Jammie Drill" is a synonym for "Milk Shakes at night!"

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

could make for an interesting evening and day tomorrow...






Sarah's been having bad dreams...

Sarah's been obsessing recently over some bad dreams that she's been having. She's quite the imaginative one, so I didn't think much of it until yesterday when I spent the day filling trash bags cleaning the kids' rooms and came across this doll in Sarah's bed that Grandma and Grandpa Griffin gave her for Christmas while they were here over Thanksgiving. It has little plugs that you can push into holes in the doll's head to give her "hair extensions" The extensions have not held up well at all to a 2 year old's you can see! I looked at the doll and it's actually a bit scary looking to me! She loves it, but I'm wondering if this might be the cause of her bad dreams! I'm not being serious, just wanted to share how scary looking this doll has turned into. Am I the only one thinking it's a bit scary here?!?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Jammie Drill

here's a fun idea that I hope to try this Christmas Break. It's called a "Jammie Drill." It might prove a bit challenging and will have to be more thought out since we live half an hour from the nearest fast food restaurant and the winter roads can be a bit challenging at times, but should prove fun, nonetheless. The idea is to get the kids tucked into bed in their jammies, wait about 5 minutes, then run into their room and yell, "Jammie Drill!!!" Pile into the car and head out to the nearest fast food place for milkshakes. I'm thinking it could really be a lot of fun...especially the first time since the kids won't know what's going to happen...but after that, it'll be fun since they can look forward to the milkshakes once a jammie drill has begun. I'll be sure to post pictures if I can sell Brent on how fun it could be!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Visit with the Griffin Grandparents over Thanksgiving Break

Here are some random pictures from our time with Brent's parents over Thanksgiving. I didn't get too many pictures taken, but here are enough to give you a good idea of the fun we all had. I wish I had thought to take pictures of the adults playing Monopoly Deal, the card game. We played a couple of nights after the kids went to really brought out different sides to all of us that we're not used to seeing! It's a fun game--and not nearly as long as the Monopoly board game!
PLAY DOH!!! Both Hannah and Sarah love to play with play doh! Grandma Kelley bought them a whole bunch of new cans when she was here at the beginning of November, and then the Griffin Grandparents gave Sarah the ice cream play doh factory for Christmas! They loved it!

All of the Griffin men are looking thrilled here...obviously, they are looking more tired than anything! They gave Daniel an erector set for Christmas, and he and Grandpa set out to put one of the 30 motorized options together. Daniel chose the crane which took a very, very long time to put together! Daniel was the parts man--gathering all the parts together for the next step while Grandpa put the crane together. It's a great set, but it might turn out to be a better Daddy/Daniel activity rather than a Daniel-figure this out by yourself-activity for a while!
Praying together before opening Christmas presents. Grandma and Grandpa wanted to see the kids open the Christmas presents they bought for them which meant getting to open them early since we won't be able to be together for Christmas. Sarah squealed and screamed with delight when she saw her play-doh ice cream factory and cabbage patch doll baby. Hannah got a neat little art/drawing toy and a Lee Middleton Collectable doll (I'll get pictures of her with that soon) Daniel received the erector set and a Star Wars computer game that he wanted.
More play doh! Sarah could play with this stuff for hours at a time!
Wednesday was Grandparents Day at school. It was such a treat for the kids to have their grandparents there. This is the first time in 3 years that it's worked out for any of them to be here for it because both sets live so far away.
Daniel's imaginary castle they had to build to wrap up their study of C.S. Lewis' Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Notice Sarah had to get in on the action!
A funny thing to notice about this picture...Daniel's pens in his chest pocket. He LOVES to wear shirts that have pockets at the chest so he can be like Brent and keep a pen in his pocket. Interestingly, Brent's dad does the same thing (not so he can be like Brent, though!) It's funny how something so little can be such a big deal to Daniel! I guess it makes him feel grown up?!?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

playing catch up with the blog...

I've posted several of these things on Facebook, but have neglected putting them on the blog so now I'm playing catch up.

Hannah went to Artist Series with Brent October 2. My sister, Sheri, had given us a dress Claire never wore which was a perfect artist series formal for a 7 year old. Brent had never seen the dress, and Hannah had a great time playing it up to him about how beautiful she was going to look in it, and how surprised he was going to be by it. I must admit I had a few pangs as she built it up to him, and then as I helped her dress and fix her hair. I thought about her wedding that seems so far off...I know the time will fly by and I wondered if I would remember getting her ready for her date with daddy when she was 7 as I help her get ready for her big walk with daddy down the aisle...sappy, I know, but a bit of a pang in my momma's heart none the less!

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the evening.

Brent refused to make a silly face knowing it would end up here on the blog...this is as silly as he would get!

Love those eyes! They were blue until she was about 18 months old...I was sure she was going to keep her blue eyes and dark hair, but they changed to a beautiful shade of green which is still quite stunning in my humble opinion! :-)
Can you believe the eyelashes on this girl?!? I'm so thankful that both my girls have very long eyelashes. Brent has really long lashes, too, but Hannah reminds me of my sister in these pictures, especially pictures of Sheri about this same age. I've always been envious of my sister's least my girls got that Kelley gene since I couldn't have it show through on my eyes!
She loved getting all dolled up and was quite patient as I put ringlets in her hair. She was THRILLED when I put a bit of lip gloss on her, too...real make-up!!! A 7 year olds fairy tale dream come true

SNOW!!! snowed all day yesterday! Big white pretty flakes...all day long. The ground was warm enough that it pretty much melted as soon as it hit the ground, but about 3:30 yesterday afternoon, it started to accumulate, and then it froze. I was trying to figure out why this first snow looked so different than other snowfalls we've had the last 5 winters here in the Northwoods. I realized it's the first time I've seen snow on leaves! We've never had an accumulating snow before the leaves have fallen off the trees before. Most of the time I look at snow as it sticks to bare branches, but most of our trees still have leaves on them, so the trees are really pretty with the beautiful yellows and reds showing through the white snow. We've never had snow this early here before...I hope it's not a foreshadowing of the rest of our autumn!
The kids had to wait for Brent to open the car door since they were frozen shut. Hannah got a kick out of wearing her snowflake dress from last winter.
There's been heavy frosts several times already, but this is the first true ice and snow accumulation Brent's had to scrape off.
It was beautiful when it started yesterday about 10:00...but it was also very sad to think that we're already facing the snow. Winters are very, very long here...but add another month to it by starting so early is really, really sad...:-)

Some really helpful thoughts

I follow the blog of a friend from college who is quite a remarkable mom. They homeschool 9 children and she seems to do with grace! Some of my favorite posts of hers are called "Not Me Mondays." Each Monday she recaps events from the past week that are somewhat surprising, and she words them like, "I did not let my son eat earthworms" or "We would never allow..." It's really entertaining and encouraging to see someone being so transparent and admitting to things that others would never admit to. Here's a part of her post this morning that was a really good reminder to me and gave me some things to meditate on:
  • If I believed, really believed, that God is in control then I wouldn’t worry about tomorrow, I would be content to wait on His timing.
  • If I really believed that He loved me, I would not ask “why me?”.
  • If I believed that He rewards obedience and punishes disobedience, I wouldn’t be tempted to take things into my own hands, I would be content to be obedient and faithful and allow Him to deal with others as He sees fit.
  • If I believed that he was all powerful, I wouldn’t be tempted to fight for His honor and glory through means that He has not ordained.
  • If I believed that He was all that I needed, I wouldn’t ask for more.
I'm especially convicted by the first one and the last one!

( would love her's full of great ideas for homeschoolers and unique ways to implement schooling into every day life!)