Thursday, December 18, 2008

What we gave

It's hard to see me, but you can tell Brent bought me some great things. My favorites are the hair straightener (I killed mine a while back!) and the Martha Stewart glitter and glue for card making.
Brent got an alarm clock/docking station for his ipod and 4 books from his list.

Hannah got a stamping gift made up of stamps and stickers, a cooking gift complete with her own pink measuring cups, pink spatula and kids' cookbook, some chapter books, and a few smaller things. My favorite gift we gave her is the potholder loop loom that every little girl has at one time or another in her early crafting career!
Sarah received several books that do things like make music, have flaps or finger puppets, a baby doll that cries, a little pop-up thing-a-majigger, and her very own "blueberry"-fisherprice's baby version of a blackberry!
Daniel received a football, a DS game, a set of Nancy Drew Mystery computer games, and a few other small things as well.
We all had a great time sharing with each other. Now I'm off to put Sarah down for an early nap because I want to play with my new toys, I mean she got up early and is very sleepy!

Opening presents at our home

Brent reading the Christmas story with the kids. Daniel informed Brent that the Christmas story was in Luke 2:1-20. Brent teased him about the reading the entire chapter--all 50 some verses!
This is an unusual Christmas season for us. We are travelling to everyone this year! This means we have 4 different times we get to open presents. We're still trying to figure out the best time to leave for my parents' home because of the big snowstorms heading our way. So we went ahead and opened the presents we have for each other this morning. Sarah was still asleep even though Daniel and Hannah were raring to go, so Brent woke her up. She was so cuddly! We never get to cuddle with her anymore. She snuggled up with Brent for a good long while. I think she sensed my jealousy over not getting to snuggle with her, because just about the time I could stand it no longer, she came over and snuggled up to me! Brent read the Christmas story and then we opened our presents. It's the first time Sarah was able to understand opening presents of any sort, and we had a good time. By the time the holidays are over she will really have the whole gift thing down!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

about my dad...

One last post for today...thank you to those of you who have been praying for my dad. He is now home from the hospital without surgery. He has had diverticulosis for several years, which is not as serious as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis involves infection, the "osis" kind only involves large welts along the walls of your colon. It was quite strange. He was never in any pain, but had a great deal of internal bleeding. His hemoglobin count was affected, but he now seems to be fine. If this happens again, the specialist said they will definitely be doing surgery. They had no idea what caused the welts to begin bleeding so it could happen again tomorrow or not again for another 30 years! He does seem to have an extremely bad case of the Diverticulosis but this is the first time in 7 years he's had any problems. Thanks again for praying!

Something funny a friend sent to me


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's the holidays!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted holiday cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Have a great holiday season.

I never realized how mild my other children were!

I never knew that Daniel and Hannah were such mild-mannered children when they were toddlers. The biggest struggle we had with both of them was getting them to talk with others and not be so shy. They seemed afraid of everyone. Hannah was afraid of every man that came near her. Sarah on the other hand is the complete and total opposite! Let me just say that again...Sarah is the complete and total opposite! She is into everything and everyone everywhere! It was literally all I could do yesterday to keep up with her--and I had 2 extra sets of hands helping me since Daniel and Hannah were home on Christmas break.
Brent had a check-up last night in town so he brought home Papa Murphy's pizza for us--you order it and bake it at home. He had a coupon for free garlic bread or free cookie dough, which he LOVES. He made the ultimate sacrifice and brought the garlic bread home instead of the cookie dough knowing I would prefer that. So Hannah and I made him chocolate chip cookie dough last night (and a few cookies were even baked, too!) Hannah and I were at the microwave softening butter because unlike Martha I never remember to soften my butter ahead of time and always just zap it in the microwave. While we had our backs turned, Sarah pulled her red stool up to the counter and grabbed the bag of opened chocolate chips and sat down and started eating them. I took them away from her (which she did not like one bit!) and kept on baking. Just a few minutes later, she jumped back up on her stool, grabbed the chips, but this time took off running with them and started scarfing them down as she ran knowing they would soon be taken away from her! The girl is not yet 2!!! She brought me the entire gallon container of snack mix I made the other day. She had gotten up on her stool so she could reach them at the back of the counter, pulled it down, taken the lid off, and was carrying them around the kitchen so proud of herself. She wasn't so proud when I took care of the issue for sure!
The pics are of Sarah and how she looked after eating her spoonful of cookie dough that I gave her. The second one is of her on her little red stool--I didn't let her get the cookies--I just took the pic so you could see her little red stool that has become the arch nemesis of our family!
On a different note...the actual temp here this morning when I woke up around 7:00--is negative 12--that's the ACTUAL TEMPERATURE!!! (and yes, I meant that to be all caps because I was yelling!) We'll be staying inside today for sure. I think I used up all my creativity occupying Hannah yesterday...could make for an interesting day for sure!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow Day!

The kids and I made ornaments to decorate the garland around their bedroom doors this past week when they were off of school for a snow day. You can't tell it from this picture, but each snowflake is sparkly from the glitter paint we used. It's a great mess-free way to get a very fine sparkle that isn't all goopy with that typical messy kid glue and glittered look. It was a spray can of glitter I found in the Walmart craft section. It's something we'll definitely use again!
The finished product. They are thrilled to have their own decorations complete with lights.
We punched the snowflakes out using my ancient Sizzix die-cutting machine and my new Martha Stewart snowflake punch. The kids got such a kick out of being able to do these things on their own.
We put the painted snowflakes on drywall scraps and painted them with out glitter paint. Then we glued a white and red one together with a little gold flake in the middle. They really turned out nice, I must say! Some of our attempts in the past have been less than stellar, but these are actually worth packing up carefully for years to come!

Friday, December 12, 2008

more of her shenanigans!

Trying to get a good shot of a two year old is worse than pulling eye teeth!

Playing peek a boo with mommy and the camera...yeah that's it! She wasn't being stubborn and not wanting me to see her, it was peek-a-boo!!!
Okay, we'll try it sitting down...still no good! We'll try it with Hannah holding her--definitely not a good idea!
Try to snap a shot while she's walking towards good here, either!
Last resort still didn't work! Trying to get a shot while she's kicking and crying hoping both feet will land on the floor at the same time while she has half a frown/smile on her face at the exact time the camera goes off--not likely! You can tell Daniel was less than thrilled by this point...I gave up and went with individual shots of each of them instead.

The kids' Christmas Program

The kids had their school Christmas program last night. Here are some of the random shots we took during before and after.Daniel's on the top row in between the fifth and sixth graders. He's only 4th grade...that's why he looks so little!
Hannah got to be one of the angels. Not too many angels I know wear pearls with their costumes, but then again, Hannah's not an ordinary angel, that's for sure!

Hannah with her teacher, Mrs. Norris. Mrs. Norris is tough on her students and sets the bar high for them, but that makes them strive harder. I'm a firm believer that students will rise to meet your expectations of them. What I appreciate most about Mrs. Norris is the love that balances everything with. She loves her students, and they know it, and they love her in return!
Daniel with his teacher, Miss Jansma. Daniel has had Miss Jansma for 3rd and 4th grades. She's the perfect transition from homeschooling to the traditional classroom. She's laid back and fun, but still manages to get the kids to learn. She's young and energetic which is perfect for this age--especially the boys!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sarah loves her bath so much she'll do just about anything to be able to play in the tub! I was doing Hannah's hair for their school Christmas program tonight and Sarah decided she wanted to play--in the tub--in her clothes--with water in the bucket leftover from Hannah's shower! Yep...she's pretty much soaked and not caring one bit! She's still in there in fact and we've all been long gone from the bathroom! I have a gazillion pics to post from the last couple of events around here...probably will get to that tomorrow after the school festivities wind down!

A quick prayer request

Please pray for my dad...he's been in the hospital the last several days with some internal bleeding. He began hemorrhaging Tuesday night, and they took him to the ER. The bleeding is a result of diverticulosis that he's had for about the last 7 years. While the bleeding has slowed, it has not stopped. Our family doctor is calling in a specialist to see how to proceed. Surgery is not likely, but is a possibility. He just turned 69 this last week and is starting to really feel his age. We're not overly concerned at this point, but would really feel better if the bleeding stopped--obviously! Thanks for praying...I'll keep you posted on how things are going.