Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas

Christmas is just that magical. And I can't hear the word without thinking of the song that starts Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas. This year was no different. The tree was simple and beautiful, the presents lovely, the company (Mom and Elizabeth) phenominal, and the atmosphere was pure magic. Of course the boys awaited the word to tear into presents. This year we tried to slow it down a bit because in years past they have unwrapped at an incredible rate. But here is one of the boys opening gifts simeltaneously.
Wyatt showing off his loot. Apparently Santa knows my little boy because he got gun after knife after rocket launcher after num chucks after sword...you get the picture. He loves all sorts of violent weapontry.
Kody was in heaven. He loved the excitement, the wrapping paper, and took an instant liking to his push car. He loves to sit on it and is getting the hang of pushing himself since his brothers have commandeered the vehicle to show him at least a half a dozen times. Thanks Nana.
And last of all one of my personal favorites was Bella realizing that Santa doesn't know so much after all because he got her a guitar and she is not allowed to take guitar lessons till she is eight. She was ecstatic and couldn't stop saying awesome. Click on the picture to see the word exiting her lips. And since then she has graced us with musical presentations, and we have started a fun tradition of me serenading her with lullabies at night.
Our Christmas was very merry and I hope that you all had a merry one too.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shepard's Dinner

Long time ago, probably before I was born because I can't remember a beginning, our family has had shepard's dinner on Christmas Eve. We used to eat by candlelight foods that the shepards may have eatten. We ate a lot of cheese, tons of different kinds of breads, and fruit mainly. Well over the years it has evolved. Now we do cheese, dips, crackers, different breads that turn into sandwiches, still we do fruit, and then dessert. This year after the bulk of eatting had taken place we played Charades. It was great even the kids got into it. And some who were younger had their parents or aunts help them. Peter doing "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone".
Michael, now 14, proved to be both brilliant and witty this year not only in his Charades but general commentary, especially when we played a game of hypothetical questions.
Clair, Peter's daughter, eatting a sugar cookie. She is the cutest little girl ever.
Everyone lounging around. It was so good to be with all my siblings and my kids playing with all their cousins. I can't wait till the basement is finished, maybe next year.
Some still sitting at the table and eatting. Notice they are still watching the game going on in the background. I maintain - I love my family. They are the best.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quake Hits Lancaster County

Shortly after midnight I was awoken to some serious shaking. I knew Travis was awake still and I was thinking what the heck is he doing. At that point he is already up the stairs in our room saying are you alright? It's still shaking so I know it is not him. It stops and we do a quick assessment of the facts/situation. We run down the stairs and out the front door. All of the neighbors are outside. After confirming nothing has crashed into our house/subvision, I let everyone know it was an earthquake. I am the qualified expert after living in Utah for so long. Okay not really, but I have felt little movements. But this one definitely took it to the next level, and it still only measured 3.3 on the richter scale. Crazy stuff people.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Favorite Part of Christmas

Food is love. If you know me you know I believe this intensely. My mother was once quite the chef, baker, and overall foods expert. I have felt her love every Christmas of my life as she made literally hundreds of cookies. She would make all of our favorites including sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, snicker doodles, peanut butter blossoms, oatmeal crispies, butterscotch, and at least a dozen others I can't remember or try not to remember - date and nut cookies being one of them. Honestly I have never known anyone to dedicate this kind of energy in the kitchen at the holidays. This didn't even begin to touch the other delicacies that are a neccessity around our house this time of year rice crispy treats, homemade chex mix, pies, the best stuffing ever made, and all the other Christmas Day foods.
And now that I am a mom I choose to continue the tradition of love through food and treats at the holidays. Here are some of my favorite ingredients. Real baking chocolate, eggs, walnuts, chocolate chips, whip cream, real butter, yum. Not only is the food love, but the act of making and eatting it. Every child gathers around anxious to help and excited to lick the finished spoons and bowls. And although I have always found the phrase sort of silly, there really is something to be said about "breaking bread" with others. There is a vulnerabilty in it. And the sheer delight of experiencing new and loved flavors with those who you love brings you closer, and this is to say nothing about the countless hours that are spent conversing around the table.And so in the spirit of love and pure happiness at passing on a family tradition today I dedicated my day to cooking/baking. A few of the delectable goodies were homemade fudge with and without nuts, several kinds of cookies, rice crispy treats, chocolate pies, irish creme brownies - these have changed my life, and still to be made blackberry cobbler. And as expected the day was spent with children at my feet or by my side standing on a chair sharing in the pure delight of being together doing something we love. And for each moment in the future that will be spent joyously breaking the proverbial bread.
Merry Christmas everyone. Hope that all of you have a happy holiday season. And pray that the snow pounds my area. I know I am.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Saw Glass Bend

So it is 9*F right now and with the wind chill -13*F. Yeah and that wind it has been blowing up to sixty miles an hour all night. We are down one trash can, despite our search and rescue party for it last night. So long you served us well. Although I am still hopeful it magically will blow back. And before going to bed I watched my back sliding door bend with the pressure of the wind. A little disconcerting, but Travis says that is what it is supposed to do. Otherwise the glass would shatter. I guess; it still seems crazy to me. Happy Almost Winter!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mini Miracle

Yesterday Issac pooped on the potty all by himself without any coercion, extortion, or bribing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ebet

So tomorrow is the big day. The day I have been waiting for. Yes my sister is flying into town for the Christmas Holiday. What can I say about this girl well a whole lot good and bad, but I'll spare you the bulk of the details and get straight to the heart of it. She is beautiful. Far more beautiful than me. Prettiest girl in our family hands down, no worries people, I have a good sense of self confidence, but I am not delusional. She is the best aunt in the world. She spoils my kids way more than I ever would. She has special nicknames for them and if she doesn't they beg her incessantly to create one. She takes them on snack food runs to the local gas stations to get their choice of sugary snack and will stop by with surprises for them.She is a great sister. We didn't always get along, but the older we get the more we do. I also have several loving nicknames for her, most of which she hates despite laughing when I call her them. She was a semi-permanent fixture at my house when we lived in Utah. She worked maybe a mile away and so most days for lunch she would hit my house up for leftovers, little chats, and bedtime snuggles. She has become a lover of the Bachelor thanks to my coaxing and I am now a fan of Victoria Secret's Wings show at Christmastime due to her coaxing. I don't know what it is but girls making fools of themselves on National TV does something for me/us.
Most Christmases we spend together. And here is one two years ago when my Mom was in town too. Notice beside her is a Superman blanket my mom got her. She has a strange love for superman, and pretty much all superheros. She can tell you which were Marvel Comics and which were the other comic creator - DC?. Not only that but she may be the most brilliant source of knowledge on pop culture ever. She can tell you most any song being dropped on a given Tuesday, which movies are coming out any weekend, and likely she has listened to and seen all of them within that first day or weekend.
She has been known to drop by unannounced as well, but typically it is a great surprise except for that one time with the italian boy when we lived in south Provo. One day she even cleaned up the pooh that Wyatt so lovingly spread all around the bathroom. I don't know what he was doing. I was just trying not to and then hurling my guts out as she cleaned it up. She has hands down the most fabulous hair you have ever seen. It almost always looks like silk like in the commercials, but feels soft too. She is great at curling hers and I've witnessed people asking her how she does it so well. I have yet to learn the secret, but could probably benefit from the knowledge since most of the time my hair is unkempt.
She is my best friend and I can hardly count down the hours till she is here. She is fiercely loyal and more loving than probably any person I know. She wears her heart on her sleeve and so gets hurt pretty easily, but...because of that when she loves you - you feel more special and loved than when you are loved by any other person. She lets you know it. It will be so fun to have her here. I am sure there will be at least one little cat fight her being her for ten days and all, but in the end I'll be so depressed when she has to go back to Utah. I love this girl and I don't use that term lightly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not A Morning Person

If I get four inches of snow at my house and then a layer of ice due to sleet you would think that I would at least have a one hour delay in the morning if not two. My roads are covered in ice so of course I would assume I need only look at WGAL to confirm my prediction at six in the morning so I can go back to bed. So I wait going through the alphabetical madness and at 6:26 I am offered the crushing blow that there is no delay. It is like I am back in high school all over again. I am ticked off. I could have slept later and woken up to the alarm, but I was so confident I would get to sleep late that when Travis left for work I had no problem jumping up to check the news. People I need two hour delays here. I am not a morning person.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Child's Prayer

"Thank you for the celebration of Hanukah as well as Christmas." Unexpected, yes. This was Bella's prayer after all. I guess it has to do with the fact that her school has been allowed to have a Christmas Program every year as long as they celebrate all religious as well as cultural holidays in it. Sounds like the underpinnings of some flaming lib, but I'll save that rant for another day. Because nothing says Merry Christmas like celebrating a cultural holiday that denies Jesus being the Christ. But all in all, I'm happy she is learning about it, and that she sees value in the beliefs and choices of others.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great Gathering

Last night Travis and I went to a Christmas Party at our friend's, Amber - see her blog for potential pics, house. I was really excited all week because the invitations were so cute I knew that she would be creative and do fun things. And of course I was not disappointed. We played two new games I had never played before which were both fun, one I was Brangelina, and the other the girls won. And if that was all I told you I think everyone still would get an idea of how fun it was. But we had great food, everyone brought their favorite appetizer, yum. And we did white elephant gifts not to exceed five dollars value. And they could be fun or serious. Well in my opinion that was the most hilarious. We got great finds such as a magnificent red hat which I am sure will be showcased by someone at some point, probably Panda's blog, regifted wedding presents and college gifts like a crystal punch bowl and toaster oven. They were new and in great shape. Then there were videos, cd's, necklace and matching earrings, food products, toys, practical gifts, and an original Sony Walkman, courtesy of me. I thought it was hilarious. Sorry Tad, no one wanted to steal that. And then we just talked our hearts out. Anyway...I woke up feeling rejuvenated this morning. Laughing that hard for that long will do that to you I suppose. Thanks Amber it was fun.

Also see this weeks new header pictures. Really they are all almost the same. Slight variations.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Love My WyGuy

Wyatt is perhaps the sweetest boy ever. He is pretty sensitive. He loves kisses and hugs and will give them out anytime they are wanted. And he is one to surprise me with unexpected hugs and kisses too. A mother's dream for sure in terms of affection. That same sensitivity translates to his tv watching habits. Here he is sitting and watching a show. As the show builds anticipation either for a villian or otherwise Wyatt senses it long before others do. He starts to wiggle as he sits with nervous energy. And it isn't long before he has jumped up to a standing position.
And then he starts to wiggle while standing because his nerves make him super antsy. He'll start to suck or chew on his fingers which he is doing below. Lastly if things get really good he'll start jumping up and down. He has also been known to go and hide behind our recliner in the corner.
He responds to all the clues they give him such as music, lighting changes, tempo, etc... And these aren't adult movies these are kids cartoons. His jubilation and joy are just as intense when things are going good in a show. He'll laugh and cheer and squeal with delight. My favorite reaction of all though is when they build a romantic relationship in the plot. He'll shout his disgust with "Ew gross" and the likes. It is all this silliness that makes watching tv with Wyatt so much fun. Man I love this little boy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Part Two of the Doctor's Office

This part so funny/mortifying it deserves an entry of its own. Issac despite not loving the doctor and crying off and on paused long enough that when she pulled down his pants to check his nether regions for all the proper medical stuff, he stopped crying, got a huge grin, and a small chubby. How embarrassing. I was going to remain silent and go the denial route, but the Dr. says, "Yeah, little boys always seem to like that part." Oh my word I am dying and I do not embarrass easily. What is with boys?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And Then There Were Two

We arrive, happily play, go back to the room. We try to take off shoes and coats for the measurements and that is when the crying starts. Yeah we are at the doctor's office for a 3 yr old appt and a 15 mo old appt. And my kids are behaving as if they have had some traumatic experience which they have not. In the past, shots solicited a little crying and cuddle time but were quickly gotten over. We measure Issac and he quickly is back to normal realizing it's just mundane. Now Kody...and then he cries at the thought of sitting on the scale without me holding him. He clings to me like he never has before. Laying flat for his height is torture. And he rips the head measuring tape clean off. He is having none of it despite my holding him.

The nurse leaves. The doctor comes in. We have some random fussing, but are managing. Then the nurse comes back in to give the shots. Holy Moses despite the numbing spray agent Issac is shrieking. Kody gets his turn and he lets out some good yelps. And then there were two and for the first time both kids are crying simeltaneously. I am holding and cuddling them both. And they finally calm down, but good gravy you would have thought I just chopped their arms off. So the measurements are in...
Kody is 23 lbs. 9 oz.-30%; 31 in-45%; head 48 cm-75%
Issac is 31 lb. 8 oz.-45%; 35 1/2 in-10%

Monday, December 8, 2008

Almost the Same

Family pictures will now be unfurled one week at a time in the header. Enjoy.

Weekend Update

No pictures since I had a little too much going on, but I'll share the highlights still. Party number two on Saturday morning went good. It was a kid party for Bella. We made frosted sugar cookies in all holiday shapes and sizes. And I am still eatting the leftovers, just trying to get a jump on my holiday 10 lbs.

Saturday we also did Christmas and winter crafts at our library. They had cookies, hot chocolate, and three craft stations set up and one to take home, which is our plan for tonights FHE. Then we did naps to get rejuvenated for the Manheim tree lighting.

So in the square of Manheim, one mile from our house they light the tree, do hot chocolate, and lots of little venders. They hand out goody bags, Santa comes, the local high school choir sings, Cricket's ballet studio comes and dances for the crowd. Oh my cuteness. I so wanted Bella to be a little ballerina after that. But you think they could have gotten those girls some clothes because it was snowing after all which made the tree lighting all the more magical. We also were all led in some group singing by Pastor Bob aka Pastor Rob his real name, but since the MC kept calling him Paster Bob by mistake it took as the crowd literally yelled we like Pastor Bob better. Wonder if it'll stick.

Then after the lighting and several other activities we headed to Representative Tom Creighton's office, which is on the square, to have Mrs. Clause read to the kids. It was great. The kids came home with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. And I couldn't help but smile too. My life is perfect and I love this time of year. There is nothing better than living in a small town and having awesome festive events - Dancing in the Streets, our new years eve party is next, openly remembering the birth of Christ as a town, and seeing people you see everywhere like Weis, the library, and walking down Main Street all around you enjoying it too. Manheim may be out of the way, but it is fast becoming the world's cutest city in my eyes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Success

First off I know that someone out there knows how to rotate a video clip. Please tell me how. Second our enrichment consisted of making graham cracker gingerbread houses - super cute and easy, tying quilts for the humanitarian effort, and karaoke. Despite having a lot of people show interest I was still very nervous about the participation. It started slow, but after I made a fool of myself on a couple of numbers people got into the swing of it. All the activities ended up going really well. And I think that this clip shows what a success the party was. Thanks girls I had fun with you.

video

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Gathering Number 1

Well tonight will be the kick off of the Christmas Season for me. We are having our first get together here. It is for the Enrichment Women from my church. Although I don't have all my Christmas decorations set up yet, I can't really worry about it, because I still have plenty to do. We will be tying quilts, making gingerbread houses, and ... karaoke. Wish me luck and that everyone is in the singing spirit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And Nothing Says Happy Birthday Like A Car Accident

Yes you heard me. Yesterday as we were out running to get Issac's birthday present from Toys 'R Us we found ourselves being rear ended by a brand new Ford Expedition. Of the four of us, the women who was driving, her mother, Travis, and I, none had ever been in an accident. She was obviously distressed and crying. She kept apologizing. I told her no one intends to get into an accident. It's okay. Regardless we were in line of traffic that goes both left and straight. We had a green arrow and as I was approaching the intersection to turn left the green arrow disappeared to a stale green. I yielded to the oncoming traffic, it felt like a decent amount of time, before I heard squeeling and felt the impact. I guess she thought I was going to go and she started to swerve around me because her drivers side front was mangled and just my passenger back was damaged. I think my shock kept me calm. We called our insurance company, the police to write up an incident report - orders from the insurance company. And after waiting over an hour for the police to get there the whole affair from the time of the accident to us pulling away was a about two and a half hours. The kids were pretty good waiting in the car, but I felt horrible that Issac's precious birthday time was being spent so frivilously.
In the end and in the spirit of Thanksgiving I realized all the many blessings from this little incident:
1. Travis was with me making my first accident much more bareable.
2. No one was hurt. Thank you annoying car seats.
3. Our car had relatively little damage, especially considering what hers looked like and that her driver's side door wouldn't open.
4. She had insurance to handle little mishaps such as these.
5. It really did help me to slow down on my crazy Christmas planning crap and appreciate the stuff we have and my amazing kids.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Issac Turns Three

This boy has enough energy to power a small nation. Most of the time it is cute and today on his birthday I loved it. Here he is waiting in the car for a trip to McDonald's, his designated dinner of choice. This is a face of pure excitement. Nothing says birthday happiness like french fries going down the hatch. Mmm Yum. Really he is the cutest thing ever.
Issac is such a little boy. His love of all things athletic speaks to my heart. At age two he started laying with me and asking to watch football. By two and a half he turned his love to baseball and has been going strong since. Although anything with a ball strikes his fancy. So of course when Bella suggested a baseball cake, I was excited. I can handle that. See below.
And for his birthday he got a "Go Diego Go" baseball kit. He loved it as Travis and I knew he would. And here is some footage of our superstar athlete.
video
Issac really is the sweatest little boy. Sometimes I am confounded by him but more often than not I am his kindred spirit. I love to get a kiss from this boy who rarely gives them out but when he does they are filled with such intensity that you feel like you hit the jackpot to be the lucky recipient. He is the sweetest older brother to Kody playfully wrestling with him and waiting for him to tag along. And lastly he is just so exciting I can't wait to see what fun and excitement he holds in store for our family. Every family needs a little Issac. Love you buddy.