Saturday, November 29, 2008

Annual Gingerbread House

A few years ago, I started doing a gingerbread house with Emily. She was only 2 at the time, so I mainly decorated the house while she ate the candy. That's pretty much how it still works. I was at Costco on Friday and I saw the gingerbread house kits. I thought what a perfect thing for Emily and Grammie to do together. Grammie had never made a gingerbread house, but these kits are practically fool proof.

Here's Grammie assembling the walls. Notice the glob of frosting inside the house.


Grammie is still hard at work.


Emily enjoying a gum drop.


Ben getting ready to eat a Christmas tree.


What the pictures don't show is the earthquake/tornado that hit the house. Grammie couldn't get the walls to stay together. Frosting was everywhere and I had never heard Gwynne laugh so hard. She apologized for wasting our money, but I think it was worth every penny of that $9.99 just to hear her laugh like that. David and I finally stepped in. We took it apart and tried to reassemble it. We added some decorate touches and it turned out pretty well.


Just don't get too close or you will notice the gaping holes in the roof and the front wall is about to collapse. I think it's our best house yet!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

We Survived

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

It's officially over. We'll not the day yet. But, family has left. The house is cleaned up. Leftovers are in the fridge and the dishwasher is running. We had a great day and we are thoroughly exhausted. I took a few minutes tonight to switch my blog theme to Christmas.

I love this time of year.

I don't want Thanksgiving to take a back seat to Christmas, so here are some highlights from our day.

Emily got dressed up.

We watched the parade.


We ate pumpkin pie.


God even graced us with a beautiful rainbow.


Then, we got out some more of the Christmas decorations and Emily tried on the tree skirt as a cape.


I think she's ready to spin her way onto the next holiday...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving

We had a big family gathering at my Dad's this past Saturday. They usually host Thanksgiving, but since Suzy's Mom passed away this year, they are spending the holiday with Suzy's side of the family. Instead, they decided to have us all over for a pre-Thanksgiving feast.

We packed up the car, the kids and the dog and headed to Phoenix. We also picked up David's Mom (Gwynne) on the way. We had an awesome time.

Ben pretended to be a monster.



Emily colored with Rocco (my sister's son).



Emily cuddled with Grammie Gwynne.


My Dad took the kids on a mile long wheelbarrow ride.


Rocco played some pool...


with my brother Joe.


The girls watched. Tiffany (my sister's daughter)on the left and Auna (Joe's daughter)on the right. And you know the beauty in the middle!


Emily stripped off her dress and went in the 57 degree pool.


Ben had to join her. You know a day is not complete without a picture of my kids in their underwear.


Then came the ride home which was the best ever (see post on My Sweetest Ride below). We all had a great time.

Now, we are hosting Thanksgiving for this crazy bunch at our house in a few days. Wish us luck!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Slumber Party

Getting Emily to sleep in her room all night is a challenge. She always comes out at some point. She wants David to sleep with her every night. It's kind of cute and kind of annoying especially at 2 AM.

We've tried everything positive and negative. Nothing works. I decided to give her what she wants. If she sleeps in her room all week and does not come out, we will have a slumber party in the living room on Friday night. This is actually working! Last Friday night was our first slumber party. We blew up the air mattress which we found out later has a hole in it. We all got cozy and watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

David was asleep in 3 minutes.

I took Ben to my bed as the air mattress was hitting the floor.

Emily didn't care. She still thought it was a blast. We have continued promising her a slumber party. If all goes well, we will just have to sleep on the sofa. In the spring, I want to get a tent and we can all sleep outside. We don't have any street lights on our block and the stars are amazing at night. Hopefully, I can bribe her for that long!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Sweetest Ride

We went to my Dad's on Saturday in Phoenix for an early Thanksgiving celebration. David's Mom came into town, so we picked her up at the airport and headed to my Dad's. This was our first trip down since we got the mini-van. Previous trips were in my Pathfinder. Gwynne (David's Mom) would sit in the front with David. I'd get sandwiched between the 2 carseats in the backseat while the dog in the trunk area panted on my head. It was never a pleasant ride. For the first time, I knew what it meant to have my knees and back hurt after sitting for 2 hours.

We go to my Dad's for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. The ride home has always been listening to the over tired kids scream louder than the movie that is playing. David and I can't talk or listen to music. I actually brought pajamas one time thinking they would fall asleep and I could just scoop up their sleeping angel bodies from the car and lay them peacefully in bed. What was I smoking? Their screaming, I'm screaming. The only thing I bring now is a bottle of Excedrin.

We all load up for our trek home. The kids want to watch a movie. Fine, maybe they will zone out and be quiet. Emily wants anything with a princess and Ben wants anything with an action hero. This is always the problem with one boy and one girl. We watched The Incredibles on the way to Phoenix and the trip home they agreed upon Monsters Inc. David and Gwynne are in the front. Emily and Ben are in the next row. I'm in the third row of seats way in the back with the dog. Roxie does not settle down in the car and pants the entire way. She probably fears she is headed back to the pound. In any case, David asked if I wanted the Ipod and headphones as listening to panting for 2 hours makes me anxious.

We left my Dad's. I'm prepared for the worst. It never came. The kids didn't make a peep. Emily was asleep in 10 minutes and Ben shortly after that. David unplugged the movie. I reclined my seat, put my feet up on the igloo, listened to music and played vortex and solitaire on my Ipod. We have finally gotten to that happy place with our kids. It was the best 2 hours of my life.

But next time, I'm bringing their pajamas...and mine!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Prayers

This is what I get to listen to before bed:

I love that he starts the video with 2 fingers up one nostril. Classic.

Here's our girl.
She always says, "May me, lay me" instead of "Now I lay me".
It cracks me up.


I'm blessed.

P.S. This is my 100th post!

The Candy Man Can

I love him because after a long day of work, he still has time to play Candyland.



And he doesn't LET her win!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jesus Gets A New Crib

This is Jesus' new sweet crib.

We were shopping at Walmart last weekend and looking at all the Christmas stuff. Emily came across the nativity scenes. She HAD to have one.

She didn't like the cheap looking wisemen in one set. Baby Jesus was rather odd looking in another set. She liked this set in particular that resembled the figurines from Precious Moments. Fine. But, it didn't come with a manager. We decided to make one.

We got a box at Sams Club (we have one now) and we covered it with with paper shopping bags. The kids went to town painting it. I doubt the original manger where Jesus was born had glitter glue all over the roof, but it certainly adds some flare! Then we got a separate piece of cardboard from the lid of a shoebox. We put glue all over it and went outside to find grass, leaves and sticks.





Emily loves it and sets the people up 100 different ways. She'll even put Jesus on the roof. Somehow, I don't think Jesus would mind.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

He's Not A Stray

This is Max. Some of my friends were trick or treating on Halloween and they went to one of my neighbors. She on the street north of us, but her house is just diagonal to ours. My friends saw a large bowl of cat food and they asked about it. The lady told them that it's for the stray cat. My friends asked what color and she said orange. They didn't know what color Max was. My friends have never seen him.



We rarely see him. In the summer, it's not unusual for him to disappear for days on end. The only sign of him is a disappearing food bowl that goes down every night. I was wondering why it seemed he was eating less. I thought he was snacking on various critters around the neighborhood. We've all seen the poor bunny he skinned. Apparently, our neighbors think he is a stray and he's getting his fill at several houses everyday. In the winter when the nighttime temperatures fall below freezing, Max decides he'll grace us with his presence.


This is the only time of year that he even wants in the house. When we first got Max almost 6 years ago, we kept him as an indoor cat. He drove us nuts. Meowing at all hours of the night and attacking my feet under the covers. He needed to hunt. He clearly was not meant to be cagged. We've freed him and we are all much happier.


But, he's not a stray!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It Pays To Watch TV

So, I'm watching Oprah yesterday as I do almost everyday. She has on this guy that is going around the country helping unsuspecting people get organized. It's rather entertaining. I guess I feel somewhat better about the state of my house when I see how some people are living.

The organizer guy had a brilliant idea. He took pictures of the kids art work and uploaded the pics to a photo site. Then, he had a photo book made of all their masterpieces. I completely plan on doing this when Emily finishes preschool. She makes about 2 new works of art daily. I don't have the room to store all that, so I can pick and choose my favorites and put them in a book. I can even include captions, like when she drew Granny (my Mom) the other day and put a cigarette in her mouth. She said, "That's Granny smoking a nasty cigarette." Things like that need to be captured and remebered for a lifetime.

Anyway, my point is that Oprah and Snapfish are teaming up for the next 24 hours and you can get a free photo book. They cost $29.99. You just have to pay the shipping and tax. I didn't want to do an art work book yet as I want Emily to finish the school year, so I can group all of that together. Instead, I made a book of our recent trip to California. It's a 20 page photo book and I included 91 pictures. I got it for only $7.54! It would've cost me $37.54. Now, that's awesome. I couldn't even print out that many pictures for that price, let alone put them in a wonderful book with cute captions and backgrounds.

The catch is that you have to go to the link within the next 24 hours. Once you sign up for snapfish or if you already have an account, you will have the credit in your shopping cart that will expire Sunday night. So, get the credit now and you have all weekend to put together an art book or photo book or whatever your little heart desires. This would also make a nice gift for the grandparents. Not, that I'm giving mine away to the grandparents (sorry Gwynne), but you know they love all those cheesy pictures of your kids.

Go here! http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20081029_tows_messyhouse/7

Snapfish was running a little slower than normal as I imagine all 50 gazillion Oprah watchers are getting a free book. It takes a little longer than usual, but it's worth it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

5 Years

Today is our 5th anniversary.


We got married on the beach in St. Lucia in the Caribbean.
Just us.

Look at us...tan, skinny, well rested, ready to take on the world. As it turns out, our 2 kids are about as much as we can handle.


David and I actually met 6 years ago today. We were both on match.com. You know that Internet dating site. I had done Internet dating for over a year. It was like window shopping only way more fun than a new shirt! I hadn't met anybody interesting in a while. I decided to look for my "ideal" man. I put in my preferences. 5'9"-6'2", non smoker, social drinker, dark hair, dark eyes...etc. I figured I would shoot for the moon. Thank God I didn't stop my search at 6'1".

David was one of 10 guys that popped up. He was handsome, always a plus. When I read his profile, I thought we shared some common interests AND he could form a complete sentence without any grammatical errors. This is a very important thing. I hated when someone would just write in all lower caps. If you're too lazy to hit the shift key with your pinky, what else are you lazy about. I digress... I sent him an e-mail. It took him 2 days to write me back. I thought he wasn't interested. He claims he was busy at work. Whatever. I wrote him back. He wrote me back quicker this time. We talked on the phone. Then, we talked on the phone for hours. About 2 weeks later, we met for the first time.

It was a dinner date to Macaroni Grill. I let him pick me up. I know, I know, first rule in Internet dating, don't let them come to your house. We had spent hours on the phone for weeks and I felt I knew him pretty well. It wasn't a typical first date. "So, tell me what you do for a living?" We had already discussed all that on the phone. It felt like we were already friends. When I opened my front door, I think we were both pleasantly surprised. Sure, we had seen pictures, but nothing prepared me for the chemistry that I felt right away. We barely ate dinner that night as we were both so nervous. I laugh at that now.

We fell in love almost instantly. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months. David asked me to marry him on his birthday, 7 months after that first e-mail. We were married just 5 months after that.

When you know, you know.

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart.
Here's to 50 more!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pirates

The kids decided to dress up like pirates today. Emily hit the dress up trunk first and got first dibs.

Okay, so she's a pirate on a plane not a ship.
Anything goes in this house.



With these eyes, she can have my ship, treasure, booty, whatever she wants.



Ben got the leftovers. Some mardi gras beads, vampire shirt and we didn't have another pirate hat, so I tied pants around his head.


I plan to use the black pants around the head the next time Emily wants to play Maria from The Sound of Music.

He's giving me a "yah!".



Here's another picture of Em before the pirate dress up. She just looks so sweet. This is her beloved Porky. She HAS to sleep with him every night.


That's Ben in the background running, like always.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

5 Degrees Short

Our first winter storm came today. It was so close to snowing. Bummer. The kids took advantage of the rain and ran outside in the puddles. Emily was going to go out in her underwear and snow boots, so I wrapped a summer bathing suit cover up around her.



They had fun.


This is Ben's expression for fun!

Doesn't Emily look like a redhead here?


Doesn't Ben look like a redhead here?


Here's a little video of the fun

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dinner Conversation

Me: Emily, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Emily: I dunno.
Me: Do you want to be a vet? A teacher? Chef? Doctor?
Emily: A Doctor.
Me: That sounds good. Ben, what do you want to be?
Ben: A pumpkin.

Ah, to be two!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween Party

I've been so busy this week that I didn't have a chance to write about our Halloween party. We hosted the party for our Mommy Group. The kids enjoyed dressing up a second time around. I didn't paint Ben's face because that make-up comes off rather easily. Plus he still had a runny nose and I didn't want to be smearing green all over his face with my kleenex.


My girl.
You can't really tell, but she is getting little freckles on her nose.
So cute!

Ben decorating a cookie.



Emily eating a cookie.

Bean bag toss.



The gang.
Yes, the little girl in the middle is in a double leg cast to correct a hip problem.

Getting cavities.

We even did a pinata. My kids first time.


Em giving it a whack!
It was a great party and everyone had a fun time. We'll have to do it again next year.
I forgot to mention one of my favorite parts of Halloween night. We met up with some of our friends in our Mom group, so we had like 8 kids in our group that would all go up to each door together. Ben would usually be lagging behind. When he'd get to the door, we'd say, "Ben, what do you say?" Meaning "trick or treat" of course. He'd always say, "What about me?" Then, a very polite "thank you" once he got some candy. He was a riot. Can you tell he's 2?