Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And so this is Christmas...

Kids in their Christmas Eve jammies

We didn't get a Santa picture this year but here they are in front of the tree

Taking sugar cookies to a whole new level

Sporting the much wanted Seahawks jersey on Uncle Bryce
I love this picture of my mom and dad talking to my brother Brent who is in Spain.
We were all on speaker phone out in the other room and I walked in their bedroom and caught this shot. There is so much love in this picture.

....And what have you done?
This Christmas was really magical for me and in a way I have never before experienced.
It was really special and one I hope to never forget.

  • We set a very modest budget and stuck to it (this meant lots of sacrificing what we "wanted"
  • Jeff wrapped the boots he got for me in an unusual way so that I was shocked to open them
  • I made a bunch of homemade gifts for people
  • A shopping date just me and Braxton
  • made good use of one of the presents I got last year (the laminator)
  • I had time by myself to finish some Christmas projects without my little helpers
  • We bought something we really wanted and gave it to someone else
  • Family
  • Talking to my brother in Spain
  • Packages in the mail
  • We delivered cookies to friends/neighbors and sang them We Wish you a Merry Christmas
  • We received a gift card on our porch from a mysterious someone (if this was you, thank you. I was so touched by this act of kindness on my behalf and I thank you graciously)
  • I gave Jeff a brand new pair of Levis jeans his size that I found at Value Village for $14. They had never been worn, still had the tags on....look stinkin' HOT on him!
  • Santa was assisted by some very special people to make sure the kids got their wishes granted
  • Rocking Emmett
  • Adelle is potty trained
  • Having my brother join us in our Christmas Eve traditions
  • Listening to Braxton explain the real meaning of Christmas to Adelle
  • Special homemade gifts from a dear friend
  • My mom suggesting I join her at ZUMBA (exactly what I needed at the moment!!)
  • Watching Adelle hand a special homemade gift to one of her little friends in nursery at church
  • getting a special note from Braxton's teacher at church
  • kissing Santa
  • Being read to by my 5 year old
  • Family
  • Napping with my little girl
This is what Christmas was for me this year. Merry and bright.

Monday, December 27, 2010

following directions

My exact words, "ok guys, all the Little People go into this bin."

I guess they took it literally. When I came out from the bedroom this is what a found. This, along with two giggling siblings.

Needless to say, we've been organizing today. Organizing, de-junking, prioritizing....
Don't worry the "Little People" are all sticking around!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Aren't they GREAT!!

Well it looks like we need to take a trip to Arizona because Adelle isn't in this picture!
This is Jeff, his dad, and his Grandma and Grandpa. Along with our boys. One set of great grandparents that my children are so lucky to have.

This is our children and Lesha's children with my Gramy who is my mom's mom. This was her Christmas card this year. Her and her little greats.
This picture inspired me to get pictures of all the great grandparents with my kids.

This is Jeff's Grandma and Grandpa with our kids on Sunday. More greats! We took them their annual Christmas ornament that I make every year and the kids were excited to find the ornaments from years past on their beautiful tree. I brought along the camera and they were good sports about getting their picture taken!

This is my Grandma, on my dad's side. Adelle call's Grandma, "Great Mary" because she is her Great Grandma Mary. Isn't that the sweetest.
We visited her on Sunday as well. It's another tradition. Growing up my parents would always take us to all of my dad's sisters homes and to Grandma and Grandpa's to see their Christmas trees. We would always sing carols the whole way and bring a special treat of some sort to the homes we visited.
My children know all of their grandparents and great-grandparents and for that I am so thankful. They are all GREAT and they all have so much love for these little ones. They each have their own little way of spoiling the kids and I hope to teach my children great love and respect for these special people.

Christmas Wreath

"Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."http://llerrah.com/truemeaningofchristmas.htm

This wreath that I finished yesterday only took me 3 years to make! I started it Adelle's first Christmas and I traced her and Braxton's cute little hands and cut.... And cut, and cut, and cut.
I never got it all done. That was a lot of cutting.
Then last year I dug it out and starting cutting some more. Then, after remembering I was 8 months pregnant, I stopped and decided to wait until my newest little hand print could be included.
So, after tracing little Emmett's sweet hand and cutting some more it is complete.
My little circle of love.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

little brother

It's funny how every child is different and has their own personality.
Emmett is all boy, all twerp!
He is so mellow, the best natured baby ever.
But, he is a little brother.
Whatever brother and sis are into, he is into.
If he wakes up before one or both of them at nap, this is what he will do...
He will crawl down the hall to their room, push the door open, crawl inside and sit there and wave and say, "ha, ha, ha" which means "hi, hi, hi."
It's super cute.
These pictures are of Braxton coercing Emmett into letting Adelle finish her nap.
He loves to be in their room. Loves to be wherever they are.
These kids are so lucky to have a little brother.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Does anyone know how old daddy is today?
B: "66?"
A: "61?"
Yesterday he was 28 so today he is 29!
B: "Mom, wouldn't it be funny if we were all 16, even you and dad?"

I love this old man! He doesn't like that he looks so young and I tried to find a picture that made him look, "older" but no doing. I don't think such a picture exists.
However, in all the pictures of Jeff he is either smiling, being goofy, or working on something.
That is who he is.
The most kind, loving, happy, helpful, hardworking, silly, husband/dad in the whole world.
Happy Birthday!
We love you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Preschooler for hire

Braxton is patient, determined, and very responsible.
He's a little sensitive but his future wife will appreciate that, I'm sure.
He is sure to entertain any 2 year old for....well that depends on the 2 year old.

I'm glad I busted out the camera for this one.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

With the kids acting out the Nativity
Braxton was Joseph

Adelle was a monkey (?)

There'll be trees to cut down

once the right one is found!

Emmett's stocking arrived via mail and don't say anything but...
it's my favorite one of all!
It's the Happ-happiest season of all.

With the kids decorating cookies

and tasting the cookies!
ok my song is lame. So I'm stopping!
These cookies were a favorite that we always made growing up.
They are deeeeelicious!
Ritz crackers
spread nice and thick with peanut butter (this is the only time I prefer creamy)
another Ritz cracker on top
Dipped into melted chocolate chips
Heavily sprinkled
Oh, the tree. The "buetiful tree" as Adelle says.

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Two letters no parent ever wants to experience!
Well, I'm still learning, never say never.

Our little Emmett had to go to the emergency room Friday night and get 4 stitches in his little pinkie finger after it was smashed in the bedroom door by his dear sis, on accident.

This is new for me having never had stitches myself, nor any of my kids thus far.

This little man is the toughest dude ever! He cried hard when it first happened but thank goodness Jeff was home to wrap it up tight and help me not freak out! Since then Emmett has been totally fine. Still into everything and still our happy baby BOY!

Poor BOY the nurses and the doc. thought he was a girl. They kept commenting on what a beautiful little girl and how sweet she was.
It made us laugh. He is beautiful, this is true, but he is more boy than any little boy I know. Always with a ball of some-sort.

So, for now I call him "nubs."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

little elves

These two were in heaven Friday night at the Ferry Terminal Christmas festivities. We met up with Bama and Umpa and Umpa bought all of us our own cup of eggnog. I know, simple pleasures. This is huge for us because with everything we buy 1 and share it. We were happy! We guzzled it!

So we've turned our home into Santa's little workshop.
I would post pictures of our many creations except that then some of you would know what you were getting from us!
The kids are having hay-day making gifts for people. This morning they were in their room making a secret present for "mom" (me). I let them do their thing.
After I got out of the shower I went to get dressed and the present they had made me was right there when I opened my underwear drawer!
These two are too much!
I'm not really sure what to do... Do I tell them I found it? Do I let them think I won't open that drawer until Christmas?
So as of now it's still there. I think I will keep it there because it makes me laugh.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

He gets it!

We have a tradition that we started last year and have continued this year. We make a paper chain, red and green, to count down the days until Christmas. Each night before bed the kids take turns ripping off a link from the chain. As they do so we go around and everyone tells something nice they did for another person that day. Last night Braxton had to really think of what he did but eventually he remembered that he had helped Adelle get into the car by opening her door for her. I helped Adelle remember that she had shared her orange with Emmett all on her own.
Today we came home from church and as usual both the kids ran to the bathroom to wash their hands with soap. I went back to get Emmett ready for nap and when I came out to the kitchen the kids had already had the table set for lunch (minus the plates which they can't reach). I was so touched and impressed that without me even asking they had done this service on their own. I expressed my gratitude to them for being so kind and helpful and Braxton honestly pronounced, "Mom, I wanted to watch my movie but I knew that was just thinking of me so I decided to think of you first. I knew you would be happy if I set the table." He was so excited to be doing something so nice that he ran back and told his dad what he had done. I asked him if he felt happy and he said yes.
This simple act brought me so much joy. I have really been working on teaching him to put others first and to not just think of himself. Sometimes I feel like I repeat myself over and over, and then I wonder if they will ever get it. They do. They really do get it and I know they will continue to bless many lives.
This is what Christmas means to me and this is what I am trying to teach my children. It's about what you do for others that brings the real peace and joy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gingerbread "children"

Have your kids lay down on butcher paper
Trace them
Cut out little mittens, hats,....noses..

Carson, Adelle, Braxton
Have them glue on the pieces
They will love decorating

While I am in the corner, hiding behind the refrigerator, enjoying this delicious tradition from Auntie Angela.

So Thanksgiving my Aunt Marlene brought these huge gingerbread men for everyone to decorate. It was great and the kids loved it. They've been asking me since if we can make gingerbread men and decorate them.
My thought process;
We could...only that would mean they are just going to want to eat all the decorations, plus the finished cookies.
I would just soon eat the yummy cookies Auntie made.
So, I thought....we could do gingerbread men out of paper.
Then I thought, I could trace the kids and they could be the gingerbread men....
So, that's what we did.
Entertained them for a while.
and yes, I am sharing the yummy cookies with them....after lunch!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Old School

....I'm taken it back to the old school
Cause I'm an old fool
Who's so cool....

Today is Monday which means we are back on the routine for the week. Monday's are marvelous. Braxton's little friend picks him up for preschool (we carpool). Adelle, Emmett, and I do laundry and hang out in our pj's for a while. Adelle gets to play big sister/baby sitter while I take a shower (she loves this responsibility). I get the kids ready and the old library books collected to take back and we go to library story time just down the street from our house. It's a special morning for the little ones and I. Lots of books, little friends, special time without big brother....
This morning, after I got dressed I put on my shoes and then I laughed out loud.
These shoes were given to me 10 years ago right after I graduated high school from my dear friend as a hand-me-down! Ok, so hear me out here; She wore them for who knows how many years, then gave them to me 10 years ago! These babies are old! They were free for me! And they are my all time favorite, most worn shoes, ever! Thanks friend!
After having this realization of the shoes I proceeded to evaluate the rest of the outfit. It was definitely blog worthy.
The brown cords were a Christmas present from my mother-in-law 7 years ago. It was my first Christmas as part of the fam. She has really good taste in clothes and the clothes she buys me are always the right size....not sure how she does that? The tank under the sweater was a hot buy I found online clearance browsing back when I was pregnant with Braxton. I've always loved it because it's so long and I can wear it even with a big belly. The cable sweater is one my mom found for me at a garage sale a couple summers ago. It was in perfect condition and totally mine for free. Score!
So there you have it a whole entire outfit from the old school.
The funny thing is that most of my clothes are this old, this worn and still....well, I still wear them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stellar Stockings

My mother-in-law is extremely talented!
That is an understatement.
Among other things (like the skirts my bridesmaids wore in my wedding), she creates these Stellar Stockings!
They are my favorite Christmas decorations because they have so much meaning to me.
I see Jeff's, which he's had since he was a little boy, and I think of him as a boy playing with a train and giving his sisters grief.
I see mine and I remember when it was just the two stockings hung close and filled full.
I see Braxton's and I remember getting to be the one to chose what was on his stocking and pondering and then choosing "The Little Drummer Boy." This was a perfect fit for him and when I hear that song I always think of my sweet boy.
I see Adelle's and I smile because she is such a little angel in my life and I can hear her sweet voice saying, "dis one is mine."

I just got word from a pretty valuable source that Emmett's stocking is done!! I can't wait for it to arrive in the mail from Arizona. Our mantle will be complete once again. Jeff's mom has been super busy making stockings this year. Not only did she have Emmett's stocking but she also gets to make stockings for Jeff's sister Erin's new husband and their 3 children! This is another reason why these stockings are so stellar. Everyone in the whole family has one and they are each unique and different.

Thanks mom (Gramma) we LOVE our stockings!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey-Bowl

Braxton ready to play in his first ever Turkey-Bowl! He's been waiting for this for 5 years!
My blessings enjoying a warm yummy crepe breakfast

I love Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite days of the year partially because there are so many traditions that I can count on. The turkey, the cranberries, the pumpkin pie, the family gatherings, the playing of games, the chance to show off my kids....
Another one of these traditions is the Turkey-Bowl. Jeff talks about the Turkey-Bowl for months before Thanksgiving and he and the guys exaggerate how awesome it's going to be. This year he invited Braxton to play! The real deal, which was huge for Brax as we usually go and watch and afterward Jeff and Braxton play their own little game.
So this morning the kids got up, early as ever, Jeff and I sent them out to put on a movie. When I came out I gave each of them a kiss and said, "I am very thankful for you, Happy Thanksgiving." Braxton repeated the gesture to everyone in the family but when he got to Jeff he goes, "I am thankful for you, Happy Turkey-Bowl!" I am thankful for this special tradition.
I have so many blessings. It seems like every year I recognize more and more of what I have to be thankful for. Maybe this is part of growing up? There are blessings I have now that had anyone told me a year ago, that these would be my blessings, I would have probably laughed hysterically or rolled my eyes in disbelief. Yet, they are my reality now and I am so truly thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside

It is so cold! 24*and my kids keep asking when it's going to be summer! I think the sun shining outside is a bit deceiving!

I've been singing this song for the last 4-5 days but unfortunately I know the tune, just not the correct words.
So basically I've been walking around singing

I really can't stay
Baby, it's cold outside
I must go away
Baby it's cold outside

over, and over, and over.
So....today I looked up the lyrics.
This song is hilarious!
Me the romanticist: This song has so much feeling. I love it!
Me the mom: Cold or not, get home....NOW!

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour

The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight
To break the spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move closer
At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride?
I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

C'mon baby

I simply must go - Baby, it's cold outside
The answer is no - Ooh darling, it's cold outside
This welcome has been - I'm lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm - Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious - Man, your lips look delicious
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh your lips are delicious
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Never such a blizzard before

I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - I thrill when you touch my hand
But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me?
There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Think of my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

Baby it's cold outside

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our Favorites

I totally made this! Like today in about 15 minutes with 3 little ones "helping"!
Instead of saying, "I am not a sewer." I will now say, "I am learning to sew."
It was really fun.
No pattern, no measuring, not perfect...
I just found a piece of fabric that matched my kitchen and created something.
Right now it's my favorite part of my table!

This Red Balloon is Emmett's favorite thing as off this week.
He loves it and chases it all around the house.
It's very fun to watch him and his free toy!

Adelle's favorite thing is snacks!
Cheetos, raw almonds, animal cookies, pretzels, raisins....
Last week we ate 2 whole bags of satsuma oranges in 4 days!
They aren't bad snacks, but when it's all she wants I have to draw the line.
So yesterday we had a tea party and everyone was given a little plate with all of Adelle's favorite snacks and when they were gone, they were gone.
Everyone was happy!
Dress up is Braxton's current favorite thing. He has so many fun dress-ups and they all get their fair share of wear by this boy!
Here is Buzz eating scrambled eggs. I never know who is going to be joining us for breakfast!

Oh, and no picture but last night I made baked artichokes to go with dinner and they were yummy.
Take an artichoke
wash it
cut off the top inch and the poky parts
mix a minced glove of garlic, melted butter, some lemon juice,
pour onto artichoke (make sure it gets between all the little openings)
top with a pinch of salt
wrap in foil and bake at 425 for about 75 minutes.
I'm going to go with my first instinct here and post that Jeff's favorite thing was coming home to homemade meatloaf for dinner.
Or maybe it was beating me twice in a row at NERTZ last night!?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful Friday

If your name is on the picture it means you rock and you were the pronounced name that my child shouted out when I asked, "What are you thankful for?"
If your name isn't on the paper...you still rock because, well as you can read for yourself, my name did not make either paper.
But, that's the great thing about these kids. They are thankful for so many things/people that the question can be asked a hundred times, each time the answer being different!

This top one belongs to Braxton. It is just about as accurate as it could be and he spent much time ensuring that.
The eggs and the nest were his idea and I followed his lead on that one.
This one is Adelle's. I was so impressed with hers as well. My favorite part is the eggs. She put them in the turkeys tummy. Too cute!

This was a fun project today that occupied some of our morning.
I love projects like these because the kids can really practice following directions and it's amazing what they are capable of doing on their own.
All I did was cut out a circle (for the head)
an oval (for the body)
some feathers and legs and beak.
Then they followed my instructions to glue it all together.
Gobble, Gobble!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday in November

It's 41 degrees and I just hung my flannel sheets out on the clothesline to dry.
There are certain things I like done certain ways.
This is one of them.
Nothing better than clean, fresh air smelling sheets!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Yesterday while making dinner I was secretly watching/listening to these little friends.
Braxton, "You're cute, wanna get married?"
Adelle, "huh, get mair-wied???"
Followed by hysterical laughing by both