Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December Daily--31

There's a birthday boy in the house.

Here are 34 reasons we love you!

From Christian:
1. Goes sledding with us.
2. Good builder.
3. Bought us a house.
4. Plays with us.
5. He spars with me.
6. Helps me clean my room.

From Jessica:
7. Takes care of us.
8. Plays with us in toyroom.
9. Daddy brought me home and I was still in Africa for a long, long time and he brought me home to you guys.
10. He buyed us presents.
11. He holds me.

From Beverly:
12. Buys us food
13. He loves us.
14. Takes care of us.
15. Plays the Wii with us.
16. He's a good dad.
17. He takes us shopping.
18. He helps us with karate.
19. He takes me to gymnastics.
20. He signs us up for stuff.

From Andrew:
21. Takes us places
22. Very nice to us.
23. Helps us out if we need help.
24. Second oldest in our family.
25. He lets us watch stuff on t.v. with him.
26. He's a good worker.
27. He earns money for us so we can buy food and clothes.
28. He likes to be my sports coach.
29. He's very funny.
30. He moved us to a house with a big field next door.
31. He teaches us stuff.

From me:
32. He keeps life interesting.
33. He gets me warm when I am freezing.
34. He looks for ways to serve me.

December Daily--30

The boys all got haircuts tonight. Afterward, Christian found Bev and Andrew's old robes. They won't take them off now--they went to bed in them.

December Daily--29

The EasyBake Oven--not built to feed a family of six.
She got it for Christmas (as did I when I was about her age.) I loved it as much as she does--it is just not very practical. She made cookies--six 1 inch cookies. Then she made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting--it was more like one very small sugar cookie. She so proudly cut it into six slices and served it up. As she handed Christian his slice, he looked a little disappointed. He helped her make it, so he saw the size of the pan. He must have thought that once you slip that tiny pan into the oven it magically grew. It is pretty sweet that she shares all of her baking with us. I am just worried that the masses are going to start to demand larger portions.

December Daily--28

Today I taught the lesson in Relief Society. It was on creating unity. I also talked about setting goals for our families to become more united--doing the things that will matter the most. I read this poem in my lesson:

The Girl in a Whirl
by ‘Dr. Sue’ (a.k.a. Vickie Gunther)

Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do
If you only knew how.
I study the scriptures one hour each day;
I bake,
I upholster,
I scrub,
and I pray.
I always keep all the commandments completely;
I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
I help in their classrooms!
I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice!
I cut all their hair!
I memorize names of the General Authorities;
I focus on things to be done by priorities.
I play the piano!
I bless with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle!
My checkbooks all balance!
Each week every child gets a one-on-one date;
I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!)

I’m taking a class on the teachings of Paul,

But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all .
I track my bad habits ’til each is abolished;
Our t-shirts are ironed!
My toenails are polished!
Our family home evenings are always delightful;
The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.
I do genealogy faithfully, too.
It’s easy to do all the things that I do!
I rise each day early, refreshed and awake;
I know all the names of each youth in my stake!
I read to my children!
I help all my neighbors!
I bless the community, too, with my labors.
I exercise and I cook menus gourmet;
My visiting teaching is done the first day!
(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
It’s the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.)
I chart resolutions and check off each goal;
I seek each “lost lamb” on my Primary roll.
I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all .

I write in my journal!
I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write “thank you’s” to those I admire.
My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A’s!
And their bedrooms are clean!
I have a home business to help make some money;
I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.
I go to the temple at least once a week;
I change the car’s tires!
I fix the sink’s leak!

I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread;
I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.
I make sure I rotate our two-years’ supply;
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
These things are not hard;
’tis good if you do them;
You can if you try!
Just set goals and pursue them!
It’s easy to do all the things that I do!
If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too!
It’s easy!” she said
and then she dropped dead.

I love this poem because it reminds me that I can't do it all--I have to pick the most important things to focus on. I have several goals I will be working on this next year--I'll post about it later. One of our family goals is to do better at daily scripture study. I will let you know how it goes.

December Daily--27

We got so much snow on Christmas Day that we have been staying home a lot. Mike is doing a lot of snow-blowing and the kids are playing with their new toys.

Bev got an easel from Grandma and Grandpa, so school is in session.
We enjoyed Mike's family party and came home and watched A Christmas Story. These are some good times--just a whole lot of hangin' out.

December Daily--26

Today, we slept in and played the Wii. That's about all we did until Mike came home. Then we packed up the kids and went sledding.

After sledding for a while, I look over and he is plopped down chowing on some snow.

We came home and had warm baths, hot cocoa and watched It's a Wonderful Life. When I started the movie. Andrew said, "Oh, no, is this one of those old fashioned movies?" I told him it was, but asked him to give it a chance. The ended up really liking it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December Daily--25

Christmas morning:
Every time we asked Jessie what she wanted for Christmas she said that she wanted a pink horse to ride. It's a good thing Santa has those elves, because I looked and looked, and I couldn't find one anywhere. She opens the horse and--let's just say the reaction was underwhelming. She then opens her stocking and sees these cupcake earrings. Her eyes light up, she grins from ear to ear, she asks immediately to put them on, she sits, admiring them in the mirror for a long time. Christmas is full of all sorts of surprises.
Bev surprised by her Kit American Girl doll.
The Star Wars Lego maniac.
Kiki got a green wagon and loved his wall-e leapster game.
Bev's toothfairy pillows.
After the other gifts were opened, we had the kids sit in a row and each of them open a gift at the same time.
Bev knows what it is and Andrew tells Kiki.
They all scream with excitement.
One "faints" from excitement.
There is no shortage of drama in this household.
Back in July while living in the apartment, I was at Costco with Andrew and Bev. I saw a Wii in someone's cart. I asked them where they were and I was told there was one left. I hurried to the front of the store and got the last one on the crate. I told the kids that a friend of mine told me that if I ever saw a Wii to buy it for her, because she really wanted one. Andrew told me that if she changed her mind we could just keep it. They were really surprised.

Each year Mike takes the kids to the Christmas Village Shop and they each pick out a gift for me. I just love seeing what they pick. Andrew is always very thoughtful--he always picks something sentimental--something that he knows I will love. Bev used to pick out random trinkets that she liked. This year she got me a Willow Tree angel that has a dark brown braid and is holding flowers--totally Bev. Jessie picked a little Santa snowglobe--cute and small, just like her. Kiki picked me out a handblown glass, multicolored bird. It clips on the Christmas tree. Mike said that he tried to steer him to some other choices, but he was dead set on the bird. He knew I would love it.

We had a wonderful day. After having our Christmas morning at home we headed up to Grandma and Grandpa's. We exchanged gifts and visisted, then we left to get ready for my family's party at our house. The kids love getting together with cousins from both sides of the family.

Friday, December 26, 2008

December Daily--24

Christmas Eve:
The kids saw A Christmas Story a few years ago and didn't really like it. This year, however, was different. They loved it. Show mommy how the piggies eat!
All ready to head to Grandma's. I am not going to reveal what I had to do to get this reaction.
Bev loves baby Max.
Grandma reading Christmas Stories.
New Christmas jammies.

I had my wrapping done, but Mike stayed up late with me setting up tables for the festivities the next day.

December Daily--23

Mike came home early and wanted to take the kids sledding at a hill by our house.

Jessica was such a trooper. The girl does not have much body fat, so we have to make sure we really bundle her up. She just loves the snow.
They are all fearless--I don't know if that is a good thing or not.

December Daily--22

This year I asked each of the kids to make each other a gift. Bev saw a little pillow I had made (with my mom's help I am sure) my siblings when I was around her age. I cross-stitched their names on the front and put a small pocket on the back. They could put their lost teeth in the pillow for the tooth fairy. She started this summer cross-stitching their first name initials. We went shopping and she picked out fabric for each pillow--everyone's favorite colors.

She loves to sew, and is learning to use the machine. I helped on the hard parts.
Mike helped the kids do their annual gingerbread house (purchased at Costco.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

December Daily--21

I am working on a little project,and for said project, I needed to scan in some old pictures. This is my family circa 1976. I am sitting in front of my dad. The picture was taken at the time my dad graduated from university. I am three, Melanie is two and Camille is one. We are all 13 months apart. 1989 and welcome big bangs. At least I'm not alone in the quest for the tallest bangs--Melanie has me beat. I also discovered while looking at all of these old photos that Christian looks a lot like my brother Ryan. Natalie also joined the family.
1994--right before my mission. The bangs are gone, but holy cow, apparently floral dresses are in.
1997--our wedding.
P.S. The project was for my parents. My dad asked me to get a digital picture frame for him to give my mom for Christmas. My siblings and I decided to give my dad one too. My sisters sent me pictures and I scanned some. I think they liked the gift.

December Daily--20

Saturday the kids had taekwondo testing. Beverly tested for her Recommended Black Belt. That means that her next testing will be for her Black Belt.

She did a good job on her testing. She is now the high-ranking student and is now called Miss (last name.) (That is my effort at keeping things anonymous for any creeps that might read this.)

Christian is thrilled that he is now a green belt. That is his favorite color, so it was a good day.

Bev loves baking, and she is getting really good at it. She made some brownies. She is my little helper. She plays with the babies (I think they will still be called that even when they are teenagers.) She has helped me with wrapping gifts, laundry, cooking and cleaning up. She is really earning her keep lately. I love that she is so willing and interested in learning how to do things.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

December Daily--19

Wall Art:
I am cool with my kids "hanging" their artwork with tape. We have been having issues with Kiki and Jess sneaking into Andrew and Bev's rooms during the day. Mike says it is an issue of supervision. I guess that makes sense. Except that it happens during the sacred "rest time." That is when they have to be on their beds reading or doing a quiet activity. They sneak out and explore the older kids' rooms. So, it was on one of these expeditions that Kiki found Andrew's box of push pins. I went upstairs after rest time and found these creations pinned to my bedroom wall and his bedroom wall. By the way, the drawing above is me "holding a broom." Mike will get a kick out of it because I also appear to have a rather pointy head and a cape.

Friday, December 19, 2008

December Daily--18

These kids love them some hot cocoa.
Kiki mixing the muffins.
When I brought the kids home from preschool, Kiki put his "glubs" on and went out to "help Dad shovel the snow." He got exhausted and came in to ask me if he could use the snow blower because it was just too much snow.

December Daily--17

There won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime.

I loved this song when it came out--I think I was eleven. I saw it on Friday Night Videos at my friend's house, then I waited with my boombox for it to come on the radio so that I could record it. I liked it then because I really liked George Michael. Now it makes me think of my Jessie.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December Daily--Dec. 16

Christian had his preschool program. He made the cutest little reindeer. He sang it loud and proud.
Andrew and Bev joined the school choir at the beginning of the year. They have been practicing Monday-Thursday mornings at 7:30 before school. It has been quite a challenge getting them up and ready. Mike has been a good sport getting them there.
Thanks to Ross for the pictures. My camera won't take pictures inside and far away. I have camera envy right now.
At the end of the program they did a number called the Reindeer Twist. Some of the singers got to come out in the audience and pick someone to come up and do the twist with them. Bev picked Jessica. Bev adores her. She told me that she was going to pick her because, "I'm so glad I have a sister, and she loves to dance."
Bev did a great job--she knew all the words and really got into the dancing.
Of course, so did Andrew.

He got into it. His favorite was the Mexican musical number. I just wish my kids would come out of their shells.

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Daily--Dec. 15

My not so secret dirty little secret......

This is the office/craft room. My craft room has always been a little bit junky--I do a lot of projects. This however, is just unacceptable and inappropriate. Usually the kids get to use and enjoy the craft room--right now it is too dangerous. This room ends up being the dumping ground for stuff I want to deal with later. Well, recently it has been the Christmas workshop--the storage for all of the elf work I do this time of year. Last night I stayed up late and got a lot of the Christmas projects done and almost all of the wrapping done. Now I am left with this disaster of a room. Since moving into this house, I have not tackled this room. Well, that is about to change. I am posting this as a "before" shot. I will be posting the "after" shots in a few days. Wish me luck. Oh, and I am really hoping for no spiders. That was the motivation as a teenager to try and keep my room clean. I have spider issues, and my mom, wise woman that she is, told me that if I made my bed and kept stuff off the floor the spiders would have no place to hide. There are a lot of places to hide in here.