Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What We've Been Up To...

We're in full holiday mode around here, here's a glimpse:

Finally seeing Daddy and getting to celebrate his birthday and his being done for the semester with a favorite dinner and favorite cookie

Annual Cookie baking with Nana, using my grandmother's Spritz cookie recipe, it's a 4 generation tradition!

Loving that all it takes is a card or two in the mail to brighten our day

Lots of Christmas crafting, our first experiment with shrinky-dinks, so fun!

Yesterday was the biggest Holiday Fun-Fest ever! We did all the "must-dos" when in Atlanta for the holidays, I'm not not sure they're recommended to be done all in one day though! We were exhausted by the end of it, but it sure was fun!
First, we went to the Varsity for lunch,

MMMMMM, frosted orange...

Followed by a girl's day at The Nutcracker,

Followed by a visit to Lenox Mall to ride The Pink Pig,

Followed by a visit with the big man himself!

Here they are deep in conversation. I was so proud of both of them for actually sitting with him and talking to him after having such a long day with no real naps. I think finally we're at the age of not freaking out. (H) was a tad nervous though, you can tell by his protruding tounge! I think he wouldn't have done as well without the knowledge that he was going to get a candy cane from him afterwards.

Today we're recovering from all that and trying to get everything ready for the upcoming multiple Christmas celebrations. I'll try and post a bit here and there but life's gonna get pretty busy so I'll say Merry Christmas now and see you again in 2010!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Life is slowly coming to a halt of sorts, a nice easy pace.

Things are ending for the semester. Winding down. Coming to a close. Sort of.

After many weeks of rushing about and to-dos, it seems my brain is less full. I keep having this anxious feeling of things I should be doing, but when I really think about it, I don't.

Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of things going on in the next week or so. Shopping and baking and wrapping and visiting and such, but it will happen in a time of vacation and when we're together. ^J^ has a lot of work ahead of him but I think he's starting to see the light at the end. I know we are. We're ready to have him home and in-the-know again.

I'm feeling like vacation is here for the kids and I already though, and we're just waiting on daddy to finish finals. We're totally taking it easy today after a whirlwind trip this weekend and yesterday. We spent yesterday in Birmingham at a dear friend's ordination to the priesthood and caught up while the kids played. Tonight I am going out with some friends to the big city to eat at a real restaurant, and Friday I'm having a shopping day with my mom followed by our Annual Christmas cookie baking day. While our plate still seems a bit full, all the things we still have planned between now and the new year are fun things and I'm looking forward to each one even if it means we're active and travelling. But for now, I'm off to nap and enjoy this day of settling.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cousin Fun

Last week ^J^'s parents came to visit and go to Lessons and Carols and they brought our neice with them. They spent the night and the kids had a great time playing and exploring the campus. We went over to All Saint's Chapel to take pictures of the beautiful flowers they had up for Lessons and Carols and the kids were mostly willing to get their picture taken too.

This weekend we'll get to have more cousin fun as we have a full day Sunday with the kids' Christmas symphony, and ^J^'s parent's church's Christmas show. Tonight we're headed to the seminary's holiday party (now that (H) is better), and we're continuing ^J^'s finals countdown. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I'm home with a sick boy and since he won't let me leave his side, I've been checking out some fun stuff online while we chill on the couch and watch Christmas movies.

Here's what I'm loving right now:

**The smell of christmas tree in our house**

**This bracelet**

**Being amazed at our kids' sense of humor**

**These Advent ideas**
Here's how we adapted them into our own Advent Calendar:

(Inside each envelope is something to do each day until Christmas. The kids thought of each idea with only a little prompting from me for certain things like "Make Christmas Cookies". *A*'s ideas were very thoughtful and kind. After suggesting lots of things to give to people who don't have much, she wanted to "Make soup for the whole....WORLD!" I gently explained that would be awesome but way more soup than we could ever make, so she settled on making soup for our neighbors. Her new High Five magazine has a project for soup in a jar and she thinks the layers of lentils, rice, etc. is pretty cool so I think that's what we'll do when that envelope is chosen.)

These camera straps

**The way things are coming to a close for the semester and the long break ahead of us**

**Getting out our favorite Holiday cds, especially this and this**

**The reminders all around me to slow down during this Advent season**

Hope you enjoy some unexpected downtime this week.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some snow, a saint, and a tree walk into a bar...

We woke up to 3 inches of snow Saturday which was super-exciting, but we couldn't stay home and play in it too long because we had the Morning with St. Nicholas event to get to. The kids were itching to get out and play in the snow though, so they threw some warm clothes on and ^J^ took them out (at 7:30am!) while I finished getting ready.

Gracie and Sophie were excited to play in it too!

Then we all changed into dry clothes and headed to Morning with St. Nick.
Here we are with St. Nick, as you can see, the kids wouldn't sit with him by themselves, and even with us in the picture, (H)'s trying to escape and *A*'s clinging to my neck for dear life. *A* did enjoy coloring pictures of St. Nick with her friends and here she is discovering gold coins in her shoes after the program.

Afterwards, we went to our friend's The Krouse's house and ate pizza and the kids played in the snow some more.
We were all pretty exhausted after this jam-packed morning so we came home and took naps. Then we watched Christmas movies, made a cake, and decorated the tree! The kids loved opening each box, getting out as much as they could, leaving it in various places in the living room, and then starting all over again on a new box. Can I just say how messy our living room was? Oh wait, here's proof
Sadly in this process, a few ornaments were broken but the kids were really excited to open all the boxes and in the end, after much rearranging of kid-placed ornaments, we have a finished tree. Whew, what a day!:

Friday, December 4, 2009

First Snow

Just have to say how much I love living somewhere that we actually *get* snow, not just the threat of it. And in the first week of December too! More tomorrow after the PMO Morning with St. Nicholas event I've been helping plan all week, followed by playing in the snow! I found a great resource if you would like to incorporate celebrating St. Nicholas into your Advent tradtions. It's here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Off and running

Well our break was fast and busy, not the usual thanksgiving lazy break I was hoping for but it was nice to see family and I got some knitting done (although I can't currently find it). We have 2 and a half more weeks of the semester and then we have a month off...ahhhhh. The end of the semester is crazy, busy and we don't see ^J^ much but we're keeping our eyes on that long break coming up with very little obligations and lots of holiday fun!

Last night were the monthly board meetings for Parent's Morning Out and the Spouses of the Seminary. It was sad to say goodbye to the Seniors who will be leaving at the end of the year as the gave up their jobs on each board. I'm anxious and excited to see what the new people will bring as they assume leadership roles. I keep my job as Parent's Morning Out Director but I have a new job for the Spouse's organization, I'm the Discretionary Fund chairperson which means I get to help families in need. I'm very excited to take on this job as I know how much it meant to us when mystery money would show up in our mailbox last year when we were really struggling financially. Speaking of which, if you feel like praying for a worthy cause, please pray that the bank will accept the short sale on our house. We are feeling very frustrated and discouraged by the bank right now (I was on hold off and on for 2 hours Monday) and have had to renew our contract with the buyer because the bank is taking so long, so we just need this stress gone from our lives. Sorry for the prayer request on my blog but I figure it can't hurt.

Anyway, I'm off to the big city today to get supplies for a seminarian craft show tomorrow and for the Morning with St. Nicholas program on Saturday. Never a dull moment! I promise more pictures and less complaining next time! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Today both kids took a nap (as did mommy and daddy) because we're all trying to recover from our fun but busy weekend. I woke up and felt the need to do something with all these leftovers, so my inner Julia Child came out and I made homemade turkey noodle soup and turkey pot pie. We had made turkey stock Thanksgiving night so that was already done, you could use chicken stock if you don't have any turkey stock on hand. We also had a ton of raw veggie leftover from the appetizer my mom brought so I just threw in as many veggie as I could. Here are the recipes if you are interested:

Turkey Noodle Soup
Saute lots of cut up veggies: carrots, celery, onion, zuchini, squash, tomaotes, brocoli, etc. in 2T of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and a teaspoon of poultry seasonings. Add 8 cups of turkey stock, 3 cups chopped turkey, 1 can of Rotel, and 1/2 big bag of egg noodles. Simmer until noodles are cooked al dente, add a few sprigs of chopped fresh parsley stir and serve. YUMMMMMMMMM! I was kind of worried how this would turn out as I've never really made homemade chicken(or turkey) noodle soup, but it is SO good. It makes a lot, so plan to freeze some or share with a friend.

Turkey Pot Pie
I used this recipe, but I added some white wine when I added the stock and did it in a casserole dish instead of individual bowls. It's in the oven but I'm fairly certain it's gonna be a hit!
Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 27, 2009


For grandparents who bring treats to make while Mommy and Daddy are working in the kitchen
And for more grandparents who bring goodie bags of things to get us excited about the upcoming season
And for family walks to the lake even in the bitter cold in hopes of a possible fish
And for *A*'s beautiful turkey handprint place settings on our table to remind us of beautiful simplicity
And for an abundance of food
And for a little boy who knows his limits
And for a little girl who always tests her's

Hope your day was wonder-full!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Day Countdown

The cranberries are done, turkey's smoked, house is *almost* clean, firewood's delivered, and break is HERE!
We're expecting 10 people for Thanksgiving this year, which is actually a small number compared to year's past, and we're so ready to have a few days off, good food, and family togetherness. My dad came up yesterday and presented us with a few early Christmas presents/Thanksgiving presents that we're so excited about playing with this weekend.
The blog will be improved by these gifts too so look forward to awesome pictures with my new camera lens, and we'll now be able to post videos again too thanks to our super-cool, super-small new video camera!!! We feel very tech-savvy right now, thanks so much Dad!

Last night was our annual Soup Night at our friends the Krouse's. Soup Night started before we arrived in Sewanee and it typically happens the night before Thanksgiving break, people bring pots of soup, bread, cheese, desserts, etc. and we all have a pre-thanksgiving feast. This year there were 50 people there and it was, as always, a great time. There was a bonfire, good company, kids in crazy dress-up clothes, and yummy food. This is one of my favorite events of the year and I'm sad the Krouses won't be here to host it next year, but maybe we'll just have to carry on the tradition!

In other unrelated catch-up news, ^J^ was elected student body president for the School of Theology and he was accepted as a sacristain for the chapel. It's going to be a busy 2010 but an exciting one too! For now, we're looking forward to enjoying this weekend and the mix of excited hectic rushing with complete calm laziness afterwards. This weekend is traditionally a very crafty time for me, I feel like I have time to just sit and be creative when the house is clean and fridge is packed full. I'm looking forward to a lot of this:


And this:

And lots of hiking, sleeping, and Advent preparations. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Today *A*'s preschool class hosted a Thanksgiving Feast complete with each student's choice of food. This preschool is pretty awesome and it is as close to Montessori we're gonna get here(it's Reggio), I wish I had found it sooner actually. *A*'s teacher was very insistent that we honor our child's choice and provide the food they requested. They asked each child what they wanted, and then sent home the list so that we'd know what to prepare for today. *A*'s choice was mac-n-cheese which was pretty tame compared to some. There was everything from pancakes to chicken fingers from a certain restaurant, to hamburgers with mushrooms to "noodles with white sauce and lima beans". It was truly a kid-feast with very little green things represented. It was lots of fun and *A* and I were able to spend some rare quality time together.

Afterwards, the kids we're high on syrup, juice, and chocolate chip cookies so they ran laps around the adults at the tables. They also sang us a Thanksgiving song and decorated and set the tables beforehand.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Scenes from a Weekend...

...spent almost completely outside...