Friday, January 30, 2009

Right Now...

Right now I'm...

**Catching up on laundry, our washer may not have been broken after all.

**Mourning the loss of a favorite magazine.

**Finally back into this book again, I think this time I'll finish it.

**In bed at 9:30 and up at 5:45. Weird but nice.

**Actually excited about the Superbowl! I guess those Steelers genes are in me somewhere (my mom is cheering right now).

**Grateful for so much.

**Loving this new blog and this Flickr group. So real.

**Ready for just a touch of Spring, so we can be outside and play!

**In need of a big grocery trip. So I'm off to get kids dressed, lists made, and out the door before naptime meltdowns.

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cabin Dance Fever

It's been a long cold weekend of being inside which always leads to some interesting ways to fill our days. Friday morning we celebrated all the PMO January birthday kids with a 1-2-3-4 Birthday Playdate. Each birthday kid was one of these ages. I finally hosted everyone at my house and it was fun to have everyone over.

Friday night we had family movie night and introduced the kids to Babe. I love this movie and was so happy the kids loved it too. We really been cutting back on tv watching and trying to make it a special event so this was the first tv/movie they've watched all week.

Here are some other fun ways the kids entertained us and themselves this weekend:
A new way to sleep:
One of the few quiet moments:

And of course, dress up (or down) and dance:

Oh, and here's snack at PMO from Thursday when they celebrated (H)'s birthday:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mr. Big Stuff

(H) had a wonderful birthday full of people singing to him and giving him birthday wishes. ^J^ announced his birthday at our community lunch in front of about 80 people, so everyone knew and would come tell him Happy Birthday. He didn't know what to do so he'd just stand there, but by the end of the day when someone would say it, he say "Ha-be Birday" back to them, you know like we do with every other holiday greeting: "Merry Christmas!", "Merry Christmas!"; "Happy New Year!", "Happy New Year!".
He requested pie for his birthday so he got a chocolate pudding pie. Yum.

Their "big" party isn't for a couple of weeks. It was the first day the museum had available so they are patiently waiting for the "real" party, as *A* puts it. She calls the party she had with us our "tiny little party".

Ok, so just so I'm not ignoring the ever so important day that fell between my children's' ever so important birthdays...whoo hoo for inauguration day! As a former Americorps member, I was super-excited by all the times President Obama asked us as Americans to serve. Is it possible we'll have a president who values community service?! I was working during the actual swearing in but we taped it and caught up on all the days goings on on our main news source: The Daily Show.
Here was one of my favorite parts:

The best parts begin around minute 4, but my absolute favorite part is the end with "the most adorable civil rights leader" so it's all worth watching. Be on the lookout for Hilary Clinton's impression of Violet Beauregard from Willie Wonka. "You're turning violet, Violet!"

And if you just can't get enough, go to my friend's blog to see David Letterman's last installment of Great Moments in Presidential Speeches to see the entertainment we're going to miss with former president Bush. Oh, I like the sound of that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday Bash Continued...

So we carried on with our day and it started snowing, and it continued snowing and then we made *A*'s cake, and it was still snowing so after (H)'s nap, we decided to venture out and take a snow walk. We have been wanting to go explore the little lake behind our house ever since the cold cold weather last week in the single digits. We could tell from our house that it was iced over but it was hard to tell how much. Well, today when the snow was laying on top of the lake, we knew it must be ice so we bundled up and took the dogs for a walk. Those rain/snow boots sure do come in handy! I was wishing I had some.
We found some rabbit tracks.
Here's the lake with snow laying on top.
Here's a couple of cracks in the ice where people threw things to see how thick the ice was.
And here's Sophie testing it out for herself...yikes!
It was pretty thick by the edges as we later found out when both Sophie and Gracie decided to test it by wresting out there. We didn't let them venture too far because neither one of us was willing to set foot on that pond. The kids thought it was hilarious though. We took some video of our walk too that should be in the Moving Pictures area on the sidebar------->.

The day ended perfectly with hot chocolate all around to thaw out while I made the specially requested dinner and then we sang and ate that yummy strawberry cake.

This little girl was pretty happy with her day, as were we when she made her (10 day late) appearance 4 years ago...
Now it's time to gear up for sweet child #2's birthday in 2 short days when he'll be 2. Phew.

Happy Birthday to *A*!!!!

Today is my *A*'s 4th birthday. 4 is so big, it's like a real kid, no more baby, no more toddler, all pre-schooler. We're having a family celebration tonight, just the 4 of us complete with her choice of food for dinner. She chose chicken nuggets, pizza, and broccoli with pink cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I made the kids birthday crowns yesterday and finally used my sewing machine that I've had for 2 years. Here's Ava sporting hers:

Ok, more birthday fun later, we're off to run errands and eat lunch and play at Mickey D's. It's supposed to snow today which is so funny because it snowed on her birthday last year and now she's going to be convinced it's supposed to snow every year on her birthday. She told her Nana this morning that "God made it snow for my birthday". Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Still Life Afternoon

Yesterday both kids refused to nap. (H) took a short nap in the morning and *A* has become on and off about hers each day, so I finally gave up and said they could get up. What I anticipated to be a horrific afternoon turned out to be pretty amazing. They are at finally at the age that they play together and it is SOOOO nice.

First they decided to play games so they got a variety off the shelf and made up their own versions.
(H) really just wanted to dump out all the cards but he had fun and it let me get a loaf of bread started.
Then we decided to brave the cold and play on the porch.

Even Ella thought it was a nice idea.

We ended up putting coats on and going in the yard to play for another hour. They were pretty pooped by dinnertime with all the fresh air and no naps, so we were able to get them in bed by 7:30 and actually got to watch the "enhanced" version of last season's Lost season finale (in other words, it was Lost for dummies, which is totally us). We got all caught up and are now ready for the new season. Maybe I'll actually be able to watch it this season (if I can remember what night it comes on).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our Big Boy

We got some hand-me-down clothes for (H) from our friends last night after they made us some kickin' fajitas complete with homemade flour tortillas (I must try that!). They're from Texas and know what good Mexican food is all about. So anyway, (H) was watching me unload the clothes and commenting on all the shirts he liked (the one with Jimi Hendrix on the front was his favorite). Then we discovered a yellow baseball hat which he proceeded to put on and not take all. In fact, this is how he fell asleep last night:

Too cute that boy.

He did pretty well today back at PMO. He has moved up to the preschool classroom now that he's almost 2 and he went back and forth between the baby room and the big kid room just to make sure I was still close by. My friend Trish (faithful blog follower that she is!) helped out in the baby room with me today since my co-teacher was absent. We had fun and she helped juggle the babies while we all got used to being back at school. So thanks Trish!

It's been snowing on and off today but nothing's sticking. It's very pretty though. There's another chance for snow Thursday. *A*'s convinced Christmas is coming "because it's snowing". I tried to explain to her that it's snowing because it's Winter and that Winter lasts longer than Christmas, but she's not convinced. Here are some Wintery pictures from Sunday when we got to experience what we're calling frozen fog...not sure what that is really, but the air was damp like fog but it was so cold that it froze to the trees. Very cool.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back in the Groove

After a fun-filled grown-up weekend, we are now back in the swing of "normal" life. This weekend the grandparents took turns having the kids so that ^J^ and I could go to a party Friday celebrating the Senior seminary students completing the GOEs (General Ordination Exams-like a seminary exit exam). The theme of the party was Survivor complete with beachy decorations and food. Here is our friend Eric sporting his straw hat as a "survivor" of the GOEs.

Then Saturday ^J^ went to the local convent/retreat center for some reading time while I hosted some girls for a night of silliness. My two best gal-pals from college came and another new friend who fit in perfectly! We played games, ate brownies, and had pillow fights (not really). It was nice girl-time but I wasn't able to show them the real Sewanee since the weather was crummy. So, they'll just have to come back in the Spring and we can hike and go to Shenanigans!

By Sunday afternoon, I was ready to have my kids back. When we picked them up, I was amazed at how they'd grown, in just 2 days! (H) is talking like a big boy and *A* was so grown-up acting! It was a nice break for all and the kids loved being with their grandparents. They didn't want to leave to come back home actually, but once they got here, I could tell they were excited. Plus we brought back all the balloons from the party so that was a big hit!

I'm excited to be home too and back into a schedule. The break was wonderful but it was just that, a much needed break. Now we have to focus on getting our old house sold or rented and I've got to figure out how we're going to make ends meet this semester. So back in the groove, but refreshed and ready for the challenges of life. Well, not so ready for the possibly broken washing machine we discovered last night...that makes my blood pressure rise a bit so I'm not going to think about that right now. We're off to run a million errands. Have a good Monday!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hello Stranger!

We saw this round glowy thing in the sky yesterday and the world looks so much...brighter! And today there's not a cloud in the sky. It's so nice but it's making me restless, like I want to be outside or going somewhere instead of staying in and putting away Christmas. But, I've been avoiding it all week and I have my college girlfriends coming this weekend so it's a must. Well, maybe after we go to the park for a bit, the kids need to run after all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Much Improved!

Well today turned out to be pretty darn perfect despite my early morning rantings. After the kids were delivered, ^J^ and I went and played tennis! We knew we wanted to go workout together since we always have to take turns, and since we were together I wanted to do something couldn't normally do on my own, hence the tennis! Such fun! Then we came home and straightened up and listened to the quiet. Then we went to Shenanigan's for lunch and didn't have to worry about children falling off a bench or spilling their drinks.

When we came home, we decided to try out a recipe from this book I got for Christmas.
The concept is totally fun and dangerously simple because it will lead to much warm bread eating in this house(goodbye tennis-burned calories!). I've just begun flipping through this book, so we started with the most basic of the doughs, but there is SO much more to experiment with and the refrigerator-storing method is so convenient!
While the bread was in the oven, ^J^ decided he wanted to make homemade butter(which we learned about in this book that I also got for Christmas).

After about 10 minutes of shaking, he got a nice 1/2 cup pat of butter to which we added a bit of salt and then slathered it all over the warm-from-the-oven bread.
Oh. my. goodness! We've eaten almost the whole loaf and (H)'s not even awake yet!

Now we're about to cook some Indian food for dinner using this yummy Korma sauce we got from Trader Joe's while in Atlanta. After that I think I'll end this near-perfect, super-soggy day knitting a few rounds on my new hat while watching The Vicar of Dibley...maybe tomorrow we'll actually start putting Christmas decorations away...It is Epiphany after all, Happy Epiphany!

Bluh Day

Isn't this what we all want to be doing today? It's been raining here for days and days. It's amazing how the weather affects your mood and energy level. I slept in late and another Mommy-friend is taking the kids today for a playdate so I have the morning "off" but all I want to do is curl back up in that bed. I was so productive yesterday organizing, and hoped to get so much done today with the kids gone, but I'm not so sure. I need a boost of sunshine, or maybe caffeine. I think ^J^ and I will go have a mini-date at the local coffee shop this morning. Hope your day is less bluh.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

As an early Christmas present, a friend and I decided to split a yearly pass to the Chattanooga Discovery Museum. We did this a month or so ago and decided to go back this past weekend since we've had such yucky weather and the kids needed to get out of the house and play. This is a really great place and I recommend it highly. Last time we went, we didn't even make it past the 1st floor because there is so much to do! We are thinking of having the kids birthday party there too! Here are some of the highlights:

::Playing the Drums on the rooftop::

::Digging for Dino Bones::

::Strong Girl! Pulley Swing on the Roof::

::Water Play Area::

::(H)'s favorite spot: The boat with pretend fishing!::

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year

Doesn't it seem like we should get presents on New Years instead of, or in addition to, Christmas? Things to help us in the new year? You know, we could just save some presents and give them on New Year's Day. Like, for instance, I need a new filing cabinet, it's not a terribly exciting Christmas present, but it would be a very useful New Year's present! Of course wouldn't it be wonderful to give gifts of a non-material nature like organization, patience, determination, etc...I guess that's what resolutions are for, but it sure would help us keep them if we had some of these gifts!

Ok, enough random thoughts. Welcome back and welcome 2009! We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of fun times, too much good food, and some new goodies for all. We've been back on the mountain for a few days and we've just been relaxing and getting back to being our little family. The most exciting present to me was a surprise new digital camera from ^J^'s brother's family. Whoohoo! It's a Nikon Coolpix and it's super-cute and small but powerful and it takes great videos too, so look for new videos on the sidebar soon! I got some wonderful books too that I'll post in the What I'm Reading area. Many are recommended from blogs I read by crafty mommies. Here are some pics from the many wonderful Christmas celebrations we've had over the past week or so:
Happy New Year!

Our perfect, simple Christmas...

Stocking Stash!

(H)'s new train!

Christmas in ATL...
Puzzles with Daddy:

New Toys!

The Best Toy of all!

Hot Chocolate at Gram's with the cousins:

A New "mysickle"

Playdough Party!

Home again, ahhhhh!