Friday, December 25, 2009

Blessed Nativity

A very Merry Christmas to one and all.
This adorable picture sums up the reason for the season....the birth of Christ.
The children are cousins. The oldest boy is our Godson. The boys are siblings and the little girl is their cousin...all of them are children/grandchildren of our dear friends. I love this photo and had to "steal" it for my blog.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Got It!

It's been weighing on me like a ton of bricks. I've done a Christmas card photo and letter every year for the past 13 years. This year it just wasn't happening for me. I was out of time and out of energy. I decided to go with an email card and photo. Saves me time, money and it's green for the environment too.
Once I got my act together this morning it didn't actually take much to get a good photo. A few Santa hats, basic jeans and white tees...oh yes, and candy canes for bribery. You can see Sis and Baby George slurping on them in the photo. A big taboo to have candy in the living room...but worth it:)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Visit

We have had a super busy week. Imagine getting ready for Christmas, having your house on the market, getting ready to go on our big trip, AND...all the dental appointments, doctor appointments, hair cuts, etc. that I couldn't get done before Cam's quarter ended. It was a busy week!!!

There are a few holiday things that I insist we do each year. One of them is a visit to Santa to get the kids' photos taken. Every year I put all the photos out in chronological order. I love to look at them! Cam...thinks it's very much fun to get 5 kids all fixed up in matching fancy clothes and then stand in line for what could be a VERY long time:) But, each year I'm so glad we did it.
Tuba LOVES Santa! My favorite photo of him with Santa is the year that he kept smelling Santa's beard and then looking at him nose to nose. It's the cutest photo. This year Tuba went right up and cuddled Santa...of course.

This is the photo I not the official one from the photographer. Nobody cried! Amazing! I think handing the little ones a candy cane right away helped a bunch;) Plus, they sat on chairs at Santa's feet. They didn't have to see that big scary guy.

Next we went out for a holiday meal...and balloons...hmmmm....I like balloons about as much as I like bubbles:) If you've been a reader of my blog for long you'll know what I mean! Just picture our mini van...and I stress the word MINI...with 5 kids, 5 balloons and 2 very annoyed parents...NOT pretty. Cam was planning the popping of those evil kid loving things the second the kids were in bed:)
On the way back through the mall we put some money in the Salvation Army can. The bell ringer let Busy Guy shake the bells. It was a hoot. He launched into a full throttle Beyonce booty shake! I wish I had it on video. He is a crack up!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Isn't this how all moms cook dinner? I've always got someone on the hip, someone on the leg and someone...or two running through. Cam laughs and tells me I'll be sad some day when they all go away to college! I just give him the squinty eye....cause I know he's right:)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Bliss

My BIG day! I turned 39 yesterday! Only one more year of the 30's!!! It was just yesterday that I entered the 30's. Wow, it's gone so fast.

I had a really fun's 39 things I did yesterday.

1. Slept in!
2. Had tea
3. Went out to breakfast with the family
4. Took a drive and enjoyed the water view.
5. Opened presents
6. Received tons of wonderful birthday wishes.
7. Read the newspaper in peace:)
8. Took a shower without anyone needing me.
9. Spent 1 hour home alone!!!!!!!! This hasn't happened in over a year...or two:)
10. Blew dried my hair, flat ironed it, put on makeup and got dressed in my hour to myself.
11. Went to the salon.
12. Got a manicure.
13. Got a pedicure....oh, yes!
14. Went to the grocery store.
15. Made dinner.
16. Ate steak...
17. ...Caesar salad...
18. ...sourdough bread and butter...
19. ...and baked potato with the works.
20. Had happy birthday sung to the most angelic choir of kids.
21. Gathered the kids for a birthday picture with my cake.
22. Wrangled kids fingers away from MY cake.
23. Cut and passed out cake.
24. Shared cake with two toddlers.
25. Ate my own piece of cake.
26. Ate Tuba's piece of cake.
27. Felt sick and regretted that third piece of cake:(
28. Got kids ready for bed.
29. Watched the Shrek Christmas show with the big boys.
30. Read books to the big boys.
31. Said prayers as a family.
32. Put on snuggy pj's.
33. Washed my face.
34. Put my hair in a ponytail.
35. Brushed my teeth.
36. Picked up the house.
37. Licked some frosting off a plate...why?
38. Watched a movie with Cam! I NEVER get to pick the movie...but it was my special day.
39. Went to sleep at 9:00!!!
Happy Birthday to ME:)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shared Birthday

Maybe I've posted this picture on my blog before??? I can't remember what I did yesterday let alone what photos I've used in the past. This is my beautiful grandparents. They were the best grandparents!!! They shared a birthday and I was born just one day later. So special. Here we are in 1985 celebrating. I was a freshman in high school. My grandma died the summer after this photo was taken. She died too young....58 years young. I still miss her so much. I want to be like her. She was an awesome person...happy, outgoing, giving and strong! She and my grandpa were always on the go with their grandkids. I can't wait to be a grandparent and do all the fun things they did. They took us boating and camping, cooked with us, built projects with us, we spent the night at their house with our cousins, had huge holiday celebrations, and celebrated birthdays. My favorite cake is the barbie cake my grandma made me:) My grandpa died in 2001. We all miss him so much. Cam got to know and love my grandpa as did Tuba. Tuba was his special boy and loved to walk over to his house for visits. I cherish all the photos and memories with him. Happy Birthday to my incredible grandparents. Thank you for all that you did for us and the legacy that you left us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Partners in Crime

These two have become fast friends. They run around together mostly getting along. Baby George hangs onto his big Sister's sleeve as she runs through the house. They giggle and giggle together. About a billion times an hour they have gotten into something forbidden...unlocked child proof locks, pulled food out, emptied the toothbrush bin, emptied dresser drawers, the list goes on and on. While I'm scolding them...sternly...they look at each other and one of them will say, "More???" and they will start laughing. OH! Sometimes it makes me laugh too...sometimes NOT!
They have both been carrying around Beanie Baby Bears. Baby George calls them his "baby" and Sis calls them "bear". They insisted on having them at breakfast the other morning. They had yogurt and held their bears. Sis kept kissing her bear on the head. Good thing those beanie bears can go in the washer!
Now, I'm off to duct tape a few things closed. The child proof locks I have are NOT working for these kids. Duct tape at least slows them down...for now;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Simple Christmas

This Fall I read the boys Little House in The Big Woods. They really enjoyed it. I especially loved the chapter detailing the family's Christmas. I would love to have such a simple and joyous Christmas. One without all the commercialism and rush. I'd love to make all the gifts and get the same in return. The celebration of Christ's birth and the special visit from family was the main it should be. In today's world it is unimaginable that a child would receive mittens and a piece of candy...a single piece...and be content. And...the fact that Laura received a doll and the other children weren't jealous but happy for her is just amazing.

Each year I try to simplify things. To put the focus where it should be. It's hard! This year our decorations are about as simple as they've ever been. Since we are leaving on a trip we didn't want to have a big live tree and all the decorations out. So, this year we put out our tiny table top tree. Mr. P and Busy Guy made all the decorations for it. It looks beautiful and it was to love that! The only other decoration is our Advent calendar. My mom bought it for the kids this year. I really love it. Each day a new piece is added to the scene (stars, angels, holy family, camels, wise men, shepherds, sheep, donkey, inn-keeper, cow and of course baby Jesus). The kids are very excited each day taking turns and talking about Christ's birth. So much better than one filled with candy. I had contemplated putting candy in each door along with the Nativity piece. I'm so glad I didn't. The kids would have looked forward to the candy and the message would have been lost. Loving this new ritual. Now, wondering if I can make the kids mittens for Christmas and have them be overjoyed with them;)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The world is her orphanage

Check out this link and read the wonderful article about Merrily Ripley, AAI's Director. I'm so thankful to have found AAI. What an amazing agency...and amazing woman!

Friday, December 4, 2009


None of these clothes will be coming with us:)

Hawaii is near!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!! So exciting!!!!!!!!!!! In case you haven't heard...Make A Wish Foundation granted Tuba a wish and he chose Hawaii!!!!!!!!!! So soon we are off to learn the hula.

But, right now I'm in the midst of figuring out what to pack...who needs shorts, suits, sandals, hats, etc. Yikes, packing for 7 people (yes, 7, no, I'm not letting Cam pack himself;) is really daunting. Yesterday we tried on sandals and suits to see what fits and what I need to order. I've ordered a few things online...okay, really more like 100 things and we'll try it on as it comes to our door:) Luckily it's cold outside so I can pack all these warm weather outfits early.

On top of Hawaii planning we are getting in the Christmas spirit too. Because of our trip (and the toddlers X 2) we have opted to not get a big tree and instead put out a tiny one on our end table. The only other decorations we put out is a beautiful new Advent calendar. I'll post pics fun and cute. So, for those who know me well....this is a great Christmas for me:) Less to do and less to clean up.....Yeah!!!! More time to enjoy the people and the season.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brotherly Love

The thing that stresses Cam and I out more than anything in life is thinking about what will happen to Tuba when we are gone. It's so painful and scary to think about that usually we cannot discuss it for long. We do have a plan though. We hope and pray that Tuba's brothers and sister will take care of him. We know that this starts with how they treat him and each other here in our home. I was so touched the other day by something my boys said. I know for all the worrying Cam and I do it isn't necessary.

I was talking with Mr. P and Busy Guy about when they grow up and go to college. I was teasing them and telling them that I would miss them so much and I would come visit them and ask them things like, "are you taking enough baths, eating veggies, doing your homework, going to bed on time, dating nice girls, etc." They were giggling and reassuring me. I suddenly had the thought that Tuba will be here at home with Cam and I. I told the boys that Tuba will miss them so much while they are gone to college and when they move out. Mr. P got a very serious face and announced that when he comes home on break he will take Tuba to the beach. Oh! My heart just filled with joy. Busy Guy chimed in with an offer to take Tuba to the toy store:) So precious these boys. They know what Tuba loves. They will of course take care of their brother. I am so blessed. Thank you God for these beautiful children and their love for each other.


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