Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Girl

My baby girl is 3!! I just cannot believe it. She was very excited for her big day. She kept saying "Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEE!". The day started with birthday breakfast. Usually we do pancakes with a candle but Sis wanted oatmeal. She marches to the beat of her own drum. :)
We spent the day hanging out at home. We are having new cabinets done and the house was a MESS! The kids and I went to Lowe's and ran some errands. Half way through the day I decided that we would be going out for pizza! We bought cupcakes to take with us too. Sis was thrilled to go were all her brothers.

Sis trying to show us "3" on her fingers.

Happy Birthday to Sis!!
On Sat. Sis and I are going on a special shopping day. We are going to go spend some time together and pick out her gift. On Sunday we will have cake....again and do a bit more celebrating. I'm so thrilled to have such a sweet and spirited little girl. Happy Birthday big 3!

Monday, December 27, 2010


We have had an amazing Christmas. The festive time started with a visit from Aunt Cinn and Uncle Jamie! Yeah! And...they are expecting their first baby too! We had a nice family dinner and movie night at our house. Christmas Eve morning we went to my mom's house to celebrate with my sister, nephews. Then on to home for a fun day of hanging out and eating snacks. Plus, Cam and I had to do some assembly....that deserves it's own blog entry! We planned to go to church that evening but we have had a tummy bug sweeping us and it hit Cam that evening. Boo! Luckily it moves on fast. Christmas morning was wonderful!! Busy Guy and Mr. P actually slept in until 6:30.....amazing! They came into our room to tell us Santa had come! So cute, they looked at and touched their stockings but waited for us. Tuba got his logs and battery powered candles, Mr. P and Busy Guy got Bonicles, Sis got Hello Kitty socks and headbands, Baby George got Woody and lots of Toy Story themed things. Plus, each kid got tons of candy!!

After opening stockings we started a new tradition. I heard of this from a gal named Emily that Cam works with. Emily's family (6 kids) would take turns putting the baby Jesus into the nativity scene. Jesus would not be put out until Christmas morning. One child would be chosen to carry Jesus and would be the leader of a procession through the house. The family would sing Christmas carols while processing. Cam and I loved it and were eager to try it with our family. We asked Mr. P to carry Jesus and lead our procession. He did a great job and carried him very carefully. Cam did most of the singing...which is a good thing. Mr. P carefully placed Jesus back onto the mantel. Precious. We will do this every year! Next we opened gifts. How fun!! We go one at a time so we can see what everyone is opening. The exception would be when Sis and Tuba were in cahoots and opened one of Cam's gifts and one for the family. Stinkers! Then we ate...finally. Eggs, bacon, toast, fruit and sparkling cider. Then we lounged around in our pig pen of a house. Loved it! We stayed in pj's and watched the kids play. We snuggled in bed and sang songs and just had the best time. At dinner time we got cleaned up and went to Cam's mom's house for dinner.
I love Christmas. I'm a convert. I didn't use to love it....but now I do. I truly had the BEST Christmas this year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope you have the Merriest Christmas. This picture was our Christmas card this year. It was taken at our favorite place on the Oregon coast this past summer. We love the beach!! This was one of the nicest days we have ever spent on the beach in Oregon. Warm weather and no wind. A dream come true. We walked for a couple miles and enjoyed each other's company. A perfect day.

My Christmas wish is that all of us take time to pray for those less fortunate. Really, that means the majority of the world. Let us not forget how rich we are. Let us share those riches for the good of all. I especially hope and pray that many more families will adopt children this year. The only thing an orphan wants for Christmas is to have a family. To be loved and cherished.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Idea

Okay, truth be told. My idea of a gingerbread house is much different than the one I let the kids make. I want one that looks perfect and tastes delicious. I want it to have all kinds of amazing accents. I want to wait to nibble off of it until after Christmas. I want to enjoy looking at it whole for a while. But, those things just don't go together when it's one made by kids. :) At least not if I want the experience to be stress free and fun. Those things should go together. :)

In the past I wanted everyone to wait to eat it until after Christmas. You might think that is insane....Cam certainly did. The kids were good and wouldn't eat any candy off of the house...but the husband was another story. He would "sneak" bits of candy off and think I wouldn't notice...or that the kids wouldn't notice. Hah! Mr. P is a mini me and has eagle eyes that don't miss a thing...especially missing candy off the house he built and was patiently waiting to eat! Cam just couldn't resist a munch and he could not understand me making a big deal out of it. Well, that is one of those man vs. woman or husband vs. wife things that we could go round and round and debate and explain and in the end we would just look at each other in frustration. The whole Mars/Venus thing.

So, I realize that my way was probably not the most fun way and not the Christmas spirit way either. So, this year everyone was allowed to eat it right away. Yes, it looks....hmmmm....kind of sad and like a band of mice have been in our kitchen. But, everyone is happy! I've made houses with the kids almost every year. So this year I let go of my ideal. I've decided now that if I want that perfect house I'll make it myself. I think I might host a party with a bunch of my girlfriends next year. We can make our perfect houses, chat and listen to Christmas music. Then I'll put the house under a glass dome with an alarm bell or electric fence on it. I'd threaten to spray it with shellac but I don't think it would stop anyone.

And truly...the half eaten house is growing on me. It cracks me up. Plus, I have the stress free memories of making the house and seeing my kids joy. Happy House Eating Everyone!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread House

I blogged about the things I like to do for the Christmas season. The Gingerbread House is one of the things the kids love. I buy this one at Costco each year. It's fabulous! It's cheap...$13.00. It's easy to assemble...and this year the house is pre-assembled! It comes with everything you need....candy, gingerbread house, frosting. It tastes terrible...that's a bonus for me so I'm not tempted to eat it! :) The kids have been begging to put it together so today was the day!

Everyone had a turn to spread the thick glue like frosting. Side Note: The Toy Story shirt Baby George is wearing has it's own story. He is obsessed with the shirt. He wears it constantly. And, when I finally peel it off of him to wash it....he cries and asks for it every two minutes. It's truly unbearable so I've taken to letting him wear it for 48 hours straight. Don't judge. The second you pull it out of the dryer and let him have bliss.
Serious work spreading goo....I mean frosting.
Tuba's turn.
Time for candy. They spent the whole time saying, "can I eat it". I'm a mean mom and I made them put it all on the house first.
Ta-Da! Finished House!
They are shouting, "Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!". Time to eat it. They loved it. I think my kids have deranged taste buds. ;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

All Choked Up

Tuba's teacher invited all the parents to come for a Christmas party in the classroom today. I was unsure about's my gym time, I would have the 3 little ones in tow, the parking at the high school is terrible...etc. But, I went and I'm I glad I did. What an amazing group of kids Tuba goes to school with. My heart is so touched. Watching kids who have special needs celebrate together is the most special thing I've ever seen. They had Christmas music playing, treats laid out, crafts to make and lots of visitors. The kids were all very excited to see everyone. They also danced and played music with home made instruments. Tuba jetted off to get on his bike and show us how he can ride in the hallway! Such fun.

It reminded me of when I was little and we would go see my Uncle Larry perform in his Christmas program. Uncle Larry has Down Syndrome and lived in a group home. I can remember as a kid trying to hold back my tears as I watched Larry and the other residents sing Silent Night and do all of the sign language signs for it. Precious. I realized today that my wee ones were getting the same experience in Tuba's classroom. I was proud of my kids. They don't blink twice at seeing people with special needs. They know that Tuba is special and that he has an owie in his brain but that he is also just like the rest of us.

As I drove home I was all choked up with emotion. I had such a nice time. Those kids know exactly how to celebrate the love of Christ and His birth. With joy. Joy to the world!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It's the time of year....when I get really stress out...and lose myself in the wrong things. But, this year I'm enjoying the Christmas season SO much. I've turned the corner. I am truly loving the season. I of course have had moments of stress and panic and sheer exhaustion. I keep our Nativity set front and center on our mantel and it helps keep me front and center too. I need that reminder that this season is about the birth of Jesus. All the other "stuff" isn't necessary to celebrate our Lord's birth. Yes, I do love the extra stuff too. It's a balancing act of sorts. I've learned...or am learning to pick the things that matter the most to me and to our family.

This year we've been to two Christmas ones! Mr. P and Busy Guy's schools both had great performances. Tuba especially loves going and hearing the songs.

I've finished my Christmas cards and they are in the mail. I'm not sure I will do them again. It's so much work...and cost. I don't receive that many cards in the I'm not sure of the whole thing anymore. I don't send them out just to receive them but it is nice. I think maybe since I have the blog and we do Facebook that cards are overkill. What do you think?

I am taking the kids to see Santa for the annual photo this next week. This is something I do for me. I love the photos. I have one from each year since Tuba was born and I line them all up on a book shelf and look at them all season.

The kids are VERY excited for Christmas day...presents of course! I'm excited too. This is the first year that the kids are all old enough to really enjoy the anticipation. So fun!! Sis and Baby George are talking about presents all the time. Sis tells us she wants pretty pants and SHOES! LOL.

We are going to start a new tradition this year too. I'll write about it later. Something really fun and special.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Party Day

My 40th Birthday was so much fun! I woke up in the morning to the kids and hubby serving me breakfast in bed. Nice! Hot tea, eggs, toast, and fruit. Yum!

My Mom threw a party for me at her house. Thanks Mom!! It was fun to enjoy adult company for the night. The following night the kids took me out for Chinese food.

Here's Cam and I next to my Mom and Bill's tree. Wow! It's always gorgeous.
TMI?? I don't care. It's my blog and I LOVE this photo. I LOVE this man! I LOVED my birthday. Aren't we cute? Yes!

My Mom and I put together a picture board for the party. There is one picture from each year of my life. So fun to see them all lined up. I learned a couple of things about myself after searching for pictures for the board.

1. There are very few pictures of me being silly. I don't take the risk to be funny or silly in a photo because I'm afraid it will look stupid. I'm vowing to get silly for photos from now least sometimes. My sister gave me the photo in the red shirt where I'm winking. That's a funny one and then there is the coconut shells! I do lots of silly things but not usually in photos. Cam is always threatening to video tape me when I'm really wild and crazy and show it to people. Ha!

2. I love babies. I have loved babies from the time I was little. There are hundreds of pictures of me holding babies and kids. This starts way before I became a mama. I'm holding cousins, sisters, and friends' babies. It was amazing to me....and then after I became a Mama...WOW...lots more of me and my babies. And then there is cake! These cakes are gorgeous and yummy. I love cake. These cakes were to die for! gorgeous and yummy Mom!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Tomorrow is my 40th birthday! It's one of those milestone b-days. I fondly remember my 13th, 16th, 21st, and 30th as other milestone birthdays. This one is going to be great too.

I had set some goals for my 40th b-day. Most of which have to do with health...okay, and beauty too. ;) I did not loose as much weight as I would have liked (is that ever possible?). But I have been working out at the gym regularly and have shaped up! My clothes fit so much better I feel great. I'm going 4-5 times a week and doing cardio and weights. I have been better about taking my vitamins...but still have improvements to make and have been good about flossing too. I've been getting more sleep which is helpful overall.

So, to celebrate are 40 things I LOVE! Random and heartfelt and just a small list...

1. Being a Mom
2. My husband
3. My family
4. My friends
5. God
6. Orthodoxy
7. Adoption
8. Dark Chocolate
9. Babies
10. Hot tea with milk and sugar
11. Books
12. Book club
13. Magazines
14. Sunshine
15. Red wine
16. Kisses
17. Snow
18. Elephants
19. Turtles
20. Teaching
21. Losing weight
22. Kittens
23. Blogging
24. Where I live
25. Hawaii :)
26. The ocean
27. The beach
28. Vacation
29. Hamburgers
30. Ice cream
31. New Clothes
32. Laughing
33. Snuggling
34. Scenic drives
35. Anything coconut
36. Having my hair brushed
37. Painted toenails
38. Cooking
39. Baking
40. Organizing
31. Valentine's Day
32. Smores
33. Singing with my kids
34. Massage
35. Chocolate chip cookies
36. Date night
37. Flannel sheets
38. A clean house
39. Green grass

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gotta Love the Girls

I'm crazy busy with the usual things and then Christmas prep and my birthday squeeze into the month. Whew! I can't seem to catch up or stay on track for anything. Every year I vow to do things earlier and not become stressed by the hustle and bustle. Well, I'm stressed and hanging on by a thread...the kind that's unravelling quickly.
But, in all the fast paced hoopla going on in my life I had the most amazing thing happen. On Sat. morning I was home in my nightgown when there was a knock at our door. I opened the door to find two girlfriends holding a latte for me. Wow! They handed me a craftily written poem telling me to pack my bags for an overnight trip to the city! Wowwwwwwy!
We stayed downtown in a beautiful hotel, had wine and appetizers (all loving packed by these great friends) in our room, went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (yum!), had fun at a martini bar and walked around the city and enjoyed the Christmas decorations. We stayed up way too late chatting. The next day we had lunch and then came home to husbands and kids who missed us! Nice!!! What a blessing these women are to me. Thanks you two!!!! Love you SO much.

Makin' a wish for the next year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Birthday.....Year!

I always tease Cam and tell him that it's my birthday MONTH. But, I am turning 40 so I've decided it's my birthday YEAR! Whooohooooo! I'm thinking of the many things I want to do this year to celebrate. :)

I need to catch up on what Cam and I have been up to....I wrote about the kids but not us. Isn't that just the way it always goes. ;0

Cam started his new job. Yipeeeee! It is going really well. It has been a big change for all of us. He now works Mon.-Fri. with weekends off...and holidays and no call! Yeah! The week can be long though. So far (he's only 3 weeks into the new gig) he has worked really long hours. He is never home before 6:00 pm (leaving home at 6:00 am). Long days for Cam mean long days for me too. I love being a mom but after about 5:00 I'm ready for some the form of Cam aka...Papa! Some nights he doesn't get home until 7:00-7:30. I know as he learns the job that over time he will get home a bit earlier. (right honey?!) The great part is Cam LOVES the job. He comes home mentally wiped out. The best part of all is the weekends...AND he was home for a 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving. That is the first time in at least 10 years that we have had a long holiday. that!! Christmas is looking good (3 day holiday weekend)! And...I'm thinking that my b-day is a holiday too. Come IS! Cam, I think you should take the day off. Okay, my b-day is on the weekend....never mind.

There have been lots of adjustments for the rest of us too. We have always eaten dinner at 5:00 Our bellies and brains are trained to that time. But, now with Cam getting home later we are trying to have dinner at 6:15 so we can eat all together. I've added a big snack after school but MAN are the kids hungry and cranky trying to wait for dinner. I'll keep trying and hopefully we will all adjust soon. But, having Cam home to help with bedtime routine is the best! I'm pretty spent by the end of the day and it's so nice to have him home...we can be spent together. :)

Shopping Girl

So here's the rest of the shopping story about Sis. The girls all went out shopping on Friday. Sis was very excited to go. She LOVES clothes and shoes and anything girly. Our first purchase was a pair of striped tights. She LOVES tights! She was so thrilled with the shopping bag she got to carry around. She began pulling the tights out to show other shoppers. Soon she was stopping everyone on the street....including little old men and showing them her new tights. This pic is her showing her purchase to another little girl through the store window.

Her next purchase was a pretty headband and then Grandma bought her some play shoes, boa and another headband. She was in heaven. The was thrilled to have two packages to carry.
The next store we went in she found this great coat which came as a 3 piece outfit. Of course she wanted to try it on. Once she had it on...well you can see where this is going. Grandma bought it for her Christmas present. She wore the coat and the new pretty jeans over the outfit she already had on. Good thing it was freezing outside.
Pure joy! This is one serious shopping loving girl!! What a fun day. And...yes, she is still wearing the coat 24 hours a day!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Over the river and through the woods to the grandparents house we went! We spent Thanksgiving in Lake Chelan at my dad and stepmom's house. sister just had a precious baby girl so we got to spend the holiday meeting holding her and kissing her.
Of course what holiday is complete without pie? NONE! I baked my heart out making two pumpkin, one mile-high apple pie and a big pan of dark chocolate brownies. Yummy!
Of course I was first in line to hold my new niece. Scrumtious I tell ya!!
My gorgeous sis with her new sweetie. Check out the little ballerina outfit.
Uncle Cam had to get in on the baby action too. We do love a newborn. I'm sure you're all wondering if this made us want another baby. Ummm...she is the sweetest and I loved holding her but I was happy she was going home with her Mama! Yep, I take that as a sign that we are done...with babies at least. ;)
Sis was thrilled with her new cousin. Finally another girl to play with....and shop with...more on that later.
Mr. P was up next. What a precious pic. Love it how my kids all love babies.
Grandma got to have some fun time with Sis...AKA Wild Woman.
On Friday the girls all went into town for some shopping. The boys played in the snow.
I'll write more about shopping. It deserves it's own blog entry. Here is Sis having the time of her life!!
Tuba got lots of snuggle time with Grandpa.
And more snuggle time with baby. Tuba is not happy that we are done having babies...he'd like a new addition each year. He is giving her Eskimo kisses.
The gang...about to break the couch. What a houseful.

And....Busy Guy too got his turn to hold the babe. It was like getting double turns if I held my kids and the baby too! :)

We had such a nice time. It was a real winter wonderland with snow. Beautiful. The kids had a blast and we ate ourselves silly. I'm thankful for so much this year. The top of my list. Cam being done with school, Cam's new job, and Tuba's lack of seizures.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day!

Today was a snow day....NO school!!!!!! Yipeeeee! The last time we had snow was two years ago. The boys remembered our fun sledding time then. Cam had to go to work so it was up to me to pull out the sled. It is freezing cold out and I really didn't want to...but in the end it was SO much fun!! Getting 5 kids in the snow gear....UGH! That's enough to wear me out for the day. So far I've done it twice today...and it's only 2:00 pm. We have the best driveway for sledding. Mr. P is old enough now to be a look-out for cars. So, he and I traded turns taking the kids for rides and being the look-out at the bottom.

I was so surprised that Baby George wanted to go out. He loved it.
They are so cute! A friend has given me all these snow suits and coats! Love it!
Mr. P was so sweet to big brother Tuba. He got him all situated on the sled...which is kind of hard work.
I love to see the look on their faces as they whiz past me.
One of me make-up...and I really need a color touch up...don't judge too harshly. ;)
Oh, and Little Miss Wild Woman....didn't so much like the fast ride on the sled. She went one time and did smile the whole way but that was enough for her.


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