Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mom and Dad

Translation: Mom and Dad are in love I don't know why they are in love I don't know why

This is by Sis. Hilarious! I'm glad she knows we love each other. We will have to work harder to let her know why we love each other. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Puppy Eyes

This sweet girl has mastered Puppy Dog Eyes when she really, really, really wants something from you. 

Who could resist that face?!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year

I love the New Year! Actually I always think of "years" beginning and ending with the flow of the school year but I love the traditional New Year too. 

Christmas is gone, the decorations are put away, and lots of extra cleaning has taken place. I always like the house a bit empty after all the sparkle, clutter and pizzaz of the holidays. I leave the mantle mostly empty and I clear any decor off the window sills. It gives me such peace! A fresh start.

George brought this home after the first day back to school. I just love it and had to share. 

George's answers: I love his phonetic spelling...but I will translate for you here. :)

I want to learn: How to build a robot (love this)

I want to go: To New York (me too buddy, me too)

I want to do more: Reading (Yes!! The mama/teacher in me loves this answer)

I want to read: Wabite (apparently there is a cartoon called Wabbit and he wants to see if there is also a book)

I want to improve: I'm helpful (he's a good helper already but it's a nice goal)

I want to imagine: The poor is satisfied (oh, my heart just swelled with love and pride)

I want to try: Eating a snail (ummmm.....ewww, but points for bravery)

I want to change: McDonald's (love it...we don't eat there and we talk a lot about how the "food" they serve is not real food and why it's not healthy)

I want to: Read for 17 minutes (good goal buddy, actually you already read about 3 times that each day though)

In the new year I am going to: Hunt (ha! some laughs too...I think he is actually serious but not sure who is going to help him out with that)

I loved this New Year's goal setting so here's my answers too.

I want to learn: To make sticky buns

I want to go: On lots of hikes

I want to do more: Sewing

I want to read: Martin Marten

I want to improve: My core strength

I want to imagine: That my wild puppy will calm down

I want to try: Ballroom dance lessons

I want to change: My reaction to my pre-teen's teen-agey snarky behavior. Uh-huh

I want to: Say out loud more of the compliments I'm thinking in my head

In the new year I am going to: Send more cards

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sister is 8!

Sis turned 8 at the end of the year. Oh. My!! 8!!

Cam had to work her actual birthday so we opted to celebrate a day early. She wanted to go jump at the trampoline place. She was soooooo excited. We had cousins staying with us so they got to come along too. We drove into an empty parking lot and I had a sinking feeling. Ugh! The place had gone out of business but had not taken down their website.

Oh...was she mad...and sad. We salvaged the afternoon with lunch out at a favorite restaurant. She quickly turned happy again and planned a day of building forts with her cousins and siblings.

Sis picked out cupcakes and ice cream at the store for dessert. Okay...I had major guilt over this. I always make the kids a cake but with her birthday being so close to Christmas I was SO tired and overwhelmed so I opted for the store bought. I know she was fine and it's only cake but I still feel bad.

I made up for it a bit the next day (her actual birthday) and made her crepes topped with strawberries and whip cream AND hash browns (her favorite) for dinner. Oh yum!!

She had gotten an American Girl doll for Christmas and for her birthday she got the horse and camper. Oh has she been having fun!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas Faves

This is mostly how I feel about Christmas. The hoopla goes on for weeks and it's all a bit too much for me. I like the calm after the storm. My favorite part of Christmas is when it's over. Yep. I love it when the house is cleaned and the kids are still out of school and we can just hang out and enjoy the quiet....well, as quiet as my house ever gets. 

The above photo was my very bad cold coupled with my very bad hair. I was so sick that I forgot I had a hair appointment. Very bad. And now I'm stuck with dark roots and ugly hair until the end of January. Eeeeee-gads!

Some of my favorite things about Christmas...yes, there are some things I love. I adore the lights. I love both indoor and outdoor lights. Tuba LOVES the lights and was thrilled getting off the school bus each day as I strung lights in the yard. I love the crackly fire and candles lit along with our beautiful tree. I love the tree too. Putting it up and taking it down....not my favorite. 

Christmas books. We have a big basket of books that we love to read at night. 

Cam and I had a Christmas shopping date. I LOVED that. He was on crutches so we couldn't do too much but we were able to go out for a fun dinner and then finish up our shopping. All shopping should start with dinner and drinks!

I also had a nice shopping date with this cutie. He bought for his siblings and Cam and I this year since he's now at the middle school and they don't have the Holiday Store. He was only a little impatient when I'd stop to look at things. We had a nice treat time too! And he did a great job picking gifts for everyone! He had a $10 limit per person and he found nice things to buy. 

Lots of time off school means lots of time to stay home and snuggle. I love that.

Lots of time to hang out and be silly. The kids were putting out their stockings on Christmas Eve and found the mustache stickers from last year still in the stockings. Oh fun!

Other things I love about Christmas....

My homemade almond brittle
Watching the kids open their presents
Saying Merry Christmas
Driving around looking at lights on houses
Watching Elf with my kids
Christmas dishes, I didn't use mine this year and I miss them

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Highlights

So my last post was a bit Bah Humbug and a little Grinchy sounding. We did have some great times over Christmas. 

The Highlights:

Cam came home from work one night and told me about a young gal that was in his ICU. She has a terrible disease and two young children. She had spent a lot of time in the hospital and was back again and most likely going to miss being home for Christmas. He had asked the gal if it would be okay for Cam and I to buy her kids some Christmas gifts. She humbly gave him the go ahead. We planned to buy the kids a few toys and some Christmas treats and help make a hard situation a little nicer.

Then while laying in bed with insomnia Cam felt that God was once again speaking to him and placing this young mom on his mind. He got out of bed and wrote a Facebook post asking if anyone wanted to help contribute to this family. 

The response was amazing. It was humbling. And it made our Christmas dreams come true. 

Over the next week we began to receive checks in the mail. And gift cards. And friends began to stop by our house with cash...and gifts....and food. I'm talking lots of friends! And lots of money! And so much LOVE!! 

Cam arranged for us to deliver the items to the hospital so the woman could share in the joy of what her girls would receive. But, a wonderful thing happened and she was released from the hospital in time to spend Christmas at home. 

We instead were able to deliver the items to her home. Cam was on crutches and the apartment was on the third floor so I was the elf...climbing up and down with loads of things. It was AWESOME!! 

We delivered oodles of wrapped gifts for two small girls and gifts for a the mom. We brought a cozy blanket and a basket full of holiday treats, and a box of food. AND...we delivered a gift card tree with cards for Target, Subway, McDonalds, Visa, ToysRUs, and Fred Meyer. Get this!!!!! Totalling over $1,050.00. 

It was so much fun to deliver the items!! I think they were shocked. They were so happy and they were so, so thankful. 

Cam and I shed a few tears after getting back into our van. 

We are so thankful for all we have and truly thankful for our friends and family who gave so freely to help someone else have a Merry Christmas. The magic of Christmas is alive and well! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas 2016

From my birthday until after Christmas the schedule is BUSY. It really is my least favorite time of year. Sorry....or not sorry but I just don't love this "most wonderful time of the year".

There is so much to get done and ready for Christmas. Of course none of it really has to be done. And I have pared WAY down on the list of things I used to do. I no longer send out cards. Now that it's so easy to keep up with friends and family on social media I just don't do the cards. We don't buy our kids a ton of things but there is still the shopping and wrapping for the things we do buy.

We do still go to see Santa each year as I really like to look at all of our photos all lined up. We have a nice tradition of going to Santa and then out for dinner in our dressy holiday clothes. We usually go see Santa the Sat. or Sun. after Thanksgiving. This year Cam had to work so we got a bit off schedule. The fact that there is a schedule for holiday activities is a good indication of how busy we get. It's not just the holiday things, it's that they are on top of an already busy family calendar.

So....we put off the Santa photos until really we couldn't wait any longer. We went on the Mon. before Christmas.

Also, Cam had surgery on his foot. He had a swollen nerve in his foot and had to have it removed. So, he was on crutches with a big bandaged foot. AND I had a terrible cold. Terrible sinuses swollen, headache, watery eyes, hot and miserable. And we took the kids to the mall for Santa. Yes, there is something wrong with us. We clearly need an intervention!!

We always plan our Santa visit for when Santa is coming off of his lunch break. We arrive, get in line and are ready when he returns. We never wait long. It's the perfect system.

We arrived on time. That's the only good part of the story. Seriously, keep reading.

We drive an oversize 12 passenger van. AND the parking lot and garage was all under construction and there was NO parking to be found. We finally found a place to park about a mile from the mall. Reminder: Cam on crutches. Children is dress clothes and it's winter and rain and I'm ill.

After crutching to the Santa location we were late. And the line was huge. And it was going to be a 45-60 min. wait to get into the line for Santa. Yes, you read that right.

So we took the stupid pager and walked around until they paged us. Actually, Mr. P and I went to find the restroom so I could blow my nose and stuff my pockets with TP. Cam and the others headed off to find the Tesla store and look at cool cars.

One we were paged to join to Santa line it would be another 45-60 until we reached the front. Ugh! The line was situated in a hot stuffy hallway. I was already hot and began to feel dizzy. I had to leave the area and find a place to cool off. A kind woman working at the store brought me a chair to sit in and then insisted that I drink some cold water. Seriously she is a saint! I have written a letter to her store manager. She also brought Cam water since he was sweating to death and found him a place to prop up his leg.

Finally we reached Santa! The briefest happiness when Tuba say him. Tuba LOVES Santa and his eyes just light up when he sees him each year. The moment was short lived since the photographer was a loon! He asked Moses how old he was and then he "jokingly" said to Moses that he hates smart 9 year olds. He was very gruff and Moses thought he was serious.

The Santa was about 18 and had the yucky fake beard. He had the charisma of a fence post too. He didn't really talk to the kids. The photographer did lots of talking. He told the kids how to stand, where to move their hands/feet/knees/eyes etc. until I was about ready to scream. He also said, "say, my siblings are nerds". Huh? My kids were smiling fake frozen smiles and it made me burst out laughing. It was hideous!

Phew! With that over we headed off to dinner. We have a fun burger place that we traditionally go to each year. It's quite a walk through the mall but Cam insisted that he didn't want a wheelchair for us to push him in. Whatever!

After a loooooooong 15 min. walk we were almost to our destination when siren alarms came whooping over the intercom system. It was an emergency message saying the mall was being evacuated. The message advised us to use the stairs and not elevators. We picked up our pace, gathered the kids close and headed for the nearest exit. We had to use the escalator to exit. Cam and the littlest two filed on after Cam got his crutches situated. Next up was Tuba and I. Tuba HATES the escalator and refused to get on. REFUSED! There were people swarming around us and I could not longer see Cam and the little kids. I pulled him. I scolded him. I tried everything. I was starting to panic when Mr. P came behind him and Moses took his other arm and we pushed/pulled him onto the escalator screaming and resisting. It was horrible!

Once off we had to round a corner and head down another escalator of some stairs. We chose the stairs. Cam was hurrying and slipped and fell....right onto his bad foot!!!!!!!!! Oh!!!!! It was bad!! But he had to get up and get out of the store. Once outside on the sidewalk we realized we couldn't eat dinner there. And now we were VERY VERY far from our van. I contemplated running and getting the van but we didn't know why the mall evacuated and we wanted to stay together and leave the area.

So, Cam crutched as fast as he could. It was NOT fun.

We made it back to the van and got in to head out of the area. Of course EVERYONE else was doing the same thing. Traffic jam!!! It took us about an hour to go a few miles and get on the interstate.

I had very hungry kids and a cranky mad in pain husband and a VERY bad cold. It was an ugly drive in the dark pouring rain. Did I mention that I don't like to drive at night or in the rain? And I had watery bulgy eyes and a clogged sinus.

Sis was howling about her hunger the whole drive. Awesome!

Once we got back to our town we went for dinner. It was nice to finally sit down and eat but the festive magic of our tradition was lost.

Here's what I learned:

We are having a new tradition next year. Yes, we are still seeing Santa but not at that location.

I am NEVER taking my family (all of us together) into a mall or any kind of event that would be hard to evacuate. Not safe and too scary!

I am NEVER leaving the house again when I'm so sick or when Cam is on crutches. We are fools!

I told the kids it was a learning experience and some day we will laugh about it. Maybe.

So...all of that for this. My kids look gorgeous....and I can't tell too much that they weren't genuine smiles. Aren't the childrens' hand placements just perfect?! Oh brother!!


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