Tuesday, November 30, 2010


At my last SMOM meeting I won a gingerbread house kit. Ever since I brought it home, Molly has been begging to put it together. It ended up being a special thing for Steve to do with her while I had a Mommy break.

Now... Steve (being an engineer) has a tendency to really get into construction-related projects. He created a super-strength bonding agent using melted marshmallows and did detail work with melted chocolate.

Although Garrett and Paige napped through the event, they got to work on their own gingerbread project while Molly was at school yesterday. They got a giant gingerbread man from Aunt Nancy at Thanksgiving, and they quickly figured out how to stick the candy to my dollops of icing. It also didn't take them long to figure out it was edible and he quickly lost both of his legs.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A happy Thanksgiving

Our celebrations last week started on Monday. Since Steve's birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day, I felt it was only fair that we celebrated early. So I made Steve's favorite meal (lasagna) and bought his favorite dessert (cheesecake) and we celebrated his birthday a few days early. Molly and the kids even helped me decorate with balloons and streamers.

On Thanksgiving morning we took it easy and enjoyed the Macy's parade on TV. This has become a holiday tradition with Molly, and Garret & Paige seemed to enjoy it as much as she does! Here they are cuddling on the couch together in their jammies. Could they be any cuter?

Then after naps, we were off to Aunt Nancy's house. I didn't get many pictures from our Thanksgiving feast because it was wall to wall people. There were probably close to 30 people there. The kids had so much fun playing with their cousins. Garrett made a new friend in his cousin Peyton's girlfriend, Kelly. He was glue to her all night.

Paige on the other hand was glued to anyone with a plate full of dessert. A girl after my own heart!

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. We have so much to be thankful for. We've had a rough year, but it was so awesome to remember all the ways God has blessed us. Family. Friends. A roof over our head and food on our table. And all of you out there reading this who share in our life... we're thankful for you too!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas starts early

This year, Christmas is starting a little bit earlier than usual. We've had a family rule that we don't put the Christmas tree up until after Thanksgiving. But this year, a series of circumstances gave us last Saturday with absolutely nothing going on. This is not very common, so we thought we'd better take advantage of it and get a jump start on Christmas.

We went through all the kids toys and weeded them out. While I worked on that, Steve got the tree ready. And then while Garrett and Paige napped, Molly and I got the tree decorated. Molly had so much fun unwrapping the ornaments while I told her about the "story" behind each one. It was really special.

When Garrett and Paige woke up we began toddler "Christmas tree training". We explained that they're only allowed to touch the tree and ornaments with one finger and breaking the rule resulted in immediate time outs. Each of them had about 2 timeouts before the day was over, but they're definitely doing a good job since then!

We also got to visit Santa Claus when we were down in Southern California. The twins refused to get near the old guy, but Molly was SO EXCITED! I absolutely LOVE the photo they took (excuse the crummy scan) because her joy is so palpable. She asked Santa for a dollhouse, and I'm happy to report that Santa took notes and she will be receiving exactly that on Christmas morning. Shhhhhh!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A trip to SoCal

Over the weekend, we took a trip to southern California to see Steve's mom and step-dad. We always dread the drive down there because 7.5 hours is a long time to trap three small children in a minivan. But they were seriously AMAZING on both legs of the trip. No tears. No whining. Just happiness! Yay!

While we were there, Steve worked on a little home improvement project for them. So me and the kids got to enjoy some special time with Grandma and Grandpa.

The kids also spent the weekend in adoration of their cat, Groucho. Sweet Groucho was so well tempered and patiently sat there while they talked to him, sang to him, admired him... and even read to him.

We also got to see our friends Kirk and Marianne, who moved to the same city as Grandma and Grandpa. What a lucky coincidence! And Molly just LOVES Kirk.

We also enjoyed a few meals out, but the highlight for the kids was when a trip to Chick-fil-a coincided with an appearance by their cow mascot. They were enthralled by that giant cow, although Paige wasn't thrilled enough to go near it.

Our trip also coincided with a vacation my parents were taking to southern California. So how lucky were we to see Nani and Papa in the same visit? As you can tell... the kids were pretty happy about it too.

It's always nice to come home and sleep in your own bed, but I must say that it's a reminder about how we wish we had family closer to us. We miss everyone already.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Second canvas...

Well, I loved my first photographic canvas so much that I bought a "groupon" for a second one. I've been wanting to get the perfect family picture to go on it... and thanks to my friend DeAnna, I have it now! Here's my next canvas and my favorite family photo to date:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Urban Camping...

Steve and I both love to camp and are looking forward to doing it with the kids. However, with two toddlers it just seems like something that will have to wait until they're a little older. But Steve was determined to let Molly have a taste of the experience before our warm weather left us, so he decided to set the tent up in the backyard for a little urban camping. You'll notice the extension cord in the picture above that is running into the tent for Molly's night light.

Steve used some sheet metal from the shop at work, and combined with a concrete flower pot he rigged up a "fire pit". The made Jiffy Pop over the fire and roasted marshmallows for smores. I can not tell you how excited Molly was. I think the picture below says it all. It wasn't posed... I snapped it quickly while she watched Daddy cook up the Jiffy Pop.

Unfortunately the rain started coming down hard around 4:30 in the morning, waking the campers up. So they came in and finished the night in Molly's room with Daddy sleeping on the floor. All in all, I'd say it was successful! When I asked Molly what her favorite part of camping was, she said "all the parts".