Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas (And Why We Are Freaks)

This Christmas we had Grandma here for two whole weeks! It was so nice, except that she got sick and we missed a few days of Grandma time. Jeff was able to take off two whole weeks so we have been enjoying having him home. Each year, Christmas becomes more and more fun for the kids. They understand it a little bit more each year. They are beginning to understand the significance of Christmas, and also the joy of giving. (More on that next time)

Next year, I think I am going to make myself a shirt with "We do not do Santa!!!" written across the front in flashing lights. It is amazing how many people ask the kids 'What is Santa bringing you?' or 'Is Santa coming to your house?' or 'You better be good so Santa will come.' We chose NOT to do Santa because we want to focus on celebrating the birth of Christ. We feel like Santa can easily become a distraction from the real reason we are celebrating. Also, if we spend the first eight years of our kids lives telling them about Santa, only to confess that he is not real, how are they going to feel about God? If Santa is fake, is Jesus fake too? Should they believe us? Those are a few of the reasons we have decided that Santa is not for us. I have to laugh when people ask my kids the Santa questions, and the kids give them the blank stare. If I say 'We don't do Santa,' I usually get a look that says something like this: 'What are you, communists?! Freaks?! You are denying your children the basic human right of believing that some rotund and jolly man who squeezes down the chimney with presents!! How evil of you!!!' I really need to come up with some witty answer that I can just spout off whenever I get 'the look'.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 Years Today!

(Jeff in his festive 'Christmas' shirt**)

Today is our 10 year anniversary!

**His sister got it for him a few years ago as a joke. He figured it was red, green and obnoxious so why not wear it for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Tradition

Watching the train

Tunnel of Presents

Last Christmas, Jeff's coworker gave us an awesome train set. (Thanks, Michael and Jenine!) Last year, we waited til the kids were asleep and then set it up on Christmas eve. All year, James has been asking if he could help set it up this time. He and Jeff set it up (well, mostly Jeff) while the other two looked on. James and Katie were about to blow a gasket with all the excitement. Once it was set up, the kids sat (even Tyler) and watched the train go round and round. We have actually had the train up for several days now without incident, which is amazing. After Christmas, James decided to 'decorate' the train scene by adding a cabin and animals. That boy is pretty clever if I do say so myself. :) Jeff also taught James how to control the train so James thinks he is hot stuff now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We had a white day-after-Christmas! Its hard telling how much snow we got due to the high winds we had. There are 3 and 4 foot drifts, and also bare grass showing in places. The kids have had a lot of fun playing in it, and this morning James and I had a great big snowball fight. It was so much fun. I'll be back to regular posting soon, and that means lots of pictures! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Finery

I made Tyler a little bow tie for Christmas. Frankly, its so darn cute on him (in my humble opinion) that I don't care if he only wears it a few times. I just love it! Now I want to make a bunch more for both boys.

Friday, December 17, 2010

James Made My Week

In the car today, James said 'Mom, I know what things need to work.' I asked what he meant, and he said 'The sea, and trees and plants need water. Trains need coal. Cows need grass.' Fully thinking he would answer 'food,' I asked him what little boys need. And you know what he said? He said 'They need lots and lots of kisses from their mamas.' I melted right then and there. I think I need to go give him a kiss or two right now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Tyler sporting a 'faux-hawk'

'Gwammy taught me this!'

Amanda, Emma and Katie playing dress up

'Take our picture!!'

And here are a few pictures of the strange places my kids fell asleep while they were sick:

Kaite fell asleep literally face down on the kitchen floor :(

James fell asleep on Jeff's feet

Katie fell asleep leaning against the dishwasher before she could even think about eating the oatmeal she had wanted

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Before the Sickness Struck....

Farmer James is the proud owner of a set of mini-oxen and is half way to owning a pair of larger (toy) oxen. He has purchased one so far and is saving for the next one. He requested covered wagons for each pair, in the appropriate sizes. We made a wagon a few months ago, but it finally bit the dust. At this point in the game, the big wagon is going to have to wait til after Christmas. However, I was able to make this small one for his mini-oxen.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We're Still Alive

We're finally on the upswing, for real this time. I think. I hope. It all started last Wednesday, where we went from being fine to not being able to keep a single thing down, all within approximately one hour, literally. My parents also succumbed to the plague of doom and despair. Whatever it was AWFUL!! I'll spare you the details, but I am now in the midst of cleaning and mopping every single room of the house. I also have mountains of laundry to wash. Despite running 3-4 loads per day for the last several days, my pile to fold is pretty darn small due to the constant turnover of laundry. I project that I will be done sometime in Spring of 2034. Maybe I'll even get some sleep one of these nights. Here's hoping.

Friday, December 10, 2010


We are all in various stages of the worst sickness ever to hit our house. I probably won't blog til next week. We're a mess....

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Funny Picture

I am at a loss right now, but there must be some clever caption for this picture. It makes me laugh.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Festivities

(Katie carrying on in the tradition of Auntie Rachel: dancing with the Christmas tree skirt)

Last night we bundled up the kids, cookies in hand, and went out into the finally-frigid weather to go look at the lights. Jeff gave us the supreme driving tour of lights, meandering all around L-town looking for dressed up yards. Let me tell you, some people really go nuts. We saw one house that was completely, and I do mean completely, covered in lights. Even the front of the house. Every square inch of the yard was covered. They even had a sign saying when Santa was making his next appearance at their house. Of course, being grown-ups who pay our own electric bills, Jeff and I immediately wondered how much their bill will be. Yikes! We had so much fun and the kids were just mesmerized by the lights. I look forward to doing this every year!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tough Questions

Yesterday James was playing alone in his room. He yelled out to me, "Mom, I never want to die for a funeral." Next thing you know he is in tears, asking me "If you and Daddy died and Katie and Tyler and I were still alive, who would be our Mommy and Daddy?" I told him that if that happened, Auntie Rachel and Uncle Phil or Grammy and Chappy would take care of them. He was very upset and it took a long time to calm him down. How do you respond to something like that? I mean, I would love to say we won't die and we'll always be with you, but no one really knows what lies ahead. On the other hand, I didn't think that telling him that there was a small possibility of that happening. I just tried to reassure him and let him know that we love him and that we will do everything we possibly can to provide for him. I told him that someday I wanted to meet all my grandchildren, too. These kids and their tough questions.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


My kids are into watching Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls. He is a survivalist who shows you all the tricks you never want to actually use to survive. For example, did you know that pound for pound, insects pack more protein that beef or chicken? They are the perfect survival food!!! I'll take Bear's word for it. The kids will sit memorized while Bear Grylls chokes down live lizards, drinks yak blood, roasts turtles in the shell, and dives for sea cucumbers to eat. James has started building lean-to's in the garage and outside. He 'repels' down the swing set ropes. He wants to build a raft. He and Katie tell me all sorts of things you can actually eat if you need to. James even knows that before eating a poisonous snake, you must first cut off its head and bury it so it's venom doesn't come into contact with you or anything else. I am a little worried about when he starts Kindergarten. Other kids will be saying 'Oh, yeah, I got to the secret level of this video game,' and James will say 'What are video games? Oh, did I mention that you can survive for a week in the Sahara by squeezing the liquid out of elephant dung to quench your thirst?' After watching several seasons of Man Vs. Wild, we now ask each other: WWBD? What would Bear do? The other night Jeff was complaining about being cold, and I helpfully reminded him that he could make himself a hot-water bottle of sorts, using his He wasn't too excited by that idea. But in fact, there are multiple uses for this handy liquid byproduct. In addition to using it as a heat source, you can use it to dampen a head scarf to keep you cool or use it as a questionably refreshing beverage. Now that's one thing I hope I never have to try!!!