Sunday, December 30, 2007


Today we were all sitting on the couch watching t.v. after lunch. Heather snuggled up to me and said:

Heather: Today is a pitiful day.

Me: It's not pitiful. It's a great day.

Heather: Well, I didn't get to go outside.

Me: Well, now that is pitiful.

Heather: Yes, pitiful.

That kid cracks me up!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

movie warning

I went to see P.S. I Love You today. Loved it. Totally wonderful movie! I highly recommend it. Five stars ~~all that jazz. But here's the warning ~~ take some tissues. I cried off and on (a lot of on) through the entire movie. Just when I was feeling that uncontrollable not being able to stop feeling I looked over and my friend was crying just as much! Whew! I wasn't alone.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

what the heck is moon sand?

Aunt Wendy got the kids moon sand for Christmas. Um, thanks. Heard of it? Me neither. I did breeze by some in the toy store while shopping this year. I remember seeing a fancy pink castle. Anyway the kids got some. Yesterday, the kids asked to play with it. Sure, why not! That sounds like what a very cool mom would say, but really I just wanted to read my book a little while longer.

It pretty much works like regular sand but with super fun colors, I guess. The kids found that adding a little water made it mold a little better.

The package says this stuff never dries out. We'll see. It says it doesn't stain. Better not!

A good time was had by all. Heather even vacuumed the floor for me when they were done. They ran upstairs to play, including a dress-up session... 

What's with this look and the one eye sticking out? Check out the Christmas Day pictures to see a similar hat look for her. Signature style? Stephanie chose a dance recital outfit and some bling. Later they sported many different looks ~ another dance outfit, fairy outfit, jammies again. Repeat. Gotta love a jammie day!

Oh, and I finished the book. :)

five year old conversations

Heather got up today while I was making Greg's breakfast & lunch for work. Then she asked to take a bath because she wants to use some of the Tinkerbell bubble bath she got for Christmas. Who am I to say no? So the singing (all activities in the bathroom require singing from her) and soaking ensued. When she got out:

Me: Are you done?

Heather: Yes.

Me: Did you wash your hair?

Heather: Yes.

Me: Your body?

Heather: No, I didn't think I had to wash.

Me: Even in a bubble bath you still have to wash. Get back in.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

holiday happenings

The last few days have been filled with excitement, food, family, and last minute preparations! I took far too many pictures to post here, so here are just a few.

Sunday we went to an afternoon Christmas service at church, then over to Grandma & Grandpa Smith's for our annual gathering. The kids love to go over there. They like to sit on "Daddy's stool" to watch grandma finish the meal preparations. When Greg was little, he'd sit on this stool and help with dinner. Over the years and a move later, they had to get a new stool, but the kids still refer to it as Daddy's stool ~ much to Wendy's dismay. We chatted, stuffed ourselves, and opened gifts. And don't forget the very cool snowmen that Kathy and Kayla made. Huge hit with the kids. 

Christmas Eve was low key at our house. Greg had to work, so the kids and I spent the day cleaning for company and baking cookies. They had a blast with the cookies. What a mess! At first Heather was very stingy with the frosting. She got the hang of it, though, putting huge amounts of goodness on the cookies. When Greg got home we had dinner, watched a movie, read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, set out cookies for Santa, and sent the kids to bed. Then we did what all procrastinating parents do on Christmas Eve ~ wrap presents and stay up too late.

Christmas Day was at our house this year. When I was doing Stephanie's hair she had a plan of how the afternoon should go:
  • visit and have munchies,
  • eat lunch,
  • open presents, and
  • have dessert.
I think we may have a little party planner on our hands. Most kids want to go straight to opening presents.

We had a house full of people ~ parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and sisters. Before lunch was ready, the kids were running an animal adoption agency with the girls' Littlest Petshop animals and Monopoly money. We were all given a stack of cash to adopt a pet. Then for a nominal fee, they provided babysitting services. Apparently there was a bidding war between Aunt Wendy and Papa Robinson over a turtle. Papa won. 

We stuffed ourselves (again) and opened presents. There were smiles and squeals of excitement wrapped in a flurry of paper and bows. Gianna just wanted to open presents ~ any presents. 

Sunday, December 23, 2007

just when I thought I was done

I finished Christmas shopping last night (don't be jealous). I went grocery shopping EARLY this morning. I needed to get groceries for a dessert to take to Grandma Smith's today, groceries for Christmas dinner, plus general weekly groceries. In my cart I added flour and powdered sugar, because I was pretty sure I was near out. I could barely see over my cart as I steered the unruly beast toward the check stand, just missing two old ladies. Luck was with me, as a smiling clerk directed me toward her lane with no waiting. Woohoo! Back at home I was going to start a batch of my traditional pumpkin bread before getting in the shower. I needed more sugar in the canister ~ no worries ~ except there was none in the pantry. I counted two and half bags of flour, plus the new one on the counter. I counted five boxes of powdered sugar, plus the new one on the counter. BUT NO SUGAR!  So much for multi-tasking. Unless you know of any yummy confection I can make with flour and powdered sugar only, this means one more trip to the store just when I thought I was done.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

the much anticipated day has arrived

School is out for winter break! What can I say ~~ I'm elated! Giddy excitement filled the halls of school yesterday for both the teachers and students. Each for their own reason were thrilled at the dawning of this day. Students looked forward to Christmas parties and endless bouts of sugar and mayhem, then of course to two weeks off school. Teachers looked forward to the dismissal bell ringing, then of course two weeks off school.

In Heather's class they were having a Polar Express party, which is why Heather and her teacher are wearing their pajamas. The anticipation of the party nearly killed the girl, I think. She looked forward to it so much and in pure "Heather-style" asked time and time again how many days it would be until the party. I popped in on her party and she was having a great time, along with all the other kindergarten kids. They were watching the movie and taking turns decorating sugar cookies to eat with hot chocolate. Later Heather reported that some kids were not watching the movie attentively. I asked her if she did and she said, "Yes, of course."

The party in Stephanie's room arrived with much less hype, but there was a flurry of excited tension nonetheless. Can you imagine taking a spelling test with the promise of sugar induced hysteria at the end of the day? Stephanie's room is next to mine. When I peeked in on her, her teacher gave me the shoot-me-now look and the kids rushed to the door to talk to me ~ something they are normally not allowed to do. Stephanie was excited to wear the hair bow she made at a slumber party a couple of weeks ago.

Then, there was the party in my room. A wonderful mom came and helped the students make this train out of candies and icing. This required concentration from the kids, so it wasn't too hectic ~ until the cupcakes after the pizza. They all thought it was funny when one kid got frosting all around their face...then, they all tried to follow suit. Then someone ran around the room with a cupcake in their hand. Whoa! That was enough. The Grinch almost stole their Christmas at that reckless decision.

All in all it was a good day. Students were sent off with a hug and a wish for a Merry Christmas. A big sigh could be heard through the empty halls of the school. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

that mother of the year award is mine ~ all mine

So, I was in Heather's closet this morning trying to find a clean shirt (I might be a little behind on laundry) that she hasn't outgrown when reaching for the top clothes bar I nearly stub my toe on a small Christmas tree box!  Oh my gosh!  I can't believe while we were decking the halls I forgot to have them put their trees up in their rooms. I recall them asking about it and I told them "later," but then no one ever brought it up again. I forgot!  Did they forget? Or were they being extremely patient with their frazzled mother? Patience? Seriously! They must have forgotten. Ever since Stephanie's 2nd Christmas (she was only 3 mos. old for the first one), we've had the kids put up mini trees in their rooms.  What a sweet tradition I'm unwittingly trying to ruin! I know what we'll be doing this weekend. Better late than never, I guess. I'll let them keep them up longer into January ~ how's that for getting myself back in the running for that award!

who's more excited?

Only 2 more days until Christmas break! I don't know who is more excited ~ my students, Heather & Stephanie, or me! I love my job and the kids love school, but breaks are always welcome. More time to spend with the kids. More time to do projects. More time to sleep late or take naps (Don't tell Greg!).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

holiday sneak peak

Just thought I'd give you a little sneak peak. This is not the official Christmas card photo ~~ but it was a runner up.

a star is born

This is not a Halloween costume!  Stephanie is in drama club at school this year and she was in her first production with an audience of more than 20 parents (2nd grade class play last year). She played the part of a toy (Minnie Mouse) at the toy store in Christmas on Angel Street.  She didn't have any spoken lines, but sang and danced in one number. Not a bad breakthrough onto the big drama stage.

Since she has dance recitals on the big stage at the University once a year, this was a piece of cake for her really. She was quite worried for weeks beforehand because she felt no one knew the steps and words well enough. She wanted it to be perfect. It went off without a hitch, though. 

What a cutie in her costume! After an evening performance and two school assemblies she'd had enough of the head gear that wouldn't stay on straight. 

Sunday, December 2, 2007

deck the halls

Decking the halls seems to be happening in stages this year. Wait, it happens like that every year. Just once I'd like to finish the same day we start! Anyway, last weekend we pulled all the Christmas decorations down, put up the tree, and started putting out other decorations. Last night the kids put the ornaments on the tree. They started with their own special yearly ornaments, then moved to the regular ones. Except for the ones I put up high for them, they really did most of the work themselves. 

Heather chooses the spots for her ornaments very carefully. Since the tree rotates, she has to make a decision and get it on the branch quickly. 

Stephanie is showing me the ornament she got last year to commemorate going to her first Nutcracker ballet. They love to look at their own ornaments and talk about why they have them. Heather's ornament from last year was a mini book of the Polar Express to commemorate our trip on the Polar Express train. I wonder what ornaments we will find for them this year. 

All done!

Yesterday included playing outside for a long time while Greg worked in the back yard, going to a friend's house while Greg & I went to my school Christmas party, then putting the ornaments on the tree. The kids were absolutely tuckered out and fell asleep while we were watching tv. I love this picture because it also shows the true bond that they have with each other. Although they bicker and argue at times ~ who are we kidding, it's daily ~ they are truly best friends and can't stand to be separated.