Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Santa changed our house!"

Any one who has been to my house in the last year has had to suffer through sitting on our breaking and broken couch and love seat. Pushing 12 years old or so, they had given faithful service through more than one family of small children and a few pets, they had been jumped on, spilled on, thrown up on, urinated on by each of our children when they were new babies, and generally manhandled and mistreated through several moves and more or less accommodating doorways. They were trashed. No support from the springs, no cushion left in the cushions. You sat down and just kept on going. Add to all that, Brian's deteriorating ability to gracefully lower himself to a sitting position and well... I was just sort of waiting until the day he fell on to the couch and the frame gave way, like in movie when someone jumps into a bed and it jack-knives on them.

We had been discussing for sometime when we might be able to afford to replace them, and had come to the conclusion that a really warm place would have to freeze over first. Then we thought that maybe for Christmas we would ask our families to donate to a new couch fund instead of presents. That would work, it could be what we would give each other for Christmas, anniversary, and birthday... and maybe next year...

Then a month or so ago my dad called and told me he had found a motorized recliner on sale and purchased it for Brian. I was so excited. It is exactly what he needs, it rises up to meet him so he doesn't have to fall sit down on it. We made arrangements for it to be delivered around the 22nd so it would be something of a Christmas surprise. Not a week later my in-laws called while Christmas shopping to tell me they had decided to get a motorized recliner for Brian and had found a great sale on one. I told them my dad had already bought one for him and gave them his phone number when they said they wanted to go in on it. (I found out later that the chair my dad had purchased was the same one my in-laws were looking at... it was meant to be!) They also arranged to have it delivered up to their house and we made a plan that when we went to my Dad's for Christmas Eve, they would bring it down and take away the broken love seat. I was so excited to see Brian's reaction when we came home from the party, I could hardly wait!

But not only was he surprised with his new and awesome chair, when I came through the door I burst into tears. There was a new couch as well!

The kids were just as excited by the surprise. Evie kept laughing and saying, "Santa changed our house! Oh my goodness, Santa changed our house!" I kept trying to explain that it was our families and not Santa who had made this Christmas miracle, but I don't think she got it. But we know it was them and we appreciate it more than we can express!

And now I have to admit to having a Mima Kim moment. My dad and Caite and Patrick were coming over to our house to open our Christmas Eve jammies and do the traditional Christmas toasts. (Gotta love that sparkling cider.) My dad called as we were driving up our street and told Brian to wait until they got there to help us carry all the kids and presents in the house. (My kids were totally spoiled again this year, but that is another post altogether...) Brian thought that was a little weird, but chalked it up to an excess of Christmas spirit and over protectiveness on the part of my dad. I told him to wait in the van with the kids and I would carry the bags in the house. I wanted to see the chair and how it was set up so that I would know where to stand to get a good picture of Brian being surprised by his chair. I ran in, dropped the bags in the kitchen and smiled hugely at the chair and how good it looked in the room. Then I hurried back outside to make sure one of the kids didn't follow me in and ruin the surprise. As I walked out the front door my dad was pulling in the driveway. He opened his door and frowned at me, "Hey! You peeked!" I frowned back at him, not wanting Brian to know that there was a surprise inside and hissed back, "I already know about the chair." He looked at me for a moment and whispered again, "Yeah, but you peeked." I rolled my eyes in frustration and walked over so we wouldn't be overheard, "Da-aaad (with exaggerated patience), I already know about the chair. It isn't a surprise for me." Then I hurried over to help herd the kids in the house and furtively passed my camera to Caitlin so she could get the picture of Brian as he came in the door. And I am sure you can picture the rest, how much my family laughed at me as I realized the chair wasn't the only new furniture and the good-natured ribbing about my lack of observation. I guess I'm more like my mom then I knew. I didn't care though, we got new furniture! Best Christmas Ever!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lila's One year old photos...

I was really sad when I realized that with Josh and Elena moving back east it would probably be back to Kiddie Kandids for us. I had gotten spoiled with have my brother be able to take beautiful and artistic pictures for me, and you can't beat the price when your family does it for free because they love you!

Then I remembered our friend Elizabeth is a really talented photographer. She took some pictures for me after Jacob was born. She did my cousin's wedding pictures, and even a family photo shoot for Josh and Elena! I am so happy with how they turned out. If you'd like to see more of my cute baby click here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Santa Claus just might bump into the Tooth Fairy at our house tonight! I hope that doesn't cause a tear in the make-believe time space continuum... I may be mixing my metaphors here. Actually we are just excited to see what extra special present the Tooth Fairy brings if you lose a tooth on Christmas Eve.

Poor Jake, this tooth has been ready to come out for a week or more, but he was very nervous to wiggle it too much or eat with it or anything that would help it come out. I woke up this morning to him standing next to my bed with a set and resigned expression. "Okay, let's get this over with," he said. So I pulled it out thinking, "I did not get enough sleep last night."

I was up into the wee small hours of the morning finishing and wrapping Christmas presents. But the good side is that I am all done and can just enjoy Christmas Eve Day, the party at Pa Dave's tonight and go to bed early tonight. And I won't be trying to hide from the kids to wrap things up.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The lights at Temple Square

Last Saturday we went to see the lights with Brian's side of the family. We enjoyed the beauty and tradition of the night, even though we just about froze our extremities off. We arrived right at dusk as they turned on the lights and there was a fog that shrouded the skyscrapers from sight, and gave the temple an otherworldly glow.

(Just as a side note, this is when I was really missing my brother and his artistic skills and excellent photographic equipment. Not too bad for my little digital camera, which finally gave up the ghost today... 2 days before Christmas...excellent timing.)

My two little girls all bundled up in pink. It was as much of an adventure getting ready for this outing by hunting up enough hats and gloves and scarves to go around...

...unfortunately we didn't have any gloves or mittens for Brian. This was his ingenious solution. And honestly his hands were probably warmer than mine in my one-dollar-one-size-fits-all cotton mittens. Guess we know what my next project at knit night will be.

Jake being cheesy and his cousin Josh being sweet in front of the Assembly Hall. I love the red lights, I think they are my favorite.

Evie had a blast riding on Uncle Greg's shoulders. I took the double stroller and spent more than half the time pushing it around empty. I didn't mind though, I love that my kids were enjoying the company of their cousins, aunt and uncle, and grandparents. (We did too, it was a great family outing.)

Going to see the lights is one of my favorite holiday traditions. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend you take some family or friends, or family and friends, and enjoy the beauty and spirit of the season. Oh, and take some hot chocolate...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Funny kids...

These past few days have been filled with some funny one liners.

Today Brian and I were having a difference of opinion when we noticed Jake standing in our bedroom door. Brian turned to him and asked, "Do you need something Jacob?" Jake read the tone of voice accurately and quickly said, "Nope" and disappeared down the hall. Ten seconds later he popped back in the doorway and said, "Oh yeah, I need some attention." We laughed so hard, and the discussion was over.

Lila's new favorite word is "NO!" Sometimes she says it in a sweet little voice while she shakes her finger at me, "no, no, no, no, no..." but any question you ask her right now is answered with, "ummm, no." It is mildly amusing and cute right now, I give less than a week before it really starts bugging me. She also likes the word "wow!". Her Grandma and Grandpa T. have a train going around the living room right now, and the first time she saw it she just sat and stared and kept saying "Wow! wow. Wow!"

Evie has been non-stop, at top volume. (Thank heavens it is less than a week until Christmas, I don't think our eardrums would make it.) Yesterday Caitlin was over trying to work on some Christmas sewing. I say trying because it is hard to do anything with a three year old constantly underfoot. Evie's imaginary entourage was also present. She told Caitlin that the people were laughing at her. Caite responded with, "Well tell them to enjoy the free laugh because next time we'll charge them." Evie was quite indignant and told Caite, "You CAN'T charge my people! They aren't phones!" It always cracks me up when I realize both how literal children can be and how different technology is now from when I was a child.

Another Evie quirk we are discovering is that she will NOT be ignored. She will just repeat herself at increasing volume until she is acknowledged. A common phrase in our house right now is, "Please don't ignore your daughter." Last week in church I was in the foyer with the baby and Brian was dozing off. I know, shocker right? Evie was trying to tell Brian something and finally an exasperated Jacob said quite loudly, "Daa-aad. You're ignoring your daughter!" Three rows in either direction exploded in silent laughter.

But Jake also tends to ignore his sister on occasion. Tonight on the way home Evie wasn't getting the response from her brother she wanted and finally burst out with, "Jakey, when you i'nore me then I have to tell you two times!" We are in so much trouble with this girl.

Friday, December 18, 2009

HD or not HD... That is the question.

I know that I am probably in the minority here, but I do not understand the hype about high definition t.v., or HD as the vernacular has it. It strikes me as simply a marketing ploy to sell everyone in America a new television, which they don't really need, and probably can't really afford. "Because it's a better picture!" That is my husband's side of this argument. We aren't even fighting about getting a new t.v., we are quite happy with our hand-me-down big screen that we got two or three years ago when my parents upgraded to a flat screen. (You can't beat free.) No, our frequent discussions on this topic stem from the fact that when you record something on the DVR in HD it takes up more than twice the space of recording it on the regular channels. And I just don't see that it is that much better to make it worth the DVR storage. I do have to admit here that I have a somewhat proprietary attitude towards our DVR. Right now it is 75% full, and probably 60-65% of that is programs and series that I have recorded. The other 10-15% is the kids. It's not that I don't let Brian pick shows. In fact it is a hard and fast rule at our house that Sunday afternoons the t.v. belongs to Daddy and if he wants to turn on football and fall asleep for three hours, well, that is his choice.The thing I hate is that the few shows he does record he has to record in HD, thus eating more DVR% than I think he should. Plus have you noticed how in HD you can see every line and blemish on the actors? Call me old-fashioned, but I like my escapist entertainment to have a more fuzzy and dreamlike quality. Okay, now that I've vented I need to go set up the DVR to record 3 hours of a basketball game in HD, because that is how much I love my husband.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas... I hope.

I have decided that it is impossible with three children to get a picture where all of them are simultaneously looking at the camera and smiling.

Maybe it's better if you can't see where they are looking or if they are smiling or not?

Actually, I think that I am going to get this enlarged and hang it up to remind me that these human moments make better Christmas memories than a "perfect" family photo by a "perfectly" decorated Christmas tree.

My goal this Christmas is to spend less time doing and more time being. I want to enjoy sitting down by the fire and reading to my kids instead of feeling the pressure of unfinished projects and how many shopping days are left. So I am scrapping the idea of making matching sweaters with reindeer on them or trying to finish kitchen curtains before we have friends to dinner next week. If I can just finish Lila's stocking in the next two weeks, I will be happy and call it a successful holiday crafting season.

Muscle Man Jake

Welcome to the gun show...



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ninja Party!

I'll bet you thought this post was about Jake didn't you? Guess again...

Evie decided that today was a good day to dress up like a ninja. But then it was a case of all dressed up like a ninja with no place to go. So she decided to have a ninja party! What is a ninja party you might ask? I thought that it would involve a lot of jumping around and saying "hi-ya!" like Miss Piggy. I was wrong.

This is her "Would you like sugar with that?" face. Too cute. Then she decided to put on her "hear-phones" to listen to some music.

I wish so badly that I was able to snap a shot of her the first time she put them on this morning. She pulled them down around her neck and then pushed them up on her forehead, her hair looked like a cross between Flock of Seagulls and Pippi Longstocking. I also missed a photo op of her wearing a hospital gown we have, she calls it her pretend Doctor clothes. I call it her "escaped mental patient" look.

I love this girl, she keeps me giggling all day long. I need to keep the camera charged and closer to hand when she is around.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Lila!

My baby is one today! Because of scheduling conflicts we celebrated a day early with my family.

Lila loves to play with Pa Dave! Their favorite game is "I'm gonna git ya!" She squeals and crawls at him, then face plants in the carpet just before reaching him, and then she just waits to be tickled.

Caite and Lila are showing you that Lila is "ONE"! Well, Caite is showing you that Lila is one, Lila is probably just pointing at the Christmas tree...

I have been fighting some Mommy guilt over the fact that Jake and Evie both had more elaborate 1st birthday parties, or at least they were planned beyond, "Oh yeah, um... let's have cake tomorrow..." But she doesn't know the difference or care and minimal effort was necessary for a sane mommy this week. The other hard part is that as the third child she doesn't really need anything as far as presents go. She got a birthday outfit, some long sleeved onesies and a cute pair of embroidered corduroy overalls from Mommy and Daddy. A fun farm book that makes animal sounds from Pa Dave. And this was her one toy...

A ball popper that plays music! (You'd think I'd have figured out the loud and annoying toy thing by #3... sorry Brian.) The older two have had just as much fun, if not more, with it though. So I am calling it a successful gift.

This picture just makes me laugh, her crazy, excited eyes just seem to scream, "OOOOH! SUGAR!!" don't they? And fortunately she has an older sister there to show her the finer points of blowing out your birthday candles. Such as, don't use your hand, owie!

And then it was time for my favorite first birthday tradition, let them go hog wild smashing cake in their face! My other two did not like to be dirty and didn't really enter into the spirit of the thing. (In fact, Jake went absolutely hysterical when he reached the cream filled center of his hostess cupcake.) Obviously not a trait that Lila shares...

She demolished two small slices of cake. When I put the first one on the tray of her highchair she gave me a look that seemed to say, "Seriously? You do realize that by putting this with in arms reach of me you've made it fair game, don't you?" Then she attacked it while keeping an eye on me to make sure I wasn't going to change my mind and take it away. After the cake was gone she spent a good 10 minutes painstakingly scrapping the frosting off the tray with one dainty finger. She was determined not to leave a speck of sugar behind.

I love you so much my little Lila Faith. I know that you were sent to our family to complete us. You have been my sweetest blessing in a year of so much change and sorrow, and living proof to me that having faith and trust in Heavenly Father's plan for my life will result in greater rewards than I could ever imagine. Happy Birthday baby girl!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

These halls aren't going to deck themselves...

That's what I discovered last year halfway into December. When I was growing up the day after Thanksgiving was "D Day!" (D for decorations.) As we got older it grew into a two to three day process because my mom loved to decorate any surface that didn't move. So this year we decided to adopt that tradition of decorating on Black Friday. And the only way this worked was my kind in-laws came over last Wednesday and helped me clean my house and pull out and set up the tree. (Thanks again Terrie, Tracie and Brooke!)

Daddy and the kids checking the lights, obviously a three year old is a must for a job like this...

After I took this picture Jake said, "Hey Mom! Did you see what I did? I posed like Pa Dave always does in pictures!"

Evie discovered that when the TV is off it makes an excellent mirror! She spent several minutes posing with the lights and talking to her reflection.

Jake is not happy that the lights have to go on before the ornaments. Mostly he isn't happy that he is the only who fits under the tree at this point.

It only took about 5 minutes for Brian and I to realize that between the two of us one couldn't reach the top because of height, and one couldn't reach the top without taking out the tree and probably one of the kids as well. So we called in the cavalry, his parents and my sister and her husband. Jim and Brian were able to get the lights on in 20 minutes. If it had been just Brian and I it would have taken a couple of hours. Then came another 20 minutes or so of, "No you can't put all the gingerbread men together." and "You guys we have to put some ornaments on the top half of the tree." and "Stop touching and dumping everything out of the boxes!" But in spite of the children's help it turned out not half-bad.

My homespun Christmas tree that is a mix of country and Victorian style, with a smattering of precious keepsakes made by my kids.

And our stockings are hung by the chimney with care...

...except for Lila's which I realized tonight that I made it backwards! Again! it is a crazy quilt style like Evie's, and this is the second time that I have pieced it and then realized that it will hang the opposite direction. I am beyond frustrated because I have already embroidered half of the front of hers. grrr.... Guess I will just try to focus on the pleasant feeling at all that has been accomplished this week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Helping in the kitchen...

Earlier in the evening I heard a strange noise from the kitchen...

"Oh, Hi Mom. I am just inspecting the cupboard in here."

"Look at these interesting stick thingys. Oh! They break when you bend them!"

"Hmmm, there are more of them in this package. But I can't open it, grrrr."

"I left a little bit of mess there, can you get that Mom?"

Good thing I keep the flour and sugar up higher, huh?

Friday, November 20, 2009

True Confessions of a Holiday Cook...

I really, really didn't want to blog about this. I have done everything in my power to sweep this memory under the rug of my mind. But it refuses to go away, so my hope is that blogging about this experience will be both cathartic for me and keep other young housewives from having to go through the same pain. It all started with the culturally indoctrinated part of my brain that we'll call the "guilt center". You know what I am talking about, that part that all women come hard-wired with and that many religions exploit in making us feel that saying "no" to a service opportunity is on par with stealing candy from a small child.

Our ward has our Christmas Party the 2nd weekend in November. No, I can't explain why. I guess they are just getting a jump on the holiday season before we are all too busy to attend. So two weeks before that a sign-up sheet went around Relief Society asking for 8 sisters to cook a turkey and then bring it to the church. (With the turkey and foil roasting pans provided for us, of course.) The first week 4 sisters signed up. I felt not the slightest twinge as I passed the sheet on to the next sister, confidant that 4 more sisters with much more experience than I in cooking turkeys would jump at the chance to serve the ward. The next week the sign-up sheet went around again, with a slightly more desperate pleading for 4 more volunteers. At this point I still didn't even think of myself as a candidate, as the sheet started on the other side of the room and would surely be filled before it ever got to me. I settled in to enjoy the lesson as much as is possible while engaged in a wrestling match with an ornery 11 month old.

Twenty minutes later the clipboard passed to me... only one name written down! Those three blank lines seemed to swell in front of my eyes and that stupid guilt center kicked into overdrive. "I can't sign up for this, I haven't cooked a turkey for a couple of years. You know how to cook a turkey though, you've done it before with success. But what if I mess it up? You are going to let a fear of failing keep you from trying? That's not very faithful of you. Oh, shut up. Plus you know you need to be more involved in the ward, overcome the shyness that keeps people from getting to know you... Fine! Fine! I am signing the sheet... are you happy now?" (Am I the only one who's internal dialog is so antagonistic?)

Fully committed now, I spent the better part of the next week psyching myself up to cook that turkey and cook it well. I consulted with my Dad about the best options in cooking times and temperatures, made sure I had all my supplies and was feeling quite optimistic about the whole endeavor. The first twinge of unease came the Wednesday evening before when the head of the activities committee dropped off "the bird". It was huge! Easily as big as my baby. 22 pounds to be exact. And frozen solid. The "If it had fallen off the counter onto my foot the only choice would have been amputation" kind of frozen solid. But they told me to put it in the fridge and it should be thawed come Saturday morning. I more or less cheerfully cleaned out the bottom shelf of my refrigerator and hefted the beast inside, where it reigned in solitary splendor for the next 4 days.

Saturday morning dawned grey and bitterly cold. A portent of things to come? We had an appointment to go get flu shots in the morning and then I had another service project I was doing with my cousin. Can't say no, remember? (No. That one was actually fun, we were sewing pillowcases for a charity and it really didn't feel like service because we both got a $20 gift certificate for fabric! That is the one part of my day I don't regret.) My plan had been to put the turkey in the oven before I left for sewing, thus giving plenty of time for slowly roasting the bird to golden deliciousness. I had the oven preheating and everything out and ready to prep the turkey. I had checked the bird that morning before we went to get shots, by pressing on the breast and it didn't feel frozen. But when I heaved it out of the fridge and dropped set it on the counter, the entire kitchen shook. The darn thing was still frozen! I was uneasy but still thinking it would work out. I placed in the sink with lukewarm water and went off to sew pillowcases for an hour.

I called my husband when I finished at the quilt shop and asked him to preheat the oven again, rushed home and prepared to prep the turkey again. I lifted it out of the water to the other side of the sink and felt both sides give when I pushed on them. Relief rushed through me and I cut open the netting then the shrink wrapping. I unhooked the plastic deal-y that holds the legs together so I could pull out the neck and giblets package. Only to be thwarted by the fact that the neck was still completely frozen to the inside of the turkey! At this point all I could see in my mind's eye was that commercial from a few years ago where the woman is standing in her kitchen crying while trying to defrost her turkey with a hairdryer. Oh dear. Panic setting in I had Brian calling our Bishop's wife for ideas while I dialed my Dad. His helpful observation. "You should have taken it out last night and had it thawing in the sink..." If I had a time machine at this point I would have zipped past last night straight back to Sunday and not signed that stupid clipboard! But through dint of much praying and a little hot water I soon had the cavity emptied and the blasted bird turkey in the oven, at a slightly higher temperature in hopes that it would be a fast cooker.

Then I retreated to the living, flopped onto the sofa and began to sob. I knew that disaster was immanent. The laws of physics were just not on my side in this battle, and I didn't know what to do. Brian played the part of concerned husband perfectly, even to the point of calling around to find out where we could purchase a precooked turkey or turkey breast. I had to go get something from my Dad to make the gravy so I cried all the way over there, even knowing that it was ridiculous to be reduced to tears by frozen poultry. My dad was very sweet and offered to come help me check the turkey and make the gravy that night. Feeling much better that someone who knew what they were doing would be there to oversee this operation (and someone who could actually heft that behemoth out of the oven) I came home. But I honestly can't tell you what I did for the next few hours, it's all kind of a panic-y haze. Dad came over a half an hour before we were supposed to be at the church, and we pulled the turkey out and started to carve it up, only to realize that it was no where near done. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. We stuck it back in the oven and went off to the party empty handed. (And if that isn't courage, then I don't know what is...)

Fortunately our ward had over planned on food so that even without 22 pounds of turkey there was still enough for everyone. And the sister in charge was very kind and understanding about the whole ordeal. I told her it was home still cooking and asked her what she wanted me to do with it when it was done? "Eat it." Eat it!? A 22 pound turkey? We had a pre-Thanksgiving dinner the next day with both my family and the in-laws. And I think the leftovers will last until long past Thanksgiving.

So if you have made it through this entire post then I hope you take two things away from it. 1: Take your turkey out the night before and make sure that it is completely thawed before you start trying to cook it. 2: Sometimes it is okay to pass those sign-up sheets right on down the line and tell your inner voice to just shove it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

An evening ramble...

I don't know if you remember this post from earlier this year about the fact that Jacob is an occasional sleepwalker. The first time I remember him doing it, he was 2 years old and had been taking a nap in my bed. He came down the hall, crying, with one side if his hair and clothing sopping wet. I could not for the life of me figure out how he had a leaky diaper that only leaked on one side and got his hair wet too?! I went to investigate and found one of my pillows and his blanket in the bottom of my shower. It took 10 minute of questioning on my part to realize that he wasn't all the way awake and couldn't tell me why he decided sleeping in the shower was a good idea.

Last night was a classic though. About an hour after I had tucked him into bed he came stumbling into the living room and sat down on the couch by me. I asked him what he was doing and only got unintelligible mumbling in response. I kissed him on the forehead and told him to go get back into his bed. So he got up and shuffled into the kitchen, where he opened the drawer where we keep Ziploc and tinfoil and just stared intently into it. Trying not to laugh, I asked him what he was looking for. He pulled a plastic baggie out of the drawer and came back to the couch. He then started to try to put it on his foot. At this point both Brian and I were hysterical but not laughing out loud because we didn't want to startle him awake and scare him. I asked if he needed help and he handed me the bag and kept pointing at his ankle bone, saying that it hurt and he needed to cover it. So I picked him up, and there is a mental picture for you, because he is only a head shorter than I am... this time next year I will probably just have to hook my arms under his arms and drag him to bed. He wrapped his arms around my neck and his legs around my waist, and I realized there was no way in heaven or earth I could get him back down to his room by myself. So I carried him into the girls room and tucked him into bed with Evie, with his head at the foot of the bed. The second his head touched the pillow he gave a huge sigh, and... back to sleep.

An hour later I went down to switch the laundry and found his top sheet in the door way to the laundry room, and his pillow in a laundry basket in front of the dryer.

I just wish I knew what is in his dreams at night.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Preschool again?

This is how I feel every month when it is my turn to teach. It's not like it should be a surprise to me... but it kind of is. This week I had a review of letters A-J, circles, snow and fairness as my topics. I think we did pretty good. On Monday we focused more on the letters. I made a memory game with letters and simple pictures on different cards, then the kids would try to find the match. A for apple, B for ball, and so on... They really seemed to enjoy it, and I was quite impressed with how well they remembered where the letters and pictures they had turned over before were. Better than I did, more proof that memory is one of the first things to go, I guess.

We read a lot of books about snow and I was wracking my brain on Tuesday night for some ideas. Thank heavens for the internet. Even though it meant scrambling this morning and going to three different stores (that's right... I was committed to this idea!) looking for snowballs. But how cute was this little treat?

It's a Hostess Snowball for the snowman's head and we used Reese's Piece for the face. And then they took a handful of mini-marshmallows and sprinkled them on the plate for snow flakes. Easy enough for a 3 year old to do by themselves, but long enough to take up 15 minutes or so...

Their other favorite activity today was...


I gave them each a handful of cotton balls and then turned them loose to pelt each other as best they could! They were so funny, at first they just looked at me like I was crazy or it was a trick or something. You could almost see the thoughts in their little minds, "Really? You want us to throw things in the house? Really?" So I led by example, grabbed a handful and started to throw them at their noses... that was all the encouragement they needed!

I found a cute little poem that I tried to teach them, but I don't think they thought it was as funny as I did. Or they didn't quite understand why it is funny. I wrote it out on a card and glued a cotton ball to it so they could each have their own pet snowball.

Pet Snowball

I made myself a snowball,
just as perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet,
and let it sleep with me.
I gave it some pajamas,
and a pillow for it's head.
Then last night it ran away,
but first... it wet the bed!

And almost before I knew it, 12:30 rolled around and my house was quiet again. I am settling in to enjoy the next three weeks that I don't have to worry about teaching...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Math Wiz?

Today when I picked Jake up from school he decided to quiz my math skills.

Jake: "Okay. Mom, I've got a question for you. If Jill has 2000 jellybeans, and 257 of them are red, 206 of them are black, 364 are green, 98 are yellow, 122 are blue, and 5 of them are a grey and white speckled color, what is the minimum number she has to eat?"

Me: "Ummm, I don't know. As many as she wants?"

Jake: "No, no. So that she eats one of each color."

Me: "Oh. I'm not sure. Ummmm, 8?"

long pause.....

Me: "Is that right?"

Jake: "I don't know. I wasn't counting."

It was the first time I felt like I came out on top in a discussion about math with my son...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Prize Optuneat

I had to share this gift certificate Jake made for me tonight. He was doing a "show" for us at my dad's tonight, telling jokes and riddles. I guessed one of the riddles correctly so this was my prize.

In case you don't read 6 year old I'll translate. It says "You now have an opportunity to be on my show!" Then the coupon part is a picture of a person trying out on a curtained stage, under a sign that I think is supposed to say presentation. (I am just really impressed that he didn't ask anyone to spell anything for him, just sounded it out the best he could.)

The best part of this certificate is the seal of authenticity. That would be the oval that says "This is Real!" He added that after Caitlin told him that he needed to add a seal of authenticity so that someone couldn't make lots of copies or fake a certificate. My sweet, sweet, literal boy. Oh yes, and he signed it to authorize it's true value. So sorry everyone, if you were thinking of trying to counterfeit one of these babies for a chance to try out for his show... you just can't fake a "This is Real!" seal of authenticity!