Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yesterday, we took the kids to the snow, along with Grandma and Uncle Ronnie. It is a tradition to make the trek up to Yosemite, or somewhere along the way that has enough snow to play, sometime between Christmas and the start of school. This year the snow level is pretty low and we didn't have to go very far to find plenty of snow. We stopped at Lewis Creek.

These first pictures were taken through the front window of our car as we drove up. It was a beautiful drive. It's a good thing Brian was driving, I would have been dangerous with the wheel and the camera, lol.

The first thing about snow play is learning to make the perfect snow ball. Brian is giving a lesson on how to do it right.
Here is Jacob testing out the technique on Dad.
When you live in a place where it doesn't know, it doesn't make much sense to invest in snow play equipment. So you have to be creative. Here we Nate getting ready to sled down the hill on a box retrieved from a Christmas gift still in Grandma's car.
Nate was having a blast with his box!
You can't tell in this picture, but Brian and Nate are sledding on the sun shade from our car. It actually made a pretty good sled. Thanks go out to another family there who we got this idea from.

And sometimes a still picture just does not do justice to the activity. So, I will leave you with this very short clip:

I hope you all take time to play this holiday season. These are the thing moments memories are made of.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here is a sneak peek at Christmas morning:
Note: no children were injured in the making of this video.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I don't know what the weather is like this time of year in Bethlehem. Honestly, I don't even know exactly where Bethlehem is, it could be in the southern hemisphere, where it is now summer. Either way, I cannot imagine giving birth in a barn. Joshua was born "naturally" without medication (not by choice, just bad timing). But, we were in a hospital, with air conditioning, since it was September. He was my first and it was scary, but I was in good hands. I cannot imagine being in a barn with my just husband and the animals, doing it alone.
Six years ago today, I brought home a small bundle of a boy. He was born surgically, in a sterile hospital, with good pain medication! Before we left the hospital, my nurse gave me a final dose of the "good" pain medication, not because I needed it at that time, but because she knew I was planning to go straight to our Christmas Eve service at church. I think she might have been my Christmas angel that year. There is something magical about about having a baby, a newborn, at Christmas. The attention we got at church was kind of fun too!
Tonight, we went to the Christmas Eve service at church and my Christmas baby sang in the children's choir. I must admit, my eyes got misty. There is still something very special about Christmas Eve and that baby I brought home six years ago.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's tough having a birthday right at Christmas. Nate's birthday is just five days before (although he was due the day after, which wouldn't have been much better). Who's idea was it to baby a Christmas baby? Well, there's a story about that...Let's just there is something about men's retreats (which happened to be in March) that make men very loving and affectionate when they get home. And, well March to December is nine months...enough said.

So anyway, planning a birthday party for a Christmas baby requires strategy. And we're still working on it. We try to make his birthday special and separate from Christmas festivities. So, when he has a party it is usually a bit over the top. But, then he has only had three parties in his six years. Because, let's face is Christmas is not a good time to plan a party. Of course, we also celebrate his birthday:

Last year it was just the six of us at home, with cake and cheetoes.
This year was one of those "I actually planned a party" years. Anyone who knows Nate, knows he tends to be a bit on the high energy side (understated?). So what better better place to have his party than somewhere he can run and jump and not get into trouble for it. Pump it Up is such a fun place for a party, especially in the winter when the kids just needs a place to burn up some energy.
Here is Jacob and my niece Faith.
Better move quick Mia; here comes Emily!
Pile up at the bottom of the slide, Priscilla and Jacob.
Here comes Nate!
Yes, I got in on the fun too!
The air hockey table was a hit too!
Nate and his friends waiting for cake!
The Wall*E cake. Caution: Costco blue icing is DARK blue. It will turn your lips blue and your teeth blue! The kids got a kick out of it. The parents, not so much.
Meet Toby Smurf! Mel, I hope that came off easily.
I will spare you all the opening presents pictures. But, I will say that the Moon Sand was THE gift this year. He played with it for over an hour last night and several times today.
It's a good thing too, because Santa had it on his list too, along with a sand table so he can take the stuff outside, because it's all over my kitchen floor right now.

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us. We had a great time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Whew...Crazy BUSY day here. TWO soccer pizza parties. One at 1:00 and one at 2:00. At trip to Build-A-Bear at the mall, which was a nightmare.; 45 minutes in line to stuff a bear! One Spiderman teddy bear outfit that cost more than the bear. A hair cut for Nate, so he won't look like a ragamuffin tomorrow, that turned out worse than the the hair that needed cut.

I need a vacation. What? I'm on vacation? HA!

Here's Nate's soccer team celebrating a great season.
Nate with Coach Jamie and his cool trophy.
Here's Jacob and a couple of teammates getting pizza.
Jacob's quite proud of his trophy!
Fluffy, AKA Spidey Bear, shares Nate's birthday.

And tomorrow...we will party!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spreading a little Christmas cheer. Last week we had the opportunity to walk Christmas Tree Lane. For those of you not from the area, it is two miles of homes with beautiful lights and displays. They close the lane on two nights during the holidays for people to walk through.
Merry Fishmas! The local high schools paint murals each year to display along the path. This is the one The boys' school did.
Here's Nate helping out the elves. It was a cute display.
This one of my favorite displays. The toys are animated. That is a Mrs. Beasley doll in the rocker. I don't know if any of you remember Mrs. Beasley. But, I still have one of these dolls from when I was about two years old. And she is well loved! She has long since lost her glasses and her pull cord doesn't work. But she still makes me smile. And this display makes me smile every year too.
New this year. A few of the little boys' favorites.
Walking in a winter wonderland...
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the SNOW! Yes, in Fresno. Ok, so it wasn't real snow. But, Nate was lost in the magic. My little boys have never seen it snow. They have only played in the snow after it stopped falling and it was safe to drive in the mountains. (There is a slim chance that it will snow here next week. It only *snows* here about every ten years. Fingers crossed.)
Even the big boys felt the magic, a little.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I love to crochet, especially making things for other people. A couple of years ago I made scarves for each of the boys' teachers. Last year, I did not, because we were packing and moving just before Christmas. So, this year, once again, I took the boys to Michael's and let them choose "the perfect" yarn for each of their teachers. I fear my boys are growing up as their choices were not as "fun" as they were two years ago, but I digress.
Jacob told me he wanted me to teach him to crochet so he could make his teacher's scarf. That was a great idea. However, the yarn he chose was wavy and not very conducive to learning with. So, I told him I would make this one, with the yarn he chose and teach him with some yarn I had around the house.

Then, I was at browsing yarn another day (really I have way too much yarn already, but again I digress). I saw a knitting loom and thought, that would be much easier to teach than crochet for a first timer, who is 8.
He took right to it.
I think he is proud of his work.
He is so diligent.
Santa will be hard pressed to pick a better Christmas gift for me this year. Isn't this the most beautiful scarf you have ever seen?
This is his next project. We chose some straight yarn for his teacher's scarf and he's making it himself. I think he's proud!
Now, I need a home for this "wavy" purple scarf, that I made.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Twas the last weekend of November
And all through the fam,
Our bellies were full
of Thanksgiving ham.
Ok, it was turkey, but that didn't rhyme.
Black Friday was a hit
For the stores I did head.
Now it's my checkbook
I fear in the red.
Not really, but it DID rhyme.

The stocking were hung
By the TV with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas
Would find them there.
I miss having a fireplace!
Candy canes light the path
Up to the front door,
To guide Ol' Saint Nick
As he completes his chore.
Since we do not have a chimney.
From our family to yours
Some holiday lovin'.
And chocolate chip cookies,
Warm from the oven.
Wishing you a happy holiday season!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful today.

I am thankful for a wonderful husband who got up early this morning, put the turkey in the oven and let me sleep. Is there anything more attractive than a man in the kitchen?

I am thankful for my awesome, healthy children. They have spent several days this week with their grandparents, and it was so quiet here. I missed the energy that is a houseful of boys! I love these guys so much.

I am thankful for our parents. My dad and Brian's mom have been so helpful to us over the years. We would not be where we are if not for their love and support... and babysitting!

I am thankful for my education. I'm still in the middle of it, but it allows me to follow my heart and help people when they need it most. I see on a regular basis just how blessed I am.

I am thankful for Brian's education. It pays the bills while I am going to school. I'm thankful that Brian has found a career that he loves. We will never be wealthy, but we are happy at work.

I am thankful that we have everything we need. We have a home, in this terrible economy, when so many are homeless. We have food, when many are hungry. We have love, when so many are lonely. We are truly blessed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ok, someone posted on of these "who does your child look more like" things and since I have nothing better to do than waste time playing on the computer... I did it too.

It appears that Nate favors Brian just a teeny bit more than me. Which is funny, because I thought of the three, he looked most like me. What do I know?

It said that Jacob looks equally like me. I think Jacob looks just like Brian. One of these days, I'm going to scan some pics of us as kids, just for fun. Jacob. Looks. Like. Brian. Of course, with his new glasses, someone commented the other day that he looks like me. Again, what do I know.

The really funny thing is, this thing also said that Joshua looks equally like Brian and me. Now, Brian is not Joshua's biological father, so I guess there is something to the saying that people who spend a lot of time together start to look like each other. I say, it's the mustache. I. Do. Not. Have. A. Mustache.

So, take a look at each of them (the following three posts) and tell me who you think the kids look like.

Tay Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Genealogy site - Free genealogy

Tay Look-alike Meter

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