Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a very good Christmas this year.  Mostly quiet and lots of quality play time.  The kids tried to change up Christmas lists Christmas Eve, but they seemed to really enjoy the toys that they received and haven't mentioned the ones that they tried to change up for.  They played all day with their toys and are still playing with them.  I put together a slide show of pictures, but sadly it has taken me a week to save it!  The website was down and every time I tried to save it, the thing crashed.  Finally this morning I saved it!  So, FINALLY I am posting this. 
We decided this year to do a standing rib roast.  Not only was it super easy and fast, it was very good.  I think it was a nice "light" dinner compared to Thanksgiving, which is nice because who wants to slave in the kitchen when there are Legos and new toys to play with!  
It was a good Christmas for all, we hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


The time is here, to prepare for Christmas, and we are almost ready. Breakfast is made, cake is cooling, presents are being wrapped. 
But, I've been told it is time to get ready for Church.  So, I guess it is time to get the kids in from outside and find out what fits. 
The kids are excited and a little crazed today.  I guess that is to be expected on Christmas Eve, isn't it?
Who wants to take bets that Nate will fall asleep on the way to Church? 
That should make a for a fun evening! 
Oh, I almost forgot, the shrimp is thawing!  YUM!  Still have to pick up some bread though.  I would have made some, but Mom said it was too much work! 
Hope everyone is having a fabulous holiday season! 
Happy Christmas Eve! 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Christmas cookies

This weekend, in my utter craziness, I decided that our Mother's group should host a Cookie Decorating party for the kids of our Church.  Fortunately, everyone I talked to was on board!  A couple Mothers and I got together Friday night and made 10 batches of cookies, which translated to over 600 cookies!  We had about 35 kids RSVP, but you never know, and we might have just been making batches, throwing them into the fridge and then we counted and realized we had 10 batches!  We used the Church kitchen and had a great time.  Thank goodness for the convection ovens and my friends who so graciously stayed late to help, we couldn't have done it without them! 
The next morning we made some frosting, laid out the cookies and said get to it kids! 
I forgot to figure on the little kids and their love of frosting and sprinkles, many of the cookies were towering with frosting and sprinkles, which would be cool if the kids were just making these for themselves, but we decided to have them make some and donate some for the home-bound parishioners. 
 We decided to use royal icing and put it in plastic bags and cut out an end for them to squeeze onto the cookies, we had the kids bring their own sprinkles.  The bags worked well, for the most part.  We had a couple that split when we were trying to push down the icing and we had a couple that came out the zip part. But, we had no complaints and some kids stood there for the whole time just making cookies, I was impressed.

Everyone told us how great of an idea this was, and how much they loved it.  How well organized it was and all that, which was slightly hilarious, because we didn't do anything to organize it, really, just made cookies and frosting.  We also had the kids decorate bags and make cards for the home-bound.  They did such a great job and it was such a fabulous way to spread some cheer. 
I hope that the home-bound all get their bags and cards, the kids sure had fun doing it! 
It made for an exhausting couple of days, but well worth it! 

Saturday, December 03, 2011


I may or may not have mentioned that Thanksgiving was not our best day, Eric has been fighting some mysterious illness for almost 2 weeks now.  He is on the mend, after I demanded he go to the Doctor.  He is at least able to participate in family time.  And, I think that he is finally able to sleep well, since prescribed a cough syrup!  Thanksgiving seemed to be just another day around here, except, I worked really hard to make a dinner, that basically only I ate, sure the kids had some, but not much, and then I had to do all the dishes! 
We got some cute pictures of the kids though!
After dinner, while I was doing the dishes the kids played and Eric laid on the couch, pretty much his M.O. for the last several weeks, poor guy. 

Nate likes to wear the buckets on his head, he's a funny kind of a kid! 
Hope your turkey day was better than ours! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Today we left the house, it was the first time we all left the house since probably Tuesday.  We'd been outside, in the yard, but we did some shopping.  It was nice to get out of the house, stores were kind of busy, but not Black Friday crazy.  We were finally able to get Nate something to wear for Christmas.  Thank goodness.  I think it is time for me to attempt to get some Christmas pictures made.  Should be all kinds of fun!  Eric and I did pick up a Black Friday deal for ourselves for Christmas.  Guess we should really get Christmas shopping started for the family.  Maybe after Eric starts to feel better from his mysterious illness.  I am hoping that none of us get it, he's been sick with a fever for almost a week now.  I am hoping that since it has been almost a week, that we are all in the clear, the incubation period should be past, a girl can dream. 
I have some pictures to upload here, but I have to charge the camera battery and then upload to the computer.  Hopefully tomorrow, I will get to it. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Eric unfortunately is still sick, which was bad for my T'day dinner.  I heard him telling his Mother he didn't do my meal justice, and he certainly didn't.  I may have made too many things, but everything sounded good (and tasted good, if I might add.  As I write this, I realize I am a little hungry now, might be time for round 2!  This year I made mashed potatoes, but instead of regular mashed potatoes I saw a recipe for them with goat cheese and caramelized onions.  They were great!  Eric also wanted creamed corn, I found a recipe for skillet creamed corn (topped with bacon!)  YUM!  Then I also made the usual suspects, cran-bake, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, biscuits, and gravy!  We also had "jello" my kids called it, which makes me kind of sad for them that they think cranberry sauce from a can is jello, but they love it, so it is a good thing I bought 2 cans! 
The kids seemed to have been suffering from over stimulation from being inside too long, so I sent everyone outside to finish up the cooking, but they didn't last long, Daddy slept outside while they played.  They didn't really hit their outdoor stride until after dinner when they ran outside to say hi to Mrs. Susan.  I went out with them and they ran outside basically in circles around her yard.  They did "help" her a little with her gardening.  She is a very nice neighbor and is so patient with them, probably because her son is in high school and she misses the toddler hugs! 
I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


YAY!  Half-a-day.  I am looking forward to cleaning this place up and starting some baking tomorrow.  I will be baking at least 2 pies tomorrow.  I couldn't decide between making a pumpkin or a pecan, I think E prefers the pumpkin and I prefer the pecan, so I'll be making both.  I am going to make a caramel pecan pie, instead of what I usually make-the chocolate pecan pie!  As E and I are married longer I learn more about his likes and dislikes.  I'd like a roll  for T'day, out of no where he tells me he wants biscuits!  Sure, I know biscuits to rolls, not a big deal, but I am wondering what else I'll learn. 
Gwen had her little celebration, came home with her vest, her necklace and her headpiece, all that she made.  They apparently had a feast outside on the picnic benches.  It feels like it is unseasonably warm around here.  We aren't going to complain, but I kind of wish we had a porch, because I would totally do the outdoor eating thing on the porch, like I grew up with! The kids would love it, they love the outdoor eating! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Manic Monday

Nate and I went into school today and one of the ladies that works in the office gave him a little toy, while I was collecting checks.  Apparently she made him close his eyes and put out his hands.  He was incredibly excited, his exuberance was noticeable.  He has been doing reenactments all day. 
I am looking forward to the kids having a couple days off.  I am hoping to get some cleaning and stuff done around the house, that we just don't seem to have time to do with the pick-up, drop-off, other things to do in between. 
I went to the grocery store today without kids, and some crazy lady felt the need to talk to me.  I felt our conversation was weird.  First she was sending her shopping partner, who she treated as if he wasn't 100% with it and kept repeating "LIGHT brown sugar" for sweet potatoes, and then turned to me and said, "RIGHT?".  I have always been a little confused as to which brown sugar to use, unless specifically stated in the recipe, so I just agreed. And then she started chatting me up about what we were having for Thanksgiving asking me if we were having turkey or a roast?  I answered "turkey for Thanksgiving, roast for Christmas" to which she replied "oh, changing it up"?  I don't know about you, but I thought everyone (who eats meat) eats turkey for Thanksgiving.  Although I noticed in her basket a roast-like thing.  I went ahead and picked up light brown sugar for my sweet potatoes, because she seemed to know what she was talking about when it came to sweet potatoes.  I was trying to convince a friend that we should do Thanksgiving together, I would do half the meal and she would do half, since I didn't want our family to get a free ride...but she didn't want to relinquish half the control, so we are doing our own thing.  We'll likely have too much food, hopefully I won't have to cook much this weekend! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Raleigh parade

Today we went to the Raleigh Christmas parade.  I think we didn't go last year, although we aren't sure.  We went without planning, just got in the car and went.  I couldn't really remember the parade route, but what the heck.  The kids don't care about that kind of stuff; they just wanted to see the parade!  We left about the time I would have liked to have been  pulling into Raleigh.  But, we found a spot, which we realized later must have been at the end of the route, so we ended up not missing much, if anything.  We started out at not a very good spot, and put the kids on our shoulders so they could see, but we could hardly see.  Then some nice tall man, asked if anyone wanted to get closer with their kids.  So I said sure, and we were able to just hold them up high.  There were plenty of breaks in the parade, since we were at the end, so we ended up being there 2 hours!  I eventually scooted Gwen up front because do you know how heavy our kids are after about an hour of holding them!?  People really started clear out at about 1.5 hours in so I also let Nate get up close, but probably only for the last 15 minutes.  I didn't get a whole lot of pictures, since I was holding one or the other of the kids, but towards the end I got more pictures.

Gwen's favorite were the ballerinas and the princesses.  I just have to say, there were a lot of princesses.  Miss NC this and Miss NC that.  Gwen was so pleased!  Nate was pleased because we got to see the Star Wars people again, but he was a little disappointed there was no Darth Vader.  I was thrilled to see big balloons, although the toilet was a little surprising.  I think Eric's favorite was the large shopping cart.  It was hilarious because we could tell when Scotty McCreery (American Idol from Garner, NC-Mom) was coming through, we could hear the girlish screams coming from the crowd.  We all enjoyed the parade, I love a good parade, maybe next year we could print the route and you know plan a little in advance, or we could go with the flow again, whatever!

Friday, November 18, 2011


I sort of feel like I am running out of things to say on this blog.  Gwen is doing well in school.  Nate is endearing himself to the people at school.  Gwen is apparently supposed to dress in khakis and ponytails or braids for her Thanksgiving celebration.  Unfortunately, the kid doesn't have anything khaki to wear with her uniform top, what can I say, the girl likes pink!  Fortunately, we have a Kohl's gift card and a 20% off coupon.  The note said not to buy anything, but well, what else am I going to send her in?  Maybe I can scrounge up something from our hand-me-down bin, if I don't get to it this weekend.  I am pretty excited to braid her hair, I love to do bows/braids and all that kind of stuff, but she won't let me.  She told me today I could do braids, I didn't tell her ponytails were an option!  They have been working on all kinds of stuff for the classroom, building a tepee, making head gear, talking about the Mayflower.  Gwen keeps asking me facts about the first Thanksgiving, and I know about 95% of what she asks me.
Eric let the kids watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  We watch every Charlie Brown special for every holiday, Eric feels it is important, or he likes to reminisce about watching those with his family.  The kids especially like the physical humor, like when Snoopy is trying to set up the table and gets caught.  Nate just laughed and laughed, which caused everyone else to laugh because his laugh is so infectious.
I am about done with my responsibilities for my first official month in my job.  The ordering process is about to come to a close and I have the whole of Thanksgiving break to work on my lunch lists. That will be nice.  Wonder if I can teach the kids how to highlight? I think it is going well, at least no one has complained to me personally.  Good news for me! 
I am starting to plan our Thanksgiving meal.  It will just be us this year.  As the kids have started to get more adventurous at meal time, ok well only Gwen, it has been fun to plan and hope they actually eat.  I will likely do too much for our little family, but then I am hoping not to cook for a couple days, so that will be really cool!  Who doesn't want a fresh turkey sandwich?   

Thursday, November 17, 2011


This was from this summer.  The in-laws have a duck race* where they live and the MIL loves to send the husband a t-shirt, this year the kids were delighted that they also got t-shirts.  I can't tell you how many times the kids and husband wore their matching shirts this summer.  I would imagine they would still be wearing them if the temperature went down to 50!  Fortunately, they didn't have my size, or maybe I'm not known for wearing duck race t-shirts!  How cute is my family!?

*I should note:although this is a live duck race no duck are mistreated in the race-or my MIL would not support it! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I've been a pretty big slacker these days when it comes to dinner.  I have been uninspired and lazy.  Tonight I had a Mom's group meeting and there were 2 nutritionists there, one was a holistic nutritionist who kind of took over the meeting.  I have been trying to pull the snacks foods out of the house, preferring to make things on my own and that has helped me with some of my food problems, but I've gotten lazy and uninspired.  But I feel the need to get more fruits/veggies in the kids diets.  I also struggle making Gwen's lunches, so I started looking at some websites tonight, and now I've stayed up too late pouring over these darn beautiful food pictures on a random website instead of writing my grocery list and going to bed. Let's just say the next couple recipes coming out of this kitchen will be likely from that website, I hope they are as good as they look!  Sometimes you never know where the inspiration is going to hit you...hopefully it will continue through the holidays and beyond! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Child of the week

At Gwen's school they have a 'child of the week' program, where the kid gets special treatment.  We went in a read her class a book and apparently the class thinks of things they like about her.  Just for her kicks, thought I should put it on here because it is so cute. 
  • she has nice manners
  • she has beautiful eyes
  • she looks her nicest everyday! (which is kind of funny since they wear uniforms)
  • she is nice to others
  • she has a nice haircut
  • she is very wise
  • she includes others
  • she is always bucket-filling (which is the theme for this year 'buckets' filling with compliments or taking stuff out with not nice behavior)
  • she has nice handwriting
  • she has a quiet voice
  • she smiles with her eyes
It is funny to see what her classmates think about her!  

Monday, November 14, 2011


  • We must have had a pretty good weekend because we are all exhausted today.  
  • My running partner bailed on me this morning, well, I say bailed, but she has problems with the old alarm and I was about 150pg left in David Copperfield and didn't notice I had been sitting in the car 25 minutes so I didn't call her and oops she slept until after 7!  Kids have to be at school at 8am...she just made it!  
  • You see, when you've been reading a book for months and you have less than 200 pages left, you kind of are just motivated to finish.  I am intrigued, and I am currently less than 100 pages left and trying to figure out when I am going to have time to finish. 
  • I took Nate to the park this morning and then this afternoon I took both Nate and Gwen to a different park.  I think they were both exhausted after that and I hope they get a good night's rest!  We met some of Gwen's classmates at the park and I was able to chat with them, which was nice.  I didn't understand why I found Nate with a bunch of older boys who were being very mean to him-squishing him.  I pulled him out of there and he started crying, telling me how mean they were.  I don't understand why he kept playing with them if they were mean to him.  It makes no sense to me.  I hope it is just an age thing and he'll learn to defend himself!  
  • This week is theoretically less busy for me, but yet at the same time, I don't think I will be home very often.  Which is bad, because you know, I have to vacuum up the leaves and do the laundry.  Darn those school uniforms!  At least we all have plenty of clean underpants!  
  • Ok, well must get to bed and finish David Copperfield while the kids are sleeping, because they really don't let me sit and read.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I found this picture on my camera.  Nate was playing with the camera while Mom was here and told her to smile.  It is the best picture that he took, all the rest ended up being fuzzy, that might have been because he decided to take a picture of himself at "point-blank" range and probably smudged up the lens. 
Eric appears to have enjoyed his birthday weekend.  We drove over to the Lego store and let the kids build some Lego people.  They really enjoyed that, the mean parents that we are did not allow them to take their Lego people home.  About 5 minutes from home Nate started to cry that he had wanted to bring his Lego men home.  Too late now buddy! 
The kids also had a good time in the leaves, but I missed the opportunity to take the pictures.  I'll have to clean up the leaf mess in the house for days.   Lots of yelling and screaming outside today.  They were making memories, as my neighbor says. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday!

As I've mentioned today is Eric birthday.  Filled with box cake and french toast and Legos.  He got a nap and slept in, so I think there will be no complaints this year.  He is also pretty excited about his birthday present which is a replacement watch for his other watch.  He was pretty shocked to receive a brand new watch.  I had sent his old watch in to get the band replaced for his birthday and they sent that watch back along with a brand new one and only charged me the price of the replacement band.  Pretty good deal!  I also had the kids make his cake and they were all excited to decorate the house this morning.  I got some pictures of that and some video. 

As you can see the kids had a good time decorating, they actually made the cake also, which they enjoyed and are pretty proud to have done.

Sadly what I didn't get was a picture of the sprinkles flying off the cake when Eric blew out the candles!  Gwen complained that there were sprinkles in her water.
Grandmom enjoys getting the cards with the music because she knows the kids like them, and here is proof of how much they like them.

All-in-all a good day for the birthday boy.  Thanks to my partner in crime for sticking around another year.  Hope this year is your best yet!  

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today wasn't such a bad day, overall. Eric has been working pretty hard this week and not getting much sleep.  The kids and I have been trying to trudge through at home without him.  Tomorrow is his birthday and I suspect he will try to spend most of the day sleeping, because who doesn't want to spend their birthday sleeping?  I guess someone who isn't a parent doesn't.  But, I suspect almost everyone wants to sleep in on their birthday and since Eric is lucky enough to have a weekend birthday this year, so he can.  We will be going out to dinner tomorrow night, that should be nice, thanks to our babysitting swap. I can't think of much else to talk about tonight.  I've got to get to bed, since I have the early shift tomorrow!  Night-night! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today would be Dad's 63rd birthday.  I knew it was coming and thought, man it would have been nice to make his favorite meal.  Or something like that.  I did end up making something that had the kids silently eating, so no crazy fussing!  Win-win!  It is hard to believe the amount of time it has been and it would be nice to commemorate his life in that way, I think.  So, I guess in a round about way I did good by my Dad, we had a nice family meal, which is something I think my Dad would appreciate.  


I am going to declare officially this not my week.  Not necessarily a bad week, but certainly not my best.  I think we all hope next week will be better!  And slowly I think it will get better, as I figure out the logistics of working, full day for Gwen and Nate!  Nate appears to be going through a particularly rough time as a 3 year old.  He is testing and I don't have the patience for it!  I guess we'll get through it, but when you are in the trenches it is somehow hard to remember you can get out. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Today was just an annoying day. So annoying! It started out great, little G is child of the week so E and I got to go in and watch the morning routine and talk about ourselves and read a book. Eric read the book. While we were doing that my kid switcher took Nate to Starbucks and got Eric and I salted caramel hot chocolate, which I think tastes like a chocolate covered pretzel! YUM! Nate and I came home and watched Sesame Street, did a little vacuuming and then packed up to go volunteer for lunch. It all went down from there. I won't go into specifics, because it would take too much explain. So, I finally get out of school am almost home, about half way and the school nurse calls, Gwen has a fever 100, which is apparently the magic number for kid has to come home and be fever free for 24 hours. The kid is fine! Not sick at all, I have no idea why she had a fever and I would have checked her temperature as soon as we got home, but the nurse apparently gave her tylenol for a sore throat, that she has never complained about. Very annoying to have to keep a child who is obviously not sick home. I guess I will make sure she gets some OJ tonight and hope for the best.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

busy, busy, busy

It is funny how I start every week thinking, this week is going to be a quiet one. Then I got a call from a vendor and my week has gone downhill from there! Sure, it is nice to have stuff to do, but a Momma's got to have sometime to connect with her kids and clean the house (some time). We sure miss that 3rd set of hands that kept everything clean. I still wonder how I have the disconnect in my brain. I like my house to be clean, I function better when it is, but don't always take the time to clean it. Sure it takes time, but some of the things I need to do would only take a minute or 2 to maintain. I guess it is the maintenance I have a problem with. I can clean with the best of them and damn the house will be clean, it is the little pieces of crap that get left everywhere that are the problem. Once it gets terrible, where do you start? Along with the busy, busy, busy, I've been thinking about the tone and attitude of my children. Sure on the surface they are sweet and great, but every once in a while that snot will come out. And although I am glad it is mostly at home, I wish that I could get that attitude out of them. Sometimes the girl has a spiteful streak in her that I just want to start yelling at her "holy crap stop being a B@#$ to your brother!" Fortunately for everyone I have yet to break it down that way for her, but I am thinking at a weak moment it is going to come out. Then I am going to have a larger problem to deal with. I have to figure out how to get through to her. Today one of her little friends said "bye my best friend" and she said "I'm not your best friend". AHHH! I was so ticked. I considered pulling her out by her ear! She used to have issue with having more than 1 friend to play with, she can only tolerate 1 person at a time, but I thought that problem was dealt with and corrected in school. I don't know, these are the problems that make it difficult to parent. How do you make them understand something abstract, or make something real to them? How do you correct without belittling? These are the things that I need the most help with, because as I become stressed or tired I don't deal with well. I can sit and read 100 books, I can listen to them squeal and yell around the house, I can even tolerate fighting (since it doesn't come to blows) but give me some attitude and abstract problems, I'm a goner. Sure these aren't my only problems as a Mother, I am getting a better hold on my strengths and weaknesses these days. But in some aspects that really bites, because really this parenting gig is never the same thing, everything changes every instant of every day and as soon as you get a handle on it, it changes. I guess that is what keeps us coming back. I can sure say that if I can't figure out the abstract and the correcting the teenage years are going to be a real problem! (which I already know they are based on history repeating itself and what not!)

Monday, November 07, 2011


About a month ago I had a birthday. My husband was kind enough to make me a cake. I told him it wasn't necessary, because it happened to be the same time as Mom's night out. So I knew I would be going out with my Mom friends. But he was determined. He went out of his way to make me a special chocolate ganache/raspberry something or another. It was good! I think he is trying to out do me in the baking department!

Sunday, November 06, 2011


I had an idea for this post earlier, but now it has left my head. So, I guess I will just ramble on about the kids. 
Gwen is doing well in school.  We just had her parent-teacher conference and they had nothing bad to say at all.  She is doing well, she struggled for about a week to get her stuff done in a timely matter, and when she came home with the progress report that said she was "not completing assignments in a timely matter" she straightened right up!  She is writing some of her letters and numbers backward and her teacher assured us that is common for children just learning to write, but if she continues to write letters backward mid-year we might have to look into learning issues.  I did ask if the backward thing might relate to her left-handedness and that is a possibility also.  I am exceedingly proud of Gwen, she was tasked with 2 speaking parts in her school Mass and spoke them so clearly and loudly, I was so proud!  (Grandma was also!)  The teachers told us they weren't real sure the Mass was going to come together, Gwen along with her classmates would kind of speak softly and then all of a sudden the day before Mass at practice spoke clearly and loudly that it about knocked their socks off.  Her teacher said the whole class cheered and rallied around her, my little leader.  Let's hope that she only leads to good things and not bad! 
Nate is still something else.  Too smart for his own good and well loved at Gwen's school.  Anyone who knows Gwen knows Nate, he gives them hugs and walks, who am I kidding, runs around the school.  He has his little friends and really can't sit still.  Seriously, cannot.  I am hoping that with time he will learn to focus and possibly sit still.  Maybe his teachers will have some luck with him next year.  He has spent some time in the class with one of the teachers who is taking classes to get liscensed, whenever she is done working with him she always says he is on par with the 4 year olds she has in class.  She also said that her teacher said he was a future writer based on the stories he told her for her class assignment. 
We are proud of our sweet, affectionate children, and hope and pray that they continue to stay that way! 

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Aunt Kiki, visit 2

I called it visit 2, not to confuse it with last year's visit. This year we decided to try a different Cracker Barrel for lunch. It was pretty nice, a little closer for us this time. We had a nice lunch and the kids were well behaved. It is always nice to see Kiki and talk with her in person. You get better information, like I had no idea she'd been dating someone and is now engaged (as of this writing, not as of the visit). We are very excited for Kiki and her fiancee. Guess next year's visit will include him! I was pretty excited to see Kiki, because she was the last godparent we had to see, for the kids to see their godparents this year. Afterwards, Kiki brought out some little gifts for the kids. Don't be mislead by Gwen's face, she really liked the shrinky-dinks...she might have been distracted by the big lollypop Daddy got her, he is such a sucker! (haha, get it?)
Nate of course is such a vocal kid, he tells you exactly how much he loves everything Kiki had in there
We tried to get the group shots. This isn't the best of Gwen, but the good one of the kids, Kiki has her eyes closed, I didn't post that one.
This picture of Nate makes me laugh...what expressions that kid has!
It was a nice visit. This is another reason I am glad we are where we are, so convenient to the godmothers!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Soft pretzels

As some of you know, I believe that if I have the time to make stuff from scratch, I will try it and it will be awesome. Such is the case with these soft pretzels. I am not a huge fan of pretzels, but others in my family are and instead of buying those nasty freezer things I thought I would make my own. I am glad I did, they were awesome (based on the fact I don't think they made it 2 days in this house!) I thought it would be a fun afternoon activity for the kids and I and it was. Sadly, we haven't had an opportunity since, but maybe with it turning colder and getting darker earlier, this might be something we will have to try again. I took a little bit of the pretzel dough and rolled it into the ball and gave some to each kid. I was hoping Gwen would be a big help with this project, but she got very frustrated when the things didn't turn out as she expected and wanted me to do it...Nate just jumped right in there and made the same shape over and over again, a snake, and then he would kind of throw it on the cookie sheet and say "Bam, a snake". It was quite hilarious. Here is a before picture:
I attempted to make them actually look like pretzels, but it was a little more challenging than I expected. I guess with practice, I might be able to get some that look ok.
Here is the recipe, it is from the cookbook Petit Appetit:Eat, Drink and be Lisa Barnes I highly recommend it if you are looking for Easy Organic snacks, I've made some good things from it...they have it at the local library.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Halloween bike ride

My husband sometimes gets hair brained ideas. Usually he was instigated by his friend and they would do these things together. But his friend lives too far away now, so he has to work on these things by himself. And it is not these things that are so hair-brained, it is that he finds things at the last minute and doesn't have time to train. He decided to do a 100 mile bike ride. Sure he rides 4 miles everyday, but he didn't train. My Mom was visiting so letting him spend the day doing what he wanted seemed fine. The race started at 8:30 in the morning and he woke me up to take him to the race. He called periodically and gave us updates, sadly that day started out terrible. It was rainy and kind of cold, but Eric persevered. He sadly was unable to keep up the pace to do the 100 miles, and so ended up doing 62, which I'd said wasn't bad for the day. We all went down to pick him up, but Nate fell asleep in the car, so Mom sat with him. I snapped this picture of Eric just before the finish line.
I am happy to report that Eric didn't finish last and got a beer and some pizza. We are very proud of him and enjoyed teasing him the next day when he walked like he had been riding a horse.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


A couple weeks ago I tried to post this and the pictures wouldn't work, I'll try it again. A couple months ago we had a storm, maybe a hurricane, not real strong for us, but sadly the neighbor lost a part of her tree. Eric thought it would be fun to help her saw it up. We decided to salvage the wood we could for firewood and make a "teepee" for the kids. The kids enjoyed playing in their "teepee".
Nate makes a LOT of faces now when he has something to say. The boy is crazy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


My Momma came for a visit, she appears to enjoy spending time with the kids for Halloween, might be the childlike wonder, or the free candy after walking around the neighborhood in the "COLD", or it could just be because she likes to visit and this is as good of a time as any! We don't question, we enjoy, you should too, because without her being here, we might not have any pictures, so when you look at the slideshow, thank my Momma! This year was a big year for us, we had Halloween Carnival at Gwen's school, the kids always love that, we had a party at Eric's boss's house, we had a neighborhood party and then we the actual event. Let's just say the kids got plenty of use out of their costumes. Gwen actually wore her costume again today. So, Friday we had the Halloween Carnival, Grandmom had wanted to do something special for the kids for Halloween so she pre-purchased the tickets for them. (Thanks Grandmom!) The kids really love this event. The school is completely transformed and each class is in charge of different activities. Gwen's class was in charge of the ticket booth, which meant I was in charge of the ticket booth, which truly wasn't that hard, but probably would have been easier if Gwen had a bigger class and everyone came! But, whatever it all worked out. We didn't actually bring our camera for that so we have no pictures, which is too bad because Nate and Gwen got on the twirly bird by themselves, this year it was a single seater and the went with 2 bigger girls and had a great time, Nate was just a smiling and a laughing. He kept trying to twirl the thing around. But he really had the most fun on the bouncy maze while Gwen and Eric did the climbing wall. Nate seriously went 15 times in a row. The next night was Eric's boss's Halloween party, costumes mandatory. Mom was kind enough to help plan the costumes and make me a poodle skirt, sadly no one knew what we were...We had a good time, but it was another late night for the kids. Dinner, was served, I have no idea what it was, but it was good! Sunday afternoon our neighborhood had a party, we went to that also. They had a bouncy house, free pony rides, cotton candy, all free, all good fun for the kids. We chose to walk and on the way home Nate fell asleep and didn't wake up until the next day! I tried valiantly to wake him up for dinner, but he just wasn't having it, so we let him sleep. Then Monday was of course Halloween! 48 and rainy, my Mom was thrilled! We invited some friends over since there neighborhood is "lame", the kids wimped out before we hit the whole neighborhood, but we were treating for an hour, and they got plenty of candy, so it is all good! All and all a good weekend for them, now I just have to get more activities in line for Christmas, since Halloween seems packed with activities! So, without further ado, the slideshow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wedding weekend

I have been pretty busy lately and I think that this past weekend and the preparation for traveling through 9 states to get to the wedding has taken up most of my time. We chose to drive to the wedding to keep the costs down. And I have to say my kids are fabulous travelers! The drive was long; we packed new car toys in a bag, food and audiobooks. Eric drove most of the way and has vowed to not drive for a LONG time.
In good news, we had a nice time at the wedding and Eric really enjoyed spending time with his friends from college. They did a great job with the wedding and the kids really couldn't get enough of seeing their godfather and Hector and Carissa. I took some pictures, but sadly none of us in the rental car! (I wonder why that was). So, here is the slide show.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Kindergartener!

Today was a big day for us, the oldest started Kindergarten! She has been so excited to start Kindergarten. I think she's been ready since the day after preK ended. The husband wasn't sure we should send her to preK, but on days like today I was totally sure it was the right thing to do. Gwen was already to go this morning, about 15 minutes before we had to leave, she confidently got out the car and held the 8th graders hand and went into the school.
We had a Meet-the-teacher on Sunday afternoon, where Gwen met her other classmates, her teacher and I took some pictures. Next to the birthday board.
Next to her cubby.
With her crazy brother.
On her first day of school, in her uniform!
On the way to the car.
With her brother, but who's the crazy one now?

Walking out with the eighth grader-in the background in red is her preK teacher, chatting with the Kindergarten aides. I saw her turn, spot Gwen, catch herself and turn around. It was until then that I held it together and I am going to blame her teacher on that.
Gwen only had a half day today, so Nate and I ran some errands, came home, started some laundry and went back to pick her up. You can see her in the picture walking to the steps.
She apparently had a good day. They read a book, and she talked about some stuff that happened, I think we are on par with a good day again tomorrow. She was super nervous and excited about school today. As a matter of fact we apparently decided to have a party last night between 2 & 4am. FUN! Oh wait, not fun at all, we are all exhausted. I was not pleased at all, since I had to get up and run this morning! I am going to try and put them to bed in about an hour or so. (Heh, just kidding) I did enjoy the one on one time with Nate. He was terribly clingy today, but I suspect the is the exhaustion, well that with a side of Momma's boy. I could tell he missed Gwen terribly. I don't know what I'm going to do with Nate all day, I guess I'll find out tomorrow!