Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning

I can't decide if I think Christmas morning was more fun as a child or if it is more fun as the mom, but I did decide the reason we celebrate Christmas in the midst of winter, is so we all have something to look forward to when the weather is so dreary and cold.
Dress-ups and dolls are still the big hit...which I love girl stuff is so fun!
Abby's Christmas reqests:  A vet set and a baby play station.  Jeana informed Abby she thought they both should get three gifts total.  One each and one to share, mom loved the idea and thought it was sweet of Jeana to think so, Abby threw a big fit and said that wasn't enough presents.  Not surprised.  In the end, they both wanted the baby play station and one other gift, but since David is there father, they made out with a lot more than that.
We spotted a little reindeer
My parents came out in the fall and because they drove, they decided to load up the car with lots of my stuff that was left at home...gee thanks mom and dad!  Most of which went into the garbage after it's arrive, but glad we could help with the gas mileage!  j/k  Anyhow, I had these porcelain dolls I got for Christmas when I was young enough to think they were cool, but too old to actually play with them, so they stayed in box for many years.  I would have told my parents to throw them away other than it was close to Christmas and not knowing what else to get my children besides their few requests, I decided to wrap these for them.  I cannot believe what a big hit they were.  I think they were actually the favorite present.  I told them they were from me (because we leave our tags ambiguous we don't write if they are from us or Santa) and I saved them from when I was little, Jeana then said, "really?  Mom I am going to take really good care of my doll and save it for my own daughter someday."  I thought that was cute, but don't think they will last that long.
There is nothing better than a new book for Christmas.
Wow, talk about spoiled!  David purposely pushes the presents to one area and then arranges them so the kids think there is more there.
My girls were so excited for Christmas they had a hard time falling asleep, because of this, they were so tired we had to wake them up at 8 am!  I actually got smart and ambitious this year and had everything wrapped and labelled a week in advance and stocking supplies sorted into grocery bags.  It was the earliest we have ever gone to bed on Christmas Eve.  It was great!
Jeana Christmas request: a drum set (luckily, but sadly it didn't really work, it was really quiet, so I felt bad for her, but it was nice to not hear loud noises all day!)  A few years ago we got Jeana a camera, but it didn't really work and that was her 'big' gift so I felt really bad, this year I felt even worse that she got the bummer end of the deal, but she requested it a few days before Christmas and Toys r Us only has so much to choose from, but being the good sport she is, she still loved the day and loved everything!
The girls got up to open stockings and in the meantime, David went down to skype his parents, so we didn't catch the initial surprise on camera of the kids coming down to the tree and while talking to Grandma and Grandpa the girls just started opening presents, so there was absolutely no order to present opening this year and because they just started opening, we didn't even do the nativity until Family Night the next Monday...sad, I know.  But we told lots of stories throughout the month.

So, I might not be the world's best stay-in-contact person or even blog-updater, but I am even worse at getting out formal thank you's for all the nice things people send or do for us.  So, if you would, please forgive me!  Each year, I take pictures of the girls holding the gifts they get, thinking it would be fun to send them bach to the giver, but alas it never happens.  So instead I posted these pictures, so hey, consider this a formal thank you for Grandma and Grandpa Simpson for the fun shirts!  My girls loved them and I personally enjoyed the candy.
The girls headed to our room first to check out their stockings fully loaded with candy, a new toothbrush, orange, sprite and a few small toys.  Jeana got milano cookies in her stocking because for some reason she loves those things.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

This year we went all out with the Christmas lights by stringing lights around our front window, putting our tree in a new place and changing our porch light to a green light bulb.  That was a huge step for our family!  

Abby got some reindeer food at school and really wanted to put it out in our yard.  So, mom says, 'put your coat on and we will go dump it in the grass.'  Dad says, 'I will get the ladder and you can put in on the roof since that is where the reindeer land.'  So, mom stood idly by crossing her fingers that none of them would end up in the ER on Christmas Eve.  Luckily, they didn't, but if you look up at top corner, you can see Jeana sitting in the background looking at lights.  I guess that's why we have dads.  They thought that was the coolest thing ever.
After leaving food for the reindeer and cookies for santa, we headed out to view the Christmas lights, then came home and they got to open pajamas from Grandma and Grandpa Noakes.  I have to admit, they were so soft and warm and I wanted a pair!  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Aunt Corinne's Christmas card

My family rotates sibling names for Christmas each year.  It is nice because we always know a year in advance, whose name we will have.  And it is nice to keep contact with everyone.  The gifts are supposed to be homemade or not too expensive.  This year we had Aunt Corinne.   I put together a little recipe book, then asked the girls to go make a card to send with it.  Abby came down with this:  It is a purse made with tape and college rule paper and a white foam handle.  Inside the purse was a pencil, lipstick and face powder complete with a sponge applicator made out of colored white foam.  She also included a nickel for money and a flower perfume on a stick.  WOW!  leave it to Abby.  Even Gucci doesn't fill the purse for you!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


The girls along with their neighbor, Kayla, built a mommy and baby snowman.  While Kayla's dad was sweet enough to snowblow our walks for us!  I love my neighbors...especially the one's with fancy toys when it starts to snow.

The snow started early this year and we got quite a bit for this area.  Here is Jeana enjoying some of the first fallings.
We finally got our first zoo membership this past year and have heard wonderful things about their Christmas light display we decided to go one night for Family Night.  We had a good time and it was really fun.  We ended up running into a few other friends with the same thought.  Here is a pictures with Abby and her friend Eleanor by the polar bears.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jeana and B-Ball

Jeana had been begging to play Basketball again this year, so we decided to sign her up, knowing that the teams are made up of 7-10 year olds.  So, needless to say, she was not only the youngest on the team, but also the most height challenged, and one of two girls.  However, she seemed to be oblivious to all these facts and had a great time anyway.
The hoop was a couple feet shorter than the standard (maybe around 8 feet) and by the end of the short season, she was getting pretty good at making shots (during practice, the games I think intimidated her a little.)

This is a quick shot of her impromptu team on the last game day.  They ended up being short a few team members, so they recruited from other teams to avoid forfeiting.  

Here is practicing with Brother V.  He was her primary teacher at church last year and she just adored him and tracks him down every Sunday to give him a hug, card or candy.  The Sunday before the game, she told him all about basketball and asked him to come watch a game.  We didn't know about this until the night before when he called to double check on time.  It was very sweet of him to take the time to support her b/c he is a busy guy with a busy family.  Early in the fall she also suckered her school teacher into coming and watching her practice ballet and of course she came too.  I am glad she has lots of great examples to look up to!
Showing off her skills and oh yeah, her favorite 'look.'

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our First and ONLY EVER Dog

Meet Annie.  Yes, I being the sweet wife/mother I am, I caved and gave into my husband's and daughters' pleadings (only because they were drastically influenced by their father) and we got ourselves a dog.  I still don't know how long this will last, but in the meantime, she has become a part of the family.  Back in November when David started his Family practice rotation, he brought a flyer home from one of the nurses.  She was a rescue pet and I agreed to go look simply b/c the others he found online were pure bred and at least $500 each.  This one came free with kennel and lots of goods.  Oh and did I mention how in the summer time when he started looking I went to be nice (ok and a little out of fear that he would make some rash decision and come home with one on the spot if I wasn't there) and after much browsing, he informed me he no longer wanted a dog b/c I wasn't being supportive enough?!  I guess he actually expected me to touch them.  Anyhow, after all that and on the long drive up to the couple's house, I informed him we were looking, then would go home and discuss.  We get there, the girls start begging for the dog and Dave then announces he's okay with taking her home, so after giving my sweet husband several dirty looks, I gave in and lost the 3 to 1 vote (knowing full well if I said 'no' I would have been made out to be the bad guy the rest of the drive home and several days following, but looking back that doesn't sound so bad?)  The girls love to give her bath, feed her and take her outside (all very much not my jobs.)  Does it sound at all like I'm whining?  Oh that's probably because I am good at it!
She is cute, the girls named her Annie, she came fully potty/kennel trained and does some fun tricks.  I have to admit, she has grown on me a little, but still not my thing at all especially with the oh so fun doggy smell and messy yard.  And of all the people to favor in our home, she chose me, so that means from the time I wake up, she follows me everywhere.  I sit, she jumps on my lap, some people find this cute, me--I am just realizing more and more that I am not a animal person, although a quick visit to the zoo and seeing animals from a distance, isn't so bad.
But I love my family, so thus I endure.  If she is in our home a year, it will be a miracle.  I have this odd feeling someday she might end up 'running away' like my brother's dog when we were little.  :) jk kinda.

December... So Far

Quick side note- finally posted pics from our D.C. trip this summer, promised I would, but it was late in coming, if you want to read about it, shuffle back a few pages and enjoy!

So far, December has gone by fast, parties were early this year and mostly done, shopping is mostly done, so hopefully we can finish it low key  and enjoy the holidays! Is it ever possible to have a low key December?

This picture doesn't look staged does it?

Girls in their Christmas dresses.  I actually didn't want to pay for dresses this year, so we were just going to pass, but luckily (my husband would probably insert a different word) I am one of those crazy people who goes out on Black Friday in the wee hours of the morning and because of it, and the fact that I wasn't after too much, I was able to get these cute dresses for $13 each, much better than the regular $62!  So, obviously I caved.

Silly Abby


We had a great, but quiet Thanksgiving.  Our good friends the Vaughns, joined us for a day filled with yummy food and since Sam is such a great cook, we were not lacking on tasty delights.  My favorite, featured in the front white tupperware bowl that doesn't match the rest of the decor (too much food, not enough dishes--yet) is Cranberry Salad- a creamy, tart, sweet, crunchy mix all in one bite!  If you ever want the recipe, I might even share.  Oh, and how about those nice crystal glasses from our wedding, don't they pair perfectly with my fine paper china? At least there were less dishes to be washed in the end!

Thanksgiving weekend, we headed out for our first carriage ride of the season at a German festival not too far away.  We also ate yummy authentic-tasting food and I enjoyed the European gift shops.
It was cold, so hot chocolate hit the spot, but we were cheapskates and made our kids share but, after the pony rides how can you afford much more? j/k

My kids are into horse right now, well, actually pretty much all animals, but I'm trying to convince them, these are the best, partly b/c then we don't have to do the pet thing b/c horses are too expensive, so instead we can just hold out and watch the beautiful animals from a distance!  Oops, I guess if you read Decembers post, you know it's too late, I already lost.

So, it is hard to pick Jeana out in the pictures since everyone is about the same size, but yeah, this would be her basketball team.  The good thing is, she loves it, so she is fairly oblivious to her natural disadvantages.

The high school in their district was doing a fundraiser for a shop that buys and loans prom dresses and accessories to kids who can't afford them, so they set up a make-over for girls in the elementary schools doing make-up and hair, then walking a cat-walk for their parents to model their new look.  It was cute, but they decided for the next week they wanted to keep putting on make-up, luckily the fad didn't last much longer.

Jeana's 'home' make-over
Abby's 'home' make-over
A local indoor waterpark had a few free nights, so instead of paying $75 to take the three of us, we went after school one night and had a blast swimming in warm water in the middle of November--and again, you can't beat free!

Our October

Highlight of Halloween--the freebies.  For any of you who don't know me very well, I am ALL about the freebies.  So, I scouted out freebies for Halloween and when our trick-or-treaters were done we ended with, free ice cream from UDF, free tacos from Taco Bell and the ultimate freebie- Chipotle Burritos.  The catch--you had to come wrapped like a burrito (aka in foil)  Hence, the foil tie, foil crown and foil piggie-tails.  But hey it was almost $40 worth of food!

Abby and Jeana with neighbors on Halloween

Jeana was a queen and Abby was a baby for Halloween.  Both outfits they chose and the best part was--I didn't have to sew this year!

Yummy halloween delights
Each night on the week of Halloween, I made a fun, yet a little spooky Halloween dinner, that David mocked and the girls looked forward to.
Pizza 'Mummy Faces'
Veggie 'Skeleton Dude'
Hotdog 'Gobblins in the Graveyard'
Shepherd's Pie 'Ghosts' and bugs in red juice
Spaghetti and 'Eyeballs'
While the weather was still nice, the girls and I would walk just over 2 miles round trip home from school, it was fun with lots of friends and stops along the way, but the weather has turned cold and I'm a wimp.

Abby carved a cat pumpkin and then was sad she didn't do just a jack-o-lantern in the end, but on Halloween night we had several people comment they liked it, so I think it appeased her concern.

Yeah, Dave loves getting his picture taken, especially on his birthday!
We went to the a Halloween festival at the zoo and had a good time with some friends, however, on the train ride I think the dads lost their kids, but seemed to rather enjoy themselves!

Parky's Farm in the fall is always a lot of fun.