Monday, December 21, 2009

"I can't move my arms!"

Busy. Busy. Busy. Getting ready for the upcoming holiday.
Here's what we've been doing:
Christmas parties
get-togethers with friends
wrapping presents
decorating gingerbread houses
watching Christmas movies/ TV shows
drinking hot chocolate by the gallons
tomorrow- lights at Temple Square
Wednesday- Winder Dairy and scones
pictures and in-depth updates coming soon (I hope)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Traditions

Proud Mommy Monday

I don't feel like I have much to toot my horn about today. But we are pretty good at keeping up and making new traditions. So, I'll share a few with you today.

We have a fun holiday tradition for the eve of December 1, or November 30; however you want to say it. I think I've shared this before, but I'll share again just in case... So, on the eve of December 1, we gather the kids together and have them make their Christmas lists. They place their list in one of their shoes and set them out near the front door. The elves come into our house at night, take their lists, and leave a small gift and treats in it's stead. The girls look forward to that tradition so much! Even Sue does!

Another holiday must is Christmas brunch at our house. Every Christmas day, we host brunch for all of the family who wants to join us! We do the same casserole each year, and sticky buns, and hot chocolate, etc. But this year, we've decided to switch it up and we're going to make crepes with all the trimmings instead. We'll have chocolate and vanilla pudding, berries, bananas, whipping cream, sausage, eggs and cheese. Mmm. I can almost taste it now! (If you're worried that we're not going to make our traditional meal, fear not, for we are going to make it for Christmas Eve dinner)

We do other Christmas traditions too:
See the lights at Temple Square
Picking out an ornament each year for the kids
Open one present on Christmas Eve (used to be pjs, but we've decided it will be games for awhile)
Game night on Christmas Eve
Elf Festival at Gardner Village...

Another family activity we really enjoy (all through the year) is Family Movie Night. I capitalize it because we really try to make it an event when it happens. Now, don't get me wrong, we do watch movies together. Quite often really. But when a new movie comes out, that we've recently purchased, we really try to make it special. We usually eat dinner downstairs, get some Blue Dew, pick up lots of treats, and finally, crank the sound system! We love it when a good, new movie comes out! Recently we did Star Trek and Up movie nights.

song for today: an un-traditional version of The First Noel by Sarah McLachlan

Looking for a good Christmas cd with a good mix of old and new? Check this one out. It's one of my very very favorites!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Carols Super's Style

Man I need to snap some more pictures! This one is old!!

Supe is quite the entertainer at home. She sings and dances all the time! Sometimes, her lyrics aren't quite right. So I want to share a couple versions of her carols - mainly so that I won't forget.

Sleigh Ride:
Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling you Dude. Come on it's lovely weather...

Winter Wonderland:
In the meadow we can build a snow man. And pretend that he is nice and brown.

That's all I have for today, but I don't want you to forget the code of the elves:
Treat every day like Christmas
There's room for everyone on the nice list
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!
Enjoy Winter Wonderland by Aretha Franklin and Sleigh Ride by Harry Connick Jr.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Code

The code of the Kids
1- Treat every day like it's a vacation
2- There's room for everything in Mom and Dad's room
3- The best way to spread household cheer is fighting loud for all to hear

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30 (Kids)

Today, I'm thankful for my children. I'm thankful for their health, their love, their knowledge, the knowledge I get from them, their disposition, their drive, their creativity, their willingness to pitch in sometimes. I'm trying to be more thankful for their messes, because I know that one day, the messes will be gone.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29 (holding hands)

Today, my thankfulness is inspired by my blog friend, Shannon. She took the most adorable photo of her husband and her kids holding hands while walking. So, I thought, hey! I love holding hands. That will be my thankful post of today! Anyway, I try to hold Supe's hand every chance I get because I know that there will come a time (probably very soon) that she won't want to hold mine anymore. Sometimes, when it's just her and I in the car, I'll reach around to the back seat to grab her hand. She has the softest hands too!
Jason and I hold hands as much as we can. In the car, walking into the store, during a movie. I just love him and I like to show him that I do by this simple gesture.
Holding hands makes me happy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28 (Scarecrow)

Today, I am thankful for Scarecrow and his "If I only had a brain" song. I'll surely be singing it all the live long day today, for I had forgotten to pay my citation until this morning. What's the problem with that??! It was supposed to be paid by the 25th. So, technically, there could be a warrant out for my arrest today for not paying my ticket for not stopping all the way at a stop sign. So, this leads me to my next course of action for the day, go down and put my payment in the drop box and pray that since it was due the day before thanksgiving, and of course they aren't open on Thanksgiving, and they aren't opened on Fridays or the weekend either, they won't care or they won't notice that I am a couple of days late.
I would dance and be marry, I would be the doot do dooty (I don't know that part) if I only had a brain!
I bet you can't guess what today's song is? Not one, not two, but three, yes, three different versions of the song! I'd add some more if...

November 27 (black Friday)

Today, I'm thankful for Black Friday and all the "deals" there are in each of the adds. Those deals make Costco such a wonderful place to shop on black Friday. The store is quiet with relatively few people in it. No one is freaking out over some game system that they've been camped out for. No one is rushing for the latest tickle-me-Elmo type toy. Just nice and quiet...oh, and a free cookbook!

November 26 (Thanksgiving)

Today, I'm thankful for Thanksgiving. What a great opportunity to sit back and think of all the things we are thankful for. In addition to being thankful, there's also the gathering part of Thanksgiving. There's something magical about the whole family being together, in one room, sharing each others company, and eating a feast, of course!

November 25 (hot and cold)

Today, I'm thankful for a fridge to keep my food cold, and a stove, oven and microwave to heat it up!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 24 (electronic devices)

Today, I am grateful for "electronic devices". For one thing, cell phones, mp3 players, game-boys, computers, etc. make my hobbies even more fun. Not to mention the convenience of them! But on the other hand, those devices provided a great topic for Loo's debate last night. She and her partner rocked! I think overall, they had the best debate of the three groups that performed! And speaking of performance...Loo's school had their night of discovery last night. It was so fun to see what the kids have been working on over the past 12 weeks of the discover yourself program at school! We got to look at art work, read and look at the "PC tear-up" project, listen to the kids sing for choir, watch a dance-off, and I've already mentioned the debate. I think our school is totally cool!!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 23 (Pixar)

I don't care if this sounds funny, but I'm thankful for Pixar. They have made some of the greatest movies! Their latest, Up, was wonderful! We watched it again last night and I just can't believe how well they captured Ellie and Carl's relationship. How they fell in love, some of the trials they faced in life, and finally her death. It was one of the most touching parts of a movie I have ever seen. The whole movie is great, start to finish. The dogs were funny, Russell was just like a kids that age. I don't know. I just think they nailed the whole show! And they haven't made a bad show yet!
Toy Story 1 and 2
Bugs Life
Monster's Inc
Finding Nemo
The Incredibles
Cars is my least favorite of the bunch, but even it has some redeeming qualities. And the shorts...they are just as cute as the movies! If you ever get the chance, you should either buy or rent the shorts DVD. I know you probably own all of the shorts because you most likely own all those movies, but the Pixar story is just awesome! And it's also fun to hear how all those shorts came to be.

November 22 (let's give it up for T.P.)

Today, I'm thankful for toilet paper and other such great inventions!! Can you imagine your life without it? Eew! And feminine hygiene products...though I would be even more grateful if I never needed them again, I'm so thankful that I have them!


Monday, November 23, 2009

November 21 (the arts)

I am so grateful for the performing arts and being able to expose my children to them. I'm also thankful that this exposure has peaked an interest in all of my children!
We have taken our children to see a number of musicals. I think that so far, Les Mis is their favorite. (Sue saw Aida a couple of months ago though, we didn't, but she says that that one is her favorite now)
We've gone to many many many choral concerts. Granted, it's in part because our kids have been in them, but still.
And our latest performing arts first, was the Nutcracker on Saturday. I took the little girls to see that with me. They thoroughly enjoyed the ballet, and since then, Supe's been dancing around the house!


November 20 (30 hour famine)

I'm so thankful for the ability to provide food for my family.

Loo did a 30 hour famine (a fast) with her school on Friday- Saturday. The purpose was to raise awareness of hunger throughout the world. I was lucky enough to be able to help and participate in the famine.

Here are some interesting facts that I've learned over the past week or so:

  • There are something like 26,000 kids under the age of 5, who die each day of preventable causes (starvation being one of them). That's over 9 million kids a year.
  • One out of four children - roughly 146 million - in developing countries are underweight.
  • 862 million people in the world are chronically hungry.
  • The United States produces enough food to feed the whole world.
Some of the activities we did as part of the famine was a food drive. (the families in the school donated 5400 lbs of food to the local pantry!) We made blankets for abused and neglected children, collected hygiene items*, and we also did an Amazing Race type of activity. The kids had to go figure out how to earn $10 and then spend the money doing some act of kindness. Our group chose to panhandle (which was allowed) and they earned $29. They decided to take the money and buy food at McDonald's and then pass it out to some of the homeless people downtown. I was really proud of my group. The last activity was a race. I explained that if we went downtown to do our deed, then we most likely wouldn't win, and they didn't care. They said "this whole thing is about service, we don't' care if we don't win".

Anyway, I hope I don't sound like I'm bragging. That's certainly not what I'm trying to do. I just left there feeling so incredibly grateful to have food and other resources in abundance. What a fantastic way to start off the holiday season! What better way to show thanks-giving, than by helping others.

I am so blessed!

*apparently the pantries (and I would imagine the food banks as well) are also in need of things like deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, toilet paper, etc. So, if you have some you could share, they would love it! Most of the time when people think about a pantry, they don't consider necessities like those. Could you imagine not having toilet paper or soap?

And one more thing that I learned today, the food bank can also use cash donations. They have a much larger buying power than us consumers, so by us giving a monetary donation, they can actually do more with it than we can. (not sure about the pantries though)


Friday, November 20, 2009

November 19 (Once in a Blue Moon)

I'm thankful that I got to spend a fun night with my two oldest girls and my niece. We had a great hook up through my SIL who works for Jet Blue. Her company was doing a big "Blue" Moon Premiere for a 5:30pm show! Talk about nice! So, at midnight, when all those blood thirsty women were just beginning their show, we were sound asleep in our beddies! Well, all of us except for Sue, who went with her friends to see it again at midnight!
P.S. Eclipse comes out in 222 days!

Song for today: Paper Moon by Ella Fitzgerald


Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 18 (family)

I am thankful for a wonderful and supportive family! As I mentioned on an earlier post, Loo has been in the musical production at school. All of Jason's family came out to see the play! It sure makes a kid feel validated when even the extended family can come and see something they have worked so hard for! The same thing happened when Sue was in her musicals, and when Loo did Fiddler last year. We really are blessed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17 (saving money)

Today I am thankful for the opportunity I had to go shopping with the Grocery Guru! It was just me and my SIL this time. We bought a cart FULL of groceries for $37, but I have a $10 rebate to mail in today. So I will have bought $110 worth of groceries for $27! Not too bad!
Included in my shop today was:

8 boxes of General Mills cereal
2 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing
8 oz cheese
can of olives
2 cans green beans
10 lb bag of potatoes
loaf of bread
box of fatboys
4 2-liters of 7-up products
dozen eggs
6 boxes of Ritz crackers
6 boxes of Ritz crackerfuls
2 boxes of Triscuits
2 cake mixes
gallon of milk
and an 18 lb turkey!

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16 (Christmas Carol)

Today I am thankful for the story of a Christmas Carol, which inspired a cute musical called Bah Humbug. What a great story of being kind and remembering to have the spirit of Christmas in your heart!

This year, Loo's school took on the Bah Humbug production for their school musical. They've been working on it since September, and today, they're practice and work finally paid off! The curtains opened for the musical tonight. What a cute little production! Unfortunately, cameras aren't allowed during the actual play, but I was able to snap a shot of Loo and her best friend Kara at the end.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15 (Good Morning)

I'm so thankful for my cute little girls who got up this morning and made a surprise breakfast for the family. Complete with a set table and a hand made menu~ French toast and hot chocolate. It was such a sweet gesture. They were so excited for everyone to get out of bed to eat. It was really good too. They are becoming quite the little chefs.

Song for today: Good Morning from Singin' in the Rain


November 14 (WHITE Christmas-shopping)

I'm so thankful for SNOW to get me into the spirit of the season. The fresh blanket of snow on my yard is beautiful! I'm also thankful to finally get started on my Christmas Shopping.

I also bought myself a pair of skinny jeans! Oh my word! I can't believe I did it. It's so hard to wear things we've worn a hundred years ago. Not literally of course, but still, it's been a long time since I've worn that style of jeans. I believe it's been since about 1990. The man and woman at the store said they looked great on me, my kids think so too. I sure hope so. I don't want to look like I'm trying to be a teenager.
Song for today: Snow from White Christmas


Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13 (I Brake for Kids)

Today, I am thankful for breaks and the ability to use them whenever I want! Supe was standing up, throwing a fit in the car today while we were still in the parking lot. She chucked her booster to the back of the car in a rage. Let me tell you, it was one of those moments where you ask yourself "What have I done? Where did I go wrong?" Anyway, I handled the situation with great ease and maturity. What did I do? Well, I did what any decent mom would do. I slammed on the breaks. Yep. Breaks are a lifesaver!
Song for today: My Beloved Monster by the Eels


November 12 (Huked on Foniks Werkt Fur Me)

I am so thankful for the ability to educate my children. I've heard stories of women and children who are not allowed to, or do not have the ability to send their children to school. I feel so blessed that we can, and are in fact, required to do so.

I'm also thankful for the teachers who instruct my children today and also for the ones who will do so later.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to choose the type of education we would like for our children. We can choose home school, private school, public schools, and charter schools.

I'm drawing a blank on songs today. The ONLY one I can think of is Pink Floyd's The Wall.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 11 (Freedom)

I'm so thankful for the armed forces and their families. In my opinion, both serve our country. What a sacrifice that must be to send husbands, dads, moms, wives, sons and daughters away to preserve and protect our freedoms. And what a hard thing that must be to leave loved ones home. And especially to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

My friend Monica takes pictures of farewells and homecomings. Her work is amazing. Every time I see her military photos I feel a sense of gratitude for our military and their families. Click here for the Cocoa Beans blog. She just added more pictures today that are fantastic! Click here for the album.
Happy Veterans Day!
I almost forgot the song:
Do You Hear the People Sing from Les Mis. To me, that song IS Veterans Day. When Sue was in choir, they sang that each year at the Veterans Day concert.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An Attitude of Gratitude

I had this really great idea that for the whole month of November I would update my status on Facebook with something I was thankful for, BUT I forgot about that until about November 3 or 5 or somewhere along the way. Dang it! Yesterday, one of my online pals posted a thankfulness thing and I thought, well, it's never too late to say thanks. Right? So, here goes my attempt to be thankful for something each day and make a small post about it...drum-roll please...

November 1
I'm so thankful for changing seasons...particularly fall. It's my absolute favorite time of year! I love bundling with extra layers. I love the smell of the air outside. I love the crisp leaves crunching under my feet or blowing in the air. I love driving down a leaf covered street and watching the leaves blow around. I just LOVE fall!!

November 2
I'm so freaking thankful for daylight savings!!! Yay for light outside when I'm trying to wake up! Can I get a HECK YA?!

November 3
I'm thankful for the beautiful weather we've been having. 65 on a November day? That's just beautiful!! Windows open? Oh ya!

November 4
I'm thankful for my home. It's not only a warm shelter, but it's also beautiful and just the way I want it. I don't think I'll be moving ANY time soon!

November 5
I'm so thankful for my sweet caring husband, who is willing to go to a murder mystery dinner with MY friends on Friday. Trailer Trash Tragedy. Sounds fun ha?! p.s. I could go on a hundred more things that make my husband #1 for me, but maybe I'll save that for another thankful entry. Who knows.

November 6
I'm SO thankful for modern medicine. Loo was sick with tonsillitis and bronchitis. She had missed 9 days of school. The first antibiotic didn't work. We got our second that day. I'm glad my doctor doesn't mess around. (p.s. she's back at school as of 11/9) BUT we didn't get to go to our murder dinner. Loo was still too sick to babysit and we weren't feeling that great either.

November 7
I'm thankful for satellite. I never thought I'd say that. But 2 weeks of Loo in bed...brutal! It's a good thing she had something to watch.

November 8
I'm thankful for lazy weekend days. I spent, well, WE spent the whole day laying around. We watched TV, we napped, we hung out and watched movies. Hurray for lazy days. We even skipped out on church. We figured we needed one more day to rest and recuperate before heading back to work and school.
Everyone needs a day of doing NOTHING every once in a while.

November 9
I'm thankful for the ability to cook good food. I think that's something to be thankful for! Don't you? We had a yummy dinner. Philly Steak and Cheese sandwiches and french fries. It wasn't gourmet, but it WAS delicious!!

And finally, today's entry...
November 10
I'm thankful for technology. I'm about to go outside and snap some pictures...and I'm so thankful that I have a computer, Internet, etc to share and save precious memories!

What are you thankful for? Do you think you could find something each day to be thankful for? Take the challenge with me!!

Today's song: Count Your Blessings by Diana Krall (my husband would be proud. He knows she's not my favorite singer, but that IS one of my favorite songs. I couldn't find the White Christmas version)


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Closet Math update

Supe said to me yesterday "Mom, do you know what my favorite time of day is in school?"
I said "lunch time?"
"I give up, what's your favorite time in school?"
She exclaimed proudly, "Math time. And I don't even like it when she's (meaning the teacher) up there talking, I just like to get my paper and do it!"

So, here's my question... did I come home with the right child from the hospital? I've heard of switched at birth stories. Could this have happened to us? hehehe
Song for today One Two Three Four by Feist

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Closet Math Addict

A few nights ago, I came into the preschool room to find Supe scrolling on the wipe board in a mad scientist sort of way. It was pretty funny (and cute). She's locked herself in her room lately too. She uses her own wipe board and does math problems for an hour at a time. We've been to the point lately where we've had to tell her she has to STOP doing math. Weird huh?

Anyway, Supe adores her teacher and she's absolutely loving the new school. They do Singapore Math ~ every time I say that I think of Captain Jack Sparrow saying "Clearly you have never been to Singapore", especially because until this year, I had never heard of that program. Anyway, the approach seems to be quite different than the way it was taught in the past, and, for Super anyway, it's made it more fun.
Today's song: Addicted to You by Simple Plan (sorry, it's the best I could come up with)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Haunts Materialize

Loo and Supe both missed the school's Halloween celebrations this year. Loo had been out sick the whole week with a low grade fever and Supe started throwing up late Thursday night. We tried to live it up as much as possible, even though the girls were sick.

We carved pumpkins. Typically we do it template free. (you know, to get the creative juices flowing) I think this year was our family's best group of pumpkins! Supe did the traditional spooky Jack-o-lantern, I made the Coroline-ish pumpkin, Jason did the skull and Loo did the reverse Jack- she took off all the skin and scraped away most of the insides, then left the skin on the eyes, nose and mouth.

We fancied up the yard. Jason made grave markers out of some scrap wood, and I painted the names on them. Notice our attention to detail- the flowers on each of the graves.

Then, lastly, we sent the girls trick or treating. I know it wasn't the best thing to do, but since they had missed out on the school stuff AND the Trunk or Treat with our ward, I thought they needed at least a chance to get in the experience this year. They made it to about 8 houses before calling it quits. It was sad.

I'm looking forward to next Halloween. I'm crossing my fingers that the girls will be healthy and able to enjoy all of the festivities. :)


Monday, November 2, 2009

Let's hear it for the boy!

OK. I'll admit. I'm cheating a little. My proud mommy moment this week is actually a toot for my husband!

Imagine one of these...

Filled with 25 of these...

On their way to a destination about 4 hours from home.

Then, if that isn't scary enough...imagine that you have to (or get to, depending on how you look at it) spend not just one day, but 3 days with them! And do you get 5 star accommodations or a comfy bed? No you get one of these and one of these.

Well, that's exactly what my sweetie did in September. He got in all of our family's volunteer hours, in one fell swoop, with this overnight-er trip with the middle school students.

Don't worry, we aren't stopping there. I have always volunteered in the schools. And this year is no different. I help out once a week in Supe's class with the Star Reading program. I also do field trips and other things if I'm able to help. So, I guess this post isn't entirely about Jason. I help too. And that's my mommy moment for the month. I- make that WE- help in the schools.


p.s. today's song...let's hear it for the boy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Granny's Waitin'

Or Grannies waitin'. However you want to look at it!

Here are my shadow shot entries for the week! I'm finally playing ...thanks to Loo. She snapped the pictures last night while the caramel was cooking. Mmm. I can almost taste it now!
P.S. if you would like to see the finished product, see the post entitled Ooey Gooey Goodness
P.S.S. If you would like to participate in shaddow shot sunday, head on over to Hey Harriet.

Ooey Gooey Goodness...a photo story

Song: Haunted~ Poe