Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I know I have a lot of catching up to do with holiday blogging. I've had company since December 21st and I'm not very good at multi tasking. The company is now gone and I am going to work on it tonight. But for now here is a good song to bring in the new year:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Catching up on the past week

Ok. Time to get busy with some catching up.

My parents and sister arrived. Kids went crazy. We took naps. We cracked pecans. David and I spent 2 hours wrapping presents while my parents and sister watched the kids.

I am 8 weeks pregnant and noticed some bleeding. Went to the doctor and ultrasound showed a yolk sac, but no baby. It measured me at 4 weeks pregnant. Apparently the pregnancy stopped progressing which explains why I wasn't having morning sickness the past two weeks. (I thought I was going to get lucky for once and be one of those pregnant ladies that says, "I love being pregnant!") It's been my second early pregnancy loss in the past couple of months. Here are my theories:

Theory 1) Stress - either from unemployment, or the holidays, or both? Anyway, I was sad about not being pregnant anymore at first, but I am totally ok with it now because I've got six kids and this may be mother nature's way of telling me, "You've got your hands full, GIRL!" I read about a study on mice that were exposed to noise in early pregnancy. It found that high levels of noise affected their hormone balance and they were more likely to miscarry. If that is true for humans, then it looks as if six kids is our stopping point, unless my husband sends me away on a quiet vacation during the first trimester until the placenta takes over the whole hormone thing - because our house is ALWAYS noisy!

Theory 2) My husband is shooting blanks.

Theory 3) The angels in heaven can't seem to find a premortal spirit willing to volunteer to be a seventh child in our family for whatever reason. So just in case heaven reads blogs - "Don't you worry spirit babies! You're Daddy will get a job soon. I promise we can feed you. Come on babies... Come to Mommy! Don't let the noise bother you."

On the bright side, I get to spend the next 3 months as I let a couple cycles run their course to get my house in order, do a little feng shui -ing, have a yard sale, and get ready for baby #7. We are going to shoot for a December baby so we can get another tax deduction for 2009. AND if I conceive in March to produce a December baby, the Chinese lunar calendar says there's a 99% chance it will be a boy which is good because we need some more testosterone in this house. This spontaneously aborted yolk sac was scheduled to be a girl.

Later that day we baked cookies. It was a very cold day!

My brother and his family came to visit. We ate. We exchanged gifts. We went to the Festival of Lights. Talk about STRESS!!! This is an event where we kill three birds with one stone. We get to see the lights, ride the train and talk to Santa. It avoids a whole trip over to the mall across town to stand in line to talk to Santa and be pressured to buy a low quality picture for way too much money. You're allowed to take your own pictures at the Festival of Lights. I don't stress about what the kids wear because it's outdoors and it's an authentic visit for the kids to tell Santa what they want. Well, this year, we bought tickets to ride the train as soon as we arrived at the park. They give you a train time when you purchase your tickets. Ours was 9:30 PM and we were supposed to be there 10 minutes early. We went to stand in line to see Santa at 8:50 PM. The timing seemed to be perfect. But then Santa had to go pee at 9:05. Come on Santa! Can't you just hold it for just 10 more minutes??? I saw his Santa suit and could tell this was not going to be a quick trip to the bathroom. We stood there debating whether we should stay or head over to the train. We decided to stay. Finally he finished his potty break and on his way back he dawdled and talked to kids in line. Come on Santa!!! We are in a hurry!!! I told my kids to shout to him what they wanted in case we didn't make it to his lap. Of course they didn't and we continued to wait in line. Everyone in front of us seemed to take their merry 'ole time talking to him. I even asked the lady in front of me if they would kindly let us go ahead of them, but when she took a look at all of our kids, she said. "No. Sorry." Finally at 9:25 we made it to his lap. I told the kids to hurry. I snapped this picture:

It looks like daytime, but it's actually night. There were just really bright lights.

Then we booked it over to the train station. I ran with Emily while holding Rachel, David pushed the double stroller with Wendy in it, my sister ran holding Sarah, and Bradley ran while pushing Jason in the umbrella stroller. We made it in the nick of time. I had forgotten that my watch was 2 minutes fast.The conductor didn't look too happy that we arrived last minute, but it all worked out and we got to see Santa and ride the train. It was a lot of fun. It got the adrenaline going.

Wednesday - Christmas Eve
5:30 AM - Our great idea of putting a Christmas tree on a sturdy black table, turned out to be not such a great idea. My sister was sleeping in the room that the tree was in and witnessed the event half asleep. I heard a soft voice at my bedroom door say, "Melinda, your tree just fell." I don't think my sister's voice represented how her heart felt at the moment. I am disappointed in myself that I didn't get a picture of the lifeless tree lying on the floor of the family room still in its stand securely bungeed strapped to the black table. I couldn't find my camera at the moment and I was worried about the gallon of rusty, dirty water that was surely soaking my carpet. I was also worried about my favorite chocolate chip cookie ornament that my grandmother gave us a few years ago. But these pictures I did get:

All the adults in the house worked hard to get the tree back upright, unwrap and dry the soaked presents. Luckily only 3 ornaments broke. My chocolate chip cookie ornament survived. We got rid of the table and now have a squatty tree and we have revealed to the neighbors that we have been deceiving them the past three weeks. I still don't know what caused it to fall. I have my theories, but whatever, it's fixed and all is well. We finished the ordeal at sunrise and went back to bed. I'm just glad it didn't happen Christmas morning.

Later that day David and I got to wrap about 20 presents all over again. Yippeee!!! Later that day we also got to redecorate the Christmas tree. I've always wanted to trim a tree on Christmas Eve.

We opened presents from each other. Pictures coming soon...

Thursday - Christmas Day
I think I'll write about that tomorrow. All of this reliving the past is making me tired.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just so you know, it's not my fault that I haven't blogged since Saturday. Blogger hasn't been working for me and now I am WAY TOO TIRED to blog. Updates later....

Hope y'all had a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

It clicked with Bradley the other day. He said, "Mommy, I get it! He's dreaming of a white Christmas because he wants it to snow."

"That's right, Bradley." Then I realized my son has never seen snow before.

Then he asked, "But, Mommy, what's a blue Christmas?"

He's also still trying to figure out why people get a Santa metal feeling when they hear voices singing. "Let's be jolly; deck the halls with balls of holly."

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Crunch Time

I know. I know. I know. I'm a lame-o blogger. It's crunch time before Christmas. I realized today that I forgot to buy a present for Emily. I have homemade hot chocolate mix all over my kitchen floor and counter, we ate Taco Bell for dinner, I still have to help Wendy and Jason make presents for their chosen sibling (who's idea was it to make gifts for each other?) Anyway, I didn't take a single picture today. I have one more day before my family arrives for the holidays. I have toilets to clean, groceries to shop for, presents to wrap, cold weather to hope for (it's supposed to be in the 40's on Monday. Woo hoo!) I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Although, I do look foward to sitting and relaxing and looking at my tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jingle Bells

The ward talent show was a success. Emily played Silent Night on the piano. Bradley played Joy to the World on the piano without shouting at anyone, and Emily, Bradley and Sarah played Jingle Bells on what else but the bells. Here's a clip. It would've been a perfect performance, but Bradley put the bells in the wrong hands. I was proud of his swift recovery.

Christmas decoration of the day:

I love my candles in the windows. I began the tradition a few years ago. I went on a hunt to find electric candles and found some at AC Moore. At the time they weren't selling them at Walmart or Target. I was super happy. We live on a corner so we have two sides of a house to cover which includes 11 candles. I put them on timers so I wouldn't have to unplug them all each night. The past couple of years I've bought some spares on clearance after Christmas so this year I gave my next door neighbor the pleasure of looking at some on that side of the house.

However, this has happened 4 too many times this season as a result of curious hands and clumsiness. So now I'm out of spare bulbs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Talent show rehearsals.

Tomorrow night is our ward Christmas party/talent show. Tonight Bradley was practicing Joy to the World on the piano. He was getting very angry at Sarah for singing along.


He dramatically throws himself to the ground in frustration. I enter the room to help mediate.

Me: Bradley, don't get so angry. Sarah, sometimes when people sing while you're playing the piano it can be distracting.

She understands and obeys. Bradley resumes. Emily begins singing while sitting on the toilet in the nearby bathroom. Sarah predicts that Bradley will get angry and walks toward the bathroom.

Sarah: Emily, you shouldn't sing while somebody is playing the com-piano because it can be distracting.

Me: Sarah, when are you going to start calling it a piano?

I thought yesterday Jason was irresistably cute. Today is a better representation of what he normally looks like. Today he wanted everybody to know that he's wearing Sprockets clothing. He pulled his shirt out of the dirty clothes hamper this morning. I never bothered to change him into a clean shirt, but I like the idea of wearing a shirt two days in row - one day right side out, the other day inside out. Less laundry! (Don't worry, I would've put a clean shirt on him if we went out today, but we didn't go out.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa's SWEETshop

We made some Christmas treats today. We made 80 chocolate covered Ritz Cracker peanut butter sandwiches.

Notice Jason observing his older sister.

Notice Jason mimicking his older sister.

1.5 lbs. of Almond Bark Chocolate covers 40 sandwiches. We had 26 naked sandwiches left and another package of Almond Bark Chocolate. Emily's word problem of the day: If we have 26 naked peanut butter sandwiches and need a total of 40 to dress in chocolate, how many more naked peanut butter sandwiches do we need to make? Answer: 14. So we did and of course the kids argued over who who got to sprinkle the sprinkles, that it wasn't fair that so and so sprinkled more cookies, that Bradley wasn't sprinkling them right, and whether or not these are actually considered "cookies."

He didn't sneeze on them. He didn't even touch them. He just looked. My original plan did not include Jason in the treat making process. However, he woke up early from his nap. I think he probably thought he died and went to heaven when I let him lick the chocolate covered fork (after we were finished making the treats.) I think Super Nanny would maybe consider that a reward for waking up early. Whoops!

But I couldn't resist. I'm a sucker at Christmastime.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This week the forecast calls for weather in the 70's with Wednesday to be 78 degrees. That's not Chrismas weather! I'm not sure how to feel. I was complaining last night that it was too cold in the 40's. Maybe I'll just have to crank up the AC and pretend it's winter and go outside to warm up. At least it will be pleasant weather to trim the bushes and clean out the van.

I was going to post a Christmas decoration picture, but Blogger is not cooperating and letting me upload photos. So here's a little story.

Last year I began a tradition that the kids make each other their Christmas gifts. Each kid draws a name and they make a gift for that person. Emily and Bradley have been staying up later than usual this past week because Emily's been making Wendy's gift and Bradley has been observing (photos will be posted after Christmas because my kids read my blog.) I could tell Bradley was exhausted but Emily was going full steam ahead creating her clothespin dolls (I can write about the presents because Wendy can't read.) I decided to keep some conversation going and I asked, "So how many kids do you want to have when you grow up?"
Bradley was a bit dazed at 10:30 PM and with his chin resting on the back of the kitchen chair he replies with glazed eyes, "Twenty-three."
I told him that was a good number. "How about you, Emily?"
"Only three?"
"Yes. It's hard work!"

Uh oh. Maybe the Christmas card factory was little too much. Or maybe she is beginning to notice the neverending laundry, dishes, messy floors, and damage that can sometimes cause acute cases of rage in her mother. But you gotta admit, Emily, it's fun hard work! Right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This was the Christmas decoration of the day...

Running towards me with a red Christmas ornanment.

Jason: Mommy, BALL!


Me: Jason, that's not a ball.

Amazingly it took 10 days for Jason to break an ornament. It wasn't really going to be my Christmas decoration of the day. It was just a boring plain red ornament.

We sang Christmas carols on the way home from the grocery store tonight. Why is it that nobody can ever remember how to sing Frosty the Snowman correctly?

Today Sarah opened an advent present. Today was a special brand new one. It was the new Barbie's Christmas Carol Movie. For the record, I LOVE Barbie movies and couldn't pass this one up when I saw it on sale at Amazon. I love Barbie's grace, beauty, and harmonization. I was expecting the movie to be a disappointment because Christmas specials usually are, but I really liked this one. It's an adaption of Dicken's Christmas Carol, but instead of Scrooge, the main character is Eden Starling, a selfish and bossy Opera diva. She is taken to the past present and future by three different spirits to see how her selfishness affected her future and the future of her friends. It made me cry. It's a story about friendship, compassion, and and the joy of giving. I give it a two thumbs up. I think I might even like it as much as Barbie's Princess and the Pauper. Even my son, Bradley, sat and watched the whole thing. Barbie rocks! I can't wait to watch it again.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa's Sweatshop

Today we finished the Christmas cards. My little elves made my cards this year. It was a combined geometry class and Christmas art activity. I cut out circles, triangles and squares from scrapbook paper and the kids glued them on cardstock to make snowmen, Christmas trees and presents. Then they adorned the cards using black rollerball pen to make the geometric shapes come to life. I spared myself the hassle of glitter, even though I'm sure the kids would've loved to experiment with it. Inside they glued a label that says "Merry Christmas!" and I signed it. They signed their names on the back. We made 50. It took about 4 days to finish them, but they had a good time. Even Jason made one. He glue sticked 3 triangles and pasted them correctly all by himself. Now they are on the way to homes of family and friends along with a photo and letter. The cards were randomly selected to go to the recipients. So if you get an ugly one, don't think that the quality of the card reflects the quality of our friendship. I have 2 extras right here by my computer. If you would like one, contact me. The first two contacts will be the lucky recipients. I might be able to get the elves to make a few more, but I might have to pay them overtime in M&M's.

Today's featured decoration:

This is my Christmas card holder. I don't know if you can tell, but it's metal and is shaped like a pocket to put Christmas cards in. Notice that it's empty. I've received one card so far this season. Actually two, but I don't count the one from our realtor because it's 1/2 solicitation. So I hope people are still sending them despite the economy and stamp price increase this year. Surely I'm worth $0.42 to send me some of your love. Let's not let the tradition die!

Jason update: Amazingly Jason slept past 8 AM this morning. Hallelujah! But ... he can still get out of his crib.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas in July

I don't know if I'm just tired or if the weather has me slightly out of the Christmas spirit. It's hard for me to believe it's December when I have to run the air conditioner. It just doesn't seem right that my feet aren't cold without socks, that I don't want to drink hot chocolate because it will make me too hot, and that I have the family room window open to help cool down the house. I'm so glad that I don't live in the Southern Hemisphere. I would miss the bitter cold nights for snuggling up to a big bowl of hot popcorn and watching Christmas movies. I've always wondered what their Christmas carols are like. They obviously must not sing "White Christmas" or "Let it Snow." I imagine that their versions must go something like this:

Tan Christmas

I'm dreaming of a tan Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know.
Where the sand grains glisten
and children listen
To hear the ocean in the shells.

I'm dreaming of a tan Christmas
with every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and grand,
and may all your Christmases be tan.

Let it Glow!

Oh the weather outside is delightful
But the UV rays are frightful.
We've so many places to go
Let it glow! Let it glow! Let it glow!

I want to get a tan so golden.
So my beach towel I am fold'in.
The tide is going way down low.
Let it glow! Let it glow! Let it glow!

When the tide finally rolls all in
How I'll hate getting into the van.
But if you kiss me on the chin,
All the way home I'll be tan.

I'll stop now.

Here is the Christmas decoration of the day:
Isn't it beautiful?
I bought this last year the day after Christmas at Walmart for 50% off. I didn't feel right having a white lit star when I had multi-colored lights on my tree so I wanted a multi-colored star to match and was thrilled when I found one. I think it's beautiful even though it's cheap plastic. It fit perfectly on the little stub at the top of the tree.
Jason update: He woke up this morning at 7 AM. A least the sun was rising. He changed into clothes, then pajamas, then clothes and then pajamas again. Make up your mind, kid! He is now getting himself up from his naps about an hour earlier than usual. David lowered his crib one more notch. It's kind of a 1/2 of notch and isn't really supposed to be where it is, but we gained about an inch. He also switched Jason's mattress with Rachel's and that might have given us another inch. We'll see if it's effective. So far so good....If not, I might have to duck tape his ankles together (Just kidding. I've thought about it, but would never do that.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm beat, but I'm going to be rich.

Today has me dead beat tired. I went to bed kind of late last night and Jason was up before daylight wanting to change his pajamas 5 times before 7:30 AM. When I finally got myself out of bed, I found Rachel in her crib with 77 books (I counted) that her brother kindly put in there, the Christmas tree was plugged in downstairs, and a piece of the nightstand from the kid's room was on the kitchen floor. I'm not sure if that all happened before or after the sun came up. I don't know what I'm going to do with this kid. I've been given a recommendation to bribe him with hot chocolate in the morning if he goes to bed, but I don't think it's possible to reason with this kid. I know he understands things, but he's really good at giving blank stares and pretending he doesn't understand.

This lack of sleep has not affected my ability to think though. I've come up with a great new product for parents that can be sold at Babies 'R Us. So what do you think of baby crib barbed wire? I don't believe it's on the market yet because I Googled it and nothing came up. I think it would sell really well. I'm thinking $10.99 per package. I'm a little busy now, so I think I'll start on a prototype in 2009. When it finally gets accepted for retail, the product could come with a free trial sized Mederma. The premium version will be electrified and that will sell for $19.99. I love my idea. Which one would you buy?

I'm going to get rich. You watch!

Now meet our bear family:

My sister likes to give us bears for Christmas in the years that we have babies which has been every year of our marriage except for 2003 and 2007. We have a Mama, a Papa and 5 babies. I'm expecting another one this year. 4 of the baby bears have the year we received them written on their paw. The kids love to get them out every year and find the year that they were born. Bradley is disappointed that his 2002 bear is a girl. And Sarah's disappointed that her bear doesn't have a year and is wearing pants. Picky! Picky! But I think I might have to complain too about Mama bear having a stain on her cheek, probably the result of infant spit up in Christmas past.

I thought I might introduce you to my Christmas decorations in the upcoming days. I love looking at them and thought you might too. I love Christmas!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Terrible Twos and Creepy Elves

Jason is going through a terrible terrible two's phase. Everything must be done independently. He won't let anyone get him dressed. I got out the red plaid Christmas pajamas the other night. All the kids fit in last year's except for Jason, however, my mom planned ahead last year and bought Jason the next size up for this year. He loves to match his siblings and he loves to button his own buttons. But I don't think he likes sleeping in flannel. Last night at 3:45 AM he came into my bedroom with a new pair of pajamas that he ransacked out of the clean clothes laundry bin that was neatly folded in the hallway. Grrr. He whimpered, he screamed and I couldn't do anything right. I finally forced him to let me hold him while we layed in my bed and he finally fell asleep in his diaper.

He's also going through an awful phase of climbing out of his crib at bedtime. He is way too limber and throws his left leg over the siderail and climbs out in about 10 seconds. I've been using a Super Nanny technique that I learned from watching her show where if your child resists bedtime and escapes, you should avoid eye contact and verbal communication and simply bring the child back to his/her bed or crib and leave the room. You repeat this until the child accepts defeat and stays in the crib or bed. Tonight it took me 20 minutes. Finally when I sensed surrender after the 21st time of putting him back in his crib, I could here him grunting. He was putting his pajama shorts back on after he had taken them off in protest of the 4th failed escape. It was evident that he was successful when he exclaimed, "On!....pants..... I did it! Sarah! On...pants," and continued to mumble other toddler nonsense. I think we both got a workout tonight that tired us out. Jason isn't ranking so high on my favorite kid list right now. His ranking is about as high as this elf is on my favorite Christmas decoration list:

"Cute? Maybe? Ok, a little cute, but not that cute."

I usually keep the elf in the Christmas box and don't unveil him because I can't decide if he is cute or not. But this year, one of the kids brought him out and he somehow stayed. I've had him since 2001. I was eating at a Cracker Barrel in Massachusetts with Emily, my parents and sister when this old man brought him over to our table to give to Emily when she was 9 months old. It was after Christmas and I think he bought it at 50% off in the restaurant gift shop. It was a kind gesture. I know. I just thought it was a strange thing to pick out. But I'm not sure which is worse the strange elf or the bald snowman who looks like he got caught and is getting arrested for kidnapping a little girl and taking her on a train to the North Pole. I made the snowman the first Christmas my husband and I were married. I never got around to finishing the hat which is probably why he looks so lifeless.

It's like you want to hate them, but you just can't do it. I love you, Jason! And I love you too, little Christmas elf!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Devotional

The first weekend of December every year our church presents a Christmas Devotional. The 3 members of the the First Presidency which include the Prophet and his 2 counselors speak about Christmas and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings. Tonight we gathered the children and watched it on my computer. I baked some chocolate chip cookies and served some milk. It was enjoyable to listen to it, even if we had to strain to hear it through the bustling of the children in the kitchen. We were reminded by the First Presidency to keep the spirit of Christ this Christmas season and find joy by reaching out to others. The devotional can be watched in its entirety here.

I truly love Christmas time! I love the Church! I love that I know I have a Savior who was born of humble birth and who lived, died, was resurrected. The Savior lives and he loves us. I love Him. I hope to do my part this Christmas season and all year long by serving Him through my service to others. These are some of those "others":

I'll admit they were Tollhouse Cookies, but this time they were baked. Poor Jason! When I told him we were having cookies, he expected cookie dough. I obviously don't do a whole lot of cookie baking. I gave him a scoop of dough while the rest of the dough was properly being baked in the oven. He happily said, "Dank ewe, Mommy."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Christmas Tradition

For the past several years I have collected children's Christmas books. I finally accumulated enough by last year to begin a new family tradition. Instead of an advent calendar, I wrap 24-25 books. Included in the 24-25 gifts, are the Christmas movies bundles and Christamas Music CD case. Each day one child gets the opportunity to open a gift. Last year I had 24 gifts because we had 4 kids opening and 24 is divisible by 4. This year I have 25 because we have 5 kids opening gifts. Next year we will probably go to 24 again because there will be 6 kids. Not quite sure what we will do when we get to 7. Perhaps I will have to wrap 28 and start opening on November 27th. Anyway, we will cross that bridge when we get there. Here is a snapshot of Jason opening his gift on Friday:

Pretty cool basket, isn't it?

He opened Elmo's 12 Days Before Christmas Board book.

Even though the older kids know all the books already, they still enjoy the element of surprise and trying to find the movies and CDs early in the month.

I know I slacked on the blog on Friday and Saturday. I took Emily and Bradley and Sarah on a little field trip to my brother's family's house a couple hours away. My 8 year old nephew was in a local theatre play. It was A Christmas Story, the one based on the movie that came out 25 years ago. It was cute. If you've seen the movie, you might remember the scene where the main character, Ralphie, clumsily loses the lugnuts to the tire his dad is changing on the side of the road in cold, snowy Indiana. In the scene he shouts a bad word, but of course he doesn't actually say the word. He says, "Fudge!" and the narrator indicates that he actually said the real 4 letter bad word. Well, after the intermission Bradley asked my mom, "What's the bad word that Ralphie said?" My mom wasn't sure how to handle the inquiry so she called me over to help. I wasn't quite sure how to handle it either. I didn't want to lie and tell him "fart" or "fish." I wanted to be able to satisfy his innocent curiosity so I told him that it was a word that started with "F" and rhymed with duck. He was about to blurt it out, but I stopped him and told him that it was a very bad and ugly word and that we never ever say it. He understood. I hope. So it wasn't quite the educational experience I had planned for, but I suppose the day had to come when my sweet little children would be exposed to the F bomb. The evening was enjoyable and the kids had a good time staying up until 1 AM playing with their cousins.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

White or multi-colored?

I used to be a white light sort of Christmas gal. But my kids are converting me to multi-colored. Two years ago I converted the Christmas tree to colored lights because I knew my grandmother was going to be at our house for Christmas and she likes colored lights. However, I still decorated with white lights on my garland on the outdoor porch railing. Ever since that Christmas my kids will not allow anything but colored on the tree. This year when I hung the garland, I realized that I was not going to have enough white lights because one strand died. Last year after Christmas I purchased six boxes of colored lights on clearance, so I used those to save myself a trip and $10 at Walmart. The kids are totally pleased. In their words, "Colored lights are soooo beautiful!!!" I have to admit that I think they look beautiful too. And I totally love our tree on the table idea!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas tree decorating

Today all six children and I decorated the Christmas tree. It was pure enjoyable chaos. I forgot to take a picture of the entire tree. I was too busy trying to avoid ornament breakage. Amazingly, only one ornament broke (that I know of.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Tonight we bought our Christmas tree. We go for the real deal. I love the smell of real sappy pine in my home during the holidays. Pine scented candles and Glade air fresheners just don't cut it.

This is the tree I wanted, but it was slightly out of our price range and I would've had to buy a gazillion more strands of lights for it.

We settled for a bargain priced 6-7 footer that was missing it's top. Most 6-7 foot trees were priced between $65-75. The one we picked was $50. I had no idea tree tops were so valuable!

We came home and Rachel slept through her first bringing-the-Christmas-tree-into-the-house experience.

Jason decided he no longer wanted to wear his Mr. Green warm outfit and insisted on changing into the clothes he had been wearing before we left to go buy a tree.

We normally like to get a taller tree, but since we were never able to keep ornaments on the bottom two feet of the tree last year, we opted to put our tree on a table this year and save our selves about $40. I bought that table at Goodwill last year and it's been kind of a nuissance ever since. I'm glad to know that it's finally being put to good use. From the window the tree looks normal. We are such deceptive neighbors!

Although the tree is considred topless, it actually still has a nice little stub for the star. Sarah received the privelage of placing it.

Bradley watered it.

The girls cut off the netting.

Daddy helped.

I put the lights on tonight and the kids and I are going to place the ornaments tomorrow. I'll post a picture then. I love Christmas time. It's such a magical and fun time for the children. Tonight as we drove down our street, the kids saw the garland and lights on our porch railing and they broke out in applause and "woo hoos."

Monday, December 01, 2008

December 1st begins the chaos.

December pretty much kicks my butt. Last night we got down 6 Christmas bins from the attic to start our holiday decorating. The first mistake was getting the bins down. As soon as they were all downstairs they were opened and everything strewn about the house. I wasn't angry though. How can you resist delighting in watching six little eager and curious children find joy in the newness of all the decorations and toys. We have Christmas bears, various sized trees, lights, garland, manger scenes, tins, nutcrackers, Christmas cards, doormats, and more. I didn't do much to clean it up last night, so this morning we woke up to a disaster. But I let the kids play with it and tried to make progress around them. Sarah enjoyed using the Christmas tree skirt as a shawl, Jason cracked goldfish in the nutcracker and fed them to Rachel, Bradley wore the Christmas stockings, while Emily practiced her Silent Night on the piano for our ward talent show in a couple weeks.

My kids are always begging me to do crafts with them. I usually find some lousy excuse why we don't have time to get out all the paper, glue and scissors. But today, I decided to be crafty and have my kids make our family Christmas cards. I bought 3 different sets of real cards last year on clearance, but for some reason I don't feel like using them this year. We had been crafting for about 15 minutes, when Emily says, "I want to watch a movie."

Are you kidding me?

Anyway, I let them watch Barbie and the Nutcracker and I continued to craft all by myself in the playroom. I'll see if they want to help me some more tomorrow.

Just so you know, Jason refused any help in getting dressed this morning. Consequently he is wearing a collared shirt backwards. At about 1PM it was fixed. I don't know if he suddenly realized or if my husband fixed it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A little about Sarah.

I can't convince Sarah that it's called a piano and not a com-piano. Kids these days! I guess it's common sense to think that anything with keys must start with 'com.' She thinks I'm joking. Maybe someday she will be a concert com-pianist.

I walked into the bathroom tonight. Sarah was screaming. As a result, David had purple ear plugs in his ears. She was complaining that the water was getting too high. Usually when Sarah takes a bath the water is shallow, but tonight David had it a little higher to give the kids a good soak and scrub down. It was unusual that she was so distressed, so after the bath David sat Sarah on his lap and talked to her about it:
David: Are you scared of the water?
Sarah: No.
David: Does the water hurt your legs? (Sarah has eczema.)
Sarah: No.
David: Then what was the matter?
Sarah: (Whimpering through the sobs) I was scared Rachel was going to go under the water because she's little.

After her explanation, it made a lot more sense. She was having some anxiety and concern for her baby sister. I thought it was sweet.

Sarah's been crawling into bed with us almost daily now. She quietly gets under the covers and snuggles up to me usually sometime between 2 AM and 6 AM. This morning I was half asleep, but aware of the intrusion. I felt a tap on the shoulder and heard her whisper, "It's me, Sarah," as if I didn't know. I always thought I would forbid children sleeping in my bed, but I actually enjoy it. I think Sarah likes the one-on-one snuggle time with her Mommy while the others are fast asleep a whole hallway away. I've asked her several times why she comes in our bed, and she never has a good excuse. No excuse needed. That's why we purchased a king-sized bed 3 years ago.

Sarah also likes the turkey drumstick.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm not too good at blogging during the holidays. But I will say we had a GREAT thanksgiving. As I prepared the meal, I asked the kids to tell me what they were thankful for. Their responses were:

Emily - "God's creation."

Bradley - "My brother and sisters."

Sarah - "My family."

Wendy - "My mom and dad."

Jason - Since he is still a little clueless, his siblings assisted him and he was able to repeat the phrase, "Heavenly Father." Now the two phrases (a combination of 2 words) that Jason can competently say are "Heavenly Father" and "poopy diaper."

Since Rachel can't speak, here are a couple of pictures of her First Thanksgiving:

Turkey and a cracker.

The tryptophan kicked in fast.
It was a happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm a Slacker.

I totally slacked on the blog last night. My in-laws came to town and took us to dinner. Then I got on the phone and couldn't stop talking. Then it was time to go to bed and I didn't have anything to write about because my day was spent cleaning and making a photobook online. Not all that exciting. Now on to preparing for Thanksgiving.

By the way - this is my devil post (#666.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tonight's Dinner

Tonight we had gourmet Chef Boyardee for dinner. I dumped 2 cans of ravioli in an 8X8 baking dish and covered with mozzarella cheese and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. I served with bread and butter, canned green beans, and pistachio salad (pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple, cool whip, mandarin oranges, and marshmallows.) It was great! Very balanced - meat, grain, vegetable, fruit, and milk. My counter is becoming more cleared.

Also, I baked some Betty Crocker cinnamon streusel muffins yesterday with a use by date of August 2006. They were still delicious. So just in case you have a pantry full of Betty Crocker streusel, it lasts longer than it says! Good news!

I captured Jason's first jump off the tall stool tonight.