Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas is almost here!

Wow! It's been a whole week since I've posted! Christmastime just gets so busy and exciting. Also, both my parents and sister and my husband's parents and sister are visiting. We've been baking, grocery shopping, wrapping, making presents, watching Christmas movies. I'm still alive. Here are some pics to prove it:

The Kids' Table:

Grocery shopping:

An air matteress with a leak. The three kids sunk to the middle. It was only a matter of time before Clifford joined them:

Family Home Evening Photo with 14 people:

More to come....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Church Christmas Party

Tonight we went to our Ward's annual Christmas party. This year the activities committee went all out and transformed the cultural hall and even the chapel into Bethlehem. It was requested that we dress in period clothing and bring our taxes (a canned food item) to Bethlehem. The indoor street was lined with booths. There was a toy booth, sandal booth, bakery, pita shop, water, and cheese. After the families ate their light meal, there was a short nativity pageant. It was well done and pretty cool. Except now I smell like frankincense and it's giving me a small headache.

I totally did not want to dress up because it's like doing Halloween all over again, but Emily really wanted to, so we threw some costumes together last minute. I draped white thermal baby blankets over the girls' heads and tied with ribbon, and my husband threw a dish towel over Bradley's head with a boy scout belt. David and I dressed up too. We threw blue baby blankets over our heads, but the pictures are hideous. I will spare you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Case of the Missing Cranberry Juice

On Saturday I bought my husband some cranberry juice. Last night before he went to bed, he went to pour himself a glass. The cranberry juice container was not in the fridge. My intuition told me that Jason might have something to do with its disappearance. I went upstairs and Jason was still awake. I asked him where he put the cranberry juice. He immediately looked down and got scared. I told him he wasn't in trouble and to show me where he put it. He started getting out of bed and then stopped because I think he was afraid I would be mad. Jason had guilt written all over his face. I knew he knew where it was because usually if I ask, "Who did this?" (usually referring to a mess or something broken) he will fully admit and yell, "Mommy, me did it!" However, last night he just kept quiet and didn't even say, "I no know." We went to bed never finding the juice and hoping there wasn't a puddle of it anywhere on any carpet.

This morning at about 11AM Jason called me over to the refrigerator and said, "Mommy, look! There it is!" Sure enough there was the cranberry juice right there on the shelf. And no, it was not there the entire time. I know he got it from wherever he had hidden it and put it back while I wasn't looking. That sneaky devil! I'm still hoping there's not a puddle of it anywhere.

Friday, December 11, 2009


We've all been a little sick in the house so I let the kids crawl in bed with me this morning at about 8 AM and watch PBS until 9:30. It was very cozy snuggling up next to a feverish Rachel, although I had to worry about getting her snot in my hair. I guess I fell back asleep because the teacher on Sid the Science kid was in my dream. I totally count PBS as homeschool. My favorite show is Martha Speaks. It teaches good vocabulary even to the older ones.

I finally decided to get up and clean the upstairs and start some laundry. Sarah was sitting next to her sister, Wendy, in the hall and she wanted me to take a picture of her because I guess she thought she looked cute. I told her that I didn't have my camera handy. She told me that she would hold a roll of wrapping paper so that we would know it was Christmastime when we look at the pictures. (Sarah must think I only take Christmasy pictures at this time of year.) I never took the picture. But here is where you imagine a picture of Sarah and Wendy sitting against the wall in outfits they picked out themselves, holding a roll of Christmas wrapping paper:

My upstairs hallway is very clean. I cleared the junk, vacuumed, and even vacuumed the baseboards and where the carpet meets the baseboards. Let's hope it stays clean for another 8 days until the guests arrive. Now onto the downstairs tomorrow.

We had French Toast for dinner. It was yummy. I'm feeling better.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

More Christmas Prep

Monday, December 7

Monday was not my favorite day this week. It started with this in the morning before breakfast:

I thought I had thrown that chocolate frosting out or at least put it in a good hiding place. Jason somehow sniffed it out and decided to eat it as a breakfast appetizer. He's totally proud of it too.

My main goal was to get the kitchen floors clean on Monday. I put the chairs on the table in the morning so it would force me to clean them before lunch. Well, they didn't get cleaned before lunch, so the kids asked me where they should eat their macaroni and cheese. I said, "I don't know. Just find a place." This is where and how they chose to eat it:

Jason got mad about something at lunch. I never did figure it out. I think it was because I wouldn't let him eat his macaroni and cheese standing up on a chair that was on the table. This caused him to throw his macaroni on the floor. It made a mess and I asked him to clean it up. Of course he didn't. He's three. About a half hour later I cleaned it up and he got mad that I cleaned it. I think he was planning to eat it off the floor later. It was a nasty tantrum. Later he cracked open a Sprite. I gave him some to try to mend things and he was upset that I didn't pour enough into his cup. He wanted it an 1/8 inch from the top and not a 1/4 inch. So he dumped it in the sink and proceeded to go to the fridge to get another one. I parked a kitchen chair in front of the fridge door and sat there so he couldn't open it. That made him MAD! He finally go over it.

Later that night we had Family Home Evening. You can tell my smile is pretty fake. It was a rough, long day. And you can see that Jason is throwing a fit about something. I think this time it was because we had him put a pink blanket over his naked bottom half so we didn't have any penis in the picture. Little boys!!!

Tuesday, December 8
On Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment. The baby had a heartbeat. 154 beats per minute. The doctor said he could feel that my uterus is starting to come out more. I have a retroverted uterus which means that the it flops backwards and likes to put pressure on my spine and cause lower back pain. I never knew I had a retroverted uterus until this pregnancy. From what I've read it can become retroverted after pregnancies. Just imagine blowing up a balloon as big as it can get six times. Well, that's my uterus. Nice and stretched and floppy. My lower back pain is starting to go away thank goodness.
Also on Tuesday morning Wendy woke up with a funky swollen eye. For those of you who know Wendy, she is much prettier than this:

Later in the day she developed hives on her legs, thighs, stomach and back. She's had a cold for the past few days, but no fever. I did some reading and learned that viruses can causes hives like that. I never knew that. Her other eye was swollen this morning, but the hives went away. I was so afraid that she was allergic to our Christmas tree. I don't think she is. Let's hope not at least.
Last night we began our tradition of making Christmas gifts. It was Emily's turn to make hers for her secret sibling. I can't say what it is, but it involved sewing, and it's not a bird or a plane.

Wednesday, December 9
I printed my Christmas card letter today. After 2 letters printed, my fairly new printer told me that the printer toner was gone. I knew it wasn't gone because there was nothing to indicate on the printed pages that it was even low. But the printer pretty much locks up and you can't print anything until you buy a new one. So I went online and tried to find a good deal. It was about $50 at Amazon. I didn't really want to spend that much or wait several days to receive it. To get one locally would cost me about $70. As I was reading the reviews on Amazon procrastinating and trying to decide what to do, I read a tip that said to put some masking tape over the clear round sensor on the toner cartridge and it will still work. Apparently Brother has these cartridges to send out a LED light through this sensor after so long that tells the printer to stop printing, making the customer think that they have to go buy a new one before the toner is actually even out. How awful is that? Anyway, the masking tape trick worked and I was able to print my letters. Yay! Now I just have to print my address labels. And help Bradley with his gift tonight......

It's the most wonderful time of the year! And I don't mean that sarcastically. It really it is. Three year olds can just make it a little more difficult to believe it.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Catch Up

I'm a total lame-butt blogger, but it's that time of year when the blogging gets put on the back burner and the cookie baking and wassail brewing gets priority. I'll try to catch you up to date:

Thursday, December 3

I made popsicle stick Christmas trees with the kids. It was a craft in Family Fun magazine. This one is Emily's. Some of her ornaments fell off because the tacky glue wasn't so tacky. I made one too. It was prettier, but I can't find it to take a picture of it.

Friday, December 3

Rachel concentrates on coloring a dot-to-dot.

Saturday, December 5
David and I had some training at church. I cleaned the house some. Pretty much an uneventful day. David took Emily and Bradley to Barnes and Noble with him to buy our traditional bargain books that we give each other each year while I stayed home with the young ones and watched The Year Without a Santa Claus. It was educator discount day so we got 25% off books we bought, instead of the regular 20% with our educator discount card. Unfortunatley the bargain books don't seem to be quite the bargain they've been in years past.

Sunday, December 6

Tonight was the the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. We made our traditional chocolate chip cookies. I forgot to buy the Tollhouse cookie dough this weekend, but thankfully I had the ingredients to make them from scratch and willing bakers to help.

I forgot that a baked potato had exploded in the oven on Thursday, so when I preheated the oven it started to smell pretty bad. I was able to clean out the debris without burning myself. However, while I was cleaning the oven this happened:

Someone tried to dip a finger into the creamed sugar and butter and knocked one of my favorite red bowls onto the floor. Thankfully the cookie dough was able to be salvaged and we transferred it to a new bowl and we continued to add flour. I'm going to miss that bowl. It was such a perfect bowl to eat popcorn out of, expecially at Christmastime. :(

Do you think that certain someone may have been this kid? I think a kid who can't even put an apron on correctly could very well be capable of knocking bowl onto the floor. We still love him. His nursery leader commented on how much they love Jason. I told her that if she had him for a full 24 hours that she might think differently.

Once the cookies were baked, we poured some milk and watched the devotional The opening hymn was The First Noel.

Wendy was kind of sick today. But not too sick to enjoy a cookie (or four of them).

The kids thought it was pretty cool that Sarah and Wendy were wearing the same dresses as last year when we watched the devotional. Does that mean my kids haven't grown over the past year?
Now onto week two of Christmas preparations...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Paper Chains, Ornaments, and Popcorn

Today was tree decorating day. But I had to get a few things done before the ornaments came out, so to keep the kids busy I had them make some Christmas countdown paper chains. It was a first for all of them. They loved doing it and they are hanging from their curtain rod in their bedroom (the chains are, not the kids), so that they can rip a link off first thing in the morning.

I know the colors look like we are counting down to Cinco de Mayo, but I let the kids pick them out.

Jason pulled this ornament out and said, "Tomato!" Mmm. I love tomatoes with ric rac and sequins.

During the decorating we chowed on 5 bags of microwave popcorn. I kind of combined the snack with lunch which is why we ate so much.

The kids did great job decorating. I pretty much sat and watched and fixed a couple of branches that had multiple ornaments. I also moved some breakable ones up higher. Amazingly we had no breakage. Yet....

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Smell of Pine

I'm a real Christmas tree kind of person. Growing up we had a very ugly artificial tree from the 60's I think. I never knew "real" until I was about 10 and we decided the ugly tree wouldn't look good in the new house, so my parents bought a real one. I remember going from lot to lot looking for the "perfect" tree with the whole family.

The new tradition was a lot of fun. However, we managed to wreck the beautiful live tree by draping icicles on it. It looked pretty at night when the lights sparkled on them, but in the daytime it looked like someone puked tinsel on the tree. I think we only did that one year. In later years our family started putting up two trees, a real one in the cozy family room with colored lights and an artificial one in the living room with white lights. I think my parents probably got the artificial one on sale or something after Christmas. This artificial one was much prettier than the old one. The only problem was that it was before the days of prelit trees and my Dad would spend hours putting about 1000 lights on it perfectly up and down each branch. It was tall, very bright and beautiful, and worth my Dad's effort.

Anyway, enough about my history. I've decided to keep the real tree tradition. I just love the smell of pine and the activity of going to get the tree. Thankfully we live in an area where they sell Frasier Firs that look beautiful no matter what shape and size they are. There is no need to jump from lot to lot to find the perfect tree. They also last about 6 weeks. They're awesome and worth the money. I budgeted $80 for a tree this year. It seems like a lot of money, but I consider it as my Christmas gift. I'm home all day long every day. I certainly get full enjoyment out of the beauty, smell, and tradition. The Christmas tree becomes a member of the family for at least 4 weeks.

This year the prices seemed more reasonable than years past. We found a beautiful 8 foot tree for $60. Plus we received $5 off because we are regular customers. Because we saved some money, we decided to invest in a new Christmas tree stand since last year's mishap bent our old one out of shape and it's all rusted and nasty.

While at the lot I snapped some pictures:

Nothing says Christmas like a mini candy cane.

The guy working there offered to take a family photo. He works there every year and recognizes us every year.

Cutting the netting off.

Filling the stand with water.

Rocking around the Christmas tree.

The kids watched me while I put the light on the tree. Emily really wanted to help, but I wouldn't let her. I told her that when I was little, Papa put the lights on the tree while Nana sat on the couch and directed. Emily took it to heart and was very quick to tell me where my gaps and clusters of lights were.
We explained to the kids not to touch the Christmas tree lights because they contain lead. Sarah wondered why it was bad to touch lead. Emily explained that if you touch it and put your fingers in your mouth you get dumb. Later Wendy warned, "If you touch the Christmas lights and put your fingers in your mouth, you look weird." I don't know exactly what my husband has told them, but it's been effective.
This is so fun!