Thursday, December 27, 2007

More concerts, parties, and presents

Phew! What a week!
If I can remember the events, here's where we've been.
The week started off with the traditional family Wheeling B.E. Taylor concert.
We're READY NOW Mom!

Stopped at a quaint coffee house before the show- the kids had their own hot chocolate-

and drank EVERY last drop!

I'm not sure if they were more excited for the music to start, or to get their popcorn- as Jacob has a mouth full of here. Kind of reminds me of the squirrels storing their nuts :)

We were all a little disappointed that the Capitol Music Hall had to be shut down, but the concert was still just as good- and our seats helped a bit too ;). We were in the second row a few feet from the stage. Obviously, as you can see in the next photos, I don't have all the nifty settings on our camera figured out, so bear with the fuzziness- but you can still get the idea. The children's favorite part- drummer-boy time- after this, they all dozed a bit. They were just too excited to take naps earlier, as I was informed by Lydia. The children's choir during 'Let There Be Peace on Earth.' 'I Saw Three Ships' On to the Day After- Christmas Eve. We opened our gifts then because Mark had to work/sleep on Christmas morning. This is the children performing their gift to us- their version of 'I Saw Three Ships.' I'll figure out how to post the video later. It was really cute.
LET ME OPEN NOW :) The girls and their new dress-up items. Our feast.
I was even adventurous and tried creme brulee. It actually turned out pretty yummy! Christmas Day at my Aunt's-- GGma and all of her Grandchildren. Too much excitement!
Now that I've totally bored you all with our family photos- I'll let ya go for now. We're off to more celebrations- hope your week is going well! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

One more portrait

I had some requests for a Christmas picture with the adults- here it is- guess it's about as good as you could get for a family of 6 ;) I won't bore you with any more pictures of us- but will post some of our Christmas highlights later in the week.
Enjoy your family!

Merry Christmas To All!

From our Family to Yours: May you have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


We had a great visit with Grandma and Grandpa Tony today- and REALLY enjoyed the yummy goodies they brought! Sure wish there were some cookies left-- just kidding Mom :)

We also opened some pre-Christmas gifts-- thanks to my western family--- here are some of the picts. for you Lauri. Jacob LOVED his tractor- but the only picture I could get of him had him frowning. And I neglected to take one of Elisha (bad mom I know), but should have with his bear-- THANKS Austin!! You made his day!

PERFECT gift to occupy an afternoon, and keep the little ones calm-- I'm going to have to head to the craft store and pick up some more items like this! Wonder if they're open tonight..... We love you Texas crew! Thanks!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Demo-Time Again

Unpredictability helps the world go round right? That's why I suppose PapPap and Mark just woke up today and decided- hey, let's go knock out a wall. You just never know what's going to happen with them. Never mind we're in the final hours until Christmas.... whatever works :)

This is the original doorway leading to the once-garage, once-work-out room, and now soon to be schoolroom/BIG playroom.

And this is their little helper. DON"T get in the way of a boy on a mission- Let's just hope he doesn't get any brilliant ideas for the upstairs walls- look out Home Makeover!Oh yeah- small detail about that wall- it was the outside wall of the house-- I suppose a little extra support would help things.... (That's all the reason I needed to head out and GO SHOPPING- and pray there was still a house standing to come home to.) The beam was slightly heavy, sending Mark running up the street to ask for some more man-power. The moment Elisha was waiting for-- it's not everyday you get to push over a wall. Now what?!

All in a day's work. Now- if only the next 20 phases of this whole project/addition thing could go so quickly and easily...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas to Me

It doesn't happen very often as I'm not a deep philosopher, but here it is... a blog of 'thought' from within.

Went for a walk the other night and as I rounded the corner I was stopped in my tracks by one of the most beautifully lit Christmas trees I've seen in a long time. And that got me thinking-- just what does Christmas mean to me? Sure, there's plenty of over-commercialization, too many unnecessary gifts and materialism, and WAY too many events to keep you busy if you can't say no... but what about the good things? For many years I had a bad taste for the Season. We belonged to an organization for a long time that taught about all the dangers of Christmas and over-worship of material things like Christmas trees, etc. While that can be true in many instances, I failed to see any good in the season and dreaded it's arrival more each year- definitely NO love and joy, and almost felt guilty for any joy I did feel connected with 'worldly' sites and sounds.
I can honestly say the fun, child-like eyes of wonder and life are returning and it's a REALLY good feeling! The dread is gone and replaced with 'life!'
As a Christian, the obvious answer of celebrating would be the birth of Christ. To me there's more. We should all feel the 'love' of Christmas all year long, but how many of us do? At least for a small season we can be reminded of the joy that should stay with us throughout the year, but often doesn't. For one 'Silent Night', peace, hope, faith, and dreams return... maybe, this new year will be different- a new year full of dreams fulfilled and new dreams made. When I look into my little boy's widened, excited eyes as he gazes at the Christmas lights, I am reminded of the wonder, hope and newness that the good Lord brings us. Again- I know we are supposed to have that all year, but sometimes we just need a little reminder.

I guess that's what Christmas is to me--- love, wonder, joy, hope, renewed faith. And a time to share with loved ones-- yes, we should take that time throughout the year, but I'm thankful that we are able to do it at least at Christmas-- So.... Merry Christmas All!
PS. Finding that 'perfect' gift that bring tears (of joy of course) is pretty fun too! (And that's not often difficult with PapPap :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Yearly Mysterious Gift/s

Every year about a week prior to Christmas it happens-- a mysterious gift appears out of nowhere with not a tag in sight. And this year it was not one, but two. Now, I know I didn't wrap them or put them there, and PapPap couldn't have because I honestly don't know if he could find my wrapping paper- so I'm fairly certain that would leave Mark. Further solidifying this hypothesis would be the packing tape completely covering the newspaper-wrapped gift, and the niftily bunched wrapping job on the ends of the 1st gift. But that's all OK because.....

Two can play this game. :) These gifts appeared yesterday. And they're bigger! Hmmm.... WHAT could they be???? 8 more days....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Night at the ...Science Center

As I write it's snowing beautiful snow-globe snow- the kids are LOVING it!
It's the 'morning after' the BIG Science Center Sleepover. Daddy took Elisha and Lydia on their adventure last night- and they had a BLAST! Not sure if any of them really slept.
They terrorized the whole building with free reign as they (and the other 'campers') had the building to themselves.
They had snacks, watched The Polar Express on the IMAX- LOVED that, (Lydia said her belly was getting sick because it was like being on a train roller coaster.) learned about meringue, and made Gingerbread House pieces. PHEW! That's A LOT to cram into an evening.
Here Elisha is learning about eggs and meringue.
Gingerbread Time~ Elisha said he was glad they weren't able to bring any pieces home- because Mom would eat them-- not true! Everyone made pieces for a large Gingerbread Display that will be left up until after Christmas.
Sleeping arrangements-- ANYwhere you could find a spot. Daddy said he's bringing an air mattress next time.

They had a super-fun time, and are a little bored at the moment with 'nothing' to do they say-- What does that feel like??

Had to throw in a picture of our Christmas Countdown- yes it starts with day 10-- just a little late this year. Better late than never, right?? Happy 9 days :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

how to get what you want

I walked into the room yesterday to find Lydia and Elizabeth using crayons from new boxes that had been put away for a rainy day. (Any of you parents can relate to just HOW quickly a child can destroy a new box a crayons!)
Yes, it was a rainy day, but not THE rainy day I had planned for these new boxes.
I asked them who said they could have them- and they said Daddy did. I kept quiet, did some work at my desk while overhearing Lydia say "See Elizabeth- it's just like Mr. Tony said. You have to find the person you think will say Yes, and ask them for what you want!" Thank you Mr. Tony. ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Christmas Gift from ... a not nice place

Every year our extended family has a gift exchange, which this year we lowered to a $35 limit-- swell. I picked my Grandma's name. Now being fairly certain she won't be online to read this, I feel it is ok to discuss what a huge ordeal this gift has been.
When shopping 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, I came upon this really neat tree from Things Remembered- faced with the dilemma of what to get a Grandma who really doesn't need a thing for Christmas, I thought- 'that would be kind a neat to have a picture or everyone in one place'. The tree was about $34.99 I think, plus engraving- but who needs that?? Perfect. HA HA HA HA HA!!!.......
I forgot that being of a 'digital' family now, I don't have 20 hard copy pictures of the family-- no problem. I'll just order them-- while I'm at it, I'll go for the really good quality metallic paper they have out now, doubling the cost- but hey- Grandma's worth it right! So, I spend 2 hours ordering all of the pictures- with shipping an additional $23. No big deal, that's what gift accounts are for.....
I decided against spending the $20 extra to have it engraved- thought a nice 'hand-made' sign would be neat. HA HA HA HA-- spent 2 hours trying to get my little paper oval to fit perfectly in the hole, and it's still not right.... - it's the thought that counts, right?
Time for assembly..... AGHHH!!! Wouldn't have been a problem, except that each oval was a different shape- with no rhyme or reason- but variety certainly adds to the thing- except when you've ALREADY cut out your pictures not knowing they were all slightly different! At this point I'm thinking I should have just left the insta-family portraits that came in the tree to begin with. They all looked really nice- I could have assigned names to them and everything!
And here is my desk-- you know me and messes..... but it's for a good cause!
Each little frame is held together with tiny little screws-- that might I add were an absolute PAIN to get put back in properly! And did you know that there are INVISIBLE cracks along your window sill that PERFECTLY SWALLOW up such screws?? And I thought it was the kids I had to worry about losing them. Thanks Mark for finding another one! He was able to do so because he wasn't out chasing the squirrels tonight :) Now guess what--- 4 of my pictures were too big to fit in the little holes. Again-- no problem. I'll just run off to Walmart (did I ever tell you how much I LOVE that store at Christmas???) and have them re-sized down to appropriate sizes in their neat little in-store instant machines for 39 cents a copy, never minding the wasted money I already spent. That was a swell idea, and it worked great-- now it's time to check out. The re-sized pictures had to be done it wallet sizes, which print 9 to a sheet-- a full SHEET is $4.97!!!! I had 3 of them--- you do the math! Sorry kids, no pretzel treats today!

And about $71 later, we FINALLY have a finished family tree. I apologize in advance to Charlene, Holly, and Stu for not being able to see your full faces- please refer to paragraph 5 of this blog. I really hope Grandma likes her gift-- I told Mark that at the very least I was getting blog material out of this one! It's always the thoughts behind the gifts right-- well, the good 'initial' thoughts I should say :)

Happy gifting!! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Lots of goodies and Happy BDay PapPap

On Friday we celebrated PapPap's Bday-- in lieu of spending a ton of money on a gift, we spent the day together in the Strip District. It almost got postponed AGAIN due to the snow, but we went anyway and avoided huge crowds- yay!
This is one of our favorite eating establishments-- sandwiches to die for~
The children weren't too thrilled- they actually had to wait for their food- if it's not a buffet restaurant, count them out- We had a great afternoon buying lots of yummy treats-- Happy Birthday PapPap!
On to today's morning-- 67 chocolate covered marshmallows, 70 chocolate covered oreo's, and 100 pretzel rods-- not bad for a few hours work- hooray for Christmas orders!