Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day (a little late!)


Landon had to make sure that Santa's plate of cookies (and candy canes and chocolate bar) was just so. He must have rearranged this a dozen or more times. He poured the milk and made sure all the letters to Santa were right where he would find them. He was so excited he didn't think he would get to sleep, but he was so tired he didn't have much trouble at all. Zoe didn't have any trouble either. As a matter of fact, she may have been asleep before Landon!

IMG_2309 I can't believe Christmas is over. All the preparation that goes into the holiday is enough to keep anyone busy, but then all at once it's over. I am glad that it's over and then I'm not. It just isn't every day that you can get this expression on Zoe's face! Can you tell she was a little surprised?  I'm not as ready as I usually am for all the decorations to come down and for life to resume as normal...luckily for me it doesn't really go back to "normal" until the kids go back to school, in another week or so.

IMG_2341 My parents, sister/nephew/future brother-in-law, in-laws, and brother-in-law+wife came over for dinner yesterday afternoon. There was a total of 13 of us and man was it crazy! Dinner ended up being really good, thanks to Tony and Lorenzo, but I had this crazy idea to use our "good" dishes that had to be hand washed...well, 2 hours of dishes SUCKED! Not so "good" after all! But they sure looked nice! Dessert was awesome as well, kudo's to Lorenzo and LaTisha! After dinner (and thousands of dishes) we all headed downstairs to play Guitar Hero World Tour. What a blast! Everyone was getting into it and singing along, it was hilarious! I'll have to watch the video I took of it and see if there's anything to share, most of it was pretty horrible though. We've discovered that the drums are the most difficult to play, so we have some work to do.


Landon finally got the chance to ride his motor scooter today. He's been looking forward to it and it was the one super-duper important thing he wanted for Christmas, so he was just thrilled when he saw that good ole Santa pulled through for him! Since this post is getting a little long, I'll leave you with one final pic of him on (one of) his new favorite toys!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

IMG_2178 It is our annual tradition to go to my in-laws house for Christmas Eve. The kids look forward to going over there and opening their gifts and then getting to play with their toys for awhile before we eat dinner and then eventually head home.

Ever since they rolled out of bed this morning all they could talk about was going to Mema's! I told them we weren't planning on going over until around 2, so they were just biding their time all day waiting for 2 o'clock to get here! Almost as soon as we got there we opened gifts. They each got some nice gifts from Mema and Umpa, as did Tony and I. We had lasagna for dinner and ended up staying there until about 7:30pm.

IMG_2237Here is a photo of the gift I made for my mother-in-law. It isn't a great shot, but it is a cross-stitch of a bunch of junk food and it says "What happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's". It is really appropriate for her since she is always giving my kids a bunch of junk food!

IMG_2239 When we got back home the kids put cookies out for Santa and Landon cut up celery and threw it out in the front yard for the reindeer. We had to use celery since we were out of carrots, but we figured since they're just reindeer they'll be happy.

Now, I am just biding my time waiting for the kids to get to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a really busy day and we still have plenty of work to get done tonight!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Symphony of Lights

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Last night we took the kids to the drive through light show. It was pretty busy, but at least we didn't have to get out of the car! The guys collecting the money last night had to be freezing! I believe yesterday was one of the coldest (windiest) days we've had this season.


While we were driving through, some guys came running up to our car with a mic and camera and said they were doing a show on American holiday traditions and that they were from a Russian television group. They asked us a couple questions about the light show and then ran off again...we didn't know what to think about that, but we answered their questions and went on our way. So, if your watching Russian T.V. anytime soon, let me know if you see us!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fondue and a Movie (or 2)

A timeline (sort-of) of our weekend:


  • 11am we head to the mall.
  • Eat lunch at Wendy's
  • 12-1:30pm; Help kids buy gifts for each other as well as for Tony and myself
  • 1:30pm; Go see the movie The Tale of Despereaux; it was a cute movie, but not something I would buy or watch again. The kids were so-so about it.
  • 3-4 finish shopping, head home
  • Kids pack bags to spend the night at Mema's
  • 5pm Tony drops kids off at Mema's
  • 6:15-10pm; we head out to dinner at The Melting Pot with 3 other couples, we have a wonderful time!
  • 10-12pm; watch the movie Hancock. I didn't like it, I thought the love story part wasn't necessary at all...wouldn't recommend it.



  • 9:30am; finally get out of bed
  • 10am; Tony goes Christmas shopping, I begin endless housework
  • 12; still doing housework (laundry, changing sheets, sweeping floors, cleaning bathrooms, clean out refrigerator...seriously endless)
  • 2pm; Tony comes home to wrap gifts, kids come home, getting close to collapsing from cleaning all day
  • 2:30-3:30pm; helping kids wrap their presents (yes, this really took an hour for them to wrap 3 presents each and Landon complained of cramps in his neck after just the first 2)
  • 4pm; everyone sitting making MORE ornaments



  • 5pm; dinner
  • 6:30 pm; Home Alone (the original) my kids love these movies, especially Landon...hopefully he won't ever try any of these great bad-guy catching ideas!
  • 8pm; Landon in bed
  • 9pm; Zoe upstairs relaxing
  • 9:15pm; me trying to think of all the things I need to remember to do tomorrow while Tony happily plays lotro.

Well, that is our weekend in a nutshell. It sure doesn't "look" like a busy weekend written out this way, but I assure you my head is still spinning!

Friday, December 19, 2008

All Wrapped Up

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The other night I was looking at all the gifts lying around that needed to be wrapped and it was overwhelming. I don't mind wrapping gifts, but I do have to be in the mood. So, I thought I would let the kids do some...what a great idea that turned out to be! They were more than willing to help, and Landon was downright giddy over the prospect of using tape! He finished an entire roll, and was near finishing a second when I cut him off! He was really inventive with his wrapping using several methods and many scraps of leftover paper to decorate his packages. I figured that if it made him happy, what could it hurt? Zoe worried about hers looking perfect and she ended up doing a really nice job, but she is nearly 7 years older than Landon! I will have to remember to recruit them the next time I have a bunch to wrap, it sure saved me a lot of time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



These were my first candle altering attempts. I made these for a friend from high-school because when I bought a few things from her Etsy shop she threw in a few, I wanted to send a little something her way.

I decided to go with a winter theme instead of Christmas because the holiday is nearly over and I figured the winter them was useful for a little longer period of time. I also knew that she had recently finished her basement, and she used this gorgeous blue color on her walls, so hopefully these candles will complement her color scheme!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Visit with Santa

IMG_2051 Tonight we went to the mall so Landon could get his photo with Santa. He has been very reluctant in the past to get his photo with Santa and it took some encouragement from me to get him to do it today, but I think that he's glad he finally went through with it! I never was the type to force either of my kids to sit on Santa's lap, crying hysterically just for a photo; I just figured it wasn't worth the "trauma". Well, now that my kids are getting older, and Landon may be on the verge of not believing anymore, I felt like I really needed a photo. So, off we went and what a pleasant experience it turned out to be!

IMG_2036 The mall has really made the whole picture with Santa thing a nice experience. At the beginning of the line a table is set up with papers and crayons for the kids to write their letters to Santa. The paper has some writing prompts on it such as "What I would like for Christmas is" and "I have been very ____ this year". I thought it was so sweet when Landon got to the question "I also want to tell you" and he filled in "that I believe in you". IMG_2039 I thought that was just adorable. Once the kids finish their letters they move on to the Naughty or Nice meter where they push a button to see what the gauge will say. Landon didn't want to push the button which I thought was funny, but he finally did it and the arrow pointed to nice...I could see the relief in his face!

Next, the kids got to put their letter in IMG_2045the mailbox, straight to the North Pole! When they pulled the mailbox open snow started to fall, and that was a real hit with all the little ones too! I thought it was such a nice touch, it just made it seem so magical for them!  After all of this, it was his turn to sit on Santa's lap. He was a little nervous, but he did it! I got some cute photo's and I even had to buy one that they took (I just couldn't pass it up!). I hope he'll still want to do this next year, I'm just not ready to give it up!

Now that Zoe is 14 she's a little old for the whole Santa's lap thing, but I did make sure to get a photo of her. She wouldn't do it alone though, so she pulled Landon in!


Let It Snow!


Another candle set! I am really enjoying making these...and I think I finally got the adhesive thing down!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Gift for Teacher


This is my second attempt at altering candles. I am finding that the adhesive part is the hardest thing to get right...but I'm working on it. I am really hoping that the first set I mailed today get to the recipient unharmed...I'll post photo's of those once she gets them!  (The idea came from the Dec. 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things magazine.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear Santa,




Better late than never, right? Tony gave the kids the laptop to look for ideas for their lists and I'm not so sure that was the best idea! Their lists are pretty long! I sure hope Landon remembered to request 2 front teeth this year....

Gift Card Holders

IMG_1942 Last night I finally got around to looking for a tutorial online for making gift card holders. I came across several, but decided on this one. These were so easy to make and the tutorial was easy to follow. I really like how they turned out...kinda makes me wanna go pick up a few more gift cards! ;) The flash kinda drowns out the snowflake on the top left holder, but we are having a lot of rainy weather so it's a little dark in the house. But, you get the idea anyhow. The other day when I went to get a few supplies at Michael's I came across this book as well as this one. Both books are great, but I am really impressed with the first one! There are so many great ideas in it and most of them really are simple! Now, I suppose I will need to pick up some supplies...

IMG_1944 Oh, and when your child does this does it mean they will be destined for tattoo's when they are old enough? This child come's home with writing somewhere on her every day! I swear they don't have enough to do in class sometimes! ;)

Well, Landon is waiting for me to play Boggle with him...and I gotta get that pic of his missing teeth! He looks so cute!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tiny Tree's

IMG_1863 Another busy day has passed, and man I just feel like it's probably going to be this way till Christmas is over. I like it and I don't. I just don't feel like I get enough accomplished in one day. My list is long, and things are getting checked off very s-l-o-w-l-y. I'm sure that I'm not the only one feeling this way. I did get one thing off my shoulders though...Christmas cards are (finally) in the mail! Hooray! I love making the cards every year, but next year I am hoping to make 1 design for everyone, and no stitching or brads! That took forever on the one's I did that on!

Tonight we all sat down and worked on more little ornaments. IMG_1937I bought this little kit from Michael's and it was easy enough for the kids to do by themselves, but the kit made 12 so of course Tony and I got in on the fun!  They turned out really cute, but I'm not sure what we're going to do with them yet!

IMG_1926 Right before Landon went to bed tonight he asked if he could give the dog a treat. I keep the treats in a plastic container on a shelf above the washing machine. Well, he has to jump up on the washer to get to the container, but today, when he jumped, he slipped and smacked his mouth on the washer. When it happened I was in the basement and Tony was upstairs with Landon and I wasn't aware that he was hurt. IMG_1927 Tony came down after a few minutes and told me I needed to come up and see Landon because he had fallen on his face! I rushed upstairs and he was a mess, blood coming from his loose tooth, and of course he was upset and crying. So, when I looked in his mouth I was surprised there was a tooth at all, but eww, it sure was gross looking! I got him a wet washcloth and told him to bite down on it gently, and a minute later the tooth was in my hand. It looks like he cut his gum a little and it's sore, but other than that, he's fine...and looking forward to some tooth fairy money! (I'll be sure to get a picture tomorrow, it was just too traumatic today!)

Speaking of traumatic...during the time that I was tending to Landon's bloody tooth ordeal, Tony is pacing and then decides he has to sit on the floor because the whole dilemma is making him sick! Yeah, sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor! I thought he was going to puke or pass out, but luckily he did neither. He eventually got up then had to go outside to cool off a bit...he just doesn't do well with the whole blood thing I guess!

{Sorry Tony, you know I can't pass us a good story!}

Sequin and Bead Ornaments

Here are a few photos of the finished ornaments we made for Mema! I just got done adding the ribbon, now all they need is a pretty container to go in! I hope she likes them!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year

These are pics from 2007 that I am just now getting around to scrapping. For some reason Christmas pics are hard for me to do, I am much more consistent when it comes to getting Halloween and fall related stuff done. I am really loving this page though!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Toys For Tots

Both of the kids' schools are collecting toys for Toys For Tots, so today we brought them to the store to choose one toy each that they would like to donate. Zoe didn't have any trouble with this at all, but it was tough for Landon to get a toy for someone else and not get one himself.


In the end he really surprised us though. Awhile back Landon won a $5.00 Target gift card when his name was drawn for bringing in box tops for his school. He remembered to bring his gift card today when we went to the store so, he used his card and a little bit of his own cash and bought another gift (a card game). I thought the deck of cards was something for himself, but he informed me that they were to also donate to the cause! I was amazed at his generosity as well as extremely proud!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Family Photo 2008

We didn't do much today but we did go to Chris and Lori's for dinner and they took this family photo of us while we were there, so I thought I'd share it!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Little Light Show

I was able to get Zoe into see the orthopedic today, and after nearly 2 hours (mostly waiting) we found out that there isn't a bone problem. So, we are thankful that she doesn't have any broken bones, but we are still at square one because we don't know exactly what's wrong. She'll be sitting out the entire indoor soccer season, and then we will decide what to do if she still has pain.

IMG_1823 On our way home from the doctor's office, I saw this sign on the side of the road advertising a light show. So, after dinner, I decided we should check it out. It was cute, but very small. The kids were impressed that they had synchronized the lights to music and we could tune to the radio station to hear it. We watched it for a couple minutes and then headed home and now, as I type, we are watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sparkly Ornaments

IMG_1808 Since we didn't have much going on tonight (nothing actually!!!) I decided it would be a good time for us all to make some little Christmas ornaments. I made a couple  last year, but I have no idea what happened to them! Dottie (my mother-in-law) was saying that she didn't have enough ornaments on her tree, but that she didn't feel like buying more, so I thought we could all make her some. At least then she will have some for her tree next year. Right now she only has gold balls and Hummel ornaments on her tree, so these will be quite different, but I hope she'll like them any ways! Once I get the ribbon attached for hanging I'll try to get a better shot. Tony is the only one who didn't finish, he said it was just too tedious! I may go up to Michael's and see if they have any other easy (non tedious) ornaments for us to make as well. Good excuse to get back to Michael's anyways, right?!


Cemetary Humor

I have been trying to get an appointment for Zoe concerning her hip. Her doctor said if she wasn't feeling better in 2 weeks to take her to a Orthopedic, so I have been going up and back with the doc's office for a number to an ortho. Finally today, after 4 phone calls and a letter in the mail for local orthopedic hand specialists, I got two numbers to try.

So, I call the first one I have marked down and the conversation goes something like this:

Him: "Good Morning, Potomac blah, blah, blah" I'm not exactly listening as I am looking at my calendar for when a good appt. time will be.

Me: "Hi, is this the Potomac Orthopedic Office?"

Him: "No, this is the cemetery."

Me: "Oh, Oops, guess I dialed the wrong number!"

Him: " That's ok, and if things don't work out over there, you already have our number!"

Me: (laughing) "Hey! That's not funny!"

Him: (chuckling) "I know, but I couldn't help myself!"

So, I dial the correct number and all I get is a busy signal. I would much rather joke around with the cemetery guy than deal with this right now! Argh.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Soccer Banquet

 IMG_1790altered Last night we all went to Zoe's soccer banquet. The banquet was held at Michael's 8th Avenue, the same place that Tony and I got married! It was kind of weird going back there, but Tony and I laughed thinking about it. It seems completely different to me now than it did then. Any ways...the banquet lasted about 2 hours. One hour for eating and one for speeches/awards. Zoe did receive a certificate noting that her GPA was a 3.25 or better (hers is about 3.8 right now) and the coaches talked about how proud they were that the girls could commit themselves to their schoolwork as well as their sports and excel in both. I know that Zoe is a hard worker in all that she does and I am very proud of all that she accomplishes. I could learn a lot from her! IMG_1769 Landon went with us last night, and he behaved so well! I'll have to remember that if we do this again next year that he will need a babysitter. It was super boring for him, but I was really happy that he behaved himself while we were there. He did find one thing to amuse himself though and that was to keep asking the lady at the bar for sodas...and then he discovered that he could watch the speeches in the mirror, and somehow that kept him happy for awhile! I thought it was kinda funny that he stood there watching everything in the mirror, but I didn't dare bother him!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fourteen and Cookin'!

IMG_1674 Today Zoe turned 14! I just can't believe it. Time flies, right? We didn't really do anything special today since we did so much this weekend but we did make one of her very favorite dinners, chicken potpie. As I type she is still working on homework, so I guess it's good we didn't have any big plans for tonight! She really wanted to wear her new Uggs but I told her to wait till a day it wasn't raining, I'd really hate for her to mess those up so quickly! So she settled for her neon yellow Converse with pink and black shoe laces. I'll have to remember to get a picture of them sometime! Oh, and the glasses in the pic aren't real! They are what she got from Icing during her birthday party! She did wear real glasses when she was younger and HATED them...



One other thing. Christmas came early for Tony and I.  Yep, we got a double oven! I am so excited! I've wanted one of these forever! Now Tony can cook twice the food twice as fast right? Christmas dinner should be a breeze!

Hello December

It feels as though time is flying these days. It seems like just yesterday both the kids were starting school, Tony, Kiersten and I had birthdays, then we were searching for Halloween costumes and poof Thanksgiving is over and here we are and it's December 1st. This is always a busy time of year for us, but this year just seems to be in a hurry to be over.

Thanksgiving 2008 Thanksgiving, as always, we spent at my parents house. We had a great time and the food was excellent. We got to their house around 9am so that we could help with the cooking, and we ended up spending the night. There were 11 of us total, you just can't see Lorenzo down at the end (he's too busy getting into the turkey!) and of course Tony is the one taking the photo.

IMG_1648 When we got home Friday I had a million things to do before Zoe's birthday party on Saturday. We hadn't wrapped her gift, bought a cake or even figured out what we were going to feed everyone! It all just got away from me, but Tony and I got it all worked out in time. We took the girls to the mall and did a texting scavenger hunt. We would text them a store to go to then they would text when they got there, then we would text what item they were to find. It was pretty fun, and the winning team got $25 to the Icing and the losing team only got $20. Then we went to see Four Christmases. I thought the movie was awful and I really wish Landon hadn't seen it, luckily I think most of it went over his head. IMG_1657The girls liked the movie (of course) but, they are only 14, what do they know? I know Mom, Jaron and Landon didn't like the movie either, but Tony and Dad never really said. After the movie we came back to our house for cake & ice cream and presents. The girls decided they wanted to eat the cake with no hands, so they all had fun doing that. I think there was a tie for first place between Jaron and Miranda. Landon doesn't like cake that much, so he ate his ice cream with no hands, but it didn't last long because it hurt too much!  IMG_1661All in all it








All in all it was a successful birthday party and everyone had a good time! Thanks to mom, dad and Jaron for making the trip up, you guys know how special you are to her (and the rest of us!). It was nice of you all to be there to celebrate again this year! Today is Zoe's real birthday, so I will post a pic of just her later on today...and I am starting my December Daily album today!

Water Balloons

When my kids told me they didn't know what to do with themselves yesterday I suggested they go outside and play with the water balloons....