Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Thursday, December 31, 2009

BYE 2009!

Whew, its my last post of the year and boy did time fly. We have had the best Christmas and days following. So busy with family, friends and hanging at the fire station. I will say though one thing I totally dropped the ball on this year was taking pictures. I usually take tons and this year I think I took one on Christmas morning. I was fighting a cold so we will just chalk it up to a foggy head. :) Here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks that I haven't posted yet.The kids next door making gingerbread houses with their friends.

I tried many times to mail Ryanne out of the country but she kept coming back "return to sender!" :)

The girls sang in the Christmas Eve choir and did GREAT! They looked so cute and girly and they LOVED it.

I'm not one to jump on the latest and greatest band wagon. Seriously I have the cheapest ipod, I got the free phone with my cell plan etc. but when I saw this it was love at first sight. All you had to do was tell me I could down load hundreds of books and read to my hearts content. Tell me I can be anywhere in the world and read my favorite blogs, magazines, cookbooks and even get the news paper, be still my heart! This little Kindle baby does it all.

At only 8" tall and 5" wide it fits in your purse and you can hop on line anywhere anytime with its handy keyboard and little square mouse off to the right you are good to go. It weighs like
10 oz. and its so fun to use. I mentioned in passing to Dan that I would love one of these for when we travel (hint, hint cruise in 4 months) so I wouldn't have to carry so many books and magazines in my luggage. I opened a few little things on Christmas and then he pulled out this as a last surprise he had been keeping in his locker at work. SCORE FOR DAN! :)
I am already reading a book and have a few on my waiting list.
OK enough about my child like excitement over material things. I hope everyone has a blessed new years and a safe one. My goal (cause I hate resolutions) is to start getting up half an hour earlier than my kids and reading in peace as apposed to reading on the fly in the morning. I need that time in the word or my spirit starts to drag. Gonna start in Genesis and work my way through and see what I missed the last time. :) We are so thankful as a family to be healthy, have friends and family who love and support us & a God who is in control of all things.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Love You........Here's A Chili Pepper Plant!

The girls and I made goodies to deliver to our neighbors and their friends. A few months back I saw these chocolate dipped marshmallows in a magazine for like $2 a piece and thought,"I SOO could get the girls to make those!" They turned out really cute and to top it off Morgan attached an ornament she painted.For the piano teacher and Home school ES we made a great recipe from this clever lady, They are chocolate mint biscotti. We attached Starbucks cards so they could get some coffee for dipping. :)

Ooopppssss.............this is out of order but here's the marshmallow pops the girls made for their friends.
We also got a sweet delivery from my friend Bridgette. So fun to answer your door and find a friendly face with a plate of goodies. LOVE IT! Thank you friend, as you can see they gobbled them up even before I could take a picture. :)
Lastly, I always tell you funny stories about why Ryanne makes me laugh and now I will tell you why I love my husband so. He came home last week and surprised me with a poinsettia plant. He buys me one every year to decorate the house with. Well this year our kitten decided it was his to play in and destroy. I was kinda bummed cause it was so thoughtful of Dan and it was beautiful.
Knowing I was upset Dan stopped by Trader Joes on his way home from work and when he walked in he handed me a chili pepper plant and said,"Here honey, I bought you a chili pepper plant, I bet the cat wont eat this!" Ahhhhh......who says the honeymoon is over after 13 years? ;) Oh and just for the record the cat wont go anywhere near the plant AND it is very festive on the table. :)
(Disclaimer: When we thought the cat would die after eating the poinsettia we did some research and it IS an old wives tale that they are poisonous to animals or kids so we're all good.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The "LOVER" of my life!

Here is another photo our friend took for us up in Oak Glen. Seriously could Dan's world get any brighter? He could not possibly have it any better cause these girls adore him! A funny conversation I had with Ryanne:
I took Ryanne on a "date" the other day to lunch and to pick her gift out for Morgan; you have to know to make this story funny that even though Ryanne is super petite she is ALWAYS the loudest in the place.
Ryanne: "So mom I was watching this cartoon the other day and it said Firemen are our friends. Firemen are NOT my friends."
Me: "Really? Sure they are, daddy's a Firemen and he's your friend isn't he?"
Ryanne: "Nope, daddy's not my friend he's my LOVER!"
Me: (choking on my iced tea) "Excuse me? He's your what?"
Ryanne: (very loudly) "Daddy's my LOVER!"
Me: (so afraid to ask but feeling the need none the less) "OK, so what does that mean exactly?"
(bracing myself for bursts of laughter or looks of disgust from surrounding tables)
Ryanne: "I LOVER him and he LOVERS me so that makes him my LOVER!
Instead of laughter you heard my heart beating out my chest a sigh of relief and "aaahhhhhhhhh......from surrounding tables. I LOVER Ryanne so much cause she makes me laugh and cringe all at the same time! :)
Hope this made you smile. We LOVER you!

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Christmas Fun

Every year our family has the tradition of going to the Mission Inn one night during the month of December. We eat at the great restaurant and then walk around looking at all the decorations and lights they have put throughout the Hotel. To top off the night we go for a horse drawn carriage ride around town. Morgan was in love with the carolers. It's always really cold so we love getting out the jackets and scarves and bundling up under the blankets for the ride. We have been doing this every year since Morgan was 2.

We have some great memories from the Mission Inn. If you have never been I encourage you to go get some hot chocolate, walk around down town; you can even watch the ice skaters in the town center. Really fun times. :)
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? [Christmas] came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
Dr. Seuss

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Blessings & Surprises

Something I am truly grateful for are friends who are willing to swap kids with you from time to time so you can date your husband. My friend Stacy did just that on Wed. (which was perfect cause Dan got called BACK in for OT on Thursday) she took the kids all afternoon. They went shopping, to lunch and then home to watch movies and make this cute gingerbread house. I surprised Dan and took him to get the iPhone he has been wanting. I had been stashing money so he had no idea it was already paid for. Fun, fun! I love surprising him. :)
Speaking of surprises (and this is probably not G rated) I decided a couple of weeks ago on a tip from the Generous wife email to order some lingerie and have it delivered to Dan as a surprise. Weeelllll, I guess she left out the part where you aren't supposed to have it randomly addressed to your man with no "love from" your wife note. I found some sexy Christmas little somethings and when they came in the mail and he ripped opened the unmarked package he was a bit confused and speechless. I was glad the kids were not in the room and yes lesson learned; you can surprise without taking years off your husbands life. ;) He forgave me rather quickly though......go figure! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Daily Generous WIfe Tip

Months ago I signed up to receive these daily wife tips sent to my email and let me just say Lori is a hoot! She always has great advice on how to bless my husband whether it be romantically or just plain common sense. I look forward to opening my email every morning and reading her "little tips." Just for the record Dan likes the ones that involve the romance part but I think today's post was really great too! :) See her tip for the day below.

Years ago I made myself and my family absolutely miserable during the Christmas season. Decorating had to be perfect, food had to be perfect, gifts had to be perfect, ad nauseum. I was one cranky ol' gal and nobody had a good time. When Christmas was all over, I remember crying and telling God how miserable I was and how Christmas just hadn't turned out right. I'm grateful that God speaks in love. He showed me how my priorities were all messed up and how any holiday should be about remembering His goodness and generally blessing people. All that perfectionism and performance was a fast way to make every miserable and brought glory to no one.
My family and I will put up our tree this week (and a few other decorations here and there). We'll send off a couple of packages to those we love far away and we'll probably celebrate Christmas at the coast, just for fun. I'm thinking I'm going to decorate some sugar cookies (I have scads of cookie cutters) and I want to do something creative. But, all in all, I have learned my lesson. God is good and my family is worth the effort it takes to speak kindly, take the perfectionism down several notches, and generally love on them.
I encourage y'all to learn from my mistakes. Take a deep breath, let go of the perfectionism, hug your kids, kiss your hubby and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season. Most of what we think has to be done, doesn't really. We can simplify and love on those around us.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December 1st!

I thought every day or couple of days I would post pictures on the fun things we do this month as a family. I refuse to "chase" Christmas this year but rather enjoy it, savor the day to day comings and goings of the friends, family and my sweet kids and husband. Last night we had our neighbor friends over and made Christmas paper chains. Always a fun craft for the kiddos. I wanted to update you on our Thanksgiving week but it was SO crazy and kinda stressful so I will just give you the readers digest version. Dans mom got very sick again after being here only 2 days and had to be rushed back to the hospital. Dans brother and sister were back and forth to visit and help out. Morgan and Ryanne and I kept the twins off and on for two days so Suzanne could be at the hospital with her mom.
" Alex, just give me the game and nobody gets hurt. " ;) Having two almost 2 year old, a 5 year old and a sick 8 year old was exhausting but fun all at the same time. Morgan had a flu bug but in true Morgan fashion shook it that same day. Whew!

Our friend decided in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner to go to the hospital to have her first baby. I've never seen my husband pack a to go bag so fast. He was not having anything to do with that birth on his day off. :) Taylor was born around 1am the next morning and mom and baby are doing great! Our girls are in love and there is no shortage of arms to hold her.

In the midst of all this chaos our friend Jason took a few minutes to snap a couple family photos for our Christmas cards. I LOVE this one of the girls. So sweet.
To end this post I would like to share a conversation I had with Ryanne last night.
Ryanne: "I cant wait to grow up so I can become a mom and sit around doing nothing all day."
Me: "So you think I sit around ALL day doing nothing?"
Ryanne:"Pretty much."
(The look on Morgan's face was priceless by this point)
Me:"So who does all the cleaning? The cooking? The grocery shopping? Who teaches you every morning? Who bathes you?"
Ryanne: "Ya' your right, I'll be a daddy instead!" ;)
(In my defense I do put my feet up for ONE hour every afternoon to catch my breath. Heeelllloooo I have arthritis AND I'm Ryannes mom!) Just thought I would throw that in. ;)