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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fun Family Christmas

Every year we get together with Dan's cousin's and their kiddos and have lunch, play games etc. This year Dan's sister in San Diego hosted and it was fun as usual. We line the generations up by height to see how everyone has grown. The twins are missing cause they were D-O-N-E and ready for bed. :)

This is funny cause Dan and I will always be at opposite ends of the line. I am pretty sure his sister is eye balling me in this photo. AWKWARD! :)

Our house on Christmas day was super fun. Even my nephew made it in from Indianapolis despite the crazy weather.

The kids were ready for dinner. Everything turned out delicious. Thank you everyone for your help. :)

My dad, Morgan and Blake.

I am pretty sure Graph has no idea what she will do with all the warm sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves she got for Christmas when she returns home but I keep telling her they will get plenty of use while she is here. Hence the 30 degrees we woke up to this morning. :)

Lots of Star Wars toys to go around. Gotta love our sweet Morgan!

Dan surprised me with this AWESOME bike that I saw at the bike store like back in July!! He had his mom video tape me when he brought it out. He thought I would jump up and down screaming but instead I started to cry and then he started to cry and everyone else thought we were crazy. Truth be told the tears were for many reasons. One, I am a big kid at heart and I realized in that moment that my husband gets that about me and cherishes that about me. The second reason is that I am healthy enough to ride bikes when less than two years ago I was to weak to walk around the mall or hardly dress myself on some days. It was just my cup overflowing. It's funny cause you know how on Christmas morning you can look out the window and see kids playing with their new skateboards, riding there new bikes or playing with their new soccer balls? Ya' I was the only adult tearing around the neighborhood on her new bright orange bike. YES!!!!

The girls

Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas season with their families and friends. Happy New Year fellow bloggers!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Friends had us over to decorate sugar cookies. Of course these we're gluten, dairy and dye free. Now maybe it's because I can't have the "real" thing or whatever but I swear these were the best cookies EVER! I think any home made cookie I can eat at this point is the BEST EVER!
Oh and in case nobody informed you of this, you must do your hair and dress like a princess to decorate cookies properly. :)

The kids had a blast and the moms and dad's ate them as fast as they were being frosted. :)
This was Graphs first time decorating cookies so she loved yesterday as well.

Had our annual Christmas dinner and kids gift exchange with our friends this week. Dan made his yummy chili, Marianne brought cornbread that scored major points and Ryanne got a little pop up tent that she has slept in for the last 3 nights. So fun!

Dan took a picture of our tree as it is already dying. Poor tree. You were a good tree. Thanks for the memories. Sorry we are going to have to chop you up like the day after Christmas as you have become a fire hazard. :)

It looks like Christmas threw up in our closet. This is what happens when you put off wrapping to long. *Sigh*

This is what happens when you ask your children to divide up the toilet paper to all three bathrooms and then "assume" they heard you correctly. I'm sure it was a mere misunderstanding and it sounded allot like,"Hey kids, could you please take all 12 rolls of toilet paper I just bought and make a tower in the guest bathroom? Thanks you kids are the best!"

Made home made goodies and delivered them door to door to our neighbors. So fun to visit and love on them.

Yummy warm gingerbread all ready to go. :)
Have a blessed day. I am lucky enough to get to sneak out on a date with Dan for a little while. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great Finds & A Night With Friends.......

I will go over to my other blog and post about this so I can get on my soap box and rant and rave about how horrible anything with dye in it is for your kids. Here since this is family friendly I will just talk about how much I LOVE these two finds. :)
The first is the peppermint salt water taffy from Trader Joe's. All of December Ryanne has been asking me for candy canes and sadly I have had to tell her no. They are full of red dye and though most of you might be rolling your eyes mumbling that one little candy cane won't hurt her you would be wrong. They were trying so hard to be nice at church the other night and give her a gluten free snack. They gave out candy canes and she crashed and burned for two days with melt downs, tantrums, self control issues etc. So this morning I surprised them in their advent door with these naturally colored and flavored treats. Yum!

Then when I thought sugar cookie decorating was going to be a no go this year. I found this at Clark's. Yup, you are seeing that right. All natural dye for cookies, frosting etc. So fun! I will warn you that it isn't cheap but seriously like I can put a price on my kids being healthy and doing our annual cookie decorating day with friends.

We went with our friends this week on our annual Mission Inn dinner and carriage ride. As usual it DID NOT disappoint. Great food, fellowship, lights, horse drawn carriage

warm gingerbread of course! :)

Graph made friends with the carriage driver. Our horses names were Ben & Jerry. :)

All the kids. I t was exceptionally warm this year.

The family at the Mission Inn.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Married Life Dinner and LA Fun

This weekend was so full and so fun. I mentioned in previous posts that we were preparing for a marriage dinner and really seeking Gods wisdom on who should speak; well God worked out all those fine little details and the dinner went great! Pastor John drove up from the beach and was fantastic and right on the mark in his sharing about Gods will for marriage. This is one of the tables I was responsible for. It was hard to get good photos because of lighting and the angle but it's a candy land theme. Even though it's now Sunday I continue to be blessed by what God did. He grew friendships through our serving together. He taught me to roll with things and let him tend to the fine details. He showed me our church's desire to have an active ongoing marriage ministry. He reminded me how much fun and how much I LOVE to serve alongside my husband. So good. So blessed. Also, so TIRED! :)

Saturday morning we surprised the girls with tickets to the Disney Concert Hall in LA. We went to hear the the amazing Los Angeles Master Chorale and you should have seen and heard the organ with over 6,000 pipes. Clear and beautiful and amazing! We went to lunch downtown first and then headed over to the concert.

Everyone loved it!

The concert hall was BEAUTIFUL!

Then today after church we decided to stay home and catch our breath.

We made hand painted ornaments for friends and I helped Graph make chocolate covered peppermint cookies to give to her friends at school tomorrow.
Here are just a few of their creations. After we were done Graph and I headed out in the beautiful 75 degree sun and took a 3 mile walk. Great day! Amazing weekend.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Running And Singing

This weekend both girls ran in their first race. It was a 5k and let me just tell you how grateful I was it wasn't longer. It was FREEZING COLD!!! Brrr.......what? It's hard work being the cheering section. You freeze your little behind off. :)
The girls did great, had a blast and possibly just possibly could be following in their father's foot steps I think. :) Although there were nearly a 1,000 runners Dan did not register to run this one. He did however run along side Morgan to cheer her on as did Graph.

The girls both take classes during the week at our Music and Art Center. This weekend was the recital. Ryanne got to get up in front of everyone and showed off a couple paintings.

Morgan worked for 2 months to play two Christmas songs on the piano and sing her first solo. This is the only picture I took because I was crying to hard to see through the camera. I know I'm a sap.
They were both just so excited and nervous that I think I had been holding my breath until they were done. My mom and dad both drove out for it which meant the world to the girls. It was fun to see how hard all the kids worked. Lots of talent in one room. Kids that love music and love to share it with others bless me.
On another note. Oh get it "note." Never mind. :)
I started a blog for people who like to or are forced to live Gluten and Dairy free. Check it out and let me know what you think. Pass it on to friends and family who want some good recipes or tips.