Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas day

Christmas morning, ben and i woke up early, filled stockings, put out presents, tiptoed around and snickered in delight, thinking of the kid's faces.  once awake, i asked the screwballs to sit by the tree, and they happily plopped down (but not without dylan quickly grabbing her new cup first...)  i then switched the nikon to AUTO and TIMER and click! 1 and click! 2 and that was the end of the posed pictures.  one out of two ain't bad for a family snapshot.  

 not thrilled but obliging.
 that's a really loud cheese by jbm

 she's so serious and focused.
everyone loves a slinky!
 the Christmas chaos continues

after our morning at home, we made our way into anchorage for more Christmas celebrations.  grandma millie hosted and one by one, everyone gathered.  food, presents, visiting - perfect way to spend a holiday.  

 who's more in love?!


 great grandma millie and dyl
 great uncle richard, hearing all about it.
the cousins 
(first cousins?  once-removed?  i can never remember that...)

back at home, we attempted to clean up the boxes and ribbons and paper, teeny-tiny twist ties and scraps of scotch tape, assembly instructions, more paper!  (and, it's taken me all week to find homes for all these new dollies and trucks.  whew!)  oh, speaking of finding a home...

i think bella found her new resting place.  

 so what to do with all the debris from hurricane st. nick?
 watching the blaze
 see?  total screwball.
 bedtime baths.
love them.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas eve

for the past few years, we've celebrated Christmas eve by having family {and friends} out to our home.  it's nice to have all the kid's crap toys available, beds for those oh-so precious naps, and oh, heck, it's nice to not have to drive!  so, in order to squeeze in nap time (what we live for some days) and have our loved ones fed and on the road before dark, we decided to have "dinner" a little earlier this year.  family arrived almost at once, and by 1 o'clock, we were feasting on homemade manicotti - cheese for the kiddos and moose sausage & cheese for the adults - a little salad, a little (ok, a lot!) garlic bread and a fresh cherry pie made by grandma shirley, and our dinner was complete (and delicious)!

it's always hard to capture every sweet moment from each visit, but i think the ones i did, are super-stinkin-cute.       

 look at my pretty daughter.  no, LOOK AT HER!  
sorry.  a little overwhelmed by her beauty here.
 a new fav.
 auntie & niece

 great granddad & great granddaughter
 jb & great aunt sharon
 show off

ok, so i had time working against me here.  i wish i could have snapped a picture of her pushing this, to show its size, but you see the bag is as big as her!  what you see in front of dylan is a large garbage bag-size gift bag.  dylan was told it was her present, so she dragged it from the tree over to me, a good 15 feet, and tore into it.  what did she find???  a pretty purple sofa, all her own.  (jb received one for his birthday last year, and ever since, she has always sought out its comfort.)

 yes, total comfort.
 the girls

after our guests said good bye, and after sweet, glorious nap time, we let the kids open the remainder of the presents under the tree.  it's also a "tradition" (can i call it that if it's only been 3 years running?!) to have new jammies for christmas eve.  while their jammies sorta matched last year - jackie's were white with forest-type animals where dylan's were pink but with the same animals - this year, i really wanted matching.  why?  i dunno.  just did.

so whaddaya think?  kermit?  
i can practically her miss piggy saying kermy!    

 disaster has struck!
 more Christmas chaos.
 new laptop from auntie and uncle flanagan.  
HUGE hit.

guilt, take two

this year, i didn't write a holiday letter to tuck into our cards.  it just didn't happen.  the holidays snuck up on me this year, in a major way.  i felt like i was ahead of the game on so many levels, but here i sit, christmas eve night, and i'm feeling guilty about sending out cards without words to lead you into the new year.

aaand, take two!  so, christmas eve night was almost a week ago (!) and i'm just now back at my desk, laughing over myself.  let's see if i can pull it together enough to blog (and POST) about all the things that happened over the past few weeks.  ready, set, go...

(isn't it funny how guilt is all created by ourselves, for ourselves?!  maybe that's a resolution to tackle:  no more guilt over silliness.)

we've been crafting fools over here!  whether it's painting or coloring (scribbling) or gluing and creating, we've been putting our digits to work.  it's nearly impossible to capture the tots while they're in the middle of a project, since i'm usually helping with one kid or the other or cutting/gluing for the next part of the project.  there's always some challenge, but i do my best.

reindeers!  first, i traced the kiddos hands and part of their wrists, then put them to work on coloring their reindeer faces, while i cut out their handprints.  dylan did ok, that is, until she decided to eat the markers.  so, crazy me decided watercolor paint would be the lesser of two evils.  don't ask.


later that evening, after the watercolor had dried, dada helped dylan and i helped jb.  we glued their handprints as antlers, googly eyes and pom pom for noses.  then us big kids attempted reindeer mouths.  whatev.  as for the nose colors, jb and dylan picked their colors - guess rudolph was left out once again!  

we have a few craft books full of fun projects, and most mornings, jb pages through, searching for our next one.  while he's not too handy with the scissors, he requested i make snowflakes.  i kinda forgot how challenging it is to make these!  (and how annoying it is when you unfold one, and it's really ugly!!!)  i probably cut up a dozen sheets of paper, but these were the ones jack picked out for the window.  i'm hoping next year that the snowflakes displayed will be ones of his doing...  

here is our latest project: snowmen!  and you probably can't tell, but we have a yard full of snow.  it's just too bad it's not a touch warmer so we can play in it.  temps in the single digits aren't the best for playing and building men of snow.  brrr!  so, if we can't build one out of snow, we sure can construct one out of paper.  we rummaged through my scrapbook paper and found similar light blues that would work well together.  (because who has white scrapbook paper?!  not me!)  jack told me how many circles made up a snowman, so i cut out that many.  he picked his eyes (the biggest ones we had, of course) and he happily picked out smaller blue ones for duey.  again, they chose their own poms for the "coal" mouth, and we used glitter glue to make the "carrot" nose.  i instructed jb to make a triangle shape, and he did very well, i think!  

after nap time, (and drying time) we rifled through my fabric scraps to find the perfect "scarf."  more drying time.  once dada was home and settled, we completed the snowmen by topping them off with, what - hats!  dada helped dylan (see a trend here?) and i helped jb.  it wasn't until bedtime, that jb exclaimed ALMOST FORGOT BELLYBUTTONS!  so the final touch - pink pom buttons.  perfect.    

the kid's fanatic about puzzles.  if the craft explosion isn't covering our table, it's puzzles!  he discovered his knack for them while at school.  each morning, before their lessons started, the kiddos could pick something to occupy their little minds for a few minutes.  his teachers told me he always picked the puzzles.  he got loaded up on his birthday and received quite a few more at Christmas.  i even found a website where you submit your own photo, and they make a puzzle out of it!  perfect gift!  he also received this gorgeous salmon puzzle from his great aunt and uncle.  (jb pointed out that it matches the fish on our fireplace!)

 so focused.

 thank you, aunt micki & uncle richard!

MAMA, YOOK - A GRADER!  we had to run outside so jb could have a picture with it.  i do what he tells me, and i don't ask questions.  (ha!  can you imagine?!  lollipops for breakfast, sure!  fruit leathers instead of dinner, why not!  i'm laughing all the way to his tummy ache!)  and pay no attention to his attempt at muscles