Friday, December 31, 2010

And a Happy New Year

We had a really fun New Years Eve. We spent the evening having a radical dress up/ dance party. (Even though I'm taking the pics, you better believe I'm dressed up too!) Around 8 we toasted in the new year with the girlies. They enjoyed the sparkling grape & apple juices and of course shooting off their confetti, or if I may "funfetti" guns. After the girls went to bed a nice fellow in the class Brett and I teach at church came over. He, Lucy, Brett and I played Settlers of Catan while enjoying my favorite party snacks. . .pot stickers, spring rolls and little smokies in blankets. Yummy. And the outcome of Settlers. . .I won. No wonder it was such a fun night. :)

Good Bye 2010-you crazy, change filled, warp speed year. I will miss you. Perhaps 2011 will be a little more calm but hopefully filled with just as much excitement.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yes, You're in Texas Now!!!

While my family was here visiting us, we decided to try out a new restaurant recommended to us by some of our friends. We drove over to Fort Worth and spent some time at the stock yards. We were just in time to see the daily cattle drive, which my daughters LOVED. Then we tried to find the restaurant. Somehow we got turned around and ended up on the "wrong" side of town. It was early enough that most things were closed but we got a laugh out of some of the saloons and dance halls we passed. We finally got pointed in the right direction and ended up at our destination, Riskys. What did we eat you ask?? All you can eat beef ribs for $9.99. Let me just say it was $9.99 well spent. Most of the ribs were fabulous and if I came across one that was to dry or to chewy for my taste, I just let it be and waited for my next basketful. After dinner, we had fun walking back to our car. Every other store was either a Stetson store and other cowboy gear or a steakhouse. Giddy up! After living in the suburbs for 8 months it was fun feeling like we were really in Texas now!!

Thanks for coming out Ma, Adam and Lucy!! Come again soon!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. We got up and went through the presents left by Santa :) and the girls watched "The Grinch" multiple times. That evening my mom, my brother Adam and my sister Lucy flew in. It was so great to have them with us!! We played Disney SingIt with the kids and then they were all good sports and played Settlers of Catan with me. Mostly it was just fun to celebrate the birth of our Savior with family. What a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hoot Hoot & Christmas Eve Traditions

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve this year. Of course we had to do our nativity tradition. I put all the pieces of the nativity in a box and everyone draws out a piece or two. Then we take turns putting our pieces into place and telling how/why that particular piece mattered in the story of Christ's birth. We also sing a related song for each piece of the nativity after it is placed in the scene. I love this retelling of the birth of Christ and it is really fun to see and hear my girls get involved in the story.

After the nativity portion we did our next big Christmas eve tradition and opened all of our family Christmas presents. I love having our family give and open gifts on Christmas Eve. Emmeline and Mabel both get so excited about choosing the perfect gift for each other. Since they are not overcome with their gifts from "Santa", they are really able to appreciate the giving and getting from each other on Christmas eve. I dont know what it is exactly, but it has been a really special tradition for us.

The girls also got matching pj's and that includes mama. I bought Maddie these adorable owl pj's at Target back on black friday. Well, I was at Target later in December doing some last minute Christmas shopping and I found a matching pair in my size. I couldnt believe it. Of course I had to go and check out the little girls section and low and behold they had the matching set in both Emmeline and Mabels sizes as well. What can I say, I am a sucker for matching stuff like that.

The girls loved their swimming suits from Mom and Dad. And they were so thoughtful to each other. Mabel got Emmeline a new little jar to put her "collections" in. Emmeline is always finding little treasures and looking for places to put them. I'm impressed that Mabel would think of that when we were at the store. Emmeline got Mabel a new crown with Pink stars on it. Also a perfect present. And the really funny part. Both Emmeline and Mabel chose the same present for Madelyn. She ended up with two identical collidescopes. I just think it is funny because they did their shopping completely independent of each other. Brett took Mabel and I took Emmeline. I didnt even know they had chosen the same gift for Maddie until later when I helped each of them wrap. lol. Hilarious.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Grinch Scramble

Our city, Flower Mound, hosted a community Grinch Scramble. I have never participated in a Grinch Scramble before and it was surprisingly fun. Parks and Rec scattered hundreds to thousands of candy canes, of all sizes and colors, over a large playing field. They also hid a few stuffed grinches which if found could be turned in for some awesome prizes. All the lights in the park were turned out and participants had to use flashlights to hunt for the goodies. We did not find a grinch. However we got lots of candy canes and had a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Christmas Treat

I thought I'd try out cakeballs this season. I have never made them before but I've been wanting to try for a long time. I had a couple of events I needed to take a treat to and decided this was the time. I found the idea for little Christmas trees online and gave it a shot. I think mine turned out pretty cute. However, I dont love working with candy coating and it was super thick on my little trees. After rolling out so many tree shapes, I did the other half of cake into regular balls which I dipped in regular milk chocolate. Those were so delicious. . .I didnt even get a picture. mmmm. So, cute factor-trees win, taste factor-regular chocolate balls. mmm In fact, my girls loved these so much they asked if I could just make cake balls for their future birthdays. We'll see. :)

Family Night

We all love a good game. Here we are playing a fairy tale "go fish". Very fun :)

And no family night can be complete without a good tickle torture/dog pile with dad.

What a great night!! What a great family!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Girl and her Boots

This is my sweet Mabel Jane. She loves pink. You can find her sporting her pink cowgirl boots pretty much All the time!! Gee I love this girl!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Emmeline and our stay at Great Wolf Lodge

My Baby turned 5 on December 6. I cant believe how fast these last 5 years have flown by. It seems like just yesterday I was heading to the hospital, all nervous and excited to have my first baby. Brett and I went out for a pancake brunch that morning. In the afternoon I took a long luxurious bubble bath. Then we headed off to the hospital. And now 5 years have passed. It has been so much fun (fun might not be the right word. . .wonderful, incredible, . . .) to watch Emmeline grow. She is becoming so independent and smart. She is kind to others. She works hard at projects. She loves to dance, sing, laugh and enjoy life. What a special girl.

Brett and I planned to take the kids and stay at Great Wolf Lodge for Emmelines birthday. The lodge has an indoor waterpark and we'd heard that it was a super fun place to take the family. We were all so excited for the trip. We would be staying at the hotel Monday-Wednesday (we got a super sweet deal but it didn't include the weekend). Since the hotel is only 20 minutes from our apartment we were still planning on taking Emmeline to school in the morning and Brett was going to go to work each day.

It turned out we didnt need to worry about taking Emmeline to school. On Sunday she started throwing up and she continued to throw up through the night. On monday (her actual birthday) she laid around all morning and watched movies. . .when she wasnt throwing up. Brett and I debated whether or not to even go to the hotel. But we had all been so excited and our reservations were non transferable. We decided to go. After Brett got home we settled the girls in the car. . .Emmeline with an emergency "spit up" bucket in her lap.

We were so glad that we just decided to go. We had so much fun. We brought Em's cake with us and sang to her in our room. She didnt want to eat any that night so we saved it for the next day. She opened two presents and then decided to save the rest for the next day as well. (just goes to show you how crappy she was feeling to not open all of her presents!!) Then Emmeline camped out on the bathroom floor for the rest of the night. Mabel and I went to the lobby and enjoyed the indoor snowstorm and the storytime. We also looked around a bit.

The next day Emmeline was feeling much better!! We hung out at the waterpark for awhile and then had lunch at the hotel restaurant. The girls each got a pair of wolf ears with their lunch and they were pretty adorable if I do say so myself. After lunch, we were so tired that we all slept during Maddies nap. Brett woke us up when he got back from work and we took him to the waterpark. He was able to take Emmeline on some of the BIG waterslides. She felt like such a grownup going on the BIG waterslides.

While we were there, the lodge was doing a fun Christmas activity for the kids. They called it the North Pole Academy and if the kids accomplished certain tasks (attending the storytime with Roundy the Reindeer, coloring a picture in the Kid area, going on the wolf walk, etc) they got a prize. The prize included some hot chocolate and 10 free tokens in the arcade. The girls were so thrilled about this. They had wanted to go play some of the games before but I had said no. With the free tokens, however, we got to go in and win some prizes. :) The lodge also had a show three or four times a day with music and "snow" falling throughout the lobby. My girls LOVED this. Especially considering the fact that snow is just about nonexistent here in Dallas.

We had a wonderful time. And despite the sick beginning, Emmeline had a wonderful birthday.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Series of Unfortunate Events. . .sprinkled with several fortunate miracles

This past weekend was a doozy. The week started off slow. I knew the weekend would be busy so we just sort of enjoyed the quiet. On Thursday night things started to pick up. Thursday was the RS Christmas dinner. It was a nice event and I'm glad I went.There were some musical numbers and then a short lesson on freezer cooking. As a Christmas present, the RS presidency prepared a yummy chicken-white bean soup for us and we also each got to take a big gallon bag home to put in our freezers. Very nice.

On Friday morning, it was my turn to drive downtown to Dallas and pick up the produce from the farmers market for the produce co op that I'm currently a part of. The drive was fine and picking out the produce was actually kinda fun.(but that is a subject for another post!) I was on my way home with what I thought would be plenty of time to get the produce up to my apartment and sorted before I had to go pick up Emmeline from preschool. Everything was going quite smoothly when all of the sudden I realized that I could not turn my steering wheel and my fix engine light was on. This happened while I was still on the freeway. I got a little concerned, however, I was luckily just passing an exit which only required a "veer" to get off. I was able to veer off the exit onto a frontage road with no other traffic. It was pretty miraculous that there wasn't any other traffic since this particular road led into a large mall. Due to the lack of traffic I was able to make a three point (or 5 point) turn into the mall parking lot. . .which again, miraculously, was pretty empty. Okay, closer to the mall was full of cars, but on my side of the parking lot was a big space that primarily served two big restaurants which were closed because it was still morning. (Coincidence?? Is there such a thing?) Anyhow, I called Brett, who miraculously didn't have any meetings that day and he left work to come and get me. I also called Triple A Roadside assistance and they sent someone to come tow the car. Brett and the tow truck arrived at about the same time. We moved all the carseats and the produce over to the little car. Then Brett went with the tow truck while Mabel, Maddie and I left to pick up Emmeline from preschool. We got to the school, miraculously, just in the nick of time to pick her up on time.

By the end of the day we got the produce delivered and everyone was safe and sound. The car would need some fairly extensive repairs. . but it was the weekend so we really didnt need two cars.

Saturday was the ward christmas party. Sunday Emmeline got sick. The kind of sick where she was throwing up all day. Miraculously, no one else in the family got sick. Monday: Emmeline was still sick. It was also her 5th birthday. (more details in another post).

It was certainly one of those weekends.