"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One Clue You Live in a Tiny Town:

So I go to the little grocery store in town tonight to grab a few last minute things for the sushi feast tomorrow night.  They have a tiny little Asian section.  Tiny.  With like ten things.  Luckily, they do have sushi rice, a few sauces, and wrappers, though they cost an arm and a leg.  But sometimes, you just gotta bite the bullet.  So I take my selections to the front.


Bagger Girl:  We're just trying to figure out what this is?  Why is it so expensive.  

Me:  Um, they are wraps for sushi and stuff.

Bagger Girl:  Huh, I've never seen those before.  Is it, like, in the refrigerated section or something?

Me:  Uh, no, the Asian section.  By the rice and stuff. 

Bagger Girl:  Ohh.  I see.  So... are YOU, like, part Asian or something?

Me:  Um, no.  [long pause]  We just like sushi.  We're making some for New Year's Eve.

Bagger Girl:  Oh.  Cool.

Tinkerella and Bacon Cake



Last night we went "bike" shopping for Ellorie's birthday next week.  Poor kid.  For those of you out there planning to have a baby within two weeks of Christmas either direction, I admonish you to reconsider your timing.  Before Christmas is bad enough, but after is worse.  The one up side is that the toys that are still in stock are usually on sale.  The bike she really wanted was gone.  No more coming in for a while.  The display had a flat tire and was pretty beat up, so that was out of the question too.  


So the next store had some decent choices.  She found a cool princess bike and though she isn't exactly a girlie girl and not too princess-savvy, she exclaimed, "Look, Tinkerella!"  Um, almost, honey.  The one she finally picked was pretty small, but she is just tiny and can't quite handle the bigger bikes yet.  She's told me twice today that she REALLY wants a bike for her birthday.  She doesn't know we bought it.  She's going to be so excited...  Now all I have to do is plan the birthday party.  

She wants a "Flicka" party, as in the horse.  Hmm.  If anyone has any bright ideas for "Flicka" party games, let me know.  When I asked her what flavor of cake she wanted for her birthday, she thought for a minute, then yelled, "BACON!"  Uh, how about chocolate?  She's not making this easy on me... 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finally!

We're home.  We're safe.  I'm going to bed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snowed OUT.

So today we tried to journey home.

We checked the roads last night, and it looked like today would be our best bet.


Things were fine until we got to the first pass.  It wasn't too bad, but it had JUST opened after being closed all night.  The sign still said "closed" but traffic was moving and plows were plowing.

So we get almost to the next pass (which is the only way in or out) and it is blowing, slick, icy, snowing, and almost 0 visibility.  Road closed.  Must exit now.  No turning back.  We exit.  There are hundreds of semis, cars, suvs, trucks, and other vehicles lined the streets.  Stranded.  The good ol' Flying J quickly kicked us out of their parking lot.  Nice. 
So the kids watched a dvd on the lap top while we figured out what we were going to do.  This is a TINY mountain town with very few facilities.  
The kind people at KFC let us hang out in their restaurant for a couple of hours, then, after lots of phone calls we figured out that the pass wasn't going to open any time soon and the road BACK to Brandon's parents was open for a short time, so we headed back.  Over the other pass again.  Six hours of driving for naught.  Sigh.  So here we are again.  We'll try again later...

Christmas Morning


What a joyful Christmas morning we had. Mason's strategy was quick and dirty -rip open those presents as quickly as possible. Ellorie was more methodical. Open one present very slowly and carefully, then color in the kitchen with the new present/toy for a while until prompted to come open another. Averie would have been content to just sit on her new "bike" all day and push the button. I kept hearing the people of the house silently humming the little tune it played for the next couple of days. Ellorie's favorite activity was playing dress up with her cousins, and Mason became "Batman" for several hours. My sister-in-law, Tessa made everyone, I mean EVERYONE fantastic homemade gifts. Talk about going the extra mile! I'm so amazed. Here are just some of the aprons she whipped up. And of course there was lots of good rough housing with fun uncles. All the children here played with their new toys ALL day long. It was a very nice and peaceful day. Hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas!
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve Craft

A new tradition c/o Aunt Tessa: bead Christmas ornaments. The kids (big and small) had a great time. Okay, I'll admit it, I had just as much fun that the kids. If not more. Even the little girlies had the attention span to finish several each. It was a fun little project. And Darren is great with that iron. Keep up the good work man...
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Christmas Eve Program

After a fantastic "Cafe Rio" type dinner created mainly by Sharee, we had a little Christmas program. Each family had their own part. We sang our "Little Drummer Boy" from last year (as this side of the family hadn't seen it yet). We had some Christmas stories, read the nativity story, and James played us "We Three Kings" on the piano. It was a fun program. It was preceeded by a dogpile on Uncle Darren and a little rough play. Everyone had a great time.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Gift Exchange


1. Brandon chose the ongoing gag gift of the leather boustier purse. Nice.
2. Jason and the rubber chicken pooping Mardi Gras beads
3. Averie and her baby dolls. Love at first sight.
4. Mason with his new arsinal of Nerf weaponry
5. Ellorie in bug heaven.
6. James and Mason displaying thier candy canes.
7. Grandpa holding Averie. Awwww.
8. Sharee with cute baby Case.
9. Lots of helpers.
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'Twas the Night Before Christmas..

(Oh what a faker...)
(Um, didn't AVERIE get those dolls for her gift?)  

...and all through the house, not a child was sleeping, nor baby, nor mouse... 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Vacation

We have been really enjoying our vacation.  Washington proved to be cold and snowy this year, which is quite uncharacteristic.  Often there is green grass here for Christmas.  It's been just dumping snow.  The kids are in absolute HEAVEN.  Playing with cousins, sleepovers, eating cookies, playing games, playing in the snow, and anticipating the big day.  It's a bit chaotic at times, but lots of good fun.


Puzzles with Grandma:  
Melis and Kendra, and look-  Brandon's sweeeeet high school picture on the wall in the background:
Mills and Averie:
Sharee and cute baby Case:
The girls:
More pictures to follow...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Preschool Grad!


Ellorie is now officially a graduate of Smarty Pants Preschool!  We braved the storm and made it to the last day!  (My visiting teachers got stuck in the driveway just an hour before it was time to pick her up, so I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get out.  But the good ol' Jeep plowed right on through...)  Ellorie loved her preschool teacher and is a little bit sad that it's over, but she had a lot of fun.  I guess Christmas break has officially begun.  I have my doubts about our traveling plans for this weekend:


10:30 am:
11:00 am:
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Blizzard

I just sent my baby out the door in this:


Okay, it may not look too bad in the photos because the flash stops the snow being blown every which way by the 40 mph wind.  It's like a total white-out out there.  I thought for sure school would be cancelled, but nope.  They're extra tough here in Idaho.  Mason didn't seem to mind too much.  I have to brave the storm myself in about an hour here to take Ellorie to preschool, so wish me luck! 

{So much for my superb shoveling job yesterday.  But in Idaho, you know, shoveling the walk is like shaving... no matter how thoroughly you do it today, you'll be doing it again tomorrow!}

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"MO-OM!  All this STUFF is making me HEAVY!"


Monday, December 15, 2008

Gingerbread ummm "Chateaus"




Last year we made some truly sensational gingerbread houses c/o Uncle Shane.  Not so much this year.  I'm all about graham crackers, frosting, and sprinkles.  Oh yeah, and Mason happened to have some Skittles in his pocket from school.  Sweeeet.  They weren't really "gingerbread houses".  More like "graham ghetto squatter shanties".  But I won't tell them if you won't.  Still, they made for a pretty sensational after-school snack.

Some serious concentration...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A few reasons it is difficult to photograph an 18 month old child:





Finally we just told Mason and Ellorie to look at the camera and fold their arms.  Averie loves to fold her arms for prayers.  Such a sweet girl.  Just not very cooperative for pictures.  (No one can say I didn't try. . . ) 
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Waiting for Christmas...

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Brandon!



Poor Brandon had to work on his birthday, and didn't have a very smashing day at work either.  But we took good care of him upon his arrival home...  We ambushed him as he walked in the door with singing, presents, cards, and a yum dinner.  And for dessert... his favorite cake!  Hope you had a happy birthday babe.  We love you!!!

Too Silly

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