Sunday, January 25, 2009

Goals for the New Year

Ok, so I know that January is almost over but I don't think it is too late to make some goals for 2009. Here are some things that I am going to accomplish this year:

1. Get back on my workout schedule (again). Notice that I didn't say stay on my workout schedule. I just have to get back on one. But for how long, who knows? I always like to leave a nice loophole, just in case.

2. Conquer the mending pile. Known to my family as the clothes graveyard. I recently did some mending and gave the clothes back to my kids. You would have thought that it was Christmas. "I thought I had lost it"...."Wow, I didn't think I'd ever see that again"...One kid even hugged and kissed his long lost sweatshirt. It takes so little to make them happy, apparently.

3. Finish organizing the house. I want all those tubs full of....well...ok, I'm not even sure what is in them anymore, but I want them all nice and tidy.

4. Set up a clothes closet for the church. I want to help us help each other. Seems like a worthwhile project to tackle.

5. Get one room in the house totally done. That means (Corey are you listening?) com-plete-ly done. Moldings, trim, curtains, decor, closet doors. Just one little itsy bitsy room, pleeeeaaassseee?

I probably have more, but let's face it, I don't want to wear myself out. It's a good start anyway. Hold me accountable please. Ok, don't really, no need for that, I hope...

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Kinda makes you want to hum the "Jaws" theme song, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hannah's 3rd Birthday

Hannah's princess cake
What a birthday feast!

My poor dad is being mobbed again...

Our sweet princess girl, Hannah, blowing out her candles. She didn't even spit on the cake in the process. Her birthday is right after Christmas but she isn't old enough to realize that yet. Poor girl will probably come to the conclusion that it means that she will be getting ripped off. We will put every effort into making sure that doesn't happen.

She is such a sweet little girl, so affectionate and helpful. She is very good about being clean and is always putting things away. She is still so tiny, just growing into size 2T, but I think that makes her look even cuter.

Christmas Day cont...

Here the kids are decorating (eating) the graham cracker houses

Corey with his house. If you compare it to all the others you will see that his house is much, much bigger than the standard floorplan that everyone else had. We think that he added on, without permits and is trying to evade rising property taxes...

Levi with his creation

Hannah with her model home

Matthew was so proud of his house

Liz put a lot of effort into hers

I'm surprised that Josh had any candy left to decorate with...

Slim Tim

Joseph didn't want to participate but we talked him into it

Michael with the before shot. The after picture would have shown a massive icing blizzard with a large snowbank on top of the roof that caved it in...

Carson with his cute cottage.

In Christmas past things have been very different. There were tons of gifts, purchased and received. I know that we have a big family so there is bound to be a lot of presents but it had gotten to the point of being overboard. Each of the kids would get 12-15 presents each from us, not to mention all the gifts from extended family and there was a flurry of packages being sent back and forth from out of state. I would spend weeks planning and purchasing and then an entire day wrapping. By the end I would be exhausted, numb and cursing Christmas. Totally NOT what the season is supposed to be about. I just knew that there had to be a better way.

So, this year we emailed all our extended family and asked for them not to purchase anything for us. We asked for cards/letters/pictures as that is what they would be receiving from us. We also told the kids that they would only be getting a few presents from us and only one from my parents. The truth of the matter is-my kids don't need anything and there is very little that they even want. It was crazy before, buying stuff for others just because that is what we did.

So, instead of presents, we had the kids decorate graham cracker houses. Corey made them the night before, using royal icing so they would stand up against toddler hands. I made each person a tube of homemade frosting and my mom supplied a bowl full of candy for each child. I can't tell you what a difference it made for me this year and the kids didn't miss having all those packages to open.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas too!

Christmas Day

My cousin and his wife, really neat and down-to-earth people

Our beloved Nana and Levi

My dad and Hannah Banana

Dad with Matthew and Hannah. If my dad even stops moving for a minute he is covered with kids. They absolutely love him!

Lily Pad with Cheryl

My uncle, his wife and my cousin's son. (Did you follow all that?)

The dinner line-up

Ahhhh...the feast! We stuff ourselves silly with all the amazing and unique foods!

Christmas Eve

Hannah sporting her new shades

Michael shows off his Football brownies

My parents with Angelique the heck did he get so grown up?

The aftermath...

Levi attempting a post gift opening workout.

Lily's first Christmas!

Matthew's cool new gadget

My parents are the only ones that live by us, only about 30 minutes away. Every Christmas Eve we spend it together, opening gifts and just hanging out. This year we made the drive out to their house since they would be coming out to our house for Christmas Day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Hannah putting on the angel
At our house we have a tradition regarding the tree topper. Each year a different kid gets a turn, which in a household of immense size translates to roughly 2 times total in their lifetime. This year it was Hannah's turn and she was so proud, smiling all the way.

What the finished product picture doesn't show is the massive gate stretching from the stairs all the way across the room. This literally blocks off a large portion of the room and, of course, the tree. It seemed the only way to protect the tree this year from all the little ornament snatchers.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The many faces of Levi

The Batman faceSilly face

Fish face

Sad face (check out the lip)

Happy face

Mad face

Scared face

This kid has a rubber face and is constantly making funny faces. He enjoys having an rapt audience and loves being the center of attention due to his antics. What a goob.

Snow days!

The view from our front porch

Matthew and Hannah walking through the snow

Liz with her Snowmen creations

Hannah Banana

Liz, NOT throwing a snowball at me

A week before Christmas we got snow, which is rare for our little neck of the woods. The kids had such a blast making snowforts, snowmen and lots and lots of snowballs. Everytime they would come inside they thought that they were entitled to hot chocolate. They missed most of the week of school which was exciting for them, fun for us and relaxing to not have to keep up with a schedule. Tim kept a snowball in the freezer up until New Years when he used it for ice in his water. Yummy.

The kids were in the back field most of the time and due to my broken toe still hurting I chose not to make the trek out back for pictures. So, unfortunately, I only have a few pix of the kids that were in the front yard.