Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Texting-war


 Noah and Aunt J simultaneously send text messages to each other. Lord willing, this little aunt to nephew bonding experience won't cause any repetitive stress injuries of the thumb.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mesmerized


The Dorling Kindersley Rescue Vehicle Book never gets old. Whether you're 29 years old, 8 months old, or somewhere in between.

So glad I found it at Goodwill for 49 cents.

Boys will be boys...and their mother, a bargain hunter.

DPP, Day 20

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mr Blue Eyes


Old picture, but too cute to pass up posting. And since I didn't make it to the computer all weekend (or even snap a picture for DPP), this is my cutest attempt at making up for it.

DPP, Day 18

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hiding


Hiding from Mom and her camera.

It worked well, as you can see.





And yes, my 2 year old is wearing a sleeveless shirt, in the middle of Dec, with freezing weather outside. But... it's his only Curious George shirt, so you know how that goes.

Day 17

December Photo Project

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dusting




Last night, we received a dusting of snow from the hand of our Creator.

Just a dusting.

But just a dusting is all we needed...

to remind us that it is winter,

to make us thankful for God's blessings,

to let us delight in the warmth and comfort of our home,

and to make the boys say, "It really IS Christmas-time!!" with shouts of joy and glee.


It was also just enough snow to cancel school in the area, put the Army base on two hour delay, and keep everyone off the roads.

See. We're not the only ones that think a dusting is a big deal. You have to love the South.


DPP, Day 16

December Photo Project

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sweet treats


Every year, around December, I make baskets laden with sweet treats for friends, loved ones, and this time, for the leadership in my husband's company. So in my few spare moments, I've been cooking up a storm. And I must say that the fudge turned out amazing, the molasses cookies delicious, the pecan delights superb, the double chocolate mint cookies divine, the caramel corn incredible.

Like everything else in my life, of course.

Except the coffee stain my 2 year old made on my white carpet this morning.




DPP, Day 15

December Photo Project




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All wrapped up




Am I the only one that sighs a monumental sigh of relief and joy and excitement, when all the presents are wrapped and sitting pleasantly under the tree?

All, that is, except for the 3 presents I ordered online last night. Oh...and the two presents I am still hoping to find at the mall this weekend. And the stocking stuffer's, of course. Ha ha.


Despite all my planning ahead, I almost always keep shopping till the last minute. And I love doing it that way too. Oh, I get my packages mailed early or on time, but when it comes to local gift purchasing, I love to hunt around, peruse the stores and shelves, scrutinize pin stripes and polka dots...

Some may call me crazy, but there is something about the thrill of the hunt that makes shopping for that perfect gift SO. MUCH. FUN.

What about you and your gift giving habits? Do you like to hunt? Or do you just want to get it over with?







DPP, Day 14


December Photo Project

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mistletoe


Just to be silly, I decided that I'd buy some mistletoe to hang over the doorway this year. However, I didn't realize how challenging it might be to get a hold of some of this kiss-worthy plant. After going to multiple places, I came home empty handed.


Later that night, we attended a friend's Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, only to find that our host had been able to land some mistletoe herself! When I questioned her as to how she completed this seemingly miraculous feat, she expressed the challenge she had had finding mistletoe as well.  Then, on her last stop by a local nursery, she happened to find a nursery worker who had connections. He told her that he didn't sell it but thought he could get her some anyway.

What? How can that be?

Well, as it turns out, the worker recognized the plant and knew that the nursery's neighbor had some growing in their yard. Whether it was prearranged or not, the nursery employee whipped over to the neighbor's house, cut some mistletoe and gave it to my friend. How's that for service?

To make a good thing even better, my friend gave the mistletoe to me after the party was over. So now my husband has yet another excuse to lay one on me! Nice!

Happy Smooching, Ya'll!!



DPP, Day 13


December Photo Project

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Recipes

They say the best recipes are the ones you know by heart... but I think the best recipes are the ones you have to call Mom for.

This Pecan Delight recipe (also known as Spanish Wedding Cookies) is one that I jotted down on the back of an envelope many years ago after a phone call to my mom. I can almost imagine the conversation,
"Hi Mom, you know that yummy shortbread type cookie that you roll in powdered sugar?...no...no, not that one... the one that Mrs What's her name made for the Welcome Home Party for Nick...yes. Mrs Nieuwenhuis...yes, yes, that's it. Can you give it to me over the phone? Wait! Let me find something to write on..."
Or am I the only one that writes recipes on the back of old envelopes?


Day 10

December Photo Project

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Candy Cane Trumpets



I didn't even have to ask him to pose. I just handed him a candy cane and let his imagination take off. Isaiah has always been my musical child. He loves singing and he loves sitting next to the stereo when I have music on. I think he's already memorized Josh Groban's entire Christmas CD. I'll never forget last Christmas when he asked, "Can we listen to Andrea Bocelli instead, Mom?" Touche.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Grande Mama


It's the perfect day for hot espresso. And since I'm a native (but no long a resident) of the Pacific North West, I'm somewhat of a Starbucks fanatic. So, because there are not many 34 degree days in this Southern state in which I now live, I bundled up the boys and headed off to run errands who am I kidding? Starbucks.

When I got home later, and had unloaded children, groceries, and even a few Christmas presents, I quick snapped a picture of our drinks.


As I looked at the cups on the table, I couldn't help but think that, metaphorically speaking, the drinks looked just like our family today. The grande mama in the middle (nuts! I knew I should have gotten the "tall") with two little hot cocoa's standing next to me.

Only the two kids hot cocoa's would be holding hands with each other, while the grande mama would be balancing a 25lb baby on her hip, while also holding her purse, her trusty Starbucks card, and the hand of the youngest hot cocoa.

Perhaps it's needless to say that by the time we were done, this grande mama needed a venti ice water despite the outdoor thermostat.

But... it was so worth it. Some might not even call it coffee, but I still think that a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha is THE. BEST. DRINK. EVER.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Poinsettia



I'm certainly not an amazing photographer, at least not yet anyway.  But I do so enjoy my new camera... and by participating in the DPP, I've found myself spending more and more time fiddling around with it, trying out different settings, white balance, shutter speeds and ISO's.

Fun, fun, fun. And I mean that in all seriousness. I recently read that photo editing is no substitute for photography technique.

And I agree. So I'm going to work a bit harder behind the camera and strive to keep things unedited until I master techniques.


Don't you love the colors in this one?

This is my first poinsettia. I've always loved the bright and brilliant colors, and the distinct holiday feel that they bring. But I've never had one of my own. Then on Saturday, my hubby took the older two boys out on their almost weekly special male bonding adventure. **This involves Nick transferring their carseats into his super cool Jeep (as opposed to the not-so-cool minivan that I drive) and running different manly errands (Dunkin Donuts, the flower store, the park, and sometimes Nick's office which includes a stroll by the motor pool and lots of big Army trucks).** I came home from a baby shower with my youngest to find the boys had bought me my very own poinsettia while they were out. Love it.

And can't stop taking pictures of it either. One of these days I'll do it justice and take something really beautiful.


On a photo related note, if anyone has a website (their own, or one they'd recommend) that teaches beginning photography and offers photo taking tips, I'd love to have it.



December Photo Project, Day 6

December Photo Project

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Culprit

Noah has not been himself the last week or so. He's been waking up at night.

 Moaning and groaning at the slightest upset.

 Whining if he's not being held.

And sadly, I have even seen him just lay his head down and cry. Which makes me want to cry too. Poor little, guy! I had my suspicion's about the culprit, but it's only just today that I've been able to catch that troublesome bad boy on camera.


That's right, you guessed it: Noah's first tooth.


 So as any good mom, I've been keeping the Ibuprofen and teething rings handy, offering as many extra snuggles as I can, and praying that the next 19 baby teeth are smooth sailing.
Growing up isn't easy, is it, Sweetheart?





December Photo Project, Day 4

December Photo Project

Friday, December 3, 2010

Siamese Twins



Okay, so they are not really Siamese twins. Nor are they even twins.

But my two "older" boys, Isaiah (4 yrs) and Joshua (2 1/2), born 17 months apart, have often been called

Two peas in a pod

Best Friends Forever

Partners in Crime

Joined at the Hip

Okay, so now they are sounding more like Siamese twins again. Whoops.

Regardless of your analogy of choice, it's clear that the bond between these brothers is more than just matching Lightning McQueen jammies. It's something truly special that I pray will last a lifetime: brotherly love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

By the light of the moon



When I was little, my dad would often play the piano in the evening after we had gone to bed. I'll never forget lying there with my eyes closed, listening as the music serenaded us to sleep. My dad would usually  play with the living room nearly dark, or as we often said, "by the light of the moon." He didn't need the light to read the music, he would just play from his heart and let his fingers find their way across the keys.

Once or twice, my siblings and I didn't fall asleep, but had whispered a secret plan to each other as we lay there and waited till the music finished. As the last note died down, my brothers and sisters and I erupted in a chorus of cheers and clapping; our hearts filled with joy and delight over the wonderful music he played.

Do you remember that, Dad? I don't think we ever knew if you heard us yelling "Encore" or not, but we could not contain our applause. In our simple and childish way, we had to express how much we loved the music you brought into our home.



To this day, I love playing the piano in the late evening as well. I hope that I can make the same memory for my children as they drift off to the Land of Nod. I often feel tears in my eyes and a shiver of delight, as I play in the darkness by the light of the moon. Or, in this case, by the soft light of the Christmas tree.




December Photo Project

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The King of Early Rising


My dear little Joshua is the King of Early Rising. He loves to get up early, especially if he thinks something exciting is going to happen. This morning was no exception.

He thought it was Christmas.

When I explained that today was Dec 1st and Christmas was Dec 25th, he nodded in cheerful agreement and said, "Can I sleep here till it's Christmas-time, Mommy?"

I guess that's what happens when you try to explain "time" to a 2 year old.




Just for fun, I'm going to attempt to do the December Photo Project this year. Check it out!

December Photo Project

Wordless Wednesday

  
"Mommy always says I look the absolute cutest in the bath...

...but I'm convinced the water adds 10 pounds"


 "So...Quick! Take the picture, Mom, while my cheeks look skinny!!"



Linked with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Knockin' my head Red... and other great colors

Last week we had our first (actually, second) Crayon experience. So for any who are under the misimpression that my life is a cup of tea, let me relate to you the unfortunate (though sovereignly foreordained) crayon fiasco.


My two year old wet the bed, so I found myself doing laundry midweek to keep the stinkiness from getting stinkier.

It was a great plan that was drastically foiled when I discovered that a pair of Isaiah's nice church pants had been housing 3 brightly colored crayons. Too bad I discovered the 3 brightly colored crayons AFTER I had run the laundry (not once, but twice) through the dryer.

Sigh.


Yes. It's true. Not only was the inside of my dryer no longer white, but in fact, the entire super sized load of laundry was now covered in different shades of those 3 brightly colored crayons. Radical Red, Electric Lime, and Black, to be more specific.

Or hereafter named "Knockin' my head, Red," "Screamin Green," and "My name is Mud Black."


Sigh.


Did I mention it was a super sized load full of little boy clothes? And, as you are well aware, it takes a lot of little boy clothes to fill up a super-sized load. I'm sure there were no less than 6 pairs of pants, 8 onesies, 5 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of underwear, jammies, shirts, sheets...and two of Nick's uniform shirts (Thank the Lord, none of his ACU's were in the wash!!)

The good news is that after a lot of elbow grease and following these directions, I was able to salvage about half of the clothes and have a mostly white dryer again.

My advice to all of you? ALWAYS CHECK THE POCKETS!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Traditions

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. A house full of people and lots of food, laughter and fun.


Every Thanksgiving, I contemplate traditions and how to develop and create in them in our home. Being a military family, traditions seem somewhat harder to establish. We can't commit to going to grandmother's house every year. Or even Black Friday shopping with my sisters (despite how much I'd LOVE to do that). Next year, we might be living in a different state, attending a different church, and in fact, Nick might even be deployed!


So how do you make traditions when so many things change year by year? I'd love to hear your input, but this is what I (WE!!) have come up with!

  • Giving thanks- every year we share our thankfulness with our friends and family. There is no criticizing or questioning, we simply share what is on our heart and express God's goodness to us. The big "thank you's" on my heart this year were my 3 little boys smiling around the table, and my husband being safe and sound at home with us, and finally some cold weather to make it seem like Thanksgiving time (57 degrees and overcast!) 

  • Eating and making food- it is a day of feasting afterall!! And I always try to go all out with the food and trimmings. Regardless of whether we go somewhere for the holiday meal or host Thanksgiving dinner at our house, I always buy and cook a turkey, and cook and bake, and cook and bake some more. Favorite new side dishes this year were cornbread casserole and sweet tea. Can you tell this was our first Thanksgiving in the South?

  • Doing the dishes- my husband started this one on his own: every year he does the Thanksgiving dishes. And he always surprises our guests by telling the ladies' to grab a cup of coffee and relax and then ushering the men into the kitchen, handing out dish towels, and starting an assembly line. Can I even begin to express how much I LOVE this tradition. My husband is amazing.
  • Fellowshiping together- I'm not sure I can imagine a Thanksgiving day spent alone. I know that the "who" will potentially change year by year as we move, make new friendships, and occasionally visit family, but every year we've spent time talking, laughing, and enjoying a feast together with friends and love ones. This year we had friends over from church for the meal, and then later in the evening another crowd of friends joined us for dessert and games (about 30 people).

  • Playing games- there is something about time off work, coupled with food and fellowship that just makes the perfect atmosphere for game playing. Favorites this year were Hill (a Canasta type card game), Catch Phrase, and Chutes and Ladders.


I do so love Thanksgiving.


And what about you? What Thanksgiving traditions do you have, and how did they come to be?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter weather?

You know you've adjusted to the South when 70 degree weather constitutes bundling up like this:




Yes, that's right. Today's low is 74 degreees. Better bundle up. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bippity-boppity

I've lost all my creative energy.

Last week, I saw huge crates full of different bolts of fabric for $5 each at our local Wal-mart and was inspired to buy a couple and make curtains, pillows, and other nice accessories for our home. For a few minutes anyway.

Then I was snapping pictures and dreaming up clever blog posts and informational tidbits to pass on to my readers... but before I could even upload pictures to my computer, I lost interest.

So, as I said, I've lost all my creative energy.

At least I feel that way. Some may still think I'm clever and ingenious. But... I'm not. At least not today, or last week, or last month? Yikes. Has it really been that long since I actually wrote a decent blog post?

If only my fairy godmother could do a little bippity-boppity-boo and I could be back on track. Wouldn't that be nice?


But truth is, I'm burnt out. My husband was gone for a full month, serving our wonderful country in faraway places, and in his absence I became toast. Burnt toast. No energy left. No creative juices lying around. No desire for anything but sitting still.

Which never happens in a busy house with 3 boys.

So here I am. Sitting still. And typing, of course. Trying to get back into a groove. Trying to find my get-up-and-go, and wishing for a little bippity-boppity magic wand trick to get be back to speed.



On a happier, less depressing, and tiring note. My husband is HOME. And from the moment he first walked through the door, a load was lifted off my shoulders. To all those who have wonderful husbands like mine, make sure to thank the Lord for them every day, even every minute. God is so good to give us soul mates and help mates all tied into one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bad Hair Day

While I was talking with my husband on the phone, I looked down at our youngest son, Noah, and started laughing. I couldn't help it.

I said "I think Noah is having a bad hair day"

My husband laughed, but quickly denied it. "Baby's don't have bad hair day's, Dear," he replied.

We laughed together; the thought did seem quite absurd.





But then I took another look at Noah and thought... I beg to differ.




At least a bad hair day never looked so cute.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day to my favorite Company Commander. I'm so proud of you, Dear!


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