Friday, December 29, 2006
We had a wonderful Christmas and wished the same for all of you. The kids had kids to play with and the adults had adults to play with and no one got hurt. Plenty of fun, gifts, spirits, food, great conversations, making plans for more get togethers for the upcoming year, and entertainment.
No funny stories to think of right now, but thought I would post a couple of photos. I haven't really gone through them, but here are a couple of my favorites (stockings (our favorite), all the presents at Uncle Bill/Aunt Gwen's house, and the kiddos).
Today everyone has left who was leaving, everyone is back in their own beds, and we are just hanging out in our PJ's playing with new toys and on the computer.
Have a great weekend and ringing in the New Year. We wish you a safe journey and many new surprises for the upcoming year.
Robb, Ang, Jacob, and Isabella
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Bakapalooza 2006 – Was a hit – Two Thumbs Up! We can’t wait to book the date for next year. Chef Isabella and Chef Jacob both have staked their claim in Sugar Ville and are not leaving. WOWSA!
This two day event started off of course with being out of the correct ingredients, so we had to make a store run. Who wouldn’t have to? Day One, store, baking - Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies, Double Chocolate Cookies, Rice Crispy Treats (my personal favorite), Pecan Tarts, and Russian Tea Cakes, rolling out dough with lots of flour all over the kitchen. Day Two – (again my personal favorite), the house filled with tiny little hands with their sleeves rolled up, chef hats on, and knuckle deep in frosting. Sprinkles every where, and enough colored candy sugar to cover the North Pole.
Isabella was game for anything as long as she was put in her chair and sat up to the table. She takes the ‘less is more’ approach, bypasses the frosting and goodies and straight for the cookie in mouth. That is all she needed…chair at table, girl sitting at chair, tray of cookies = Happy little Isabella.
Jacob on the other hand thinks….’more is more and better’. He couldn’t get enough sprinkles or frosting on the cookie. He wanted his hands cleaned after each cookie as though he was individually making a masterpiece out of each single cookie. I obliged, we carried on. Then of course came time to eat one….it took him 5 minutes to decide on which cookie to eat, then pointed to the top of the refrigerator (where I thought I secretly stashed the extra’s) and asked if he could have one of those. Again, obliging, all while being explained that these particular cookies he decorated were all for Santa.
As you can see, we know who ranks high in this house, not MOM who has helped for two days baking….not DAD who is off working for his family….but the Big Guy – Santa Claus, who is still checking his list twice seeing who is naughty and nice and of course, brings TOYS! Ahhhhhhhhhh – to be three again.
Oh yea, one more thing….our “Secret Party”, not so secret. Jacob and I decorated his cookies today while Isabella was napping. He asked why Isabella wasn’t decorating cookies like he was. I said, she is napping and we decorated a few this morning. He then turns to me and said, ‘at her party with her friends’…..WHAT? Big ears little kids. Darn it…we were caught. Then being three, he turned to me and said, ‘did they play with my toys?’.
We here hope you get a chance to do a Bakapalooza of your own – It’s fun!
Until next time, enjoy the sunshine,
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Twas’ a plain ol’ early Sunday morning and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…..well actually it’s way to early to be up and blogging, but it’s so quite I had to get up to enjoy it. The silence doesn’t roar through this house very often, so taking advantage of it is priceless.
I thought I would share with you what we have been up to ‘the Events Leading to Christmas’. At this point in our house, all roads lead to Christmas. We are spreading cheer, calling Santa daily for an update on the North Pole happenings (1-800-972-6242), tracking him on NORAD - http://www.noradsanta.org, and even doing some of our obligatory chores like school, cleaning, and work.
We started the holiday season off by attending Christmas in the Park, where we watched fireworks to music. I was a wonderful evening. The weather cooperated, so we enjoyed a picnic on the lawn just before the fireworks. We have been to lighting ceremonies all over the city that included fireworks as well. Always seems to be Jacob’s favorite part. We have had breakfast with Santa, Miss’s Claus has read to us, took a trolley to a puppet show, and made a bird feeder craft all in a mornings work. We went to visit Santa and sat on his lap for photos while telling him what we want the elves to make for us for Christmas. We have seen a marvelous train display and even rode a train. We have decorated our Christmas trees, the house, and made Christmas cards. You have seen the gingerbread party happenings and we are going to begin ‘Bakapalooza’ today (explain more later).
Jacob has told Santa this year he wants, a violin, a camera, and a piano (which is really an electronic key board that he saw while out shopping). He was then even nice enough to tell Santa that ‘she can’t talk’ (meaning Isabella who is 18 months and he can’t understand what she is saying) ‘wants a dollhouse’. Now, is that not Big Brother love at its best?
Isabella has decided since this is her first Christmas celebration, we haven’t quite done enough and the house isn’t waffling with the aroma of Christmas. Argot, ‘Bakapalooza 2006’. We are going to start baking cookies of any shape, flavor, and size today with Jacob’s expertise and help. Then tomorrow when Jacob is at school, Isabella is secretly throwing a ‘Cookie Decorating’ party. That’s right; I have lost my mind and started listening to my kids. Isabella has invited 7 of her friends over to decorate cookies (all of whom the oldest is 3), while Jacob is at school. This is the only way I thought I could do it, early in the morning, one kid, and a house full of people hyped up on sugar. You see the funny thing is Jacob literally thinks all we do is clean while he is at school. While some day’s it does fell that way, he starts the morning wondering if it’s a school day and then wondering what we do while he is at school. I made the mistake one time saying, ‘we are cleaning today’. Then when he gets off the school bus, he asks if we cleaned. I reply, ‘yes’. So, the thought of him missing a party may be just too much to bear, so Isabella is calling it a ‘secret’ party. However, like I stated above, we will have Jacob and his expertise all day today while rolling out dough and cutting cookies into fun little shapes.
For now, I just wanted to share some photos of the Holiday Happenings leading to the Big Day.
Enjoy this time and try sneaking some quite time alone in the wee hours of the morning. It really is nice. You get a chance to drink your beverage of choice while it’s still warm.
Will post photos on the Bakapalooza later,
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I've been thinking a lot about Christmas traditions....thinking that it's important to have something for our children to look forward to and to hopefully someday pass along to their families.
Looking back, I don't really remember much about Christmas. I remember making the trips to each grandparent's, step grandparents and so on to eat, and I know that I got presents. But it wasn't until I married Robb that I actually saw how the atmospheres of Christmas could bring wonderful fond memories.
I have always loved the holidays; any and all of them, but Christmas is my favorite. As stated in another post, I love it all. So we have taken over the years what we have learned from Robb’s family and we have begun to make our very own traditions.
· We put the tree/decorations up the weekend of Thanksgiving and sadly take everything down the week of New Years.
· We open one present on Christmas Eve after mass and it’s ALWAYS new pajamas. Anyone staying at our house gets this same gift as well. We also leave milk and cookies for Santa and Oatmeal and carrots for the reindeer. We have to read The Night Before Christmas usually while watching A Christmas Story. You see, Robb looked like Ralphy when he was a kid and we think Jacob is reincarnated Ralphy. We love that show and watch it each year like it's the first time we have ever seen it.
· Our tree always has white lights and every ornament we own, goes on it. It’s fun to go through them and look at the years we didn’t have much money and we just had paper bows for the tree. It’s some of my favorite memories.
· An Angel is always on top of our tree looking over our family. Robb purchased that Angel for me our first Christmas. She isn’t the most beautiful one, but I love her just the same. I am sure it didn’t cost much and didn’t come from a fancy boutique, but lord only knows we had NO sense to us buying a tree, ornaments, and an Angel that year. She is always the very last thing to go on the tree.
· We exchange Christmas ornaments with each other every year. Robb has made it a tradition of selecting a beautiful Waterford Christmas ornament to adorn our tree each year. This year we counted and there are 14 on our tree. Sparkly! We also buy the kids an ornament each year in hopes they can dangle from their very own trees someday.
· I like to have ornaments with photos, so after Christmas each year, I print out a photo of the kids and go out to the sales looking for that one ornament that will hold the photo. It’s fun each year looking back at how much everyone has changed.
· Robb and I have been talking lately and this is a family tradition that came from his dad Walt and we have decided it’s our favorite of all….. For the longest time in my husband’s family there were no young children (the youngest was about 16 when I entered the family). Stockings were always a big deal in his family. So the year we were married, we were instructed that stockings were changing. Everyone was puzzled by this, but went along with it anyway. The new changes were - we were all to buy/make/take/have an individual item for each person at Christmas that year wrapped, labeled, and ready to drop in the stockings. We all obliged. As it turns out, come Christmas morning, our stocking were hung by the fire place filled with goodies from everyone in the family. It was so much fun unwrapping all the items we had received. Some things were the freebies people had gotten through out the year, lottery tickets, funny little jokes of something that may have happened though out the year and so on. There are even a couple of items that have been passed to one another through the years. Since then, he has kept this tradition (this will be its 17th year) at his house and has the same lady make the same exact stocking with our names on them for every new person who has entered the family. Since I entered the family there were probably 8 or so that hung over the fireplace and for 2006 we will have 19 stockings hung on the fireplace. It’s fun to take photos each year and see all the stockings and how much our family has been blessed with the growth we have had. So, our tradition is…no matter what your plans are for Christmas, who is in town, or where you are going, you must drop off your stocking stuff at my Father in Laws house by Christmas Morning.
I would love to hear your favorite traditions? Do you have any?
Until then, stay warm, enjoy the spirit, and do a random act of kindness, you will be amazed at how good you will of the rest of the day.
Monday, December 04, 2006
What do you get when you have a table full of Gingerbread, Candies, Frosting, and 4 helpers who are 3 1/2, 3, almost 2, and 18 months.
It was so much fun, and we all really enjoyed it. The dogs enjoyed it as well, as a lot of what started on the table ended on the floor.
Robb, Angela, Jacob, and Isabella