Sunday, December 29, 2013

The New Year

I'm taking a few days of blog vacation until the New Year.  See you again January 1st!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fashion Fabulous Friday


Christmas might be over, but these amazing Christmas fashions are unforgettable.


 
 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Now That's Excitement

I think it's safe to say they liked their gifts.
 





 



This isn't an excitement picture, as much as a 'look at this poor child with no teeth' picture.
 
 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

No, Seriously. You People Need to Get Outta My House!

I have far too many elves, fairies, and shall we say...overweight men traipsing in and out of my house tonight.
 
 
Fairies? You might ask.
I don't remember them in the Christmas line-up.
 
Oh, well, lucky me...

This afternoon I heard shrieks of horror as Kyle came running up to me crying "JR kicked my tooth out!"


JR maintains they were only "wrestling" but does not deny the foot to the face.
 
Awesome.
 
So that means I'll have reindeer on my roof, Santa delivering presents, Sam the elf leaving with Santa, and the Tooth Fairy making yet another visit in less than a week.  All tonight.
 
Guess I better go start cleaning up.

Monday, December 23, 2013

We Did Something Christmasy

They gave up on "pretty" about 5 seconds in.
 


My only job was the "putting together" portion.
It's barely standing, but it's still upright.  Very impressed with myself.
 
This counts as both a craft and cooking, right?
I'm going with yes.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fashion Fabulous Friday-Christmas Tree Fashions


I have to admit I haven't put up this little Christmas since Kyle and Reed were babies.
I was trying to get it up before JR's play, so I gave myself about 5 days and what I got up was what we have this year.
 
I actually kind of like it more minimal (minimal for me, anyway) but don't tell Jason! He'll try and convince me I don't need so much every year.
 
There were some favorite trees that just didn't make the cut this year.  The Texas tree and the Chinese tree are pretty labor intensive to decorate, so I just didn't do them. 
You'll notice the trees I did do really take minimal effort (except the family tree, and Kyle and Reed did that one).
 

This is as you walk in the front door.  My mom named that wide space you see the "bowling alley".  I put a tree there last year, but I'm fine with the open space this year.
 



The office tree. This is me trying to do a "tasteful hunting tree".  I did this one last year, but since the office has so many animals, there's really nothing else you could do in here.
 


The silver area.  The table has some new pieces and arranged a bit different this year.


The peacock tree seems to make it up every year.  It's sooo easy I just can't help but do it.


I usually put the pink trees in our room.  (Our room has not one hint of Christmas this year.) 
I've been picking up a few pink pieces after Christmas each year, so I finally have enough for a pink grouping.
 
 
 
 I picked up this Santa on a stand (the one with no bottom) for next to nothing in a little shop in Idaho Springs after Christmas last year.  He's one of my new favorites.


This tree makes me so happy. (Too bad I have yet to figure out how to take a good picture of a Christmas tree.) 
 Last year I put this one I call "countdown to Christmas" in Kyle and Reed's room, but they wanted a "new" tree this year.

 
You've already seen our family tree compliments of Kyle and Reed, and my mantle couldn't have been easier.


I absolutely love this snow covered tree (you can get it at Hobby Lobby) but it's a bit tricky.
The tree itself is beautiful, but ornaments looks terrible on it. 
(My parents have the same one and say the same thing.) 
Throw a few red birds on it and it's done.


The gingerbread tree is an oldie.  The kids love it, so it keeps going up.



This is what Kyle and Reed specifically asked for this year.  A nutcracker tree.  If the tree doesn't fall in the floor before Christmas we're calling it a success.
 


Most of these pieces usually go with the gingerbread tree, but I pulled them out to make JR a Willy Wonkaish candy tree this year.


And his life wouldn't be complete without his little cub scout tree.
 
 
 
I wasn't going to show anything but the trees, but I just had to take a picture of my Nativity scenes.
I'd like to work on my Christmas angel collection, and I'm always on the look out for pretty or unusual Nativities.
 
 
And that's really it.
 
I know, not my usual.
 I guess that means I'll have to really go all out next year. (Jason will be thrilled.)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

You Better Watch Out

So are you sick of my elf yet?
Good thing there's less than a week to Christmas!
 
So, the kids love this elf so much we've had to start taking it places.
And since they can't touch him, "we" means, I've had to start packing an elf around almost everywhere I go.
 
Thankfully Scott and Debbie are great friends, so I wasn't totally embarrassed when I showed up with an elf in my pocket for dinner because Kyle and Reed wanted Sam to see "how good Anna and Emily are".
 
 
I've also been having to take him to hockey games.
(That's Kyle as goalie and Reed playing defense.)


Kyle was thrilled the other night when a kid knocked him down.  Kyle said, "Sam saw the whole thing! That kid is on the naughty list and getting coal! He didn't know I had my elf here watching and now he's in trouble."

Wonderful. On top of everything else our elf is now monitoring the behavior of other children in public places.
 
 
I figure the elf has been to enough hockey games now (at least 4) to be ready to skate himself.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A New Friend

I think this post is pretty self explanatory.
 


The only thing I need explained is how a 5 year old has already lost 3 teeth!
 

And the explaining might need to be done slowly since that same 5 year old woke me up at 1:00 AM crying that his tooth pillow was missing. 
Thankfully Sam has been super consistent with his blackboard messages so I knew where to look in my awoken from a dead-sleep haze.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Party.

Our annual neighborhood Christmas party was a rousing success.
26 guests, and I do believe a good time was had by all.
 
I always know when we have lots of fun since there are never any pictures, which is the case this time.
 
 
Randi snapped this one so at least I know what the two of us looked liked.


And then I took this one after the party.
I had up the Nice and Naughty List (I was nice and Jason was naughty, of course).
 
Here's what it ended up looking like at the end of the night.
I somehow got moved to the naughty list, and I'm still trying to figure out who "Chilli" is.
And since I seem to be posting pictures of this chalkboard everyday, I think I'll see just how many times I can work it in between now and Christmas.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fashion Fabulous Friday


It seems like the kids' school is having pajama day every other day.
But nonetheless, they get so crazy excited for it.
 
 
Kyle and Reed have been counting down since Monday.
 
 
Guess who else likes pajama day? Our elf.
Check out those fancy pajamas I made him.
And by 'made' I mean, wrapped scrap pieces of fabric around him and pinned it on.
 
 
 I thought they turned out pretty good, until Reed came in my room this morning announcing, "Sam's wearing a dress!"


Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Elf (and Real) Geography Bee

Last week was the school geography bee.  All the kids (4th-8th grade) took a test and the top 6 in each grade got to be in the bee.  JR and another boy got the highest score in the grade, which sounds really impressive until you find out that they got a 40. 
 
 
With a 40 on the pretest (and not studying) our hopes of geography bee glory were zero.
 
 
I never thought he'd make it through the first round.
But he kept going.
 
 
He missed his question right before the finals, but then so did 6 other kids, so they had a tie-breaker to see which kids would go to the finals. 
 
 
And wouldn't you know it, the answer to the question just happened to be: China
 
 
He made it through the first round of finals, but got out the next round on the question:
What river is the Hoover Dam on?  JR's answer: The Hoover River
 
 
I didn't even take any pictures until the finals because I kept thinking he was going to get out every round!
 
 
Excited face during the break before finals (he was the only 4th grader to make it that far).


The final 10.  Those middle school kids make him look so small.

JR made it to the top 8, and was awarded a participation ribbon and, as a top 10-er, a box of Starbursts.
 
Which our elf was happy to claim as his own.
 
 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

If They Didn't Love this Thing....

I have such a love-hate relationship with our elf on the shelf.
(And remember, I was too cheap to buy a "real" one, we use an antique one that's been around forever.)
 
 
The kids love it. Love it. Love it.
 
I hate it since I can never remember to move the thing.
 
 
And I'm so tired of seeing pictures of elves taking marshmallow baths, fishing for goldfish crackers, and having sack races with other stuffed animals that I've vowed not to do anything I've seen a million times.
 
 
So, I've decided to put our Santa blackboard to good use and have Sam the elf leave them messages based on what we've been doing. So far so good.
 
 
My big plan for the elf was to not have him "appear" until after I got back from Houston.  That way I'd only have about two weeks worth of elving.
 
Sadly, my children awoke at 6:50 A.M. December 1st looking for the elf.
 
 
I heard them searching the house for him, calling for him. 
Oops. 
 
 
So I did what any good mom would do.
I totally blamed the no show of the elf on JR.
 
 
Thankfully, JR had had a spell of tween angst and had some kind of dramatic fit about something the night before.
I had Jason load them in the car for church while "Sam" wrote them a note about how he couldn't show up with such disrespectful behavior.
 
 
And that night, after a lovely angst free day, Sam did appear.
(Santa's usually holding a bell instead of an elf.)

So don't expect to see pictures of our elf taking a nap in a tissue box, but you will be able to see what's been going on around here lately.
 
Tomorrow: The elf and the geography bee

Monday, December 9, 2013

Some of Us went to Houston

Jason, Kyle, and I flew down to Houston for the weekend to attend Jason's work Christmas party.
 

Kyle didn't go to the party, he had his own little party with the grandparents.
 
We decided to take Kyle or Reed since JR is always getting to go on special trips.  Reed decided he'd stay in Denver with JR (and Granny Sherry) so Kyle was an only child for the weekend.
 
JR and Reed did stuff like this.
 
 
By the way, one kid is so easy!
 
 
We didn't do much, but in the short time we were there we were able to eat Mexican food twice. (Yay!)
 
And Kyle was able to score a new cat from Maw-Maw (he named him Snowflake).
Snowflake also "ate" lots of Mexican food.