Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

The last few nights the girls worked on their gingerbread houses. It is interesting trying to fit in Christmas traditions with homework. That is why they took 3 nights to complete. Here they are!

Hannah's house

Abigail's house...she wants me to point out her peppermint "gifts" under the tree! She made them all by herself :)

O Christmas Tree

Each year we try to put up the tree on the weekend after Thanksgiving. We used to get a real tree...since they are so beautiful in Washington, and I swore I would never have a fake one. But....the first Christmas we moved to Arizona, I realized how expensive and not so pretty the real trees are here, compared to the northwest, and so I broke down and just went to Costco and bought their fabulous pre-lit tree. The lights used to take me about 4 hours, just by themselves (so the tree got decorated over the course of 2 nights), but now I don't have to deal with that...yeah!!!

This year we got so involved with decorating I forgot to take pictures of us all doing it. The girls can now hang most of the ornaments themselves, and David just reaches the high-up places, and I put on the ribbon and large pieces first. It is so fun to open the boxes and take out all the "treasures"... the girls ooh and aah each year and they both keep saying, "these ornaments are my favorite!!"....then we open another box, and then they say, "no...these are my favorite!!!", and so on. :) Then when we are done we sit on the couch, enjoy eggnog, listen to Christmas music and admire the tree that we have just decorated.

I love themed trees, so I still have my very ornate Christmas tree...OK... no one get on my case- my children still decorate it and they love it. The trick is to have so many ornaments that it really doesn't matter where they put them! :)

This year as we sat and relaxed enjoying the tree, the girls wanted us to tell stories of our trees growing up. So David shared about the garland they used to have that spiraled around the tree, and about the multi-colored large bulb lights. I shared about Gamie and Papa's tinsel covered "rocket ship" tree..."What is tinsel?" Hannah wanted to know. "Something you never want to put on a tree!", I told her :)
I told them about the year that my family went and cut down a tree in the forest and it was so ugly that it had to be flocked to death, and then it had spiders .... which ended up all over our house. I think this is the reason I have no desire to go chop down Christmas trees out in the woods!
And then the best story of my Persian cat who ate the Christmas tree skirt (those white fluffy "snow" ones) and then threw it up all over the house... lovely...
It is fun to tell our kids stories of our childhood, and they never tire of hearing them :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This year we had a quiet Thanksgiving with just our family. We are having another Thanksgiving with our good friends on Saturday. But for our own, the girls got to help make everything, that was a lot of fun! With everything we made, Abigail remarked "oh gross", especially to the pumpkin pie batter and stuffing the turkey. (It wasn't even a whole turkey, just a breast that I pulled back the skin on to stuff with apples and onions.) Hannah got fed up with her comments and started yelling at her to stop, so then Abigail would say "eeeewwwww....yum" with a squinted up face (yeah right)....the joys of cooking with children!! The girls each picked out new holiday dresses; Hannah needed new dress shoes, too, and chose a pair of short heels. (She now has size 8 feet!) I had to teach her how to walk in them :) ..they are really growing up!!

After Thanksgiving we watched Kung Fu Panda and the girls made Christmas lists on the computer. They have taped them to my kitchen wall, I am guessing they are concerned I won't see them! :) The problem is that the older they get the more expensive the gifts they want to get. I think most things on the lists are over $100 :)
Here is the grand sampling:
  • Wii
  • Nintendo DS
  • Motor Scooter
  • Keyboard
  • Sewing machine
  • Digital Camera
  • A Huge Doll House
Hmmmmm....what happened to Barbies and craft projects?
(of course this is not what they are asking for from others, just their excessively wealthy parents :)

Oh yeah...and of course Webkinz....I will be glad when they are out of this stage :) The dang things have to be "fed", etc., "every day" otherwise they get sick and die...what great online pets!!! An excuse to be on the computer...because "mommmmmm, I have to....otherwise my pet will die!" insert whining voice....yes, that would certainly be a disaster...
Then they have a category called "other" on their lists, which they informed me could include small items like clothing or jewelry. Oh, ok....much more reasonable...
Christmas lists bring back one of my favorite memories of my brother Seth. I think he was around 4 or 5 years old and he brought his Christmas list out to give everyone....the WHOLE entire list was food!!! And I think it was at least 25 items long....
Hamburgers, chocolate bars, ice cream, candy, hot dogs, chips....and on and on....
You would think the child had been locked in a closet and starved (or maybe he had to fight off all his older siblings to find any food in the house!)
That was the best Christmas list ever, Seth, I have laughed about it for years!
And speaking of Seth... congratulations to him and his wife Angel on their new baby, Levi!!! Yeah!!! What a great Thanksgiving gift....I am only sad that I will not be able to meet him at Christmas :(
And also congrats to my other brother Matt and wife Dani....pregnant with number 3!!! :)
Hannah and Abigail are very excited to have more new cousins!! Abigail wants to know why she can't have a baby sister, though, and I told her it is because she IS the baby sister!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Abigail's 9th Birthday

We had so much fun for Abigail's birthday....for some reason I had a lot of emotional energy and agreed to a dress-up Halloween party sleep over! She had a great time...Wow was I tired the next day!! My spider web-infested dining room and family room

Green punch with gummy worm ice cubes

These were jello jigglers pumpkins gone I just scraped the jello off the pans in clumps...I think it served the purpose well...of looking gross!

Because one cake is never enough....
I went to about 6-7 stores looking for black lace licorice...I could not find any anywhere!! So oh well, the spiders have red legs!

The group while still in costume!
Making Halloween picture frames

Bobbing for apples...they are such girls, they kept holding each other's hair back :) Then when this was all done they wanted to dip their whole heads in the bucket and get soaked, and then run around screaming!

I don't have a picture, but after the apple bobbing, we played the game where you put your hand inside a box and feel a food that is described as body parts, and then try to guess what food it a bunch of cold spaghetti is guts, olives are eyes...etc. We played in the dark so the girls couldn't see what was in the box. It was hysterical, some were so giggly and excited, and others were so freaked out that they would even touch it at all, and kept screaming!
Happy Birthday to you, Abigail!! xoxo

The toilet paper "mummy" fashion show

When it was all done they tore up the toilet paper and made a huge fun mess...what I didn't realize is how much "dust" ripped up toilet paper creates! I dusted for days trying to get the room clean!
Abigail, before her friend party, having a family birthday party....and very excited about Hannah's gift!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trip to Rocky Point, Mexico

So just a couple weeks after going to Flagstaff, we went the other the beach for a couple days. The Sea of Cortez comes up just south of Arizona (only about an hour into Mexico) at Rocky Point (or Puerto Penasco, as it's known in Mexico). We had a really easy three hour drive, and the border had no wait, either direction. It was definitely Mexico...but we stayed in a beautiful resort right on the beach. The sand was very nice (grainy but golden) and the water was was so nice to relax and just let the kids play on the beach.

The view from our balcony!
There was a nice restaurant that overlooked the ocean.

Enjoying really great fruit ice cream bars....and saying "no, gracias" to about 200 beach vendors!

The next morning the tide was waaaayyyy out, and there were great tide pools where the kids found lots of wonderful shells and hermit crabs! :) Abigail freaked out at first as she thought she had picked up an empty shell and out crawled a crab!!

We were there just before Abigail's Hannah wrote this sweet message to her in the sand.

At the resort was an area with all these hammocks. The girls spent so much time in them...they had a blast swinging as high as possible!

And here we are again at night....

We went out to a couple tacquerias....there is nothing like them!!...even though they are on the side of the road and you sit in plastic chairs in an empty lot, we love them! The girls even ate the tacos and enjoyed them! They also loved the glass pop bottles. The girls and I wanted the tortillas by themselves, and I don't think anyone had ever asked for that, because the owner kept asking if I was sure that I didn't want anything in the tortilla...then he just gave us the warm tortillas for free...they were soooo good!
We went to a great restaurant for dinner that was up on this hill that over looked the town and the ocean, it was a Mexico kind of way

This is what is crazy about driving in Mexico (well... other than no one obeys the speed limit, or the lane divisions) do you tell which way to go in a have to sit and read through all the signs, in Spanish....crazy!!
We drove around town just to show the kids what people live like...they were really sombered, when we talked about that this is how most of the world lives, not like us! Abigail said, "I am soooooo thankful for our home and our car and everything we have!....I will never not be thankful again!" (we can hope, right???....but I think it was such a great reality check!!)

Before we left we went to a shopping/market area. Hannah got a tank top and Abigail, a sun dress...and they bought a few shells. We had a really fun time!