Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Victoria, as some of you know
is our wild child!
I feel like her beautiful name is being worn out, we yell it so much.
I have to stay 10 steps ahead of her on a daily basis.
And then you mix in the excitement of Christmas
quickly approaching and you have a mixture of
sweetness and disaster!
Pickles and Ice Cream!
That's what she is.
For the past several weeks some would say she has been
out of control,
a bundle of anticipation,
hell bent on wheels.
We kept reminding her to pull it together or she was going to get
COAL in her stocking.
Victoria would respond as she would put her hand to her forehead,
shaking her head,
"I know, I am just so happy, I have a hard time obeying,
 I try to have self control!"
 Well, I think someone taller than me assisted Santa with his
list of naughty children.
Victoria got coal in her stocking.......again!
Her response?
" Usually I get a whole bag!
I only got ONE this year!"
I think she thought she was improving.
Speaking of staying 10 steps ahead of Victoria........
Before we left Phoenix, Kirk and I had discussed Christmas
and what our budget was going to be.
We came up with a dollar amount and decided that we would spend it on
one gift per kiddo.
As we were wrapping their individual gift, I realized that
Victoria's was the biggest.
Knowing her, I didn't want her to guess what her gift was.
At the time I was thinking that she would only have one gift under the tree and being a little kid
I didn't want any dissappointments. 
At the time I had no idea what was being sent by
 Uncle Josh & Aunt Jolie!
I wrote on the tag that it was Henry's gift.
Of course she spotted it and immediately looked to see who's it was.
"Wow Henry, I wonder what you are getting in that big present?!
Every once in a while I would see her "chatting" with Henry about his
present and asking him if he wanted her to help him open it.
To her surprise it was her present
and a new horse(from Target)  for her American Girl dolls!
And Henry?
He got a Squeeky Toy!
Though HE thought it was Priceless!
We spent the day lounging around and playing.
Baby Jesus has been so good to us this Christmas.
He is with us every step of the way
on this difficult journey that our family is in.
We wouldn't be surviving right now if he weren't with us.
I know some day we will look back on our situation and just be even more
amazed than we already are as to how we have survived these past four years
since Kirk lost his job.  And then me losing mine almost a year ago.
Things have been horribly tough but I have recently read
" It isn't what you get at the end of a journey,
 it is who you are at the end of that journey."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

 I know that Christmas is so much more about the birth of Christ.
I can't not think about Christmas and Cookies
all in the same thought.
The birth of our Savior and
Sugar Cookies.
They are both sweet and save me from life's predicaments.
 Well, we have spent our first Christmas in our new home,
with our new church
and the same traditions.
But the traditions have been so much more fun with
crisp temperatures, snow on the ground, new surroundings
and a new outlook on life.
 My friend Kelly had done this with her daughter and sounded like a great idea.
So we had to make one too.
I wasn't sure if Victoria's foot was going to actually fit on a dinner plate
but it did.  She kept asking me
"you want me to step on the plate.......with paint?"
It turned out adorable.
Long ago we started decorating gingerbread men on Christmas Eve.
We have all looked forward to it......that is if I correctly planned ahead.
Though I do make a few stipulations.
1. Don't squeeze the icing out the top of the bag and make it all goopy.
That drives me insane and will make me into a "wicked Mommy".
2. Don't hog the icing.  I'm not making more so you have to share.
3.  Don't decorate more than your share of cookies.
I know I sound pretty bad.
Don't do this, don't do that.
BUT, there is so much laughter that goes on at the table
I don't think anyone actually hears that.
They are probably just saying
Alright Already, let me at it!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter Wonderland

 We are learning what it means to live in the
Cache Valley.
We woke up to ice crystals all over the trees.
It is absolutely beautiful!
 This is the street that our church is on. 
At the very end of the street you can just barely see the old railroad station.
 This cat was taking its dear sweet time sauntering across the street.
And then it stopped in the opposing lane and watched us drive by.
You gotta wonder what cats are thinking.
We are loving it here.
This is right outside of the church steps.
We know that God has a plan for us.
He is taking care of us in the midst of what should be the worst time
of our lives without jobs.
By the way, the highs today were a whole 23 degrees!
Makes me wonder what tonight will drop to.

Christmas Spirit

I has been years since I have actually looked forward to the
Christmas Season.
Our situation in Phoenix was so depressing
it felt hopeless.
Our house was cramped.
And the thought of "decorating"
would make my skin crawl.
This year, we should be hopeless in our situation
I am so excited about Christmas.
We managed to scrounge up enough money for one gift
for each of our children.
You would think the kids would be depressed over that....
only getting one gift for Christmas.
Not our children.
They are happy to be living in our new home.
 Christmas is exciting this year.
I didn't have the heart to throw out the little pumpkins that
Kathy grew in her garden......and I had to throw out my candles before we moved.
They would have melted just loading them into the moving truck.
So I painted them white, sprinkled a little glitter and plopped them
on top of my candle holders.
I love candles and the light they give off.
I am so excited to have window sills.
The cats and I.
We have lived without window sills for 17 years.
You really don't think about how much you would miss a window sill until
you don't have one.
Well, Christmas is quickly approaching.
The kids did get to do some shopping for eachother because
their Nana and Poppa sent them money
to shop for them.
But really, this year?
We see God's hand in everything we do,
in everything that happens.
He has planted us in a place where we will grow
in our Faith,
have Peace and Joy
continue to Love and be Loved.
To think that Jesus came
as a sweet little baby, with sweet baby smells
to save all of us.

Christmas Book and Craft

The Biggest Best Snowman
by Margery Cuyler
is a cute story about a little girl who is told that she is too small
to do just about anything. 
That is until her and her little forest friends
build an enormous snowman and
show her mom and her funky dressed sisters what they did.
I hated it when I was a kid and I was told, you can't do that,
you're too little.
I think that is probably why I have always let my kids try things
and use scissors when they were two.
(They never cut themselves by the way)
If I have to make a decision that really is because one of the
kids is too young or small, I try to think up some other reason
so I don't have to shatter their dream because
they are too little to do it.
 This idea for the snowman started with a mini pringles can that Victoria had.
We were both looking at the can as to what
we could make out of it.
And then I cut these wierd leg ties off the dog sweater and instantly
saw a snowman scarf.
Victoria is liking that she can use the cool temp glue gun
if she is careful.
 My baby isn't a baby anymore.

Christmas Book and Craft

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
by Laura Numeroff
illustrated by Felicia Bond
should be on your list to read to your little one. 
Heck, even your big kids will like this story.
It reminds me of a little kids mind and the chain of thoughts
that it takes as he or she is visually
stimulated in life.
Victoria made these adorable mice from walnuts.
It was the intention that she was making ornaments to give to people
but then it became a family of mice with one black mouse.
It became a whole story in itself.
Kind of like the story of the mouse in the book.
So, needless to say she kept all of her mice and has decorated
the house with all 20 of them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas book and a craft

We read "B is for Bethlehem" by Isabel Wilner
and illustrated by Elisa Kleven. 
I really like this book mostly for the illustrations.
The artist used every color to depict the
Christmas story.
Victoria and I glued a paper chain.
I think that every child needs the experience of gluing a paper chain. 
I remember doing some when I was little and helping each of my children do one.
It is funny how you either like making a paper chain or you don't.
You either get a good glue stick that actually sticks the paper
together or you don't and have to resort to a stapler. 
Fortunately we had two really good sticky glue sticks.
It is kind of a childhood right of passage.
I think Sammy even enjoyed getting in on the festivities.

Sewing Project

This is Victoria's sewing project. 
She came to me with the fabric and said that she wanted to stitch a christmas tree to hang on her door.
I drew out the pattern on a piece of paper and showed her once how to work the cross stitch.  She picked it up quickly and was done lickety split.
I did have to fix a couple knots on the back.
She learned that the back is just as important as the front.
I always hated that lesson.
She was pretty proud of herself and couldn't wait to show her Dad. 
I am proud of her too.  She really stuck with it and finished the whole idea.
I also loved that she found everything she needed in a few plastic boxes.

Spud Gun OoohHah!

 Every boys dream.
To build a Potato Gun.
All you need is PVC, glue, a striker, cheap hair spray and of course
a potatoe.
I had no idea this thing could be so cool!
The boys built it as a projectile project for Scouts.  Our fingers were really cold trying to twist the striker at a speed that would ignite the hair spray.  I always knew that hair spray was flammable but this was totally awesome.  And the FWOOP sound of the potatoe that was shot out of the cannon was just as exciting.  I can't wait for the boys to show my Dad this. 
 This is neat!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy December

Victoria and I made these little advent cups with what we had on hand.
I put a little strip of paper in each one of something for her to do each day.
So far she has told her Dad something that she loves about him and
helped her brother with his chores.
I think they turned out pretty cute.
I got the idea here .
We used wrapping paper instead of scrapbook paper.
I am actually surprised that I could find supplies.
We got rid of so much before the move.
So..........Happy December!

Word of the Day

Jared has way too much fun learning vocabulary words.
This book called Vocabulary Cartoons by Sam, Max and Bryan Burchers,
is a great way to learn vocabulary words.
Quick and easy because the pictures stick in your memory easier.
Jared comes to me frequently to show me a picture with the word. 
This one in particular said that it reminds him of Kaleb.
I had to agree.
This one reminded him of Sam when he ate the apple pie. 
He definately was the culprit.

O Come All Ye Wakeful

O Come All Ye Wakeful
sing to:  O Come All Ye Faithful

O come all ye wakeful
Find a nice location
A warm knee, a settee
Relax in the sun
Sleep on your sweater
Though your coat is better

Refrain:  O let us yawn and snore some
Keeping one eye open
O let us yawn and snore some
Ou-r reward

O come and be gracious
Your bed is so spacious
O choose well and snooze well
And don't make a fuss
Sofa and armchair
Cover them with shed hair


O sleep where you're able
Bookshelf or a table
A good nap on broad lap
Will serve just as well
Life has such meaning
Paws in air and dreaming

They look all cozy and cute with their little eyes tightly shut.
All cuddled together.

A Visit from the Darts

We had our first Phoenix visitors
The Dart Family.
It was so good to see them.  It felt surreal that they were in our new home and in our new town.
Rachelle and Jared took Victoria and Kaleb to the park.
While they were there they came upon this piece of ice in the shape of a heart.
Jared told me about it the next day.  Next thing I know he is standing in front of me, ears and nose reddened with freezing arms in a short sleeve t-shirt.
He had run over to the playground to retrieve it.
I am surprised that he found it. 
I felt it was quite appropriate that they discovered this heart.
It reflects our natural love for the Dart family.
We have a bond with them that will never be broken.
It was so thoughtful of them to drive up from Salt Lake City to see us.