Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blizzard of ‘09

The official snowfall total here in our area was 19 inches.  19 inches of pure powder – perfect for skiing (if we could’ve gotten there!), not so good for sledding, but delightful fun!  We had a blast as a family for two days, being stuck inside with no where to go – it was much like the old classic “Let it Snow”!  Here are a few of our favorites from the weekend.IMG_6720

By the time we woke up on Saturday, the snow accumulation was already at 4 inches, and we knew the rest of the day ahead was to be filled with the flakes.  So, we made Christmas cookies – icing and sprinkles and yummy toppings.


After naps it was still snowing too hard to go out, so the kids cuddled up on the couch to watch The Grinch That Stole Christmas.


Time to venture out for a little bit – and to traipse across the snow covered hills to our neighbor to deliver some cookies.


Our crazy friends the Lehmans are those kind of people.  You know them.  The kind that are driving down the road in a blizzard and you think to yourself, “Wierdos.  Who would be trying to drive in this?!?”  They are.  They had cabin fever and piled in the big ole four wheel drive SUV and made their way over to our house for some soup and desserts…a welcome visit!  Daryl carried Ang and all 3 boys to and from the car – we had to capture it for memory’s sake!


It stopped snowing in the middle of the night…and the next day was gorgeously sunny and bright.  We were outside a lot!


We made a slide out of the mounds from the parking lot at church.  And we built a snow tunnel igloo in one.  Hud thought that was hilarious!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nice or Naughty List?

Anna got a special email message from Santa.  If you want to see it,

click here

Is Hudson on the nice or naughty list today?  Check it out for yourselves!  He checks daily.  Sometimes thrice!

Click here

They are two different messages – Anna’s is a little more personalized….

performing is in the genes

Hudson makes Daddy proud all the time.  But for Daddy to see Hudson on stage for his preschool performance was delightful – it’s amazing to see how far he has come since last Christmas' hilarity.  He was still quite hilarious, and very entertaining as he enjoys singing and meticulously performing his motions, but he was a little more, well, mature this year.IMG_6666

I guess the best way to put it was that this year they put him right in the middle in the back row, center stage, and they had him play Joseph.  (Which he was extremely proud of, by the way.  He was also delighted his friend McKayla got to be Mary.)  Oh, and this year, he wasn’t holding the teacher’s hand and didn’t scream he had to go to the potty right in the middle of the performance.  Although, he did ask me what would happen if he had to potty during the show the night before….IMG_6675

giving baby Jesus a kiss…


I love the innocence of children in a Nativity.  Something precious, innocent, pure.  The idea that yes, we should be approaching the throne of the manger with childlike belief and faith. That we should be anticipating Christmas Day with the excitement of a child – the excitement that a baby was given, chose to be born, for you and for me.


I love the look of tenderness on his face as he fixes the baby’s blanket…and the look of pure praise on McKayla’s as she joins the teacher in prayer.  Yup, I think I’m gonna cry.


After the Nativity story, the class sang a few of their favorite songs for us – including oldies like “If I Were a Butterfly”.  Gotta love that song!


And then it was time for snacks!!!!  That’s why Hudson is very excited in this picture.  Well, that and he is next to his friend Caleb.  AND he’s on stage, again.  There was a stage in the refreshment area too.  AND Daddy just let him get a plateful of cookies to ingest.  At 10 am.

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Have to share this one – the twins were the dutiful sheep that heard the good news of Jesus’ birth!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Miracle of Christmas

Tonight, Chris and I were blessed with the opportunity to go to see The Miracle of Christmas at the Sight and Sound Millennium Theater.  What a gift, and what an experience.

The theater itself was incredible.  Broadway quality sound and lighting. Amazingly scripted dialogue and expertly crafted sets.  The music was touching and moving – and the experience itself transported us to 2,000 years ago.

But the most amazing part?  The gift of the show inside the gift? (Got that?)….Doc, the friend from church that took us to the show, is on staff.  Not just on staff, but, in short, the man in charge of all the coolest stuff.

Doc is in charge of design, engineering, execution and production of all sets.  He’s the man that makes all the actors look like they are really where they are pretending they are. :)  He took us backstage and into the workshop after the show to let us in on a bit of what his world is like.  The shop is currently in full-gear preparing for the upcoming production of Joseph. 

Chris took a few pics on his cell phone so that you could begin to get an idea of what the shop was like.  And when we say shop, think to yourself a Wal-Mart with no aisles or scary linoleum floors.  This is Doc showing us a model that the art department creates; a miniature to scale that they then make into the next picture….doc model sight and soundjoseph set sight and sound alligator sight and sound This is an alligator made for a dance…kinda Chinese-dragon-ish.  But the amazing part?  Looks like metal, made from moldable lightweight plastic and then covered with spandex; yup, the kind you wear if you are a gymnast or a ballerina.  backstage mainstage sight and sound From the wings of the main stage. beth kiss penguin sight and soundKissing a very lifelike penguin from the Creation production this past year.  I thought that being able to play in this workshop would be a dream come true.  There are soooo many cool props and sets…and animals that are animatronic.  I think that Hudson, Anna and I could easily spend a week in there playing pretend.  Just the animals alone would send them into a tailspin!chris rocks sight and soundChris hangin out on the soon-to-be pit where Joseph will be thrown by his brothers.beth rock sight and soundI am soooo strong – that is obviously a huge boulder that I am easily lifting above my head.

It was a fabulous experience.  Not just a huge thanks to Doc and his wife, but a huge thanks to Grandmom, who took the little people for the evening so that Chris and I could have an evening to ourselves.  Here’s a clue what Grandmom did with the kiddos.  I had to share – it’s just too cute.hudson santa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

rainy days, elves and ravioli soup

Sunday was a rainy afternoon and evening…and what better to do than make cookies, watch Muppets Christmas Carol and play hide and seek.IMG_6646

Mmmm…classic molasses crinkles – courtesy of a delish recipe from Ang.  IMG_6654 A Smith family classic – Muppet Christmas Carol.  Hudson loves Marley & Marley!

IMG_6648   The yummies in the oven…bakin’ up some goodness. 

So in addition to those delightful memory makers – today’s Charlie Brown Countdown window required the following: “Make an Elf Hat”.  Yup, and we did.  Hudson was way into it.  Mommy on the other hand, well, it took me a little bit to warm up to the idea (mainly because he opened it during breakfast and my orange juice was not completed yet).

Once we got started though, it was a blast!  Anna chose to decorate her elfin cap with Charlie Brown stickers and a few touches of crayon.  This is her yelling “Cheese” or “Elf” – one of the two!  Like her cute ears?  I think she may be among the top cutest elves of the season :)IMG_6656   Hudson chose to go the route of candies.  Not real candies – the creative young man he is – he made construction paper candies, cut them out, and then glued them on: a lollipop, chocolates, a gumdrop, orange chocolate, blue peppermints and a Perry the Platypus gummy.IMG_6659

That brings us to the Ravioli soup – which was delicious.  It was something that we found in the paper yesterday and I tweaked it to our tastes…it is pretty easy (crockpot) and worth the little bit of prep – as my family loved it.IMG_6663 The recipe below (as a disclaimer :) is the re-vamped version that I created from the basic recipe from the paper.  We like more spinach, more tomatoes and I made the measurements a bit easier.  Also, the original called for chickpeas, but next time I am going to use cannellini. 

Ravioli Soup

· 8 oz sweet/hot Italian sausage, casing removed

· 1 clove of garlic crushed/chopped

· 2 cans of chicken broth

· 1 can of water

· 1 can of cannellini beans, drained

· 1 can of petite diced tomatoes

· ¼ cup squeeze of spicy mustard

· ½ teaspoon dried oregano

· 1 package of frozen mini cheese-filled ravioli

· 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves, torn

Brown sausage and garlic for about 5 minutes. Drain off excess fat if any. Put all ingredients, except spinach and ravioli, in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours. At end of cook time, add spinach and boil ravioli to thaw (4-5 minutes). Add them to the soup and heat for an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

And because Martha Stewart would so finish off a meal of Ravioli Soup and Cantaloupe with finger jello, that’s what we did.  A little jiggle does a body good.


Monday, December 14, 2009

we happily interrupt

We happily interrupt these Christmas proceedings to bring you good tidings of great joy…well, great joy for all parents still changing diapers!  We are nearly out of the diaper stage! 

Anna has been successfully using the potty for peepee for about 3 months, and has been going independently as she needs for about 2 weeks.  We’ve turned the corner now as she is also visiting the latrine on her own accord when she feels, well, when she has to poop.  And that is exciting.  And I had to share, even though it may be a little explicit for a family blog.

We’re down to diapers only when sleeping (mostly because Mommy doesn’t want to have to clean up in case of sleep-pee).  And big girl undies are on the agenda for most times of the day.  Pull-ups when we are out for longer periods of time, but the move to undies full time is coming soon…could this be Anna’s Christmas present to Mommy and Daddy?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

little – me’s

When you are growing up and the world tells you, “You are so much like your mother.  You do this like your father,” you scoff if you are in your preteens, politely accept it when you are a teenager, and relish and appreciate it when you are an adult.  Those compliments, as I now know they are (well, most of the time :) , are often reflections of traits that we adore or have been genetically given by our parents.  And when everyone said to us before having kids, “Just wait, you will see yourself in them,” I thought, “HA!”. 

I was wrong.  And now I know.  This is Anna, pouring over the latest ad she saw laying on the table while she ate her cheerios.  She was very intrigued, and as she learned from watching Mommy and Grandmom on Black Friday, she would point to a picture and say, “Mommy, I like dat. I buy dat.”  Ahh, she has the shopping gene of sales and deals already.  But that’s mild compared to what comes next.IMG_1376 The kids and I were out running around and came upon these really cute ornaments that they could make…and I, as someone who is always on the lookout for a project to do on these cold winter days, snapped them up and let them pick their own.  Anna picked a gingerbread girl and Hudson the gingerbread house.   Anna lovingly and somewhat haphazardly glued her lady together, designed her with a little extra marker, and bedazzled her with some glitter glue.  Much like myself, not too perfectionistic-ly, but with a 2 year-old’s care and artistic impressionism (meaning – it didn’t have to look like the picture, exactly).


Then there is our little Chris.  Yes.  Hudson.  He’s a little over the top with his perfectionism, and we are working to diffuse it a bit before school begins for him!  This little man had to make his gingerbread house exactly like the picture.  And we’re not talking frame and structure.  This little man had to have the gumdrops in perfect rows on the top of the house.  Not only perfect rows, but IN THE SAME COLOR ORDER AS THE PICTURE.  It was a little disturbing, but mostly funny as I saw my wonderful husband shining through this delightful four year old creature.

IMG_1382 Yup, and if I think about it too much, this phenomena may scare me…so I choose not to think about it too much – and pray that therapy may help them sometime in the future! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

the first snowfall

The official total for Saturday’s storm in this area was 5.5 inches :)  Happily, a little off the 1-3 they initially predicted.  Here’s a few pictures of our first winter snowfall playtime – and even better than just snow, Mom-Mom and Poppy arrived just in time for the outdoor adventure!IMG_6626 IMG_1387 IMG_6608IMG_6600  IMG_6609  IMG_6615 IMG_6623

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hudson’s word of the day

While playing Lincoln Logs….

“Man, Daddy.  This is exasperating.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

and….I was decorating

So, this is what happens when you are happily decorating for Christmas and your children are quietly playing.  One of them (specifically the younger) is most definitely bound to find trouble.

She has a “boo boo” on her knee from playing outside, and she is insistent that it needs a “banain”.  Apparently, I don’t move fast enough, because this is the bandaid she created for herself.


Yes.  Those are women’s hygiene products.   Can’t wait to whip those pictures out when she brings her first date to the house. ;)