Sunday, December 21, 2008

Can I have "S'More"???

It was bitterly cold here last night... a PERFECT night to roast marshmallows! Sophia LOVES LOVES marshmallows.....and so long ago I told her we should roast them and make smores....she was very adamant that she would NOT eat the chocolate part! I kept telling her that she needed to try the chocolate part...but she can be pretty stubborn and picky about what she puts in her mouth! I don't know how....but I did convince her to try the entire smore (chocolate and all)...and guess what??? She liked it...(I keep hearing in my head, Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" "Try it...Try it and you may!!!" ) In fact she loved them so much she had two big ones!

Joseph enjoyed munching on the graham crackers....and had fun making me chase him away from the area of the fireplace. Oh my....he is a mischievous one, but awfully cute in his jammies. I was cleaning up graham cracker crumbs all day today...but I guess it was worth it!

By the way...daddy's smore's tasted much better than the ones I made. He claims the trick is using TWO marshmallows. Oh well... I guess I'll just stick to baking!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gingerbread Madness!

We started with one large batch of gingerbread dough...and it may have taken us a week to construct and decorate, but FINALLY our 2008 Standard gingerbread houses are complete....and everyone took part!!! Sophia even made her own gingerbread wreath! She rolled out and cut so many gingerbread men in the time it took me to roll out and cut the pieces for 5 houses....that we were able to make a wreath out of her creations! She is the best baker ever! I am so proud of her!
I did the dough making, rolling and cutting, and much of the frosting. Brett, of course, completed the building and construction. Sophia was our architect, as she designed the very last house on paper and instructed me how to frost it. I guess you could say Joseph was our project manager....He watched to make sure we were all doing our jobs! "Build Together" is our motto afterall, right?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

These are the special times....

Well it has been a few weeks since I have posted...but that is not to say that not much has been going on at our house. It's only the first week of December and I already feel completely overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle that goes along with the preparation for Christmas. I vowed to myself early on that I was going to make every attempt to do only what needed to get done this Christmas and spend the rest of the time ENJOYING what Christmas should be all about with the kids. But no matter how prepared I try to be....there are always surprises along the way (i.e. computer failures....lost address lists, teething babies, doggie accidents...etc. And everything that I think will not be a big deal turns out to, re-tiling a shower, repairing a window or moving a pool table to make room for a playroom. The clutter seems to be a constant these days....and though at times my frustrations seem to outweigh my accomplishments.... I have to keep things in perspective. Hate to admit you are right, mama, but like you told me last week....we'll never be able to re-live it's nice to just sit back and realize that among these minor frustrations....remarkable things have been happening all around me.

Joseph has been taking some steps for quite a while...but only recently has he started to take 4-5 at a time! He loves to walk (on wobbly legs, of course) back and forth between Brett, me, and Sophia...and simply adores when we cheer, "Yay, Joseph!" I was thrilled to get a picture of him on November 20th, when he was walking from Brett to his exersaucer. He was pretty proud of himself that he took 3 or 4 good steps....but as you can see from the picture... I think his daddy was even more excited.

Putting up our Christmas tree was also a momentous occasion at our house this year. Sophia was sooooo excited to get out all of the ornaments and hang them on the tree. She still remembers which ornaments she hung and which ones I hung and points out all of this year's new ornaments to any visitor we have! I loved how excited she was and how proud of her tree she is!

Thanksgiving was special this year as we had a new little person at the table this year. Each and every day we are grateful for those who helped us bring Joseph home. Sophia also got to see the Plaza lights turn on this year... she had seen them in the past, but never been there for the actual countdown. I missed the actual event so I could feed Joseph, but thankfully Thea took great pictures. I love the ones with Sophia sitting on her daddy's shoulder and I especially love the picture of Brett, Sophia and my cousin Anna. Each of them, in their own way, are examples of the MIRACLES that surround us at Christmas.

Sophia and I have been working on a "Christmas ABC" book....and I loved that on her "C" page, she picked "Christ" and drew a picture of the Nativity. I hope you can see her baby Jesus surrounded by Joseph on the left, Mary on the right, and the yellow guardian angel on the bottom right. Her 4 year old mind is remarkable!

And last but not are remarkable for being my fix-it guy.....Thanks for putting together my new cabinet....even though it was in one-hundred pieces!
These ARE the special times.....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet "Kite Yellow Standard" the Elf on OUR shelf!

Well we still have 38 days till Christmas, but Santa already came to our house last night! He dropped off an elf for our shelf and a book to teach us all about him. Sophia was the first to spot him perched atop our mantle when she came down for breakfast. In the book, Santa explained that he was sending this special elf to "watch over" us during the Christmas season to make sure we were being good boys and girls and mommies and daddies. Each night, our magical elf will return to the North Pole to report the day"s behavior. He will arrive back at our house the next morning, but we will have to find him in a different spot. The only rules for this little game: 1. We can't ever touch our special fellow, or he might lose his magic; and 2. We must give him a name (Sophia chose " Kite Yellow Standard...hmmmm) We CAN talk to him, and though he doesn't speak, he is an EXCELLENT listener. Sophia warmed up to our new little fellow right away, and early this morning I caught her already showing him her Christmas list so that he could share her wishes with Santa. We can't wait to see where he will be hiding when he arrives back from the North Pole at our house tomorrow morning!

Friday, November 14, 2008

All I want for Christmas

Hard to believe....but the holidays are just around the corner. Sophia has already put together her christmas list. This morning when Joseph was napping, we sat down together and she went through all of the toy catalogs that have come in the mail recently. She instructed me which pictures to cut out...and we glued them to her "christmas wish tree" (each year we make a tree on paper so she can put pictures of what she wants to ask Santa for on her tree). She is hilarious looking through her catalogs like she does! Among her wishes for this year.... twin babies ( a boy and a girl... $14.99 at Toys R Us), a swing for her Itty Baby, a new bike, clothes for Itty, a hippity hoppity ball, and snack sack for Itty! Hope Santa knows what is in store for him this year!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Joseph's First Bike Ride

A few weeks ago...when the weather was still nice, Sophia decided it was a great day for a "family" bike ride! She kept insisting that we just put Joseph on the back of daddy's bike. I was a bit nervous as we never took Sophia on the back of Brett's bike till she was much older....but after an afternoon of pleading from Sophia and some reassurance from Brett, I decided it would be okay! I took a picture of Joseph "pre-trip"....and you can see he looks a bit nervous from all of the gear. Wish I could have taken some pictures during the ride, though, because the smile on his face seemed to show how much he really enjoyed it. And thank goodness....I was not trying to snap pictures because I was having to keep my eye on little Missy! She thinks she is a BIG girl now riding a "two-wheel" and sometimes forgets to stop at the end of a sidewalk. She was so concerned with being the first one in line!!!

Also...some cute pics of Joseph in his KU t-shirt. I saved it for so long so he could finally fit into it, and now it is already almost too small. You think his Pappou might be able to find a bigger one for him???

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's hard to believe Halloween 2008 is already over! It seems like just yesterday that we were pulling out all of our Halloween decorations....which we did by the way in the month of September! Sophia LOVES Halloween, and can't wait to decorate for the season. Our inflatable Tigger was the first to go up on our front porch. Brett programed him to a switch in our entry closet and Sophia quickly learned how to hit the switch to make Tigger inflate. EVERY morning in October, as soon as she would wake up...the first thing she would do was to run down the stairs and turn on Tigger! She was also thrilled when our neighbors put up their inflatable vampire and when more neighbors put up their skeleton that comes in and out of a treasure chest. You can imagine how she could hardly contain herself when she discovered another neighbor put up a different Tigger that was 3 times the size of ours. So, during the month of October.... we took many walks and many many drives down our street and back to check and see who had turned all of their Halloween decorations on. Many times in the car....Sophia asked me to stop in the middle of the street so she could capture all these amazing decorations on her fisher price camera!!!!

Anyway....our day yesterday was pretty exhausting but so much fun for both of the kids! Joseph seemed to enjoy his first Halloween, too! We had a pretty normal Friday morning without too many suprises...with the exception of the large ghost Brett and I hung from the entry chandelier the night before and the toast we cut out into Halloween shapes for breakfast! Joseph liked to look at it and laughed when we would say BOO! I of course took some pictures at breakfast time when the kids were reading their Halloween books and later in the morning just to get their cute Halloween t-shirts.

Sophia was pretty excited about her costume. And I was even more excited when she decided she was going to let me put some make-up on her! After all...what is a clown without make-up! I only got as far as a little bit of blush and some lipgloss (strawberry flavored of course!). She was the cutest clown ever (even though her costume had way more blue and purple than she would have is the only color for her!!!) And Joseph...well I must say he was the cutest lion ever! He even knows how to joke!!!! I had no idea the weather would be 75 degrees his costume was a bit warm...but he had no complaints! Aside from a little spit up on his mane....he did really well in his little costume. He even trick-or-treated with Sophia for over an hour! We got some pics before can see from some of Sophia's expressions that picture time can be quite a chore!

Sophia was so excited to trick or treat this year even though she could have cared about the candy. She loved dressing up and getting to go to all the houses to say trick or treat. She was so excited to fill up her pumpkin with so many goodies....but she will probably never touch any of it ...unless it is a cherry lollipop! I guess I should be thankful that candy doesn't excite her! She was thrilled to get a picture next to the inflatable skeleton and the enormous Tigger that she adored! We even had to walk by those houses today to get one last peek....but unfortunatley the neighbors had already taken them down! I'm sure she will remember to look for them next year!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Day

Pumpkin Day has kind of become a tradition for Sophia...and now for Joseph. Every year we go to Omi and Papa's and spend a morning or afternoon painting to our hearts content...or in Sophia's case painting and painting and painting until there is absolutely no more orange left to be seen on the pumpkin! I love to watch how seriously she applies every color. And of course she can't get enough of the glitter glue! Despite one minor upset (where she decided the pink butterfly she had painted was not at all what it should be....and mommy had to completely wipe off the entire painting on one pumpkin), Sophia had a terrific time! Joseph of course found his fun crawling under the table and pushing chairs and step stools around...go figure!!! Thanks Omi and Auntie E for all the fun!

We also carved one of our pumpkins at home that morning. This year was the first time Sophia decided she was brave enough to reach in and touch the oooeeeyy goooeys inside....and she actually kind of liked it. I reminded her how she was too scared to do this last year. "But now I am four and a I can do it, " she told me! By the way....her half birthday was October 28th!