Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oliver the rock star!

We got Rock Band for Christmas. Oliver has decided that when he grows up he want to be a lead singer for a rock band. (Just what his parents always wanted for him...*sigh*...just kidding!!) He asked if he could be ALL TIME singer when we play since he's so good. As the movie clip will show, he totally gets into it. It's hilarious! He didn't realize I was recording him when he was singing. So after, I showed him the footage and he said, "Hey, I sound better than that! That video makes me not sound very good!" Ha ha!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Daybook Dec 29th

Outside my window: I look outside and of course I see WHITE. We have gotten somewhere around 40 inches of snow so far this winter. We have several more snow storms coming this week with 5 in. forcasted in each storm. The boys and Dave are constructing a quinsy, which is a snow cave. They pile a huge snow pile in the back yard and let it sit for a couple of days. Then they dig it out and put a tarp on the ground inside. They plan on sleeping out there sometime this week. They've done it before and they say they stay toasty warm. I, personally, think it's crazy!!!
I am thankful for: I've been enjoying having Dave home during the Christmas break. Sometime his profession as a teacher drives me crazy with all the extra hours he puts in, but during vacation times, I'm very grateful for his job.
I am thinking: I am thinking of the New Year coming up and all the things I'd like to accomplish. Every year I attempt to try to loose weight. I always start gun-hoe but fizzle. My friend Jenny and I have been exercising everyday faithfully for 8 months. I was running several times a week, but I had a hip injury so I had to give that up for the time being. We still do the elliptical and stationary bike and weight lifting 6 days a week. I've lost about 17 lbs. but I have so much more to loose. I know that I need to give up the amount of carbs I eat every day. Starting this week I'm going to do the South Beach diet. I've got to dedicate my self to do it for longer than the six weeks that I normally do. Please pray for me to have the dedication. I'm tired of failing at this year after year. I know it's in me...I CAN DO IT!!!!
I am hearing: I am hearing some MAJOR rocking out from my boys. We got RockBand for Christmas. It is fun to play together but sometimes the noise gets to me. It's fun to watch them though. Oliver totally gets into it! I have recorded him singing and I'll have to post that for your viewing pleasure.
From the kitchen: Today we were suppose to have a couple from church come over for lunch but they called and canceled. I had already started cooking so we'll just have it for dinner tonight. I'm making Baked Pork Cutlets (pork chops dredged in yogurt and breaded in crushed Ritz cracker, sage and garlic salt...yummy!) mashed potatoes, baked apple slices, honeyed carrots, orange rolls and flan.
I am creating: Nothing really. Too busy playing Settlers of Catan, Risk, RockBand, and sledding with the family.
I am going: We're going to go sledding a little later today. We are all a little stir crazy.
I am wearing: Still in my workout clothes. Got to go get ready for the day pretty soon.
One of favorite things: I got some new perfume for Christmas, Hot by Ralph Lauren. I feel pretty when I smell good! ;)
A few plans for the week: Tomorrow the kids have dentist appointments in Green Bay. Later that night I'm getting my hair cut! Can't wait for that! Wednesday, New Years Eve, we have plans with Dave's family to go to the YMCA and swim during the day and then go to Lisa and Paul's for pizza. We'll be home to bring the New Year in but Dave's mom and maybe other family will come to our house to play games and stuff. I'd like to take down the Christmas stuff on Friday and Saturday and get the house back to order. It all went by so quickly!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Does anyone else feel like pulling out your hair???

OK!! I'm having SERIOUS problems in the blogging world. Some times I wonder why I'm torturing myself blogging, when most of the time I'm ready to PULL MY HAIR OUT!!!. Alright...let me back up and take a deep breath. Maybe some of you out there can help me. I don't even know if I can explain my problems without sounding totaly confusing! I have major problems when I'm putting up alot of pictures. I can't seem to put them all up and then blog about them without erasing one or more of the pictures as I'm trying to arrange them. I'm finding it VERY frustrating. It seems like it should be such an easy thing either to click and drag the photo to where I want it (but that seems to just stretch the picture) or to do the simple copy and paste (but sometimes when I do this, when I right click to paste the photo where I want, the picture or journaling above that lights up in blue and it erases that image!!! )
Yesterday I was trying to do my Christmas blog. What I thought would take me 1 hour TOPS ended up taking me 2-3 hours!!! I had to keep going back into my photo albums and uploading images over and over! My poor family! I was in the WORST mood by the time I was done, I don't think they are really fond of my new hobby of blogging. What to do? Can anyone give me pointers on what they do when they are loading pictures and creating a new post? My family and I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thanks. Sara

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. We didn't have a lot planned so it was nice to just be relaxed together as a family. On Christmas Eve, we had our friends, the Struck's, come over for pizza and games. It was nice to visit with them. Then at about 9:30 the gang (minus me, Chloe and Oliver...they were sleeping) got on their snow stuff and went sledding. That might have to be a new family tradition! They came back laughing and giggling about Sam going down the "Slide of Death"!! We have a great sledding hill at the local park and on this HUGE hill, there is a metal slide that goes down the length of the hill. I guess Sam put his plastic, hard sled on the metal slide and went lickety-split down the slide! Dave said he'd never seen such terror on a full grown man before! Dave was laughing for days at the thought of it!
We went to bed a bit late, but before we did we put out some "cereal and milk" for Santa. Dave told Oliver that Santa was getting kind of tired of cookies, but that he had heard that Santa was CRAZY for Golden Grahams! It must have been a big hit because there was a lot missing from the box the next morning!

Connor was the first one up at 6:00a.m. I was pleased that they slept as late as they did. (My poor sister Natalie was woken up a 3:30 in the morning!!) He ran downstairs to sneek a peek, but Santa was one step ahead of him and had everything wrapped up!

Oliver wasn't too far behind Connor! He was so excited he started to make crazy signs with his hands!!!

The boys all went into Chloe's room to try and wake her up! I thought they weren't going to have much success...she was not wanting to wake up! She didn't have much of a memory from last year to know what was going to happen if she woke up and went down stairs.

But finally after a few minutes of begging by the boys, she managed to pull herself out of bed!

The kids were all amazed at the piles of presents. They were most "impressed" with the size of Chloe's present! They said, "It's bigger than her!!!"
(It would be days before the living room was as clean as this moment !)

It didn't take Chloe too long to not be tired and ornery when she saw her stocking full of goodies and treats. Her eyes were twinkly and full of wonder!

Stuart with his stocking!

Oliver looking forward to a bubble bath!

Interestingly enough, Connor was pretty stoked about the Axe deodorant he got in his stocking...whatever!

"Tiny tot's with their eyes all a glow...."

Oliver's big present was a new bike.

Connor was hoping for a Rip-stick! (I'm hoping he doesn't break any bones on that thing!)

Stuart got a new MP3 player. His old one (the one he had for a month) went through the laundry at my mom's house. Hopefully he'll be more carefull with it!

Here's Miss Chloe with her new kitchen! She loves this thing!

The boys playing Rock Band!

Connor and Oliver playing Dance Dance Revolution.

We really enjoyed our day together. After we let the kids play with their toys for a while, we had some brunch. We made oatmeal pancakes, bacon, cinnimon rolls and orange juice. The rest of the day we snacked on treats and left over pizza. We were all so full and kind of sick of food that we weren't in the mood to eat our Christmas dinner we had planned! Oh well! No one was coming over and we didn't have to be any where so we said, "What the heck! We'll have Christmas dinner tomorrow!" And that's just what we did! We had steak, baked potatoes, raspberry pretzel salad, veggies and Emily's Blue Ribbon Rolls! We were too full for dessert so we'll have that another night during our vacation.
I love that fact that our Christmas this year was so "low pressure". It was so fun to just relax and do what we wanted without having to worry about entertaining or going somewhere or keeping the house spotless. I LOVED IT!!!
I'm so grateful for this time of year where we can spend time with the ones we love and to worship the baby, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A friend is...

Oliver had an assignment to do for school. He was suppose to make a card for a friend. I let him dive into my paper stash and he created this cute card for his friend, Uriel.
I thought it was so sweet, creative and thoughtful.
Like Oliver said to his buddy, Uriel; a true friend is good to us and doesn't want us to do things that get us in trouble. I know how important it is for our kids to surround themselves with friends that will be good influences on them and help them choose the right. I hope and pray that they always seek out the best of friends and are good friends to their peers.
Throughout my life I have had friends that have been both good influences and not so good influences. I'm grateful for all the friends I had when I was a kid and that I have now that are true friends and want what's best for me.
Friends enrich our lives and are there to help us when we need them. Thank you to all my friends!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

I made these cookies last week and my family LOVED them. They usually don't go for the harder gingerbread cookies recipes, but these were delicious! They are just what they say: big, soft, gingerbread cookies. They stay soft too.

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. margarine/butter, softened
1 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 Tbs. water
1/4 c. molasses
2 Tbs. white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine/butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients in to the molasses mixture. Put in refrigerator for a couple of hours so the dough isn't too sticky to handle. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll in the remaining 2 Tbs. of sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. (Can flatten slightly, but I didn't. They were prettier a little fatter.)
Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Can drizzle icing if you want. Store in an air tight container.
Taken from (love this site!!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Deck the Halls!

This is a post idea that I "blog-lifted" from my sister, Emily. Thanks for all the good,creative ideas, Em!

This is one of my favorite Christmas decorations I have. It is an ebony, carved nativity from Mozambique, Africa that my parents sent us when they were on their mission. Some times I leave it up all year because it's so special and neat!

I made this nativity before I was married at a Super Saturday meeting for the ladies at our church. Being in a small branch out in the middle of nowhere, I don't have the opportunity to get to go to many of those anymore. I used to make a lot of cute things for my house when I lived out in Utah. I sure miss them.

These are just a few of the Christmas dolls that my mom made for me. I have lots of memories of my mom at the sewing machine sewing and sewing, getting ready for the Christmas boutique she had every year to make money for our Christmas. To this day I don't know how she did every thing to get ready for Christmas. With all her baking, sewing and shopping, she managed to get it all done and give us kids wonderful Christmases.

One of the things I like to do with the ornaments that we collect or that are given to us, is to hang them on garland on the banister on the stairs. Each of them have a story from where they came from or who gave them to us.

This is one of the kids favorite decorations. It is a snowman that sings and plays the piano. One of Dave's former piano students gave this to him.

Some of my priceless decorations I have are these two Santa's (on both ends). Before my Grandma Fay died, she'd loved to do ceramics at the senior center she'd go to. For a couple of years she gave these Santa's From Around the World out to all her grandchildren. I wish I had more of them. I love the them!

This is a Santa that my Grandma gave me. It stands about 3 feet and to the kids it signals where our elf, Twinkie, is going to leave his prize for the night!

My Christmas decor around the house is in gold and red. Sometimes I wish I had a different color scheme or a different style but that would break the bank! But for the most part I'm pretty content with what I have.

I love Christmas because we get to deck the halls and have lights and decorations that bring back fond memories of when we were kids.
After the holidays are over and everything comes down, the house seems so bare. I can hardly wait till the next year to put it all up again!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sleep, Little One, Sleep

The sky is dark and the hills are white
As the storm-king speeds from the north to-night,
And this is the song that the storm-king sings,
As over the world his cloak he flings:
"Sleep, sleep, little one, sleep;"
He rustles his wings and gruffly sings:
"Sleep, little one, sleep."

On yonder mountain-side a vine
Clings at the foot of a mother pine;
The tree bends over the trembling thing,
And only the vine can hear her sing:
"Sleep, sleep, little one, sleep:
What shall you fear when I am here?
Sleep, little one, sleep."

The king may sing in his bitter flight,
The tree may croon to the vine to-night,
But the little snowflake at my breast
Liketh the song I sing best,--
Sleep, sleep, little one, sleep;
Weary thou art, anext my heart
Sleep, little one sleep.

Eugene Field

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!!!

The kids were so excited to go pick out a tree at Muskrat City Gun Club Tree Farm. Our little pre-lit fake tree was on the fritz so we decided to get a real tree. I was kind of surprised at how excited the kids were to have a real tree and how much it meant to them.

Oliver wasn't feeling at his best today but he tried to paint on a happy face.

On the hunt for the perfect tree!

The thing I liked about this tree farm is that they weren't the perfectly groomed, painted tree. These tree were a little more natural and scrawny. Just the way I like them!!

As we were looking around for a tree another family had been looking at this tree but then walked away to look at others. They didn't come back for a while so we came upon it and thought it was a good looking tree. I felt kind of bad when the family came back to get this one while we were in the process of cutting it down. We thought that they didn't want this one. I guess, "You snooze, you loose!" They ended up getting a different tree that they liked better. No hard feelings!

The boys had a blast zigging and zagging through all the trees. It was fun to watch them chase, tag, tackle and dive in the deep piles of snow! Even after we found our tree they begged us to let them stay and play.

Chloe didn't care much for being in snow up to her hips. Her footing wasn't stable so she had me carry her all over kingdom come! After a while of this I was like, "OK...let's get the tree and get out of here! My arms are killing!!!"

The great adventure of going to the tree farm is searching for the tree, cutting it down, dragging it out to the car parked a mile away, strapping it to the car and hope it doesn't fall off!!...oh wait...

It did fall off!!! Luckily for us Dave took the back roads home and the tree didn't sustain too much damage as it tumbled around on the road!

Dave said he planned it that way so all the limbs of the tree that were covered with ice and snow would be cleared so we would be able to bring it in the house right away! Ha Ha, yeah right!!!

We pick out a Blue Spruce. Although it is very beautiful, it is a beast to touch. Neither one of us wanted to put the lights on because it was sheer torture to get poked every time you got near it. Dave and I took turns, he wearing yellow rubber gloves and me with my winter gloves on! Next time I told him I wanted something more soft to the touch, that doesn't kill the Christmas spirit when you touch it!!

A few days later after our wounds on our hands and arms had cleared, we finally managed to decorate it. Because it is so much bigger than our previous tree, I think we need more ornaments to fill in all the space.

We really like this tree this year. We created a lot of memories picking it out and decorating it. It finally feels like Christmas. Ahhhh!!!!