Thursday, December 30, 2010

The world through the 4 yr old photographer...

We've had a very Merry Christmas so far! So much, it's left little time for blogging ;)

I wanted to pop on here real quick and share some pics that Jake took with his camera he got for Christmas from G&G H! While they might be blurry, there is a sort of artistic flair to them. It's fun to see what's important or interesting enough for him to decide to take a picture. Many were of Evan, we once overheard him telling Evan "Now smile Evan, noooo, that's a pouty face!" LOL!! Here are just a few from the 165 he's already taken ;)

The Beloved "Buddy-Boo, Timbo"

Our living room pillows

Jake's glass of milk (that he had with the gingerbread cookies we made)

Evan fully enjoying his christmas snack of yogurt and gingerbread

Mommy talking to family on the phone

What Santa brought them... there are tons of pics of them both!

This mixer from Sitto (my mom) got a lot of film time too

Lots of pics of baby bro!

Suki Lou

A truck they play with all the time

A game he received, Uno-Mooo... very cute... he beat us the first time playing!

Bullseye! And Evan with a drill in the background!

Aunt Megan came to visit!

Bestest Pal... Daddy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the Night before Christmas..

... when all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse...

Um, no, not quite. We've been busy lil bees here!!

We were SICK all week and I was even worse than the kids. So today is a race to the finish line to welcome Christmas! Thought I'd take a quick break to blog, since I've been MIA.

We've made a Gingerbread house, and cookies (thanks for the recipe Shelley!) while watching Polar Express. Went to the park to play, I don't think I've ever in my entire life got to play outside with no jacket on Christmas Eve! Then we went out to dinner, yum! Came home put the boys in the sit n stand and walked around our neighborhood looking at Christmas lights (so much better than just driving by!) while enjoying hot chocolate and candy canes! That was another first, being able to walk outside and be comfy to look at lights, oh Texas, you really have your nice perks ;) Might have to make that a bonafide tradition!

Here are some pics from the day! Nonedited ones, not sure why Corel isn't working for me today.



(I thought the above pic was so cute to catch! They're playing Angry Birds together while laying on the front door mat)








Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our First Street Christmas Tour/Party

By the time we add in our street name, it becomes a really long title, so we need to find a fun abbreviated thing to call it. At first I was calling it a Neighborhood (even though I just meant our street) Christmas Parade of Homes. Since most are transplants around here, we all feel like no one gets to see our holiday decorations! Then it also sort of reminds me of a Progressive Party... but with quicker and more stops.

Luckily I had an idea, and 7 other lovely households joined in! It wouldn't of been possible without them!

Then last night at 5pm, our home was the first "stop" and we visited different homes every 1/2 hour until 9pm! It was great!

At our house I made Champage Punch, cookies, and some Bud hor d'oeuvres. Bud hor d'oeuvres are these little baked spicy sausage & melted cheese on small pieces of sliced pumpernickel bread... my Gpa Bud used to make this every Christmas. He passed away 5 years ago and someone else has always made them... but since this is our first Christmas not traveling up north, I decided to make them to share with my neighbors!

Some pics....




Then off to 7 other wonderfully decorated homes offering yummy treats and drinks. Some yummies that stoodout... bacon-wrapped shrimp/pineapple/or water chesnuts... tiny little cheesecake "poppers"... hot cider... a christmas tree bundt cake... eggnog... wine spritzer... christmas beer editions...etc... all very very yummy! Not to mention lots of beautiful cookies and snacks! The last stop was chocolate fondue and Starbucks hot chocolate & coffee!

I hope we do it again next year, and we were talking to just do 20 mins instead of 30 at each place... but other than that... success and good times! Also next year, we'll be getting a babysitter! Both boys didn't nap (of course - they only do that on days we have stuff planned!) so they weren't in the best of spirits and Greg stayed home with them. It would of been fun to go to the first few houses as a fam and then as a couple.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Big Little is TWO!

Yes, Two! How did that happen??

Two year ago after hemming and hawing (once I figured out WHY I was having back pains every 7 minutes! ha!) I finally went to the hospital and a few hours later...6:35 pm... out came Evan Joseph! Ole sweet cheeks!


He turned 4 mths old the day we moved into our home in Texas! 9 mths he went on his first flight to IN to visit family! For his first birthday we did our first massive road trip up north and back! The last year we've been busy with the zoo, childrens museum, lots of parks, the beach, playgroup, lots of walks, swimming, 2 HUGE road trips, and lots of laughs and tears! He acts so much older due to big bro Jake... and he's my not so gentle bull in a china shop... but is a huge snuggler when he wants to! He's not afraid to fail and he'll figure something out by sheer will if it's possible!

Yesterday we had a birthday party with our playgroup. I made it Toy Story theme! I thought this picture that a friend took was just perfect... they were playing with the Toy Story GeoTrax train that's bridge collaspes. He blew out his candle like he's a pro or something!




This morning I made pancakes and gave him his gift of a hobby (stick) horse since he's always riding my broom yelling "YeeHaw"... but he shoved it away and I found him riding my broom when I had to get it out for yet another broken ornament! Sigh, that's just so Ev for ya. Happy Birthday Buddy, we love you!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Disturbance in the Holiday Spirit

Last Friday the boys and I went to the post office to pick up a present for Greg from his parents, as it was his birthday. The mail carrier decided it was too much to walk to our door and just stuck a notice in our box to pick up the package at the post office.

While it's no where near where we live, the post office that services our address is in the ghetto. Bars on the windows, the box double chained to the building, vagrants, etc... I'm not some unwordly little snot... I know the ghetto when I'm in one. I'm also not one to just defer things to my husband just because I'm a woman... I kill my own bugs (unless it's a roach! ick!), I have my own various tricks to open a jar, I could careless about walking around at night or what have you... I've never been one that scares easily, and I'm the one that deals with customer service when we get screwed over on things.

However, what unfolded in the parking lot of that post office that morning has really shaken me. I feel scared. Long story short a man demanded money or that I go buy him a bus card. He had us cornered up against the car. Threatened for me to do what he said so the kids wouldn't get hurt. I still refused and pushed around him. He followed us to the post office and then waited leaning up against the car. In my distraction I left the keyless entry fob IN THE CAR. I almost had a heart/panic attack right there. I couldn't take the boys out AGAIN, the postal guy was already looking for the package. Luck have it, a nice lady came in and quickly offered to keep an eye on the boys when I told her what happened. He cursed at me when I got back to the car, and imagine the look on his face when he realized he could of made off with a CAR. Yelled at me some more to watch my back & kids. The post office LOST our package even though it was insured. The worker could of cared less... I game him a piece of my mind due to the lazy carrier and their lack of costumer service... let alone having to go through all that and NOT get the package we came for. He just shrugged his shoulders and said "Next in line please!".

We had back out to the car where this man is sure to get right behind me and follow me step by step as I put both boys in their carseats and put away the stroller. He never said anything else, but if looks could kill... well, I don't even want to go there.

It wasn't until we got home that I really got scared, and my heart finally regulated about 3 hours later. Then I got very angry.

I did contact the USPS and the postmaster. Our package was hand delivered to our door by a manager over that section of the postal service of East Houston.

Now I have 8 packages needing shipped. I would of course go to the nice, clean, SAFE one by us... but I couldn't bring myself to go today. I know it's so silly, it's not even the same place! It just takes a lot to really SCARE me and put fear in my heart... so while no weapons or harm was involved... we never made it to the post office today. Sigh, talk about a distrubance in the holiday spirit and general christmas planning!!

Just had to get this off my chest, thanks for listening.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How Lovely Are Your Branches...

Oh Christmas trees... one of the best parts of Christmas decorating! We have two!

The one in the office is the more "formal" one with blues, silver and white! This one you can see through the front windows. Which coordinates nicely with our white icicle lights outside that Greg climb up the extension ladder on a windy day to put up in the 2 gables of our roof line... he rocks!

The one in our family room (ie big open room in the middle of the house that everything connects to) is our more "casual" one with all the fun and interesting ornamnets with some fillers of red and green!


Ever since I can remember I love to look into Christmas trees and see what you can find ornament wise. My family has always hung ornaments from the very center out to the front. Giving them room to hang, not touching other branches or leaning to one side (that makes me crazy since I'm so used to trees being this way). It's a lovely effect and I still love walking by the tree to gaze inside and see a lovely pretty! Really gives it a magical feel!



Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Tree Party!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Handprint Ornaments!

Today we were suppose to go to playgroup for a great christmas tree craft. Unfortunately Jake coughed all night and Evan's nose is runny... so we had to stay home. So we needed something to do today!

Perfect time to do a craft I've been seeing for years! If you're a grandparental unit of my children, I suggest you stop reading! LOL! I've told family about my blog many times, but I think only 2 actual family members read it. So I guess our craft secret is relatively safe - as for my dad, I guess you can just look at it as a little preview ;)

I got a bunch of plastic ornaments when considering how I was going to deck the halls. Due to lack of paitence, dropping some (not that they shatter but the little neck/top snaps off), etc... I gave up on using them. I had a lot left over. They're great for this craft (and shipping/handling later on!)...

Used white Tempera poster paint and a foam brush....


Put towels on the table and away we went...


Brushed each of their hands each time and told them to "okay grab it!" (a quick concise motion allowed for less smudges and a good handprint - for the most part). First I did all the greens with Ev's handprint while Jake's were red, then switched (easiest way to keep it organize and not end up with 2 of the same on one!)Then just hung on our kitchen chandy to dry since it was right there and I needed to be right there and get this done!

Let the boys just fingerpaint awhile...


Wrote their initals and the year with sharpie. Now they're ready to hang and/or ship as gifts!

Since this will be our first year not being with family, I hope they cherish these little handprints as much as we do... as next year they probably both won't fit on the same ornament!

This is a super easy thing to do, almost borderline not a craft... but still linking up with Kate's Christmas Craft Party anyway :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Aww... it happens!

We don't have many "awwww" type moments around here. It's mostly "oh-no's, uh-oh's, ouch, and arrrrgh's" ;)

Went for a walk around our neighborhood today and try to get some pics for the christmas cards after last Saturday's failed mission. I learned a couple things... I am still NOT a good photographer (there must be a gene for it? I don't have it).... my kids are probably the worse kids ever for posing - no bribery, trickery or even honesty of any sorts works (they hate posing and they hate the camera!).... and once every once and awhile something cute does happen and I can see that they really DO love each other!


Now back to the Thunderdome! ;P

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Deck the Halls! Literally!

So far we've seen our Front Door Wreath and Christmas Mantel, on to the stairway/foyer! The foyer would normally have a console or entry table that a beautiful vignette could be done on. Not our foyer though, no real vignette here... but I did decorate the actual foyer, so does that count?

Our foyer is massive. Not much goes on in there and it's certainly not furnished yet. I do have a grand plan, just need to luck out at some resale shops or wait until yardsale season to finish (involves a frame that I need a plain mirror for, an iron coat rack, bench with storage, interesting side table and a lamp. Oh and a rug!). But it is in the works!

Due to the tree, I needed somewhere to move our chair, table & lamp in the corner. Empty foyer was the perfect place for the time being! Sure does make the space loads more cozy, kinda gives me a kick in the pants to get in done in January with the holiday goods come down.

Here it was not to long after we moved in... we've decorated a smidge more since then... but quite honestly this is how it pretty much looks!


Here's what I came up with. I did have some misconceptions on how difficult it can be to decorate a stair case with garland. I had to scrap some ideas after dropping and subsequently breaking some ornaments and just kept it simple. Even simple took some time ;)




We purchased the garland and the wooden cran-beads woven in at Garden Ridge. It was about 45"!

The basket on the floor next to the chair is for our cards. Not very creative I know, would totally love something like this!

This space is hard to get in a picture. Here are some more shots.


See that grouping of ornaments, I had about 6 more planned. It just didn't happen! Oh and look a sneak peek of another tree and our shiba, Suki!



Funny you never see my cat in pictures, and this is the second one of her in this post alone! Calamity says hi!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! ;)


Also, saw this impromptu linky party and thought this post was good for it!