Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

There are still pumpkins on my front porch and turkey scraps in my fridge, but its time to move on to the next holiday! It was a perfect day to dig into our Christmas decorations and the boys were a big help! I woke up early (as usual) and rearranged the family room so that our tree could stand in the window. Then I went out and got our tree, which I bought just a few days before Christmas in 2001. I bought it to be a decoration at our wedding reception and its still our Christmas tree. I decorated ornaments to say "The Smiths Dec 29, 2001", hung them on the tree and gave them away as wedding favors. It was a budget wedding. You can see it here behind me and my little sister, Brittany. Isn't she cute? Come home from Korea already, Brit. But I digress...

The only year we haven't used it was in 2005 when I bought a real one. Its very skinny but since we seem to have Christmas in a different house every year, and some have very small family rooms, it works just fine for us! Anyhoo, I brought the tree in from the shed and unpacked it but someone, most likely me, didn't pack the screws for the stand very carefully because they were gone. I was afraid this was an early wrench in my plans and would require a trip to Lowe's but luckily I found some replacements in the garage! When we were ready to put them in Nolen said, "I have a toy screwdriver, maybe it will work and I can help you." How sweet is that? I explained that the toy wouldn't work, but he could help me use the real one and he did. He's getting so big. After we got the tree up, I had a fight with the Christmas lights and I'm sad to say that the lights won. I've always used white pearl lights on my tree, but this year, only 2 of the 5 strands worked. So, it was off to my favorite store...TARGET! I ended up buying LED lights and they look completely different and may take some getting used to.

Since it took me all day just to get my skinny tree to stand upright with lights on it, I made let the kids do the rest of the work. There were some ornaments that I put aside because I didn't quite trust the boys with them, but they hung most of them themselves. After awhile Max started getting silly but Nolen kept working on his project.

Nolen was very excited to put the star on the top of the tree. I made Ed lift him up - which was a mistake since he had been telling me all day that his back hurts and his medicine is at work...sorry Ed! Look at the grimace on his face. :-(

I love this picture. Look how proud he is of himself!
I think we're getting Christmas started off right around here...maybe I'll even do some baking with the boys today! Or maybe I'll just sit next to my tree with some hot cocoa and watch football.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Gobble Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We celebrated here in Leonardtown with Edward's sister Laura and brother-in-law Jeff, and of course, Grammy and Aunt Dale. The boys had a great time, got lots of attention, and even ate some turkey.

Nolen got into the Thanksgiving spirit!

I love these pictures of him devouring a giant drumstick!

Here are my boys showing off their Turkey shirts. You can see that Max's shirt has become a cyclops turkey.

By the end of the day, the kids had had enough junk food to fuel a high spirited dance party...
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hot Toy November 2008

I love to buy toys, activities and books for the boys. Some of them are a hit and some are not. I bought these little bead packets for a $1 each at Michael's and I didn't really have high expectations for them. Boy was I wrong! Max sat at the table for thirty minutes carefully following the pattern. He loved it and he did so good! When he finished his owl (or alien), he continued to sit there and make a pattern of colors. Nolen has joined in the fun too. He is making things that altogether will help him tell a story. So far he has a building that will catch on fire (in the story, not for real), a blue triangle (water shooting up to put out the fire), a guy walking, a dot (a guy that has been shot a lot and that is all that is left of his face (gulp)), and a square of stripes that he calls "Goo". I love that he is working so hard to make these pictures and he is really using his imagination, not just the patterns. The boys have spent about an hour each day creating their works of art. Its fun to watch.

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Not Much Going On

We haven't been doing too much lately. Here are a few pictures of the kids. I love this one of Max all dressed up for winter! We had a few snow flurries on Tuesday!

Ever since the boys watched Lady and the Tramp they like to play with their spaghetti.

Look at those eyes!

These will make great blackmail photos someday!
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Oh, the things you can buy for $1 in America!

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Our Adventure Day

So here is a funny story...
I had assumed that we would spend today watching the local Veteran's Day Parade that happens about two blocks from our house and relaxing at home. However, yesterday, Edward emailed me and said we should consider taking a trip to DC for the day. Well, I am usually a big "no" person (thinking of Jim Carrey's new movie) but the other day we were watching Rob and Big, and I noticed something. Well, I noticed a few things, but one thing stood out in particular. Rob is always coming up with these cockamamie schemes and Big always says "yes". Every time.

Rob: I want to go the turtle races.
Big: OK, let's go.

Rob: Let's get a turtle and race it.
Big: OK, let's go.

Rob: I have an idea, let's buy a "Mini Horse" and take it home in my SUV. It can sit in your lap.
Big: OK.

So, I noticied that (a) they have a lot of fun and (b) Big always says yes. (I also noticed that (c) they waste a lot of money and make a lot of bad decisions but we're going to ignore that part for now.) So I told Ed, yes, let's go to DC!

So after a big breakfast, and a little research we were off! We found the correct Metro station this time. Took the train to the Smithsonian had some lunch and visited the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History. It was a really nice day. It was chilly all day but by about 2 o'clock it was warm enough. I didn't take many pictures as I was schlepping coats and just trying to enjoy the kids.

Max liked the Cessna. He pulled back on the throttle, then got out and inspected the propeller on the front. Then he got back in the plane and pushed the throttle in and got out to check the propeller again and decided it hadn't changed. It was neat that he was looking for it though. I guess if he had checked the aielerons he would have seen those move.

Leave it to my kids to find the only marbles in the whole place to play with!

Nolen's turn to fly.

Here is what a Max looks like after a long day of museuming.

It would have been nice to visit some of the Memorials, especially on Veteran's Day but we didn't plan that well. At least I spent Veteran's Day with my favorite Veteran. And to all of those who have served our country, "Thank You." And to all of the families who have loved ones serving overseas right now, a very special "Thank You."
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Got Tagged! Yippee!

Since I'm pretty vain, and I like to talk about myself, I love getting tagged!

I've been tagged by Lisa...

The rules: Remove 1 question from the list below, and add your own personal question to make it a total of 20 questions. Tag 8 people, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged.

1. Who is your favorite SNL personality past or present? Toss up...Sarah Palin and the cheerleaders and the Target lady and the annoying couple who chew gum and anything Will Ferrill did.
2. What color do you like most? Red. I don't know why...I don't really like red rooms or anything but I like red a lot...maybe because I was always a cheerleader for a red team.
3. If you can have a superpower, what would it be? I would totally fly! I would LOVE to fly!
4. If you can travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? hmmm...Europe...different enough but not scary. I don't think I'd be brave enough to travel to Asia or Africa.
5. Which part of you do you hate the most? My complexion. I wish I had nicer skin. Maybe I'll try Proactiv.
6. When you get sad, what do you do? Get away...I try to go be by myself. Last night I got sad so I went outside in the dark to "walk the dogs". Don't worry I really did take them with me.
7. What book are you reading now? Doh! I don't think I'm reading anything unless you count People magazine!
8. If you win $1 million, what would you do with the money? Pay off our debts, save for kids college and save for gas and groceries. I think that takes about a million dollars these days.
9. What did you love the most about last year (2007)? I was really proud of myself for getting certified to teach Jazzercise and finding a facility and starting classes.
10. How did you get your name? I think Mom says I'm named after Melissa Gilbert. She is a Little House on the Prairie fan.
11. What is the moment you regret most? hmmm....

12. What type of person do you hate the most? Know-it-alls...especially when they don't really know anything. Drives me crazy!
13. What is your greatest asset? My butt. (we have that in common Lisa!) I think I'm a good mom and I used to be smart, but that was before I had kids!
14. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? I think I would wish for my family (me, Ed and the kids) to be this happy and well adjusted twenty years from now. I feel like as a family gets older, they acquire more and more issues. I hope that we can minimize the bad issues among us.
15. How did you celebrate the New Year? I'm pretty sure I was with you, Lisa! I think it was Lisa and Sara and my family at Val's house and then we all went home before the actual ball dropped.
16. What tv show do you watch that you are embarrassed to tell people about? I guess I have to say The Hills except that I'm not all that embarassed to admit it! ha!
17. It’s 2008. What are you looking forward to this year? I don't that bad?
18. Anything in your life that you wish weren’t so awful? Maybe my mood...but mostly I can't complain about my life...its pretty darn good.
19. What’s the shallowest thing you intend to do this year?Anyone who knows me knows what I will do/say that will be shallow. I'm too ashamed to write it here.
20. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke all the way!

I'm not very good at tagging people so if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged...

Tag-you're it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Puddle Jumpers

The boys have really enjoyed playing outside in this neighborhood and even though the weather has made it less desirable for the grown-ups to be outside, it hasn't stopped the kids! This is not our first time to play outside on a cold, rainy, Maryland day. I bought some rain boots for the boys last week and they're working out pretty well.

Nolen had more fun spinning his umbrella than jumping in the puddle - although he ended up with just as much water in his boots as Max did!

Saying hi to Logan. I like how Logan is dressed up as if its freezing outside, meanwhile, Max is only wearing a shirt and pants and appears to be trying to swim in the puddle...he fell down in the puddle a few times and didn't seem to be bothered by it! What a nut!
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Saturday, November 1, 2008