Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thank you, Santa!!!

Christmas Eve - We made homemade pizzas, tucked the kids into bed and then wrapped and organized so it came out just perfect. Santa happily ate the cookies the kids baked and frosted for him along with taking a few carrots for the reindeer.

It was a perfect morning, both kids slept in until 7:30 and for the first time in her life we had to wake Maren up (go figure). Preston investigated and determined Santa left the presents under their Christmas tree in the bonus room instead of downstairs.

I was in good shape because I had time alone to get organized and make coffee and GR was fully rested so he was up when both kids got up. Although he was very grateful for the hot cup of coffee.

Both kids opened all their gifts and are over the moon, so much was exactly what they asked and wrote to Santa for which helps keep the mystery alive. We have some fan favorites with the Kitchen Appliances, Trace & Draw Projector, Horses and the Barbie Dog that poops (yep, you feed it and it poops but don't worry it comes with a pooper scooper).

The rest of the day will be playing with toys and perhaps venturing out to sled or ice skate on the pond. Otherwise I will cook a large Thanksgiving like meal with Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing Roasted Veggies and Green Casserole.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Says

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thanks Uncle Shane & Aunt Lyndsey

I was hyped up to do massive projects today, it might have been the 6 cups of good coffee I had (wink, wink).

We made Salt Dough Ornaments yesterday so this morning we painted them (and the floor, 2 cabinets and the wall into the bathroom).

Then we shoveled and played outside and the kids ate snow. Weird, I know!

Then we built the Robot that Uncle Shane & Aunt Lynsey sent (spot on with all the gifts). Maren would have helped but she was caught up in forsey land (horsey land).

Gingerbread Mania!

Maddie was here for Gingerbread Mania so the kids went CRAZY!! Actually it was a rather serious and hardworking session of frosting, eating and designing.

We had heard on good word to build them and let them sit then come back about an hour later and start adding the candy. If you remember last year we had some architectural disasters due to not waiting for the frosting foundation to harden.

Maddie's House

P & M Train

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Program 2008

It was a big morning here, I finally took all the videos off the camcorder and figured out how to piece them together (I haven't figured out the editing yet) and upload them to the blog. You may see a whole bunch of videos going forward because this is easy peasy! Enjoy


The kids did an amazing job at their Christmas Program! They knew every word and sung along and did all the arms motions to the song. They stood up on stage and listened to their teachers and most all had fun! I was so excited to see them together since this will be the only program they will get to do together. It was worth the wait!

We have video of the whole event but I have to figure out how to get it from the camcorder to my laptop, so check back later.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Summer Food Memories

I don't really miss summer because I prefer cool days and time spent bundled up in the house. I do miss the pizza we would make on the grill several times a week. In order to try and pull it off I'm having GR grill out today since it's a balmy -10 with windchill around -35 below.

I'm kidding on making him stand outside so instead I used my standard dough recipe and will try making breadsticks, mini pizzas and calzones in the oven using my pizza stone. If the mini pizzas turn out ok then sometime this week I will try our standard pizza.

Here's my famous dough recipe, you simply can't go wrong with this one! I tend to not measure and just gauge things so you might have to work with it a bit your first time.

5 cups flour
1-2 T Active yeast
1-2 T Brown Sugar
2 Cups Hot water
dashes of salt

Mix your dry ingredients together and add the water, mix it all and the knead the dough around so you have all your parts incorporated. Cover and let rise for 1 hr. Punch down and let rise for an additional hour and then start cooking.

This dough is impacted by room temp and humidity so if you don't get a perfect rise don't worry. I will have pics of my creations later.

We took the kids ice skating today and both of them loved it. I had planned to get them out on the pond also but we had 14 warms hours (mid 30's) before this cold front hit so the pond was a bit slushy. Preston did go to his first high school hockey game and loved it. He came home with a puck and managed to sleep with it all night.

The kids just have school this week and then they are off for 2 solid weeks. I have a couple at home activities planned - Cookie Baking for Santa, Ornament Making (salt dough) and our standard things like play doh, art time and music practice. It should buy me about 37 minutes to try and get my work done!

I can't believe we are 10 days away, my shopping has been done since the summer so I just need to wrap but honestly I don't see that happening anytime soon. It's the 2 kids glued to me constantly that might prohibit.

I will admit even with 1 less week between T-Day and Christmas I'm not sure I can handle anymore Christmas music, we literally have it on 24/7 and its making me a tad bit crazy!

The kids Christmas program is on Thursday night and I have high hopes for singing and participation so check back for pictures!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

O, Christmas Tree

Here's our trees for this year

Kids tree - A collection of their annual ornaments, ornaments they made or received

Man tree - Need I say more, its full of beer

My tree - Crystals and snowflakes and icicles

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ice Skating

We had planned to skate at both the indoor rink and the pond behind our house but it was so darn cold we skipped the pond.

Preston & Maren are using the skate helpers that big Ryan made for them, lifesavers!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Merry Christmas, Santa

We took the kids to visit Santa today and it went so well. The little setup and this mall was great, everything was free and not terribly crowded.

Preston bought is friend Ben a toy chainsaw for Christmas and has wanted one so bad he can taste it. He literally doesn't want to give this one to Ben. So when we sat down to write is list he wanted that as #1, I told him he should focus on the other things he has wanted for so long. I just didn't want Santa to think I was raising a serial killer when my son asked for a chainsaw for Christmas. Maren asked for a horse so that was safe!

After our visit with Santa we went a very enjoyable and cold sleigh ride, Maren loved the huge horses and gave one a pet right on the nose.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Decision Time

It's time here for 09/10 school year sign up which means I have to commit to what school we are sending Preston too and what schedule I want Maren on so I can get work done.

I researched for an entire year and stumbled across the perfect Kindergarten to send P to, it has everything - full day, music, art, small class size, bus service etc etc but its in the next town over which is a BIG bus ride for me (not so much for him I'm sure)! I think it will do wonders for him and I'm so excited to see him turn 5, it feels like just this week he has come home and started talking storybooks about his life.

Maren grows cuter by the day and therefor I plan on sending her to 3 days of afternoon preschool. She does so well at the social aspect of school that we figure the "school" aspect of school should pick up sooner or later.

It will be very odd taking just one kid to preschool. I was so used to carting Maren when taking Preston and now this year taking both and soon just Maren. Then we will spend our time standing at the end of the cul de sac waiting for Preston's bus!

It will be so amazing to remember this time spent with the kids and watching them grow up and learn the ins and outs of life.

I'm one to freely admit I get to busy and too wrapped up in silly yet important things. The other night I did nothing but kid stuff - silly but healthy dinner, fun, colorful baths, 1 solid hour of story telling and almost watching them fall asleep. I forget what a stress reliever being with kids is, they remind you are of the newness of life.

Things overall are good but busy as it is for most people this time of year. We have had a steady stream of light snow and lots of "things" going on. This weekend we are ready for a visit to Santa and his Reindeer with a chance to make cookies with Santa and maybe see Cinderella. Stay tuned for many pictures of this adventure which takes place on a town just above us on Lake Minnetonka.

Then of course we will be ice skating, Preston has asked everyday since last Sunday when we would be going again. Someone on the other cul de sac that borders our pond snowblowed it off and he has barely been able to contain himself so I'm sure beside out normal Sunday free skate I will be bundling myself up to venture to the pond.

I'm off to read and try and unwind from the week, I love the nights when the whole house is lite by nothing by Christmas lights and everything is quite.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nana came, saw and captured

the hearts of both kids! Much like Grandma before her we will endure several days of getting back to normal. Tears will be shed, both kids will need to entertain themselves while I cook dinner and of course my version of any nursery rhyme will be sub-par for at least 3 wks.

It was a wonderful weekend full of good friends, good food and good memories! Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch and it was a grand slam! I would have to say the grand prize winner was the Chocolate Cheesecake, like any recipe I made many changes so if you want my version come over for coffee! I have no pics of my beautiful Thanksgiving table because I tore my intercostal muscles (the muscles in between your ribs)so breathing was a chore, in between cooking and painkillers I had no time for pictures! Here's the kids shoveling snow instead.

The kids made frosted sugar cookies with Nana, took many walks looking for Santa's elves in the forest and were able to show off their ice skating skills! It was Maren's first time and she did good and slightly enjoyed it. Preston on the other hand, had to be pried from the ice. This was his second time and the kid can pick up some speed! Our vision for the kids has been to expose them to many different sports, activities and hobbies so they can pick their passion. Want to bet at this rate my kid picks the priciest? I saw the real prices of skates at Play it again Sports when I went to buy used skates - OUCH!!

Look for Preston's ice skating pics or even a video next week (we skate every Sunday).

To wrap it up, this is Maren singing Rudolph to one of two singing reindeer that only sleep when the kids sleep.