Monday, January 31, 2011

Sledding 2011

This past Saturday Rich took the kids for their first sledding experience! They've been pulled around the yard before, but with the lack of hills here, they've never had the chance to sled downhill until Saturday. Rich's grandma has a perfect sledding hill. I didn't go, but from what I understand (and from the pictures) Morgan LOVED it! She'd ride down and Rich pulled her up several times and she pulled her sled back up on her own several times. Unfortunately, Blake didn't think so highly of the experience (could have been since he fell asleep in the truck and was a little grouchy.)
Bundled up and ready to go!
Look at that smile!!
Going back for more.

After they got home, I thought it would be fun to have some hot cocoa...also a first for the kids...just to top off the afternoon of sledding. (I would have said to warm up after an afternoon of sledding, but they'd been inside at grandma's for at least an hour already before coming home.)

Ahh...the simple joys of the winter season. :-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Girls Weekend 2011

This past weekend we had our 3rd annual girls weekend with the girls in my family. My nieces were unable to make it yet again due to a previous engagement with their mom, but we hope they can make it next year!

Morgan and I left home Saturday morning and headed to meet my mom at her place. Due to snow and sleet and my windshield wiper blades continually freezing (resulting in me having to stop to clean them), my typical 20 minute drive was more like a 40 minute drive to my mom's. I have to admit that my stomach sank at the thought of the typical 2 hour drive to my sister's place turning into 4 hours due to the weather, but the roads were much better in the counties south of me and it didn't take much longer to get to her place than usual. YAY!

We made it to my sister's by 10:30 am then made our way to IKEA. It was my first time experiencing IKEA and it was pretty neat! A lot of the furniture and things tended to be more modern than I like, but I LOVED the space saving ideas that I saw while there. Some day I'll go back for them ;-)

After the IKEA shopping trip, we stopped at Jimmy Johns for lunch then headed to the Hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor. What a neat place!! Morgan just jumped from one thing to another checking EVERYTHING out and it was nice not having to tell her not to touch! LOL!
Experiencing how water moves.
Playing piano and getting exercise at the same time!
Discovering how a toilet works.
Making hand impressions.
Making a bracelet using maritime flags that have been matched up with the letters of the alphabet...Morgan made her name in flags :-)
Morgan's face impression.
The safe way to experience a tornado!
Checking herself out in a wavy mirror.

Next was a stop at Build-a-Bear to use a gift card we had received on some new clothes for Morgan's puppy, Fluffy, that she made the last time we were there. I think Morgan could have bought up the whole store, but we managed to stay within the gift card amount :-)

After Build-a-Bear, was dinner at a place my sister suggested called the Uptown Grille. The food was great and it was a nice way to start winding down for the movie at my sister's place. She had downloaded "The Princess and the Frog" for Morgan, since that was the only Disney princess movie she hadn't seen. (It was okay-didn't care for the voo doo....made it kinda dark.)

The next day was a bit of a lazy day. We hung out at my sister's place discussing wedding plans most of the morning. Before leaving for home, we did some dancing with the Wii Just Dance 2 game. SO MUCH FUN and apparently it works because my arms could feel it the next day! :-)

And that was about it for the weekend. I think the guys all enjoyed themselves while we were gone. Katie's fiance was skiing in Colorado. My dad stayed home and Rich stayed with Blake playing and watching movies nearly the whole time. I think we're all looking forward to another girls weekend again next year! :-)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas and the End of 2010

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a wonderful end to 2010 and is enjoying a wonderful 2011 so far. We had a busy, yet relaxing, end to last year....

Last I mentioned was all the cooking/baking I had been doing for the upcoming Christmas parties....and we had several! We had the usual Christmas Eve party with my extended family on my mom's side. It was a really nice time....then home to get the kids to bed and put out their presents under the tree.

Christmas morning, Rich's fire pager went off at 3:00 am for a 4 year old girl who was unresponsive and lips were turning blue. I usually don't hear his calls because he is out the door before the tones finish going off and I had wished I didn't hear that one! I lay awake praying with tears in my eyes for a while before falling asleep shortly before he came home. The little girl was going to be fine (more prayers...of thanks!) they think she had an allergic reaction to some medicine her mom had given her a little earlier. Then 5:00 am Rich's pager went off again and he was out the door before I heard what it was. The kids woke up with all the noise and wanted to see if Santa had come. So I videotaped them checking out the living room, but wouldn't let them look in their stockings or open presents until their dad came home....having no clue when that would be!

The kids got to play with this while they were waiting. I got this idea from the Frugal Fun Family blog and spent many craft nights at my mom's creating my own version...

Morgan LOVES cooking in her new kitchen now...but she says she needs a sink to wash dishes :-)

Luckily Rich came home around 6:30 am and that call is a long story, so I'll spare you ;-) The kiddos were excited to check out their stockings and open gifts.

Blake's gift from Morgan-she'd been wanting to get him Legos for Christmas since Thanksgiving!

Morgan got her first locket with pics of Rich and I and Blake inside :-)

We then left a little after 9:00 am to go to Rich's grandma's for Christmas. We opened gifts there, had brunch and did the annual Christmas shot (peppermint schnapps is pretty tasty!)

After that, we headed to my parents' house to have Christmas with my family. We started off by talking about what Christmas was about and letting the kiddos know that we were going to have a birthday party for Jesus. We read a children's book of The Christmas Story and another book focusing on the reason for the season ;-) and then had dinner. After dinner the kiddos and I put together the birthday cake for Jesus (with a special meaning for everything that went on it) and then opened gifts. While everyone was having a wrapping paper ball fight I hid the riddled clues for the candy cane hunt, then we read The Legend of the Candy cane and my sister helped the kiddos hunt down their box of candy canes.

The birthday cake for Jesus.

The kids on the candy cane hunt.

They found them!!! :-)

We also did a the coloring activity after eating some birthday cake. These are Morgan and Blake's colored nativities :-) I was really proud of how well they did coloring...I think these will be kept for a LONG time! :-)
Morgan ended up staying Christmas night with my family (seriously everyone stayed except Rich, Blake and I), so we picked her up the next morning before heading to Rich's very extended Christmas party on his dad's's almost like a reunion with great aunts/uncles, 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins, etc. It's a nice time, but after the long Christmas day (and the miserable roads!) we just wanted to stay home that day :-/

I was asked to bring Christmas cookies, so I made this :-)

Rich took Monday off from work and we mostly relaxed, then Tuesday the kids and I met with my sister and parents to try on dresses at David's Bridal. My dad took the kids while my sister picked out her beautiful tea length wedding dress and I picked out my little pink dress to wear as her matron of honor :-) After 3 hours there, we went to lunch then the kids and I met Rich after he got out of work at the movie theater to see Tangled. Such a CUTE movie! LOVED it!! :-)
Wednesday, Rich's mom picked up the kids and I after she got out of work. We then got Rich's dad and brother and met Rich at his aunt's house to have Christmas with her and her family. After some yummy pizza and more presents, we made it home around 10:00 pm and were exhausted!
Friday, as New Years Eve, we had a party to go to at Rich's parents'. It was mostly family and close friends of the family. The kids got to see Rich's cousin's little ones (they're really close in age, but live a long way away) and they played and had a wonderful time. We celebrated the coming of the new year and came home to relax the rest of the weekend....sort of.....

Something else that I was asked to bring to the new years party...a BIG chocolate chip cookie-it's the best with chocolate frosting on top!!! YUM!!!!

New Years Day, I read the book Rich got me for Christmas, The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck (very good!) and then cleaned out part of one of the steers' pens. When we came inside we worked on taking down the Christmas tree. Sunday, after church, we finished cleaning up the pen and moved the 2 little steers in with the bigger ones in the clean pen. My parents then came over to see what the kids had gotten for Christmas, since they had been meaning to ever since Christmas :-)

And that's about it for our Christmas/New Years activities! (Phew!) I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well! :-)

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