Sunday, December 28, 2008

our christmas tree

hanging out in the back of grandad's truck waiting to go get our christmas tree...





lucy adding the final touch to the tree...




mimi's house

one of my kids' absolute favorite places to go. fun toys and cheetos. what more could you want in life?



happy name day to lucy and finn

back to the tradition we stole from the weisse family, we sing to our kids on their "name day" ("happy name-day to you, happy name-day to you...") and they all get some sort of special treat. lucy and finn's feast days just happen to be back to back. st. finnian is on december 12 and st. lucy is on december 13, so we had a little celebration. blowing out candles is always fun...






Tuesday, December 23, 2008

making shortbread cookies with baabee

making shortbread cookies is a christmastime tradition on my dad's side of the family, using his grandmother's welsh shortbread recipe. he would not be very happy with me if i gave the recipe, but it is more or less lots of butter and sugar and flour and cornstarch and some other things also. oh, and you get to mix it with your hands. that was always my favorite part. big surprise that lucy (our only kid who doesn't mind getting messy) was the only one to dig in...




jack's piano recital

jack has been taking piano lessons for several months now and had his first recital just before christmas. he was so excited about it and did great on all of his songs. my favorite is ode to joy, but he likes jingle bells...



"nanny presents"

we were quite spoiled this year with special "grandkid privileges" from nanny bird who included jack, lucy and finn as recipients of many little gifts to be placed under the tree and opened before christmas. they were said to be for any particularly good kids who might need to have an early go at ripping into some holiday wrapping paper. these presents turned out to be treasures of treasures for my kids. jack was beyond excited at the bag of marbles he opened (and continues to be even today with christmas well behind us...). lucy reacted to each little gift as if it were the one and only thing she wanted in the whole world. and finn's eyes would bug out as he screamed "cawrs!" at the sight of lightning mcqueen. for some reason finn was particularly taken with a gold hot wheels car which he carried around with him for three days to follow repeating, "mine. nanny. mine." i think he couldn't believe that out of all the cars in our house there was finally one that was actually his...

rock'n'roll

we were driving in the car the other day and some fast modern christmas carol came on the radio and jack said, "mom, i love this song. it's like a "cool" christmas song, huh? you know, like a "rock" song."

"but i like mine more better"

this is what lucy told me this morning as to why she couldn't use my bathroom, she had to use hers. she has used this same phrase, however, in reference to her own bed, bike, etc...

christmas cake trains

another little tradition we have is making cake trains every christmas with the neff family. i was kind of a slacker with the pictures so by the time i got out my camera jack and lily were the only ones still there...




merry christmas, charlie brown!


so, we had a little too much fun playing charlie brown with our kids the week before christmas...


lucy was sally, jack was charlie brown, lili was lucy (and marcie), jimmy was snoopy, charlotte was peppermint patty and luke was linus. and not pictured, finn and george were (sort of) pig pen and schroder. it was one of those funny things where we seemed to have kids that fit the parts so perfectly, we couldn't pass it up.




my three favorite scenes were...
(1) charlotte and lili as peppermint patty and marcie, first talking about their parts in the play (peppermint patty gets stuck playing a sheep) and then peppermint patty trying to steal the scene, which charlotte was fantastic at, "moo, oink, woof, whatever."



(2) lucy and luke as sally and linus, when sally says, "isn't he the cutest thing? he has the nicest sense of humor." to which linus replies, "good grief." this scene actually came out, "he has the nicest sense of kumor" and "good grieth" making it all that much better...



(3) jack and lili as charlie brown and lucy at the psychiatrist stand. lili was awesome. we will have to figure out how to upload the entire thing... perhaps through youtube...


also, we should get jon bird involved next year, so we can include this scene...



"tunno"

one of finn's new obsessions is with tunnels. it all started with the tunnel on the I-10 that we drive through to get to palatte. we would go through it and finn would yell, "agin, agin!" as if it were a thrilling ride. whenever someone would mention going to palatte, finn would get super excited and start yelling, "tunno, tunno!" then we went to the railroad park with sara and her kids and he became obsessed with the tunnel at the end of the train ride (this time at least it really was a ride). we went to the railroad park again this weekend with all of the families that participated in a "secret santa" family gift exchange with us and we could hardly relax because finn couldn't stop saying, "chrain! tunno!" at least he is quite content to ride it once and then just talk about it the rest of the day. that night he was playing with two little cars when pete and i caught him (i will try to explain this visual as best i can...) bent over with his head on the floor supporting his weight (his hands were occupied with the cars, of course) and his legs spread apart to create a "tunnel" and then sending the cars through his legs yelling, "yay! tunno!"

lucy's thoughts on the man with the red bag...

the other day lucy lost a little lip gloss she had when she set it down on a shelf in a store and left it there. she was very upset about this and i tried to tell her if she was a really good girl maybe santa would bring her a new one, but also if you have something that is really special to you like that you should try and take really good care not to lose it. she thought about this for a while and then said, "yeah, but i don't care if i lose that one too because santa can just bring me another one." apparently my little talk was not exactly successful. i was hoping to focus more on the "taking care of our stuff" part and not so much on the "who cares what happens to my stuff, santa will just get me new ones" part...

ah, the concern of an older sibling...

the other day lucy was having a bit of a difficult time listening. i gave her a final chance with the ultimatum that if she didn't stop, i would have to put her dolls up on a shelf. she looked me straight in the eye and said, "i don't care, their just toys." jack ran out of the room, lucy took her punishment (and repented later). i went to look for jack and found him crying, i mean sobbing, on his bed. i asked him what was wrong and he said, "i don't want lucy not to get any toys from santa!" apparently, he rated her behavior as naughty...

gingerbread houses

every year pete and i make jack and lucy a christmas chain (construction paper linked together) to count down the days to christmas. each day they get to rip one link off the chain and there is something written on the inside. it can be something they have to do (clean out the playroom and choose a toy to give away, make someone a christmas card, say a special prayer for someone, etc.), or get to do (watch rudolph, make cookies and hot cocoa, etc.), or something that is happening that day (hang christmas lights, go get our tree, etc.). one of the links read make gingerbread houses, so we invited charlotte and luke over to make them with us. some of the kids were a little more interested in eating the candy (lucy and luke?), while others were very intense on concentrating to make their house look good (jack and charlotte?). either way, they all had fun.










finn and santa

finn is recently obsessed with santa. (although, for a while any time he saw a picture of santa he would laugh and say, "ha, ha, baabee!"... not really sure where that came from). so, now he points out santa and then says, "ho,ho... chrinmas!" this is his attempt at "ho, ho, ho! merry christmas!" the slacker just gets lazy and cuts out the middle.

wrestle

i am not sure what started it, but finn and sam loved wrestling with each other. it was one of those games that you were sure was going to end bad, yet somehow never did. the only negative thing to come from this is that finn now thinks all other kids are up for being tackled...




good times with our chicago cousins

the chicago burches came to town for two weeks and we were very lucky to get to see a good deal of them. one day we even got to have therese, mary hope and sam all over to play for the afternoon, which may have been the highlight of the entire trip for my kids... the key being that their mom and dad did not come along. for some reason my kids are obsessed with anything involving going somewhere without me or having a friend over without their mom (also known as "playdates" but i am not so sure pete would like me using that term on our blog...) in honor of this very exciting event, we had to have lots of fun. a day like this truly only comes along once a year. we watched "cirendy" (cinderella) which my kids had never seen and, thanks to sam, has quickly become a favorite. mind you, a movie in the middle of the day is a big deal around here. while watching cinderella, finn kept trying to tackle sam on the couch and sam was trying to watch cinderella, so had no interest in finn's game. i told finn no tackling on the couch, so he tried to get sam to go in the other room with him, "dam, dam. in dere, in dere." (in finn's language the letter "d" replaces "s" "th" and "f"). i also thoroughly enjoyed when therese and hopi pointed out that cinderella doesn't have toes... one last cinderella story before we move on, pete asked therese if she and hopi ever fight like the stepsisters, to which therese replied, "no... except when we get the american girl catalogue in the mail." we also had a delicious tea (hot cocoa) party with the apple cake that therese helped me make. lots of playing and lots of fun.




one more sam story. earlier in the day i had fixed the strap on therese's purse using my sewing machine which i left out on the kitchen table. that evening we were all playing in the playroom and sam found this little dress that goes to one of lucy's toys (it is made out of some sort of rubbery material) that had a rip down the back. he told me he was going to fix it and ran out of the room. i didn't really think much of it and kept playing with the other kids. meanwhile, pete was in the kitchen and sam comes running in, hops up on a chair and tells pete he needs to turn on the sewing machine. pete has no idea what he is talking about and tells him that it is not a toy. sam responds very matter-of-factly, "but i need to fix this."

finn's first sentence

"nee in da bedt"
i won't explain, if you don't get it...

one day at lili and audrey's...

all the kids were running around the backyard and lucy was, as usual, in the back and falling behind. finally, she sat down frustrated and said, in an overly dramatic voice, "jack keeps running away from his little sister!" (although it was perhaps more along the lines of "wittle sista").

charlotte's birthday

for charlotte's birthday mary hosted an adorable tea party in g.g.'s backyard. they had tea and hot chocolate, tea sandwiches, tea cakes and strawberries with lemon curd. emily and bridget waited on all the little girls and g.g. made glittery magic wands for each of the little girls. as charlotte's godmother, i thought i would do my part by making purses for all the girls as well as little heart necklaces. they all seemed to have a wonderful time and the scene was, of course, picturesque. happy birthday, charlotte.