Thursday, December 29, 2011

christmas sightings...

whew! we made it through another wild and glorious christmas! the kids all sang in the choir, robes and all, twice! which made for a really long stint on christmas eve. but we figured what better place to be on christmas eve, right?
lots of cousin time..... and even a new cousin born the day after christmas!!

o tannenbaum, o tannenbaum....

please don't catch on fire....
i'm just not ready to take everything down yet. even tho it's starting to look a little scary around here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

winter days

when i think of my happy childhood, i think of many things, but one thing stands out for sure.

cabbage patch kids.

i still get excited when i see the logo, or those pudgy little arms reaching out towards me.

my kids think they are the ugliest dolls and have no desire whatsoever to play with them.


i spotted these beauties while doing a little christmas shopping the other day, i'm not sure why they are considered "vintage" but whatever. they make me happy :)

i couldn't pass these up. the red is a little muted, but still... cutest thing ever.

all this rain has been giving my girls the most beautiful wavy curls.

i'm jealous. it's just making me frizzy.
the girls were in a very low budget re-inactment of the nativity. it was little S's first play. she was thrilled to be a sheep. she was still talking to her friend before she noticed the play was over. oh well. she didn't mind. she just ran up to me and "baaaa'ed while holding her tail.

tonite we are having our traditional cousin sleepover. we just got back from caroling. they were awesome and were offered $$$ to come back tomorrow night during a christmas party.

they were pretty thrilled.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

ornament exchange

we had an ornament exchange for the mops group i'm in. i didn't have time to go out and select the perfect ornament, so i thought i had better get crafty with what i have around the house.

i wasn't as busy as i was a few weeks ago, but still busy. not the kind of busy when you know you need to spend some serious time with the olive oil and fine tooth comb to get the gum out of one of your daughter's hair... but can't get to it for 3 days. not that busy...


i found an over sized ornament left over from our christmas party. gathered some materials...

christmas scrapbook paper, old book paper, glue, modge podge, wax paper, ribbon and some ink.

i ripped the old book paper up into big pieces. i dipped them in the glue, diluted with a little water, and pasted them all over the ornament. i just used my hands to rub the paper on for a nice secure attachment. and let it dry.

next i cut out a few paper decorations and dipped them in the glue mixture and pasted those on.

when it was completely dry, i sealed it with modge podge... again with my hands.

then i made a little note with papers, edged the sides with ink, for the top and secured it with cute ribbons.

done! a one of a kind ornament, perfect for the exchange :)

i think it would be fun to do this to a whole package of small ornaments. i'm kicking myself for getting rid of all those ornaments i had been storing, just a few weeks ago :( , in a cleaning spree. it would have perfect for our family homemade gift exchange. bummer.

Monday, December 12, 2011


just to remember...
today i am joyfully jogging from one late event to the next. jogging in the sprinkling rain in my jeans that are too tight and a warm sweater that i threw over my pajama top from the night before.
that's how i'm rolling today.
if only i was playing words with friends... with all those j's.

california trip 2011

some dear friends of ours gave us a week with their timeshare in newport beach. they couldn't go during the week it was available. we said SURE we can!! and off we went.
beach, 3 day disney, a drive down to san diego to reattempt the zoo and home.

this was the view from our amazing room. there was a traders joe's very close so were were able to grocery shop and make most of our meals in the room. there was also a washer and dryer which made the packing much lighter.
we went right to the beach. it was so beautiful. it was freezing but that did not stop the kids.
they had fun burying each other and then discovered that baby R thought it was hilarious to be buried. so they buried him again and again and again. it was awesome until baby R started rubbing his eyes and getting sand all over his face. then the stinging from the salt water settled in. little S had rubbed her little thighs raw from the jeans she was wearing the day before... anyway when the excitement from the beach starting wearing off and the stinging started settling in.... it was a total cry fest. the big kids were upset because they didn't want to leave, little S was freezing and her legs were burning and baby R was shocked, cold and had sand in his eyes. it was amazing. we didn't go back to the beach. i think it's better when it's hot and you can commit to doing the beach all day. it's just no fun when it's cold and windy and i've never been a fan of all the sand that gets dumped all over the car.
disneyland was amazing. it was so fun this time because the kids were actually old enough and brave enough to go on all the rides with us. i had a blast. miss L was ready to go on anything. she would ride with paul and then go again with me. oh and it helped that the park was empty! we hardly had to wait in any lines, which for me, makes all the difference at disneyland. we had lots of fun riding the rides and making faces at the cameras. we would check them out, laugh and then run back and ride it again. the kids rode tower of terror 5 times i think. i hated that one. they dragged me on it and i was miserable. i like the water rides best :)
it was fun to watch baby R's face light up. he just pointed and oooh'd and ahhh'd at everything. little S was the only one who wanted to visit the princesses :( that made me a little sad. the other girls said it was kinda babyish... but they did ride the ariel ride 10 times :)
we made it thru the zoo without a hitch. which was different than the last time :0
we checked everything out and wore the kids out by walking and walking! that way they crashed out and it was a peaceful drive back to the valley.

it was a great time but now the kids cannot miss anymore school!!

little s

did i mention this girl is 5? yes. yes i did.


all this extra holiday time at my moms house has me doing one of my favorite things...
going thru old pics.

would'ya take a look at these angelic little cherubs :) taken in the ohio autumn leaves

my uncle john and aunt cecilia (who are also S's godparents) joined us for thanksgiving. everything they make is delicious, so of course, the meal was amazing.
we had it all set up outside and we couldn't believe it when it started drizzling. we moved everything inside. it was a bummer because paully had been working on the grass for months. he wanted it to be perfect for this occasion, setting up the table and chairs on the grass under the trees. oh well. we made a fire and it was just as nice eating inside :)
big welter and little welter having some quality time.
the next day, we took a long... long... long... country drive. we ended up on a very curvy dirt road. scary at times, but nonetheless... gorgeous.

we drove from canyon lake to apache lake, checked out the roosevelt dam and headed home. a beautiful, but not recommended with children, drive. thank goodness they were all pretty happy the whole time and not car sick... because there was no turning around.

anywho, another lovely and wonderful year to be thankful for!

ummm.... catch up

at the risk of being totally cliche....

what the heck? time is going by so fast! i think i'm going to have to jot down random thoughts to catch up.
here's a few that i've been trying to remember.. they were really funny at the time.

1. on the way to a christmas play, little S, who has been in kind of a "bad mood" phase for quite some time, says...
"ugh mom, i have a headache of Jesus songs."

2. on an outing with L and little S for some special christmas shopping time together, and while looking for a parking space, L says..
"mom, remember that time when you found that parking space for pregnant mommies and you were so happy? i think i know why they do that."

me: "why?"

"cuz pregnant ladies are kind of grumpy and get frustrated kind of fast."


(she was remembering when i was preggo w/ baby R just in case you were wondering)

speaking of baby R...

he says things like...

"lemme see that mommy." and "that's mine!" and "no!" and commands everyone by name, except for L. we don't know why he won't say her name, it's starting to hurt her feelings tho.

L and D and S have had some great christmas gatherings at school.

S's class hosted a parents only potluck and carols. it was nice to sit with just my big girl and see her in her element.

L's class had a talent show and hosted a family dinner. they seated everyone, took food and drink orders, completely served the whole dinner. it was hilarious. it was just like going to a real restaurant, one that was just opened by children. they actually had a brilliant idea tho, they seated the parents and the little babies together and invited the other children (who wanted to) to go to a separate kids area (right there in the same room) where they had crafts and games and the kids could eat there too. it was great.
L and her besties did a few carols and dances.

and D's class had a family breakfast potluck and then a beautiful rendition of the grinch who stole christmas. D mouthed everyones lines. she had memorized the entire play. it was hilarious. it was a big deal figuring out how to do her hair to correctly imitate a who from whoville. i think she was happy with the end result.

john the elf has still been very popular in our house this year. D bolts out of bed every morning to be the first one to find him. little S is in awe of her "google eyes" and how she is always able to spot him. he has been hiding in some pretty tricky spots. except for the one time he was so lazy and stayed in the same spot... he just extended out his neck a little the second day. hmmm.... elves these days....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving!

i sure am thankful for all the little turkeys in my life ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011


a few of the children were transformed into beautiful mariposas at a magical birthday party last week.

a typical sunday dinner at my mother's house.

fyi.. there is a full sized couch to the right. they just like to have a weekly snuggle on the love seat i guess.
my latest find from my sat. morn treasure hunt. me likey.
well what do we have here? i like to think it's an early american girl doll. it was my FAVORITE doll. hence the picture i'm sure. it's wasn't even mine. we rented it from the library every time it was available.

i want those shoes back soooo bad!!

which child do you think looks most like me?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

sweet salvage

oh how i want to go to sweet salvage today. i've been racking my brain thinking of how i can get down there. it's a big antique salvage market that only opens for 4 days once a month.
but i just don't think it's gonna happen. unless i book it downtown after dropping off S at preschoool and then only stay 1 hour before having to book it back to the other side of the mountain to start the afternoon carpool.
i really need a velvet chair or settee.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

diner en blanc

i heard about this cool diner en blanc theme and we thought we'd give it a go for our turn at dinner club.

it was a fun night!

i liked the idea of old pictures and torn out pages from old books hanging over the table. i found as much white stuff as i could, thanks to my neighbors :) washed out some old lemonade bottles and used them as candle holders. i used old music flash cards as place cards. put white flowers and candles everywhere and it was fini!

a diner en blanc! my guests did not bring their own food tho. but it was a surprise to them. other than i asked them all to wear white. they thought it was a p diddy white theme. nope.

i made some white feather headbands for the ladies and had a few white props out for pictures. i think the men liked the big white fur coat more than the ladies.

the menu:

two garlic and thyme roasted chickens
roasted brussels sprouts
sweet potatoes with rosemary & olive oil
mesclun salad (french greens) with balsamic vinaigrette
saffron baked brown rice
french bread

and a delicious chocolate cake for dessert (courtesy of my sissy)
bon appetit!
i had fun with these silly girls!!!

maru's baby shower

i got to celebrate another beautiful life on sat. my dear friend is having her 4th baby. her mom and sis-in-law picked an awesome location and we had lots of fun ooohhing and ahhhing over cute baby girl things. i can't wait to hold that little one!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

my littlest matryoshka turns 5!!!

S is 5!! i can't believe it. she got to celebrate on her actual birthday at school. she was pretty pumped. they have a tradition of picking a toy out of a treasure box and they get to take home Socko, the classroom monkey, for a few days.

we met some sweet friends at rainforest cafe, which was a real hit for her and baby R. after we picked up the girls from school, we headed over to the mall for the traditional
5 yr. old ear piercing!

she chose hello kitty earrings.

she brought in some cookies :)
R was pretty excited to be in the classroom that day.
sooo happy!
i decided to have a matyroshka themed birthday party this year. i found a little necklace at forever 21 a few months ago and was inspired by that.

i printed off a few free coloring pages....

and ordered her gift from amazon. i also ordered some cute crafts but they did not get here in time. we will just use them as thank you cards... when they finally arrive :)

amazon can be kind of addicting :0

D practiced some special songs for S and wanted to learn how to play happy birthday so she could play it while we sang.
i really put the big girls to work with the decorations. i had hosted a party 2 nights before the birthday party, so i just kept a lot of the decor up and swapped out some things. i printed off some matryoshka dolls and cut them out. i had the big girls paste them onto cardstock and viola! there was the banner. S was really inspired and decided we needed name tags. i was so proud of her, they turned out so cute. she even used a special font just for the birthday girl.
of course auntie sarah hit it out of the ball park with her cake. i sent her a picture of the dolls i ordered off of amazon and she made the cake look just like them!

my pretty little 5 year old.
we headed outside for a little matryoshka hide and seek. they blended right in with the scenery, so it was a real challenge to find them.

the little boys had a wonderful time playing football with the big boys. R was in heaven... so serious throwing, retrieving and waiting for the ball.
S got so many sweet and thoughtful gifts. it was a beautiful day. she is such a funny and sweet little girl and i am so thankful she is mine!!