Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A very Merry Christmas...

Being the last day of the year and all, I thought I better get a post done while it's still 2008. We had a great trip to Iowa to celebrate Christmas with the Hanson's and Pladsen's. Once we got home it was clear to us that some old toys had to be put down in the basement to make room for the new presents the kids brought home.

Katie made a Pixos picture...after spilling about 300 beads. :)

The Christmas cards that we got this year were just too pretty not to take a picture of. Katie got excited every day to open them and tape them to the wall.

Katie got some Legos from Grandma Mary and Jim. They were a prehistoric set with a dinosaur....Dick the Dinosaur, if I remember right. I don't think Will is ever going to let that dinosaur go. He has claimed it as his own. :) He uses the dinosaur to play with a demolition toy that Sarah got him. It's an odd combination, but it seems to work for him.

Katie got some games from her cousin Joey, who had her name. So far we have played checkers, memory, rummy, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and dominoes. We are trying not to let her win every time.

John is working at home today - God help him. He is working on the new Twins Stadium now and can do most of it on his computer, especially now that we have wireless Internet at home.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and plays it safe tonight. As for us, we are planning a fancy party with popcorn and apple juice out of champagne glasses. :) There is a special Hannah Montana/Miley Cirus New Year's Eve show on that we will try to watch too. Aren't you jealous??

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Wally!!

Before the day gets away from me I better take some time to send some birthday wishes out to my brother-in-law, Wally

Happy Birthday Wally!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our family Christmas

We celebrated our family Christmas on Sunday here at home. Since we'll be traveling on Christmas day, we wanted the kids to have a nice, easy going day here at home with their presents. Well - maybe not always nice and easy going. :)

Katie and Will picked out cookies for Santa on Saturday night and left them by the tree. Will couldn't really understand why we were leaving perfectly good cookies sitting out by the tree - he much rather would have just ate them.

Sunday morning we skipped church due to the cold weather and snow. I'm not sure how much we got over the last 2 days, but the blowing created drifts at least 7 inches deep. Once the kids got up they opened their Santa gifts right away.

Katie got "Computer Cool School." It's an interactive keyboard for kids that connects to the computer.

Will got a tool bench and a couple tools.

Then we ate breakfast, and took our time opening the rest of the gifts. John got the movie "The Dark Knight" and a pair of slippers. I got a beautiful pair of earrings, and new pan. We also got an Ipod Touch for the family to use...although John says I get to be in charge of it. :)
Will got a little train, some books, a ball, and a dinosaur. Katie got some Pixos (it's an art thingie), a spelling game, slippers, and a mailbox toy.
They played pretty well the rest of the day, although each were pretty territorial over their new toys. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Staying Warm

Brrrr! Who left the freezer door open? It's a chilly day here in Minnesota - as is in much of the Midwest. It's not going to get above zero here today...currently it's -4. The past few days have been good days to stay home and make cookies. :) So that's what we have done. Last week Katie helped me make Melting Moments, a signature cookie of my aunt Carol. It was my first attempt at making them and I think they turned out great. I had help with the frosting - Katie managed to frost every single cookie...and we had over 150!

Over the weekend Katie helped me make Christmas cut-out cookies. She did a beautiful job of rolling out the dough, and was a big help with the cookie cutting. Shhh....don't tell her, but I think I am going to frost most of them during her nap today.
Ok - I frosted them all. Instead of doing each individually, I kind of drizzled them. I put frosting that I made into ziplock baggies and snipped the end off the corner. It worked beautifully, and will certainly be my method of choice for future cookies

This morning while Katie was in school, Will helped make some regular old chocolate chip cookies. He poured some sugar in and helped hold the mixer. But while the fridge door was open, he helped himself to some cookies of his own.

This past weekend marked Katie's last basketball practice and game. She was happy to be done with it - basketball doesn't seem to be her cup of tea. But she was extra glad to be done because she got a medal for participation.

Sunday was Katie's Sunday School Christmas program. It was very cute, like it's supposed to be. She did a great job of singing, and was very excited to be in it.

Today we were back to school - Katie is the STAR OF THE WEEK this week in her class. She gets to bring in the snack every day, bring things for show-and-tell, be the 'line leader,' and basically just rule the roost, so to speak. Obviously, she had a good time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Say 'Cheeeeese!'

Last night we had our family picture taken for our local church's directory. It had been about 3 years since we had our family picture taken. Will obviously wasn't in the last one and I thought it was time we went through it again. We get a complimentary 8x10 as well.

Our photographer was a bit odd, but they all seem to be. :) He tried a few different family poses, but said we were limited to our choices because we had 2 small kids. (Thank God!) Then he did a couple of just the kids, and one of John and I together. Will really liked the flashes...he would just giggle whenever the camera went off. We did get a good family picture, and resisted the urge to purchase anything more. It was certainly not a hard sell. All in all we were out of there in about 30 minutes. Nice.

Right before the pictures, the kids and I had to attend an information meeting about kindergarten. Basically, I just wanted to know how the busing worked. I didn't get all my questions answered, but couldn't stick around to ask them because the kids were not cooperating. We were all stuck in a room sitting shoulder to shoulder with about 100 parents. It was hot, loud and the kids did not want to be there. I did learn that kindergartners ride a kindergarten only bus, and it's free.

On Wednesday night Katie went to yet another birthday party for a classmate of hers. Cole was turning 5 and a week earlier his mother had called me to ask if Katie could come. They were only inviting 4-5 kids from class, and there was going to be about 12 kids total, so it was going to be kinda small. (I thought that was pretty good sized....) Anyway, because it's winter in Minnesota, they opted to have the party at a place called Pump-It-Up. It's a party place that has rooms filled with HUGE inflatables. There are slides that go from ceiling to floor, giant jumping castles, and obstacle courses that they raced through. After play time, they went into the other room and they played with a bunch of blow up balls. Then it was time for pizza and cake and presents. I returned to pick up Katie 2 hours after I had dropped her off. (No, I didn't get to stay...Katie said I had to go home. )

She got a 'goody bag' and was full of ideas for HER birthday party. She keeps insisting that we have her party there as well, but I think I got through to her that it will be better to have her party outside instead....after all it IS in June. She does have the guest list started though. She's taking longer planning her birthday party than I did in planning my wedding.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa Claus - Part 2

Ok - let's try this again.
Today I took the kids to the Mall of America to see the REAL Santa. Don't worry - despite the 4 inches of snow we got last night, the roads were really good. Will would NOT go anywhere near the 'lap,' but we did manage to get him to sit on a stool by Santa's feet.

"If that guy in red makes a move....I am OUT of here!"

And another picture from the mall...Katie wanted me to take her picture in front of EVERYTHING! Talk about feeling like a tourist!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santa Claus - Part 1

After church today, the community rec center had a "Breakfast With Santa" event. It was a fundraiser for local charities with unlimited pancakes and sausages. After we had all had our fill of pancakes we went to visit Santa. As you can imagine, Katie was very excited. She'd been rehearsing her 'list' for a while now, but was suddenly drawing blanks.

Obviously, Will was not as excited. He was fine until he got up close to Santa - then not so much.

We have plans to go see Santa again on Tuesday at the Mall of America. Hopefully this 'trial run' has prepared Will for the next encounter. On second thought, it's probably scarred him more than even and he'll scream louder next time.

As we were putting on our coats, Katie informed me "You know Mom - that's not the real Santa." Quickly, I came up with an explanation - "You're right, Katie, I don't think that one is...Santa has helpers that help him talk to all the children, and then they tell Santa what you said." She was quite satisfied with that answer - I hope the next Santa is up to her 'standards.'

Also, on Saturday we had Katie's basketball practice/game. This was her 5th time participating on her Tiger team and we are HAPPY to say that she finally got a rebound!! It was so precious - she literally was in the right place at the right time. The shot went up - it bounced down right into her hands. She happened to be paying attention at that moment (which usually isn't the case) and caught the ball! Immediately John and I start yelling "YAY KATIE!!!" And then I realize that every other parent there was cheering for her too. They, too, knew that this was the first time she got the ball without it being given to her. It was a sudden uproar of cheers which put a HUGE smile on her face. She came close to another rebound later in the game as well. And by 'close' I mean she took a few steps toward the ball. :) She was so proud of herself after the game, you would have thought she just dunked the ball!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Will's First Haircut

So today was the day...Katie and Will got their holiday haircut. We went to Kids' Hair, which is great with little kids...and I really didn't know how Will would behave. He did SUPER! With the exception of moving his head around alot....he was awesome. He got a very 'shaped' boy haircut. Katie had about 3 inches taken off, and a sweet little braid put in.

This isn't a very good 'after' shot, but he was just sick of the camera.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I found 'em (Will is vindicated!)

So...a few weeks ago...maybe more - I lost my keys and asked for suggestions on where to look for them. You all had wonderful ideas...but they didn't help. Today as I was wrapping Christmas presents, I found them! Gee, no one suggested I look in that random bag that I brought home from the store and then crammed it WAYYY back in the porch closet so that no one would find it. :) Today as I was collecting presents I had tucked away in different nooks and crannies of the house, there they the last bag.

I also discovered that over the last 3 months as I have been collecting stocking stuffers and odds and ends for the kids, I have FAR too many for Katie.... I need to even out the distribution a bit. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Home, Home on the Range...

Ok, we aren't exactly on a 'range,' but it was all that came to mind when I was trying to title this post.

We got home yesterday from our 'vacation' in IA. We spent Thanksgiving with family in Waukon. It was a nice trip - good weather, and now it's nice to be home again and getting back into our routine.

Katie was back to school today, which improved her behavior by a factor of 10. She really excels when we have a structured schedule. While she was in school, Will and I went to Target to pick up a small humidifier for Katie's room and some other odds and ends. I also had to get a gift for a little boy whose name I got from church. Our church is sponsoring some children that were removed from abusive homes this past year, so I found a 5 year old boy to buy for. We got him a shirt for school, a toy race car and some other grab bag things from the $1 bin. I've wanted to do that other years too, but have never gotten around to it.

Last night when we were getting ready to have supper, I found I really didn't have much to make. Correction: I didn't have much to make that we felt like eating. So we decided to order a pizza. I always order pizzas online now because I accumulate points that can go toward free future pizzas. This time I marked delivery and sent the order in. I then get an e-mail confirmation telling me the approximate delivery time. Thanks to the Bears/Vikings game it was going to be over an hour for delivery. So I called the restaurant and changed it to a pick-up.
"No problem" they said, "just bring in your credit card with you to pay because I will have to void the payment online." Easy schmeezy. About 20 minutes later I am there to pickup the pizza, which they tell me they don't have because the whole order was deleted, but if I would be willing to wait they would make me another one at no charge. Fine.
I wait another 15 minutes, grab my free pizza and head home. Meanwhile, a second pizza (or technically, the first pizza) was delivered to the house. The delivery guy told John it was all paid for. Hmmm...

I did check today - we were charged for one pizza, but got 2. Anyone hungry?