Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snow Bunnies

Here in Minnesota we got hit with a big storm before Christmas. I never heard final numbers, but between 12-15 inches ended up falling I think. When we came back after Christmas we were hoping some of the snow had disappeared, but nope. It's all still here.

The bulk of the snow fell Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Santa was able to get through it and visited us that night so we opened up our presents Thursday morning. One other present we didn't expect? One of our neighbors had snow blowed 8+ inches off our entire driveway and sidewalks before we woke up. We're having snow flurries today, and I just saw another neighbor shoveling our sidewalk. Those Christmas cookies I delivered last week must have been better than I thought.

Will was not happy that I thought his hat was cute.

John took Katie sledding in the back yard. Not much of a hill, but just right for her...even though the snow was up to her thighs and made it hard to walk.

John dug out a snow fort for the kids to crawl in. Will took it upon himself to fill it back in.
He also knocked over John's baby snowman. Brutal.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Almost forgot...

In all this Christmas hoopla, I almost forgot to tell you about Katie's birthday. Her birthday is actually in June, but that would mean her HALF birthday is in December. And as you know, when you are 5, half birthdays are almost as important. They seem to lose their luster around 15 or so.

Because the children with summer birthdays never get to celebrate them at school, their teachers encourage them to celebrate their half-birthdays. Instead of bringing candy or sugary treats to school they suggested donating books to the school library in honor of the child. They get a sticker with their name in the book. Thanks to the book sale at the library this past fall, I got a few new books that were in great condition. So Katie donated two books, and passed out stickers to her classmates.

Katie's teacher makes the awesome birthday crowns which they get to wear, and are almost as tall as the child. The silhouette picture in back is something that Katie made at school. Do you remember making those? I do. Glad the tradition is still alive. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas haze

We are now in the haze of post Christmas. The kids are trying to remember what to play with, I'm trying to remember what I ate. At home we've been having jelly beans with both grandma's houses it's been open season on cookies and cheese curds.

So what did the kids get? To make a long story short, they got things they wanted. That's always a good thing. Katie and I just finished playing Monopoly which she whipped my butt for the second time in a row. The cute twist is that she sincerely feels bad when I am broke and without a pot to piss in. I told her I'd kick her butt next time and it made her feel better.

Will is busy with tractors and trains. He makes them talk to each other and seems to really get involved with them. The funny thing is that Katie doesn't even try to play with them. They are of no interest to her.

The night before....anticipation...

Will dominated his authority over Gracie at Grandma Mary's.

Can you tell who had a long day?
Yes, he really fell asleep during this story. It was 7:15 pm.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yes, Virginia There Is A Santa Claus

* copied from

In 1897, on the advice of her father, eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a short letter to the editor of New York's now-defunct newspaper The Sun in which she seeked confirmation of Santa Claus' existence. In response, Francis Pharcellus Church published an editorial - entitled 'Is There a Santa Claus' - which went on to become, and is still, the most reprinted English language editorial in history. Interestingly, in 1997 Virginia's great-grandson appeared with the letter on the Antiques Roadshow, where it was valued at $20,000 - $30,000.


Dear Editor,
I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in the Sun it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon.
115 W.95th St


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank GOD! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What a week!

Where have I been? You may be asking. I haven't had a chance to get a post up this week. It's just that time of year, I guess. BUT, the good news is that I am almost done with my holiday to-do list. All the baking is done, the teacher, bus driver and neighbor goodie bags are all done. My Christmas cards are done, my shopping is done and ALMOST all of my holiday wrapping is done.

I have been hoarding gifts for the kids since about mid August. There were some great garage sale finds that I stuck away and I got some deals on eBay and Amazon months ago before the holiday prices set in. Our library also had a book sale in the early fall. I bought a BUNCH of children's books...probably 40. Which totaled $8.00. I've split them up between the kids, wrapped them in groups of 3-4 and BOOM...suddenly I have 10 presents for them to open.

I would say that I spent around $70-$80 per child. I don't think that's out of line, and they'll be opening about a dozen presents each. Hopefully it's an all day affair. And since I've been gathering things over the last 5 months it really doesn't feel like I've spent much at all. I wonder what the average family spends per child this time of year? (a.k.a. Who loves their child the most? :) )

Katie was in the church Christmas program this past Sunday. She was a sheep. Almost everyone was a sheep, but she's the only one who saw it fit to wear her sheep's hat for the whole show. And she got to sing. I got a lot of comments from members of the church about how fun it was to watch her and what a terrific job she did.

Also - I wanted to wish my sister, Janet, a speedy recovery after her surgery yesterday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas cookies

Katie did such an AWESOME job helping with holiday cookies this year! We had to make 6 dozen Christmas cookies for church. They have a cookie walk where people bring a bunch of their own cookies, then get to take an assortment of OTHER cookies home.

Katie did almost ALL the rolling out of the dough...and pretty much ALL of the actual cookie cutting. It was messy, but it's supposed to be. We have plenty of cookie making ahead of us too...we need more for the neighbors and more for Katie's teachers and bus drivers. But we seem to be on schedule. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some rejected holiday card shots

Here are some shots we decided not to use....although....they would have been really cute too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let the hoiday season begin...

We got our tree up last Friday along with all the other decorations around the house. Last year after Christmas I picked up 5 packages of pine garland for $1.00 a piece. Now that we have a wood railing I always wanted to decorate it with garland. We just did one side because the kids use the other side to go up and down the stairs.

Katie and I went through the ornaments this year while Will was taking a nap. This is the first year Katie has helped beginning to end. She remembered a lot of the ornaments and always likes hearing stories behind them. Here are some of my favorites too...

- Our seashell ornament from Key West bought the year before we got married there.
- Katie's First Christmas Ornament that she always insists on playing with.
- Will's First Christmas Ornament - a mini stocking from the $ store that I personalized with puffy paint.
- The 'parents-to-be' ornament that we bought before Katie was born.
- The ornaments that John and I bought together for our first Christmas (living in sin) :)
- My aunt Carol's cardinal ornament that will be on our tree for the first time this year.

I have a story for every ornament on our tree. Our tree may not be the biggest, the straightest or the fullest tree, but once we get our decorations on it, I wouldn't trade it for anything. (Although next year we may give a REAL tree a chance.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Funny

Finally. Some good news.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The "Iowa" Santa

We were down in IA for the Thanksgiving holiday. We noticed a sign for a local farm supply store that advertised Santa being there on Sunday from 1-3. What luck! John and I thought it would be fun to try and take them.

I told Katie that we were going to try to see Santa while we were there. She looked thoughtful for a moment and then offered "I wonder what an IOWA Santa looks like?"

Well, he must have been good enough and passed the test because they both handed over their lists and Will was able to get closer to this Santa than the one we saw last year.

It may have helped that we were in Will's kind of store. They had tractors and cow toys and trucks and name it, Will liked it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wishy Washy

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over it's time to start getting into the posting routine again. We've been out of town for the past few days. Now that we are home (and I can't do laundry) I should post something.

Why can't I do laundry you may ask? Our washer took a turn for the worse last Tuesday. It won't drain or spin. The drain hose is not plugged - we checked. And that's all the manual suggested to check so now we are lost. I called a maintenance company yesterday and they'll be here tomorrow morning to look at it. It'll be nice to get some laundry done cuz the kids and I don't have a LOT of clothing options. :)

With no laundry to do, I have time for some other things at the moment. :) Katie's kindergarten collects box tops, soup labels and Kemps milk caps. Those companies send us money for the school based on how many we redeem. I volunteered to count the collection for November. I figured, how many could there be, right? Holy cow! I'll post a total when I am done, but geez - there has to be 10,000 at least. It's gonna take a few days.