On the list....

Each time Logan has gone to see Santa or is asked what he wanted for Christmas, the answer is always the same..."Toy Story Friends!" 
He has been talking about this play set for months and other than a bouncy ball he saw at the Disney Store (with Buzz Lightyear inside), this is the only thing we've heard about...
Like most kids his age he loves the Toy Story movies and we have been excited that after three straight years of being interested in nothing other than cars, he has other interests.

Lauren doesn't talk too much about what she wants (and let's be honest, most of the time she just wants whatever her brother has in his hands) but Logan tells us she really wants a kitchen, one that is pink and pretty. 

He also says she wants a baby doll and we think he is right about that one.

What is on your list this year?


Well Christmas around the house part 2 wasn't meant to be.  Everyone around here except Ryan has a bad cold and I've spent the past two days under the covers in my bed or lying on the couch.  To make things even better we seem to keep getting hit with all kinds of craziness...on Sunday our freezer/fridge in the garage stopped working and we opened the freezer door to find 37 colors of melted popsicles...we then went to having no hot water, (Ryan works on the water heater) then scalding hot water, then this morning back to having no hot water again....this all comes after Ryan's Pathfinder died on the way to work last Thursday.  I swear sometimes I wonder if we will ever get ahead around here.

Anyway, we spent Saturday at Ryan's parent's house celebrating Christmas with the Diggs family.  It was really nice to do it a little early.  And yes, once again I forgot my camera (to be honest I was feeling pretty terrible and now I know why).

However, I am feeling really glad to have most of my Christmas stuff taken care of...I hate to procrastinate so I am glad to have most of what I needed to have done already out of the way.  The bad part is that Ryan has this week off and our family time is more like cough/sneeze/who has the box of tissues time....

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some photos of something good...


Christmas around the house (1 of 2)

This is a really, really quick tour around the house at some of our Christmas stuff...
It took about an hour to get my pictures loaded (I have no idea what was going on with blogger but I was about to throw something at the screen)...and now there is no time for editing as I have to leave in about five minutes to get Logan from preschool...

Every day the kids bring home new projects from pre-school and I love it. 

I couldn't get it to scan, so I had to take a picture of the kids' "official" picture with Santa. 
I hear you laughing!!!!

This is one of our most precious gifts ever - you have probably seen this in pictures from years before but it is our advent tree and each day we put out a new ornament as we count down to Christmas.

This is our fake tree that sits in the family room.  This is where our presents for extended family and friends go.  (We are celebrating our Christmas with Ryan's family this weekend and I just finished wrapping their stuff late last night).

I think Cody was annoyed that I was taking pictures while he napped in the sun so I didn't dare mess with the curtains.
Dont you just love those TV trays? ;)
They have actually been one of the most-used and practical Christmas gifts we have ever received.
The dining room.  I made that wreath on the wall with left over Christmas tree branches...I was kind of proud of myself (see mom, I did pick up on a few things you taught me along the way...)

and this is our living room (real) tree where I have finally started to put presents from each of us to the other.  We got a Douglas Fir this year instead of a Frasier and I kinda like it, though I wish we had put on more lights because at night it is really really dark in this room (I had to remove a table and lamp to make room for the tree).

More to come later...

Santa Party

Every year the law firm I used to work for invites us to their annual Santa Party.  
It is a real treat for the kids with snacks, face painting, balloons and a magic show...not to mention they get to see Santa and he gives them a gift!

As someone mentioned when I took this, I think I have trained him well.  It cracks me up how stiff he looks.
This was our second time seeing Santa (we also visited him at the mall a couple of weeks ago) but Logan told him the same thing - he wants "Toy Story friends" and a "bouncy ball"...

Santa knew how much Logan loves cars and he gave Logan a bright one with lots of buttons that makes lots of noises.  Thanks, Santa, he loves it :)

Lauren was getting her face painted like a pink kitty when Santa made his appearance and she pretty much jumped straight into the face painting lady's lap (which was really ironic to me because the lady was dressed like a clown and I would think that is a lot more terrifying than Santa...)

Eventually we tried to sneak her over to Santa but she was having none of it.  She was completely terrified of him this year.  She has had a good dose of stranger anxiety since starting pre-school this year so I tried not to torture her too much.

 She got close enough to Santa for him to give her a gift, a baby doll that is just her size.

I think she could only think about one thing though.

The kids loved their balloons almost as much as the toys.
They giggled half the way home as they batted them in the air at each other.

Thank you Sondra and Marks Gray for a fun day :)


gingerbread cookies

I have had good reason not to be blogging...
besides the fact that I was subbing at the kids' school all last week, we have been doing lots and lots of Christmas things

Ryan was on a short schedule last week as he made the transition to a new position at work so we took advantage and put up the second tree, watched several Christmas movies/specials, spent an evening driving around looking at Christmas lights, put on the ole yule log and let the kids dance (they are really into Christmas music right now - heaven forbid I listen to anything else...) and finally I remembered to pull out the camera by the time we decided to make gingerbread cookies.

but before I go on, mom, take a deep breath....



I didn't actually make the gingerbread men.

I planned to.
Really, I did.

Publix sells a kit for FIVE BUCKS and it comes with ALREADY BAKED gingerbread men, red gel, icing, and sprinkles...

oh and my sanity
can't forget that
my sanity was in that box as well.

 Lauren pretty much just wanted to eat sprinkles the whole time and that was ok with me...they were having fun and well, I didn't exactly have any real expectations for her really knowing how to work on a gingerbread man anyway.
 I think Logan is holding up a sprinkle.
I have never seen a kid who loves sprinkles as much as he does.
Forget eating the actual cookie or donut, just give this kid the sprinkles on top and he's thrilled.
 Publix also had Band-Aids on sale for $1.99 (and that might as well have been free considering how overpriced a tiny character box of Band-Aids is) so I stocked up since my kids wear them like stickers.  Here Logan is wearing a Buzz Lightyear and Lauren has on Barbie. 
 When you are working in a kitchen with one light out (14 feet up) + crazy busy kids  + no flash on, pictures like this just have to do.

I didn't taste them but Ryan said they were pretty good.
Unlike anything I would have made...
I have never made a gingerbread man that wasn't as hard as a rock.

and there you go.

In case you were wondering, yes, they ate almost all of them (with some help from Daddy). 
Logan's little man is still in the freezer (because Logan claims "he will stay fresh in there")

Hope you are having time for family fun as well.


the tree (1 of 2)

Things got a little crazy here yesterday afternoon and instead of trying to fight traffic to go see Santa we decided to put up our (fake) Christmas tree and watch A Christmas Carol (this version was a little too scary for kids in my opinion). 

We do two trees every year - we have a slim, pre-lit fake tree that goes in the family room and every year we go pick out a live one that goes in our living room.  (If you ever met my mom and saw how her entire house changes for Christmas you would understand this kind of thing is in my blood). 

The kids absolutely loved helping with the tree and it was nice that the ornaments we put on this tree are not expensive or family heirlooms so we can pretty much let them have fun with it and not have to worry.  (L&L "helped" my mom put up her Christmas tree last weekend and I was about to have a heart attack with every ornament because hers are basically priceless...and yes, an ornament was broken - fortunately it just wasn't one of the priceless ones!)

So last night I attempted to get a couple of photos of them in their pj's but both my camera and my kids decided they didn't want to work in synch with each other, so this is what you get:

(If you are like us and don't have the luxury of a real working fireplace and you have Comcast, you can turn your tv to the "yule log" channel...it is awesome).

Lauren does that cute cheesy smile when you tell her to say cheese...
(and Mimi, I know you hate to see your grandbabies in black and white but most of the photos I got using my flash produced a terrible, way-too-bright, red-eye photo that can only be salvaged by turning it to black and white...sorry about that.)