Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recital number two....

My friend Jenee has about a million little singing groups around the valley, and luckily, she does her youngest groups out of her house, just 3 streets away from me.  I love her and her great talents with the chillens.  Maggie is in her group this year, and she's really loved it.

On Monday the 19th we had the big concert.  It was seriously cute, and Maggie made her singin Mama proud!  She knew all the words and the actions and I couldn't have been prouder.

This is my favorite.  In this they are singing "Wishing on a Star" from Polar Express.  In this picture Maggie is looking towards the sky for Santa.  She really got into the "acting" of this song.

They're sleeping, waiting for Santa.
But awesomely, Miss Jenee surprised them with a visit from Santa.

Maggie and her besty Claire, "Dying" over the fact that right over there in the corner is SANTA CLAUSE to see THEM!  Claires reaction was hysterical.

Hooray for Santa meeting number three.  I love this age, because they don't even question all the different Santas they've met.  Santa is JUST Santa.

And thankfully, Santa found some time for Max as well.  He was so, SO pleased with his gift and his chance to see Santa.

I'm so grateful Maggie has these opportunities to sing, and dance and get to express herself.  I'm not gonna lie, listening to her sing Wishing on a Star at the top of her lungs today, while standing in her play house was about one of my favorite moments ever. 

Singing for Santa,



Gingerbread House....well, an attempt.

Let's just get one thing straight....I have never really decorated a gingerbread house.  I've never bought a kit, or done anything.  My sister Dana and her kids do them every year and they are truly masterful works of art.  So, one day whilst walking through the Wal Mart, I spied a kit.  And on a whim, I bought it.  The kids were really excited to build the house and decorate it.  I kept putting it off, until finally, we were nearly out of time.  So, after Maggies first recital, we came home and got to work.

I won't lie, it was NOT pretty.  Building and decorating those things are NOT my forte.  Plus, my patience was a little frazzled as it was, so dealing with my young 'ens was a bit tiresome.  But alas, we did it, and it looked like, well, tragic.  However, the kids thought it was fun and had a good time.

Getting ready for the big "build."

Someone is reallllly excited about the candy.

It took some serious patience and restraint, but Maggie did totally decorate the Christmas Tree and Gingerbread man.

Here is our finished product.
A little tragic huh?
But, at least we did it.

One Gingerbread house down, many more to come, I'm sure.

Holiday Happies,


Dancing Queen....

Just before school started this year, I got an email from a friend telling me about this cute/quaint little dance studio that she'd taken her daughter to last year.  For only thirty bucks a month Maggie could do "tap" and ballet with this woman in her darling studio she build behind her garage.  Miss Melendie is truly so adorable.  And, she is sooooooo great with the girls.  They are learning REAL steps, but in the cutest way.  Plus, best part about her, no costume/recital fees.  Well, unless you call fifteen bucks a fee.  That's all we pay for the kids to use 2 costumes and to help with recital costs. THAT is something I could get behind.  As opposed to all the studios out there where you're shelling out hundreds of dollars on costumes and recital fees.  PLUS, for the actual recital, the parents got free tickets and then the cost after that was 3 bucks for a ticket.  Whereas my sister just had to spend TEN bucks per person in her family to go to her daughters recital.  Just sayin.

Anyway, the big day of the recital came, and as I said, we were RUSHING home from Flagstaff and we were a crazy mess of hurry.  We somehow got Maggies hair up in a bun, makeup on and tights on, sans undies.  It was horrid, and there was much screaming, crying and gnashing of teeth from Maggie.  And, I KNEW that once we got there and she had to put on her first costume, things were NOT gonna get any better.  I'd caught a glimpse of it, and I knew that it was gonna be "scratchy."  And, if we've learned nothing about Maggie, we have learned this....she does NOT do any clothing that she can feel on her skin in any way.

True to form, she FREAKED out putting it on.  She cried and screamed and pouted and cried and screamed some more.  I finally got her to calm down by promising her a trip to McDonalds after the recital, and reminding her that we would be decorating a gingerbread house that night, IF she could pull it together.  I got her to chant "gingerbread house, gingerbread house, candy, candy, McDonalds".  Somehow we got her through.

This is how she REALLY felt about this "evil", "awful" costume of horror.

Yet somehow, she pulled it off.  Even if she doesn't like to lift her midget arms all the way above her head.

Now THIS costume she could get  behind.  She loved this because it didn't scratch her skin.  And the dance was adorable to Little Toy Soldiers.

My little starlet, third from the left.

The BEST part of this came at the end.  When all the other girls were running off stage, Maggie decided that she was gonna bow, TWICE.  Slowly and grandly. It was hysterical.  That's my little dancing queen.

All in all it was a very cute little recital.  I'm pleased with her teacher and with how well the girls all did.  Can't wait to see what next semester brings.

Scratchy netting and sparkly skirts,


The Polar Express

This year, Gramma Peggy decided that she wanted to treat us and the kids to a ride on the Polar Express. For which I'm grateful, cause goodness knows our bank account would never allow for that to happen.

Anyway, it was with great anticipation that the kids counted down the days until December 16th and we would get to go on the train, see Santa and most importantly, PLAY IN THE SNOW! Northern AZ had kindly obliged with massive storms earlier in the week, so there was plenty of snow to see and play with.

The big day arrived...we loaded up the van with our stuff (borrowed snow suits and all), Gramma, Auntie Julie and off we went. The drive north is quick and quite pretty. As we approached Flagstaff there was sooo much snow all over, it was beautiful to see. Williams is about 45 minutes North of Flag and that is where the magic of Polar Express is.

We arrived at our Hotel, checked in and got ourselves ready for dinner and a ride to the North Pole.

I had to bust out the kids Christmas PJ's early, because c'mon. Aint no way my kids weren't gonna look adorable for their big ride. Never mind the fact that I bought them, oh, WAY to big. Maggies pants might fit her next year, or the year after. hehehehe Oh well, they're still cute. Can I help the fact that she has midget legs, and a big belly. It proves rather difficult for the pants buying.

Anywho....some pics:

Gramma Peg gifted them some totally awesome pillow pet slippers that matched their existing pets.  They were beyond thrilled.

Auntie Julie got herself some new fun PJ's for the adventure too.

Just outside the door of our hotel, their first taste of snow playing.  They were so in love with it all.

Peggy treated us to a buffet dinner near the depot.  After we finished we headed for the train.
Seriously....my kids were MADE for hats.

Here we are, the whole group, even if Max IS looking away.

In front of our train.  The kids were super excited to get on and get the ride going.

Super excited for the cookies and hot chocolate to be passed out.

Maybe one of my FAVORITE pictures ever.  Max was SORELY disappointed with the hot chocolate.  He took one taste and promptly handed it away.

Even though it was 4 bajillion degrees on that train, and the group sitting next to us was getting hammered (seriously, 2 dads and 2 moms with 3 young kids and they were knocking back little liquor bottles like it was a job.  So LAME!)  It was ALL worth it for this moment of pure joy.  They were so over the moon to see Santa. 

Santa just asked if they were good kids. Max had just answered that HE was indeed a good boy, but his sister was on the naughty list.  That's what he's saying in this moment of the picture.  It was awesome.

The magical bells.

I'm sorry, is it just me or is that the cutest, happiest little boy you've ever seen?  I truly love this pic.  Well, I look tired, which I was, and hot, but all in all, it was a fun trip to the North Pole.  And so worth the kids excitement.  We can't thank Gramma Peg enough for her generosity in making this all happen.

The next day we promised them that we would spend a little time playing in the snow in Flagstaff.  Max could NOT wait to get to Flagstaff and asked us every 5 seconds if it was time to go to FLAGSTAFF yet!

Don't even fear, we totally borrowed snow suits and boots.  It was freaking fantastic.  We pulled into Flag and found a fabulous little hill of snow on the college campus.  And because we had snowsuits, the kids stayed totally dry and warm.  That's what I call AWESOME!

It was a smidge bright out there.  But, I could possibly eat them up in their gear.

All Maggie wanted to do was make snow angels.  And a lot of them she made.

He tried to make a snowball.  He wasn't so successful.

Now Maggie however....she nailed me.  We had a little snowball fight, made snow angels, Julie made a small snowman and then it was time to hit the road.

Well, not until Daddy ate some snow first.

All in all a very lovely weekend trip. So glad we got to get away and enjoy the cold and snow and the Polar Express.
We literally jumped in the car and hauled booty home so we could make it to Maggies first dance recital in time.  You'll be pleased to know we made it, JUST in the nick of time.

Choo choos and  Snow angels,


Monday, December 26, 2011

December Beginnings....Santa

Oh good hell....it's December 26th already.  That means 22 days of which I did NOT blog.  I don't know, I just am not motivated.  However, I shall try to make up for that with "short" bits from out month.  I don't want to do one HUGE entry, so I'll do several small ones, whilst my chilren are out riding their new bikes and playing with the neighbors.

First, we visited Santa....at Bass Pro Shop.
WHAT?  The pic is FREE!  I simply refuse to pay 23 bucks for the mall Santa pic, even if it IS better.

Off we went as an entire family to the ol' Bass Pro for a little Santa lovin and merry go round riding.  It was a quick, yet successful trip.

I don't know about you, but there is just something so adorable about this whole pic.  We went on like a Wednesday morning or something, so there was almost noone there, only a brief wait to see "the man".

Unfortunately, this Santa was "special".  In the sense that he was A. Skinny and had a pillow in his "tummy".  B. He was mute.  No really, totally mute.  When I went to put the kids on his lap, he had this look of sheer terror on his face.  He literally did not say a word to the kids.  WIERD!  I told the kids to tell him what they wanted.

They told him.
He nodded.
Luckily, they didn't seem to be bothered by the skinny, mute, lame Santa.

Besides....there were Reindeer

And moose to ride.

Best addition to Bass Pro for Christmas this year....the free carousel!  AWESOME!  If I were a cooler Mom, we woulda gone back many more times for rides.  But, the kids LOVED it.  After a quick look at the fishies in the tank, perhaps a small purchase of fude, we were on our way out the door.  Had to take Daddy to work.

All in all a successful trip to visit Santa.

Non-jolly old elves and happy kids,


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Still Here

Oh what, me?  Yeah, I'm still here, STILL coughing and STILL peeing.  Whatever.  However, I'd like to take a moment to give Thanks to Poise Pads for saving my life.  Ladies and gents, those fabulous little hourglass shaped mattress pads/diapers are some good stuff.  I have felt free to cough to my hearts content, just knowing that nothing would get wet.  Thanks to Julie for bringing those home to me.

Seriously though.....the cough is getting better, and the wetting less frequent, but I'm REALLY ready to be over the freaking cough and snot situation.  Two weeks is really quite long enough, don't you think?  Yeah, me too.  In the meantime, here is what has gone down around here.

**Thanksgiving was a delightful day of family, food and fun.  Won't lie, my mashed potatos were perfection.....an HOUR too early.  So, by the time we made it to dinner, and everyone was eating, the stupid things had burned on the bottom in the pan.  LAME!  I have a real issue with timing food prep.  I suck at it.  Oh well.  The rest of the food was perfect and delish. Tierra (the new bride) brought baked Mac'N Cheese that may or may not have been to die for.  HOLY CRAP!  So freaking good.  Between the stuffing, potatos, rolls, mac n cheese and pretzel jello (Heaven on earth) it was a carb lovers paradise.  I literally ate a teeny tiny piece of ham and I'm fairly sure that was my only protein of the day.  OOPS!  Oh wait, I had deviled eggs, got me some protein there as well.  Anywho, not sure why, but the day seemed to fly by WAY faster than usual.  We all ate, visited and laughed and then it turned into our annual singing/performing party at the piano.  Even though I was sick and losing my voice, I was forced into two duets.  So, noone can say I didn't do my part.

That day, whilst perusing the Black Friday ads only one thing grabbed my attention....bikes at Walmart for 35 bones.  I knew I'd have to brave it, if my kids were gonna have anything good for Christmas.

Left the parentals around 6 p.m. and headed home.  Then around 9 p.m. the good times began.

**At 9:00 Jer, Sabrea and I headed out for Wal-Mart (thank HEAVENS for Sabrea coming).  We really had NO idea what to expect.  WOW!  What a crazy town that was.  We walked into the store, not so bad, then you look down the main aisles and it's insanity of people all hovering around the pallet of things they are there to get.  Luckily the bikes were down at the very end by the garden center door.  When we got there it was pretty calm and nice around the bikes.  I procured a spot right next to a very nice man and the bikes I wanted.  I posted Sabrea at the boy bikes, and we waited.  At this point Jer was already starting to have a panic attack because he can't handle such mass amounts of people. Plus it was a total fire hazard.  No way to get around anything.  I can see how people get trampled.  Right, so long story short, at about 9:40 they came by and cut the plastic off the pallets and then said "DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING OR YOU'LL GET KICKED OUT."  Ridiculous.  Then at 9:57 a voice came over the loud speaker and said "Let the shopping begin."  People, I kid you not, it sounded like a bomb went off in there.  It was pure and utter mayhem.  One minute, calm, orderly, nice....the next, screaming, grabbing, reaching, pulling.  I was RIGHT next to the bikes and still had to fight for it.  Sabrea had to literally push a woman off of her who was trying to steal her bike.  Then, we got our bikes, and it was worse, because you could literally NOT move in any direction.  Wish I could truly explain the insanity of that moment.  At this point Jere and Sabrea were in full blown anxiety attacks.  I thought Jere was gonna lose it completely. And, if you ask either of them (dramatical at best) they "almost died." hahaha  So, I sent them out of the store, told them to go home and I'd call when I was done.  Thankfully, I got into the first line I could and I was purchased and OUT of the store by 10:30.  So, in the grand scheme of things, not THAT bad.  BUT, those moments of mayhem really were scarey.

**Finished my Black Friday shopping the next morning at 10:00- at Target.  Noone was around, so calm and nice.  I got exactly what I was looking for and no hassle.  As it turns out, my kids will have a perfectly lovely Christmas, thanks to a few Black Friday deals and my dear parents who are generous.

**Stayed up until 4 a.m. Friday morning, NOT shopping but cleaning and decorating my house for Christmas.  Came home from Target on Friday morning and spent the entire rest of the day finishing cleaning and decorating.  My house is a Christmas/Winter Wonderland and it looks great.

**Took until Sunday to get the tree up and decorated, but well worth it.  It's in front of our big front window and looks so pretty sparkling from the street.

**Friday evening the kids got to participate in a special "lighting" ceremony for some neighbors down the road.  Their house makes the Grizwolds look tame.  No really, it is a sight to behold. Every year they do their annual lighting ceremony and the neighborhood shows up and has hot chocolate and candy canes and visits.  It was really fun, and the kids felt so cool getting to be a part of that.

**Maggie woke up Saturday morning with pink eye in both eyes.  AWESOME!  Max had it slightly  in one eye as well.  I was NOT gonna mess around with that, so I packed the kids up and off to Urgent Care we went.  TWO hours later we had a prescription for eye drops, AND for strep.  Yes, apparently my stealth daughter had been carrying strep for some time and failed to ever act sick or mention any throat issues.  CRAZY!  Did you know strep has a "smell"?  Apparently it does.  The Doctor said, "I smelled it on her before I tested and she came back positive."  I said "Smelled?"  "Do you mean that foul breath she's been sporting for a week, which is somewhere a mix between she licked a  rancid garbage can and then ate poop pancakes for breakfast is STREP smell?"  After the doctor stopped laughing, she said yes.  So, we were all given prescriptions to fight Strep as well.  Then I felt like I needed to call my entire family and apologize if any were exposed and got sick, as apparently my child was walking around with a highly contagious disease for some time.  On  one hand I'm grateful that my kids are "easy" sick kids, on the other.....how are they so wierd that they never act sick.  In spite of it all, they still bounced off the walls, ran around and screamed like banshees.  While I DID feel crappy and just wanted to lay in bed and convelesce.

**Jere contracted the sick and was pretty miserable for a day or two, but is now just fine.  Julie waited until the END of this week to get it and took it a step further with bronchitus.  She's an overachiever I guess.

**I have subbed a copious amount of hours at MCC in November, and I've loved it.  Not only has it been a life saver monetarily, but it's just fun for me to work with the college kids.  Thank goodness for my parents and Jeres Mom for all the hours of babysitting they've done.  Couldn't do it without them.

**Already had church parties, and the official party season has begun.  My calendar is crazy full with different parties, events, recitals, etc for the season.  I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.

**Looking forward to taking the kids to the Polar Express (courtesy of Gramma Peg) on the 16th. Should be really fun, and they're really excited for it.

**Heading back to baby doctor on Monday morning.  Will be BEGGING them to please give me another ultrasound, because I really MUST know what I'm having.

**Baby has finally started to move, and curiously enough, what it seems to respond to most is male voices singing.  When I was subbing lessons and class, when a guy would sing, baby would start moving and kicking.  One guy in particular, two different times, the most movement I've felt happened when he sang.  So strange, yet cool.

And with that, I must get up and pee before the pee gets me first.  Then, it's time to think about getting ready for the day and for church.

Happy Sabbath all.