Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday decorating and then some...

In spite of the still pink hallway (I have major color-choice paralysis), I've been busily trying to make our house more homey and put our stamp on it. I really enjoyed decorating for the holidays this year. But it did give me a sizable clearance-stuff-for-next-year wishlist. :)

Entry way. This is the first year I've done up my entry. I don't have a mantle, except for in the playroom, so this is kind of my "mantle" decor.  I love the Holy Family figure we have there. Its actually my only "adult" navitivy... must fix that. My in-laws brought it back from the Domincan Republic for us. It stays out year-round... but not on this table year-round. Behind the nativity I have 3 hurricane vases (the dollar store hand-made kind!) filled with gold & silver beads, candles, gold and silver mini-ornaments and gold & silver winter berry decor picks. I tied fishing line to some ball ornaments and taped them to the back of my mirror, the filled a glittery leaf bowl (a wedding gift that I love and have decided will no longer live in a box in the basement) with more ornaments. The tree and the little season's greetings sign were Target clearance scores. The "print" is a free printable found here. I printed it at home and stuck it in a frame and mat that we already had... without even removing the regular picture that lives in that frame. :) Next year I might use some garland & lights on here... we'll see.

Stair case. Please ignore the mess on the floor... I was still mid-decorating when this picture got taken. I wrapped & swagged the garland around the banister, strung it with lights (half of which burned out before Christmas... grr) and hung our stockings. Yes, there are only 4 there. Yes, Lindsey does have a stocking that matches, but her doesn't have a ribbon to hang it by and I never managed to go that 5 minute task this season. And I can't have any more kids, because I only have 5 of these stockings and I love them. After the stockings were hung I decorated the with pine cone decor picks, white star ornaments and more ball ornaments in 3 sizes (I might have bought a LOT of those last year or the year before on clearance... I think they were something like 25 cents per tube and I intended to make topiaries for my porch with them. Oops... at least they're getting used now!). I really like how this turned out. 

 Our tree. Its hard to see, since its dark and all lights, but I'm not a tree-prefectionist anyway. Once the lights are on I'm so over it (because I am a lights perfectionist). My kids help a lot, and its pretty bare on the bottom 18 inches, but it looked nice. We have a separate kids tree in the play room where they get to use all the ornaments that I'm over for my "pretty" tree. Anyway, I love how the tree looked in the very late hours of Christmas Eve. Oh... and does anyone want to share where they got the tree topper they love? I really want a star that lights up, but I haven't found one I like much yet.

On a non-holiday decorating note: we had family picture taken in late September and a few days before Christmas I FINALLY got our portrait gallery up. The clock in the center Brian got me for Christmas two years ago. I've always loved it, but didn't know where to put it. 

I like it, but I kind of think it needs something in the low corners... what do you think?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lindsey's First Birthday

I spent weeks in denial that it was happening. Lindsey couldn't be turning 1. Simply not possible. She's my baby and she's staying that way, right?

Not really... *sigh*

Lindsey turned 1 and I have accepted it. Here's a few pictures of her big day:

 She stated with some classic 1-year-old activities, like emptying the DVD cabinets...

 Then moved onto drinking her real milk for a cup (for the record, she thinks cups are over-rated)...

 and other general cuteness (check out those fangs!)...

 After dinner came the cake. I really wanted to do a cute owl cake, but that just didn't happen. Oh well... 

 At first she thought we were crazy when we gave her that big ol' slice...

 Then she figured she'd better taste it before we changed out minds.

 Dainty finger eating was taking way too long, so she grabbed the whole slice... 

 And put it where it would count. :)

 Mmmm... cake!

 And when she was done, she let us know in the usual manner: Grab her cake... 

 Pick it up... 

 and toss it over board. 

Happy birthday, baby girl!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Busy, busy...

My lack of posting lately doesn't mean there's nothing to post about... just that we're too darned busy around here to sit down at the computer uninterrupted for 10 minutes. :) Here's a brief run-down of what we've been doing in the last month or two:

  • Rosie Starting work at the YMCA super-part time. 
  • Lindsey started walking...
  • and had her first birthday (this one gets its own post... soon!)
  • We finally had our first snow.
  • Brian and Rosie have been busy working on Christmas projects.
  • Rosie's been busily trying to turn her sewing room into funcational space rather than barely managed chaos. 
  • Ward Christmas Party happened. 
  • We decorated for Christmas...
  • and got some non-holiday decorating projects done too! 
  • And now Christmas is upon us!

So... we've been a LITTLE busy. But Brian's home from work all week, so I'm hoping to get a few things posted soon. :) Stay tuned... 

Monday, November 19, 2012


Carter is playing basketball at our local YMCA. Coaching 3-year-old basketball is totally an exercise in managing mass chaos. And the kids are kind of adorable. When they play a game, the coaches really just have the kids stand on marks on the floor (Xs for offense, Os for defence), the pass the ball to every position and then shoot. Then run down to the other end and stand on the marks so that the other team can have a turn to shoot. Managed chaos.

Carter loves basketball, except for the parts where he has to share the ball, or pass the ball, or someone else gets the ball... we're working on the sportsmanship part of the game. Althought I know of a few NBA players who might fit the Carter mold... Anyway, pictures... thats why I blog, right? As a platform to show the grandma's more pictures. :)

Now, if you know anything about Carter, you know he's pretty darn good at basketball for a little kid. Started practicing pretty religiously about 2 years ago... :) 

 Dribbling during practice. He's pretty good. Usually gets 5 or 6 bounces before losing it.

 Pouting... he was the first kid to get the ball at the beginning of the game and he did NOT want to pass it...

 Second time on offense he got the ball last and got to shoot..

 I'll save you the suspense, since my camera decided it needed to refocus just after this picture: he made it. :) He was very proud of himself.

Passing the ball. You can kinda see how this works. Coaches arrange them properly, then tell them who to pass to (or demonstrate "hands up" for defense). If the wrong team gets the ball on a pass, they give it to the right team. And no one keeps score... :)

Carter made 2 shots and 2 rebounds on Saturday. He was a pretty happy kid... once he got past the fact that its not "Carter-ball".

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Fun

Our fall has been busy and full of fun activities for the kids... here's a sampling!

 At the Pumpkin Patch

 Lindsey enjoying the view from Daddy's shoulders... 

 With their Jack-O-Lanterns

 Cute little monster

Rescue Hero Fire Chief Billy Blazes and a Rainbow Unicorn...

 Kindergarten Halloween Parade at school...

 Mad little monster (someone put her down to figure out lighting and take pictures...)

 Carter Pumpkin Bowling at our Ward's Festival and Trunk-or-Treat

 Painted face Cater... 

 Painted face, party-hyper, sugar rushed Allison

 Preschool Halloween "program" (its was just a few songs, but it was cute)

And ready to hit the neighborhood for Trick-or-treat. 

And tomorrow, I'm making my kids do a local candy buy-back, becuase I don't want the stuff in the house. Mean mommy... but less sugar-hyped kids make it worth it. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Exist!

Being the mom, I am more often than not, behind the camera and very rarely in front of it. This is partly by chance (I happen to be the default photographer in the family) and partly by design (me and my post-three-kids body tend to avoid the camera a little bit). However, here is proof that I do exist...

Lindsey was busy playing in the dishwasher, "helping" Brian load. I was busily shooting pictures until she decided that the camera looked more interesting than the forks (notice how she stole my lens cap?). I handed the camera off to Brian and actually managed to be in a picture. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


All summer long, Allison begged and begged to be a cheerleader. So when the fall rolled around, we signed her up for cheer-leading at our local YMCA. I happened to make the box that said "I'm willing to be a parent helper". This meant that three weeks later I got a phone call telling me that I needed to swing by and pick up the coaches packet... I was going to coach Allison's team. Um... okay... says the girl who was never a cheerleader...

Its been a fun little season. Allison's team is huge (16 girls!), but they are sweet, quick learners and Allison is enjoying being a cheerleader.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Aunt Emmy's Visit

No, not Hollywood's Emmy! OUR Emmy!

We were SO lucky to have my sweet sister Emily (known to the kids as Aunt Emmy) and her little boy Eli come visit us while her hubby David studied for and took a portion of his dental boards. I know you missed her, David, but we were super happy to steal her for a week! We had bunches of fun...

*Warning: Its possible that what follows could be considered "picture overload"... oh, and forgive the inconsistencies of the photos... still learning my pretty pretty new DSLR.*

We visited Palmyra (she'd never been!)

At the temple... 
 In the upper room of the Smith Log Cabin

 In the Sacred Grove

 On the way out of the grove...

We drove out to Niagara Falls (rode Maid of the Mist!)

 Can't tell you how happy I was to have a stroller capable of sticking 3 kids on it... but BOY was it HEAVY to push!

 Maid of the Mist observation tower on the American side

 Em and Eli ready to board!

 After the ride! I LOVE this picture. :)

Visited the Zoo (my kids were excited for the excuse to go, and our zoo is the perfect half-day size zoo)

 Checkin' out the bears...

 And the cute babies... 

 And the cousins!

How this for diva-tude? 

Witnessed some sweetness near the penguins... 

And some animal enthusiasm... 

We also spent days hanging around the house (letting babies recover from missed naps the previous day), priming my basement sewing room, she babysat my kiddos so Brian and I could get to the temple together (when's the last time that happened?).

All in all it was relaxed and fun to have her come visit us, and we were sad to see her go. Can't wait to see you again in January, Aunt Emmy!