Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Day in Pictures

Our Christmas Tree with the presents all taken out of the basement where the kids didn't even know they were and placed here, we didn't place anything out until that morning.  Couple of things to mention...first Austin walked out and exclaimed much to my dismay and to Joe's excitement that Santa IS real (though she believes he delivers the presents that her family sends her in the mail...hey it's her story and she's sticking to it).  And I wouldn't let Joe wrap the presents that were shipped nor did I want the boxes opened before hand.  After Christmas and talking with him about this I think I may be the only person that feels this way but, I didn't have Christmas so obviously I never saw a tree with presents under it other than in movies and I also didn't used to get packages in the mail.  Except for one...once a year because my Grandma hated the fact that we didn't celebrate holidays she would send my brother and I a box each with crumpled up one dollar bills in it...usually totaling thirty bucks or so.  Tadd and I would just light up seeing the box, our names were written on it and we didn't know how you would get a package from Grandma's house to ours but we knew she took time and effort to do so.  We would open it and smooth out each dollar bill and count and re-count them all day.  (Those people with little kids reading me, one day your kids will receive this exact same present because I loved it)  So I wanted the girls to feel something like I did, the boxes that were shipped from all over the place with their name(s) on it are such a big deal to me maybe I can pass that down to them.
 Pepper the Cat and Little Miss Tyler Mae sharing her blanket Mr. Stinky.  She waiting patiently...while Joe and I were up well before dawn, we told them that they had to wait until Adam and Heather were awake to open anything.
 The girls stockings, which by the way they still haven't opened. Perhaps we'll do that tonight.
 Why Hello Kuma..tight fit between the table and the couch now a days for that big beast.
 Heather (Adam's girlfriend) got the girls these beautiful necklaces because they are always trying to wear her's which I remind her is a bad idea if she actually likes her necklace.
 Oh my word...these purses were amazing and the girls can't get over how great they are.
 Right up until they opened it and realized that there was lip gloss in it.  Joe HATES anything like this, lip gloss, chap stick, lipstick and at this point in the morning with his girls covered in shinny sparkly stickiness...I have officially become even with the whole Santa is real comment.

Now fast forward to the afternoon when the rest of the family came over.  Here are the boys Joe, Chris and Dane attempting to keep the kids in order without actually sitting with them.
 Papa, Adam and Heather trying to stay out of the way.
 You can't even see several of the kids that are buried in the presents, it was insane.

 Oh Nate...always a good time.  And you can see my very first building in my Christmas Village...oh my goodness I am still so excited.  I have always wanted one, thank you so much Marmee and Poppa.
 Sunni and Brad doing dishes after the feast.
 Uncle Chris reading to the girls about their new Stuffies from Grandma.  Notice the beautiful Christmas outfits from Aunt Ann and Uncle Ernie.
 Miss Heather and baby Hannah...she was our youngest this year.

I saved this picture for last, obviously no one is really looking at me so it's not a great portrait...except the sign in the back "Families Are Forever".  I couldn't agree with this sign more and I also believe that all families look very different.  Take for instance our Christmas this year.

Joe the girls and I.  Adam, who Joe grew up with and now lives with us and his girlfriend Heather.  My Mom and her husband George with his son Dane.  My brother Tadd and his girlfriend (yep Tadd actually uses the "G" word with this one) Carri and her sister Sunni.  George's daughter Amanda with her husband Larry their two daughters Liberty and Karson and his daughter Alexis.  Amanda's first husband Chris, his wife Heather their daughter Hannah and Amanda and Chris' son Morgan along with Heather's brother Brad.  And last but certainly not least Nate who both Adam and Joe grew up with.  Not sure if anyone was keeping count or not but that was 23 guests for Christmas...which goes back to the Families are Forever, I actually don't care if you get a divorce and re-marry...I still want to see everyone and once a year I think we can make that happen.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

TV Commercial

There are a lot of new commercials this time of year, I know the stores are doing their final pushes for the end of the year sales but by far the best new commercial I have seen is this one below.  Perhaps it's because I didn't have Christmas growing up that all I really love about the holiday is the chaos, the food and the family.  Santa still creeps me out but the images of the cousins playing together warm my heart.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Broken Heart

So I drove to the Safe House yesterday to drop off the toys that we collected from our toy drive, the case worker that I work with got caught up in a crisis and was running late which in turn made me late the rest of the day.  Including but not limited to Austin's Christmas party.  Sigh...I was 7 minutes late.  Guess what the first 7 minutes of Austin's party were...her first ever play.  Yep, missed the whole thing.  Tried...still trying...not to just cry and remind myself that there will be a lot of plays and it wasn't like I didn't try really hard to be there.

Here's the clip (thanks to Joe who was luckily on time) of Austin's acting debut.

Fast forward a bit and you can watch me walk in with Goose. :-(

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I can't believe how fast December is flying by.  Holy smokes! Christmas is right around the corner and we are hosting this year.  I am super excited as always to be the host and have been creating the menu in my head for some time now.  We will have (if everyone can make it) close to 30 people here for dinner and games.  The boys won the Thanksgiving Trivial Pursuit game so the girls will have to step it up for what ever game we play that night.

 Here's some pictures of our happenings.

Kuma continues to get shock there, since he eats like a little horse.

We have a double front door now so I couldn't resist making two wreaths this year, I think they turned out well.

We had our annual Friends Thanksgiving Toy Drive this weekend.  Wow, what a success!  I lost count at 80 toys and these aren't just simple toys or all the same types of things.  There are all so different and so amazing, I can't wait to bring them to the Safe House on Thursday.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

End of the month

November 26 - Today I am thankful for Joe, I could have dated or married a lot of different types of personalities but at the end of every day when we put the kids down I am so thankful that we like to hang out together.  Moving more into the country I could see how it would lonely very quickly if I didn't have someone to laugh with.  And most of the time he at least pretends to listen to my rants about daily news and happenings. :-)

November 27 - Today I am thankful that I am a light sleeper and can get up and down in the middle of the night without too many negative side effects.  Austin spent the night coughing, so I spent the night getting her water and cough drops and checking on her.  Joe has never taken the night shift but usually takes the morning shift so we work it out nicely, but if I were a deep sleeper I could see how it would be extremely hard to rarely have a full nights sleep.

November 28 - IT'S HERE!!!! My favorite time of year!!!!! I LOVE my family - my Mom and I got into some wine and pretty much fixed the world before Joe so kindly drove me home.  My parents have always taken in the stragglers too, which is probably where I get it Dane brought his new girlfriend, Tadd brought Carri, and of course Nate and we brought Adam and Heather...oh yeah and Kuma. :-)  From a quick count that is a total of at least 8 last names at one dinner table.  A kaleidoscope of family fun.

November 29 - I will do this one day early because I am doing the next one early too - Today I am thankful for Small Business Saturday, we did our yearly tradition and went to Manitou ate at The Keg and shopped to support small businesses.

November 30 - Today I am thankful for our friends helping me with a fantastic surprise birthday gift to Joe.  We took him to an indoor snowboard park and I have not seen him that happy in a long time.

The girls loved the trampolines at the snowboard park.

That blurry figure jumping into the air pit is Papa (George)...someone hasn't told him that he's 62. ;-)

Kelley getting ready to slide down the GIANT hill.

Dave taking his snowboard off the fake snow hill into the pit.

And we have been getting snow, the girls and the dogs love it!