Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Our Christmas was great, although very busy like always! We spent Christmas Eve with Steven’s family at his Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It’s always a very crazy, very loud scene, but it was good. We found out that his cousin Keith proposed to his girlfriend earlier that day, and they are looking at a wedding sometime next October! Yea! I really like Tara and her daughter Morgan, and I’m very glad they will officially be part of the family now. We left the kids at Grandma and Grandpa’s with Steven’s mom and went to Christmas Eve mass. This year it started at 11 pm instead of midnight, which was a change, but it was still wonderful like always. There is just something special about ringing in Christmas Day in church. It’s just so peaceful and exciting, all at the same time.
The happy couple, Tara and Keith
Micah with Aunt Shelly
Christmas Day started around 9 am (I know..but when the kids don’t get home and into bed until 1 am, things start a little later than usual!!!) We opened presents with mom and the boys, and dad. Chris was able to make it in the day before Christmas Eve, and it was great to have him with us! The first present that was opened (besides Santa gifts, because we ask Santa not to wrap our gifts!) was a Wii for Steven. I say it was for Steven, but the kids love it just as much as he does (and that’s saying something!) After we had opened the Wii and all the little accessories, everyone else started unwrapping with a furry! It was a great time watching the kids open their gifts. Bri and Jonah are at an age where Christmas is so magical, so it was really fun to watch them! Micah wasn’t interested in opening presents but he got a lot of fun toys that he actually really enjoys playing with so that was really fun too!
Steven opening his Wii. He was sooo surprised!
Opening my new Cricut Expressions machine. I was very surprised too! I can’t wait to start crafting!!!
We spent Christmas Day just hanging out and enjoying each others company. There was a lot of Wii being played! It was a great morning. Around 6 Steven’s dad’s family came over and we had Christmas with them. They’re always really fun, and it was fun to host something at our house for a change! It gets hard to pack up all of the kids and go around to see everyone, it’s so much easier when they can come here sometimes!!!

The day after Christmas we packed up the car and drove to Indiana to visit my Nana and have Christmas with my mom’s family. Once again, there were lots of little kids so it was very loud, but they had a blast and it was fun to be together since we don’t get to see them that often. Definately not as often as we would like to.
Micah with my cousin Trey at my Nana’s

Today I am cleaning. We have laundry coming out the wazoo (what else is new) and there are new toys everywhere, but unlike other times, I’m not sweating it! Christmas is still around for a while longer, and I think I’ll enjoy it while it’s here!

Merry Christmas to you all! I hope it was blessed and wonderful!

Making Cakes

When Brianna turned 2, I decided I wanted to make her cake. I have fond memories of the cakes that my mom made for me for my birthdays growing up, and I wanted to do the same for my kids. My first attempt was a Dora the Explorer cake, and I was immediately hooked! My next cake was an Ariel cake for her third birthday. This year she had a Hannah Montana cake, which was fun because it wasn’t the star tip decoration that all the other cakes I had made had been, so I got to try some new techniques. I also made Micah’s baptism cake, which was really challenging because I had never done a sheet cake before! But it turned out cute, and each oppurtunity to learn and practice is great! On of these days I will take the Wilton cake classes. One day!

Today I got to make a cake for mom’s department at work. They have a celebration tomorrow for their Fall graduates and needed a cake. Krogers didn’t come through for them so mom asked if I’d like to make it. I thought, “Why not? I’ll give it a shot!” Well, it was another sheet cake (I’m not sure whether or not I like sheet cakes!!!!) but was easier than last time. It took about 2 1/2 hours to ice and decorate (it’s hard to get the icing level and smooth, even after all that time I had bubbles popping up on the top like air bubbles!!! Grrr!!!) and the kids were in hog heaven as they snuck icing out of the bowl! (There is nothing in the world like homemade buttercream!!!!)

I’m pretty proud of how it turned out and thought I ‘d share some pics! I hope they’ll like it! It’s gonna taste yummy (there’s not really a way to mess up fudge marble, especially when Betty makes it!) I’ll be posting another cake later this week since Jonah turns 3 on Saturday, so I’ll be working on his cake on Friday (a dinosaur cake using the Wilton dinosaur pan). I’ve never made a cake for him! I’ve always backed myself into a corner and not had enough time! I promised myself that wouldn’t happen this year, so I bought the pan a month ago!!!

5 Months

Our little baby is now 5 months old! Some days it feels like it’s gone by so quickly, other days it feels like he is staying a baby a lot longer than Bri and Jonah did. Part of that is probably that I am home with him all of the time and so I don’t notice the subtler changes that I probably noticed since I was away from Bri and Jonah more.

He is such a delightful baby. He LOVES to smile! And his face completely changes when he smiles, it totally lights up! He has discovered his tongue and it spends a lot of time out of his mouth! :p He has discovered his hands and his feet, which is especially funny when he is wearing an outfit with little characters on the feet. His hands spend a lot of time in his mouth! He LOVES faces and when you’re holding him he is constantly touching your face. When he’s on the floor for floor time he rolls back and forth from his back, to his side, and back to his back. He’ll do that over and over again. He’s rolled over a few times from his tummy to his back, but you can tell it totally throws him off! He’ll lay there looking at you like “What just happened!” He’s not an offical roller yet. (Which is fine by me…once the rolling starts, the crawling starts, and I’m not ready for that yet!!!!) He is starting to reach out and grasp on to objects. I’m really starting to work on it with him (especially so he can enjoy his Christmas presents!!!!) He loves cereal and eats at least one, if not two servings everyday. He is now back to sleeping through the night! (YEAH!!!!!) He has also tried sweet potatoes and he LOVES them! I can’t shovel them in fast enough!

He is such a special little boy and we are so glad that he is part of our family. He makes it feel complete! Here are a few pictures of our Micah. Steven was trying to get a picture for his stocking holder (they have picture squares on them) and we got some great ones! Enjoy!!! (PS The dog that he is propped up on is a gift that I got from Steven on our first St. Nicholas when we were dating. All three of our kids have been posed on this dog for pictures at Christmas time! You could say it’s a tradition!!!)

Christmas Lights

I LOVE Christmas lights. Each year we take a drive around town and look at all of the Christmas displays. We get some great ones around here! This year, we were the fortunate recipients of a handcrafted Nativity scene. A gentleman from church spent many years crafting this scene out of plywood, starting with Mary, Jesus and Joseph, adding the creche the next year, and then various other Christmas story “characters” a few at a time after that. He was going to put it out in the trash this year because it was getting to the point where it was too much work for him to put it out every year, and his children, I guess, didn’t want it. When his wife told me that I said “Oh please don’t! We’ll take it! We have a very big front yard! We’d love to have it!” So, the Nativity scene came to live at our house. It has added such a special touch to our decorations this year and will be cherished for many years to come. We’ve already had people stop when they see us outside and ask us where we got it. We just smile and say that it is a one of a kind creation! I don’t think Art wants to make another 🙂

My mom asked if I would post some pics of the outside decorations so here they are. They were taken at night, but that’s when it looks it’s prettiest I think! But I’ll try to get some daytime pictures too because it looks awfully pretty in the daytime!

I hope you all will take the time to drive around and enjoy the pretty lights. Then go home and drink some hot chocolate, and just enjoy this wonderful time of year!

Need a Good Laugh?

In need of a good laugh? Just listen to a baby giggling away and you can’t help but laugh too. I found the following clip from Youtube on a genealogy website (of all places!) and Bri and Jonah watched it about 3 times, laughing until we cried each time. This little guy, Ethan is his name, is hilarious!

So I decided to look at some of the other laughing baby posts. Here’s another one. This kid has a GREAT laugh!

Then there’s Morgan. (So super funny!!!!)

Then there’s twin baby boys Peyton and Brennan, 4 months old, laughing at each other in their crib. Too cute, especially when Brennan (on the right) gets hiccups!

I know this is a lot of videos, but they were so cute, and really brightened my day! I thought someone out there might be able to use them too! Nothing like a baby laughing!