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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Little snoop

While we were spending some time at Marc's parents recently, I lost sight of Liz for a moment and ended up finding her in her Nana's jewelry box. Nana lets her dig through her goodies when she visits, and Liz didn't forget that. In exchange, she left a big pink bow in the drawer of the jewelry box for Nana to discover after we'd gone home.

We were running late to leave that morning, but when I discovered her marveling at Nana's jewelry, I couldn't help but run for my camera to capture this candid moment.

Here is the outcome, with a few plays on post-processing.

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"Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angelshine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes there is always enough left to lasso your heart. . ."
-- Alan Beck

Teacher gifts

Another one of my favorite hobbies is crafting and scrapbooking. I love to get my hands on glue, glitter, paper, you name it and see what I can come up with. Here are the little altered lunch boxes I made for Logan and Jacks. They were plain metal; I added the embellishments. Inside were handmade ornaments and a book store gift certificate. I used one of the boys' school pictures as a To/From tag.





A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others. ~Author Unknown

Our Christmas in photos

Our Christmas started out almost a week before the actual holiday, as we traveled to the eastern side of MI to visit family.

We started out Friday night at Marc's Mom & Dad's house, where they served us a wonderful dinner with a little bit of everything... king crab claws, fried turkey, cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, etc. Later we exchanged gifts.

Liz got a brand new buggy, high chair, and cradle for her babies, along with some new clothes, because of course Nana can't resist shopping for the little lady. :)



Logan & Jackson each got a brand new Nintendo DS from Nana and Papa, so pretty much the rest of the weekend looked like this for them:



They recevied some really cool stuff from Marc's sister Kelley and her family, including a Zoobooks subscription for Logan. Check out this cool note that Kelley made to tell Logan about his magazines:



Jackson got some other neat stuff,



including a "grow your own Aquasaur" kit... ought to be interesting.... but his favorite part was the bubble wrap.



Elizabeth had to see what all the fuss was about, too.



(Somehow Ron and Carol managed to thwart my attempts to blind them with my flash... maybe we'll catch them next time. ;) )

The next morning we scooted off to my mom's to celebrate with her.



My sister and her family joined us, too,



so Liz got a little more Alyssa time



and Logan and Jared found a common interest.





Jackson decided he couldn't wait until we were back at home before he made a few Gingerbreadmen from Grandma Cindy.









We left from there to spend some time at my Dad's, where Liz was reunited with one of her favorite people (my dad). She runs right to him every time he's around.

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And she continued to act like a lady the rest of the evening.

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We headed back to Ron & Carol's after that, and the next morning we stuffed the Explorer to the gills and headed back for home.

Christmas morning was fun as usual with the little ones. First they plunged into their stockings

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then started into the gifts from Santa. Liz got her first doll house

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and Jackson finally got the "Martain Matter" game that he'd been wanting for about 2 years now.

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The rest of the gifts were opened in a flurry, with the occasional squeal of delight from one of our trio.

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This year I realized that Liz is never going to be a "frilly" girl. She loves to run around brandishing swords and lightsabers with her brothers, so I finally conceded and let my little angel-faced girl

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have a toy gun. Good grief... look at her face in this photo... you know she's going to do some damage with this thing...

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The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Friday, December 19, 2008

The BEST. BLOG. EVER.

If you get a chance, check out my friend Patrizzia here:

http://patrizziagundich.blogspot.com/

She has a WONDERFUL blog with so many awesome craft ideas, including kiddie crafts, too. She SO creative and such a great mommy! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rudolph the red-nosed cookie

Don't ask me why I do such things. I guess I just love seeing the looks on my little guys' faces when I show them what they get to bring to school for their friends. I just want them to have good memories. The cookies weren't hard; just time consuming. I also made something for the boys' teachers that I'll add to another post.

(There are about 70 here, by the way... I made extra for the daycare kids.)

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And here to think all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. Bah! :)


Reindeer cookies:

Ingredients:

Refridgerated Peanut Butter Cookie dough (Did you REALLY think they were from scratch? Bless your heart!)
Mini pretzel twists
Mini Reese's Pieces or M&M's
Regular sized M&M's.

Directions:

Dough works best straight from the fridge & the less handled, the better!

Make a 1.5" ball of dough and press into about a 1/2" thick oval shape, leaving a bit more dough on one end. Press a pretzel on each side of the thick end, molding the dough around the pretzel. Transfer to cookie sheet. Add mini candy eyes and a red M&M nose. Bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes.



“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand” ~ Unknown

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

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Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.




"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O'HANLON.
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."



VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

(Courtesy www.newseum.org)

Yes, I realize it's Christmas time

BUT... you want to know what my favorite holiday is? HALLOWEEN! Hands-down! And I took these cool/creepy photos of the kids that I didn't get a chance to share earlier, so here goes...

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And, just for kicks, here are the treats I made for the boys' classroom parties.

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"Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or "forbidden" in the title." ~ Shaggy (Scooby Doo)