Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I woke up today feeling sickness coming on. Hopefully it will be short-lived.

The kids and I did some much needed tidying and cleaning. I'm going to try to do some organizing this afternoon / evening if I can get Nathan and Clara occupied for a bit while the others are out. (Scott's planning to take them to play hockey at the church when he gets back from his meeting.)

We've had a couple of New Year's Eve invites, but have decided to stay home and hang out with the kids. Maybe rent a few movies, eat junk food, stay up late. I remember doing this with my family growing up. More fun for the kids than getting a baby-sitter.

Last year Scott and I went to a party at our friends house while Mona baby-sat on New Year's Eve. Feels like just yesterday and yet it's been a whole year since then. Hard to believe.

Monday, December 29, 2008

This holiday is just flying by... Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were pretty much extensions of Christmas Day. We stayed home and relaxed, built Lego, talked to family on the phone, played with new toys and games, and ate leftover Christmas dinner and homemade turkey soup.

On Friday Samantha spent the day with her friend (Samantha) and ended up sleeping over! This is a huge deal because she's only had "sleepovers" at family (like Pat & Bill's) or when we've gone away and left all the kids with friends or something. She's had friends sleep over here, but that's different obviously. Anyway, she had fun and got to go see her friend play Ringette on Saturday morning.

We've also enjoyed our family movie nights (High School Musical 1 and 2 have been big hits).

On Saturday I spent a few hours working on Primary Stuff, including finishing putting together our teaching binders for the New Year.

Nathan has still been pretty sick. Yesterday Scott and I traded off at church (he went to Sacrament, I went to Primary with the kids) so that Nathan could stay home.

Clara started sucking her thumb yesterday. She's done it before, but mostly just by luck, as she's not very good at getting it in her mouth when she wants to. Yesterday she was able to suck it for over an hour and she was so happy! As much as I dread having another kid to break of the thumb-sucking habit in a few years, I can't help but think how CUTE it is at this age!

And I think that part of the reason she is such a good sleeper is because she sucks on her hands and fingers in her cradle. In fact, this morning she woke up extra early (considering she didn't sleep until 12:30 last night) and I noticed that her sleepers were covering up her hands.

Anyway, I hear another child or two rolling out of bed (it's almost 10:00 AM) so I better go and get this day started before it's over and we're all still in our pajamas.

Friday, December 26, 2008

It's hard to believe another Christmas Day has come and gone.

And what a wonderful day we had here. The kids slept in today, so we didn't go down to see what Santa brought until about 8 AM. Nathan had been up during the night (still sick) so he and Scott were quite tired!

After Santa gifts we took a break so the big kids could adopt their new Webkinz, open Pokemon cards, and just have some fun while Scott took a quick nap.

Then we opened up the presents under the tree. We all got spoiled this year, especially the kids and me. Some highlights:

New bikes! Scott picked them out - they're awesome. Oh, and 3 new hockey sticks too.

Books, books, and more books. I got a new John Grisham and Dean Koontz which I'm excited about, along with some parenting books (one by Stephen Covey). Samantha got the entire Geronimo Stilton series (her favourite) and even Nathan got really excited about his new Panda Bear book. There are more, many more, but too many to list. I'll just say that we will definitely need a new bookshelf for all the new books around here.

Toys... lego, baseball mitt, bakugan, and a ride-on toy (for Nathan). Games.. lots of good ones, can't wait to try them all out!

Samantha surprised me with my very own Webkinz (a buffalo) - how cute is that? I'm planning to adopt him tomorrow as soon as I come up with a name. Right now I like Woody or Benji or Raymond. Any other ideas? (Leave me a comment)

I got a whole bunch of kitchen appliances: toaster, griddler, wok, food saver (sealer). This is funny... Scott and I got each other the same gift - a scale.

Some of Scott's gifts were ties, an electric razor, and lululemon pants.

The best present was to me from Scott. An appointment with LASIK! How cool is that? Definitely one of the most thoughtful and creative gifts ever. I need to go to the consultation before I get ahead of myself, but if all goes well, I may just be able to give up my contacts and glasses. That will be a dream come true for me!

Oh, and if that all wasn't enough, Scott scored with the VISA points this year. We always use up all of our VISA and Air Miles rewards to get Christmas gifts. I thought my Kitchen Aid Mixer topped everything (that was about 3 years ago now), but this year's VISA gift was pretty awesome... a Wii! And somehow Scott managed to get his hands on a Wii Fit, which is supposedly one of the most elusive gifts of the season this year. I don't know how he does it...

Nana and Papa arrived around noon with Grandma Paton. We had a great time with them, and it was so good to see them (it's been a little while).

We also talked on the phone to Mona, Jordana, Karri, Kim, Jeff, & Mark (all briefly). I called Sami, but got his voicemail. We didn't get to talk to my parents either, but hopefully tomorrow.

We had our big turkey dinner around 4:00 PM. Dinner was great, but the best part was that Scott ate everything (even the turkey, buns, and mashed potatoes) without any trouble swallowing. I can't remember the last time he had a meal like this with no trouble. I am SO happy about that.

The kids spent the rest of the day playing with their new stuff and hanging out. We watched the new Indiana Jones movie with the kids before bed tonight. I hope it wasn't too scary for them, as it was their first time watching a PG movie.

I was sad that Jesse and Nathan were still sick though. They were feeling better on and off, but by bedtime tonight Nathan was so hot his skin was just burning. He wouldn't take any Advil. He was congested too, so he couldn't have his soother. Scott gave him a blessing. He and Jesse both were so good and happy today, but I just felt so bad for them to be sick on Christmas.

There's so much more, I could go on and on, but it's late and I'm tired. This was a very memorable Christmas for me in lots of ways. First Christmas with five kids (I don't know why, but that was a big deal for me). We had a good experience with service (I'll post the family letter tomorrow). Again, there's more, but I hear Nathan now, so I need to sign off.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve and I'm ready for bed. We had a great day though, so I wanted to write a quick note.

I managed to accomplish about 95% of my To Do List, thanks to Scott. He tackled the laundry and the bathrooms. The sweet potatoes are baked but not made, but I'm not stressing about it or anything else. The house is clean, presents are wrapped, and tomorrow is going to be wonderful.

Jesse and Nathan were feeling a bit better tonight so we ventured out to the Christmas Eve Party at the Reeve's. Puddicombes and Bridges were there too. Decorated cookies for Santa, had our traditional loaded nacho buffet, Santa visited with gifts for all. I made the usual - cocktail meatballs. It was lots of fun for everyone. We have wonderful friends!

Kids went straight to bed tonight after opening their Christmas pajamas and hanging their stockings. Oh, and the Samhuri Christmas tradition... "The Little Match Girl" was read by Scott this year.

The living room is full. Santa's been good to us this year. I can't wait for the kids to wake up - it's just so exciting!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last night as I was going to bed at 12:45, I noticed that Nathan was awake in his crib. I thought he must have lost his soother, so I went in to tuck him back down, when I noticed his body was burning hot. I took him downstairs to the kitchen and he started asking for water over and over. He had a temperature of 102.2, so I gave him some Advil and put him to sleep in our room so we could keep our eye on him a little more through the night.

He was a little better today, but still had a fever and did didn't eat much.

Jesse woke up sick with a fever as well, and spent the day on the couch and in bed. He took a nap, too. He said his mouth hurt, and all he ate all day was some chicken soup and an orange.

Hopefully they'll be better tomorrow so we don't have to cancel our Christmas Eve plans, and so that they're not sick on Christmas!

As for the rest of the family... Scott took Oscar to the doctor to check how his wound was healing. Everything looks great!

Samantha had her friends Tijana and Anastasia (sisters) over to play. Really nice girls and I think they had fun together.

I came down this morning to find Brett had taken all the presents out from under the tree and sorted them into piles according to who they're for. Scott and I just shook our heads and laughed because this is such a typical Brett thing to do!

Our home teachers came by tonight, and after they left I ventured out with Clara in the terribly stormy winter weather to get a couple of groceries. It was quite busy at the store, the roads were treacherous, and we ended up getting home just before 11:00 PM. I watched an episode of House while making some treats for tomorrow night. Just one less thing to do tomorrow. Speaking of which...

Here's my To Do List for Christmas Eve Day:

Package the rest of the treats for our friends
Make the sweet potatoes and butter tarts for Christmas dinner
Wrap Pat & Bills gift
Make meatballs and a huge bowl of icing for our Christmas Eve party
Tidy the house
Catch up on some laundry
Do a quick vacuum and spot mop on the main floor
Clean the bathrooms
Get everyone ready to go so we can get loaded up by 3:30 PM
If we have time, make some cookies for Santa... if not I have a bag of Oreos hiding downstairs as a backup plan

I guess it's technically Christmas Eve Day already. I really need to stop staying up so late. It is nice to sleep in a bit during the Holidays though. Today I didn't get up until 8:15 (other than to feed Clara around 6:00, but she went back to sleep right away).

My Kind of Holiday Baking

I found this great recipe for Pretzel Hugs. It's super easy and the kids loved making and eating them! We made about 300 of these for teacher gifts and for refreshments for the Christmas Piano Recital we had on Saturday. The rest of them we packaged up to give out to friends and family.

Pretzel Hugs Recipe

(from Becky Higgins)


pretzels (I think the square waffle type pretzels are best)
plain M&Ms


Place the pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet, and place one (unwrapped) hug in the middle of each pretzel.

Bake at 200 degrees, until hugs get shiny and start to look a little melted - about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and put an M&M in the middle of each hug. Press down a little. Cool in the freezer for 15 minutes, or on the counter for a few hours until set.


Here are some tips you might want to consider... (trust me, I learned these the hard way)

You can use kisses instead of hugs, but they don't melt at the same rate, so you'll need to do them on separate baking trays. I think the hugs taste better and they melt faster too.

You definitely need the parchment paper, or you'll be scraping them off your pan.

Don't wait until they actually look melted to take them out of the oven, or they will be too runny.

If you want red and green ones, try to find the Christmas M&M's. I looked in four stores and couldn't find them, so I ended up buying the regular ones. Now we're stuck with a huge tin of blue, yellow, orange, and brown M&M's.

(You should have seen Samantha making sure that nobody laid a finger on the red and green ones when we were making them.... Just picture the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.)

Today was fun.

We woke up late and did some tidying up and a little laundry. Then Scott took the kids out skating this afternoon. When they got back, Samantha went over to her friend's house to play for a couple of hours. I wrapped the rest of the Christmas gifts and the boys put them under the tree. Nice to have that all done three days before Christmas.

After supper we had Family Home Evening. Samantha taught a great Christmas lesson. She had planned it all herself, and written it out on paper, including what questions she was going to ask, such as, "What is the real reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesse?" I loved the end when she shared her testimony of what Christmas means to her.

For our closing song, each of the kids played their Christmas songs from the recital and we all sang along.

Then we had our activity, which was decorating a gingerbread house together.

We chose some Christmas stories to read at bedtime in the boys room and Jesse fell asleep during the second book. My favourite was the book called, "The Christmas Miracle of Johnathon Toomey". I think this is the first time I've read it without crying.

I managed to get an hour or so of tidying down in the den tonight and some other stuff done on the computer, as Clara went to bed around 9:45 PM. That was wonderful, but now that it's past midnight so I better get to bed myself.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Clara: Three Months

I can't believe Clara is THREE months old! She's growing up so fast.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a baby update, so here are some things I should mention about Clara:

She practically lives in her swing or on a blanket on the floor, when she isn’t napping in the cradle.

She rolled over at 2 months old. Tummy to Back. She’s only done it twice, and doesn’t love to be put down on her tummy, so she hasn’t had a lot more practice. She’s really good at holding her head up when she’s on her tummy too.

She smiles on demand, meaning whenever any one of the other six people in the house pay any attention to her. Sadly, this doesn't happen often enough. And I try to throw out any guilt I have been bearing and tell myself that those huge smiles mean that she understands and that she forgives us. Either that or she's waiting until the teenage years to get her revenge.

Then there are the times when she has to run errands, like last week when Samantha and I went out to get the last 2 things on my Christmas list (yahoo!) and do a few other things. Clara went from our house to the bank, to the library to return some books, to the mall, to the grocery store, back to the mall and then home without a single peep. She started to cry a tiny bit on the way home because she was getting hungry, but when we turned the music up she decided to be happy until we got home.

She's getting cuter every day. Her eyes are still dark, and I'm not sure what colour they will end up. Her hair is growing in lighter, but is still quite dark too. It gets curly after her bath, but dries straight.

She isn't a big fan of her soother, but she's such a good natured baby that I've decided not to push it.

She has birthmark that covers most of her right knee. Our doctor thinks it's one of those baby birthmarks that will eventually fade away. It used to be dark purple (in fact when she was first born, the nurses and doctors at the hospital didn't know if it was bruise or a birthmark), and now it looks more like a strawberry-pink colour, so she may be right. Apparently, if it's still around when she turns two, it's going to be there for life.

She usually sleeps 8 hours at night! She stays up super late (anywhere between 11:00 PM and 12:30 AM) but then she sleeps all night until around 7:00 or sometimes closer to 8:00 in the morning.

Sometimes I wish she would go to bed earlier, as I need to get up by 6:45 AM to get the big kids off to school and a lot earlier than that if I want to look half-decent while doing so. I think the kids appreciate it when I shower and brush my teeth before taking them to the bus stop. If not, I’m sure the other parents do.

However, I know that such good sleeping habits are amazing for a 3 month old so I try not to complain. I am so grateful. Really. Besides, Scott takes our kids to the bus stop 90% of the time, making it too easy for me to still be in my pajamas as I kiss them out the door.

The only time she’s a tiny bit fussy or demanding is in the evening, for a couple of hours before bed. She doesn’t want to be put down, and she doesn’t want to sleep (until much later). So I usually end up spending lots of quality time with her late at night.

This is good, of course, because all kids need quality time with Mom. But it’s also difficult because this used to be my time to get stuff done while the rest of the kids are in bed. Stuff like tidying the house, folding laundry, blogging, doing Primary stuff, making phone calls, working on various projects, talking / hanging out with Scott, etc. Sometimes I find this really hard (not having enough time) but I know this phase will probably end in a few months.

Basically, Clara is the most adorable, precious, sweet, and lovable child ever.
Okay, maybe not the number one, but definitely Top Five. And I should know, since I happen to be raising the other four.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jesse’s Primary Talk

December 21, 2008

At Christmas time we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

This year I made a card for Jesus and put it under our Christmas tree.

The card says Happy Birthday Jesus.

Since it is Jesus’ birthday, we should try to give him some birthday gifts at Christmas.

Some of the gifts we can give to Jesus are:

Choosing the Right

Serving others

Serving Heavenly Father and Jesus

Our family went shopping and I picked out a toy for a boy who needed a gift this Christmas.

I felt happy to serve others.

I hope we can all remember to give Jesus a gift this Christmas.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Today for Sacrament Meeting the Primary did a Christmas Program. It was very simple, with readings right out of Luke 2, Primary Christmas songs, and several congregational hymns. The closing speaker was Scott, and he gave a fantastic talk about making time for the Saviour in our lives. He quoted a lot from President Monson's talk from the Christmas Devotional.

It was a wonderful meeting. The children did great and the whole thing went very smoothly. I was very emotional and cried during the Christensen family's musical number and also during Scott's talk.

I was amazed at how many people spoke to me afterwards and said how much they enjoyed the program. Definitely more than I've ever had say they like the regular yearly CSMP, and a lot of people like those! Anyway, it's always nice to get positive feedback. I'm also glad it's over.

Jesse, with prompting and a little help from myself, wrote a great talk this morning, but told me he was too shy to give it. He gets really nervous in front of people, but instead of just freezing up or getting quiet, he starts being silly and laughing. I think he must get it from me because I totally laugh when I'm really nervous. Anyway, I gave his talk for him, while he stood beside me and held up pictures. But even that was hard for him, and he was being silly the whole time. I will post his talk so we have a record of it. I know hope that he gained something from writing it, even though he didn't share it himself.

After church Brett and Jesse went to play at the Bunnage house and we had Tia over at our place.

Samantha and I stayed up late to wrap gifts and now she is sitting beside me reading over my shoulder as I type this. We sure love our girl time, don't we?!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This morning Scott got up at 5:50 AM to drive Jeff & Lindsey to the airport... but when he got to their house they were all sleeping! I guess their flight got delayed due to weather, and they had called and left a message that we never received. So he came home and went back to sleep for a little bit before we had to get all ready for the Piano Recital.

The Recital was great and the kids played wonderfully. Jesse decided to jump off the stage after he was done instead of walking down the steps. Brett played pretty well, but did miss a few notes, and has played it much better dozens of times at home. I'm not sure if it was a case of stage fright, or (more likely) just playing it so much that he just got lazy. Samantha and I played well, and I actually had fun doing the duet with her (and wasn't nervous, surprisingly). Clara was an angel, and sat quietly in her car seat for the whole concert (wide awake too).

Basically the only downside was... Nathan. During Miss Lillie's opening remarks he started running up on the stage. Jesse ran up to get him and ended up tackling him down and then Scott went up and carried him back to our seats. Back into the stroller he went, and he was not happy about it. So Scott had to spend the rest of the concert in the hall with Nathan screaming to get out of his stroller.

Anyway, another neat thing was that our old neighbour, Leslie was there to watch her niece, Julianna, who is also a student of Lillie's. Her parents were there too. It was great to see them all.

After the recital, Samantha went to her friend Sam's house (who was also at the concert, as her little sister is in Jesse's piano class). The rest of us went to the airport to pick up Jeff & Lindsey's car which they parked there since Scott didn't end up driving them. Later on Scott picked up the two Samantha's and they played here for the rest of the afternoon until after supper.

Tonight I went out with Kate & Tasha to deliver Christmas packages to our Primary workers. We delivered 12 out of 19 but quite a few people live out of town, so we'll deliver the rest at church tomorrow.

The kids had fun watching Hockey Night in Canada with Scott while I was gone. That's becoming a tradition around here and it's getting more fun now that the kids are old enough to actually watch the game and cheer for their favourite teams and sing along with the theme song, etc.

I'm so excited for Christmas! The music, the season, the lights, the snow, the kids counting down - it's just been so much fun this year.

Every year I vow to take it easy on the gifts, but somehow we end up with tons of stuff. Scott's definitely taking his share of the blame this year, as he has been shopping a lot too. Just for the older kids really, as Clara has no clue and doesn't need anything. Nathan doesn't need anything either, and he'll just play with the first thing he opens anyway, so why bother making him open more.

We always use all our points up (Visa, Air Miles, etc) at Christmas time, but we still buy stuff anyways. (This year Scott ordered a Wii with our Scotia Gold Visa points. I'm a little nervous about this, as up until now we've been avoiding any type of gaming systems in our house. But it's weird how easy it was to justify getting one when you don't have to pay anything for it.

But, I will say that with all our spending, we have never gone into debt over the holidays. We always pay cash (well, debit, or else credit card but we pay it off within 48 hours). So we never have bills to pay off come January. Also, we almost never buy our kids anything during the rest of the year, even on their birthdays (usually their birthday gift is a party or something small like a book, etc).

Okay, I really need to get to bed before midnight because I totally forgot until about an hour ago that Jesse's supposed to give a talk in Primary tomorrow so I need to wake up and do that before church, and I also need to finish a few Primary things that I didn't get done today. Good thing Scott doesn't have Bishopric meetings tomorrow morning!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Scott had a little "procedure" done yesterday, for lack of a better word. He's been having this swallowing problem for several years now, but the doctors have just given him drugs for it because they really didn't know the cause. Every time he said it was still bothering him he'd get a new prescription. Finally, he went back to the specialist and he said that he'd do another scope (which involves putting him under) and also stretch out the esophagus. So he went in for that on Thursday morning.

I went to pick him up a few hours later and he was totally walking around. Seriously, they just sent him on his way, and I found him at the front door of the hospital all alone. He was pretty out of it, and had to come home and sleep for a few hours. He has been eating fine so far. I'm really hoping this will help with the swallowing. I'm sure we'll be able to tell in few more days.

Today we are having a bad winter storm. So bad that the schools were actually closed (and that almost never happens in the city).

Here are 5 reasons why I'm not loving the snow day:

1. It was my last day to get STUFF DONE before Christmas while the 3 kids were at school
2. Samantha is getting a new teacher in January, and it was her last day with Mme L.F. (and she had a substitute yesterday, so she was sad about that)
3. Brett had a class party and was all ready with his game to bring in
4. Jesse also had a class party and had his veggie platter all ready to go
5. Did I mention it's hard to get lots of things accomplished with 5 kids at home all day?

Here are 5 reasons why I'm loving the snow day:

1. We can eat the veggie platter tonight with leftover chicken (no cooking dinner)
2. I went out last night and stocked up on everything we could possibly need so we wouldn't have to leave the house at all for a few days
3. We get to start Christmas holidays a day early!
4. Samantha (and sometimes the boys) help by playing with Nathan when I'm busy
5. Scott ventured out in the storm to take the kids skating this morning and they practically had the whole rink to themselves

Now off to fold some laundry and clean while both babies are napping. I'm hoping for at least another hour... is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We practiced our duet, Samantha and I, at piano lessons today. It went pretty well, notwithstanding my extreme nervousness. Samantha said afterwards that she could see my hands shaking while we played. I don't doubt that. But I think we'll be ready for the recital on Saturday.

Other than that, things were pretty quiet around here today. Wrapped some gifts with the kids. Our tree is getting full. Scott played hockey tonight. Nathan said some really cute things and made us all laugh.

Like when he tries to tell jokes and says, "Knock knock!" and we say, "Who's there?" and he starts laughing hysterically. Or when we try to get him to say words and then he wants a turn so he says to me, "Say.... horse!" or "Say... Mama!"

Scott needs to be at the hospital by 7:30 AM for this procedure he's having done which will hopefully help with his swallowing problem. I've got my alarm set for 5:30 AM, since we need to have the kids up and ready for school before going to the hospital. I'm starting to get tired just thinking about that time of day, so I guess that's my clue to sign off get some sleep.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Every year our Ward sets up a Christmas tree in the foyer at church and has tags on the tree with people who are in need. The kids were so excited when we brought home three tags on Sunday.

We, as a family, had been collecting tickets in a jar on our kitchen counter, and were saving up to help someone in need this Christmas. We counted the tickets (they earned 10 cents per ticket) and off we went to Superstore.

Two of the tags were for grocery store gift certificates, so that was easy. The last tag was for a 9 year old boy, and the kids were allowed to spend all of the Christmas Jar money on a gift for him. It started off great, we got a gift and were all set to go. But then I wanted to look at mitts for the kids and Scott got distracted by the electronics.

All of a sudden I hear my name over the load speaker, paging me to Customer Service. Apparently Jesse had wondered off when we split up and had somehow become lost in the store.
Then Brett saw some Pokemon cards, and couldn't understand why it wouldn't be a good idea for us to buy them for him 9 days before Christmas.

Yep, shoulda left as soon we found that gift.

On a totally different subject, the kids have their piano recital this Saturday. Somehow I had a brain lapse and agreed to play the accompaniment for Samantha's solo. I've been practicing lots, and it really isn't a tricky piece, but I am so nervous because I've never really played piano in front of an audience before. Tomorrow we will play it for rest of the class and parents as practice during the lesson. We'll see how that goes. Yikes!

Party at the Palasad

Better late than never... some pictures from Jesse's party a few weeks ago.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just finished Family Home Evening and put the kids to bed... I'm still choked up from the movie we watched tonight. It's called "The Christmas Shoes" and it's based on the song.

Oh my goodness. So sad, but a great Christmas movie. It was the first time for our kids to see it. Samantha and Jesse really liked it. I felt bad because Jesse was still crying at bedtime. He's got this soft, sensitive side that you don't see all the time. I just adore that about him. Like when he sees Clara in the morning and starts sucking his thumb. So sweet!

Scott just sneaked off to Toys R Us to pick up the gifts that he was having assembled for the kids for Christmas. Can't wait! 10 more days.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday. Never seems to be a day of rest.

Scott leaves early for Bishopric meetings. I struggle to get the kids pressed and dressed and on time for Sacrament Meeting. We herd into the chapel at about 11:29 (or so). I'm pushing Nathan in the stroller with one hand and carrying Clara's car seat in the other.

Then there's Primary, which is always busy, but I sure do love it. After church, I rally the troops to get home... alone again, as Scott's has tithing to count and deposit.

Today we had a quick bite to eat, then had to cook a main dish and 10 lbs of green icing for the Ward Christmas Potluck Activity we had tonight.

Thirty-five Primary children doing crafts with me, Kate & Tasha, while the youth and adults were in the chapel for a program. We weren't asked to do this, but volunteered. Why? For our own sakes, really, because we all knew we'd be in the halls anyway, or trying to shush our little ones for an hour in the chapel, so why not make it fun?

Highlight of the day was getting home at 8:30, putting the kids straight to bed, and relaxing in the family room for a movie night with Scott. We watched, "Bucket List". It was cute.

Now off to bed to gear up for the last week before Christmas Break.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yesterday Scott turned 34. We had a pretty low-key day. Hung out at home. He took Jesse skating in the morning. I went Visiting Teaching in the afternoon. We had Jeff & Lindsey over for Chinese take-out for dinner, and then we got a babysitter and went to the Puddicombe's Christmas Party. There was a great turnout, and we played a fun gift exchange game. Scott came home with one of the gifts we brought (2 really nice flashlights) and I came home with a wooden Christmas Moose and some tree ornaments. We did have birthday cake there too, but it wasn't a particularly special day.

That's okay, Scott made up for it today by going shopping for an amazing (read: crazy expensive) stereo sound system, which he is assembling this very minute.

I spent this morning preparing for our Primary Service Activity, which we had this afternoon at the McCormick Nursing Home. It was a fun celebration of Christmas Card making, singing, and birthday cake (for those having birthdays this month). We all came home with that warm, mushy feeling you get when you do something completely unselfish to uplift another. We had 17 children there, and I think they all had a good time. I know our kids really enjoyed it.

Hockey Night in Canada, a tradition for Saturday nights. All three boys fell asleep watching the third period on our bed. So cute. All cozy with their blankies. Love it!

I ran to Loblaws with Samantha to get a "couple things" for tomorrow and we ended up there for almost an hour looking at cute stuff. It's fun to have a girl to shop with. She came home and finished writing her Primary talk for tomorrow. Now I need to tidy up so I can go to bed at a semi-decent hour (hopefully before midnight).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nathan's poop looks like black charcoal (kind of like what you use for the BBQ). Not sure how long that's gonna last. I'm just so relieved and happy that he's okay. Scott said he was charming all the nurses at the hospital, and I don't doubt it.

Scott's getting sick tonight. I really hope he doesn't get what I had. I'm still not quite completely better yet. It's been 6 days.

Tonight at dinner Jesse said, "When I grow up and have kids, I'm ALWAYS going to speak in a nice voice. Even if I have to ask them three or more times! I'll still use a nice voice!"

Jeff & Lindsey popped by for a quick visit. Tyler is starting to take some first steps.

I'm up way too late, but I'm off to bed now!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I've been meaning to do this for a while. Start another blog that is. Just more of an online diary than anything else. Mostly unedited and probably written in little snippets here and there. My own little corner of the world wide web.

In the interest of time (I need to get Nathan & Clara out the door in the next 20 minutes), here's a quick summary of the last 2 days.

On Tuesday, Oscar had surgery on his legs, poor little guy, and has been limping around with a shaved and sore plastic-covered wound and a purple sock-thingy over his back leg to prevent itching. He also had this crazy collar that looked like a huge funnel to prevent licking, but he couldn't eat in it, so we had to take it off.

Nathan and Scott spent half the night last night in the emergency room after I found Nathan in the upstairs hallway with an open bottle of (adult) Extra Strength Tylenol and white drool dripping down his chin. They had to give him a nose tube to administer charcoal, and then they waited 4 hours to do a blood test, which came out fine. Still, it was probably the scariest night of my life waiting for the phone call from Scott to let me know he was going to be okay.

That's it for now. We've got Jesse's Christmas Concert at school this afternoon, and Scott's birthday to get ready for!

I'll be back to gab more later.

Monday, December 8, 2008

cj's holiday NOT to do list

I should be doing laundry right now. And washing dishes. And giving Clara and Nathan baths. I actually haven't showered myself this morning either.

But... our hot water heater broke on Friday, and after three days of suffering without hot water, two of which I have been terribly sick with the flu, the guy is finally here to fix it. In order to do so, he has had to shut off our water completely, which is why I can't do any of those things I just mentioned.

Instead, I was very inspired by this great article, and thought I would write my own list. So here ya go...

cj's Holiday NOT To Do List:
  1. I will not hand stamp 45 Christmas cards and envelopes to send to all of our family and friends, along with a coordinating picture of the whole family. I may send a short "Merry Christmas" note via email. Picture is optional.
  2. I also will not hand stamp multiple sets of cards to give as gifts to School, Piano, and Primary teachers. I may wrap up some gourmet hot chocolate or another small Christmas treat and have the children give that to their teachers with their own handmade cards.
  3. I will not do any Christmas shopping after December 15, thereby avoiding the stress of dragging any number of children out in the snowy, slushy weather to an overly crowded mall, where, if we manage to find parking within 5 km of said mall, we will either have to wait to pay in a line so long that you can't see one end from the other, or we will find that the very thing we intended to purchase has in fact been SOLD OUT.
  4. I will not stress over that fact that I just crossed five sewing projects off my Christmas list for the children, as it became very clear that I would not have time to complete them by December 25 unless I completely gave up sleep and sanity for the next two weeks. There's always next year. Or birthdays.
  5. I will not get out all of my Christmas decorations from storage and re-decorate the house in red, green and white. Last week we put up our tree, got out the Christmas books, a blanket, and a couple of decorations for the kitchen. That's it. Nothing else comes out this year.
  6. I will not feel pressure to do any extravagant Holiday baking. I may do some spontaneous baking of Christmas cookies, if the kids want to and if all of the ingredients are already in the house at that time.
There are probably another dozen things I could list here, but in the spirit of this post, I will not spend too much time making up the perfect Holiday NOT To Do List, and in doing so, spend too much time on the computer and neglect my family.

So, what's on your NOT to do list this year?