Monday, December 29, 2008

spreading the love

Do you remember when you were little and your parents would tell you, "Eat your peas, there are starving children in Ethiopia", or something like that. My kids can hardly believe that there are places without snow, but would like to move to said places as soon as possible to escape any more shoveling. Today we have no snow outside, just sunshine. I thought it might be nice to share all our snow with all of you in blog land that don't get any. So here are a few pictures from the last two weeks to cheer all you "non-snowy" bloggers (and probably make you even more glad that you don't get any snow).

I know it's a picture of shoes, but it's not just shoes. It's shoes on top of the snow instead of sinking down a few inches (like they should if it was JUST snow).
Here's where Chris learns that his mom has tricked him into shoveling ice, and not snow. After this the jig was up and he came inside.

I told you, before, that I like to measure snow by the back deck. This all appeared in a few short hours.

Okay this wasn't taken last week, but I had to throw a picture of the kids in the snow for good measure.

Sure, snow isn't all about the shoveling and the driving in there are lots of fun things you can do in the snow.

Like building a snowman.

It's obvious my kids haven't really gotten the idea, but I'm working on it.

You can go sledding.

If you're a curious cat you can sniff the snow.

I was so waiting for that bush to dump all it's snow on Jinx, but no such luck. What a lucky little kitty.

And, of course, you can just enjoy the snow. Often it really is very pretty to look at.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Number Four Turns Three

Three years ago, today, I got the very best Christmas gift I've ever gotten (and I can't imagine it ever being topped). Three years ago after a month of being turned away at the labor and delivery door because my contractions just weren't "good enough", and I'd sworn that I wouldn't go back until my water broke or my doctor would induce me, I got the best contractions ever. And that's really saying something since with the first three, by comparison, I had it way easy. Three years ago my youngest, Roselyn Elizabeth was born. At 9:25 in the morning, weighing 8pounds and 15 ounces, with lots of brown hair and big brown eyes.

Having a girl is so much fun, after having three boys. I really wasn't sure what to do with her sometimes, but I think I figured it out. I love playing dress up with her, and fortunately so does she. :)
Yes, my little princess has definitely gotten bigger (and more menacing) over the years and I can't believe how fast it's passed. Today I started, what I hope becomes a tradition, of spending "girl time" together. I took her to Club Libby Lu and got her hair done (we went last week and got her ears pierced) and then to the Picture People to have birthday portraits done. She looked her fabulous princess self today!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Monster Sighting

If I compare my afternoons to a National Geographic article I might sound something like this:

I finally got footage of the, not so rare, monstrous 2 year old that inhabits our village. She appears to be sweet until provoked into a game of chase. Here you see one of the elder hunters luring it into a game of "catch me if you can" in attempts to lure her to exhaustion and maybe a nap.

Did you notice how she threatens with a "roar" and he answers with a "roar"? I'm sure it's a game of some sort, but I'm not really sure who is in charge. Will have to document further to determine what really is going on.

This really is a game that happens every afternoon when Sam comes home. My oldest is every body's favorite big brother (which is handy since he is the oldest), and I think he's got it down pretty good. He lets the younger ones get away with a lot. And the above is just the tip of the ice berg. They do love their games of afternoon chase. My kids are all crazy and my house is always a mess and very loud and we're always out of food with four growing children. I can never say I'm bored or lack entertainment.
What about any of you? Do you have a crazy house? Do your kids chase each other around making roaring sounds? Are you ready for the holidays?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How to go to school in the snow and dance like you're being watched

Yesterday when we got so much snow I had planned on making today's post about the fun of school in the snow. Here, where we live, your child has to come to school in full snow gear-- the hat, gloves, snow pants, snow boots, jacket. You know, they have to be ready to play in the snow. What happens if you come to school without all the marshmallow layers? You get to stay inside and watch all your friends have fun outside. This is Todd's first year of "big" school and so he gets to put all this on in the mornings. This is what he looks like walking back to the car in the afternoons. When he went to school in the morning there wasn't anything on the ground (okay maybe a little ice, but it did not look like this!). It had only been snowing for like 90mins when that was taken! This morning our deck looked like it usually does in the winter here. I always love measuring our snow by looking at the rails of our deck. It just makes it look like we have so much! But I said this post wasn't going to be about all the snow. Nope, today is all about the fact that I finally used the video capture button on my camera. What follows is Rose at dance class doing their little "holiday" dance they learned today. She's the one on the end in the fabulous tutu. After this was shot all the mom's talked about enrolling our girls into a hockey program. But that's a story for another day. Enjoy the Dance Dynamics Rugratz class performing their holiday dance. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oatmeal Jam-Ups with Rose and Sam

This past weekend we drove to Springfield, IL to meet my parents for lunch. We figure that's about the half way point between the lot of us. We met to exchange presents and just get to hang out for a bit. My parents aren't really able to make it all the way to Chicago often and we aren't able to make it all the way to southeast MO. My father loves my Oatmeal Jam-up cookies. It's a recipe I started making years ago because it just looked so yummy. This year I let my oldest (Sam) and my youngest (Rose) do most of the work.
We got all the ingredients out.

And while I added what we needed to the bowl, Sam and Rose did the mixing. Rose was so excited to be helping, and Sam was very compliant. Now, I'm not going to share my recipe (because then my sister wouldn't have to call me every year and ask me how to do it and what goes in it), but I will share what the finished product looks like. In the book they make these into really cute ravioli shapes, but I'm lazy so I make mine into bars instead. My boys are always so suspicious of anything I make. I think it comes from all the years I've told them that I've secretly been poisoning their food. After I shoved as many bars, as I could, into a container for my father I put the rest aside for us. I was thinking it might be a nice alternative to cereal in the mornings. Unfortunately they didn't last past Sunday.

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Don't want to brave the stores? Looking for one of a kind products? Have a look at . They sell 100% mom-made products.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Want to win?

I'm so excited! As some of you may know I am a vendor at You know, that fabulous 100% mom made chic boutique? Every week they have a give away and this week one of my tutus and wands are up for grabs.
To be specific this tutu is up for grabs.

This is my best seller. A periwinkle/lavender (or blue/purple) tutu. Fifty yards of soft tulle makes for a full and fluffy, twirly skirt of fun for any little girl. The one being given away is sized for 2T-4T. What tutu is complete without a wand?

Would you like to win? Go on over to CreatedbyMom the Blog and enter.

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Have you started? Have you visited all the wonderful mom-vendors at

To pierce or not to pierce

I know, it's been over a week since I've blogged about anything. What can I say, I've been a busy gal. First I want to thank everyone who stopped by to say "Merry SITSmas" to me last week. I will get back to each and every one of you, if I haven't already. My SITSmas ended with me finally sucumbing to the family stomach flu. Speaking of SITSmas, thanks for all the compliments on the baby in the stocking. That was actually a photo I used for a Christmas card 6years ago. That was one of the first portraits done of my, now 6yo, son when he was born.
Alright, so I was sick and then I spent the rest of my week catching up on orders for tutus. So here we are now and my question today is: Should I pierce Rose's ears?
My youngest, and only girl, will be turning 3 in two weeks. My husband has finally agreed to let me put holes in Rose's ears, but now that it comes down to it I just can't decide. I'd love to hear some pros and cons about this in my comments. This summer I went around asking any mother I saw with a pierced eared todler about the experience and I even went around to places that pierce ears asking about their methods. So I feel I'm well informed on the decision.
How old were you when you had your ears pierced? Are they pierced? Have you pierced your daughters ears? What was that experience like? Where did you have it done?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Merry SITSmas!

Those fabulous gals over at SITS are having a fun filled holiday extravaganza today. It's a whole day of fun and cheer and amazing hourly give aways with the grand prize winner receiving a $200 gift card to Target and being Friday's featured blogger. How totally awesome is that? That's right...a whole day of prizes from all sorts of places.
So what is SITSmas all about? It's not just about all the fantastic prizes, but it's about sharing this holiday season with all our SITStas, of course. So here's me sharing what the holidays mean to me.
Family. Family comes in many shapes and sizes. There's my online friends that I consider family and then there's my actual family.

Okay so it's probably not what you expected. I usually have pictures of my kids, but believe it or not I actually have a mother (I'm not like my 12yo I don't have a problem admitting it), and a father and 5 brothers and a sister --all older than me. Yes, I'm the baby. Last year, for Christmas ,we all got together. This was the first time we were all together in over 25years. Can you imagine not having all your siblings together, at the same time, for so long? Can you imagine being a mom and not having your kids together at the same time for so long? This was our Christmas gift to our mother. We all tried to bring our individual families with us and that's what this looked like.
We were only missing four kids and two significant others in this picture. 22 out of 28 isn't so bad, right? Talk about a crazy few days. For some of the kids it was the first time they met any of their cousins, and for some it was just their first time meeting any of us. We commemorated the occasion by having a whole heck of a lot of pictures taken. Now that we've covered my biological family, what about my online friends or SITStas. Some of my favorite places to hang out these days are on the fantastic blogs I find through SITS. Places like Sunshine and Lemonade. Kat is always reading the best books and having fun with the ladies in the "Mommy Blabber Club". Anna at Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder is always there when you're having a grey day. Have you heard about her sleep-tennising problem? If you're looking for a cute tushy then look no further than that sweet Nanny over at Nanny Goats in Panties. If you're nice I bet she'd tell you a story about band camp. When you need some inspiration you need to look no further than Jyll at Never a Dull Moment. She has NINE children!! The woman has to be a saint. Then there is another sort of inspiration that I get from Christie at Pretty Paper Blog. She is so amazingly talented! Of course my day is never complete unless I stop by and see Heather and Tiffany over at The Secret is in the Sauce. They are the real masterminds behind this whole sisterly love thing called SITS. They got together and created an entire army of comment junkies, and without them a lot of us wouldn't have comments on our blogs or have all these amazing SITStas. So today I'm celebrating SITSmas, and my online friends that I've made. Ya'll are awesome and I consider myself lucky to be able to call myself your stalker.
Happy SITSmas!!!

December 1st, 2008

This is what I woke up to this morning.

OKay, well actually I woke up at 2am with a sick 2yo, but I didn't think you'd want to see that so I waited until 8:30 and went outside to take those pictures. Aren't you glad I spared you?
ANYway...I thought that snow on the first day of December is actually appropriate. I mean it's actually a month that you expect to see snow in, and maybe even want snow in.
I've spent the last week preparing for today. I grew up using an Advent calendar that was the shape of a Christmas tree and it had 25 pockets, each with something to pin on the tree. I loved doing the Advent calendar as a kid and knew I wanted to do that with my own children. My mother actually made me one for my children to use, after I got married, but we had a very unruly beagle who tore it up so we've been without for many years. This year I decided to make my own.

In each of the pockets is a holiday themed task, like decorating the tree, or making Christmas cards, or making cookies, or reading a holiday book, ect... My 6yo is really excited, and if our unruly 2yo doesn't tear it up this Advent calendar may end up being what my children grow up knowing.
Oh! Did I mention that I received a package in the mail this weekend? I got my prizes from Kat's Wicked give away! Have you gone over to enter in this weeks prize? She's giving away some sex and chocolate, how could you resist? Get on over there and enter!

What about any of you? Do you have any holiday traditions you grew up with that your kids do now? Did you make your own? Did you wake up to snow? or to a sick kid?