Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Christmas hits and misses!
Hit: NYC the Saturday before Christmas. There was a little bit of snow, lots of fun decorations, and, along with our train ride through snow to and from, it helped us all feel more festive.Ashlee dancing on the "Big" piano in FAO Schwartz...in the pink. Miss: no pictures of the girls in their Christmas outfits - here is Maggie in part of hers, dancing with her sister. Miss - in a big way. Paige has shown zero interest in this board that we made her. Maybe we missed the age by a little bit, I was sure she was going to love it.

Hit: Dad's new helicopter. And the green thing on the floor by Ashlee's feet still has potential. Santa brought it for Paige who doesn't really love it, but the older two have a great time spinning around in it and standing on it etc...
For you Aunt Heather: HIT! Paige loved her new hat and cried when we took it off.

Hit/Miss: the littlest pet shop animals were a big hit, the Barbie laptop was a miss. Ashlee requested it several times so Santa brought it. But, she now feels it was made for "preschoolers" and "babies" and maybe she's right, Paige seems to really like it.

Miss: we miss being by family at Christmas time.
Hits: carrying on a few traditions that Christopher and I have both brought from our childhood Christmases; thinking about a couple to add for next year; seeing my Aunt and Uncle and cousins a couple of days after Christmas (thanks for the visit!); being involved in a couple of service projects with church and making a few visits to widows in our ward as a family; dinner with friends on Christmas Eve; just us for Christmas dinner - which allowed for a nice long nap after breakfast and before meal prep; being together!
(Please ignore the tennis balls on the chair legs - we have made many failed attempts at finding something that will stay on the chairs to keep the floor from getting all scratched up, and finally gave up and went with what works.)

Now we are looking forward to 2009 and the possibilities and opportunities of a new year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mag Pie

A couple of stories about my Magpie -

This year, she has been completely absorbed by the Harry Potter books, which thrills me beyond belief. I don't remember any books, aside from the Boxcar Children, from my childhood that I really, really loved. I didn't really start to love reading until I was older, so to have her so enthralled with these books makes my heart very happy. We have the last four books on CD and the library has all of them so she can check out books 1 - 3 to listen to. She is just finishing up listening to the series for a 2nd time this year. Well, often, she brings the CD's in the car with her to listen to while we drive places or she'll listen to them in the kitchen while I am cooking or doing dishes. I listened to about 70% of book 6 with her, but finished it before her on my own - it's the perfect backdrop to folding laundry etc... When she found out that I had started book 7 and she wasn't done with book 6, she was not happy with me. I guess, maybe a few times I have had her wait to listen to something until I can be in the room. So she felt a little betrayed. On Thursday last week, the day after my mom had gone and I was feeling a little bit melancholy, I had lots of laundry to do, and I decided to put Harry Potter in while Paige was sleeping and I was folding, sorting etc.. I looked everywhere and couldn't find the cd's. Then, it hit me: she must have hidden them somewhere so that I couldn't listen to them while she was at school. I looked everywhere I could think that she would have hidden them and still could NOT find them. Why? Because she had taken them to school with her. Yup, she just loaded the whole series into her box and took them to school. So, to get back, I didn't do ANY laundry and just sat and read the whole afternoon away.

This year for the first time since we have lived here, we have to get up early during the week. The elementary school that both girls have attended until now doesn't start until 9:30. So unless I had something pressing to do in the mornings, we just slept until we woke up. But, now Maggie attends a different school that starts at 8:00 am, her bus comes around 7:20. During the first part of the year, I woke her up. After a while, she lost confidence in my ability/willingness to wake her at the time she wanted. Now she sets her alarm for 6:30. I usually sleep until about 7:00 when she comes in to get me to help her make her lunch. Today was pizza day at the school. She buys her lunch every pizza day. So, when the alarm went off at 6:30 this morning I stumbled out of bed to turn up the heat and bumped into my darling daughter in the hall. I think I said good morning to her and may have also indicated that I would just be finding socks or something and return to the kitchen shortly. I climbed back into bed to get warm and the next thing I knew it was 7:30 and Maggie was long gone. How's that for great parenting. For a while I considered calling the school to make sure that she had made it, but wasn't sure how I would explain that I had been sleeping when she left. Now, if someone could just tell me who to call to collect my "World's Best Parent" award....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gingerbread & Flowers

My mom came for a visit for the first part of last week. It was really fun to have a shopping buddy - and I was pretty lonely after she left. Good thing Christopher got home the next day. While she was here, we made Gingerbread Houses for FHE - Paige was very obliging and went to bed early that night. We had a few engineering mis-steps, the biggest was we almost ran out of dough. So the roof pieces are very thin and Maggie's even had to have some reinforcement under the roof. But, all's well that ends well.One more shot of the finished product - I won't take a picture of how they look today (one week later). Lots of birds... We also went to Longwood Gardens with my mom. It was just as amazing as last year. Here is one of the rooms in the green house. This sunken floor is filled with water and the middle section is floating cranberries. We had a great time and wish we lived closer. Thank-you for coming, Mom

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Light covereth a mulitude of faults...

The tree is up - it's always chaotic. It takes me much longer than anyone (including me) thinks it should to get out the boxes (unload them from the garage closet), rearrange furniture (Rose is in her Christmas spot in the corner),and fluff the tree (it's not the greatest, but it's skinny and that's what we need). By the time everything was ready to go this year, it was a day later than when we started. We let the girls put things up wherever they want and to be honest I don't love the tree without the lights turned on, but turn the lights on and...... it is beautiful. To us anyway. Whenever I look at pictures of our house, it always looks empty, which surprises me because there are some days when I want to throw everything out it is so full in here.
I complain loudly sometimes about CAY and his pack rat ways...have I mentioned he still has all of his college paperwork???? Including his homework????? But every once in a while, it is charming. Here is an example of the charming, his saved Christmas ornaments. The gold ball was from an elementary school teacher,the gingerbread man is from Marlene in 1978, and the airplane was 1992.

We had a great Thanksgiving. We went down to my Uncle Michael and Aunt Karan's. They made a FEAST and they even let us take leftovers home to New Jersey the next day. They always make us feel so welcome and the girls never want to leave. Everyone is back to work and school now - just three weeks till Christmas break!