Sweet 16: Happiest Moments of Christmas

1. The Cookie Decorating Contest
The oddest, boldest, and most creative ideas were poured out into icing and sprinkles and dough as all 18 of us participated in the contest. I will say the male representation added the most intriguing of elements.

Please note: These are Phil's creations....a pregnant Tricia and a Reindeer

Paul's Nutcracker

2. A White Christmas.

3. Christmas Eve Mass.
I am so grateful we were healthy, my husband was by my side and our two (plus little bambino in the womb) children with us. Nothing more could make me happier. AND Jesus was born amoung us!
4. 15 People in the Van.
We all piled in after Mass, Anna and Gabe drove seperately (stinkers)and drove around to see lights and sing carols.

5. Pre Christmas Morning Hubub
Tradition goes that we all meet in a designated room and play board games and read I Spy books while we wait for mom and dad to wake up. So...I woke up to find most of my siblings already gathered in Peter and Paul's room. You are thoroughly welcomed when you arrive into the room. This year Nicholas and Christiana made their appearance and got to witness the pre-Christmas comotion. Slowly but surely, couple by couple, we all sat in the room in our pjs and discussed previous year memories.

6. Helmet Head
For the past four months Nicholas wakes up picks out a shirt that has a number on it "because h is a football player." Often times he even picks out the number the night before. He tells me he to look at his helmet. (great imagination). I felt like a child again and could not wait for him to get this gift on Christmas. He immediately put it on and wanted to "get dressed" so he could wear a football shirt. He had practice with himself, tried to kiss Christiana with it on, and told each person in the household he was a football player, twice.

7.Paper Wads
Christiana loving to peel off wrapping paper and hold it in a tight wad in her hands maybe influenced her new interest in going potty because she gets to wad toilet paper in her hands, somebody's new favorite pasttime....I feel a major clog coming on.

8. Onsies
Chubby children in Christmas pajamas.

9. Snow Day!
Watching Nicholas in the snow for the first time was something I will never forget..

10. Surprise!!
Anna and Gabe announced the genter of their baby. AAAGGGHHH!! (they are trying to keep it a secret for evryone else...we'll see how long that lasts. And we suprised Tricia and Phil with a baby shower.

Andrew and I agreed not to give each other gifts this year and creatively find other ways to show each other our love. It was wonderful. We couldn't have been happier watching the kids open their gifts with joy on their faces.
We play our own "I spy" with this picture...

12. The New Coat
My dad giving me a $25 gift certificate so I could buy a new coat. They had the exact one I kinda had my eye on (just because I like to look at coats ;), only two left in my size, that was on clearance and I only had to pay 5 cents for it in the end. Awesome!

13. The Family Rosary
Witnessessing 12 people crying with laughter while praying the family rosary, thanks to Andrew's fast business style Hail Mary's and Phil's teapot laugh.

14. Family Bunco
I've never playedd body throwing, spitting, warrior calling methods to throw dice with the firm belief doing so would influence the role. HA-LARIOUS.

15. Couples Date Night out at Maggianos.
The poor waiter. Not sure there was a table louder than ours. (don't let the picture deceive you)

16. Pudding's Birthday Bash
We ate pink Cupcakes (I bought pink sprinkles...as it turned out were for breast cancer awareness) and she had a whole slew of people to sing to her.


P is for...


She turns 2 today and when it comes to little girls, continues to give the SPICE in "sugar and spice and everything nice."

We are currently in the beginning stages of potty training. Her yogurt knees squeezed side by side on the toilet seat are the cutest things I've seen and make up for the many accidents...or refusals she has during the day.

I think because she hears Pudding so often the "P" constanant is used to replace most other sounds.

Word or Phrase vs. How Pudding says it:


Come on....Pum On

Cranberry Juice....Pamerry Yuce


Excuse Me (used when she is squeezing her way through you or when she burbs) Pume Me
Favorite Song: The Wheels on the Bus. ("Uh bus, mom.")
Favorite Book: Shapes and Colors, although she will say every color is purple.
Favorite Food: Yogurt
Cutest Thing She Does: Attempts to march, but only the same foot goes up everytime.



At dinner time this evening:
He scoots his chair over so it is right next to Andrew's and climbs into his seat. We pray and begin eating.

And then he wraps his little arm around Andrew's neck and says..."Dad, your my best friend."

He is the joy to our world.


As of Lately

How can the last time I entered a post be over Halloween? Is November really over? wow.

Domestication Complete.

I now know how to sew. I've been having fun learning how from an expert seamstress down the street. My first project was going to be an apron - but I picked a hard pattern and decided to start with my abc's and do something a little less daunting. So I made these...

Thanksgving placemats. I laughed out loud the whole time I ran them through the sewing machine...crack myself up that I'm actually sewing. Hopefully I can tackle other great projects.

I knew it was too quiet....

She not only managed to empty the jar of cutips and unscrew the handle on the faucet, but even tested out the water while sititng in the sink.

Atthe begining of November we had the annual Veteran's Day parade. It is so exciting for the kids. The bands and horses line up right infront of our street. Nicholas is always in awe and Christiana bounced to the band music.

It's always amusing to see the amount of tractors they can manage to put in the parade...a reminder that I live in Kansas. Where else would 1/2 of the parade "floats" be combines?


The "Elderly Couple"

The world around me was a blur...all I could see were these two little old people running from house to house trick or treating. Christiana's run resembled that of E.T. and Nicholas would run holding his pants to keep them from falling down.

I stared and laughed all night. They were too good to be true. I played "dress up" with my kids and had a ball.


"Under Construction"

Andrew and I decided it would be fun to dress up this Halloween as Construction workers...

I'm "Under Construction" and Andrew is the "Builder" : ) Get it?

The little projcect is due to be complete June 21st! I didn't think it was possible to be even more excited for this one than I have been for the first two. I CAN NOT wait!!!


Nothing Is Getting Done

Because I'm starring at these minitures all day long. I just can't help myself.


Conversations with Nicholas

Usually transpire like so....

Nicholas: "Mom, where do itches live?"

Me:"Umm...under your skin."

Nicholas: "No they don't, they live in trees so they make the trees itch."

Me:"Really? Huh, I never knew that."

Nicholas sitting at the breakfast table:"Me and Lily are going to drink apple cider and walk by ourselves."

Me:"Nicholas you never walk by yourself, without mom and dad, that is dangerous." (He previously ran over to Meech's house without my knowning the day before)

Nicholas:" What is dangerous?"

Me:"Strangers could come and take you away. You always need to be with mom and dad."

Nicholas turns to Christiana and says:"Pudding, you can't go by yourself. You could get a stranger and it will get a knife and kill you and take your heart."

Me: "What? (Where on earth did he come up with this?) Sort of. Yes, we don't want that to happen to Pudding."

Nicholas: "No...Puddings heart is nice. I think a bee is eating my cereal."


So I Did It...

After two cameras, trial and error, months of research, I've finally taken the plunge and will never look back....

They say it's an expensive hobby...it is. It doesn't fit into our Total Money Makeover plan, except that I saved, sold on ebay, and paid with cash.

My reasons: To grow and become better at an art that I have always loved. And to take amazing photos of my most valuable life treasures - my kids (and my husband;).


Lest We Forget...

I am still thinking back to Labor Day weekend when my whole family drove all they out here to Kansas to visit Anna and I. Tricia and Phil came from Colorado and Ange and Emily all they from OHIO. Who does that? Ange.

It was pure happiness and buckets of fun. They night they came in I literally made 45 thousand enchiladas and 5lbs of rice. With all of us, and spouses, and a few cousins who decided to jump in the van, it was 30 some odd people.

We played lots of games, sat out by the bonfire at night, eat and drank and were merry ; ) I still can't believe everyone was able to come (minus Jane on her coworker year whom we greatly missed)

Some of life's best moments are those shared with my family.

The Pregos...with Phil trying hard to be one too.

A mad game of Monopoly Deal. It should be duly noted that I won every game.

I'm sure my neighbors think we are some church organization...there was a motley crew in our front yard for days...

The infamous fishing excursion. The men came back with many fish stories that will now be among the family tales for years to come.

We couldn't squeeze Nana any harder. We love her dearly.

Broken Washing Machine and Pouring Rain....

Is the perfect storm to be thoroughly absorbed in this...

With thanks to my new brother (well somewhat) Joseph for the suggestion. I'm now determined to read all of Sir Arthur's works on Sherlock Holmes.



Me, "Nicholas, what's on your head?"
Nicholas, "My helmet."

Me, "Ugh. This is so frusterating."
Nicholas, "Mom, are you happy or cross?"
(Nicholas is a somewhat Thomas the Tank die hard. They use dialect in the show such as, "Thomas was cross. He had been shunting frieght cars all day.")

Me, "Nicholas, why is Christiana crying?"
Nicholas, "I gave her two spankings."

Me, "Nicholas, can you finish her dinner please?"
Nicholas, "I can't, it's because I too berry tired."

stopped and starred...

Yesterday Christiana and Nicholas entertained themselves for hours in the basement. Coming up for air the two of them came into the kitchen for a snack and Nicholas said, "Christinanna let's hug" and they squeezed each other, smiling and giggling. They ran into the living room and began to play. I just sat and starred. I couldn't believe I was watching MY very own kids. I couldn't possibly imagine five years ago what my children would look or be like and now we have two of them running around in our house. Not sure it should be this fun to watch, I love it. Thank you God, I feel so so so lucky, or blessed that I get to have them.


Farmer's Market

Our little "downtown" hosts a Farmer's Market every Saturday morning. The locals park their trucks along the street and sell everything from homemade soap and blueberry muffins to garden tomatoes all right out of their truck beds.

One Saturday, a string ensemble of high school students in overalls played as people shopped. I couldn't help but be amused thinking this was now my country version of grocery shopping compared to the city version where classical piano plays in Kroger or Whole Foods while shopping is done in heels. This country style, I admit, is more colorful and bewildering but I appreciate it.

So we load the kids in the stroller and walk down the street five blocks to buy our goodies. It is a lovely way to start our Saturdays.

They had just got up only minutes before and were still rather dazed and puffy-eyed, Andrew especially ; )

Farm grown goodness

Breakfast to go....fresh blueberry muffins yum! (and little miss usually rides feet up)