Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a very quiet Christmas Eve at our house this year. Since my parents were at my brothers family this year it was just us. So the kids and Hubs did some last minute shopping. When they got home it was time to start making some Christmas cookies. I had made some sugar cookies for them to decorate. I pretty much just put the stuff in front of them and let them do it how they want. I used to try and get them to make them pretty and Christmasy but since that never worked I gave up. I figure some day when they are older and I may get cute cookies again. Until then, I just let them enjoy themselves

So I set them up with 4 dozen cookies and left the room.

I came back 30 minutes later to see what they had come up with and to get a few pictures of them smiling nicely for the camera. Instead I got this and only 33 decorated cookies.

But what can you say, they are kids and yes I have to claim them as my own. But that's really about all I can say right now.

After the Christmas cookie decorations we went to Mass. And for the first time in forever, all the kids sat quietly and paid attention. It was so enjoyable, a true Christmas miracle of sorts. Either that, or it was just so crowded that they just didn't have enough room to misbehave that much. I'll choose to believe in the Christmas miracle aspect of it.

After dinner and a movie at home, it was time to put the kids to bed and wait for Santa to come. Which he shortly did.

Gigi, our boxer couldn't have been more excited about Christmas than she already was. And I must admit that by this time I was just as tired as her, so off to bed we went.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Random holiday pictures

I mentioned the Christmas tree falling on me while I tried to put it up. But I am just now getting around to posting a picture of the very huggable monstrostity.

I then decided that I might as well post a few other random pictures that have been taken over the last few days. I could actually make an idividual post about each one but I don't really have the time or energy to do it. So thought that I would at least get the pictures up for those friends and family that actually look at this and just want to see pictures.

Both K. and Hoss had school Christmas parties that I was able to go to. They were very excited about this and I was able to get a few pictures of them. In between the paint, glue, glitter and sugar they were ingesting.

ICE the Charlie Brown Way

I had the opportunity to go see Ice: A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Gaylord Texan last week. It was with some of my co-workers and it meant we got to take a long lunch. So naturally I wanted to go. I'd been to it once before and enjoyed it. It was very cool. It's just amazing what they can carve out of ice. And it's unbelievable how much time it must take to create one.

I had my jacket but still had to use the parka they provided. I tried to convince myself that these jackets must surely be cleaned and wouldn't have lice or anything like that in them. But really I doubt they do any sanitizing of them. Not even the little spray you get for bowling shoes or rollers skates. At least I didn't see an aerosol can in sight. So I put on one very heavy (and smelly) parka and went inside. Seriously, how can that jacket have smelt like a sweaty is being worn in below freezing conditions. Unless every other poor soul who wears them gets sweaty with nerves or something. Anyway, I'll get past the jacket now. For some reason this picture seems appropriate now. Whether it's for me or my co workers, well I'm not saying.

I forgot my camera so had to rely on my phone for pictures. The only problem there was that in order for my iPhone to work, I had to take off my gloves. And after about 10 minutes in that room kept at a balmy 9 degrees (I think) I didn't get to many pictures after all. But I thought I share a few anyways.

I didn't get any of me and my co workers on my phone. We did get a group shot but I'm not posting that here.

It was pretty cool with lots of ice sculptures. I must admit that my favorite is still the nativity scene but of course my phone did not capture the beauty of it.

I thought about taking the kids back to see it so they can go down the big ice slides so if the timing works out I may try and go back with them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm not eating that...

Last night was church night for the kids. They go to Religious Ed (CCD) every Wednesday at 5:15. So that makes getting home from work in time to get them to church on time a challenge. Usually Hubs has them ready and I pull up to the house load the kids and drive off. But I got home a few minutes early yesterday and actually went inside. As I am getting the kids together to get them out the door. I'm asked the infamous questions of "What do you want for dinner?" Hubs said he would take care of it but wanted something easy. I was super hungry and said just make some spaghetti then and ran out the door.

When I got back later with the kids, I was beyond hungry and ready to eat. I walked into the house and could smell the pasta had been cooked and the sauce was simmering. Hubs and Z. had taken the flat screen down to replace some parts on it that were making it slow to turn on (darn no new TV coming from Santa this year)while I was gone. So I went into the kitchen and looked at the pasta. It looked like it needed to be drained again. So Hubs said he would drain it and started to fix the kids plates for everyone.

Before I sat down the kids were already complaining that they didn't like it. So naturally I told them that they needed to just be thankful that they had something to eat and be quiet and eat. Then I fixed my starving, famished self a plate and sat down to eat. I looked at the noodles that I saw Hubs draining and they looked very very wet. But I was hungry and didn't care so I ate. I took a bite chewed it, swallowed it and looked back down to my plate. Yes, it looked and smelled like spaghetti. So I tried another bite. I finished it set my fork down and just watched everyone trying to eat as they were all trying to figure out why it tasted so BAD.

Z. said it was because it was angel hair pasta and not real spaghetti. Hubs said it was because it was a different brand of whole wheat pasta than I normally buy. K. said daddy put to much water in the sauce so that's why it was so watery. Finally I asked who made this? Z. replied I did. Darn! I can't criticize my 12 year old son for a dinner he made us. Then Z. says, dad told me how to do it and then I helped him get the TV down from the wall and we fixed the TV.

So I asked him, did you start cooking before the TV came off the wall or after you put it back up on the wall. Z. answers before they took it down. Okay I said how long did it take you to fix the TV I asked. Hubs and Z. both replied not very long 20-30 minutes at most. A-ha, that explains it. You mean to tell me that you boiled the noodles for anywhere from 20-30 minutes? No wonder what we are trying to eat is nothing but a watery mush covered in sauce.

It truly was bad, bad enough for me who was so hungry, who had just told her kids to stop complaining and just eat what your given, to not eat it. Apparently Hubs and Z. forgot all about the pasta and it absorbed the entire pot of water. The little kids had eaten all that they were going to eat of it and so had I. Out came the boxes of ceral for dinner. Really, who can mess up spagahetti?? That would be my Hubs and Z. Guess next time we cook spaghetti, I need to get Z. in there for a real lesson in how to cook pasta.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Under the Big Top Gymnastics "meet"

K. begged to be allowed to do gymnastics. So we finally started her in it about 3 months ago. She loves it and seems to be taking to it pretty well. She jumps around enough and is always dangling from monkey bars so I guess it's right up her alley. They had an exhibition show for the families to come watch what the girls have learned in gymnastics. They called it a gymnastics meet but there was no scoring and no pressure. It's main purpose was to get these girls used to performing in front of people. K. is not shy so I didn't think it would be much of a problem but normally if any of my kids are put in front of a crowd they just stand there. So it was any one's guess how this would turn out.

The theme was "Under the Big Top" and they had the girls come out with big red clown noses on. K. did not like this and to me she looked like she wanted to crawl under a rock. Can't say I really blame her much there. She took that silly nose off as fast as she could.

She went on to do some "stuff" on the floor. Don't know what that move is technically called, backbreaker maybe, so I'm just saying "stuff".

I told her I could do this also but that I just didn't feel like showing her right then. Don't know if she bought it or not but at one time in my life I could do this.

She went on to the trampoline, the vault and the bars.

Then she went on to the balance beam. She did pretty good on that, I was impressed. I did not tell her I could do that.

I wasn't as cool as some of the other parents in that I didn't bring her flowers at the end of the meet. (Isn't that only for ballerina's anyway). But I did get a few extra pictures of K. posing on the beam for me. So as far as I'm concerned it's all good.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had Thanksgiving at our house this year. Since my parents moved here we have yet to have it at their house. It just seems to work better here in keeping the kids out of our hair while we finish all the cooking. And of course once the napping starts it is much easier to send them off to play video games or something else quiet if they are at our house.

Mom and Dad arrived early Thursday morning with Z. and A. who had been having sleep overs. And then Mom and I finished up with the last of the cooking. Z. had made homemade chocolate pie at Grandmama's house while she made the pumpkin and pecan pies. He also made deviled eggs for us. He did a great job with both. I've never even made a chocolate pie from scratch so I was very impressed with his.

A before picture of the crime scene. The kids always get so excited when I break out the china and crystal. They love getting to eat at the fancy table.

We got everything and everyone settled and then I remembered my camera. I put it up on the tripod and was going to get a group shot of us no matter what. Preferably before we all looked bloated and stuffed.

So we gathered around the table and said a prayer of Thanksgiving. We are truly so blessed. We remembered those we love both near and far. Then we started to serve the food buffet style. But then I remembered we didn't have our group picture yet. So I told everyone they couldn't touch a bite of their food until I got a picture. I thought I was going to have a mutiny on my hands and as such only was able to get two pictures of everyone.

The kids were grumbling about their food getting cold and wanting pie. They didn't seem to get it when I told them the pie was cold and they always ate so slow their food got cold anyways. But I took the hint and had pity on my parents and Hubs and let them eat their hot food.

As we sat down and ate, the kids all mentioned something they were thankful for. Such simple things for the most part and a very lighthearted conversation. Until Grandmama of course. After her twenty minute dialog of all that she is thankful for we teased her mercilessly and continued eating. Hubs were particularly thankful for his 3 car garage this year since he mentioned it during his turn. I'll have to write more about that later.

So we finished up with to much pie and a long afternoon of naps and football. Pretty much standard Thanksgiving tradition around any household I'm sure.

Another tooth lost

K. lost another tooth on Wed. so she now has a huge gap with both her front tooth and bottom tooth missing. No whistling and eating corn for her for a while. Not that she eats corn anyways. But with her other front tooth very loose, there is no telling what her smile will look like at Christmas.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm Tree Hugger

I'm a tree hugger. Not by choice by accident. I have on average about 10-15 kids cruising in and out of the house at any given day. Today when the 9 ft. Christmas tree topples over on me...nothing, nobody, no help. Just me and the tree...Huggin' each other.

I'm done hugging now, the tree is technically back up if a little smooched looking. But that's okay, because I hugged it all better when it fell down...on me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

St. Louis Boys Trip

Baseball is a huge part of our family life. It wasn't always that way though. It started about the time Z. started playing t-ball. From there he learned the game and we learned the game and we all loved it. Z. and Hubs are of course much bigger fans than me and out of those two it is of course Z. who has the passion. His dreams are to grow up and be a professional baseball player. When asked what happens after that he says I'll be a paid select boys baseball coach. Yeah, we'll need to revisit that one as he gets older. But out of all the teams out there, Z.'s favorite is the St. Louis Cardinals although he does love the Texas Rangers also. And his personal MVP is Albert Pujols. For as long as I can remember he can tell you more than I ever want to hear about Pujols stats. He has always begged to go to Bush Stadium someday to watch Albert Pujols play in his home stadium as a Cardinal. He was very specific about this.

Anyway, with all the travel that Hubs has done overseas we had lots of air miles about to expire. Not enough for all six of us to go to Hawaii like I wanted but enough for five of us to go. So instead I told Hubs what he need to do was take his boys to St. Louis to Bush stadium and see Albert Pujols. After a bit of planning the boys trip was on. The girls and I would stay home and do "girl stuff". So they packed themselves off over Labor Day weekend and hopped on the plane.

They stayed a half mile from the stadium and the arch. So since I gave Z. the camera to take pictures with I wasn't sure what I would end up with on the small camera. He didn't do to bad, well except that it looks like dad never made it into any of the shots and I have more landscapes and landmarks than people.

They woke up early on Saturday and hit the arch first thing. They had no line and got to ride all the way to the top. By the time they got down the line was super long so Hubs and his earliness OCDness worked for the greater good this time.
From there they could get a birds eye view of all that they really cared to see (i.e. Bush Stadium)

Then they went around the area and did some sight seeing. Since I wasn't there I couldn't tell you what one thing is from another.

Finally they headed to the game and got there early. The special promotion was for them to go on the field that day but I think it was very crowded so they didn't enjoy it as much as they thought. The boys were very excited and anxiously waited for the game to start. Did you notice Z. wearing his Pujols jersey...and it's tucked into his shorts. Seriously, I can't get the boy to tuck anything into his jeans and he tucks his jersey into his shorts.

Z.'s favorite player ever on the big screen.

Sadly, they lost the game that day. But honestly they all had so much fun that I don't think they were really upset about it.

Then it was back to the hotel and an early flight home the next day. With souvenir Cardinals shirts for everyone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sharks Soccer Season Synopsis

OK, now that you've read the title of my post, time to uncurl your tongue and wipe off your face. Hoss played fall soccer again this year, along with fall baseball. Whew was it hard to accommodate everything this season. It was the first time we have ever had a lot of games conflict with each other. But we made the best of it and did lots of running around. There were some games that conflicted where we had to take turns seeing which game we would have to miss.

Then there were those Saturdays that Hoss and I loved most of all (can you detect just a hint of sarcasm). We would go to K's. entire soccer game, then head over for the Sharks game. Hoss would have to play the entire first half then before he had a chance to catch his breath I was dragging him to the parking lot. Once we reached the car, I proceeded to try and strip down one very sweaty little boy and get him into his baseball uniform. Not an easy feat even when you take away the stinky sweaty boy part. Hoss always wanted privacy to change and it didn't always happen in the busy parking lot. So he would be struggling to get his shin guards off then his slide pants on. All while ducking as low as he could between the seats. (I swear I had flashbacks of doing the same thing in the front seat of my mom's car while I struggled to get into my gymnastics leotard. But that was many hours of therapy ago so there's no need to revisit that now) Then he would get the rest of his baseball uniform on and we would be off. I never got any pictures of these Saturday struggles since I was usually to busy swearing I'd never do this again to take any.

But occasionally the stars would line up just right and we would have no overlapping games. The core group of boys have gotten so much better and the new boys picked up alot along the way. Hoss is still the slowest runner out there and although I know nothing about soccer I'm told he is a decent player. I'll take their words for it. It's still just nothing but fun for the boys and a chance to be with their friends to hang out. But their skill level is noticeably improving so you have to cheer them on.

The favorite part of soccer for Hoss (besides the free coke at the end)is still being able to see his friend E. But we did finally decide that he needs to pick one sport come spring. So we will see what he picks baseball or soccer, until then I am just going to enjoy the off season.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Knight to celebrate Birthdays

We celebrated lots of birthdays from the end of Sept. to the end of Oct. So I thought it would be fun to take everyone out for dinner to Medieval Times. Grandmama and Pappy joined us of course since they were part of the birthday celebrants. (Along with Hoss and myself) I remember going to a show years ago and thought the kids would love it. But for some reason I was the only grown up who seemed to think it would be fun. But everyone went (to humour me I'm sure) and surprise surprise, everyone had fun and enjoyed it. So we donned our paper crowns and cheered on our knight. The kids loved getting to eat their dinner with their hands and really got into the show part of it all. They were super excited when "our" knight even won the tournament that night.

We went on a tour of the torture museum and I found something that I think every wife should have.

He was a good sport about it but still hasn't built me my very own one to have yet. The kids are already asking when we can go again so I'm taking that as a sign of them enjoying it. After all who can resist a paper crown, eating without silverware and sword fights.