Friday, December 12, 2008

O Christmas Tree!

I love our Christmas tree.  For the last 3 or 4 Christmas's we have gone to the same U-cut tree farm and cut down our own tree.  I love it.  It isn't really far, but it is far enough away I feel like it's "trip."  Which may sound like a negative thing to some people, but I think that's part of the fun.  Plus its only $15 a tree, any tree, any size.  Yea for cheap trees!
Here is Kincaid and Miles waiting out the drive.

Henry had other ideas about how to use that time.

Miles and I browsing the grounds for the perfect tree.

Here is our family standing in front of our chosen tree before we chopped it down.  (And yes, the top does keep going above the top of the picture.  More on that later...)

Sam took the term "chop" literally.  He got out his Chuck Norris skills and went to town.  The saw in the picture is really just for show.

After Sam chopped down our tree we hung out with some friends and family that came with us while they picked out their trees and cut them down.  (Notice the word "cut" - no Chuck Norris skills involved.)  While we were waiting a rainbow came out, so I took a picture.

So we (by we I mean I) discovered that trees look a lot smaller outdoors next to 20 or so foot tall trees than they do in a house.  After Sam had cut about 2 feet off the top and brought it inside, it was clear it was not going to fit in the corner we had chosen.  I don't know if you can see or not, but the tree is leaning against the ceiling, and still not straight up.  Sam wasn't amused.  But I am sure you could see that.  (I love how Henry has his head cranked way back to see the tree).

We rearranged some furniture and did some more tree trimming (not decorating, trimming), and finally got it a size and shape that would work.  It's a good thing we have vaulted ceilings.  Sam says its ridiculous (because of its size. Its about 12 feet tall), but I love it.  It is probably the largest tree we will ever have, well it is the largest tree we will ever have if Sam has a say in it, and I am loving it.  

In  lieu of ornaments, besides ones the boys make or we are given, we make gingerbread cookies every year and hang them on our tree.  It is a long and messy project, but I enjoy doing it, and I love the way it looks and how our house smells like gingerbread and pine all during December.  
So for FHE (and a few more evenings), we made, decorated, and hung our ornaments.  Miles overheard me mentioning to Kincaid and Henry that any ornament that got broken they could eat, so he decided to help a few out.

Below:  Mission accomplished.  Notice the look on my face and the hand gesture toward Miles.  I had to remind myself (well, actually Sam had to remind me) that there are more important things than perfect gingerbread ornaments.

We had to borrow a mega-huge ladder just to decorate and put the star on the top of our tree (Thanks Wes and Amber).  But luckily the ladder reached high enough to allow us to reach the top, and with the star on the tree, there was a just enough room left above it to not touch the ceiling.

I love our tree!  

Miles was less than helpful during the first night of ornaments, so this is what he did the next night.  That's pizza sauce on his forehead and in his hair and a donut hole in his mouth.  He was having a great time.

This is our finished project.  We had to make some modifications from our usual methods of Christmas tree doings, but it was all worth it.  I love this tree (did I already say that?).  In fact I think this is/will be my favorite Christmas tree ever.  I would even write a song about it, except that someone already has. O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches...

Thanksgiving Day Pictures

I didn't get nearly as many Thanksgiving day pictures as I wanted, but here are a few that represent what we did for Thanksgiving.

Breakfast, yum! Too bad that's the only part of breakfast I got a picture of.

Sam seems to think Thanksgiving day means yard work.  It was not what I had in mind for a family holiday together, but we had just cut down a tree a in the front yard (hence the stump) and it was a mess, so I wasn't complaining.

I was a baking maniac on Wednesday. I made 2 pumpkin pies, an old fashioned crumb-topped apple pie and a chocolate turtle cheesecake.  The only one I got a picture of was the cheesecake, but the picture doesn't do it justice.  The cheesecake, when prepared correctly, is heaven on earth.  I had some issues (I didn't grease the pan), so it was lacking in the aesthetically pleasing department, but really, does that matter all that much?

The only person who was still in eating position when I stopped eating long enough to remember to get pictures was Miles. So here is Miles doing what we do best on Thanksgiving.

Here are a couple of pictures of Sam's family after dinner.  I totally forgot to get out my camera at my family's house (that was for dessert, I had several other things on my mind at the time:  pumpkin pie with whipped cream and chocolate turtle cheesecake for starters).

Thanksgiving was tasty and wonderful. And because my and Sam's sisters were in town we spent a lot of time with our family's over the weekend so for the first time in 7 years I got to actually eat leftovers after Thanksgiving.  I forgot how awesome that is.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

The lover of food that I am, I couldn't miss the chance to post about a holiday that is (partly) about eating delicious food... a lot of it... all day. But I really wanted to take a moment (or a few lines) to say Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that you are all able to surround yourself with people you care about to celebrate all that you have to be thankful for (not to mention to stuff yourself full of seriously good food).  

For the last 2 years for family night we made a turkey (see above) and on each feather we put things that we are thankful for.  We have fun making it and it's a fun reminder: both to think of things to write down and to have a visual reminder of all that we have.  We even ran out of feathers before we ran out of things to be thankful for.  It is always nice to step away from the "I want" 's and take a look at what we have and how blessed we really are.

I spent all afternoon today baking and I have every intention of spending all afternoon tomorrow eating what I (and others) have baked, and I will enjoy every bite.  What a fabulous holiday, really.  But not just for the food.  For the chance to take some time to think about and express gratitude for all that you have and to spend time with those you care about.  And for the heaps of delicious food.  I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving wherever you go, whatever you eat, whatever you do!

Cold Medicine

Yesterday I woke up with a sinus headache.  I don't really know if that's what its called, but when I get one there is pressure in my head around my nose, my temples, and my forehead, and whenever I bend over my head feels like its going to explode.  I avoid taking cold medicine at all costs, but we had some medicine that said it was for sinus pressure and congestion and I have been eyeing it for awhile anytime I have a sinus headache wondering if it would work.  I took some.  Then about an hour later I remembered why I avoid cold medicine.  The rest of the afternoon I was walking around totally loopy and mentally out of it (I only took 1 pill!) and ready to fall asleep at any second, AND I still had pressure around my nose, my temples, my forehead and my head still felt like it was going to explode every time I bent over.  How is that helpful?  Its like that medicine they give you when you're in labor before they can give you an epidural.  You still feel all the pain of labor, but you're really drowsy and mentally out of it so you fall asleep between contractions and then wake up to excruciating pain but you're so out of it that by the time you figure out what's going on and can try to cope the contraction's almost over and you get loopy and fall asleep again.  Again: not helpful.  What is it with medicine.  At least now I know: that box that reads "For sinus pressure and sinus congestion"  is not my friend.  All its good for is if I need a better excuse than sleep deprivation to take a nap or act like a zombie.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Tag

I know this is lame, but... I wanted to try and be better about doing semi-frequent posts, AND I got tagged by my sister awhile ago so I am killing 2 birds with one stone and you all get stuck with an Emily-centric, somewhat unentertaining post.  But I love these, and it's my blog, so too bad for you. :)
This is a series of questions and you have to answer each question with a one word answer.  It was fun, and in some ways easier and in others harder than I expected.

   1. Where is your cell phone? Dead
  2. Your significant other?  Awesome

  3. Your hair? Fixed

  4. Your Skin? Pale

  5. Your mother? Amazing

  6. Your favorite thing?  Food

  7. Your dream last night?  Unresolved

  8. Your favorite drink?  Undecided

  9. Your dream/goal?  BA

  10. The room you're in?   Family

  11. Your ex?  Who?

  12. Your fear? Loneliness

  13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy

  14. Where were you last night?  Home

  15. What you're not?  Decisive  (it took me the longest to get the answer to this question)

  16. Muffins? Tasty

  17. One of your wish list items?  Music

  18. Where you grew up?  Washington
  19. The last thing you did?  Surf

  20. What are you wearing? Clothes

  21. Your TV? On

  23. Your computer?  Mac

  24. Your life? Wonderful

  25. Your mood?  Mellow

  26. Missing someone?  Someone’s

  27. Your car?  Small

  28. Something you're not wearing?  Shoes

  29. Favorite Store? Target

  30. Your summer? Busy

  31. Like someone?  Husband

  32. Your favorite color?  Green

  33. When is the last time you laughed?  Today

  34. Last time you cried? Forgot

  35. What did you eat last?  Candy
36. Favorite Music? Danceable
I am tagging everyone who is even slightly tempted to do this, to do this. It's fun to fill out, and its fun to read what people put down (in my opinion).

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Haircut

Last week Miles had his first haircut. His hair wasn't terribly long, but the back was longer and thicker than the front so he was starting to sport the mullet.  What's the problem with that, you say?  Nothing really, if you idealize Chuck Norris, rednecks, or 80's hairstyles. Miles doesn't, yet.  Here's a shot of the "before:"

Here's a shot of the mullet-esque back: (note: I know mullet-esque is not a word, therefore I have no idea if it's spelled correctly or not.)

In my experience, little boys often have a hard time with haircuts. The whole concept of having to sit still in a chair for longer than 5 minutes while someone is messing around your head with a buzzing machine and sharp objects that you aren't allowed to touch seems to be a tough concept for them.  Surprisingly, Miles did awesome.  I might even go so far as to say it was one of the easiest haircuts I've ever given.

I did have to resort to giving him a sucker, but he kept wanting to see what I was doing so he needed a distraction, plus he was he totally earned it.

After one very sticky hairy boy, and some slightly hairy bathtub water, here's what we came out with.  So handsome!

P.S. Ignore the apron.  I usually wear a more traditional black stylists apron when cutting hair, but I had just finished cooking and eating dinner and still had this on so I used it instead.  (It's awesome huh? Come on, you know you want one too.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Henry!

Henry wanted a pirate party.  He was a pirate for Halloween so we decided he could wear his pirate costume and I would dress like a pirate too and we would do some pirate "things."  The problem was Henry is very impressionable and I made the mistake of letting him watch 'The Incredibles' the day before so he didn't want to be a pirate or wear his pirate costume, he wanted to be a "super".  So I dressed like a pirate and he wore his cape and his bike helmet (I didn't ask...).  I felt a little silly being the only dressed-up pirate, but I went along with the plan.
We played "pin the eye patch on Skinny Bones Jones" and "shoot the cannons" (knock around black balloons), and went on a treasure hunt.

I really get into the cakes on birthdays so I wanted to make a cool pirate-themed cake.  I went online and found instructions on for a pirate ship cake.  It was so easy and I was pretty proud of myself with the finished product.  I had way too much fun with that cake; seriously, I was almost sad to cut it.  (The following picture is for bragging purposes mainly.)

The kids might have been impressed with how the cake looked, but really, all they cared about was eating it.  "Cake, yumm..."

I had to put this picture in.  I love how I caught the "Ahh" look on Henry's face when opened this.

Finally after everyone went home he decided to put on some of his pirate costume and take a picture with me.

Later that evening we had a family party.  Henry got some more (boy) dress-up stuff.  He loves playing make believe and hero stuff so he got some more options to choose from for his daily world-saving adventures.

I also made him a cape.  He now has his own cape (yeah!).  But he still mostly wants to wear Kincaid's old one (boo).

Kincaid had a little bit of a hard time missing Henry's party and then watching Henry get all the new cool stuff.  But Henry is a great sharer and let Kincaid play with his new stuff (which later led to the new remote control car taking a bath. Lovely!)  And we reminded Caid not to worry, because in a few months it will be his turn to get new stuff and for his brothers to take it and break it too.
Officer Caid is on the watch!

My parents came later that evening to celebrate with us.  The boys and them had a great indoor football game.

Henry got to have an extended celebration also.  Sam's mom came over the next day to celebrate and tell Henry happy birthday also.  

We had a lot of fun celebrating Henry's birthday.  Thanks to everyone who helped him have such a great day. At the risk of getting mushy I will say that we are so happy to have Henry in our family and all the fun and adventure and "flammy snuggohs" that come with him.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Our Halloween celebration started on October 25 when we went to Sam's Grandma's retirement home to visit her and attend their Halloween party.  (Well, actually it began on October 7th when I let the boys put up the Halloween decorations and start wearing costumes, but it would have begun in August if I would have given in to their constant pleading.)  Here are the boys, great grandma and some of their other cousins:

Henry was a pirate, Miles was an elephant and Kincaid was a power ranger.  Their cousin Colby was also dressed up as a pirate and him and Henry happily played pirate sword fights most of the party. 

Kincaid found the cupcakes and that's what he did most of the party.

Saturday night our friends Sammy and Rodney (below as Jesse and Buzz Lightyear) threw a Halloween party.  It was a blast.  I didn't get pictures of everyone there, but here are some of the costumes:  (FYI: Rodney made the Buzz costume.  It was very impressive. Kincaid was jealous.)

This "Mulch" and "JoDeen."  It was their wedding day, don't they look  fabulous?

Wes and Amber decided to take a quick hike that afternoon and got lost along the way.  

We went as Popeye and Olive Oyl.  It's a shame I didn't get a close-up on my fake eyelashes, those were serious business.  It took me most of the evening to figure out how to blink.  I thought we looked great, but Sam said he felt like he looked like a member of The Village People.

Here are the boys and their pumpkins.  Notice Kincaid's costume has now been 'morphed' into a No Stall race car driver.  No Stall is one of the lesser (or un) known race cars from the movie Cars and Kincaid wanted to be No Stall's driver for Halloween. Lucky for me it turned out to be easier to create than I thought.  And even Luckier for me, Kincaid was happy with how it turned out.

On Friday Kincaid's 1st grade class had a fall festival and I volunteered to help and brought along my mom and Henry to join in on the fun.

After helping Kincaid's class my mom took Henry Miles and I out to lunch.    Then we went home and she made some baked donuts with us.  It was a fun day.

That afternoon I finally finished the last 2 pumpkins (the third times a charm I guess. Come busy week, come unfinished Halloween costumes, come power outages- I was determined to carve all 4 pumpkins.)  Then we got dinner at the taco truck and spent a half an hour wrestling Miles into his costume and arguing with Henry about which costume and accessories he was going to wear ("I want to wear the (too small) Woody costume, or the (even smaller) fireman costume.") We finally got him into the (right size) pirate costume and happy (no small feat).  We didn't have quite as good of luck with Miles. (And seriously, can we just once have a normal picture of the boys, or even just Kincaid?  I guess this is just how they are going to record themselves in history.)

Although, once Miles was outside he was fine. And once we got home and he saw loads of candy and figured out how to unwrap a sucker all by himself I think he decided Halloween was really alright after all. 

I love Halloween, but I am looking forward to putting the costumes back in the trunk and having my children go out in public looking normal again.