Thursday, December 31, 2009

Santa came early

We had a family party at our house with Robert's parents, grandparents, and his siblings mainly.  He has a sister and a brother in California that didn't make it.  They were missed and thought of through out the night. 

We all got together and had good food, ate our yummy food.  We had so much food I had left overs for a week.  I had to throw some of it out.  Our rabbit was grateful for some of the vegtable not eaten.

Before we ate we played gumdrop bingo with pictures of things that had to do with Christmas and then there was a knock at the door.  It was SANTA!  He came in with a big bag of something.  As he got into the bag he took out stockings for the kids, read their names talked to them for a bit and then gave them their stocking.  Their stockings had treats inside and a toy that was wrapped up. 

Santa even had a stocking for Robert's neice who is pregnant...  her baby Brinley.  (I think that is how she spells it.)

It was nice to have it at our house so the kids could go right to bed when the party was over.  There was no travelings or packing up really.  I enjoyed having it here and we had enough space too so that was nice.  Our new house is nice for the extra space that we have.  It wouldn't have been an option at our other house. 

We played a little gift exchange game with $5 gifts/white elephant gifts.  It was the story of the "Wright Family Dinner" or something like that.  Everytime in the story when the word wright/right was said you passed your gift to the person to the right of you.  When the word left was said, you passed it to the person on the left of you.  It was pretty funny.  At one point Grandpa Thomas said, "I think they had too much eggnog to drink" when we went from right, left, right, left, all in a row quickly.  He is pretty funny. 

Santa asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas and Lindsey and Lauren asked for a Barbie, then when it was Amber's turn, she said she wanted a Barbie too.  (like that was the correct answer to the question)  We all laughed.  Cousin Cody, who just turned 20, sat on Santa's lap too.  When Santa asked if he had been good, he said, "relitively good!"  We laughed at that one too. 

Here are some of the pictures from it all. 

The kids where happy to get some treats and a toy too.  My girls are into capturing, or more like torturing some of their older cousins that happen to be boys, so that is what my girls did for the rest of the night.  The night was spent with them dragging the big boy cousins (20 year olds) up the stairs to trap them in a room or something.  Who knows...  My girls are too funny and they LOVE thier cousins so much.  Lindsey has a thing for older boys I guess.  She is usually the one that starts it.  Emily has nothing to do with this boy trapping, she is more likely seen with the girl cousins or mothering the younger cousins. 

Graham Cracker Houses

We made graham cracker houses again this Christmas season.  I thought about making the gingerbread and then I thought about buying the kits but instead we just used graham crackers and I did make some royal frosting to make them hold together better. 

This is Lauren with her house. 

Lindsey with her house.

Emily with her house.

Amber and Samantha didn't really make any.  We did this activity with some neighbor friends that Robert home teaches (and they home teach us too).  Some of them made it "rain" candy on their houses.  Emily when I was taking her pictures she said, "I wish it would have rained candy on my house too so that I would have more candy to eat."  That is just silly because she still have the majority of her halloween candy left and would have more if the little girls hadn't been eating it too. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Program

One of the favorite things of the holidays is going to the school to listen and watch the kids sing their prepared Christmas songs.  Emily's school did it on Friday.  They have like 1,130 kids the principal said, so they break it up into 2 sessions since not all the parents can get in the gym at the same time.  They had a show for the A track kids' parents and then later for the B track kids' parents.  Due to a conflict with the girls at the other school, I went to the A track performance instead.  Then on another day, the school perform again for the other classes.  (Emily's grade sang "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys. The school's program lasted over an hour and each grade sang only one song.  It took some time moving that many kids on and off the stage.  Some grades have 6 classes.)

Lindsey and Lauren at the new school didn't have their "Sing-in" as they called it.  I was realived that it wasn't at the same time as Em's like the halloween parade was.  I hadn't heard anything from the kids of when they were singing... I didn't see any papers talking about it.  I talked to the girls again today and found out that the school isn't having a program for the parents.  They are having a Sing-In but only for the students. 

Don't you think that seems pretty weird?  My girls said they don't have room to have all the parents there.  Well DUH, then do what other big schools do and do it different times.  I understand the school is new, the principal is new, and maybe they just couldn't schedule it... and maybe I should just zip my mouth. 

This is my Christmas complaint.  There will be NO Christmas program for the twins this year.  I guess it just gives me one less thing to do while I am sewing like mad to get all my projects completed before the kids are out of school.

It didn't work...

Amber got Samantha a doll for Christmas.  I wrapped it up, Samantha was right there too.  I didn't think she would remember or that it would be a big deal.  Samantha got really upset and kept crying saying, "baby" when I was taping up the ends of the package.  This is what the present looks like now, although I completely wrapped it.

I found this present this morning... it may have happened last night. 

I guess the talk we had didn't work really well.  I am not sure who did this, but I am guessing Amber.  I think Samantha would have brought it to me to help her with it.  And if Samantha saw it was her baby, she would have said, "baby" and taken it out or asked for help to take the baby out. 

We may have to stop putting things under the tree until Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gift Wrapping/unwrapping

I may have put out Christmas present too soon this year.  I guess when you are little it just is too much temptation!  All the girls normally buy presents for each other.  Emily had started to wrap hers, she had one wrapped and put under the tree (for Samantha).  One night after the big girls went to bed I kept hearing this strange sound... I listened more, trying to figure out what it was and where was it coming from... then all of a sudden I realized what that sound was....  the slow ripping of paper off of a wrapped present.

I quietly snuck into our formal living room to see who it was.  I found sweet little Amber crouched on the floor slowly opening up Samantha's present.  I motioned for Robert to come watch too.  Then we both sat there peaking and silently laughing as we watched her continue to unwrap it. 

Of course then we had to tell her that wasn't a good idea and we needed to keep the presents wrapped.  She told me, "I did it because you weren't bringing me new panties."  She was bare bummed while opening the present, or I would have gotten a picture of it. 

I did get the re-wrapped package though.  Isn't it a beaut!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I love holiday shopping!

I went out to do some holiday shopping, taking advantage of the bigger kids being in school and only having 2 with me, and being able to shop for those that are not with me.  Although I still shop for Samantha and sometimes Amber too while they are with me because sometimes they don't pay attention to the less exciting things such as clothes that I may be getting them. 

I had to return a few things because I got a better price somewhere else, saving like $15 and that was worth it to me and I also had to go get a new blanket for Samantha.  I first head off to Target looking for a blanket for Samantha.  When Amber was born one of our neighbors got her a super soft blanket with pink stripes on it.  Amber used it and then Samantha used it too, but Samantha sort of attached herself to the blanket and that is HER blanket now.  She loves the tag on it.  Her blanket is looking pretty gross.  It is all stained, and looks dirty even when clean.  A sure way to tell if it is clean is to smell it, but I wouldn't really recommend that. I recalled the girls noticing in other shopping trips that Target had a blanket just like Samantha's. 

Upon the arrival at Target, Amber spotted a kid cart (the ones with the special seats for kids to sit in and not be in the basket).  She requested it, and I thought they would do better in there anyway.  (I must have forgotten our last trip to the store when we used the car...that ended badly.)  I grab the girls and we walk through the parking lot across two rows where she spotted the cart in a cart return area.  We snag the cart and go inside. 

I am purusing around in the dollar section....  I see a few things for some of the girls, but then I need to even it out and find something for the other girls...  Amber has decided she doesn't really want to be buckled up by now and she is sitting on the side of the cart.  Samantha keeps saying "buckle" and she wants out too.  That isn't going to happen!  I try to get Amber to sit back down in the seat.  I find a singing christmas pig, turn it on and put it in our cart where the girls are sitting.  While that is entertaing the girls for a bit, I go looking for the blanket that we came for.  I am looking, no special exact blanket.  I then see a small piece of a blanket that is soft and has several little things like tags hanging off the sides, pooh and friends, and then some ribbons too.  I show it to Samantha to see if she accepts it, she looks at me and says, "NO!" I give her a few more soft blankets and she holds them and loves on them and then says, "here, " as she gives them back to me.  I try another blanket, and kind of untuck the tag that is bundled up inside the folded blanket.  Samantha seams to be taking to it, or at least more than the rest.  I decide to walk through the blanket and bedding isle one more time... and ta da!  I found her blanket but in BLUE.  I am thinking WHO CARES if it is blue.  I give it to Samantha and she immediately says, "kitty" and loves on it.  (She calls her blanket kitty, not sure if that is what she is saying or if she is trying to say blanket, but it sounds just like kitty.)

Sweet, so we got the blanket.  Amber is now deciding that she wants to have the blanket.  She is mad that it is all folded up.  She keeps baby talking, "Blanket!" I give her the blanket but she wants it all unfolded.  I push the button to the snorting, singing Christmas pig.  Not working... she is ignoring the snorting pig singing or snorting Christmas tunes.  I take the ribbon, tags, and the hanger off the blanket and give it to Amber.  I put all the torn off packaging in my cart.  Amber is finally satisfied. 

I go to the next item I am searching for.  Now Amber is trying to lay the blue blanket on Samantha and lean on her like a pillow.  Samantha is getting upset and pushes her away.  Amber tries again, and then cries and complains that Samantha isn't letting her lay on her.  Amber decides she is going to walk now.  I take a deep breath, knowing what this is going to end up like, but also realizing the cart isn't working out so well either.

Samantha is crying because she wants out too.  I give her the pig again... no one cares now about the silly snorting pig, that is probably why it was dumped in the area we found it.  I am trying to hurry but I am still looking for one more item... which was in the department by the toys.  Amber sees something she wants to look at in the toys.  We go over there and she gets out of the cart.  She pushes the buttons on it, and then I urge her to get back in the cart.  She decides she is going to sit under the basket, but it is too short so her head doesn't really fit in there.  I told her it wasn't going to work... she wouldn't listen, until she got her head hurt.  Now she is crying too. Now we aren't just annoying the people in the isle that we are in, but the whole departmant we are in, possibly the entire store.

Amber gets back in the cart.  I am looking for my last item still.  Then Amber kicks Samantha, and then squishes Samantha.  I forget about the last item.  It will have to wait.  As I am heading to the front of the store to check out, I see winter coats on sale.  Lauren needs a new coat. I see red shirts.  Emily needs a red shirt for her Christmas program.  The girls are both contently sucking their thumbs.  I stop for about 2 minutes and then the crying begans again.  I continue to the check out line. 

Of course like ALL check out lines there are rows and rows of candy and suckers that light up and spin when you push a button, small toys and snacks.  Amber is now showing me the sucker and wanting it.  I tell her no.  She picks up something else.  I tell her no.  She then starts crying, "I can't get ANYTHING?  Thats not fair!  You just don't care!"  I look to see if that is really Amber standing there or if it is one of the older girls.  Yep, still Amber although she sounds just like one of the other girls.  I want to give her big long talk about respect and being nice and talking nice and how we can't always get things.... but I am tired and worn out too, so I instead pick her up and hold her.

We finally get out of the store and find our way to the car.  I go through a drive through to get some food for me and the girls and we head to yet one more store to make a return.  That store (The Red Balloon) was much quicker, I didn't need to shop, just return an item and that was less eventful although I did have to pry Amber away from one toy and then another and another toy. We finally made it out of the store.  Phew!

I was thinking if I had time I would go to another store, but that will have to be for another day... maybe today I will gather all my patience and try it again for my last item list.  Although it seems that my last item list keeps growing and doesn't really end up being my LAST and FINAL item. 

Other than all that stuff, I love holiday shopping! 

Yep - I love holiday shopping with the crowds and my screaming girls.....I love it more than spaghetti!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The problem with front loading washers

We have a front loading washer with a window in the door so you can see things inside.  There have been some problems with that besides the cat freaking out over the objects spinning at very high speeds. 

I snuck Samantha's blanket and washed it with some towels.  She was awake and wouldn't need it until bedtime.  The problem started when she happened to be in the bathroom next to the laundry room and the door to the laundry room was open.... she spotted her blanket wet in the washer.  I heard this frantic, "kitty, kitty, kitty" (which is what she calls her blanket).  I wasn't sure if she was really talking to the cat or if something else was wrong.  Lindsey was in there with her and met me on my way in there to tell me that Samantha saw her blanket.  I kind of forgot about the laundry so I put it into the dryer, or tried to.  As soon as I opened up the washer door Samantha reached in there and with all her might was trying to pull her blanket out.  Poor thing, it was stuck, I got it out but then tried to explain to her that it was all wet and we needed to dry it.  That didn't go over well. 

Now I try to make sure the laundry room door is shut, and that the girls keep it shut too. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Writings on the wall

We are still having problems with markers   writing instruments.  I think we are controlling the issue and then something like this happens.  One day Amber had drawn on this same wall in our kitchen with a yellow marker.  It was hard to see it, you didn't really notice it compared to other colors she has chosen before.  Robert came home from work, saw some yellow marker on the floor and got all bent out of shape and talked to Amber about it.  She used her little cute innocent voice that makes it hard to be mad at her, in fact it is so cute and sweet you almost forget what she did that made you so upset... using that voice and with lots of facial expressions said, "Dad I am really sorry I wrote on the floor, and on the chair, and on the table, and on the wall.  I can clean it up tomorrow!" 

Then there was this day....  she got a hold of a nice grey marker... and drew on her favorite wall.  And... made her into a kitty as she loves to do.

Then she began to explain to me..."This is a little balloon..."

"And this is a little bit bigger balloon...."

"And this is a great big pickle balloon."

I guess that shows me she is not just randomly writing on the walls, she is making something out of it all.  I am thinking maybe she needs art classes or maybe those "no mess" art supplies. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

November Beach Trip

While we were in California, it seemed like we must definetly go to the beach.  My girls love, love, love the beach!  If I am remembering right, it was the Friday after Thanksgiving that we went... it was still great weather and it just so happened that there was a big swell coming in for the surfers, so that worked out for Sean and Uncle Bill. 

Amber spent a good part of the time with her head in the sand, or at least doing tricks.  I think we could have got up and walked away and she would have never even noticed she was so busy with the sand.

This is most of the whole gang, minus Robert, me, and the younger kids...

The kids found treasures on the beach which included dead animal parts, shells, and plants.

The beach we went to was pretty rocky, some built rock castles instead.  Cool huh!

Harmon wanted nothing to do with the sand. 

Here's some of those special treasures!

Samantha had her blanket and tag, so she was good.  I think she was too tired to really enjoy the sand much.  She does like it, but not as much this day.  She prefered Serena's lap. 

Sean came in a few times for food or to switch boards, that was about it.  He spent his time riding the waves.

The kids enjoying the beach!

It wasn't too long and Harmon got use to the sand.  He then played contently with it for the remainder of the time we were there.  When we were ready to go, I don't think he nor Lorie wanted to go.  I am not sure who likes the beach more, Lorie or her son Harmon. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

California Fun

We had a great time in California...

Amber tried to "freak the people out" with her scary face...

Aunt Lorie and Harmon had fun too....

Samantha discovered what it felt like to have a yard and be outside...

Aunt Michelle cuddle a few girls to sleep...

Wesley and Lauren are busy arranging an event of some sort, like their "free water" party...

I think the dogs enjoyed our visit too, or maybe enjoyed when we left.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanksgiving in California

We went to California for Thanksgiving.  Our family had a wonderful time as we always do when we are in California with family.  The drive wasn't too terrible with the girls.  Emily went down earlier with her Grandparents and cousin Cody.  With one less in the car to fight it seemed to go a  little smoother. When we were handing out snacks, I could have used her help.  The back seat seemed way too far to pass back chicken sandwhiches or crackers.

Amber made sure Duke and Chance (the dogs) got a good snack before we had Thanksgiving dinner.  

This the adult table or the more mature table.  I had a place to sit there but I spent more time at the kids table feeding Samantha.  By the time I got my plate and sat down everyone was pretty much done.  That is how my dinner goes on most given days.   The weather was beautiful, we ate outside.  It was in the mid 80's if I remember right, at least the low 80's.  There was 19 of us for dinner.  I may be wrong, but it seems like Thanksgiving dinner taste better in California.  (Sorry Grandma!)

Samantha normally doens't like me to feed her, she prefers to self feed, but that is a mess.  She let me feed her for awhile and then I let her do it herself.  Not in the picture is the dogs there sat nearby hoping to share a little of her dinner.  She did share a little bit. 

I do love the little smile and facial expression here on Samantha.  She sure is a cutie!  Maybe I am bias.

Not only did we have a fabulous dinner but we also had fabulous entertainment. 

We had music by Serena on her tenor sax.  She is quite the little musician, she plays very well and loves to play.  Wesley wanted to plan a party inside but it was such a nice day that we were all outside so we suggested him to bring the party out.  Serena was the entertainment part of the party.  We loved it. 

Lastly, our entertainment was a play put on by Lauren, Lindsey, and Wesley.  The three of them where really fun to watch.  I wish we were close to Wesley for them to play more often.  They put on a play, Lindsey was the daughter, Lauren was the mother, and Wesley was the farmer/father.  It was pretty funny.  It was just getting dark, and we went outside to watch.  I tried to video record it but it was too dark to pick up any of their scenes.  At one point Lindsey wig fell off... It was all pretty good. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swinging in California

For Thanksgiving this year we went to Orange County, California to visit Rob's family.  The weather was great, and we had such a fun time.  I always look forward to going to California to visit Rob's family, it is always such a memorable time and the kids love it too. 

In Aunt Michelle and Uncle Bill's amazing backyard they have a pool, some swings, a BBQ pit area, and a dining area along with their mature trees and wonderfully landscaped yard.  The girls have a blast.  This year was like many others, they loved the swings! 

Above Emily is swinging and to the left Lauren is getting ready to swing too.  The girls love to have their pictures taken too.  Kinda cute.

Here Lindsey is going crazy on the swing...   Below is one of Robert's borthers and son Harmon.  Harmon liked the swing too, but like Amber and Samantha wasn't too good holding on for himself. 

The girls also thought it was fun and challenging to see if they could push off each other as they were swinging.  I think it was more of an effort to kick one another while swinging. 

It seemed okay to play this swinging game as long as both were playing and as long as they put their feet together gently.  There were some times that we had to monitor whose turn it is now along with determining if she "meant" to kick her or not. 

The pool wasn't the only hazard for Samantha... the swings where too.  She loved the swings but wasn't afraid of getting hit by them either. 

As always when we return from Aunt Michelle's house... the girls are always wanting to stay longer and to come back really soon.  We missed going to California last year, and hadn't been there for 2 years.  They hadn't even met Samantha yet, and last we saw them Amber was just learning to walk.  It was definetly time for us to visit, and we were so glad we did.  Turns out there is a Ragnar there in April, so Robert is already planning a race trip there in the spring.  I won't really fight it much. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Amber, what do you do with her?

Amber just totally cracks me up and yet at other time is very frustrating.  She doesn't always listen or do what I ask her to do like today at the store when she continued to crawl over the top of the car shopping cart to reach in and pull Samantha's hair.  I perhaps would have looked to find some tape to tape her arms up but we were at the check out stand at the time.  I just wanted to get out as fast as possible. 

A few days ago....  I asked Amber to go to the car.  She didn't really do it and kept running away or talking about how the garage floor was cold so her feet would be frozen.  I told her I would carry her but she needed to hurry so we could get Emily to school.  As I picked her up, she started to hit me and throw a fit.  I just put her down and told her if she couldn't be nice to me she would have to go get in the car by herself.  She calmed down as I put Samantha in the car and then I asked Amber if she wanted me to carry her.  She said, "yes please."  I picked her up and took her to the car.  As I was buckling her up I reminded her that I don't like it when she hits me and it isn't nice.  She looked at me and said in her cutest little precious voice, "when I hit you it is because I love you so much!"  What do you say to that?