Tuesday, December 30, 2008

cleaning out

The snow has started melting. This weekend, it was flooding. Here's right outside our front step. The water couldn't drain fast enough, so we had some mini lakes.

James spent his time building his new Legos. He's getting VERY quick at building them by himself.

I've started cleaning out the house. Not the dust that's everywhere, but all the stuff we don't use. I've had this huge box of Pollys sitting in the laundry room. I sorted them all out. There are many sets on Ebay under vintage Polly. That means my nieces are old enough to have played with vintage toys! Now that's scary. I sorted through her Barbies that have been sitting in a box, too. I hit the bookcase, and sorted through all the books. Guess it's time to get rid of many preschool books. :(
Tonight Andrew and Rachel are going to an all night party from church. Several area churches are combining and doing it together. The evening includes: an illusionist, pizza, swimming, rock climbing, volleyball, bowling, laser tag, the zombie game, and a continental breakfast. Matt didn't want to go, so he opted for a lunch with me tomorrow (while the others sleep). He wants to go to Panera for some soup. James wants to go to Noodles & Co, so we'll see where we end up.

Friday, December 26, 2008

ice storm

We woke up this morning, and there is a thin layer of ice outside on all the driveways and sidewalks. Here's Rachel sliding on the driveway. No, she doesn't have heelies, just boots.

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house...

Rachel spent Christmas Eve cleaning her room. It looks so nice when it's picked up! I stenciled some scattered daisys on one wall a week ago. It's very subtle since it's done only in white.
After church, and the kids were all in bed, the gifts were arranged under the tree. As the kids grow older, the packages get smaller, but more expensive.

Andrew was the first one up - at 5:45 am. He grabbed some breakfast since he was hungry- always hungry. I told them they had to wait until 7am to get me up and open presents.

James is always happy to get more Legos!
Matt is all set with a new SD card and Kelli Picker CD.

Andrew received a Pillar CD and Ironman DVD.

He also got the Halo books that he wanted.

Matt and Rachel both got digital cameras. They now have nicer cameras than I do. I'm thinking of secretly switching them with mine, but I think they would notice!

James spent the day building his new Lego helicopter. He built the entire thing by himself.

We then went to Cheryl's for dinner. Here's some photos so Grandpa can see (he stayed home).

Matt is thrilled with his new MP3 player. He can now watch Kelli, Taylor, Carrie and Julianne.

Andrew likes his MP3 player. He prefers rock, but I do have him into Keith Urban. Andrew is getting tired after getting up so early.
James has MORE Legos!
Kung Fu Panda, too!

Rachel's MP3 player!

Today it's off to the eye doctor for Rachel. She's asking for contacts this year. Since she wears her glasses ALL the time, we'll see if she's ready for contacts.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! It's been snowing for the past several days, so James' favorite activity is playing outside and then coming in for hot chocolate. He loves hats, and wears them indoors until he's warmed up.

Anyone want to grill some burgers or steaks?

My dad is going to stay home tomorrow. He's still tired and the cold air in the lungs doesn't feel good (I know from experience). So, he gets a few hours of peace and quiet without anyone telling him what to do. Yep, things are back to normal. :)

Rachel is cleaning her room to get it ready for Christmas. Once it's clean, I'll have to take a photo- to remember what it looks like when it's clean. I went to Menards and purchased some cheap ski gloves. They were on sale for $1.95, so I can't beat the price. Matt is doing lights at the church service at 5pm tonight. Now to decide where to go for dinner.

I've been investigating possible vacation spot for the summer. I think the kids can handle the boring drive to Colorado. Estes Park is pricey, and not a lot to choose from for a family of 6. That got me looking at Grand Lake, CO. There are some nice cabins that would easily accommodate a large family. Looks like some of them book early, so we'll have to decide before we even get our tax refund. I want to go bighorn sheep, moose, and elk hunting - with a camera, of course.

Merry Christmas!!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter has arrived

Woke up this morning, and this was the foyer patio door. It was covered with a pretty lacy ice.

It's warmed up this afternoon. At 2:30, it's -4 degrees with a wind chill of -28. It was colder this morning!

This is a yellow tractor plowing the road. It's the high point going the back way out of our subdivision. You'll have to look carefully to find the tractor - white out conditions.

It's a good day to stay inside!

Friday, December 19, 2008

*~* Friday evening update ~*~

A quick update on my dad. The scan showed it was clear, he's keeping down liquids. He's coming home tomorrow. My mom didn't go there today due to the weather, but will pick him up tomorrow. I think he's ready to get out since his new roommate is not quiet/cooperative. How can you sleep in the hospital anyways?

My crazy cousin wanted photos of snow. Well, here's a bunch of photos!

Yes, we have 2 snowblowers! One we purchased after we moved into this house. We acquired the 2nd one when Russ' mom moved from her house to a condo years ago. Last winter and this winter we used both snowblowers a LOT!

Rachel built an igloo in the huge pile of snow at the end of the driveway. I also took her ice skating at the pond by Walgreens. At least there's a warming house - and it's warm. :)

Another Friday update

The results from the scan came back at noon today. It shows the obstruction is clearing. So, they will start trying food this afternoon as see how that goes. If all goes well, he could come home tomorrow. He ordered my mom not to come visit him, as others said the roads were too bad. We have to get the roads cleared, as the forecast calls for a high temp of 15 on Sunday and a whopping 6 on Monday. Brrrr.

Friday morning update

My mom called this morning. They had already taken my dad down for a scan to see if the bowel obstruction is cleared. We don't know the results yet, but mom said he sounded good and felt better.

Four neighbors came to snow blow my parent's driveway. Sam stayed, and liked the snowblower so much he's using it on his driveway! (it's a monster of a snowblower and can handle any amount of snow) My mom won't go to the hospital yet, as she'll wait for the roads to clear. We're home with a snow day today!! It's now officially Christmas vacation for the next 2 weeks. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


As we're waiting for the snow to hit (lots and lots of snow), I called my mom for an update. He's doing better today. He had an ng tube to drain the stomach, but still isn't allowed to eat anything. They will do another scan tomorrow to make sure it's clear. The coughing has subsided, too. Since the snow hasn't started, my mom will stay longer at the hospital tonight. I wonder if she'll be able to make it back there tomorrow.

On a good note, I had a meeting at school today. We officially got Rachel an IEP! Yipee! Now I can take the results for review and figure out some attention issues that are layered with LD's. At least she'll be getting the help she needs. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

wednesday's update

Cheryl called at lunch today and left a message. The put in a tube and think all the problems are due to a bowel obstruction. He's more stable and doing better today, so my mom was going to go home and get some sleep. Tomorrow they'll do another scan to see if the tube is working or if he'll need surgery.

We're going to get another storm Thursday night into Friday. As of now, it's predicting ice for the southern suburbs, but we're suppose to get sleet and heavy snow with heavy accumulations. So, if my mom goes back there tomorrow, she might be stuck there a while.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

dad update

Cheryl called and my mom was going to stay late tonight at the hospital. His blood sugars are out of wack, and he's still throwing up. They think he has a partially obstructed bowel and are going to clear that tonight.

Here's Matt clearing the driveway earlier this evening. I went out and did more snowblowing later. Hopefully they will clear the roads by morning.


Cheryl just called, and my dad is still going to be in the hospital tonight. He has pneumia and can't take a lot of antibiotics due to the anti-rejection drugs. Don't know how long it will take my mom to get home from the hospital tonight, as it's snowing AGAIN. The roads are horrible. Will keep you updated.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I made the first batch of fudge tonight to start off the Christmas baking. No secret recipe, just the simple one on the marshmellow creme from Aldi. I wonder how quickly this pan of fudge will disappear??

Last night was Russ' company Christmas party at the Westin. We chose the filet for dinner. They tried something different this year and hired some entertainment. It was an improv show by ComedySportz. The best part, it was clean entertainment! We left as the dancing was starting. I found James already asleep (I told him he could stay up until we got home) in our bed. He was snuggled up with his stuffed animals - too cute!

Rachel and I went to Aeropostale this morning to hunt for bargains. We found a cute sweater and cami. The sweater was 70% off, PLUS, I had an additional 10% off coupon. We then hit Penneys for some doorbuster sales on towels. I still had a $10 off anything coupon on top of the sale. I just love bargains! :)

Tomorrow is church and more grocery shopping. Seems like I'm at a grocery store every few days, as the food keeps disappearing. I still have a pile of Christmas cards to address and mail this week, too. The weatherman isn't sure if we'll have ice or snow tomorrow evening. The kids are anxious for a snow day, but I don't think a few inches of snow will hold off school, but they can hope!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Preschool frame craft, Snow & the Gov

Today I did childcare at a church for their women's Christmas luncheon. We only had 3 kids show up (maybe due to the weather). We made some photo frames. I had planned on taking pictures and printing them out to put in the frame, but my photo printer ran out of ink!

When I left the house about 10am, it had just started snowing/sleeting. It looks so pretty off our deck.

I arrived home at 3pm, and the roads were slow and slick (especially the side roads). The plow had come by and pushed the pile of wet, heavy snow at the end of the driveway. Thankfully, Matt wanted to get out and use the snowblower before it all freezes over.

The kids heard this morning at school that our governor was arrested. Matt said the kids in his class cheered (he's that well liked). Andrew said his teacher had a big smile when the news broke. It should be interesting to hear all the details once they are released. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oatmeal Cookies in a Jar

James wanted oatmeal cookies tonight- his favorite. I made him a recipe I found for oatmeal cookies in a jar. They are thick, chewy cookies instead of the flat, crispy cookies. They make a great gift if you have an extra quart size mason jar. Or, just mix all the ingredients together for a quick batch of cookies.

Layer these ingredients as follows:

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup raisins
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Add instructions to jar:

Jar of Mix
3/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend thoroughly, will be thick (you might want to use your hands!). Shape into balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cook on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen. Enjoy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Tim! It's just too cold to type anything else. Brrrr....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

After Thanksgiving, we put out our Christmas trees. This is our downstairs tree in the family room. I just put on the lights, and the kids put on ALL of the ornies! It's nice they are old enough to help out. Our stockings are hung and waiting to be filled (with chocolate!).

On Tuesday night, we had the Cub Scout meeting at our house. They made Christmas cookies and decorated them. It's not a neat job by any means, but they had fun.
In my dining room, I filled my strainer with some gingers and hang tag ~ so cute!
We also put up our tree in the living room upstairs. I still need to make a tree skirt for this tree, but don't know what to make. I want something different than the quilted one downstairs. For now, a tablecloth wrapped around will do.
We had our first measurable snow that stuck on Sunday night. James couldn't wait to get outside and play. He made a fort with some sleds in the bushes. I think he's part Eskimo!