Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Overview

Oh my, how the holidays have kept me busy, so much so, that I haven't had a chance to visit. I'm certain that all of you with young children must understand and feel my exhaustion, with school performances, class parties, holiday shopping, the constant entertaining, and lets not forget the 8+ birthday celebrations of friends and family, the "to do list" for Mom was never ending. I'll share with you an overview of my December including some of my favorite things.

Let's start with the advent calendar. The last time I spoke with you, I was in a race to make an advent calendar (geez! that was in Nov.). I did make that calendar and manage to fill it with goodies and notes with fun activities. I'm glad I pulled my act together and made it because this brought us together every evening after dinner for some holiday fun, something the boys really enjoyed.

I always look forward to getting a Christmas tree but this year's search for a tree was a bit stressful (yes I'll share the good and the bad with you). We bickered over which tree to get, finally settled on a tree when suddenly it began to rain on us. Dad was a trooper and strapped it on our van but the ride home was stressful to say the least. Our tree began to slip and slide as we made our way home on the freeway, I held my breath hoping we wouldn't lose it.

Despite the ill beginning to our Christmas tree adventure, we sure had fun decorating it.

I love pulling out all the Christmas treasures and this year, the boys made some really sweet ornaments that I'm sure to treasure for years to come.

This year I was in charge of the craft activity for Aidan's classroom holiday party. I wanted to include a lesson on "recycle, repurpose, reuse," so I chose this project. The class had fun with it and I really loved the end product but the prep work for a class of 19 students was a bit gruelling...note to self for next year, remember during December every second counts, choose much simpler project.

It's been our tradition to buy the boys an new ornament every year, you know so when they finally set up their own tree they'll be able to start with 18 ornaments of their own, that is assuming they move out at 18. Oh, and really mom, 18 year old boys just love setting up their own maybe not 18 but sometime later in life they'll have some of their own keepsakes (or their wives at will at least). This year in sticking with the "Repurpose" theme, we bought them these great upcycle ornaments made from old bike parts. I just love them!

We also decorated our yearly gingerbread house. This year I bought a kit that had the structure already assembled and all you had to do was decorate it. This was so much easier and we got to go directly to the fun part, I'll be doing this every year from now on.

We enjoyed some fun Christmas decorations including a new lamp that I filled with vintage baubles, some collage work I made for our bathroom wall and our Christmas card holder that was topped with a fun wreath Aidan made.

We enjoyed hosting several holiday dinners with friends, including Christmas Eve, having hot pot with good friends. Hot pot crab, mmm one of my favorite things of the season.

Christmas morning brought lots of surprises for the kids, including this letter from Santa. Yes, with all the fun we had Christmas Eve, we forgot to leave Santa cookies and milk. Santa was still good enough to leave lots of special treats. After a morning of opening presents we went to Auntie Sandra's house and had a fun filled day with family.

Oh and let's not forget, during all this holiday fun we also celebrated lots of birthdays including Daddy's big "40"

December was busy but good to all of us. We sure enjoyed our Christmas this 2010. Hope you all enjoyed your holidays as well.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Race For An Advent Calendar

With December 1st just around the corner, I'm determined to have an advent calendar for the boys. I found this one I just love but am a little sticker shy. Now really $99, just think of the goodies I could buy to fill it up for that much. So I've decided with the surplus of fabrics I have, I'm going to make my own with this design in mind. The only problem, I only have a few days to make it, so I'm in a race to finish it and fill it for Dec. 1st. Wish me luck!

Baby Chick Happiness

We spent some time visiting our new neighbors, 1 week old baby chicks at Robin's house (across the street). The boys had lots of fun watching the chicks, exploring our neighbors vast backyard that includes a large grassy patch, 2 chicken coops, 2 bee hives, several fruit trees and a huge vegetable garden. Liam especially had lots of questions for Robin regarding the chicks and where they live and what they eat. They got to feed the chickens, I enjoyed watching them explore while soaking in the sun on this gorgeous Sunday morning.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Good Rainy Day

We filled today with fun indoor activities, and a bit of fun outdoor puddle stomping too, keeping everyone happy all day. The day started off with a trip to the Academy of Sciences followed by a yummy lunch at Park Chow, a favorite restaurant in our old stomping grounds and ended the day with some watercolor fun. The boys have been enjoying this art kit from Uncle Steve and Uncle Tom, thank you. It was just the perfect thing for a rainy day. I love days like this, when everything goes smoothly and everyone has a good time, especially on wet days like today. It was a good rainy day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

{ ralph waldo emerson }

I am thankful for family, friends, and all life has to offer me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Aidan Enlightened

In the past week there must have been some new synapse connection in Aidan's brain that has enlightened him. He's been taking in his surroundings and thinking ....really thinking about it all. With that being said these are some of his most recent enlightened statements:

1. Me serving rotisserie chicken for dinner. Aidan tapping me on the shoulder and whispering in my ear " Mom, that chicken gave it's life for us" I was taken by surprise by this, then reassured him, yes it did and that's why we should make a point of not wasting it. It would be disrespectful to the chicken if we did. He solemnly nodded.

2. While driving down the freeway. Aidan asks " Mom, what's a kilometer?" I explained to him it was another method of measurement used to measure distance. Aidan responded " Yeah, math is all around us. Math is everywhere you look and everything you do." Me stunned again, responded with a mere " Yes, Aidan that's true"

3. Then there was the discussion about graffiti - while we were driving to an appointment Aidan asked " Mom why are some signs and walls marked up" I informed him that some people mark things to show they've been there, mark territory, etc. but that it was not OK and actually against the law. His response to this was " I get it (to why it's illegal), I like our home to look nice too"

This all coming from a 6 yr old just amazes me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marble Run Fun

Another birthday gift the boys got that they have really enjoyed is this marble run. Although Mom has had to do most of the building, they love running those marbles. Soon I'm sure, they'll be able to build on their own.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Castle Fun

Miles and Liam loved this birthday gift they got from friends. We set it up on the front porch and they were entertained with some crafty make believe fun for quite awhile. They discussed what colors things should be and went at it. They loved getting inside it and playing, first they were knights, then they were wizards. This was just cardboard with a picture on it and markers. I love how some of the simplest things are so much fun.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Boys

4 yrs ago today these two cuties joined us in this crazy world. I adore them, most of the time that is. Lately, they have really just become all boy. It's all about race cars, baseball, and robots...and neither one of them thinks pink is cool anymore. Is this what happens when boys turn 4? I don't remember Aidan going through any of this.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Celebrating Dia De Los Muertos

We celebrated as a family, Dia De Los Muertos today. We all colored skulls, including Daddy. We put together an altar in honor of my dear Madre and Daddy's PohPoh (grandma). We explained to the boys all that we added on the altar, flowers, sweets, food, photos, our skulls, and lit candles to celebrate our loved ones who have passed on. We had each of the boys pick 3 candies out of their Halloween stash to share with the altar. This was their contribution in honoring grandma (abuelita) and great-grandma. I think Aidan understood the significance of this celebration, and Miles and Liam well maybe next year.

Oh My! It's Catch Up Time Again, Halloween, Birthday's, Memphis

So sorry dear blog, life has been so busy. Lots of fun stuff including a trip to Memphis to visit my dear BFF, prepping for Aidan's school Halloween parade/party, and Miles and Liam's Birthday - Halloween party. I'll give you the quick cliff note version once again:

Starting with my trip to Memphis. My dear BFF, Karen, and I try to see each other at least once a year. So I made a trip to visit her, 4 days of girl time fun. We a great time catching up, mani/pedis, dinners out, and unfortunately with all the fun being had I kept forgetting to pull out the camera. Does that ever happen to you, so caught in the moment you forget about the camera? Ahh, next time.

Then it was Aidan's school party. I was amazed at the amount of parent involvement and all the really amazing costumes that you know parents knocked themselves out making for their kids. True Halloween spirit...but in the name of privacy I'll just share a photo of the treats I put together some Halloween worksheets, a pencil and a lollipop.

We had some pumpkin carving fun, up until the boys thought the pumpkins smelled icky and they ran off to let mom and dad finish the job.

We had Miles and Liam's Halloween themed birthday party which we celebrated indoors due to the wet weather. Despite the chaos of 18 kids and 15 adults in our small home we still had a great time. Games, chili & hot dogs and cake to be had by everyone. Aidan said "This was the best party ever!"

And of course, Halloween. We went with a group of friends, 6 boys total, to a nearby neighborhood that really does it up! Not only were there treats for the kids but adults too. One house was handing out Merlot to go, another had a projector with the world series game on for everyone to watch, and lots of fun and scary houses to enjoy. My astronauts and Sir Aidan Knight had a great time. Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween as well.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Blog...let's catch up

Dear blog, it's been nearly a month since I've visited and posted about the going ons here in martian land and I've missed you. So, I thought now would be a good time to update you on all that's happened, it's been a busy time, mostly fun. So I thought I would give you a quick cliff note version with lots of photos to catch up:

Mid September, we went to Miranda and Elizabeth's fun birthday party.

For this party I made these cupcake shaped gift tags

When we returned from the birthday party, that evening we had a be-lated birthday celebration with grandma. Grandma stayed with us for a bit in Sept while grandpa was out of town. The boys really enjoyed having Grandma over.

We instituted a new reward system in the house in order to curb some not so fun behavior. I think it actually might be working. The kids are working hard to earn their prize, each wants a pillow pet. (yeah don't ask.)

We survived a heat wave with the help of many Popsicles.

We had friends over for dinner and I made my first attempt this Fall at some candy apples. They weren't the prettiest, but they sure were yummy.

We've made lots of Halloween crafts, including these fun bats.

We watched the Blue Angles perform while fishing and crabbing with friends on the pier.

We enjoyed a fun pumpkin patch picnic with friends that included pony rides, panning for gems and a train ride.

And we continue to enjoy Lego time as much as possible.

So, dear blog, your up to speed now on the most news worthy going ons here. I'll do my best to keep you posted. xoxo.

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