Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Give thanks and be merry!

At this time of year I get a little homesick for extended family. The words to Home For the Holidays sing through my head. "When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly face...for the holidays you can't beat home sweet home." In spite of being away from family for Thanksgiving we had a wonderful holiday! We had two of our close friends over who were in the same situation (staying in town, no family coming in) and made a great time of it!
We love love these families!

 Hazel and her best little friend. We had a delicious feast! I made a quadruple batch of Aunt Lynn's butterhorn rolls. They were a hit. I think the only thing eaten at the kids' table were butterhorn rolls and a little bit of mashed potatoes. No kidding.

Carter discovered in preschool last year (thank you, Miss Carrie!) that pumpkin pie is really good! He's been looking forward to pumpkin pie for a year. He made this cream cheese pumpkin pie, with a bit of coaching from me. That's a cranberry topping. Add cream. Delicious!


Isn't this lemon meringue pie beautiful! Marianne made it.

And she did the apple crumble pie. Grant did the pecan pie. Cassidy made a chocolate mousse pie. It was fun to have a big selection of pie! The kids ate ice cream cones.

Bestest pals.

We carry on the beloved tradition of Christmas jammies. But we give them on Thanksgiving weekend so the kids can wear them all Christmas season.

Sometimes I make them, sometimes I buy them. Sometimes they're Christmas themed, sometimes not.

I carefully selected this year's p.j.s. I wanted long pants and sleeves, but a thinner fabric so we don't roast here. I'm happy with the cute ones I found for our family.

We started the Christmas season with another very exciting family gift.

A Playmobil nativity! It is the coolest nativity for children, because it's a toy and they can play with it to their hearts, content! It is a very cool nativity with a little baby Jesus that can bend and pose, wise men bearing gifts of tiny gold coins, and plenty of little animals for the stable. (A side note: we love egg nog in our family. We think the wise men actually took gold, egg nog, and myrrh to Jesus.)

We had fun building the stable and setting it all up. We love it.

We've had a really good focus on Christ this Christmas. We tell the story of Jesus' birth often. One time during the part about the inn keepers telling Mary and Joseph there was no room because the inn was full, Hazel said, "They could scoot! We would scoot and I would get out the Minnie Mouse blanket for them." It melted my heart to see her compassion for Mary and baby Jesus.

We're into the swing of Christmas celebrations and loving it. I'm dying for Christmas break to arrive. It won't get here fast enough! Until then we'll keep trying to get the kids to bed at a decent hour and up in time for school! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wedding bells and fainting spells

I just had a fabulous post all completed. I tried to publish it and the words were all gone! Ahh! So I'll just say that my kid brother, Mike, married this beautiful woman last week. The kids and I went up for the wedding. It was wonderful!

Since I need to make dinner and don't have time to rewrite all the particulars, I'll leave you to enjoy the photos and fill in the blanks yourself. Kind of like those "choose your own ending" chapter books that were popular when I was a little girl. You can imagine up all the cousin fun and sibling reunions, as well as who was responsible for the fainting spells...both of them!


Kool-aid is a quintessential summer treat. I have memories of drinking it during the summer time when I was little. Being that it's essentially sugar water, we rarely drink it. In fact, this may be the first time my younger two kids have had Kool-aid. I got a few packets for us to enjoy this summer. Lily made up the first pitcher of it today.

Hazel sucked it down. She started drinking and didn't stop until her sippy cup was empty!

What a glamorous lunch. I know, Aaron gets so jealous of my lunch appointments. He has to eat out frequently with friends and coworkers, poor guy. I get gourmet pb&j. Actually, I really enjoy peanut butter sandwiches. So it's okay. You'll notice the lack of fruit or vegetable on C-man's plate. I usually put some on the kids' plate, whether or not they eat it. But not today. I was too tired to get a veggie out after making fresh salsa.


Monday, February 20, 2012


Just cute.

Too cute.

We haven't been to the zoo in a long time. In fact, Carter couldn't even remember going to our zoo and Hazy had never been. We had such a good time. The kids loved the animals and the fresh air. I loved watching them have a good time.

These little people bring me inexplicable joy!


Lego. Carter has been doing an awful lot of building lately. He's a really creative builder. Our train table has turned into a Lego table.

Lily has been sewing. I'm pleased to see her develop her skills and talents.

Hazy is a little girl with initiative. She pinpoints what she wants, and finds a way to make it happen. I came downstairs the other day and found the back door wide open. I went outside and found Hazel jumping with noodles! She had pulled a chair into the pantry, climbed up to get a box of noodles, taken it outside and dumped it on the trampoline. She was chewing on raw noodles and jumping away!

She thought it was great fun!

Cousin and Valentines!

Our cute cousin Hannah came to visit us this month. Aunt Kristen came too, and had to work during the day. But Hannah got to do some serious playing with us! My kids had so much fun with her.

Cousin relationships are cool. There is a strong family bond that unites them and makes them a part of each other, similar to sibling relationships. But cousins don't live in each others' space so they don't bicker like siblings tend to. I loved watching and listening to them interact and play over the week.

Meet Christina, Johhna, and Mirena (and Hazy in the back)...the spies who frequented our house that week. There was a lot of fun and excitement all week long.

Valentines from Grandma and Grandpa Ford. Thanks!

Our lovey dovey Valentine dinner. We celebrated a day early because Aaron was out of town on Valentine's day. (I know, lame!!) The kids thought it was so great to get their own box of chocolates along with their gift and Valentine.

On Valentine night the kids and I went with the young women I serve to heart attack some friends' houses. We put love notes and heart cookies on their doors and ran. Lily thought that was especially cool.

While I missed being with my sweetheart on Valentine's day, it gave us an opportunity to appreciate the time we do have together. We reminisced about the two and a half years we spent living on different continents during our courtship. Man, that was hard. I'm so glad we aren't having to do that now. It was immensely difficult then. Sometimes I wondered if I would even survive our time if I would spontaneously implode from missing him too much. :) Luckily, I survived and I'm so grateful we have each other.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Happy 2nd birthday, Hazel!!

How can my wee baby be two already? Where does the time go? I want to push pause and keep her this sweet, happy, snuggly, innocent thing for as long as possible.

She sincerely is a joy. She's like Mary Poppins...practically perfect in every way. She even unloads the dishwasher. Yes, you heard me right. She unloads the dishwasher. And puts her toys away while singing, "Clean up, clean up. Everybody do your share." And she snuggles me. Oh, I wish I could keep her in this stage for just a little while longer.

We started the birthday off right...with a partay in the morning! Crepes for breakfast...

...and a pile of presents!

Look at the excitement and intrigue on her face!

It's a lovely necklace from her GreatPapa Sperry. Thank you, Papa.

More excitement. She really knew how to respond when opening her presents. It was so cute.

All dolled up! She loves this dress.

These two cute little girlies are Hazel's favorite pals. They were born within ten days of each other. We had a really simple birthday party and invited these girls, along with their moms and siblings.

Cupcakes! Hazel anticipated her birthday with balloons, cupcakes, and a party with her friends. A side note, see the tablecloth on the table? It is my mom's. She had it on our table for all of our birthdays growing up. I love that tablecloth. I love that it's a real linen rather than a plastic cloth. And I love the continuity found in having it at all our family's birthdays over the years. I made a banner to match it. I love that little banner. I had fun making it and hope it will have the same effect as the tablecloth, linking family members together through our birthday traditions.

We finished off the night with a dinner party at Red Robin!

She got shy when the servers sang to her. She snuggled in to me and hid her face...peaking out every now and then. She liked the whipped cream!

Just for fun, Daddy's boots. I thought it was so funny when she wanted to put these on. She couldn't step into them herself so I helped her out. Once she got them on, she felt pretty proud to be in Daddy's boots.