Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Recap

I love Christmas! We spent a lot of time with family before and after Christmas, but decided to do Christmas morning just the four of us in our new house - starting a new tradition. I thought I should come up with a yummy Christmas morning breakfast idea - cinnamon buns from scratch. Sounds good, huh? Our Christmas Eve was comical. After returning from Christmas Eve Mass in Yuba City with my family, we drove home late, woke Finn up to put out the reindeer food that he made in preschool and the cookies for Santa and shuffled the kids off to bed. Nate and I were up until SO late, wrapping presents for our gift exchange the next day with family. I had to make an 11:30pm drive to our local 7-11 (the only place open in the entire world) for milk and eggs, essential cinnamon bun ingredients. We just sort of chuckled as Nate was ...assembling.... and I was kneading dough at midnight. It was just funny...All very worth it of course, as we watched Finn and Selah experience the magic of Christmas the next day....I mean, a few hours later. (Once a crammer, always a crammer I guess.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Song Sing-Off 2009!

Well, my training paid off. After 3+ weeks of listening to non-stop Christmas music, one caroling party, one Christmas Eve choir rehearsal and many car rides with a toddler belting out "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", I can finally declare my victory over Nate in the 2009 Christmas Song Sing-Off! Yahooooo!

This has been a tradition for a few years now. One year while we were making the 7 hour drive up North for the holidays we came up with this game. We just take turns singing Christmas songs until someone can't think of one. It's that simple. Last year we came up with 86 songs! Here are our rules and guidelines:

* You HAVE to be able to sing at least 10 words of the song in a row for it to count.

* I swear we used to accept instrumental songs, if you could hum the whole thing, but Nate barred that this year. (bit of a Scroodge if you ask me. There goes Mannheim Steamroller and The Nutcracker.)

* It's more fun when you sing back-up for each other. We always go a little nuts during the Little Drummer Boy and Carol of the Bells.

* It's also more fun when you put your back into it. Don't just sing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, sing Jessica Simpson's version - all breathy and whiney! Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" is a toughy though. I always look forward to Nate belting out Jackson Five's "I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus."

* Not EVERY song they've been playing on the Christmas music station counts in OUR game. Like....Bette Midler's "From a Distance" or "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things." Those don't count. And I cannot STAND Rod Stewart's version of that song.

*Songs you sang in your 4th grade Christmas program count...if you can remember them. But be strategic about it, save those for later in the game. The real doozy about this game is that Nate now knows songs from MY childhood and now uses them against me. This year HE used "Christmas is a Time to Love" from MY childhood Christmas record. (He plays dirty)

Good luck and have fun! See if you can beat 86! This year we only came up with 75. But we did it during a 2 hour drive to visit friends in Santa Rosa. **Ooh, I just remembered that we missed "Walkin in a Winter Wonderland"! Dang it!

Merry Christmas! Happy Singing!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Message from SANTA!

Now here's a sign of our time...yesterday Finn got an email from Santa with a video message. Finn's eyes were WIDE the whole time, and he was nodding to Santa when he asked a question. It was awesome. (Thanks for the idea Lindsay!)

Click below to see it....and perhaps you or your kids can get a message too! **Warning, my dad got one today and ended up on Santa's naughty list! Luckily, Santa's message to my dad was one of hope.**

Santa's message to Finn!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Horn of Plenty

We have much to give thanks for this year. We feel so blessed to be employed, have a beautiful new home, we are healthy, we have wonderful friends, we are close to loved ones, we are happy.
Gracias a Dios!

When we returned from SB, we hosted Nate's siblings and their spouses (spice?) at our new digs for the night. We all (almost all) joined the other 31,000 Sacramentonians in the Run to Feed the Hungry, the biggest turkey trot in the country.....probably the world, since most other countries don't celebrate t-day. It was fun. We parked far away, we walked a ways to get there, we arrived late, we met up with friends and cousins, we couldn't move, we squeezed through people, and we ditched Nate with the double stroller that was too fat to get through. Poor Nate.

I love Monley Thanksgivings. It's a 30+ person shindig usually, and there's just an overall sound of laughter and joy throughout the day. These ladies are awesome. I'm so thankful for the family I married into.

Tia Lina with the kiddos

The three little ones playing in the drive. Maybe next year there will be more little ones - who knows!

We enjoyed a quick visit with "GG", great grandma Kellogg.

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree!

We've never had a Christmas 7 years of marriage we've never had a tree. We always leave for Christmas and enjoy our parents' trees. Not this year! We were determined to chop down our own tree. And.....we didn't have to go far.

The previous owners thought it would be lovely to have two nice redwood trees in the front yard. I disagree. I love redwoods, but someday this little guy is going to be a gargantuan monster, dropping needles everywhere. If a tree is going to sacrifice itself for the sake of Christmas, it might as well be this one. (Plus, I'm really looking forward to planting a nice maple or a beech tree in its place.)

Big strong man carry tree!

Nothin but a stump now.

Since this is the first time we have really been able to decorate for Christmas we decided to do it right after Thanksgiving. We waist no time. I love my husband, he's so.....festive! He woke up Saturday with one get our home fully decorated for Christmas. It started with the tree, and it just went from there. I've got as much holiday spirit as the next person, but it's not even December yet! I went along with it. We worked all day, shopping, chopping and hanging and unpacking, with non-stop holiday music in the background and eggnog in hand. We're all set now. Ho ho ho.

Back in SB again!

Nate had the week off, so we decided last minute to do a Santa Barbara visit! I am so thankful the good friends we have there, and the awesome weather of course! Nate and I enjoyed seeing all the people from his old school. Our first order of business was to hit the beach with friends and catch up.

Friends, picking up where we left off.

Selah and the gang


Finn still remembers all of his favorite spots in SB. He even looked forward to seeing the oil rigs out there on the ocean. He's a funny guy.

We stayed at a great little b & b (thanks Nicola!) right by the Montecito Creek. Finn had fun exploring the dry creek.

Deep thoughts, by Finnegan Jack Handy

My dad used to tell me "Don't smile so much" when I would smile for photos when I was little. It used to hurt my feelings. Now I know what he meant.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Holy Tomato!

The kids were helping me clear out some weeds the other day when we came across a volunteer tomato plant. I dug it up, since tomatoes are done for the season, and I let Finn and cousin Wyatt replant it for fun in our new garden spot knowing it's not gonna make it. The next day, we checked on it.....and it was looking sad. I told him it was dying and when he asked why, I explained the whole deal about dying and becoming dirt for other plants to grow, bla bla bla the circle of life. Finn was not satisfied with my answer. He just kept coming back with "but why does it have to die, Mom?" He was sad. Finally after a few minutes, he said "Hey Mom, I know why the tomato plant has to die! Because Jesus wants to eat tomatoes!"

Friday, November 06, 2009

Halloween Part 2

I just got these next few from Granny Peg and I thought they were cute!

We didn't have a parrot, but we found a chick!

You know, it's not as easy as it might seem, to get the perfect picture of two kids, where they are both smiling and looking at the camera and nobody is picking their nose or take off their shoes or running away.

There we go! We finally got it. ;-)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Happy Halloween Matey!

This year's family themed costumes were not as much "home-made" as "home-thrown-together". We were a band of pirates! Aaarrr!

Finn got to wear his costume on 4 separate occasions this year! I am very ready to put it away now. I had to wash his and Selah's 3 times before Halloween.

We started celebrating a week before Halloween at Matthew and Orianna's annual costume party which we have NEVER been able to attend before this year now that we are local!! Woo hoo! People go all out with the costumes. These are some of my favs.

The host and hostess

Finn's preschool had a cute little pumpkin song to sing to the office staff. It was adorable.

The kids' costumes were either fairy, princess or super hero. Finn's was the only one that was none of the above. The parents decided to take group photos based on the costume. They put Finn in the fairy group, arguing that a pirate should be surrounded by in Peter Pan. Okaaay.

Eating a scalped jack-o-lantern fruit salad at snack time in preschool.

Nate's school had their first big event of the year with their Fall Festival. Tons of kids showed up in costume. They were so cute, and many of them sorta scary.

This booth was nasty. You had to stick your hand in these gross holes filled with slimy mushy gooey stuff in order to get a prize.

And that was the night Finn's love affair with cotton candy began...
(my teeth hurt even thinking about it)

Nate was a sick guy on Halloween, so the kids and I headed 0ver to our friends' Jeff and Lisa's and their 3 girls house for some pizza, treasure hunting, and trick-or-treating!

Big hug from Brinley.

Finn and his new BFF, Kelsey.

Off to trick or treat with some fairies, a baby octopus, a bag of jelly beans, Hannah Montana and the grim reaper. You know, the usual crowd.

I got SOOOOOO much candy!

Wanna piece?