Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas, Y'All

We were lame this year and sent out our Christmas cards via e-mail. Or maybe we weren't lame, maybe we were being green... yeah, that's it. We were trying to save the planet.

If you didn't get it, it's because I don't have your e-mail, so send it to me and I'll e-mail a totally earth-friendly Christmas card your way.

Or, if you want, here's the abridged version:

This year we:
-Moved across the country
-Andy started a new job with the Army Corp of Engineers. And he's totally rocking at it!
-Ava is a princess
-Ava scored a goal in soccer this season
-Ava learned to read this year
-Jax is still obsessed with monster trucks
-Jax knows all his letters and the sounds they make
-Jax wants to grow up to jump a monster truck on the moon
-Bekah's business is busy
-Bekah does preschool with the kids from home
-Bekah is PREGNANT! (due in July)

There you have it! Merry Christmas!!! Enjoy our little family video in honor of our new home in the South!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Trimmin' the Tree

I'm way behind with December blog posts. I have my business to blame for that. It's insanely busy! Fortunately, I'll get some much-needed relief this week.

We bought our tree right at the beginning of December. That's right, a REAL tree. I know the fakies are convenient, but I just can't bring myself to become an owner of one. Nope, nope, not me. I like the smell of the pine. I don't even mind pine needles on the floor.

Anywho, as always, we let the kids pick. And as always, they chose the best Charlie Brown tree they could find. This year's winner is pretty small, a little lopsided and a whole lotta scraggly. But, it doesn't matter because the kids love it.


I always imagined I'd be one of those people with the pretty trees that's all matchy-matchy. I'm not. Our tree is a mish-mash smorgasbord of Christmases past and present. Our ornaments range in age from 32 years (Andy's first) to brand spankin' new! Each year our family gets an ornament to represent our year. I had hoped for a Mississippi-shaped ornament, but alas, could not find one. So, we settled on a monster truck ornament and a Cinderella ornament in honor of the two things that dominated most of our year: MONSTER TRUCKS and PRINCESSES.

The kids had a great time decorating. They're favorite part though was hanging the candy canes. There's serious candy cane congestion going on on our tree. Although, I've noticed that each day there seems to be a few less... and my kids seem to have sticky faces. Hmmmm....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gooey Gak

Our goal yesterday was to make marshmallows, but after a quick scan of our cupboards I realized I was missing a major ingredient. Andy had the car so the grocery store was out of the question. With two very disappointed kids on my hands I came up with the next best thing: GAK! Not edible, but super messy. And it provided a great teaching opportunity.

I remember making this stuff in elementary school. It's just corn starch, water and food coloring. Once mixed, it's hard, but when you pick up a lump of it and let it sit in your hands it turns liquid and oozes. The kids were so surprised by this they couldn't stop giggling. During all the playing we talked about solids and liquids. The kids and I had a great time naming something and then determining whether it's a solid or liquid.

I know this Gak stuff looks super messy, but the great thing is it's hard on the table so you just pick it up and put it back in the bowl. Clean up is so easy too. The Gak washed right off their hands (added bonus: the corn starch made them super soft) and quick wipe of the table and you'd never know the mess that had been there minutes before.

This was a HUGE hit with the kids and they've already asked when we can make Gak again. Andy is intrigued by it, so we may have to include Daddy in all the Gak fun next time.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sock Snowmen

I try to do craft projects with the kids a couple of times of week. But this time of year I like to create with them more frequently. Yesterday, we did our first craft of the holiday season making sock snowmen. We have this container in our room full of orphaned socks. We leave them there hoping that one day their match will come back to claim them. Surprisingly, it happens on occasion. But mostly, we just have a box of single socks. So, I dipped into our stash and took out two of Andy's tall white socks. I cut the tube part off the sock then turned the remaining portion (the foot part) inside-out. Then the kids went to town stuffing the socks with filler.

After that the snowmen were big and fluffy we sewed the top shut. I, of course, took care of Jax's for him, but Ava sewed hers all on her own and she did a great job! She gets lots of practice helping me stitch by hand, so I'm not surprised by how thorough she was.

From there, I took thread and wrapped it tightly around the snowman's neck, making a head. We cut the tops of two little socks for the hats, then used buttons for the nose (I let the kids squirt the hot glue on for the eyes). Ava and Jax chose from my collection of fabric scraps for the scarves. I quick stitched on some embroidery floss mouths. Then VOILA! A snowman and a snowwoman. The kids slept with these little creations last night and began playing with them first thing this morning (Ava's, of course, was a damsel in distress, Jax's served as a jump for his monster trucks. Go figure).

Today, we're making homemade marshmallows. Pictures to come.