Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

We usually decorate the 1st Saturday in December. But did you know there are only 4 of them left this year?....Saturdays, that is!
Super bonus, the earlier you buy your tree, the better selection you have! I know first-hand. Remember the year Dad thought it would be a good idea to wait until Christmas Eve to buy the tree??? We ended up with 3 table top trees tied together, top to bottom! Ahhh, the memories.
This year our tree is so fresh, and smells SOOOOO good. Chris said the guy at the lot said they just came in on Wednesday. I'm not one who could ever do the artificial tree route, I love the smell of a real tree way too much. Not as convenient, I know, but worth it to me.
It takes all day to clean, straighten, move furniture and set everything up. When it is done, we REALLY enjoy relaxing and enjoying the tree. One of the traditions on my side of the family that we really enjoy is the ornament exchange. Each year every one of my siblings' families (7 of us) and my parents send an ornament (sometimes homemade, othertimes not, depending on how busy the family happens to be that year). It is so wonderful to remember the loved ones who sent the ornaments as we decorate the tree, and the memories associated. Hey Clines, remember the Davises' Big Ash Crack of 2003? LOL! We love ya!
We are so glad the holiday season is here. Hope all of you are enjoying the sweet feelings that wash over us as we remember Christ. Merry Christmas!

My Foray into Black Friday

Wow, a whole world has been existing under my nose that I never knew about. The crazy, I'll get up at 3:30 am to get a deal, world. I am not one who would camp outside for a deal, but I was ready for a new experience, and was up to an early morning.

My friend Liz is more experienced and told me that we must have a game plan. She came over TG night and we mapped out the plan over ads and made our lists. One thing we knew, to be successful you have to work as a team. Someone to wait in the line, someone to grab the hot deals. We knew our chances of success depended on timing and sheer luck....and on most counts we were dang lucky! We were at WalMart at 4am and finished up our shopping marathon around 11am after visting about 8 stores.

I'm all set for Christmas AND both of my girl's birthdays now. I even scored super hot gongas on some items I'd already purchased for Christmas, that will be returned with old receipts next week. Cha-ching!

It did take a couple of nights but I'm caught back up on sleep with no napping required, and I think I might just attempt this next year too....if I find a willing partner, that is :)...

Stuffed like a Turkey

Check out these distended bellies. I'd say they've had enough to eat! As we went around the table we heard lots of, "I'm thankful for good food to eat!"
We had a nice Thanksgiving with our little family and "one big fat turkey" that Gunnar helped me pick out. His one stipulation? "It has to be bigger than Dad's head." I don't know where he came up with that one. The other must for TG from Gunnar was Grandpa Cline's green jello with pears and marashino cherries! He's got some really specific ideas, this one.
Sydney loved all the hoopla, her favorite part of the whole day? You guess.....yep, the olives!
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and spent some time counting your blessings! I did, and I ran out of fingers and toes!!

At the carwash, yeah

I happened to have my camera in the car late one night after the grocery store, when we decided to run through the carwash. It is ridiculous how much enjoyment my kids get out of a visit to the carwash. It is so worth it on so many levels. Just had to share these cute expressions.

A Tale of Two Parties

It was the best of times, it was the best of times!! Gunnar had the occasion to attend 2 birthday parties back to back! He has never been invited to a friend's party before, and I guess, when it rains, it pours.
The first was a rock climbing party, and a parent was needed to belee each climber. Dad was away at the Stanford/Cal game that weekend, so the girls were left with a sitter and Gunnar and Mom had some one on one time. Always a good thing! We had a great time and learned alot about a sport neither of us had been exposed to. His friend, the birthday boy, was SO excited when he got there, it made him feel great. We are both quite fond of Indiana Erik! He's a great friend and we had such a good time at his birthday.
Once we were done climbing the walls, we headed home to relieve the sitter (who had done hair and mani/pedis on the girls :) ) and take Savannah to dance. Directly after that, we ran Gunnar to party #2 with Sam, where he would enter Jedi training. His cute Mom had her hair done Princess Leah style (I'm bummed I didn't have my camera on me for that one) and 7-8 cute little Jedis-in-training in outfits she had sewn herself. I don't know how I'm ever going to compete with these creative parties come March, I'm telling you!!
Gunnar had a great time, and came home on a sugar high from all the cake and treats! I'm so glad he's making good friends at school, we have been a bit concerned about how girl-heavy our little neighborhood is and we're relieved that his world is expanding. He is great at being a friend and it's nice to see the results of that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Savi post

Some of Savannah's recent creative products. Earrings for her teacher's birthday, and play-doh guy.
Savannah is such a great kid! She is happy, responsible, helpful, obedient, and only occasionally does she like to terrorize her brother and sister. Her teachers would never believe that last part, because at school she is all about being quiet and doing her work.

Says her teacher at our recent parent teacher conference, as we're looking at her PERFECT report card..."So, are you aware that she is the perfect child, or are all your kids like this?" No, really, I'm aware.
So, Wednesday night when Savi was complaining that her tummy didn't feel good and she didn't think she'd be going to school in the morning, I should've seen the red flag. I didn't though, I just said, "Let's see how you're doing in the morning."

Fast forward 2 hours, Savi comes into my room just as I've settled into bed. "Mom, I threw up." Ughhhhhhh. Thinking to myself, WHY didn't I just give her a bowl, just in case? There's a lot of it. It's chunky, and smelly. It's on her jammies, and blankets, and sheets, and CARPET!!! Yuck. Best plan of attack? Get her changed, on the couch with a clean blanket AND A BOWL. Gather dirty linens and start washer. Metal spatula all gook off carpet into plastic bag. Steam clean carpet FOREVER. New linens, Savi back in bed WITH BOWL. She puked 2 more times, and got it all in the bowl. Yay, so much easier that way.
Can you believe Sydney slept through ALL of this in the same room?? Angel baby.
So Savi DID stay home from school. She actually stayed on the couch until 4pm where she colored and watched the new American Girl movie, drank gingerale and nibbled crackers. She's a pretty good sick kid.
But I'm SO GLAD she is better today and back to her happy, creative, playful self!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's My Life

25 Years ago I:*loved babies and couldn't be in a room with a real live one for 2 minutes before it was in my arms*played Pioneers in the Pogue's backyard every Saturday, where we picked berries and mushed them and added sugar and water before we slurped them all up*played GI Joe and Smurfs with the boy across the street*thought break dancing was THE coolest thing ever*played centipede and ms pacman on the atari*really wanted to skateboard on that half pipe with all the older boys*was almost kidnapped for the 2nd time in Kmart

20 Years ago I:*started babysitting and fell in love with a newborn Austin Hunter when I got to feed him his first bottle, seriously, I felt honored when the kid spit up on me, he was THAT precious*went to girl's camp for the first time and got a white mouse from my secret sister, my Mom was thrilled when it died within 12 hours - we never had to take it home*started middle school and was flummuxed by all the hand-holding and going-around couples...weirdos*was thrilled when my brothers went in on a Nintendo so we could all play Mario Bros*was stalked by a flasher (with my BFF) when walking to the bus stop or drug store for candy runs...I must've had a sign on my forehead that said, please, kidnap me!

15 Years ago I:*went to EFY and hung out with my big sister K at BYU and really began our friendship*was so excited to finally get my drivers license, all my friends remember my silver VW bug and listening to Beastie Boys because the tape got stuck in the player*worked for my BFFs parents at their yogurt shop AND mexican restaurant*attended 6 am seminary training every weekday, I think I'm still catching up on the sleep I missed

13 Years ago I:*bought a pager*went to The Edge to dance with my friends on Friday nights*worked at the Gap, as a Bank Teller and as a photographer AND went to school at the same time*almost gave my parents a heart attack with all the worrying they were doing about where I might be at 3am*moved out of my parents house because I had their car but only came home to shower and change, and interestingly enough, that wasn't working out for them*met and became best friends with the man that would become my husband within the next 16 months

8 Years ago I:*became a Mom when Savannah joined our family*lived in a Condo that I loved, right across the street was TJ Maxx ...dangerous!*worked as a Sales Recruiter at XO Communications and had a wonderful boss who finally appreciated me and made me feel exceptionally good at what I did

5 years ago I: *moved into a big suburban house to accomodate a growing family*gave birth to my 1 and only son*quit my paying job and became a full fledged SAHM to 2 rowdy munchkins

3 years ago I: *obtained a passport and actually used it!*traveled to Costa Rica for 9 days with my sweetheart for celebrate our 10 year anniversary (albeit a few months early)*discovered all the things we fell in love with about each other are still there, much to our delight and relief*became pregnant with our 3rd child, a daughter*finally caved and traded in the Outback for a Minivan*joined a book club and rediscoved the joy of literature

1 year ago I: *went to Disneyland for the first time with all the kids*became a soccer Mom*had 1 child in preschool and 1 in first grade, and some free time with my baby*started beading, one of my only full fledged hobbies*had my parents join us for Christmas at our house, it was wonderful

5 months ago I*drove to CA by myself with the kids to visit my parents and siblings, so they can get to know their cousins better....this was actually our 3rd annual trip* went camping 2x

3 months ago I: *spent time with my parents and siblings in SoCal, first time in years both of my sisters and I have been in the same place at the same time, yes, we took pictures!

Last month I: *wore a skeleton shirt with a beating heart as my Halloween costume*joined facebook and reconnected with my long lost BFF from high school

Last week I: *spent the weekend in St George and hiking in Zion National park

Yesterday I:*raked and bagged mucho leaves, planted pansies, sliced my finger deeply on a garden tool and am still nursing it*did laundry so Chris would be ready to travel*made Hungarian Goulash and Spaetzle for dinner in a crock-pot that turned out DIVINE

Today I: *enjoyed my children singing during their Primary Program in Sacrament meeting*dressed all the kids extra cute and astonished myself at just how beautiful they are (really!)*talked to my hubby on the phone*made play dough for Savi's 2nd grade class so they can make Indian Bead necklaces this week*made home made pizza for dinner*survived a day that Sydney didn't take a nap

Tomorrow I will: *call my partner to set up visiting teaching*take my kids to the library*vacuum the house*make sure Sydney takes a nap

Next year I will: *watch Savannah be baptized and get her ears pierced*go to CA for a Cline family reunion*have 2 kids in school ALL DAY and really be productive with only 1 sidekick*visit my sister's family in AZ if it kills me.

Now I tag:

Girly Girly Girl

This Sydney of mine is so funny! Her personality is in Full Speed Ahead mode.
Last night about 10:30 as I am feeling ready for bed, SHE, decidedly, is not, and brings me some shiny pink nail polish and asks, "Pretty Toes?"
I figure I may as well, since I'm not getting anything else done.. So we paint the toenails and blow on them for a minute so the carpet doesn't end up that pretty pepto shade. THEN, she asks, "Pretty Fingers?" Oh, I guess so.
I don't know, but it seems she's pretty young for all this, not quite 2. Yet, she sits still, so why not? THIS I do know. She is going to be one high maintenance young lady when she is a teenager. I can feel it coming on, and it's freakin' me out.
Look at how she hams it up for the camera. Dangerous.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Snapfish extension!

Due to the amazing popularity of our free book offer, we've extended the time you have to create your free book to 11:59pm PST on Saturday, November 22nd.
The site is experiencing intermittent slowness and customer service wait times are very long. We apologize for this inconvenience.
The best time to create your book is on weekdays in the morning or early afternoon.

More time to perfect the book, sweet!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Freebie Alert!!

Get a free Snapfish Custom Photobook here. It's worth $30, but YOU have to cover shipping costs. Totally worth it in IMO.
I think I may do an art book of Savannah's best pieces....or maybe a "year in pictures"...or a book full of pics of my kids as babies....oh, so many options!!

Offer only good until 11:59 pm TOMORROW NIGHT, Friday! They will give you until Sunday at 11:59 pm to complete your book though.

Gunnar's Hero his Kindergarten teacher. Anyone who has had the misfortune to give my kids Play-Doh as a gift, or mention what a great toy it is, knows that I DETEST the stuff. Early on in the child rearing process, I too, was sucked in. Kids have to have Play-Doh, it's a classic toy! Until it became ground into my carpets and tracked across my floors. My friends would tell me, just buy a dollar store shower curtain and put that on the floor and they can go to town. Not so, my kids do not contain their play about a year ago, I declared, "THERE WILL BE NO PLAY DOH IN MY HOUSE!"
Enter, Parent Teacher Conferences. Gunnar loves school. He is learning to write. He recognizes most of the letters but is having a hard time writing them the correct size, you know, between the dotted lines.
Mrs. H tells me that G can work on this by increasing his fine motor skills.
Me - Oh really? How could I help him to do that?
Mrs. H - Play-Doh.
Mrs. H - Have him roll a certain number of balls for you, that will also help with counting. Or have him roll it into snakes, etc. The more he does it the better his writing will become.
Me - Oh, is that all I need to do? (Screaming inside)
So, as we rolled back into town from our trip to Zion, I dutifully gathered my troops and took them to the local Wally's World to pick out 3 colors each at .62 a pop. Not bad, but I'm still dreading what lies ahead.
The rules were laid out. No leaving the table! Only plastic Ikea knives are to be used for cutting....only on plastic placemats! No mixing colors!
I was pleasantly surprised. The kids played for hours, happily, peacefully. They did not mix colors. The did not even drop much of it on the floors. They were content....and careful. They do not want Play-Doh rights stripped again. Let's see if it REALLY helps the handwriting. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gobble gobble!!

I'm going to go out and get my supplies for this cute craft tomorrow. What a fun idea to get your kids thinking about all they have been blessed with.
We have so much to be grateful for!

If you want to craft a cute gratitude turkey for your house too, see here.

Time in Zion

The kids had Parent Teacher Conferences last week. Which meant, no school Friday....and Chris had Tuesday off for Veteran's Day, being a government employee :)... So we took the opportunity as an excuse to cruise south to St George and Zion National Park. Chris and I have been, of course. The kids have not. Perfect opportunity. It was a fun weekend of hiking, picnicing, playing, eating dinner out (I'm sure this was the highlight for the kids, as much as they love an excuse to eat out) and being together.
They had a blast on the trails, and the backdrop was absolutely breathtaking. We took alot of scenic shots. It was also a great time of year to go! In the past we have been in May and July and the temps were very warm to say the least. This time we had a gorgeous day the 1st day, temps in the 60s and drizzle and 40-50s the next. But it was wonderful hiking and exploring weather. We're thinking when the kids are a bit older we'll brave the Narrows again. Chris and I did that PK (pre-kids) and it was incredible. Another hike that we'll have to wait on for LATER ON (when the kids aren't bound to run off an edge) is Angel's Landing. It's pretty strenuous and has a segment where there are steep cliffs on both sides of the trail. Folks have fallen and died from that trail in the past. I hear it's pretty amazing though. Maybe a few trips down the road!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Miss Chevious

I had a bad feeling as I was getting out of the shower this morning. Once a few weeks back, I had the same feeling and as I was drying off. I listened closely to what was happening in the house and I heard Sydney crying through what sounded like a closed door. So, I wrapped the towel around me and hurried downstairs to look for her. She was in the office, behind the closed door and looked like she had been crying for at least 10 minutes....she was pretty hysterical because she couldn't get the door opened from the inside and she was trapped with nobody coming to her rescue. So, thinking that maybe this happened again, I hurried down the stairs, in my towel.

She was in the office, all right. But she was far from hysterical, she was happy as a clam. She was standing on the desk, and this is what was next to her...

She had plucked quite a few keys from her Daddy's laptop, and I'm sure she would've continued to do so until they were all taken off. She had no idea that this was a bad thing, I think she thought it was some kind of puzzle. I gave her a swat on her bottom and told her it was naughty and she needed to say sorry. She got really sad once she figured it out, she doesn't like when Mommy is disappointed with her. She kisses me and says the sweetest little sorry you can imagine.

She is really getting to the age where she is making all kinds of trouble though. Last week she shampooed my carpets and the couch with sunblock, before that she took a red marker to the downstairs loveseat (it was washable, thank goodness!). I think I may have to start a regular thread called "The Adventures of Miss Chevious".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Leaves, glorious leaves!

The last week or two the kids have been spending the majority of their free time in the yard....raking leaves.
It seemed insane to me, but then I started spying on them. They would rake them into a pile and then jump in them, roll in them, toss them over their heads and then start over again! It's been nice and warm, so it's been the perfect past time.
This weekend we raked all the leaves that were on the grass, the trees were only half way done dropping them and we knew we would have to do it again in a few weeks. We bagged up about 10 jumbo sized leaf bags, so there were no more leaves to jump in. Lo and behold, a nice big front moved in that very night preceeded by monster winds that split one of our neighbor's beautiful pear trees down the middle. (Sorry, Liz!)
Whaaaa-laaa, more leaves to rake, except now they're under rain and snow...maybe they'll get some more play in after a few days once things dry out a little.
I never guessed that something I used to look at as a necessary annual chore day would become weeks of much anticipated play! Always a silver lining, I tell ya!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hope your's was SpOoKy Too!

Sydney as Fifi. She LOVES doggies, so this was perfect for her. When we went trick-or-treating she would say, "I'm Fifi!" to the person at the door. Sometimes she would say trick or treat too, but it kind of sounded the same to everyone but me! She loved it, and was so excited about all the candy. She has a serious sweet tooth.
All dressed up for the school parade and Halloween parties at school. Gunnar was a little bummed he couldn't bring his daggers and ninja sword, but he got over it.
Sydney's first year carving, she got in some good jabs. We finally got wise this year and carved our pumpkins on Halloween EVE, that way we're not totally stressed trying to get it done before or after dinner and doing the mad costume rush before the trick-or-treating starts.. Good plan. I'm surprised it took me so long to figure that out. Gosh.
The pumpkins were extra fun this year!
Cyclops (Gunnar), Egyptian (Me and Sydney), Scarecrow (Savi), and scariest of all - DOW 5000 (guess who)!!
Chris wanted to dress up as a Naked Short Seller this year. Sadly we didn't have anything flesh colored on hand, and we didn't want to totally freak out our neighbors, so it was just the kids who ended up in costume.
Halloween night. Dinner, check. Costumes, check. Rain??? Well, at least it's warm.
It was 65 degrees, but drizzling. We decided we would brave it, and it wasn't too bad at all. The kids went door to door, RUNNING. Dad tried to keep up with them. Mom and Sydney were doing almost every other door, the big kids we so quick and we were hardly keeping up. We are so lucky to live in such a great area. There were tons of kids and families out in force. We never got trick-or-treaters at our last we know how rare it can be these days. We lasted about an hour, and then Gunnar said his bag was too heavy and he was ready to go home. Never thought I'd hear that from him! When we got back it was only 8 pm so we let the kids hand out candy to all the door knockers, and I made popcorn so that they would have something to mix with all the sugar they were ingesting!
We had a wonderful time and built some good memories. Hope your Halloween was as happy as ours.