Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Cookies: a lesson in patience

I am not patient. I am a great teacher’s helper because I can cut things out like a mofo and I’m so good at making copies. I can even sit with kids for 10 minutes at a time and I’m pretty good. But put me in charge of teaching young children to do something or facilitating arts and crafts for a mess of them and I turn into a nightmare.

“Uhhhh, just let me do that.”

“Don’t touch that. Why’d you do that?! That’s not how you’re supposed to do that. Are trees really purple? Uhhh….why don’t you go wash your hands. Also…you have snot coming out of your nose.”

So making Christmas cookies with my children was a lesson in patience and I think I’d give myself a C.

I let them decorate four cookies each and they were the burned ones.

Man, theirs were just messes.

But let’s talk about mine because mine were freaking incredible.


Yep, I did it. I spelled out JOY. That did not define the experience of decorating Christmas cookies with my children, but Joy to the World, man.

Okay, I’m just kidding. I’m 90% kidding. Okay, I’m 60% kidding.

Making cookies with the kids was not as awful as I thought it would be, even though I would still give myself a C grade because I have got to mellow out. Next time, I’ll earn a B. But I’m giving myself extra credit and raising my grade to a C+ because of this:



Worth it.


Snow Magic

Danny is happiest in the snow. Starting after Thanksgiving, he’s checking snow reports for Brundage several times a day. He gets out his snowboard gear, organizes it and gets the kids ready. All of this before the temp here drops below 50. Sometimes when we’re stuck in the valley weekend after weekend, it’s necessary to find the snow.

So that’s what we do.


The kids get bundled up and we head to the mountains. We find ourselves saying things like, “Snow just makes the whole world magical,” and totally meaning it.


Our mission was to get a Christmas tree and not only did we complete that mission, we had time to play and sip hot chocolate and pretend that stress and anxiety and work and hard things don’t exist.

I suckered the kids into some photos, too.


But the Christmas tree, that’s where it’s at. Let me tell you something about our Christmas tree. It’s not full, it doesn’t have a ton of branches to hang lights and ornaments and it’s an odd shape. But it’s my favorite tree we’ve had.



And Charlotte even found one, too.


And what luck we had to wake up this morning to a fresh blanket of the white stuff.

Happy Snow Day!


I felt like this Christmas season was the shortest I’ve ever experienced. Honestly, I feel like it was just a couple weeks ago we had Thanksgiving. It crept up on us for sure, but we enjoyed every second of it.

We started with Christmas Eve at Danny’s parent’s house. His sister was in town with her husband and son so we ate lunch with them and had Christmas after.

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The kids had fun but were so tired. I guess that’s what happens when you get spoiled rotten.

We went home for just a little bit before heading to children’s Mass. Jamie has a hard time in church as do all the girls except Maria. Okay, so basically my kids hate church. After 20 minutes (15 of which was a nativity play that, if I might have an opinion, should have been the homily) my kids were done so I took them to the cry room. That’s where Jamie proceeded to write “SOS” on a piece of paper and hold it up to the big windows facing the congregation in the hopes that a member might see it and come to his rescue, taking him home. It didn’t happen. We were in there for quite a while until church was over and we booked it to my parents where it’s been tradition for as long as I can remember to have burgers as Christmas Eve dinner. We ate and played games and had a nice night.

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Of course, it being Christmas Eve, the kids didn’t get to sleep until 11:30 which meant Danny and I were doing stockings till midnight. It was fine, we usually don’t go to sleep until after that anyway, but we were unusually tired.

Christmas was fun. The kids had a blast, loved everything, and were so happy.

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This is the picture that makes my heart flutter:


Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Christmas Trees and Princesses

Tuesdays are when our routine really starts coming off of the weekend. Jamie and Alice both have school along with Maria, so Charlotte and Mama have all morning to themselves. It’s also a good time for me to get caught up on things.

Like my blog.

On Sunday Danny took the kids (all 3 of the older ones) on a Timber Tramps run in the Blues. Lots of snow, lots of guys in big cruisers and supposedly lots of Christmas tree hunting. Well it turns out that they were having a little too much fun dinking around in the snow to hunt for a Christmas tree. Maria got upset about not having a tree yet (that was kinda the whole point) and the kids were getting a little restless so Danny and the kittens headed back home.

Hay’s Produce had some nice trees.


Of course he should have gone to the All Saint’s Christmas tree sale but he just needed a tree quick and Hay’s was pretty much on the way home.

They did choose a fabulous tree.

We decorated.

[Maria’s favorite]

[my favorite — Maria’s first Christmas.]

The stockings were hung.


Someone please tell my why last year, when I was 4.5 months pregnant with Charlotte, I didn’t buy her a stocking. I didn’t. So this year we have 5 stockings and I am not prepared to order one from Pottery Barn to match our others and pay rush shipping. She can borrow mine this year. Next year, she will have one.

Last night was also my favorite things party, part II. Part I was a trial run party a few months ago. It was a success so I did it again and invited a few more friends. Ooooh it was fun. What made it even more fun:



Hostess gifts. Homemade hostess gifts. I should throw parties more often.

Here are a few of my friends’ favorite things: wine, wine openers, tweezers, lotion, hot cocoa, starbucks, scarves, Mystic Maid cleaning rag (I wanna try it so bad), caramels…..and more. We ate pizza and chatted and exchanged favorite things. It’s nice to get friends together. The kids played and played and ran around like wild boars (I have seen national geographic footage of wild boars and they run crazy all over the place). Jamie got a little too crazy and ended up sporting this to school today:



Poor stinker. He ran into the corner edge of a door, right on his eyebrow. I know about eyebrow injuries because back in the summer of ’02 or so I got several stitches in my eyebrow. Surfing accident. (That sounds way cooler than it actually was, but no one really needs to know that)

Luckily Jamie didn’t need stitches, just a bandaid. He’s pretty tough.

We took Jamie to school today. It’s a busy week for them:


Seriously, how fun?! He’s lucky he gets to do all those fun things — Ms. Megan is fantastic.

After we dropped him off and Alice off at her “school” we went to pick my mom up and go visit my grandpa. He’s up at a nursing home after being in the hospital for a bit. He’s had a rough go of it lately. Makes me sad for him.

After a quick visit we went to Pier One.


They have pretty good stocking stuffers for kids. I grabbed a few of those while my sidekick was good, as always.

[that on her shoulder strap is the remains of a teething biscuit. Mmmmm]

We got home, I wrote out the rest of Jamie’s party invites (they rock):


And then when the little kids got home, we danced and twirled. Because sometimes in the frenzy of life, twirling is necessary.





Tomorrow Uncle Patty comes. And if I’m lucky, I’ll catch a picture of Maria (she’s a quick one…hard to catch 😉 ).

weight checks, christmas cheer and playdates

I got a call last night from Valley Med. I knew it was Valley Med because I have four children and visit the clinic quite often and have their number memorized. Anyway, I picked up right away because I was not expecting them to call — Charlotte had an appointment scheduled for next Thursday. I pick up and a couple seconds go by….then a recording:

“This is a reminder that Charlotte has an appointment tomorrow, December 7th, at 9:20 am. Please arrive 10 minutes early. Thank you.”

First of all, if the appointment is at 9:20 and you want me there 10 minutes early, please just make my appointment for 9:10. Secondly, I wrote her appointment down wrong. Oops. Thank goodness they call for reminders.

I woke up this morning at 6:30am and got ready. Then I woke the kids up and got them in the bath. Out they came, in Charlotte went. It’s so much easier to bathe Charlotte when she’s the only one in the bath. Little helpers are no bueno in the bath.

We amazingly made it out the door by 8:20. Which is just a little bit too late, but not too bad. We dropped Jamie off at school, dropped Ria off, and headed to Valley Med.

Wanna know what Charlotte weighs? 14 lbs 8oz. Yes, it’s true. She gained a full pound since her last appointment! Dr. Ambrosen was thrilled and so was I. Her growth curve is back where it should be and she’s getting fatter and fatter.  Hooray for (almost, getting closer) fat babies!

The other day, Danny spread some Christmas cheer to our neighbors in the form of Christmas lights.


I don’t even think we had lights last year. December got away from us.


But this year….we have lights.


And a wreath.


We’ve been very busy, hence the lack of blogging. We’ve had errands to run, laundry to clean, work to do and robots to make….


Toddler hands, while very sweet and adorable, are not always helpful. Jamie and I discovered this when we needed tape.



But she is definitely cute.


Ah, they all are.

We’ve also been pretty busy with playdates. The kids have played and played and played lately. Which is exactly what kids should be doing. Yesterday, we had a playdate with a friend of mine’s girls.

I took their pictures not long ago and just the other day got their beautiful Christmas card in the mail:


They are all really beautiful. And she wrote little blurbs about each of her kids under/above their pictures in the card. I believe I will borrow that idea for my card. My card which is not yet ordered but will be soon. I hope.

But anyway, the girls came over to play and Maria and Alice were in heaven.


They played and ran and squealed and colored and ate and ran around some more outside.

And this little peacock?


Well as you can obviously tell, he tried desperately to impress them. He followed behind them like a little puppy. He showed off here, showed off there, tried his hand at funny jokes, tried to run really fast and jump really high…but the girls just wanted to play.


Story of Jamie’s life.