Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow and Sledding

How could you not love snow? If you don't like snow, you're like the person they talk about in Polar Express--you have ceased to hear the bell ring. There is no more magic and mystery in the world for you. Every time I see snow fall, I can't help but be overcome with joy and wonder. I don't think I could go back to living where there are no seasons, and things are the same all the time.

Our house covered with snow:

Kevin took the kids sledding today. There's a really great sledding hill across the street from our neighborhood.

I am about to have a baby in four weeks, so I opted for a different kind of fun.

The kids after their sledding adventure.
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Christmas Day

This is love. Kevin wore the tie to church on Sunday. Meredith was so proud of her gift to Kevin. The tie plays music, too.

Clara insisted on immediately wearing her gift from Aunt Megan and Uncle Kc.

Kevin's mom made her famous Christmas candy cane coffee cake.

Here is one pregnant barista.

Family gathering for dinner--yummy cranberry pot roast! So festive and delicious.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This is the one Christmas thing we have that I would probably cry over if it broke. It was the first thing I bought, for our first Christmas after we married. And the best part is that I got it at the dollar store! I reminded Kevin (as I love to), that it wasn't even a dollar per figurine. It was a dollar for the whole nativity set. I love it because it reminds me of that first Christmas, in our apartment in Leesburg, VA, that was only 486 square feet. Floods of memories. Of beautiful icicles on the berry-covered tree outside our balcony. Of Kevin studying for finals. Of me trying to learn how to cook something besides tacos. Of packing up and moving to another state, having no clue what the future held. Of not being able to have a tree, because we were moving. But we did have that little nativity set.

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Girls' Christmas Tea Party



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Monday, December 21, 2009

Kid Quotes


I constantly give Clara lectures about not drinking milk that has been sitting out (i.e., the sippy cup got lost for a few hours). One day I said, “Clara, old milk will make you sick.” Her eyes widened and she asked, “Make me killed?”

Clara is so excited about her new baby sister. She loves to talk to her. She presses her lips against my tummy and says things like, “I a big sister” and “Hey baby! When you going come out?!”

While in California last month, we pulled up to a drive through. Clara spotted ice cream on the menu and said, “I like ice cream!” Kevin proceeded to order two tacos. Clara then yelled, “No! I no want two tacos.” She then leaned forward as far as she could in her carseat and screamed, “Hey, LADY!! I no want two tacos!!”

Clara is such a junk food junkie. If we let her, she would only eat sugar. One day I told her, "If all you eat is sugar you will be fat with lots of pimples." She replied, "I like be fat and pimples!"

Kevin took Clara for a daddy/daughter date on Saturday morning. We have been having to discipline her a lot lately and he wanted to give her some extra time and positive attention. He let her pick where to go for breakfast: McDonald's or Starbucks. At first she said "McDonalds." Then after they got in the car she said, "ACTUALLY, Starbucks!"


She recently pulled a sesame seed off her hamburger bun and said, “Oh look mom! Now we can plant hamburgers and grow them in our garden. Let’s save some of these!”

At bedtime, I leaned down and gave her 5-6 kisses. She said, “I’m going to give YOU even more kisses than that. Your face is bigger so I can give you more.”

At a restaurant, I took Meredith with me to the restroom. Behind us there were some dark haired ladies. She said in a loud voice, “Are those Chinese people coming in here too?” In the stall, I quietly told her that it’s not nice to talk about where people are from in front of them. She meekly replied, “I’m little and I just don’t know very much yet, do I?”

More Christmas ...

What a crazy, wonderful weekend. We got some beautiful snow and Kevin took the girls sledding, which was probably the highlight of their weekend. I went to two cookie exchanges! Lots of sugar and lots of fun! Kevin and I went to a great performance of Handel's Messiah, and then to a Christmas open house. I am definitely in the Christmas mood after all these celebrations.

Here are two pictures from last week.

I had so much fun taking Meredith to the dollar store and letting her pick out her own Christmas presents. She wanted to buy presents for all the people of the world but I told her to think about who she would actually see on Christmas day and buy for them. She had the best time figuring out what to get each person. And, of course, she wanted to wrap all the gifts by herself and make the tags herself too.

My grandma always made Pecan Peanut Brittle every year for Christmas when I was a child/teenager. So I thought I'd make her recipe this year and share it with our neighbors. Yum! I need to carry on this annual tradition.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Daddy Time

We're so glad we are seeing more of Kevin lately! The poor guy has been working A. Lot. Understatement. We had a belated birthday dinner for him on Sunday afternoon. Here he is with the creme brulee torch and then horsing around with the kids. (Meredith is a true dare devil, thrill-seeking girl. The higher, the better.) We love our daddy.




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Christmas Fun

We started something that I think will be a tradition because it was so fun--looking at Christmas lights in our pajamas. We got the kids in their jammies and then I got mine on too. Kevin was like, "Adults have to wear pajamas too?" And I said, "YES." (Just pray when you're out, you don't have to suddenly use the bathroom.) Then we came home, made kettle corn, and watched a Christmas movie with the kids. They loved it. And I loved it just as much.

Indianapolis has a really great "12 Free Days of Christmas" where local museums and other attractions are free. Today we went to the Oldfields Mansion where Meredith was so excited to count seven fireplaces! The girls loved seeing it all decorated. It was great to talk with them about what it might have been like to live in another time period, and of course be very rich!

We've also been to see Santa, and to the Yule Slide, at the Children's Museum several times. Clara recently prayed, "Dear God, thank you for mommy, for daddy, and for Santa Claus." Hmmmm. We have taught our children that St. Nicholas was someone who lived a long time ago and was very kind and gave gifts to the poor. We sing Santa songs and play pretend Santa, "just for fun" and not because he is currently alive. Today at a library class Meredith told a little boy that "Santa is dead" and he started crying to his mom. She had been oblivious to the fact that many other children have a different understanding of Santa. I had a talk with her in the car about sensitivity toward other people's practices. But what do you do?

Last weekend we went to the BEST library program ever. It was all about "The Polar Express." The kids wore their jammies, got their train tickets and a bell to wear around their necks, boarded the train, and then they were read the story. Afterward was a fun Christmas party. The local children's librarians are simply amazing. They are such dedicated, creative, fun people. We try to go to as many of these (free!) programs as possible.








The kids get a prize for finding a bunch of objects in this village (e.g., girl with cocoa, orange cat, garbage cans, Starbucks stand, etc.) and then crossing them off a list. Meredith especially enjoyed the hunt:

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Looking a little more like Christmas ...

The tree is still not fully decorated. It's been very, very, very busy around here with Kevin working a ton of hours and me being one very tired pregnant momma (recently diagnosed as anemic). So, I'm trying to just be easy-going about the fact that the house is not looking the way I want it to look yet. And, truthfully, many of the decorations will probably stay in the box this year.

But here are a few snapshots of our attempts to bring Christmas cheer to our home!

We got a tree. We chose the most freezing night to go out and get it!

Kevin's hands went numb trying to load it on top of our car.

And here are some lights Kevin strung up on our house. And he got a timer so they automatically go on at dusk and stay on for six hours. There are a lot of lights in our neighborhood. I love seeing all the Christmas spirit!
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Endearing Clara

Here's a picture of my sweet Clara. She is so funny these days. Two is not terrible, it's terrific. (Three is harder, I think.) Anyway, someday (soon!) I'm going to post a host of quotes by Clara. She is talking up a storm these days and often loves sharing a piece of her mind with you.

This picture was taken in California. She adored my sister's dog, Alley. I asked her if Alley liked her. She said, "Yes." Then I asked her if everyone likes her. She said, "Yes. I have lotsa friends."

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First Snow

We woke up to snow on Monday morning! Everyone was surprised. But that’s just how I like it. I love being surprised by that first snow, waking up to a world that is covered with a blanket of white.

Of course, the girls had to play in it as soon as possible and so we got their snowsuits on after breakfast. Meredith has these amazing gloves that my mom found that go up past her elbows. Her hands always stay nice and warm and dry. I need to find a second pair for Clara. It really makes a difference. Meredith would have stayed out there playing all day. Clara was done after about 20 minutes because the snow kept getting inside her gloves.




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The Ballerina

Meredith has just completed her second semester of ballet. She pretty much loves it. She practices all the time and teaches Clara the various moves too. Clara loves to remind us that on “July 22” (her birthday), she will be old enough for ballet too.

Anyway, we went to The Nutcracker Ballet with Meredith over the weekend. She seemed like such a young lady. She sat through the whole performance, mesmerized by the dancers. It was so fun! Here she is, all dressed up and ready to attend her first ballet performance.



Meredith, at her class this week:

Here is Clara who, surprisingly, was quite thrilled to stay home and have the babysitter all to herself!! We have a really fun babysitter who is still young enough to enjoy playing with the kids.

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