Thursday, December 31, 2009

the last of 2009

I have to post the last of 2009's Christmas before we welcome 2010. McKay has wanted (and waited patiently) for a DS for a little over a year now. I wouldn't ever buy one but she finally got one for Christmas. That wasn't all. McKay has a fascination for otters. She absolutely LOVES them. On her list was a build-a-bear otter so that is what we got her. So while she is trying to beat Kirby, she is loving Molly.

P.S. I've got a New Year's Resolution list going in my head. I've also got a bet going with Jacob on one thing (if I accept). We'll see come midnight!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a chalk board and a white board!

Katanya was so excited all Christmas season. Each day she asked when Christmas was coming. She also grasped the concept of Santa and being good. In fact, one evening a friend stopped by as Santa and he asked if she had been good and if he should bring presents. She answered, "No, not today. (She had just thrown her controller at Cruz's head. Gotta give her points for being honest.) She has loved her "chalk board and white board. (I just realized that Santa has followed Hazel's gifting patterns.) Katanya is also always toting her Tinkerbell doll from her aunt with the movie from grandma. She must be a pixie girl!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kirsten and Eva

One of Kirsten's present was a (target made) American Doll. She had to make her a name necklace to go with the one she made at the beach. When she gets busy and has something to do, she makes sure that either Dad or I are watching her and holding her. It was funny and I even did a double take when I saw Jacob carry a doll around last night. I love the fact that the kids are still playing and being nice today.

final product

We have had a GREAT and Merry Christmas this year at home. The kids played from a little past 8 this morning to almost midnight tonight. I'll bring a few highlights over the next couple days.
Jacob and I finished Cruz's "Idaho Falls City Map" late last night. We sprayed the acrylic coating on a little before midnight. I got up at 6 am and quickly wrapped it and put it under the tree. It was from Jacob and I but he had been waiting so patiently to see his presents under the tree. This was a week long project and I don't think that you could pay me to do another one, (at least anytime soon.) We drove around the town earlier in the week and took pictures of the buildings I wanted on the map. I wanted it as personal as we could get. Cruz loved it with all the "match box" cars that he got with it to go with the city. We even added our "pit" and equipment to the fun as well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

not a creature was stirring ...

... not even a mouse

... not even the one with a pierced ear.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sneak Peak

Here is a sneak peak when we started on Sunday evening with Cruz's present. I knew what I wanted but I have a hard time putting it to paper but luckily I have a talented and "visionary" husband. Together we have stayed up late the past three nights and worked on this (as well as I have shut myself in my room and worked on it yesterday.) If you look at the time stamp, that is correct and not fixed. One more night and it will be done. Hopefully I can just make it that far.

I'm so excited to see Cruz's face when he opens it. Although, I don't know which kid will like it more. As I sat in my room tonight drawing, McKay ran to Cruz's toys and started playing with it. I guess I know what to get her for her birthday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

kitchen completion

Jacob finally finished the bar stools yesterday. Or rather, started and completed this project yesterday. It was a lot simpler than he had planned on it being. Just to give you a little hint on how long we've been waiting, the color of the chairs was the whole reason I repainted my kitchen back in January of 2008. I love my house!
So now that we have extra seats for eating and plenty of extra beds, there is always room for holiday visitors!?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

McKay's first Christmas....

at home. McKay is excited this year to finally be able to spend Christmas at home (the first for this home.) The last time she spent Christmas at home was in 2003 (below). Every other year she goes to her other dad's.In 2005 we were in Hawaii (no complaints) a couple weeks before and with Betsy for Christmas.
In 2007 we spent Christmas and New Year's with Betsy again!
This year we have decided to stay at home and the kids can't wait.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best Minestrone Soup

I should have gotten a picture. This soup was THAT good. It's my new favorite (and it's rather simple). It's from McKay's grandma, Merilyn. Here recipes have always been favorites such as Linda Brown Tacos (which Nate renamed to Amy's Famous Tacos). She tried to recreate Olive Garden's version and I think she beat it. Anyway she gave me permission to share so ENJOY!

2-3 TBSP Olive Oil
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup zucchini, julienne sliced
1 stalk celery, minced
2 tsp. crushed garlic (jar in produce section)
4 Cans of Vegetable or Chicken Broth (2 boxes)
1 (14.5 oz.) can of Italian Green Beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans of Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can of Great Northern or White Beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz.) can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can of Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup shredded carrots (you can buy a bag of shredded carrots in the produce section too)
1/2 - 1 tsp. Parsley
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp. Basil
4 Cups of Hot water
2 Cups Chopped Cabbage
1/2 Cup small Seashell Pasta (it doesn't seem like a lot but....Don't put more!)
****you can also add spinach if desired.

Heat Olive Oil in 10qt. stock pot. Saute onion, zucchini, celery, and garlic in the oil until the onions begin to turn translucent. (I threw my onion and celery in the food processor to mince them. My kids couldn't even tell they were in it.) Add broth, beans, tomatoes, carrots, spices and water. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Add cabbage and pasta and cook for another 20 minutes or until desired soupy thickness. Serve with real grated Parmesan cheese on top. (She sometimes add stew meat to this. Brow and cook (braise) for about 1 hour before adding.

***BONUS****Today I cooked a roast during church and then when I got home I shredded it and added it on the last step.

It was simply DELICIOUS! Katanya and Cruz loved it and ate every bite in their bowl. McKay asked to take some for her lunch at school and I'm already looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 ornament

This year for our "yearly traditional" ornament we decided to go with our visit to Betsy's house in Texas. Near the end of June we traveled out there for a month and stayed with her and her family. It was a fun and memorable experience. We always love spending time with family. (I'm also wishing that we were in Texas right about now out of the cold and snow.)

I still have yet to do a family picture, but I have everything ready. Now that Jake is out of school for the year (2 weeks) I just need snow and one good weathered day. I won't go a year without one so here's crossing my fingers.

P.S. I never cleared the confusion from last year. I only pictured the ornament with the family picture and no description. Since it was a secret until the year was up, I couldn't say anything. It was a glass diamond with a book on it to celebrate Jacob going back to college.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It is so nice to get out of bed on a cold morning and open the fireplace.

Monday, December 07, 2009

christmas decorations

As I got out the Christmas decorations I noticed something odd in Cruz's bedroom. Does any other kids out there do this? And yes, the bag is almost half full still.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

under lock and key

Kirsten and McKay share a huge bedroom. In that bedroom they share a TV that they got for Christmas last year. Last Tuesday night, McKay came up asking if I had seen the remote. Nope. Later in the evening Kirsten was watching a Christmas show when I asked her to go shower. McKay came up 5 minutes later and asked again where the remote was. She then accused Kirsten of locking it in her safe.

I went downstairs and checked and sure enough she had tucked it in a safe place. What a smart girl. She was in the middle of her show, paused it, and didn't want anyone else to start it without her. (We love our DVR.) I chuckled, snapped a pic, and left it locked up.

I love Kirsten's thinking sometimes. Besides, sisters do this all the time right?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Back from vacation

(I'm behind on blogging. Actually not behind but more like unmotivated. Being sick and being in freezing single digits can bring one down. Hopefully, I can update my header very soon. I am still also in dire need of a family picture as it goes with my Christmas tree tradition. )

For Thanksgiving we ended up spending it with my family. We had lots of options and we honestly didn't decide our plans for certain until the weekend before. I hadn't been there for my dad's birthday since the year we got married so that played heavily into the planning. And while loved seeing Erika (and fam), Karl, and Maddy, we missed Betsy in Vegas.Whenever someone in my family has a baby, my dad says he won't hold or play with them until their two. I guess I'm just more pushy than my brother because I have pictures within 2 days to 2 months of him holding all of my babies. With Olivia, it took almost 5 months. Maybe my dad is just getting more stubborn in his age.

It was fun to spend Thanksgiving and his 69th birthday.