Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year to all

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Christmas 2008

We successfully made it through another Christmas.
The battery on my camera, of course, ran out after just a few pictures so this is all there is.
Katie got a new Barbie house made by Daddy, and some calico critters, along with many other favorites.
Nicholas got a doghouse for Scraper made by Daddy, a batman helicopter and batcave, along with some glowsticks from my cousin that he absolutely loves.
We had a delicious dinner of baked ham, cheese potatoes, and salad. While the kids at leftover spaghetti. Since they insist they don't like ham, I figured leftover spaghetti worked just fine.
We have spent a lovely holiday playing outdoors and enjoying lots of games together.
Although no Christmas cards were sent this year, we did have professional portraits of the kids taken and pictures will be arriving in a mailbox near you very soon.
Be on the lookout!
They are so cute that you might fall over!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ballet Christmas Dance

Since Halloween, Katie's ballet class has been working on a Christmas dance to do for the parents. I think they did an amazing job seeing as half the class was in the Nutcracker this year, which meant that they missed several regular ballet classes for rehearsals. Katie missed the last 2 Thursdays, and then this Tuesday as well, and even with the changes in the dance they all did a great job.

Gingerbread Construction

Every year we help the kids to construct a gingerbread something or other. One year it was a train, and then houses. This year, Katie got a gingerbread house kit as a present, and I bought Nicholas the gingerbread tree at Michael's. They really had a good time making, and tasting their creations.

Katie and her partially finished house. This one was neat since it came with a tray to help build and stabilize the house. But the premixed frosting wasn't as good.

Nicholas and Dad hard at work on his tree. This was super easy. Stacking one star upon the next in order of biggest to smallest. Nick could do most of the work himself. And it was extra tasty too.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Nutcracker 2008

Katie has been practicing for the Nutcracker since the beginning of October. After seeing a school perfomance done by the opposite cast last Thursday, she had her first rehearsal on the actual stage that night. And she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

They practiced once on stage, and then waited for their notes from Ms. Lynnette. Then they practiced a second time, changed out of their costumes and we went and watched most of the second act until after the Gingerchildren were done. By the time we got home, it was very late, but she had really had fun!

The next morning we had to be back at the stage by 7:30 for 2 school performances, which went relatively well. And then another show Saturday night, and another, which we went to see on Sunday afternoon.

Here are a couple pictures of her in costume as a Gingerbread Doll.

Katie and best friend Audrey backstage
Katie and Clara after the show
Katie, the SugarPlum Fairy and her Cavalier after the show

Katie's Birthday #7

The Birthday Girl had a birthday breakfast of homemade waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. Then after Nutcracker practice we met one of her friends at the bowling alley, where she showed us all her bowling skills.

Afterwards, we ended the day with a delicious butterfly birthday cake made in her favorite colors.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Little Turkeys

Does it mean something that nearly a week after Thanksgiving, my children are running around yelling gobble, gobble?

May I add that they are doing this while wearing pieces of paper, cut out as feathers, taped to their fingers.

And that they are using no words other than gobble, gobble to express everything they have to say to each other.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vote Now

It has been a long time since I posted on this topic... but after tonight's show I feel the call.

I encourage all my Dancing with the Stars fanatical friends and family to vote now. Before it is too late. Forget presidents, vice-presidents, bonds, and bills.
Vote for Burke!!! Brooke Burke that is!! She and Derek are cute and fun, and just plain enjoyable to watch. They did so fabulous all season, and then had one bad dance tonight. Everybody has their off day, and hers was just an off moment. I just want to see them dance again, so vote, vote, vote.

Yes, I am a bit obsessed. But how many TV shows these days can actually make you smile??

Friday, November 07, 2008

Quilt Show

I was invited to go with a friend to the Houston Quilt Show last Saturday, so I happily accepted the offer and had a wonderful time. We spent about 7 hours browsing up and down aisles of creativity. I find it absolutely astonishing how many people are so talented.

I ended up purchasing a few things.

First was a set of 5 coordinated flannel prints that I intend to turn into 2 baby rag quilts.

Then there were 2 fabrics that I found to make library bags for my kids. They have both been begging for their own library bags, and I thought these would suit them perfectly.

Then I found this cute quilt pattern that looks very simple. Katie is currently sleeping in a butterfly room with a princess comforter. I have been looking for a cute quilt to make for her room, and this seemed perfect. I am just going to do a little modifying with colors and get rid of the cat.

Then there was the elusive quilt. I saw a quilt that I fell in love with. It was absolutely beautiful and they sold a kit there with the fabrics already in with the pattern, but I wanted to finish walking the aisles to see if there was something I liked more. Not having remembered the aisle that it was in, we wandered up and down all 20 aisles a second and third time looking for the quilt, and couldn't find it. Essentially I went home a little disappointed, until while looking up a design I had liked that I knew the name of, I stumbled upon this. How lucky!!! The quilt I had seen at the show, and the kit at the same price. Of course, I ordered it at once, and can't wait until it arrives.

It was an exhausting but fun day! Now lots of projects to keep me busy.

Better Late Than Never

Seems to be the theme lately. I have been so busy with this, that and the other thing, that I am going to do a catch-all post.

First was Nicholas' birthday. He wanted a letter cake, so this was the final product. It didn't look that great, but tasted delicious. And what 4 year old really cares about the looks of a cake anyway?

Then came Halloween, and my camera must not have had the flash on, since all the cute shots I got were fuzzy. So here is one fuzzy one with Katie as Dorothy and Nicholas as her dog.

And a bonus picture of Katie, since she is so darn cute with all that candy in front of her. Nick couldn't sit still long enough for an after shot.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What To Do??

The question this week is... what do you do with that pesky 4 year old who cannot settle down for a nap, but really, really needs one?

He falls asleep in the car for 2 minutes, but when I try to bring him in asleep and lay him down, he is back up needing to go potty, get a drink, and the usual nonsense. End of nap!!

His behavior is awful in the afternoon and evening with no nap. So now what?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Dad to young son carrying nerf dartgun: "Take your toys upstairs to your room."

Young son whining: "It's too dark!!"

Dad: "That's okay. You've got a gun."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Library Book Bags

The kids have wanted their very own library book bags for some time now, but I wanted to make sure that they had something that was uniquely theirs. I thought about getting canvas bags from Michael's or Hobby Lobby and letting them decorate, but those bags are just so YUCK!!

So today when I saw these plans at one of my favorite blogs, I thought AHA! Perfect.

Soon I will be checking out some fitting fabric and hopefully creating bags for my two book lovers that suit them well.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Link To Elizabeth Foss Site

For some reason my link wasn't working to the Elizabeth Foss Serendipity site so try this one instead.

Then click on any of the letters for the stories.


My children have found a new game that they like to play. While bored in the car or while eating meals, they tell stories. Mostly Katie does the storytelling.

The stories are what they have called "Michael stories". Some of you reading this may be thinking that they have to do with Elizabeth Foss' creation of Mrs. Applebee and Michael stories. These are wonderful stories that go through the alphabet and incorporate the flower fairies and the saints all in one.

Nope. Instead their stories revolve around this Michael. For some reason they are absolutely enchanted by him, and have managed to come up with many (at least 15 or more) stories about Michael and his adventures. I am thinking we will have to write them down for Mikey, so that he will know how much his little friends love him.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Ike and Austin

Ike decided that we needed to take a little vacation to Austin, so while we were there we saw some of the sites.

First up was a trip to Zilker Park, which was really quite nice, but it was a hot day.

The second day was a trip to the Capitol. The kids did really well, through what was I am sure a very boring morning, but they were later rewarded with an afternoon at the pool.

Inside the rotunda.

Daddy and Katie dress up.

Monday we took a trip out to the zoo, which is really just a wildlife sanctuary for rescued animals. Although it was really small, it had some fabulous opportunities to see animals very close. The lions and tigers were really only a few short feet away.

This guy really wanted out, and the kids found him unbelievably funny!

Nicholas' favorite animal. We could have just gone to a farm.

Returning from Austin

We made it back in no time from Austin today to find surprisingly not a whole lot of damage. Damage started far north of the city, but it was here and there. Going through the city we didn't see much other than billboards torn down, and big trees uprooted. Some windows were blown out, but not many. As we got closer to home there was more damage, but still didn't seem to be too severe. More businesses down here are still closed and boarded up, and a lot more trees and fences were down. You could collect enough pinecones from the fir trees to fill a house up.

Our house has really minimal damage. A fence board down. The rest of the fence is wobbly and needs repair, and a piece of siding came off. Everything else is fine.

We also found this little treasure in the backyard. Dinner anyone??

Not exactly sure where he came from. It is possible he was merely lifted from the lake/ retention pond across the street. Or he could have been air lifted from further away. Either way the kids found it fascinating to see a fish in their yard.

And in terms of the other fish...aka Sweetie and Cutie. They managed to survive 72 hours without power, without food for a week. And something like 90 mile an hour winds. We were amazed to see them happily swimming in their tanks on our kitchen island.

Water is safe again. Power is on here. And things are getting back to normal. Ballet starts again on Monday. The school district is out indefinately. Mike is out of work until at least Monday. So we will be continuing our vacation at home.

Oh and the birthday boy, the big one that is, celebrated today with lunch at McDonald's in Hempstead, and we will probably have spaghetti for dinner here. No cake since we don't have grocery stores fully stocked yet, and I don't have eggs to make one. So the full celebration is temporarily postponed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hurricane Ike

We are safe and sound and think our house is too. Hopefully we will have more updates soon. Our city website is telling us to stay away until Monday and that there is no power in areas and water needs to be boiled. We will probably stay here for a few more days, at least until we hear about the power issue.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Living With a Doll

It is official! We are living with a Gingerbread Doll!!

Katie auditioned a couple weeks ago for the Nutcracker with her ballet studio, and got the call on Friday that she had a part.

Saturday we went to the cast meeting, where she got her part, and she is going to be a gingerbread doll. We are currently unsure of exactly what that entails. It is not the ginger children that come out of Mother Ginger's skirt, but rumor is she will be one of the toy dolls that Drosselmeier entertains the children with at the party in the first act. She is very excited as are we.

More details will be coming later as to the dates and times of the shows she will be in. There are 14 performances, of which I believe she does half.

YAY, Katie!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hi Ho Cherry-o Marathon

What is the record for the longest game of Hi Ho Cherry-o??

Today we must have topped it, playing for what must have been a half hour before someone won.

Another One Bites the Dust

Nicholas had a fever with no other symptoms Monday through Wednesday of last weekend, and then it turned into a sore throat kind of coughing. Now he seems fine.

I came down Thursday with a severe headache and by Friday afternoon had the fever and sore throat. The sore throat is still lingering.

Mike started yesterday, with the same sore throat, mild fever.

Yesterday, Katie sneezed all day, and then at night said her head hurt. Today it was a fever of 101.

All 4 up, and all 4 down. Now hoping we haven't passed it on to anyone else.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Being Optimistic

Whoever says there are NO change of seasons in Texas is wrong!

First of all there is the hot season. Weather is sunny and warm, but not intolerable.

Then we have the humid season. This comes after the hot season, making it very hot and humid so that every time you go outside, you come in drenching wet. No need for a shower here.

Then there is our current season...the mosquito season. This comes with hot, humid, rainy weather. It provides for ample time inside with one's family. Don't bother going outside, unless you want to donate a pint of blood. Better yet, just don't go outside and donate your blood to a blood bank where it would actually go to good use.

The final season of course is the nice weather season. This comes with beautiful sunny days, where you can go outside and not feel exhausted, eaten, or drenched.

Since we are in the mosquito season right now, I am looking optimistically towards the nice weather season that comes next.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

After a Long Day at the Water Park

Pictures self-explanatory

More Sea World

Waiting for Shamu

That is one big whale

Nicholas readily fed the hungry sea lions the disgusting fish.

I'm hungry!!!!

Edouard Update

Seems during the night he went a little east of us, which is good news. All is well!

Looks like just a rainy and windy day here in Texas, but since Mike is off, we can spend the day together.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Girl Going Swimming or Weird Sea Creature??

You decide.

Sea World San Antonio 2008

We recently made a trip to San Antonio with some wonderful friends from Illinois. We met them there last Tuesday afternoon, and then drove back to our house in Houston with them following on Thursday night.

On Tuesday Mike and I took the kids to the Children's Museum.

This totally reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

And since blogger won't let me upload any more photos right now, this is all you get.

What Nicholas Does These Days

And some pictures for those of you who can't tell what my son is obsessed with lately.