Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hayden's First Apple Pie

When Hayden was a baby I read the book Catch a Fish, Throw a Ball, Fly a Kite: 21 Timeless Skills Every Child Needs To Know by Jeffrey Lee and thought it was a great idea. Make an Apple Pie is on the list, and Hayden wanted to make a dessert for Thanksgiving.
He helped me pick out the apples and everything. We looked up a recipe and got to work with me as his assistant. I think he would have done it himself except he wasn't a fan of peeling apples.
I think his favorite part was either dumping the apple mix in the pie, or carving his initials in the top. Okay, so maybe it was when Mom forgot to put a pan underneath it, and it bubbled up in the oven and spilled apple juice on the bottom and it started smoking.

The world moves so fast now, the basics are often glossed over. I think of it every now and then, hoping to make it through the list before the kids are in college. We've actually managed to have fun with a lot of them.

Catch a Fish
Fly a Kite
Throw a Ball
Plant a Tree (I'm counting azaela bushes)
Bake Bread
Fly a Kite
Build a Fire
Make a Sand Castle
Play a Blade of Grass
Skip a Stone
Make a Paper Airplane
Do a Magic Trick
Eat with Chopsticks
Build a Wooden Box
Spin a YoYo
Grow a Garden
Make an Apple Pie
Throw a Frisbee
Name the Stars

Monday, November 28, 2011


Uncle Chris brought Sydney to dinner at Grandma & Grandpa's house! I was thrilled to get my baby fix in, and to see how naturally Jeff's brother has settled into fatherhood. Seeing the two of them together was truly beautiful. Chris has always made a point to do things in his life that make him happy, and now it seems happiness is coming to him.

I'm not sure Sydney knew what to make of her crazy cousins. She liked to watch them whirl about, but when they got too insane, she needed Daddy to soothe her nerves.

When she was first born I thought she looked like Grace. When I saw her last night at first I thought she looked just like Staci (Mommy). But as the night wore on I realized...she looks like Sydney. One of a kind.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Annual Santa List

The boys aren't as fun to shop for this year - everything they want has a high price tag. We've been listening to The Secret and The Power in the car while we run errands, so they've decided to use the law of attraction to bring them a fabulous holiday.

I managed to talk them down to some less spendy items, and get them to agree to a playroom clean-out during winter break. If they haven't played with a toy in 6 months, or if I don't think Grace will play with it, it's going to make some kiddo's holiday a little brighter. Or louder, depending on the toy!

Kindle Fire
Nintendo 3DS
TV (this is a big NO from Mom & Dad)
Lego Death Star
Air Hockey Table
Star Wars Lego Sets
Star Wars Action Figures
Wii Points
Nintendo 3DS games (Pokemon Rumble Blast...this is a 3DS game)
Zane DX Ninjago
Kai DX Ninjago
Giant chess set
Super Scribblenauts DS game
Epic Mickey Wii game

Kindle Fire
Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo DS games (Beyblade, Super Scribblenats, Fossil Fighter Champion, How to Train Your Dragon)
Wii games (Skylanders)
Nintendo DS Action Replay
Happy Feet 2
Lego Ninjago
Pokemon Black & White handbook
How To Train Your Dragon book set

dolls, princesses, horses, accessories

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Grammo & PopPop's year to host Thanksgiving, but they ran away to Europe to escape the clean-up. We invited everyone to our place so that we'd have leftovers for the rest of the week. Uncle Matt & Aunt Courtney had the European thing going on, and Uncle Chris & Aunt Staci had to work -- but Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Tim, Uncle Dan & Aunt Christina and Natalie came over to share the holiday with us.

As soon as anyone walked through the door, the boys had to show them the nieghbors tree in the backyard. After that excitment, Uncle Tim dialed in a football game, the girls started playing dress-up and the boys...acted like their crazy selves. 

There was champagne and beer - because Jeff has breathes beer, and I wanted to taste the difference between Proseco and Moscato. I like them both. Huge surprise :) We snacked on cheese and Grandma Doris's clam dip until the mashed potatoes were ready and the turkey sliced.

The girls must have played extra hard, because they both loved Thanksgiving dinner! Of course, half their plate was fruit. Our girls are true sweeties.

After dinner we gave Natalie a pair of puddle stompers - as soon as Grace saw her with them on she had to put on hers too.

Bayley wanted to share the candle he made at Webelos Woods...he did this twisty bendy thing and wanted to know if the candle would burn sideways. Instead, he would up with burning pyramids. Oops!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Watch Out For That Tree!

We had an unexpected and uninvited guest this Thanksgiving. The neighbors tree crashed our yard!

The tree had died and they'd had someone out to get an estimate this summer - we know because the contractor came and told us in case we wanted ours removed at the same time. No thanks, ours are healthy and shady, and with two little blonde children, shade is good.

I guess the tree decided that they they weren't going to cut it, it would do the job itself and went roots up. It's propped up now by our broken fence and the other neighbors shed. Hopefully, everything will be back to how it was by Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Performance

 Grace's preschool had their first performance...but the kiddos weren't into singing. They all wanted to eat pie! And then once they'd had their slice, they wanted to play.
When Jeff came home I asked her to sing the song for him and she said..."No, but Happy Thanksgiving!" She's her own woman.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shake The Glitter Off Your Clothes..

We survived the Las Vegas girls-only weekend! The highlight had to be the Katy Perry concert. AMAZING. Totally worth flying to Las Vegas for.

The staging was mindblowing. One set felt like we were in the middle of a video. Plus, she brought out her grandma so she could dedicate Firework to her. I just love Katy.

We'd booked the cheapest package we could find, which put us on Spirit Airlines. It's cheap up front, because they charge for everything. The plane reminded me of Southwest before they made all their money. I'd fly with them again, especially in the big front seats.

Once we got to Vegas, we had a limo take us down the strip so the Vegas Virgins could get their bearings. Then we had our pic taken at the Welcome To Las Vegas sign. Big Bird was there too. Vegas is full of people in old Halloween costumes you can take your picture with for a dollar.

There were lots of giggles on the trip, like when we explored the wedding chapel, spied the sexy Santas, giggled in bed late night like tweens at a slumber party, and when Tina fell off the moving walkway because she was Facebooking from her phone!

I had fun at the ice bar -- which was more decorated walk-in freezer than the igloo-esque space I was anticipating. And the fur coats and hats were made of Muppet fur. I had to laugh at the entire expereince.

We found some favorite restaurants -- RiRa Irish pub @ Mandalay Place and Sugar Factory @ Paris.

I really liked the helicopter ride. I think I'll try to talk Jeff into it when we go to Hawaii or take the kids to the Grand Canyon. It's such an amazing perspective.

We had a special dinner at Pampas, the Brazillian restaurant @ Planet Hollywood. Somehow, we managed to score a private dining room! Such fun having the servers come in our room with their swords of meat. Definitely a place to go when Gabe-fest comes to Las Vegas.

Madame Tussaud's wax museum was more fun than I expected. and not just because I can say I got in bed with Hef. It was silly fun to pose with the statues. Tina texted a pic with the Will Smith statue to her daughter and she saw through our ruse. Which is probably good...otherwise she'd want to go to Vegas too!

I left my phone in Portland on accident, which really showed me how much I depend on it to stay connected. With Matt in the hospital in India and waiting to hear on a book contract, it was quite frustrating. (Matt is in Budapest and on the mend, I scored the book contract). And it made my ADD rage since I didn't have the distraction to keep me centered. I tried to caffienate, but when I forgot my camera battery on day 2, I knew I actually considered picking up an iTouch so I could let the other girls shop while I tried not to crawl out of my skin! But, I made it through. And next time, I'll triple check that I have the phone with me. And will probably drag the laptop along.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

OMSI Field Trip

The 5th grade let me tag along for their field trip to OMSI - including a planetarium show about the sun. Good thing the lights were out, because I could barely stay awake through it! And then the girls in my group wandered. Chaperone of the year, not!

The kiddos had a great time, though. The group had been in 3rd grade to see an OMNImax film about bugs, and it was fun to see how little they've changed. They still hit the ground running, touching and exploring everything.

BodyWorld is taking up two exhibit spaces, and two labs off limits for private classes, there were some frustrations - but in a good way. They were looking forward to the bugs, the animals, the physics lab...because they like them.

The kiddos are headed to Salem for a tour of the capitol in the spring. I wonder if they'll let me go...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Make Your Own Pizza & Movie Night

Everyone has an opinion...in our house these opinions too often have to do with pizza toppings. Come on, it's pizza! But, to solve the dilemma for my brood of picky pickerton's, we make our own. Even Grace has decided to choose her own toppings.

My grain-free self had pizza stuffed mushrooms. They need some retooling, but it did keep me from reaching for a slice.

Not that there was any left! The boys all at the entire 8-in pizza! Grace came close to them. I have no idea where she put it all.