Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

The pure joy of opening a Pillow Pet.

The Love Magnet wanted to help everyone open their gifts.

Seriously, she insisted on helping EVERYONE.

Auntie, Uncle, and Cousins came to dinner after which everyone competed on Rock BAnd Wii. I think Thirdborn won.

Relaxing and watching new movies.

Hanging out and enjoying each other's company.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Activities

The annual high schools Christmas choir performance. This year Firstborn was singing in Acapella choir. They were great. It brought back so many memories of high school *mumble-mumble* years ago. Too bad this choir doesn't also sing Hallelujah chorus and O Holy Night with alumni. I'd go up there and sing.

No pics of this, but my stake also had their Christmas fireside. I directed the YM/YW choir in Peace, Peace, Peace and the stake choir in The Hallelujah Chorus. I love my singers - they sounded beautiful. Their singing always starts the Christmas season for me.

We decorated the tree and put up the Christmas village. I'm missing at least three buildings and have no idea what happened to them.

Now the neighbor treats are done, I'm going to make gingerbread and sugar cookie dough for cookie decorating tomorrow. Dinner is simmering on the stove. Fall semester is done so I don't have to stress over studying. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Ultimate, Most Fabulous, Tee-rific, Uber Cool, Awesomest Christmas Gift EVER!

I know it is hard to see behind Mr. Wonderful and Firstborn - that is a helicopter. I decided that a gift of an experience would be great this year. Since Firstborn wants to be a pilot ( of planes, not helicopters, but that might change) I bought them a helicopter tour to see the Christmas lights downtown.
It rocked.
I thought I would be scared silly due to my fear of heights. It was just incredibly cool. We flew around the capitol building, past the historic area, and around downtown. The view was amazing. So worth every cent to see the look on my son's face.
I am now the very cool queen-mom who won't quit patting herself on the back.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coming up for air.....

I'm typing this while laying on the couch. The Love Magnet is snuggled against my side, fast asleep. For once, she isn't snoring. Poor thing, at least her cold seems to be getting better.

I thought that as soon as finals were over, I'd be totally relaxing and posting and baking and shopping and planning, no. Scratch the relaxing part. Other than Mondays epic sleep-in-til-eight-a.m. (which was amazing, thankyouverymuch), I've been uber busy getting together graduate school applications. My Statement of Purpose has been edited (thank you so much, Cousin Anna) and all that is left is making sure the GRE scores and transcripts get to where they need to go.

Baking and treat delivery tomorrow. Wrapping happened this afternoon (I've lost one present already. It can't have gone far since I put everything in my closet and don't bother to hide it).

I prevented Thirdborn from buying handcuffs for The Love Magnet. I knew he would end up handcuffing her to something just to keep her out of his room. Instead, he was very smart and bought her a recorder/tambourine set so she would leave his recorder alone. The Love Magnet bought Secondborn a new wallet to replace the one he lost (it comes with a pocket size pliers/LED light/knife/screwdriver thingamabob that will surely be useful).

I arranged for the most fabulous gift for Mr. Wonderful and Firstborn: a helicopter tour over downtown to see the holiday lights. I figured since Firstborn wants to be a pilot, and Groupon had a fab deal of half off the tour, it would be perfect. Perfect was supposed to happen last Saturday night but was canceled due to weather. Rescheduled for this week. I'm really looking forward to seeing their faces.

I also bought and framed professional pics from Mr. Wonderful's first triathlon. I'm sure he'll be excited to see those. I am so proud of his accomplishments and I wanted the pics to be an ever-present bragging reminder of how cool he is.

The Love Magnet has requested that we make sugar cookies this week. So tomorrow a batch of sugar cookie dough and a batch of gingerbread dough will go into the fridge for Thursday. In the meantime, I have a house to clean. We are hosting Christmas dinner this year. I have new place mats (scored 80% off at Kohls) and a few things to make in advance. Christmas dinner will be ham with a whole mustard and apricot glaze, Grandma S' cranberry sauce, pickles in her cut-glass pickle dish, brie and crackers, hot crab and artichoke dip, and a gingerbread, lemon curd and blackberry trifle along with a place of Christmas cookies. My aunt and uncle will be bringing veg, potatoes, and their famous homemade bread.

Many pics coming up. But right now, my arm is asleep. I've got to figure out how to disentangle myself from The Love Magnet and carry her up to bed.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Extra Happy Birthday News

Secondborn is less than 2 inches away from being taller than Firstborn. Firstborn is not pleased.

Happy Birthday, Secondborn

Secondborn turned 14 today. In honor of his awesomeness, here are 14 fab things about Secondborn:

1. This is my generous kid. He used to spend all of his birthday money buying Christmas presents for his siblings (at least until we gently explained to him that it would be a good thing to spend some of it on himself).

2. Secondborn can get along with ANYONE. That is a rare talent, indeed.

3. We think this kid has all the Maori blood from his ancestors. He has the body type and the darker skin that tans easily. If he doesn't need to shave by the time he goes on his mission at age 19, we'll know he truly has the family Maori blood.

4. Secondborn is going to be a great cook. He loves cooking so much that he took the cooking courses at school long after he filled that requisite. He wants to continue on in high school. He doesn't have a desire to make this his profession, it's just something he loves to do.

5. Secondborn loves basketball even more than he loves cooking. He was on the school team last year and it was fun to cheer him on at his games.

6. He loves reading, particularly Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, and James Dashner. His number one request for birthdays and Christmas gifts is books. (He takes after his mom.)

7. Secondborn still asks his friends to not swear around him. And they are careful to stop. One of them even apologized yesterday the second a cuss word slipped from his lips.

8. He has a quirky sense of humor. Tonight he was making up words to Christmas carols and laughing himself silly. Singing to the tune of It's beginning to look a lot like Chistmas" he sang "You bacon is starting to look quite crispy....". The lyrics didn't get any better, but we had fun laughing about it.

9. He loves the Utah Jazz and quotes stats about them all season.

10. He is his sister's best friend. He reads to The Love Magnet, carries her across icy parking lotsm, picks her up from school, and is her chief chicken noodle soup maker. The Love Magnet often tells everyone how much she loves her big brother.

11. Secondborn discovered girls this year. Unfortunately, his teachers weren't thrilled about it as it affected his schoolwork. Luckily he brought his grades back up and now keeps checking them against mine to see if he gets to pick the family vacay next summer. In the meantime, he now knows that liking girls fine, just don't talk to them during class.

12. He is a smart kid. He has been working on his 8th grade PACE project all year and scoring well with every segment. We're looking forward to his presentation at the end of the year.

13. Secondborn has turned out to be quite the thespian (and I am so proud!) His drama teacher was heaping on the praise during parent teacher conference. Apparently, Secondborn did a project that was stage ready beyond what the other students performed. Secondborn has never performed in front of us. We do get to see him when his class puts on a series of one-act plays in January. I'm so looking forward to that!

14. This kid has a testimony. He is really looking forward to being ordained a teacher tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Snow Day

We got a call at 5:30 a.m. The caller spoke Spanish. Mr. Wonderful thought it was a wrong number, hung up, and went back to sleep.
At 5:45 a.m. we received another call. This time it was in English: our school district superintendent had an automated voice mail sent to everyone announcing schools closed due to weather. I got onto my email and saw the same announcement had been sent in English AND Spanish. So that is what the first call was! My school posted a closure notice, too. Every one of us was excited for real honest-to-goodness SNOW DAY.

The boys trooped outside as soon as they had their bedrooms clean. The shoveled the driveway, threw snowballs to Doggie Girl (she loves to eat snowballs), and then disappeared with their friends to the neighborhood hills for some serious sledding.

The Love Magnet just stayed in her PJs. She doesn't have snow boots yet. She was quite happy to stay on the couch and soak in all the television I would let her. *sigh* I know, I am not winning any mom-of-the-year awards this year.

After lunchtime, the boys trooped in with their friends, drank copious amounts of hot chocolate and ate leftover lasagna, and tore through the house. They played with Thirdborn's new microscope set. Indoor hide-and-seek. Lots of yelling, wrestling, and "not it's".

I made a batch of gingerbread, threw beans and ham hocks in the slow cooker, and kept the hot chocolate maker going all afternoon. The kids left me in peace to finish up a project for my language assessment class, start another one for my aural rehab class, and get a few things done. It was wonderful. My house smells amazing, there are only a few muddy bootprints downstairs, and everyone was entertained all afternoon.

Can we have another snow day tomorrow? Please?