Saturday, January 9, 2010

The New View

Over the past few weeks we have been pretty busy packing and unpacking boxes yet again. We do not intend to make this a yearly occurrence, moving around New Years, but we found ourselves relocating, this time to a bigger and better HOUSE.

We are now in a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house with a HUGE (unfinished) backyard where the kids (and hubs) can do things like this..... and this.....
and find shiny rocks like this.....
and ride their scooters around on the large patio like this.... (and doesn't everyone have a tractor and trailer in the middle of their backyard?)
The yard is obviously a work in progress but the inside was ready for us to move-in at the most perfect time since the kids were off for Christmas break and I wouldn't have to worry about getting them back and forth to school and dealing with juggling that schedule while moving the household.

Aiden LOVES his new room, though he is having to adjust to going to bed by himself. When he wakes up alone he gets a little disoriented and often ends up upset and wandering trying to find where we are at. Andrew is LOVING the fact that his toys have been separated from Aiden's and he hasn't once had to clean up a Lego catastrophe. Alexis LOVES the mirrored closet doors and will love them even more when the boxes are cleared out from in front of them so she can dance around.

*Thank-you Auntie Charity for passing down this fun busy block that has already provided HOURS of fun*

My favorite room in the house is the kitchen. I am no super cook by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy making things for my family. Though the kitchen is SUPER narrow (read: one way street), the cabinets are VERY well thought out (a friend who was helping us move in said that our landlord must be a man trapped in a woman's body when he designed the cabinets because he thought of EVERYTHING). There are tons of uppers and lowers and a HUGE pantry with drawers so I won't loose another can of anything in the back.

With so many places to put things I set out on the task of putting everything away. First I laid it all out on the top of the counters and organized it in like groupings.
By the time I was finished the counter tops looked like this again.....
and my pantry looked like this...... Alexis and Aiden were my SUPER helpers who brought me cans from off the counters to make my job go A LOT faster.
And of course my kitchen would not be complete without my alligator. This salt shaker was once my dad's and now takes up residence in whatever kitchen I am in as a daily reminder of my dad. (I believe my sister Charity has the other half.) Aiden sees that alligator and says, "Papa" and then I give it to him and he gives it a kiss. Mind you Aiden never knew his papa since Papa passed away in 2002 but he will always hold a place in our hearts and in my kitchen.
Our first meal in the new house was generously brought over by our church family and from the kids faces it was a hit!!! SPAGHETTI!!!

I am sure there will be many more great meals in this wonderful new home, just hopefully not as messy as that one was.

Here is to a great 2010, getting settled in, and staying put for a LONG time!!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas 2009

For Christmas this year "Santa" went a little hi-tech for the two older kiddos. Andrew has been wanting a Nintendo DS for the past few years but his mama is not a big fan of game systems because she sees too many kiddos in the school systems who veg out and have no imagination of their own due to hours and hours and hours spent just staring at a video game. After much pleading and begging she finally gave permission for a DS to be included in a letter to Santa. Andrew was SUPER excited to find his DS under the tree, knowing of course that it comes with conditions and restrictions for length of play time and age appropriate games and blah, blah, blah. :) Who cares he says, as long as he has one now.Alexis didn't even have a Leapster on her radar but we knew that if Andrew had a DS she would be wanting to play with it and the fight would begin. The princess leapster seemed to be the perfect fit for her and she has loved playing with it. It has been a lifesaver during the past few days while I have needed some peace to get things done for the move.
Daddy helped her get going and now she is the Leapster pro.
Aiden's favorite character is Elmo. We took him with us when we went Christmas shopping, knowing this is the last year that is going to be possible. We pulled out a few different toys, handed them to him, checked for his reaction and this toy got the best reaction by far. We almost couldn't get it away from him without a major melt down in the store. Of course by the time we got a few aisles away he had forgotten all about it. Christmas morning's reaction was no different. HE LOVES IT!!
His second favorite toy: a SUPER cheap (read: broken by Saturday) plastic trumpet. He always wants to be just like his big brother when Andrew is playing his trumpet. For the $2 we spent on this it was well worth the enjoyment he had while it lasted all of a few hours.And then there was this picture that my mom took. Who could resist those adorable eyes and huge dimples? (Gotta love our fake fireplace on the TV in the background).

Christmas for me is all about the huge smiles on my kiddos faces at the end of the day. For each of them I am truly blessed.

Christmas Eve 2009

It is a tradition in our family to open a family gift on Christmas Eve. When it came time to open the gift after dinner Aiden decided he wanted to throw one of his fits, so he is doing that in the background while Andrew and Alexis wait to find out what family gift they got. This year we got the Toy Story Mania Wii game!!! The kids (and mommy and daddy) were super excited to get this game and played it for a long while before heading to bed.
Though the tree and decorations were super muted this year due to yet another move, the family's enthusiasm and Christmas spirit were not.

Howse Gingerbread House 2009

The kids had been asking each time we went to the store if we could buy a gingerbread house kit. I gave in and bought one and then decided to brave making it with them on Dale's day off, Monday, Dec 21st. The kids had a hard time being patient while Dale and I tried to piece it together and wait for it to harden as a house. After dinner that night Andrew, Alexis and I set off on the task of decorating the house. It was messy, it was chaotic, but it was F-U-N!

Here is the finished product. Front view: Side view:

Other side:
Back view:
Not so sure if I will make this a yearly event but I do know that the kids and I had a wonderful (and messy) time doing it.

Hide 'N Go Seek

Since the toys had all been packed up for the move Aiden thought this cabinet was the perfect place to hide from mom and dad when it was time to go to bed. He is such a character and always makes us laugh with his funny ways.