Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Look Back

2013 was a great year, complete with a few big milestones for the girls.

In February they turned 5.  For the first time we had a party with just their friends, now that they are old enough to care and we can't fit all of our family plus their friends and their parents in our house and can't afford to have it elsewhere (like Kidz Bounce or someplace).




In June they graduated from preschool and in July we had a fun family vacation to Lake Coeur D'Alene and Silverwood Theme Park.  Of course, there were also multiple trips to Crescent Bar where the girls were able to hone their swimming skills.




September marked the start of a whole new era--elementary school.  They started Kindergarten!  I can remember thinking back when they were babies how far away September of 2013 seemed and now it has come and gone!



We dealt with strep throat and head lice.  Good times.


Christmas 2013


2014 should be another big year.  We will take our first trip to Disneyland and I will go back to work (or at least start looking)!  Yikes!

Christmas

This year we spent Christmas with Paul's parents and sister.  She recently moved to Colorado but made the trip up for Christmas.  We went to his parents' house Christmas Eve and had dinner and a gift exchange with their good friends Janet and Christie, a mother and daughter.  After they left, it was time for the girls to go to bed but they were SO excited about Santa coming that they didn't fall asleep until almost 10:30.  When they were finally asleep, we put out their Santa gifts and went to bed ourselves.

Christmas morning they found their Santa presents under the tree.  Kayley got the Lego Friends cruise ship, and Olivia got a skateboard.  They were so excited--just what they had asked for.




After breakfast we opened the rest of the presents, and later had a big turkey dinner.  Paul and I came home but the girls stayed there until Friday, when we all met up at another relative's house to see a cousin who had come up from California.

It was a great Christmas and the girls got so much fun stuff.

The girls with Grandma

We got a mother/daughter tea set and devotional

Family photo with eyes closed, of course 

Goofy family photo 

The Barbie camper they got from Dad and BJ a few days early (so they'd have time to play with it before being gone for several days)
 
and the aftermath...
 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Fun

Yesterday was the last day of school for the girls.  We had a little snow, the first snow of the season, so when we got home they of course had to go play in it and it totally reminded me of the Frosty cartoon at the beginning when the kids get out of school for Christmas vacation and of course there's lots of snow, because in the movies/TV there is always snow around Christmas.

Then last night we were setting up to have a family sleepover in the living room by the Christmas tree and I got to thinking that it is all almost over.  Last weekend we had our Sunday School class's Christmas party on Saturday and the girls' singing program at church on Sunday, then their school party was yesterday.  The only thing left is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in a mere few days and then it'll all be over.  I'm always a little sad when it's over but I'm also always excited to make a fresh start at the new year.

Anyway, I've been really bad about blogging but here's a quick rundown of what we've been up to the last few weeks.

We changed things up a bit this year and instead of going to our town's annual tree lighting ceremony and seeing Santa there (outside during 15ish degree weather), we went to Bellevue Square instead.

Since the girls have every other Friday off school, we decided that a Thursday night would be perfect for going to Snowflake Lane.  Still busy but not quite as bad as a weekend.







As I mentioned, last Sunday was there Christmas program at church.  Paul's parents came up for it and we had a big ham dinner first then went to the show.  We had a good view of Olivia but Kayley was obscured by other kids.  She's behind the boy in the white shirt with black stripes.

 
Olivia did so good--singing the whole time and doing all the hand motions.  She wasn't the least bit shy.  I couldn't see Kayley as well but I think she did pretty good, too, but she is a little more shy than Olivia.
 
 
In front of the tree before we left
 
 


The girls had a playdate at a friend's house a few days ago where they all made little gingerbread houses.




And yesterday was their class party and I made reindeer and snowman cake pops for all the kids.  They didn't turn out as good as the cat ones for their birthday but the kids still liked them.



Friday, December 13, 2013

Elf on the Shelf

So, I had never even heard of Elf on the Shelf until last year, or maybe the year before.  Last year, all the girls' friends had one and they were always telling me stories about what their friends' elves were doing or how so-and-so touched their elf and it lost its magic, etc.  They wondered why we didn't have one.  I saw them in the store and thought about getting one but they were $30 (with the book).  I told them that Santa must've already known they were really good so he didn't need to send an elf to spy on them.

This year I found an elf at Costco for only $11.99 (or something).  It didn't come with the book, just a daily activity calendar.  I knew they'd love it and sure enough, they were SO excited to find an elf in our house the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We named him Roger (Paul's middle name and my grandpa's name).

The girls love searching for elf first thing every morning.  And so far I've managed not to forget to move him every night.  Here are some of the things Roger has been up to:

Joyriding in the Barbie car

Helping himself to the Nutella and candy corn

Getting into the Hershey Kisses
 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving.  We hosted this year, which was only our 2nd time doing so and the first time we only had 6 or 7 people (can't remember if Paul's sister's boyfriend-at-the-time was there) besides the girls, who were only 9 months old.  This time it was 9 adults and the girls.

Yesterday I baked two pumpkin pies and made a sweet potato casserole (prepared it but didn't bake it) and last night Paul and I got the tables all set up.  We had to rotate our table 90 degrees, extend it and then put a card table at the end in order to accommodate everyone.  Then we brought the girls' table down from upstairs and set that up off to the side.

This morning we got up at 6:30 to make the stuffing and get the turkey ready and got that in the oven at 7:30.  My side of the family likes to eat pretty early, like 1:00, especially this year since they all had an hour and a half drive home.  After the turkey was in the oven I just showered and got ready. made a fruit salad, watched bits and pieces of the parade and then set the table and put out some snacks.  I wanted to get pictures of the table and all but I just didn't get a chance, or when I finally thought about it for real everyone was starting to gather around to say grace.  My brother snapped one and that's all I have.  The table wasn't anything special, anyway.  I didn't have much of a centerpiece and the linens were mismatched.  I don't have tons of Thanksgiving-specific stuff because I rarely host.



After dinner we all just sat around watching football and visiting.  Then we had dessert and everyone left shortly after.

The girls were a little bummed that there weren't any other kids to play with, but their cousin gave them a belated birthday present, so that saved the day for them.

Barbie Princess and the Popstar Castle

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween

Our Halloween started with a "Harvest" Party at school yesterday.  Parents were welcome so I went.  They did crafts, had Halloween-themed snacks and played some games.  It was fun. 

Paul's parents came over for dinner and then they stayed at our house to give out candy while both Paul and I took the girls out trick-or-treating with a bunch of neighbors.  Usually I stay home to give out candy while Paul takes them, so it was fun to get in on the action this year.  We went to all the houses in our immediate vicinity and then drove up the street to another friend's house to see them and enjoy a super yummy pumpkin spice martini.  They didn't have school today so we didn't have to worry about getting them to bed on time, which was nice.
 
Carving pumpkins last weekend



They both wanted to be the same thing they were last year (cheetah for Kayley and Winx Club fairy for Olivia), so I didn't have to buy anything, which was great!  I'm so bad about getting pictures of stuff and they were so impatient, just wanting to go trick-or-treating already.  I wanted to get a picture of the 4 of us but it just didn't happen.  Paul took these first two and one is cute of Olivia but Kayley's being weird and the other one is cute of Kayley but Olivia is sitting with her legs wide open.  Sigh. 

 
 
 
 

 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What I Do

So people have been asking me what I've been doing with all my free time now that the girls are in Kindergarten.  I have to say, the 4 hours just flies by, just like I knew it would.  I'll use last week as an example of a typical week.

Monday I just cleaned and did laundry pretty much the entire time they were gone.  Tuesday I volunteered at school with health screenings.  Specifically, hearing tests.  Remember in grade school when you'd put on some special headphones and have to raise you hand when you heard a tone?  I got to operate the little machine and mark the students with a pass/fail.

Wednesday I did a DVD workout, then went to Trader Joe's, and Thursday I went to the gym.  By the time I got home and showered I had about an hour to just check email/FB, etc.

Friday was my "long" day, where they were gone until 2:00 instead of only 12:35 (they only go to school every other Friday - their school has early dismissal every Friday so the AM and PM kindergarten classes just alternate Fridays and stay the whole time), so I went to Kohl's, which is about 25 minutes away, to exchange a dress for Olivia.  Then I went to Walmart to get Halloween candy and few other things since it's right near Kohl's.  When I got home from all that I had about an hour again so I just made lunch and got on the computer for awhile.

And that was my week.  So far this week I volunteered in their class yesterday, today I'm going to mostly do housework but also go to the library and pick up a few things at out little neighborhood store, tomorrow I'm going to Costco and maybe work on a project and Thursday I will help with their class' Harvest Party.  They don't have school this Friday.

I still have several projects that I haven't even touched in the almost 2 months since school started!  I keep saying, "next week for sure..." and it just never happens.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

We made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch last weekend.  We were going up to MV anyway to visit my mom, and a good friend of mine happens to work at a pumpkin farm there every October so we knocked out both of those in one visit, plus we got to see my niece's new house and visit my dad and stepmom before they head south for the winter.  It was a busy and fun day.  Then yesterday the girls had a field trip to another pumpkin patch, so they've definitely had their fill of pumpkins for the season.