Christmas Eve

Chad, Lisa, Alexis, and Luke stopped by in the morning to see Frosty. It was nice because the cousins had a chance to spend some time together before it got too hectic.

Frosty doing her show-dog pose. She actually does this quite a bit.

Aunt Lisa and Casey.

Cousin Luke and Casey. In a couple more years, they'll be rough-housing together.

We also had Chris' cousins and their husbands stop by to see Frosty that afternoon too. Quite the popular dog she is!

Elly got her fair share of attention too though.

Cousin Angie and Belle having a spot o' tea.

Cousin Sara and Casey spending some time together.

When the evening finally came around, we went over to Mimi and Bompa's house (Chris' maternal grandparents). We ate some food, waited for Santa, and opened presents. I always love watching the kids and seeing them get so excited when they open their gifts.

We were hiding in the basement while Santa dropped off all the presents. Isabelle does not like him and covered her eyes in fear.

Uncle Big Tom was the only one who was able to put Casey asleep amid all the noise in the house.

She sure likes to be the center of attention!

Isabelle spent most of the evening in Kristen's lap.

Uncle Jerry playing with Grahm.

Family pictures sure are getting fun to do! Notice the hint of sarcasm there? At least none of the kids are crying in the picture.


Puppy Love

I forgot to update about Frosty's EKG on Christmas Eve...my apologies! The vet could find nothing wrong with her heart. Yeah! He thinks it may have just been all the excitement that had her heart all out of control and beating wierd. It sounds like it corrected itself and she is just fine. I'm so glad things turned out just fine. She sure had us worried though!

And by the look of things, she's going to stay here for a long time.


On this day...

5 years ago, Chris and I became husband and wife. The time has gone by way too fast. We've made a lot of good memories though: Elly eating all of our Christmas presents, our kitchen pipes freezing on us, selling and buying a house, duck hunting together, going to Dave Matthews Band concerts, going to a Packers/Broncos football game the day after our wedding (seriously), going to Hawaii for our honeymoon, staying up way too late playing Everquest, and also our three beautiful children. These are just some of the memories as there are many more, of course.

*These are all pictures of pictures. Digital cameras weren't very popular five years ago. Man, makes me feel old now knowing that our wedding pictures were taken using film. Wow. How times change!*

And there we were! What an exciting day.

Chris and I with our wedding group.

This is my favorite picture of us.

I want you to notice the lack of snow in this picture. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was not to have any snow on my wedding day. I was getting married in December, so I was kind of expecting some snow. A dusting would've been nice! I guess this is the equivalent of a spring outdoor wedding getting rained on. Oh well. It was still a great day!


Frosty (aka Noel)

Frosty (yep, we changed her name), or Fra-Fra as Grahm likes to call her, is fitting in quite well with the family. And we're hoping it stays that way. Huh? you're probably wondering. Well, we took her for a check-up on Friday and they found that she has a murmur with her heart. The vet said that a lot of puppies have it, but hers isn't a "normal" abnormality. So, she'll be getting an EKG of her heart done on Wednesday morning, and hopefully we'll know what her condition is by the afternoon. Chris and I are hoping that it's nothing too serious. We just don't know what we're going to do.



My brother and sister-in-law's new little baby!

Isn't he cute?! He was born on Friday, December 19. His name is Evan (at least that is what they were thinking last night) and he weighs 6 pounds, 6 ounces and is 19 inches long. I am so thrilled! Now, if they would just move a little closer so I can visit...


O, Christmas Tree

I don't believe that I ever posted pictures of our decorated Christmas tree. Chris did the majority of it. He put up the lights and the kids and I handed him the ornaments. Although, Isabelle can't just not touch something, so a lot of the ornaments have been moved around. And no, the one-finger rule doesn't work either. We have a couple bare spots on our tree and a few clusters of ornaments in other spots. I think she just sees these ornaments that look like toys and wants to play with them.

So, here is the tree. Yes, we went with the slightly smaller but still big retro lights for the tree as well. What can I say, we like them!

We still don't have a tree topper, so this year I thought Grahm and Isabelle could make one. I cut the angel out and had the kids color her. Isabelle did her head and body, while Grahm was in charge of coloring her wings. I think they did a pretty nice job.

My Grandma had made us this tree skirt a few years ago. Chris and I are waiting to put all the presents on it until Christmas Eve when all the kids are asleep in bed.

It looks like Isabelle thought it was too bare so she put her stuffed animal under the tree.

Now wait a second! Her stuffed puppy is white. Where on earth did she get this one?!

Could it be a real-live puppy? You betcha! We all took the (3-hour round trip) drive down to get her this afternoon. She's a miniature schnauzer that we named Noel. What do you think?

She really seemed to like the snowman that was hanging down in front of her face.

As I was closing Isabelle's door tonight, she told me "Thank you for getting me the puppy." Noel is really for the whole family, including Elly. We thought she really needed a play mate. And also, Chris has off the next two weeks, so we thought "What better time to get a puppy!" I was really against a schnauzer since I had one growing up that I still miss, but as soon as Chris told me that he found one, I all of a sudden wanted one really bad. When that one didn't pan out, we tried another one that was all sold out. So, we just left it at that. And then Chris was looking last night and someone had just posted about 4 females, so Chris called, I emailed, and we went today to get her. I think she will be a great addition to the family.


A turtle, a puppy, and no water

Tonight, I got the privilege of rocking this little guy to sleep:

At 21 months, he's still my little baby boy. Just a little bigger than the littlest baby boy in the house. It was so peaceful rocking him in the dark with the glow of his turtle lighting the ceiling. He is such a sweetheart.


Last week (wow, the past week went by quick!) I made some homemade dog treats for Elly and the dogs at our local dog shelter. While the treats were baking in the oven, I turned the light on to see how they looked. They looked like sugar cookies! However, when I opened up the oven door to pull them out, boy, the smell sure took the cookie image out of my head! They definitely smelled of dog biscuits, no question about it. I could eat them since everything in them is edible, but there is no way I would ever want to!

I invited my friend Merranda and her daughter to go with us to the shelter since they like dogs and are wanting to get one. Who knows?! We were greeted at the door by this little 6-month old cutie, Noodles:

I really wanted to get her, but Chris eventually talked me out of it.

This little puppy was Grahm's favorite:

Well, I'm going to assume that since this was the cage he stayed at for more than 20 seconds. That child was all over the place! I think it was dog overload for him and he didn't know which one to spend his time with.

The girls enjoyed handing out the treats to the dogs. One dog had over half a dozen cookies in his kennel. I bet he was happy! The dog Isabelle most liked was the biggest one they had. I can't remember what it was, but it was massive! She kept telling me she wanted to get it. Sorry, honey, but no.


This morning our hot water froze in our kitchen sink. At 6 this morning, the temperature was -21 with wind chill. It was colder than that last night, so it's no surprise that the hot water froze. At least this time it wasn't the hot and cold that froze! We are still waiting for the hot water to come streaming out of the faucet, but with another wind-chill advisory in affect for tonight, I don't think that's going to happen.


Now, I know there was more I wanted to blog about, but last week went by so fast that I can't even remember what I did! If I hadn't taken pictures of the dog shelter, I probably would've forgotten about that too. Ah, oh well! I know I will have more to blog about later this week. Until then, stay warm! I know we're going to try!


Snow Day!

Well, it was a snow day for kids who go to school. For us, it was just a very snowy day. We got dumped with a whole bunch of snow late last night and early this morning. Poor Chris was up at 5:30 this morning shoveling before he went to work. He definitely got the brunt of it!

While Casey was taking his morning nap, I took Isabelle and Grahm to play outside while I shoveled up the snow that had fallen since Chris left for work. It was only about another inch or so, but the end of the driveway was a beast! My neighbor across the street was kind enough to help me with part of it. She had already helped two other neighbors, so I'm very thankful for the help she provided.

Grahm and Isabelle really enjoyed themselves outside. They love the snow! They both enjoyed getting the big chunks of snow that the snowplow dragged into our driveway and carrying them around to various parts of the yard. Grahm's kept crumbling apart, so he'd keep having to get "a'er one". He is quite the little shadow to Isabelle. Whatever she is doing, he is right behind her. Isabelle was walking on the driveway and tripped and said she hurt her elbow. Not 10 seconds later, Grahm fell down (completely on purpose) and said "elbow". I swear, whatever Belle does, Grahm copies her.

Mimi (Chris' mom) came over and dropped off some candy cane cookies (of which only two are left) and took Grahm and Belle sledding. As far as I know, she walked them along in the sled on the road because I have no idea what hill she could've taken them on. But either way, I know the kids had fun! And as soon as they got back, Isabelle requested hot cocoa. This was Grahm's first time drinking it, and he got out every last drop. He rarely gets chocolate, so he didn't want to waste it!

This little guy, despite playing outside for a few hours today, did not take his afternoon nap. By dinnertime, his eyes were red and he had bags under his eyes. Needless to say, he went down quite well for bedtime!

I didn't want to forget about Casey! Even though I don't think he had quite as much fun today as his older siblings, he still seemed pretty happy.


A Cutting We Will Go

We Chris just got done cutting down our Christmas tree. It's beautiful! It was downright chilly this afternoon, but everyone still had fun. Isabelle had the most fun I think as she was very talkative the whole time. She even told the guy when we got back that we got a big tree. She never talks to people she doesn't know very well! I was shocked when I heard her.

Here we all are, about to head out on our adventure. In the cold. In the wind. In the Arctic. Okay, well maybe not that last part.

This arrangement lasted for about 3 minutes.

Isabelle enjoyed pulling the sled for Grahm.

Isabelle kept pointing out all the little trees and wanting to get them. She must have Charlie Brown's heart. This one is actually one of the bigger ones that she wanted. You should've seen the puny ones that she thought were "perfect".

Hi, Grahm!

I carried Casey most of the time since he had a close run-in with the snow. He's alright, don't worry. It was all on the left side of his body, which was covered with his snowsuit. (Sorry for the bad picture...I took this while walking and my hands were freezing to change the setting)

Way to go, Daddy!

Chris is going to put the lights on it tonight, and then the kids and I will decorate it. I'm hoping to get a nice picture of the kids in front of the tree tonight for our Christmas cards. I am really behind this year on getting that done! I was reminded of that when we received a Christmas card from our old neighbors yesterday. They have three children as well, and they both work...so I really have no excuse! If she can get them done, I should be able to as well!


This morning we took the kids to church for its annual breakfast with Santa. Grahm and Isabelle each made a Christmas card, while Casey got his picture taken with Santa. He was the only willing participant. Isabelle told me as she was getting dressed this morning that she didn't want to sit on Santa's lap. And Grahm, no matter who was holding him, did not want to even get close to Santa. So, I guess that is that!


I forgot to mention yesterday that Isabelle got her cavity filled. I was awake at 5 a.m. yesterday, unable to sleep because I had a huge knot in my stomach thinking about her upcoming appointment. I kept going back in forth in my mind if I should mention anything about pain. I was afraid if I told her to say something if it hurts, she would say it hurts even if it really doesn't. And then I was wondering if I should even tell her that it might hurt.

When we got to the dentist office, I didn't say anything except that she has a cavity and they have to fill it. The dentist and his assistant were wonderful with her! Isabelle sat up in the chair all by herself this time, and the assistant showed her all the instruments that they would use and even let her touch them while they waited. When the dentist came in, he was so gentle and very caring with her. Each time he would do something, he would tell her ahead of time what he was going to do. He squirted out some of the filling for her to see what was going in her mouth, ran the drill on his finger, etc. He didn't give her anything laughing gas or a shot or anything! Although he did say that if she ended up needing it, he would give her a numbing shot. She was such a trooper though! She didn't flinch at all. I kept waiting for her arm to go flying up when it hurt, but she sat there as calm as can be. And when it was all over, she was her sweet little self again. You wouldn't have even known she just had her cavity filled!


On a completely different subjet, a couple weeks ago Tina called and said that Grace was adopted. Her mother-in-law was wanting a cat, and she chose Grace! I am so happy that she found a home.


Christmas Parade

Well, on our to-do list this weekend was to go to the Christmas parade they were having downtown tonight. Everyone braved the cold weather for the fun! We bundled the kiddos up in their snowpants, boots, warm coats, and mittens and watched the parade. We were actually quite impressed with the turnout. Not only were there quite a few floats that participated, but quite a few families showed up. This was our first year, and I think it may become a tradition now. I can just hear Chris groaning as he reads this.

The original plan was to go home and get the kids settled down for bed. But since Chris' grandpa was working that night at the lighting of the park, we went down there instead (although we were planning on doing that tomorrow). So many volunteers helped decorate one of the parks in Christmas lights. It looked beautiful! Since it was close to bedtime when we got there, we couldn't stay long. Just enough time to say "hi" to Chris' grandpa and go visit Santa.

We have a busy day planned for tomorrow. At church, they are having a breakfast with Santa from 9-11. When we get home from that, Grahm takes his nap. Then, after his nap, we'll have lunch and then go cut our Christmas tree. (I'm really looking forward to that. We started that tradition last year.) After that, it will be time for Grahm's afternoon nap. And when he wakes up from that, we're going to church. We were originally planning on going to look at the lights after church, but since we did it tonight, I think we'll skip it tomorrow. Although I do hope to go back and look at the lights again when the kids aren't so tired.

With that, I leave you a few pictures from our festive evening:

They had all the Christmas decorations up downtown on the lightposts.

The kids sure looked nice and warm! Casey is sleeping in his carseat behind Isabelle, with Grahm's blanket over him.

Isabelle absolutely LOVED the parade. She was so excited to be there. Hearing her squeal with excitement definitely made it worthwhile.

I think Grahm enjoyed it. He didn't seem to mind it anyway.

This was my favorite float.

Finally! Santa came to finish off the parade. It was about a 25 minute parade, which is pretty long when you are standing in 20 degree weather (not including windchill) with the wind blowing in your face.

Ho ho ho! Priceless!

Isabelle was not a fan of Santa either.

Isabelle liked how the candy cane lights matched her candy cane from Santa.

Considering how small a town this is, they do a very nice job on the lights in the park. Driving by, it looks so pretty. This picture doesn't even show half of what they did. We may take the kids back again another night, so I will hopefully be able to take some better shots.

What a trooper. Casey slept in his carseat all night, all bundled up. Doesn't he look cozy?