Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today is Madeline's birthday. She turns 9. It started out with a whimper and ended with a bang. This is one of those times when we just really didn't have the money to do anything before-hand so we had to scramble to get it all done in the 2 hours after I got off work and had to work in getting Sadie to and from piano theory class during that time as well. Not easily done but managed. And, of course, I found myself almost out of gas during said running around so a stop at the gas station was a must. Anywho...

Several things impressed me tonight as Madeline and her friends played during her sleepover birthday party. One was that Mads has a really nice set of friends. I don't think she's ever had all the same people over for any particular party/sleepover which means 1) she's got many different friends and likes to spend time with all of them or 2) she doesn't keep the same friends for long. Well, I happen to know #2 isn't true so I'm impressed that she spreads her time with friends over all of them.

And those friends are just plain nice. They all thanked me for having them over, used their manners when asking for more pizza, etc. Included Anna in all their games and during one game when Anna didn't win, the girl who won offered Anna her prize (which Anna promptly turned down). I thought that was incredibly nice (or the girl doesn't shop at Dollar Tree - the prize was a gift card from there - I choose to think the best, she genuinely wanted Anna to be happy).

Another thing was that Madeline is genuinely nice. As she was opening her gifts, she got some cool things, a gift card to Target, a robotic drawing thing, some cool girly things and some make up from her big sister. Anna got her a play fishing pole with plastic fish from Dollar Tree that she picked out herself. When Madeline opened it, you would have thought she gave her a pot of gold. She gushed over it and Anna asked her if she liked it and Mads said "Yes, I was going to ask for one of these" then thanked and hugged her.

Most of my birthday posts include pictures of the child celebrating their birthday. But, because Madeline has shown her most beautiful part tonight, I want to honor that by sharing with you those things that can't be captured on film or in digital form.

Madeline for the reasons stated above and for so many more, I am now, and will forever be, proud of you.

Happy Birthday - I love you,

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christmas '09

So, I'm a little late in my Christmas blog. Well, what's new? Even with time off I can't seem to find the time to sit and write my blog. Hmmm, what's up with that?

OK, well, one of my favorite finds of this Christmas season, and I didn't find it until almost too late, was this Chex Mix Muddy Buddy. It's like puppy chow (for people - that our family loves to eat) that you don't have to make! How much better can life be? I got the last bag Wal-Mart had and I haven't found it anywhere since. But, it was delicious and I guess I could always actually make some if I really got the hankerin'.

I accidentally just deleted the picture of Anna as an angel at the church's Christmas pagent. But, as always, our Christmas Eve includes this tradition (when we're home). This year, Sadie opted
not to participate. Oh please, does this mean she's growing up? Egad! Anyway, Mads was a reader this year and Anna was an angel. This pic is of Mads reading and I thought she did a great job.

Apparently the pics loaded in whatever order they wanted to so we'll just take it pic by pic, OK?

The girls and Nonnie made gingerbread houses this year. I was given one by my secret pal at work and then a parent also gave me one as a gift. Very thoughtful, I thought. So I left to go grocery shopping and left my Mumsey to handle the construction. Teehee...they actually have fun doing this and if I were here I'd be all perfectionistic wanting to put the icing on myself because they weren't doing it right, etc. and Nonnie just lets them do it. Of course, sometimes the result isn't exactly what you expect (see photo at right).

And then sometimes, you get it right. But, either way, the quality creative time with Nonnie is priceless.

I guess now, we're on to Christmas morning. Here's Anna in what Santa brought her. Oh my, thank God it came a blizzard here on Christmas Eve, thereby eliminating the need for Santa to go to Midnight Mass, allowing a two hour head start on this cute little jeep. But, hearing about Santa's 2 hour ordeal putting the stickers on and the rubber "rims" (they actually go in the middle of the tire - for more traction) and all the other little pieces and parts which were apparently not expected by Santa, was a jolly tale, indeed.

I know it was a labor of love for Santa to do this but, man, it sure took a long time!

My Sister and her husband were flying in from Detroit on Christmas Eve and almost didn't make it in but finally did after a harrowing flight into the blizzard of '09. They had been up visiting friends and timed it just perfectly to spend Christmas with us. Here Greg is reading the girls the Night Before Christmas (on the computer since somehow we have not one copy of this book in our house). My Opper (beloved grandfather) always read it out of the paper for us. If we weren't at his house, he read to us over the phone.

Jon Michel spent the night with us Christmas Eve. I love that. All my babies under the same roof (except Aaron who got left in Natchitoches due to poor planning on his part, but I digress). It just warms my heart.

Our white Christmas. Maybe it didn't snow on Christmas but there was fresh snow on the ground so I (and probably 90% of the population of the DFW area) consider it a white Christmas.

The snow on Christmas Eve before anyone stepped in it.

Christmas Day, snow angels!

And, of course, snow ball fights. Conrad has his new robe on.

I show you these new shoes of Anna's because when she steps and leaves footprints, it's of the animal that the shoe is. (Anna's are cats.) And...

...ta da...can you see the paw print in the snow? How cute is that? They're called pollywalks I think.
All in all, it was a great Christmas. Exept for Aaron not being here and us not knowing if he was even alive for a little while there, it all went swimmingly. The Aaron story is one for a different day. I'll tell you about it some other time.
I hope your Christmas was blessed, family and friend filled. May we all have peace, prosperity and joy in this coming year.