Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...to thank my dad

The kids had a great time.

The house was more put together than I usually have it.

And...they even made homemade Christmas cookies.

Thanks Dad.

Monday, December 13, 2010

...to reminisce about our weekend

...What a great weekend!

Thanks to my dad, Mark and I got to go away to Philadelphia for the Army/Navy football game.

The football game was just a reasonable excuse to go on a getaway sans children.   Besides the outcome, if you are an Army fan, was incredibly disappointing.

As for our trip, as the saying goes, "What happens in Philadelphia stays in Philadelphia" goes for our weekend there...but I can say it did involve lots of great food, fun conversations, lots of alcohol, good friends, and something called "Rally shorts".

We stayed at a beautiful hotel and enjoyed one of our favorite restaurants.

Some happy photos from the weekend:
A candid of Mark and I
Meghan and Sean

Before the game, Meghan and I

I told Mark...It is weekends like this that will give me strength and happy thoughts as he and I go through the next year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

...to cheer on Army

Here is a great article that Mark shared with me about the Army/Navy football tradition.

The weather is supposed to be beautiful (for December).  Sunny and 44 degrees!

Army is already going to a bowl game.  This is their best season in our three years at West Point.

We are with our best friends...

Now hopefully Army will win!


Friday, December 10, 2010

...to wish my dad good luck

My dad is like no other.

He has come all the way from Michigan to babysit our four children.

For the whole weekend.

By himself.

Maybe he is a bit crazy for offering.  Others might claim he is clearly off-his-rocker.

No matter what you might call him, Mark and I are so thankful.

And we hope that Abbey and Audrey don't win.  Get your game on Dad!

Don't they look all cute and sweet??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

...to take a picture of my beautiful porch!


About the time we both started decorating for the holidays I enlisted my best friend Meghan's help in decorating my porch.  She gathered a few ideas and came over a few days later with supplies in hand.  My porch looks adorable!  Now if only it would snow for a few photo ops!

I am embarrassed to admit that it has been well over a week since Meghan decorated my porch for me...in the pouring down rain and I am just now getting around to getting the photos taken.

There are various reasons it took me so long; but I typically have my van parked parallel to my porch so it would be in the way of a picture.  Without further ado....

Mark hung the lights...and the 'out of place' stocking.

The three wreaths on the door is my favorite touch!
 Thank you Meghan for an awesome job!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

...to stay away from the holiday cookies






The tray from the cookie exchange I attended the other evening didn't even look appetizing to me this morning.  And I vowed them off.  I had already had enough of the holidays sweets. 

Then I came home after working all day.

Raspberry thumbprints

I couldn't resist.

And they were delicious!

I love Kayla.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

...to take a family walk

So we have an Advent calendar that the kids LOVE.  It is a long wooden box type piece with 25 doors in which I am supposed to put something clever in, each day.

Well, last year I realized that with four children, there was no way we could fill our box with the traditional candies, chocolates or prizes each day.  Four pieces wouldn't fit and if I only put one thing in, it would be a fight each day to determine who got to open the door..you see where the saga is going.

So I decided that we were going to do something for each day of Advent.  Some days have been more simple than others (candy canes by the fire) others a little more elaborate (a trip to a bakery) but they all have a common theme...something that we can do together.

I do allow myself the flexibility to come up with each task in the morning of each day.  This way, I am not likely to put something in the box that we simply can't accomplish (although I wouldn't recommended putting 'make truffles' in after working a full day!).

So today's fun well really not so fun (as my children reminded me constantly on the walk) idea was that we'd take a family walk, in the dark, to look at the neighbor's Christmas lights. 

Only three of thirty houses had any lights (one of them was ours).

Breezy and 28 degrees.  Along the river on a hill.

Comments from the gallery:  "How far is it that we have to walk?"  "Do we really have to walk the whole way?" "How come Abbey and Audrey get to ride in the wagon?"

Not the vision of a Norman Rockwell family evening walk that I had imagined.

But it did beat walking Timber by myself at 10:00 this evening!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

...to check out a local bakery

What a great family outing for our Advent Calendar activity! 

We went to Rockland bakery (in Rockland County...who knew?) down in Nanuet.  If you love bread like we do, this would be the place to visit.

This place was incredibly busy and I have never seen such vast amounts of fresh bread in one place. 

When we walked in we each had to put on a pair of gloves and you walked right into the factory-type area where the bread was moving on the assembly line.  The bagels were dropping into bins, loaves of sandwich bread were zooming along to be packaged; and the smells ~ amazing.

There were racks and racks of bread (I wish I had brought my camera to take photos).  Everything from Foccacia bread to Challah bread, rye, french bread, bagels (several kinds) and fresh (HOT!) pretzels that literally melted in your mouth.

We brought home many different options since we let each of our munchkins pick out something they wanted to try and we were pleased with all of our choices!

This would be a great stop to make if you were planning a dinner party and needed some specialty breads to serve!.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

...to send my holiday card off to the printer

I have made a list and I have checked it several times....


1) Christmas Cards
2) Truffles
3) Teacher's Soap
4) Wrap packages
5) I could go on...

So the spoiler is here...don't peak if you don't want to see my choice!

Giving Squares Heifer Holiday 5x7 folded card
Shop hundreds of holiday photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...to make dinner without choas

I have heard about people who are prepared enough to fend off chaos.  That are clever enough to create, wonderfully engaging activities for their children while they have time to prepare their evening's five-course meals.  I have always wanted to try to achieve that peace.  Here is my scenario:

Husband walked in this afternoon from work to...

Dinner being prepared...his favorite: tacos, guacomole, rice and beans
His wife having a glass of wine.
Four children painting peacefully at the kitchen table...without a mess!

Do you remember paint with water books?  I have been looking all over for them for the little girls for several months.  Turns out I cannot find them in any store but good 'ole Amazon carries them and with Amazon Prime shipping!  And the perfect theme for the month...
$3.99 + Free Shipping with Amazon Prime
The kids loved the activity and I had no mess to clean up.  Not even hands to wash!