Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Staying home

As Christmas has passed and we've had a chance to visit with others, everyone asks if we did anything for Christmas.  I have started thinking about it and usually I just say not really... we just stayed home and spend it with our small family.

And since then I've been thinking more about it.  Just because we stayed home doesn't mean we didn't do anything.  At what point in life does staying home equal doing nothing? 

We stayed home.  We celebrated Christmas with our children and we had a fun and enjoyable day playing with our new toys and games and relaxing. 

Yesterday my oldest daughter was able to go and select some items for her christmas present, and get one of hers as well.  She had asked for a room makeover so she still needed to select some of the items for that.  She also got her ears pierced as one of her christmas presents.

Today all four kids have a friend over playing.  Hubbie is back at work for his short 3 day work week before New Years Eve that he get's to stay home on.  

Again... I'm enjoying staying home.  Swapping a few loads of laundry in the washer, making lunch for the handfuls of kids, catching up on some blogs, and reading a book.

I'm staying home... but I'm not doing "nothing" :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful and fun christmas!  Hubby and I were up till 11:30 getting presents wrapped and placed under the tree and stockings filled.  Then we watched some tv for an hour and a half just to wind down before we headed to bed around 1am.  Of course we would start to hear noises from the kids by 5:30am... we stayed in bed till 7am right after our youngest came knocking on our door.  "It's 7:00 mommy and daddy, well it's just about 7:00, it's 6:56- come out so we can open presents!"  (we had told them they couldn't wake us up till 7:00am) lol!

Santa was very kind this year and brought lots of wanted items.  I even had an amazing gift of a DSLR camera... a dream of mine to have for the past few years. :) 

We were done with unwrapping and were playing with our new "toys" all before 9am!  I'm forseeing an early bedtime tonight for the over-excited kids that could not wait to get up this morning!

I've managed to snap a mear 90 pictures so far in trying out the new camera.  I'm excited to get it outside and use the zoom lense and see what I can do with that. :)

Yesterday I didn't leave the house once (that NEVER happens!), and barely left the kitchen.  We have a Christmas tradition that we have our big dinner on Christmas Eve, so I spent the entire day in the kitchen making frog eyed salad, cheesy augratin potato's, sweet potato's with a crunchy topping and marshmallows on top, egg nog cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies for Santa, and our favorite homemade rolls.  Since I did all the work yesterday, today I can sit back and relax and play with our christmas presents and just pop the leftovers in the oven to warm up... no time for me in the kitchen today.

Merry Christmas Everyone! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Are you ready for Christmas?

I was at the store today.  As I'm checking out the cashier in an attempt to be friendly asks me the question "Are you ready for Christmas?"  I told her I was almost ready... and we left it at that.  As I was driving home, unloading my purchases, and putting them away I continued to think about that question.  Am I ready for christmas?  I feel like I never am fully ready for christmas.  Even when I plan ahead and shop ahead, I'm always thinking of this or that little item or stocking stuffer that I should still pick up and add to the pile of stuff that we've purchased.  I wonder how much more money I spend each year with the "just one more item" purchases I make after the planned purchases are made. 

Coincidentally, I got to the car outside of the store and remembered at least 5 items I didn't buy that I'll need for Christmas dinner... oh well... I've still got two more days to pick them up... if I can only remember them! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm not sure I want to share this article with my son...

Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills
by Michelle Trudeau


The article is interesting... click on it and read it.  I tried to copy it and paste it, but it get's all wierd in the formatting, and it's easier for you to just read it on their site- they like that much better too because then they can see how many people are reading it. :)

I remember when my kids were much younger and I would post on parenting message boards, one day there was a discussion about video games and tv and stuff.  I posted my view that I felt it was my duty as a parent to teach my children the ability to use technology so that they would be able to benefit from having it in their lives. 
I didn't expound or go further to explain things at that point in time and I got reamed out by another mom... she was of the school of thought that her children would not be watching tv and frying their brains and there was nothing good that could ever come from video games and her kids would not waste their time playing them.
Her stance was so over the top for me that really I didn't mind getting reamed out by her, because my parenting philosophy and hers were so polar opposite from each other that I think if she had agreed with me on something I might have questioned my thoughts on it...
But it did give me a chance to post additional thoughts on video games and tv and such.
I do still believe that it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children how to effectively use technology in their lives.  Computers are not a fad that will go away.  The technology that powers gaming and tv will make their way into our lives and knowing how to use that technology correctly is a life skill for our children now. 
As part of the process of teaching them how to use the technology, we have to teach them how to keep from allowing technology to overcome their lives.  We have to teach them by example that there is more to life than just tv and video games.  We have to teach them to balance the video games, with playing outside and doing homework and playing board games with family and friends.  As with anything- addictions can and do occur and we need to teach our kids the definition and meaning of the word MODERATION.  I think that's a word that in this day and age has become lost a lot of times.  Most things are fine in moderation.
I saw this article a friend posted today about the video gaming... and smilied when at the end of the article it reminded people that moderation should still be used and they were not saying kids should sit and play video games for hours and hours on end.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Disney World Trip

I just wanted to share some pictures from our trip.  I LOVED seeing the gingerbread displays at the resorts!  I'd love to be able to develop the skills to make something even 1/10th as good looking and as big as they are.

 This is the gingerbread Carousel at the Beach Club
 I love how at Disney everything is themed so well.  I love the architectural details at the Animal Kingdom in the Jungle Walk part.

 The Contemporary lit up at night.
 Beautiful Fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom.  Really ruins the 4th of July for our kids... it just can't compare. :)
The Grand Floridian is beautifully decorated at Christmas time.  The decorations are elegant, but the real reason we stopped by was the gingerbread house... just absolutely un-believable!
 See how big this thing is?  See the people standing there next to it?

 The level of detail... just amazing!
 So, so, so neat!  I could have taken 100 pictures here getting close shots of details, but by kids were not as enamoured by it as I was.

 On our last night at Disney we saw the Osbourne Spectacle of Lights at Hollywood Studio's.  So, so  NEAT!  I loved it... the kids again were not as wow'ed by it as I was, and it was cold and so we had to leave before I would have liked to, but when the music starts playing and the lights are synchronized to it... it is just amazing.

 I LOVED that they lit up common things like this... bike's.  There were also some kids little play tables and toys that were lit up in front of another townhouse facade.

We love all our trips to Disney, and this was probably our best trip yet... we just keep having more and more fun each time we go.

Remembering the reason

Today is Sunday.  I love Sunday's.  I love going to church and feeling the spirit, fellowshipping with friends, and recharging spiritually for the upcoming week.  I love coming home and relaxing- Watching my kids as they dog pile on Daddy, and make all sorts of messes while they play together for hours.  Some sunday afternoons I literally do nothing for hours on end and just watch what the rest of the family is doing.  Other sunday's I enjoy baking in the kitchen or reading a book. 

Today at church our choir sang a cantata during Sacrament Meeting.  We were not where we wanted to be in preparing for it.  We had not practiced enough and did not know all our entrances and cut off's.  Despite this, I love the spirit that I feel when I'm singing in the choir.  The words become more than just words, and the feeling and spirit brings a richness to the songs.

I think we all at times get caught up in the shopping and preparing for Christmas Eve/Morning.  I'm excited that we now have the next five days to slow things down, and prepare emotionally and spiritually for Christmas.  I'm hoping to do some fun stuff with the kids to emphasize the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and how we celebrate his birth at Christmas.  Hopefully we can keep the spirit we feel today in our house through the next week.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm sorry... I haven't been making the time...

I read a blog today. I read most of my blogs that I follow in Google Reader. I like that it allows me to scroll through and see what people have posted without having to physically go to their blogs.

I like it, and dislike it all at the same time. It's incredibly convenient, but I miss out on the special touches- the backgrounds and stuff that people spend a lot of time making their blogs and websights look neat with.

In the blog post that I read today she mentioned how people use the phrase "I don't have time for that" for things, and how she feels as if it's a judgement of her when she mentions something online and the person reply's with an "I don't have time for that" sentence.

I haven't had much time to keep my blogs updated, and it saddens me. I really miss sharing with family and friends what is going on in our day to day lives. The homework, the accomplishments, the upsets, and then disagreements.

My life is not anywhere near perfect. I find myself not posting at times because I don't know what to post, but I think that is what I need to post. I need to post that I felt a sense of accomplishment when I got all the clothes in the laundry room folded, AND put away. I need to post that I spent the entire day in the kitchen yesterday baking and making stuff and I LOVED it! I even enjoyed doing the dishes of the 3 loads I did in the dishwasher.

I don't post on the days that I just can't talk myself into driving to the gym and getting a workout done... but I have plenty of those days.

I want to make the time to post more. I want to post about what we are doing day in and day out... and it might be boring to some people, but I think to others they will enjoy just hearing what is going on in our lives, and those people really are why I keep my blogs... because even though we live thousands of miles apart- we can still be involved in each others lives and cheer for each other in our victories and give prayers and sympathy to each other in our hard times.

Christmas is next week. My prayer to all is that they will have a joyful happy and peaceful holiday. That the stresses of the season will not overtake them and that they will take the time to do the things they treasure most about Christmas.

And I will make a better effort to make the time to post more often.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas is almost here!

I can't believe this month is flying by so fast!  It has been busy, but in a fun way and we have been trying to enjoy every minute. 

My last post was made on my iphone while driving home in the middle of the night.  I apologize for all the major typo's in it.  I'm definitly human and was getting pretty darn tired during that drive. lol!

We've made our gingerbread houses, baked bread, baked cookies, dipped chocolate pretzels, made caramel popcorn, shopped for friends and christmas parties, made some make and takes for a ward party and had a generally great two weeks since we've gotten back from our trip.  I'm looking forward to the rush in the next week and the fun and then the great fun of watching the kids on Christmas morning.  I'm realizing my kids are getting bigger and older and I only have a few more years of Santa to enjoy with them before they all figure it out like the older kids have.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Home again home again...

We are huge Disney fans. We went for the first time to Disneyworld four years ago as a second honeymoon to celebrate our anniversary and the end of our baby years and me being pregnant or nursing. It was really the first trip we've ever gone on that was without Ida and just for fun. We had a boast, and felt guilty that we had gone without the kids. So the next year we took the kids. And returned a year later and had some friends there t the same time. The next year Dh and I did another solo trip and then we were hooked. We bought into the dvc membership and just finished our first trip there staying in a dvc room. I'm so pleased and halt with it. Also we strategically planned our points so we will only go every other year. Without that built in planning the kids would want tO go every year And Dh would probably get talked into it. Lol!

I've been neglecting this blog. I hope to get better about posting Right now it's midnight and we are driving home from our trip. We got a great deal on airline tickets, but Had to drive three hours to the airport to get the deal. So please forgive typos and stuff. I'm typing this on the phone. :)