Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

We're hanging out at home this evening, and enjoying every minute of pizza-making, Wii-playing, and crazy glasses-wearing! Hope where ever you are, and what ever you are doing, you are surrounded by those you love and filled with joy. Best Wishes for a fantastic 2010!

Optimus Prime...

Hey, Uncle J, we got it transformed! (With thanks to the guy who showed me how to do it on YouTube)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Need these...

Actually, I need two, I suppose. What a great idea for organizing artwork!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wii wish you...

...a day full of fun with family and friends!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Can you tell what Wii got for Christmas?!? (And how do I get that photo to rotate before I upload it?!?)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, family and friends!

It's Christmas Eve, and I am so happy to be relaxing, waiting for my sister to arrive, and writing a holiday post.

The tree is decorated - I love the soft glow of Christmas tree lights!
The gifts are wrapped - I love seeing all of the different colors and patterns arranged under the tree!
All of the cards we have received are displayed in our 'gallery' - it's so nice to get cards and photos from all of our distant and not-so-distant family and friends.

My Mom has been here for several days already, and has been a great help with the gift-wrapping, cooking, child-wrangling, laundry, mailing, shopping.... That's a gift in itself! Big J has also been off this week, helping out with the kids, the cars (oil changes, new tires) and other tasks around the house, and was in charge of snowman construction over the weekend. Merry Christmas to me!
Now, though, it's time to sit back and enjoy all of these preparations in the peace of the evening before we go to bed and await Santa's arrival. The children have been in bed for a few hours now, though I know that they didn't go to sleep right away.
We attended two Christmas Eve services today, beginning with the Children's Christmas Eve Service. Any child that wants to participate in this service can, which is wonderful! Miss M was an angel and Mister J preferred to stay in the congregation and sing. After a quick dinner (Thank You and Merry Christmas to all who were on duty at McDonald's this evening!), we were back at church to hear Big J singing with the choir during the Service of Lessons and Carols. It's a much longer service, including candlelight and Communion, and the kids hung in there! After getting the wiggles out, they were very excited about the 'fire!' at the end ;)

We looked at Christmas lights on the way home, had some Christmas goodies for an evening snack, and let the kids watch a little TV while we wrapped the last couple of (hard-to-wrap!) gifts. Then, it was off to bed in their new Christmas jammies!

While much of what I am enjoying would be considered the 'stuff' of Christmas - the food, the lights, the giftwrap and ribbons - I was struck this evening by the simple beauty of some of the things around me. We had snow last Friday. As I sat in the balcony during the Service of Lessons and Carols, I could see the last of the day's light reflecting off of the snow and through the translucent glass of the sanctuary windows. Then there were all of the different sounds and styles of music from our choirs and special musicians. The Christmas story. Taking Communion with my little boy. The soft glow of the candlelight as it spread through the congregation. Tonight, it really feels like Christmas to me.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May you have a blessed holiday, wonderful moments with family and friends, and the simple beauty that means 'Christmas" to you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Overheard #24

On this first official day of our Christmas Break... Overheard from the next room:

"Aww, now it's a BIGGER mess!" - Mister J, age 6

"I not the singin' girl, I the DANCIN' girl!" - Miss M, age 3 1/2

And in the same room, stifled laughter from Big J, who heard it all, too. Yep, it's just an ordinary day around here!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Will Santa Come?

Oh, boy, do kids get clever as they get older. They start paying attention to the details.

We have gas logs instead of a traditional fireplace. And our gas logs are not open like a traditional fireplace, there's a glass panel in front. And Mister J is concerned that Santa will not be able to deliver gifts because the glass will keep him from getting into our house.

Rest assured, I have explained to the children (Miss M, upon hearing Mister J's concerns, also became quite worried) that Santa is magical, and will indeed be able to deliver gifts for Christmas morning.

One of the best gifts I'll get - seeing their minds at work. It might make my job a bit harder (they ask lots of questions), but I sure am proud of them!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Day!

It snowed on Friday, the last day of school before the winter break. The timing could not have been more perfect! The snow was coming down pretty hard, and it was overcast and kind of dark, so we waited until Saturday to go outside and play.

Big J was in charge of snowman construction, snowball-making lessons, driveway shoveling, sled-pulling, and other snow day duties. Here are just a few snapshots of the snowy fun!

Lessons from Daddy - before he handed off his gloves to Mister J

Snow angels

The biggest snowman I've ever been a part of making (even though I was just the photographer!)

He asked to do this - after all of the backyard play!

My forte seems to be in the kitchen, so after all of the snowy fun I made real hot cocoa for everyone - marshmallows optional!

Update 12/24/09: As much as I was not looking forward to the snow, I sure did enjoy watching it fall. It was beautiful - and there's still some on the ground! I've never experienced snow that lasted this long- it's as close to a White Christmas as I've ever gotten!

Overheard #23

A few days ago, Miss M and I were discussing what to eat for dinner (Big J and Mister J were at church for Mens' Chorus and basketball practices, respectively).

Her choice? Chicken little soup.

The Rush Is Over...

I am officially on vacation!

You may or may not know that I do a little work from home. After wrapping everything up late yesterday afternoon - and not playing in the snow while it was falling - I have two weeks off!

Now the rest of the rush begins.... House cleaning, light stringing, ornament hanging, gift wrapping, holiday baking, envelope addressing, package mailing.... BUT - this year, I'm hoping to eliminate some of the stress. Yes, I still have a pretty big to-do list. I'm clinging to what's most important this year, though, and realizing that I am NOT super mom.

Probably the most important gift I could give myself.

That and some play-in-the-snow time with my kiddos today!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lunch Break!

This is the last lunch I'll pack until 2010! As much as I enjoy packing my kids' lunches, I am hoping the break will refresh my creativity!

Here, I've packed Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets (I find them at Costco), Pink Lady apples cored and sliced into rings ("wreaths"), carrot sticks and dip of choice, cheese cubes, under which I'd hidden a special treat - Craisins and chocolate chips!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas decorations

(part one in a series?)

Miss M was eager to point out Mary, "John", Baby Jesus, and "the fairy" before I could even get all of the figures set up.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Still shopping?

Hi Bloggy Friends! Did you see that new badge on the right? ---->

Yes, that's right! You can use my special code (momsmagic) to get 10% off of your Laptop Lunches purchases! If you have been reading for a while, you know that we love our Laptop Lunch boxes! I pack two lunches a day, 5 days a week - and I promise it wouldn't be as much fun without the LLBs. Yes, I said FUN!

Click here to see some of the lunches I've packed. I haven't managed to take a photo of 'breakfast for lunch' day, but that's one of my favorites!

Full disclosure - I do receive some benefit when you use my discount code. And, as much as I'd love for you to begin using it today, from now through December 16th you can get 20% off if you use winter2009 when you check out.

Happy, Healthy Lunching!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mister J!

Mister J is six years old. SIX YEARS OLD. This birthday hasn't been as hard for me as when he turned 5 - but 6 just seems SO much older!

We had a small, family celebration on his actual birthday followed by a party on Saturday morning. Here are just a few snapshots of our celebrations.

Sorry for the blur, but I'm so glad I caught this "Yeah!" moment as Mister J opened this gift and realized what was inside the wrapping.

Mister J wanted a "Mad Science" party this year. It was WAY cool! I've never seen kids so still and quiet for so long! (Highly recommend it if there's one in your area!)

Mister J is 'helping' the "Professor" with one of the experiments. This one was to show the difference between magic and science.

The Grand Finale - a rocket launch (of rockets that the "Professor" built while explaining how they work) which took place even though there was a heavy mist falling. They went up into the clouds (truly - we couldn't see them) before floating back down attached to a parachute. (That's Grandpa R on the right. He dressed up like a mad scientist and helped out during the party.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Food On Fridays

Today I'm joining the Food on Fridays blog carnival over at Ann Kroeker's blog.

I'm not sharing a recipe. I'm not adding photos - at least not yet. I'm just making a list of the things I've made this week.

I packed: 11 lunches - 2 children x 5 days, plus a lunch for me on Thursday (I had lunch with Mister J on his birthday).

I baked: 6 loaves of bread - 2 pumpkin chocolate chip, 2 banana no nut, 2 sweet potato (oh, and I baked those sweet potatoes that I put into the bread); 15 chocolate cupcakes; 2 9x13 yellow cakes (did I mention that it's birthday week here?).

I mixed: 1 batch of vanilla buttercream frosting (we haven't made the frosting for the 2-layer 9x13 cake yet, but will be mixing 3 pounds of frosting).

And Big J cooked most of tonight's dinner - it was delicious!