Wednesday, December 29, 2010


From left-right: Richard & Pamela (holding Ethan), Emmy, Zeke, Peggy & Jerry, Bill & April, Kirsten & Brian
We were very blessed this year to be able to celebrate Christmas day with all of our parents for the first time EVER!!!!  It was such a great time--and I relished every moment of the kids getting all the attention and gifts from loving grandparents, eating an awesome spread of food with everyone pitching in to make it yummy and our special time around the dinner table sharing what God has done in each our lives over the past year. I thank God that he has given me parents and in-laws who care about one another and that He made it possible to share this meaningful time together!

Crafty Christmas...

I don't know what I was thinking, but I decided to make some homemade gifts this year--you know, trying to make things more meaningful than costly.  I was able to pull it off with the help of my beautiful & willing to be put to work sister-in-law.  I didn't get a picture of the grandfather's picture blocks, but we did tile trivets for all the grandma's (and Rachel made herself one, too) and recipe binders for Brian (actually for both of us, but he's been asking me to get something decorative and organized for his recipes and I figured might as well put all our stuff together!).

Tile trivets for each grandma!

Recipe Books for Brian

Thanks for helping me pull it off, Rachel!  Everyone loved their gifts and I'm looking forward to organizing recipes and having them in nice looking binders!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Seeing Santa

The day before Christmas included a visit to Santa's Workshop where the kids got to tell their final wishes to Santa!  So fun to see them (the older two, at least) climb right on Santa's lap and smile for pictures.  Once Mom and Dad got in the mix, Ethan was happy, too... great family photo op!  Merry Christmas, 2010!

*What's even better is that our Sonora Santa this year is a dear friend that used to work at the high school with Brian!  Mike also came to our house as Santa for Zeke's first Christmas back in 2004!  So cool that the City of Sonora recognizes a great Santa when they see one! =)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My poor child!!!

So, Zeke had quite the day yesterday... not only did he lose his front tooth up top (he also lost one on the bottom on Sunday), he took a nose dive, literally, into the corner of the coffee table upstairs. 

He's so swollen and had already started bruising just an hour after it happened.  By about 9pm, breathing through his nose was difficult, so we decided that we'd better be sure everything was okay and take him to the ER.  They got us in and out really quickly, we were home by 10pm, with a treatment plan of ice for swelling and tylenol for pain--which we got w/o an x-ray because the treatment would have been the same regardless of what showed up.  Needless radiation to the brain--we are fine skipping that.  His nose looks straight up and down, and we have to follow up w/ the ear, nose and throat dr next week after the swelling goes down, so we'll just hope that it was a minor fracture or bad bruise and be done with it.  Worst case is that they would have to reset it--but the dr. seemed to think that it wouldn't be necessary... we'll pray!!!  He's super sore today, neck and shoulders included, so we're keeping him home from school so I can keep him up on the tylenol dosing schedule and maybe visit the chiropractor (thanks for the idea, Keely!).  Hopefully he'll be good to go to school tomorrow to enjoy all the holiday festivities!

In the meantime, what a sight this kid is... poor thing.  Apparently, it'll get worse before it gets better.  Christmas pictures will be interesting this year!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tasty Treats = Great Gifts

Brian went with a great group of guys to the 49'er football game today, so the kids and I took advantage of the day at home between church and Awana to make our Christmas goodies for our teachers, co-workers and neighbors.  I got this idea from a MOPS friend (thank you, Holly!) a couple of years ago, and I still can't get over how simple and absolutely delicious these tasty little morsels are.

Utilizing a highly selective group of quality control experts and assembly line workers, peel rolos, line up the pretzels on cookie sheets, and place a rolo on each one. 
We used a double layer of wax paper under the pretzels this year to help them not stick with 'sweat' so much to the cookie sheets, and it really worked well.


Warm oven to 200 degrees and use to soften the rolos.  Mine were perfect after about 8 minutes today. 
Pull them out of the oven and quickly(so they don't start to harden back up), but gently, push a nut into the center of each rolo... and THAT'S IT!  I used pecans today, but I've also had good results with almonds and cashews.
Let them cool for about an hour or so you don't mush them up. 
The best parts about this for me, besides the eating, of course, is that my kids can do almost everything themselves and there is virtually no clean up!  So awesome! 
I'll post pictures after we get them all packaged up, too!  The kids and I worked together to design some fun labels for their gift tags--it'll be fun to share them here!

Christmas Tree 2010

We finally got our Christmas tree this week!

Picking out the tree was quick--we truly just spent most of our time chasing Ethan who was having an absolute blast running through the rows of trees.  But... we had fun as a family, found a great little tree that we got to pay entirely too much for, enjoyed a delicious bite at Camacho's afterward, and now get to admire the glow of the beautiful lights. I so love this time of year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Motherlode Christmas Faire 2010

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Thanks to one of my students at the college, we got free admission to the Christmas Faire at the Fairgrounds in Sonora over Thanksgiving weekend (so, I'm a bit delayed in getting the pictures off my camera!).  They have it every year, but this is the first time we've been able to get down there.  My student sent Santa's Elves looking for us, and it was sooooo cool, because when she found us, she called each of the kids by name and they just were so surprised!  So fun!