Friends are like four-leaf clovers...hard to find and lucky to have! Friends are like four-leaf clovers...hard to find and lucky to have! Friends are like four-leaf clovers...hard to find and lucky to have!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brrrr Santa!

On Christmas morning, Jenna and Lauryn awoke to find two chairs and a strange note in front of the Christmas tree. We are pretty sure Santa used our computer but he left not even the slightest trace or indication that he was in our den. This isn't the exact letter but it said something like this:

Dear Jenna and Lauryn:

The two of you are incredible young ladies. I was able to bring your chairs in the house but the rest of your gift is in the garage. My back has been bothering me and since Prosser was toward the end of my route, it was really hurting. I knew I could count on the two of you to not be upset. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Thanks for your understanding,
Santa Claus

The girls sat on their new chairs and read the letter from Santa. It directed them to the garage.

Of course the jolly man didn't leave them in the garage that is attached to the house. He put them at the far end of the big garage so we all had to venture out in the super duper freezing cold to see what he left. Thank heavens for cozy bathrobes and slippers! The girls love their new desks and have them set up and ready for homework. ;)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas to...?

To: Jenna, Lauryn, & Rich

From: Rich

Snowmobiling is a passion of Rich's. While he was Christmas shopping he ran across a Snowmobiling game for the Wii. Of course he had to pick it up. He wrapped it in is signature aluminum foil and set it under the tree.

These games always make me crazy. The girls will play and make it look easy. I decide to give it a whirl and end up embarrassing myself. Where are Space Invaders and Pac Man? I could probably show them a thing or two.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Go Bananas!

The Sunday before Christmas I forgot to prepare for the countdown to Christmas mitten so I grabbed a gift that I hadn't wrapped yet. It was the game "Banagrams". I is one of the token educational Christmas gifts. I heard Kathy Lee Gifford talk about it on The Today Show and was tickled when I found it at Barnes and Noble. It has been a blast playing this game. Tonight I think Lauryn spent more time running back and forth to the computer trying to see if some of the words she created were "really words". This is what she was left with and yes...they really are words. Unfortunately she didn't win (I did for the first time) but she made a good effort. My mom, Jenna, and I had already put our game pieces away before we thought to snap some pics.

When the weather is more ice-creamish, I think I'll have the girls invite some friends over for a Banagrams bash with banana splits.

Lauryn is displaying the Banagrams game. It is great because it is very compact.

Here are Lauryn's words.

It's always fun to have a friendly competition and learn a little something at the same time!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Where did Christmas go?

Are you as puzzled as I am? Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday that I was decorating for Christmas and now it's time to put the decorations away. Every year seems to go faster than the last.

Christmas Eve is Blake's birthday. He usually unwraps his birthday presents as soon as he gets out of bed in the morning. This year was a little different. Lauryn kept a countdown until midnight and he opened all his Christmas gifts. (Except for the ones that he got early because he carried them in from my car. Blake is always very helpful. As soon as I pulled into the garage the week before after a Costco trip he was there waiting to help unload the car. He decided to go ahead and hook up his present early to "save me time wrapping". Isn't that thoughtful of him? ;) Blake is worse than a kid when it comes to Christmas and birthdays. He still shakes and "tries" to peek. Christmas Eve night is spent with Blake's family and then it's home for us to open presents.

We always spend Christmas morning at my grandma's. We open our stockings and the gifts from gram and aunt Vick. We then sit down for a yummy breakfast. We look forward to it every year because that is the only time we get the delicious homemade breakfast sausage made by my great uncle. It is a recipe that has been in the family for generations. We decided to have my grandma call him for the recipe so we can keep it going. We usually stuff ourselves with ham, sausage, potatoes, eggs, and a variety of homemade sweet rolls.

After breakfast we all go up to my mom and dad's for gift opening. I was having so much fun just enjoying the moment that I forgot to take many pictures (even though I did get a new camera and my mom already had the battery charged for me). Here are a few times I actually remembered.

Jenna and Lauryn each got a lap desk. They love them. The desks are pretty cool because the lid flips up and there is storage inside. They will be great for traveling or homework on the couch. (There probably won't be much of this though because Santa brought them each a new desk and chair.)

Rich, Steve, and I each got a framed picture of my dad and his family when he was just a little guy. He is the one in the front and center. Rich is trying to figure out who everyone is. My dad is one of eighteen children so get-togethers are always big.

Rich has a signature wrap. For as far back as I can remember, he has wrapped in aluminum foil and writes the recipients name with a Sharpie. He never has to write who it's from because we all know. Mom picked this up and said "Hmmm...I wonder what this is?" One of her gifts from him was the "green pan" that she's wanted. We all love his way of wrapping and wouldn't know what to do if he ever pulled out a roll of wrapping paper.
We munched and played games until it was time for dinner.

Our Christmas dinner was out of this world!! Rich cooked the prime rib on his Traeger and it was absolutely incredible!! We had baked potatoes, corn, German sweet & sour green beans, rolls, deviled eggs,...and much more to go along with it. Needless to say...we were stuffed after dinner.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Gift of Time with Friends!

Jenna and Lauryn are both blessed with great friends!
This year for Christmas Jenna decided to have "girl time" at Starbucks with her friends. We put together gift bags for each of the girls. Each gift bag had a packet of rules for some good old fashioned card games (Crazy Eights, Speed, War, Slap Jack, etc.), a deck of playing cards, a notebook for keeping score, and a Starbucks card.

The girls met at Starbucks on Monday afternoon. I ordered them all their favorite drinks and then it was time for the games to begin!

I took out several decks of cards, Sorry, Blokus, and Bananagrams. It was absolutely a wonderful afternoon! They had a blast playing games, talking, laughing, and simply enjoying the company of good friends.

Here are the bags of fun!

Lauryn brought her friend Brandi so she had someone to play and visit with. I joined them in the game playing. I really planned on taking pictures of all the girls but...I was distracted by trying to win at least one game against the third graders. I was unsuccessful in my quest for success. It's slightly embarrassing but it was sooo much fun!

As the front of the game packet says:

"If you had fun playing the game,

you're a winner even if you lose."

Thank you Jenna, Lauryn, Ellie, Zoe, Haley, Ashley, and Brandi for a super fun afternoon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The One, The Only, The Elusive....


Okay...a dear friend sent us an email late last week. At one point she wrote, "I've got one question Blake. WHY are you not in any of the photos???? Mister - get your rear in one!!!!"

Well the reason Blake is not in many photos is because he is faster than lightening, a speeding bullet, a cheetah, a man running to the bathroom after eating jalapeno chili and cheese nachos followed by a Dr. Pepper. get the idea. It's not that I don't try to get his picture, I'm just not fast enough.
See what I mean? That is Blake behind the pillow. I don't know how he covers his face so fast - but he does. The guy seriously could break some world speed records.

This is about the only way I can get him in a picture. Yep...after he falls asleep and doesn't know I have the camera out. Maybe next time we'll put a little make-up on him before snapping the picture. What do ya think?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Goofy Girls!

This past Saturday (as everyone is probably well aware), the Prosser Mustangs played for the state championship in the Tacoma Dome. Unfortunately, after a hard fought game, they lost by one point in double overtime. I could clearly see from where we sat that the boys gave it their all on the field. We are so proud of them and thankful to have had the opportunity to watch such a neat group of young men play a sport they love. It was a great season.

The girls decided to show their Mustang spirit by wearing Mustang capes that my mom made. (Lauryn's was actually a cape from a Little Red Riding Hood costume from a past Halloween.) Several years back a group of spirited high school gals started wearing them. It's kind of fun to see that is has spread to a larger -- less exclusive group. Lauryn even thought a little red and white face paint was necessary to finish off her ensemble. We quickly applied it in the ladies restroom before the game.

The girls kept the Mustang spirit going all night. They even wore the capes (and face paint) to the LaCrosse game at 7:30 that night. I could hardly wait to see Stacy, Leonard, Ashtyn, Gunnar, Abree, and Gage! I could only see Ash from a distance because she was down front cheering with the big kids. LaCrosse ended up winning their championship game by two points.

I bought the girls some "BillyBob" teeth for their daily mitten. I'm not really sure what I was thinking because the things totally make me gag. I can't stand the idea of having them in my mouth, or theirs for that matter. When Lauryn packed for Tacoma she must have thought it was imperative that she pack some extra teeth. (I often wonder what goes through her mind because she also whipped out a harmonica in the motel room.)
Here are a couple pictures of the girls wearing their new teeth.

I'm so lucky that these two sweet girls keep me in giggles.

Love you tons Jen and Lauryn!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!'s the ol' Essary Christmas tree. I wish I could show pictures of the decorating in progress but....yep, my camera battery was dead (again). Blake totally gets into the tree decorating. He always puts "his" ornaments (tool boxes, cars, motorcycles, lawn mower, tools, etc.) front and center. They never stay there though. Whenever he isn't looking the girls move them to a less visible spot. The three of them battle it out every year. It's pretty darn funny!

Every year on December 1st we start the countdown to Christmas. Each morning the girls have a surprise waiting for them. The little mittens are attached with numbered clothes pins. Once the girls get their surprise, they turn the clothes pin for that day over. Today they each got a pack of bubble gum and tomorrow they each get a dollar (shhh...they don't know yet). They don't always get "things". There may be a note that reads "watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn", "dance to Christmas music in your underwear" (I haven't used this one the past couple years since they are getting a little old for that.), "make and decorate cookies", "make hot cocoa and play board games", "eat a candy cane while mom reads a Christmas story", "dinner at McDonalds", etc.. I found the mitten garland online but I started with 12 pair of kids Christmas socks hung on twine. I usually hang the garland on the mantle but this bench needed a little holiday lovin' too! It's a fun tradition for the girls. (I stole the idea from the Family Fun magazine several years ago.)

I spared you the misery of looking at every single Christmas decoration in my house but I am going to share a few. I made a trip to Real Deals a couple weeks ago to do some Christmas shopping. Guess what? The only person I ended up buying for was...(drum roll please) I know it's pretty shocking. I had so much fun! I need to go back because I ditched a bunch of my Christmas decorations this year. I'm ready for some new "stuff". I told Michele about my "Christmas" shopping so she said " them on your blog!" So here goes:

I love the rusty bells on this wreath! The J-O-Y blocks matched so I had to buy them.

I love the barn stars with a little bling. The picture doesn't show it too well but they are a sparkly pearl. The sign matched so of course I had to buy it too!

These little trees are kind of hard to see but they are sooooo cute. They are wire with little bells hanging from the ends. It was absolutely necessary that I didn't buy just one...but four.