Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Annual Christmas Family Portrait

Christmas Morning 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Standing in front of the tree. When did my boys get so tall??

Lydia is showing you her princess lights. While she did her best to un-decorate the tree, these managed to stay on!

You can see our sad, mostly un-decorated tree in this shot. Maybe next year we'll be able to put up ornaments again!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Ornament

Since our first Christmas together, Bo & I have gotten a personalized family ornament for our tree. Here is the ornament for this year -- purchased in the nick of time on Christmas Eve.

I have more pictures to share, but it's been busy between illness and work and life -- I'll get some up as soon as I can. We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Save Handmade Goods!

On February 10, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will go into effect. If it goes into effect as currently written, untold numbers of artisans and small businesses will be forced out of business due to the forced testing of each item that is used in the creation of handmade goods for children.

Third party testing of each item used in the creation of wooden toys, handmade dolls, baby slings, and anything that may be used by a child -- will cost thousands of dollars. The cost of testing will force most (if not all) individuals and small businesses who create items for children out of business.

I would hate to see this happen! We have always heard how small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and this act will effectively shut down untold numbers of small businesses. If a small business manages to pay the testing fees, they will have to charge that much more for their items, and will likely limit the number of items they sell.

One mama I know who makes baby slings determined that she would have to test each different fabric and each different ring to comply with this act. The testing for her current inventory would cost more than $3000.00. If she wanted to add more fabrics, or different rings, that testing cost would increase. She would have to double the cost of her slings to meet these new requirements, and would have to borrow money to test the current items in her inventory. If this act goes into effect, she will go out of business.

Cool Mom Picks has an extremely informative post about this act, and gives information about a few different things we can do to prevent this act from going into effect. Please click over there and read the information they've put together.

I know everyone is busy with the holidays right now, but please take a moment to let your representatives in Washington know that this act is not good for American businesses or consumers. Don't put them out of business!!

(If you read my various blogs, I realize I've blogged about this 3 times now. I try not to cross-post like this, but this is very important to me because it will force many WAHM's I know out of business.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Movie Night

The kids and I watched Matilda a few nights ago. It's a great movie, and everyone enjoyed it. Well, maybe Lydia enjoyed the popcorn the most.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lydia Dancing

Our Lyddie-Lou loves music and loves to dance. Some days she has more moves than spinning, but this wasn't one of those days. The almost-end is my favorite part, and then it gets cut off because she wanted to see herself on video.

Flag Football Awards Ceremony

The boys finished up their flag football season last week. They both had fun, and want to play again next fall!

Found on My Camera

When I downloaded the card, I found this video taken by Colin of Nate. They're both goofballs!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Giving Up Soda

I know it's hard to believe -- but we've been trying to give up soda around here -- I blogged about it over at Prevention -- Giving Up Soda

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lydia waiting for turkey. Bo made an absolutely delicious turkey this year. Jane said she thinks it may have been the best turkey she ever ate. He brined it overnight in a mixture of pineapple juice, Hawaiian soy sauce, garlic and salt (and some other stuff), then rubbed it all over with olive oil and spices and grilled it outside. It was SCRUMPTIOUS!

Here's the rest of our dinner. Fresh yeast rolls, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole and 8 lbs of mashed potatoes. I also made 2 pies -- a pumpkin pie and a cranberry pie. I also made gravy from the drippings, but apparently didn't get a picture of that.

Here's our table. The boys made the centerpiece decoration earlier this week. Lydia made it through the entire dinner without breaking her glass, but it ended up broken anyway. Nate declared sparkling grape juice the most amazing wine he ever tasted and insisted on sipping it slowly throughout dinner.

Here's Lydia during grace. She's not rubbing her eyes, that's the way she holds her hands in prayer. Isn't it cute?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Fresh Christmas Wreaths

You all know how much we love decorating the outside of our home for the holidays. I was lucky enough this year to receive a beautiful wreath from Wreaths Direct to display on our front door. The picture you see above is our front door, with the wreath hanging on it.

The wreath arrived in a large box, and when I opened it both Bo & I looked at each other and said "It smells like Christmas!" The fresh pine boughs were a little flattened, but fluffed up wonderfully after an hour hanging on the door.

It adds a festive touch to our home, and on Friday when Bo puts up our Christmas lights, the door will be framed with rope lights to add to the look. We've already received a number of compliments on the wreath, and I have been passing along Wreaths Direct's information to our neighbors.

Wreaths Direct has been growing, caring for, and harvesting northwest noble and douglas fir trees for five generations in Oregon. They would love to help decorate your home this year with a beautiful 24" wreath or a 20" table centerpiece. You can contact them via their website or by phone at 888-449-9485.

As a special bonus to readers of this blog, you can receive FREE UPS GROUND SHIPPING by mentioning the code W0834.

And, one last picture of Nate's favorite part of the wreath. He can't wait until the season is over and the wreath comes down so he can add these to his pinecone collection!

Many thanks to Wreaths Direct for the beautiful wreath for our home!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Encouraging Kids to Wash Their Hands

Just a few tips to help your kids wash their hands, and maybe avoid some illness this winter! My latest Prevention post: Encouraging Kids to Wash Their Hands

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Crustless Cranberry Pie

Are you looking for something unique for a holiday dessert? Then you have to try this Crustless Cranberry Pie!

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The boys have been having a wonderful time playing flag football this fall.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Save Money by Shopping from Your Pantry This Week

Thanksgiving week may not be the best time to try this, but keep it in mind! I posted over at Prevention about how to Save Money by Shopping from Your Pantry This Week

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

National Diabetes Awareness Month

Did you know that 95% of all diabetics in the United States have Type II (or adult-onset) Diabetes? I didn't either until I wrote this post over at Prevention -- National Diabetes Awareness Month.

It's important that we continue funding research for all types of diabetes -- so we can help Kraig's niece (recently diagnosed with Type 1) and much of my family living with Type II (and probably me before long.)

Edited to Add: The dear friend I refer to in my Prevention post is Kraig -- he wrote about his niece's diagnosis of Type I Diabetes here. I understand she's doing well, but it's always hard to be a kid and be different.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

And He's 8!

My sweet, oldest boy turned 8 today. He outgrew his bike months ago, but I kept telling him that a new bike wasn't in his future.

So, this morning, we headed out for our morning walk. Bo asked for his help finding a tool that he thought he left in my folks' garage. Colin headed over to help look for this mysterious tool. Bo encouraged him to lift a blanket to see if it was on the shelves behind the blanket.

He lifted the blanket and said "There's just a bike here. A brand new bike."

I said "Hmmm, who do you think the bike is for?" at about the same time he was saying "It's a bike that is just my size."

Finally it dawned on him that it was HIS new bike. He was thrilled. I hope you can see his excitement in the pictures!

He had a lovely day of bike riding, eating off the birthday plate, receiving many fabulous presents, and having his requested birthday dinner. He requested ham -- and real ham, not that stuff you buy to save money (that would be turkey ham), and fresh -- not leftover!, with scalloped potatoes -- from a box, not from scratch, but from a box like Grandma makes, and cooked carrots -- but plain cooked carrots -- not with anything added to them, and garlic bread. With a bakery cake, because Basha's was kind enough to send him a birthday card along with a coupon for a free cake. He declared it a wonderful dinner.

Our boy is intelligent, kind, thoughtful, considerate, friendly and a joy to be around. He's an eager student, and a joy to teach. He's a great big brother to his siblings and a steadfast friend to his friends. He loves to read, build with Legos, ride his bike and spend time outdoors. It's hard to believe that in 8 more years we'll be taking him for his learner's permit!

(For those curious, this is the bike Colin got: Mongoose 20-Inch Gravity Games BMX Freestyle Bike (Gunmetal))

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Milk and Sugar Scrub

Did you know we go through about 3 gallons of milk a week at our house? And that doesn't even count the weeks I indulge in the Milk and Sugar Scrub that I posted about over at Prevention.

Show me some love over there, would you, and leave a comment? Bloggers without readers are bloggers without jobs. thanks ;)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Think She Needs To Be Older

Lydia Likes the Comics

Love and Teamwork

Over at Prevention, I compared our marriage to a team. Bo likes to call us a championship team and I agree :)

If you have a moment, head on over and read my post. If you could, I'd love if you would leave a comment over at Prevention. They've recently revamped the site, and hopefully it's a bit easier to navigate now. Thanks!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Colin's 8 Birthday Party

Colin had a Lego-themed birthday party this year. Unfortunately, most of the guests couldn't come at the last minute, but fun was still had by all! (I guess this is one problem with severely limiting the guest list.)

I made an orange Lego brick cake, which went over well. When I was asking Colin what color cake he wanted, Nate responded "Clear! Cuz that's the coolest brick color!" Thankfully, Colin was a bit more realistic and went for orange.

We had goody bags filled with Lego bricks chosen from the open bins at the Lego store. We were going to play games with the Legos, but the kids ended up playing Wii instead.

To see more cakes I've made: Colin's Volcano cake, Nate's pool cake, Nate's bulldozer