Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Or should I say "kiss-em day" as Lyra does! You might guess from the little video clip included here that Santa brought me a new toy! I got a little Flip video camera (it showed up very late on Xmas eve) and it was a lot of fun to have on Christmas day.
Clearly I still need a lot of work to take decent video. I added the music because there are sections with no talking but unfortunately, there's no way to fine tune the volume of the music as compared wit the video sound. I mean, I did select the "Play softer than the video" option but that's the only option...there's no "play really really soft" option. There's now way that I can find to make credits that scroll or to change the font on the title and credit screens. Picky, aren't I???
Still, this is much easier to use than our other camera, else there would be no video out here at all. That camera isn't exactly hard but it is more involved and I have to relearn every time how to use it. And the charger for the battery is always AWOL. And I never did figure out how to get the videos off it and onto the computer. So the Flip is much better and I am very excited! Cristin got one too and I am sure she loves hers as much as I love mine.
Unfortunately, Frank Jr. was so sick on Christmas Day we didn't even see him! And then Josie got it and I think maybe Mom too. We have our fingers crossed that the rest of us stay healthy.
What I cannot believe is how much TRASH we have generated. Despite trying to have a simpler holiday and recycling all the boxes and paper, we are drowning in trash. I am thankful that our trash/recycling pick up is tomorrow but I am embarrassed at the big pile outside! Fortunately there is another family on our street now with children so we won't be the only ones with a heap out front.
I will post more pictures later tonight. Will did some posting of his own, as Santa brought him a new digital camera to replace the one he left out in the rain last spring. Here's Will's new blog: www.twinkieandfriends.blogspot.com.I hope he will update it regularly so he gets writing and typing practice.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Eva's buddy, Schyler, came over for a sleepover and they are having a lot of fun! It is always nice to have Schyler over because she is cool to have Lyra there and does a very good job of looking out for her. You can see her helping Lyra decorate a cookie. I think Schyler may be a teacher some day.
The girls decorated their cookies with royal icing, sugar sprinkles and those pens with the edible ink that you can get now. They don't work as well as I'd hoped they would but the are not bad. When I bake the rest of the cookie dough, I am going to dry painting on some of them BEFORE baking with colored egg yolk. I might actually need to buy another paintbrush or two to do this because all my good supplies seem to be AWOL. I do not know what happens to all my stuff.
Will and I waited until the girls were done before decorating our cookies.
Results are below
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
We cut down the tree last weekend and that was great fun! But then the kids naturally wanted to put it up and decorate it right away. We really didn't have a big enough chunk of time to do it during the week so we managed to stave the task off until this weekend. Yesterday morning, I took a day off from running and started putting the lights on instead. Last year, I got all the lights on the tree and a bunch of them didn't work so I had to take them all down, get new lights and do it again. This year, Will tested all the lights first and I got the "all clear!" I thought I was set, but still it was a debacle, just like last year.
I hauled the big ladder out of the greenhouse. You can see the tree is in the doorway between the living room and library which means I have to walk down the hallway and into the library from the other side to get to the other side of the tree. The tree is so tall I had to move the ladder into the other room a couple of times as I put the lights around the top of the tree. I finally got to use a chair in the other room instead of using the ladder but going up and down and around, I still worked up a sweat (so I felt totally justified in not running that morning!). I ran out of lights pretty close to the bottom but figured it would be easy enough to buy and add one more strand. I plugged them in and......half of the lights on two of the strands would not come on!!!!! It was difficult to refrain from cussing in front of the kids but I managed, mostly because the kids were not really around. I fixed one strand but could not fix the other one. In disgust, I told Bill he had to finish the lights.
This morning, Bill tried to figure what was wrong with the top strand (because OF COURSE that was where the problem was). Next thing I know, Eva comes running into the kitchen, "Daddy said the f-word!" All the the kids were Very Excited about this unprecedented (at least unprecedented as far as they were concerned) event. Poor Bill! Lyra is probably going to tell her preschool class that "Daddy said the f-word" although of course she does not know what the f-word is. I went to the drugstore and bought more lights and finally we got the tree lit and decorated without anymore swearing. We sure could have used some egg nog and next year, we will prepare accordingly.
Everyone says we should get a pre-lit tree and it certainly is tempting. But I bet there would be some cussing involved in figuring how to get it in and out of some storage area that we don't have and then trying to assemble it. Next year, I am going to advertise on my local listserv for someone to come over and put the lights on the tree. This is definitely a job worth outsourcing!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We shouldn't have to get it cut for another year now, although I expect we will because Lyra likes to go to the beauty shop and have her hair done. She is such a girlie!
I am realizing that there are many many posts on this blog related to Lyra and Eva's hair. I might have to make that its own category.
Snicker's Gap had Douglas Fir and Colorado Blue Spruce trees. The Douglas Fir are much easier to work with but the Blue Spruce look so much wilder and fun that we went with one of those. Unfortunately they are PRICKLY. Putting the lights on and decorating will not be fun. However, the prickliness should easily keep the cats and children at bay.
It was very cold for the tree cutting. We pulled out all the ski-wear to do it. This is Lyra's first Christmas where she really is excited and knows what's going on. She knew we needed to pick out a big tree since our ceilings are so high. She promptly picked out several 5 foot trees for us to take home because they looked plenty big to her. It was darling!
We finally had to make an executive decision before Lyra got lost and we all froze to death.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
The grocery store is packed. People clearly are expecting snow because the milk cabinet was empty. After standing in a line long enough to read an entire Good Housekeeping, I discover that my wallet is at home next to my laptop and not in my purse. They wouldn't let me just type in my credit card number so Bill is having to drive up here with his wallet. I am standing here looking like a dork! Ms. Fairy Godmother is going to have a lot of work to do. Bill will surely need attitide adjystment (as will I!).
How many of you have done this? Hopefully I am not alone.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Cheryl and Todd hosted this year's Thanksgiving. Eric and Kevin came to play at our house in the morning so Cheryl do some cooking unencumbered by children, then we took the kids over in the afternoon. Mom and Dad came too! It really was a lot of fun and we all are so thankful to have our friends and family. I posted a few photos below. The rest are in the video here. Bill took all the photos so he isn't in any of them. But he was there yesterday, really he was!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Eva wanted to know why barbershops always have that pole outside (we had passed a couple of barber shops on the way here). And I could use my blackberry to look it up! I knew it was from medieval times but that was all I knew. For those of you who want to know, the symbol dates back to when barbers also did tooth extractions and surgery. The brass basin on top is for the leeches, the one on the bottom is to catch the blood, the pole is the staff the patient gripped to encourage blood flow, and the stripes are bloody and clean bandages. Yuck. Bet you wish I hadn't told you!
I also got to look up "cornucopeia" in Eva's class this morning because I thought it meant horn of plenty and also an over abundance; someone else thought it was from mythology. We were both right!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
There were 15 or 18 kids in the class. Songs had to be from musicals written before 1980 and the teacher worked with each student to ensure they were picking a song appropriate for their voice. Kids ranged from 7 to mid-teens. Songs came from the King and I, Oliver, the Lion King (I think that's not pre-1980) and Song of the South and a few other musicals. Some of the children, like Eva, had never done anything like this before; others clearly had experience. Everyone did reallly well and no one was rattled if they had to start over. Eva's instructor did a great job of creating a supportive environment where everyone could feel comfortable taking risks in front of the group.
There were a lot of people in that recital room, figure two parents per kid and many siblings. I do not think I could have sung by myself in front of all those people, at least not without some tequila.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Here's our cabin (Pinetop) and a view of the sunset over the lake.
After we arrived and got settled into our cabin, we went to happy hour, and it was happy! See Eva and Lyra having a good time? Our cabin was very close to the lake and there were canoes, kayaks and small sailboats to take out. There were hiking trails populated with fungi in every color of the rainbow because the summer had been so rainy and wet. Lyra was especially fascinated with the mushrooms. There was also a game lodge and one very exciting bingo night! Will insisted on staying through the entire thing.