Thursday, December 30, 2010

Through Ayla's Eyes

Ayla has a huge want to be a photographer. She sees our camera and wants to take grab it and take pictures. She is actually really good and sometimes I am amazed at her eye for good pics. Maybe she will take it up as a hobby in her future. Maybe she will be like Alicia :)
I might make this a regular thing... I know Ayla will get a kick out of it. I sure do love that girl. Last night I was thinking about the kids and how old they are (and how fast they got there!) and I realized that Ayla only just turned 3! (in September) A good majority of the time, I forget how much younger she is than Colton! She is actually really mature for her age, and can speak very well for her age. I hope to keep remembering just how old she is, and not lump her together with Colton. They both deserve their own time for each age, don't they?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Season

The Christmas season is pretty much behind us here. We took down all the decorations yesterday (due to our tree being a pretty serious fire hazard!). But that doesn't mean that this Christmas wasn't full and special here in our house.
I woke up to hearing whispers (think:: our bed is downstairs, right in the living room, and was right next to the tree!) and little feet scampering back to the stairs. And more whispers and then two REALLY excited kids coming out and inspecting what Santa left for them. I think they were pretty happy. Ayla got a box of dress up clothes (mostly pink) and Colton got a cool firetruck. Kellen got a star that we have been meaning to get for him before we leave Montana (since the other two have one and when he gets older, he may realize that). It was the sweetest Christmas just for the simple fact that Tyler and I really enjoyed seeing the wonderment and magic alight on our kids faces. We talked a lot about what kind of emotional hardship it will be when our kids find out the truth.

Speaking of truth, I really felt like this Christmas I couldn't do much, but I did watch my kids and how they were reacting to all the "getting". And I wasn't very happy with it. They seem to think that it is a season of "getting", and I know this to be our fault. So it is my goal for next year to really get involved with more giving. I have thought of a couple different scenarios:: pick a giving project each month, and go out with a bang next Christmas (meaning a really good one for December!) or for the month of December do something "giving" every day leading up to Christmas. I do lean towards the first because I really would like my kids to know that giving is an all year thing, not just during the "season". What do you guys think?

We spent Christmas Eve morning with some of our favorite people, the neighbors, Luke and Becca and their adorable girls. We exchanged small gifts and had chocolate croissants and just talked and enjoyed the company. Last year, we did something of the sort with some other wonderful neighbors (although they sadly moved this year to Idaho :( )
Then we had a great steak dinner. Watched a Christmas movie and went to bed... well, tried to go to bed. Colton could not go to sleep, he was too excited. So we waited until 11pm when he went to bed, and then we could set up for morning. It was great. All of it.
Tyler got climbing (rock) gear. He seems to really enjoy it, and Colton does too, so I think it may be something that they or we as a family will continue to do.
I received some wonderful gifts, one of my favorites being a knitting kit with different needles (I have taken a real liking to knitting lately. In fact, alot of people on my gift list received something knitted by me this year!) And the kids got me awesome socks! I love a good pair of socks!

I am debating what to spend my Christmas money on:: I recently revisited a shop that I LOVE (in fact, I covet almost everything in it!) and I think I may splurge and buy an outfit. I have really decided that I want that style. I love its simplicity. The shop is called Gaia Conceptions, on Etsy. I recommend you don't visit, you might get hooked!!! I am finding it SUPER hard to say just what I would like, but I think I am narrowed down to this or this. I absolutely love how the first looks with the dress underneath (which would be a future purchase), I think I would order it in the same color shown (terracotta); and the second one is just so pretty (I would order this in a blue or grey, which is shown)! And versatile. I am thinking I would need these anyhow (in chocolate), also.... oh, the choices! Or check out this.
I figure if I limit myself to one outfit from there a year, I could slowly make a wardrobe. Right? Plus, maybe I could get ideas of my own, and make some myself? I am trying to justify the extravagant cost!

Friday, December 24, 2010

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. ~Soulemama
How sweet is it that my husband so willingly took the task of making a tutu for our dear little girl?! I love that he is so moldable :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This kid

This kid is so many things. I cannot believe he is already nine months old! 3/4 of a year?! How did it happen. Just last week we brought him home from the hospital! He really keeps us entertained around here... funny faces (one we affectionately call his "yuck face" ... think face all scrunched up; so cute!), fascinations with the cats, his little gibberish that he says all the time! How he has a love/hate relationship with his sister (she loves to smother him!)
I am really loving his little personality that is peaking through, and I can't wait to see what/who he will become in the years to come.
His brother and sister are both equally adorable, and I love them unconditionally; but today, most of the pictures on the camera were of this adorable little face!

Friday, December 17, 2010

sledding day (about 2 weeks ago)

Yes, i am thinking of the days when I could actually walk! We went sledding the weekend before my surgery with our neighbors, Becca and Luke and their two girls. It was cold, and fun for a bit. Even Kellen went on his first sled ride! But Kellen, Ayla and I were soon in the car with the heat on... it was REALLY cold (think 20 something) but we were prepared with hot chocolate and those little heat toastie things. It was fun. Probably my only time sledding this season... hopefully the kids don't get to say that too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My knee

Don't you just love this? The snowflakes were made as a family all day on Sunday. Colton made the most and seemed to really get the concept down! Such an improvement from last year! It was fun, and the look is just magical. We hung them up on the ceiling all over downstairs, and it just looks so neat. You should o do it!

i know, i know... all I ever talk about is my knee! But first! Look at this CUTE hat that I knitted for a special recipient... it only took a day (it is chunky fabric) and it is about the cutest thing! I am in love with it! Now on to this one for someone else. Yeah, I do a lot of knitting in bed. But that is a big part of my life right now! I am stuck in bed, keeping it elevated or in machine that bends and unbends it most of the day! Not exactly fun. Plus, I can't put any weight on it for 3 more weeks.
Yesterday, Tyler had to do some stuff for work all day, so he left at 730 in the morning, and didn't make it home until 445pm! Good thing, my wonderful neighbor and friend, Becca, came over for most of the day! But I was alone with the kids for a couple hours throughout the day, and it didn't actually go too bad.
My knee seems to be pretty sore now, since the swelling is going down and I can feel more in there. I just have to look at the big picture and remember that my knee will finally be awesome. I haven't had an ACL in 14 years! My meniscus has been torn since June, and the cartilage thing..., I have no idea!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Decorating the tree

A week ago, we decided to get our tree the regular way. Last year, we had fun hunting down our tree in the nearby woods, but there was already too much snow for the silver bullet (minivan) to make it very far into the woods ;)
We bought it at Ace Hardware.
We thought it was pretty funny that it was from Sublimity, Oregon.
We had a great time decorating it... the kids loved checking out each ornament and finding a perfect place on the tree; only to find a BETTER spot a half second later.
We only lost a couple. Ornaments, that is.
It was a great time. Christmas is so special with kids!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some crafts we have been up to

Before my surgery, we did manage to get a couple things done in the craft department.
One of them was these adorable owls. I just love them. Becca, our neighbor, and wonderful friend, who also happens to work at the library and do storytime found them on the internet and did this craft at storytime a couple weeks ago. She had some extra, and graciously shared them with us on the day we had Quin and Trent over. The kids LOVED being able to pick the colors and patterns they liked (pink mostly for Ayla, of course!) and the end results were just TOO cute! It was a relatively simple craft (for us, all the pieces were cut out already) and I think you should make one too! What you need::

~An owl body, usually brown out of construction paper, or even a paper bag
~A circle-ish cut out for the belly. We used patterned scrapbooking paper, but again, be creative.
~A goggle-like cutout for behind the eyes, using a different patterned paper
~2 smaller circles for the eyes
~2 buttons of any size for the eyeballs (we used just tape for securing these and it worked perfect)
~2 cut outs for wings, whichever size/shape you desire
~2 cut outs for feet
~1 cut out for beak
you will love to put these up in your windows!

The other craft we did was our advent calendar. This was inspired from the Rhythm of the Home Blog and Publication (a fantastic work of love with great crafts and what not for you and your family... and free!)We always have a ton of mismatched socks AND I usually get socks for the kids for stocking stuffers each Christmas, so this just seemed to be perfect for us. I used a banner made by Camille at Camille Creates and so generously given to me last year! It was the a great backdrop for the socks above our fireplace. I haven't decided if I will make a more "Christmasy" one for next year, or just use this same set up again. I am, however, going to only get the kids, (or make them) socks for Christmas from now on, and this is how they will be presented. I think it works quite well. I have been putting just little trinkets or candies in there... even some money every once in a while. The other day, I put a little note in the sock, saying they got to open a present... this went over very well.

Surgery update::
My surgery went very well; everything was almost exactly what the doctor suspected. They did a total ACL reconstruction, clipped the meniscus on each side (both were torn), and a procedure which replaced a damaged piece of cartilage with an undamaged one from within my knee (OATES procedure). The last thing is what is going to take a while to heal. I am supposed to put 0 weight on my leg/knee for 4 WEEKS!! That is going to seem like forever. Kellen is not yet crawling, and he is such a mama's boy... we will see how it all plays out! Good thing it is almost Christmas break and Tyler can do a lot of his work from home! And I have great friends that have offered to help when they can!

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Amanda Soule


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Before and After

On our trip to Oregon, as we were driving into Astoria, Ayla says "Mommy, look at this". I turn around and look, and I was so mad.
I was just so mad.
She said that she looked better with purple on her, and she actually asked for it.
I still don't believe her.
I was so mad, that I was silent (which meant I was really mad).
I took the doll, and the pen.
I told her that she wouldn't get the doll back for some time because she wasn't ready for her.
The rest of the trip, it was forgotten.

When we got back home, I brought the doll in.
I looked at her for a couple days, thinking of a proper way to fix her.
I contacted her creator, and she mentioned some ideas.
I used her babywipe idea, and then I used Ecover Stain Remover.
It worked beautifully! I was so happy!
I did, however, tell Ayla that we might wait awhile to play with her.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Me and My Man

These were taken a day before our 5 year anniversary (October 22), by Alicia Brown, for her Beloved series. I love them... just like I love this man. He is mine, and I am his. We are love.