Monday, December 29, 2008

December Daily-Day 24

Christmas Eve we went to Jason's cousins for the Schultz/Gilchrist party. Mike and Pollie have a wonderful home perfect for large gatherings. Made even better by the amazing playroom! This area was set up like a classroom. Teagen was a natural, even yelling when the students got out of hand. Mike and Pollie have 3 little girls, and its like dress-up Heaven for T.

My pics are totally out of order...
Grady trying to make his escape.

My nephew, younger than Grady, but acts like such a big boy!

Summer and Gramma Joan sharing a moment.

The great gift explosion. The presents are passed out and then they all rip into theirs at the same time. Kinda crazy, but the kids love it.

The Schultz Family.
As you can see, Teagen refused to part with the dress-up.

Uncle Mike and Aunt Cathy. Cathy has had a medical emergency since 2 days ago now, and I believe she is still in the hospital. Prayers going out to her for a quick recovery.

Teagen was amazed by the double sinks in the bathroom. She just could not understand why one bathroom needs 2 sinks! Its the little things:)

This pic just cracked me up. Its Summer and Jess dressing up and I never noticed Jeremy peaking thru the rack!

Lots of fun, tons of food. Roads were a bit scary, but could have been worse. The hard part was that we got home late, and still had tons to do. We were up until midnight. Thank goodness for the 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" On TBS!

December Daily-Day 23

Whats Christmas in Lakeside without "the Crazy House"? The rule is that if we are out and about at dark, and the kids are awake, we drive by.
I have to say I don't know how they do it. The power bill must be insane. But its very sweet, and they bring a lot of joy to the kids in the area. Now their neighbors on the other hand...

December Daily-Day 22

I really was not in the mood to catch this up, but the last thing I need for the new year is another unfinished project!

So I found that these were the only pics I took on the 22nd. All the crazy snow kept us in for those days leading up to Christmas. Grady got this giant measuring tape from Gramma Donna and the kids measured every thing! In the 2nd photo, I think it looks like Grady is giving Teagen CPR.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. I must enjoy this life before I die.

2. You can't stop a train.

3. I wish I never had to buy DIAPERS or LAUNDRY DETERGENT again.

4. HAVING CHILDREN has helped me change my life.

5. I know the song "Do you Remember?" by heart.

6. If I weren't so afraid, I would open a business.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleeping, tomorrow my plans include sleeping and Sunday, I want to sleep!
I'm kidding(sorta)We have deiced to stay home tonight to unwind, tomorrow Jason has some venison to take care of, and Sunday we are having Christmas with Bob and Joan at Brandon and Laura's. I will hopefully have some energy to update on Saturday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A break on the Daily

I am still taking tons of pics, just not downloaded yet. I feel like my brain is going a hundred miles an hour and my body is not keeping up. I am beat!

This morning, the kids got their last advent gift(new PJs and M&Ms), Jason is OFF for the 1st Christmas Eve in 7 years and he is putting some stuff together downstairs. Wrapping is done. I need to bake a Pineapple Upside Down Cake for dinner with the Gilchrist/Schultz Party tonight. Usually we go to Flanders' Christmas tonight as well, but the weather and rushing has told me to just let it go this year. I'm a bit sad over it, but also relieved to cut down on the craziness. Doing my best to keep the house decent. I HATE a messy house Christmas Eve. IT just gets insane Christmas morning.

So tomorrow, we will get up and do our family gifts and stockings and such, and very leisurely get ready for my Dads for the afternoon/evening. I love all the parties, but Christmas day is such a relief! It's cozy comfy sweatshirts and jeans and monkey bread. Its very excited and grateful children. Its taking the long way to Whitehall so that the kids catch a nap. Its very very good.

We have 2 more parties this weekend. We are supposed to go back to Donna's to visit with more family, and Christmas with Jason's Dad and Joan is Saturday at Brandon and Laura's house in Dorr. And it will be fun, but then I am ready to be done!

So Merry Christmas to Everyone reading, my blogger girls and the lurkers( I know you are out there!) my family and my friends. Wishing everyone safe journeys and warm hearts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

December Daily-Day 21

I swore I was not doing a gingerbread house this year. In the past, they have been a lot of work and I always get stuck finishing it alone. I have been tempted many times this season to buy a kit, but the memories of frustration kept coming back. Finally, At toys R us, I caved when they had a Willie Wonka one. Wow, actually good candy! I was sold.

I decided it would be an advent calendar gift, and Sunday was just right. However, we got off to a rough start... NO lie, every piece was broken. Thank goodness all that HGTV watching had taught me some superior grouting skills.
Of course, the extra step of repair work just meant that the kids ate more of the decor while waiting. Grady was crazy for the Runts bananas.

While waiting for the icing to dry, the girls drew out their designs for the house and came to a few compromises.

A very sugary-sweet kiss...

And then I just basically let them go at it. They took the job very seriously and I think were shocked that I just "let" them do it. And ya know what? They did great.

It lasted about 30 minutes before it was a pile of ruins. Ah well, the best $10 I ever spent.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa has arrived!

My 2008 Santa from Grandpa.
How lovely is he? And I have really had a thing for Cardinals lately. So I find him perfect in every way. And if you have been to my house then you know that these guys never get put away. I can't bear to! They usually go on a shelf but get center stage on the TV for the holiday.

December Daily-Day 20

This about sums it up. Look at the individual faces here. Its priceless. Angi, it seemed like a good idea at the time.... Saturday we traveled to Grand Ledge for Christmas with my Grandpa Freed. There are 19(I think) Great Grand Children. My Grandpa's home is very small. THIS was true chaos. But so worth it:)

My Reid dude. Yes, he was drinking Mt Dew. I didn't care, I didn't have to ride home with him!

My Cousin Christin's new pup. He was sleeping between Ang and I on the couch. I was a bit worried about such a tiny little guy with all those kids. But he was fine.

My cousin Jessie. She really isn't as scary as she looks here. Except when she's chewing out her brother. Yikes! (lol!)

Grady found his Papa.

Quincy loves little ones like no other. Teagen is not easily won over, but adored Quincy.

My girl.
My cousin Caroline organized junk bingo for the kids to play downstairs. GREAT IDEA. Basically each family brings a bunch of random toys and they are put in a box or pile, and the kids win a pick when they get bingo. At first the kids didn't want to part with their junk. So I just picked stuff on my own and they were fine. Of course we came home with different junk, but at least it gets played with:)
The adults do a $10 White Elephant gift exchange. Very interesting, I'll tell ya. I ended up with some Victoria's Secret lotion and Jason got one of those package opening tools. I saw everything from bottles of wine to origami kits to multipliers to Coffee mug sets. Of course everyones favorite it something handmade or lottery tickets. So they get fought over the most. Its funny to watch.

Aunt Bunnie and her guest, Bill. She was letting him have it for goofing off in all the pics. I guess I know where Jessie gets her stink eye from! You guys are super cute.

The Rock and the Cindy. Posing for someone else.

And last but not least, my Grumps. I am posting a shot of the Santa's he did for us this year separately.. I don't know how he does it, he made at least 13 just for family gifts and many many more for sale. And they are stunning. Some of my most cherished possessions. He's 80. Hes truly amazing.

I really had so much fun, but its the 1st Freed Christmas for me without Grandma, and that was harder than I expected. I usually think my sadness this time of year is for my mom or even the miscarriage. But I realized that I miss Grandma a lot this year as well as the Christmas' of our childhood. Of being at Freed's and there being the popcorn balls(that I don't even like) and fudge. And my moms cinnamon rolls. And playing with our new toys and it being dark and the tree being lit up. And the TV being on. And the grownups playing cards. And lots of laughter(which there still is)especially hers. I miss the smell and the sounds. And either staying the night, sleeping on the floor or driving home so late and being in footed pjs and sleeping the whole way home. The memories are so vivid for me and I cannot express them properly in writing. But that's life, it just keeps changing. I really don't like footed Pjs anymore. I am trying to take it as a lesson to enjoy the NOW. A work in progress.

December Daily-Day 19

Friday's weather was CRAZY. School cancelled. So much snow, I was really worried that we wouldn't be able to attend any of the parties this weekend. But as predicted, it stopped. We figured the roads were good enough to make it to Jason's Mom's for Christmas. And they were fine, until we entered her subdivision. So thankful for 4x4!

Photos of the night: Grandpa Mark helping Teagen. That's Nick looking on. Hes about 2 months younger than Grady.
Just a shot of the craziness...

From my pics you would think that Grandpa liked toys as much as the kids!

Tea showing off some new Pollys.

Amazing! A Petshop she does not already have!

9 Grand kids. Lots of paper. Lots of Presents. Donna and Mark spoiled us all as usual.

Grady's favorite score of the night. Some good soldier gear! We are happy that now there is some dress-up stuff for him that is not Cinderella or high heels.

Jason's Bro Brandon and his wife Laura enjoying their new camp chairs.

I think Mark may have been in the wine before we all arrived! Kidding, kidding, he's just a goof. Love him. It s actually homemade candy that Laura and the kids had made.

Ahhh, yes. My FANTASTIC red velvet cupcakes. Jason was not impressed(apparently doesn't like cream cheese frosting) But they are sooooo good. I am not one to make a cake from scratch, but this was well worth the effort.
We didn't get home until almost midnight, and then up early the next day to head to my Grandpa! Whew!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh home on the range...

Whew! We made it! Today our trip was perfect and uneventful. Last night our drive to GR was OK, But the way home was pretty icy.And the subdivisions there were insane! TONS of snow and no plows. I don't know how a car can get through all that. Jason, his bro, and his step dad had to help someone get unstuck down the street. It was crazy.

But we have had so much fun, so many good memories recalled. More on that later, when I get pics downloaded. I can't believe Christmas is here.

Sugar Cookie Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sugar Cookie Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

You all know I cannot resist Grosgrain!
I am simply jealous of her talent. So hopefully I can win one of her creations one day!

Friday, December 19, 2008

December Daily-Day 18

Holiday Hodge-Podge
Still reeling from the random act of kindness from yesterday. Crazy. But have to stop floating around and back to business! And on Thursday, that meant baking. Now, I cannot rival my girl Theresa, but I have a pretty long list. I need a pineapple upside down cake, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and a few kinds of cookies. Also need to fix up a cheese plate to bring to my Grandpa's.
My supplies: I see that there are 2 cans of fix-a-flat. That did not make it into any of the cookies, I promise. They are Jason's. Not gonna do him much good on my kitchen counter.

As soon as the temps drop, the cat comes out of hiding. Bling is always hanging around looking for food and a warm spot. I found her laying on a kitchen towel that fell on the floor. The kids chase her like crazy. She is a tormented animal.

Ah, and what would Christmas be without gingerbread poptarts? Umm, yeah. Who cares? I do not eat these, gross. Only Summer is eating these things.

So we have our first Snow Day! Sorry for the kids who did not have their Christmas Parties yet. Summer's was yesterday. I didn't go because I got the impression that they were discouraging parents from attending, and instead invited us to join in the all school sing a long that was supposed to happen today. I was pretty sad, but then Jason was not home anyway, so it wouldn't have worked.
And Grady is sick. Ugghh. I feel like I have been waiting for this. Runny nose and little cough yesterday. Last night (and ever since) he has been crying that his ear hurt. This is the 1st regular ear infection of any kid in this house ever! he has never even been to the dr except for well baby visits. Summer gets swimmers ear, but its different. So I think I need to have him seen,except there is no one at the Drs. office because of the snow!! I don't know what to do! I rarely take my kids in. Most things go away without treatment. But fro a 2 year old to say he's in pain is more serious, I think. So I will keep trying, and maybe have to take him into the med center if all else fails. I wish someone would jut call in a script. He has never been on meds before.
So other than that, we are supposed to go to GR tonight for Christmas with Donna. But wow, its nasty. And tomorrow to Grand Ledge. And its gonna get nasty again Saturday evening. So I just don't know. I feel like with a sick kid and bad roads, the universe is trying to tell me something. We'll see.
Wish me luck and safety trying to find a doctor today with all 3 in tow:)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December Daily-Day 17

Today was a very good day. Mysterious, but good. The person(s) behind this mystery will get a kick out of this story, that's for sure!

So as I said in my last post, I watched Reid today. Late this morning, there was a knock at my door. But I didn't hear it. Teagen hears it and comes to tell me there is a man at the door with a present. I am thinking its FedEx, because those guys knock and leave the package. I think nothing of it and continue my business. Again a knock. OK this time I realize it is not FedEx and I peak. Crap. I am in PJ's and not answering the door this way. Run to throw on a fleece and real pants and he's pulling away. I look down and inside my porch I see.....

So I am totally mystified. Not the kind of thing that happens around here. I call Jason, just in case. He's on a line, very busy, knows nothing. Thinks I am crazy. Tells me its probably NOT a bomb. So the kids at this point are SO excited! Teagen begs me to unwrap carefully because she wants to make the beautiful paper into a dress. So I open and.....

Holy moley, its a Crop-a-Dile! What the heck! I was thinking it was going to be cookies or a pie or something! And its from SANTA. What the....I don't even know what to say. Or who to say it to. Not too many times in this life will you find me speechless. But now, yup. Thank you cannot fully cover my gratitude. That anyone has thought to do such a nice thing for me, man, that's big. My heart is not accustomed to that. I am going between feeling completely unworthy to sheer excitement. Why me? I just will not get over this anytime soon:) Shocking in the best way. So thank you, Santa. Thank you for the thought, for the gesture and for the fabulous gift. I promise to put it to good use and I can't wait to play with it!
Its just been such a good day! First this, then lunch with my SIS, and I just, as I am writing this, got off the phone with Jason, and he got a 3rd deer! With his Muzzle loader! Which means he will be home the rest of the season! Which means I will not buy beef all year! YEAH!
((this is me singing"best day eevvverrrr" from Sponge Bob)
Wishing every reader the best day ever:)

December Daily-Day 16

OK, to be honest, this is today. Nothing really happened yesterday. But today I watched Reid so that Rachael could go take her LAST test out of the year(Which I am announcing that SHE GOT 100% on! WHAHOOO!!!) And so that Gary could go to Kennedy's holiday party at school. I bribed them with Christmas cookies and this is still the best shot I could get. My son has issues with cooperation.

When Reid's around, Teagen goes into Mother Hen mode. She wants to take care of him like a baby. He outweighs her. But its cute because she is rarely this way with her brother.

Rachael, thank you for the frappe and delicious lunch! You're a peach.

December Daily-Day 15

I think I will be doing this again for the daily. There are so many things that I can still get shots of.
Christmas in our home-2008.

December Daily-Day 14

Playing a little catch up... One tradition I started when Summer was born is to buy a new Christmas book each year. Some the kids get as gifts form family, but I think I have bought 1 every year too. Even if its the $5 book from Kohls(they are usually pretty good books!) And they only come out between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The idea origonally came from my cousin Caroline, whos oldest is just a couple moths older than Summer. It stuck:) The kids love love love the Christmas books. Most have been read in the 1st week. And the last couple years, Summer has been reading them to her brother and sister.

This years was from Kohls. Lots of good ol Curious George. But our collection varies a lot. Everything from the Story of Baby Jesus to the 12 days of Christmas to Dean Koontz' Robot Santa.
I don't see this tradition going anywhere for a while!