Thursday, December 13, 2012

Establishing Family Night

Should be Bucket List #1...but in the mix of life it dwindles down the list to about 204-604!

Throughout our early years of marriage, we have watched families with kids establish a family night. For some, it was always Tuesday night. Others, it was ANY night that they could grab. Before we had kids, we knew that this was something we wanted to do: Establish a Family Night every week.

Once Aidan was born, for those of you who know, our financial life was upside-down. Once we became established again, Aidan was...well...upside-down. Then, we had Luke. Then therapy, then moving, then...then...then... Something always seemed to happen - until recently.

Aidan attends TaeKwonDo training anywhere from 3-4 nights a week, except on Wednesdays. Wednesday nights is Sparring Class, and we have chosen not to let him spar - yet. So Family Night kind of was born on Wednesday nights. We didn't have any place to go in the evenings and we found it rather soothing to come together as a family and hang out in the backyard in the pool, or go for a bike ride, a hike, a walk, watch a movie, etc.

Last night, was Wednesday night - and instead of doing what we have been doing - watching ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Movies, we pulled out the board games collecting dust on the shelves and played. All of us. What an inviting time!

Of course, this morning, the boys wanted to do it again instead of eat breakfast, get ready for school and the day! AHHH!....that will come, that will come...

Yes, that is Clyde the Elf on the Shelf in the background bungeed to a Christmas Tree being guarded by a Nutcracker...Long story...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Do You Still Believe?

Luke, being 3, still believes in Santa. Of course, this year is the first year that he really has taken notice of the fat man in the red suit that says, "HO! HO! HO!" Aidan, who just turned 7, STILL has the belief that Santa exists among tiny little people who are called Elves who lives in the North Pole. We often have debated on whether to shatter this image, but he stands his ground that Santa exists. I guess the Spirit of Christmas still exists in his heart and he will always hear the bell from Santa's sleigh.

A few weeks ago, Ted dug a hole in the ground and built a fire pit. (PSST! Next summer is gonna be awesome) It seemed only fitting that the first fire in the pit was the one that we sent the boys' Christmas Wish Lists for Santa in it.

We tried the whole, mail the letter to Santa, or go to a special post office to send it. We've even tried the email thing, but the burning of the LIST has stuck so therefore, we do it.

This year, Aidan only had 1 toy. He went back and forth between 2, but finally decided on only sending one toy. This way, he said, he would be sure to get exactly what he wanted. See, in our house, Santa only brings ONE toy (plus a few stocking stuffers). The idea is so that we the parents have an idea on what to get and put Santa's name on the tag on only 1. This year, our work was cut out for us as we had to FIGURE out the rest of Aidan's gifts. Luke, on the other hand, went ALL OUT. He wanted EVERYTHING! From girl toys to boy toys. We finally had to put our foot down when he wanted a baby doll complete with dresses and bottles.

Luke was pretty sad when he had to walk away from the burning list, but after he realized that having the toy itself was better than having a picture of the toy, he was alright.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving...Definitely not one to repeat....

This year after Ted brought home a couple of pheasants, we thought it would be interesting to smoke them in his new smoker. We also smoked a turkey. Of course, nothing more yummier then wrapping anything in bacon.

Unfortunately for this family, this Thanksgiving was a rough one. Aidan was really sick the day before almost to the point of passing out. (That is always a fun one). Luke was fine, thankfully...until today, which he seems to have a bit of a fever. My dad, returned from a business trip to Thailand two days before Thanksgiving, and I don't care who you are, jet lag is no fun. My mom had a pacemaker put in about 2-3 weeks ago and is still recovering from a slight complication from the surgery.

As we set about our day yesterday, I too, was feeling slightly under the weather, but we got up at butt-crack-thirty to put the birds into the smoker. As we dealt with a sick Aidan and myself too, we continued to prepare for the day of Thanks.

At about 150 degrees we noticed that the turkey seemed to not cook anymore...OH! that would be because the thermometer pooped out on us and we had to beg our neighbors to give up theirs for a short time so we could see if they were done!

About 2 hours later than planned, we finally sat down to eat. Dad was already dozing off due to jet lag, Aidan was done and dusted and had already had about 4 showers that day because he said they made him feel better. I was ready to crawl in bed and be done.

The meal was delicious! Delicious, delicious, delicious. One of those super comfort food meals. Which seemed to be what everyone was needing.

As we cleaned up and got ready for mom and dad to leave. Aidan went down hill fast. The lack of nap caught up to Luke, dad was really ready to leave as was mom, and I began to get what Aidan got. Ugh.

After getting the boys into bed, I went downhill at about the speed of light...and so did Ted. Unfortunately, even though the boys were in bed, they didn't stay there. Luke had nightmares well into the early morning hours. Aidan couldn't sleep because of a stuffed up nose, chapped lips, and probably an empty belly. Ted or I couldn't sleep because either we were up ourselves with not feeling good or tending to the boys. About 3 AM this morning, the house FINALLY quieted down. Only to be woken up at 6 AM to happy healthy boys and happy and healthy mom and dad.

What a weird Thanksgiving.

We are all tired today, and we are definitely feeling the lack of sleep. But so very thankful for everything in our lives. We have great friends, excellent family, a house, warmth, food, jobs and cars.

But the one thing that our family is most thankful for is the Saving Grace of Jesus. Without him, all the THINGS we are thankful for would be nothing without him. When Ted and I began our journey of dating and eventually marriage, our "motto" if you will, was/and still is...WITHOUT JESUS, WE HAVE NOTHING AT ALL. This remains true today and will still be true tomorrow.

So, we are truly thankful for everything in our lives, but really...Jesus saved us and for that, we are TRULY THANKFUL.

May you all have a wonderful holiday season this year.

A Brisk Sunday Morning Walk

About a month ago, Ted and I had a mini weekend, sans kids. We enjoyed our time together immensely. With that time we found a little pond near our home that had perfect trails for the boys to ride their scooters around.

One brisk morning, we took them out for a little walk and enjoyed it so much that the boys keep asking to go back. This might actually become a little habit...which is always good when the habits that are to be formed are excellent!

Be Buzz Lightyear for a Day

Luke is 3. And like all 3 year olds, the media has done an amazing job marketing to them youngin's. But who could resist my little guy when all he wanted was a Buzz cake...OH! And to be Buzz for a day. Happy Birthday my little Buzz Boy!

Happy Birthday Luke!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hold a Jedi Council Meeting

Bucket List #....well it depends on whose point of view....

For Aidan's 7th Birthday party, we invited friends over to train as young Padewons in effort to support the Jedi Council in their efforts to thwart the Emporer's evil plans....yada...yada...yada...

....In essence, we had a lot of sugared-up kids, tweens, teenagers and adults battling with foam pipe covers slathered in duct tape and called it a Lego Star Wars birthday party.

First, the young Padewons needed to warm up with training exercises. A Young Master Jedi (okay...super young...13)

Next, they trained with their Light Sabers and practiced using the Force. As their destiny was revealed, Storm Troopers invaded the galaxy...

At last, the Storm Troopers were out of our way! We could finally focus on the Death Star. As they young Padowans prepared for the biggest day of their lives, the anticipation began to build as they patiently waited for the Death Star to explode.

Finally! On to the Spread!!

And of course...the Loot!

When it was time to sing Happy Birthday, why not use the left over helium from the Storm Trooper Balloons and sing! Of course, Daddy had to start it off by saying, "Here we go"...and no one could sing the entire song with helium cause we were all laughing!

Of course, nothing says, "Happy Birthday" from a nana high on helium...

Happy Birthday, my 7 Year Old Jedi!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thursday Night Concert

Okay, so who are we kidding here, really. A concert on a Thursday night? Seriously? I have KIDS I have to deal with the next day! Especially since I'm OUT ON A THURSDAY NIGHT at a CONCERT with MY BABYSITTER!!!

My Aunt Shirley came into town for a couple of weeks to celebrate her birthday and we decided to take her to a concert at Toby Keith's Bar and Grill to celebrate. We saw Dustin Lynch, and holy WOW! it was loud.

Bucket List #2390: Concert on a Thursday night...(With some Youngin's)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Farmer in the Dell

We recently visited Miller Farms to pick our own produce. For $15/pp you get 5 large grocery sacks full of whatever you can pick. We ended up going late in the evening, about 2 hours before closing, and we cashed in on a great deal.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Drive

Bucket List #35: Have an entire weekend to ourselves without the kids or big plans.

Lets face it. When we get babysitters it is because we have BIG plans. HUGE plans. Plans that are gonna be OUTTA THIS WORLD! For once, we just wanted a weekend with NOTHING to do. That included being parents (only for just a bit though).

Friday night we hung out at Toby Keith's Bar and Grill with some friends - and rode the bull - which we will not post the videos...something friends should never do...

And then got up at 6:30 the next morning (because we have been conditioned to do that from our little lads) to take a drive in the mountains to see the colors change.

Then we got home late, ate some yummy crock pot soup of tomato, basil and Parmesan, watched college football games, fell asleep on the couch and went to bed early. Of all the weekends we've had this summer, this was probably the best one!

Happy First Day of Fall!