Thursday, December 30, 2010

Breakfast with Santa...

The neighborhood got together on a Saturday morning for breakfast with Santa.
We ate glazed doughnuts and hot chocolate and of course enjoyed the presence of Santa with some of our cousins. There was kickball and playing at the park.

I think I can get used to winter weather like this!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Before we move on with Christmas posts, I've got to catch up with Thanksgiving.

We joined Steve in Arizona just days before Thanksgiving. The kids were more than ecstatic to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather. And I was giddy to be reunited as a family.

We spent Thanksgiving day with Steve's parents, as well as a couple of his siblings and my sister who drove over from Tucson.

Hallie was in charge of the nameplates for the table and she took her job very seriously. I showed her a couple ideas online and she settled on an oreo cookie based turkey. Of course this was short lived because days later she saw another idea she liked better. Luckily it was close enough to Thanksgiving she couldn't change her mind again! So we set out to make 42 nameplates with all our fingers! And she could hardly contain herself as she put the cards on the table.

We had a delicious lunch followed by some football. Hallie saw her dad out throwing the ball and she wasn't about to miss the opportunity. So she slipped off her dress shoes, threw on some socks and tennis shoes and joined her dad's team. Steve was so kind to make several plays centered around her to make her feel as though she was really part of the game. She loved every minute and couldn't stop talking about playing football with dad.
We closed the evening with desserts with all of Steve's siblings in the area as well as some extended family as well. It was crazy and chaotic. I think I sat on the couch for a good portion of the evening in awe of everything going on around me. We're still getting used to all this family!! I think we counted 21 pies and just over 80 people and I was well past exhausted by the time everyone walked out the door.  But it was a day of gratitude and love and we loved every minute.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Look who's five...

Our little girl is five...and she has been for a month and a half!!

We didn't have a party this year because it's our off year (we're doing parties on the even years), and Steve was going to be out of town, so we just had a small party the day before Steve left and then for her actual birthday we met up with some friends at McDonalds for lunch.

Of course, with a birthday near Halloween, it's fairly predictable as to what Hallie is going to pick for a cake. No princesses here, just a witch cake.
Here favorite present was a Nintendo DS game; Mario Kart - she's in love. Thank heavens her older cousin had an old-school DS to hand down to her. It's perfect.
It seems as though this year we've seen a lot of growth from this little girl.
She started school this year which was great for her. She needed school. It was important for her to have something like school to belong to.

She loves to sing, and she loves to watch herself in the mirror while doing it.

She is very nurturing and it shows in how she takes care of her babies and her little brother.

She impressed her teacher with how she could count to 100. First by ones, then by fives and again by tens. The teacher stopped her when she started to go pass 100.

Her new found love on the playground are the monkey bars. As dangerous as they are, she can't get enough of them. And when she gets tired, she'll pause and then drop. I swear she'll break a leg one of these times.

Loves a craft project. I often find her pulling out paper, crayons, tape and scissors. A lot of times I'll end up with a special note in an envelope on my desk. Multiple envelopes a day.
She's realized she can do her own hair. She brushes it out, puts it in a low pony tail and puts a flower clip in. I love that she does this on her own!

Loves to be in the kitchen and wants to be helping. I've found that setting the table is a great job for her.

She learned how to ride her bike without training wheels which was a right of passage for her.

Loves library day at school.

Still takes a nap half the time and it kills me that this will come to an end very soon. Hunter will likely give up naps first.

Enjoys games - all games - especially board games.

Reads consistently at this point and manages to remove every book from the shelf and puts it on her bed.

Loves her friends. Loves a playdate.

Dresses up all the time and always includes Hunter in her fun.

She's a very sensitive and at times emotional little girl with a heart that doesn't stop giving. She's full of love and concern for other people. The older she gets the more I just want to hold her just a little bit longer. And she lets me a lot of the time. I tell her often I wish I had three Hallies. One that would go to school, one that would snuggle me and one that would play games with me. To which she replies, "Can I be the one that goes to school?" She's my little buddy and I'm grateful the Lord entrusted me with her, she's just what I needed.

Monday, December 13, 2010


We're alive. Again.

Sickness is gone, and we're finally starting to catch up. Kind of. It doesn't help that this time of the season we all normally fall behind in most things so we're trying to play double catch up. I'm hopeful this week will be semi-productive. Of course I want it to be completely productive, but then I feel as though I'm setting myself up for failure. So semi-productive is the goal.

But we're adjusting well in Arizona. I'm realizing with each passing day more things that we left in Milwaukee that I wish I could have access to. Things I'm not willing to buy again because once we do have our stuff I definitely don't want two of them. But so far we're making it work. The only thing I'm really kicking myself for is not bringing the nice stroller. We didn't dare take it on the plane because we all know how gentle they handle items like strollers, so we left it behind. I long for it most days. Dang.

Hallie keeps remembering things she also wishes we had from home. Which then gets her thinking about our home which we've yet to sell.

I was putting groceries away the other day. Typically I put the majority of our food down stairs in our storage room because the kitchen just wasn't big enough. Hallie says to me:

"Mom, you know why someone is going to want to buy our house? Because we have two full rooms of food, and they're going to think that's really cool, they'll want to buy it." 

I replied, "Hopefully. But you know that when we sell the house, they'll pack up all of our food and bring it here." 

She looked a little concerned. "But mom, I don't think there's enough room for all that food here. Nana doesn't have rooms of food like we do."

Friday, December 3, 2010


Almost two weeks ago we packed a couple suitcases and made our way to Arizona.  Steve had already been enjoying the beautiful weather and I wasn't about to let him enjoy it a second longer without us!

So the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we arrived. We were tired, stressed, and the kids had both been fighting colds for the last couple days. We were exhausted.  As usual, we had an eventful flight as our head winds pushed our flight from 3.5 hours to almost 4.5 hours in the air. Somehow, Hunter managed to choke on a cracker which combined with his cold led to some disastrous projectile throw-up. All over himself, the carseat, with the majority falling on Hallie who was sitting next to him. It was in her hair, all over her coat, down her knee-high boots, she was swimming in it. With the most scared little voice she says to me, "Mom, I can't even look at it, or else I might throw-up." I was counting my lucky stars that Steve had assisted me on the flight.

By the time we got off the flight Hunter was running a fever and was miserable. We got settled in Arizona for the night and by 4 o'clock that morning I was on my way to Wal-Mart to grab some medicine for him. I could feel my immune system breaking down by the second. And it wasn't long before I was fighting the same cold the kids had been fighting. Days passed and I just couldn't kick it. The cold got worse, my throat felt on fire, my head ached. Each day my sleep declined and my exhaustion increased.

My nightstand looked like this:
Finally after 8 days, I was done. I just wanted to sleep without waking up every hour to blow my nose. And to add to it, I started to get a toothache. The timing was not ideal, but fortunately my mother-in-law suggested a sinus infection which would cause the toothache. I was able to get into a doctor yesterday to get some medicine, thank heavens.

I still feel like I've been hit by a train. Hopefully day three on the meds will be good to me. I've yet to be able to enjoy the beautiful weather that surrounds me, but that will soon change.

The only thing I will miss...the countless cards that Hallie makes for me to get better soon. I love them.
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