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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sweet Daughter of Mine

Halle needs to be spotlighted because she is absolutely precious.  She is so sweet and helpful, all of the time.  She helps with babysitting The Littles, and is very good at it.  She is stern, but loving at the same time.

Halle is also a great dog owner.  Rudi is her dog, and she takes great care of him.  She always makes sure that he has food and water, takes him for walks, researches dachshund training techniques, and loves on him a lot.  

She also does stuff to care for the family.  I'm on Paleo diet right now, so she's taken it upon herself to make me a Paleo breakfast in the morning.  It might be eggs with a side of fresh fruit, or a banana sprinkled with pecans.  She also voluntarily wakes up early in the morning to take Arden to the bus stop.  If I'm not feeling well then she'll bring me water and medicine, an icepack, or whatever she feels that I need.  

Finally, she will say sweet stuff out of the blue like, "I couldn't ask for a better mommy."  LOVE HER!!!!

More pics that I found from NYE

our New Year's kiss

Brian and Halle

the kids toasted with sparkling grape juice

New Year divas


7th grade homeschool.

Some highlights from this year of homeschooling.

sitting outside on beautiful days soaking up some Vitamin D

Jello cell models

bug charts

learning about different meals that Native Americans ate for Texas History.  Here, we cooked with cactus. 

testing protein contents of food



dissection classes at HMNS

kind of ironic since purpose is spelled wrong, but it absolutely melts my heart.

Some milestones for all three kids

I'm not happy about it.  Not happy at all.  I'm officially on my way from being the second tallest in our family to the shortest.  My first kid passed me up in height.  December 23rd was the actual day.  Halle went from my height, 5'2 and 3/4", to 5'3".  Halle was thrilled about it.  Good for her, because I always prayed (very earnestly) that I would grow tall.  God had other plans.  After #2 and #3 pass me up then I'll just be a little old lady.   I'm not bitter.....:)

January 7th marked a milestone for Arden and Jack.  Arden lost her first tooth.  She has been dying to lose a tooth like her friends.  Such dramatics we've had this past Fall because none of her teeth were loose yet.  At the beginning of this month she bit into something hard and realized that it hurt and her tooth was getting loose!  We couldn't contain her excitement; she was thrilled.  She was so excited to lose it that she even let her daddy pull it out.  Oh, her best friend, Myleigh, lost her first tooth that day as well!
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It's amazing how fast Arden will go to sleep when she knows that tooth fairy is on her way. 
  
Jack's milestone was that he stood up to pee.  (These things need to be documented, people, because it's been a battle.)
For the past few months it's been hit or miss (no pun intended) on the potty training.  When he did go he would sit like a girl.  This made his dad cringe, especially when he used toilet paper like a girl, too.  Ha!!!  He finally started going like a big boy, with the help of many many marshmallow bribes.  The best part???  I didn't have to train him to put the lid and seat down afterward;  he does that on his own!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Year's Eve

We had a low-key evening.  We bought some fireworks for the kids and let them pop them.  The young families in the cul-de-sac were all outside in the driveways.  All the kids ran around and played.  I stayed put in my chair snuggled up under a blanket because it was freezing.  Our fireworks were nothing compared to some of the others in our cul-de-sac.  The twins' parents and their friends brought out some monster explosives!

After several tries I captured this with my camera.   I did this for 2013, but forgot about it last year.
Kaitlyn, Hailey, Arden, and Halle drawing 2015 with their sparkers.
one of the many many outtakes.  This one's my favorite because it says "err" as in error.

here he's freaked out over the loud fireworks.

Brian spent most of the evening lighting sparklers for the kids.  What a good dad.

Jack built up enough courage to get a sparkler



More of the middle child.

Arden asked if she could have some of my coffee.  I told her no because it would stunt her growth. (Really, I just didn't want to share.)  Her response, "Ohhhhhh!  That's why you're so short, then."

I almost didn't want to write this one, but it's too funny not to share....

Brian was in our bathroom taking a bubble bath.  He'd been in there relaxing for about half an hour.  Arden was snuggling in bed with me and watching TV.  Arden, all of a sudden, starts lecturing her dad through the door.  I'm cracking up as I write this because she's such a mess.  In the exact curt tone that I use.  "Daddy!  You're taking a long time.  Why are you taking so long?  What are you doing in there?  I know what you're doing. You're just sitting in there playing on your phone, aren't you?  Just sitting there playing games.....wasting time...  Such a waste of time..," she trailed off with.     I about died.

Some random time the next week, Brian was in and out of the bathroom quickly.  Out of the blue, Arden tells me smugly, "I guess Daddy must have learned his lesson.  He took just a short time to use the bathroom."


Christmas!


This is our first family picture in front of our house
Is it sad that my favorite gift this year was a vacuum?  I guess that makes me old and boring, but I don't care!  I love my vacuum!  My dad bought Brian and I a Dyson dc65 Animal Complete!  And I mean it when I say it's Brian's, too, because now we fight over who gets to vacuum.  This vacuum is the bad boy of all Dysons.  We needed it too, because our carpet sheds an unbelievable amount.  The carpet's like an Alaskan husky on a hot summer day.  Gone are the days of sitting on the floor for an hour, cursing, with an overheated Hoover and a metal hanger.  After one room I had to take the whole vacuum apart and use the hanger to unclog the tube.  Uuuuggghhhhhhh!
Now, it's vacuuming bliss!!

Christmas Eve Eve we had my dad over to our house.  He and the kids exchanged gifts.  I made dinner.   I'm jinxed when it comes to cooking for my dad.  It seems like every time I cook something for him it goes wrong.  So, for dinner I chose one of my best and easiest recipes, red beans and rice.  It's fool-proof, I thought, because it's just a crockpot meal.  WRONG.  I burned it somehow.

Christmas Eve is traditionally spent with Brian's side of the family.  Sarah and Carla have taken turns hosting in the past.  This year, with us in our new house, we hosted Christmas.  We were happy to have everyone come over!
Poppy and Arden

Kellie and Ashely

Gigi, Halle, Arden, Jack, Papa Mike

Ashley, Carla, Mimi

our house dressed up for Chrismas
After the family left, it was time to wrap the kids' presents.  Adam and Sarah stayed because we do Christmas morning with them.  Papa Mike and Gigi also joined us the next morning.  I copied Sarah's idea of wrapping each of the kid's gifts in their own paper: princess wrapping for Arden, Mickey for Jack, and snowmen for Halle.  By midnight, when I was getting the wrapping done, I was EXHAUSTED.  I threw the presents in leftover gift bags and taped a piece of their personalized wrapping on top.  Ghetto fabulous for sure, but I didn't care.  

Arden put oats outside for the reindeer and milk and cookies by the fireplace for Santa.
Christmas morning we had a hearty breakfast followed by more gifts!  Christmas Vacation played on the TV while we did gifts because that is family tradition.  Love that movie; it gets better every year! 

The rest of the day was spent with my side of the family at my mom's house.  We had tamales,which is also a family tradition.  We only buy for the younger kids thankfully.  Otherwise there would be a bazillion presents to buy for on my side of the family.  The adults play White Elephant and then we play another game.  This year it was Taboo.  My family is so much fun to play games with.  They are hilarious!  We always play boys vs. Women.  The boys had been on a winning streak for a while, but I'm proud to say the Women won last year and this year!