Thursday, December 27, 2012

Something I Love

My husband used to be a total grinch about Christmas.  He wouldn't even decorate the two foot tree I got for us when we first got married because he thought it was dumb.  I on the other hand, love Christmas to a ridiculous degree.  At first he tried to tolerate wearing a Santa hat and tried getting a little bit into Christmas just because he knows it is a big deal to me.  Now after a decade of Christmas together, Two Fish allows me to go crazy over the top with Christmas pretty much all month long.  Not only does he tolerate the endless traditions and wearing a crazy hat on Christmas morning and seeing Christmas lights and making endless art projects but I'm pretty sure he loves it now too. He still doesn't love the hat maybe he loves the other stuff.  I think he loves it just for me and it makes me love him even more, every single year. 

Am I the only one who dreads putting all of the decorations away?  They are so fun to get out and such a pain to put away.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas Part 2

My new camera (number 3 in four months) managed to corrupt all of my files and then refused to take any more pictures after Christmas morning.  Luckily for me, my husband responded to his wife bawling on Christmas because all of her pictures are lost and spent hours recovering them last night. (Yay Two Fish!) Unfortunately, I no pictures of Christmas dinner or the cousin gift exchange at my mother in law's house.  If anyone has some- please send me some.  We spent an awesome evening with more family and we feel so blessed to be close to so many people that we love.

Letter From Santa
We had a bit of a problem this Christmas because Red Fish desperately wanted a "real unicorn" and she really believed she was going to get one from Santa.  So we left a letter from Santa explaining the situation and a rainbow unicorn pillow pet dream lite for her.   Santa spent spent nearly four hours assembling the doll house upstairs in the toy room.  Luckily for us Red Fish took the news from Santa pretty well and both girls were thrilled with their dollhouse.  I would have killed for a dollhouse this cool when I was little.  I want to play with it.

Coming down the stairs Christmas morning.
Opening their stockings which had new bathing suits inside

New dollhouse- it is double sided.

Christmas fairy?
 We went to breakfast at my Moms and came home for a quick nap before heading off to see the other side of our family.

Merry Christmas

Matching outfits made with my sisters in law for a cousin Christmas picture.  I had it framed for my parents and grandparents for Christmas.
 Christmas eve was spent at my parent's this year.  There was a table full of dinner and treats and fun with family and friends.

My cousin and his cute wife L.
 Singing Christmas songs
 We had a nativity play again this year.  We used to do it at my great grandfather's house when I was really little and we are attempting to bring back the tradition with our kids.  We have no fancy costumes, just robes, towells and stuff from around the house.  I was attempting to photograph while directing my kids so I missed out on documenting parts of it.  We had everyone participate which is hilarious and fun.  The adults are good sports about putting on the crazy costumes or being assigned a part like "the star".  My Dad read the bible and was our narrator.
 New Fish was Mary, Thing One was Joseph and my brother J was the donkey.  Joseph wanted a ride to Bethlehem this year.

 Two Fish was the inn keeper.
 Red Fish was the angel this year.  She was so sweet about delivering her lines to the shepards.  You can see from the expression on her face that she took her part very seriously.  She has been very excited about playing this part.  She is wearing one of my childhood Christmas dresses.  When I suggested earlier this month that it might be a good angel costume she told me : "No thanks Mom.  I think I'm just going to be nudie with wings." I asked her why she would be naked and she said: "Well last time I saw and angel, he was nudie with wings." Obviously.  Fortunately I read her a lot of illustrated nativity stories this month depicting angels in white robes and I swayed her from attending the family Christmas party in the buff.  (Is she the most hilarious child around or what?)
 Thing 2 was our baby Jesus and Lee Lee was the manger.  My picture of the shepards got corrupted.
Wise Men

We attempted to play Christmas carols on a set of pipes but we were pretty terrible.  There was a family headstand contest and the inevitable leg wrestling and craziness that comes with hanging out with my family.  It was a fun night. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Symphony

Chrismtas outfits for the girls were gifts from their MeMine.
Today we went to see the Children's Symphony concert.  It's perfect for my kids at this age.  The concert is less than an hour long and there is singing and audience participation and Santa Claus.  They played Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Red Fish was in heaven.  Santa conducted the orchestra for a song and had all sorts of crazy moves to cue the musicians like kicking his leg in the air and shaking his bottom.  The girls thought that was hilarious.  They also enjoyed singing along to one of the current favorites, Rudolph The Red Noses Reindeer.  Afterwards, we went to lunch and then to a fancy hotel downtown.  The hotel had Christmas windows from around the world with little passports to mark each country down and then rewarded us with gingerbread cookies.  Our plans tonight are to watch The Polar Express and drink hot chocolate.  Awesome family day.  Now I just need to get my presents wrapped up, finish my laundry and get my house picked back up a bit and we will be ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's The End Of The World

 The Mayan calendar ended today.  We had an end of the world party with our friends M & A.  We dipped caramel apples, pretzels and popcorn just like we have the last few years.  It was a mellow night.  Just good fun with good friends.  The kids played and watched a Christmas special and the adults chatted way past bedtime.  Please excuse the blurry cell phone pics.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Card Making

Gift tags and Christmas card making has become very big around here.  It's a messy endeavor.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Preschool Christmas Program

My little Red Fish can sing every word to the Christmas songs she learned at school.  I know because she has been singing them at the top of her lungs all month long.  She does not care about performing.  In fact she looked bored out of her mind during half of her program.  She's a funny kid.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Fun

 We have no school or swimming lessons this week so we are feeling pretty free.  We went to a candy cane hunt in the park and Santa rode in on a fire engine (a local tradition.)  The girls had fun running around with all of the other crazy little kids although I'm hoping we don't run into Santa anymore this year.  We usually only see him once but this year he seems to be everywhere and my kids are getting offended he keeps asking what they want when they already told him.  "Shouldn't he write it on his list so he can keep track of us being nice and naughty?" 

Red Fish would like a real unicorn this year.  I've tried to convince her that unicorns like to run free and she isn't going for it.  When I told her months ago that unicorns were pretend (before I realized how seriously she takes unicorns) it went over like a lead balloon.  She looked at me like I was clearly uneducated on the topic and said "Um, no Mom."

 Tonight for family home evening we decided to continue our introduction to Swedish culture with some more treats from the package we received.  I planned a whole Swedish dinner and invited my parents over.  My Dad lived in Sweden for two years as an LDS missionary before he was married. My Dad told the girls all about Christmas in Sweden and read them a book our friends sent to us.  Then we made some Swedish gingerbread cookies together.  It was a blast.  They have to be rolled out very thin so it was quite a process with our two little experts trying to control the rolling pin.  Two Fish also told the girls about Christmas in the Philippines (where he served a mission for two years) and my parents told them about their childhood Christmas traditions. We read our nightly scripture from our countdown by candlelight like we have been doing every night. We had a great night.

More Music

A collection of ambient soundscapes with melancholic electronic roots and new age influences. Inventive instrumental performances overlap and echo back affected synths and the subtle use of white noise.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa Lucia

 When I was in elementary school, some family friends sent me a Santa Lucia outfit.  We had been to Sweden to visit and I had always loved all things Swedish (must have come with my name) and Christmas so I was thrilled to start celebrating Santa Lucia with my family.  I used to make my brothers get up early with me and I usually cook premade cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for my parents.  I have been thinking for years that I wanted to share the tradition with my girls.  On Monday we got an amazing surprise package from the same family friends in Sweden.  Inside were two crowns, dresses, treats and all sorts of fun things.  I was blown away. 
 We celebrated a couple of days late (we had the flu earlier this week.)  This morning we made Swedish pancakes with Lingon berry sauce and the traditional Lussekattor buns.  I have no idea if they were very authentic.  We also had hot chocolate with whipped cream.  After we prepared some plates of treats, we made our way through the foot of snow that fell in our yard last night (I guess we ordered an authentic Swedish day?) and took some treats to a few family members and friends.  We had to limit it to people on our street because the kids just have to many friends they wanted to make deliveries to and it took us hours to make everything and deliver even with the limitations set.  We have a long street.

Thank you, thank you Lena and Gert!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Tonight I went on a little girls night out with Red Fish.  She is pretty much the coolest five year old I know.  She has really been wanting some one on one attention and needed some serious Mommy time.  She asked if we could go get sushi (a girl after my own heart.)  She tried some of all of the rolls I ordered and she ordered herself a salmon filet.  This is hilarious because Two Fish hates fish and I only eat sushi.  I don't think she even knew what salmon was.  Red Fish ate everything with chop sticks and was so well behaved and loved her tempera veggies and rice.  I think she was the only kid in the whole restaurant.  We came home and snuggled and watched part of a movie that we will finish later.  It was a great night for both of us.

Red Fish is a tenderhearted little thing.  We went through the girls' toys on Monday and picked several to donate.  It was a tough process trying to decide what should go but they finally settled on the right things they wanted to give away.  Then for family home evening we went to the store and bought things off a giving tree for kids in need.  We spent a lot of time discussing these kids in need and how many people need food, clothing, or toys for Christmas.  We bought several coats and ten bags of diapers etc and still had a hard time getting Red Fish out of the store.  She wasn't satisfied.  We need to do more for other people.  She has encouraged us all to dig a little deeper.  So we have donated food and toys throughout the week and she is still on the lookout for more we can do.  I'm glad she is inspired.  She is a sweet girl.

New Fish went on a date with her daddy tonight to IHOP and ate pancakes to her heart's content and stole Two Fish's bacon.  Tomorrow we will trade kids and do something else (probably not dinner) so everyone gets some much needed focused attention. These kids get cranky when they haven't had enough snuggles or focused attention.

In the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut today, I just can't sleep.  The senseless killing of 20 kids ages 5-10 just hits a little too close to home.  I am holding my babies tighter today.  I am appreciating my five year old's little sense of humor and her tender little feelings.  I am stopping to really think about how much I adore these little girls.  My heart breaks for those mothers who don't get to hold their children tonight.

W Is For Wheels And Wreath

 Our schedule was seriously thrown off this week because of a nasty stomach bug.  We ended up hosting school on a day Red Fish was home and she was thrilled to get to join in on the fun.  We did our calendar, paraded around the house with instruments, sang our Christmas songs at the tops of our lungs and played with the parachute.  We talked about the letter W and the nursery rhyme Wee Willie Winkie.  We read books about pilots, garage owners, race car drivers and train conductors and talked about wheels.  We made the letter W out of tin foil and drove cars around our W roads.  I found a bunch of free printables to use this week and made a whole bunch of laminated file folders and games for us to play with.

For our fine motor skill we traced lines to connect airplanes to clouds.  It was one of the first writing preparation activities I have been able to interest New Fish in.  We did a whole bunch of sorting, sequencing, matching and counting activities.
 I taught them about patterns for the first time and we played with a variety of AB patterns using street signs, Christmas erasers and file folder games.  We reviewed short and long, wide and thin etc with different transportation pictures.  We practiced putting numbers in order behind a train.  We counted animal passengers on plane mats.  We started learning left and right and tried doing some sorting.  We spent a large chunk of our time at the kitchen table using the laminated games.  We don't usually spend much time at the table so I think they actually thought it was novel and fun.

Next we cut wreath shapes out of paper and drove cars through paint on them.  We ended the day by playing on our car mat with all of our cars and a train toy.  We actually ran out of time for the sensory bin and a couple of the file folders but since this was our last preschool for the year, my kids will need activities for the next few weeks to keep them busy anyway.  We are nearly at the halfway point for our little homeschool experiment.  I am actually really enjoying teaching the kids.  Red Fish and I have our own little program we are doing as well although I haven't blogged about it much.  I should.  It's harder to blog about her stuff as I'm not making as much of it up as I go.  I enjoy the organization of the little homeschool program we have going.  I enjoy feeling like I am actually teaching the kids all of the things I want to.  I don't always enjoy all of the prep work or feel like hosting but I'm always glad I did it.  I think I will always be glad I did this. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Outfits

The holiday clothing is out of control around here.
This year, I decided to sew matching Christmas outfits for our kids with two of my sisters in law. The kids are all going to wear them on Christmas eve. This was my first attempt at sewing clothing from scratch.  Next time I come up with a brilliant project like this and I am already so short on time, someone needs to remind me of two things.  1- The project is going to take about 10 times longer than I think it will.  2- I don't actually know how to sew.  I love the way they turned out and I think they look very cute but next time I won't sew something this ambitious (remember I don't know how to sew) in December.  I tried to use an online tutorial but turned out the tutorial didn't actually produce a skirt so I had to wing it from there.  After I gave up on the tutorial things went much more smoothly.  Maybe at some point I will attempt to make something from a pattern.  I'm happy these aren't too over the top Christmas themed because I can change the shirt and have them continue to wear them well after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Santa Pictures From Our Ward Party