Saturday, November 26, 2011

Juhala Lights and Minty Cocoa

For those who may not know, Christmas lights are a big deal at our house. They've been coined Juhala Lights (not to be confused with Zoo Lights, you see) for so long I can't remember which girl started it and they always must be up by the day after Thanksgiving. This year we've been having monsoons the past couple of weeks, so the kiddos were a bit nervous that the Juhala lights wouldn't be up in time. Yesterday was sunny (phew!) so everyone pitched in and helped to get the lights up on the house and the porch. (I got the lighted wreath up today but won't get to the bushes until at least tomorrow. We'll get there.) Daddy climbed the giant ladder and did the roof line while the girls helped me to sort lights, tie ribbons, and decorate the garland on the railing.  They even raked up the leaves in the yard for good measure. So at the end of a hard days work, what better treat than some hot (hot, hot, hot) chocolate with whipped cream and candy canes! The official beginning to the Christmas season it was, with Mannheim Steamroller in the background to boot. This was Dashiell's first cocoa and he, ummm, kinda liked it. I mean, chugged it, giggled maniacally, and ran around in circles flapping his arms and waving his arms about in an attempt to get more. Babies are nothing if not great entertainment. (He got water. He was okay with that.) Now we just need some snow....

The Petting Zoo

Children and animals are always an entertaining combination, but watching a child really discover them for the first time....well, priceless. We had a great time with the goats, cows, pigs, donkeys, chickens, roosters and more at the petting zoo.  The girls had so much fun introducing their baby brother to the farm animals, telling him all of their names and what sounds they made. Dashiell and a baby goat spent quite some time quietly regarding one another, and then seemed to come to some sort of understanding. The goat agreed to hang out with Dash amidst the chaos of hungry animals and excited children, and Dash agreed to talk to him for awhile while intending to pet his face but inadvertently poking him in the nose. Repeatedly. Oddly enough, baby goat didn't seem to mind. After some wandering, Dashiell discovered the pot-bellied pig. For some reason, that little pig tail wagging back and forth was the funniest thing Little Man had ever seen. The pig would face Dash and grunt at him for a bit, then turn around and aim his rump that direction and Dash would laugh and point at that little piggy tail. (Then the other kids would laugh even harder and point at Dash...egging him on, of course.)  We were also highly entertained at two little piglets that kept chasing a frazzled rooster at high speed. Good times.

I must point out...Miss Seleia is wearing a scarf that she knit all on her own in these pictures, and was quite proud to show it off. That's my girl!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More from the Beach

Okay, I am having way too much fun playing with the photo editing on my iPhone. So here are a couple of more pictures from the beach I was playing with. Dash was hilarious crawling through the sand laughing and making raspberry/motor noises as he flung sand while shooting down the beach at warp speed.  I'm having so much fun having a boy, can you tell?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let Tham Eat Cake

Cake, cake and cake....I've made a few this week. Seleia (I love this kid) didn't want a store bought cake. "Yours taste way better, mom!" How do I say no to that? This is the girl who finally got the hang of reading when I gave her a stack of cookbooks. So, for our family celebration dinner (nachos)on her actual birthday, she requested an egg nog cake with nutmeg whipped cream frosting. For her party, she chose lemon cake with whipped cream frosting, chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, and pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. All were decorated with the little star candies and candles picked out special for her by her sister Elora. (My kitchen reached a crazy level of disorder with pumpkins and lemons and the like littering the place. Batter drippings. Butter wrappers. Egg shells.  I'm a very messy cook, but I clean it up nicely.) And the best part? She was so beyond grateful. (Come to think of it, her cake choices made quite a few people happy.) She is already planning her cakes for next year. By then, I hope, I can just direct while she does the baking! She is getting quite good in the kitchen, so we'll see! And then she can do the cleanup...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” 
     – Elbert Hubbard

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist
sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
      – Winston Churchill

“Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking
about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

     – Unknown

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
     -Zig Ziglar

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wintler Park

Yesterday afternoon we met some friends for a very fun, though very cold, afternoon at the beach. (Translation: parents froze our hineys off while the kids had the "Best.  Play date. EVER!") The girls made sand villages, buried each other, and started a tunnel to China. Elora fed some bread from our picnic to the ducks, who seemed ever so grateful.  Amarra was the sand castle queen, and had fun flying the micro kite she got from Auntie Stacey. Dashiell crawled at high speed through the sand, making manly sounds as he went, and laughed and laughed with total delight. (He also thought the sand was quite tasty.) A few times he,quite proud of himself, walked a few steps in the sand before plopping back down to do some more digging. Seleia and the gang ran the beach from end to end, climbing on everything they possibly could and loving every minute of it.  Then a storm rolled in, so we rolled out! But I have a feeling we'll be back soon!

All Gussied Up

For her birthday, Joel's parents took Seleia to see an on-stage performance of one of her favorite movies: White Christmas! She had so much fun, and even got to go for dinner at her favorite restaurant to boot! For a special treat I let her wear a hint of eyeshadow, a touch of blush, and some shimmer lip balm. Suddenly I had a young lady standing in front of me.....wasn't she eight a couple of days ago??

Friday, November 11, 2011

On Our Walk

I absolutely love this time of year. Pulling the sweaters down from the attic, cozying up by the fire,  the incredible colors of the sky and the trees. On our walk today, Amarra and I braved our way through the crisp, cool air and were greatly rewarded by the beauty at every turn. Leaves, leaves and more leaves! It was positively raining them. It won't be long until Jack Frost whisks the leaves away and winter comes, so for now we plan to enjoy every second of the splendor this Autumn has to offer.

Jumping For Joy

As we were piling in to the car after acting class today, the wind picked up and Elora Kay squealed with delight. Leaves were falling everywhere around us.
"Mom, I gotta jump in it!  CAN I??"
So for a few moments she jumped and twirled, danced and giggled and shouted with glee as the leaves danced with her.
Pure joy.