Monday, December 27, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010!

Jared, Jonah & Merrik frolicking in the snow! (I love our yard. Winter, summer ... there's room to play!)
Now ... it has been snowing a lot for the past 24 hours. But the wind has been blowing SO hard, there's only about 6 inches on the ground. A few gusty piles here & there, but mostly the snow just blows around. I suppose we should be grateful that we don't have 2 feet of snow to clear. :) And some areas of Massachusetts have serious flooding & power outages. I AM grateful that we just have a winter wonderland of fun to play in. I missed the photos of the sledding. Next time!

Here's M doing his part to clear the driveway. Thankfully this was shortly before Jared pulled out the snow blower. Thank goodness for that thing!

Base Camp Cowden

Uncle Paul & Auntie Michelle got the boys this tent & sleeping bags for Christmas. Needless to say, it was a HUGE hit. The boys camped out in Jonah's room last night!!
And the boys have already informed us that they have their OWN tent now when we go on family camping trips. :)


Here we are. I love that you can see Jonah's missing front teeth. :)

These were all at my in-laws' home.
Jonah. Too bad he's so camera shy! (haha)

Me & my sweetheart. Cheese!

Holiday Aftermath

The Grinch!! Along w/ the Dr. Seuss book, from Uncle Paul & Auntie Maureen! So cute!

Christmas fleeces! Love 'em! From G'ma & G'pa Burton. :)

Ooohh ... BeyBlades. These 'fancy tops' are THE biggest craze at Jonah's school. At recess, I've seen many a group of boys hunkered down, watching their BeyBlades spin & "battle" each other. It is quite a scene. So we found a "BeyBlade Stadium" & several of the spinning tops to whirl around in it! Er ... uh ... I mean, SANTA found them!

This purchase I am already regretting. Noisy toy guns that light up. What were we thinking?!? BUT the boys love them. That is the idea, right?

Another one of M's favorites ... Lincoln Logs!! I love these, too, I have to admit. :)

Christmas Morning...!

Jonah eyes the loot...
Merrik is right behind him!

The tree!

And letters from Santa - left next to the mostly empty cookie plate & empty milk glass.

Christmas Eve!!!!!

The Santa cookies are baked & decorated. The boys are in their jammies. All ready for Santa!

Oh, and let's not forget the Reindeer!!! -Throwing out the reindeer food that Jonah made at school!

Oooo, Santa is in for a treat! Yummy.

One Word: YUM.

Aren't these pretzel wreaths SOO cute?! I cannot take credit for them - my Pampered Chef friend showed them to me. They were a big hit this year!

Reese's peanut butter cup cookies! (in a mini-muffin pan)

Coconut Cranberry Chews. THESE are awesome. My mom's recipe.

I will happily share these recipes if anyone is interested! :)

Deck the Halls!!!

Our Christmas wreath (kinda hard to see w/ a black door) & a candle in the window.

Our cute lil' house lit up w/ a candle in each window. Apparently this is a New England holiday tradition ... symbolizing the warmth & security of the family hearth, as well as loyalty to family members & loved ones not present in the home. (kind of along the lines of , "We'll leave a light on for ya!") And in Colonial America a candle in the window was used to honor dignitaries, announce births & just plain celebrate. Whatever the history, I've loved the idea from the first time I saw it, many Christmases ago at the beginning of my stint in New England. I've always wanted to duplicate it in my own home. So... :)

My only wish is that our home had a fireplace. But in its absence, the staircase will have to suffice as the home of our Christmas Stockings.

And - the true star of the show - O' Christmas Tree!!
The tree was put up the weekend after Thanksgiving this year. We have never put it up that early before. Perhaps it's the new house but I really loved having it up for so long. Christmas seems to come & go so quickly each year. It's been nice to see the tree up early.
However, it might be tough on the boys. Since putting it up, they asked each morning for about a week, "Is today Christmas morning?" But once December rolled around & we got our Christmas count-down calendar up & running, that helped!

Look at those Big Brown EYES

Wow. I took this pic to showcase Jonah's missing teeth. But what struck me most about it is his striking brown eyes. Just like his dad. SO cute!

But onto the purpose of this post, Jonah can now officially sing, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!"

This was a few days before Christmas. Jared had been trying for days, maybe even weeks, to wiggle these 2 teeth free. Jonah took care of that himself when he tripped going up the stairs & knocked out his teeth! He was OK, thankfully, but I think it caught him by a great surprise!
He was sent upstairs to get some clothes. We heard a clang on the stairs, followed by complete silence. That doesn't happen too often in our house so Jared went to the stairs to check it out. Jonah was laying on the stairs, staring at his tooth in his hand. Jared asked if he was OK, & Jonah said, "I fell & knocked out my tooth!" Then Jared noticed another tooth on the step in front on Jonah. So Jared replied, "It was more than one tooth, Champ!" So the teethe were retrieved & clean-up commenced. Jonah was a little stunned but quickly realized that there was more excitement to be had ... the anticipation of The Tooth Fairy!!

It only makes me realize that my babies are growing up. I wish I could freeze time some days...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Go Big or Go Home!

Merrik & I ended up at Old Sturbridge Village recently. Our original destination was the library, but we found it closed - what?! So we wandered to our next favorite place. Imagine our disappointment when we found that OSV was actually closed as well, opening later in the day for their Christmas By Candlelight program. BUT their large gift stop was open so we took the opportunity to browse & stumbled into this little surprise! Staff had just finished assembling this beautiful house. It even has fruit roll-ups as the stain-glassed windows! How cool!

And M must've thought it was cool too because he usually runs when I pull out the camera! But he allowed me to get these two great shots. :)

Now THAT'S how you do a gingerbread house!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gingerbread House - it must be Christmas Time!

One of our early December traditions...

I neglected to get a photo of the finished product, which by now, has a large percentage of the candies taken off. But you get the idea. The boys love this project. This was the 1st year that I let the boys do all of the decorating themselves - with the exception of the frosting, which surely would've ended up more in their mouths & less on the house. Maybe next year they can have full control. Maybe. Or maybe next year I'll get really creative & make my own gingerbread & they can each create their own! I like that idea... stay tuned for next year's gingerbread houses! :)

My Handsome Preschooler!

4 & 1/2 year old Merrik - preschool picture day. Isn't he a cutie?!? :)

LOVE this little boy's laughter & smiles!!

And of course wherever there's a camera, there will be Jonah, also ... hammin' it up!

I came to realize that I always take my own photos of the boys on their school picture day. Mostly so that I have a cute one of them, all dressed up, on my camera to play with that very day. SO why do I still order school pictures that don't get to me until weeks later?!? THAT is the question. Perhaps that will end very soon. Hmm...

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!!

Assembling the tree!
We have the same tree that Jared & I got for our 1st Christmas together, just weeks after we were married... 11 years ago! (Wow, where did that time go?) But it's fun to think about all the Christmases that the tree has seen. :) Jared & I used to put it up together, just the 2 of us. Now we have our little helpers...

And finally, on to the decorating...

We put the tree up the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This is the earliest we've ever done that. But I love having the tree up. It has ushered in the Christmas Spirit a little early into our home - which is great, since it's our 1st Christmas in our new home. (!!!) I love it.

Looking thru the photos I got of that day, I realized that I need to take a shot of the tree all finished. Didn't get that one yet. So, more to come...

In All Things, Give Thanks!!

THANKSGIVING 2010! Here's Tucker (our friend) and Jonah making butter!!
They're holding (and shaking) small tupperware containers 2/3rds full of heavy cream. Just had to shake it for about 15 minutes (needless to say, the adults took turns when the kids needed a rest!) and then wah-lah!! Cream turns into butter. Who knew?!

Our wonderful friends from church, The Dawson's joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. This pic is during the pre-dinner play time. The day was just GREAT. The kids played. The food was yummy. And the Dawson twins even napped at dinner time. We all had so much fun. It was a day to be thankful for. :)

Nuthin' But Time - Let's Paint!!

With the recent Daylight Savings Time change, we found ourselves with an "extra" hour in the morning before the bus. So painting became the time-filler! Needless to say, we are now out of paint. Time to stock up!
I love their looks of concentration.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Secret Identities on Parade!

Vampire & Darth Jonah!!

What Merrik actually was for Halloween was Mr. Indecisive. He changed his mind more than the 2 times evidenced here. But at least he had opportunities for wardrobe changes. Above, as a vampire, he went to the library trick-or-treat, as well as to our ward's (church) Trunk-or-treat. And as always, Jonah is Mr. Consistent & was always ready to run out the door as Darth Vader! He would pile his suit, gloves, cape, belt & mask in his candy bucket & carry it around - always ready to go at a moment's notice!

And for the big night going around the neighborhood, M finally chose Wolverine. But not until after his hair was done & slicked back for the vampire outift & Jared had painted his face white, did he then decide that he was NOT going out this way. So after a quick switch-a-roo & a face wash, he was changed & ready to go.

Grandpa Bill came over this year to walk around with Jared & the boys in our 'new' neighborhood. As a vampire, M would NOT let Bill even look at him! Poor Grandpa! M was hiding from him for about 10 minute before he decided that he in fact wanted to go as Wolverine. Only then did he "allow" Grandpa to see him. UGH!

And speaking of our 'new' neighborhood, we held high hopes for the outcome of this special kid's night. Imagine our disappointment when Jared & the boys only found 4 houses w/ their lights on, handing out candy. And I only had ONE measly trick-or-treater come up to the house. WHAT?!?!? Oh well. Families must venture to more populated areas for the candy. Now we know! :)

Celebrating Fall on the Publick House Lawn!

It's the characters Phineas & Ferb, from a Disney channel show. (which we no longer get - oh darn) But the boys loved these guys because "they're our size!"

Every October, there is a local restaurant (which has fabulous food, I might add) that transforms its front lawn into a fall festivities wonderland of sorts. Groups or individuals create these "scarecrow" displays for all to enjoy. Here are the boys with some favorites...

Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King! - a character from Tim (not my brother) Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. "He's tall!"

The spooky walk...

... and no holiday is complete without a fun & silly cutout photo board ...

... and last but not least, it's Horton, from Dr. Seuss!

We visited this lawn several times this fall. It's become a fun fall-kick-off event for us to go see what's on the Publick House lawn! When the 'scarecrows' are out, we know Fall is here! And Jonah's school bus goes right past this so he let's me know when thing start showing up & when new things are added! :)