Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow day. :)

We went to Mount Charleston last week to play in the snow. You see, those of us from Vegas never (okay, not never.. but rarely) see snow unless we travel to do so. But honestly, I am okay with that. I wasn't as a child, but as an adult now I know that it is hard & scary to drive in, it causes lots of problems like frozen pipes & it's COLD! But spending an afternoon in the mountains (hiding in the car) so my daughter can play in the snow is quite alright with me. This is the first year we've done it & we all voted it must be a yearly tradition. :)
My favorite part was singing Christmas songs on the drive up & drinking hot chocolate in the Lodge. Lol.

On the drive up. Elexis is showing off her new snow gloves. 

My handsome husband. :)

The snowy mountains!!!
If only I could have a beautiful snowy landscape view outside my window (but keep the weather at 70ish) all the time. :)

Enjoying her first few steps in the snow. She's doing some sort of snow-walk maneuver here. 

Is it legal to drive at 3 1/2 months in Nevada?

Warming up in The Lodge. 

The next several photos were taken at The Lodge while we ate. I was having fun with the Effects feature on my camera phone 'cause I'm artsy like that. 

Elexis. <3

My brother Jonathan (He photographs so well). 

Derick (Seriously, how did I land such a foxy man?).

My brother Steven (Seriously, the men in my family are so photogenic. Why did I not get this gene??)

Love them. <3

I think my hand looks pretty odd in this photo, lol.

He slept almost the entire time we were up there. He was awake for probably a half hour total. 

I love love LOVE this picture! And I am so glad it turned out nicely too, because golly was it ever cold! You can't really tell, but we were all shivering pretty intensely. Haha. :)
Elexis & I are desert wimps & my husband (being from Hawaii) is a tropical wimp. We don't do cold.

My brown eyed girl. :)
Grandma (My Mom) sent up mugs & a thermos full of homemade hot chocolate. When we poured it out of the thermos the mugs would warm up, which would in turn warm up our hands.
We found out later that that was her plan all along. Clever girl. ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY Christmas. :)

Christmas is by far my favorite Holiday of the year. I love the decorations, the music, the movies & Christmas specials on my favorite TV shows. Food Network (the channel that is on my TV 80% of the time) has it's Holiday Specials on constantly. I love the Christmas food... Oh the food! And the smell of Christmas (am I the only one who notices that smell?). I love it all. But my absolute favorite thing is gift giving. I seriously spend all year thinking of gifts for all members of my family. Some of them are very difficult & I need all year to figure out something. Others, like my Mom, are easier. I already know what I'm getting her for the next two years (provided the world doesn't end in two days). :)
Well, this year our budget was a bit tighter. I wasn't going to be able to shop for the whole family & I was bummed about it. So rather than getting discouraged, I decided that I would take a Pinterest approach & MAKE all the gifts! I was so excited about this idea & enjoyed making everything. I think they turned out quite nicely. :)

My daughter made a Christmas mug for her Sunday School Teacher, Miss Taylor. :)

I made a set for my brother Jonathan. 

This is the back. 

Elexis drawing the Nativity Scene on a platter for my Mom.

Almost done. I didn't get a photo of the finished product for some reason... It looked great though! :)

The plaque for my Dad. It says "The only thing better than having you for a Dad is my kids having you for a Grandpa". My husband did these letters freehand because he's amazing. :)

Painting them in.

Turned out nice, right!?

My brother-in-Law Nate's gift. Just threw a bunch of quotes onto a plate.

This is the back. If you have never seen something like this done before, it's so easy!! You just write on a plate/cup with a sharpie pen/marker & then bake it in the oven at 350ish for about 45 minutes. Then it's permanent. :)

My brother is a huge Tim Burton fan, so I found this quote. He liked it. :)

The handle. He & his wife love Jack & Sally, so I had to throw that in. :)

My other brother's mug/bowl set.
His name is not Conny, it's a complicated inside joke, lol.

He doesn't give good reactions for gifts, ever...
But with this one, I got a big smile along with a laugh.
Worked for me! :)

We celebrated Christmas at my parent's house on Monday night. Everyone seemed to enjoy their gifts. For my sister & sister-in-law I made a Spiced Apple Sugar Scrub & a Cinnamon-Spice Bath Soak. I forgot to take pictures. But those turned out cute also (and I am enjoying using the leftovers, lol).
I can't wait until Christmas Eve so I can make some yummy goodies for Santa. Elexis said that she doesn't want to leave cookies for Santa because he must be bored of them. So we're trying to find something else that he would like. She's thinking doughnuts or these little peanut butter pretzel sandwiches that we make. We'll see what she decides. And we have to leave something for the reindeer too. She wants to leave them some carrots & celery, but I think we'll just set out a box of granola because it's easier to put back in the cupboard. ;)

Doesn't the tree look so pretty?!? Derick redid it for me. It wasn't this nice before. He added more lights & some garland. He's so great. The Christmas spirit is all over the house now. :)
Please ignore the big hole in the ceiling, we're remodeling. :)

If I don't get to write a post before the 25th: Merry Christmas everyone!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Baths & Skip-Its

Goodness I can't believe we've already started a new week! It felt like it was both long & short. Derick worked overtime almost every night last week & he worked a full shift Saturday as well. I'm glad the long week is over for him. <3
The last three days were so eventful for me. Friday started off very calm. I woke up several hours before both of my kids (around 6am when my husband was leaving for work) & had the house to myself. I watched two episodes of "I Survived". That's a pretty intense show. If you don't know, it's basically has 2-3 people per episode sitting & telling a fairly detailed depiction of an attack (whether by human or animal), a natural disaster or some sort of accident (such as falling off a cliff or being pinned under something) that they somehow managed to survive. This show has drastically increased my prayer life. I am constantly thanking God that none of these tragedies have ever happened to me. And asking Him to prevent me (and my family) from ever experiencing them. But I have also noticed myself praying for complete strangers. The other night when we were driving home, I noticed a lady walking by herself in the dark & I prayed that God would protect her. That show can really get to me though, so I can't watch it all the time. That morning, however, it was fine & I quite enjoyed the quiet morning.
Both of my angels seemed to wake at the same time. We all had some breakfast together while watching The Chica Show on Sprout. Elexis & I did some school work. Then she helped me give Zander a bath, which she Loves. It makes her feel like such a big girl.

Enjoying his bath. :)

Elexis making a little angel she found in one of my Mom's craft books.

Elexis & I were fiddling around in the kitchen trying to figure out what to make for dinner. She was playing around with a bag clip that we got from Target (3 for $1) when suddenly an idea (that had nothing to do with dinner) struck me!

Add some velcro...

Instant recipe holder! 
Isn't it cute? Of course, you would have to be okay with having a kitty on your cupboard all the time (although you could probably use double sided tape for temporary use). I think she's adorable & am completely okay with her hanging out in the kitchen with me. Elexis named her "Purple Kitty".... I think she looks more like a violet. What do you think?

Helping me grate the zucchini for the Cheesy Chicken-Zucchini Casserole.

Practicing her skip-it.

Practice time while waiting for dinner to cook.
 Derick got home at 6:30pm. Elexis said something to him about Snowflakes & then ran up to her room. He & I talked for a few minutes, then I made Elexis her plate, took it up to her & found her asleep! I couldn't wake her up either. She was completely out. I felt so bad. She went to sleep with an empty tummy, no bedtime story & I didn't get to say good night. I consoled myself a little with the knowledge that she had a late lunch. But it didn't do too much to make me feel better.

Elexis was away for the night on Saturday, When Derick came home from his shift, he took me Christmas shopping. :) My brother's had come by so they tagged along. Basically the three guys chatted & fiddled with their phones/gadgets while I had a fun time toy shopping, lol. We had gone shopping for Elexis the Saturday before, but we pretty much only got her clothes & things she needs. She is a girl & will enjoy opening clothes, but she's also a kid & is going to want at least one toy. So we picked her out some good stuff. :)
Then we all came home, ate pizza & watched King of Queens & The Big Bang Theory reruns. After my brother's left, Derick & I watched "Fred Claus" which was Hilarious! It was a fun night.

Yesterday we took the kids to see Santa Claus (pictures to come)! That was so fun. The line was a LOT longer than I had anticipated. But, we played I-Spy & Alphabet Hunt to make the time go faster. Zander slept half the time. Elexis made friends with the little girl in front of us, I think her name was Katie? She was adorable. It was cute to see them giggle together.
When we finally got to the front of the line, Elexis was so excited. She smiled happily for her picture & Zander surprisingly did not cry (Yay!). Then She told Santa that she wanted a big packet of batteries & a game for her Clickstart Kids Computer. I thought it was a very logical & grown-up request, lol. What five year old asks for batteries? So funny.
That night I read Elexis her new Christmas book called "A Bad Kitty Christmas". It was really a cute book.
I love reading with her before bed. :)

Such a long/short/weird/fun weekend. :)
Now a new week & there is a bunch to do. Zander has finally fallen asleep. Better start getting stuff done while I can! :-D

I love this kid.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Popcorn & Cereal Garland

Our Popcorn & Cereal Garland turned out so cute!

I had never strung popcorn before (well I did once with my family when I was younger, but I barely remember it). I thought about looking up a tutorial, but then I realized there's nothing to it. Just gotta pop some popcorn. 

 Elexis found this to be completely mind boggling. "You're not popping it in the microwave?!"

 "So cool!"

"There's too much!" 

 The supplies. Home-popped popcorn & any kind of cereal with a hole in the middle. We went with Fruit Loops & plain old Cheerios. :)

 I didn't realize what time it was when I started popping the popcorn, but by the time I finished it was Lexi's bedtime. So we just turned on a Christmas movie the next morning after breakfast & school & got to stringin'.

 She said that this was very stylish. She's getting pretty into fashion right now. It's kind of cute. :)
We also had a very strict pattern to follow (her orders). It was "popcorn, cheerio, fruit loop, fruit loop". I forgot this constantly & did not follow it very well.

After a few minutes of stringing she said that it was a little fun & a little boring, lol.
Her helpful tip that she wanted to share with everyone was to put the popcorn on the needle, place the bottom of the needle on a table, move your fingers safely to the side and push!


 She did a bit more movie watching than popcorn stringing. This was her first year watching The Grinch & she absolutely loves it. We watch it 2-3 times per day now.

 This was after three tough pokes from the needle. We decided that maybe she should switch to making a cereal necklace to snack on all day & I'd finish the garland. She thought that was a delightful idea.

I could not figure out how to tie off my garland with the thin string I was using, then it hit me! A Cheerio! I just tied two knots around the cheerio & attached one to both ends of the garland. Worked like a charm. :)

So cute!!! 
The Garland turned out pretty cute too. ;)

Our overall thoughts on stringing popcorn is that it is really fun to do together. But might be for kids who are not easily distracted by Grinches & whatnot. If you're working with a really little one, then cereal garland would look equally cute all strung together on a tree (Plus, the fruit loops smell SO good!).