Friday, December 29, 2006

Jiggly Goodness

ATTENTION ALL YOU JELLO JIGGLER LOVERS . . . Look at what I found at Goodwill!!!!!!!!!! At $1.38, this may be the cheapest entertainment I've had in a long time. It makes footballs and helmuts! My kids are almost as excited as I am. If anyone ever comes across any other jello molds on their excursions, let me know!!! It even came with instructions on what flavors to mix together to get different colors, so I could actually make black and gold ones! So be expecting this tasty addition at some future family gatherings!

Homemade Gifts are the Best!

Will made us some precious Christmas presents at school. My first tip that he was making us something came before Christmas when I was sitting at the table filling in dates on my new 2007 calendar. Will noticed and seemed a little put out. He asked if I still needed one for my fridge, so I caught on and I told him oh yeah, you can never have too many. Sure enough this was our present:

It came wrapped in this:

This was our card:

The outside says, "You are really special to me." and the inside says, "Because you care about me. I love you, From Will"

Will made Sam a present too! It was a book he made about a gingerbread boy. It has flaps to open to find out where the gingerbread boy is hiding. I didn't take a picture of it because Will brown-markered the cover nearly to death. But it's really cute. He insisted on giving us our presents first before he and Sam opened any of their other presents! He really wanted Sam to sit with him and let him read the whole story to him, but Sam didn't appreciate the homemade gift as much as we did, especially when presents were waiting! Here's the card Will made for Sam:

On the outside it says, "You are nice. You are fun. You are a good brother." On the inside it says, "You are the right brother for me. From Will P.S. Please don't kick me or hit me." On the other side: "Merry Christmas!" Isn't that the perfect holiday message?! You know- peace, goodwill toward men and all that jazz?!


Sam got the whole cowboy get-up from his aunt Emily. He's got a vest, wrist cuffs - with fringe!, hat, bandana, a map, badge, a working canteen, and the best part are the CHAPS! Since he already had a stick horse, he's set! So now he can be a pirate, or a cowboy!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hope you all have had a great weekend. We've had two Christmases so far, and a third one on Saturday with Damon's family! On Christmas eve, we celebrated with my side of the family. By far, the hit of the day were the nerf dart shooters that the 4 boy cousins each received from the Berends grandparents. At first we weren't too sure, because those babies shoot out wicked fast! But that's what the protective eye wear and the shield are for, and besides it toughens a guy up! I must have told kids several times, "just shake it off!" when they'd come a whinin'! "Santa" added to the fun by getting each boy a refill pack of darts that come in a mesh bag that you clip to your pants. Imagine 120 plus darts lodged in all the nooks and crannies of your house! It was sweet. The boys had fun shooting and dodging, and later the girls (me, my two sisters and my mom) took over and had own fight. It was great becuase we just sat around the living room shooting each other and some of the boys were content to gather ammo for us and replenish our supplies, so there was no running around involved! You just had to take your shots like a woman! We were undeterred by the red welts and stung lips. No body part was off limits! We were all laughing so hard that several of us had to change our pants, if you know what I mean, and I'm not afraid to admit that I was one of them! In the video, Joe, Emily, Jack and Don are duking it out. Don is using a home-made PVC marshmallow shooter that you blow into! I found out the hard way that this leaves the foam darts a bit moist, when I went to go gather some up! The fun thing about the darts is that they are velcro on the end so they stick to your clothing, and the shield. Don was wearing a fleece pullover that was the perfect dart magnet! Yes, at the end of the video I sustain a hit directly to the forehead! I highly recommend this toy for lots of laughs, stress release, and to solve your issues with your family members! We may be purchasing 2 additional guns for our house in the very near future, so that the 4 of us can have our own good old fashion family fun.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Krispie Ball Incident

You ask? And I deliver. The long awaited pictures from the Krispie Ball Incident. We were only a few short blocks from home when the unthinkable happened: the dessert had shifted. And along with it, our hopes of ever having enough Krispie Balls to go around. As the powdered sugar settled, and the damage was assessed, Joe took one for the team. He didn't want the tasty dessert to have died in vain. He was not too proud to eat Krispie Balls off of the ground. You are a brave, brave man Joe. I would like to think that I would have done the same if I'd been in your shoes. I, and dessert lovers everywhere, salute you.

Today is a New Day!

I woke up first this morning and walked past Sam's closed door. I thought he was still asleep but I heard him say to himself, "Today is a new day!" I wish you could have all heard him, it was SO CUTE, the way he said it slowly and with such conviction. I know that this stems from the pep talks we've been having with him at bedtime to stay in his bed until morning time, and not get up in the middle of the night. I tell him if you wake up, just roll over and go back to sleep. Don't get out of bed until it's a new day. But for the life of me it sounded like he was doing his daily affirmations or something! Maybe he just needed a little positive self talk. It was so cute and made my heart melt, I just had to go right in and love on him!

Monday, December 18, 2006

O Christmas Tree

These are some of our favorite ornaments:

This scary one creates an annual debate between Damon and I as to what exactly it is. Damon says it's a Chihauha and makes references to the Taco Bell dog. But I know that it's a reindeer. It was on a present my Quint grandparents gave me one year, so I should know!

The jack-in-the-box was made for Damon when he was a boy by his Grandma Brown out of yarn and plastic canvas. It's kind of scary too, but in a good way!

The santa on the right was always a special one of mine growing up. It brings back childhood memories.

The baby Jesus on the left was made by Will when he was in pre-school, out of a half a paper plate, some straw and some striped fabric for a blanket. Jesus smiling face (and what a smile it is!) is a wooden spoon.

There are no words to describe my sweet little angel boy, Will!! Doesn't this just fit him to a tee?! Pffff!

On the left is a random ornament that Will decided to make out of pipe cleaners, puff balls and feathers. Isn't it funny?!

One of Sam's favorite things:

Lucy. His 2005 ornament made my mom.

Will's 2005 ornament made by my mom. He likes books!

On the right a Paper Prayers' ornament.

On the left: another Paper Prayers' ornament.

Jello Jigglers

They are a thing of beauty. They wiggle. They jiggle. They make you smile. They are not just for kids, as certain members of my family will testify.

This year I continued the tradition of making race car jello jigglers for a family get together. This year I "stepped it up a notch" with a layer of cherry creamy jiggler squares (they have jello and vanilla pudding in them) on the bottom, a layer of orange creamy jello jiggler christmas trees in the middle, and of course the piece de resistance, the lime race cars. Despite the warning printed on the recipe, (seriously) Sam can stick a whole race car in his mouth at once. Don't they look like a parking lot?! I'm just so proud. Yes, this is my life.

Santa Obsession

Sam is OBSESSED with everything about Santa. Out of the blue he'll say, "I love Santa." or "I miss Santa." He's always asking me, "Is it Christmas time yet?" We were a bit surprised that he knows so much about Santa, and is so sure he's right, because we never did the whole Santa thing with Will. (Will is very good about keeping this info to himself. He'll just make cryptic comments like, "I know the true meaning of Christmas.") Everything that Sam's picked up has been from TV and books and such. We went to the mall the other day and Sam waved at the mall Santa and Santa said hi back. As we were walking away I told Sam (and I know some of you out there will think I'm mean and cruel!) "You know, Santa is just pretend. It's fun to pretend." He said, "No he's not, he said hi to me!" and I said, "Yeah, but he's just a man in a costume pretending to be Santa." He didn't buy that either. Other times Sam has said, "I'm sad, Santa not bring me any presents." So I said, "How about if mommy and daddy give you presents instead?" And he said, "No, I want Santa to bring me presents." One night when my mom was watching the boys, he wrapped up his leftover cheese bread in a napkin and told his grandma that he was saving it for Santa. We are all about celebrating Jesus' birthday, and Sam seems to get that too, so I guess for this year we'll let him take the lead on Santa - there doesn't appear to be any convincing him otherwise!

Wee Wonderfuls are . . . well . . . Wonderful!

My sister Laura turned me onto this wesite called wee wonderfuls. This woman uses felted wool and vintage fabrics and creates the most wonderful dolls with them. This boy is one of my favorites. She also creates animals and robots which are way cute. She has a separate site where she posts all of her best thrift store and garage sale finds!! This is my kind of gal. This site really inspired me in my creative endeavors and so I wanted to share it with all of you. On her site you can download the patterns - some for free! Also of special interest to me were free download paper dolls, and the make along story. You read the story and then you can download the patterns for the characters. I love how she poses the dolls in real situations for the pictures! It's also fun to check out all of the different photo galleries, (on the right hand side). Some of them are her's and some are of pics from people who used her patterns and wanted to show her their creations. It's fun to look through her originals as a slide show so you can see all the fun details. Check it out!

(Can you all tell that I just recently discovered how to do links and I'm a little "link-happy" right now?!)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Check this out!!! Emily first sent me one of her, so of course, I had to try it too!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Special Delivery!!!

Look at what I found on my door step today!!! We're going to bring him inside and feed him and love him and call him our own. We might even get him a real bed - maybe in the shape of a car. We think we're going to name him George.

Dancing With the Stars Club

In order to be a part of the Star Wars Club, you have to actually enjoy Star Wars. So I guess I can't be a part of it. But I'm thinking about starting a Dancing With the Stars Club. No one here in my house wants to join me. Anyone? Anyone?!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Star Wars Club

Will and some of his school friends are starting The Star Wars Club. It was his friend Quentin's idea. Quentin suggested that since it was his idea, everyone should give him ten bucks! Will wisely suggested that they do some kind of test instead of trivia questions, "since who is going to have ten bucks?!" At bedtime Will asked me if he could bring 50 cents with him tomorrow. When I asked him why, he said he wanted to give each of his two friends a quarter just for being his friend. We agreed that he'd make them something instead, like a picture. I told him that they weren't going to want his money, that they like him because he's such a cool kid. It made me kind of sad, although he wasn't really paying anyone to be his friend, that's what it made me think of!

Throughout the night tonight Will kept whining about wanting to play Lego Star Wars 2, and we kept repeatedly telling him no. To distract him and make him laugh I started "hypnotizing" him. I swung my finger back and forth in front of his eyes and said, "You're getting very sleepy. When I snap my fingers, you'll wake up and you won't remember anything about Lego Star Wars. You won't even know that it ever existed!" Of course he thought this was really funny, and proceeded to "hypnotize" me. Here's what he came up with: "Mom, you're getting very sleepy. When you wake up, you won't remember that Dancing With the Stars ever existed." I about died laughing! He and I both know that I'm about as likely to forget about Dancing with the Stars as he is to forget about Lego Star Wars. This kid is so funny! I love him so much! We went on to "hypnotize" each other about all kinds of silly things.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

That's Nutty!!!

On the way to Cedar Rapids today we saw a joke on the Nesper's sign that said, "Why was the squirrel mad at Santa? Because he got 'nuttin' for Christmas." I told the joke to Sam who didn't appear to get it. Later, he fell asleep in the car and when he woke up the first thing he asked Will was this version: "Why was the squirrel mad at Santa? Because he got nuts for Christmas." It's close!!

A Ruined Christmas

Twice yesterday I got accused of "ruining Christmas." The first time was when I turned off the TV while Sam was watching a Disney cartoon Christmas movie. It was time to go to "Pirate School." He was mad at me for turning it off and said, "Mom! You wuined Chwistmas!" I didn't quite know what to say to that. The second time was when we were at Wal-Mart and Sam kept dropping a roll of wrapping paper out of the cart onto the floor. After the umpteenth time, I scolded him for a few seconds, and I was once again accused of "wuining Chwistmas." I suspect it's something that he heard on TV.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Sam came home today from his last "pirate school" with some "gleamin' booty!" He got jewelry, coins, and tattoos. So he and Will had fun pretending to be pirates tonight. They really hit the "jackpot." I have no idea what Sam is saying through most of this video.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Video Malfunctions

I just realized that I had set the video settings for the last 2 videos for private, so I don't think anyone was able to view them. So if any of you were wondering why you couldn't view them, that's why. It should be fixed now!

A Special Show

So I was treated to a show tonight! Sam performed his rendition of the Veggie Tales theme song. His introduction goes something like this: (for those of you who can't understand what he's saying,) "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,!"

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Funny Story

Helo im Will im going to tel you a funny part of this movie I saw. It is called Cars. In the movie there is a car called Mater and there is another car called Lightening McQueen. Lightening McQueen was trying to find his driver that was a semi truck and he thought he was going on the interstate but he was going on a road to a town. I'm going to skip a few parts. In the town a policeman got him into this little garage thingy and it was night. And Lightening McQueen was sleeping and when he woke up he met Mater and Mater said, "Hello, I'm Mater like tuh-mater with out the tuh. What's your name?" and Lightening McQueen said, "You don't know my name?!" and then Mater said, "Nah, I know your name. Is your name Mater too?" and that was what I was talking about. Good bye.

(So this has nothing to do with the video, but I guess that's what Will wanted to share with you all! I thought he was going to tell you all about his lego creation, but I guess not. You can totally tell where I took over in the "dictation." But this is him talking word for word! I think the funny part lost something in the translation!)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holly Jolly, by Golly!!!

Tonight we got out the ornaments and the Christmas decorations and finished decorating the house. The boys were so excited!! They were being their usual goofy selves. Trying on all of the stockings seems to be Will's yearly tradition. The only difference is that this year he is concerned that his underwear not show for the picture, so he's holding his shirt down! But I figure that if you're going to run around the house like this, you're asking for your picture to be taken!! We had fun remembering all of the ornaments and where they came from and who made them. We also had our usual "battle" over the placement of the figurines in the manger scene. Will arranged them one way, and then as soon as he left the room I put them how I wanted them. Then he came back, noticed, and put them back his way, and so on and so on!!