Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas! (Just a few days late!)

I hope everyone who reads this had a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Here is our tree on Christmas Eve...it was decorated entirely by the boys, mostly with ornaments that they made. We left our big 9-ft. tree in Austin so we wouldn't have to store it here. This little tree works nicely and doesn't take up much closet space the rest of the year!

Joshua and Joanna in front of the tree Christmas morning...

Joanna in her little Christmas outfit from Grandma. Yes, those are tights on her legs...I've never seen tights fit so loosely before!

Joanna lounging on Daddy's lap while he reads the Christmas story to the family...

Joey trying to get Joanna to smile at him!

Josiah opening up a big box of Duplos. He loves these things!!

Jordan modeling his new apron, handmade by Mommy. I made these for the 4 older boys, who all love to help me cook. They were all very excited about them!

Joshua opening his remote controlled Erector set...

Jordan and his remote controlled Wall-E. If you can see the expression on his face, you can tell he was excited about this! He's been asking for it for quite a while.

All this business with presents is exhausting!

Jonathan with his remote controlled helicopter...another big wish list item. Actually, all of the boys, including Josiah, got something remote controlled. There are many many things rolling/flying/crashing around here these days!

The boys have all been having fun playing with all their new stuff. I'm busy scrambling to get organized and prepared to start back to school and a somewhat normal routine next week. Hopefully it will all go smoothly...I have a feeling after a solid week of doing nothing but play with Christmas gifts, getting the boys to hit the books again will be challenging!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday, Jonathan!

On December 24th we celebrated Jonathan's 9th birthday! Again, it was a simple affair at home, since we don't want to have Joanna out at any children's party-type places. Jonathan's one request was some special one-on-one time with Daddy, so they went out sledding together then for a snack at Starbucks. I think he had a good time.

This was apparently my week for super-boring birthday cakes. I thought Joey's cake decor was pretty lame, but this one didn't get any embellishment at all, except for 9 sparkler candles left over from the package used for Joey's cake. He didn't seem to mind. The cake was super yummy though...we made a Texas sheet cake, which is wonderfully moist and chocolatey, especially with the fudgy icing. We were watching Paula Deen together a few days before (yes, my 9-year-old son and I love to watch Food Network together--he's a big fan, and claims he wants to be a chef someday) and she made a cake from a very similar recipe. Jon told me he wanted that for his birthday cake, so we compromised and used a recipe that I have made several times before. It's one of my favorite cakes!

Blowing out the candles...

I was also out of birthday wrap. I figured using Christmas wrap, which I have in abundance, would really up the lame factor, so I improvised with a roll of newsprint decorated with crayons, lol! Here is Jon getting ready to open his presents. He is the master of goofy expressions, don't you think?

Not to be out done, Jordan wanted me to take a picture of his funny face...

It seems like all the pictures I've taken of Josiah lately include food on his face. Oh, well...just proof he enjoyed that chocolate cake, I guess! If you look above his left eye (right side of the picture) you may notice the stitches he got on Monday, courtesy of big brother Jordan who decided he needed to be knocked into the TV stand. My poor baby! He was a trooper, though, and of course charmed all the nurses at both the doctor's office and the hospital.

I'm almost caught up on my pictures, now. I'll try to post some Christmas pictures tomorrow!

Happy 4th Birthday, Joey!

On December 17th we celebrated Joey's 4th birthday! While we didn't do our usual birthday trip to Chuck E. Cheese's (trying to avoid that many germs with a new baby!), Daddy did take the boys to Dylan's Candy Bar where they all picked out some candy treats. I made a birthday cookie cake, since I didn't have any cake mix on hand and we ALWAYS have the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, Daddy's favorite, on hand! Apparently "Not Me," my invisible child, has borrowed and lost the coupling ring for my icing bag/tips, so I decorated the cookie with a ziplock back with a corner cut off. Not pretty, but it gets the job done!

Here is a proud 4-year-old Joey with his cookie cake...

Sparkler candles!

Blowing out the candles...

That kept relighting themselves...

Presents! He got 2 sets of legos from the movie "Cars." The boys have all had fun playing with them so far.

Wow, I can't believe my little guy is already 4! They grow up waaaaay too quickly!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

One Month Old!

Here are some pictures of Joanna from last Thursday when she hit the one month mark. She is starting to smile, but only for Daddy and not on command, so y'all will have to wait to see her sweet little smile! We think she's adorable even with her serious look! :)

Jeremy just finished completely erasing my hard drive then reinstalling everything, so finally my issues with my new camera communicating with my computer have been resolved. Expect to see more pictures in the next few days!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Gingerbread" House Fun!

How about some Christmas-y fun with the J boys? In spite of my current state of chronic sleep deprivation, I'm trying to do some fun activities with the boys so that they can have some fun Christmas memories (and a break from the tv and wii, lol!) While last year I actually baked a big gingerbread house, this time in the interest of keeping things quick and simple I made each boy a mini-house out of graham cracker squares. Here they are about to start decorating!

Jordan squeezing royal icing out of a ziplock bag with the corner cut off. Much easier (and more disposable!) than using my pastry bags.

Josiah carefully placing M&Ms on his house...

Joshua and Jonathan...

Look at the concentration on Joey's face as he applies icing to his house...

Hmmm, maybe this peppermint stick should go right here...

Joey, Joshua, and I. Please excuse the uncombed crazy hair, etc. When you're functioning on just a few hours' sleep, things like this tend to fall by the wayside, lol!

Josiah, Jordan, and I. Don't be fooled...the icing on Josiah's face was actually applied by Daddy!

It didn't take Josiah long to decide that these were more fun to EAT than to decorate!

Jonathan's house. It isn't actually done at this point...the older 2 boys got really creative with theirs...but I had to go feed Joanna before they were done so I didn't get pictures of the finished products!

Joshua's house...

Joseph's house...

Jordan's house...

I have a few other Christmas crafts planned for the boys this season. We'll see how many of them we are actually able to get done!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby Joanna

Here she is!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Step One...Done!

I finished the piecing part of my first quilt today! I'm so excited! I was nervous about some of my fabric selections, but I think it turned out nicely after all. The cutting and piecing went more quickly than I expected, which was nice. I started it on Monday, and worked on it for a little while each evening after the boys went to bed. Jeremy had a lot of computer work to do, so he would set up on one side of the table, and I would sew at the other side. Does that count as quality time? LOL!

Ironing all the seams was the hardest part...mostly because I HATE to iron!! But I have to admit it was far more satisfying to iron this than to iron a shirt or something. Now I just have to figure out how to quilt it. The tutorial directions are very specific on the piecing part, but then it just says "baste, quilt, and bind" for the last step after piecing...not super informative for someone who has never quilted before, but I'm determined to figure it out! I plan on getting started after we get back from our trip to Texas, so the beginning of September or so.

Here's as much of the top as I could get in a picture...

And a bit more of a close-up. The colors are lighter/brighter in real life...this is the best I could get at night with the dining room overhead light.
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