Saturday, January 30, 2010

Christmas shoes

(I will most likely get shot for this picture...) So last year, my Mom fell in love with the movie "The Christmas Shoes". When I saw it for sale this year, I knew I had to have it for her. During one of their sleepovers right before Christmas, Mom and Courtney watched it on LMN....then Courtney fell in love too. SO I had to go buy her a copy. Courtney and I loved to sing along with the song when we would hear it, and that gave her a little spark. She had remembered that I had recently told her that I loved her shoes, and so she made sure to have her Daddy (no, wait, sorry, we have switched back to Dad again...!) to pick some up in the right size. I love the fact that the 3 generations can share so much. Not just as 'mother to daughter' but as friend to friend. I love you my Courtney Bug...and you too Mom!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This year for Christmas, Courtney didn't say very much about wanting anything. As we have reached the 'dreaded teen-age years' it only made it harder to shop for her. I came up with the idea of her having her own i-pod, and getting her a Nintendo DS-I. As you can see by the look on her face, she didn't even know she wanted these things in the first place.

Santa's my hero

All Jilly wanted from Santa was the princess Jasmine bike. (It has more princesses then just Jasmine, but in her mind it was all about Jasmine!) When she saw it she screamed "Santa is my hero!" It was worth it!

The joy of Christmas

To me, this expression makes all the running around, staying up late wrapping, and 'stress' of the season worth it!

Jilly had no idea she was getting the 'Giddy Up Go Pony', we had told her to wait for her birthday, so she about came out her skin when she unwrapped the box. (I had Jeff assemble it, and I wrapped the box.)
Jilly was even "moved by the Spirit" to share with Cooper.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Random thoughts

Today is January 25th, and Jilly still randomly breaks out with "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" and also (just as randomly) "Feliz Navidad". And she can say navidad, but not rhinoceros'. Girl just makes me laugh...she is too cute!

We have been calling Cooper 'Swiper' since she has started grabbing anything she can reach. Well, today we were at my mom's house (doing yet more laundry) and we had Dora on in the background. Well, they got to the "Swiper no swiping" and before the TV could say it Cooper busted out with "AAAWWWWW MAAAAN!" My mom and I were allmost in tears.

I apparently tell Cooper to wait...ALOT. IF she wants you to wait for something, she will look you straight in the face, and with her pointer finger of her right hand tell you "Waaaaay....waaaaay." I love it, they say mimicking is the best form of flattery!!

For now that's all I can think of, it's late so I'll resume with Christmas tomorrow (yes I know I'm being optimistic!)


Most everybody knows how much we love music in this house. And when it come to Christmas carols, there's no exception. Last Christmas I heard a song on the radio "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" and I bought it from i-tunes. It really is one of the more adorable songs I have heard in a while. This year, Courtney taught it to Jilly (who at the end of January will still randomly bust out singing it!!) and they sing and dance together. As Jeff was doing his shopping this year, he came across a hippo 'Web kins' and instantly thought of Courtney and the song. It's those little things that make all the everyday annoyances worth it! Just to see how much it meant to him to get her that little stuffed animal, and how she appreciated it melted my heart.

Christmas Morning.

OK, so there are 16 pictures of Christmas morning that I have to I'm going to do a separate post for each set. Needless to say, Santa was very good to our kids this year, they all got the things they had asked for...and even a few they didn't even know they wanted! There is no better feeling as a parent then watching your kids faces light up when they see a present. It is that thought that I keep in mind when we have to skimp with the adults in our lives, but all of them are parents too, so thankfully they understand that if we could, we would do more, but the kids come first.


I must admit, most of our Christmas traditions come from my side of the family. But in all fairness to me, Jeff did walk into a situation where traditions were already in place. But one tradition he brought with him was PJ's on Christmas Eve. The kids open and then wear to bed brand new PJ's. Some years, we have even been known to wear those PJ's all day, even when visiting other people's houses!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cookies for Miss Carol

A little parents live in what use to be my grandmothers house, so we have lived there in one way or another since 1997. We have the most wonderful neighbors, John and Carol. Both are retired now (Carol use to teach 2nd grade here in Leesburg) and have no children of their own...but adore my kids. It all started with Courtney many moons ago. Carol, having been a teacher, appreciates how smart, inquisitive, polite, caring...(you get the picture) Courtney has always been. And John is one of those people who can't stand most kids these days due to "lack of basic social skills and the ability to listen",but is absolutely in love with Courtney. And they have fallen in love with the rest of my girls as well. Every Halloween we stop by to show off our costumes, we chat when we see one of them in the backyard with one of their dogs, Courtney has always enjoyed just walking up to the fence to ask a question or start a conversation. And any time we have made Christmas cookies the girls always want to share with John and Carol "so Santa will visit them too" according to Jilly.

With that being said, cookies were made, kids were happy, and it was time to share cookies with Miss Carol and Mr John. With coats on, Jilly, Riley and I walk down the driveway, and up John and Carol's and we meet Mr. John who was unloading his car. Jilly said "Mr. John, we have cookies for Miss Carol."

He replied " She's in the house taking care of Amy (their very sick dog) so I'll just take these in the house. Do I get to eat some of them too?" (Little did he know what he was about to hear!)

Jilly, with a very serious look on her face turns to him, with her finger in the air and blurts out "You may have one, the rest are for Miss Carol and Santa!"

And the laughter rolled! John could hardly breathe he was laughing so hard. And at some point my Dad had come out to talk to John about a football pool, and he was in tears. It was all I could do to walk back into the house!

Later that day I caught Carol in the back yard, and she said John had told her all about it, and all she had to say was "At least she was willing to share any of them with him. She could have told him 'no', but she shared..."

I love the way Carol can make me smile, and see things in a new light. I will forever be grateful for their friendship over the years.

Cookies for Santa

This make 2 years in a row that I have been lucky enough to have all my monkeys make cookies for Santa (we even got Aunt Ginger-Beth in on the action!). Thankfully, both Courtney and Ginny let the 3 1/2 year olds do all the fighting over who gets to do what! But I have learned from experience, that if you let them each do something first (doesn't matter what) then they get to be special. We took turns using the mixer, then we would go around the table and pick out our cookie cutters (and who ever went first would last in the next 'round' of picking).

Here we are are doing the 'push and wiggle wiggle'. What can I say, I just love to be able to say 'wiggle wiggle' and elicit smiles!
And when we got tired of cutting cookies, we got to "shoot them" as the kids put it. We took turns using a cookie press and got A LOT more cookies done quickly. The trigger was a little too tight for the kids to be able to 'shoot' too many, but the faces were priceless!

And when all was said and done, we chose to 'paint' our cookies. Less messy then sprinkles, and honestley more fun!

Not all fun and games

We all love to have family over for meals. The worst thing about it is having to do the dishes afterwards! With the amout of people we had to cook for, we had to do dishes as we went. And wouldn't you know it...Jilly helped out too. After Gran-ma's turn, Jilly would take the spounge and scrub the plates and bowls...she had an absolute blast! I love spending time in the kitchen, and it's even better when I get to do it with my Mom and girls!

big little helper

There was some prep work fro the appetizer dinner that could not be done in advance. Luckily, both Courtney and Jilly were ready, willing, and able to help. Jilly is working on the dry chipped beef wrapped cream cheese. She did a great job too...they were the first thing to be eaten!

Kitchen helpers

My girls love to help in the kitchen. As a reward for helping Courtney make single serving cheesecakes (and also for not trying to kill each other) I let the kids lick the beaters. It seems to me a rite of passage...who doesn't remember licking the beaters or the bowl as kids?!?

I love the tongue!

Chocolate pretzels

Pop-pop received some chocolate pretzels from someone at work, and was nice enough to share with the girls. They both make very good chocolate monsters!

movie day fro Buddy

Christmas Eve, and poor Wyatt was stuck out in the living room watching Barbie movies! That is until Pop-pop saved him and put some sports on!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Here are a few more of the cute things the girls are saying these days.

Jilly "What the heck in the world?" Because Courtney says "what the heck" and I say "what in the world" so Jilly just put the two together and came up with her own.

pony show hair = Jilly would like two braids in her hair (the same way she has to wear her hair for a horse show)

The rest of these are all Cooper;

oww-si = outside. And yes she does understand what she is saying. She will go up to the door and point and say "oww-si"

dow = down

na-na = donought (no idea where it came from...)

Bubby = Buggy. Not sure where this came from, but now we all seem to call Courtney Bubby instead of Buggy. She seems to like it...we'll see if it sticks.

nie-nie = night night. It means "Excuse me people, have you not yet realised that it is time for me to get my cuteness sleep?!?"

pot-pot = Pop-pop. When ever we pull in the driveway of my parents house Cooper goes through a little roll call. "Pot-pot, Gra-ma, goggies, COOKIES". And this happens every time we go over!

cu = cup. 'nuff said.

new-nulls = noodles. My kids eat alot of noodles these days.

bean-bean = green beans

fi-fi's = fishies, or Goldfish. One of Cooper's favorite snacks.

peeeeeas = is her version of cocking her head to one side and with the eyelashes batting giving you a very cheesy "PLEAAAAAAAAASE?!?!"

rye = right, or all right

That's all I can thing of for now, but I have a slip of paper that I keep jotting these down on so I can remember.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Every Princess needs a castle

You would think I had learned my lesson at Halloween...but NOOOOOO! I had to get Jilly another foam project. We were walking through Michael's, and Jilly asked if she could have the castle, and I thought that since Courtney had the chance to put together a gingerbread house (which would have been above Jilly's head) Jilly could do this castle. NEVER AGAIN will I work with these foam kits! They did not have any instructions, and were next to impossible to figure out. As it was, the little bit of the castle we did figure out was enough to make Jilly happy. She was great, she didn't bug about her castle not looking like the box (which had circular towers that you were somehow supposed to assemble to the rest of the thing that we just could not figure out!) The only redeeming thing was the quality mommy/Jilly time we got to have. I love having the one-on-one attention to be able to give to my kids, but it's so hard when (so far) they like the same things!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Little bit sleepy...?!?

Poor Little Miss Cooper...after a long morning of cooking, she was very tired. I decided to try (and I stress the word try) to get Cooper to lay down in the play pen at Granma's house. To my surprise (and great pleasure...) with in 5 minutes she was OUT! Not only did she fall asleep, she stayed asleep for almost 2 hours while we were still cooking (that translates to making a BUNCH of noise in the kitchen not 5 feet from where she was sleeping). Now this is yet another case of Cooper and Jilly being polar opposites. Jilly will NOT sleep any where but her own bed. It would appear that as long as (for now) Cooper has her binky and her blankly, she will pass out (she gets that from me, I can fall asleep anywhere anytime!)

Pre-Christmas cooking

Jilly and Granma making meatballs for our "traditional" appitizer dinner durring "Chineese Firedrill" on Christmas Eve.

More meatball "smashing" as Jilly dubbed it.

One of my favorite things about Christmas growing up, was being able to see Grammy and Little Pop-pop at Christmas. Grammy has always made THE best almond cresent cookies I have ever eaten. I've tried in the past to make them, but thanks to my Mom, we pulled it off this year. It was so comforting to have that memory from my childhood to share with my girls. (...I say girls cause Wyatt doesn't eat cookies yet!)

Good chef in training...never leave a dirty kitchen!!!

Could rolling out cookies BE any more boring?!?

We told Jilly to roll the dough into snakes.

Dredging cookies in powdered sugar...the finishing touches.

Sledding after the blizzard

Once again we ventured across town to do some sledding. The girls were in heaven this time. They could not get enough!

Yes Cooper is actually standing...that's how much snow there was!
As long as Cooper had snow to eat, she was very patient to wait her turn. By the end of the day, her little face was almost as red as the sled!

To hear Jilly tell it "Daddy pushed mt too fast, and I tipped." She did tip over a few times, more from the leaning WAY over the side...but you can always blame the Daddy!

Courtney took turns with the little ones in her lap. I just love the full out smiles these two have!!

When it got to be too much for the kids to wait, Courtney would have one in her lap, and be "towing" the other behind her. I am just so glad that our girls can get along so well despite the age difference.