Monday, December 31, 2012

In summary of 2012...

Ever since I started this blog, I've done a year in review on the last day of the year. It gives me a chance to go back through my photos/blog posts and remember points of the year that I would have forgotten otherwise.

Looking back, January was a pretty slow month. I did start the year off with a charter. So funny that I completely don't remember writing it! Not very effective, to write something and then promptly forget about it. That being said, I did hit some points of the personal charter so creating words in the world does have a way of bringing it to fruition. It's funny that the first paragraph I say "I love controlled change. That is, change that I create." If only I had known what this past year would bring. Change way beyond my control.

Some of the points of my charter: We didn't end up going on a family trip this year like I stated I wanted to do; well not John, me and the girls anyway. I did go on a family trip with Mema and Pepaw and a cruise though. I did not make exercise a priority. I did sell a lot of my artwork in the form of Appliqued Name Towels and that really rocked my boat. I did love spending the 4's with my girls and I still just sometimes stare at them and are amazed at who they are becoming. They inspire me daily. The second to last paragraph, I talk about focusing on my marriage. To think of this past year in terms of my marriage gives me happy tears. John and I went through a lot with the lay off and new job and trying to sell our house and I sincerely think we came through all of it stronger. We have been there for each other every step of the way this past year. I have often thought that in the future we will look back on 2012 and really be proud of ourselves for what we accomplished. Anyway, to read my original 2012 charter it is here. If I create a 2013 charter, perhaps I should actually look at it throughout the year??

Also in January I was able to get away to a Mom's Weekend. That rocked.

-Then February came with a big surprise. We were out of a job.
-The girls got to go to a really awesome Princess Birthday Tea Party.

-March came and I took the girls on a "campout." This was supposed to be in preparation for a campout at a different location, which never happened. But we still had fun!
-My Mother in Law got diagnosed with cancer in her kidney, but thankfully she had a successful surgery and is now cancer free.

-In April, my mom and I took the girls to the circus for the first time! I still love when I can post anything that is a "first" for my kids.
-Another first was their first play, "Charlotte's Web"
-I really started doing focused homeschool lessons around this time too. I don't post everything I do with homeschool, this isn't a homeschool blog, but I do like to post some of our highlights.
-We also went on what is becoming an annual picnic by the lake. I guess next year, we'll have to find a lake to go to in Washington!

-In May... Mema and Pepaw came for a visit!
- And we went on a very cool Identical Twin Playdate.

-In June we went to go see Mema and Pepaw
-And Nanny turned 90!

-In July the "little twins" (what we call my identical twin cousins) turned one! Just realized that this year I had one family member turn 90 while another turned 1. Almost a century apart. Way cool.
- We got to watch the 2012 Summer Olympics and do lots of fun homeschool lessons around them.

-In August I took the definition of spontaneity and went on a very, very last minute week long trip to visit family in Alabama. This included a 16 hour drive with Mema, Pepaw, Maddie, Izzie, and my cousin Ryan.
-Driving to Alabama.

-In September John got a job offer from Logitech and we found out we were moving to Washington! We put our house up for sell.
-Another first! The girls' first haircut.

-In October I went on my first cruise. This was bittersweet. It was so much fun, but Mom wasn't allowed to board at the last second and so she didn't get to cruise with us, and it was all originally her vision. I wish there was some way to turn back the clock and have her on that trip with us.
-The girls went as Rapunzel for Halloween.

-Another first for Novemeber... I took the girls to vote for the first time. Of course they didn't get to vote, but we talked about the President and a bit about our country's government.
-I was the guest speaker at my PAMOM meeting for November, and I took the girls so they could see their mom in a leadership role. Pretty fun.
-My friend had her baby, Hudson Monroe Davis.

-In December we went to go see Santa. Of course.
-Another friend gave birth to Xavier Suson.
-And the girls had the coolest Pirate Party ever.

These of course were just SOME of the highlights. This was such a different kind of year for us. John was home with us for about 8 months, which was special. I mean, it would have been nice to have been employed, but taking the situation we had, we turned it into some pretty special quality time with husband/dad. Then of course the last couple of months he's been working hard for us in Washington and we've been doing our best to sell the house. I'm glad I took the time to go back and reflect on the past year though. It's cool to see that we were doing new things, being spontaneous and adventurous and not letting a stressful life event rip us apart, but actually bring us closer. I was joking with someone that I was glad 2012 was over... but now, looking back... 2012 is a year to cherish.

I am excited to venture forth to all the new that 2013 will bring!

More Christmas!

 A visit to the library. Maddie and Izzie picking out some books.

 Time for Christmas with my side of the family. Maddie checking out the gifts as they started filling out the bottom of the tree.

 Mema and Maddie

 Before we did Christmas the girls got to open their birthday present from Nanna and Popo. Maddie and Izzie.

 Mom, Pepaw and Mema

 Izzie started running a fever and she didn't feel good for most of the night. Luckily it only lasted less than 24 hours this time.

 Daddy taking care of Izzie.

 Mema was COLD.

 Pepaw, Rhonda, Dylan, Mom.

 The next morning we had another amazing sunrise.

 And when it was time to take down the tree... it fell apart.

 Maddie working on the potholder weaving project Nanna and Popo got her. She loves weaving!

 Izzie gets a bit more frustrated with weaving, but she was doing a pretty great job.

 Maddie, Daddy and Izzie watching tv.

We went to dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house for New Year's Eve and then Grandma took the girls and I to see these lights at a business park. They were so awesome!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Day

After we opened all our Santa presents, we loaded up in the car and drove to Grandma and Grandpa's house to celebrate with the aunts, uncles, cousins and Great Grandma. 

 Maddie and Izzie watching ballerina's on tv.

 Grandpa in his cow slippers. This is some homage to Wisconsin, apparently. He bought Grandma matching ones for her birthday. I'm glad he enjoys them.

 Julie, Dana and Holly.

 Lucy.

 Sabrina, Lucy and Sammy. Lucy and Sammy had these hats on that sang and wiggled. They thought they were so funny.

 Daddy and Maddie. Maddie and I weren't at 100% yet.

 A mini- birthday celebration before the Christmas presents, since we had to cancel the family birthday party due to fevers and chills.

 Apparently Grandma and Grandpa robbed a toy store... or at least bought out their entire inventory. Boy were the kids excited!

 Izzie and Maddie got this way awesome castle and a million princess dolls.

 Look closely and you'll  see Sammy buried in his toys.

 Miss Holly loves her slide!

 The grown-up gifts are under the living room tree.

 Dana got Jackie a Family Tree. It's pretty cool looking!

 I bought Tom this cool large wine glass. It can hold all of his corks.

 A big present for all the grandkids to share at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was raining so they all took turns driving forward and backwards the 6 ft that the garage allowed.

 They loved coloring these little bags they got from Aunt Dana.

 After Christmas lunch we headed home early. It was starting to snow. By the time we got home there was a couple of inches. We got about 4 inches by the end of the day. It was fun!


 The next morning.

 Ripley tracks.


Memory of Make-Up



I think every year since I was probably 13 or 14, my Mema has bought me one of those mega eye shadow/make-up packs for Christmas. You know the ones at the drugstore that cost 9.99? She didn't get me one this year, and I didn't even thing about it until this morning when I was in the store buying some cough drops for John. I wanted to buy myself one... they are so irresistible, even though the quality sucks. Just ALL those colors. The ones that had sliding drawers and hidden compartments were especially coveted. I wonder if she didn't get me one this year because she thinks I'm a grown up? I couldn't resist throwing a compact with 6 wild colors in my basket that was on sale for 50 cents... see not so grown up after all!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pirate Party

 Pirate's Izzie and Maddie

Michelle and the youngest Pirate at the party, Corinne.

 The Pirate Party was a HUGE success. Everything went perfectly. I love that a five year old's party can be kept simple and still a be just as fun as one that someone spent hundreds of dollars on.

 Treasure Chest full of loot!

 Pirate Riley

 I put out coloring pages and a lot of balloons on the floor to entertain the kids while we got lunch ready.

 Checking out some of the treasures.

 Balloons are so fun to toss around!

 The trampoline that the girls got from Santa was a huge hit at the party.

 All the kids gathered around to hear the first clue. I made each one a loot bag to take along on the treasure hunt.

 The first clue sent them to the fridge. From there they had to go to the upstairs bathroom.

 Check out Ford taking that corner!

 Listening to the the third clue...

 And they are off down the stairs again! I sent them up and down, up and down!

 They all listened carefully to the clues as they were being read. And then they were off again.


 This clue was in the oven!

 After we collected 8 small chests and the treasures that each contained, we had four pieces of a treasure map (floorplan of my house) we saw that X marks the spot, which led us to the garage where a BIG chest was waiting.

 In the big chest was the pinata! Our original plan was to do it in the backyard, but the 4" of snow on the ground had us swinging our sword in the garage.

 Riley and her dad Clint, helping man the pirate ship so that John could film it all.

 Gabe
 Maddie
 Izzie

 Ford
 Riley again. They each took two turns at it.

 And then I  had to whack at it about 10 times to get the thing to actually open!


 Next we played a "pin the tails on the donkey" or "Put the treasure chest on the X" I gave the win to Clara since she was the only one willing to wear the face mask!

After that we did "Race to Treasure Island" or "Musical Chairs" They each got to go home with a treasure map placemat too!

 It was down to Maddie and Ford at the end. Riley made it to the third spot. But Maddie won this game!

Cake decorating isn't my forte, but I tried, and I think I did a decent Pirate themed cake. I went to make this last night and realized that out of my THREE boxes of food coloring, I was out of all yellow and gold so I couldn't make gold treasure in the chest! It still came out pretty cute. If you squint...

 We sang happy birthday twice. Here's Izzie blowing out her 5!




 Maddie
 Izzie

 Presents!

A huge THANK YOU to all who came to celebrate my girls' FIFTH birthday! I know that my girls had a great time spending the afternoon with their friends and will remember this party for a long time to come!