Monday, December 29, 2008

Makin' Muffins

Last night we made muffins and bread together. It's my starter bread they call bread but it really eats more like cake and dessert! It was due to be baked and I was home. What better time? B, M & R were having a Wii competition and Ruth finished first. I whispered for her to come help me like it was a secret and something special. In actuality, I just wanted her to be done with the Wii. She's a good helper! She'll do whatever I ask and usually with a good attitude. Lydia thought she might be missing out on something, so she pulled over her stool and asked for her own bowl. So I decided to make 2 batches of muffins. A few minutes later the 3rd girl, afraid of missing out too, pulled up a 3rd chair and we started a 3rd batch of muffins! Ruth wanted to help show Lydia how to make it right. They sang together, "stir the pot, stir the pot, stir the pot!" The older 3 usually help my bi-monthly baking if I'll let them. But as the batter thickens it becomes too difficult for little hands. Maggie actually offered to switch bowls and stir for Lydia! They stirred with all their might and Lydia said her hand was getting red... in her 3 year old dialect, it was really cute. They picked their add-ins and we greased pans. That's my favorite part for them to do. I can't stand greasing pans. Maybe that's why I don't bake very often! So, while they were preparing pans I was washing dishes. While the goods were baking, they were putting all the dishes away. We had a clean kitchen in record time! And we also have a bunch of muffins. But they are especially delicous this time!

Video of Bennett completely unrelated to making muffins.
This was down at Grandpa/ma's and a new shooting toy. He's very cute learning how to aim. You'd think 2 years at summer camp taking riflery and archery would teach the boy at least the basics! I guess it's good enough for being 8!

Then there's a short video of his mother's shooting skills. We like skills around this here town!

Whirlwind of Christmas continued...

We celebrated with the Davidson side on Christmas Eve before I went to work. Somehow I managed to get a night shift for the holiday. It really is better that way since nights are much, much, MUCH calmer and quieter than days with the doctors and managers. But I digress....
Curtis took the kids over early afternoon to eat while I caught a little nap. When I stopped in the kids ripped open their gifts and went on with playing. I went to work. They took the family photo after I had already left but Santa was my stand-in!
The girls all got matching boots! They love them and all wore them to church Sunday morning. :)

Papa got the 25 year commemorative BB Gun from the movie "The Christmas Story"... but it was just a picture. The real gun is being shipped or ordered or something that took longer than 20 minutes.

Grammy got a family photo and a candle with the kids' pictures on it. Those are always safe gifts! :)

I got home from work Christmas morning bright and early. The kids and Curtis were patiently waiting so I quickly changed into my PJs and started the madness. It really wasn't madness. They never are mad. :)

There was regular 'ole fatherly order about the gift unwrapping. I think he's creating the same in the kids, especially Bennett. They decided to start with Lydia and each open 1 gift at a time, youngest to oldest. The only thing is I didn't wrap equal number of gifts... so eventually, someone was out. But they managed to get through it all. This year Curtis had taken each child individually to buy for their 3 siblings. So they each got 3 fun gifts that were kid approved! Those are always much more fun than the parent approved gifts like clothes and slippers! That's what I was able to get. PJs, slippers, gloves... things they NEED. I guess that's the life of the mother. There were Strawberry Shortcakes, Tinkerbells, GI Joes, sleeping bags, more baby dolls, ePets, and a tea set. The last gift was from the father. It was the Wii. It also prompted Bennett to say this was the BEST Christmas ever! It's fun. I wanted it just as much as the kids. I just can't stay up until 2am playing, and I can't play during the day for all the "is it my turn now?" cries from the offspring. Eventually I'll just tell them no. I wish I had video I could load of Bennett boxing. That is the funniest thing I've seen in a LONG time. Ruth actually said her head hurt after being hit in a boxing match. We had a lazy day of it since I had been up all night.

Bennett explains to Grandpa all about his Wii.

Bennett has already mastered the art of bowling and Maggie is well on her way to being an expert batter. They think they need a wii Fit as well as games that are compatible with playing cousins and friends online. Hmmmm... I think they need to go ride bikes again!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas In Griffin

After we visited the Pink Pig in ATL, we headed south and went to Grandma and Grandpa's house. I can't remember the last time we went down for a weekend visit. The kids probably think we live States away instead of just counties away.

We wanted to do Christmas... the actual opening of the gifts, at their house this year since we haven't done that in a L-O-N-G time. Mom always manages to go overboard regardless how many times we tell her otherwise... or how retired and paycheckless she is. The kids love it though. Who cares if you wear yourself out as long as the kids are happy! We got there before it was too late in the day and promptly started taste testing everything in the house. She actually ASKED the kids if they wanted to open their gifts "tonight or in the morning?"... like there was any question at all. So, she had them hide in the back bedroom and put PJ's on (it just feels better with PJs on!) while she unloaded stuff into their PILES in the living room. Then they were called forth. Out they came running. Eight little feet pounding the hardwoods as fast as they could... looking for their respective piles. It brought back floods of memories of my childhood. They may not have been great big expensive gifts, but there were always many gifts, and piles for us. Anyway... the kids wanted to dig in but the male adult in the family makes them have order and turns. How fun is that? But we get to see each gift opened as well as reactions and expressions. It's more fun for the adults that way. And it's all about us anyway, right?
The kids got more than they needed but it's so fun to watch and see what they do. My favorite gift was the one to Lydia. Dad refinished the table and chairs that were Mom's 1st Christmas gift... back in 1944! I say it was for the last grandbaby... but Mom says it's because she's her name-sake... the Ann part. And Marci, if you read this, she says you spell yours with an E and you always make sure she knows! :) We'd share but you're too bit to use it now. Whew!

I love the sequence of shots that shows Lydia opening the table and chairs. Mom had wrapped them in 3 different bags and they were awkward and heavy for her so Dad had to help. That's the fun part... seeing Daddy help his grandbabies! :) When she first opened the bag she looked inside and proclaimed... "A HOUSE". It was very cute. I know the pictures are probably more than you want to see... but it's all about me anyway. And these are my memories.
And then she set herself up with all the loot! (since we came home she set this up in her room with her new tea party set and babies... we love the table!)

Saturday was a B-U-T-ful day! We played outside and actually tried to fly kites. Grandma got hers up pretty high and handed the string to Ruth... so she got the credit. Maggie ran and ran and ran with hers to keep it up. Bennett just g0t frustrated he couldn't make it stay up where he wanted. It was fun memories for all of us. Maggie and Bennett also rode bikes up and down the driveway. Somehow, Bennett's tires found the mud puddles and had the Streak 'O Mud up his back to prove it. I had to laugh because, of course, he's going to ride through the mud! He and Maggie both climbed the water oak tree. He wasn't so happy about the height, but Maggie scooted up as far as her father and grandmother would allow. I encouraged her to climb higher because I was always the one at the top of the tree! Be like me!! I wanted to take kite flying pictures and tire swinging pictures, but I didn't want to miss out on the fun long enough to go get the camera.

We stayed Sunday to go to my home church of Berachah and saw many of the "old crew" as well as Rob and Stacy and the boys. It was too brief, but it's all we got. I can't remember what prompted us to stay Sunday night, but we decided last minute to stay an extra night. I just didn't want to come home. Too many adult responsibilities lie in wait at my own house. They aren't there at Grandma's house!
Monday morning the kids made gingerbread men with Grandma. Such a delightful treat of sugar for the road! Actually, they were pretty nasty, pre-made cookies, but the kids thought enough of them and ate the whole thing! We packed sandwiches for the road and it still took us 6 hours to make the 2 hour drive. I can't blame it ALL on Curtis, but he does like to stop and shop when available.
Christmas is always a whirlwind... but the 3 days at Grandma's house (and Grandpa's!) are like time stands still. Ahhhh...
P.S. Mom and I played countless hands of cards and ignored the kids' needs as much as possible. :) They need to invest in cushions for their kitchen chairs!

The Famous Atlanta Pink Pig

We took the kids to the Rich's Pink Pig... which is now the Macy's Pink Pig... which is in the parking lot at Lenox Mall in Atlanta.
Not what it used to be, but then things rarely are. They are trying to keep it going.

I never went as a kid and didn't get to go the last time the kids went. So this was my first pink exposure. We met up with several other girls from work and their kids. The girls remember a few of the other kids and enjoy the company whenever we have the opportunity to play. I think a few of the other kids get together more frequently to play.

In the big group photo (L-R) Jan (squatting), Debbie, Natalie's friend, Michael, Natalie, Ruth, Loganne, Maggie, Meredith, Abbey, Cameren, Bennett, Tara, Lydia, & Jenny.

Michael, who belongs to Jan, wasn't so happy with our first group photo shoot. He cried for his Momma! And she was happy with him strapped in the stroller... so he stayed. It was kind of funny because none of "us" mothers really were too concerned with his displeasure... but the group of mothers behind us were certainly disturbed! They later got to go in front of us because we needed more seats than were available... and then wouldn't move their car seat for our 1 last Mommy to ride. Poo!

Here's Cameren with Jan's Meredith and Lydia and me.

Bennett and Ruth got to ride together. They are always a good pair!

Maggie rode with Cameren's Loganne.

Curtis went with us as our token bodyguard, caretaker, photographer, and chauffeur. We were on our way to Griffin for my family Christmas... so he was really stuck with all the girls! :)

Hopefully, I'll have my Christmas posts done soon... as well as my Christmas letter with my Christmas family photo. Was today really Christmas?

See you guys soon!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Two Peas and Five Dancing Princesses

The cousins came upon us for the weekend. It was my brother's anniversary weekend and Mom and Dad were responsible for the 3 offspring. Instead of driving back and forth to Grandma's house I suggested they come here for the weekend. It's a lot closer to Seth's and the kids LOVE to play (plus, Mom loves to do dishes and laundry!). They had less than 48 hours and they made the most of every second. Bennett and Micah (the two peas) traipsed around outside despite the 40 degree temps. Esther even spent a large number of minutes out there as well. Uncle Curtis built a fire in the pit for entertainment, and a sneaky way to get more sticks picked up by the kids.

The girls spent most of their time in princess garb dancing around from room to room. I videoed a little and then set up the camera in front of the TV so they could see themselves live, while they danced. Then Mom and I sat at the kitchen table and played cards while we secretly watched as they twirled in circles, all the while making sure they were still within the video frame. We didn't get very far in our game during that time.

Speaking of card games... we were able to play a few good hands. I can't remember the final score... but the numbers were pretty favorable to the daughter! :)

Maggie is learning how to blow a bubble. It's quite amusing when she can't keep her eyes open... due to the flash or the fear of a bubble in her face. :)

Anna Grace has been practicing for a while I think. She showed Maggie how to do it as well as kept her eyes open for the photo shoot! :)

Esther and Ruth not only model fine swimwear, but also show that girls can build some pretty fancy yards for the horses and cowboys. Grandma and Esther show "good" behavior at the dinner table. I think the weekend had finally gotten the best of Grandma. And she had done so well for the first 40 hours. The weekend got the best of Grandpa many hours earlier! I lightened this shot so you could visualize Pop sleeping... and the brilliant white socks Lydia's father has behind her head.

Ok... Tuesday night about 10pm Bennett walks out of his room with that "the light's too bright" look and he says his belly hurts. So, Curtis and I both ask the usual "are you going to throw up" questions. I do NOT do vomit so I need to make sure when to run. And since Curtis is then left with the vomit, he wants to make sure the kid gets to the proper spot. Anyway... B said it wasn't that. "Do you need to go potty?" is the next question from both of us. We always think the worst when a kid gets out of bed at 10pm saying his belly hurts. Nope, he said it felt like he was hungry... and an ever so slight grin emerged from behind his "light's too bright" look. Curtis warmed up a bite of chicken and bread, which he swallowed in just a couple minutes and headed back to his bed. As he passed by he informed me that he felt completely better! :)

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