Merry Christmas 2013

Dec 24, 2013

A very merry Christmas, from my crew to yours!

Life Lately

Dec 17, 2013

It is definitely December!! I cannot believe it has been almost an entire month since I last had a moment to sit and write. We have crammed a LOT into the past four weeks, and things don't look like they will be slowing down anytime soon. From hosting visitors to planning and executing parties {plural}, from end of the year church calling necessities to our regular day-to-day responsibilities, we are running around like crazy people right now.

I have plenty to catch up on around here {Not that this is anything new!}, but for the moment, I wanted to jot down a few tidbits about life lately...

* Bruce still doesn't have an assigned squad. We have no idea what his schedule will be over Christmas week so we have plans in place for both options... if he has Christmas morning free, we'll stick to our regular Christmas traditions- brunch, presents, a pot roast dinner. If he doesn't have Christmas morning free, my father in law and I are taking the kiddos to the zoo to help the morning pass, then we'll meet Bruce at home for presents and Christmas dinner once he is off work. Either way, Christmas is going to be spectacular. I can't wait to find out which itinerary we will be following.

* Since I last blogged, Sunshine has learned to tie her shoes and ride a two wheeler. Not only did she finally get the hang of riding her bike, she has gotten so good at it that she occasionally rides along side Bruce when he goes for a run.

* Beebs is just two and a half weeks away from her fourth birthday and officially being a Sunbeam in church.

* Man Cub chipped his front tooth. It was devastating for me. He didn't even cry. In fact, we have no idea how he did it.  I still am not completely use to his new smile, but it is growing on me. At least I don't get teary eyed looking at his poor tooth.

 * On November 16th we celebrated 3 years of living in our dream home. I love this house even more today than the day we bought it. To celebrate our third house-iversary, we finally settled on paint colours and last weekend Bruce and his dad gave the outside of our house a facelift. It looks amazing! And then we were informed that due to an HOA website error, the colour we painted it is in fact NOT an approved colour. We shall see if we can convince the HOA board to let us keep it. Cause it looks awesome.

* Sunshine is all caught up in the spirit of Christmas. She has one thing in particular that she wants for Christmas, but her true focus has been what she can give. She even told me yesterday that she is not really that excited about getting stuff, because there isn't much she can think of that she wants, but she cannot wait to give everyone the gifts she has picked for them.

* Beebs loves to sing Christmas songs- Jingle Bells and Rudolph are her favourites. This year she is actually willing to visit with Santa and tell him what she wants {the Lego dolphin boat, swimming pool and high school sets, but mostly the dolphin boat, in case you were wondering}. At our ward Christmas party she met Mrs Claus as well as Santa. It was very exciting for her.

* Man Cub has been learning signs and it is so fun to watch him communicate with us. He will regularly sign "thank you", "nurse" {milk}, "all done" and "more". For quite some time I was working on teaching him "please", which involves moving one hand over the chest in a circular motion. After trying to get him to mimic me on several occasions, one day, he finally did it. He picked up his hand and moved it in a circular motion... right over my chest. I about died laughing. He cracks me up!

* Sunshine recently started attending speech at school to help with her lateral lisp. Bruce and I were so concerned that she would feel like there is something "wrong" or that she would be picked on, but we had no reason to fear. Sunshine LOVES speech and is up well before her alarm on days when she knows she has speech. 

* As usual, I have stretched myself a little thin this holiday season. Hence the lack of blogging. Luckily, teaching preschool this school year has really helped me with time management, and for the most part, I feel like I am handling my overloaded schedule well. There have been days when I feel overwhelmed to the max, but there have also been many, many tender mercies that have allowed me to not only accomplish all that is already on my plate, but also have the time and ability to do more when needed. I am truly grateful for all I have been able to participate in lately, especially for the amount of time I've been able to spend at Sunshine's school in the past month.

I think that is a pretty good overview of what has been going on here. Hopefully soon I'll be able to sit down and share pictures from Disneyland back in October, a sweet story from Thanksgiving and some odds and ends from December.

San Diego Getaway

Nov 18, 2013

At the end of September, we took a short trip to San Diego with Bruce Wayne's dad. We left early Friday morning and returned Monday afternoon. We had just enough time for a visit with old friends, two days at Sea World and two visits to the beach, one of which resulted in our most recent family pictures.

It was so nice to get away for a few days. The girls were excited to have so much time with Grandpa. Man Cub was excited to have so much time with mom. The weather was beyond gorgeous... in fact, it was *almost* to hot to be out walking around at an amusement park. The nights cooled off beautifully and we enjoyed spending as much time outside as we possibly could.

Our first day there was super laid back. We browsed the shops at Seaport Village. The girls smooshed some pennies for their collection and rode on a really old wooden carousel. Then we headed to Coronado to have dinner with our great friends, Tony & Nicole. Bruce and Tony went through the police academy together many moons ago. Since that time, Tony has reenlisted with the Navy and we sure do miss having them close by. Luckily, they always have time to visit with us when we are in California and have even made the drive up to Disneyland on more than one occasion so we could see each other. We have both added to our families since the last time we were all together. It was fun to introduce them to Man Cub, and to meet their pretty little lady, Lily.

Saturday and Sunday were spent at Sea World. The wee ones were in heaven. They had such a great time watching all the shows and enjoying all the animals. Man Cub especially loved the tide pool, since it meant he was allowed to splash in the water. One of my favourite parts of the trip was getting to use my new stroller... this thing was a dream come true. Both Man Cub and Beebs took several naps in what has become known as "The Cadillac". It made our days at Sea World so much more enjoyable. No cranky babies as everyone stayed on a pretty good nap schedule!

Saturday night we had dinner at our favourite ocean side restaurant- Anthony's. The food was amazing and the view was to die for. I actually took this photograph from my seat at the table, looking out our window at the breathtaking sunset. Not too shabby, right!?

Sunday night was the infamous family photo shoot. I'm sure we will laugh for years to come about how I handled that entire evening, but I do have to say- I am so glad I stuck to my guns and insisted we wait for the perfect light... these beach photos are some of my absolute favourite photos ever.

Monday morning we checked out of the hotel and decided we needed a bit more time at the beach before heading home. We drove just north of San Diego, to La Jolla, where we found the most perfect little spot to enjoy the sand and water. It was a little inlet, shaded by big rocky cliffs with really coarse sand and deep blue water. And it just so happened that a colony of sea lions were hanging out just north of where we had set up camp. The entire time we were at the beach, we were serenaded with the sounds of sea lions and at one point, we even had a sea lion swim up about 10 feet away from us, barking up a storm. It was so fun to see them out in the wild.

It was a fantastic little getaway and we are all anxious to go back. Hopefully we can make it back soon. I can hear the ocean calling me. Ü

Beebs Feels The Music

Nov 11, 2013

Yesterday in church, one of the young men in our ward played a beautiful rendition of "If You Could Hie To Kolob" on the piano. Beebs was restless and by this point in the meeting it was becoming quite difficult to get her to sit quietly. I pulled her up on my lap and asked her to sit quietly and feel the music. I asked her to tell me what she felt. She sat quietly, and after a few moments, she turned to me and whispered, "It feels like something is about to happen!". The music had just gotten a bit louder and dramatic and I was blown away that she had recognized that and then was able to put it into words. Another minute passed and she looked at me and said, "Now it feels like someone is sad!". As the song came to an end, Beebs whispered to me once again, this time telling me, "Now it feels like someone is crying!".

I was so beyond impressed that Beebs was able to sit so quietly and feel the music, then put into words an explanation of what she was feeling. I knew I had to try this with her again.

Tonight, I put on a couple of different pieces of classical music that I love. At first Beebs was just playing around. She wasn't interested in sitting and listening to the music, but when I put on Itzhak Perlman's version of Cinema Paradiso- Love Theme, she sat quietly and began to feel the music.

First, Beebs told me that it felt like someone was lost- that a child was lost. His parents were looking for him, but couldn't find  him because he was lost in the woods. Then she said it felt sad, because he was lost and it felt like they were looking for him but still couldn't find him and they were scared he would get eaten by an animal. As the song ended, Beebs told me she felt like it was sad because he was still lost and everyone was crying.

I had to agree! Though my version doesn't involve a boy being lost in the woods, that is a song that has always felt sad to me. Itzhak Perlman makes that violin cry and it tugs at my heart strings each time I hear it.
I loved spending that time with Beebs tonight and hearing how the music touched her. I can't wait to find even more songs to listen to together. I love hearing Beebs explain to me what she feels when she listens to music!

Tuesday Ten | November 5th

Nov 5, 2013

Ten things I want to remember about life right now, that might not get blogged otherwise.Ü

1. Happy Bonfire/Guy Fawkes Night! Remember, remember the 5th of November. Bruce is working swing shift tonight, so we celebrated yesterday with a fire pit and s'mores. I also had the girls draw pictures of "a bad guy" (Guy Fawkes), which we threw in the fire. I love my British heritage!

2. Man Cub learned how to shake his head "no" on Saturday. Luckily, he hasn't realized he can do it all the time, but the few times he has done it, it makes me a little bit sad. The beginning of the end. I'm sure he'll tell me "no" many more times in the years to come. 

3. I am 90% done with my Christmas shopping. All I have left is buying Bruce's stocking stuffers and ordering the traditional Disney Precious Moments figures for each of the wee ones. I've chosen which ones to order, just haven't placed the order yet. It is the BEST feeling in the world to already be done and know that I can spend my holiday season creating memories and enjoying traditions instead of battling the shopping crowds. 

4. Bruce and I have gotten sucked back into Once Upon A Time and I am ticked that Peter Pan a villain. My brain is coming up with every possible scenario to make him turn good, but I'm losing hope. This is why I hate TV!!

5. I am 4.5 weeks Facebook free and in those 4.5 weeks, I have been a better wife and mother and more productive homemaker than I was before. I don't know why it has taken me so long to ditch Facebook, but I have no intentions of going back!

6. Bruce and I started "Operation Curb Appeal" last week. The front of our house has been desperately in need of a makeover since the day we bought our house (which will be three years on the 16th). Some of the planned projects for Operation Curb Appeal will have to wait until funding becomes available, but I hope our first steps will make an impact. I'm tired of having the ugliest house on the block! 

7. Our next door neighbours are getting baptized on Saturday. I'm so excited for them!!! We have the world's best neighbours, hands down. We just adore them and we are so excited that they will be apart of our church family now, too!

8. I made homemade bread today, for the first time in over a year. I really should make it more often. Somehow, I've built it up in my mind to be this super messy, time consuming activity, but it's not!! And fresh baked bread is so darn good.

9. I took the wee ones "garage sale-ing" this weekend while Bruce was sleeping. We scored some awesome things, but by far, our favourite are the old school Polly Pockets that we got for a quarter a piece. Why did I not buy them all!? We only brought home six of the two dozen or so the lady was selling and now I'm kicking myself for not getting more. The girls love them just as much as I did as a child.

10. We also went through the car wash and vacuumed out the car to kill time while Bruce slept. I was so proud of my handy work {especially since I despise going through those automated car washes} and already the back of the Jolly Roger is a crumb filled mess. Sigh. Well at least we have something to occupy us next time we need to leave the house and let Bruce get some rest!

Man Cub's ACTUAL Birthday

Nov 1, 2013

Well, my goal to be completely caught up on blogging by the end of October did not happen. But, I am close! Darn close. And this is the VERY LAST post about Man Cub's first birthday. Promise. No more birthday posts until Beebs turns 4 in January

Man Cub's actual birthday was a pretty low key day. Bruce worked, I taught preschool in the morning and since his birthday was sandwiched between two very busy weekends, it was nice to just keep the day simple.

We did try to make the day special by singing Happy Birthday and helping him blow out the candle as often as possible throughout the day. We also spoiled him with pressies, which he loved. Other than that, we just enjoyed the chance to spend time with him. Man Cub is such a special little guy and we are so blessed to have him in our family. He sure does keep us on our toes, but we absolutely love that about him.  There is never a dull moment with Man Cub around, which he reminded us of when he attempted to grab the flame on his birthday candle. Ü He keeps life fun, for sure!

Happy Halloween!!

Oct 31, 2013

(For the record- Man Cub actually did like wearing his costume. What he didn't like was having his sisters wrapping themselves around him during the photo Ü)

Promotion Day

Oct 30, 2013

Today was Bruce Wayne's big day... he was sworn in as a sergeant and can officially wear his stripes!

The girls have been so excited for his Promotion Ceremony. Sunshine apparently told everyone at school all about how her dad was being promoted, and I overheard Beebs mention "daddy's 'motion" a time or two in preschool this morning. I know they don't understand what exactly it means for Bruce to become a sergeant, but they know it is something to be proud of, and they are most definitely bursting with pride. Sunshine is especially excited that this change means no more call outs. Oh how we all dreaded the ringing of Bruce's work phone!

Bruce's dad and grandma were able to attend the ceremony, as well as our long time friends who were great mentors to both Bruce and I when he decided to join the department. It was wonderful to have their support on such an exciting day.

And now it is time to settle back into this lifestyle- the shift work, weird days off, celebrating holidays a few days late lifestyle that we left just two short years ago. It took me most of those two years to adjust to a "normal" day shift routine, and though I know it will be another adjustment, I'm excited to go back to the life we knew and loved for the first 5 years of our marriage. Bring on the night shift and strange days off. We can hardly wait!

A Monster Mash First Birthday Bash

Oct 27, 2013

Now that we are a solid month past Man Cub's first birthday party, it's about time I blog it, right??

We celebrated Man Cub's birthday with a Monster Mash First Birthday Bash. This party has been in the works since around the time Man Cub was born. As his first birthday got closer and closer, I contemplated changing the theme but Beebs was insistent that it be a monster party. I am oh-so glad we stuck with it! It was amazing. The party itself was a blast, but even all the prep work was lots of fun. Of course, I had a super cute assistant helping me every step along the way...

The Invitations

This invitation might be my most favourite design ever. I've come a long way since I first started using Photoshop and I'm pretty impressed, with myself and the software, for what we were able to create together. I drew each of these monsters in Photoshop and fell so in love with them that I used them every place possible. They were the star of the invite, I made them into a banner to hang above the cake table, they adorned the "Adopt a Monster" basket and a few even made an appearance on the "thank you" tags for the party favours.

The Menu

I knew that I wanted to focus my efforts on the activities and favours for the party, so I kept the menu simple. We ordered subs from our local health food store. I put together a veggie tray and a spinach salad and Bruce made a monster fruit salad.  Lemonade and water to drink. As my girls love to say- easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The Decorations

The decorations were also relatively simple. I found some bright coloured streamers and spinners at the store and that made up the bulk of the decor. I hung my monster banner, then added multiple monster eyes to everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING possible. 

The Cake

I am a big fan of cupcakes for birthday parties, and the girls and I found monster cupcakes in our What's New, Cupcake book many moons ago. We were really excited to try creating them for Man Cub's party. They turned out awesome! At the last minute I decided I wanted Man Cub to have his own smash cake, so I put some leftover batter into one of my Pampered Chef prep bowls and turned the baked cake into a monster as well. These cupcakes took less than two hours to put together and frost. They looked great and tasted yummy too. Man Cub was definitely a fan.

The Birthday Boy Attire

I wanted Man Cub to have something monster-y to wear to his party, but making him a party outfit was not high on my priority list. Luckily, I was able to find an adorable monster t-shirt at Kohls... which I never managed to get a good picture of! Just trust me when I say, he looked really cute!

The Guests

We are grateful that many of our closest family members and friends were able to celebrate with us. I kept the guest list small this time around and it was just perfect. Man Cub was not overwhelmed by the crowd and had a lot of fun playing with the children who attended.

The Activities

I knew we'd have lots of wee ones running around at the party and I wanted to provide them with something fun to do. I settled on a "mold-a-monster" activity in our preschool room and it was so much fun to watch the kiddos create. I provided the children with a few different colours of homemade play dough, goggly eyes, and pieces of pipe cleaner and plastic straws and their imaginations ran wild.

The Party Favours

And now for my favourite part of the entire party... the favours! I have an amazing friend who is beyond talented in so many ways. She is my go-to girl for anything I need crocheted (like the cute matching beanies I got for Bruce and Man Cub last Christmas). Recently, she has started doing embroidery so I enlisted her help to create little monster softies for each of the children to adopt. They turned out fantastic. Dawn did a phenomenal job embroidering the adorable monster faces on fleece, then I created monster bodies and cut them out. My neighbor is a great seamstress and she came over one afternoon and helped me get them all sewn together and we ended with these...

How cute are they!?!? I love them and the wee ones who attended the party had so much fun adopting their monsters.

The adults got something a little different... a tastier take on adopting a monster!

Celebrating Man Cub with a Monster Mash First Birthday Bash was so much fun. The party turned out better than I could have imagined and I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment of planning, preparing and partying. Some parties have been stressful to pull off, but this one was 100% fun all around.
site design by designer blogs