Sunday, December 22, 2013

'tis the season

I love the Sunday before Christmas.  there are so many happy people. beautiful music. extra treats. and wonderful lessons.  

I got to teach a Christmas lesson in Gospel Principles- and used this poem by Christina Rossetti as the basis. I love it.

            What can I give Him,
·        Poor as I am?
         If I were a shepherd
         I would bring a lamb.
        If I were a Wise Man
        I would do my part,
       Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.

The spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ!  and as said by Thomas S. Monson- our modern day prophet-"Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior".
There are so many gifts that I can give that I don't buy at Target :)  A gift that can be felt instead of held!  It's something I'm working on.  Service to others. Forgiveness. kindness. compassion. gratitude.

·        today after church we tried to snap some family pictures.  with a timer. I got Kent some Christmas socks for work (pediatricians get to wear cool stuff like that) and he snuck them on to wear to church today.  I love him.
 I really do love my little family.  They are pretty great. 
except when the little rugrats fight.  
Zeb and Ike almost lost Christmas today. yikes.  they had a ONE hour timeout in their room.  Just the two of them on their beds. no distractions.  
It all ended well. and Kent and I got an hour to ourselves :)

Metta is RIDICULOUS with accessories.  She's also got something extra on.  Sometimes multiple somethings. She wore ONE glove all during church.  Somebody asked me if she'd hurt her hand.  Nope- she just loves to have ONE glove.

 This evening - Santa Claus dropped by our house. FOR REAL!  Metta LOVE LOVE LOVES him.  She says "ho-ho-ho" whenever she sees anything 'santa'.    And here's another accessory picture.
 She did not want him to leave.
She just stood and stared at him for quite some time. and when he did finally leave- she repeatedly pointed out the back door (that's how he left) and shouted "ho-ho-ho!!  ho-ho-ho!!" 

Santa was Kent in disguise.  He actually came to visit some friends we had over for dinner.  Zeb knew instantly- but Ike was totally fooled  You should have seen his face.  I was too busy watching his reaction and didn't get a picture of him.  It was so cute. He was so nervous.

Only two more days!!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2 missed days. eek.

I didn't post for two days. eek. there goes my good habit.  I'll hopefully have zillions of pictures to post this upcoming week.
For now- a phone dump.

I don't go to Walmart very often.  I feel guilty when I'm there. Like I'm betraying Meijer.  and the American worker for that matter. But- this week I had to run in for something and Metta found these giant ponies. 
my, oh, my.
Love at first sight.
She's wearing a weird outfit because it was pajama day at the gym.
Here we are at Target.  She saw this fur coat and demanded to wear it.  the Sophia hat was also a demand.  She's such a clothes horse.
Here she is on 'holiday festive' day at the gym. She's irritated about something :)  I really like this metta.  she's so funny and so original.  
Today we went to Sam's club to get a few food items for next week.  It was NUTSO.  we also went to a few other stores. just for fun.  and it was so fun.  so crazy.  all of that hustle and bustle gets me so excited for Christmas.  too bad it was 64 degrees!  it was so wet and muggy. the streets are like rivers.  we are under flash flood warnings.
 Zeb-a-leb friday morning before school.  He was so bugged that my phone flash went off. Isn't he adorable? and so grown up??
He made this grinch at school.  Kent and I both agree that it's a little creepy.
Ike and his pals- ronan and jack.  He treats them like brothers- which isn't always a good thing. But, for the most part it's a lot of fun.

Ike is an Uno junkie.  He plays at least twenty rounds a day.  with anybody who is willing.  This was just the two of us at lunch earlier this week.
I can't wait for this week!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

the best christmas pageant ever.

Today was Ike's Christmas program.  and it was so funny.  I had to bribe him with a dollar to get him on stage and say his part. It was pretty simple- but he does not like performing.  

 "NO! NO, ROOM!" (in the inn).

Isn't he a cute little innkeeper in the bath robe?  pretty adorable.
Innkeeper, Joseph, and two angels.
Ike and his pal, Ronan.  again- doesn't Ike look adorable in this little robe?
Metta was a little bit wild at the program.  all of the preschool toys are so tempting.  she's dressed like a crazy person because it was pajama day at the gym.  This phase where they don't sit still AT ALL can be SO challenging.   I am constantly chasing her and grabbing her and shrieking at her!!  ahhhhh!!

"Don't take any more pictures of me, mom!"

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

7 days!! woohoo.

"Presents are the best way to show someone you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, "Hey man, I love you this many dollars worth."
Michael Scott.

Each and every day another package- or two- or three shows up on the doorstep. It helps that we have a few visitors coming for Christmas- and some of their presents are showing up as well.

I LOVE it. it's so darn exciting.

I think I'm almost finished with my gifts! I've got to finish making one for my pixie pal- and may have to grab a few last minute stocking stuffers- but otherwise- I am READY!! One week from this very moment I'll be wrapping gifts like a mad woman and getting everything ready for Christmas morning! I'm not sure if I love Christmas Eve - or Christmas morning better. They are both so much fun!!
woohoo! happy last minute wrapping and shopping!! or good luck if you are just beginning (KENT MILLER!!!). remember- Amazon still guarantees Christmas delivery for a few more days :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

I love my endodontist.

 You know it can't be good when are looking forward to going to the endodontist!!  I had my appointment today and gladly forked over the inordinate amounts of money they wanted so they could give me shots in the ROOF OF MY MOUTH! and drill holes deep into my gums.

When I pulled into the office- I saw this car.  It belongs to the endodontist. I asked her.  I love it.

I am going to complain for just a moment.  I have teeth issues.  and they are terribly painful.  If you haven't dealt with nerve pain- I don't think you can understand.  These aren't toothaches.  It's torture.

Today was root canal #5.   and it was actually wonderful.  because it took away the pain!!! For the past 4ish months (they actually started a year ago- but I crowned the tooth then and the pain subsided for awhile- but returned over the past four months) I've been getting these massive face aches .  It's pain along my entire nerve. I can feel every inch of where the nerve runs around and through my head down to my tooth.  It's the worst after I workout- or eat something hot/cold- or go out into the cold weather and breathe or after I brush or floss near the problematic tooth.  It's awful.  No type of medicine can take away the pain.  That's when I finally cave for the root canal. Because sucking out the pulp and nerve is the only thing that makes it go away.

But - it's over now. finally. And I was so excited that this evening after the numbing wore off- that we went to Starbucks-  so I could enjoy a Spiced Apple Cider. so amazing. and painless.
We had another 'snow storm' this morning- but thankfully no delays or cancellations! so Ike's previously (several times) rescheduled cookie decorating day finally happened.  When I picked him up he told me that Ronan's mom asked him to not lick frosting from his knife while they were all using it still.  But that he "sneaked it lots of times while she wasn't looking".  He's funny.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

nacho libre metta and ANOTHER cancellation. uggh.

Church was canceled today.  I don't even think I need to write out my feelings anymore.  It's blatantly obvious how I feel about weather cancellations.   Today it was because the church parking lot hadn't been plowed or cleared so it was a large ice field.  
I get it.  I know we don't want people falling.  we don't want cars sliding into cars.  I support safety.
But I really do love church.  And abhor being stuck at home all day.  

Our day ended up not being too terrible.  we played uno. we enjoyed each other's company.  we watched Music and the Spoken Word's Christmas Special.  And had our own family church lesson. 

And we ate golden oreos with chocolate frosting.  which somehow turned metta into a middle aged latino wrestler.  nacho libre??

These pictures don't even look like her!  
I didn't do her hair so she looks a little feral,
the choco mustache is pretty creepy,
and the dora nightgown adds to the latino theme.
 here's metta.
here's nacho.  practically identical.
 She's pretty great and cleaning herself up, though.
Here's to no more cancellations!! Although I suppose it's tough when I pray for snow and love the cold but then complain so loudly about the end result of wished weather.  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

ugly sweaters...

Oh my goodness. I love to be festive.  I've been finding every chance I can get to wear Christmas sweaters.  This is my third of the season.  and definitely my favorite.  How fun are these cat sweaters?! meowy christmas.   I love it.  Mine even jingles and has velvet bows.

we had some Christmas fun with friends this evening and I laughed until my cheeks hurt.  The later the night gets- the gigglier I get.   and I love to giggle.
we came away with some fabulous white elephant gifts.   and full stomachs.  as much as I like friends and laughs- the great food at Christmas time ranks high on my list of reasons to love the season. 

I can't believe we are only 10 days from Christmas!  I have one more item to get for Kent- and then I am finished. I think!   I'm so excited for the big day!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

friday the 13th

Tonight was the big church party! it was cancelled last week due to weather- but happened this evening - ending just as another big storm is sweeping in.

The party was really great.  Kent sang in a quartet of pediatricians (I think it's a requirement that all pediatricians sing!) and played the piano for another song (he has way too many talents), we had neighbors come with us and enjoy the evening, and there was great food.
Plus- Metta got to see Santa.  This girl is OBSESSED.  Santa visited the gym this week and the workers told me about metta's fascination with him- but I didn't really think anything of it. But she really really loves him. I was shocked. Tonight we had to remove her kicking and screaming from his lap. As SOON as she saw him appear at the party- she ran straight to him and followed him around.  It was a little creepy, actually.  She could not get enough of the jolly guy.
Luckily it's our costume and Kent can put it on whenever we want :)

Miss Metta has been pretty funny this week.

 She has a friend named Cora who has a coat that she wouldn't take off for an entire week.   Cora finally has taken it off- but I think Metta is trying to beat her record with her own coat.

She especially loves the fur hood.  I put in on her yesterday morning and she literally would NOT take it off all day long.  She ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner in it.  Wore it the entire day.  wore it at the gym. napped in it.  watched tv in it. did EVERYthing in it.

until her friend, adalyn, showed up.  and then metta ripped of her coat and demanded to wear adalyn's.

little turkey.

and finally- my friday the 13th bad luck.  I totally twisted my ankle today at the gym.  At first I thought I broke it.  It hurt SO DANG BAD. I just stepped on it wrong walking out of the gym stepping off the curb. and I was carrying Metta.  The twist hurt so bad I fell instantly to the ground.  And then just sat there. I couldn't get up for about a minute.  I just waited until the pain subsided.  Luckily I had a friend who watched it all happen and could laugh with (at) me.

And then this evening at the church party- the piano ran over the same foot and gouged my leg.  that's what the upper cut is from.  It hurt almost as bad.   I think after a full night of running around on it at the party- it got a lot more swollen and nasty.

I realize this picture is hideous- but check out my lateral malleolus. it is pretty darn swollen and really tender at the very center.  But Kent checked it out with the 'ottawa ankle rules'.  I can walk on it with full pressure- so hopefully I'm fine.  I sprain this ankle a lot.   I'm sure I'll be good to run by morning :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

party. party.

 these are pretty shoddy pictures- but I only took my phone to our party- so they'll have to do!

Tonight was Kent's work Christmas party- and it was great.  I think he was the only resident not to bring his kids.  I couldn't understand why I was going to waste a perfectly good night out- with free dinner- by bringing my kids along!!   It was so nice to be able to talk to adults and enjoy time with Kent.  Pure heaven, really.
Here are several of the residents and docs.
We even got to see Santa and tell him what we want for Christmas.
We've got more parties all weekend to keep things festive!  I can't wait.  Unless they cancel the parties for bad weather.  Apparently we are getting more snow :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I love all things december.

Lately I've heard/read/seen a lot of complaints about December and Christmas and the stress and commercialization and chaos and the terribleness of cold and ice and snow and gloom.  Can I just say it again- 'BUCK UP!'.    I love all thing December.  really I do. If things are too crazy for you- stop doing them!

This week we had a cookie and ornament exchange.  Who doesn't want a big plate of fabulous (and not so fabulous) goodies??  I loved the thin mint rice krispy treats!!  
and check out the ornament I got.   nice cat, huh??
I get so happy when I walk outside and take in a deep breath of cold cold fresh air.  And if there's a little cigarette smoke mixed with the cold cold air (we have chain smoking neighbors 2 doors down)- I actually get teary eyed.  It reminds me so much of Russia- it warms my heart.  I am dead serious.

This is this morning headed to the bus stop with Zeb.  It felt like 3 degrees.  Literally.

 the kids LOVE to sled.  Ike told me he wishes the snow would NEVER melt.  And that it would be freezing cold every day.  He is so my kid.
This week we've gone sledding every day!  with friends.
 And this has nothing to do with December- but check out her hair!!  It still has GOT to be in pigtails- because the top is so much shorter- but we are getting there!

and finally.  Let me include tithing settlement (we pay 10% of our income to our church each year- and in December- we meet with the Bishop to look over everything).  Because this year was funny.

The Bishop asked our kids a few questions about the principle of tithing and it's importance. He asked Zeb- "what do you know about paying tithing?" to which Zeb answered: "I know God likes checks more than cash." And then said nothing else.  Where did he even come up with that answer?!  my kids kill me.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

all I want for Christmas...

I love gifts. and I love surprises. but I'm terrible at hiding disappointment when I open gifts that I don't like.  that means Kent has a pretty tough job on his hands!  so - here are a few ideas of things that I like.  
What are you all asking for for Christmas? maybe I just need a big list so I'm surprised about what I get- but I've given Kent some options :)  and if you would- give Kent a few suggestions, please.

My hobbies are running (or exercising), eating, reading, and photography.

I lose keys CONSTANTLY. and my purse is like a black hole.  So a big BRIGHT keychain is a must.  I love these key fob colors.  and they aren't too pricey :)

I need new mid to low heels.  not high heels.  mine disappeared a few weeks ago.  where does one lose church shoes?  I only wear them on sundays- so I have no idea where they could have gone.
but I found these online.  zappos does free shipping and returns. and for online shoe purchases- that's a must.
any other great shoe places for you all?
and are these shoes cute!?  really-I am so bad with shoes.  I can't figure out my shoe style.

essie nail polish.  they sell it at target. this one is called damsel in a dress.  it's wintry.  there's also a gray one called 'mind your mittens' that I love.

Everybody loves new socks.  And I need some bright fun ones.

Photog stuff.

I need some good actions for photoshop (I have PSE9).  I have free ones I use- but a whole load of these would be nice!
this is pretty big. and pricey But I would love some lighting for indoor pics!!  

cheap and easy for pictures.  a reflector set.

the lights at Clifton Mill

Every winter we hear about the lights at Clifton Mill.  Metta is obsessed with Christmas lights (she shouts and oohs and ahhs from her carseat when we drive at night) so we decided to finally go.
It was WAY too expensive, but luckily kids- 6 and under- are free- so we only had to pay for the two of us.  The sheer number of lights in such a small space is really quite impressive.  But- it is a pretty small area- and we were finished looking around almost as soon as we'd started!  We did have a really great evening, though!
That white streak of lights in the picture below blinks and 
'flows' like a river down into the real river below.  It was pretty fancy.

They even have a Santa's workshop with a REAL LIVE santa working on toys.  Zeb and Ike had several conversations on his authenticity.

Every fifteen minutes or so- this Santa pops up out of the Chimney on the roof and waves to the kid while wishing them a Merry Christmas.  It was pretty cool.

 It was pretty chilly tonight.  Metta was shivering by the end of the evening.
Zeb loved these icicle lights surrounded by real icicles.
 They have a HUGE Christmas village set up that fascinated the kiddos.
 We could have spent a few hours checking out every detail!  A lot of it was covered by the snow.
 The snacks were as overpriced as admission!  but- we were creating memories. So- we shared popcorn, pretzels, cookies, and cocoa.
 this pic isn't great- but I love the action.  Zeb trying to cool off his Hot Chocolate. "That's why it's called HOT chocolate, mom.  It's REALLY hot!" he told me.

 And finally.  the uber creepy Santa collection.  creepier than any clowns you've ever seen.  Because this guy watches you while you're sleeping. And sneaks into your house at night.  ew.
I took as many pictures of creepy Santas as I could find!

sweet dreams.  He sees you when you're sleeping.  He knows when you're awake.