Sunday, December 20, 2009

Who says The Polar Express is only a movie!!

I threw out a teaser about our suprise Friday night adventure for our kids in my last post, and without further ado... here is a photo recap of our night!! Our family, along with the Coach's brother and sister's families planned a night for our children that they will never forget!! It was our version of the Polar Express!!!

The tickets were made and given to each child in a sparkling gold envelope.





Jingle bell necklaces were made for each child to wear.





The train conducter was ready at the door to punch everyone's tickets!





The shock value was PRICELESS!!



Starting to put the pieces together!



Our Polar Express Arrives!



Very nice accomodations! Individual goody bags waiting inside! Christmas music blasting!


There first glimpse at what awaits them!



Jingle bell necklaces on, candy to be eaten, hot cocoa to be sipped!


Let the good times begin!!!



Arriving at our destination! Bundled up and ready to explore!




Taking it all in!




Magic carousel ride and all!!




Lights all around you!









Cheers!



Aaaahh, sippin hot cocoa with the cousins, warming up before heading back home on the Polar Express!!



What a fun-filled adventure! A night to remember!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered

I'm baaaaaack!!!!


Did ya miss me??

If not that's really ok with me. After all my life is not all that fascinating!! But I must tell you my weekend kid free with the coach was just what the doctor ordered this holiday season!! It was fantabulous!! The calm and quiet of the house was quite odd at first, but I got used to it very quickly! Our plans changed a little bit, but we still thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Here's a quick run down...

Friday night after dropping the kids off we drove home and decided to go back out and catch a movie. We went to a 9:30pm show!! I can not tell you the last time I went to a movie that late. (To tell you the truth I was seriously debating not going for fear of falling asleep in the theater!! After all I had spent the entire day looking after a 7month old, 13month old, 2,3,4, and 5 year old!!)

But we went anyway. Ate some really expensive, really terrible movie theater food for dinner. And, we paired that with a really awful movie with acting so bad, it was worse than having a tooth pulled at the dentist, without pain medication. Yee-haa!! (We saw New Moon in case any of you care to know.)

Saturday was a lot of fun. We got some much needed Christmas shopping done for the kids and enjoyed walking around the mall and simply browsing the stores. (Which we are never able to do with the kids in tow!) We went out to dinner together Saturday night, I splurged and ordered a watermelon margarita! (Oh my God, it was to die for!!) We came home and enjoyed the peace and quiet, finalized our shopping list for the holidays and slept in the next morning before picking up the kids.

All in all, it was quite an enjoyable weekend. Even if we had no plans and just stayed home, we would have had a ball just being alone as a couple. We do not do this nearly enough for ourselves!!

We have a lot going on over the next two days. We have concocted quite a fun evening for our children and their 6 cousins tomorrow night. A lot of time and planning has gone into this evening and we have managed to keep the whole thing a surprise, which is even better!! I will tell you all about it on Saturday and include pics from the evening so stay tuned!! I have butterflies of excitement floating around in my tummy just thinking about the looks on my kids faces and how much fun they are in for tomorrow night. I think it will be a night they will remember always!!!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When the kids go away, the parents will play!

Yes, they will indeed!!

I had been holding off writing about this for fear of jinxing myself!! And I will let you all know that I knocked on wood before I began typing this post!! But I feel confident enough now with it only being one day away, that we are all in the clear!! (No sickness or bad weather foreseen to squash our plans)



We are gonna be kid free this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Can you tell I'm excited?

Don't get me wrong. I love my children to bits and I adore spending as much time with them as possible. But once in a blue moon it is nice to get a break and have some much needed alone time with the hubs!!

Wondering what's on the agenda??

Well, let me see....

In no particular order, the coach and I will be staying up late and sleeping in, going out to dinner at one of our favorite Chinese food places, PF Changs with some friends, doing some much needed holiday shopping, and maybe if we're lucky, we will catch a movie!!!

I'm as happy as a clam I tell ya!!! Starting tomorrow at 6:00pm, the kiddos will be officially in the hands of my parents and we will be kid free until Sunday afternoon!!

What makes this situation so great is that the kids and the grandparents can't wait either!! It's a win-win situation for all parties involved!

So heads up, I will be taking full advantage of my time this weekend so I will probably be MIA until Sunday night/Monday morning, when I will gladly fill you all in on our adventures!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

IMG_2895



IMG_2897


Winter wonderland Dec 2009

First winter storm Dec 2009


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elf on a shelf.... Beenomom style

Here at our home we start preparing for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. The coach and I love to celebrate the holidays and we also enjoy the yearly traditions that go along with it. Some we've grown up with and passed on to our own children. Others we've created ourselves or learned about over the years.

Ever heard of The Elf on the Shelf? Well if you haven't, climb out from under that rock you've been living under and see what I'm talking about!! (If this is new to you, don't feel bad. We didn't know about this either, so we created our own version years ago thanks to a friend of ours who did this at her home!)


These delightful little things are our Gnomies!!!


Gnomie 1



Gnomie 2



One belongs to each child. Don't ask me which one is which because I have no idea! The kids both know who's is whose though!! And they never forget, year after year.
The story behind these tiny little dolls is this:

Santa has a special group of elves called Gnomies. They fly down from the North Pole weeks before Christmas. (It takes a long time for these buggers to fly you know! They can only go so fast!)

Every year they magically appear in our Christmas tree the night after it's been decorated. They usually rest there for a day or two because they are really tired after their long trip here!

Once they are fully rested those Gnomies start getting really tricky! They begin to fly around the house and hide in a new spot when you're not looking! It's their favorite game- hide and seek!

The Gnomies stay and play tricks almost the entire month of December! There are only a couple rules the children must follow if they want their Gnomies to stay...

Rule #1 No Touching the Gnomies. They don't like it and will fly home immediatlely if they are touched by human hands!!

Rule #2 You must be on your best behavior because they can and will report back to Santa if there is any monkey business going on while they visit! So be on your best behavior!!

Follow those simple rules and your Gnomies will stay and play right up until Christmas Eve when Santa picks them up from your house when he delivers his presents. (After all, why make the poor little Gnomies fly all the way home to the North Pole if Santa is gonna be there anyway, right?) So don't forget to say goodbye until next year to them before going to bed on Christmas Eve!!

Want the Gnomies to come to your house? It's easy. All you have to do is send $19.95 to Beenomom, through Paypal. (Just Kidding!!!!!!)

Seriously though, tell your children that you will contact Santa and request a Gnomie for each of your children. It's that simple. Santa only sends them out to the children whose parents ask for them!! (Hint, hint!! This helps explain why some children have them and some children don't. It also makes it possible for any children to get them!!)


Now go out there and get yourself some Gnomies!!!!

Merry SITSmas Everyone!

This is my very first SITSmas. For those of you who don't blog or are just starting out check them out here. It is a wonderful blog recognition and comment support site!! All the ladies there are so welcoming. Stop on by and check them out!

Every holiday season they host a Merry SITSmas! With great giveaways and wonderful games to keep everyone connected! So in honor of SITSmas here is one of my Christmas Cards from years past! I don't have my pic for this year ready yet. (I know I dropped the ball on this one!) But wanted to participate in the fun!

Merry Christmas!!



Monday, December 7, 2009

Thank you very much google search

It has happened in our house and thanks to damn Google Search, I had a lot of explaining to do to one very questioning 9 year old boy.

The time I have been dreading is fast approaching and no matter how sad it makes me to think about it, or what I do to make this magic time last... it's inevitable. My little boy is growing up and is questioning, and I mean REALLY questioning whether or not Santa is real. (You have no idea how sad this makes me.)

For a few years he has been told by some children at school that Santa is not real and it's just your parents putting gifts under the tree, and each year he laughs it off and doesn't even think twice about it. Because he has never had a single doubt about Santa in that cute little noggin of his. (If you asked him, he would tell you that he saw Santa with his own two eyes! And he did, last year thanks to a Dad and brother-in-law that didn't mind taking turns wearing a Santa suit at 1:00 in the morning at each others houses!)

But not this year. There has been something very different about the athlete this year. The first sign: no Christmas list was made, until the coach and I asked him to write one.

Second, lots of talk about how people at school say how Santa isn't real. And I mean LOTS of talk about this!

Third, a few nights ago while the kids and I were relaxing in the living room after daycare had closed, the athlete was playing on the computer, (which we keep out in the open in the living room for reasons just like this...)

All of sudden the athlete pipes up and says in a really confused voice, "What the heck is this guy talking about? He says it's scientifically impossible for reindeer to fly!!!!"

At this shocking remark my head instinctively whipped over to look at what he was doing and the little stinker had performed a Google search to see whether or not Santa was real!!!

Damn technology and the people who teach children how to use it!!!!

Ok, not really but come on!! This is what parents are up against today!! So word of caution for all you parents out there raising kids in this technologically overloaded society!! When children have questions and they are not sure if they should believe their parents they can and will turn to computers now!!

Thank goodness for my non-doubting six year old who justified this new tid-bit of info by calling the man on the computer an idiot and saying that "everyone knows that reindeer fly", before going back to watching Sponge Bob, totally unfazed by what he had just said.

So anyway, I jump up and yell at him to "X" out of that site immediately and then proceed to take the computer away for one week because he performed a google search, which he is not allowed to do without our permission. (Crazy things pop up on these types of searches if your not careful about what you type in!)

Shocked and not sure how to proceed I tried to explain that some people don't believe in the Christmas spirit and therefore they say things about Santa not being real. But we believe in the spirit and we know that Santa is real. (I did a terrible job at this by the way! I was so panicked and flustered I just said the first things that came into my mind.)

Apparently my answer didn't cut it with him because later in the week he brought the subject up again to the coach when they were alone in the car. He asked my husband why some people believe and some don't. And do you know what my husbands reply was?

He calmly said to him: "Do you believe in Jesus?" To which the athlete replied, "yes".

Then he asked him, "Does everyone believe in Jesus?" The athlete said "No".

He followed that up with, "Does that mean you should question whether or not Jesus is real, or do you know in your heart that Jesus is real no matter what other people say? The athlete said "No, I have no doubt that Jesus is real."

The coach finished it up with, "Well there you go, now you have your answer. If you choose to believe in something, it doesn't matter what others say." (This is yet another reason why I love this man so much!!)

It was the answer the athlete was looking for. It settled the debate. We are safe this year at least! But I know we don't have much more time. I am really going all out this year and cherishing what will probably be our last year with both children completely believing in the Christmas magic and wonder.

I know I won't be sad forever. I know that it is another reminder that my children are doing what they are suppose to be doing... growing up, but I can tell you from my own experience that some milestones are easier to accept than others. And right now, this one seems so hard.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beautiful

No, this has nothing to do with the holidays. It is simply a picture of my baby girl that I love! And since I have discovered how to upload my pics the way I want to now, I thought I would share!


Bella butterfly

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you

I never understood this when I was a child when my father said this to me one night after I did something foolish. I honestly don't even remember what I had done, but I do remember my dad's reaction. (Before you all jump to conclusions and assume I am a survivor of physical abuse, hold your horses and continue reading!)

My dad never abused me or my younger brother. As a matter of fact he did quite the opposite. He was and still is an amazing father and he lived and breathed for us as children. He worked his tail off providing for us and going above and beyond to make sure that our childhood was special. A childhood chock full of happy memories.

What's my point you ask? Where am I going with this?

Well, I'll tell you. Grab a cup of joe and pull up a seat!!

My point is this: while I don't remember what I did, I remember that phrase coming out of my father's mouth as he handed down the consequence for my actions. He followed it up with, "It's because I love you that I'm doing this."
If memory serves me correctly he took away a fun outing that he had planned and I was not allowed to participate in.

Now my reaction to hearing those words at the time was that of any pre-teen child who hears "It's because I love you that I'm doing this AND, "This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you". I remember thinking something along the lines of "Yeah, whatever Dad, What a crock of crap. What does he mean he's doing this cause he loves me and it's gonna hurt him more. That doesn't even make any sense."

And that is how it went in my house. I would occasionally screw up as all children do, and I would hear a similar spiel time and time again. And each time I thought the same things.

Now as a parent myself twenty years later, I want nothing but the best for my children. I live and breathe for them just like my dad did when he was raising his children. There is no greater joy on this earth than seeing your children happy and knowing that it is because of you that they are happy.

Working hard, thinking up ideas, planning trips and outings, saving up. This is what the coach and I do and it is all for our kids. Enjoying life with our children. A pretty simple concept if you ask me, but it is one that you don't ever understand until you become a parent yourself.

On the flip side, the hurt you feel inside when you must fulfill one of the not so enjoyable roles as a parent, by disciplining your children when necessary is another unexpected emotion that you can't comprehend until you are put in that situation.

How do I know this? Because it happened to me. Not this past summer but one summer ago, the athlete did something so shocking and disbelieving it had the coach and I speechless. (I can't get into it right now it is too long of a story. I will blog about it sometime soon and thank God I can look back and laugh about it now. At the time however, laughing was last thing on my mind.)

Bottom line was, the athlete chose to do something that forced us as parents to make a very difficult decision. His consequence broke my heart in two, BUT it was the perfect consequence for the crime. We handed it down to him and he took it like a champ. It was here that without even realizing what I was doing, I found myself uttering those exact same words my father used to say to me, and understanding at that moment what he meant. It was like the biggest lightbulb on the planet went off and smashed into a thousand pieces all around me. Suddenly I knew that my father had spoken the complete truth years before. "It really does hurt me more than it hurts you", I thought to myself.

The athlete was solemn. He did lots of nodding and apologizing. He said he understood what I meant when I said those words to him and that he understood his punishment. Inside he was probably thinking to himself, "yeah whatever mom, what a crock of crap. What does she mean this is gonna hurt her more than me? That doesn't even make any sense!) Just like I did as a child years before.

It is my wish that someday, years from now, he too will experience that great lightbulb explosion that I had, and he will finally know that his parents really did do what they did because they loved him.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Decked
















The halls have been decked.
(Is that even a word??)