Sunday, January 20, 2008

Biology, Birthdays, and Babies

We think that Rachey is a biologist at heart. She came home from school on Friday, put her bag inside the door and said, "Mommy, can I go play?" and off she goes to the back field. (We have a piece of land that separates our back yard from the golf course that everyone here calls "the field"). So, off she goes to the back field, and a few minutes later comes in with her first "treasure", this dead worm.
She then goes back outside to play, and I'm watching her jumping on the ice out there in her snow boots, breaking through to the water beneath it, having the blast of her life. A little while later, I hear her come in. After taking her winter stuff off, she does something in the kitchen and then comes into the office saying "Mommy! Do you want to see my ice collection?" Oh boy, I thought for sure I'd have a puddle of melting ice all over my kitchen floor. hmm...I don't know which is worse, but this sure is funnier. She opens up the freezer to show me that she had filled up her dinosaur stomper foot with ice chips, and had put them in the freezer to keep.
So, I turned 25 yet again on Friday. Isn't it great being 25? It was a great birthday, and my candles didn't even set off the smoke alarm. Hooray! I love trifle, and well, Andy bought this yummy Boston cream cake...close enough. It was yummy!
Yes, in our home the birthday girl or boy gets to do the "honors" of cutting the cake for everyone.
And when I was taking down all the Christmas decorations last week, Matthew was having a great time riding in the decorations box. Thank goodness for big sister Brooklynn who was so willing to push him around and around and around and around the living room.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rub a dub dub...

Here is Matthew playing in the bathtub...he loves it. I love to wash his hair, and then make it stand on end. It's getting so long! We started cutting Taylor's hair when he was about 6 months, but with Matthew we are waiting until the one year mark.

Here's another view of the little Mohawk man.

Matthew loves his baths. He likes to walk into the bathroom and stand by the tub. I really have to watch him because he'll try to climb in and topple over. So cute. And yes, that is a pink tub and pink tile surround. Hmm...some people should just not be allowed to choose their own interior colors. Although, my girls really like the pink bathroom.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Christmas 2007 Highlights

Christmas this year was a lot of fun. It was Matthew's first Christmas, and even though he was only 9 months old, he was walking so he was really in the thick of things! This makes our 3rd Christmas here in Cleveland, and once again it was such a great holiday for all of us. It's so great to have the kids out of school for a few weeks, and to have Andy be able to relax and just be daddy without having to worry about school and schedules.

I don't know what got into me, but on the day of Christmas Eve, I decided that the girls really needed haircuts so I did it. I know, one of the busiest days of the year, but I couldn't put it off any longer. Rachey and I decided that it would be fun for her to do a shorter cut again, so off came her long braid...she looks so cute in her short and spunky hairdo! Brooklynn wanted to keep her long hair, so I just trimmed it a couple of inches to keep it healthy. Having girls is so much fun!

After the haircuts, we got busy making the noodles for our traditional beef noodle soup. (I know, beef noodle soup does not sound all that great...every year I think "yuck, beef noodle soup" but every year it tastes awesome!) The kids had fun hanging the noodles up to dry, and the seasoned roast was cooking in the crockpot...yummy yummy.

Rachey was having way too much fun with those long noodles...

Yes, here we are bathrobes, bedsheets, and pillowcases...ready to eat our dinner at the Inn. Beef noodle soup, homemade bread, and milk. Sounds like something you might eat at an Inn in Bethlehem right? The kids kept asking us if that is what the shepherds ate "for real". I have no idea, but it sounds good.

So we had a little change in the casting this year. Rachey decided that she would rather by the Angel Gabriel and one of the Three Brooklynn finally got to be Mary! She was so excited! We let Taylor be Joseph for one more year though, and he liked that. Booklynn was so funny, when it came time for Mary and Joseph to "come to Bethlehem", she wouldn't come because she didn't have a "horsey" to ride on. So we improvised and used Rachey's stuffed doggy "Ruff Ruff" as the donkey. And yes, judging by Mary's tummy, she is carrying that baby very high.

Brooklynn wanted Matthew to be her baby Jesus this year...but he wouldn't fit into the doll cradle so he got to be a shepherd baby instead. He did a great job herding the sheep (Zippy, our cat) with Daddy. And I got to be the Narrator/camera person/song leader/couch sitter. It was great!

Christmas morning was lots of fun. Taylor got up at 3:00 a.m. and then woke Rachel up as well. Mommy and Daddy had to tell them that they needed to go back to bed for a couple more hours before we could open the presents that Santa had just barely left! Whew!

Matthew is modeling his new fleece hat...which is a little too big...for a couple of days anyway.

Andy is a huge yo-yo fan. He has a nice collection too, and each year either Santa or I try to find him a new one to add. This year, I found at an online yo-yo specialty store the official "Periodic Table of Yo-Yo's". Yes, there is indeed such a thing, and it has all of the yo-yo's worth collecting on it, with their size, dimension, weight, special features, and value listed. Andy loved it, and had a great time showing the kids the ones that he already has. Someday it will be framed and in his office I'm sure.

Santa brought Rachey her "Barbie doll head" that she had requested. Rachey loves doing hair, and had spent hours with this gift every day since Christmas!

And Brooklynn got her "Ponyhouse" that she wanted Santa to bring. She was so excited and has also played with it every single day.

And who would guess that Tay would get so excited over a little game of Checkers?? The sad thing is, is that he is really good at this game...and I have yet to beat him. And I consider myself to be a pretty good strategist! I think that Andy has beat him once...but only once.

And I also had a great Christmas morning. I think I was more excited to watch the kids open their gifts than anything. I love watching the looks on their faces as they get up and see that Santa's been there and that he's eaten the treats they left for him! My favorite thing this year is that the kids each chose a gift for each other, and it was really awesome to hear them say "hey, that's the gift I got you!" It was great to see them be on the giving end, and to have them really put some thought into what they were going to do for each other.

AND... I've been wanting a Willowtree Nativity for several years, but each year I decide to wait until it fits into the budget a little better. Well, this year I got a part of the Nativity as a gift. I have to admit that I just started crying when I opened the box to find my long-awaited nativity set. The kids got all worried, and I had to explain that I was crying because I was so happy and excited and thankful! I'm sure they think that their mom is a little weird... the person who gave me that gift (and you know who you are) thank you, thank you, thank you.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Family Picture 2007

Here is a current picture of our family...taken late summer '07 here in Cleveland Heights, OH! The kiddos are all growing up! Taylor (7) Rachey (5) Brooklynn (3) and Matthew (5 mths)More posts to come soon!