Tuesday, December 16, 2008

family pics

Rachel did a fantastic job with our famiy photos!! It was super cold, we found some random train tracks, and somehow Rachel made it look great. Here are just a few of the pictures... they aren't even my favorites, but rather the ones I happened to click on. Basically, I'm in the middle of a chaotic Christmas nightmare, having promised wayyy too many people I would make/do certain Christmas-y things. I will get it all done, but don't be surprised if your Christmas card arrives sometime mid-January. There will be no showering, food preparation, or cleaning for the next 48 hours. It's all crafting, vinyl-making, and packing from here on out. Christmas, here we come!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cookie Exchanging

Mmmmmm. Cookie exchanging is fun and delicious.

Carson and I had a wonderful day last Friday, when we baked and decorated and rearranged the house all day. And he almost snitched a cookie.

Our first time making fondue turned out wonderfully! I always enjoy offering lots of fruits and veggies.

Then, some of our favorite girls came over! We ate, chatted, and decorated tins to hold the cookies. Most of our husbands were just down the street at the school studying together. Cute, huh? This picture just may be when we were all listening intently as Holly described her encounter with the Dead Sea skincare salesman.

Holly loves holding babies, except when they spit up all over her.

The actual exchanging part of the party was SO fun. It was a Christmas-y frenzy with everyone giving and gifting and snatching cookies all over the place! I look like I am totally in charge here. And Rachel is the cookie counter... "if we each brought 4 dozen, that means 48 cookies, times 8 girls..." We had to really use our mental math skills here.

And then the studying husbands all came in and crashed the party. Everyone went home happily carrying oodles of cookies.

Decorating on a Budget

If I had my wish, I would turn our entire home into a winter wonderland. Oh, how I wish I could go crazy at several craft stores and purchase a few truckloads of Christmas decorations! This year, I excitedly pulled out my box of Christmas decorations, only to discover that the box was much smaller than I remembered. Every decoration I own fits on our mantle. So, I gave myself a 20 dollar budget to at least make the living room feel Christmas-y. Here's what we came up with:

A couple of borrowed miniature houses plus one yard of quilt batting (with the layers separated) makes a little winter village on our mantle! Our grapevine wreath was also given a Christmas make-over.

The only other purchases I made were a three-foot tree and a big roll of red ribbon. I basically tied bows and draped the ribbon on everything in sight. It's not my dreamy winter wonderland, but it does feel like Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

game day.

Rick gets pumped for his big tests as if it were some championship football game. At random intervals during study sessions, he jumps out of his chair and hits the floor to bust out a set up push-ups or sit ups. Occaisonal yells, grunts, and pounding of the chest often accompany these outbursts.

And his hair looks really cute during his late-night study sessions, after he's twirled it around for a while:
He planned on waking up at 5:30 this morning to review before the big game, I mean test. He woke up at 5:10 and couldn't lie there any longer. I couldn't contain myself; I got up too, and Carson even joined the party at 5:45, in desperate need of a diaper/sleeper/sheets change. (Note to self: just buy the overpriced, overnight diapers!)

He just ate his game day breakfast, and now he's off! Say a little prayer between 8:30 and noon EST, please.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving, and sooo many videos

For the Thanksgiving weekend, we headed up to VA to be with my side of the fam. Friends John and Carrie jumped in our car at the last minute and came with us!! They visited with their family in D.C. while we were with ours, and then we re-grouped to travel back together. Although leg room was non-existent during the 12 hours spent in the car, we had so much fun with John and Carrie during our trip. I was especially happy to have Carrie with me in the McDonald's bathroom when Carson's diaper explosion led to a squirmy, naked baby jumping around while we tried to clean up the situation, screaming and laughing all the way.
Carrie and John stayed at my parents' house the first night, and then we took them into D.C. to see the sites for a bit before parting ways. It was SO cold. This is how Carson looked that day:
Our traveling buddies:
John has a special talent of taking self-portraits, perfectly centering even a group of 4! Maybe he has an extra long left arm?
The Museum of American History had just re-opened, so we checked it out. Our favorite was the exhibit on transportation throughout the years. Rick and Carson with a old-school school bus:
Carson's favorite part was an exhibit where you got to open little cabinet-like doors to see different thing. I kept trying to walk away from it, and he would try to jump out of my arms to keep opening those cabinets.

Family photo with the white house.
Rick says I look like a model in this picture. Thank you, thank you.
After D.C., we got to focus on Thanksgiving!! But first, poor Rick had to work for his turkey dinner.
The delicious feast!

So, I was going to edit tons of videos of Carson and put them all together for one really great video. Sorry folks, I've got more important things to do, like decorate our 3-foot tall Christmas tree. So here are way too many videos that are way too long. If you have a spare half hour, go for it!

Some of Carson's first steps. For a couple of weeks now he's walked when encouraged, but just in the last day or two he has actually chosen to walk on his own. It still cracks me up every time I peek in to check on him playing, and he's just standing there or walking from one place to another.

At first, Carson was deathly afraid of this rocking horse. As you can see, now he's figured out what it's for:

Even to the point that he loves his little horse:

For some reason, I find this new trick even more fascinating than first words, walking, and Carson's other new skill of flexing his muscles. He focuses so intently on some little task, like putting these marbles in the jar, or putting his little toy animals in their barn and shutting the door behind them. It is so fun to watch him figure these things out!