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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow!

It snowed for about 10 minutes today, right at nap time!!! So, of course we had to go outside and enjoy it while it lasted.  Karalee kept saying, "keep snowing, keep snowing, ice!" =) She also said it tasted like "hice cream."  Kids make everything a little more fun! Little Audree was already settled in her crib so she did not get to play this time. I hope we have at least one snow day this year to enjoy with the girls. (Hint: Pause the music at the bottom of the page before you view the video)



















We arrived back home at about 1 AM last night from Spokane. We had a great Christmas at Mimi's house. Pictures are on their way...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve...


Partaking in some Christmas Eve traditions, well, someday they will be considered tradition. Tonight, they are just part of the festivities. We had the girls get dressed in their matching Christmas Jammers and Karalee made a birthday cake for Jesus. She had a blast! She has been talking about this for about a month!

Then the girls took some pictures by the Christmas tree...
Then we had to make Santa a plate of cookies before bed. Oh, and don't forget the carrots for the reindeer!
Nolan and I decided we are truly adults now.  How do we know? We can't wait to see how our GIRLS react to their presents in the morning. That is what we are excited for, more than getting a gift ourselves. It is so fun raising these beautiful treasures. Merry Christmas everyone.  We pray your lives are filled with the warmth of Christ's love, just as ours has been. Blessings to you and yours...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Karalee's Surprise

Apparently Mimi told "Santa" to drop off Karalee's present in Salem early since we would be in Spokane for Christmas this year. She knew we would have a hard time loading it back home in the car. So here is Karalee getting her Santa Present....a few days early.

Merry Christmas Everyone!






















I know I won't have enough of these to mail to everyone, and I can't afford the nearly 2 for a $1 postage so..........Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I do, Mommy!

Karalee has become quite the independent girl over the last month or two and it is pretty cute.  She insists on doing things herself and gets pretty offended if you rush her.  My friend (who also has a two year old) wrote something that really hit me. She said of her little "helper"...."My job is 'mommy' not 'laundry folder' or 'speedy dishwasher unloader." Wow! Miss Karalee does have such a servant's heart and it fill's both Nolan's and my heart with joy to see it. Here is a list of a few things she has BEGGED to help/do herself in the last 24 hours.
  Put her pants on....(cute to watch the attempt)
  Put her shoes on
  Wash her hair
  Comb her hair
  Put her hair in a pony tail
  Open her car door
  Buckle her seat belt
  Get the milk from the fridge
  Fill her cup
  Do the dishes
  Fold the laundry
  Sweep up, (yes sweep) the crumbs she spilled on the carpet
  Climb into her crib
  Take daddy his cup
  Put her waffle in the toaster
  Read her book
  Call  Mimi, Nana, and Cody ( most of the time I find my phone with 222-34-2568-9873..... and I ask
         who she was trying to call.)
  Hold Audree
  Make the bed
The list goes on and on.  Thank you Lord for such a sweet girl with a helper's heart. Thank you too, for good friends who remind you to throw efficiency out the window and grant a sweet toddler her greatest desire...to help her mommy. After all, I would be silly to think this will last forever!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Goodies!

Saturday night I came home from our date and found myself with time for myself! The girls were in bed and Nolan was studying for Sunday School. So many things I could do, craft, read, sleep, clean.....bake! I took the opportunity to listen to Jazzy Christmas music and bake a treat for my man! Here is what I made...

Cranberry Bliss Bars
(Similar to Starbucks')

Cake:
  1 cup butter, softened
  3/4 cup brown sugar
  1/2 cup white sugar
  3 eggs
  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  1 teaspoon ginger
  1/4 teaspoon salt
  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  3/4 cup diced dried cranberries
  6 oz. white chocolate...cut into chunks (I used white chocolate chips)
Frosting:
  4 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used an 8 ounce tub of whipped creamed cheese)
  3 cups icing sugar
  4 teaspoons lemon juice  (I used the juice and rind of one clementine)
  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1/4 cup diced dried cranberries
Drizzled Icing:
  1/2 cup icing sugar
  1 Tablespoon milk
  2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
  (I used the rest of the white chocolate chips and just melted them in the microwave. Put in a baggie and cut
    the tip to drizzle)
Prepare:
1.Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Make cake by beating butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Dice cranberries.

3. Add 3/4 cup cranberries and white chocolate chunks to batter...fold in. Pour batter into a well-greased 9" x 13" baking pan...spread evenly. Bake for 35 minutes or until cake is lightly browned on the edges. Allow to cool.


4. Make frosting by combining cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Frost cooled cake, using spatula to spread evenly
5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup diced cranberries over freshly frosted cake







6. Whisk together 1/2 cup icing sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and shortening. Drizzle icing over cranberries. I used a pastry bag with a fine tip.





             
  Speaking of delicious things to have this time of year, I must share with you my favorite treat.  This Sweet & Spicy Tea is like cinnamon and chai. No sugar or cream required. It is amazing, and calorie free! YUM!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Six years ago, today, I married the sweetest man in the world. Sorry ladies, he's been off the market for awhile now! I thought I would reminisce a little with you all. We started off our marriage with the hard stuff;  a planned  move out of state, cancer in the family, starting a business.... Needless to say we had to lean on the Lord and eachother from the get go. I am so thankful for the marriage Christ has given us. I wouldn't change a thing...
























Nolan's grandparents gave us their time share in Italy for our honeymoon. We decided to wait until we graduated to use it and went to Lake Tahoe instead. A little cabin in the snow was just perfect.








Sunday, December 6, 2009

Go Tell It On The Mountain.....

Karalee sang in Church this morning!  Last year she just sat there like a deer in headlights. I thought we might have the same performance this year after hearing she has not been singing in class.  Well, sure enough first service was one single look of uncertainty the entire time. However, second service proved to be very entertaining for us.  She came out waving her bell in the air as if she was warming up her arms.  She didn't sing until the end of the first song. Then, much to our amazement, she but her bell down so she could do a few precious motions at the very end. Oh Karalee, you have no idea how you make me smile!























After, we went to see Santa at the Carousel.  Karalee still wanted NOTHING to do with him so we ended up taking a family picture just to get her near the sleigh!

My favorite picture of the day, Audree.
Oh Audree, why do you charm me so!??

This is the first time Karalee actually road the carousel. She has always feared the horses. She even smiled!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Papa & Puzzles

Nolan's Grandpa, lovingly called Papa, came over to our house Tuesday morning. Karalee was delighted and immediately wanted to read books with him and do a puzzle. These are her favorite past times with her Papa.  In fact, he brought in our telephone book that had been delivered to the driveway that morning. She picked it up and said, "Thanks Papa. You want to read me my new book?" She then grunted and said, "It's really heavy." Indeed she thought the phone book was for her to read. =) I snapped a few pictures of them doing a puzzle. Too cute.



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fridley Tree Lighting Ceremony

We put up our tree last night. It is so fun to see Karalee get excited about Christmas this year.  She loved helping hang the lights and was even more excited when I pulled out our collection of Christmas books. I put them away last year so they would seem new and special this year. Worked like a charm! I think that will be the beginning of a tradition for us. We also put out our "little people nativity" from last year. So fun to decorate for Christmas, celebrate the birth of Jesus, all the while making it kid friendly and exciting.  I just love being a mom.















































































































Speaking of traditions, here are a few of ours, so far.
Nativity














Books

































Favorite Ornaments...
Starbucks Coffee Cup
















Nolan's Favorite from our first Christmas married 2003!
















Memorial Ornament in memory of my Dad.













Nolan's: Remembering when he biked from Spokane to Virginia Beach with his two friends

Playlist