Merry Christmas!!

Wishing everyone a very merry and safe Christmas!!!


Christmas Tidings



Definition of TIDING

: a piece of news —usually used in plural tidings>

Origin of TIDING

Middle English, from Old English tīdung, from tīdan to betide
First Known Use: 12th century

This is in case you didn't know the exact meaning of tidings, which I didn't. So I guess this post could also be titled Christmas News.

I made and and finished my sugar cookies yesterday. They turned out very nice and I'm glad to have them checked off the list.

I have a lot of other cookies to do, but these are the most time consuming. I'm in the process of baking a snowflake cake today. I hope it turns out well. I also have all the wrapping to do tonight. I will not be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve.

Here is out Elf, his name is Oliver...

Every night he reports to Santa and comes back and hides in a different spot. (Also known as the "Elf on a Shelf".) Ella loves finding him every morning. Sam likes him, but isn't quite into it as Ella. Tomorrow night is his last night with us until next year.

I can't believe tomorrow is already Christmas Eve day. It seems to get here so slowly and then pass so quickly.

Tis' the season!!


Down to the Wire

As Ella reminded me this morning it's only three days until Christmas. Now I've had my shopping done for a long time and everything has been bought, but nothing has been wrapped. My closet is jam packed full of everyone's gifts. (I can't wait to get them all out!!) I do need to finish up on a few handmade items, but that won't take long.

Sam was battling a little virus the past couple days. Just a fever, nothing else. He's currently still sleeping and I think he'll be back to normal today. I've also had a little head cold and am feeling much more energy today. I'm very glad that everyone should be feeling excellent by Christmas. (Not that a little cold would have slowed us down!)

I'm going to get started baking my sugar cookies today! Sugar cookies are my favorite, but they really are a pain in the butt to frost. I'm planning on doing more fun frosting this year than previous years though. They do turn out so pretty.

Today is Ella's last day of school before winter break. It's pajama day at school and they're going to be watching the Polar Express at school. Here she was this morning all ready to go to school...

The good news is that the snow we were supposed to get tomorrow is going to mostly miss us, so only an inch or so. Since I shoveled up about 6 inches Monday night that is good. I'm seriously running out of space to put the snow!! When you stand on the road in front of the house it's starting to get buried in snow. It's pretty crazy.

Off to get to work!!


Christmas Goodies

Yum yum, it's that time of year!! I love baking all sorts of delicious treats for the holidays. Usually I've started by now and I have things already made and ready to go. This year I've decided to hold off a little. Mostly because I don't want to eat them and have to make more. I usually end up with many, many leftovers which isn't good for the waistline. :)

Most of my cookies come with us to Sioux Falls over New Year's, so I have time before I need them. For Christmas Eve I'm baking a layered dessert and a snowflake cake. They are both yummy and I hope I have leftovers!

Most years I tweak my cookie list to include one new cookie and maybe don't make something that wasn't super good the year before. I haven't found anything new this year to make though.

Here are the cookies that I'm going to make this year:

*Sugar cookies
*Butter rum cookies (my favorite!!)
*Magic bars (also called mounds bars)
*Carmel fudge bars
*Million dollar carmels (this was my new one last year)

What are your favorite holiday goodies??? I need a new one for my list this year!!


Christmas Music

I like Christmas music. Really I do, but not all the time. They start playing it around Thanksgiving and I think that is just far too early to hear it. This feeling continues until a week or so before Christmas and then I realize that it's nearly Christmas and I haven't listened to Christmas music. This happens every year and I can't seem to get around it.

One of my favorite things to do was to play Christmas music on the piano. I've played piano since I can remember. Took lessons growing up and we had a piano that we bought when we lived in Sioux Falls but sold a few years ago because we didn't really have the room.

I'm happy to announce that once again I have a piano!!

There has been a lot of Christmas music playing around our house the last few days. :)

Hearing Christmas music at church really gave me the bug that I wanted to play again. And Ella's at the age where she could start learning if she wants to. I found this great piano on Craigslist and a great price and got it all checked out/bought/moved within two days.

It's like a great Christmas present. Even though it really isn't a Christmas present. See, there's no bow on the top! :)


Before/After Blog Hop

It's that time of the week. I haven't had a chance to participate the past few weeks, but I'm happy to be back in the game.

Here's a shot I took when we went to get out Christmas tree. I was just using my little Canon PowerShot Digital Elf. Edited using Photoshop Elements. I haven't had this Photoshop long so I'm still figuring everything out.

Go check out the rest of the entries over at Pixel Perfect!!!

Here's my original shot:

After edit:

The snow is pretty. Cold, but pretty. We got almost 4 inches of snow overnight and this morning that I have to go shovel once it stops. I'm not sure where I'm going to put it after the last blizzard. Oh, and did you hear another panel of the Metrodome broke. I think they should just fill that place up with snow. Why spend the money to repair something that everyone just wants replaced anyways.....but that's a whole different subject! :)


Winter Wonderland

In case you haven't heard it snowed a little on Saturday. Not to mention it's about -10 outside and the Metrodome roof collapsed. Just a regular Minnesota day!!

It would figure that I've been home for the past couple weeks doing nothing and the one day I have something planned it's a blizzard outside. Needless to say we rescheduled, but we did get out yesterday.

Oh my goodness did it snow, and blow everywhere. I find it funny that there are spots in the backyard that have less snow now than they did before it snowed. The wind is funny like that. I'm not sure exactly how much snow we got. The highest total was 21.5 inches just southwest of us. I'm guessing we were in the 15-17 inch range. It's really hard to tell when the wind is blowing because we live on top of a hill and there aren't any trees or anything for shelter.

Here's a picture of our driveway Saturday night. As you can see there is a large area of the driveway that has no snow on it at all. But you can see the snowdrift that is in front of our garage is about 3 feet tall.

Here is what our front walk looked like before it took me an hour to shovel it.

I took this picture this morning of our front walk. You can barely see the tippy top of our little shrub/tree in the front. Funny thing is I picked out this particular plant for the front so we would have something green to look at during the winter.

Here's a picture I took in the cleared driveway space Saturday night. It was hard walking over that snow drift. Aren't the lights pretty though?

Here's the back yard as of this morning. You can see that our four foot fence has only about a foot left showing. It's also really hard to tell that the drift at the bottom of the picture we figure to be about 3 or 4 feet tall. The wind seemed to go around the playhouse and slide and there isn't much snow between the two drifts. Once the weather warms up a bit we're going to try and build the kids a little snow fort in the middle there somewhere. By we I also mean Zan. :)

I was outside shoveling Saturday evening for about 3 hours. I cleared in front of the two car garage and a path for one car to get through at the bottom of the driveway. Man that was a LOT of snow. Zan finished shoveling yesterday for about 3 hours too.

I can't believe how much snow we have for mid-December. I'm not sure where we're going to put the rest of it. The weather guy said that we currently have 2/3 of all the snow we usually get for the entire winter.

I really wish I could just stay inside today, but I have to run to the post office and the vet. Ugh and Zan took my car too, so it should be fun. And I mean fun like frozen fun. Yuck!


A Sammy Update

Since the weather has been frightful (and about to get worse) Sam and I have stayed home all week long. He doesn't seem to mind and it makes it easier for the potty training. I can say with great confidence that he is all pee potty trained (except for nighttime). He has been able to keep his undies dry all week long. It was so much easier than I was expecting. I guess when he was ready he was really ready.

The only issue is pooping in the toilet. We have yet to accomplish this. I remember Ella not wanting to right away, but it wasn't a long term issue. After checking online and reading other stories it sounds like this is a very common issue. Potty training seems to have 2 phases. Phase one done, phase two in progress. I just hope it's something that will get figured out sooner rather than later.

As far as his new sleeping arrangements they have been great too. He has yet to get out of bed. This morning he hollered for me like usual while he was still in bed. When I went in there he was just laying down waiting for me. He doesn't get out at night even though last night it was nearly 10 before he fell asleep. Nap times have been great too. I thought maybe he would stop napping, but that's not the case. Such a good boy!!!

We're supposed to get about another foot or so of snow tonight and tomorrow. Then it's supposed to get really, really, really cold!! It seems like the end of January, but it's only mid-December. I'm glad we have a lot to keep us busy because it's going to be a long winter. I can't wait for spring. The snow is pretty though. Very pretty when I can sit on the couch with my knitting/crocheting by the fireplace and look outside at the pretty snow. : )

(Can you tell I'm trying to post more often? We'll see how long this lasts.)


TV/Movie Pet Peeve

I'm not one of those people that watches movies and tv and tries to find things that are wrong, but there is one thing that I always notice and drives me crazy.

When a character is holding a cup of coffee (or other beverage) and the cup is actually empty. You can tell by the way the person holds the cup or pretends to pour the coffee. What really gets me though is when they set that cup down and it makes a distinctive empty sound. It's so obvious!

I was just watching House and noticed it a few times. It's just one of those things....

So there you have it, one of my pet peeves. Does anyone else notice this same thing?


O Christmas Tree

On Saturday we went off to cut down the Christmas tree and bring it home. Since we received nearly a foot of snow Friday through Saturday morning it made for an interesting tree find. We knew approximately where our tree was, but with all the snow covering the trees it was harder to find our tag on our tree.

Within a short amount of time we did find our tree though. The kids had fun playing in the snow. Sam had a hard time walking in the deep snow.

Ella helped Zan cut down the tree.

The kids also got to see Santa! They were very excited to see him and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.

We got the tree up Saturday afternoon. It's the perfect tree! It came to about 3 inches shy of our ceiling. And we have 9 foot ceilings! On Sunday I went to put the lights on the tree but most of them weren't working. Zan ran off to Target to get all new lights for the tree. By the time he got back it was getting late, so I put up the lights Sunday night and we decorated the tree Monday evening. For some reason decorating the tree is a multi-day event this year.

I pulled out all the ornaments for the kids to decorate and just let them decorate how they wanted.

Sam really likes the horn ornament and tells us that it work when he blows in it and makes a loud noise.

Here is how the tree looked after the kids were done decorating it...

And here it is after the kids went to bed and I finished it up...

Ella is super excited for Christmas. Sam is too, but Ella keeps asking how many days until Santa comes.

In other news I did end up taking the crib rails off Sam's crib and turned it into the toddler bed. He loves it and hasn't gotten out of bed at all. He even took a great nap yesterday. He did starting hollering for Zan at 1:30 this morning. I went in and he wanted daddy to sing him a song. Apparently my song worked just fine and he went back to sleep. :)

He's also been wearing big boy undies for a few days. I've been talking to him about potty training for quite some time now, but he wanted nothing to do with it. Then the other day he said he wanted to go potty on the toilet. We haven't looked back since and he's been doing great with only a couple accidents. Lots of accomplishments in the past week for him.

I'm getting anxious to start baking Christmas cookies. Unfortunately I know that if I start now I'll eat so many that I'll just have to make more. All in all not a horrible idea, but it's best to wait...for now. I think I'll start some next week. I need something to do. It's been so cold outside we've just been staying in and keeping busy. They said Sunday and Monday were only supposed to be like 4 degrees for a high?!?! The long winter continues...


Sleeping Arrangements

Just before Ella turned two she started standing on the railing of her crib, holding onto the posts, and would jump off. She'd end up on the other side of the room. After this happened twice we took the rails off her crib and turned it into the toddler bed.

When Sam was born I was really hoping that he would stay in his crib longer than Ella did. Hopefully closer to three. Well that three year mark passed about two months ago and he doesn't want to have a different bed.

When I tell him that he could have a big boy bed like Ella has he says no and starts crying. He LOVES his crib!! He never tries to climb out and rarely even stands up in it. He goes to sleep really well and sleeps all night. He takes naps almost every day too. I know that I shouldn't complain, but he's getting pretty heavy to be lifting in and out of the crib. Getting a little big too.

This morning I asked him if it would be okay to take off the rails so he could get in and out himself. He looked at me skeptically. I explained that it would be the same bed, but without the rails. He sort of said yes, but when asked again he said no. I'll ask again later.....

He managed to finish all his medication without getting any hives. So as of now has no allergic reaction to amoxicillin. We'll find out for sure next time he gets it.

It's so cold here!!! We're just staying inside today. I don't even want to go to the mailbox to get the mail. I suck it up and get through winter, but when it's only the end of November/beginning of December and it's as cold as the coldest days in January I start to complain. I have a bad feeling it's going to be a long, cold winter.