Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy 10th Anniversary To Us

December 27, 1997

And this is not exactly 10 years later but close enough.

I couldn't find a family picture of us more recent but you get the idea. Usually, one of us has the camera so its hard to get everyone.

I think we've improved a bit in 10 years. Well, maybe a lot. Looking over our wedding photos I'm amazed someone didn't say "stop,you can't get married. You're just kids." We were discussing last night over a romantic dinner-Costco pizza and some Italian wine which we ate standing in the kitchen so we could talk- the kids were at the table and having a lively conversation of their own. Sorry for the long sentence but I'm just going to leave it.

Anyway, we were discussing how we liked getting married when we were relatively young ( 20 and 22), because it gave us a lot of time to have an influence on the other as we were changing. I think I have the changed the most in my life in the last 10 years and I am really glad Shane was around to have an influence on me. It is nice having so much history together already. A third of my life right now. It has been a very eventful 10 years. Can't wait to see what the next 10 brings.

More Christmas Pictures

Pippin tries out his new drill on Papa, and everything else he can reach. The boys playing. Cameron started it when he pegged Shane with a snowball and then ran inside- just as we were getting in the car to leave. So, of course Shane got some snow and hunted Cameron down. so then they had to take it outside. Nothing like a rousing wrestling match in freezing snow and mud to round out Christmas Day.

Shane helping Cyril and Leon with Cyril's circuit board kit. He's really enjoyed it and the other night I went to check on the kids and Audrey and Cyril were still creating things- at 12:30 am. I guess its a hit.
audrey reading Pippin's new George books while Pippin draws on Kateri's sketch pad.

Christmas Pictures

It started to snow just as we were sitting down a late breakfast it didn't accumulate too much but the flakes were huge and it was very cozy just to watch them come down. Of course all the kids wanted to run outside and play.
Christma Morning, not the best shot but the others turnid out kind of blurry. I was trying Shane's new camera.
Breakfast at the Wheeler's with the famous breakfast dish and orange rolls.
Here is one of the blurry ones. It still has a warm feel to it though.
Kateri and Pippin go head to head at Battleship.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shane's Home from San Blas

This is Shane, not sure exactly where.

He actually came home on the 16th but we've been busy catching up and getting ready for Christmas so I didn't get to post about his trip. He'd been in San Blas, Panama for 12 days and a couple days in Panama City too. He and his dad went on a trip aboard the Discovery, a ship co-owned by people who all like kiteboarding and adventuring and seeing lots of neat places. So this year Shane picked the San Blas leg of the journey and his dad got to go with him. He said it was a blast and he enjoyed it all- even his 5 mile down-winder in 10' swells across the open ocean from the Limon Cayes to the Coco Banderas Cayes.

They have sattelite internet so he got to write ocassionally to say he made it on another adventure or to rave about the fabulous dish Nico, the chef, made that night. I was a little worried about feeding him when he got home. The meals sounded, and looked, impressive. I might like to go for cooking classes. And the warm water.

He came home a day early as he did not want to spend another day in Panama City as he had planned. So instead he got to spend an extra day home with us.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ring-Around-the- Rosy

Tirzah, Jack, andMatteas came for a visit the other day. It had been awhile since we'd gotten together and about and several teeth marks later we remembered why. The kids just and abundance of energy so Tirzah decided to help them direct it with a game of ring-around-the-rosy. Kateri and Jack finally figure out the hand holding thing.

Pippin had a hard time keeping up with his little feet so Tirzah rearranged things so she was in front of him and went slowly.
But finally it just got too much and they all collapsed and changed the game to lets bounce on Auntie Tirzah. I was glad I got to be the photographer. The kids can get pretty rough.
Matteas was shocked with all the commotion.

Monday, December 10, 2007

More fun

The kids decorated the gingerbread house yesterday. The big kids did the ends and the little ones did the roof. Cyprian was so careful placing his sweettarts along the lines of icing I made for him.We got an abundance of candy and not have a big box of leftovers. Maybe we'll decorate something else if we run out of projects.This side is Audreys. From across the kitchen I saw Pippin putting something large and orange in his mouth. I asked him what he was eating. He looked at me and said, "Cheese, mom". I thought it was great he preferred cheese to the bowl of candy in front of him. I think Kateri must have served him, although he can open the fridge himself.
I decided the make Cornish Game Hens for dinner. I thought the kids would think it was neat. And they did. Kateri was so thrilled she couldn't wait until hers was cooked to hold it. I was preparing them for roasting and I turned around and she was holding one. Before sanitizing her I took this picture. They are pretty tiny and cute. So is she.
I cut one in half for the little kids to share. Cyprian was not quite sure how to eat his so he stabbed the half and then took bites off.
Kateri told him,"NO, Pippin. Like this". And proceeded to rip off hunks of meat with her hands. Dinner turned out to be a messier enterprise than the gingerbread house. But they all liked it and ate alot so I was happy. The big kids enjoyed eating their own chicken and feeling like giants. I made an apricot-ginger glaze and they were pretty yummy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kids activities

Cyprian has been carrying around this cardboard box and he tells me he has puppies- with a french accent its more like poopies- but not in his diaper. The box is completely empty but he thinks its great fun. He carried it up the stairs and when he tripped he looked inside it and told me they were sad. Got hurt. He is so compassionate when it comes to imaginary animals. Not so much his sister. So, I got the kids flashlights for events like power outages and they have been going through the batteies using them for light sabers or anything else. THey like to play blackout and turn off all the lights and then run in circles around the house until they trip.
I tried to convince them to play hiding in the catacombs and being absolutely silent but Cyril pointed out that if you were found you'd get killed and then you'd go to heaven and that would be the best thing. So I just let them come up with their own games.
But yesterday Pippin and Kateri invented a new game we call the "Rodney King Christmas Special". They pull down my little Christmas tree and beat it with their flashlights. It has bells on it so it makes nice sounds as it is being bludgeoned. I love how creative they are.

Christmas Crafts

Kateri had to have her picture taken and had to be making this face. Not sure why.

I've been trying to think of fun things for the kids to do. My sister says her days go much better if there is some planned activity to give the day more structure- and incentive to get the mundane things done too. So I've tried to think of something new each day and so far it has been good. Yesterday we broke out the foam stickies from Grandma Trudy and had fun making North Pole winterscapes. I thought the penguins were particularly cute. Cyprian had fun chewing on them as well. We worked on them on and off all day and even this afternoon they were still making pictures. It's fun cleaning up all the backs to the stickers but it is so much better than paint or markers- which we did the other day. That project turned out well. THey had little wooden vehicles at Michael's for $.75 each so we painted airplanes and cars. The clean up was a little messier so we might wait a few days before we revisit that activity.

Today after breakfast we made Christmas cookies to freeze. It was a good sticky time with lots of pretty blue sprinkles. They didn't care so much for the actual cookies but the process was a hit. And Pippin had to have a pumpkin cookie too. I liked the blue stars and snowflakes.

Cyprian's latest saying is "You can coook." He got it from Ratatuille where the chef' tells people "anyone can cook" Cyprian's French accent it pretty funny. He then goes through the whole family Pippin, Papa, Mama etc saying each one can cook. So he especially likes it when he can help cook. Its pretty cute.

I just went to check on our little chef who was whipping up a culinary delight in the bathroom sink. Plug, fill, add one roll of toilet paper and stir with your toothbrush. And your sisters. In fact the more toothbrushes the better. I'll clean it up later. At least it was sink water.

Tomorrow St. Nicholas will hopefully bring a new activity, maybe some ornaments to color or something. And then I got little nativity sets for them to paint too and we might be really brave and get together with Tirzah and Jack and make that one a group activity. And once we clean up all the sugar from today we'll pull out the gingerbread house kit.

So our December crafts are off to a good start. And we have not gotten a tree yet either so there is another day.

Monday, December 3, 2007

December 1

Decmeber got off to a great start. It snowed most of the day and the kids were so excited to go out and play. Shane had already put up some lights, which always look prettier in the snow, and I had a few things up in the house so it felt very wintery-wonderland festive.
The kids had fun playing and sledding. I had a great time dressing and undressing freezing wet kids and trying to keep the door closed. I didn't remember those parts of snow from when I was a kid. Cyprian was not to be left out and followed the big kids whenever they went out. Regardless of clothing . I don't know how he stood it. I put on my jacket and carried him out for a little while and was very soon ready to come in and sit by the fire. It was windy too so it felt extra chilly. In the evening we tried to venture out for dinner at Tirzah and Aaron's- lured by mushroom-cognac soup and pomegranat salad and a roast. Yes, I am still sad we had to miss it. But half way there, cars were doing 720's, which was kind of strange to watch, and the snow was not slowing down so we decided to turn around and make the long journey home. Made even longer by a bus that got stuck on an incline and cars were going around it in both directions- on a two lane road.
Back home we made some warm treats and opened a bottle of wine and though we still missed the company- and dinner- had a nice evening watching the snow.
The next morning we were awakend to a fresh blanket of snow that by 3pm turned to rain and melted everything. Now there are power outages and flooding and Shane said attendance at work was down a bit. We are all up and running and will hopefully stay that way. We are supposed to get some wind today as well. I think I'll go get some flashlights today just in case. It is still raining so we are back to our typical December weather. I think I might have to make soup for dinner.

I'll upload the video of Pippin's strip show tonight. He thought he could fix being cold by shedding whatever article of clothing he thought was making him cold. Then he'd march off to the door to go play some more. It didn't stop until all he had was a diaper and shirt, which he still tried.