Thursday, December 30, 2010


Tuesday morning we packed up the kids and the car and headed up to Big Bear to stay at Eric's family cabin "Tucker Inn." The forecast said sunny, then snow, then sunny. Perfect! And it was. We arrived to sunny skies and plenty of snow to play in. When we woke up on Wednesday it was snowing. And it just kept snowing. All day in fact! I don't think I have been in falling snow since high school or maybe once during my short stay at KU. Anyway, it snowed! The kids did it all: snowball fights, snowman building, and sledding. All in our yard! Very convenient since we had to give Luke limited snow moments in between breathing treatments. All he wanted to do was eat some snow, then go inside and play by the fire. Inside the cabin we enjoyed a warm fire, hot chocolate, a great dinner grilled by Eric, movies, and card games. We had to build quite an elaborate gate blockade on the stairs for Luke. But once he went to sleep, Zac and Claire had a blast sliding down the stairs on their cute butts. Something I remember doing in my childhood home in Kansas. Totally not safe but we were exposing the kids to new things this trip. :) Thanks Gary and Diana for allowing us to crash and play!

*I want to point out a few things in this video that will surely get my brother and sister-in-law giggling at our California-ness. My kids are wearing jeans, Claire's jacket is cloth, Zac's jacket is broken, Eric has no gloves, and it's probably just funny that the whole thing is an event and worth video taping! Hey. They got gloves and snow boots. That was a miracle. Thanks to Zappos overnight shipping! ")

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Four celebrations later and we are done. Christmas began with a gathering at our house to open presents with Sara. All the kids got to open 2 presents. One was from Oma that contained the traditional Christmas p.j.'s.

Christmas Eve we went to church for the kid's service. Claire was excited to see her girl pals dressed in their Christmas best just like her. Zac sang in the children's choir and also participated in a living acrostic poem. He was the letter 'R' in Merry. It was pretty cute. Luke decided church should remain in the morning hour and cried and fussed throughout the service. The best moment was when he took a bite out of a candle. I mean, a giant bite where he had to chew for a while to get it down. And yes of course I tried to get it out but he is 20 months old with a full set of teeth. I'll show you the bruise on my finger later. We also attempted and failed to eat dinner out at a local Chinese restaurant. That ended with Eric and Luke in the car while I stayed inside with Z and C boxing up the food. It tasted just as good at home. :)

Christmas morning was awesome. Santa left one present unopened for each kid. A guitar for Zac, a furreal dog for Claire, and an automatic ATV for Luke. It was so great how Luke knew which gift was for him. He doesn't get Santa, but he got that there was one spectacular new toy waiting just for him! Butch and Roro came for breakfast at 9:00 and actually stayed until 11:21! A new record!

Christmas dinner was at Oma and Opa's house where we enjoyed more present opening and a fabulous dinner! Thank you Oma for helping make Christmas fabulous for my family!

Finally our last celebration was yesterday morning where we pretended it was Christmas morning all over again at Butch and Roro's house. Some highlights were the delicious breakfast, mom crying about EVERY gift from a singing snowman to a good legitimate cry over a beautiful necklace dad surprised her with, about 100 pictures taken to get "just my head and the necklace," and finally a family walk up to Eric's classroom to feed the tortoises. I think the best gift was a recordable book of the Night Before Christmas by Butch. Very cool.

Christmas is a lot of work, but so worth it. Every year I think about how much I loved the season as a child but never realized the backstage preparations that went on. So I am publicly thanking you mom and dad for all your hard work. And even you Mark for not spoiling it because being 11 years older, you totally could have! Love you all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ice Skating

Zac has been begging to ice skate ever since we passed by a rink outside of the Nokia theater a few weeks ago. Eric and I promised him that we would take him over winter break and Claire promised she would NOT be going. She insisted that Oma will watch her and Luke. NO skating until she is 7! So today we went. Sara is here and we thought it was a perfect time.

Here are our first moments on the ice. This provided me with a good side splitting laugh!

I soon realized a few things. First, I am not as young as I used to be. Second, I have a definite case of mom anxiety. It didn't help that many of the other kids Zac's age were outfitted with helmets. I decided Eric needed to take charge of Zac, then Sara and I can stumble in circles together. Side note: Sara text messaged me the other day that she is a little "iffy" the first time on the ice, but after about 5 minutes it's as if she was "born to skate." Not so much this time. We did notice her skates were a little loose and after a good tightening it helped her get the hang of it. She was a great partner!

I lasted about an hour and then took a seat. Here is Zac's progress. I am very impressed at his will. He did not want to take a break. He was certainly determined. A good quality no doubt!

We have even promised to do it again. It was a cheap and fun way to exercise and play together. But ask me again tomorrow when I can't move my legs. My outlook may change.

Ode to Bus

Here is the world's most (in my opinion) tolerant dog. She has endured being thrown in a dumpster at birth, living in a house with all boys who paid no attention to her, surviving numerous attacks by other dogs, Sara, Zac, Claire, and now the worst EVER...


He means well. Dogs appear to be his favorite thing ever (next to Elmo). He just pets a little too hard, pulls hair a little too much, and steals her food - all the time.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Get a Grip

I am a bit concerned about my emotional stability as of late. It seems that I get teary eyed at least once a day. Here is a list of a few of the moments that have moved me in the past 7 days. Some legitimate, others concerning.

The kick-line at the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.

The song Where Are You Christmas playing on the radio.

At the movie theater at least three times during the latest Harry Potter movie.

When Zac walked up the sidewalk to school blowing kisses at me.

When we got home from seeing the Pulminoligist with Luke.

At an announcement my principal made over the intercom at my school.

When a coworker gave me chocolate.

When Claire came to work with me and ran out to the playground with my first graders without a care as to where and what I was doing.

That darn Children's Hospital Commercial with Jennifer Aniston.

When my job share partner told me she wants to work full time.

At the end of Polar Express when that Josh Groban song plays.

The next day when I told some one that my job share partner wants to go full time.

When my students sang at our annual Winter Sing.

When Luke hugged his little friend at school before we went home.

When I simply thought about Bus getting old.

When we sang Christmas carols at my work Christmas party.

When Claire woke up with fever.

When Zac behaved himself beautifully at the Nativity Scene rehearsal.

Looking at my hair in the mirror and realizing I will NEVER get an appointment before Christmas.

I'm sure I have forgotten a few. But this emotional state is getting ridiculous. And no mother. I am NOT pregnant! ;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

First Piano Recital!

Well we endured a few sleepless nights, some anxiety, and a very nervous tummy. But don't worry, I am okay now. Oh, and Zac was great! He admitted a few nerves this morning and I could see it in his eyes before his name was introduced, but he did it! I am so proud of us, I mean, him! He didn't miss a note. Believe me, I KNOW!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

She's 12!

It is very hard to believe that Sara is turning 12! She is way mature beyond the age of 12, but I can't believe that much time has passed. Just the other day we went to the park and Claire was rocking back and forth on a toy with her hair swinging back and forth. It was a total Sara flashback. It just doesn't seem that long ago that she was rocking on that same horse with the same blond hair bobbing all around her!

Last night we celebrated with a family gathering at our house. As always Sara was thrilled and so thankful of every gift. Either she is an academy award winning actress or she is the most grateful child in the world! I love it! Next weekend she is having a slumber party with 9 girls attending. Wow! I can only imagine the kind of sleep that Jennifer, Mike, and little sister Jude will NOT be getting that night!

Sara: I just know 12 is going to be a great year. I can just feel it! My mom said it was a hard year for her, but it won't be for me.

Me:(Thinking back to my 12th year. One of my WORST years ever!) Yeah. 12 can be challenging. (Thinking back to puberty, Jr. High, braces, friendships crashing and burning. Oh what good times.) But I'm sure it'll be great for you. (Praying my voice sounded optimistic!)

Anyone else have fun 12 year old memories to share? :)