Thursday, December 31, 2009

The clock is ticking...

2010 is almost here... can you believe it? 2009 seemed to fly by... from talking to friends, reading their blogs and facebook statuses, many people are happy to see the year go. 2009 wasn't a bad year for us by any means... it was a crazy, busy, life-changing year. We spent much of the year on a wild paper chase to bring home a little girl we knew almost nothing about. Who does that?! Lots of people! Thank the Lord! And now she is here with us to start the new year... Thank the Lord!

Like most years in our household, 2010 is already shaping up to be a crazy, busy, life-changing year as we get ready to face Frank's 4th year long deployment. Once again our family will band together and we will get through it with God as our guide. We are excited to see where He will lead us and how He will shape us in the coming year.

SO as the clock winds down, here is the pressing question... are you making a New Year's Resolution this year? Do you want to lose weight? Get in shape? Spend less money? Be a better spouse, parent, employer, employee? Find a different/better job? Go to church more? Cook more? Clean more? Stop smoking? Stop drinking? There are a thousand things out there... what do YOU want for 2010? Or do you just plan on winging it and see what the year brings?

Whatever you want from 2010, we wish you all the best the Lord has to offer! We can't wait to spend it with you!

**Photo courtesy of Ron Edmondson**

Q&A #128

When is Kellsey's birthday? I'm not sure I have ever seen that.
Kellsey's birthday is November 6th, three days after Kameron's and two days after Kassidy's and my mom's. The first week of November is going to be jumpin' around here! :)

Where did you get the Alvin doll thing?
We actually found that at Toys R Us. They had all the chipmunks and the chipettes, though they were pretty wiped out when we were there a couple days before Christmas.

And, she got Fancy Nancy books?!! My Favorite!! I haven't heard anyone else mention her. I love the colorful outfits she wears, so she must be one of Kennedys favorites, huh?
Yes, Kennedy loves those books, she always says, "ooooh FANCY!" LOL

Kellsey seems to really enjoy everything, how is she doing?
She's doing pretty well... she's finding her place in the family and starting to feel more comfortable and testing her limits more. I think at first she was scared to do anything - good or bad - and now she's doing a little of both! haha She'll figure it all out in time though, I'm sure!

Yeah Freddie. Great news. He has been waiting a long time. Hope your friend has a blog.Since I have 2 children in our family from Freddie's country, I would love to follow along.
They do have a blog... you can click on Freddie's button in that post or find it right here.

Renee' I think Kennedy needs to learn to be excited about her gifts lol, she is such a doll and her excitment is contagious, loveit.
I know, right?! I love that she gets so excited about things! LOL

Kass is still playing w/LPS? Laurie said she's all done with Littlest Pet Shop and wants me to get rid of them! Geez, I just got them for her 2 Christmases ago! They grow up so fast!
WELL she SAYS she does... and remember my caption of "my mom said she would NOT buy this for me!"? LOL I said that because really, it just seems like she's outgrowing them and I rarely see her playing with them anymore, but I had no good ideas for her and she asked and asked and asked... we'll see if she actually plays with it now. She'd never tell me to get rid of them, she's a pack rat. I have to clean out her room when she's at school! LOL

Okay so I noticed grandma used the same wrapping paper at her house. How'd that happen ;)? Great pics. Sounds like everyone got just what they wanted. So are you thinking about Kennedy and Keeghan's birthday presents or birthday party in May?
LOL Well, I had a lot of paper here so I offered to wrap her gifts too. I figured we may as well not BOTH be up all night wrapping! :) I'm just thinking about their presents right now... I'll start thinking about parties later. I'm too tired to think about that right now! haha

Wonder what Kellsey is thinking you guys are going to do in January....she must think you guys totally rock now!
I know! We were just talking about that! She came to this country and everyone has lights on their houses and pretty trees up and TONS of presents... this place is about to get VERY boring! haha

Oh and still waiting on the pics of Franks and yours matching PJ's. LOL
Well... there's a pic of Frank in his here. I will have to get back to you on mine! LOL

YES! Frank in matching PJS! Renee, your photo is next. Next year I want matching His & Hers footy pjs ok?
I...uh...don't think I can do that. LOL

So do they ask you for your weight for your military id? That's a little too personal for me when you're not 10 ;).
LOL They just copied what was on my driver's license... which miraculously has not changed since I got my first license when I was 17! Wonder how THAT happened?! ;)

Perhaps she can know pass for legal age and have her first beer?!?...LOL
Ummmmm NO! LOL

Good for dad for taking pictures to document! Was he instructed to do this? ;)
Maaaaybe! LOL

Did you get her a super-cool new wallet to put her super-cool new ID card in?
WELL, I thought she was getting a new wallet WITH the purse, but it turned out to be a coin purse, so she'll have to get a wallet later... maybe she can buy one with her Claire's gift card! :)

Seriously Renee! I can see her in the exact same pose as the last picture in 5 more years. Won't that be fun??!!
"Fun" is relative. LOL

Would you share your broccoli casserole recipe?
16oz Broccoli florets (frozen)
1 small can cream of chicken soup
1 bag of minute rice
1 large jar of cheese wiz
1 stick of butter
1 medium size onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup of milk
French's Cheddar French Fried Onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook the minute rice.
In a large skillet, melt butter and add onion... sautee. Add broccoli, mix & cook 5 minutes. Add Cheese, milk and soup, mix & cook 5 minutes. Add cooked rice, mix well.
Pour into 9x12 casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350. If desired, top with French Fried Onions at the 20 minute mark and bake with those for the last 10 minutes. My 3 little kids LOVE this!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A last minute giveaway!

My friend Myndi has a great blog full of coupons and free stuff! She has a giveaway going on RIGHT NOW but it ends at midnight tonight (Pacific time, I think). Go check it out and enter before it's too late!!! You have to scroll down a bit to where it says "Monday Giveaways".

A Rite of Passage

When a child of a Military member turns 10 years old, they get to do something very special... they get their own Military ID card. Kassidy has been looking forward to getting her own ID card for months! She turned 10 in November, but since the office to get the cards made closes so early, we told her she'd have to wait until Christmas break to get her card so she wouldn't miss school.

Yesterday I had to take Kameron to the doctor for an ear infection, so I took the little girls with me and Frank took Kassidy and Keeghan with him to the DEERS office on Post to get her card made. She was so excited!!

She has taken it out of her purse about 50 times to look at it, and she keeps asking what she can DO with it... since we don't live on Post and we rarely go there, the answer would be, "not much!" LOL But it's still cool to have and when we DO go on Post she can show it at the gate.

I had to laugh though because the guy taking down her info asked how much she weighed and she didn't know and neither did Frank and so the guy said, "Well, I'm pretty sure 10 year olds weight about 55 pounds, so I'll just put that." Hmmm I'm thinking this guy doesn't have any kids! haha Oh well, better than 155, I guess! HA!

Here are some pictures from the event...
Walking into the DEERS office...



Waiting...

Getting ready to smile for the camera

Keeghan has just a FEW more years before he gets one! ;)

So excited!

Signing her name to put on the card

Kassidy with her first ID card...
before I know it, it will be a driver's license. Heaven help me.

Christmas morning part 3

Here are some pictures of the kids opening presents from Grandma! I didn't get many pictures of the actual presents, it was all over kind of fast, but all 5 kids got new sheets and comforters for their beds. Kassidy got Jonas Brothers, Kameron got Spongebob, Kennedy got Hello Kitty, Keeghan got Yo Gabba Gabba (of course!) and Kellsey got Disney Princess. They also got some really nice blankets to snuggle up with while they're at Grandma's house :).

The rest of the day we ate and ate and ate and we played one of the new games that Santa brought while the little kids napped. It was fun! Kellsey especially loved my broccoli casserole which I was able to hide ham in! LOL She really liked the scalloped potatoes too. Grandma saved Kameron again and made him ravioli. Weird kid.

The favorite presents overall, I would say...
Kassidy: Her Jonas Brothers purse and watch and her Claire's gift card that she's already itching to spend! LOL
Kameron: his Santa hat that he asked and asked for and his nerf gun, he's had a blast with that thing. Why I buy him expensive stuff, I have no idea! LOL
Kennedy: her Alvin doll. Hands down. More on that later...
Keeghan: ALL his Yo Gabba Gabba stuff! He was really in heaven this year. He especially likes his little YGG cars that form a train.
Kellsey: Her music table and her magna doodle... she also really likes Keeghan's YGG dance mat.

I'm really glad we don't have to do this present thing again for a year... I'd have NO idea what to buy them! LOL I'm already thinking about Keeghan and Kennedy's birthdays in May! HA!










Hope you enjoyed the Christmas pics! :)

Wordless Wednesday - Caption Please

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lifting up Ellie

Ellie Potvin is 8 years old... she has been battling cancer (Rhabdomyosarcoma) since July 2008. She's had a lot of ups and downs in her battle, like many do, but she's fought hard... through treatment and relapse. On Monday they learned that Ellie's cancer is back with a vengeance. They are trying yet another chemo... one that will keep Ellie in the hospital for a long time... And Ellie is taking it all in stride. She's one of many, many children who have been robbed of their childhood by cancer... stuck in a hospital with low counts. Poked and prodded. Tired of being sick and sick of being tired, but still never losing will to fight.

And her parents will fight right along with her. Her mom, Amy, wrote on her blog the other night, "Tim and I refuse to give up on our baby... 4 weeks left to live? I can not imagine EVER letting her go that easy... when reality sets in, she is dying of an aggressive cancer... that our days are limited with her. It is very hard to give up the fight because the odds are against us."

Please help Tim, Amy and Grace (Ellie's twin sister) lift up Ellie in prayer... right now... she needs it more than ever. I've said it before and I'll say it again... Cancer SUCKS! We're praying for you Ellie!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas morning part 2

More from Christmas morning!

Oh my JOSH! It's ALVIN!!!!

He's my most favorite gift EVER!

My mom told me over and over she wouldn't buy this for me and she DID! YES!

A Signing Time shirt! Cool!

A gift card to the movies! Now I can take my parents out! :)

Tinkerbelle shoes! I love it!

Oh cool, a Jonas Brother's watch...

These books look neat too...

Whatcha got there, Kennedy?

It's more Yo Gabba Gabba stuff!

Lotions and stuff :)

What does this thing do?

It's Go Diego GO!!!

Oh wow! This looks so fun!

Fancy Nancy books! YAY!

Do I look cool now? Or do I look WARM?!

I think I like this Christmas thing!!

My Santa hat from Santa... The only thing I REALLY wanted!

One of my MANY new Princess dresses! Aren't I beautiful?!


Up next... Christmas at Grandma's...

Q&A #127

Random Christmas tradition question... does Santa wrap his gifts in your house? Growing up, Santa didn't wrap his gifts to us, so we had to guess which pile was ours. It was a lot of fun looking around finding your stuff that was already set up and good to go as far as playing. Then, gifts from family were wrapped. I haven't found many people who have unwrapped Santa gifts besides my family.
Santa does not wrap gifts but I took all their gifts out from under the tree and separated them into piles after the kids went to bed on Christmas Eve (If you notice on the pic of the kids walking out on Christmas morning, under the tree is empty lol) and I put their Santa gift right in front of their piles. With the closeness in age, I wanted there to be NO confusion as to who got what! haha Santa was kind of cheap this year anyway for their big gifts... he brought board games for Kass, Kam & Kenn, a Brobee pillow for Keeghan and the music table for Kellsey... all the good stuff was either wrapped (from us) or in their stockings which Santa got credit for. LOL

Do you use a particular paper for each child....does that make sense? Like tinkerbell for one spongebob for another etc?
Yes, we do this every year! It makes it SO much easier on Christmas morning. This year Kassidy got Littlest Pet Shop, Kameron got Spongebob, Kennedy got Tinkerbelle, Keeghan got Cars and Kellsey got Dora. No reading name tags to slow anyone down! LOL

We have similar music boxes at the shop and we will ship them. We're actually getting ready to do a reorder pretty soon and I'll update the blog as soon as we do.
This came from my friend Ashley of Ashley's Attic. Go check out her blog for lots of GREAT stuff!!!

A great picture. Merry Christmas. Are those the Christmas PJ's from your grandma?
Yep! I picked them out though! ;)

Is this a first that the pic isn't on the stairs?? As I recall, all of your pictures are on the stairs! Merry Christmas to you too!!
Actually, at my house, they're usually always on our couch... at my mom's they're usually on the stairs. Sometimes they're on the stairs at my house too... but mostly it's the couch. LOL This time they were in the middle of the living room floor because that's where they were sitting when they opened their jammies and put them on! :)

RENEE!! I forgot to email you yesterday at work. We got them yesterday!!!! They were very nice-- someone will really enjoy them~ THANK YOU for thinking for us :)
YAY! I'm so glad they got there! I hope the kids enjoy them!

Wow! That's GREAT! Didn't they give you any toys for your tots???
Nope, but it wasn't about that! :) Our kids were covered!

Good for you ! Did you ever hear anything back from them ?
Nah, I seriously doubt I will... but I hope somewhere along the line, someone stubles across it who can change something! GRR Sounds like there ARE a lot of malls out there who have the right idea! :)

And where in the world did you find jammies for ALL of you that match....AND with your names on them....so, so cool!
Disneystore.com! You can also find matching jammies for the whole family at Children's Place. :)

Oh.My.Gosh. Those matching jammies are so flippin' cute! Do you and Frank also have a pair? ;)
Yes, we do! LOL

Now where is Frank and your matching PJ pictures? LOL
Yeah yeah I know! We were behind the camera! LOL

what a beautiful picture!!!
What a great christmas!!
Now you need a boy to even it up :)

Hush now, you'll give my mom a heart attack! LOL

no picture of the finished product??!!
Uhhh, I'm a dork! I didn't think about that! LOL But we didn't frost the cake till the next day anyway.

Kellsey already looks like she fits right in! How are the little ones doing with the new addition?
They are doing great! Kennedy loves her to death... though we have to tell her to stop petting her! LOL Kellsey is like her little doll! LOL Keeghan and Kellsey love to play together, but they also can fight like... well... brother and sister! haha He loves her a lot though! :)

Renee I'm sorry to tell you but looking at these pictures of Keeghan hanging ornaments on the tree doesn't look like you have a baby in the house anymore. I can't get over how mature he has gotten in the last few months.
I know. *sniff* He tells me almost every day what a BIG boy he is. I can't convince him otherwise. LOL

I love the pictures, but had to share, my daughter, whose name is Kassidy, also received the knot quilt!! How ironic is that!?
LOL! How funny!!! Kassidy hasn't made hers yet, but I'm hoping it will be fun and easy for her!

My friend's daughter got the SpongeBob Connect Four game for her birthday and the rules have changed from the orignal game. Are the rules for SP Operation the same as the classic game?
TOTALLY different rules! We played it with Kass and Kam on Christmas night and Frank and I were both saying how different it was, AND it's a LOT easier. The room to get the little pieces out is huge so we really didn't make Spongebob light up all that much.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas morning part 1

We told Kass and Kam they could NOT come out of their rooms for ANY reason until 8:00 on Christmas morning... even if they had to go to the bathroom! LOL We're so mean, I know! Luckily they (and their bladders) survived! At 8:00, we got up, woke Kellsey up (she wasn't tuned into the Christmas excitement quite yet lol) and made our way to the living room...

The tree...

Stockings...

Santa came!!!

Crazy Americans with your crazy traditions! LOL

Look what Santa left me!

Hmm, this present thing might be kind of cool!

Would you rather... pose for pictures or rip into presents?!

Whatcha got there Keeghan?

It's spongebob!

Look at this cool Hello Kitty set!

OK so you tear the paper off like this...

WOW it's a Bo-Bot CAR!!!!

What could be IN here?!

THIS is the coolest thing EVER.

OH cool! It's a TOY!!!!

I have wanted this book my WHOLE life!

It's a Yo Gabba Gabba Laptop!! Facebook, here I come!

This is totally awesome!!!

Well, this looks like fun!

This toy makes silly noises!

A new princess dress?! For ME?!

It's Mickey Mouse Jammies!!! I LOVE IT!


To be continued...