Sunday, December 28, 2008

Santa Claus definitely came to town...

WARNING: This is going to be a lengthy post. If you have the determination to keep reading, hopefully you won't be disappointed. Also, most of Julia's pictures are quite scary....just a warning. :)

This year was out of control. Of course we all know the true meaning of Christmas, and we were sure not to forget that. The kids actually slept in on Christmas morning. Ron and I finally woke them up at 9:00 only because the rest of my family was going to be showing up around 10:00. We woke Matt up first so he could call his mom and open his gifts from her. Once he was done we woke up the little ones and told them that Santa had come. I have never seen them move so fast! They could hardly contain themselves and started digging into their Santa gifts. Of course they were spoiled rotten!! There is nothing I love more than watching the kids get excited about opening gifts. It just cracks me up when they rip open a package and it's followed by joyful squeals.

Once the Santa gifts were opened, we all took turns opening our gifts from Grammy-too-far-away (Ron's mom). Once again she spoiled us all ROTTEN! She is such an amazing Grammy and mother-in-law. I know that she truly spends a lot of time and puts a lot of thought into the gifts she chooses for us. Everyone loved their gifts from her. (Ron took a pic of me with my gift from her, but I looked so horrific I opted not to put it on here...ha ha ha)

It was about the time we finished opening Grammy-too-far-away's gifts when my family started showing up. Our house felt so small at that moment as we crammed everyone into our living room. The guest list included: Grandpa and Grandma Winters, Yippaw(my dad), Grammy Chunk(my mom), my brothers Gary and Layton, my sister Apryl and some significant others...Mandy(Gary's girlfriend) and John(Apryl's boyfriend). The more the merrier! We all enjoyed opening gifts and laughing. Yippaw and Grammy Chunk went overboard and spoiled us all rotten also. Our kids are so lucky to have such great grandparents!!

I must have forgotten to say "smile" for this picture! ha ha ha

Grandma Winters gave me, Mandy, my Mom and Apryl some Turbie Twists. They are a turban-like towel that you put on your head after you wash your hair. She was so excited for us girls to FINALLY have one of these precious towels. We all had a hysterical laugh over the future cab drivers of Spokane...

It has been a tradition in my family that once all the gifts are open, the girls head into the kitchen to make a big Christmas morning breakfast. My mom and I were cooking the food when my dad walked into the kitchen. I had to grab something out of the dining room and made my way out of the cooking zone. Apparently I wasn't gone long enough because when I turned around I totally caught my dad groping my mom!! Nothing will spoil a Christmas morning quicker than catching your dad going in for a feel! SICK! He tried to play it off like he was just "giving her a hug"....give me a break. Nice try dad...and lets try and keep our hands to ourselves next year. :) Regardless of the touchy-feely incident, we had a great breakfast.

The next comical incident happened when John and Apryl were sitting on the floor building blocks with Julia and Tanner. John was talking about nuts (hopefully in reference to the cashews he was eating) and was making a joke to Apryl that his were bigger than hers. Julia all of the sudden piped up and said "no way John! My Yippaw has the biggest nuts!!" We all about died we were laughing so hard. We have no idea what sparked her to say that and she had no idea why everyone was about to wet their pants.

Julia must have been the queen of comedy that day because my mom told me later about an incident that happened with Julia when no one else was around. My parents were getting ready to head back to their place and my mom and Julia were sitting on the stairs waiting for my dad to put his shoes on. Julia noticed that Yippaw had a wedgie and was pointing and giggling at it. My mom told her to "go pull it out". Julia looked at her wondering if she really meant it. My mom was laughing and shook her head for Julia to proceed with de-wedging Yippaw. Apparently the look on my dad's face was priceless as he felt Julia's tiny fingers reach up to pull out the stuck undies and pants. LOL! My Dad turned around and politely said "Oh, thank you Julia!" We will be teaching her very soon never to go that close to Yippaws rear can be hazardous!!! :) Love you Dad! ha ha ha

All-in-all we had a WONDERFUL Christmas. We are very fortunate to have such wonderful family to spend it with. Now we just need to work on getting Grammy-too-far-away here to join in the chaos!! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It is currently 8:23 a.m. on Christmas morning. Ron and I are the only ones awake....what's wrong with this picture?? LOL! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun with Dad!

Ron is such a great dad and really loves to play with the kids. The other day Julia was begging Ron to pick her up and toss her up into the air. The looks on her face were PRICELESS!! She looked terrifed, but was having a great time. I hurried and grabbed the camera and had Ron give each kid a turn so I could snap their picture. Even Matt got in on the action (although he didn't fly quite as high as the little ones). I still laugh every time I see Julia's face...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Olivia's in the tub....WITH her clothes on! Tanner was in taking a bath when Olivia snuck in and climbed in with him. I should have known better than to run downstairs to get Tanner's jammies. Olivia LOVES bath time and apparently wanted another one that night! She was having a blast...even in her soaked shirt and soggy diaper!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Lights Cruise

Time to catch up on some blogging! On December 8th we got together with our good friends Nanci, Heather and Shane and took the kids to Coeur d' Alene for the Holiday Lights Cruise. It was freezing, but so much fun!! As we boarded the boat, we could write down the kids names on a list for Santa to use later. We then started on our 15-20 minute cruise across the lake. It was pitch black but the kids were loving every minute of it. Once we were across the lake there was a lit up sign that said "welcome to the north pole". Then Santa's workshop lit up and Santa talked with everyone on the boat. He read off the kids' was so fun to see them get excited about hearing their name. They were so pleased that Santa knew them!

After the cruise the whole gang ventured off to the CDA Resort to have killer desserts at Dockside Restaurant. The kids could not believe how big the desserts were. Everyone had a great time!! We couldn't ask for better friends to hang out with. We enjoy their company so much and look forward to many more fun times with them!!

Tanner and Julia with their "make your own cookies"...

Matt with his monster reese's peanut butter cup sundae...

The whole gang...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family Pictures...

Last night we had our family pictures done so we can get our Christmas cards out in the mail on time. I love this time of year but dread taking pictures. In years past we have just taken pictures of the kids and sent those out with our cards. This year I decided to be brave and take a picture with the entire family. I turned into one of those mothers who gets frustrated with her kids who won't smile. How hard could it be....JUST SMILE! So, although not everyone has their biggest smile on, at least they look pleasant and that is good enough. :)

The whole fam...

This one just cracks me up. My chins are totally out of control while busting out the peace sign, Matt looks like he is pooping, Julia is showing quite a bit of shoulder, Tanner is looking at the ceiling and Olivia looks like she's going to swallow the camera! So congrats to Ron for being the only one that looks good in this picture...."whoopidy-do"! LOL!

And finally, some individual shots of the kids.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!


A turkey is a funny bird,
Its head goes wobble, wobble,
All it knows is just one word,
"Gobble, gobble, gobble."

Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends. We are so grateful for all that we have and truly hope that all of you have a very wonderful holiday season.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Watch D.O.G.S.

Today Ron had the privilege of going to Julia's school for a half day to participate in the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dad Of Great Students) program. The school loves involving the dads and having them help out at the school. Ron helped with students being dropped off, out at recess and in different classes throughout the school. He had a great time and can't wait until he's able to help out again in the spring. Julia was so proud to have her Dad there with her!!

School Pictures

When school first started I thought there was no way I'd buy school pictures. They are always so generic and don't really turn out all the great. As the time got closer I started thinking about how much fun it is to go back through my school pictures and get a good laugh. Most of them are horrific and why they waited to take our pictures until after recess is beyond me. I remember my mom spending extra time on my hair when I was younger, probably only to be disappointed that I had messed it up before pictures. Anywho, I made the decision that I would purchase only one sheet of school be used solely for entertainment purposes in years to come. Matt missed his school pictures, so there's no blackmail material for him this year.

Julia's picture actually turned out pretty cute...she doesn't have the fake 5 year old smile. However, her teacher thought it would be a good idea to take a wet comb and make sure the top of her hair was in place. Well thanks for nothing because now it just looks greasy! ha ha

Now I'm not sure what happened with must have been a rough morning for him because he looks half asleep! According to his teachers, Tanner was pretty freaked out by the photographer. The man is VERY loud and quite flamboyant and Tanner was having no part of that!! I guess it took a little while to even get this much of a smile out of him. ha ha

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bond....Matt Bond

Tonight I took Matt up to Kiddie Kandids to take some pictures of him with his viola. He looked so handsome dressed up in his tuxedo. Once he got his giggles out he was able to relax and took some really nice pictures! He asked me if he could design his own "background" after we took the serious pictures. And being the cool step-mom I am, I said of course. I am now re-thinking my you'll see in picture #4. LOL!

Handsome guy...

The viola man...

This is my favorite picture of him...

Don't ask...

Where a kid can be a kid!

Today I picked up Julia at school and then headed to pick up Tanner from preschool. This ride from school to school is always an amusing one because it never fails that Julia comes up with something to say...quite honestly the talking never stops. Such was the case today. We drove by a construction site where they are building a new Chuck E. Cheese. This new facility is entirely too close to our home (in my opinion) and I dread the day that it is complete. Julia is fully aware of what is being built and as we drove by, this is the conversation that took place:

Julia: "Mom, is the Chuck E. Cheese almost done?"

Me: "Nope, not quite, they are just starting to put up the walls."

Julia: "Well hopefully it's done soon because it would be the perfect place for
our family to go."

Me: "Why is that Juju?"

Julia: "Because it's the place where moms and dads can relax and kids can play!"

Perhaps it's time to turn off the tv for awhile. This girl picks up on everything!! Julia never fails to surprise me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Fun

On Halloween we had our friends Nanci, Shane, Heather and their kids over for a Halloween dinner. After we all scarfed down some grub, it was off to trick-or-treat. We hit a couple of good neighborhoods and had a great time. The kids definitely got loaded up on candy! In one neighborhood someone set up a mini haunted house. Julia and Karli ran off from everyone else and headed toward the house. A few minutes later I hear Julia crying really hard and thought for sure she had biffed it. It was one of those cries that something is really wrong. Turns out she was just scared by the "dead people" at the haunted house. She frantically looked around and said "where's Karli?!?" I said "maybe they got her!" to which Julia responded "OH NO!" followed by more tears. I am such a mean mom, but I got a good chuckle out of the incident because I don't know how many times I told Julia that night to stay with the group and not take off on her own. Needless to say she stuck pretty close to us the rest of the night. :) After trick-or-treating we drove out to Otis Orchards, where Heather grew up. There is a family out there that carves a TON of pumpkins every year. It was AMAZING! The detail of these pumpkins were incredible! They had everything from religious carvings, to dragons, to celebrities, to cartoons. It was awesome. I wish I would have taken my camera out there! We all had a great night and we're so lucky to have such great friends to spend time with!

Setting up for our dinner....silly me, I didn't take any pics with people sitting at the table! Good grief.

Here are some pictures I took up at Kiddie Kandids. We took Matt's pictures first...he wanted to get out of there and go cruise the mall. LOL! Gotta love those teenagers!

All the kiddos...

Our favorite jailbird...

Our little witch...

Our little giraffe...

Olivia would not cooperate for a picture in her costume...she was the cutest ladybug ever! This picture turned out pretty cute....our little "treat". :)

And finally, some pictures of the 3 youngest kids in their halloween shirts...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Only at Walmart...

I know that this post may come across as fiction, especially to those who know me, but please be assured I am not bored enough to come up with a story like this.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Nanci asking me to print off a school paper for her son and take it down to her parent's house where her son was staying (Nanci is out of town for a couple of days). I had not showered, or even changed my clothes from what I slept in (sad I know). The night before had been a little difficult and I cried more than a few tears...I just needed a good cry I guess. Sadly for me, when I cry my face is horrific. My skin gets all blotchy and my eyes get all red and's really quite disgusting. Although it was almost 24 hours later, my face was still red and gross. I figured I was just dropping off a paper, so I made no efforts to improve my appearance. Once I was out of the house with no kids in tow, I thought maybe I would run to Walmart to pick up a few items for our Halloween dinner. I literally went back and forth on whether or not to go because I looked so disgusting. I finally convinced myself to was 8:30 at night, surely I wouldn't see anyone I know and I would just be in and out...real quick.

When I am slobbed out I make it a point not to make eye contact with people in the store. I guess it's just a quirk I have, but when I'm looking so disgusting I don't have the confidence to be myself. So I'm minding my own business, getting the things I needed. I'm walking up and aisle and I see a tall man walking towards me. He obviously saw me look at him then right back down at my shopping list. I didn't want to be rude so as I got a few feet from him I looked up, smiled and looked right back down again. He stopped and said "what's up baby girl?" What? Did that really just happen? I manage to get a quick "hi" out and continue walking. At this point I feel a little sick to my I had done something wrong. I know that's silly, but he totally took me off guard! So I blow it off and continue getting my items. I see him occasionally up and down the aisles and am trying to avoid him at all costs. I end up turning the corner off an aisle and turned right back around because he was standing right there. I played it off like I had forgotton something in that aisle and ended up buying a box of crackers I did not need. One of the last items I needed to get was minced onion. I don't buy spices on a regular basis, so I'm pretty handicapped in that aisle. It took me a few minutes to scan over the hundreds of spice jars to find the one I needed. It took a few minutes too long because it gave time for my Walmart friend to sneak up behind me. I'm standing there scanning the shelves when he comes right up behind me, puts his hand on my tush and leans in real close. He asks "hey girl, what are you doing after you're done shopping?" I am frozen. I don't know what to say or how to react. I pulled it together, turned around and said "going home to my family." I backed away from him as he said "girl, don't play me like that, you aint wearing no ring." At this point I'm pretty amused. This guy must be blind or VERY lonely to be hitting on me! I chuckled and said "listen, I'm flattered but I really am happily married." It was then that he backed off and I'm assuming moved on to his next victim.

I hurried and got the heck out of the store. When I got home I told Ron about what happened and I'm not quite sure that he believes me. Like I said, I have better things to do then sit here and make up a story like this. It happened. I don't ever want it to happen again. *shudder*

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Phantom of the Opera

On October 23rd Ron and I went out on a date, which was LONG overdue. I had wanted to see Phantom of the Opera soooooo bad but assumed Ron would not be interested, so I didn't mention anything to him about it. He called me from work earlier that week and asked if I would want to go. What?!? Are you serious?!? I was soooo excited. I arranged for my mom to watch the kids and he went and got the tickets. We were so excited when Thursday night came and we headed downtown. We first had dinner at the Sawtooth Grill and then walked a few blocks to the opera house.

We took our seats and got ready for the show. Of course I would forget my glasses on such an exciting night, so I spent a lot of time squinting to see better. Turns out I didn't need to squint that much, I could have sat with my eyes closed and just taken in the music. It was incredible!! Ron and I both had an amazing experience and were captivated during the entire show. It was so wonderful! (Given the chance, there may be a possibility of leaving Ron for the Phantom...LOL!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Carvin' it up!

It's that time of year for the pumpkins to come out. We didn't have much planned this week so we decided to take a couple of nights and carve pumpkins. The kids were so excited until we started gutting the pumpkins. They were so grossed out by the slime and "spider web strings". It was a lot of fun. Ron and I stuck to the patterns while Matt decided to freehand his because "using the pattern is cheating". Ha ha. It cracked us up. Of course we let him do what he wanted, but in the end we were reassured that we made the right decision in using the patterns. Ha ha ha.

Ron and Tanner gutting the pumpkin...

Step away from the carving doo-hickey...I repeat, step away from the carving doo-hickey!

Ewwwwww....pumpkin guts!

Tanner and Mom with their finished product...

Matt with his partially finished product and Ron with his finished product...