Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010.

A few {or twenty} pictures from our Christmas......
Skylar couldn't resist stealing bites of her ginger bread house that Aunt Bekah and Uncle Josh helped her make. Neither could Sabot, which ended the fun.
Part of the sugar buffet: chocolate dipped peanut butter balls {aka buckeyes}, mint chocolate chip meringues, and chocolate covered pretzels....yummy.
Baking cookies with Uncle Josh and his really cool hat.
Uncle Thomas had a really cool trick: he could swing Skylar so high her feet touched the ceiling, which she loved.
Christmas morning included a train set from mommy and daddy and 39 other presents from family. Can we say SPOILED?
The easel from Mimi and Grandpa was a huge hit. She later told me while painting for the tenth time in one day, "I need to be an artist mommy".
She loved her princess dress and crown from Nana and Papa. In the midst of all the unwrapping she turned to me and said "I miss daddy". I thought it was sweet that even in all of her Christmas excitement, she was still aware he was missing, which is exactly the way it should be. Skyping didn't work out, but we got to talk to him twice on the phone.
Christmas chaos.....
One of the Austin family traditions that just won't die {and really needs to} is sucking the juice out of an orange with a peppermint stick at breakfast. This year it actually worked because we had nice soft peppermint sticks. Usually it ends in a headache and a glass of orange juice to quench one's frustrated thirst. Bekah is the reason this tradition continues.....
Skylar thought it was fun too.
One of our outings was a little family bowling. Here is Bekah doing a really cool strike pose {at least she really did get a strike}.
Skylar didn't even wait to see if she knocked any pins over, it was a victory every time.
And here's a picture with the belly and a gutter ball. I would like to blame the gutter ball on the fact that I can't bend at the waist when 6 months pregnant, but the truth is, it would make no difference--I can't bowl either way. Skylar even beat me.
We had the annual Austin Family Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. I think it's in its 4th year. It starts with the playing of the national anthem, a review of the rules, and then things get a little intense....hence the need for a referee for each round to ensure certain people don't cheat {I won't name names}.
Big Tom took Gold, Cheri got Silver, and Marge won Bronze.
Not to be left out, Skylar took a turn on the winners podium. {Please note the sign says "Annal" instead of "Annual"}.
Although we've had no new snow for almost 2 weeks now, we did a couple of rounds of sledding. On our block is a golf course with perfect little hills just the right size for Skylar, and when she gets cold it's a 2 minute walk home.
What a life......
Another day Skylar stayed home with the Grands, and all of us big kids went to a park with real hills. After getting bored with the jump he and Thomas made, Josh discovered a series of stair cases {with caution tape all around them no less} and Thomas, Josh, Nicole and Bekah dodged trees and flew down the stairs a few times. Margaret and I watched the insanity.

Now we are getting back into a normal routine and settling in for a long, cold winter. Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ice Skating.

We have a full house for Christmas this year! We all decided it would be fun to do some ice skating, a popular sport around here. Skylar was so excited to ice skate because she saw Olivia the pig do it on NickJr, and she just knew it was going to be so fun.

As soon as she got on the ice and realized it was slippery and not as easy as she thought it was going to be, she started to cry. Nicole and I were helping her.
Then we tried the sliding walker.......It wasn't going well. So Skylar and Noni got a snack and warmed up.


Josh and Nicole pretended they were figure skaters.....
Getting ready to a trick.......
Or not......

We got tired quickly.
But Skylar came back ready to try again, and she got the hang of it. In fact, we had to pull her away at the end. She made four loops and wanted to keep going. She's been asking to go back ever since.

Afterwards we grabbed some lunch and warmed up by a fire. My parents have turned into a matching couple.....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dining room re-do.

The dining room is mostly finished (I still have a few finishing touches in my head). I am happy to report the paint was dry and curtains hung a few hours before our first Christmas guests arrived on Sunday.

I love the color and I'm glad I went for it. It makes me happy.

The ribbons on the curtains are a quick fix. I'm going to make sashes, but I haven't found a contrasting fabric I like. Not to mention it's a time consuming job. In the meantime, I just looped the ribbon over the top in one big piece and tied a bow at the bottom.

Time for the next project....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Date night.

I have a hot date tonight with my paint brush. And another one tomorrow night with my sewing machine. It's going to be a double header weekend.

Skylar went to bed at 6:30 this evening. It's been a busy week. We've had an event requiring me to bring food every single day this week, if not twice a day. I briefly thought about taking advantage of the quiet time and curling up with a movie and ice cream (which is exactly why there is no ice cream in the house, thank goodness they don't deliver, although that would be a really good idea....anybody?) Or even practicing good time management and folding laundry or wrapping presents or cleaning the house.

Instead I'm going to do something way more fun.

I'm finally doing the dining room. Here's the before. Hopefully within 48 hours I'll have an after.

I've had a vision in my head since June when I found some yellow and grey damask fabric for the dining room curtains (I'm obsessed with damask. It's okay if you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm a dork). I've just been waiting it out, hoping the urge would pass. Hoping I would decide there was no point in painting a room that's already a very nice color. A color that I like, but I don't love.

I decided I need to love it.

Pictures soon to follow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The tiny tree.

I love going to stores this time of year. Skylar and I just roam up and down the Christmas aisles looking at all the fun things. She is drawn to all things sparkly, so everything is especially pretty to her. Except the Nutcrackers. They are terrifying. (I may have pretended to bite her finger with one).

I told her she could pick out her own little Christmas tree at Target and she went straight for the purple one. (Why do they even sell purple Christmas trees??? This isn't Manhattan, Kansas.) I steered her towards the white one. She was just excited to have a tree, so she didn't really care. (And I guess technically I didn't really let her pick it out, did I? I feel a little guilty now.)

Then she picked out her ornaments and a string of lights from the dollar spot, and chattered excitedly nonstop until we got home to decorate it.

She dumped all of her little ornaments into a container so they wouldn't roll away, and after hanging up three of them got kind of bored and said it was "my job".
And she's been un-decorating it ever since. I find those tiny balls all over the house. But that's okay. It's still the coolest night light ever. We might just keep it up all year round.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas greetings from us to you. Or not.

So I am really trying to get Christmas cards out this year. Our attempts at family pictures before Micah left didn't turn out very well. Plan B was to have Micah hold up a "Merry" sign and Skylar and I take a picture with a "Christmas" sign and put them together on a card.

Micah got his half done without a problem.....

Skylar and I aren't fairing so well. We were all dressed up from church, so after getting the tripod set up, we had a photo shoot. In the first set of 10 pictures she is doing the scary smile....

Then she grabbed a nativity set while I was resetting the camera, and my attempts at hiding it behind the sign were futile....

Not working......
I even bribed her to keep going by letting her open a Christmas present somewhere around picture 40. And finally frustration set in as I realized it just wasn't going to happen. (She's obviously enjoying the fact that she's frustrating me).

Out of 50 pictures those were the best of the bunch. So maybe there won't be a Christmas card this year. I'm running out of time and not feeling very motivated to dress us both up again. I had to tackle her and pin her down screaming to get those pigtails in. It was exhausting.

Merry Christmas everyone. Consider yourself greeted.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Glow sticks.

Kristy and Andy recently went to Vegas and sent us back a little piece of the action in the form of glow sticks. Skylar of course loved them, especially in the dark.

She even took them into the bath with her, which ended up being really fun. So if you see some in the store, keep this idea in mind for a snowy day. It made for a nice long bath time. Most days Skylar doesn't take a nap and the days get a little long for me, so I'm always looking for ways to kill an hour, especially in the evenings. Glow sticks did the trick.

Thanks Kristy and Andy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It has begun.

This is the inevitable "Oh my gosh we have a ton of snow" post.

I promise I won't do this every week. I mean, duh, I live in Antarctica, of course there's a lot of snow. But seriously, I didn't know that snow like this existed. I knew that the average snowfall is 220 inches a year, but until you experience it you just don't get it. This is not like Colorado snow.

And it pretty much snows everyday, just like it rains the rest of the year. Amazing.

I'm actually really loving it for several reasons:

-It's beautiful and feels all festive and Christmasy.

-It's only December, so the novelty hasn't worn off yet.

-My cars are in the garage and I don't have to worry about clearing one off several times a day to drive.

-I hired a snow removal service that takes care of all the hard work, so there is no stress involved for me whatsoever. (No calories burned either....)

Since the temperature tops out in the 20's and it's rarely sunny, the snow doesn't melt and I can't even fathom what things will look like come February. People say it just continues to accumulate. Will there be tunnels connecting the houses?

The top of our lantern blew off and now it looks like this. As curious as I am to turn it on and see how it looks, I'm thinking that a light bulb underwater is probably a bad idea.

I'm not doing a lot by way of outdoor Christmas decorations this year. I stuck two 3 ft pre-lit trees in two big pots on the front porch, and bought a wreath from the neighborhood private school fundraiser. (I swear, they have a fundraiser every week. Not that I mind buying their chocolate bars...)

An electric candle in each window, and that's as good as it's going to get this year. My plans to put a wreath in every window fell by the wayside. I was also going to line the walkway with lights like I usually do, but they would just be buried under snow. (Please excuse the blurry picture--I just ran outside and took it in my pajamas and it's 16 degrees. Obviously I'm not dragging a tripod out there for a steady shot).

It's interesting that people around here don't put up many lights for Christmas. At first I thought they were all Scrooges on my street, then it occurred to me they might know something I don't know about the upcoming electric bill. Heating these old houses is no joke. But ignorance is bliss until next month. (I swear I just heard Micah groan from 7,000 miles away).


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