Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Party

Claire had her Christmas party Thursday afternoon. Landon came to help. It was a Polar Express theme, so the kiddos wore their PJ's, had tickets to get into the room for the party, and had donuts and hot chocolate for their snack! They also played snowman bowling (provided my this room mom!), musical train (chairs), and did a cute train craft. Very cute!! That evening we went to a family friend's house and had dinner and, unexpectedly (haha), Santa showed up!!! The kids were confused, and then excited to sit on Santa's lap and get a little private time to talk and giggle with the big man himself. Claire was willing to sit with Santa this time, and all in all, there seemed no concerns. We teased the 4-year-old of the house that he had "connections"!
As I write this, my children are in Claire's bed having "breakfast in bed". My wonderful husband was up early and ran to Krispy Kreme for a morning sugar high. They are giggling and begging for more...so I better go before someone starts rioting!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


It's been awhile, I apologize! I've not been feeling well, and therefore have only been prioritizing. What have we been up to? Well, Sunday afternoon, in the midst of feeling terrible, Claire and I went to see the Nutcracker with two other mother-daughter pairs. We had a great time, it was a beautiful production, and actually made me feel a little better! Monday, Claire took a day off school. She said she wasn't feeling well, and was super tired, so we just went with it. We laid around all day and took it easy. Tuesday was back to the grind, although the last late night with dance class until next year!!! Wednesday was just a regular day, which brings us to today. Claire's school party is today, and we have a dinner tonight. It's a good thing my stomach is finally starting to cooperate this morning! I have several things to blog, including carols by a 3 year old and then the joy of KG parties. Looking forward to it!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Griswold is BACK!

Today I finally finished my master piece. I have many of the lights up since Thanksgiving, but the rest just got here last night and today we installed. Needless to say I can here the meter spinning on the side of the house! The kids love the 7ft Snowman in the front and Landon looks forward to dark everynight to watch him inflate. Now let's just hope I dont blow a breaker!
Merry Christmas!

Breakfast with Santa

Our church hosted a breakfast with Santa this morning. Landon did not want to go, but Claire was up and ready this morning. Funny how things change...when we got there, Landon went right up to Santa and shook his hand. Claire hid under the table (no joke). They did finally both go up and sit on his lap, but only Landon would talk to him. He told Santa he wanted a new train to go underneath the Christmas tree that's "full of juice" (the one we inherited from Geoff's parents lost it's "juice" this year and won't go). Claire wouldn't even look Santa in the face. Surprising considering she generally doesn't know a stranger! Today we have also baked cookies for our cookie decorating party and are currently making a shrinky dink Christmas tree. Now that's a blast from the past! What a holiday Saturday to remember.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crazy week

So besides Landon's birthday, we've had lots of other things happening this week that are quite interesting. First off, Landon has his 3-year-checkup at the Dr. Okay, I know what your thinking..."He's been to plenty, don't need to hear about this on the blog". This one was different. Landon did NOT want to go. I bribed him with a tractor just to get into the truck! Once we got there, he seemed fine. Then the nurse called his name. He turned around in his chair and held on to it screaming "I'm not going to the doctor"! I am not even kidding! It only got worse; Landon wouldn't be weighed, have his temp taken, let the doctor look in his nose and mouth...pretty much nothing could be done. He screamed and cried the whole time! I was mortified, and completely relieved when we left. Maybe his trip to the allergist has tainted him forever!

On a sweeter note, Claire was quite a chef Tuesday evening after dance class and offered to make dinner for us (excluding Daddy, who was out of town). We leave at 4 and get home around 7, so Tues. dinner is usually in the crock pot or something from the microwave. Claire made PB sandwiches, bananas, carrots and celery and, of course, cheetos. She got out paper plates and filled them with her creations for each of us; she even filled glasses with water! I was proud of her, but probably not as proud as she was of herself! It was a fun dinner for us all.

Thursday I went up to the school to do sight word testing in Claire's classroom. This was so fun as it reminded me of my old days working in the schools. I guess I've been at school alot, because all but a couple kids recognized me as "Claire's mom" and enjoying showing off their reading skills for me. I am impressed by the level of advancement these 5-year-olds are at...amazed too. Claire and about 4 others in her class have mastered every list so far this year, and most of the others are not too far behind.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Landon!

My little man...rough and tumble, sweet and kind, loving and silly, all boy, but yet still momma's baby, turns the big 3 today. Although he'll tell you he already is 3 (he turned 3 at his birthday party), we discussed that this is the day he was born. He listened to me tell the story, my eyes glistening with memories. He asked a couple questions: What was I wearing? Did someone bring me a truck? Where's the party?; then moved on to playing without much ado. It seems like only yesterday I was living those memories, and extending our family +1. Now he's a big boy, with his own agenda. Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

The Kiddos Performance

Both kids participated in the Christmas program at our church this last weekend (see video). They both did really well, considering some of the obstacles that beheld them! At the rehearsal, Claire refused to say her speaking lines, and by the the afternoon of the performance had negotiated with the director for her to stand on stage and sing as long as the director said Claire's lines for her! This is what happened and Claire sang and smiled beautifully. Landon was a lamb. He had to wear large lamb ears. 'Nuf said. Landon stood up there the whole time, and although he played with his ears diligently, he didn't take them off! I think blankie helped with this situation! Anyway, it turned out cute and was a relief to be done!

Claire & Landon's Church Christmas Program

Monday, December 8, 2008

Landon's Special Day

Landon doesn't turn three until tomorrow, but Saturday was his special day! Landon and Daddy went to the fire station first thing Saturday morning, (see Right up their Alley). They came home, ate a little lunch, and then the whole family went to Gymboree Play and Music to celebrate with some of Landon's friends. The kids played and ran around, then a teacher stepped in to round up the chaos and sing songs, do a parade, go down the "birthday slide", play parachute and much more. The children all enjoyed a train cookie cake, with Wow Wow Wubbzy driving, before heading on their way. Landon had so much fun...and Mommy was amazed at how well he played with everyone who attended. The only thing he asked for was not to have everyone sing happy birthday to him, he just blew out his candles and that was it!
(see the video for highlights of both)

The day was not over, however. We left from the party to go immediately to church for the Christmas program rehearsal. This was a little much for two tired kids, and Landon was asleep before we made it home. He slept until it was time to go to the Symons' house to celebrate Thanksgiving. We had to rearrange these plans from the week before, but it was just as enjoyable as doing it during Thanksgiving week. We celebrated Scott and Landon's birthdays while there, and had fun watching them both open their presents. A busy day, but so much fun!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Landon's Birthday

Right up their alley

Claire's KG class made gingerbread houses Friday at school. Perfect for Claire's fetish for sweets. Parents were allowed to come in and help and it was so much to watch these kiddos "express" their creative side with candy and frosting! They actually did not eat as much as most of the moms thought they might; I guess because they were so busy making the house! However, since the house came home, Claire has been sneaking pieces off to eat!

Daddy took Landon to the fire station Saturday morning. Perfect for Landon's fetish for fire trucks. Geoff said Landon was quiet and shy, but listened intently to everything the firefighter giving the tour said. It was cool because Landon and Geoff were the only one's there, so he got special treatment (Geoff arranged this). Landon was able to sit in the truck, turn on the light and try on a hat for size. The smiles in the pictures tell me even if he wasn't running around like his normal self, he was certainly enjoying every minute!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

I'm finally feeling the Christmas spirit...it took way longer than usual this year. I think some of the extenuating circumstances that have happened to my family may have something to do with it. But maybe more than that; I just feel too busy to stop and enjoy the season. Finally today I made myself do it. I stopped and remembered what Christmas is all about. My children mostly tuned me in to this. It's not about me feeling rushed to get up the decorations, or about the few people left on my gift-buying list that I have no idea what to get, or the fact that we have things going on constantly in our lives relating to Christmas. It's about my children's faces when I do get the decorations up, Claire actually enjoying buying things for the children on the angel tree, Landon understanding the food drive at his school, and enjoying the family time that we do have together. I know I'm getting mushy, but sometimes that's what it takes to make the Christmas spirit arrive in your heart. It's there now, that illusive spring in my step, the smile on my face and the joy in my body that says "Merry Christmas". I hope everyone reading this has found that place too, and if you haven't gotten there yet, my wish is that you feel it soon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What we did today...

This was just an usual day, with the usual things: school, Gymboree, homework. But we did some other fun stuff that was too cute not to blog! First thing this morning, I put up my new Uppercase Living sets on the wall. I got two different ones, but the one over our bed is my favorite! Second, the kids made our annual gingerbread masterpiece. We had fun being creative this year, and not having to do it "by the directions" (Claire), which means just like the box. Lots of giggling and sugar later, well, you can see for yourself! Lastly, the kids are working on their letters to Santa. There's been a lot of talk, but not much action. So this evening, I pulled out all of the toy catalogs I've received (which is about a forest full) and let them start circling. They were so funny, sitting on the couch, telling each other if that was good or not, showing each other toys they thought the other might like and circling like mad! This went on for about 20 minutes...no kidding! The letters are still not written, because mean Mommy said they probably should cut the list down from around 30 toys to about 5. There was an uprising and nothing else done about it! Good times on just a regular day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Trip

What a whirlwind! We left for Kansas right after Claire was out of school on the Friday before Thanksgiving. We went to Gram and Poppy's, where we celebrated Thanksgiving Saturday. Uncle Frank fried turkey, and we ate all the fixings with Unkie and Staci, too. Unkie even made apple pie! We also celebrated Landon's birthday, with birthday pie and opening presents. We spent the next couple of days visiting Grandma Svitak, riding Barney, making cookies, riding Barney some more and playing with Landon's new toys.
Tuesday morning we left for Wichita, where Lucy was waiting at Nana and Papa's ready to play! The kiddos played all afternoon, and we celebrated Landon's birthday with Ling and Hoopy that evening. More presents and a yummy firetruck cookie later, the kids were off to sleep. However, that evening I received sad news. My Grandma Svitak had passed away that evening. Wednesday morning, we played at Lucy's house in their new basement and ate cinnamon rolls. We were headed back to Bentonville Wednesday afternoon, but instead made the trek back to Gram and Poppy's where Geoff met us Thursday. Thursday was spent cutting fresh greens for Gram's front porch, while Geoff and Frank made a run to Walmart for lights. By 10:00 Thursday night, Gram and Poppy's house was decked for the holidays. Friday and Saturday were spent with family, celebrating a life and mourning a death. Saturday evening we went back to Wichita for a little down time with the Hoopers. Sunday morning we ate breakfast at McDonalds before heading back to Bentonville. Other notes about the holiday: The turkey was good, even several days later! Landon had some kind of stomach bug pretty much the whole time we were gone. Claire enjoys climbing trees and figured out how to "steer" Barney. Cousins make some of the best playmates! McDonald's breakfast is better than I remember. It snowed pretty much the whole drive home Sunday. I hope everyone had a safe and memorable holiday, and Merry Christmas, for the season has begun!