Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas morning we accidentally slept in so long that we almost didn't have time to eat a big breakfast, open our presents and get ready to be at Gram's at noon.  But we made it just fine. PD fried up the bacon in the microwave while I mixed the pancakes.  Some favorite gifts this year were:

a baby doll for PK2 and clothes for the new American Girl for PK1:

All year I bought dress up clothes when I saw them on sale or at a thrift store because dress up clothes are probably the most played with toy at our house.  Isn't this darling??

Tea Set and soft blankets:

This butter keeper for me..(I want points for putting this terrible picture of myself on here).  I have wanted this for years and PD got me one.  It allows you to keep the butter on the kitchen counter so it stays soft and spreadable.  I want to get us completely off margarine this year.

Milton Friedman shirt for my Deputy Policy Director Economist Husband:

And we did make it to Gram's in time..this is Papa's new nativity.  He has the BEST Christmas decorations:

We had two days of celebrations at Gram and Papa's.  It was wonderful.  Papa got me an electric sander!  That was my favorite gift this year because it was a complete surprise and because he said he got it for me because he saw how hard I worked on our window project this year.  I have never had my own power tool was the perfect gift!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve I had a mini panic attack about all that had to be accomplished in the next three days, but then I remembered that I was the mom and had to keep it together for everyone else.  Deep breaths, cook, clean, pack, be a nice mommy.  Step One ask kids to draw the nativity scene:

I read about this idea.  It is hilarious because you are supposed to have your kids draw it every year and see how it develops each year.  PK1 got so into it we had to use three papers.  PK2 got upset that it didn't look the way she thought it should and threw it on the floor and put her head down.  Here is PK1's:

 I like the wise men.  PD likes the look on the faces of the shepherds.  Then we made cookies. (excuse the wet heads..they had had baths for Christmas Eve service.)

This is the only Christmas baking I did this year.  That seems awful, but the older I get the more I figure, go with your strengths.  And I don't love baking.  In fact, I kept e-mailing PD all day with excited announcements like. "we cut out the cookies and I didn't lose it"  or "they got sprinkles on the floor and I didn't cry or yell."  But Ben's dad said the frosting was good and the girls had a good time so it was a success!  

We had these wonderful people over on Christmas Eve:

 I made these appetizers.  I was so excited about them.  All ingredients from my favorite Trader Joes:

It looks like this all put together and I served it with two sparkling juices..Pomegranate and Apple.  We also had pork tenderloin with blue cheese and cranberries, mashed potatoes and salad.

Then we went to the grandparents' church for Christmas Eve Service.  It was beautiful as usual.  Tons of carols, accompanied by some really cool acoustic instruments and a time for the kids to come up for a story.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Twas the last Saturday before Christmas...

and this is what it looked like at our house:

We got just a dusting of snow, but since it was the first, we had to make a snowman.

Which of course, had to be followed up by hot chocolate:

This is the grouchy mama who thought we would be getting some pre-Christmas chores/packing/baking and shopping done today. I was cheering myself up by dipping into one of the delicacies I had bought for the holidays.  Prosciutto Ham and cream cheese on crackers.  Oh my goodness. Yum.

PK2 found this shirt and said that she wanted to wear it today because she thought it matched daddy.  She was kind of right:

She also helped daddy fix the toilet paper holder today:

We took the van in for four new tires:

The advent countdown calendar is filling up:

I got a few gifts wrapped.  I think I am more than halfway done:

In the evening we headed out to the Zoo lights with Papa and Gram:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever

The moms and the oldest daughters went for a night of theater last week.  We all really love the book
The Best Christmas Pagent Ever and were so glad to get tickets to go to the play this year:

The girls were perfect young ladies and we had such a nice time:

We LOVE these guys:

Got to meet some of the cast afterwards.  Here they are with Gladys Herdman:

"HEY...Unto you a child is born!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

May God Bless Us...Every One

Our besties were in the most precious production of A Christmas Carol last week.  It was with a little ministry we are part of that is for people in a nursing home and little kids.  Oh my goodness...I would not have enjoyed a Broadway production any more!  The dementia patient bell choir brought a tear to my eye and the custodian as Jacob Marley had us rolling in the aisles.  PK1 whispered to me "They dressed him exactly right!"  We picked up some flowers for them on the way and the girls wore thier new Christmas dresses.  Here they are with my friend, although she is fairly conservative, she does not usually wear head coverings, but she was in the play as well.

Here they are as Cratchet Child and Tiny Tim.

And the whole crew:

Thursday, December 10, 2009


PK1 hosted her first over-night guest in honor of her seventh birthday.  We just had her one bestest friend.  They have been friends since the womb.

The theme, not surprisingly, was American Girl. PD and I made this banner late the night before.  The American Girls are all saying something funny to her or giving her well wishes that coincide with their time period.  (Don't think we didn't come up with a few that we couldn't end up using!)  Anyway, she loved reading it when she woke up in the morning:

At the thrift store store, I cobbled together outfits for the girls to dress up like Josefina (another American Girl):

The favorite gift was her very own American Girl..Rebecca.  I had gone back and forth on whether to buy it for a year, but I am already glad I went for it.  She loves it, plays with it a lot and comes up to me all the time saying she can't believe she has her very own real American Girl.

She also got these cute toys from my mom.  Both were great choices.  She has already made one of the mosaics and the finger lights are the envy of the entire neighborhood. 

The girls watched an American Girl movie and stayed up WAY too late.  I tried not to go all crazy mom and yell at them with bad bed hair that "girls who stay up too late never get to have sleepovers again", but I thought about it! They had pancakes and bacon in the morning and I think the whole thing was a success.

Click here:  First Sleep-Over to read about her sleep-over last year at her friend's house.  It was pretty cute too.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving in Chicago

Thanksgiving in Chicago was incredible!  My sister put on a flawless first Thanksgiving...for 16...3 months a new house.  I think the hardest part for her was putting up with my bossing.  I am not used to not being in charge.  I was so busy bossing helping that I didn't take many pictures of the actual day.  But please enjoy these pictures of us hitting the town.  Friday we went to the Kris Krindle beautiful and the kids got to see Santa.  Saturday we hit Michigan Avenue and the weather, decorations everything was perfect.  My brother-in-law and sister can get us around that city with no trouble.  We were hopping on and off public transportation or finding great parking spots like no body's business.

Untitled from Political family on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cincinnati Cousin Turns Four

Right before Thanksgiving we went to Cincinnati for our favorite little Cincinnati Cousin's birthday.  Isn't it funny how kids love birthday parties?  My girls were so excited for days as we looked forward to it.  Of course PD and I were too, but in a different way.  My girls are crazy for cake.  My goodness..what is it with kids and cake?

Poor little Cincinnati Cousin also had a full leg cast.  He had a stress fracture.  He is so cute and such a good little sport about it though.  If you ask him about his leg he would say, "It huhts." But he would say it rather pleasantly.

The cousins loved playing together:

And he even wanted help blowing out the candles.

He got so many presents.  A lot of it was Thomas the Train stuff.  He loves Thomas and plays with it for hours.  It is so cute how he knows all the names of the characters and everything:

I had to chuckle a little at the Paparazzi!

He is a well adored grandchild on both sides.  He is the only grandchild on his father's side and the only boy on our side.  Who wouldn't adore this kid though?  He is a doll!

Happy Birthday Cincinnati Cousin.  We love you.