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New Year's Resolutions

 Thursday, December 31, 2009

It is that time of year again to think about resolutions.  My oh my!

[Here were my resolutions for 2009:  Hobbies I would love to take up such as sewing, quilting, photography, baking, and scrap booking. All the while, having a bigger vegetable garden (and starting from seeds this year), canning, getting ready for the new baby, and completely organizing our house.  I didn't do so great.  I am ready for a fresh start.]

For the record, we did start most of our garden from seeds.  I attempted quilting.  I did some scrap booking.  I somewhat organized the (old) house.  And I did manage to keep up with the blog....150 posts, just to be exact.

Here are my excuses (in no particular order):
Moving.  Selling a house.  Buying a house.  Living in a hotel for months.  Connor.  Dylan.  Chris working/going to school.  Having a baby. 

This year I resolve to...

*Take my camera off the auto setting.  I am truly terrified of the manual setting, but I am determined!  (If anybody has any good tips, lessons, advice, etc. for doing so, I am all ears.) 

**Chris' New Year's Resolution is to brew his own beer.  Or at least that is my resolution for him.  (If anybody has any great words of wisdom for this hobby, I am certain he is willing to listen.)

***Our family resolution is to set a budget & stick to it, which means no frivolous spending, which in return means very little Starbucks.*** 

Along with the resolutions, I have several goals...much like the previous years:
Canning, making food from scratch, trying new recipes, becoming organized, reading more books, having a clean house, doing some home renovations, working out, and gardening.  

We had a wonderful 2009, which lots of fun and excitement and we are thrilled to see what 2010 has in store for us.  I am sure both Connor & Dylan have lots of wonderful plans to excite and entertain us in the next year.

I will continue to keep you updated with photos (hopefully better), funny stories, crafting projects, and just the randomness that is our family.  Oh and of course, I will share with you my love for food.

Happy New Year from our family to yours!  May 2010 bring you love, joy, and happiness!


Our baby Dylan is 9 months old!

 Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our sweet little baby Dylan is not quite a little baby anymore.  He is 9 months old already!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DYLAN!  Dylan still loves to cuddle, enjoys playing with big brother, and will steal the hearts of many girls in the future.  He makes friends with anyone and everyone as long as he can make eye contact with them.  He is such a happy little boy.  He makes us smile and brings us great joy. 

Dylan has been crawling for a couple of months already and is loving standing even more now and practicing/testing his balance.  It still needs work.  He enjoys walking with his push cart and is so proud when he doesn't topple over.  But when he does, he usually just smiles and gets right back up.  His favorite rooms in the house tend to be the bathrooms.  Not sure why he enjoys the cold tile floors, but that is where he crawls off too.  Maybe he thinks if he stays in there long enough he will get a bath.  He loves to splash around in the bath with Connor.  He thinks it is hilarious to empty out anything and everything from laundry baskets to my purse to Kleenex boxes to bins of books.  He has 3 teeth and seems like more to come soon.  He is not the best teether, he is rather cranky and wants (and gets) extra cuddles and to eat more.  His giggle is contagious. 

About a week ago, we went to Nordstrom and got Dylan his very own (first) pair of shoes.  (Which means  they weren't preiously worn by Connor).  He likes wearing on as well as chewing on them.  They are so cute and he tends to keep them on, which is pretty amazing.  Happy Birthday Dylan!  We love you very much!

Dylan loves his avocado...




Dylan can be so serious...

With Mama hanging on tightly to that necklace...



 Friday, December 25, 2009

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!    We are thankful for two sweet & adorable little boys who are happy & healthy, we could not ask for anymore.

Although we don't normally spend Christmas with family, it is still difficult to not spend it with them.  But we do cherish all the traditions we have started with our own family and the time we get to spend together.  We miss all our family that is far away and we are thinking about you.  And we miss all our wonderful friends whom have become our family over the years.  We love you all very much!

We will be enjoying a nice & relaxing day with the boys and enjoying our first Christmas in our new home. We are looking forward to our Prime Rib dinner and some delicious pumpkin pie.

Merry Christmas Y'All

Texas folks are all about Texas.  By next year this time, I am sure we will fit right in.  



 Thursday, December 24, 2009

And I have proof!  And there it even the tiniest bit of accumulation.  We are all thrilled.  Well, mostly me.  But the boys pretend to be excited for my sake. 





When there is snow, I run outside and take pictures.  It is such a rare occasion that it snows here in Texas for Christmas.  It feels magical now.  What a wonderful Christmas present.

The boys exchanged presents with eachother tonight and they both had fun unwrapping the gifts.  They are sure to have a blast tomorrow.  I can't wait to see their little faces light up.


Merry Christmas Eve!

I started the morning very early since a certain little boy wanted to play instead of sleep (we won't name any names, but this certain little boy has a gummy smile that I just can't say no to).  So, what to do at 4:30am on Christmas Eve?  Well, bake some cinnamon rolls, of course!  So, I started baking, 9 cups of flour, a few sticks of butter, lots of sugar, a little cinnamon and it was heaven.  And I hadn't even baked them yet.  I couldn't keep Chris & Connor out of the was divine.  And the baked ones were heaven....literally...there are no words for how incredibly delicious these little bits of heaven are.  I won't even tell you how many I have eaten, but thankfully the recipe made about 5 pans of them.  Oh my!  They should last through Christmas day :)  Connor enjoyed helping...and eating.  Well, mostly eating.....





Yes, this is true, we did allow (or rather, encourage) Connor to eat lots of cinnamon roll dough coated in flour and sugar all before 8am.  But it is only Christmas Eve once a year, right?  And I will probably only make these cinnamon rolls every month (maybe every week) for the rest of my life, right?

And here is Dylan just plain being cute...






And Santa's Elves made a special visit last night to bring a little treat for two adorable little boys...


Connor & Dylan were thrilled with the new drawing pads, markers, and crayons they each got.  How exciting!

Crazy weather update:  last night it was about 80 degrees, this morning it is a cool 38 degrees with rain and the temperature dropping and snow in the forecast for this afternoon.  Along with a wind advisory and winter weather advisory.  A low of 23 degrees tonight.  We *might* just have a White Christmas after all.  Fingers crossed.

***Most importantly the scrumptious Cinnamon Roll Recipe came from my new favorite cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  The recipe is not online, so sorry you either have to buy the cookbook (you will not be disappointed) or bribe me to make them for you.  (I like chocolate a lot.  And margaritas too.)


Oh What Fun!

 Saturday, December 19, 2009

We have been up to a whole lot of nothing lately!  And this is pretty obvious....

Boys playing in a plastic container with many stuffed animals.

And more container fun...oh my!  You would think we have NO toys or something.

Again.  Seriously.  What entertainment these boys find..  Connor wearing MY boots, but he does call them 'cowboy' boots. Since we moved to Texas, he has been asking for his own cowboy boots.  And for the record, so have I.   Maybe.  Someday.  Soon.  All 4 of us will have some.  Just maybe.

And they clean when we have no toys around.  Ha!  I wish.

Dylan BEGGING for a little piece of Connor's cookie.  For what it is worth, Connor did finally share.  I mean, who could really actually honestly say 'no' to that cute innocent face?!?  I didn't think so.

We have had some 'chilly' days, so Connor has called them "Hot Cocoa" kind of days.  So, we make hot cocoa.  But it wouldn't be the best hot cocoa without some 'snowman poop'.  *AKA  marshmellows*  I have learned that with having boys, everything is about poop...reindeer poop, dino poop, snowman poop, and the list can go on and on and on.  I am sure you will hear about more 'poop' in the near future.

Connor loves to help make the hot cocoa.  It is the best in the blender.  YUM!  And the day after this, we were making fresh squeezed lemonade because it was 74 degrees outside.  And then we were back to hot cocoa.  Gotta love this crazy Dallas weather. 

And the little man was sick (still getting over it).  So, this is 'sick' Dylan.  Still happy as can be, just cuddly, red-cheeked, looks a little like Rudolph, but hanging in there.  And if you look closely, you can see his little tooth on the bottom.  And he has a second that has just barely popped through on the top.

Dylan loves to draw just like BIG Brother.  They have fun.

This is Connor's self portrait.  He is becoming quite the little artist.  He even drew himself some eyebrows.  I wasn't even aware he knew what eyebrows were.  Impressive.  (Sorry about having to turn your head to see this-blogger does have its flaws, but it is free, so I am not complaining.  Well, I am only complaining to Chris.)

And this was supposed to be a picture of  "Daddy" with a big head.  And Connor standing next to him, I believe.  And Connor did acknowledge he forgot to draw arms, just for the record. 



 Friday, December 11, 2009

After having Grandpa & Grandma here for a little over 3 weeks, it is now apparent just how spoiled we ALL were.  Yesterday after taking them to the airport, Connor let me know that we "Forgot Starbucks" since we didn't go there and we had left the house.  Then proceeded to say, "Oh, poor Connor, no Starbucks, no naked juice (his fruit smoothie juice he gets from Starbucks), no apple juice, no chocolate milk, oh poor Connor".  Oh my.  Sounds like a poor spoiled little boy, doesn't it?!?  Too funny.

However, after getting the boys to bed, I was saying the same thing, "Oh, poor Mama".  .  I had to do the dishes, clean the kitchen, and pick up the toys.  And take the trash out too.  Boy oh boy, was I (and Chris too) spoiled when they were here.  I think I maybe washed a total of 2 dishes (probably a coffee mug and a spoon).  They swept daily, vacumed every other day, washed all the windows, painted, mended/sewed, ironed, built stuff, put up curtains and curtain rods, fixed the blinds, organized the garage, made breakfast/lunch/dinner on occasion, did the laundry, and did I mention the dishes?!?  Oh, and all the Starbucks?  And the donuts.  And the cookies too.  And the dinners out.  We were well fed!

And the baby-sitting.  Wow, was it ever nice to be able to run to Costco, Lowes, Target, etc. without having to take the kiddos out.  So nice.  Oh and the playing...they were constantly playing with the boys...building stuff, dinos, cars, reading, drawing, etc.  Which is sure to make my life miserable for the next week or so.  But the boys could not have been happier-they loved all the extra attention.

We were so happy they were able to come and visit for such a long time.  After all, it was in the 70's when they got here and in the 20's when they left,  You would think they stayed for 6 months!

Here are some pictures from the fun we had...

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  We had a wonderful time!


Sweet Dreams!

 Saturday, December 5, 2009

Only one thing is better than a sleeping little boy....

TWO sleeping little boys!!!

Yes, now two sleeping boys is the very best!  They are both so sweet, cute, adorable, funny...and full of energy. They are both sleeping well in their own rooms.  Amazing!  Dylan is enjoying his new (non-pink) room and Connor is loving his "Dino Room" (as he calls it) with his new comfy queen-size bed.    Unfortunately, we haven't put any pictures or anything up on the wall in their rooms yet, but they don't seem to mind.


It snowed...

 Thursday, December 3, 2009

So we made a snowman....

"Just Kidding" says Connor!

We didn't get that much snow.  But if we were to build a snowman, it would have looked like that ( I found the image at A Frayed Knot).   We didn't expect to get any snow here in Texas, so it was a nice surprise to really bring on the holiday season.  Merry Christmas!!!  There is still hope for a white Christmas here...


Meeting the Pionner Woman!

 Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We attended a book signing for The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond).  Since she came to Dallas, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity.  This was my very first book signing, so I had no idea what to expect.  So, I took Chris along for support, company, and just because.  Dylan came along too.  Connor did not.  We arrived at Borders and got our pink bracelets (they color code every 100 people-we were in the fourth group...meaning there were 300+ people before us).  We were in for a long night, but I was determined to meet her and get the cookbooks signed.  So let the waiting game begin.

Oh The Fun...

This was Mama & Dylan enjoying a yummy hot chocolate loaded with whip cream.

Dylan enjoyed the whip cream, & all the lovely ladies standing in line along with us.  He was a total flirt and loved all the attention.  What a trooper he was.  It was much past his bedtime.  

There she is!  She walked out from the back directly in front of was quite a suprise and we weren't able to get a good photo since the lens would have been literally right in her face.  But it was exciting to see her walk out with her two daughters.

And there we are...with The Pionner Woman.  How exciitng.  She is the sweetest, nicest, most gracious woman ever.  She was so nice, even after several hours and several hundred signatures.  

We did it!  We got our cookbooks signed.  We even got the daughters to sign the books along with the ' newphews'.  The kids were so sweet and well-behaved.  It did take 6 long hours (yes, seriously 6 hours is how long we were at Borders waiting).  But it was well worth the wait.  She was everything I expected and more.  It was a great first book signing experience.  Maybe we will do it again.  Maybe.   

If you haven't heard of her, please check out her website (The Pioneer Woman), it is facinating.  I am totally head-over-heels in love with all her photos.  Someday I will be able to take pictures like that.  omeday. Hopefully sooner than later.  I am confident I will (again, someday) be able to use my wonderful camera the way it was intended to be used.  (if you  have any tips, pointers, resources for me, please forward onto me).  Oh and her recipes and stories are worth reading as well.  You will not be disappointed. 

Thanks Amy for sharing all her wonderfulness with me.  And sorry I couldn't keep this a secret, you will be getting your signed cookbook for Christmas :)

And lastly, a BIG thanks for Chris for accomplanying me on this 7+ hour jouney.  We got home around midnight and he will be up shortly for work. I seriously have the best husband EVER!  Thanks babe!  I love you!!!  Even Ree told him he gets major points for going.  He was among only a handful of 'guys' in the crowd. 


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