Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Wishes

Just wanted to send Happy Birthday Wishes to Dr. Dave and also Little Miss Ellie. Hope you each enjoy your day today!!!

Also, belated Birthday Wishes to a couple little kiddos... David K. and Benjamin had a birthday last Tuesday. We were thinking of you!

And last but not least, Happy Anniversary to Mike and Kasey! Hope you guys take time to celebrate each other today... we love you and miss you!

Reservations are made...

Savannah, Sawyer and I are making a trip back to Portland in January.
So excited to see family and friends we haven't seen since we left. And the ones we have seen. It'll be nice to be back.
Not so excited about making the flight by myself with both the kids. And with Sawyer on my lap the whole time. I'm kinda scared of that kid on a plane. He is just all about NOT doing what I want him to do right now. And very into screaming and yelling about it. I'm really hoping some of that subsides in the next few weeks or I may be looking into tranquilizers for him. (I'm just kidding. Mostly.)

We made a trip (here to Michigan for Don and Katie's wedding actually) with Savannah when she was almost just the same age, just over a year old, and it was a piece of cake. She was happy to play on our laps and read books and just hang out and be mellow for the whole plane ride. I keep thinking that is so not how it's going to be with the SawMan! That kid cannot sit still to save his life. Heaven help us!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Normally I don't go into any detail when it comes to any senseless drama I'm wading through with friends or family on this blog... actually I keep thinking I should start another one that no one I know knows about just to vent about things that may put people (including my husband at times) who read our blog here on the defensive. I didn't realize how much I missed keeping a journal until I started writing this blog, and sometimes it's hard not to just spill everything like I would in my writing journals.
Anyway, tonight I had a conversation that just has me all worked up. One of those situations again where I go over and over and over it in my mind trying to go over all the angles of it to see what I did wrong or what I could have done different. Only I didn't really do anything wrong. But I have such a problem leaving it at that when someone is upset at me or hurt and blaming me. So as this is all running through my head, I've been dwelling on it all night, and I have all sorts of urges (since Ryan is sick of hearing about it at this point)... to call someone or email or vent somehow, so I picked this option. But now Ryan is reading over my shoulder saying "I don't think you should do this...". So I won't go into the detail I started out wanting to. But it just makes me want to pull my hair out and say I thought we moved away from family drama.
Ughhh. Happy Holidays, indeed.

Christmas pics, take two... are some of the pictures from Christmas day.

Before the kids woke up...

Here's Sawyer checking out his stocking goodies...
They got kind of a slow start on the presents... Savannah was just all about her stocking and they both were content to play with the couple of presents that Santa left out.

The scooter was the fave...

with the igloo/tent coming in a close second.

Savannah was pretty cute with her presents; she would open each one, and usually yell out a big "thank you (whoever) for the (whatever)" -apparently she thought if she yelled loud enough they would hear her three time zones away. Then if it was a toy, she would leave it out, but if it was clothing or shoes or the pillow she got for her bed, she ran to her room to put it away and "save it for later".
Sawyer opened most of his presents pretty well, but it took a lot of work to get him to focus, as he was happy to just wander around checking everything out. He pretty much just went from his tent, to the scooter, to the little table, and then made the rounds again. Tent, scooter, table. Once he opened a new set of bouncy balls though, he was all over that! A soccer ball, basketball and football, what more could a boy want? I think we wasted our time on all the other presents!

Oh, Sawyer's other favorite gift was a pla
te, fork and spoon set. He carried that around wherever he went, but most of the time he sat at the table with it and pretended to eat. Then, of course the good big sister that she is, Savannah (also adorned in one of her favorite gifts... one of three new pink tu-tu's!) got him a snack to put on his plate and Sawyer had found his spot for the morning!

Savannah took a picture of mommy and daddy...
(after four tries resulting in shots of our knees and/or the floor)

And then we started a tradition of making homemade donuts. Savannah had a blast.
Sawyer missed the fun because he went down for a nap, but Savannah and I cut the donuts, Ryan stuck them in the deep fryer, then we sprinkled some with powdered sugar, some with cinnamon sugar, and dipped some in chocolate for Savannah to then cover with candy sprinkles. So yummy!

Here's how much of our morning was spent... talking to the web cam. Yes, my crazy parents were up at some crazy hour on the west coast so they could watch our Christmas morning "live".

Like I said before, it was definitely different not spending the holidays with our families. I really wish some of them (or all of them) could have made it out here to be with us spending our first Christmas in our new house. It made it just a little bit harder that Dan and Holly ended up being able to be home with the families for Christmas. Everyone was talking about how fun it was to see Taegen and do all the holiday stuff with her and how fun it would have been to have all the kids together, and it made me a little sad that our kids couldn't be with their families for all that. We had such a fun day spending time together here and relaxing, and it was so nice to not have to go anywhere or have three different houses to visit. But there is a lot to be said about spending the holidays with lots more family. We'll see what next year holds.

Christmas pics, part one

Sorry, I will probably end up with a ton of pictures on here since it's the quickest way to share them with the families. I will try to keep myself in check... actually we didn't really take all that many pictures Christmas morning. Between the webcam and the video camera and still needing to actually help and direct the kids, snapping photos kind of took the backseat. But here's some of what we did get.
First, on Christmas eve I was trying to get some pictures of the kids together, but that was pretty much impossible with Sawyer not staying in one place for more than 2 seconds and niether one of them ever looking at me (a whole family picture was even more impossible... by that point Sawyer was yelling, pitching fits and Savannah was whining and I just gave up). Here are my attempts with the kids...

We were getting nowhere outside, as Sawyer just wanted to run around. And except for our ugly back steps, it was super sunny and bright so there was really no good place to get a picture. So we headed inside and tried sitting them in the chair together...

We tried sitting in front of the tree....

(this is Savannah actually having to hold Sawyer in place)

Then I resorted to presents to get Sawyer to stay there...

(so much for my visions of our photographs being about the "togetherness" rather than the sparkle and fascination with the material things, haha! I guess toddlers really aren't interested in the togetherness yet...)

And even that only lasted all of two minutes...
Sawyer is definitely a little boy on the go!

Here is Savannah showing off her gingerbread reindeer cookies and gingerbread house...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Waiting for Santa...

Savannah's first letter to Santa...

"To Santa a(nd) (M)rs. Claus
(from) Savannah

We have
Savannah Morrison
age 3 1/2

Merry Christmas To All!

I'm sure I'll be around posting some of our holiday stuff as it comes along, but until then, Merry, Merry Christmas everyone... I hope you enjoy your holiday, and that you are blessed with your gifts and your giving, your meals and your treats, and especially your friends and your family
this weekend as you celebrate!

It's Christmas Eve...

Ryan and I are supposed to take turns sleeping in this long holiday weekend. Not sure why I'm feeling so generous with letting him sleep... he sleeps in for a bit pretty much every weekend. I'm more often than not the one up with the kids (awake by 6:30) out of bed at 7. Then, by either the kids coming in to bug him enough or by him sensing I'm getting more and more frustrated with the seventh morning in a row of having the kids by myself... he usually rolls out of bed by about 8:30 or so. But here's where we differ; 8:30 IS my idea of sleeping in... heck, I'm happy if I can sleep till 7:30. But Ryan's idea of sleeping in is not getting up till noon. And that does not usually fit in with my idea of how I want to be spending my weekend... alone with the kids like every other day of the week.
So today is supposed to be his day to "sleep in" by his terms. Obviously, we'll be up early tomorrow on Christmas morning with the kids, but then Tuesday is supposed to be my turn to sleep in. Only in order for me to sleep even a fraction of what he would in the morning, I'm going to have to take some unisom and sleep downstairs in the guest room all by myself so I can't hear the kids in the morning. We'll see if that really happens.

So I thought I should get up early this morning and get some stuff done before the kids are up and out of bed. Savannah of course, has been awake for like an hour already. We're going to need some naps today!

We enjoyed a nice, laid-back day yesterday. We had Don, Katie and Little Donnie over for brunch yesterday (mmmm... biscuits and gravy.... and we used the hot chocolate pot, Holly. That thing was awesome! Thanks!) to get together for Christmas. It was nice to hang out a bit. We don't get to see the Huffs nearly as much as we expected we would when we moved out here, so it was just nice to take some time to just relax with them and let the kids play and everything.

Todays agenda consists of baking, cooking and more baking.
We're going to have our big Christmas eve dinner before we go to a Christmas eve service this evening, so we'll be getting things ready for that, plus I'm hoping to get some gingerbread cookies baked, gingerbread muffins, Savannah and Ryan are making a gingerbread house, and I want to get some of my favorite Christmas cookies done, Chocolate Crinkles. Oh, and also a pie for dessert tonight. I had big plans of making all this yummy stuff this year... I found so many great and different fudge recipes, peppermint bark, and plenty of Christmas cookies. But between running out of time to make some of that for gifts, and not enough people around to eat it all here, I have to pick and choose our favorites and we're doing it all in one day! Here's a bit of pretty much the only baking we've done so far this season... we frosted and stacked star shaped cookies to make a Christmas trees for our neighbors. Savannah loved this project and of course we had to make some extra stars for us!

So after church tonight we'll come home and each open our one present (new Christmas jammies) before the kids go to bed, and then we don't have much to do this evening after that... I have everything wrapped and ready to go except for putting together the big toys from Santa. Savannah's getting a long awaited scooter and we have a table and chair set for thier playroom and a little pop-up tent for Sawyer. Then we'll stuff the stockings, sprinkle the tree with some tinsel, and I'm planning on hitting the pillow quite early tonight, as I'm sure we'll be up bright and early tomorrow.

Christmas day the plan is to open our presents and lounge around all day. We'll never get out of our pajamas, make some homemade donuts when we get hungry mid-morning, and then spend the day playing and napping and snacking on our candy, donuts and leftover ham.

Later on next week I think we may head up north to the Huff's cottage. First I thought Ryan and Don were just talking about going up there if there was snow for the sleds, but now Ryan's thinking he wants to go regardless of the weather, just to get out of town. So we'll probably head up there Friday, possibly even Thursday night and come home late Saturday or Sunday. On Monday we invited friends over for a big New Years Day dinner. We invited the whole like six people we know here, as well as some friends from out of town. Not sure who's coming yet, as I've heard no RSVP's, but I'm sure someone will show up. If not, we'll be having another feast all to ourselves I guess!

So that's what the next week looks like for us... kind of kicked back and relaxed, but with some fun stuff thrown in there and lots of family time together. The perfect Holiday week!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

All is bright...

As in a bright, bright, sunshiney day. Yesterday and today both have been beautiful warm sunny days. That weather is great and all, but um... what about a little snow? Christmas is only four days away and not a flurry in the forecast. Bummer.
At least the kids have been able to get outside and play in all the sunshine...

And here are just a couple of silly shots from the other day...
(thanks gramma for the early christmas present... Sawyer puts it to good use)

And as promised, the pictures from last night...

Can you tell the difference in her expression here? This was after THE TOOT. (see previous post if you didn't catch that story...)

And of course, the Santa pics...

This is how Sawyer was looking at Santa pretty much the whole time. I couldn't really tell what he was thinking; just fascinated with the bearded man I guess.

All is calm...

It's quiet around here this morning. Sawyer was awake bright and early at 6am, but I think he fell back to sleep about 6:30 and I still don't hear anything from his room. Savannah "slept in" (I hope you realize I use that term loosely) a little too... she must have been wiped out from her Christmas program last night.

The Program...
went well! It was very sweet. All four classes (two 3-year-old classes and two 4-year-old classes) performed together and that place was packed! They held the program at the church next door and it was standing room only. Well, in the end, you could easily have a seat if you wanted because half the parents were standing on the sides with video cameras and the middle aisle was packed halfway back with kneeling parents and their cameras trying to get a good shot. Ryan was on the sidelines (partly to video, but mostly to stand up with Sawyer who would not sit still to save his life) and I think he got most of it on video, but I had the camera and I got nothing. We were there 15 minutes early and the pews were already filled up three quarters of the way back. And I wasn't about to wade through the other parents camping out in the aisles once the singing started to get a good picture. It was insane! So I have yet to look at the shots I did take. I'll see if I can salvage anything from the dark and distant shots I got and I'll post them later today. I'm actually counting on being able to steal a few still shots from the video camera. Keep your fingers crossed for that one.
But Savannah did awesome! She was up there doing all the motions and singing well. She spotted her daddy and brother over on the side and then proceeded to point them out to all the kids around her.

Then there's a 'poor Savannah' story though...
See, she had had just a touch of diarrhea that afternoon. She never complained about her tummy, but there were two instances of a "toot" that produced a little more than just air, if you know what I mean. It totally took her by surprise and then she would put her hand in her pants and what she found shocked and upset her. She kept asking me, confused and tearful, "why did I poop in my underwear?!?"
Anyway, that was early afternoon and she never really had any "production" other than that, so by dinnertime when we were getting ready to go to the program I had pretty much forgotten about it. I made sure Savannah went to the bathroom before she went backstage and thought we were good to go.
Well, halfway through the third song up on stage (shortly after spying her dad in the front left) I saw her freeze. Now, up until this point she had been singing enthusiastically and doing all the motions with the songs and ringing the bells and everything. So all of a sudden she freezes and looks around like she's going to cry. She stands there for a few moments not singing and then when that song was finished, she hesitantly stepped down from her step and made a beeline across the stage to her daddy. Her teacher, Ms. Kristy, intercepted and directed her back to her spot saying, "we have one more song". Savannah obeyed perfectly and went back to her spot, but was no longer enthusiastic nor singing. When the kids were dismissed to find their parents to join them in the seats to sing the last Christmas carols, Savannh made her way over to Ryan and I met them in the back to take her directly to the bathroom. Poor little girl. She did such a good job, and she was so upset that she kept "leaking" like that.
We stayed a bit for the party afterward (they had a surprise Santa and Mrs. Claus there... once again, great picture opportunity in a much nicer environment!!) and visited, but Savannah made about four more false alarm trips to the bathroom before we called it quits and headed home.
It was a great evening overall, I just felt bad for Savannah and her "unexpected toots".

Well, like I said, I'll take a llook at the pictures we got, and get what I can on here later today. I gotta go get dressed before Porter gets here this morning. But it's so nice and quiet around here... I just want to stay here on the couch and do nothing. Feels like such a lazy day around here. Of course I guess that's because normally by this time of the morning I've been chasing a toddler around for almost an hour already. What are the chances my kids would ever sleep in on a weekend?!?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The reason for the season

I am really loving this Christmas season. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, but having kids of your own just brings it so much closer to the heart. And as my kids get older, each year is filled with more and more fun, excitement and wonder. Traditions and memories take on a whole new meaning; as does the real Gift we are celebrating.

Savannah's own Nativity set in her bedroom

Now that Savannah is old enough to really start understanding who God is and that His gift of the baby Jesus is what we are celebrating every year at this time, even I am seeing the miracle of it in a whole new light. It is a heartwarming thing to watch her play with her nativity set and "play out" the scenes. It is encouraging that she wants to hear the Christmas story over and over again... she not only flips through the few books we have all through her rest time, but she wants me to read the story from her Children's Bible, and even from our Bibles. It makes me smile to hear her singing Away in a Manger at the top of her lungs to her baby dolls, and it brings a tear to my eye when I overhear her telling her baby brother about the shepherds and wisemen and how the mommy Mary loved God so much that He gave her baby Jesus to take care of.

Sure, it's so much fun to see the kids excited about the *magic* of Christmas and Santa and decorations and giving gifts and doing more for charities and all of the wonderful things that make up our holidays. But what really makes my heart full is knowing that even though Savannah is so young and cannot possibly begin to understand the true greatness of the Christmas story, she will grow up with Jesus in her heart and will hopefully spend the rest of her life wanting to unwrap more and more of this great miracle and mystery of Christ coming to our world. I pray that she learns to let Christ be in her world every day. I pray that she -I pray that all my children- can learn that Christ was not simply born that night long ago in Bethlehem, but that He IS Born, and what that means for each of us in our hearts each and every day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kind of random for a title today...

So I haven't been a very good blogger lately. It's not that I have nothing to write about... it seems like we've been really busy the past week or so. Not busy with big stuff, just busy with a lot of nothing, you know? I've actually been hesitant to write because I have so many little things I could babble on about, I'm afraid for you readers. I'm afraid once I get started I'll keep going and going and going... I'm like the energizer bunny when it comes to writing. So I'll do my best to be brief.

Let's see... last week what were we up to?
Not a whole heck of a lot. I took Savannah shopping one evening just her and I to get some little gifts for her teachers. That was fun. I'm planning on taking her to the movie Happy Feet next weekend for a little mother/daughter date. She's only been to one movie in the theater before so she's really excited. I'm trying to be sure and spend more one on one time with her, because she's been acting up a lot lately. (I think it's a combination of also not getting enough sleep too- now that she's wearing underwear all through the night, she wakes up early to go to the bathroom and doesn't fall back to sleep. Add that to her rare naps anymore, and that makes for a tired three year old.) I feel like we've (I've) had so much on our minds with our projects and gifts and baking and decorating that we've been a little distracted in spending real time with her. I mean, yeah I'm around her all day, but how much of that time have I been trying to get Christmas cards addressed or dishes done or laundry folded or crafts painted/glued/sewn or blogs read or emails written or I'm sure I could go on and on. Sawyer and Porter are different because they need my attention and need to be more taken care of. I can send Savannah in to get her own snack while I'm reorganizing the playroom, or to get herself dressed while I read my favorite blogs. Anyway, I think it was really starting to get to her and she's picked up a bit of an unwelcome attitude around here. So we're working on that. (Which is another excuse for not updating my blog more often in the past week)

Friday evening we went to the mall to see Santa. I had taken the kids to do a super quick trip there in the morning and Savannah was so excited to see Santa there and wanted to go SEE him, see him but I was in a hurry and I told her we would talk to daddy about it later. Well, she wouldn't let it drop so when Ryan got home that evening we had a quick dinner and headed back to the mall to see Santa proper.
I was asking Ryan on the way over there if all the Santa rackets were just huge photo sessions now. What happened to just waiting in line to sit and TALK to Santa? And maybe get a
poloroid out of it? Now theres not much talk, just smile and say cheese and move on because other kids are waiting. And then they charge some ridiculous amount for these horrible pictures. The cheapest thing to get was 1 5x7.... and that cost us $10. Santa on a big Polar Bear background to just sit with the kids and smile and not even a candy cane for the kids to take home. Can you believe that? Not much to choose from around here I guess. I was so irritated by the whole set-up, I just can't even believe we did that. All night, I just couldn't get over the stupidity of it all.
And here's what makes it worse...
The next morning we get up and decide to do a run over to IKEA and up to the outlets in Howell. IKEA was the only place we could find one of the gifts we really wanted to get for Sawyer, and I had a couple of things to return and that I wanted to get at the outlets so we decided to combine it into one last big shopping trip. So I get online first thing in the morning, because we're thinking we want to head out early and I know IKEA doesn't normally open until 10am, so I thought I'd check and see if they had special early holiday hours. Well, the actual store still doesn't open till 10, but the restaurant opens at 8:30 and guess who's in the restaurant to eat and visit and take pictures (with your own camera) with the kids *FOR FREE*?!? Yep, jolly old St. Nick, himself. With 99 cent breakfasts and a free breakfast for the kids, I might add. Oooooh, I was kicking myself.
So we hightailed it out of our house and headed to IKEA (which is an hour drive) and race upstairs to see Santa again. And this Santa rocked! He was an awesome Santa. He was jolly and friendly and so good with the kids. He joked with the parents and made the kids laugh and he was just about what I would imagine the *real Santa* to be. Savannah sat on his knee for quite a while and then got a hug from Mrs. Claus and a candy cane from his little elf helper. She was smitten. We sat and had breakfast almost right next to Santa's chair and she just watched the kids come up and laughed with them too. Of course we were in such a hurry to get out of the house that morning that I forgot to grab the camera. I was bummed about that, but oh well. I have the $10 picture right?!

Well, we spent too much money at IKEA (of course) once again. We were going for a simple $40 table and chair set and we left $140 later with new furniture and toy bins for the playroom, a little pop up tent for Sawyer, some storage boxes, light bulbs, and I don't know whatelse. I hate that store. Or love it. Whatever you want to call it.

Ryan and I did our first puzzle together this weekend. We started it Friday night, worked on it a little last night and finished it up this evening. We were a bit surprised when we realized we had never done a puzzle together. I really enjoy them, and Ryan has a few cool ones, we just haven't taken the time to do it. I figured out the last time I did a puzzle was in 1999. Maybe 98. Could have even been 97. Okay, so I didn't really figure out the time, but I remember the apartment I lived in and I lived there for amost three years and that's where I finished my last puzzle. Anyway, my mom got me a puzzle for my birthday, so we got it done. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Well, I know I had a lot more running through my head that I wanted to share, but I can't think at the moment so I'm calling it quits for now. I'll try to get on here a little more regularly and keep up with what's going on around here. Savannah has her preschool Christmas program tomorrow so I'm sure I'll be back here with pictures and the rundown for that.

Happy Belated Birthday to Sunshine last week. Hope you had a great day!
And Happy Anniversary to Jade and Leslie... hope you guys enjoyed your weekend!!
And Good Luck Nic on your interview tomorrow. I'll be thinkin' of ya!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

squeaky clean

As anyone who's been around our house for bathtime knows, we've had a struggle for the past year or so with Savannah and washing her hair. We've tried so many different things. She used to be fine and then suddenly last year she started HATING having her hair washed. And blowdried. And brushed. And anything else to do with her hair. Ryan threatens every time he washes it (because every time ends up in a huge battle with crying and yelling and pure torture for all parties involved) that we're cutting it all off. Which upsets Savannah even more... she loves her long hair.
So I decided to try another new approach and found a mini shower head we could install for Savannah.
We bought it as a Christmas present for her, but when it came in the mail today, we decided the kids have plenty of presents to open on Christmas so Ryan went ahead an installed it.
I was actually thinking it was more of a hand-held shower that I could use to wash and rinse her hair in the bathtub, but it actually doesn't reach far enough to be sitting in the tub. You can take it off the wall and use it, but more as an actual shower.

So Savannah used it tonight and she LOVED it! We washed and rinsed her hair without so much as a peep. And then after we washed up, I asked her if she was ready to get out and she said, "no mom, you can go out and I'll call you when I'm done."
Long story short, we ended up turning the water off and physically taking her out of the tub telling her "yes, you are done now" more than fifteen minutes later. And the whole time we were getting ready for bed, she kept asking me if she could take another shower tomorrow night. Double and triple checking and making sure it would still be there and she could shower again next time. It was pretty cute. So I'm assuming cleaning Savannah up won't be as much of a struggle after this. At least till the excitement wears off, anyway.