Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and God Bless You!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The video of the week!

We went outside today to play in the snow - but unfortunately the snow was covered with an inch or two of ice. It turned out to be fun anyway!! Olivia spent most of her time on her bottom. I was able to capture a little video and my timing could not have been more perfect. I caught her falling, but the funniest part was when she stood up and stepped in the whole that a certain part of her body had made - listen carefully to what she said.

If you can't hear what she said see below...................

She fell and made a hole in the ice with her butt. She stood up and played for a few seconds and then stepped in the whole and said, "I'm stepping in my butt hole!" and of course since I laughed (and nearly peed my pants) she had to repeat it once more a minute later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Making sugar cookies with Olivia

It's that time of year again!! Here's some pics of Olivia and I making Christmas cookies.

She managed to make quite the mess!!
When Olivia started icing her she told me that her candy cane was going to be so beautiful that I wouldn't even believe my eyes! She was right!!
She asked if she could try a bite of her finished cookies - after tasting she said, "they're actually pretty good"
Here's her finished product
...and here's mine.

She told me that my cookies look pretty, but the best kind of cookies are the messy ones and that's why she likes to make hers messy - I must admit, she's absolutely right!!

Preschool Christmas party

During the month of December the kids "traveled" around the world visiting different countries to learn how they celebrate during the Christmas season.  Each day at school they "flew" to a different country.  On Wednesday they arrived back to the United States and packed their bags to come home!  She left school on Wednesday with her "suitcase" packed full of all the goodies that they made throughout the month.  It was such a treat to sit down with her and learn from a 4 year old about different countries and their traditions.  She learned all about the wooden dutch shoes that the kids in Holland sit out filled with treats for the reindeer and on a picture she had to write and color what she would put in her shoes if she lived in Holland and she said "hay and broccoli".  While "visiting" Mexico she painted a maraca and made a poinsettia pin to wear.  She sewed a pillowcase and placed pictures of presents she wanted inside just like the kids in Australia do and on Christmas Eve the pillowcase is filled with their gifts.  She learned that in France, mistletoe is hung and you stand under it and make a wish - not like what we do in the states with the kiss!  She had to write her wish on the mistletoe and it was to have her baby Jack come to her school - that came true!!  Olivia had her preschool Christmas party yesterday and Jack and myself were her guests!   The kids played snowman bowling, made treats and crafts and we listened to a story about snowmen at night.  

Here she is putting her finishing touches on her snowman

Here's the kids racing the parents to build a snowman

Santa's arrival

Explaining to Santa what a Rescue Pet Swim Puppy is so that he and his elves can make one

This picture is a little blurry, but I just love the emotion that it captures in her face - she's just amazed!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's in a name?

Read this article
Would you ever consider naming your children JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell or Adolf Hitler Campbell?  In case you decide to do that you will probably not be able to get their name on a cake at Rite Aid!  (Just an FYI for all of you who were going to consider it with your next born!!)
I'm in awe!  I just can't even fathom this.  What do you think the family and friends said when the parents gave their name ideas when they were pregnant?  Do you think they got a lot of "ahh, that's so cute!"  or "that's my favorite name!"  or even "that's what I was going to name Syphalus Gon Area Kla Midea Clap if she was a boy - you are totally taking my boy name!"  Why in the world would you want to put your child on a fast track to name calling and being made fun of?  

Monday, December 15, 2008

If money were no object....

Would you have a nanny?
I'm not talking a babysitter who comes to your house once in awhile so you can work, work-out, shop, go out to eat.....I'm talking a true nanny, but not the live-in kind.
When I lived in Chicago one of my good friends was a nanny for a family. She would arrive at the house at 7 AM, get the kids ready for school, feed them breakfast, take them to school, do the family's shopping with any non-school aged kids in toe, pick the kids up from school, make dinner, do homework, give baths, get the kids in their jammies and leave at 6 PM. She did absolutely EVERYTHING for the kids and with the kids. If the kids had Dr appointments or dentist appointments she took them. If the kids needed pictures taken she would be in charge of that - she was basically their mom and was there for all the achievement and milestones.
Would you want that?
I personally don't think I would. I WOULD enjoy SOME help, but to take over? Absolutely not!!! I couldn't imagine missing out on all of the things that my friend got to witness and be a part of. First words, first steps, first hair cuts....
So, if money were no object, would you have a nanny? Saying yes to this does not make you a bad mom!!! I'm just curious. I read an article in Parenting magazine about a family who had a nanny, but had to get rid of her because of finances. After getting rid of her the mom discovered how much she had been missing, but also how much she missed the nanny with her structure..... Anyway - it just got me thinking and thought I'd get a discussion going.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

She's pretty smart!

Olivia was playing with this flying polly pocket toy - polly gets strapped to a winged contraption and loaded into a launcher, then you push the button and she goes flying across the room. I put Jack down on the floor to play and told her DO NOT POINT THAT ANYWHERE NEAR JACK - POINT IT THAT WAY!!! As I pointed across the room. What does she do? She sits down next to Jack and pushes the freakin' button right next to his head! He starts screaming - not that he was hurt, she actually didn't hit him with the flying polly, but it scared the daylights out of him!! I had her pick the toy up and hand it to me and I put it up. I told her she couldn't play with it right now because she intentionally disobeyed me. She stomped to the corner and did her silent pouting - I love when she does the silent kind :-) She stayed there for several minutes before jumping up and running upstairs. I thought this was odd because typically after she pouts she comes to me and tells me how I have hurt her feelings and made her upset and that she is going to tell Jesus that I upset're typically dramatic girly stuff! But she didn't do that this time. She came back downstairs and very sweetly walked up to me on the verge of tears and says, "mommy, can we trade? I'll give you all the money I have (hand stretched out with her money in it) if you'll just give me back my toy (lip quivering)."
So, I did what any mom would do at Christmas time - I took the money!!! Just kidding :-) I explained to her that I didn't want her money that I just wanted her to be obedient. And yes, I gave her the toy back - I was a softy! She got me at, "mommy, I really want to obey you this time."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kristin Chenoweth

I LOVE Kristin Chenoweth - I just think she's hysterical! Last week I was watching her on the Martha Stewart show and I about wet my pants when she slipped up on the word "organza" while doing a craft with Martha. Check out the YouTube video of her.
(I'm sure you don't have time to watch the entire 8 minutes of part one and 8 minutes of part two so if you just want to watch the slip-up fast forward to 3:25 of part two and listen for about 30 seconds - but if you have the time, watch all of it because it's all pretty funny! Especially for all of you who are not good at crafts!)

Part One

Part Two

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Elf on the shelf

EVERYONE need an Elf on the Shelf!

My mom bought this for all the grand kids this year and it's the most incredible thing ever!

Here's an explanation from the Elf on the Shelf website. "This charming tradition began for our family when my children were very small. Plagued by their desire to know how Santa really knew who had been naughty or nice, I searched through the Christmas decorations for a plausible explanation. Nestled among them was the answer; a small elf doll from my own childhood. With that discovery, the idea for the elf tradition was born.At our home the elf would arrive around the holidays, usually at Thanksgiving. His sole responsibility was to watch my children's behavior and report it to "Santa" each night. The next morning after the children awoke, they discovered the elf had returned from the "North Pole" and was hiding in a different place. My children would race each other out of bed to try and be the first to spy him in his new position.Over the years the tradition was perfected and rules were even introduced. For example, to better preserve his mystique the children were not allowed to touch him; however, they were allowed to talk to him. For obvious reasons, he was not allowed to reply. Eventually, my children even gave him a name - officially adopting him into the family.Unwittingly, the tradition provided an added benefit: it helped the children to better control themselves. All it took was a gentle reminder that the "elf was watching" for errant behavior to be modified.I never dreamed this simple tradition would lead to so many Christmas memories for our entire family. It is my earnest desire that The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition will bring as much joy to your family as it has to mine."
Olivia has named her elf Taylor and all it takes is to say to her, "Taylor is watching." or "I'm going to have to report your behavior to Taylor if you don't stop." and she straightens right up and apologizes for whatever she had done. It's amazing!
Here's some pics of Olivia talking to Taylor

Monday, December 8, 2008

You know you're a redneck when..... take your kids to visit Santa at the

That's right! The Bass Pro Shop!
We visited the Santa's Wonderland Friday night. A mom at Olivia's preschool was talking about it and we love the seafood restaurant there so we figured we could eat dinner and visit Santa all at the same place. Plus, the Santa at our mall is a little creepy and the back drop is not very pretty. So we went and had a blast! First of all, we got right in at the restaurant - we've gone before and waited over an hour to eat there (it was a Saturday night though). After dinner we went to Santa's Wonderland and there were only 3 kids ahead of us - beats the long line at the mall we would have stood in on Friday night! The Santa was AMAZING!! He was one of the most beautiful Santas I have ever seen - just a jolly old fellow!! The elf at the beginning of the line talked a little to the kids while they waited in line and I don't know how, but Santa listened so he knew the kids names when they got to him - just like it should be, Santa has to know their name - he's been watching them all season, right?
Olivia told Santa that she wanted a Rescue Pet swim puppy and that Jack wanted a basketball. We received a FREE photo - yep, I said FREE! And two coupons for free kids meals at the seafood restaurant - wish I would have known that first - we would have waited to eat :-) but the coupons are good through January so we'll just have to go back.
After visiting Santa we played with a Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle (actually it was a Red Ryder laser gun), a soft dart bow and remote control trucks. There were other things to do too like color pictures and write a letter to Santa.
So, we might be rednecks, but we had an awesome time together. Here's some pics

Then on Saturday we visited a tree farm to cut down a Christmas tree. We haven't had a real tree since we came home from Indy several years ago and found it had toppled over - the water had seeped into the carpet and pad and sap got all over our floor and I broke my vacuum cleaner cleaning up the mess!
This year we are staying home for Christmas. This will be our first Christmas ever in our own house. We will travel to Indy on Christmas day after we spend Christmas morning at our house. So in honor of our first Christmas in our house we bought a really nice artificial tree. But then Brian thought about Olivia's first Christmas when we all went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree and he wanted to do the same with Jack. So we bundled up and went to a tree farm where the family got to take a hayride to the field and back and enjoy hot cocoa while we waited on our tree to get wrapped up. We also ran into our good friend's, The Schutts (mommy25).

Jack was oblivious - he was bundled up in the sling and slept the entire time!

Even Santa came to visit!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Free gift certificates

So my friend Aimee introduced me to a month or so ago and I just can't get enough of it. You can go online and purchase printable gift certificates for a fraction of the price! For instance, there was a gift certificate to a restaurant for $10, but the cost was only $3, but I found a coupon code online and got it even cheaper! You purchase it using your CC or paypal and then you get a link in your email to print - it's that easy! AND it's legit!! Well, I discovered this feed it forward thing that is doing and each day you can go on their webiste by clicking here and you can sign up 3 people EVERY day to receive a free $10 giftcard - you can sign up the same three people every day or you can sign up different people every day - you can also sign up yourself!! The person will get an email and details on how to redeem your gift card, go online, find the restaurant of your choice and print your gift certificate - it really is that simple!

There are some stipulations on some gift certificates - like it might be valid only for lunch, or on a purchase of $25+, or must be presented before purchase.....

So start printing your gift certificates and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jack's first haircut

My baby's only 3 months old, but it was time for his first hair cut! I enjoyed the flips he had going on, but it drove dad nuts that his hair was past his ears! I know most of you complain that your little girl has often been mistaken for a boy even though dressed in head to toe pink, well I have the opposite happen here - Jack has been in head to toe blue with a huge blue pacifier hanging out of his mouth and people will ask what HER name is - I think it's the hair! On Thanksgiving my cousin, who is a hair stylist, gave him his first hair cut at my mom's house.