Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas-Before and After

So it's been a busy week! Amber and Andy and Quinn arrived Wednesday afternoon. We were pretty much on the go every day up until Christmas Eve. Everyone (except me and Andy) seemed to have a little last minute shopping to do and had to make a few trips out to pick up last minute items. I stayed home and made Christmas cookies and played with Quinn.

I was glad when Christmas Eve rolled around and everyone could just stay home and relax. The tree looked beautiful with just a small pile of presents underneath.
Instead of our traditional Christmas Eve pizza we had stuffed shells. We decided to have pizza the night before that since everyone was tired from all the cookie decorating (and cookie baking).

Here's Quinn just after she opened her Christmas Eve pajamas (with her Mommy and Daddy). She was pretty tired by this time and it wasn't long before she headed off to bed.

Here she is Christmas morning. There was so much for her to open and play with I'm sure it was a little overwhelming.

And here she is in her cute little Christmas outfit, one of two since she had a little accident in this one later in the day.

Here she is with all her puppy presents and a couple real puppies too.

Zoe and Charlie were in the Christmas spirit too and wore their special holiday bells around their necks. It sounded like Santa's reindeer were following me around all day!

Here's Quinn with her Uncle Scotty who is reading her one of her Christmas books. She just loves being read to.

She does the cutest dances when she plays with this toy and it plays music.

And here she is in her second Christmas outfit of the day with the present from her Grandpa H and Mimi.

We had Christmas dinner later in the day, around 5:00. We had a pretty relaxed day and spent the afternoon playing Scrabble and a card game, Five Crowns. Here's Quinn with her dinner though she wanted to share most of it with Zoe and Charlie. She has learned that game quite easily. What she doesn't want, just pitch it over the side and it quickly disappears when her two pals are nearby.

It was a pretty quiet day overall. Quinn went to bed around 7:30 and we ended up playing a couple more games of Five Crowns.

Andy has to return to Virginia this afternoon so Amber drove him to the airport while Grandpa and I babysat. We took Quinn to the grocery store to pick up a couple things and get her out of the house for a little while. She hadn't been out of the house since they got here on Wednesday. Then Grandpa and I were in charge of getting her dinner, a bath and put to bed. Amber was going to a get-to-gether with friends from her high school days. Bath and bed time are kind of a mad rush. By the time Quinn is ready for a bath she's pretty much had it for the day and just wants to get it over with, get her baba and go to bed! We had it all accomplished by 7:30 without a problem. Now we just keep our fingers crossed for her mama that she will sleep all night!!

And just for fun, while I was looking through the pictures taken in the last couple days I happened to notice how many pictures Zoe was in with Quinn. It seems wherever Quinn is, Zoe isn't far away. There were even a few more than these but I figured this was enough. In a couple you have to look a little closer, but Zoe is there!

I'm not sure what we will be doing the rest of the week. H and I are both off all week and Amber has to work from here on Monday and Tuesday. We are both just happy to get to spend a little more time with both of them.

Have a great week and a Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We Are Definitely Having a White Christmas...

So last week I was talking about how the snow had come down all day and chances were good that a Snow Day was in my future! Well, I was right. That was the good news. The bad news was that I got the call at 4:30 a.m. on Monday morning!! And just about the time I was drifting off, I got another call from the District at 5:00! From that point on there was no going back to sleep so I decided to just get up and get going. It was clear I wasn't going to be driving anywhere (though later in the morning H did make it to work after a very long wait on the Interstate because a truck had overturned and they had to clear it out of the way) and I might as well get some things done around the house.

So I did this

It was a heavy, wet snow too and we figure we got 6-7 inches at least. H was out there with the snow blower several times.

By Monday night things weren't looking any better as it was so darn cold the salt wasn't working. The many side roads and even some main ones, had a layer of ice in spots. The buses weren't going to be able to make it to school with ice on the roads so they made the call Monday night around 9:30 that there would be no school on Tuesday.

By Tuesday I was going a little stir crazy as I hadn't been out in a couple days and I really wanted to get Tyler's package mailed and also my Christmas cards. I decided to give it a try but it was pretty scary out there. The main road I take to the post office is a bit hilly and going up those partially ice covered roads was pretty scary. I did make it though and got everything mailed.

I wasn't sure there would be school on Wednesday either because it was still so cold that the salt wasn't working on the ice but I guess two days was enough time off so there was no snow day call on Wednesday. I managed to get to school on time or nearly but the buses were very late. Qi's bus was almost 30 minutes late that morning. I was at school by 7:10 and he usually gets there around 7:25 but it was almost 8:00 when he finally got there. There was even indoor recess because the playground was covered in a layer of ice too.

The rest of the week was pretty much a blur. We had parties, a sing-a-long, lesson plans to prepare, wrapping of gifts for the families we adopted, loading their car with all the presents, loading a truck for a food bank with all the school district's extra food and end of year stuff to file away so we were pretty busy. I was glad to see Friday roll around!

Yesterday H got the big tree up and he decorated it all by himself. I'd say he did a nice job. It looks great.

I put up my Snow Baby tree and put out my Snow Babies and the rest of the things around the house, like some baby's stocking!!

Scott even helped out by putting up the staircase garland.

Yesterday this lovely centerpiece arrived from H's brother Dan and his wife Cheryl.

This is always such a nice gift and it makes the table look so festive, or at least it will if I ever get the junk cleared off of it. I've realized that while I do enjoy my new "office" in the former dining room, at this time of year I am really missing my dining room table since it was "wrapping central" and I don't really have anything to take it's place except the kitchen table, where we actually eat! I guess I'll manage somehow since it's only a week until Christmas. Just think, this time next week it will all be over!!

I just remembered this funny picture I wanted to put in here. Last week the temps got so cold that the dogs couldn't walk out in the snow. After a few steps they would just lay down and refuse to move. While I was out on Tuesday I ran into the pet store and picked up these babies.

Wouldn't you know, the temps warmed up a bit so they didn't need them but we'll be prepared next time. You should see how funny they walk in them. I'll have to get video next time. It's hilarious!!

I still have lots to do this week. I still need to wrap everything and maybe make another batch of sugar cookies to give to friends and neighbors. The dogs need to go to the groomers before Christmas. They really are overdue but I haven't had time to get them there. Amber and Andy and Quinn will arrive Wednesday afternoon so we have to get things ready for their arrival too! We can't wait.

Quinn has a special Christmas surprise for us (and we have one for her too Andy. It rhymes with "guppy").

The Mitchell's In Michigan are wishing everyone a Merry Christmas full of joy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...


Oh yea, Christmas too!!

But the snow is really coming down today. The snow plow in our neighborhood has been working overtime!! Soon H will be able to pull out his snow blower and crank it up for the first time this season.

As for me, I've been busy doing this!

These are just a few of the cookies I'm getting ready to give as gifts this week. I've also been wrapping the gifts for the families we've adopted at school. Now I just have to get them in there. Everyone at school on Friday was speculating that Monday could be a snow day. The secretary even typed out our fan out sheet just in case we get that call Monday morning. I just realized the other morning that now that I get up at 5:15 I'll be up 15 minutes before I get the call when the snow day call does come. Oh well, I can still go back to bed.

I have also finished up my Christmas shopping except for a few things I need to order on line. At least I won't have to go back to the mall for anything before Christmas. Good thing too because when I was out yesterday morning things were getting pretty busy by the time I was ready to head for home. I was at Kohl's around 8:30 and there was hardly anyone in there.

Only one more week of school left. This week will be busy and crazy. The kids won't be thinking about learning at all. They will only be thinking of Christmas and two weeks off! On Thursday our ESL department is having a small cookie exchange. There are only 7 people involved and we are only exchanging 1/2 dozen with each person so I think I'm only going to make 4 dozen cookies. This is a new recipe and I've never made it so I sure hope it comes out ok. It's called Oreo Cheesecake Cookies. They sound really good so I'm hoping they taste really good too! Usually I just make sugar cookies but I wanted to try something different this year.

So, I started writing this in the morning and it's been snowing ALL day! I'd say we have about 6 inches so I'm pretty sure tomorrow will be a snow day. There's no way the plows will get all the back roads plowed by the morning so they will have to cancel school. I don't really want to miss school and I will miss seeing the kids at one of my schools before Christmas if we don't have school tomorrow but I can really use the time to finish things up like wrapping, etc.

And after no fewer than 10 attempts to upload this video on YouTube, I have finally succeeded. Sadly, because I was so busy this weekend, I wasn't able to take the pups to the park. When allowed, they will make their own fun, especially in one of the season's first snows.

Have a good week!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving-Before and After

So, it's been a while. Weeks probably. No real excuse except I've been busy doing other things. The weekend before Thanksgiving Amber & Quinn arrived and spent a the weekend and Monday with us. It was heaven! We so love getting re-acquainted with Quinn and thankfully it doesn't take her long to accept us again.

The dogs were absolutely overjoyed to have her back here again and couldn't wait to show her.

Here they are giving her the double ear wash! Not too good a picture of her though. Sorry Quinn!

She had much more interest in them this time too and laughed out loud every time one of them came near her. It was really cute to watch and I was so proud of them for behaving and no matter what she did (and she did do a few things because after all, she is a baby) they either put up with it or walked away. Such good dogs!!

Everybody was lined up for "snack time".

We even made time to go to the high school and let them run for a bit. Quinn wasn't used to this cold weather though and was pretty quiet while we were there.

Amber & Quinn headed over to the other side of the state to spend Thanksgiving with Andy and the rest of his family. Quinn got to see her cousins again and learned a few things. In just those few short days when they returned to our house the next weekend she was trying to walk and standing unassisted.

Our Thanksgiving was pretty quiet. I made these lovely cinnamon rolls for breakfast and even had enough dough to make rolls to go with dinner.

The rest of the dinner was pretty generic: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and the delicious rolls. Sadly, I had filled up on cheeseball all morning so really wasn't that hungry when dinner time rolled around. Afterward I had to lay on the couch for a couple hours as my stomach wasn't feeling all that good. :-(

The days after Thanksgiving are kind of a blur. I didn't really do any shopping on black Friday but I did make a run to Michael's to buy a stocking for Quinn so I (I mean Santa) will have something to put all her goodies in!

I took Amber and Quinn to the airport on Monday afternoon for their flight home. I'm sure Quinn was so happy to sleep in her own crib that night and get back to her familiar surroundings. I'm not so sure Amber was happy to be back working again but after you play you pay, right?

Here's a really cute video of Quinn playing with the dogs one afternoon. Again, I have to brag about how good they were.

They both just get up and move away when she gets a little too friendly. And she follows! So funny and cute!!

This video is a little long so I'll warn you right now. Three minutes can seem like an eternity sometimes. I especially cringe when I hear myself talking (and singing, good Lord) but she's so cute I had to put it on here anyway, especially for Tyler.

Tyler couldn't be home for Thanksgiving and we missed him. I hope this helps you feel closer to home son and to see how fast Quinn is growing up. She's such a funny little thing, so entertaining!

Last week was really a blur, just work and more work. I did manage to do a little shopping this past weekend. We have two families at school in need that we are shopping for so I finished that up and now just have to get things wrapped. Only two more weeks of school and we are out for the rest of the year!! Yea!!

Today H and Scott managed to get the outside decorated. All I have done inside is put up the kitchen tree. Maybe next weekend will be more productive and I can get the big tree up. We'll see.

I did manage to make a big pot of chicken noodle soup. We will be able to have some later in the week when I'm too beat to cook a decent dinner. It's been really cold with snow flurries almost every day. We still haven't had the "big snow" yet but I'm sure it's not far away.

Have a good week!