29 December 2014

Holiday Sledding
























Snow. We have a plethora of snow! It is snowing again today, another 3 inches at least. Today it is windy with temps hovering around 13 degrees. More snow fell on Friday, it was misty and absolutely breath taking outside. Justin took the kids sledding that morning. I went a little while later in the van with Evelyn. As predicted she was not keen on playing in cold snow. She cried most of the time, about 10 minutes, as I snapped some photos of the kids sledding. Amelia took Evelyn for a short turn down the hill. It was terrible. She almost perished from cold and excitement. As soon as Justin picked her up she was all smiles again. Justin made a small "jump" at the bottom of the hill we were at. Amelia and Phillip were catching serious air as they vaulted over the jump. Justin hung my new curtain rods and curtains after sledding. I am finally vindicated, the vertical blinds lost. In the past year the boys yanked off a couple slats, broke the sliding rod, and jammed the mechanisms. It was time to let the poor blinds die a spectacular death. The new curtains look awesome, especially after a good steaming.

Saturday I committed to take photos for a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Four other photographers either cancelled or were out of town. The poor lady was desperate. I agreed, especially after she said the family would be ready by 10 and photos done by 10:30. I arrived at 9:40 and was ready to go by 10 am. Nothing. Nothing happened until 11:30. I was peeved that the photos were not done until after 12:30. I did enjoy a quiet nap (or 6 naps) while I waited in the Catholic Church's chapel. I missed out playing basketball with the family and lunch at Subway. I took the older kids sledding while Justin and Evelyn napped. We had a blast. The jump was even better the second day! One time I caught a couple feet of air! Everett is a trooper, sliding and hiking up with singular ambition. We amused ourselves for hours with sled trains, spins, different positions, and borrowing other sledders sleds. I earned a huge bruise down my right leg! Amelia earned a nice ice scrape on her cheek when she and Everett crashed.

28 December 2014

Christmas Eve



















Christmas Eve was simply wonderful. Justin had the day off from work. The kids and parents needed to get out of the house for a while. The roads were pretty dry so we headed to Sterling just in time for lunch at our favorite restaurant, Santiago's for pork carnitas. Yum. Then we went to Walmart. Yes, we are exciting and took all kids to Walmart. Justin decided to update his eye prescription because he lost his sunglasses and needs a new pair. While he was engaged in that the kids and I did a little shopping. I got new bath towels to replace our stinky ones. The kids each got a special toy from the money Grandpa and Grandma Call sent them. Amelia chose a puppy called Candy (a zoomer puppy), Everett chose a puppy as well, and Phillip chose 3 Imaginex spaceships just in case Santa brought him the Super Nova Battle Rover. After that we drove back home.

I hurriedly started the sourdough bread with a starter I maintained for 2 weeks. The bread smelled delish as I let it raise. While the bread did its magic. I had a super quick photo session with a family whose son and brother were visiting for the holidays for the first time in years. The bread was taking much longer than anticipated so the kids decorated a gingerbread house while I worked on shaping dough. Justin helped each kid decorate their name initial on the roof. Justin helped me prep the clam chowder by frying up bacon, and cutting onions and potatoes. Our neighbor, Kelly and her son Zane came over to join in our evening. The bread smelled heavenly. Together we made the best clam chowder ever. It was not too thick or thin, the bacon crispy, and the spices perfect! Only took us 10 years to make the best chowder ever! Yum. Kelly was duly impressed with the chowder and bread. Everett ate three slices of bread, rather the soft bread middles and left the crusts lonely. Amelia ate her soup! After dinner the kids wanted to do another round of the Nativity! Justin volunteered to be the donkey. He looked like a real a$$. He he. Zane volunteered to be baby Jesus. Amelia was in heaven with a real baby around. Ynnej knocked on the windows and rang the doorbell right after Kelly left. She left a bag filled with gifts and some candy. The kids tore into the packages to find the expected PJs. Soon all the kids were PJ'd up and chowing down candy. Amelia got a real kick this year out of the Santa tracking app on Justin's phone. Amelia left some chocolate milk for Rudolph since he whined about wanting some last year. We read some books then got the kids in bed. Phillip was so excited he did not fall asleep until almost 9:45.

Santa enjoyed the smaller pile of gifts this year. It only took an hour to arrange everything and get the magic spread around the living room. I pinned a blanket to the hallway and hall closet door to keep little curious people (Phillip) from wandering down the hall during the night. I was sure, almost 100% that the kids would get up at 4 am. Thus I spent a restless night in fear of missing an errant wandering child. The kids did not wake up until 7:30! Dang! I remember getting up at 3 and 4 and 5 in the morning.

Slicing More Than Strawberries
























We were very excited for 14 days of Christmas break. So excited we invited Murphy's Law into our home to damper our plans. I allow my kids at a young-ish age to handle knives, mostly butter knives or my small paring knives. Everett was cutting the tops off strawberries in the kitchen. I went into the living room to watch Amelia and Phillip's pillow pet parade and take a video. The video is really cute until the end. Everett handed me the knife to put away. I grasped it on the flat edge when Everett suddenly decided he wanted it back, turned the blade into my thumb and yanked with all his might. He cut a deep incision about 3 mm deep, 4 wide. The knife sliced an artery (or two) which cause a fountain of blood to pump out of my thumb. Nothing could prepare me for the scene of my thumb dangling open spurting blood. I was a little slow on the uptake, finally realizing my thumb was in trauma I grabbed it with my other hand and squeezed it hard to stop the blood. I ran to the sink and yelled for Amelia to call Dad. She did, only telling him "mommy is bleeding on the floor! Come home quick!" I hear Justin tore out of his work building and was home in less than 4 minutes. I was really close to fainting from watching my blood pump out of my thumb, I laid down on a pile of dirty laundry waiting for Justin. He burst in and tried to pick me up, his work badge got stuck in my hair. I told him to find me some shoes and a coat since I was still in my PJs. He called our neighbor, Kelly to come over and take care of the kids. We rushed to the ER for some assistance. The Dr on call stabbed my thumb (which hurt more than the actual cut) with a mixture of epinephrine and numbing agent. Justin and I got queasy watching her stab my thumb while blood was squirting out. After the shots (five shots total) the blood flow slowed down enough for the Dr to take a look. We could see the tendons and a glimpse of bone, grisly and cool at the same time. Justin left the room while the Dr sewed up my thumb, two dissolvable stitches and 8 surface stitches. As quickly as the trauma happened it was all over. I went home with a comically bandaged thumb and finished the day filled with laundry, cleaning, lots of errands, cookie making, and FHE. I am so grateful to Amelia for thinking on her feet, to Justin for saving me, and Kelly for watching my crazy crew.

My thumb started to hurt after dinner. It was very numb before that time. We enjoyed a lovely family home evening with the Rognon family. I usually make doughnuts to take around to our neighbors. Those plans were nixed with my lovely thumb-cident. The kids and I made sugar cookies the evening before so we just decorated those with sprinkles and frosting instead. Our 8 kids enacted the Nativity story, two or three times. Phillip made a cute donkey...he sure sounds like one sometimes. Elena dressed up as Mary, Amelia as the angel. The boys kept morphing between characters. I think Everett was a shepherd sheep the entire time. Even with all the crazy going on the simple and miraculous nature of the Nativity touched our hearts. Justin showed the bible videos of the birth story after the kids acted it out. Then we got dirty! Soon four bowls of frosting lay rocking and rolling as kids licked butter knives and tried to focus long enough to frost the cookies. Soon piles of sprinkles and oodles of frosting graced sugar cookies. Yum. I think Phillip ended up with frosting cookies.

Tuesday it snowed. Tuesday it was windy...I mean blizzard windy. What do my crazy kids do? They run outside in PJs, robes, socks, and a blanket to frolic in the snow. Amelia said it was AWESOME. She keeps talking about it so the experience must have been impressionable. I sent the kids out later appropriately dressed to play in the snow. Amelia roped me into painting faces again. Phillip had a cool lion face that lasted about 5 minutes. Amelia chose a cute fairy mask. Everett asked for creepy carrots on his face. Justin keeps finding carrots on the floor around the house. Instead of throwing the carrots away he sneaks the carrots into Everett's bed. Everett is totally delighted each time he finds a creepy carrot in his bed. The kids are convinced Ynnej puts the carrots there.

Evelyn and I braved the snow after dark to collect a couple crucial items from Walmart. Course our Walmart did not have what I needed.

***Sad, Sad day. Evelyn is completely weaned. She weaned herself last week. Now she carries around apple sauce packets like a lost soul instead of nursing.