Meghan’s Birthday

Cousin Meghan is 8 years old. I don’t know how this happened. She was this little tiny baby when I met her and that CAN’T have been 8 years ago.

We were invited over for a pizza party. It was a lot of fun. The kids played and played and played and ate and ate and played and ate. Take a look.

Playing with a soccer game.

Playing with the kitchen (theirs, not ours)

Playing Mouse trap.

Playing piano.

We exchanged Christmas presents before dinner.

Then it was time for pizza!

And then, we got cake!

We sang Meghan a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday,” although we warmed up first with a very loud version of “Jingle Bells.”

The cake was so good. Even Matthew ate it, and he usually only eats the frosting.

We let the boys run off their sugar high for half an hour and then we changed them into pajamas and headed home.

December 31, 2009. family, special occasions. Leave a comment.

Christmas Dinner

We had a lovely dinner on Christmas day. Mommy and Daddy did a lot of cooking and really enjoyed the rare opportunity to be in the kitchen together. Daddy took charge of the beef tenderloin. He did a fantastic job. Hours of watching “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef” have really paid off. Mommy tackled the wine and mushroom sauce (with a brown sauce base she made from scratch. Yes, she is bragging, but it was pretty terrific.)

We had potatoes, and carrots, and a spinach salad with blue cheese and pears as well. Delicious! Nana brought the stuff to make s’mores for dessert and we had a few of the cookies that didn’t make the Santa plate.

All of this was accomplished without our oven, mind you. Our oven broke last week (because we haven’t replaced enough items in our kitchen this year). We have been cooking in the Advanteum microwave/regular oven and our small basement oven.

The boys enjoyed the gifts Grandpa and Nana brought.

Big trucks!

That make noise!

I failed to get any pictures during dinner. Sorry. I was pretty busy with my wine and mushroom gravy (which I made from scratch! Did I mention that?). But Dad and Susie cheerfully posed for a post-dinner pic.

After dinner, the boys opened the gifts from Aunt Susie and Uncle Clem. They got Matthew the movie “G-Force.” He was in heaven. He went upstairs right away to watch it. Susie and David joined him later. I haven’t seen it yet, but Matthew assured me it was “awesome.”

December 29, 2009. family, holidays. Leave a comment.

Christmas Morning

Santa came! And he left some gifts!

Matthew got right down to the business of opening his presents.

David had eyes for only one thing,

his new kitchen. He loved it. He played with it all morning. We coaxed him into opening a few other things, but he always went back to the kitchen.

This gave Daddy plenty of time to put together the ambulance Santa brought for Matthew.

We enjoyed our pancake breakfast and spent the rest of the morning playing with our new toys, including Mommy’s new iPod and Daddy’s fancy new Leatherman tool.

December 28, 2009. family, holidays. Leave a comment.

Cookies for Santa

After church on Christmas Eve, we laid out cookies for Santa. We chose a few of the ones the boys made earlier in the week. Then we poured a cup of (soy) milk and tossed a few carrots on the deck for the reindeer.

Then we read “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore and Matthew saw a picture of a candy cane in the milk for Santa. He jumped up, found a candy cane and stuck it in the cup.

Candy canes dissolve in milk. Also, carrots freeze when tossed outside on the deck in sub freezing weather. Trust me.

Like Matthew’s festive PJ’s? The elves left them while we were at church. David got a pair, too, but he refused to wear them.


The elves were a little hurt, to be honest. They thought those PJs were mighty cute.

December 27, 2009. David, holidays, Matthew, the boys. Leave a comment.

Merry Christmas!

We hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas day. We will spend it at home, reflecting on the joyous occasion of Jesus’ birth, enjoying our new gifts, and breaking up fights between the boys.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some of our Christmas card outtakes.

We had all the standard problems, like closed eyes,

irritated 4 year olds,


and general silliness.

We got pretty tired.

Thankfully, we got a decent shot. Although it was a little dark, and Matthew is waving, which made a blur.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2009. family, holidays. Leave a comment.

Cookies for Santa

We decorated some cookies for Santa.

We used frosting

and sprinkles.

A LOT of sprinkles.

Sometimes entire handfuls of sprinkles.

If we’re lucky, Santa may actually get to eat a few of his cookies.

I hope he likes sprinkles.

December 24, 2009. David, holidays, Matthew, Mommy. Leave a comment.

Gingerbread House

Matthew’s class made Gingerbread houses. I got to hang out for a bit, take some pictures, and “help.”

The teachers had things well in hand. I mostly said, “Wow. That’s a lot of frosting. Are you sure you’re supposed to eat all that?”

Each kid brought in a pint container, which they covered in frosting and graham crackers.

See? They totally ate the frosting as we put it down.

I loved that the kids got to put the graham crackers on however they chose. The girl sitting next to Matthew made a sidewalk ¬†with some of her crackers. Matthew’s house had a 70’s architectural feel to it.

I had to leave at this point, but they put frosting all over the board for snow (little did we know then that we would all be seeing PLENTY of snow in our own yards) and candy.

The minute he got in the car, Matthew asked to eat his house. “You must be kidding.” I told him. But no, he was serious. We compromised on eating a piece after dinner each evening.

You wouldn’t think it, but vanilla frosting on a graham cracker is actually pretty yummy.

December 23, 2009. Matthew, special occasions. 1 comment.

The Blizzard of ’09

In some parts of the country, 20″ of snow is no big deal.

We don’t live in one of those places.

For us, 20″ of snow is a Big Deal.

The snow started on Friday night.

It snowed all night. It snowed all day Saturday.

It was still snowing when we went to bed on Saturday night.

We got out during the day to enjoy the rare experience of 2″-an-hour-snowfall-and-30-mph-winds.

Then we drank some cocoa and snuggled in our warm house to watch TV.

It was fun, but I’m glad it doesn’t happen often.

December 22, 2009. family, special occasions. Leave a comment.

The Santa Train

We have been to pick up Grandpa at the VRE many many times, and we have ridden on the mini train at Burke Lake Park, and the metro, but last Saturday was the first time Matthew got to RIDE the VRE. He was ecstatic.

David sat with Grandpa.

Our friends, Paul and Katie, came along, too.

The train ride went out to Manassas and back. Along the way there were Carolers, Elves, Santa and Mrs Clause.

Matthew really loved the cup holder. David told me the train went “fast!”

Matthew showed Mrs. Clause the small engine and box car he brought along.

David showed her that he knows better than to talk to strangers, no matter how cheerful they are.

All the kids got conductor hats and booklets on train safety.

Everyone had a great time.

When Matthew came home, he told me it was “cool.” Pretty high praise for a 4 1/2 year old.

December 21, 2009. Daddy, David, holidays, Matthew, special occasions, the boys. 1 comment.

Christmas Program

Last Sunday we got to see the Good Shepherd Pre School Christmas program. It was a lot of fun last year, and we were not disappointed.

I don’t know if he is a ham, or a turkey,

but he definately is NOT Olivier.

During the song about the animals who come to the manger (“We are the cows who saw baby Jesus, we are so happy, this is what we say, Moo! Moo! on this Christmas day”) Matthew deliberately, and with a huge grin, made all the wrong animal sounds.

He oinked for the cow, mooed for the donkey, and hee-hawed for the sheep.

As you can see,

he was all into the choreography

as they sang about laying Jesus in the manger, being quiet angels so the Baby can sleep,

and marching with the shepherds.

It was great. David sat on my lap the whole time without moving. He was entranced. Nana (who was no longer in the contagious phase of shingles) and Grandpa had a great time, too.

They laughed so hard they cried.

December 20, 2009. holidays, Matthew. Leave a comment.

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