Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making cookies

As I prepared to make Diane's Cherry Cookies today, I remembered this story from a year ago.

So, we were going to have a party this weekend, but nobody can come so we've cancelled. (That's okay; I was starting to stress a little bit about it.) But, I didn't know we were going to cancel this morning when I made a large batch of Cranberry Orange Chex Mix.*

Catie and Nick are eager to "help," so we pull up their stools and I try to think of things they could do without hurting themselves or making me crazy. When I pull out the cereal, Catie remembers helping me make Cherry Cookies for Christmas and starts crunching them. (The recipe for Cherry Cookies includes crushed rice chex.)

"No, no, Catie," I say. "We don't crunch the cereal for this recipe."

"Oh," she replies and sneaks in one more crunch.

I give her another, sterner warning and she resists the urge to crunch again.

I turn around to get the butter out of the microwave, and I hear her say in her Mommy voice, "You want me to get some more cereal so you can crunch it? Okay, I'll get you some more."

Her "Inner Mommy" is so much nicer than me sometimes.

Can you believe that was almost a year ago? Catie has graduated since then. She now uses if/then statements to let us know how she would like us to act.

"If I eat all of my dinner, then you will give me a special treat."

"When this show is over then you will let me pick another one."

And my new favorite, in the middle of a crowded theater in full voice, "Okay, here's my deal: when this is all done then it will be over."

Nick has his fair share of funny things to say too. A couple weeks ago our DVD player gave out, and with the price of Bluerays now it didn't make sense to buy another DVD player.

This thing is amazing. We now have Netflix that streams movies directly from the internet. Knowing how slow youtube videos can be, I have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality, but every once in a while it will stop while it buffers. During one such time, Nick turned to me and said, "It's having trouble. It needs to listen and obey."

I love having 4 year-olds!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snow fun

Yesterday the twins were off school and Brad was off work so we headed out to enjoy the snow. We were out the door at 8:15, but after eating breakfast at Spudnut's, trying to put air in our tires at a faulty air machine that ate our three quarters, and going to three stores for snow boots for Nick and sleds, we made it out to White Bluffs Elementary School for some sledding on their big (but not too big) hill.

After a ride down with the parents, both of the kids decided to try it alone. Nick thought it was great! When Catie got to the bottom, she said, "I'm tired and I'm cold. Let's go home." I think she was more scared than anything because she enjoyed more rides down the hill as long as Mommy or Daddy went with her.

The twins favorite part was when Brad or I went down on our bellies with the kids riding our backs. But, when Brad turned a little too much and both of them came tumbling off into the snow the fun was over. We made a few snow angels then headed home. Which was probably good anyway, considering that it was only 11 degrees outside.

I took some really bad pictures with Brad's iPhone while we were sledding that don't really show anything. Here are some shots of the kids that I took with my good camera when we got home.

Monday, November 22, 2010

An edited photo...

Winter Wonderland

Last night it started snowing, and this morning we woke up to this:

"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A trip to the pumpkin patch

Last Friday, we went to the pumpkin patch with the MOPS group.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nick and Catie are 4!

I've always wanted to dress Catie and Nick as Mickey and Minnie Mouse for Halloween, and since we went to Disneyland recently and this is probably the last year I'll be able to choose their costumes for them, this is the year. And, since I'm always looking for a way to make the most of every purchase, we had a Mickey and Minnie birthday party too. :)
It started that morning as the kids came downstairs to a house decorated for the party. They each opened up a present with a toy that they could play with during the party (a Mickey Mouse playhouse for Nick and a Melissa & Doug wooden birthday cake for Catie.)
At 10 o'clock we greeted 8 other 3 and 4 year-olds and their parents (plus 2 babies.) It was a full and noisy house!
After about a half an hour of playing, we corralled everyone together for a game of pin the tail on Pluto.
I realized too late that I should have practiced with Catie and Nick. They wanted to go first, but they had no idea what the game was about. There were only a couple of the kids who had played pin the tail on the donkey before, but it was entertaining! :)
After that, Catie threw a fit because I wouldn't let her open her prize from pin the tail on Pluto (a stamp set.) I had to take the birthday girl upstairs for a little time-out.
Crisis averted, we moved on to the pinata. I'm not going to post pictures because 1) they aren't that great and 2) I'm not sure if the other parents want their kids pictures on the Internet. Anyway, it was fun. It was a "safe" pinata where the whole thing has a cardboard shell and the bottom is made of tissue paper. There are a bunch of ribbons hanging on the bottom and one of them when a kid pulls it, will pull that tissue paper off. Catie was not shy about grabbing 2 or 3 times as much candy as the rest of the kids. That's my girl. :)
After the pinata chaos, it was time for lunch. I served chili, hot dogs, fruit kabobs, Mickey shaped cheese (you can buy it pre-cut in Mickey heads) with crackers, and veggies with dip. It was a big hit. I even found Donald Duck orange juice at the store earlier this week.
Not to be outdone, Nicky had a minor meltdown at lunch. First when he didn't get to sit in the chair he wanted and then when he spilled his juice. (I'll be the first to admit that ten 3 and 4 year olds in a fairly unstructured environment can be pretty overwhelming!)
Cake time! Not one to give up tradition, I made their cakes again this year, but I cheated. :) The toppers are painted Styrofoam.

Catie was so cute when we were singing happy birthday. She sang along and said, "Happy birthday to me!"
After the party, we gave the kids a little time to play with their new toys and settle down, then they went down for a nap.
Later that afternoon, they opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa Herzog and Uncle Rusty and Aunt Brittany while we were on the phone with Grandma.
After dinner, we webcammed with Grandma and Grandpa Phelps and opened the presents from them.
Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes and presents. It was a great day, but I'm glad we only do this once a year! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Pixar Parade at California Adventure Park

Monster's Inc.

The Incredibles

Finding Nemo

A Bug's Life
This parade included lots of water. The caterpillar in the picture above is holding flower that sprayed water at the audience. I spent a lot of the parade holding my camera away from things that I thought would shoot water.

Some of the floats had people doing acrobatics. These guys were spinning all around the poles while the poles themselves were swinging back and forth.

Toy Story
See the cowgirl spinning on the bar in Rex's mouth?

Celebrate: A Street Party at Disneyland
This parade was different. They actually stopped the whole thing at three different points on the route and had an interactive street party. We were lucky enough to choose the perfect spot right where the main float stopped.

There were lots of people performing as well as the characters.
You can kind of see the people riding bikes with large baskets on the back. The costumed characters rode in the back when the parade was moving.
The parade was tons of fun. It was hard to take good pictures though because it was dark and everything was moving so quickly.

We had so much fun at Disneyland! Thanks for letting me relive it here on the blog. :) Hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Toon Town

There were lots of hidden surprises around Toon Town. Here's Grandma showing Nick what happens when you try to open this door.

And here's Nick running away because it made a loud noise. :)

This manhole made noises like someone was under there.

There were lots of different cars to sit in.

Grandma and Catie having a tea party at Minnie's house.

Minnie's voice would come out of this well every minute or so, saying little phrases about wishes and such.
There were little plates to stomp on around the fountain with musical instruments on them that would make that instrument make a sound.

Catie's dog tired at Mickey's house.
A second visit with the Mouse resulted in a much better picture. :)

See ya!