Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve!

I wont do much of the entire description of our night, it was pretty standard! Deliver goodies, nice dinner, open p.j.s do a nativity, and read the "Night before Christmas" But I do have to say during our little nativity, Abby WOULD NOT leave baby Jesus alone! She was supposed to be the inn keeper and the angel. Well, the innkeeper stayed by Mary THE WHOLE TIME! It was so cute!
I'll let the pics tell a thousand words!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My little artist!

Stephanie LOVES art! She has since she was old enough to write on the walls!!!! I used to think it was a phase and she wouldn't stick with it. Heaven only knows that I can't create my own art like that! (at least without a camera!)

I signed her up for art lessons, and she is having so much fun with it! She comes home every week with a new creation! Everything she looks at she tries to draw. I love the classes, because the teacher is helping her look at reality and make things like dimension and sizing work on paper!

Well, today at church she started drawing a manger scene. When she finished she asked if we could hang it somewhere in the house! I told her when we got home she should color it or paint it so that it could be seen better on the wall! When we get home, she gets out her water color paper and starts to draw in her scene. After a while she says "you know what I should ask for on my birthday since it's too close to ask for it for christmas? I should ask for one of those things that holds your paper while you paint." (already on that one for christmas!!!!!!)

Then she decides that she can make one! She had seen Thomas make me a HUGE easel out of cardboard that we covered in fabric and used as a traveling photo exhibit for my students photos. So, she grabs a large piece of cardboard and continues to "engineer" (this is the word Thomas used - I used the word "craft" ) herself an easel! As soon as she was done, she says "I wish grandma could see this" DUH!! I grab the camera snap some pictures of her in action, and here we are! Grandma can see her easel!

Benjamin got a little caught up in the action too! Stephanie convinced him to get out his art stuff! Now, remember, ben is a more like his dad than his sister! I want you to compare the complexity of their art work. He was bored and done in 5 minutes! Not quite seeing the point to all of this!

Thomas gets home from Home Teaching, and just beams at his daughter the engineer. WHAT!?! No daughter of mine . . . . j/k!

Here's the "engineering" project!

Here's the artwork in progess!

Here's ben's artwork!

Steph's final artwork!

Family Christmas Fun Night - Finally!

Well, things have finally slowed some for my business. I shot around 25 jobs in November, 30 in December. I finished my 3 last major shoots before Christmas yesterday, with only one small one left to go on Tuesday. I got a pretty rough case of laryngitis. I could hardly talk at all! They say the only cure is to rest your vocal cords and run a humidifier. Well, as a mom of 4 kids, PTA president and photographer the resting my vocal cords was not an option! Whenever I was home, I had 2 big ole pots of water a boiling on the stove! The neighbor called one night, concerned that my house was on fire! She said "all we can see through your windows is fog!!"

Today, I wanted my kids to feel Christmasy! I felt like I was jipping them the experience of enjoying the small joys of Christmas. We hadn't done any of our little traditions. Hadn't done any baking. Only decorated the house on a very minimal basis. Hadn't even wrapped many presents for the tree.

So, this morning I felt the best I had in weeks! I woke up at 9:00am (thank goodness for 1:00 church) wrapped about a dozen presents. Then I called in the kids one at a time and had them wrap their presents for each other! They giggled and laughed as they put things under the tree and tried to guess what they were! Then we got all dolled up for Christmas Sunday. We all looked so spiffy!

After dinner, we decided it was time to make and decorate cookies!

3 sad things about this . . .

1) the frosting was leftover from when we decorated gingerbread houses at the school. Didn't even make my own frosting! My red and green food coloring was gone, so we used purple and lime green!

2) the only candy I had in the house was a bag of M&Ms leftover from . . . yeah, the gingerbread houses at the school! At least these were red and green!

3) the cookies - NOT HOMEMADE!!!! gasp!! We had some cookie dough we had bought as a fundraiser from a girl in our ward, one was macadamia nut, and one was white chocolate key lime! They were about 6 months old! Well, we rolled them out as much as the chunks would allow us, and let the kids use cookie cutters to cut out their chunky cookies!

The kids however didn't notice the 3 bad things, they had a blast! I hope they were thinking, hey, mom is fun again!!

After the cookies, I decided to start a double batch of my mom's traditional poppy seed bread! YUMMY!! One of the things growing up that ALWAYS meant Christmas to me was when mom made about 40 loaves of poppy seed bread and we delivered it to the neighbors! One year, Megan got chased by a pig at one of the houses we delivered to . . . (wipe tears of laughter from my eyes).

Needless to say, today I feel SO much better. I feel better physically, I feel better spiritually, and I feel better on a stress level too! Bring on Christmas!

here's our chunky cookie dough, purple and lime green frosting!! Nothing else says Christmas better!

Did I mention we had pastel colored, flower shaped sprinkles too! HoHoHo!!

Hey look, green sprinkles!!

hey, where did that come from?!


Hey, there might be a little mouse in the house!!! I should do a finger measureing test!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yes, Benjamin, There is a Santa Claus

So, Thomas and I decided that at almost 12 years old, it was time for Benjamin to understand the whole "Santa Secret". It's not that we've with held it from him all these years, but for anyone who knows my trusting, ever believing, ever the optimist child, you understand that if he wants to believe that he can design the solar panels we need to power the city for as long as the world is around, then there is NOTHING that can deter him from his belief! Someday, I promise you, my Benjamin will be the one to design those solar panels - watch for his name!!!!

Anyway, thomas found that article titled "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause". He took Benjamin quietly into the office and had a little "heart-to-heart". He talked to him about what his friends at school say about Santa Clause, and read him that article. He talked to him about why we do kind things for others. yada, yada, yada . . .

After about 5 or so minutes, Thomas comes out of the office just a grinning and shaking his head! For our family that knows these to boys, I am sure you're on the floor laughing right now. I'm sure you can picture exactly what was going on behind the office door! For those of you who don't know my boys as well, I'll tell you what Thomas said to me!

"I asked him what he thought about that article I read him. I asked him what he thought it meant . . . he said 'it means there really is a Santa Clause!'" Can you just picture my husband hitting his head against a brick wall going "Doh!" He asked Benjamin why he thought Santa was real - planning on continuing this conversation. Ben said "because there's no way you guys could afford that Hummer Santa brought me last year!" So, my lessons in "we can't afford that" came back and kicked me in the butt!

So, any suggestions on how to tell a 12 year old boy that there isn't a Santa Clause?

p.s. Marshall wrote a letter to santa, he asked for a T.V. he said "since you and dad can't afford it, Santa can just bring it!"

by the way, the rust family is in no need for donations, angel tree, food pantry . . . we're doing fine! :-)