Wednesday, December 30, 2009

......... it's only a day away.

I know, that's not the song, but the new year is only a day away. YIKES! Where does time go? In looking back, we really did have a good year. I have been able to watch my baby grow up into a toddler, and I got to watch my oldest son become a "big kid". Ethan really took over as man of the house while Jason has been gone. We have been tested this year. Our inner strengths, the strength of our family, and the strength of our friendships. We are so much stronger after this year. All of our relationships are so much deeper than they were before, and I know that we are loved and supported by so many people. I have learned things about myself that I may have never found without the challenges I faced. I have been fortunate enough to have some success with my jewelry, something I may have never pursued without the nudge from Jason and the support of my friends and family. I know that the time is growing near when Jason will finally be home. I am so proud of him. I can't wait to continue our lives together and to see what next year will bring for us. I hope you all have a very happy and blessed new year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas in review

Thanks to the small snow storm that ran through Billings, we didn't head to Sheridan until Christmas Eve. I'm really glad we waited though, there was still a trace of the bad roads as we drove down. After we arrived, we all put Abby to work. Poor Ab. She cut and colored my hair, and cut Tyler and Joe's hair. All the while, Joe was making Italian Beef for dinner. It was SO good. Don't tell Jason, but Joe has a recipe, and it was super easy. I could probably even pull it off. : ) After dinner, of course, came presents. I couldn't believe how blessed we are. Everyone got a ton of great stuff. The living room looked like a bomb went off and left trash everywhere. The kids had a blast. We spent the rest of the evening putting together toys and watching the kids play. After the kids were in bed, Santa stopped by, and left even more stuff for the kids. Lucky for Joe and I, all three boys slept in until 7, then we all made our way to the living room for another round of gifts. CRAZY! They got way too much stuff. Abby and Chris came over in the afternoon, and Chris brought the special tooth pulling pliers. They worked great, Ethan's tooth had been ready to come out for days, but I couldn't get a hold of it to pull it out. Now he just looks ridiculous.Joe fried a turkey and we had all the fixins with it. It was SO good, but so much food. After lunch, we watched Abby open her birthday gifts. She was disappointed because we didn't get her a cake, but little did she know, we had a plan. But to make her feel better, Chris and I took her out to the bar, and hung out. It was fun. Yesterday, I put Abby to work again. Both boys needed a haircut, and she had an apron and stuff, so it was less mess. Ethan picked that he wanted red hair again, so Abby was busy. Then, after telling a few lies, and sneaking around, we got Abby to her surprise birthday party at the Sheridan Inn. She was super surprised, and everyone had a great dinner and a lot of fun. All Abby really wanted for her birthday was a "fancy cake". Lucky for me and my connections, we got her this. It was perfect and tasted great.

It has been a great weekend. We are heading home tomorrow, weather permitting. Hope you all had a great Christmas. There is an album to the right with the rest of our Christmas pictures.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This was way too funny.

Jib Jab things are just too funny not to share! We only have 4 of us in our little family, so there is a special guest with us. ENJOY!

click here: http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/m5Qf8Eic08cDWR2o

I've got a feeling...............

That we are going to have a great Christmas! We got Ethan's teacher a little gift, and he was so excited to take it to her. The first thing he did yesterday morning was carefully place it in his backpack, and then he treated his backpack like it had the crown jewels in it. After school I asked if he had given it to her and of course he had, but then he said that everyone brought her a gift. I was impressed! Everyone? Wow! That is awesome. We came home and got ready to go to the Helman's for dinner and gifts. Jackie even sets the table with festive dishes and candles. She is awesome. I would have went with paper plates and plastic ware to save myself the cleanup. Before dinner, there was the mandatory wrestling between Kenny and Ethan. Every time we are at their house, Ethan tests his strength against Kenny. He always loses, but they have a great time.Elliott could not get over their tree. They have high ceilings, so they get a tall tree, and it's beautiful. He just kept pointing and saying "OOOOh. Aaaaah." LASAGNA! YummmmmmmThen it was time for gifts. Annie is one of 2 St Bernards at the Helman house. She knew what was coming. Ethan got them both new chew toys. Ethan got to go first, mostly because he is the most impatient. He got Connect 4! He loves playing games so much, and can't wait for his dad to get home to play his new ones.Ethan helped Elliott with his. He got a Planet Earth Elephants DVD with a big stuffed elephant. He loves the stuffed elephant, and I can't wait to see his reaction to the DVD. After a great night with the Helman's, we came home and got ready to have a "Skype Christmas" with my mom, dad and grandma. The boys were very excited to get started. Finally, the call came! Gotta love technology! So we opened the box and they dug in.Elliott didn't totally understand what was going on, but had a great time throwing paper and such out of the box.That box with the red lid................that's for me.............. : ) Mom's homemade Christmas candy, and Grandma Mac's Christmas cookies! We also got Popcorn Balls from Grandma Mac. Every time I see a popcorn ball I remember making them at Grandma's. TONS of them. Then driving to the Fire stations, Police Station, Ambulance Garage, Newspaper, and all of our friends in town to deliver their holiday popcorn balls. I need to come up with something to do with my kids. It's definitely something that meant a lot and made great memories. The bottom of the box was filled with gifts. The boys each got a handmade wooden dinosaur coin bank from Grandma Mac. Dad and Mom helped her get them made for all the grand kids. They also got a dual screen DVD player from my Mom and Dad for the car. Hopefully this will make the trip to Sheridan for Christmas and all the upcoming trips to Helena much easier on everyone.

We were going to leave today and travel to Sheridan, but the roads are really bad, so we are going to wait until tomorrow. It's supposed to let up, and hopefully the sun will come out. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mostly for Jason

Since Jason can't be here to see it, I finally remembered to get it on camera. Good job me! It's not exciting at all, but I am impressed that he has mastered feety pajamas on the tile. It's not an easy task. He can also go from sitting to standing without pulling up on something, the true sign of a walker. haha. Well, enjoy this short video and have a great day.

video

Monday, December 21, 2009

Alvin and the WHAT?!?!?

Last night, Ethan and I were watching t.v. and a commercial for the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie came on. Ethan has a new habit of replacing words with other words that don't even make sense. It drives me crazy. Next thing I know Ethan says "Alvin and the Dickheads". What? I thought I heard him wrong and made him repeat himself several times, to the point he looked at me like I was dumb and very plainly said "DICKHEADS". Yep. Exactly what I thought he had said, and usually if he thinks he has said a bad word (rarely this happens) he will not repeat it for me, so I knew he had no clue what he had just said. I asked him where he heard it, and he wouldn't say. I don't necessarily consider dickhead to be a swear word. I have a very large vocabulary of them (I'm not bragging) but I prefer and usually only use 4-letter ones. I would agree that it's not a nice word to say, and definitely not one I would like to hear coming from a 6 year olds mouth, but I can come up with a lot of worse things he could have said. So, he wasn't in trouble, he obviously didn't know that it was a bad word, but after I explained to him why he shouldn't say it, he was upset that he used it. He really is a good kid, and it's so funny to me when something like this happens and he is devastated about his actions, even if he really didn't know what he was saying was inappropriate.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Elliott Update.

I have been really lax about doing updates on Elliott. Maybe because I see him everyday and spend basically every waking moment with him. He is at a terrible yet sometimes fun age. He is learning so much. Mostly what he is not supposed to touch. I think I tell him "no" about 1/2 a million times a day, and clean up his spills and toys at least a hundred times a day. Just because what I am about to say is just now being said, does not mean it is new news for me. : ) Elliott has learned to climb on everything, the couch, the chair, the stool, and the beds. Of course once he gets to the top, he walks all over and grabs everything within his new reach. This includes, drinks, electronics, scissors, fish food, etc. I didn't post about it, but there was a tragic incident with the fish food a few days ago, and both kids got sent to bed at 5:00pm. Yes, I was MAD. Elliott is also now a "walker". I love when I am in a room and he comes walking around the corner. He is so proud of himself, and loves to walk outside to the car, and walked all over Game Stop today while Ethan and I were shopping. He has still not started talking. Maybe he is saving one milestone for when his Dad gets home. :) He says Mama if he wants something, or Dada if he is being a brat, but mostly if he wants what he does not have, he will just SCREAM at the top of his lungs. Some of you are lucky enough to have witnessed this. He has gotten really good about playing with his toys and entertaining himself for a little while at a time, but still clings to me if other people are around. He has started to enjoy going to the hockey rink, and climbs the stairs and comes back down over and over. It scares the other moms, but I am tired of chasing him so I guess he will learn. He likes to stand at the glass and yell at the players during practices. He thinks he should be in charge. It's hard to think that someday I will miss this age. I won't lie, it's tough for me to enjoy it when I am with him so much, but I also know that most moms would love to have my "job" and I am very lucky.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fun in the sun.

I know, it's December, but it was gorgeous today, and Erica and I couldn't wait to get Elliott and Carson out in the snow. So after Ethan got out of school, we headed to Erica's new house, with a great back yard that we can turn them loose into. After about 10 minutes trying to get them into snow boots, coats, hats gloves, snow pants, etc, we headed out.
I don't think Carson was impressed from the get go. Elliott would have rather played with the book. Ethan was SO excited to be playing in the snow. He looks a little evil! Carson acted like his snow pants were restricting his legs from any movement, and Elliott took off. He loved the snow, he threw it, he ate it, he clapped his gloves together to flick the snow off. Carson took a few steps out into it, he was very unsure and wondered if maybe Erica and I had lost our minds thinking this was a good idea. Also, Elliott woke Carson up from his nap, so he was extremely tired. More snow...................His gloves were soaking wet when we were done.It was soooooo fun for him.Ethan is such a great big kid. He walked with Carson for a little bit.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What really matters?

The thought, right? Definitely! One of my biggest peeves in my family is when someone (Jason or Ethan) uses my bath towel, and then when I need it, it's damp and cold. I know it seems totally petty, and maybe even dumb, but it wears on my nerves! Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, means more than when a friend that you dump all your shit on, day after day, actually listened and understood and fixed the problem. Today, I got my Christmas present from Jaymee, and I was so excited to see this. My very own, monogrammed, bath towel. Even better, she made it with her own two hands (and sewing machine). I cannot tell you how much it means to me. Yes, a towel. It made my whole day!
Of course, she couldn't bear to leave it at that, she always out does herself. I saw this necklace on a blog of a local business here in town. Jaymee happens to be friends with the owners. I fell in love with the flower. I have a plan for it, but it looks good on the leather too. It was months ago that I told Jaymee how much I loved it, and by the time she went to get it for me (she's the best) they were sold out. Lucky for me, the owners do like her, and special ordered it. Isn't it awesome? So, it is the thought. Just knowing that I have friends who love me and my family, and a huge group of people who have helped me make it through this year without Jason, is the best gift anyone could ask for.

However, Ethan would disagree (I'm sure) if I told him I thought about getting him a gift, so that should be enough. I am terrible. I want to buy him EVERYTHING. He is at a great age, they have the coolest toys. Elliott is a challenge for me, but he is getting way too many things too. I must say, I have had a great time getting gifts for everyone this year, and I can't wait to be in Sheridan for Christmas. Even without Jason, I plan to make the most of the season. Hopefully, we can make a great ending to a really long and tough year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There are moments

WARNING: TONS OF SARCASM AHEAD- This weekend has tested me to the absolute end of my patience! We have spent most of it in the house due to the weather, and plans not going as planned. Elliott is growing and getting about 4 teeth, so everything makes him angry, and because he cannot (or has chosen not to) talk yet, he screams the most high pitched, spine tingling scream I have ever heard. He also hits, scratches, pinches and throws things. He is a gem. Ethan has some disorder that makes him unable to stand the quiet. He cannot keep his mouth shut for longer than it takes to swallow, and even if he really has nothing to say, he is talking. He also just loves to hear himself, so when he is not talking, he is singing or humming to himself. Elliott loves to hear Ethan as well, and makes it a point to make Ethan angry just so Ethan will yell "ELLIOTT JOSEPH!". Yes, this is my life. I cannot wait until Monday morning. Today I decided ANYTHING is better than sitting at home listening to the two of them, so we packed up and headed to Target. Dumb idea! It was a mad house. I have never seen it so packed, we couldn't even go down any isles. Whatever, we came home and they are playing (nicely for now) and I am drinking some coffee and trying to ignore them. But catching this on camera and knowing that someday they will HATE me for it, makes all the frustration disappear. LOL

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great friends, great party

Our second annual Christmas get together was a total hit! We had at least twice as many people as last year, and once again, Santa made his appearance. It was so much fun. Elliott wouldn't sit with Santa, but Ethan needed to talk to him. Ethan is such a great kid. He was the oldest (I believe) there, and made sure to let all the little kids go first. Not many of the little kids were interested in the least. Elliott loved looking at Santa, and laughed and pointed, but that is as much as he would do.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

I know the whole country is getting it, but tonight, with windchill it is supposed to be -40 degrees. I'm just hoping my car will start in the morning. I have been trying to stay in, other than taking Ethan to school. He has been on wild high everyday because they don't get to go outside during school due to the weather. Thank goodness for hockey (never thought I would say that) both kids were exhausted tonight after practice.
Ethan came home from school and Elliott was SO excited, they played for about an hour together. They are so cute!
Elliott's new love is Ethan's hockey helmet. His favorite part is the mouth guard. Someday it will actually fit. Tomorrow we are having our 2nd annual Christmas get together at Erica's house. I tested my inner Martha Stewart and made truffles, yep, truffles. They are AMAZING, and they even look good. I am impressed with myself.

Monday, December 7, 2009

DRUM ROLL PLEASE............

We had a great weekend in Missoula. The parents that went were great, and everyone is always willing to help me out with Elliott. We left at 6:00am on Friday, and the roads were great, so we made good time, and I actually remembered to pack toys for Elliott, and Ethan had his DS and my iPod, so they were both really good. We only stopped in Bozeman to get them out of their pajamas. We got to Missoula, checked into our hotel, and headed to the rink. I was nervous for our team, and especially Ethan. He was the youngest player at the tournament. The rules were for 2001 and 2002 birthdays, but we got him in because he is a good player and can keep up. Much to my surprise, he did. He definitely held his own. We played against Helena on Friday afternoon on an outdoor rink and won! I was so pleased with the teamwork that went on, it was a great way to start the tournament. Friday evening was filled with swimming and dinner, then bed. Saturday we had an 8:00am game, we played against Spokane, and I was surprised to see the kids win that game too! Unfortunately, we had a long afternoon that we tried to keep the kids occupied but not drain them before their afternoon game. We were not successful. The kids were worn out, and dragged butt on the ice. We played against Whitefish, and ended up in a tie. This was still enough to get us into the Championship game on Sunday. The team we played was Twin Cities, and all the parents and coaches expected them to be a very difficult team to beat. It was a very tense first period, but once we started scoring, we were unstoppable. Our goalie was a brick wall! I can't explain how exciting it was to be at that game. You could feel the excitement from the kids. They played an amazing game and came out on top. I get butterflies in my stomach all over again just thinking about it. They all got 1st place medals and the team got a 1st place trophy. Ethan wore his medal the whole rest of the day, and I'm not sure that he didn't sleep with it last night.
Here is Ethan right before their first game. He wore #1 and played mostly defense. I cannot believe the improvement he has made from last year. He played awesome and stopped so many pucks from crossing the blue line. It made my day to not have to say that he scored a goal on our own goalie again. I am a very proud Hockey Mom.
Elliott was always ready to go. I think he just liked riding the elevator, but it was too cute to see him crawling down the hallway of the hotel.
Saturday morning, Elliott was supposed to be getting ready, but chose to model for us instead.
This is actually a rare sight. Elliott normally crawls all over the bleachers and bangs on them etc, but on Saturday morning's game, he sat and watched and cheered. It was so nice to see him enjoying the game for once. Please note: it didn't last much beyond this picture.
Elliott noticed me taking his picture and decided he didn't want to watch anymore.
Playing D. He is the closest one.
This is more how he "watches" the game. He was shaking the fence behind the bleachers, and getting into stuff.
Again, playing D, yes I know he is not lined up right. He got there.
He is the one in the middle. He's so little.
This is the score of the championship game! Incredible!
Getting his 1st place medal. He was SO proud.
There will be a better picture of them later. I didn't get on the ice with Elliott.
He didn't stop smiling for hours!
Thank goodness for tired kids! Elliott slept for almost 4 hours and Ethan slept for 2! Notice he still had his medal on.