Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas whirlwind!

Its always crazy busy when we go home... this year was no exception!

Saturday night we hung out with our friends and their families. The kids had a blast, swimming and playing wii (I think the adults had more fun!).

Here all the kids - ages range from 9 to 21 months

Here's Corynn and her friend- they are one month apart. In fact he was born on Corynn's due date...

Here is a pic of the FIVE generations of women on my side of the family!

Santa made a visit over to the Kelly's on Christmas Eve- It was very difficult trying to get a good picture of all the kids. Hopefully my brother in law snapped a better one!

Even my in laws got in on the Santa action.... too cute!

In the pic above, Nancy is holding a shoe- that' s because she is an avid Wii bowler and quite a pro! She can outscore all of us! So Santa brought her a monogrammed bowling shirt and used bowling shoes. It was really just TOO funny! She was a great sport!

Here she is striking her signature wii bowling pose - she also wearing the bowling shirt and shoes!

Christmas was really great! My brother, Jared and his family- me and the girls and my little brother Trev all went to the movies on Christmas day. We went and saw National Treasure 2. Going to a movie on Christmas day is tradition in my family- it was a pretty good movie too!

We really had a great time being back home and seeing the families! But its also great to be back home!

oh and on a side note... Emma didn't make the trip with us, instead she went to a doggie spa while we were away. She got to go swimming, had Christmas dinner, daily playdates with other dogs and one on one time with a trainer. I think she was just a little spoiled! But she seems happy to be home! The things we do for our dogs! my oh my!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We're back home!

We went back home for Christmas! It was alot of fun! I finally have the house semi-picked up and things unpacked.... so I will get back to posting tomorrow!

My New year's resolution is to blog everyday. hmmmmmm- wonder how long I will last?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Corynn's hilarious vocabulary!

We have never used baby talk with our children... not even when they were babies. Mainly because it makes you sound like your bloomin' crazy- but also because I believe kids should learn grown-up actual words to convey their thoughts. Communication is hard enough with out a language barrier. Anyway....

All of the girls have big vocabularies, but Corynn just cracks me up! This week's words are: outstanding, miraculous, fabulous and oxymoron. I have no idea where she picks up some of her words. And for the most part- she uses them correctly. The girls and I were discussing oxymorons this weekend, just a short little conversation and she quickly picked up on the word. At first she thought it was a bad word, like we were name calling. Once we explained it to her - everything was an oxymoron. Today at school- her teacher told me she was trying to explain the word to a group of kids in class. She had them (about 4 kids) in a little circle and she was trying to think of some examples. She doesn't really know what the word means- I think she just likes the sound of it. So she made up words that she thought were oxymorons. Pretty soon the whole group was pointing at things saying- "The marker is an oxymoron" or "the coat is an oxymoron". The teacher said it was quite funny. A bunch of three and four year olds calling everything an "ox-ma-ron"

When I asked her about she said "We're just not old enough for that word yet. I think its a five year old word!"

She is still learning spanish- but my favorite phrase from her is hasta luego... which comes out hotsa legos. Too cute!

Friday, December 14, 2007

OH the candy!!!!!

Today afterschool we made gingerbread houses. This is the story* of a how much a simple gingerbread house can mean!

A man in his early thirties was having a horrible time. He had lost touch with his family, feeling a complete failure in his parents eyes. He couldn't hold a job. He didn't have a wife or children and the holidays were causing him to feel extremely lonely. He found himself drinking more and more everyday just to numb the pain. Then one night, close to Christmas, he heard a knock at his door. He really didn't want to answer the door, but the person or persons just kept knocking. He finally answered the door, and there were two girls with huge smiles on their faces with a brightly decorated gingerbread house. The girls sang him a Christmas carol, wished him a Merry Christmas and gave him the house. The visit was short but left a lasting message with the man. They girls would never know how important that small act of kindness meant to the man... at least not for several years. The next morning, he called his parents and went to Christmas service with them. He quit drinking and found a better path to follow.

So in the spirit of this story, we made gingerbread houses.

Here is Kwynn working on her masterpiece...

Ah... they really do love eachother

Here are the girls with their second cousin, who was over playing

I think they ate more candy than anything (but that's what its all about)

*that is how my mom's neighbor, Joe, described the Christmas a friend of mine and I took him our gingerbread house. He reminds my kids of how much it meant everytime he catches us at my mom's house

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The twins and I argue alot...Not big fights, but we just have alot of conflict. I am not surprised though- according to the Chinese Astrological Chart, we are complete opposites and should avoid eachother if at all possible. They are Tigers and I am a monkey. The attributes completely fit our personalities and the caution to 'avoid' eachother is starting to totally make sense. I am dreading the teenage years! ;)

Anyway- at the beginning of this last summer, the girls and I gave eachother matching friendship bracelets. In hopes that it would help with bickering- since we were spending all day everyday together.

You may have seen me wearing these. McKynna has the matching blue one and Kwynn has the matching pink one.

We were looking at these this morning and McKynna mentioned how it meant alot to her that I was still wearing the bracelets. Because its not normal mom jewelry. I just reminded her that you are supposed to wear them until they fall off- if you do then your friendship will last forever. At least that's what I was told by my friend when I was younger.

So we continue to wear our friendship bracelets in hopes that it will remind us that we truly love eachother and to stop bickering.

The true test is today.... a snow day...stuck inside together...for hours and hours...
Let's pray the power doesn't go out! :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Snow dog!

Emma always gets excited, hyper and restless the night before snow. Last night she was freaking out- she kept wanting to go outside (presumably to see if the snow had come yet). She about knocked me over this morning when I let her out of her kennel. She ran right over me towards the door. But still no snow.

But now we have about 4 inches of snow or better in south part of the city...and I decided Ems had waited long enough. I let her out to play.

Here she is running in the snow...

Putting her face in the snow...

Eating snow...

Chilling in the snow after an exuberant 5 minutes of playing. What a sweetie!

Corynn was quite displeased that only Ems could play outside... she has to wait until the snow has stopped. In her words "I wish I was a dog!"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Getting to know my HOLIDAY side

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping paper
2. Real tree or artificial? artificial
3. When do you put up the tree? the day after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? The week between Christmas and New Years
5. Do you like eggnog? umm- NO!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I always liked finding my stocking on Christmas morning
7. Do you have a nativity scene? No- I really want one, but it has to be perfect and just haven't found that ONE yet!
8 . Hardest person to buy for? grandparents and parents
9. Easiest person to buy for? Corynn- anything Disney Princess
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A sweatshirt with a horse painted on it - I was in highschool. I felt bad for never wearing it.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail mail cards all the way!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A tie between the cartoon and movie of the GRINCH
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? All year long
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so- pretty sure its a NO
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Gma Tillie's divinity and cheese frenchies
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? clear
17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy night
18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Doesn't matter as long as we are with family
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? no
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We either use a big bow or a santa hat
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? My family always did it Christmas eve- but I love watching the kids Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Christmas songs on the radio... in OCTOBER!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas "BOY" ideas!

I have three little boys to buy gifts for and they are all three the same age... 20 months. I am begging for ideas...any would appreciated! Boy gifts or even unisex gift ideas- any and all! I haven't had a little one like that around for awhile... so I am a little lost! Thanks

Monday, December 03, 2007

A bit of advice...

I started Christmas shopping this summer...and inspite of all that hard work and preparation, I am finding myself becoming overwhelmed as the days pass and the holidays get closer. There are so many little things left to cards, stocking stuffers, making christmas candy and goodies, getting our christmas card/pic out in the mail, finishing up the last little odds and ends on the gift list...ughhhhhh!

My super smart "pa-in-law" gave me a pillow with some really great advice...

In my case, it was the christmas lights... literally! If you only knew how close I was to getting the shears and hacking through the strands of defective lights wrapped around my tree! Instead, there was a little screaming, yelling, swearing (oops!) and even some tears. I soon decided to take a break and get back to it when I felt more in the christmas spirit. In the end- our tree is up and nicely strung with working lights.

In not so literal terms... I am vowing to keep the christmas spirit with me this month and have sworn to remain stress-free!

Hmmmmm Well- so far so good. But check back around December 23rd! ha! That's the true test!

Anyway- just wanted to share my "pa-in-law's" holiday advice! Untangle that tinsel, people!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Project for the week

Our home doesn't have a real dining room...its more of an eat-in-kitchen-transition-room. We have lived here almost 4 years and I have never quite known what to do with the area. Well- I am finally at a place I can live with.

We bought a round table, a bench and used the four chairs from our previous set. I went with black/white/yellow. Which at first doesn't really seem like me- but I love it!

I also repainted our buffet. I was given this buffet, which was found in a chicken barn on an old farm. I tried to strip it first- but that was going to take tooooooo long! So I painted it my standard colors of olive green and off white. You can kind of see it behind Kynna and her "friend"- sorry its the best pic I could find.

Its now black and light beige to match the bench. I needed something out of the ordinary- my house is basically the same four colors (warm neutrals) through out and this is a nice new contrast.

If you know me- then you know its very much me! I love it........ I think John is still warming to it! :o)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Day!

We spent Thanksgiving with the Kelly's (John's parents and his grandma). It was a great time- just visiting and hanging out with family. John's grandma is hilarious and always has something funny or crudely sarcastic to add to the conversation. I love that woman!

Nancy went through her second battle with breast cancer this year. It was a long road, but she's doing great now. We were all most thankful for her health and presence in our lives. It wouldn't be the same with out her.

This is Kwynn stirring the gravy...can you sense her enthusiasm! In her own words- "I'm just not a domestic kind of girl!" - where do these kids get this stuff!? :)

This is John's dad cutting the turkey...

and this is him sneaking a little nibble...haha! (thanks, Jeff!)


I had the best of intentions when I tried to get a cute picture of the girls- and this what I got! I should have known!

At least they love each other!

And here comes grandpa...trying to settle the troops! He's an awesome grandpa!

It was a fun day! A day filled with good food, good people and lots of good memories!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mayo Trip

Corynn had a check up appt at Mayo Clinic in Rochester yesterday. We were lucky enough to get to fly this time, rather than drive the eight hours it takes to get there. It was just Corynn and I - and it was a very quick trip. We flew out Monday night, her appts were Tuesday morning and then we flew back home early Tuesday evening. This was Corynn's very first plane ride so it was interesting!

She loved the actual plane ride- but the waiting was a whole another story! its hard for a 4 year old to understand waiting, especially when they are super excited!

This is Corynn on the first plane- I wish I would have taken a pic of her reaction when we took off. She yelled "We're off the ground, mom! We're off the ground!" It was at night and she saw the stars and moon... and kept saying "I can't believe I'm flying in outer space! How cool!"

Here are a few pix of Corynn blowing off steam at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport- we only had a 52 minute layover- but you would have thought it was hours!

Her appt went FANTASTIC! They kept parading dr.s through to see her progress. And they all kept telling her how perfect, wonderful and cute she was. And she made their day- and how she was the super star of the brachial plexus clinic. Talk about an ego boost to a girl that already sees herself as "the princess". But it was all great news. She is at 89% in motion and movement. They were hoping for 40-50% after surgery. She is also able to twist her wrist from palm up to palm down and back- a movement she shouldn't be able to do because of a nerve transfer they did when she was a baby. She is basically a little miracle- and doctors hardly ever use those words. She is by far the best pediatric brachial plexus recovery they have seen in the last 5 years at Mayo clinic.

Needless to say, we are very pleased!

Here is a pic of Corynn and two of her surgeons. Dr. Shin (a hand specialist) on the left and Dr. Spinner (head neurologist) on the right.

Heritage School

The twins had Heritage school this week. Its where they spend a day in a one-room school house, and doing all the things a student would have done during the 1800s.

Of course, they had to have costumes- so here is what we came up with. I had to quickly sew aprons and Kynna's skirt the night before (because they didn't want to look the same. Kwynn had heritage school on Monday and Kynna on Tuesday, so I thought I could get away with one outfit... guess not!)

They had cute little braids and ribbons in their hair which I did Monday morning (hoping kynna's would stay in until tuesday!)

They were cute and had fun.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Play time

The girls have been talking about playing in the leaves. Corynn has been talking about it for weeks. Well, finally our big tree dropped its leaves. So tonight I started raking the front yard.

When the end of my rake broke off and I had to quit for the night... the girls decided to take full advantage of my lovely leaf pile.

I finally gave in to Corynn's pleadings.... and buried her.

Ahhhh- it was so worth having to rake up the leaves...AGAIN!

Jumping the gun!

Last year I had great success ordering the majority of our Christmas gifts online. It was super easy, a huge selection (the sky was the limit on where to shop) and they came right to my door (which means no carting kids around the mall)!

So this year I continued with the trend and once again ordered online. Boxes have been arriving for the last week and the kids are becoming quite inquisitive. Especially Corynn- she wants to know what everyone will be getting.

So I have had to go from this:

To this:

(and yes- some of those are recycled bows from my mother-in-law. But they are too pretty to just toss!)

Corynn also wrapped some presents yesterday. They are toys for her babies.

She wrapped them all by herself... and she only used a roll and a half of tape! :o)

I usually have strong opinions about Christmas stuff being out before Thanksgiving. It's tradition to put up the tree and decorations the day after - but I am thinking I may start this weekend.


Yes, we all survived! well- barely! And it wasn't a 24 hour bug either. More like 72 hour- yuck! Anyway- I just wanted to let everyone know that we are alive!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stomach flu- YUCK!

Box of saltines: $2.25

Sports drinks: $6.50

Anti-nausea medicine: $14.00

The kids all being old enough to make it to the toilet: PRICELESS!

UGHHHH- the flu has invaded our house. Corynn had it yesterday, John and I are feeling yucky today and I am sure as soon as we are over it- the twins will get it. So far it looks like just a 24 hour bug! I really hope that's all it is!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Corynn and I had a little impromptu craft day yesterday. We were putting away our Halloween decorations when she politely informed me- we didn't have any for Thanksgiving. Such an observant little thing.

We decided to make some turkeys for the end tables and coffee table. We used our finger prints, water paints and markers to make the feathers. Corynn even took some to the neighbors.

I also had this plain green wreath that my mom brought me when she was cleaning her house out. It has been sitting in my living room as I awaited some inspiration on what to do with it. Christmas wreath with ornaments and garland? Or a fall wreath with autumn leaves and raffia?

Well- I was too lazy to go to the craft store so I just used what I had around the house. This is how it turned out.

The bow is a recycled Christmas bow off a gift from my in-laws last year. (My mother-in-law makes the best bows! The gifts are almost too pretty to open!) The pinecones came from Corynn's "acorn" collection. (she keeps calling them acorns for some reason) A bit of holly from the craft junk box, a little hot glue- and TA DA!Well- kind of! It'll have to do and it didn't cost a thing!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another Halloween- come and gone

John had to be out out of town this Halloween for work- so I went at it alone with the kids. Here's a picture of them in their costumes.

Kynna was a girl vampire (her bestfriend, Justin, was it was perfect for her!)

Kwynn was a ghost (she just wanted her hair painted and makeup- so she was easy to please)

Corynn was sleeping beauty (it came down to the wire with her decision on what to be...she kept saying she was going to be a princess-pirate-ghost- but I think we all knew that in the end she would be a princess. Its puka the family princess, afterall!)

Here are the Halloween "boo- hoos" and "woo- hoos":

Boo-hoo: Emma ate Kwynn's jackolantern, well actually just the mouse part of it and three suckers.
Woo-hoo: Proved that I was sooooo right and the dog is still a puppy.

Woo-hoo: We had pumpkin pie for dessert last night- complete with spray can whip topping.
Boo-hoo: I sprayed some whip topping in Corynn's mouth and just as I finished she sneezed and it went all over me.

Boo-hoo: It was cold last night- so we didn't do much trick or treating
woo-hoo: It was cold last night- so we didn't do much trick or treating