Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On the seventh day of Christmas...

...we have another photo from the Christmas photo shoot!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the sixth day of Christmas...

...we finally have pics of Christmas morning! EJ's big gifts from Santa were a scooter (declared her favorite gift this year)...

...and a pink digital camera with the accessories:

Mamaw and Pap Pap S bought her a complete snowshoeing kit of a bigger size. A few years ago, they bought her smaller snowshoes, but she's outgrown them and she loves to snowshoe so much! I need to get out there and exercise more with her! Did you know that snowshoeing can burn about 1000 calories per hour?!?! It's even part of the school phys ed curriculum here in our NH town (when the weather cooperates).

Grandma and Grandpap H bought each girl a portable DVD player to help keep them busy in the car! Yeah!

EJ also got really cool Camp Rock gear (hat, purse, Tshirts) from her cousin H. She also received a whole bunch of Hannah Montana stuff (bath kit, pjs, and sweatshirt) and High School Musical stuff (shirt and sweatshirt). A full tweener wardrobe!

EJ got Sophie a Sit and Spin. They have several of these in the church nursery and Sophie just loves to play on them:

Santa brought her a Peek-a-Boo Curious George:

...and a laptop computer (since she always insists on being on my lap when I'm working!):

...and a wooden train set:

...and a beautiful Asian baby doll! She also received a really beautiful Cabbage Patch Doll from Mamaw and Pap Pap S, along with a nice set of CD-read along books!

EJ and I went to see Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories yesterday. It was a great movie - we highly recommend it for kids!

Monday, December 29, 2008

On the fifth day of Christmas...

...we have photos from Christmas Eve! We left the house around noon and went to my cousin's first. Her parents were visiting, and so my dad and his brother got to visit with each other, even for a short time. EJ and M enjoyed playing in the SuperFort we bought for M's big brother P.

Then it was off to an early church service at 2:30. This allowed us to get home and still have time for our traditional seafood crepe dinner. But before we ate, we took some photos by the tree. Here are the girls with Mamaw and Pap Pap S:

And a few by themselves:

And one that Miss Sophie insisted I take before anyone else was ready:

After dinner, it was time to put out the milk and cookies and read "Twas the Night Before Christmas".

Sunday, December 28, 2008

On the fourth day of Christmas...

...there was a Christmas pageant! This pageant was held two weeks ago, just a few days into the power outage. K stayed home to babysit the newly-installed generator, and I took EJ and Sophie for the evening. Our church has enough kids to have two pageants each year - the same one on two different weekends. That way, everyone can participate.

EJ was SO excited to be Mary this year. Since she was three, she has been an angel in the pageant, and as much as she loves the angel costumes, she liked being able to be someone different this year.

After the pageant, we always have a big potluck dinner (Lutherans really know how to have potlucks. And Garrison Keillor would be proud...there was jello salad.) Dinner is followed by a talent show where the kids in the church can play and instrument, sing, dance, do magic tricks, sit in yoga poses, or show off karate kicks. EJ played the piano again this year - Away in a Manger.

Pap Pap and Mamaw are leaving today to visit my brother's family for a few days. I'm hoping to catch up on the laundry and visit the local LLBean outlet for some after-holiday shopping!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

On the third day of Christmas...

...we have photos of our tree-decorating evening. Sophie enjoyed helping with the beads

but got bored pretty quickly and joined her big sister on the couch to watch a Christmas movie instead.

EJ does like putting the star on top each year. This year, we remembered to have her do it BEFORE all the other ornaments were hung!

We asked Sophie where the star was, and she showed us:

Here's Sophie hanging a Christmas ornament for the very first time!

Then, she got all snuggled in her pjs and went to work.

Of course, most of her ornaments ended up in the same place. On the same branch, actually:

What I remember most about this evening is that the power went out about an hour after the last photo was taken.

Yesterday was a great day - my cousin and her kids came up for a few hours and had lunch with us. K and Dad put a new light in the kitchen (the older fixture was out of commission for the past few weeks), and then our friends J and B from San Francisco (formerly of NH) stopped in for a little while since they were in the area this week. It was so nice to see them! We went out for our favorite pizza last night and just relaxed.

Today, EJ and I are heading into Boston. Santa brings theater tickets almost every year, and this year was no exception. There was an envelope slid under EJ's door with two tickets for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the musical" for this afternoon's matinee. We also need to make a quick stop at the Crocs store in Fanieul Hall, as Santa brought EJ a pair of Electric Blue Mammoth crocs (the ones with the fur lining), but they are the wrong size!

Friday, December 26, 2008

On the second day of Christmas...

...we have pics of the girls with Santa! They visited Santa twice this year - the first shot is from the local mall in mid-November. On the way to the mall that evening, we coached Sophie to tell Santa she had been a good girl and that she should ask for toys! When we got there, she stared at him and seemed a little unsure at first, but with big sister holding her hand, they walked up and talked for a few minutes. Sophie finally spit out: "Good girl. Bring toys!" Then, I lifted her up onto his lap, and she even smiled for the photo! EJ asked for Monopoly for Christmas, and when Santa asked if there was anything else she could think of, she said NO! He obliged, and a version of Monopoly was safely delivered under the tree - she and Pap Pap and Mamaw are in the middle of a game now.

A few weeks later, we saw the big guy again when he came to have breakfast with the kids at EJ's school. She was used to the routine by now and crawled right up into his arms.

Today is a slow day here - YEAH!!!! My cousin and her kids are on their way up to visit, and we're going out for dinner tonight. No more cooking! I love to cook, but after a few days of big meals, we're opting for leftovers for lunch today and pizza at Flatbreads tonight for dinner!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

On the first day of Christmas...

Here's this year's official photo...look for others from the same photo shoot over the next few days, as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas morning shots, pics with Santa, and EJ's appearance as Mary in the church pageant. Hope your day was wonderful!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

...and to all a good night!
So, I couldn't start my 12 days of Christmas posts last weekend due to the ice storm, so I'll start them tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hooray! We have power!

Sophie was very excited that the power came back on! Actually this photo was taken a few days ago, but too cute to pass up!
The power finally came back just about two hours ago after 10 LONG days. Here are some photos that I took on the day after the storm.
One of my two Japanese maple trees in the front yard:

The view down my street taken from the end of my driveway:

EJ went out to pick frozen leaves from the shrubs. Notice how long the icicles are are the leaves!

A pic of my neighbor's oak tree. All of the branches are broken or bent and pointing downward.

A shot from the house down the driveway. Our drive is about 300 feet long. Note the little trees laying on the power lines to the house. Those weren't the problem, though. Apparently, our circuit, which powers up to 2200 homes, was a problem in this storm.

I'm so glad it's over. On Thursday, the power company thought they would have us back up by Friday, but then on Friday morning, they changed that estimate to Sunday. As of about 5pm, it wasn't looking good, but then we saw the blinking yellow lights on the corner. K drove down to get more gasoline for the generator and the snowblower (oh yeah, we've had about a foot of snow today, and it's still coming down), and saw them working on the line. We were so excited that I ran out a big sampling Christmas cookies for the line workers to thank them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still no power...

Just an update that we STILL have no power, but hope to in the next day or so. We've seen work crews around our town finally. EJ had school today, which is a good sign since most of the town must have power for that to happen, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ice Age

Hi all...just wanted to give everyone an update.  We have been without power since about midnight Thursday night, and we don't expect to have it back anytime soon.  Things are very bad in NH.  Most of the houses in our neighborhood have power lines pulled away from the house, as tree limbs knocked them down.  Not good.  It could be several more days before we have power.  We are spending the nights with my cousin about 30 miles away for now.  We'll see what happens tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yes, I'm still alive...

...despite the lack of posts. It's been a very busy week since we returned. We had a big deadline at work and I've been busier than you can imagine. And then add holiday "stuff" on top of that and I'm a basket case! I'm looking forward to a comfortably busy week this week and next to finish up my holiday chores. The shopping is nearly done, but I need to bake, do cards, trim the tree (it's standing and lit, though). And then there's my dentist appointment, EJ's chorus concert, haircuts, and pageant rehearsal and pageant this week. But now that my head is clear (or, at least I hope it is after a good night's sleep), I'll be just fine.

And yes, in a few days I'll begin the 12 days of Christmas photos! Oooo, I already have some cute ones from a Santa visit. Sophie loves the big guy. Walks right up to him and says "Good girl, bring toys!" She says the cutest things. I asked her to do something this evening and she replied "Okay, mama. No ploblem!" That's how it comes out anyway.

Oh well, I'm off to bed. I know it's early, but I need to catch up.

And by the way, I've become slightly addicted to Facebook and tend to "microblog" little status updates over there. Feel free to be my friend...!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We're home!

We really know how to log the miles on vacation. As if the 575 mile drive to my dad's isn't enough, we get there and then drive all over southwestern PA to do lots of other things. We had a lot of fun. Here are my favorite photos of the week. Somehow, though, I managed to NOT take pictures of the girls with Pap Pap and Mamaw. I'm not sure how I can do that, but I did. Oh well. They'll be here in a few weeks for Christmas.

We arrived last Saturday evening. On Sunday, we went to church. Sophie thought she was quite cute and decided to kiss herself in the mirror.

This shot came out really well:

We went to visit my grandmother and my great uncle and great aunt that day. We popped into my cousin P's house (ugh, no photos there either) and then, we grabbed a few pizzas from Bud Murphy's (the local sports bar) and headed to my friend S's new house. It's gorgeous! Speaking of gorgeous, S's girls had a blast dressing up Sophie:

Here are the girls with S and G's four kids!
And then the girls got silly:

My friend S and I:

On Monday, we went to Glisan's (another favorite restaurant in the area - diner style) with one of K's high school buddies and his mom and K's cousin L and her husband G. On Tuesday we went back to my grandmother's. E had fun pushing S around in grandma's wheelchair!

The girls with Great Grandma K:

On Wednesday, we drove 90 miles to visit my best friend from growing up, A and her family. A and I lived next door to each other from the time we were four years old. She now has five girls and we had a blast visiting with them for a few hours. Again, somehow we were so busy chatting it up and catching up on everything that we totally forgot to take any pictures! Bad me. They hadn't met Sophie yet, so again, Sophie had fun playing with the big girls. By the time we got back to Pap Pap's, my brother T and his wife P and daughter H were there!
Then came Turkey Day! We went with my brother's family to visit my grandmother one more time. Sophie took a good nap and woke up hungry before the meal was ready, so she had a little snack first:

Check out the big bread cornucopia that my sis-in-law made! Isn't that cool? I think I might have to try one of these some year.

Sophie enjoyed some snuggle time with Daddy:

On Friday, E and P and I went shopping to one of our favorite stores, and the guys took the girls to the incline in Johnstown. Pap Pap had told EJ about this the last time we visited but we didn't have time to do it, so she finally got to ride one!

Overall, EJ says the vacation was A-OK! She already misses her cousin H and was sad to leave this morning.