I've mentioned before that I have a child who seems to think she is a teenager--we joke that she is just so advanced for her age. This picture is further proof--she's already in the punk stage and putting green streaks in her hair.
Actually, she was water coloring with Isaac last week and in the moment my attention was elsewhere, she decided it would be fun to paint her hair. What a silly girl! Also, she just walked up to me and said, "Mom, I really need a bra."
Keith and I decided to make a mansion gingerbread house this year. It is a bakery/chocolate shop, which we of course named Enticing Icing. We love taking on projects like this, even though it entails many hours of baking, assembling, decorating, and detail work.
This house has a cute little window display that shows off the bakery's goods--a wedding cake, a chocolate torte cake, donuts, a chocolate cake, and three gingerbread houses. It was pretty fun making such tiny confections.
The house also features a lot of scrollwork done in royal icing, including a fence that Keith designed.
I made the Christmas trees by stacking waffle cones and covering them with icing leaves.
This sign for the shop is molded out of chocolate.
There are even two working lights inside.
We put the gingerbread house up on our entertainment center in the hopes of it making it through the holidays intact. Who knows, maybe it will last through several Christmases.
Today we went to our local Fry's grocery store to visit Santa. The kids got to sit on his lap, which was good because Sareny needed to tell Santa that she changed her mind and instead of a baby doll she wants a bike after all. (I might add this was after much hinting and prompting from me.) Hopefully Keith can get over the fact that Santa was sitting on a throne of Coke. Hopefully Grammy Jo can get over the fact that poor little Finley's socks fell off. They also got to decorate sugar cookies. Lots of frosting and a gummy worm on top--yum! And lastly, they got to write letters to Santa. Sareny said she didn't know how to draw a bike, but I encouraged her to try and this is what she came up with. I was very proud of her! Isaac loves drawing as well. Anyway, kind of strange to say I took my kids on an outing to the grocery store, but that really was the only reason we went to the store today and I think we had a pretty nice time. Especially if you ignore the little "Oh no, where's Isaac?" incident that occured in the midst of the crowd near the end of our excursion...
What ever happened to my baby girl's hair? I mean, she never had an over-abundance of hair to begin with, but she certainly had some. (see pictorial evidence below.)
And here she is now...
Although it started out dark brown, her hair is obviously growing in blond. Hopefully not too long from now she will have a full, lush head of hair. Until then, she makes a pretty cute baldy.
So this has nothing to do with Finley's hair or lack thereof, but on Thanksgiving, we asked Sareny what she was thankful for. She thought about if for a second and then answered sweetly, "My head." We all tried not to smile as we agreed that our heads were pretty important things to have, and we were thankful for them too.
I love our silverware. (or flatware, as Keith would say, pointing out that they are not actually made from silver.) Our service for 12 was a wedding/Christmas present from Keith's older sister, and it has served us well. I even have fond memories of us picking the pattern out at the store with Heather and then going out to lunch afterwards and eating Monte Crisco sandwiches. Lately, however, we have noticed a problem with our utensils--we always seem to run out of spoons. (See photographic evidence below.) We've looked online to see if we could buy more, but sadly, our pattern is no longer available. The great mystery of the disapearing spoons was cleared up for me yesterday when I went to tie up our garbage bag. I heard a strange clanking sound somewhere beneath the nasty piles of rubbish and decided I needed to investigate. I found, you guessed it, a spoon. I guess I had already suspected Isaac for some time, since I had previously found a plastic kid's spoon in the trash. Anyway, I guess all this time when he has been being so "helpful" by throwing his yogurt cups away, he just chucks the spoon in as well. This clears up the great mystery of the disapearing sippy cups as well. Tonight, frustrated at the lack of sippy cups, I announced that I was going to Walmart to buy some more, and that Isaac has probably been throwing those away as well. Sareny said, "Yes, he threw my princess cup in the garbage." With further questioning, she said that she didn't retrieve it because it was covered in something gross. I'm beginning to feel like one of the rich and famous people who only use things once before replacing them. Minus the rich and famous part.
Just before my family headed back home, we made one last trip to the mall to sit on Santa's lap. I stood in the line while Bampa took the kids to a store to make the waiting go a little faster.
I must say I was a little surprised that the kids all enjoyed their sit on his lap and nobody screamed or cried.
Sareny informed us as we pulled into the mall parking lot that she was going to tug on his beard to see if he was the real Santa, (We've been watching Miracle on 34th St.) but in the excitement of the moment, she forgot to give it a tug. (thank goodness!)
Originally, both Sareny and Isaac were going to ask Santa for bikes, but Sareny has now decided that she wants a baby doll--the one that brushes it's teeth and says, (this is the most important part) "bye bye pee pee! bye bye poo poo!" She actually sat on his lap and told him that, but we'll have to see what Santa decides...
A couple of years ago Grammy Jo bought this adorable little headband for Sareny, which fit Finley's little head perfectly. Sareny was a little miffed that she didn't get to wear the headband, so at the last minute I sat down and made her some little red Christmas bows.
Don't you just want to give these little cheeks a squeeze and a kiss?
So everybody is getting pretty excited for Christmas around here. Time to get out the tree and advent calendar!
We had such a great Thanksgiving this year! Grammy Jo, Bampa, and Lexi came for the weekend and our friends Jay, Shauntel, Caleb and Claire came for dinner. The table looked great and the food was all really delicious.
Everyone pitched in to get the food on the table, whether it was mashing potatoes or entertaining the kids, who happen to love their Bampa.
I have decided that Lexi must have more clothing than any other human being on the planet, because she refuses to use laundromats and just saves up her clothes until she visits home to do any laundry. Well, to be fair, she did say she did one load of darks in the month between visits. Anyway, what this means is that she had to bring all of her laundry to my house to do.
Here is Sareny modeling one article of Lexi's clothing, which prompted probably the funniest thing that happened all weekend. Isaac pointed at it and said, "Ucky's Boobies." Apparently ucky is how he says Lexi. It was just darn hilarious!
Sareny absolutely loves her tia Lexi. I think Lex is the only one who will straighten Sareny's hair, and she was so excited. I kind of feel like I already have a teenager, since Sareny always wants to have her hair straightened and has even asked if we could dye her hair brown.
Lexi picked up these adorable little leggings for me from someone who sells them in Utah. It is actually my friend Debra Gardner's sister-in-law, and because I'm cheap, I opted to have Lex pick them up for me instead of paying for shipping. I think they are so darn cute!
The rest of the weekend was pretty crazy. For the first time ever, we decided to participate in Black Friday to see what all the fuss was about. Me, my mom, and Lexi started the day off at 4:30 am in Walmart, while my dad covered Lowe's and Big 5 (Keith had to miss out on the fun by sleeping in with the kids.) I felt like I was on Shop 'til You Drop--I seriously just ran from stack to stack, dumping stuff in the shopping cart as I ran by. We got several good movies for just $2 each, as well as various other cool deals. We went to Target next, but they seemed to be pretty cleaned out already, so we just basically got a few movies before heading off to Jo-Anne Fabric. I dropped Grammy Jo and Lexi off and went back home to unload all of our purchases, feed Finley, and pickup Keith, Sareny, Isaac and Finley for a trip to the mall. We went to Sear's, where Keith got some dress shirt and tie combos for $15 and I got some Hallmark ornaments for regular price. Sad. The shopping spree ended with lunch at Mimi's where the whole group reunited.
One of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is decorating gingerbread houses. This is something Keith's family always did when he was a kid, and something we started doing together when we were just dating. Now gingerbread houses have also become a Keel family tradition and something our own kids are starting to look forward to. We always have a huge assortment of candies to choose from and everyone gets creative and has a lot of fun. Our company had to leave this afternoon so Bampa could get back home in time for church tomorrow, since he is the Bishop of their ward right now. Before they left, we squeezed in one last trip to the mall, but I'll have to post about that later since this is already so long!
For the first time ever, we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house. I like for everything to be perfect, (of course, it never is) and as I mentioned in our last post, we don't have very many Fall decorations. Once we decided to hold Thanksgiving here, I purchased festive tablecloths and napkins, and the kids and I set to work making some cute little craft items to decorate and get our house ready for the Holiday.
We made a pilgrim hat centerpiece and filled it with fall flowers. Sareny and Isaac loved painting these mini-pilgrim hats, which we filled with dried popcorn to hold the namecards. The turkey placecards are made with stamppads and their fingerprints.
We also made an entire family of turkeys out of pipecleaners and pinecones from a friend's yard. The kids also got to paint a ton of little wooden craft spoons to make the turkeys for these napkin ring holders, seen here on my new turkey platter.
I really don't think you can truly appreciate the huge mess they made of the table and themselves while doing these projects. Thank goodness for an understanding daddy who tolerated all the mess and cleaned up the kiddos after! But they really have been so excited to help make fun things for our house and can't wait for Grammy Jo, Bampa, and Lexi to get here later today so they can show off their beautiful artwork.
And speaking of artwork, Sareny made these adorable Thanksgiving crafts at preschool and I plan to store them with our new Thanksgiving decorations and proudly hang them up for years to come. I am thankful for the fall and such a fun holiday!
I love finding a good deal, and today when I ran in to Hobby Lobby to buy one $2.00 clay pot, I couldn't resist heading over to check out their fall items when I saw a sign that said they were all on sale for 80% off. I love clearance shopping! I found this super cute basket and filled it with some little pumpkins and goards and a couple of sprigs for color. I know nothing about decorating, but I thought it turned out pretty nice. The kids have been warned excessively about not touching, so we'll see how long that lasts. Isaac already tried taking a bite out of one of the vegetables and left huge teeth marks, which prompted a severe tongue-lashing--I hope it sunk in.
Sareny picked out this little sparkly pumpkin, which really didn't fit in with the theme of my basket but I got it anyway and figured it could go on a table. She thinks it is hers, and I was trying to take her picture holding her pumpkin when I got the following shot. I missed the pumpkin, but she looked awfully cute. So now our house looks a little more festive for the fall.
will my baby girl be able to take a bath in the bathroom sink? Not much.
I put the two older kids in the tub tonight and planned on sticking Finley in with them, but when I saw how absolutely filthy the bathwater was, there was no way I was going to put her in there. Sareny and Isaac had been playing outside all day, and I'm telling you, that water was so dirty and full of grass I had to drain it and rinse them in new water. In fact, when I removed Isaac's diaper, his little bottom was completely covered with dried grass...So into the sink went little Fin Lynn.
I love her cute little smile and dimple. Sometimes I just despair at how fast they grow up. Other times, I must admit I'm grateful. :) But for now, we will cherish her little chubby thighs and cute little grins.
I stay at home with 4 beautiful children--3 girls and 1 boy. Sareny is 9, Isaac is 6, Finley is 4, and baby Keeley is one! I've been married to my best friend for 15 years now, and we're still happy. Life is beautiful!