Thursday, December 25, 2008

A very merry Wii Christmas...

This morning the girls gave Brett & I our Christmas present, sleeping in until 7:30am! I can't believe they held out that long! They were up at 6am, contemplated checking the tree but opted to wait until we got up. Finally, at 7:30am they couldn't wait (who can blame them!) they were really quite walking to the tree and then BOOKED it back to our room. "MOM, DAD, SANTA BROUGHT A WII!!!!!" They were literally jumping up and down! "Let's go open it and play!"

It has been a Wii infatuated day! Santa brought a Wii that came with Wii Sports (it has like 5 different games on it), Wii Play (also has like 5 games on it), High School Musical 3, and Sing It - but Santa forgot the microphone so we can't play that one today.

We took a couple hours break to go to Great Grandma Carvo's for festivities there and then back to our house to play Wii. We're ALL getting into the action! Brett & I have played a couple games against each other and there are only two out of like five that I have beat him at and he is determined to win those! I really have NO CLUE what I doing to win but I'm happy I'm winning at something!

Santa shared with Melissa and her family that we were getting a Wii so they also got us a game, Hasbro Family Night. It has Connect Four, Sorry, Sorry Sliders, Battleship,  Yatzee, & Boggle. We still have yet to play that one.

I never knew my girls were so competitive! It's great family fun! I'm sure that's what Santa had in mind!

Thanks Santa!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wishing each of you, near and far, a wonderful Christmas!

One of my FAVORITE ornaments on my tree!

Believe in the magic of Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let it SNOW...

There has been winter weather advisories and serious snowfall all AROUND us since last week, but we have not really seen any snow, just a bitter cold wind. Apparently, it warmed up enough to snow...

When I went to bed last night there was barely a layer of snow on the grass. When we woke up this morning Brett tells me that it snowed about 4" overnight. I would say that when I went to shovel the walk in the backyard a couple hours later that there was at least a total of 5"; it was kind of hard to gage as there were drifts. Brett and I shoveled the driveway before we headed off to the shop to take the kids sledding (that will be another post), there was a good 6" - no drifts. When we got home the driveway was lightly covered, again.

Backyard with drifts

The girls helping out. Proof that we shoveled earlier today! :)

Side story: Our road has not yet seen a snowplow. Why is it that whenever the snow dumps people forget how to drive? Someone hit our mailbox today. It's got to have left a mark as our mailbox sits on top of a 6" steel pipe along with our neighbors. I did not receive a knock on my door, Brett looked out the window to see if it was still snowing (of course it was) and saw our mailboxes on the ground. Nice.

Brett left to go check the livestock and while he was gone (about 6pm) I thought I'd be nice and shovel his spot in the driveway since it had snowed so much that you could no longer tell that we had shoveled earlier. He got home just before I finished. He laughed and said he had just done the entire driveway before he left. SERIOUSLY!?! We got the ruler out and in the non-piled up or drifted area we are at 10" and counting. We have a piled spot that is 36.5"!

An ice chest at the shop, snow free yesterday

The driveway at 6pm tonight, partially shoveled. Coming down just as fast as we're shoveling

Check out the snow! SERIOUS!

Our pile of snow just off the driveway.

Current snow accumulation at 6pm tonight

Winter advisories are in effect for pretty much all of Eastern Wa and the Idaho Panhandle. As I type it's STILL snowing. Interested to see what tomorrow brings.

School Christmas Programs...

This last week was the last school week of 2008; meaning Christmas programs.

Jillians' was Tuesday morning at school. There are two Kindergarten classes at her school and they performed together with the Life Skills class. Life Skills is such a better name for the special education kids as they are learning things to get them through life...

Anyway, all of the kids were fabulous! You had shy kids and the NOT so shy kids who were singing at the top of their lungs and bouncing to the music. Jillian, well, she knew the songs but Brett and I identified a "thing". That "thing" is when she gets bored, she rolls her eyes. She's sang the song (or danced the routine, like at her dance recital) SO many times that now she's ready for it to be over, I guess. It was a hoot! The best part; when they all sang "All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" as Jillian is missing her two front teeth. :) 

Another cool part that I would like to mention is the Life Skills class performing two songs with bells; I can't remember what songs they were but I was impressed.

 We had cookies in her class afterward

Alissas' performance was Wednesday evening at the MLHS Theater. They too had their shy and not so shy performers. Alissa had a good time; she was a bell ringer for "Jingle Jive" she was SO focused. She did great! Brett & I were VERY impressed at the performance. Their music teacher rocks! They were good to listen to, the could do some complex rounds, they were all singing, and they all appeared to be having fun! Way to go Mrs. K!

Alissa before show time

Dressing up is apparently the key for me to realize how much my kids have grown; for both of them! They are beautiful, precious little girls; too bad they won't be little for much longer.

Brett's 1st snowmobile trip of the season...

Brett was just itching to get snowmobiling with all the winter weather that has hit the surrounding areas! He was able to go on Friday with Kevin and Fred. 

Random info from the day: -4 degrees F at the snow park (where you park) but warmer up the mountain. The snow was fluffy but no base - meaning when you get going you hit the earth below vs. a base snow layer. AND, Kevin got his first crash of the season out of the way.

He had a blast and can't wait to go again! 

He so deserves the fun; he works SO hard all summer long he deserves to play just as hard!

Welcome to snowmobile season!

Enjoy his great pics!

Mt. Rainier in the distance

Enjoying the fresh snow


Fred, Kevin, and MY sled - it's an Arctic Cat. :)

My Pre-Holiday Shuffle...

I regret to inform you that this Holiday has caught me a bit unprepared. 

For the last two years, I have gotten all the holiday shopping done BEFORE we go to Vegas; not this year. I didn't have ONE gift purchased or made before we left. I thought that I was doing good getting most of my shopping done the Saturday we got home and pretty much finished up this last week. The shopping I got done on Saturday was internet shopping - I LOVE SECURED INTERNET SHOPPING! Well, due to weather, my gifts have yet to arrive. They were due to arrive Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday...I got Wednesday's delivery yesterday. Who knows when the other gifts will arrive.

I also have yet to DO our annual family portrait; without the portrait, no cards.....see where I'm going with all this? The thought is there, the materials are not. I have no one to get after but myself, but honestly, I'm not stressing. It is what it is and I'm okay with that. :) In fact, I'm not even planning on having our family picture taken until Saturday, December 27th. My friend Nena got her Christmas present early - a new camera, so I volunteered my family for a photo shoot. Thanks sweetie, I'm looking forward to it!

Please do not be upset at my laid back attitude, but this year I am all about making the memories and enjoying them vs. stressing out and not being able to wait for the Holidays to be over.

It's not you, it's me. :)

Enjoy the Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

In other news...

I hope you see the changes made to my blog today!!! 

I created a new "banner" (the picture at the top with the title). It's winter and Brett's SO excited to go snowmobiling! These are some of my favorite pictures from last year! Two of the three pictures above I took. I WISH I took the middle pic - that's Brett! Kevin took that when he, Fred, and Brett went to Montana last February. AWESOME picture Kev! Thanks for sharing!

I also added a music player to share what "my favorite songs right now" sound like. I spared some of you on the fact that I didn't make it play automatically; so to listen, just press play. :)


It's a matter of perspective...

Today has been a unintentional day of observing others perspectives; do you see the glass as "half full" or "half empty"?

Let me give you an example. While waiting to pick up Jillian from school this afternoon another parent, a father, received a call. Please note that I did not try to listen to his conversation but when he's the ONLY one talking in the hall that we're all waiting in it's impossible not too. The weather was the topic; he was telling his caller what a beautiful sun shinny day it was, "just gorgeous!"; whereas every other parent who had entered that hallway was "boy, it's cold out there!" Both views are correct, but who was the "half full" and who was the "half empty"?

Another example was on Stacy's Julian's blog regarding a "self-hinder" book. (That made me smile ironically.)

Food for thought: we all have a choice to view each situation with a positive or negative approach; why is the negative so much easier to choose?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vegas Baby...

No excuses! I've been avoiding my computer!

Brett & I just returned from our 5th annual trip to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas! It is always a highly anticipated trip, always different, new, and exciting! That's a part of why I look forward to and love this trip! It's far enough away from home for Brett to relax and have a good time and in a town that never sleeps we usually don't get much sleep either...

This year we drove down...yes, I said drove. Brett, Brett's cousins Josh and Alex and I all made the trek. It's about 16 hours from home to Vegas; except on the way down we took about a 5 hour detour to Draper, UT to pick up Brett's cousin Ted. A detour well worth taking! We don't get to see Ted as often as we'd like so anytime with him is awesome! He was kind enough to welcome us to his home atop a mountain - seriously! What a spectacular view! He and his golden retriever, Chopper, were fabulous hosts! I learned a new card game...GREAT! I can't remember the name of it, which is extra funny as Ted couldn't remember the name of it when he was teaching it to us!! :) That's hilarious!

Anyway, Friday we arrived in Vegas. We always stay at the Grand Desert, it's a great location for the rodeo; right across the street (relatively speaking) from my FAV casino, Hard Rock, and a free shuttle to Harrah's which gets us to The Strip.

oasis within the two towers
Isn't it pretty?!?

Brett & I usually stay a week and those that we've met up with down there, friends and family, are there for just a part of the week; this year Ted was the only one to leave before the rest of us (dang work anyway!). The "rest of us" would include Brett's parents, Larry & Genia, to Josh, Alex, Brett, and myself.

I'm gonna go with "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" AND "be yourself. at home." for this trip! :) I will point out some highlights in ADDITION to the Rodeo: 

A country bar with a HUGE dance floor, I believe it alone is 2,500 sq. ft. - no joke! I had a BLAST here! I even was silly enough to "challenge" Ted; "you ride the bull, I'll ride the bull.." Yeah, OF COURSE he was gonna ride it now! 

Go Ted!

It was a blast, poor Ted, I was cursing him the whole time even though deep down I KNEW he would ride it if only to spite me! :)

Yes, that's me
(Great pics from Brett's phone! Not so much.)

Seeing Brooks and Dunn perform "Cowboy Town" at the NFR Sunday night. WOW!

Watching Brett, Josh, and Alex at Fast Lap Kart Racing. So NOT a thing for me but they had a BLAST!

Front to Back: Alex, Brett, Josh

the track (before the race)

Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill; located inside Harrah's. My FAV meal, pulled pork sandwich, and drinks served in Mason jars! 

This year was especially fab as Brett danced with me for at least three hours to the live band playing after the rodeo. Yes, Brett danced! Not many drinks required I must add! We had a BLAST!! THANKS HONEY!

We were blessed with FABULOUS weather on the way down so as it is December I was VERY anxious to travel home. Can you say winter storm warning! CRAP! I must say that I am very thankful for all the thoughtful calls we got to make sure we were aware of the warning and to make sure that we were okay. Despite my anxiety, we really were okay. The roads were not as awful as foretold and the part of the trip that I was most fearing, Cabbage Hill, was bare and dry - NO snow. THANK THE HEAVENS! I still was a crazy person, asking Brett to keep it slow, but hey, we all made it through my craziness! :)

We finally pulled into the driveway after 12:15am this morning. It's fun to get away, but it's good to be home.

Where were the kids you ask? We were lucky enough to have Brett's cousin, Elliott, (yes, Brett has a TON of cousins) stay at the house with the girls. He had quite a schedule to keep up with this year; Alex had it WAY easier last year! Jillian gave him a run at times (surprise, surprise!) but it all worked out! Thanks again Elliott! Same time, same place next year???

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can you believe all the give-a-ways...

Holy Cow! Have you seen all the awesomeness going on today in the blogging world?

I am in awe once again of my friend, Nena. Seriuosly, if I could have an ounce of her creativity!!! That girls got a give-a-way you've got to check out! A 3x4 ft Santa Canvas that she MADE. SERIOUSLY!! Tell one and all to leave a comment  (on her blog) and check this out!

Another hot give-a-way, Cathy Zielske is giving away a free one on one techy tutorial! AWESOME!

The craziness continues here! More to come LATER....stay tuned!