Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Talk about Talent!

A few weeks back a friend invited me to her Cookie Exchange. I knew everyone there but one person. This person happens to be super talented when it comes to anything in the kitchen, especially baking. Take a look at these gorgeous cookies made by my new friend Nicole.

She was also a Bake-Off winner for LA Times. You can find the journal article here, along with her award winning cookie recipe. She brought that cookie to the cookie exchange. It was pretty darn good. 

And Nicole's blog can be found here. She gives you step-by-step directions for different how-to's when it comes to decorating your cookies. She has shared her recipes for these amazing looking cookies as well. 

My Little Book Worm

Kylee LOVES to read. With her being a first grader, I am really surprised at how well she reads. I bought her a book from the Cam Jansen Mystery series and she won't get her head out of it! These books are meant for 8-12 year-olds but she has no problems reading them whatsoever. I'm going to have to buy her a few more for our trip to Germany.

Kylee currently is reading this book. I love when she tells me what is happening in the story. At least I know she can understand what she is reading.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where's the snow??

I shouldn't really be complaining, but we have NO snow! It has snowed a few times this Winter. The kids even had a delayed start for school because of the visibility, but in the past couple of weeks it has all melted away. Surprisingly, its been in the high 30's to low 40's lately. We didn't have a white Christmas. This is my 10th Christmas here (O-M-G!) and the only time with no snow. The kids miss it, and I miss it. However, no snow means NO shoveling for me!

This is what our house looks like today. 

And this is what our house looked like two years ago on the day after Christmas. 

Guess who was gone two years ago during this blizzard? Yep, James. Luckily, our neighbors were awesome and helped each other dig themselves out. Some people weren't lucky and waited several days before they found someone to take a plow to their driveway. 

I'm hoping to miss all future blizzards here in North Dakota. I don't mind some snow though. And I hope the temperatures stay on the warmer side so our dog can fly with us to Germany. If its colder than 10 degrees they won't let her fly. 

UPDATE: Not even an hour after posting this and there is snow on the ground. So far its a light covering and not sticking to the grass yet, but I think I just jinxed myself. 

Ice Skating!

I decided to surprise the kids and go ice skating. Kylee has been bugging me to go for a while. I don't know why I never think to go, especially since the rink is open all year round. Wyatt has never been and has made the comment in the past that he didn't want to go. I was going to make him go anyhow.

So, I bundled the kids up and went to the rink. And by 'bundle' I mean jacket, hat, and gloves. Its not cold enough to wear gloves or a hat right now outside (it's in the 40's), so the kids were a bit confused.

The kids had no idea where we were going until we pulled up the building. Kylee was excited, Wyatt was less than thrilled.

They are so excited to get on that ice! I practically forced Wyatt in his skates though ;)

He is still not thrilled about it, a bit nervous to say the least. 

Kylee, on the other hand, was super excited

He quickly warmed up to the ice.

He wasn't too bad, but did spend some time on his butt.

He didn't mind when he fell though.

Kylee skating pretty fast. 

Right after I took this picture both of the kids fell on their tush! It was too funny, but the quick shots I took turned out pretty blurry. 

What better way to end a day of ice skating with a Starbuck's Peppermint Mocha. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! 

Lance got some Hex Bugs for the kids

Wyatt showing Daddy what Santa got him

Kylee showing Daddy what Santa got her

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Summer vacation

I have been promising Anut Carol a blog post about our Summer vacation. So here it is in pictures :D

We took the kids to Galveston Beach for a day. They had a blast playing in the sand and in the waves. I also miss going to the beach, but I have to say that I didn't miss all the seaweed floating around. 

Mom decided to take us all to Galveston's Schlitterbahn water park. The kids have never been to a water park before so this was a new experience. They LOVED it! I had a lot of fun myself. I brought James' point-and-shoot camera and put it in a water bag to keep it safe. It worked out perfect. 

Wyatt didn't want his picture taken. Little grump. 

Tracey and Kaley on the lazy river. Kaley treated us to a few songs on the river. She's such a cutie. 

Wyatt went down a water slide by himself. He loved it. 

Another shot of Kaley. 

Wyatt was trying to look cool. At least he let me get a picture of him.

We were able to spend more time with my dad and Kinda during this trip. We usually only get to spend the weekends with him, but he was able to take some time off. This is my dad and Wyatt building Legos at his house before we took a mini vacation to San Antonio. 

We went to the Board Walk while in San Antonio. I haven't been there since my Boot Camp Graduation.

We went to a fun pub on the Board Walk where we eat peanuts and throw them on the floor. Wyatt found it fun to put them down his shirt.

You can't go to San Antonio without going to Sea World. I had been looking forward to this for such a long time! 

I love this picture of Kylee. She was amazed and her face sure did show it!

It was HOT that day. that is either sweat on the back of Kylee's shirt or water we poured on her to cool her off. Just a little tip: It is best to go to Sea World either in the Spring or the Fall. 

Another picture I love of the kids. Their expressions are priceless and all the reason to go again.

I love my camera!!! And I LOVE this picture!

I think Dad was feeding the sea lions.

Dolphins have ALWAYS been my mammal. I've always wanted to swim with them (which Sea World DOES offer, but that is pricey). Instead, we were able to feed them for only 5 dollars.

We took James out for his birthday as well. There is the coolest restaurant called The Magic Time Machine in San Antonio, another place you must visit if your in the area. This place is so much fun, a bit pricey but very worth it. The decor is eclectic with a theme for each booth. The waiters dress up in character as well. The Salad Bar is actually set in an old car. If you have to go to the bathroom and ask your waiter where thats at, they will announce to everyone that you have to go 'wewe' and parade you to the bathroom. And celebrating birthdays here is just awesome, you'll see that below. 

Our Waitress was Mini Mouse. 

About 6 or so waitresses sang a special song for James, pus a princess hat on his head, and fed him cake.

There is a really neat park by Dad's house. Here are a few pictures of the kids being nice to each other there. 

Wyatt and Kaley had a good time playing with each other.

We went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a really good dinner. Sadly, I really didn't take too many pictures there. 

I had to bribe Kaley to let James pick her up. As soon as she was comfortable with it I snapped a picture. I love this one of the three of us. 

The kids got out the water hose to water the plants, and Kaley got Lance as well. This was the perfect snap shot of it!

One of my favorite pictures of my daughter, my mom and Grandma. I just wish I was in it too. Kylee loves this picture as well and brought it to school the week she was the 'Star Student'. 

We had a little surprise up our sleeves for the kids. Our best friends moved to Mississippi this past Spring. We planned a little get together in Houston while we were in town. We did not tell our kids or their kids at all and surprise them!

A little out of focus, but this is when Kylee realized who we were going to see in Pearland. She was super excited to see her best friends again.

Jen gave Kylee her old cabbage patch doll that she had as a kid.

Here is my best friend, Jen, with her youngest boy Jonathon. 

Kylee and Carter playing in the hotel room.

Our family and Jen's family went to NASA Space Center for the day, Kemah, and the Children's Museum. 

I have no idea who that guy was, but he was ready for the picture too.

Last but not least the four of us went to Moody Gardens with Mom, TJ, and Ambriel. I love this place. They made some major improvements to the Rain Forest pyramid. It now has an upper level canopy where you walk through all the tree tops. 

I bet Wyatt had to use the bathroom!

We even got to watch a 3D movie about dinosaurs!

I love Wyatt's expression. Him and TJ were running away from the dinosaur. I think Kylee just laughed.

Digging for fossils. We got to take a few shark teeth home as well.

These little monkeys were cool. They just hang around wherever they feel like it, uncaged. I couldn't believe how close you could get to them.

Whew. Finally finished with the picture overload from our summer vacation, only 6 months late. But here you go. Nearly our whole vacation in pictures. We had so much fun!!