Dec 13, 2012

December schember

I blinked and December just happened.  Well, we are attempting to do the regular traditional stuff we do every year with a crazy schedule, but at least the house is decorated and we are managing to do advent every night.  
 You should congratulate me right there.  Advent every night is something my kids don't miss, but usually I just want to shove them into bed and call it a day.
 My kids don't shove anywhere if they feel they might be missing out. But really I'm glad they love advent so much.  What does advent consist of? We are doing a simple coloring nativity picture that they add to each night.  We read a little preschool devotional which has a little devotional, activity and prayer about 5 minutes long, we read the advent part of the Christmas story for the night (I have a little set of 25 mini books), and then we say our Christmas verse.  That sounds super long.  It's really just 10 minutes.  Tops.
 If I'm feeling especially generous, I may even throw in some carol singing at the piano (we did last night and they were thrilled), or one of my kid books from my Christmas book collection.
 I attempted some pictures last week.  Major failure in getting the leaves at their peak around here.  I missed out the two weekends before that because it just poured rain.  When it finally got to a sunny weekend, most of the brilliant leaves were gone.  This little fruit grove sufficed enough for a decent backdrop on the way home from Walmart.  We just pulled over, snapped a few, and went on our way.
 Hunter photo bombs pictures like nobody's business.  I like to constantly yell at him during shoots, "Get out of the way, it's not your turn!"  And then I turn to the kid whose turn it actually is, and sweetly say, "Now smile, baby."  I wonder that I get any decent pictures at all. At least this one actually turned out cuter that way.  They'll probably need counseling later in life for their mother's mood swings and forced photo shoots.
 I did not tell them to hug each other.  They really do just like to be all over each other.

 Tessa Messa Bessa the little Pesta.  I don't know how she was labeled with that handle, but it's been slapped on her and she fits it well.

 Hunter wanted to pose me in the olive orchard ten feet away across the street. He loves to be on the other end of the lens.  The girls had to get in on it, and then Ainsley decided a naked baby doll was the missing touch that the picture needed.  Clearly.
 After our little jaunt to Walmart and the side of the road for a photo shoot, we made a much longer jaunt straight to Salinas to see my little nieces blow out their first birthday candles.  Well, they stared at them at least and looked cute in their hats.
These girls are stinking adorable aren't they?  They were also born on the 21st. Count them: Four presents in one week because you have to get Christmas in there too.  Have fun affording that your whole life Katie and Brad.

 I'm pretty sure they won't let you skip one or the other.
 Clearly, they were so unimpressed by the candles.
 Things got a little more interesting once they decided cake actually tasted good.

And then it was back home for another week of school.  Even though December is flying by, school seems never ending this month.  We don't get out until the 21st.  What kind of crazy school board approved THAT schedule?  At any rate, we are still making the drive everyday back and forth.  It's fog season, so that's been an especially fun aspect to add to my drive.  This little picture below is a treat for you.  Hunter commandeered my phone yesterday on our way home.  Ainsley is pulling his ear.  I think it's time for Christmas break. One more week to go.
Today was "Grinch Day" at school.  I dressed up as the dog, Max, and therefore won the staff costume contest.  I would like to thank my fans at this point.  Namely, my students who were absolutely thrilled. I made a little headband complete with one antler and dog ears.  My red collar had a big jingle bell and a silver  MAX tag. It is at this point that my husband likes to point out that in the mirror, this photo reads "xaM".  But  "xam" has a certain ring to it, right?  Like "Sha-zam!" give me the award or something.
 I got to read the story of the Grinch to my students today.  I received two new very needy students this week. One of whom has been in and out of foster care.  He has been coming with no jacket and ripped pants. No backpack either. He had never heard that book and was sitting mesmerized by it.  It hurt my heart because all of the other kids had heard the story for the most part.  Today I am glad he came with a jacket, because I was about ready to rip the one off of my son and hand it over.  He asked me if he could go home with my me today after a big hug on the way out the door.  Ouch.

One last little tradition we have been keeping alive this year is Lizzle the Elf.  He has been up to lots of little shenanigans.  What, you don't have an elf?  Everyone's doing it didn't you know?  Don't you even check pinterest?  What kind of parent.....just kidding.  Seriously, Lizzle posts all over blogland can make one feel like a serious slacker.  Some nights around here are definitely better than others.  I'm OK with that.  
The elf is seriously the kid's favorite thing though so it's worth it.  We put a little time and thought into it, but it's all in fun.  Here are some of my favorites so far.  He hung from fishing wire parachuting from our 12 foot ceiling (thanks Tone), and was lifting weights (again Tone).
Did you know Zsu Zsu pets could fly and pull a sleigh?
Dang that reminds me.  It's 10:00 and Lizzle is still in last night's pose.  He put underwear on the stocking hooks and is hanging in a pair.  I'd better go move him somewhere else.  I don't know what he's going to do tonight.  
TP the tree?
I'm off.

Dec 8, 2012

Rainy Day Pics for Friends

Did a little photo shoot.  The sky decided to dribble rain all day, but we decided a rainy day photo shoot would be fun anyways, it was the only day we had and it ended up being not that wet while we were taking pictures.  I kinda always wanted to do some rainy pictures anyways because I think umbrellas make great props.  Here are my favorites though there were a lot more keepers from the day.

Anyhow, I wish my camera was not an entry level.  I will not drop $5,000 on a camera body, but I've pushed my poor little Cannon Rebel as far as it will go.  But I think I did alright with the equipment I have, even though I see too many glaring problems with quality to ever want to go pro, without upgrading.  I don't think I will ever.  I'll continue to take photos for friends who ask, but otherwise, it's just a fun hobby for me.  These are some of my best friends, so since the price was right (ahem, free), they didn't mind.

Dec 2, 2012


I mentioned that Thanksgiving was spent with family up at our family cabin about an hour away from us.  It was such a relaxing five days.  The weather was crisp and cold at night, but nice enough for walks during the day.
 Sadly, Tone had to leave for work Thanksgiving night, but we got dinner down him before he had to head down the hill.

 On our walks through the forest, we found a random broken tractor.  Hunter had to try it out.

 This kids a walking disaster when she first wakes up in the morning.

 Let's just say that a Santa picture wouldn't be classic without one kid screaming about being on his lap.  Poor Santa.

  Many walks were had.  Cabin fever would start to set in around noonish.

 Krista and ZoeZoe.
 Katie and Mum.

While the five kids were napping or playing elsewhere, we thought we would get some sister pictures.  Next year, Krista's little guy will be joining us!  At 20 weeks, she was just staring to show.
Put three sisters together, and inevitably we go back to Jr. High.  Mature.

 It was a great weekend.  I can't wait to go back and have another one.