Wednesday, December 31, 2008


You don't realize how often you use water until you don't have it. On Saturday, a water line broke and there are 7 counties, Taylor (the one we are in), is included. They have ordered that no water is to be consumed without prior boiling, for at least 1 minute, and dishes must also be washed in boiled water. Right now I have 4 pots on the stovetop boiling so I can wash a load of dishes before Mom gets out of bed. She doesn't have a dishwasher (we all grew up and moved away!), which I don't think could be used anyway, since the dishwasher doesn't boil water. It sure makes life interesting, that's for sure. Small tasks such as brushing your teeth, take a little bit of effort, thought and pre-planning. Last night the kids, my sister and her kids, and I went to Maryville, MO to go to the movie, Bedtime Stories, and since we were there, we picked up some bottled water at Walmart. We figured that all of the bottled water was probably gone in Creston, which is where the problems are. We probably should have gotten more. They have not said anything about how long this water issue will last, but I hope it isn't long. We only have a couple more days here, but Mom and Dad (and the rest of my Iowa family) will have to deal with this until the problem is resolved.

The movie, Bedtime Stories, that we went to yesterday was really good. I almost think it was better than Marley & Me. There were no sexual content that I was cringing to hear and there wasn't really any bad language that I can remember. The kids really enjoyed the movie as well. I really liked the fact that it was quite a bit cheaper than going to the movies in Bismarck. Especially the popcorn! Who can go to the movies without buying popcorn? The kiddie combos were half the price, and the large popcorn and pop had free refills, even with being $4 cheaper! I didn't realize Bismarck's prices would be that much higher. We enjoyed the movie.

We have been having major meltdowns due to the continuing lack of sleep problem we have. Gage threw a big fit in Walmart yesterday because he found a "Rare" "Limited Edition" Star Wars action figure that I wouldn't let him buy. He made quite a scene and it was embarrassing to say the least. On our walk to the checkout, I told him I was about to lose it and yell REALLY LOUD if he didn't be quiet. After a low mumble, of what I think was, "So." I didn't hear another word until we got outside. Soon we will be home and back into our old routine. I'm sure it will take at least a week to get the grumpies out of him!

Monday, December 29, 2008

We're having a great time in Iowa! Aside from our frequent meltdowns, due to not enough sleep, the kids are having a great time. You can never spend too much time with cousins! Gage and Emma went to bed a little earlier last night, so hopefully today won't be quite so emotional!

I think my whole family is turning into rockstars! The Wii Rockband seems to be quite popular! The kids' new game, Wii Music, is fun too. There is a game where you can play the handbells and I don't think I have ever laughed so hard. It's a lot of fun. I can see a future for Scott in our church's handbell choir! :-)

Our Christmas celebrations are over and it has been great spending time with everyone. Unfortunately the weather prevented my sister Kim, her husband J.L., and my nephew and niece, Ryan and Sara, from getting here to celebrate. We have missed having them here. They intended to come the weekend before Christmas and the weather was bad, so they were going to try again this past weekend, but again, the weather did not cooperate. They live in Illinois and have had the terrible weather that caused all of the flight delays in Chicago. Hopefully we'll be able to get together with them again soon, before next Christmas!

Today is Monday, and is my nephew, Seth's, birthday. Happy Birthday Seth! I'm not sure if there is going to be a big birthday bash to help him celebrate entering the teenage years or not? Good luck Jari Jo! I certainly do NOT look forward to those teen years!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

At last, we're here!

We made it to Iowa safe and sound. We left Bismarck around 7:30am Friday and we arrive in Clearfield around 6:40p. Not too bad when wintery weather could be a problem. It seems we left before the snow started in Bismarck and we got here just before the ice storm started! There is a layer of ice outside and they are calling for 1/4-1/2 inch of ice today!

Our trip was a long one, as usual. We're looking forward to quieter trips in the future. I told Emma, "Emma, you have been a difficult person to travel with since day 1! I thought now that you are older, you would travel better?" Emma replies, "Well, I'm sure when I am 8, I will be better!" Hmmm.........I guess in 2 years things will be better? Scott told her he would like to see that in writing, so she got out her handy dandy little journal that Dave and Maggie gave her for Christmas and wrote out a contract that said, "I will be good when I am 8. Emma, Age 5." I put it in the glovebox and told her that if we are still driving this car when she's 8, I will be sure to pull it out and remind her that she is now to be easier to travel with!

For Christmas, Gage received a book titled The Tale of Despereaux. We brought it along for Gage to read. He had read around 5 chapters and had put it away. At one point, well, after I spent close to an hour balancing the checkbook, I picked up his book and looked at it to start reading. I read a couple of sentences, then asked the kids if they would like for me to read it to them. They both said "YES!" I started reading and I couldn't put it down. This is a fairly decent sized book and we read the entire thing on our trip. I had to read fast towards the end because it was starting to get darker and hard to see. I finished up by the light of the little mirror on the sun visor. My throat was sore and my voice was starting to crack, but it was worth it. It was REALLY good. Even Scott was into it. Emma, on the other hand, couldn't stand being quiet for that long and was begging me to stop after each chapter, even though she said she liked it. She tried her best to get a few peeps in between chapters. If you're looking for a good read for your kids, I highly recommend it.

We have plans for Christmas today at Scott's parents and Christmas at my parents tomorrow. I've been challenged to a game of Wii tennis, so I'm just waiting for my nephew, Seth, to get here so I can kick his little patootie! :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This Christmas, Heel the Love!

And I thought 5:45am was early? Ha! Boy was I wrong! I WISH the kids would have slept til 5:45 this morning!

I got home from the Candlelight Service at church around 12:20am and Santa had already made it to our house!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, and it's quite evident, by the bulging, that St. Nicholas was there!

It looks like Gage and Emma were pretty good this year.................or at least Santa wasn't watching when they weren't.
After I got to bed, after church, I tossed and turned for quite a little while. I had some restless leg stuff going on and it was keeping me from falling asleep. I don't know what time I finally dozed off, but at 2:45 am we were startled awake by Gage AND Emma. They said Santa had been here and they were ready to open presents. Emma had her stocking in hand and when I realized what time it was, I told them that we HAD to get more sleep. I told Gage that I was aware that we said we would get up when they did so they wouldn't have to wait around to open presents, but I didn't mean at 2:45!!!!! I pulled Emma into bed next to me, Christmas stocking and all, and Gage crawled in next to Scott. We were certainly packed in the bed like sardines. It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid on Christmas Eve when all 5 of us kids would be packed in the bed just waiting for morning to come and open presents! I could not fall asleep, and I was having a hard time with my darned leg being so restless and it was hard to move around. I think I had just fallen back to sleep when Emma yells out, "It's time to get up and open presents now!" I looked at the clock and it was 3:45am! UGH! Our alarm clock projects the time onto the ceiling and I asked Emma if she could see those numbers on the ceiling. When she said "Yes", I told her that when the numbers read "five zero zero" we could get up. She fell back to sleep fairly quickly, but I was having a hard time. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer so I told Emma I would go lay with her in her bed, intending to lay there for a few seconds, then go back to my own bed. When we got down the stairs, Gage scared me nearly half to death when he jumped up off the couch with the mantel clock in his hands and said, "I'm watching for the clock to turn to 5 o'clock Mom!" OMG! I thought he was in our bed that whole time! If I had known he wasn't even there, I would have shoved Scott over to the edge of his side of the bed so I could have had some room to kick my restless leg around! Gage went back to bed, and I fell asleep in bed with Emma. When I woke up and went to my own bed, I think it was actually around 7am!! I was surprised that they had fallen back to sleep and stayed that way! It wasn't long and they were back upstairs, so we got up with them to go downstairs to rip open presents!

They couldn't wait to tear into the presents!

Emma got a new set of "girl legos" that she immediately had to open up and start building houses with.

Gage was thrilled to death with his new Clone Wars Wii game, and he even got some light sabre attachments for the Wii remote!

After Gage was done playing, he said his arm was killing him! I believe he got quite a workout! LOL!
The kids were so excited to see that Santa left each of us a ticket to go to the movie, Marley & Me! (We didn't realize the theater wasn't open yesterday, so I made up some tickets on the computer that looked pretty darned good!) They were very proud of the tickets and handed them to the lady in the booth, attempting to get in "free". I was trying to get her attention so I could motion to her that the tickets weren't real, but she never looked up. Finally, I just said, "Santa brought those movie tickets!" When she said, "That will be $25." Gage wanted to know if his ticket was free. I assured him that his ticket was valid. :-)

I couldn't resist taking the kids' picture next to this big fat-head-like picture of Marley. I wish I could have that thing when they are done with it. It is just so darned cute!

The kids had their own little combo boxes and were thrilled to death to be at the movies on Christmas Day!

Emma had to bring her new Webkinz Sea Otter, "Popcorn". She named it that because Santa had put it in a plastic popcorn container with the Marley movie ticket.

Everyone was all smiles.................well, until later in the movie, that is. I forgot my darned box of Kleenex. I was planning on taking one, as I knew I would need it after the time we had when we were reading the book. I had such a hard time getting through the book, I knew the movie was going to be bad. I have never been to a movie before when the whole theater was sniffling and crying. It took everything I had not to break out into sobs. It was a really good movie, however. I even heard Scott sniffling. It was just so very much like Branta, towards the end of her life.

After we got home Emma was dying to make something in her "Bake Over".

She said it was "scrumptious!"

After supper this evening, we sat down to play the Wii Rockband game. We had played it earlier, but not all at the same time with each of the instruments and microphone.

Scott jamming away to "Wanted, Dead or Alive", by Bon Jovi I believe. It is so much fun!

Emma was manning the camera and taking pictures of our "drummer".

I always wanted to play the guitar!

Don't quit your day job Scott!

Gage finally took over the microphone and was doing a pretty good job. Here's a little glimpse of us playing together.
Of course I procrastinated all day long and started packing tonight at 9pm for our trip to Iowa tomorrow morning. Scott has a Biolife appointment at 5:30, so I suppose we'll be able to get on the road by 7am. I hope I have everything! I suppose I should quit blogging and get to bed where I can lay awake thinking about the things I still need to pack!
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!
(In case you're wondering Mom and Dad, the Rockband is packed and in the car, along with our Wii remotes! :-)) See ya tomorrow night! (If the weather isn't looking good, we'll call you to let you know what our plans are.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Our day started out VERY early! For the past few mornings, Emma has been waking up before anyone else, running up to my room asking, "Is it Christmas Eve yet?" This morning was no different. Well, I guess if you count the time, it was. Just before 6am Emma comes running up to our room and says, "It's Christmas Eve, can I open my present now?" NO EMMA! There have only been 2 presents each, for Gage and Emma, under the tree since the trees were put up and decorated. One for each of them was labeled, "Open Christmas Eve". For the past 5 years we all have gotten a new pair of pajamas to open on Christmas Eve. I started this tradition after I read about another family doing this in the journaling of a scrapbooking idea book. I love pajamas and the idea of everyone getting a new pair of p.j.'s to wear to bed Christmas Eve sounded like a great tradition to me. Apparently Gage and Emma have not yet caught onto this yearly tradition! They have been hounding me about these presents the past couple of days and I continued to tell them they could open them on Christmas Eve. Emma knew when she woke up this morning that today is Christmas Eve, so she wanted to open them, RIGHT NOW, at 5:45 this morning! We told her that she wasn't going to be able to open them until after supper tonight. Boy did that ever make her mad! She says, "Uh, but it's Christmas Eve!" Gage was awake soon after that, and they made trying to sleep in, impossible! I had an eye appointment this morning at 9am, so I had my alarm set to get up earlier than I wanted to anyway. It just so happened that I didn't even need my alarm! How about that! I continued to tell the kids, all day, that they couldn't open the presents until after supper. I told them that I thought they were too excited about it and that they were probably going to be disappointed. Gage replies, "What could it possibly be if it isn't something to play with?" Just wait and see Gage!

Gage and Emma couldn't wait another minute to open up these Christmas presents, and they did end up talking me into letting them open them up just before supper.

Look Mom, new pajamas! You can just see how "thrilled" he was! He actually was excited because they were Jedi Knight flannel p.j.'s. He stipped his clothes off right then and there to put on his new p.j.'s.

P.J.'S! Emma loves her p.j.'s and there are many times when we get home from school, when she knows we don't have any activities going on to leave the house for that evening, she will put her pajamas on. She too stripped her clothes off immediately to put on her new, cuddly-soft p.j.'s

I'll bet that next year they remember that they will be getting a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve!

Even Scott got a new pair of p.j.'s. He was quite surprised when the Life is Good box actually contained Life is Good merchandise! As soon as he removed the wrapping paper he replies, "Oh! A Life is Good box! Do you think there's actually Life is Good stuff in it?" Ha ha! Surprised ya Scott!

Grizzy was just thrilled with the empty box!

Cheese! We take a family picture every Christmas Eve with our p.j.'s on! In case you were wondering, I had to get my own p.j.'s. I like it that way anyway, because that way I get just what I want! :-) It only took 2 attempts with my camera timer to get our family photo!

Gage and Emma had to take the reindeer dust that Emma made at school outside to sprinkle on the lawn so they know where to go! They tried hurrying as fast as they could since it's -4 degrees outside!

Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
Santa's reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home
If you would like to make your own Magic Reindeer Food here is the recipe. Mix together in a small bag: oatmeal, sugar and shimmery glitter. On Christmas Eve, remember to take this magic reindeer foor and sprinkle it on the lawn. The sparkling glitter and the smell of oats will guide reindeer to your house before dawn! If you watch the video carefully, you can actually see the glitter sparkling! I think Santa will definitely be coming to our house tonight!
Emma is never going to be able to fall asleep tonight! I am planning to go to the 11pm Christmas Eve church service, and if I'm lucky, she will be asleep when I get home so Santa can come! Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top Five things that you can do with food, other than eat it!

1. Hollow out your rock hard breadstick and pretend it's your finger. A light sabre is an even better idea!

2. Mashed potatoes look very much like a snowball, let's pretend it's one!

3. If I stick my fork into my mashed potatoes, how far up in the air can I lift it before it falls off?

4. Let's spread out our mashed potatoes and cover it with gravy and pretend it's applesauce!

5. Hey, a chicken drumstick can be used as a light sabre too!

God Bless the teachers and aides that work at Corpus Christi! Today I had the pleasure of subbing for a gal who works in the lunchroom from 11:10-12:40. This lady caught me in the hall at Northridge about a week ago asking me if I could cover for her, as she had another thing she needed to do and couldn't find a replacement. She was told that she HAD to find a replacement if she was going to be gone. Now I know why no one wanted to sub in for her! Believe me, 1.5 hours is enough time for me to figure out that working in the library is WAY BETTER than working in the lunchroom, even at it's worst! I told the ladies that work in the lunch room that if Emma ever acts up, they better let me know. They assured me that she is very well behaved and a good eater, and almost always eats everything on her plate. Most of the kids don't have time to eat because they are too busy coming up with other ideas for what they can do with their food. I'm sure there are many kids that come home after school starving to death. I think it should be a requirement for every parent to come in and volunteer 1.5 hours of their time in the lunch room. I think it would be an eye-opening experience for many parents. I asked my good friends in the library to start a rumor that I am library property only, and am not allowed to do lunch room duty in the future.

The kids are SO EXCITED for Christmas. Emma couldn't sleep last night because she was too excited for her Christmas party at school today. Around 8:30-9pm the doorbell rang and it was our neighbor across the street. She brought Gage and Emma each a bag of surprises and a big bowl of snack mix. That was so thoughful of them. The bowl of goodies was wrapped up in a cellophane Christmas bag and it was so pretty. I am definitely going to use that idea next year. Emma had heard the doorbell ring and she was hollering from her room, "Who was it Mom?" I told her to go to sleep. A little later she came upstairs because she was complaining that her lips were chapped and were hurting. That was a good excuse, because they were actually quite red and cracked. She noticed the new bag under the tree and asked what it was. I told her that LeeAnn, Lyla and Linda, the sisters across the street, brought it for them. She peeked inside and saw there was some make-up inside. Great! Emma has been wanting make-up and even wrote it on her Christmas letter to Santa that she wrote at school last week. She saw the exact set she wanted at Walmart the other day, and I think it contained about 100 different items. I'll kill Santa if that shows up under the tree! This morning Emma couldn't wait to get up and check out her gift from "the sisters". The "make-up" that was in the bag was actually a set of lip glosses. What a perfect thing for chapped lips! She was very busy this morning checking out everything that was inside the bag. As always, I was trying to hurry this morning to get them out of the house so they wouldn't be late for school. We got quite a bit of snow last night and it was quite a workout walking to school this morning since only a few people had shoveled their sidewalks before school. When we finally made it down to Corpus Christi Emma asked, "Mom, does my make-up look okay?" I obviously did not look at her face on our way out of the house. She had lip gloss smeared all over her face, above her eye and across her nose. Apparently she thought lip gloss can double as eye shadow as well. We were too late to walk back home and wash her face, so I used that "Mom spit" that works quite well at getting most things off the kids' faces. It didn't work so well on lip gloss above the eyes and nose. I just did the best I could and sent her on her merry way. There is never a dull moment as far as the Stephens' are concerned!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I had an email from Sears Portrait Studios that said if you have your portraits taken by 12/21, you can still receive them before Christmas. I've been wanting to get a family picture taken because it's been awhile since we've done that. I remember being so excited to take Gage to get his first portraits taken when he was 2 months old. What a nightmare! No one ever told me how much stress that was, trying to get your child to smile in a picture, or sit matter what the age! Even though they are now 8 and 5 years old, I still have the same problem! Only now it's not that they won't smile, it's that they give a fake, cheesy smile! This portrait will tell you how much fun this was for me! AARGH!

The gal taking pictures wasn't the best, as she couldn't seem to get them to smile "naturally". Scott was trying behind her, saying stuff like "Chicken Butt!" and dumb things like that, only it would cause crazy laughter and Emma would shrug her shoulders every time. They finally told the lady that if they could just do one crazy picture, they could cooperate better because it would get the silliness out of them. The photographer didn't know what else to do, so she took the photo for them! I asked both Gage and Emma last night what the photographer did during their school pictures to make them smile so nice, and they both said he had a puppet that was sitting on his shoulder saying silly things. Hmm................I should have asked that during the photo session and see if the gal could have done something like that?

We did actually get a couple photos that were okay. It's actually a good thing that they didn't all turn out, because we wouldn't have been able to afford them. Since we were after a family photo, we just used a coupon we had for a $9.99 package deal, plus our $14.99 sitting fee. We made it out of there in fairly good shape. Now that I scroll through the pictures, there were a few more that were not too bad, that I probably should have ordered. I guess I'll just publish them on my blog. :-)

Man was I ever bummed out tonight. I discovered that this book I just started reading, which wasn't mine to begin with (I went out searching for a book that my sister's friend was looking for and couldn't find, and actually found it) is number 4 in the series and I haven't read 1, 2 or 3! UGH! It was really getting good too! I had to put the book away and will now have to go get #1. Scott tells me not to do that, because I never know what could be under the tree. I don't know how he could have known to get that, because I didn't even know the series existed until I went out 2 weeks ago and found this "hard to find" book! It's the Twilight series. Have any of you read it?

It was a pretty cold walk to school this morning. My legs felt like someone was poking me with needles by the time I got home. I should be smarter and dress warmer, like the kids. They always have their snowpants on and are quite bundled up. I am pretty bundled, all except my legs that is. We are getting more snow tonight. We are 1 inch away from breaking the all-time snowfall record for the month of December, which was back in 1916! I can't remember what the grand total needs to be before we break the record, but it's somewhere around 24-27 inches of snow! Wow! That is ALOT of snow! I've been waiting to see a "real North Dakota winter" for 6 years! Finally!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa at the zoo

Yesterday afternoon we met Kara, Guy, Jadyn and Kya at the zoo to see Santa. Gage and Emma were VERY excited to see him and both had their lists in hand to be sure and tell him exactly what they wanted!

Gage and Emma with Santa at The Dakota Zoo.

Santa is reading Emma's list. He sure got a "Ho, ho, ho!" out of her having bubble bath on her list!

Emma stands by to make sure Santa can read everything on her list. He's checking it twice!

Gage having a chat with Santa.

Kya, Jadyn, Gage and Emma. Aren't those girls so cute in their matching dresses?

Today at church Gage and Emma had their Christmas program. They did a very nice job. It was almost amazing that it was pulled together as well as it was, considering the chaos only a week ago!
I have been trying to get rid of a migraine most of the day. I started getting a headache yesterday morning and it lingered throughout the day. I woke up around 1:30 this morning with a severe throbbing pain in my head and had to get up to take some Excedrin Migraine. I was awake for a few hours praying it would stop hurting long enough for me to fall asleep. I did finally fall back to sleep, but woke up with it still throbbing at 7am. I finally got it under control again and I've just been having occasional throbs reminding me that it isn't totally gone yet. My hair/scalp are even sore and tender to touch above my left eye. Hopefully I will get rid of it completely, and soon. I haven't had a headache in quite awhile and I am glad of that. Hopefully it will be another while before the next one.
I can't believe there are only 4 days until Christmas! The kids are excited and I am ready for it to be over! We are all very excited to be going to Iowa to see our family. We will be leaving Friday morning if the weather doesn't stop us!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gingerbread House

Today I got to join Emma and her class as they made Gingerbread Houses at school. Each child was asked to bring a bag of candy, or graham crackers, or frosting to aid in the making of sweet houses.

Emma choosing her Gingerbread House. The graham crackers are hot glued around a milk carton. What a great idea! Gage got to do this when he was in Kindergarten too.

Emma takes her time to frost her house, so the candy will stick!

This is "finger-licking" fun!

Here is Emma's completed house. She is very proud of it and loves the little Teddy Grahams outside the front door.

Emma and her friend IsaBelle with their finished Gingerbread (graham cracker) houses.

Emma takes a little break to read a book about Santa while the rest of the class finishes up their project.

Emma and her friends Blaike and Emily. What cuties!

Emma's favorite part of making the Gingerbread houses was eating the sweets. They were warned not to eat too many by their teacher, as they would end up with stomachaches. Can you guess who's not feeling well tonight?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Deja Vu?

The weatherman is calling for another winter storm this weekend! It should be Friday night and Saturday, rather than Saturday and Sunday, so hopefully the kids' Christmas program will not be called off. It's still very cold here and my forehead hurt when we got home from school today. I don't think I've ever had a cramp in my forehead, but that's what I think it would feel like? It truly is Deja Vu with the storm, as Scott is planning to go hunting in it again. He was complaining of his toe hurting a little tonight because it apparently got painfully cold today when he was out hunting. It's really hard for me to give much sympathy, since he doesn't have to go out in the first place. I don't think anyone out hunting in negative temperatures is very smart to begin with. Sorry Scott, but you're crazy!

This morning I went to the library at school to reshelve books and Mrs. Schmidt asked me if I had anything going on today. I actually didn't! She had a meeting to go to this afternoon, which would have left Mrs. Hocking by herself with the Kindergarteners at Corpus Christi (I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy!), and she asked me if I would want to work at Corpus Christi this afternoon. I jumped on that opportunity! I continue to get refused at Biolife because my pulse rate is too high every time I go. I think that it's high now because I'm nervous about it being too high, so I'm trying to calm myself with yoga-like breathing, which causes me to get all worked up and it doesn't help? I will also be working at Corpus Christi next Tuesday, as one of the ladies in the lunch room can't work and couldn't find a sub. Agreeing to that could be unwise. The library is one thing, with one class at a time, but I've been in the lunchroom with Gage at Northridge and it was horribly stressful just eating there, let alone trying to keep everyone in line! It was so darned loud that I could hardly stand it. I like it in the library where everyone is supposed to be quiet!

We do not have swimming lessons tomorrow as the session ended last week, which reminds me that I haven't even checked to see if they passed. I'm pretty sure they didn't since they just passed into those levels for this past session. I should check, however. We haven't really had to get out of the house too much this week, aside from baking with Kara yesterday and gymnastics Tuesday. It has been nice not rushing here and there for different activities. I'm going to try to keep that in mind, when it's time to sign up for things again. Both Gage and Emma want to do gymnastics this next session, so I signed them both up to go in January-March, and I don't have anything else planned. I'm hoping to slow things down a bit in the new year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Aching legs

I went out to Kara's this morning for our Christmas cookie bake-a-thon! It lasted from 9a-6p! My legs and feet are killing me! You don't even know how good it feels to get that chore DONE! Now, if I can only keep Scott and the kids out of them! Kara was great, and I think I wore her out......................she thought we were done and I sprung one more goodie on her! She even fed us supper! It was delicious too! Thanks Kara!

Dad, I hope your sweet tooth is ready for some goodies!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 2 of frozen boogers

We had more frozen boogers this morning on our walk to school. Gage was quite cranky about it too, since he got to bed late after the swimming party at our Pack meeting. I think it's supposed to be warming up and we may get clear up to 10 degrees by Thursday!

I'm headed out to Kara's tomorrow for a big bake-a-thon. Be ready for tons of Christmas cookies Mom and Dad! I'm going to pull it out again this year and get them done!

I'm tired and can't think of anything to really talk about, so I'm just going to go to bed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Frozen boogers

It was quite a chilly morning out this morning! We walked to school and I believe this is the first time Gage has experienced frozen boogers! :-) We had made it to the end of the block, and crossed the street and I had just remembered that I had forgotten to pack a snack for Gage. I then remembered I had put a snack of almonds and a fruit strip in his backpack for an emergency, awhile back, if I ever forgot. He said that would be fine, but then I realized that I had forgotten their water bottles as well. UGH! I think I left my memory in bed this morning! I wasn't too worried about Gage's water bottle, because he typically does not drink from it during the day anyway. Emma, on the other hand, usually comes home with an empty, or near empty, water bottle each day. She wanted her water bottle, so I told them both to stand right where they were on the sidewalk, while I ran home to get her water bottle. I ran the entire way home and all the way back, and when I was crossing the street I realized they were gone! I almost had a little panic attack, but then realized that they were on the school bus that was parked right there along the sidewalk. I was quite relieved when I saw them on the bus. They thanked the driver, and I did as well. Gage said the bus driver told them they could get on the bus because it was too cold to stand outside. I'm definitely NOT in the running for the Mother-of-the-Year Award! I don't know why that bus driver parks along that sidewalk, but he is there every morning on our walk to school, sometimes with another bus parked behind him and typically the two drivers are out on the sidewalk talking to one another. Anyway, we were grateful for the warmth of the bus for the 7 minutes or less that I was running to and from home. We continued on our walk and dropped Emma off at school. All of the kids were inside waiting for the bell to ring since it was too cold to be outside. There was quite a bit of snow that had drifted on the playground, which probably would have been filling many snowboots, had they been outside! As we walked up the hill to Northridge, Gage told me the inside of his nose felt weird. I told him mine did too, and that the boogers in our noses were freezing due to the cold temps. He asked me if I could drive to pick them up after school, and I told him that we would probably be walking. I feel that if I were sending them to walk to school by themselves in this weather, that would be pretty cruel, but since I, too, am suffering in the freezing cold weather, that it's not quite so bad. PLUS, I have to turn around and walk home!! The walk home is always more miserable with the north wind in my face! Both Gage and Emma will now be able to truthfully tell their children and grandchildren that they walked to school uphill, both ways, in -20 degree temperatures when they were kids. (They better include in those stories that I suffered right along with them so it doesn't sound like I was a mean, terrible Mom!)

Aside from the freezing temperatures, there isn't too much more to tell. We did go to a Cub Scout pack meeting tonight. It was a swimming party at the Mandan Community Center, so that was a fun thing for the kids. Unfortunately we were 30 minutes late, because I apparently didn't read the memo telling that it started at 6:30 instead of 7pm! We missed the presentation of awards, which really isn't that big of a deal. Gage was to get awarded the computer belt loop and pin, however. They gave them to us later, so at least he still got them.

It's supposed to be another cold one tomorrow, with the high temp still below zero, however, it will be a bit "warmer" than it was today. Another good day to stay inside. After we walk to school, that is.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow day!

The blizzard did finally come! Our snowfall, according to KXMB, measured out at 12.4 inches and it is around -15 degrees outside! It's going to be a COLD walk to school tomorrow morning! I'm sure glad I didn't have to leave the house today! In fact, I'm still in my pajamas that I put on last night at bedtime. I love days like this!

Pastor Jake called our house early this morning to let us know that church had been cancelled. Gage called him back shortly afterwards to find out if the Christmas program was going to be cancelled or postponed. It is undecided at this point. The kids were sad about not having the program today, but they soon forgot about it after their day got started.

Scott snapped this picture from our front door this morning after we got up. We had quite a big drift in our driveway. THANK GOD I didn't have to shovel it! I think that would have killed me!

Grizzy decided a great way to spend the snow day was sleeping in an empty box. He was pretty snuggly warm as the box was right next to a heater vent.

Emma spent her day making forts out of the Christmas presents that are (were) under the tree.

Scott and Dave spent their day outside removing snow from the driveways. They cleared out 6 driveways and the sidewalks that went with them.
I apparently didn't get a picture of Gage today. He spent his day playing video games and complaining about having spelling homework to do.
I spent an hour or so this morning attempting to scrapbook. I just wasn't feeling very creative this morning, so I spent the rest of the day dinking around and playing video games with Gage. We have been playing darts with the Wii, with one of the new games we have from Gamefly. If you don't know, Gamefly is like Netflix, only with video games instead of movies. I really like it because it allows us to try out a game before actually buying it. I think it has saved us a couple hundred dollars already because we've gotten a few games that I would have bought, but got through Gamefly only to find out we didn't like it!
Emma had eventually decided to turn her "fort" into a library. She had all kinds of books and DVD's available for check out!

Emma is scanning this book that Gage wants to check out of her library. Emma made the nunchuk controller for the Wii into a scanner for her library so books and videos can be checked out.

After Scott had pointed out to me what Emma was doing, I had to get a little video of her playing. She decided to be a librarian so she could makes "lots of money". I thought it was pretty sweet that she was doing this, because she must really be proud of me being a substitute library aide at school. She has never done this before. It makes me think about things a little differently, and that maybe I should be a little more cautious about what I'm doing, since she seems to want to do what I do. I guess it's a good thing I didn't decide to become a hooker, or drug dealer, huh?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Still waiting!

I'm still waiting for the weather to get REALLY bad, like they have been saying it will. We could possibly get up to 9 inches of snow. It's supposed to get really bad tonight and the blizzard warning expires at midnight tomorrow night. I'm not real impressed yet. It is darned cold out, however, I will admit that. Scott called this afternoon to say he was on his way home and said he was driving pretty slow because it was really bad visibility. No crap! That's why they advised no travel!

The kids had their program practice this afternoon at church. It was MUCH better today. There were still a few "problem children", but nothing like the other night! Emma is very excited about the program tomorrow. She gets to dress up like an angel. Gage will be dressed like a shepherd. Unfortunately I have to usher and will be seated up in the balcony so I'm not sure how good my pictures will be. Maybe I can talk Scott into ushering for me while I sit down front and take pictures? We'll see. If the weather is REALLY bad, it may end up being cancelled, or postponed. I'm not sure which.

I'm gathering up my baking goods for a Christmas cookie baking marathon on Wednesday with Kara. I'm going to head out to her place Wednesday morning and see what we can accomplish before the kids get out of school. Hopefully Kya won't be placing any more butterfly beads up her nose causing another trip to the walk-in clinic!!! :-) Kara called me last night as she was on her way to the walk-in clinic. Apparently those recycled tin can lid ornaments with beads hot glued to them aren't 3-year-old proof? Or at least not if they're wanting to experiment by sticking the beads up their nose! Poor Kya! I'm betting she won't do that again! It was kind of funny, because it happened to be a green butterfly bead and Kara just thought it was a really hard booger that she was trying to pick. Finally, when they discovered it was a green bead in the shape of a butterfly, they tried to get her to blow it out, but she's too little yet to do that. Kara decided while they had her held down, with her needle-nosed jewelry pliars in her hand, that maybe she better take her to the walk-in clinic instead? Probably a good choice!

Kara stopped by today telling me she wanted me to have that butterfly bead because she was tired of looking at it. Instead she brought me a Lucy gift card for helping her out at her show last weekend! Lucy is one of my new favorite places to shop online, thanks to Kara! :-) I also got to go out to her house the other day and make some jewelry with her supplies. It was alot of fun and I can definitely see that there is a lot of work that goes into each of her pieces. Being a jewelry-maker, I know it takes alot of time, but she has some detail work with her metal pieces that take a lot longer to make. Thanks a ton Kara! You were too generous, however. All I wanted was to get out of the house after a long week at home by myself with the kids!

I best head upstairs. Scott just texted me from his cell phone telling me to come up and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" with him. What a dork!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blizzard #2 coming our way!

They are forecasting a big blizzard for North Dakota coming our way tomorrow afternoon! I haven't yet been to the grocery store to stock up, like I should. I didn't do it last time and wished that I had before it was all said and done. Like last time, Scott left to go hunting. He left just before 1pm today, after we finished delivering meals on wheels. Having his help delivering the meals today cut 15 minutes off of my time from last Friday! It also helped that it wasn't snowing like crazy today, like it was last week. Anyway, he's gone hunting and I hope he doesn't get caught in the blizzard. They are advising no travel for any reason, unless an emergency. I don't think it was an emergency that he go hunting, but I suppose he might disagree. The high temperature for Monday is supposed to be -8 degrees, with the low of -20 with the windchill around -40 below. Anyone want to come up and visit?

As promised, here are some pictures of Gage's den meeting from Tuesday night. The boys made the flag that we were assigned last month and birdhouses.

Last month at the pack meeting, when the cubmaster announced he wanted every den to make a flag, I wanted to cry. I'm thinking, "Like we don't have enough to do already!" Toby, one of the other "Scout Moms" said it would be a "piece of cake". I totally let her run with that! We gathered the boys after school a couple of weeks ago to take their picture together, then Toby made it into an iron-on transfer, along with a few other Cub Scout symbols. It really turned out cute and I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the actual flag! Gage is ironing on the picture in the center of the flag in the picture above.

Emma took the last turn and ironed on a picture of the Progress Towards Rank badge. She is doing double Scout duty as a Cub Scout and a Daisy Scout!

Here are the boys getting ready to start working on their birdhouses. Unfortunately when I went to the store that carries Scout supplies, they didn't have enough bird houses for all 5 boys, so I had to get one bird feeder, which was all they had of those as well! I pretty much cleaned them out of any bird kits.

Gage attempting to hammer on the perch, under the door. It's alot easier if you use one hand to hang onto the nail Gage! I think the hammers were a little too heavy for them to manage with one hand. We ended up with a lot of bent nails!

Dad finally helps out. Our project took longer than it needed to because we only had 3 hammers for the 5 boys to use. We'll have to plan a little better next time! We would probably have had enough if a couple of my hammers haven't been misplaced. They never seem to be where they are supposed to be.

The finished product! They turned out pretty good. It was very difficult to get them lined up to take this picture since Scott gave them all a duck call at the end of the meeting. Not a smart thing to do, when you're in an enclosed garage! He should have given them out as they were walking out the door, so they could torture their own parents in the comfort of their own car!
We have church program rehearsal tomorrow afternoon from 1:30-3:30. I was kind of hoping they would just cancel it with this big blizzard coming. That hasn't happened yet. I think I am going to skip my S-A B job and let someone else do it tomorrow. I'm sure I'll come up with a couple of errands I should run, like to the grocery store before the big blizzard hits! Yeah, right. You know me too well. I'll end up sitting right there in the front pew again, with my b**** look on my face glaring at the naughty kids! Sounds like alot of fun, huh?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I've been feeling very guilty about my short posts lately. When things slow down just a bit, I promise I'll be better!

Emma had her Daisy meeting after school today. I think it went pretty well. We ran out of time, however, and had to speed through some things quicker than I wanted. Our topic was "Use resources wisely" and "Make the world a better place". Basically, we talked about recycling. For our craft we made junk jewelry (necklaces made out of twine and a plastic bottle cap) which the kids seemed to enjoy and we made Christmas ornaments made from tops of tin cans that were in my recycling bin. Because of my handy dandy Pampered Chef can opener, there are no sharp edges on the tin lids at all and are completely safe. They hot glued beads all over the tin lid and they turned out pretty cute. I hope to post some pictures later, along with some pictures from Gage's den meeting the other night (I know I said I was going to do that, and haven't gotten it done yet).

I had panicked a little this afternoon after school. I had told Gage this morning that Emma had a Daisy meeting after school and to meet us in the library. When Emma, IsaBelle and I got to the school, Gage was not in the library. I started to panic, as I figured he must have forgotten and walked home. I went upstairs to the office and called Scott at work to see if he could call home and find Gage, but he wasn't in his office. When I was getting ready to hang up, one of the secretaries asked me if I was trying to call Corpus Christi, and I said that I wasn't. She said that Gage was at Corpus Christi. Thank goodness!!!! He misunderstood and thought I told him to meet me at the Corpus Christi library. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful people at the school looking out for us. Mrs. Sand said she would bring Gage back to the school with her (she's the one who took Emma to school for me the other day when I was working at the book fair). Mrs. Hocking was on her way out the door to walk back to Northridge and asked Gage if he would like to walk with her to the school and he decided that since Emma got to ride with Mrs. Sand in her car, that she couldn't be one up, so he declined the walk with Mrs. Hocking so he could have a ride in Mrs. Sand's car. Thanks for the offer Juanita, and sorry you rated second to Mrs. Sand's car! You'd think she was driving a VW bug, or something fun like that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today I spent most of the day working on our Christmas letter. It's nearly done, but I seem to have troubles coming up with things to write about? Hmmm........that's a shocker, huh? Maybe it's because I write on my blog every day and trying to come up with something I haven't talked about is nearly impossible!

Tonight was the first evening of practice for the Christmas musical program that is on Sunday. I was just going to have Scott take the kids and drop them off, but my nagging conscience wouldn't allow it. When I take my kids to their different activities, I typically don't drop them off and leave, because I feel like it is my responsibility to make sure they behave, not the people who are kind enough to give their time to help them learn what they are there to learn. Gage had already had a meltdown prior to supper because he didn't want to do a homework assignment that we have had at home since Monday. He's on day 3 of getting to bed later than 6:30-7:00, so I was expecting it. We did half of the homeword Monday and I thought we should just get the second half of it finished this afternoon after school, but Gage didn't like that idea. Anyway, after we got to the church, Scott dropped the kids and I off while he ran a couple of errands. I sat near the middle of the church sanctuary, hoping to look through my calendar and make a few "to-do" lists. After the rehearsal got started, and after I watched the kids misbehaving and then not doing what they were told to do, I decided I needed to move closer. I gave Gage the evil eye one time and he knew I meant business. He did very well the rest of the time. Emma was doing okay, but was having a hard time because she was being distracted by another little girl, who has entirely too much energy, or maybe she has ants in her pants? Anyway, Emma was attempting to copy the other little girl until she made eye contact with me, and then she straightened up a little. The girls were not standing when they were supposed to be standing and Emma was just dying to do what they were doing. She came over to me and said she was really tired and needed to sit down. I told her if she was too tired to stand up, then we needed to just go home and go to bed. She did pretty good the rest of the time. There were MANY who just WOULD NOT behave! I finally had enough and went up to one of the little boys and told him that he could either sit with me in the pew, or he could stand where he was supposed to stand and behave. He chose the latter (that was a good choice!). I think I had to get up 4 or 5 different times to tell 4 or 5 different kids that they were going to sit with me if they didn't start listening and behaving. Juanita was playing the music for the kids to sing to and when it was time for her to go, she asked me if I was the "Self-appointed B****". I thought that was the perfect title, hence my blog title S-A B, because I'm sure that's what each of those kids thought I was. I had several of them watching me and when I would make eye contact, I shook my head and gave them the evil eye. I think, for the most part, I had every one of them scared of me. I'm sure they'll run the other way when they see me in the halls of the church. I think all of those parents should be required to sit in the front pew and make sure their children are behaving, or else take them home and deal with them there. I'm betting that if I hadn't been there, in the front pew, mine would have been messing around as well. I can't wait until Saturday, when we have our next practice! NOT!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Check it out!

What a huge sense of accomplishment I felt this afternoon when I FINISHED Emma's Christmas stocking! She was so excited when she got home from school and saw it hanging from the mantel!

Finally! Emma has a Christmas stocking! It's nearly 6 years overdue!

Here's a closer view so you can see the details. I found these star buttons at Hobby Lobby and I love them! They added that "finishing touch".

Finally, I can look at the stockings hanging from the mantel and not feel guilty about Emma not having one!
We had our Cub Scout den meeting tonight and we built birdhouses! I'm too tired to stay up any longer, so I'll try to post them tomorrow. I HAD to share the stocking photos, no matter what!