Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Surprise

I figured that I would do a post to let you all know about our Christmas surprise. We are going to have our 4th baby!! This was a surprise to us as well. We had decided to have another baby eventually, we just didn't plan on it so soon. When we told Garth's Grandma, she stood there in shock for a moment then she asked us if we have figured out what causes it yet. It totally cracked me up. Anyway, my due date is July 2nd. I will spare you the effort of the math and tell you that Derek and this baby will be 17ish months apart. Yikes! I'm sure I will be fine, but right now I am a little nervous! Merry Christmas everyone!

It's snowing. . .

. . .again!

We came home a day early from Canada because we heard there was a huge snow storm in Spokane and that more was coming. It snowed 20+ inches in 24 hours here. Luckily, some unknown snow-removal angel had snow plowed a path down our long driveway up to our garage. We were so grateful we didn't have to hike in! I love the curious way the snow builds up on fences then just folds over instead of falling off. This is my in-law's roof after the one big day of snow!

I love these pictures of Sydney hiking through our back yard while Garth did more snow blowing.

Today with the new snow storm, you can't even see her tracks from yesterday. I think this is a stay at home and sit by the fire with a book kind of day!

Big White - Big Fun!

We just got back from a week-long trip to Canada. Garth's Mom owns a condo at Big White Ski Resort and she decided that instead of presents this year, she wanted to take us all skiing. We had a blast! I am not a big skier (of the snow variety) because I hate to be cold. The temperatures this week varied from -14 degrees to a balmy 5 degrees. Despite the cold, I had a good time skiing. Theresa and I did "Ladies Day"one day (lift ticket, lesson, and lunch) then we took Carter on a couple runs in the afternoon. The next day Garth and I skied together and we found lots of good powder from the snow the previous night. Sydney got to try skiing for the first time too. Big White has this great magic carpet and she rode it several times. I just think she looks cute like a big pink marshmallow.
At the village on Thursday nights, they have a big kid's carnival. It is usually packed but since this is the first week Big White was open, it was pleasantly sparse.

The kids love the gondola ride from Happy Valley to the Village. Carter used to call them the "yellow umbrellas."

Fun carnival games. Carter asked this Australian liftie for a spider on his face. Apparently spiders in Australia only have six legs because this was the finished product.

Our last day there, we decided to get Carter a lesson. He does okay with us but he was a little dramatic (hard to believe). We thought he would work harder for a teacher, and we were right. It was 10 below that day and he still had a blast! He didn't want to stop when his two hours were done. We look forward to our next visit. Thanks Theresa and Tony!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Newest Reindeer

So you've all heard of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolf. . .but you should meet the newest Reindeer in the bunch. Syndey found this guy in the Christmas boxes and named him "Horny" you know, because he has horns! We are probably immature but it is quite hilarious to hear her playing with him and saying "Horny, come play with me" and "Horny lets do a dance!"

Skeptical about Santa

Carter is getting skeptical about Santa. I think he lost some faith in all magical things when the tooth fairy didn't show up the night he got those teeth pulled. She actually forgot to come for two nights, can you believe it? So finally Friday night we told him that perhaps the tooth fairy only works on weekends. Guess what? She finally came!

While we were decorating the tree Carter said to me "I don't think Santa exists." I said "Oh really?" and Carter said "Yeah, I think it's just someone from the toy store and that guy from the Dollar Tree that come and fill our stockings." Well, he's on the right track but I'm not giving it up just yet.

Deck the Halls

The kids were so excited to decorate the tree this year! Usually Garth and I decorate when the kids are sleeping to avoid crisis and broken ornaments. Last week, we got all the decorations up and the tree put together (yes, I gave in last year and we got a fake one) but it got too late to do ornaments. So the next night while Garth was playing basketball, me and the kids decorated the tree. They actually did a great job. There was very little fighting about who got to put which ornament on, none were broken, and I only had to break up a few "clumps." Since Sydney can't reach very high, lots of her ornaments ended up together. It was a very fun evening trimming the tree with my kids.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful family-filled Thanksgiving as usual. We are so blessed to have all of our family here in Spokane. Occasionally it is a bit overwhelming because we have so many people who want to see us on the same day. Thanksgiving is especially difficult because it is one day, one meal. This year we went to Garth's grandparents' farm at noon then my Aunt Nancy's for dinner at 4. We literally rolled home! I was in charge of apple pies and rolls for Nancy's house. I wish I had remembered my camera because they both turned out perfect! My mom said she might retire from cooking since I seem to have it handled. I think it was the first time I did rolls by myself and I didn't have to start over or call my mom for anything. They turned out just like hers, yay!

So I am sure that you all have wonderful families, but Garth and I have the best Grandparents ever. This year we are especially grateful for Norm and Ele Hamilton. This is Norm with Derek Norman in the hospital hours after he was born. We think they are the best for several reasons.
*Constant love/support for everything we choose to do.
*They are the most giving people we know. For example, I go grocery shopping on their farm in the summer. I never leave without bags full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and farm eggs.
*Their unexpected gifts that make our lives easier, like the apple corer/peeler they gave me to help make the process of canning apples easier (of course the 6 boxes of apples I was processing came from their farm.)
*Garth loves that his Grandma is a huge sports fan. She loves to watch "the game" as much as he does.
*They seem to truly enjoy my kids. I can be having a tough day and we will stop by the farm for a visit. They don't let the kids stress them out like I do. Grandpa just laughs at tantrums (he can throw one as big as them, and he likes to see who has the best grumpy face.)
*They introduce my kids to lots of neat things. 3 wheelers (at 3 years old) farming, cool collectible tractors, pressing cider etc.
*Surprise visits at our house. The most recent one, they showed up with jeans for Derek (they have an uncanny ability to know just what my kids need and get it right before I do.) He was busting out of the waist of his 12 month jeans and they brought him a new pair of 18 month Levis. When they left that night, Garth looked at me and said, "Everyone should have Grandparents like that." I have to agree.