Saturday, December 31, 2011

Play Days

It's been a quiet week around here- going nowhere and lots of playing with new stuff. We are resting up for the new year, which looks to be somewhat busier than the norm, which is saying something. But I don't want to think about that 'til tomorrow.

We had a lot of fun picking out Christmas gifts for the boys this year. A few were duds, like the remote control car that died almost instantly and had to be taken back, and the cheap dollar store toys the boys 'bought' for each other and broke within hours. But mom and I picked out this winner months ago when she was in town, and I have been hiding it ever since.

The boys actually love playing with doll houses, but I couldn't find any that weren't pink and frilly. What could be more manly than a rocket doll house with elevator included to transport various astronauts and aliens? And I love that all the boys love playing with it- even the baby.

I also got the boys some little chests with their initials on them, filled to the brim with art supplies. I didn't realize Etienne was really interested in art, but he has hardly stopped coloring since.

The weird thing is, he always colors inside the lines. It's a little unnerving for a four year old.

My favorite gift we got for the boys was the k'nex roller coaster. I enjoyed k'nex when I was a kid, and we have decided to go the k'nex route, rather than legos for our boys (at least at this juncture.) I had been looking for a cool set for a while, and Craigslist had a big roller coaster for a steal, but it was already sold by the time I asked. So I got another one at Walmart- not so impressive, but not too expensive. The day I brought it home, the lady from Craigslist called and told me the first buyer had fallen through and did I still want the bigger roller coaster. I decided to go for it, and hid the other one in the car to take back. Of course I forgot about it, and the kids found it a few days later. They brought it in, raising it high in the air and absolutely ecstatic. It was then my painful duty to tell them we had to take it back. Amidst the tears and wails, I tried to explain to them that they needed to trust that mommy knew best, and they wouldn't be sorry. I think they doubted me right up to Christmas morning. The coaster from Walmart had 400 pieces, the one I got had 2500. And Steve and I had a blast putting it together with them. Granted, it took a couple of days, and it is taking up almost the entire bedroom, but it was worth it. And it actually works!

Steve and I decided not to get each other much this year, but he did buy me these wonderful new shoes.

I just love the cuffs with the buttons!

And my mom got Steve this indoor lemon tree. We hope it will actually produce some fruit, but if not, it's still a lovely little tree and smells great.

We got the pot at the local nursery for five bucks! Couldn't have found a more appropriate one, eh?

So all in all, we had a very Merry Christmas. We are looking forward to 2012, and to putting our poor wilting Christmas tree out of its misery.

Oh, and Santa also delivered a few teeth. Thank You!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

This year was the first we have ever spent without going home to see my folks and sisters. It was difficult for me in a lot ways, since we have no family in town. I am used to a huge family affair, but we made the best of it and had a sweet time. It was definitely the most laid back Christmas we have ever had, and I sure didn't miss the jetlag. These are some shots from Christmas eve and early Christmas morning. I didn't get a lot of shots of the boys opening gifts after church, since I was trying to rein in the chaos most of the time, but I will try and post some of their gifts at a later date. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

From Steve, Nicky and a wreath of boys.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A surplus of kisses

I bought a huge bag of Hershey's kisses from Costco a few weeks ago, and have been thinking of ways to get rid of them ever since.

They are a pretty versatile little chocolate drop, either on top of a peanut butter cookie, inside of a walnut cookie, or just melted in a blob with nuts. And the kids love unwrapping and sticking them on things, so they are an easy way to get kids involved without all the rolling, cutting out, and frosting that sugar cookies entail. Believe it or not, every one of these treats has already been given away, and I need to make more. I haven't even eaten one!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Star of the Show???

Last night, my boys participated in their first ever church Christmas program. They were not looking forward to it. I guess they don't have a lot of my genes, because the thought of standing in front of all those people and singing seemed to terrify them. They all assured me over and over again that they would go up front if they had to, but they wouldn't be singing. That is why this video of Etienne surprised me so much. I didn't have a good view of James and Sebastien- you will see them occasionally behind their teacher, but Etienne was front and center in more ways than one. I am not sure if he was nervous, trying to grab all the attention, or simply in his own little world. Of one thing I am sure. This kid marches to the beat of his own drum, literally.

Untitled from nicole lewin on Vimeo.

Friday, December 9, 2011

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

Sorry for the graphic nature of these photos, but they nicely convey the misery that's been going on around here for the last few weeks.

I am hoping Santa will deliver a little earlier than the twenty-fifth.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just follow the trail....

and let satsuma season begin!