ahh.. the smell of Christmas

So I haven't been a total stick in the mud, we did take a rainy afternoon and hunt down the perfect Christmas tree.  All boots and umbrellas but a good time was had by all.  We went to the usual spot of Thortons, which we've been going to for years and years.  It's not a bad lot, but it sure was busy the day we went and it was all I could do to find parking!  The girls had fun looking at all the "baby" trees and Mr. J was glad it didn't take us all day to pick one (he actually insisted on getting the first one we saw, as I like to wonder for atleast another hour and then come back to the first one..  he's starting to know me too well!)

 And Alexa had a special day at school, she got to do some special holiday activities and came home with a gingerbread house, un-decorated and falling apart..  After two mental breakdowns because the roof would not stay on and the candies weren't sticking the way she wanted, I caved in and decided to help (isn't that the motherly thing to do!)  So I globbed on the frosting, and put some in a ziploc so we could get those candies to stick on properly.  After placing EVERY candy on the tiny house, this is what she came up with.

Not bad, and she seemed to have a really good time decorating it.  Sometimes I have to remember that she's only 6.. and she really does need help.


It's that time again..

You know that time, the time when the holidays roll around and everything seems rushed.  I just want to sit around and read a book, relax, and do nothing..  but there are parties, and commitments and playdates.  There are decorations, baking, cleaning, and laundry (always laundry).  It can be so overwhelming, and I am totally feeling it.  I'm not trying to complain, although I probably will be by the time I am done writing this, it just seems that I cannot catch a break.

Luckily I did all of my holiday shopping (right after Thanksgiving) because I knew I would be stressing out when the big day got closer.  And I've decided to limit our decorations this year because it's just too much to put it up and take it back down again..  But now that I am on break I see my list of things I WANT to get done is really crazy long.  I have really set the bar too high and it's overwhelming.

One child got to see Santa yesterday, but the other is yet to go..  I need to work that into the mix.  And we have a gingerbread house that needs to be made, and some Christmas gifts that need to be made.. oh and the Christmas cards that need to be written.  And I have work to do.  I keep telling myself that I can do all of that in one day if I just do it and get it done with...  but maybe that is even too much for a day.

Oh, well.  I guess I just have to let go of my controlling OCD ways, and just do what I can and try to enjoy it in the process..  Time to find my inner zen.


If you give a kid a rubber band...

I wouldn't say my kiddos are super creative, yea they like to paint and draw... but in general they only do those types of things if I am encouraging them.  But I see that one of them, no doubt while I was ignoring them trying to do homework, has found a new creative outlet..

I guess my kids can make some pretty unique creations :)  Needless to say, I hope I am not the one who needs something out of those drawers...  Let it be J who has to un-tangle all those!

My hubby's got a new wife..

One morning I came into the office and found this:

Apparently Mr. J has a new 'wife' that I am unaware of, because this blond haired, blue eyed beauty is definitely NOT me!  Or perhaps it is a plea by the kiddos that they would like a new mom?  Either way, I couldn't help but crack up, and ask J, "So you've got a wife on the side.."


Swedish Fish..

The other day while waiting for child #2 to finish running around so we could actually Leave her preschool, I saw another small child grab some snacks from her lunch bag and head to the snack table (I pick Adrianne up after their afternoon snack, at which point a snack is offered but if the kids have something left over from lunch they are welcome to eat it then)..  So after said child goes to the snack table I see the teacher coming towards me and putting the childs snack back in her lunchbox..  And the teacher looks at me and says, "No candy at preschool.."  and I tell her, "that's not candy, that is Swedish Fish, those are just like Fruit Snacks."  To which she gets out the package and shows me the wording where it says, "Gummy Candy"...

This lead me to wonder just what we label "candy" and what we do not label as candy.  It's a very gray area between what some would say is a candy item, and what others would call a 'snack'.  I agree kids probably don't need to be eating those gummy candies, but I also think that fruit snacks are just the same thing with a different name.

Let's think about it another way..  At Micky Dee's they have a Big Mac, which I'm sure is not the healthiest choice on the menu however it is one of the "meal" options (and my favorite choice!)..  however they also have a Big Mac 'Snack' Wrap..  does that mean it's a healthy alternative to the Big Mac?  Does getting rid of the bun and replacing it with a tortilla make it a 'snack' food?

This whole topic comes to mind because lately my children have been asking for 'snacks' and then when I give them some choices which I think are on the decent side (cheese stick, crackers with PB, banana, or crackers with cheese) they look at me and say, "Those arn't SNACKS!"  to which I reply, "Yes-siree they sure are!"  A snack in and of itself does not mean a small portion of dessert, it means; "snack [snæk]n
1. (Cookery) a light quick meal eaten between or in place of main meals." (thefreedictionary.com)

When did sugary items start being snacks and stop being dessert?  I'm hating the consumerism that is making my children think they should eat a sugary 'snack' with every meal.  Lets just call it candy and be done with it.


And onto November...

Woah, October is gone and boy have we kept busy!  I am determined to post something and put some photos up that have been held captive on my camera… even though I need to pick up the kiddos soon, I have some unfinished homework, and one of our smoke detectors is making that annoying beeping… -does that beeping mean something? j/k-

So here is a quick run-down of our October (before I forget anything)..

On Oct. 16th we went to the Mrs. Philippines Coronation Ball..  if you remember I ran for Mrs. Philippines in 2008, somewhere I have a photo of that (I’ll look for it later), I got 2nd place.  Then in 2009 Ms. Lourdes, a good friend of ours ran and won 1st place!  Well this year we sponsored one the candidates, she is the daughter of one of the Fil-Am (FAACCV) Directors, and she also won 2nd place!  We were so happy, and we filled the ballroom with cheers just for her J  Oh, and I should include that we were all persuaded to wear ‘color-ful’ dresses, and if you don’t know filipino’s; they LOVE colorful things.. (hehe)  So I picked out a purple dress, and when I got there, what should I see but another board member wearing the same color purple..  No hard feelings though, because we both looked great and we were happy we could take this photo together..

Nick, Bernice, Me, and Julius

 Here is a few of us with Lourdes, Mrs. Phil 2009

Nick, Lourdes' Mom, Bernice, Lourdes, Julius, and Me
And of course we had to take a group photo of FAACCV

 Vivian, Jet, Frances, Evelyn, Bernie, Gretel, Zenny, Amy, Julius, Me, Lourdes,
Bernice, Lettie, Chuck, and Rita (L-R)

And one with our candidate (in the red ball gown), this is most of our group, minus one member who was unable to attend the ball.

Here is a random one of Miss. Adrianne, she built this tower before school and I was so shocked that I had to take a photo of her.  I've never seen either one of the girls 'build' anything like this before!

On Oct. 22nd Adrianne had her school field trip to Bi-Zi farms, what a good time she had, and with her good friends all around her!
 N and Adrianne

Adrianne with the Chickens, just before one pecked at her sore thumb and made her cry..
 (so much drama)

 This child loves the goats

Feeding the goats corn collected off the ground, because mom forgot the quarters

Hay pyramid!

 E, N, and Adrianne

Picking out the perfect pumpkin.  Which had to be 'child' size, apparently that is the rule now.

A quick shot at the family photo op.

Then she found this pumpkin which lent itself perfectly for a 'rocking chair'...
then of course she didn't want to leave 'her chair'...

Cute photo op.
Then ofcourse we had to go again on the 24th as a family..  it was wet and rainy, but we were able to dodge the rain and still have a good time.

Alexa having a blast throwing corn and making it 'rain'.

Adrianne in the corn pit.

The girls burying dad int he corn.

Alexa getting buried.

J found his favorite goat, and had to get a photo of him hugging it.

Alexa's first year to 'willingly' feed the goats.

Hey, I'm the one who remembered the quarters, so I get the feed the goats too!

Adrianne was so happy to feed all the animals.

Alexa petting the bunny.

Adrianne feeding the goat again, same goat, I think?

Dad decided he wanted to crawl through the hole in the hay pyramid..

however, the hole was a bit smaller than he anticipated!

Alexa with her face paint.

Adrianne with her horse...  minutes before it was washed off by the down pour.

Adrianne riding the ponies.

Alexa riding the pony.

Adrianne picking out her pumpkin for the pumpkin launch..

Alexa, happy as ever... even if we didn't win.  But those people behind her, they won TWICE!

Alexa trying to win the ducky race.

Adrianne's 'Auntie Mikki' shoes, drowning during the ducky race..

Determined to win!

On Oct. 29th we were able to make a ton of cookies with my mom and Aunt, what a good time was had by all!  I didn’t get any photos of it though, I guess between making dinner and preparing the dough I just didn’t have any extra hands..  sure would be nice to have a photographer to capture those moments that you just are unable to catch.

On Oct. 30th we carved our pumpkins, one of my favorite parts of Halloween!

Adrianne had a rough start, 

 but she perked up after I showed her the Hello Kitty design I printed for her.

Alexa picked a stencil of Maleficent.  The bad lady from Sleeping Beauty.

Alexa's..  J helped with the carving.

Adrianne's..  J also helped with carving.

The front side of mine, that is Tiana.  (and just for the record, I LOVE how it came out!)

This is one side of mine, with Cinderella on it.

This is the other side with Tinkerbell, I did a three sided pumpkin..
J's pumpkin, it was hand-drawn in the 'traditional' way..  he had fun carving with Alexa.

I also did a smaller pumpkin, my 'kid size' one from Bi-Zi, it's supposed to be a bird on a branch..

On the 31st the kids went to a birthday party while I studied for a little while, then when they got home they put on their costumes and as we were getting ready to leave we were surprised by Lourdes and her family, so they took us to a haunted house and then trick or treating around the area.  The girls had a great time trying to keep up with the older kids, and we got back just in time to hand off our 45 bags of treats and most of their girls’ candy that they didn’t want (they don’t eat much candy, I always end up throwing it away at next Halloween).

 Alexa was a purple fairy, and Adrianne was a pumpkin..


And finally as proof of how exhausted the kiddos have been, here is Adrianne on Monday evening, after school.  She first was in the living room inside the white laundry basket, but I came in and turned on the light so I could study..  then she moved up to my room and got her blue laundry basket, and proceeded to fall asleep inside of it..  poor kid, she really does need more sleep but we just don’t have enough hours in the day!

P.S.  We’ve also been doing a dance practice for our annual Pasko Na Naman (Christmas Party), that has been quite an exercise!  More to come on that in December.