Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!! :)

Yes, they are almost all the same... little differences, ya know?  I mean, look at Conor's smile in that first one... what is that? 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  Hope everyone has a joyous day filled with love, laughter, family, and friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Have you seen this elf?


Have you seen this elf?
Santa has been searching everywhere for this elf.
It has been rumoured that one of Santa's best workers has run away from
The North Pole to parts unknown (some say possibly Cincinnati).

It has been reported that toy production is falling behind. The elf in question was overheard by one of our sources, "We were loading sleighs one day and I heard him muttering something about being too cold at the North Pole and there wasn't any baseball."

If anyone sees this elf, please contact Santa or Elf Headquarters at The North Pole. This elf is considered to be polite and friendly and smiles often. He was last seen wearing red, with a red hat; he has red hair and he is over 6 feet tall.

*****News Bulletin*****

This just in! We have just received a report that he was last seen baking Christmas cookies!!!

Christmas Piano

Christmas Cave

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hawaiian Spicy Chicken

Conor decided it would be a good night to make some Hawaiian Spicy Chicken on a cold winter’s night.

“Just add water” to the spices to make the batter.

The 3 steps

First flour

Then batter

Fry ‘em up

Mmmmm!! Smells good

Dinner is served!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Beautiful Baby Girl

I have pictures from Conor's Birthday party to post, but I couldn't wait to share these pictures of my beautiful daughter.  I just got her senior pictures back and along with the pictures I got them on a CD so I could share them here and on Facebook.  Here first, of course.  :)  The last 3 are of her and Jon - her boyfriend. There were over 70 to choose from, these are just my favorites... they are in no particular order, just the order they uploaded from the file names. 


She has grown up so fast, I can hardly believe she is almost done with high school. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

North Pole Musical 2010

This year Conor had a speaking part in the school's production of North Pole Musical.
The Snow People, the Reindeer, the Elves, and the Toys, were all vying for a spot in the upcoming musical production. Santa had given the impossible task of finding a suitable act for the show in a short time to Mrs. Clause; and it was her job to listen to the auditions.
There was, of course, much drama in trying to get Mrs. Clause's attention and the Elves even went on strike! The kids did a great job and got a standing ovation at the end.

Conor's bit was to introduce the "Nutcracker Megamix" portion of the show. We thought it would be a good idea to dress him up in a Nutcracker soldier outfit. My mother is an excellent seamstress, so we enlisted her skills to help make the costume. She did a terrific job of transforming sweat pants and an oversized shirt into an officer's uniform. I had fun at the local Walmart at 2 o'clock in the morning trying to get fabric cut while the employees were busy stocking shelves. I wonder what they thought of me coming in at that hour wanting to buy a yard of faux fur, shiny medalion trim, and curtain tie back cords?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Conor's 8th Birthday

We took Conor and 5 of his friends to The Web for his birthday.  The plan was for us to go there as soon as it opened (11am) and then come home for pizza, cake, and ice cream.  For the most part, the plan worked out. 

The Web has arcade games, bowling, golf, race cars, and of course laser tag.  We did not have any clue what to expect, really.  When we got there, we had to sign up for a time for the laser tag.  Up to 40 people could go at once, so they would be in there with other groups. 

They have credit card like cards for the arcade part - charge it up and slide it through a reader on the game you want to play.  There wasn't a lot of time before the laser tag appointment - so the boys just ran around looking at all the things to do.  Then it was time for laser tag - I was the only one who didn't go, I wanted to try to take pictures but the viewing window is so dark that you can not.  Jeff, Ceara, Conor, Mason, Gage, Grant, Trey, and Shane all went into an instructional room to learn how to play it.  They were all given vests and guns.  There were two teams - Red and Blue and our group was all on the same team.  There are obstacles in the room, and it's dark, and they have glow in the dark stuff.  They say don't run, but I did see a few people running.  The teams are released from different doors and you go around looking for them to shoot.  There is a sheet at the end that has your tag name (everyone is assigned a name based on what vest/gun they got) and it has all the stats.  How many people you shot, how many times you were shot...etc.  Our team won over all. 
After the laser tag, we went to play miniature golf - it was that or bowling and the boys all chose golf. 

The theme was Jurassic Park and it was dark with glow in the dark painted / carpeted golf things (yeah, I don't know what they are called). 
That part of the day was a little hectic and I wish they would have chosen bowling.  They did not take turns, they ran around the room hitting the balls as hard as they could and no scores were kept. 
It was a good thing no one else was there at the same time! 
They finished quickly and moved onto the arcade games. 
Mason got lucky right off the bat and hit a wheel of fortune game for a lot of tickets.  All the other kids were jealous and tried to play the same game to get as many as he did. 
They easily went through their arcade credits, and we even bought extra so they could continue the fun for a little bit. 
Then it was time to cash in.  I have a lot of respect for the patience of the employees who work in this area - they changed their minds so many times, wanting to see this or that, then wanting something else. 
It got so bad that Grant had to be handcuffed and almost hauled away! 
Mason was able to sneak some keys and set him free - thank God for big brothers!  Oh, wait... those were Mason's cuffs and he was the one who put them on Grant.  :)
That poor little girl in the picture had to wait her turn behind 6 boys who weren't about to give up their turn in line for a girl!  Nothing stands between boys and their toys at that age. 
We came back to our house, stopping to get pizza on the way.  The boys ate pizza while we frantically searched for candles.  I knew I had them, just not where they were... I eventually sent Alli to get some at the store. 
Conor blew out his candles, with Gage standing by ready if he needed assistance! 
He opened his gifts from the kids while we all had cake and ice cream. 
He got a remote control car.
And the ever favorite money!
As well as a robe that he had been begging for since he saw it. 
After we managed to get rid of all of the kids (it was harder than you might think!), we took Conor to his restaurant of choice (Golden Corral - yes, it is his favorite) and had his grand parents go there with us to celebrate his birthday. 

He had a few more gifts to open there. 

Barb made him a cute little box with a cutout of him in his Nutcracker uniform. 
One of his favorite gifts inside - money! 
And a bunch of little games that he was so interested in we had to remind him he had other gifts. 
He got an electric snap kit so that he can learn how to make different things - sirens, radios, etc. 
He was very interested in seeing all the things he could do. 
There are a lot of projects in that book - different levels of difficulty. 
And then he got what he has wanted for a very long time.  See his face?  He was so surprised. 
Yes, we got him a cell phone. 
Before you judge, let me explain!  The idea of an 8 year old with a cell phone is not a great idea, I know, I didn't warm to the idea immediately.  BUT!  We do not have a home phone.  And this phone is to act as a home phone - adding it to our plan for $10/ month is a lot cheaper than getting a land line.  As I am writing this post on Jan 15th and back dating it - I can tell you it does act as a home phone.  He is not allowed to leave the house with it, even if he is just going to Mimi's house to spend the night.  Or if he is riding to the store with his dad.  It does not leave this house.  It enables him to have a way to call his friends, or text his dad when he's in the man cave, or text me while I'm at work to tell on his sister for doing something after he gets off the bus.  He keeps all of his friends numbers in it and calls them from it.  He is able to text and keep in touch with his aunt Naomi - whom he adores, but she lives in Indiana so he doesn't get to see her very often.  It encourages him to spell and read when he texts.  Quite honestly, he doesn't even use it that much, the novelty has worn off.  And when I text him, I make sure to spell out all words so that he reads them and learns more words.  So, it really is like a home phone, just has texting capabilities with it.  :)