Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our "Perfect" Gingerbread House!

Since I already admitted to my lack of interior designing skills, I'll let you in on another little secret.... I'm a bit of a perfectionist. There, I said it! Being a perfectionist isn't always a bad thing.... in fact it served me quite well in my school years! It's not such a great quality however when trying to have "fun" with the kids, or trying to "craft", or "create" with them. And being a perfectionist actually adds quite a bit more stress than necessary when trying to "create". It's something I have to work very hard on controlling and keeping at bay.

So I was quite proud of myself last week when we decided to spend a Family night constructing a Halloween Gingerbread House I picked up at Michael's, after seeing pictures on my friend, Mary's blog of her and her family's Gingerbread House.

I made the icing before the kids got home from school, and got everything prepped and ready to go, so after homework and dinner we could get right to work!

We assembled the house quite easily, and put it aside so the walls could "set." After dinner we got right to work. I actually read the instructions, step-by-step, to the kiddos and let them each take a turn decorating! I realized that this wasn't going to be the "picture perfect" Gingerbread house, when almost I noticed almost immediately that my icing that was the "perfect" consistency hours earlier, had now gotten a little watery. It was too late at this point in the evening, to try to fix it. So I completely backed off, and although the kids still tried to follow the "script", I let them go for it! We had a great night together, and this project that could have been extremely stressful for me, turned out to be soooo much more fun! I guess I'll have to restrain my inner perfectionist more frequently if it means less stress!

Caiden really concentrating!

When we finished following the "instructions", we still had three sides of the house, some icing and some candy left over, so I each of the kids got to decorate a side however they wanted! Fun!

Crazy kids!!!

Halloween Fun

I'll admit... I'm not the best interior decorator. Some people just have that knack, but I don't. I wish I could say I was, and I wish even more that I had the money to go and purchase all kinds of cute seasonal items to decorate my house with, but I don't. Every year I have these grand ideas, and wonderful intentions to at least decorate a little for Halloween, but then I get busy, and frankly, money runs out, so I don't. This year, however, I was determined to do something!!! So here's my very feeble attempts at decorating for Halloween this year... not shown in the pictures is my too cute Scarecrow out in my planter in front of the house.

I have had these window clings ever since our first Halloween here in 2004. They seem to "magically" change positions a gazillion times before Halloween comes, but my little ghosts and goblins have actually let them be this year!

It was lots of fun putting up these spider webs before Madi and Caiden got home from school. They were so excited when they got home and saw them!

I love my little Pumpkin luminary... only ended costing like, $1.50 or something at Michael's. What a deal!!

One of my new favorite things to do around the holidays is to decorate my kitchen cabinets with the many art projects and drawings my kids do at school!! I got this great idea from my friend, Christi!

And they say TV isn't educational!!!

So yesterday morning after I dropped off Madi and Caiden at school, Kami and I ran home to finish getting ourselves ready for work. She was brushing her teeth in the bathroom and I went in there to check on her and our conversation went a little something like this...

Kami: Mommy (with toothbrush hanging out of mouth), wanna know what I learned on TV?

Me: No, what?!? (All the while thinking "Oh no... what's going to come out of her mouth next?)

Kami: I learned that you shouldn't leave the water running while your brushing your teeth. See?!? Look, I turned it off!!

Me: Very good, Kami! That's absolutely right!

And they say TV isn't educational! :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Flashback!!!

So since I just started my blog this year, I (obviously) have GAZILLIONS of pictures from years past. Since Halloween will be here next week, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down "memory lane" and post pictures from Halloween's of years past! Enjoy!!!!

Halloween 1999- Madi's First Halloween

What's crazy to think about remembering this year was that Tyler had just arrived "home" from almost nine months of basic training/tech school, and only a few days after Halloween we would be leaving Sacramento for Langley AFB, VA, and our new life together as an Air Force family!

Being only 3 months old, and too young to Trick-or-Treat, we didn't buy a costume... Grandma spoiled Madi with some warm pink PJs, and a too cute Bunny Bib, and she added some whiskers! We helped hand out candy that year!

Halloween 2000

Unfortunately, we don't have any costume pictures of Madi this year. She was going to be an "Angel." Our little "angel" didn't get to Trick-or-Treat this year as her behavior was really, quite the opposite of "angelic"!!!

Our "angel"

Halloween 2001

Our first Halloween in England! Nagymama and Nagypapa had sent us some money to use on the kids, so we splurged and bought them these too cute Disney costumes!

Madi and her first best friend, Ashlyn.

LOVE this picture of Caiden!!!

Halloween 2002

We definitely got our money's worth out of these costumes!! Grandma had made Madi an adorable Minnie Mouse costume, and even mailed it off in time... or so she thought. The costumes (Caiden was going to be Mickey Mouse) arrived a day or two AFTER Halloween. Oh well... the kids were more than happy to be Tigger and Pooh again!

Halloween 2003

We spent this Halloween in California, as Tyler was deployed. And the kids finally got to be Minnie & Mickey! Grandma & Grandpa took them Trick-or-Treating while I stayed behind and passed out candy!

Halloween 2004

Yay!!! Back in the U.S.! And we added a new member to our family... Kamrynn!

Halloween 2005

This was the year I decided to make Madi's and Caiden's costumes! They turned out great, but what they DON'T show is the many late nights, blood, sweat and tears that were spilled during the making of these!!!!

Madi, AKA, Sleeping Beauty

Tough-guy Buzz!!!

Kami showing a little Sacramento-love!

Halloween 2006

This must have been a pretty uneventful Halloween, because these were the only two pictures I found!

Halloween 2007

This year I only made one costume... and that would be Princess Ariel's! It was much easier than the Sleeping Beauty costume, even though my machine broke when I was trying to put in the zipper.... nothing a few safety pins couldn't fix! I am embarassed to report that my machine is now fixed, and I still haven't put in the zipper! It's on my To-Do list! :-)

My Mom made this Indian costume when she was a Campfire girl, which means it's SUPER old!!! (Just kidding, Mom!) But seriously, I think every girl in our family has been an Indian for Halloween at least one time or another!

Tyler applying Caiden's "face".

He did an AMAZING job!!!!!!! Presenting........ Darth Maul!!!!

And of course, Princess Ariel!!!

Be sure to check back next week for pictures from Halloween 2008!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crazy kids!

Here is the swimming video that I tried to upload last night! I have no idea why it worked this morning and not last night... oh well! Enjoy my crazy kids!

Monday, October 20, 2008

California Adventures- Wrapping it Up!!!

I think this is it, people! I finally may reach the end of our CA Adventures tonight! So without further adieu.... So I last left you with our S.F. trip, and Kami doing a too cute version of Taylor Swift's, "Picture to Burn".

On Friday morning, Mom insisted that Tyler and I take off for the day and go do something. Being so far away from family, and being too cheap (or maybe is it poor, or maybe a little of both...) to pay for a babysitter, Tyler and I sadly never do anything by ourselves. It's quite pathetic really, but alas, it's the sad, sad truth. So it didn't take much arm-twisting at all for Tyler and I to go on a "date". We decided to head down to Old Sac and walked around for an hour or so. We ended up stumbling upon this miltary museum down there, and being military, we got in free. That was pretty cool... seeing all that old military artifacts and memorabilia. After that we headed down to this awesome restaurant that I think they only have out West... Chevy's. We ate outside by the river and had an awesome lunch, and equally awesome Margarita's! After that we headed home on a hot afternoon in a van without A/C. Talk about romantic! haha We headed straight home and jumped in the pool to cool off!

Later that evening we very hesitantly decided to head downtown (again) for Part 1 of our three-part 10 year High School Reunion. We had been going back and forth for months as to weather or not we really wanted to go, and actually extended our CA trip just in case we decided last minute to go. So off we went to this bar downtown, not really knowing what to expect at all. Talk about a time warp! It was truly one of the weirdest experiences.... seeing so many familiar faces, but at the same time faces that I hadn't seen in 10 years!! After telling each other that we'd go for just a little bit and then leave, we ended up staying out until 1am!!! The next morning it was time for Part 2 of the reunion... a picnic at a local park where families were invited. The kids were very excited to go with us and see some of the people we went to school with. It was another warm afternoon, and it was fun to see everyone again, and to see some new faces that hadn't attended the night before. It's crazy how even though 10 years have passed, some people seemed exactly the same. And even though we may not see or talk to these people for another 10 years, I think everyone had a really good time and were glad they went... I know Tyler and I were.

Saturday night brought a backyard campfire, and S'mores! Mmmm!!!
On Sunday, we were finally able to get together with our longtime family friends... the Olsen's! All nine of us loaded up (again) and headed to their house for an afternoon of swimming, and a super yummy dinner!!!! The kids had a blast swimming in Kevin and Julie's pool, complete with a diving board! I even managed to convince Caiden to take his life jacket off and jump! He had fun jumping off the diving board before, but once the took the vest off... he got crazy!!!! I tried to upload a video... in fact I've spent the last hour trying multiple times to get it to upload, and it didn't work. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow. For now enjoy the pics of the kids jumping off the diving board!
Water fight with Julie!
Rub-a-dub-dub-Kayleb, Anthony and Kami in the tub!

Monday morning brought a final fishing outing for the boys.

Caiden actually looks happy to be up this early, which is a surprise. He is so not a morning person!
And Tuesday we packed up, and headed back to good ole N.C. I will never forget what Caiden said upon arriving at the airport and stepping outside (at 2 in the morning), "Man it's stinking HOT here!" And I said, "Caiden, welcome to North Carolina." Caiden decided that he wanted to go back to CA and the beautiful (not humid) weather. Hopefully that day will come sooner rather than later. We had an amazing vacation, better than Tyler and I had hoped for, truthfully. You know you had a good vacation when almost three months later the kids (and the parents) are STILL talking about it! Thanks Mom & Dad for letting the Eddy clan invade your house for three weeks... can't wait until we can do it again! :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

California Adventures- Week 3, Part 1

Okay, so 2 1/2 months after our return home, I think it's finally time I wrap up our California Adventures posts! I think I ended last time with our Tuesday day-trip to Lake Tahoe. Wednesday was a stay-at-home lazy day. Tyler actually got up early and drove by himself back up to the mountains to meet his Dad and brother for a day of fishing. I think I spent most of the day reading a book based upon a blog recommendation from my good friend Mary. Some of you just might have heard of it... Twilight, anyone? When Tyler got home from fishing that night, I made him go with me to Wal-Mart so I could get the second book in the series, New Moon. These books are highly addicting, and because I refuse to pay more than $10 for a book, I have yet to read books 3 & 4 in the series, as they aren't out in paperback yet. Anyways... back to CA Adventures. So Thursday morning, we all woke up early again and got ready for yet another day trip. This time, though, we headed South... to San Francisco! Our first stop in S.F. was the Exploratorium. This place was SOOOOOOOO cool! I cannot recommend this place highly enough. It's like a big Science, Physics, Math, the way the world works museum, and just about everything in it is hands-ON, which makes it so much fun for everyone! Since we were only in S.F. for the day, although we very easily could have spent all day there, we spent about half a day there, and weren't able to see everything. Here are a few pictures of stuff we did see, though.

Madi, Caiden, and Tyler stacking wood bricks and learning some of the laws of Physics.

Having so much fun and not even realizing they were "learning"!! This thing was pretty cool... it was one of those giant pin-cushion thingys. You know.. the kind that has all those nails poking through one side and you press your hands into it to see the "reverse" indentation? They had a blast with this, and all I could of think of was germs, germs, and MORE germs. Kami and Kayleb playing with "blocks". Caiden & Kami thought this chair was the coolest! I love how little Caiden looks!

Snack time!

Nothing goes better with snacks than a little toilet water! :-) They had this really cool exhibit on Superstitions, and Perceptions, and they had this Toilet Drinking Fountain. The sign next to it says something along the lines that even though it is a perfectly sanitary drinking fountain, just the fact that it is a "toilet" will keep many people from drinking from it. I was one of those "many" people. Apparently Caiden was not. Caiden and Grandpa checking out their endless refelctions in the Human Kaleidascope

Family Photo Time After the Exploratorium we headed to the world famous Pier 39! It ended up being a little colder and windier than we had planned, and everyone quickly grew tired, hungry, and grumpy. So after doing a little browsing and window shopping we faced the daunting task of trying to find someplace where 9 people all wanted to eat. We ended up at an outdoor Boudin's bakery, or something like that where we paid WAY too much to eat, for not very much food. Oh well... we were in a tourist town! Tyler and the Girls... Alcatraz in the (way) background. My Mom & Dad! My sis, Mom, & Me Climbing on the Sea Lions! My Dad (who's name is Zoltan) had to have his picture taken in front of Zoltar! Family Photo in front of Alcatraz and the Bay Madi and the World Famous Pier 39 Sea Lions!

After Pier 39 and some food, we headed home... but not without one last stop to get some great pictures of another world famous landmark... the Golden Gate Bridge! What's a trip to San Francisco without Golden Gate pictures?!?!

Getting ready to drive across!


Family Photo!

This picture is one of my favorites of Kami! Okay, since this has turned into such a mega-long post, I think I'll have to make another 2-parter. But before I sign off for now, I'll leave you with a video clip I took of Kami on the way home from S.F. She LOVES music, so before we headed to CA I loaded my iPod with all kinds of music as a way of helping to keep her entertained for the plane ride, and our many car rides. Here she is singing one of her all-time favorite songs! Look out Taylor Swift!