Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Other Big News...

My boy is growing up! He lost his first tooth! Literally. It's been loose for a while and it finally came out as he was lying in bed Monday night. He wasn't sure what to do with it so he laid it on the floor by his door. The next morning he came out acting funny, hiding his face, darting around furtively, acting a bit grumpy. Finally he came to me and bared his teeth. That's when he told me the whole story. We tried to find the tooth but were unsuccessful. I completely forgot about it later when I was vacuuming, so I'm sure I sucked it up.

Kennedy's Christmas Present...

Kennedy's big gift this year was getting her ears pierced. She did really great. A few seconds after they pierced them she said, "Ow." That was it. She did look like she was fighting back tears for a second there, but she didn't cry.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wanna See Some Christmas?

Eating Christmas Eve goodies. I tend to make enough for an army.

Jesse wasn't really cooperating at stocking hanging time.

Renie was into it though!

Devon was so excited about Christmas this year. He had a calendar hanging on the fridge and the first thing he did every morning was cross off another day and count how many days were left until Christmas.

Julia hanging her stocking.

Kennedy stuck a secret note for Santa in her stocking this year and wouldn't let us read it.

Mommy and Daddy even get to hang stockings, though we fill each other's.

All ready for Santa.

Mom and Dad got to stay up late and watch It's A Wonderful Life. We tried to watch lots of Christmas movies this year and we really enjoyed it.

Here comes the crew up the stairs Christmas morning!

Santa brought lots of snow toys this year. 2 snowtubes, a double sled, snowball makers, a snowboard, and molds for making snow bricks. We tried everything out the day after Christmas on Killer Hill. Renie could really fly on the snowtubes, Kennedy is going to pick up snowboarding pretty quickly, I think, Devon and I did a major head over heels biff on the hill resulting in a slightly bloody lip for Devon, Julia proved to be pretty fearless, Lincoln tried his luck at snowboarding, and even Jesse enjoyed flying down the hill with Mommy on a the double sled.

Jesse was pretty convinced the snowtubes were his personal thrones.

Jesse is pretty obsessed with Thomas right now.

We got Devon an electric train, Aunt Chrissy got him these cardboard building bricks. They work well together.

Here Jesse is reading the instructions to Wig Out, a fun card game we got for the kids.

Lincoln and the kids playing one of our new games.

Jesse playing with Thomas.

Another fun Christmas for the Tatro family. Vacation has been pretty low-key and very enjoyable. It helps that we got lots of new movies!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jenn-Lee's Giveaway

I THINK you still have time- until the end of today to enter a fun giveaway at Moments. Here's my entry:
Well, Jenn-Lee, I've been pondering this since you first posted the giveaway and I'm really struggling with it. I feel so very blessed to have a beautiful, healthy family and a year plumb full of precious moments. We had 3 fantastic vacations and numerous fun weekends. There were milestones- watching my youngest learn to walk, two kids getting potty trained, Julia learning to ride a bike- so I think what I'll claim for The Moment is our tenth anniversary. I think that represents nicely all the moments we have experienced together as a couple and a family this year. 10 years with my best friend.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Devon has been very dedicated about crossing off each day on his countdown to Christmas calendar. Each morning that's the first thing he's done. Today counts as Christmas because it's Christmas Eve. This morning one of the first things I heard before I was even out of bed was him exclaiming, "Merry Christmas, one and all!" This is a very magical year for him. I love it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here Comes Santa Claus...

Devon is playing Santa Claus with Renie and Jesse. He's calling to his reindeer:

"On Connor, on Splinter, on Nixon!"

Another snow day...

This time from church. It snowed again yesterday evening- big soft flakes. It was really a gorgeous evening. Lincoln and the kids played outside for quite a while. He built them a snow fort yesterday, as well as a snow couch and a snow maze around the front yard.

Sorry, no pictures of the maze. That happened later in the evening and I was too busy to come out and snap photos. Now the drifting snow has filled it all in, much to the dismay of Lincoln and the kids.

But the wind picked up in the night and the temperature plummeted.

(This weather board is brought to you courtesy of the Waterfall Family blog. I have yet to successfully copy a weather board from weather[dot]com to my blog.)

So with drifting snow and dangerous windchills the decision was made to cancel church today.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another fun kid project...

Yesterday we had a snow day. We had a winter storm come through that dropped about a foot of snow on us. Of course with the drifting that is so common in WI it was much deeper in spots (like our sidewalk and the area right in front of the garage door). The kids got a day off from school and we all got to sleep in a bit. The rest of the day I spent making Christmas candy ( and shoveling). The kids wanted to be involved, of course, so I had a project all ready for them. They dipped holiday shaped pretzels in chocolate and sprinkles- a perfect way for kids to contribute to the goodie making.

In the evening Lincoln and I went to a super fun Christmas party. There was lots of good food, a fun white elephant gift exchange, games and fantastic company. We are so grateful to have lots of great friends here in our tiny little town. What a blessing!

For Jenn-Lee

My dear friend Jenn-Lee over at Moments posted this recently on her blog. If you're too lazy/busy to click the link, she talked about how nice she thinks it is for us housewives to take an extra minute before our husbands come home to make ourselves look, and this is her word, hot. You know, fix our hair, put on some nice clothes, maybe put on some heels, freshen our makeup and generally look appealing and welcoming to our husbands. She also mentions having a nice dinner ready and the house clean. In the comments I joked about my husband having to choose- hot wife, nice meal, or clean house. So, lest my dear Jenn-Lee thinks that my poor deserving husband is neglected, I thought I would share with her what I did for my husband before he came home yesterday.


No, we do not have a snowblower. That's the handiwork of my sweat and muscles. (I also did the end of the driveway that the snowplow had filled and the area around our mailbox. Why yes, that is 2 feet of snow.)
So see Jenn-Lee? I do things for him. We just all do things in our own way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sugar Cookies...

One of my favorite Christmas time activities is baking sugar cookies and decorating them as a family. I gave up long ago trying to create masterpieces. This is one of those things that I can let go of (read, Not be a control freak) and just let the kids have fun frosting, licking their fingers, eating the sprinkles, and just making a yummy mess. Here are some photos from this year's event.

Could it really be?

So, just an update. Renie is officially a toilet user. She has done a fantastic job staying dry at night. She now has a vinyl liner on her mattress in case of accidents, but no more pull-ups. That's right, 4 out of 5 of my kids are out of diapers or anything resembling them. That means I can focus on Jesse. The end of diapers is a glimmer on the very distant horizon. He'll be two in February...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

10,000 Santa Clauses...

Probably only my family will know the reference in the title. We had a record of Christmas songs when I was a kid called Christmas Is For Kids. On the record there was a song titled 10,000 Santa Clauses. It's about this kid who sees Santa Clauses everywhere at Christmastime but she's stuck in her room with the mumps and can't go out to meet any of them. She laments that the only chance she has is if the real Santa Claus will come down her chimney.
So anyway, the kids were able to meet our church Santa Claus this past Friday evening. The older girls know who it is in the Santa Claus suit, so they're really only there for the present, but for Renie and especially Devon, it was purely magical. For Jesse it was merely another year of stranger danger.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner of sloppy joes and potluck. (Don't ask me whose idea it was to have sloppy joes for a holiday dinner, it wasn't me.) Then we listened to the local high school brass choir play some Christmas carols. (One of our Young Women from church is in the ensemble, though she didn't play that night because she had her wisdom teeth removed earlier in the day.)
After the music and some games for kids in another room, the Big Man came. Devon watched the door in anticipation...

His jaw dropped in amazement...

He very quickly pulled himself back together...

He was so cute! I couldn't stand it.

I tried to take the pictures quickly, but didn't have it set on continuous mode so they are a bit blurry. But you get the idea. Each of the kids talked with Santa and came away with a toy.

It was a fun night, though I wish the church party was more Christ-centered. And I wish I hadn't made 5 pounds of sloppy joes that sat in the kitchen all night and never was needed. But I froze them and guess what I'm bringing to the potluck THIS Sunday. Yup.