31 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here's December in a nutshell:

Here are a few pictures of the annual Winterfest from Claire and Rylie's school. The kids had fun decorating cookies, making jingle bracelets and reindeer horns.


Here's her story: "The shovel hit an icycle and the icycle hit me on the eye." She has since admitted that maybe she was holding the shovel and maybe she swung it at the icycle!


I was originally scheduled to work on Christmas Eve, but a dear woman at work switched with me so I could be home. We had so much fun together. We had our annual Christmas program over the webcam. This year was nice because we were able to see the computer screen on the TV and hear the sound through the speakers, so it was a much more enjoyable experience this year! We love being able to connect with family in Texas through the computer. In fact, the McMullins were in 3 different cities and we were all together singing hymns and hearing the Christmas story.

We had to booby trap Tyler's door to make sure he didn't sneak out and get a preview of Christmas! They were all very happy with what Santa brought. Tyler got a huge Bionicle ship he really wanted. Rylie had asked for a hair braider, but Santa figured she would love a baby doll and a crib. Claire got an Easy Bake Oven and cupcake decorating supplies.

A few days later, we decided to break out the oven. The results were fun, if not culinary masterpieces!


One of the most fun things the girls got was a game called Pretty, Pretty Princess. You win the game when you get all of your jewelry on, complete with crown! But watch out for Malificent!

Let me introduce you to the newest member of our family, Lydia. She is Rylie's baby doll and we all love her so much!


Grandma helped out and created some memories at bedtime.

Once we finally got there (wrong directions, disaster parking) most of us had a great time. Brian had taken the girls a few weeks ago and their favorite exhibit was the butterflies. So we had to go there again.

11 December 2008

Family Photos

Amy Rahm took these portraits for us. We love them. And yes, I know my hair looks awsome!

06 December 2008

Once in a Lifetime

Our family had the most incredible experience tonight. We went to see the REAL Santa Clause.

Tyler has been doubting his authenticity lately, so I knew something had to be done. As everyone knows, the Santas in the malls and at church activities are not the real Santa. He can't be everywhere at once. But he does make appearances now and then (although it is really hard information to find). I found out he was going to be in Port Washington, a town about 20 miles north of Milwaukee--tonight!

We left our church party early, just as "Santa" arrived. The girls were upset (and Tyler was rolling his eyes) about having to leave until I told them what I had discovered and where we were going (Tyler continued the orbital rotation). We drove and drove, listening to Christmas music most of the way, including my favorite album, John Denver and the Muppets. We realized that the girls had no idea who the Muppets were, a sad void in our parenting that will soon be rectified.

Anyway, we finally got there. He was in the back of a portrait studio. There wasn't a line at all. When we arrived, Santa was in the back room taking a potty break, I think. When he came back in and passed the photo umbrellas so he could see us, he exclaimed, "Tyler!" Tyler was a little surprised and asked if I had made an appointment (which must have been how he knew Tyler's name), which I did not. He looked at the girls and said, "You must be Rylie and you are Claire." Of course, he was right on both accounts. He then said that he also knew Karee, Sydney and Zach! Tyler was blown away. He asked the girls if they were enjoying the dollhouse Santa brought last year and if Tyler liked his nerf longshot rifle. Whoa!

Santa then greeted Brian and me by name, too!

He sat down and invited the kids over to sit for a picture. They asked how he got into houses. He explained how he dematerializes on the one side and rematerializes on the others. Sounds like physics concepts I haven't figured out yet. Then he asked what they wanted this year.

I told Santa that some in our family were unsure if Santa was real and didn't believe that parents have Santa's cell number. I asked if his phone was nearby. He said that it was, so I dialed the Santa's number on my phone, and guess who's phone started to ring! Santa let Tyler answer it and I was on the other line!

Then Santa got onto me for all the string we had wound around inside the house as a Christmas trick for Tyler to find his present because he tripped on it. It took me a minute to realize what he was talking about, but then I remembered what he meant. We had it tied to a suitcase for Tyler (which had plane tickets to Texas inside)! At this point, I was freaked out! Then, Tyler tested him. He asked which room the suitcase was hidden in. Santa said, "The other room." "Which room?" Tyler challenged. "The basement," Santa responded. And of course he was right.

Well, by this time, there were other kids waiting and we had to leave. The portrait studio wouldn't let us pay for the photo, and as we couldn't wait an hour for it to be ready, they agreed to mail it to us. We will post it when it arrives.

It was a most incredible experience, one that I'm sure not many of you have ever had nor ever will have. We know that a lot of people out there don't believe in Santa, but as for me and my family, we believe!

09 November 2008

Tyler's 10th Birthday

Okay, so his birthday was in April, but somehow I never got around to posting his birthday pictures...but it is still 2008, and he is still 10, and I ran across these pictures on the computer today, so, Tyler, Happy Birthday.

Tyler is such a sweet kid. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he wanted to consider that some of his friends might prefer chocolate, while others would want vanilla. So, he asked for both.

He had a great time opening presents. His friends really know him well!

We got him Rock Band for the XBox.When the friends were gone, Rylie and Claire got to participate in the action. It was a really fun day. I'm so glad to have a 10 year old boy like Tyler!

04 November 2008

Blue Lips

When I picked up the girls from school today, Claire had blue lips, as though she had eaten a blue frosted cupcake. So, I asked her what she had for snack. Her response, with a smile and a giggle, "A Barack Obama cookie!"

31 October 2008

Happy Halloween

I'll have to get the pictures off the camera, but it has been a fun day. This afternoon, our neighborhood had a party at the park. The kids decorated paper pumpkins and witch hats. Tyler participated in a pie eating contest (gummy worms and whipped cream) and a scavenger hunt. Then, Tyler went to a party at at friends house while the girls and I rejoined the neighborhood party for a parade around the neighborhood. At some point, we broke out of the pack and went trick or treating. When I recommended that we head home so that we could hand out some candy, Claire gasped, "What! My bag isn't full yet!"

30 October 2008

Rylie's Twin Sister Came to Play

On Friday, my friend Dana brought her 3 daughters over to play. It is always so striking to see Rylie and Naomi together. They look more alike that she and Claire do!

Apple Picking

I was so happy to get to go with Claire and Rylie's school classes to pick apples earlier this month. The first picture also includes Marco, a little boy that teased Rylie last year, but now he loves her! With all the apples we brought home, the girls and I made two quarts of applesauce! I know, I know. You'd think, from their expressions, that they weren't having any fun. It's not true! They had a blast riding on a schoolbus, watching a movie about Johnny Appleseed (google him...he was kind of a nut), learning about bees and their role in the apple harvest and, of course, picking various varieties of apples.

So You Think You Can Dance?

This is a show that we've never watched. But a parent at Tyler's school was able to get free tickets to anyone that wanted them. Tyler and his friend, Alex, were really excited to go. So here we are!

I got a promotion!

I interviewed about 2 weeks ago for a couple of pharmacist assistant (PhA) positions that are coming open at the hospital. This position is what initially made me apply at the hospital but you have to work your way up to this. I was told that I would have to work there for 6 mo-1 year before being considered to move out of central pharmacy to the floors where you enter medication orders, monitor drug levels, and some other stuff I'll understand better after I start training. I've been at the hospital 5 months, but applied and interviewed anyway because 1. to show interest for the next round of hiring, and 2. one of the pharmacist really encouraged me to. When I went to the interview, I snuck around to make sure none of my coworkers saw me so I wouldn't feel so stupid when I didn't get the job! I threw away most of the information I received at the interview knowing that there were others with much more seniority that me who had probably applied. Anyway, the supervisor called me Monday to offer me the position. The other person who got it has been in the pharmacy 2.5 years!

Needless to say, there are some seriously upset people in central pharmacy. I think I can tell who didn't apply, because they have been offering congratulations. Other responses have ranged from ignoring me to outright nastiness. I can understand their dismay and disappointment, but I didn't make the final decision in the matter. It has been a very awkward week.

Anyway, that's what I'm there for, to get experience in as many aspects of pharmacy work as possible. This position is as close as I can get to being a pharmacist without actually going to pharmacy school. It should be a good application booster when that time comes.

Oh, yeah, and it comes with a better raise than the 15 cent one I would have received at the 6 month mark!

13 October 2008

Bust a Meal

I just found something great!
The recipes look great varied and easy, and your shopping list prints right out. I'll let you know how it goes!

Brian and the Girls go to the Museum

Brian was on vacation today. I had to go to school and work. So he and the girls went to the museum to see the Titanic exhibit. Their favorite thing was the butterfly exhibit. They couldn't get enough of that!

09 October 2008

Our Favorites

For Family Night this week, we read about a girl in Italy. In the article was a sidebar that listed her favorites. I thought it would be fun to ask my kids the same questions and here were the responses:

Favorite school subject: making things in Art Studio
Favorite food: tortillas with cheese
Favorite family activity: playing video games with Daddy
Favorite free time activity: playing with Emma and Kayla (girls who come visit their grandparents two doors down from us on Friday nights)
Favorite primary song: Child's Prayer
What I want to be when I grow up: school teacher

Favorite school subject: paint things in Art Studio-flowers, houses, people and lady bugs
Favorite food: strawberries and apples
Favorite family activity: camping trips
Favorite free time activity: play with Barbies
Favorite primary song: If the Savior Stood Beside Me
What I want to be when I grow up: school teacher

Favorite school subject: none
Favorite food: pizza
Favorite family activity: camping
Favorite free time activity: Halo on Xbox
Favorite primary song: Do as I'm Doing
What I want to be when I grow up: Lego designer

Raingutter Regatta

At cub scouts last week, Tyler got an award! I'll have to ask him again what it was for! Then, on to the main in the regatta! Daddy was gone to Chicago, so mom had to help him build it. So, you'll see in the 3rd picture that the boat is headed for the side of the raingutter rather than straight ahead. Hopefully Brian will be available next year as the McMullin image is somewhat tarnished at this point! Tyler had fun, though, which is what it was all about (at least that's what I keep telling myself!).

08 October 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, Rylie and Claire!

For their birthday on September 19, instead of a friend party, Claire and Rylie opted to go to Build-a-Bear Workshop and get clothes for the animals they already had. Back when we got their animals a year or so ago, Rylie refused to have her kitty stuffed. Thus, she has been known as Flat Kitty around our house. Rylie decided now was the time to get Flat Kitty Stuffed so she could wear clothes!

Behold, the transformation from Flat Kitty to Fat Kitty!

Fat Kitty and Pooh Bear both got much needed baths. Now, to try on some clothes!

Dressed to impress! Yes, that is Pooh wearing an Ariel costume!

Back at home, it was time for cake, ice cream and opening of cards and presents! What a great birthday!