Saturday, December 27, 2008

While I was shoveling the driveway up in Midway, the girls went sledding. Sammy went along and LOVED it. Kate and Jane were so loving and happy to pull him around and go down the hill with him. It was so much fun to watch the excitment (he did start with gloves and a hat, but quickly got sick of those).

I think that this is an absolute wonderful picture. Sammy is so lucky to have 2 sisters that love him so much.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Success ! (and a lot of well-hidden hot glue)

This is the house that Jane built. She did an awsome job. This was her first REAL, from scratch, gingerbread house. She did all the putting it together by herself, piping and all. I LOVE her tree. Next year I will buy bigger trays to put them on so that she can make MORE of her lovely trees! (Katy decided gingerbread house decorating was not up her alley after the front of hers was not to her liking and went in the garbage.)

Jane's house again. So Beautiful.

The back of my house.

One of my sides. Not perfect, but not too shabby either. When I baked the gingerbread, I crushed up jolly rancher type candy and put them in the window holes, so all of the windows have a "stained glass" in them. They are quite pretty.
Below is my house. I have to admit that it turned out better than
I had anticipated and this will definetly turn into a family tradition.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Jane! She is the sweetest (and stubbornest) child you could imagine. Jane is adorable. She does the cutest things and says the cutest things.

My parents moved to Guam for 2 years 10 days ago. My dad works for the church and he was transferred there to be in charge of the church construction on all of those little islands. It's tough work, but hey, somebody has to do it :)

Anyway, we want to go so badly before Sammy turns two for obvious financial reasons. Well, it only costs about $1300/ticket round trip. I am VERY fortunate to have generous ex-husbands that make it possible to stay home for the next few years to take care of the kids while they are so small (Sammy in particular and Casey is very generous). Anyway, inspite of their generousity, I still have to be very careful with funds and it's hard every month. Let's just say that there isn't an extra 5 grand sitting around for plane tickets. I really want to go so that the girls can experience life in another part of the world and see that people actually do live in grass huts in places. Anyway, I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to come up with that much money. So, here is the conversation I had with Jane yesterday:

Mom: I've been thinking that if we cut out things like going out to eat, or buying silly things that we really don't need, and save all of that money, by May we will have enough for at least one plane ticket.

Jane: Yeah, but that's only enough for one plane ticket. How would you decide who gets to use it?

Mom: What do you mean?

Jane: Well, that's only enough money for one person to go, who would get to go?

Needless to say that I had to explain that we would all be going, but would have to find a way to raise the rest of the money for the other tickets!

So we thought and thought and came up with an idea, although there is a short history behind it.

I grew up in a home that was comfortable, but without extras. My parents were very good at stretching a dollar and we never really felt like we went without much. However, when it came to things like girls camp there were always more than one daughter going at a time, usually up to three of us and it was expensive. So, my mom would help us earn the money by taking a couple of saturdays and we would spend the day making home-made cinnimon rolls. She was famous for her scrumptous rolls and so we never had any problem selling enough. People would just wait for us to have to earn money for girls camp or for christmas time to get on the list of roll customers. They were that good. THe thing is, after you bake dozens of rolls in one day for 6 years you kind of get a knot in your stomach when you evern think about making those rolls. I SWORE that I would never make them again.

Well, the girls want to go to Guam and I have to help them earn the money to get there and have become my mother, which is a great thing to become! So, they will be making phone calls to everyone that we know to see if they want to help them earn money to go visit their grandparents in Guam. I'm no Lilian (my mom), but I will say that these rolls are pretty darn finger-likin good and well worth it. Obviously they will have to make a lot of rolls to get them to Guam, so it's something that we will be doing for a few months.

This was my answer to getting more than one person to Guam! We'll see how it works. Kate and Jane have never really worked like I will have to make them work to make enough rolls to get us there. But hey, if they really want to go then they won't mind and the work will teach them a few things, as will the trip their. Not only that, they will probably enjoy the trip a lot more knowing that they had to work that hard for it!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pastry Chef anyone?

I am taking my kids up to my sisters vacation home in Midway in a week for the week. We need a fun vacation. However, I get really bored on vacations if I don't have projects and activities up the wazoo. Weird isn't it?
So, I have put together a couple of containers full of craft projects that the girls and I will be doing each day while up there. One of them happens to be making a gingerbread house.
This is something that I have attempted a couple of times, never with great success however. THe past few years we have stuck with those kits that you by for $10 and let the girls go crazy. But the inner perfectionist in me goes crazy the entire time they are doing it, knowing that they could be magnificent.
Let's face it, everyone has seen those amazing gingerbread houses and thought "wouldn't it be fun to make something that looked like that".
THIS IS MY YEAR!! This year I'm doing it and I'm not rushing through any of the steps (I have a tendancy to do that to get to the next part which seems more fun). I've researched and planned and shopped for candy (at the dollar store). I made my own pattern with cardboard to make sure the pieces are all going to fit and then took the pattern and drew exaclty what I want it to look like when all is said and done.
I'm not a complete novice either. I took a number of cake decorating classes and was really quite good at it. That was 11 years ago, but hey - it must be like riding a bike, and I'm pretty sure that the intricate piping that I have planned will turn out just fine (okay, I may be stretching it).
I'm excited though. It's basically an entire week process from start to finish and it's going to be fun. The girls are excited too. They have planned what theirs are going to look like and hopefully they will enjoy the process.
My question to all of you is this: do you have any advice for me? I am hot glueing the pieces together and then using frosting to hide the glue. I can't find great candy and have looked at other supermarkets. Let me know if you have any suggestions!! They would be more than welcome.
And yes, I will be posting a picture of the finished houses, even if it's an utter dissapointment!