Happy New Year!

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. "
 - T.S. Eliot

Wishing you an outstanding 2013!


Happy Blue Birthday!

Our sweet Jakie turned 4 on the 26th.  All he wanted was a blue party (i.e. blue cake, blue balloons, blue presents).  We normally have a party together for Lauren and Jacob but we decided to give them a chance to do their own thing this year.  Jacob has been so excited about his birthday.  Every time we asked him how old he was going to be, he would hold his hand over the top of his head and say, "I'm this big."  We tried to explain multiple times but in the end he was determined that he was not 4 but "dis big", so we let it go. :)  The day of the party arrived and the blue decorations were in place.

The blue presents were wrapped and waiting.

We had put Jacob down for a nap and he wasn't quite ready to get up at party time.  He stumbled out of bed, let me dress him, and then promptly collapsed on the floor.  I moved him onto the couch and Doug gave him a little milk.  I thought it was cute how he was just hanging out, getting himself ready.

A few minutes later and he was ready "to rock!"

One of the main components of this blue party was a blue cake.  I tried to call the lady we've been using to make our cakes for the past 8 years but she apparently went out of business this summer after we bought Anna's birthday cake.  Ack!  I am not a cake maker but since his birthday was the day after Christmas, I decided to give it a shot.  He and I looked at some google images and he saw the blue ombre cake and said, "That one!!"  Thankfully, there was a video tutorial (you can see it here at "The Hungry Housewife"). After making this cake,  I can honestly say that it is worth $40-$50 to a cake artist for all that they do.  I spent hours on Jake's cake.  I was proud of it, especially since it was the first time I ever attempted anything like this.  I thought it had a nice flavor but Doug commented that it was dry, hard, and not that good.  I think he was right that it was dry and hard.  Lauren kept stabbing it with her fork and Anna needed help cutting hers. Ha!  Jacob and I liked it though.  He had two pieces yesterday and another this morning.

This next moment was so funny.  As Doug was lighting the candles on the cake Jake looked at him and said, "Do you know it's my birthday?"  Doug said, "Why yes, I do know that."  So cute.

The "Happy Birthday" song sent him into a trance.

 He knew what to do at the end of the song though! Blowing, blowing...

 ...and out!

 A rather cute but suspicious looking crowd...

 Jakie and Amanda

 Lauren's remote control air shark (one of THE coolest Christmas gifts ever) did a fly-by.  He was blue after all and in keeping with the mood of the festivities.

 Present time.

Happy Birthday to our dear, sweet buddy!  We love him so much!


To our dear family and friends this holiday season, we wish you all the best. Merry, Merry Christmas! Much love, Sandy, Doug, Anna, Lauren, & Jacob The fantastic song in this video is by Kyle Andrews. His work is so amazing and our family is just in love with his music. Please stop by his site and check him out HERE!


Proverbs 20:11, Day 2

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.

Today the girls and I took some poinsettias to one of the local nursing homes.  I called ahead to ask if it would be alright if we stopped by and the nurses were very nice.  When we arrived, I asked if they would mind perhaps pointing out to us residents who could use a little boost.  It was such a great experience for the three of us.  Everyone seemed genuinely happy to see the girls and loved the flowers.  Our visit afforded me the opportunity to talk to the girls about showing respect and compassion for their elders. There was one sweet lady who followed the girls from room to room because she liked them so well and another who was so excited about the flowers but was worried because she couldn't remember where her room was located.  We talked about the fact that every one there had once been young just like the girls are now, had dreams and ambitions, had grown up and were probably married just like Anna and Lauren would be someday, had made families of their own, played with their grandchildren and were now spending their twilight years possibly alone and far from family.  Both girls decided they wanted to go back and visit again, and Lauren said she would like to draw some pictures to hand out, and Anna thought it would be nice if she could go back and sing a song or two.  I thought both ideas were fantastic and we'll have to plan to do just that.

"If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give. " ~ George MacDonald

Our book today was "The Miracle of the First Poinsettia, A Mexican Christmas Story".

Meanwhile, back at the house, Peter Chubbycheeks had his first night of mischief.  The kids walked downstairs this morning, rubbed their eyes, and immediately began looking for Peter.  When Jacob saw him, he opened his eyes really widely, and said, "How he do dat?"  They've been wondering all day what he might get up to this evening!
*Updated to add Peter Chubbycheek photos:

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