A gift for any age!

Thanks to Grandma Judy for the Stomp Rocket. We have been snowbound for days (dare I say weeks?) so today we decided to get out and try out the stomp rocket. Well, as you can see...... Grandpa couldn't wait for his turn and the kids were very impressed that his rockets went the highest. They could have stayed for hours stomping but we had to get Aunt Lenora to the airport for the 2nd time today! I tried to get an action shot of the rocket taking off, but it really did shoot off at rocket speed. You just have to believe it by everyone staring at the sky.



Happy 50th Anniversary Don and Norma!

Yesterday we had a lovely celebration for 2 of my favorite people. Sharon's parents have been married for 50 years. We all went to their church which is a beautiful cathedral in SW Portland. There was a coffee hour after the service where we got to meet many of their friends. People were delighted to help celebrate such a significant and joyous occasion. We then went to the London Grill (in the Benson Hotel) for a champagne brunch and were told by the waiter that we were "doing a good job". I guess that means we made a small dent in the buffet food? And now D & N can get to work on the next 50 years.


Portland is a sloppy mess.....

but, we made it out and went to a play with the whole fam. It took two loads of people in the car, lots of slush, a disastrous trip across Burnside with two children, two hot chocolates, and a coffee. Not to mention Carson's doll and purse and Sam's Totoro bag. We climbed over hills of plowed snow and stepped in rivers of melting ice while getting rained on just to see Biglittle Things. It was well worth it. It was sort of a mime, dance, clown troop and it was fabululous. There were great costumes and masks and the characters came up into the crowd. Literally....they climbed all over us. The children LOVED it. The adults loved it. I even ran into a fellow WVian. Noted by his WVU sweatshirt worn proudly. Carson had her new American Girl doll with her and the little girl sitting in front of her had her new American Girl doll with her and they waved to each other. So cute. Then two carload trips back home to have pizza and wine. I love holidays. Thanks Gma Dody for the tickets and the idea!



all this AND, it snowed on Christmas Day!

Carson makes us breakfast on Christmas morning with her pancake mix from grandma. The kids opened their presents from Santa and gma judy and papaw rick. Then we moved on to other presents. Mom's drank much coffee! Grandma and Grandpa Dody came over and we ate a delicious meal of Sharon's choosing. Then MORE PRESENTS! The kids received wonderful gifts from everyone. The American Girl Doll was a hit, as well as many science kits for Carson. Sam was really happy with his airplane and box for special things. He got puzzles, books, cars, little people.



Wow, it really snows in Portland. Once every.....never! This morning we had a great breakfast for Carson's birthday. Cinnamon apple French Toast. Then she opened some PRESENTS! Thanks Grandma Judy for the Popout dollhouse. That was a big hit. As was the potholder loom. We played in the snow for a while and Sharon cleaned off the car. Even Lu got some snow action. It's naptime now.

Cabin Fever!

Well, it just keeps snowing. It is so beautiful here since no one (and I mean no one) goes and drives on it. This is the most snow Portland has seen in many years. I think we may attempt to get the kids out today for a while. Even if it is just to go walk around the block. I am feeling a bit cramped and cabin feverish here. Sounds like the bus route I take to work is canceled and the hill up to the hospitals is treacherous so I may have to take the aerial tram to work tomorrow. That is going to be an adventure. http://www.portlandtram.org/index.htm


The making of the Barbie Cake (Warning: Nude Barbie photos)

Well, here she is. I was so excited when I got home from work and Sharon had successfully baked the cakes and removed them from the pan with no holes!! We let them cool overnight and this morning we iced the cake. Barbie seems to have grown since the recipe for the cake was developed since her legs were about 3 inches too long. We had to think fast....Amputate or duct tape? Since the party is for elementary school kids, we opted for the latter. We iced her up and TA-DA. She is ready for the party. We decided to take the pictures of her now, since we may slip and fall on the ice and drop her on the way to the party. We still haven't decided where Barbie will sit in the car. This is the most collaborative project Sharon and I have worked on since we built all that IKEA furniture in the dining room!


It's beginning to look a lot like....

So they canceled school yesterday???? And then today, this... This is the most snow Portland has had for a very long time. Melissa and Maggie's roses are snow covered. Our yellow roses are still fairly intact even after the last two days of freezing temperatures. Sam and I are going to weather the weather and go out to finish our Christmas shopping. Yes, I gave up on the completely handmade stuff and will buy the last 3 gifts on the list. Local businesses, of course. Sharon made the most perfect peanut butter blossom cookies (the ones with the Hershey Kisses) last night and that is what I ate for breakfast. With a monster cup of coffee to even out the sugar, of course. Today I am making pistachio brittle and peppermint bark for Carson's teachers. We are excited for Aunt Lenora to come to Portland on Christmas Eve. We haven't seen her since Norma's 70th birthday bash. She is the only one in Sharon's family with the "gift for gab"--just like me. Although I am working on Norma.


Sam, collector of small things

A catalog of the collection Sam has been carrying around in a large Santa Hat:

Hot Wheels Milk Truck? circa 1979.
Small Gumby
Plastic bird egg, slightly chewed on by Lulu
and small egg whisk to go with it
Screw stuck to a magnetic rock
Monopoly Jr. game piece
thimble from Grandma Shaffer's sewing basket
two quarters
Robot charm
two buttons (one gold and one white)
Extra dried out raisin

Things I love about Christmas

This is a doily angel ornament that my gramma shaffer gave to sharon when we first met. I left the tag on it and hang it on our tree every year.

I love all the ornaments that have made it through my childhood. I have a nurse and doctor wooden ornaments that I remember from long ago. I also have some ceramic ornaments that I painted in the first or second grade. Somehow or another I have my own with KAS (my initials) on the back and also one with TJW (traci walker's). Maybe I should send it back to her as a suprise. This is a picture of Lulu waiting patiently whilst the cat climbs the tree.

This is my stocking boot. My father had it made for me or else he made it for me. He died 28 years ago, so this is pretty old. Every year when it comes out of the box I hope it hasn't gotten broken.
These are my special angels that my gramma shaffer had in her house every year at christmas. I could look at these for hours. The little girl is a music box. When I was little, she wrote my name on the bottom of them beside the pricetag from Hills Department Store ( which was the local version of Kmart). I love these little angels.
Things I wish I had still---My mom always made ceramics and there was a huge santa head platter that we used every Christmas for cookies. I don't know what happened to it, but I think of it every Christmas. She also made those Christmas Trees with the little lights that you put in the holes. I don't think any of those made it either.


Gift for Sharon's friend---ERIN

Here it is. She is really pointing her finger and blabbing.........You didn't believe it, did you? I especially like that she was wagging her hand around so much it blurred!


Are those teenager jeans? Grandma must have been here.

Hot Cocoa

Well, how unfair. The west side of the river gets the day off from school tomorrow, but the east side has to go! Sounds crazy to a first grader!

Grandma was here! Grandma was here!

Grandma was here and so was the cold arctic blast. The kids each got a day with Grandma Judy while the other one went to school and then we spent a day all together. We packed a lot into a three day visit. Mom got to eat Ken's Artisan Pizza (yummy), we went Christmas shopping, we went to Pittock Mansion, we went on the Christmas Tree Train in the freezing cold snow-rain, and trimmed the tree. We drove an hour in the snow into Washington to ride the train with Don and Norma. We rode in the caboose which was rustic, to say the least. Santa was waiting in the woods (that sounds scary) to see all the children on the train. The kids got to sit on his lap and get a toy. We were under a roof to keep dry, but the plastic sheeting around Santa was CLASSIC. We picked out a tree and lugged it onto the top of the rented minivan. I opted not to post the picture of Sharon yelling and pointing at me while we were trying to tie the tree down. Then we took it home and trimmed it up!! Beautiful. Grandma left for the airport Sunday morning and safely made it out of town before the STORM OF THE CENTURY hit. Wow. A whole 3 inches. I listened to the nurses and doctors at work freaking out about getting home. The whole town is in a panic. I drove right home with no problems. Too bad all those people opted to sleep in hospital rooms!!


Seriously, just give them a box.

No need for gifts this year. This is the most fun Carson and Sam have had all year. This was the Christmas ornament box. They played outside all morning and then took it in to make a playhouse. I haven't EVER seen them play with a toy this long.


I've been duped

So Carson and Claire were going to Raindrop Knitting Club at the local fiber arts store on Thursdays. The last couple of times they convinced me that they should just stay home and play. Today they got into the face paint and played dress up. Of course, Sam had to join in and be the wizard. He even stuck his magic wand in the toilet to "make magic"