Carson plays the piano for Gma Judy from afar.

Carson started to play her recital songs at Gramma Dody's house, but didn't have her music for Old King Cole. She remembered the Indian Song because, well, because it is so fun to play. So, she woke up this morning in her cute fuzzy owl jammies and played Old King Cole so Gramma Judy could hear it too. This video is on my new camera, but our lighting was bad. Sorry. Also, the a/v seems to be off a little. Anyway, here are her songs she played at her recital.


The beauty transformation

Lenora's beauty salon experience in Portland.


Praise Jesus. Another Christmas Snow

This keeps happening when Aunt Lenora comes to town. It's like she is trying to get stuck here. I just found a dirty "snowball" in our freezer. These Portlanders are SCARY drivers in the snow.


Sam and Momma scootering

When life gives you oranges.....

stick a straw in it to make orange juice.

share's NOW FAMOUS cinnamon buns

We ate half the pan before we took the picture. They were so yummy we couldn't wait.


Merry Christmas from the Dodsters.

The Dody's have been having a wonderful time this holiday. We have been eating and drinking and drinking and eating and drinking. We have been exchanging gifts and playing with new toys. Aunt Lenora came on Christmas Eve. We went to Don and Norma's church for Christmas Eve service. We all cleaned up nicely.

On Christmas morning the kids woke up, came downstairs, and instead of Sam running to see his Santa gifts which were in plain view he went to get his gift he bought for Mama Share. Now, let me tell you, he has been keeping this secret for at least 1 week. It is a wind-up, rolling, pink salt shaker that is a fancy chicken. So, when someone asks for you to pass the salt you just wind it up and roll it across the table. A perfect gift for Share. Then we moved on to the madness of toy opening.

Our kids got no clothes. Seriously, every thing they opened was a fun and clever gift picked out just for them. Carson is especially fond of the 2 boxes of make-up, her new microscope, the bop-it game (which I also am enjoying), and today we are going to tackle the Tic Tac Sudoku game. She will beat us all, I am sure. Sam is extremely delighted with his new scooter, gourd pig bank to add to the bank collection, and animal hospital. I am digging on my new camera, future yoga sessions, and a groovin' coffee table book with b&w Mt. St. Helens photos. Now, I need a coffee table to put it on. Sharon got a cracker dog (a blast from her past), good whiskey, and a flask.

Sharon has been on a much appreciated cooking binge. She made us delish cranberry scones for Christmas morning. We had Christmas dinner at our house and Gma and Gpa came. We even put Gpa to work peeling potatoes! Yesterday Sharon made homemade cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting. Yum. I think she is trying to fatten me up for the winter.


More Carson on her birthday!

Carson was so excited yesterday morning to open gramma judy's present. There is was, a Nintendo DS which she screamed at when she opened. I snapped some pictures of the opening of the presents and low and behold-----my camera, which has been on the way out, finally bit the dust. So, happy Carson's birthday to me. I got a new camera. These are pictures taken by the new one. The first picture is a painting of Carson and Danny from Aunt Lenora by Jamie Roxx. Carson got a big kick out of this. The last picture is of her with her DS in the Hello Kitty carrying case we got for her. The food picture is gramma's yummy Brazilian beans and rice dish.
The birthday went like this. Carson played her Nintendo all morning. Super Mario to be exact. We went to my work and packed up food for a local organization that distributes food to newly homed people. Then we went to Gramma Dody's for more birthday celebration. There were more presents, good food, and fancy cookies.
All in all the birthday was big fun. Now on to Christmas, Aunt Lenora, more presents, and yummy food.

Our baby girl is 8 years old today.

I can't believe little baby Carson Jude is 8 years old today. Last night before bed she got tucked in and said, "G'night mom, see you when I'm 8"! I am not going to get all sentimental here, but I do want to say that she is a great kid. She is funny and smart and people love to be around her. I feel truly lucky to have her as my daughter.


It's early morning...the quiet before the storm

The slumber party was successful so far. 8 girls in all. 2 left at 9PM last night and one changed her mind about staying and went at around 10PM, but her parents were impressed that she even put on her pjs. There was beads, cootie catchers, dancing, singing, and a lot of unnecessary loud noises. They ate pizza, cake, root beer floats. The worst thing they did was smash their face in the cake... Riley really got into this activity. They thought this was so bad. They played with baby dolls ( this was so cute). At one point, the ones who could play piano were taking turns playing their favorite songs. I realized that I really like Carson and her friends and their families.

The makeup came out at some point and Lilly said, "My mom doesn't like it when I wear make-up ", and she went to play something else. In the end, she succumbed to the power of really bad blue eyeshadow applied by another 8 year old. HILARIOUS! I felt really guilty when her mother came to pick her up and she looked a bit like a..... Well, I will just leave it at that.

Then they had to decide where to sleep. EVERYONE wanted to sleep by/with the birthday girl. There was pouting and whining about it, but in the end they worked it out themselves. I took Sam to bed at 11 and I heard Sharon trying to get Carson to calm down at midnight.

Sharon was in the bathroom while one girl was brushing her teeth and she (Simone) said, "SOME people are so annoying". This was my favorite quote from the whole evening.

Meredith got the evening off from work and came over. The kids loved her, of course. Carson admitted that Meredith's gift was the "most fabulous". A hand knit fluffy scarf, a shell box, a small vial of real perfume (her first), and a card that sang....."Lookin' for some hot stuff baby this evening, lookin' for some hot stuff baby tonight". I love that one of the girls said, "Inappropriate". Probably Simone, who is very wise.

Sharon is planning on getting up and making the girls Æbleskivers which her friend's mom made after sleepovers. (Remember, she HAD to have that special pan). Siri, whose dad is from some Scandinavian country, was the only one who knows what they are and Sharon was excited about that.

I don't know what time the girls will wake up, but I have now had my coffee and I am ready for them!


All we need is the kids....

Spent this morning decorating the house and making the Totoro cake. Today is a monumental occasion. Carson is having her first slumber party!! All in all, I think 8 girls are coming to the party and 6 will be sleeping over. WOW! I hope we can keep them entertained so they don't tear down the Christmas tree or something. I am hoping that they pass out from exhaustion before the moms do.


I got that crafty feeling

So I made the kids some Christmas Presents. We can go on overload with fancy gifts which are bound to excite the whole family or at least cause a seizure from overload. So, I made the kids some cute boxes to keep all their pens, markers, and papers that they love so much. Sam was with me when I was picking out the stuff though he didn't know what I was making. He insisted that whatever it was, his should be Mickey Mouse....So, it wasn't my first choice, but I am not four.


I am feeling so sad for a friend today. Last year, after much unhappiness in her personal life, she met a wonderful man, Dave, who changed her life. He introduced her to a whole new world of kayaking and outdoor adventures. She glowed and shined when she talked of him. They talked of traveling the world together and doing the volunteer work in Peru that was so important to her. He even went on a mission trip with her and helped the local Peruvians build a water system in their village to have clean water while she worked in the hospital with the open heart surgery children. Last week while he was sea kayaking, he overturned in a friends kayak and couldn't get the skirt off the kayak. He died in less than 2 minutes.

My work in the Pediatric ICU and tragedies like this make it all too real to me that your life can change in an instant. Make sure you love your people every day.

Today I hope my friend can find peace.

Craft Night

All I can say is "Crafts were made by children big and small".


Mall Santa

The professional picture we bought is so classic. Sam is standing looking shy as all get out, staring at the floor with his finger in his mouth. They wanted to take another one and I said, "No way, that is his classic scared Santa picture". So here is a cute one from my camera. Note Carson's faux fur leopard print coat.


2009 Tree hunting!

We decided against the Christmas Tree Train this year. It was fun, but we wanted to check out the tree farms on Sauvie Island. We headed out this weekend and with saw in hand ready to chop down a pine tree. There were trees of all sizes and the kids got a kick out of the baby ones. We found a tree and loaded it on the tree shaped hand truck (yes, they make it easy for us). I won't get into the annual Kim and Sharon "argument" that happened putting up the tree, but let's just say that "someone" cut all the branches off the bottom of the tree and we had to take it down and saw the trunk again so it wouldn't look ridiculous. But, I'm not really saying who did it.......
In the end it didn't matter because the tree is perfect.

Last year..