Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Christmas Decorating

Before we were even out of our bed on the morning after Thanksgiving, Aly was up and excited for us to start decorating for Christmas. Fortunately for us we use a fake Christmas tree due to having a wood stove and my allergies to trees. While last January I was able to find the most beautiful artificial tree that was originally $299 on clearance for $75.00! I was thrilled and I purchased it. It even has the really looking pine needle ends. So I too was excited to bring the tree up and see how beautiful it really was.

The nice part was that hubby seamed to take care of most of it. He brought the tree up, set it up, and even spread out the branches. I went down and got the ornaments out from storage and let the girls go to work decorating the tree. They had a great time.

On our last visit to San Jose we received a hand me down train. Hubby has been wanting one under the tree for years but we never got around to purchasing one. So he eagerly got the train out and starting setting it up. After he went through all the trouble of putting the track pieces together, he discovered that it was not working. Poor guy spent over two hours playing with the electrical system and resautering it to get it to work. It just barely works too but at least he was able to see it in action!

Here are some pics we took.

Our tree is much bigger than last years tree at 7.5 feet. We couldn't fit it in our normal location so we had to move it near the wood stove.

Our tree lit up at night. My camera doesn't take the best picture but you get the idea.

Aly asked if she could pose in front of the tree with her Rudolph!

KK just wanted to be silly. She thought it would be funny to pose with Thomas the Train track.

Isn't Aly cute with her poses! Daddy thought she looked to grown up in these pictures to use for the Christmas card.

My Favorite Cookie Recipe

A number of years ago I got my favorite cookie recipe from my Grandma. Unfortunately through the years I lost it. However, recently my Mom and I were talking and she had it! Lucky me, and she emailed me the recipe. So if you are a ginger snap cookie lover this is a great recipe!

Green Mt. Ginger Snaps

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups Flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger

Cream shortening, sugar, molasses and egg. Sift remaining ingredients together. Roll into balls and dip into sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Our Christmas card

Here are the pictures of the girls I will be using on our Christmas card. It took me forever to get a good picture of KK. Yes, I have the same problem every year. She doesn't want to sit down and get her picture taken. This year I was lucky enough to get her to sit in the chair but her sense of humor has grown immensely and she just wanted to goof off and be funny. So I had to do what any frustrated parent would do! Bribery! I offered a piece of candy in exchange for a good picture! Here they are:

These pictures just make me see how they are looking more and more alike!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aly's letter to mommy and daddy

Can we show her this letter when she is a teenager????

Aly's soccer picture

Despite a rough soccer season her picture sure turned out cute! Such a small team isn't it? We are actually missing one four year old girl named Taryl in the picture. I think next to Taryl, Aly was one of the youngest. The rest of the girls were 6 months to a whole year older.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Disneyland Toon Town

I had a couple more photos to share of the girls having fun in toon town. Great place to go if the adults need a break! Goofy's house is one of the girls favorites which is great since they have benches for the adults to sit on!

I tried really hard to get a picture of the girls together. KK doesn't really like to pose for the camera!

The water melon picture was the closest I came to a good picture of both of them! Don't you just love the picture of fire fighter Aly?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Disneyland Rides

The girls had a great time on all the rides. We were even impressed that Aly tried two new rides that she was tall enough for. The families favorite ride was Small World and Tea Cups.

Here is Granny having a blast on teacups!

Here is Aly, Granny, and Daddy having a blast on Small World!

Here is KK having a blast on Small World and the bumper cars from California Adventures.

Aly decided to try the swing ride. She had never been on it before. The cool thing is they made four tandem swings so you can take smaller children with you. This is a pretty big swing ride. She was excited. However, once it got going she got nervous and changed her mind. Since she couldn't get off she had to ride it out. By the end of the ride she changed her mind and loved it. She went on it two more times with Daddy.
Aly wanted to try this new ride too. On this ride they bring you high in the air and drop you up and down a few times. She loved it and went on it at least four times I think! Poor KK wanted to go on all the big rides but was too small. She has two more inches to go!
One of KK and Mommy's favorite rides is the Mickey Mouse Roller Coaster. I think we went on it three times. KK has loved it since she was big enough to ride it. Her favorite part is when the roller coaster goes down and she can scream! BTW we are in the first car!
Here is a picture of Granny goofing off with the girls.

Disney Decorations

It was so much fun having the opportunity to be at Disneyland during their holiday celebration. They decorate the whole park for Christmas. In the beginning of Main Street they have a huge decorated Christmas tree. They also decorated Main street as well. I found two things to be absolutely impressive; the castle and Small World. I was shocked at night time to discover the thousands of lights they decorated both with. What was even more amazing is that the castle kept changing. We took some pictures to share. You really have to see it in person though to get the full effect!

The first picture is us by the Christmas tree on Main Street. The second picture are the decorations inside Small World.

Can you believe all the lights they put on the outside of Small World? I don't even want to know their electricity bill!

Here is the castle with decorations. They kept changing though and we weren't able to capture the changes. If you have an opportunity at all to see Disneyland during the holidays it is well worth it!

The Disneyland Characters!

At the last bunco game I attended, one of the women there at just gotten back from Disneyland with her children. She showed us their autograph book and told us how thrilled her children were to meet all of the characters. What was even better was that the autograph books had a place next to where the characters signed that you could put a picture. I never knew the books had that. So I knew the next time we went to Disneyland I was going to see if the girls wanted autograph books.

Aly was thrilled and really wanted to meet the princesses first. KK didn't really understand what they were for and wanted to use them to color in. Standing in a line where she couldn't see what the ride was, was no fun for her so off she went with Daddy while Aly and I stood in line for the princesses. I think it was about a 45 minute wait. It was well worth it though. Do you know that the princesses each spend about three minutes with your child and talk with them? Belle was so sweet that she wrote in Aly's book, "To Princess Aly, Love Belle." Aly was star struck and had a great time!

You get to meet three princesses at a time and apparently throughout the day the princesses rotate. We didn't get a chance to go back but Aly was able to meet Belle, Ariel, and Snow White.

A few of my pictures turned out slightly blurry. I may check the pictures the professional photographers took but my guess is that they are quite pricey. Mine just may have to do.

Winnie the Pooh was KK's first character that she got to meet. It was a short line and she saw Aly doing it so she wanted to do it too!

While the girls were in Toon Town playing at Goofy's House Minnie and Goofy came out for a visit. KK was more interested in playing so Aly got her autograph book and went to meet them both. Isn't it cute how they are dressed for the holidays?

Pluto and Mickey just happened to be out at California's Adventure and both girls were thrilled to meet them. KK was starting to get the hang of this autograph book. She was still a bit shy though. Thank goodness big sis was there with her!

Aly's favorite stop was Tinker Bell. We had actually been putting it off because the line was so long. We decided to do it first thing on our last morning there. Aly just had to meet her favorite character Tinker Bell, after all she was Tinker Bell for Halloween! I think this line actually only ended up being around 30 minutes. These fairies were also very nice and spent about three minutes talking with each child. Aly loved it. I can't wait to get all of these pictures developed. Although I am contemplating having them developed, putting them in the autograph books, and having them put under the tree for Christmas.

Aly's special day with Maya

On Monday we invited Aly's friend Maya over for a play date. What made it more special was that KK would be at preschool so Aly would have Maya all to herself! I knew she would just love it! We picked up Maya after dropping KK off at preschool. I had to run to the grocery store for a couple of things so the girls happily sat in a car cart and had a great time chatting as I picked up my groceries.
When we got home the girls went straight to the playroom and starting playing. I began unpacking from our trip and getting some laundry going. For lunch at Maya's request the girls had grilled cheese sandwiches which I cut in the shape of snowmen. Maya had brought Cheetos over as a special snack so they had those for lunch as well as some apple pieces which I cut up in various shapes. They decided to have a picnic lunch on the floor.

After I cleaned up from lunch we decided to make some Christmas cookies. I gave each girl their own pan and they each got to choose what shapes they wanted to cut out and put on their pan. Maya let the choosing and Aly decided she wanted to do whatever shape Maya was doing!

The girls had a great time. Do you know what the hardest part for me was? Letting them decorate the cookies themselves. Yes, I really wanted to control the amount of frosting and decorations but I decided it was best to let go. I actually left the room so that I would not be tempted to control their decorating. They did a good job. More frosting and decorations than I would like but hey, that is all part of being a kid right?

Do you know they ended up using two whole bottles of sprinkles? Hee, hee!

They were so proud of their cookies! We let Maya take home her cookies, lord knows we don't need all that sugar in our house. Sorry Cathy for passing on such a sugar high!