Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend (and it's not even done yet!)

Just a glimpse:

Hudson proved that boys are, indeed, different than girls. He likes to brush my hair...but today used his plastic saw to do so.
His favorite toy is definitely the "bammer" that came with aforementioned saw.

Jasmine finally has a Kewpie Doll so she knows what her nickname means.

Bekah's loving her tutu made by a friend of mine.

Josh is enjoying my Tetris game ;) Not as much as I am, though!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Weirdest December EVER!

So far this December, we've had 3 inches of snow.
Usually by now, we have 25 inches. Last year we had 31.

It's cold today (28 was what the fire station said an hour ago), but for the most part it's been warm enough that all of our precipitation has been rain.

Apparently it's not just me feeling slightly "off."

Yeah. That's a crocus.

It's December 23rd. In Buffalo. Winter will come, with snow and frozen ground.
But my flowers are ready to celebrate SPRING!! And I would love to join them!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Josh is upstairs right now, wrapping my presents.

This is the one time of year when being oblivious pays off. I love that I can tune out things (um, though for once I can pretend I do it on purpose!) so Christmas morning is a surprise.
I guess I took mom's story about sneaking in early to see her presents, and being so disappointed the next day, stuck with me. I never wanted that disappointment.

Of course then things happen, like the receipt from Pacific Chai shows up in our mailbox, after Josh tries so hard to keep it all under wraps (having it shipped to the office so I wouldn't see it, ordering it online when I wasn't nearby).
But those just make for good "do you remember" stories years later!

Merry Christmas!!
From Josh, Charla, Jasmine, Bekah (Boo) and Hudson!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hudson, Again

I made a hat. It was supposed to be a tiny hat, but since I didn't have a small enough crochet hook it ended up being the perfect size for my Little Man.

He looks pretty cute in it. He thinks so, too!
(sorry that my watermark covers his bottom picture. At least it's not over his eyes ;) )

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Hudson's newest word: Instead.
The kid sounds like he's 8. If he said his Rs and THs, you'd never guess he was 2.

He has opinions about everything these days. Food he likes, food he doesn't like but will eat so he's not hungry until the next meal, movies he wants to see, and activities he thinks he should try.

I'm only allowed to take pictures on *his* timing. Thankfully these were in his timing!

The other night, after he was asleep, I did some more Christmas Tree pictures with the girls. I was thrilled with how a few came out!

Yesterday, the girls' ballet classes each did a little Christmas performance for us. Both pretended they were dolls, but that's where the common ground ended. Both were very sweet, and they did a lovely job!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Santa

Conversation yesterday morning:

Me: Bekah, what will you ask Santa for when you see him today?
Bekah: um.....
Me: Last year we talked about this. You can ask him for something you're hoping we'll give you on Christmas. What are you hoping you'll get this year?
Bekah: Last year we asked for a Leapster cartridge. Will he have any this year?
Me: No, that's not the point. He won't give you any of these things today. He's just asking so your parents hear what you really want for Christmas. So what would you like to ask for?
Bekah: um...
Me: What did you ask Auntie Charity for last week?? You could ask him for that.
Bekah: Oh! An Ariel doll!
Me: There you go!

Who had any idea this was such a complex concept?? we went.
See all that lovely sunshine?? It was gorgeous, until it started to hurt. Today is day two of having to avoid the sun, and all noise, in hopes of avoiding a full-blown migraine. I lost the battle yesterday and am nervous that I'm not doing so well today, either.

...but it makes for cool pictures.

(I really wonder. if I ever live in Florida, will I be nearly so obsessed with sun flare? is it just because I live in a place that sees so little sunshine...54 days of sunshine, 103 days of partial sunshine. That's 157 days seeing any sun at all. And 209 days with overcast days. According to this site)

Wow. I'm seriously all over the map today.

So back to our Santa trip.

It was bitter cold, like it always is when we go see Santa.

 The line wasn't terribly long, but it's slow-moving.

Almost as slow-moving as a caboose on a track barely longer than the train car.

Do you ever feel guilty when you're letting your child do something, another child tries to join them, and his mom yells at him to come back?

I do, ever-so-slightly. But then I knew my kids weren't doing anything unsafe, and it made for good pictures, so I just felt bad for that kid.

Closer to inside the caboose...

And finally inside, where it was a bit warmer, and thankfully out of the wind and intense sun.

(those little Christmas lights are lanterns. How cool is that in a caboose??)

(Have I ever said I love cabooses?? Ever since I can remember, I loved seeing cabooses on the back of Dad's model trains. They just look so happy and cute, and they say someone was paying attention to the fact that it was the end of the train. I love them.)

Then on to Santa's lap. Our kids are some of the only ones who dress up, so every year he and his elf/photographer ask if we're going to a party! They close the door so the kids don't freeze for the picture, since we take off their coats for the picture.

Jasmine and Bekah did tell him they wanted the dolls they asked Auntie Charity for. But then he threw a curve ball...what else did they want?? They weren't ready for that question, so he asked if they wanted to be surprised. They thought that sounded good.

Are we the only family in the world who doesn't have their kids write long "wish lists" every year??? Between not watching any TV, not getting catalogs, and just not shopping unless we actually need something, none of us knows what's available out there. It's lovely!


Last night, we went to the County Fairgrounds to see the light show/activities there. Last time we went, Hudson was still in my belly and Bekah rode in a stroller. And probably slept.

This year, they all loved it.

They had a chance to write a letter to Santa. Again, the normal thing to do is write out the list of what they wanted. Here's what Bekah narrated (she wanted to write it but didn't want to take the time, so she finally let me do it)

I love it!!

Hudson insisted on writing his own...
...but eventually let me add a note. If you add their address, they'll get a letter back at some point, so I didn't want him to be the only one not to get one.

Bekah was quite concerned that it didn't come back out the bottom of the mailbox. It took awhile to get her to realize that this is the only way Santa will be able to see it!

Totally unrelated to Santa at all, I promised Charity that I'd add this picture to the blog so she could see it. Learning more techniques with Christmas lights :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Rockaroni Pizza

Hudson loves to eat. But there are a few things that top his list.

1. Rockaroni
(well, to be completely true to his speech, it's "wockawoni." But I like emphasizing the "rock")

2. Hot dogs

3. Pizza

4. Eggs

One of his favorite lunches is boxed mac n cheese with hot dogs chopped up in it. He would happily eat it multiple times a week. Being as unhealthy as it is, though, I'm not going for that plan.

Recently, he suggested a Rockaroni Pizza. Dinner was already in the oven for that night so his idea didn't make it, but I did put it in the back of my mind.

And today, tired of the normal lunches we eat around here, I decided to give it a try!

It wasn't perfect, but I know what I'll do next time to make it have that status!

So here, without further ado, a Charla/Hudson Creation!

Rockaroni Pizza

*Pizza dough (or Naan bread, or pitas, or whatever else you can think of for the crust. We went for Naan bread because I had it in the house and it was already lunchtime when I started)

*2 Tablespoons flour

*5 Tablespoons butter, separated

*pinch ground mustard

*1 cup milk

*2 hot dogs, warmed up

*2 cups sharp (or exta-sharp) cheddar, shredded. Or half shredded and half cubed, if you want to be like me


*half a package of broccoli, cooked and drained, and put in a blender/food processor until it's a meal-like consistency.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put Naan bread on a cookie sheet, or pizza dough onto a pizza sheet.

2. Melt 2 T butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mustard until bubbly and thick.

3. Add milk, heating and stirring constantly until boiling. Add half the cheese (the cubed half if you were like me), the chopped hot dogs, and the broccoli, and stir until cheese is melted.

4. Melt remaining 3T butter, and add enough bread crumbs to make it the texture of brown sugar.

5. Pour cheese sauce on crust(s). Top with remaining (shredded) cheese and then bread crumbs.

6. Cook 6-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

7. Cut, serve and enjoy!

Monday, December 05, 2011


I love baby toes.

My kids are all too old to be considered having baby toes, but I still love this picture!

Mom says I have an unhealthy love of feet. No...once a person is over the age of 5, I want to see shoes on the feet.

I guess I have an unhealthy love of shoes, though.

Anyways. Feet. This is one of my favorite pictures from this year. Aren't they the cutest feet???
I'm pretty fond of the kids, too!

This photo was entered into the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Things heard in this house today:

Hudson: me want to play with Bekah *mumble mumble mumble* please, Mommy?
Me: What?
Hudson: Me say it louder?

"The reason I use the bit bike instead of the bullet bike [on Mario Kart Wii] is that it has excellenter handling." (Jasmine)

"I devoured [my dessert]." (Bekah)

Friday, December 02, 2011

25 days of pictures

The girls and I are working on taking a picture a day that's at least somehow Christmas-related each day of December. We're using Debbie Hodge's list  to keep the ideas fresh :)

Yesterday, December 1st, was "red."
Here's my take:

And Jasmine's:

Bekah did one too:

(Jasmine said this was too pink, but I said it was cool enough to call it red :) )

Today is "list." I'm the only one to do one, at least at this point!
And it's the perfect segue into our fun project from yesterday:
We came up with a new version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

I won't write out the whole know how it goes.
But here's the list:

12 marching penguins
11 Pookie answers
10 children sailing
9 veggies bailing
8 tweedle beetles
7 silly eaters
6 sweet princesses
5 Chompo bars
4 signs from Aslan
3 hungry bunnies
2 bad mice
...and a pigeon who must not drive the bus!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today's Surprise Picture

Today features my beloved middlest child.
Isn't she the cutest??
And no, I did nothing to those eyes. They really do sparkle!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Don't you just love when you go back through pictures, deleting shots that never should have been kept, and come across one that takes your breath away??
I have an incredibly beautiful daughter.

She has two incredibly cute siblings, too. But today this is the picture that took my breath away.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Tree, Part II

We celebrated Thanksgiving early with Josh's family, and a day late with my family. So the day of, we decided to go look for our tree.

And can I just tell you how glad I am that we didn't choose one of the less-than-ideal ones we saw last weekend??
Because it was perfect. A tad chilly, and more than a little muddy, but a huge selection of beautiful trees.

We ended up with a Concolor Fir, we think. It looks pretty green in the house, but compared to the other ones at the fam, it's much more blue-gray. And it smells like citrus!! It's gorgeous!

(picture taken by Charity with my camera)
And, um, huge.

(picture taken by Charity)

We found out when the farm owner helped us get it on the house: he had a chainsaw. Josh didn't need to cut it down by hand. We just look at it as his exercise for the weekend!
(picture taken by Charity)


And now, a brief commercial break 
I've decided to join in on the "Small Business Saturday/CyberMonday" sales going on, and put my entire etsy store on sale! Everything is 20% off. Feel free to tell your friends!! And if you're not already, you can like my Facebook page and hear about new products, since I rarely think to mention them here!!


We are now all decked out. I haven't found a place for the beautiful nativity from Josh's grandma, but everything else is out!

The tree grew when we got home.
The angel has less than an inch of head room. The tree takes over the entire section of the room. It's HUGE!! You really lose perspective when you're outside among so many trees, even though we tried to compare it against Josh's height.
But it fits, and it's beautiful. And the house smells GOOOOOOD!!

So now to find new owners for our old artificial trees!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Searching for a Tree...Part One

We've decided to get a real tree this year.
I'm excited. I've never had a real tree. We've always been an artificial tree family.
Josh grew up with real ones, but we always had pre-lit artificial trees since we got married (he's not a fan of dealing with strings of lights. Needless to say, we don't put lights on the house, either).
But the tree we had last year was, well, missing some lights.

So we decided to try a real one this year!

All the nurseries in our county don't open until the day after Thanksgiving. Which would normally be fine, but we're celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday, so that puts it one day later. And since it was warm this weekend, it seemed like a good time to get out and look for a tree. So we found a place online that was out of the county but not too far away, and decided to give them a try. Cheap, easy-going, and they had free-range eggs and some vegetables advertised as well.

We invited Charity to come with us on our adventure and headed out. Off to find a tree...

....and make friends with a "meow"...

Hudson found a cute one. It will be a nice Charlie Brown tree in about 5 years!

So we kept walking.

And we walked.
And walked. And walked.

We went through their whole property. There were some lovely trees that would have put Clark Griswald's to shame. Wisely, we kept looking.

(Look at that sunflower, Mommy! It's the biggest flower I've ever seen! It looks like it's showering on me!)

Tired, hat-haired, and out of luck, we all decided we would be better off waiting and going to a more official nursery next weekend. all good "part one"s...this is...

To Be Continued