Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Few Additions

I've never been too worried about my Christmas tree being the fanciest or most decorated on the block.  I think this is mostly because by the end of the season, there are always a few "extra" ornaments on the tree.  I don't want the kids to think I don't appreciate their creativity, so whatever they add - stays.  Here's what we've accumulated thus far:

An angel courtesy of Madelyn
One of three paper candy canes made by Madelyn

A once wrapped, now opened and half eaten candy cane courtesy of.....?  (I'd put money on Jude)
The entire Teletubbies cast (Noo-Noo included) all taped into the tree...again, Jude.
And finally, a block that appears to be wearing a Santa hat.  You guessed it... a Jude original.

.......Just imagine how many "homemade" ornaments we get when we have a NORMAL sized tree!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus

We hit the mall last Thursday for our traditional Santa visit and train ride.

Madelyn asked for a La La Loopsy doll, and a light up Tinkerbell doll. Easy-Peasy.  

Jude had a "Ralphie moment" where he completely forgot what he wanted to ask for.  He just kept staring at Santa and saying, "uhhhh-uhhh-uhhh..." Being the sneaky mom that I am - I started whispering gift "ideas" in his ear.  He seemed pretty excited to ask for those things.  Score, again!

Ella simply asked that Santa stay at least five feet away from her.  She also asked that Santa check his list twice.  Perhaps then he'd realize that her name is NOT Alice.  

We were able to walk Ella backwards so we could capture this shot:

Merry Christmas,
Love Maddie, Jude and Alice   

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Still Looking for that Perfect Gift Idea?

Look no further.  Spoil that special someone with the gift of cuddle....via someone (or someTHING) else.

The fact that it's completely sold out on Overstock is even more bizarre.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Christmas Fun Part 1

Aren't these adorable?  I'll be making these with my kids this week.  Click HERE for the super-easy instructions, and have yourself a merry little memory.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tiny Tree

For some reason Blogger wasn't letting me post pictures of our little tree - so here they are, a little bit late.  I've actually started really liking this tree.  Ella can't reach it, so I'm not worried about broken ornaments, and I can actually water this one - which means it has a better chance of staying alive for longer than three days.

I present to you, our tiny tannenbaum:
(mind you - it's on a 2.5 foot table, and and it's still two feet below our ceiling)

Either way....bring on the Holidays, this family is ready! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree,
Oh Christmas Tree,
What happened to
Our Christmas Tree?

We decided to venture out on Saturday in search of the perfect Christmas tree.  I consider myself to be a bit of a tree expert, so I'm usually the one that says, "YES!  THIS IS THE TREE!"  Our first stop was Home Depot.  In comparison to the local tree lots, we've had a lot more success at the Depot.  We spent about ten minutes wandering the aisles of trees before I gave my husband the thumbs down.  As we were about to leave, Rob and the kids spotted a tree they thought suitable.  I gave it a quick glance, and said it was nice - but too short.  The kids jumped with excitement and danced around the tree - so I gave in.  The VERY persistent garden-center employee checked (for the third time) to see if we had found anything yet.  Rob and I gave each other the yes? no? glances before giving the employee the go ahead.  We mentioned cutting the tree down a bit because we had considered putting a shorter tree on a taller stand to keep Ella's busy hands off the ornaments.  It was kind of a vague conversation between husband and wife...or so I thought.

It was at that moment that I heard someone call my maiden name from the parking lot.  Rob and I turned to see a couple of old friends that now live in California jumping out of a car.  We hugged, talked about their new Hollywood lifestyle, and separated.  Rob, the kids and I then walked into Home Depot to go pay for our perfectly shaped, but short, tree.  Next to the cash register, the persistent (apparently on commission?)  tree expert smiled, and handed us our tree.  And by handed, I mean, picked it up with one hand and passed it to us.  Surely, this was not our tree.  This tree was just barely higher than my waist when sitting on the ground.  There was honestly an entire minute of awkward silence and eye shifting before Tommy Tree Sales said, "If that's too short - we can just cut another one..."

Rob and I just kept looking at each other wondering how this had happened.  Assuming it was one of our faults, we purchased the tree loaded it in the TRUNK (yes, it fit - we could have easily added four more) and drove home.  The kids were still really excited, so Rob and I tried to act mature and make the best of the situation.  It wasn't until we got home that we actually realized how short it really was.  It was at that point that we started to laugh.

I've been laughing ever since. I feel like the only appropriate decorations are one short strand of tinsel, and mittens that have been left by a young Christmas caroler named Clarissa.

Every time I see it, I immediately think of a miniature horse.  Sad, yet comical.  Awkward, yet somehow cute.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.  I'll post pictures soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010


to 2 in 730 short days!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Ella Bell.  We love you and are so lucky to have you in our family!  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Fail....but not from me

There are times that our mailman misses a house on the street, and the entire neighborhood finds themselves shuffling mail with neighborhood houses.  An accidental oversight that I can understand - we all get distracted sometimes, right?

Every once in while I get the mail for a little old widow that lives four blocks over.  I'm not quite sure where the confusion is on this one - but again...I'll let it slide.

My mom still has my house number wrong, so the mailman will often ring the doorbell and ask, "You're Melissa, right? You'd better tell this person to change your address in their book!"

Every one of these situations is some degree.  However, in my mailbox today, I found this:

Bart and Kierra Allsip
8545 Walstreet View Blvd
Gahannon, OH  43230
(names and street changed to protect identity)

Not. Even. Close.

I'm not even sure that writing, "Not at this address," and placing it back in the outgoing mail is sufficient.  I think the only thing I can do is leave it out with a sticky note that says, "Uhhhh...., really?"

Probably the MOST disturbing thing...the only thing inside is a personal check.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Kitchen Adventures

Remember that time I decided to try my hand at gingerbread house making?  No?  Then click HERE for a refresher course.

I had another moment this afternoon.  My friend, Mary, recently blogged about her fear of baking bread.  She didn't consider herself skilled in the area, and decided she wanted to overcome this fear - and try something new. {Anyone that knows Mary knows that she's good at everything. I mean EVERYTHING.  She's like my husband.  I can teach him a new talent, and within a week he's ten times better than I've ever been.  I don't get people like this.}  Back to bread. So Mary makes bread, it is beautiful, and she shares it on her blog:

Looks pretty tasty, doesn't it?  The recipe was simple, and I consider baking to be one of the few things I can do somewhat decently (I mean, I'm not opening a bakery or anything).  I enjoy making breads, rolls, etc. and figured that if "first time Mary" could make this lovely loaf, surely I could whip up something similar.

Not even close.

What the heck?  Oh...and the middle was completely uncooked.  I mentioned to Mary earlier that I think I was probably off doing something awful (like secretly laughing at someone who fell - or making sarcastic remarks) on the day that Heavenly Father was handing out talents.  I guess some things never change.  

Even though I would have thought that Mary was probably off making sarcastic remarks with me, it is obvious she was present at the talent parade.  

 (More things you'll never see me succeeding at HERE).

...I don't think I'm done with this bread recipe just yet, but I probably will cut the recipe in half next time.  Three large loaves is a LOT to botch!    

Friday, October 01, 2010

Everything is Married

Sometimes I feel bad for Jude.  He's always a good sport, but Maddie is REALLY obsessed with weddings.  She can turn any game Jude is playing into a wedding.  I think all of his trains are married to other trains, I have witnessed food weddings, doll weddings, Maddie and Jude weddings, car weddings, even their blankies are married.  I have seen so many of these that I really don't even notice them anymore - but when Aunt Mandy was playing with Maddie and Jude at my dad's house - she went ALL OUT for the marriage of Maddie and Jude's monkeys.  The monkeys were only purchased by my dad a day earlier...not much of a courtship if you ask me.





*Props to Mandy for designing all of the wedding party's attire.  All clothing items were 100% recycled from the wrapping that came with my dad's new TV*

Friday, September 24, 2010

Story Time


"Hello, Little Miss Giggles," he laughed.  "And how are you today?" But then he noticed her sad little face.

"What's wrong?" Mr Happy asked anxiously.  "You're the happiest person I know!"  He paused.  "Next to myself of course."

"I've lost my giggle," she explained miserably.

"Lost your giggle?"  He asked befuddled. "Well, we'll just have to find it again, won't we? "

"Come on," he said, and taking her by the hand, he took her off to see Mr. Funny.

            *                  *                   *                   *

Rob: So, why would they take Little Miss Giggles to see Mr. Funny?
Maddie and Jude:  uh, uh, hummm, uhh...
Rob:  What kind of person do you think Mr. Funny is?
kids: uh, mmmmm, I don't know.
Rob:  Is he sad?  Is he angry?
kids:  (blank stares)
Me:  Okay, guys - this is an easy one. If Little Miss Giggles is giggly, and Mr. Happy is happy, then Mr.  Funny is.....?
Jude:  A pillow?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monkey See...

Monkey Do...

Will somebody please hire this kid?  I can't take all this working from home. She has even learned to "shush" me and silently point to her computer if I ask her to do something.  Seriously, folks - how can I argue with a five year old, a broken-toy laptop, and a comcast remote?!  She means business.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My older brother, Dan, got married last week in Culver, Indiana (one of my favorite places on earth). The wedding was SO BEAUTIFUL, and our little family was asked to be a part of it. Maddie and Jude made the cutest little flower girl and "ring boy," and I was one of Marissa's bridesmaids. Our camera isn't working right, so we're still waiting on a bunch of pictures from family members. But for now - take a quick peek at the wedding. Yes..that's me sobbing up front. I knew (and warned everyone) that this union would get me all sorts of emotional. Dan and Marissa and I have been close friends for many, many years - and I couldn't be happier that the two of them found their perfect match in each other. Love you both SO, SO much! Congratulations!

After the wedding, Maddie and Jude charmed everyone at the reception. I kept losing Jude, only to find him slow dancing (or fast dancing for that matter) with complete strangers. They just kept stealing him away. By about midnight Jude had lost all energy and fell asleep coloring. I honestly think I had a little crush on my own kids that night. I couldn't stop blushing over how cute they were!

Doesn't Jude look like a little stud in the tux? As he was getting fitted for it, he kept smiling and looking at himself in the mirror. I said, "buddy - do you think you look handsome?" And he said, "Yeah, Mom. And Chloe is going to look so pretty, too." I was a bit confused and asked why he thought Chloe would be there. He responded with, "because I'm going to wear this to marry her."

(If you don't remember who Chloe is, click HERE)

I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. The poor little kid really was getting excited for his own wedding to cute little Chloe. Give it a few years, pal - then we'll start talking about that one!

You can enjoy some better wedding pictures HERE. My little broken camera doesn't do this beautiful day justice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Patience, my friends...

I officially find out tomorrow what this little baby will be. I just thought I should post that for all of you that have been texting, emailing, and calling - assuming that I already know and am holding out. I'm not sure if I'll be posting tomorrow (I turn the big 2-9 and am spending the day with my hubby) but I will do my best to fill everyone in soon. I'm pretty sure that I already know what we're having - what do YOU think?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

Jude: Mom, did you know that Grover is a bear?
Me: Uhh..I thought he was a monster.
Jude: Nope, just a bear.
Maddie: Mom, what is Ernie?
Me: Well, he's a person.
Maddie: I don't think so.
Me: Well, he's kind of a puppet person, so he's not quite human...he's more like, well, Bert.
Maddie: What's Bert?
Me: Uhhhh, I'm not quite sure.
Jude: Mom, Prairie Dawn is a dog, right?

Perhaps they're not benefiting as much from Sesame Street as I did.

Monday, August 09, 2010

...because in our family, safety always comes first.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

They're Baaaaaack

It's been a while since I blogged about any strange "events" that took place in my house. Things quieted down for a while, so I assumed that my invisible friends had realized that stalking my life really was a waste of time. (I mean, really, how much fun is it to watch me fold laundry?) Anyway - if you are unaware of my previous events, read HERE and HERE before continuing on. It'll make a lot more sense.

Done reading? Good.

Every morning, we wave goodbye to Rob out of the front window. It's been a little family tradition since Maddie was a baby. This morning, we finished our goodbyes, I pulled down the shade, and started to hear a beeping noise. I immediately knew that the microwave was being turned on. I looked around and saw that all three kids were still with me, so I hurried into the kitchen. Nothing in the microwave, but 8 minutes on the timer. I walked over and canceled the time. As soon as I turned my back, numbers were being pressed again. I quickly turned around and once again turned off the microwave. As I walked away - it happened a third time. I finally walked over and said (out-loud...yes, feel free to laugh) "STOP IT! This isn't your house - don't do it again!" And it stopped.

For most of the day the microwave behaved itself. But mid afternoon, when it started up again - I decided it was time to get out the camera. As I set up the camera, the microwave once again turned on.

Oh, and you're not seeing things. There is a skull sticker on our microwave. Rob put it there. Probably to remind me every day that the microwave is haunted. He's so thoughtful.

I could be wrong, but generally you don't see that kind of behavior in a major appliance. No?

Monday, August 02, 2010

She's 5!

Madelyn had her first friends party this summer. It was an afternoon filled with fourteen friends and a whole lot of games, water slides, trampoline jumping, piƱata smashing, presents, cake and a new bike. Maddie was in heaven! I have no idea how my mother did six of these every year! Happy Birthday, Maddie! We love you and can't believe you're off to Kindergarten this year.