Monday, November 29, 2010

Declan's Big 3rd Birthday!

First off, Ryan had been joking with me about how I was "in denial" of my baby turning 3 and now that its been a little while, I realized that I totally was. Does my husband know me or what! It just makes me so happy to see Declan growing into a healthy and happy little boy, but it's definitely true that he is just no longer my baby (as he repeatedly tells me). So, now that I'm at least recognizing my issues, I can post about his day! It was mellow and in upholding our traditions of not having a full on birthday party until they turn 4, we just had a day to do what Declan wanted to do. We went to church, where he officially got to be in the "big kids class/Ian's class" and for lunch he chose McDonald's (surprise, surprise). Ryan asked him what kind of cake he would like, and he decided without a second thought mind you, "chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a motorcycle on top!". This kid totally knows what he wants most of the time, it's impressive for a 3 yr old! Then we asked what he would like for dinner, and he said "pasta with sauce and meatballs". Is this my kid or what! He is such a sweet boy, and I'm just so blessed that I have him in my life!

The birthday table before the fun started.

The requested birthday cake! Yum!

Getting ready to eat dinner! I just love Declan's face here! hahaha

Ian had totally been such a sweet big brother all day! Over and over reminding Declan that it was his birthday and just getting him pumped about it. So stinkin cute!


A little birthday hug after we sang "Happy Birthday" to Declan.

Chocolate high smile before opening presents.

Remote control motorcycle from Ian.

Fire truck for my little fireman to be!

Stinky the garbage truck.

Toy Story 3 Color Wonder color set from Nina and Uncle Andrew.

Toy Story 3 book from mom and dad.

Declan picked out "Santa Paws" for the movie of the evening, and we all cuddled on the couch to watch it. I don't recommend it, but Declan enjoyed it, and that's all that matters I suppose.

All in all, it was a great day, and I think Declan really enjoyed being able to make all the major choices for the day. They are growing up so quickly, and I just hope I don't take for granted these early years of complete cuteness!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday, not so crazy

This morning was so gorgeous! It snowed all day yesterday and we got about 5 inches of snow that covered up all that crazy, dirty ice that we had. Just another thing to be thankful for!

After a purely lazy morning I decided today is the day to decorate! YIPPIE! I have been so excited to actually get to decorate for Christmas this year, since we will be staying up here this year. We've had a full size Chrismas tree for 3 years and this is the first time we are pulling it out of the box. Thank God it works! I love Target and all but I don't think their return policy extends that far!!

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving turned out to be an amazing success, if I do say so myself. I know, modesty, but I was so freaking out about this that I was up at 3am just cause I couldn't turn the brain off! I made decorations with the boys. Ok, well, Ian helped for about 30 seconds and then I did the rest. Maybe next year they will be feeling more creative or atleast willing to do craft projects with me. The 20.5 lb turkey was beautiful and done! I made 5 cheese mac and cheese, homemade cornbread and sausage stuffing, braised fingerling potatoes with rosemary, cranberry/pomegranate sauce, whiskey-glazed carrots, ginger snaps, pumpkin pie, and apple tart. Jackie brought super yummy sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and toll house pie! We were quite gluttonous and I loved every minute of it! It is truly killing me though, that we didn't get any pictures of the food or decorations or our guests! You all will just have to take my word for it. What the heck was I thinking? But I did get a picture of Declan and his busyness while the grownups were still sitting around the table talking. I can't complain, since he wasn't whining or hurting anyone. He was just making an enormous mess and loving every minute of it!

I am so very thankful for my family (both near and far) and friends to make this Thanksgiving wonderful! We are truly blessed beyond belief and I'm striving to remember this everyday!

Canning Salsa

So I was feeling my domestic diva coming out the other day when I tried my hand at canning for the first time. I made some salsa trying to recreate my beloved Giant Eagle salsa with cilantro! I'm not joking, that stuff is amazing and I have yet to find its replacement, but mine comes pretty close (if I do say so myself). So needless to say, I made a double batch and canned some of it. I was a little nervous since I didn't know if I was going to be able to eat that much salsa if it didn't work out, but it was a risk I was willing to take! It worked and I was shocked at how easy it was. What was I so afraid of? I will definitely be canning again and I'm so looking forward to it. Now, just deciding what to make next is the big question.

Four lovely jars of deliciousness!

Oh, I forgot about the 5th jar, that we busted into last night with dinner! So yummy!

Can you see the cilantro? I love it and I piled it in! I made this batch more on the mild side so the boys would be willing to eat it, but I will definitely bring the fire in the next batch!

More pictures...

I was so pleased with how Ian's pictures turned out I emailed Allie Litterer to see if she could actually do some for Declan too! Luckily she was doing a makeup sessions for the kids that missed school that day and was more than willing to include us in that session too! Declan was a little excited when we got to her house and I was wondering if he was going to cooperate with her but it ended up turning out great! Declan is also wearing a sweater that Ryan's Grandma made for Ian when we lived in GA and it was never the right weather for it before he grew out of it! Thank God it worked perfectly for Declan now!

This picture of the two of them was unplanned! Ian was just being a good big brother and showing Declan how to lay on his tummy and she caught it beautifully! The last time we had pictures done and the both of them cooperated seems like forever ago! I can hardly believe how quickly they are growing up!

Ian's first school pictures!

We recently had an opportunity to get Ian's school pictures taken. Needless to say, I was very doubtful that they would turn out because of how uncooperative he tends to be around a camera. I guess that's just for me! When we got the proofs I was more than overjoyed by what I saw! The photographer, Allie Litterer, was amazing! She handled the kids amazingly and was so interactive with them and not just focused on getting the posed shot! For Ian's first school pictures, I couldn't have asked for anything better! Thank you so much Allie!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh Declan...

For those that don't know, Declan is going to be three years old on the 28th and, well, he is a bit of a stinker! He's sneaky! I could be in the same room and he will do something that other kids just wouldn't think of. He is the tester of patience and the pusher of buttons! I love him more than words can express! Thank you GOD he wasn't twins!

Some how Declan got into my makeup and found a rather dark plum eyeshadow that I forgot I even had. He, being the mischievous little guy he is, decided to put some on. Obviously he hasn't watched me do my makeup enough to know that eyeshadow does not get applied as a Hitler mustache! I love this kid! How can you get mad at this? God definitely knew what He was doing when He made Declan so stinkin cute!

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Sledding of the Season

We decided to take advantage of some of the snow and take the boys sledding for the first time. When I say "for the first time" I'm referring to really going to a big hill just to sled, not just sledding down the driveway like they've been doing since last winter! Ian was so excited the whole way there and then he saw the hill when we got there. He was not having it! Declan on the other hand was so excited but would only go down the hill with Ryan or I until the very end. It was so much fun and eventually we talked Ian into trying it and he was all about it after that! I see a lot more sledding in our future!

Ian was totally going down the hill by himself after going once with Ryan! He was lovin it!

I love that he carries his sled back up the hill like this. Like a seasoned pro!

Declan decided to try it by himself and it was too funny!

He decided to bail before he even reached the bottom!

I had to include a video of the boys going down the hill together! I love that they are really becoming great friends! Oh, and don't be surprised at the obnoxious laugh at the end of the video either!

Still practicing!

I kinda got behind in my last KAL (knit a long) so this one made up for it. I still have to finish my Halloween one but I will get to that later (story of my life). I really need to start on something more useful like a hat or something but I haven't found the motivation or quiet time just yet. I just thought this little guy was so cute and super fun to see it come alive as each row is knitted!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

OMSH in Winter Wonder Land!

I love doing stuff outside with the boys and ever since I did a "Flat Stanly" project with my friend Jackie for her niece I have loved the idea. When I came across this while I was checking out recipes I had to do it! I love showing people the beauty of Alaska and involving the boys as much as possible. Any time coloring something and going somewhere is involved, the boys are all about it! So this was our adventure while Ryan had to work on Saturday! I wish he could have been there, but one must keep the crazies busy regardless of who is in attendance! It makes for good night sleeps!

Welcome to Eagle River Nature Center and my love of taking pictures with signs! haha
My little monsters in full effect with the OMSH monsters they colored.

Gorgeous! My pictures can't even begin to show you the amazing beauty of this place! I'm still learning to take decent pics!

The Chugach Mountains sign! I love the Ian is starting to try to read all the things he can. It's still a learning process but he's getting it and I'm reading a lot of informative signs! I'm so proud of him!

"Hike hike hike, we're walking through the woods. Hike hike hike!" I love when they sing on our hikes!

Eating snow...this is how he spend 75% of this walk. He can't get enough of the snow! I don't know how many times I've said, "just don't eat snow that isn't white!".

"Wait up Declan!" That kid is a little tank!

A moment of peace and quiet! A very short moment!

My snow eating monster. Seriously, he wouldn't stop!

Such a cutie!

Look at those eyes!

Ian was so done by this point he was a total Mr Pouty Pants the rest of our hike!