24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

It is 10:00 am and I thought I'd be up around 7:00 am to finish last minute things. I am still in my pajamas and trying very hard not to freak. We are supposed to be at my in-laws at 11:30 am and I'm not ready! Aalyia has a 102 temp this morning and looks beat up. Roci wanted me to help her finish her christmas gift for someone and I thought she had finished it already.
We are supposed to take a van full of items to the church for Gage's Eagle Scout project in order to assemble gift bags for the Rescue Mission tomorrow. Oh, did I mention a TV crew will be meeting us to interview Gage at 3:00pm?
I wanted the week before Christmas to be relaxing. I got my Christmas cards out the day before Thanksgiving. I started shopping back in October. I got my baking done last week and delivered. I even pared down my list so I wouldn't have 60 people to deliver to! ( Sixteen was the limit!)
We are entertaining about 26 people at 5:00 this evening at my home. I haven't even finished cleaning:) Did I mention I could use a shower??
So, here it is on the eve of the memory of the Savior's birth and I'm worried about what?
I asked Roci this morning what her favorite thing about Christmas was and she said she couldn't tell me it was presents and spending time with her family because I'd get mad. We had a talk about the atonement and about Jesus being born and she said she knew it was important and she was thankful for His sacrifice. I thought at that moment, 'Am I focusing on what is important???'
So, I am taking a deep breath and counting my blessings. I am so thankful for my Savior. I am thankful that I have a testimony of Him and that I know Him. I am thankful that 12 years ago, my son's simple question of 'Is there a Heaven?', and 'Will you always be my mom?', prompted my husband and I to ask questions and look for 'something', to look for truth. I am thankful to have learned and still be learning of the purpose of life. I am thankful for my family and friends and all the material things God has blessed me with that I am so not worthy to have. But, I do know that Jesus has made it possible. In return, I will work on being a good person and share my knowledge of the truth of Him.
Now, I am ready to go through the rest of the day and weekend focusing on my Savior and, I'm sure, having moments where I will regress and freak out about running out of drinks and why my kids don't seem to listen when their friends are over. But then, I will remember to turn my thoughts back to where they belong this season (and every day!), and thank my Father in Heaven for my amazing life. God bless you all and have a Merry Christams!

15 December 2009

A visit with Leah

I have a friend from college named Joanne who is amazing! I am so grateful that we have formed a bond that has endured throughout the years! She is a great-aunt to a young girl named Alyiah (nickname, Leah) who is from Florida. Ever since my girls have been introduced to her, they have become the best of buddies.

Anytime Leah is visiting from Florida she asks to see my girls. Her parents drove out from Florida to be here for the birth of Sophia Riley, who happens to be Leah's new cousin. Well, as babies will do, Sophia took her time coming so Leah was left with some free time on her hands.

Joanne thought it would be fun to take the girls out to Yankee candle and treat them to some fun and food.

Roci and Aalyia have always wanted to make a hand wax mold so, of course, Joanne said sure!

This is my Aalyia's little hand. Isn't it small??

Here is Roci having hers taken off.

After the candle dipping, we went to Santa's workshop and closed the store there. We arrived around 5:00 pm so it gave us about an hour to tour the place and it was just enough time for the girls to enjoy playing around!
We went to Chandler's Tavern for dinner. The girls were very excited that Santa was having dinner at the Tavern and wanted to have their picture taken with him. Well, Santa was having dinner with 'select' customers that evening whom I'm sure paid a lot of money to have him all to themselves, but the girls would not be dissuaded. They stood behind his chair (while he was still visiting with the customers!), and patiently waited for him to finish so they could get their picture! Leah's mom, Elise, was the one who went with them and took the photo. She is brave because I know I didn't have it in me to be that courageous! Santa was very sweet and visited with the girls for a few minutes.

We had such a great time visiting with Joanne and her family. They were all so sweet. I felt bad for Emily, Joanne's niece, because she was the one expecting Sophia and she looked like she was ready :) Thanks Joanne for being such a gracious hostess! You've made some fun memories...

10 December 2009

Salem Cross Inn

Yup! That thar is Prime rib!!!!
Bobby's company Christmas dinner was hosted at Salem Cross Inn in W. Brookfield, MA. It is a 600 acre inn that has theme dinners and is known for their Apple Pie (and incredible whipped cream!) The company flipped the bill for half so we thought this would be the only way to afford taking the whole family.

When you arrive at the inn, they send you to a waiting area in the basement where you have appetizers and take a sleigh ride. You are also served a spiced cider (which was way yummy), and you are able to help prepare the meal you will eat. The girls were able to help peel apples and watch this amazing lady assemble the giant pies. I didn't get a picture of the rolling pin, but it was BIG. If any wife hit her husband on the head with it, he'd be dead on the spot.

It was snowing out so the sleigh ride was on! It was a wet snow, so I opted to stay in by the warm fire while Bobby and the girls got soaked. But, Mercedes was willing to run out and get this picture for me!
Here is the nice lady putting one of the pies together. Did you see the pan to the right with the five hundred pounds of apples in it???
After the prime rib is done, they bring out this huge black kettle to make fish chowder. The audience was able to participate by stirring the pot and throwing in the ingredients. They had like 5 or 6 different fish!

Roci wanted to stir but found out very quickly how hot is was in that fire pit! I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was busy eating.
The inn hosts a murder mystery dinner and we are hoping to get a group together to go maybe next summer or fall!

02 December 2009

Aalyia is growing up...

Here is a picture of my baby girl. Can you see her red eyes?? Those were caused by her mama.

She's had a lose tooth forever. When she first showed it to me I told her NOT to wiggle it. Why?? Because she's my baby, my youngest. It's bitter-sweet for me. Though I have NO desire to have another baby, I do want to enjoy my lasts; last first loose tooth, last learn to read, ride a bike, etc.

Well, Aalyia is a good listener and she did not wiggle her tooth. Her adult tooth was tired of waiting and decided to come up behind it. I know, I'm selfish. Anyway, I told her she needed to start wiggling it like crazy so her new tooth could come in straight.

SO, she started wiggling the little bugger and it wasn't really budging. Her sisters were giving her advice on how to get it out. 'Use a toothbrush and knock it out.' (that would be Mercedes),

'Let Mom pull it out.' I thought that one was a good idea. I've had lots of practice. Now, Aalyia is my most sensitive one. I don't mean she cries easily, she just really feels things deeply. She was uncontrollably sobbing at Merecedes' quincenera because she was so happy for her. She cries at sad parts in movies. She cried when Zachary was born. So, with her I try to remind myself to tread lightly because I'm not very patient. I decided to let her take her time. She was afraid of it hurting. Contrary to popular belief, I don't like to inflict pain. (Ask Bobby about his sunburn.)

After a few weeks, she started to complain about it hurting. I told her that since it is coming apart at the root that it would be sharp and would cut into her gum so it was going to feel sore.

On Sunday evening, I finally coaxed her into letting me start to wiggle it for her. She made me promise I wouldn't pull on it, just wiggle. I told her we could get some Coldstone ice cream if it came out. Well, we sat for about 2 hours chatting, wiggling, chatting, wiggling etc. We loosened it alot, but it wasn't coming out. Finally, I knew she'd had enough so I told her that we could continue on Monday and she should get some rest and, of course, I would still take her to get ice cream when it fell out. Well, Roci convinced her to give her a shot and she actually got it moving well. Aalyia came running to me and told me that she thought it was ready because Roci had helped her. Of course, I ask to see and I wiggled it and it was so loose that I just decided to pull it . Out it came and so did the tears! She told me it hurt. It was bleeding and Roci starts to yell, " Oh my gosh Mom! Look at all the blood!!' Aalyia had a panic look on her face and I tried to distract her by showing her the tooth. "Look honey! Look how tiny it is! Yea! Now it won't bother you anymore!' She tried to smile and wipe her tears as she cried.

Oh, how that broke my heart. I don't know if I'm a bad parent but when some of my kids cry it's like, 'Suck it up', and when others cry you want to just shrivel up inside.

Here is her before picture. She's so happy!

Now the tooth is out and she has it in a little zip lock baggie to show everyone. Now that the trauma is over, she is so thrilled! And she is patiently waiting to go to Coldstone Creamery after lunch today!