Friday, December 16, 2011

The one where she jumps

So, no cookies yesterday and unless I get a wild hair, none today. Maybe we will do them at the grandparents house. Let them clean up the mess! Anyhoot, Olivia is trying so hard to crawl these days. She can scoot backwards and forwards and get up on her knees and rock back and forth.

Her latest trick is jumping. I have serious issues with loading a video on the blog so I am not even going to attempt that this morning. Not much time to waste so you will have to use your minds eye to see her jump. When she’s up on her knees and wants a toy that’s out of reach, she literally jumps like a frog to get to it. It’s the funniest thing. She jumps, then flattens out her legs, then draws them up again, then jumps again. It’s a hoot! And just in the last 2 days, she’s started doing the Cleopatra side roll. Y’all know what I mean.

We have 1 week to Christmas. We’ll see if she starts crawling by then! She’s an angel, bless her heart, and she’s fixing to get thrown into the Jon Mizell family Christmas extravaganza!! We are making 2 pit stops on "the way" to Louisiana to do Christmas with my mom and sister and then dad. We’ll be in Louisiana a few days before heading over to Mississippi, to the country house, to wait on Santa Clause. It has potential to be a wild ride but we are looking forward to it so much!!!

We delivered some Christmas goodies to our library ladies yesterday

and then Audrey had her little party at dance class. She told me while we were getting ready that she likes parties and she likes ballet but she doesn’t like ballet parties. Upon further investigation of that statment I found out that she wants to just dance when she goes to ballet. Not eat.  Huh, well then.
I think she had fun any way. They played some games and watched the Nutcracker while eating their goodies. And in case you were wondering, those two elves in the back are the brother’s that got to join in the snacking fun!

And she can sit up by herself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gingerbread or bust

Yesterday I broke out the gingerbread house and attempted to put it together. I was very proud of myself when the walls actually stuck together this time! We went out of the room to let it completely dry for a couple hours and when I went back in to get it for the kids to start decorating, I noticed one tiny flaw in my house. I had used the roof as the sides of the house. Seriously? How did I not notice that? How did I not notice how ridiculously disproportionate the sides of the house were? Well I did not feel like taking it apart then so when Jon came home he had pity on me and fixed it! So today when I got the icing out (that I had mixed up yesterday) it was too thick and I added a smidgen of water to loosen it up. Reckon I added a few smidgens too many and got it too runny to be of any use. I was beginning to think it was just not in the cards for us to decorate a ginger bread house this year. Determined not to fail again, I dug out the icing intended for our sugar cookie attempt tomorrow and voila! I give you Gingerbread 2011 (that’s cheesy, I know).

I love James’ evil grin here!

She was getting ready to turn around and lick her fingers clean of icing....she thought I didn’t
know what she was doing. Haha!! I wish I’d had the video rolling. It was too funny watching her think she was being sneaky!

He looks like he’s diligently working here but let me assure you, the only thing Master James was diligent about was eating candy. And icing!

The finished product!

A close up of our abstract house! The point is that they had fun, right? I’m glad we did it but I have to be honest and say that I am seriously rethinking doing cookies tomorrow. Just the thought of cleaning up another horrific mess makes my head spin. I am panicking a little as it is thinking about our upcoming trip and how I am not even close to being ready. But check back tomorrow (if you are interested) and maybe I will have decided to plow ahead and make another mess any way!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Treats

I have a few things I hope to do with the twins this week before we leave and I also hope to blog about it. So you may get lucky (or not) and hear from us more than once this week!

I wanted to share this delicious and oh so easy recipe I came across via my grandmummy. I made a batch for our partay this past weekend. After tasting the deliciousness of it and the fact that it took less than 30 minutes to make, it’s what I am going to make for Jon to give to his friends at work.

White Chocolate Popcorn
2 bags microwave popcorn (butter kind)
12 – 16 oz. white chocolate chips, melted
3/4 C M & M’s
3/4 C peanuts
1 1/2 C stick pretzels
1 C mini marshmallows (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
6 oz. dark or milk chocolate
Pop popcorn, remove unpopped kernels.  Put popcorn and marshmallows in a big bowl.  In separate bowl, mix together melted white chocolate, M & M’s, peanuts and pretzels until coated with white chocolate.  Pour over popcorn and mix to coat popcorn with white chocolate.  Spread onto two jelly roll pans or cookie sheets. 
Drizzle with melted dark or milk chocolate.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer until chocolate has hardened and popcorn breaks apart in bit pieces.

I know it looks really yellow in this picture and you are probably wondering where the white is but I promise it’s there! *Baker’s note: I didn’t have peanuts so I used more m&m’s but next time I will be sure to have peanuts to put in there. It definitely needed something else that was savory and I probably wont put as many m&m’s. Oh and be careful when melting the white chocolate. It get’s hard fast. If that happens, just throw a dash of oil in it and stir till smooth.
I also made Oreo truffles and they are always a big hit! Only 3 ingredients and super easy but it is a little time consuming. It’s definitely worth it though!
One package of Oreo’s (I used store brand)
One 8 oz package cream cheese (not fat free, mind you)
4 oz white almond bark
Use food processor (or mini chopper but beware using the mini chopper adds a few more minutes to blending the oreo’s since you can’t put the whole package in at one time!) to blend oreo’s until fine. 
Add cream cheese to oreo crumbs and blend until dough like.
Chill mixture for 15 minutes then roll into bite size balls. Chill for 15 minutes.
Melt almond bark in microwave according to package directions. Dip chilled oreo balls in melted chocolate using a fork so the chocolate can drip off. Set covered cookie balls onto wax paper and let set aprox. 30 minutes. If you want to use sprinkles do so before chocolate sets. I usually do 6 at a time, then sprinkle them because the chocolate hardens pretty fast. *Bakers note: This is where your happy helpers can come into play. James and Audrey did the sprinkling for me and it went much faster since I didn’t have to stop dipping every so often to sprinkle!

And I will sign off tonight with a tale of a little boy that is learning the lesson of just why it is better to give than recieve, this Christmas season. Earlier today I was boxing up some of the truffles and popcorn to take to our neighbors and James started freaking out. Seriously. I wont go into all the details because I talked, a lot, about thinking of others instead of ourselves and sharing our joy and the greatest gift of all and why we give gifts at Christmas and I ended with “You know how you feel when someone gives you a present? It makes you happy, doesn’t it? Well, when you give someone a present it makes them feel happy like you do when you get something.” And through his tears and slightly high pitched voice he says “But it’s not gonna make me happy to give something away that I like!!!!!!!!!” Bless his heart. Well, I knew then we had to go immediately and deliver our gifts so that it would be fresh on his mind. We did and he understands a little better now that it is better to give than receive. He enjoyed giving them our little treats and wishing them a Merry Christmas. And he did it all with a big smile on his face! Sweet boy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A day late and a dollar short

Woke up this morning (this cold, cold morning) to no coffee in the coffee canister. Rrrggg. My poor husband, my poor self! And I just went to the store last night. Rrrrgggg. But thank goodness I bought 1200 boxes of hot chocolate for our Christmas party that we are hosting Saturday night. I have something warm at least to sip on this cold, cold morning but I sure do miss my french roasted Maxwell house with Peppermint Mocha creamer. Mmmm.

Okie dokie, enough about my obvious coffee addiction. Yes, I am a day late on posting bu,t here I am, so lets not get hung up on that teeny little fact. There’s been a lot going on around here in the last week so I will start at the beginning.

December 1st, James and Audrey (Audrey is taking swimming now too) finished up another session in swimming lessons and we have the month of December off. They really love swimming at the Y and I really love running at the Y. We have a fantastic YMCA in the nearby city of Thomasville. They have a child watch program and all the girls that work in there are cream of the crop. Turns out that one of the girls is the cousin to a family that are members of our church. Anyway, Olivia loves to stay there and James and Audrey do to but they complain that it’s all baby toys to play with! After taking James up there for his first few lessons and I found out there was a child watch program, I decided to join. You get a discount on lessons if you are a member and it has proven to be the perfect outing a few days a week for us. Ok, really for me! They also have a mother’s morning out where you pay just a few dollars more and you can leave the campus for the morning. I took advantage of that last week and enjoyed some peaceful grocery shopping. I am very thankful to have found this special place for us to be a part of!

Over the weekend, Jon was gone and we attempted a ginger bread village. I chose the village because I thought it’d be neat for them to each have 2 houses to decorate but it proved to be the wrong choice! I don’t know if it was just my fingers that morning or what but it was nearly impossible to get those stinkin walls to stick to each other so by the time I finally gave up, James had eaten just about all the candy and it looked like a tiny tornado had come thru our village and leveled the houses. I did buy another one at the beginning of this week so we will try it again before we leave town to start our Christmas vacation!

Like I mentioned before, we are hosting a Christmas party again this year at our house so I’ve been busy this week trying to get ready for that. And, we had doctor’s appointments 3 days in a row in Tallahassee so I’ve been keeping the highway warm as well. On Tuesday after an appointment, I made a quick stop at the mall to pick up just a few Christmas presents. I had all the kids with me so I already had planned in my mind what I was getting and where I was going to get it from. Pretty much anyway. Well, the kids of course were begging for food (because I apparently never feed them) so I stopped and got us a cinnamon pretzel and coke icee to share. I had them sit down on the ground in front of the store we were going in next and this woman passed by pushing a single stroller with a baby girl in it. She stopped and said, with a big smile on her face, “You sure are brave to bring them all by yourself.” To which I replied “Either that or just crazy!” She laughed and then told me how she could never do that and that just “this one” (pointing to the baby) was almost too much for her and she was heading home. I cannot even count on my fingers how many times I have had people tell me that or something like it. And not to be too judgemental or anything but COME ON!! Seriously? Toughen up ladies. Toughen up!

I drug out the exersaucer over the weekend and Olivia has a new love! At first she wasn’t to sure of it but once she figured out how to jump up and down and found a chewy toy, she fell in love. Her laugh gets bigger and bigger every day and one day I am going to bottle it and tuck it away in my closet so I can pull it out and listen to that precious little sound in a bout 15 years when I am ready to pull my hair out. Although, I must admit it’s so very hard to imagine her ever giving us a moments trouble!

She has entered into the stranger anxiety stage and when someone she’s not used to seeing holds her or even talks to her, she pokes that lip out and starts boo hooing. It’s quite pittiful, I must say. However, she does warm up to who ever is trying to hold her, it just takes about 3 times of you going away and coming back. So, just be aware of that little tid bit, all you family out there who are expecting to see us at some point over the Christmas holidays and don’t take it personal. Just be prepared to persevere till she smiles at you. Which she will eventually do!

I started her on rice cereal one night this week and man oh man did she take to that! She didn’t gag or make a horrible face. No, she sucked it like soup and would lunge for the spoon every time we brought it to her mouth. She’s a hoot! And James and Audrey had the best time watching her eat that “nasty stuff!"

James and Audrey had their 4 year well check with the pediatrician yesterday and they checked out well. Ha ha ha!
James weighs 33 lbs and 2 oz and is 38 1/2 inches tall
Audrey weighs 33 lbs and 6 oz and is 39 inches tall
They are both in the 30th percentile for their height and 25th for their weight. They are still small for their age. At least their bodies are, their brains are not!

And I leave you with a little confession. A confession of my 4 year old daughter. She informed me the other night that “sometimes we crawl up under the dining room table where you can’t see us and say bad words. And when we are in the car, we whisper them to each other so you can’t hear us.” I almost choked on my food when she told me that!! I asked her what kind of bad words and she bubbly replied with “poopy and booty and butt.” I have to keep this chick in my confidence fo shore so that hopefully she will still be willing to “tell all” even when they are really “saying bad words!”