Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Job!

Well, I guess it's time I make this news blog-official.  I got a new job!  I am beyond excited.  My last day at the high school is this Friday, and I start the new one on Monday. 

So I guess I should share details.  Well, it is really a long story, but I will try to shorten it up.  I am going to be a private tutor to a special needs five-year-old.  He and his family just moved to Longview from Austin.  He has an older brother who is dyslexic, and therefore, also needs extra help.  They based their entire move on a school here for special needs children.  When they got here, though, they hated it.  So she has pulled them out of school and hired private tutors.  I have been lucky enough to stumble into this, and I will be working with the five-year-old. 

My new schedule is Monday-Thursday from 8:30-12:30.  This leaves plenty of time for laundry, cooking, house-cleaning, etc. BEFORE I pick up the babies from school.  That means when they get home...we PLAY!!  Oh how I love this!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snowman Breakfast

This morning was a coooold one; burrrr.  Although it wasn't snowing, the ground was white with ice.  What better than snowmen to eat for breakfast?  I got the idea while browsing a my friend, Lindsey's, blog.  I didn't have fruit roll-ups so we substituted sprinkles.

Here are a few snapshots from our morning.

These were super easy.  Here are the steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450° and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Arrange biscuits on cookie sheet.  Be sure to pinch them together so they don't fall apart.
  3. Arrange chocolate chips on faces of snowmen.
  4. Align raisin buttons (we didn't have raisins, so we used chocolate chips here, too).
  5. If you are using a fruit roll up for the scarf, attach it after baking.  We used sprinkles, do them now.
  6. Bake for six minutes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Potty

So.  Here I am.  A little boy (boys are supposed to be harder, right?) who was mostly potty trained at 24 months and completely potty trained--even naps-- by thirty months, vs a 29-month-old girl who just. doesn't. care.  What is a mother to do??

Yes, we have tried M&Ms.  Yes, we have tried stickers.  And dancing.  And singing. And princess panties. And, and, and, and!!  When Santa brought her new Tinkerbell panties she said, "Take those back.  I don't need them.  I not a big girl, I da baby."

So what now?  I am just dying to try the 3 Day Potty Training boot camp, but I am slightly wary.  It can't hurt, right?  I guess I am nervous because there isn't a time when we will be home with nothing to do for three full days.  I guess I could take off work one Friday or Monday, stretching the weekend to three days... But what about day care on Tuesday?  Have any of you out there tried this method?  How much does day care interfere?  They are working with her a lot, but I just don't know exactly what this "boot camp" entails.

Any input would be welcome here.

From one Mommy to another, thanks!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

G Got a BB Gun!

We got a package in the mail today from Santa.  He forgot to leave one of Gannon's presents at our house.  Boy, was he excited to get this!!  He was really good at it, too!  Can you see how well he hit his targets??  They were the D, the Y, and the 7, if you weren't sure.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's Snowing in Texas!

So apparently, there is this white stuff that falls from the sky and accumulates on the ground.  Back home, in Lake Charles, we have heard of this phenomenon, and even claim to have experienced it, but it was really more like an icy slush, or sneaux.  What is this cold, powdery, precipitation you ask?


Here is a picture of Bryan and Gannon working on Gus the Sneauxman.

This was such a fun day for the kids (all four of us!).

Gus the Sneauxman

They had so much fun!

A Little Bit of Pre-Christmas Fun

It's our first Christmas in our new house!  Well actually, it's our first anything in our new house.  Although we haven't even unpacked most off our boxes, up went the tree.  First things first, right?  This is the first year they have both really gotten into it, so it was really fun.

They are so funny... I don't remember what this was actually about, but this is usually how it ends.

We needed a way to let Santa know that even though we weren't going to be home for Christmas, we still wanted him to stop at our house.  So, we decided to make some reindeer food.  Reindeer food sparkles and shines, and the reindeer can see it as they are flying over the houses.  Gannon thought that was the perfect way to get the reindeer to steer Santa to our house.  We sprinkled it poured it all over the yard before we headed to Lake Charles for the holidays.  They were so proud of themselves! 

Looks like we are ready for Santa!

A Very Manuel Christmas

Part of coming from a two big families is going to lots of get-togethers for the holidays.  It is crazy, busy, exhausting, and most of all, FUN!  Although it can get a little overwhelming at times, I would not change it for the world. 

First on the agenda: Duffys!

Here are a few memories from Nonnie's Christmas at Uncle Gene and Aunt Penny's house.

My brother, Eric, and his promised, Bre

Santa loves the Duffys!

Gannon was stealing all the marshmallows for the hot cocoa, ha!

Next, we were off to the Manuels to see Bryan's family.

These munchkins are hilarious!  Gotta love them!

Now that we live four hours away from our families, we had to come up with a "Christmas Plan".  As in, we had to decide what we wanted our Christmas tradition with our kids to be.  Because we both come from big families who are extremely close, we decided that we didn't want to miss anything.  Despite wanting to be home Christmas morning, we felt it was more important to spend that day with those we love.  So all traditions were kept, and Santa came to our house Christmas Eve, just like he does for every other child in the world.  The difference?  We weren't there to see his gifts Christmas morning.  The fun part?  The kids couldn't wait to get home to see what Santa had left them.  It was so fun to stretch Christmas out, and make it last a little longer.

This is what we came home to:

This year has brought us so many new and exciting adventures.  I hope 2011 blesses us with comfort in knowing we have chosen the right path for our family.  Happy new year to you and yours!

Gingerbread House Extravaganza

I realize I am late in posting our Christmas photos, however, I left my memory card in Lake Charles, boo.  But since my parents came to Longview this weekend, I am able to finally update!

While in Lake Charles, we met up with our old neighbors and great friends, Josh and Renee.  We decided to let the kiddos decorate gingerbread houses (or as Austyn says, Christmas bread houses).  They were a huge hit!  The two little ones ate more than they decorated, and that was just fine with them.

We didn't bother buying the kit because we wanted to choose all the different candies.  We just used graham crackers , and we made Royal icing for the glue.  It worked great.  We were even able to use them for our centerpieces for Christmas breakfast!

Here are a few pictures from the evening:

 The candy!

Little Thomas, "decorating" his house. 

 The snowman chimney

A finished house



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