Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Nutcracker (Back-up Blogging)

Dave found some inexpensive Nutcracker tickets last month, and we decided that driving to Bismarck and seeing the performance was the right thing to do! And it ended up being a lot of fun. We kept the whole thing a secret from our girls so that we could surprise them. Unfortunately the performance was a little long for Saige because it was during her nap time. When Dave took her to the back, though, she twirled and danced and tried to be just like the ballerinas on stage.

We Brought this Nutcracker Home
 I remember going to see "The Nutcracker" as a high school student. But, I really didn't understand what it was about and I think I even fell asleep during the performance. (I was a sleep-deprived teenager. It's easier staying awake during a performance as a sleep-deprived mom because you have children crawling all over you.) However, at this performance, each act was explained in the handbook, so before the acts, Julia and Lydia and I read about what was coming up. It helped me understand the whole story which was a good thing!

The Beautiful Performance Hall
 The majority of the dancers in the performance we attended seemed to be high school age or younger. So, it kind of seemed like we were watching the equivalent of a high school play, but I think it helped the girls identify with the characters even more than if we had watched adults perform. The kids that played sheep and other small rolls were adorable.
A Daddy and His Girl
 Of course, after the performance, all three girls exclaimed their desires to grow up to be ballerinas...
The girls loved getting dressed up in Christmas clothes, and so did I. I am hoping we can go again. Maybe every other year. :)

Blessings, and thanks for baring with me as I try to catch up! -Amber

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Julia's Birthday (Back-up Blogging)

Julia had a wonderful 8th birthday. We celebrated on the day of her birthday (that takes place the beginning of December), and then we celebrated with a little pajama party over the weekend. On her actual birthday, we opened presents had a Julia requested dinner of mac n cheese with hot dogs and salad, and then she opened presents from grandparents and her loving and devoted parents (me and her dad). We also allowed her to have breakfast in bed.

Here is a video of her and her "big" gift:

Lulu has already been living with us for a few days now. She loves our girls, and the girls love her. I think I am really liking this "family gift" thing we started with Lydia's birthday last summer. I wonder what the family can get for Saige's birthday? Fabulous pots and pans....a new knife set, a macbook....

Any way, back to Julia's birthday....her party was a lot of fun. She had some friends over, and we had a pajama party. (Not a slumber party though...thank goodness.) The kiddos came, watched a movie in their sleeping bags and pajamas in our basement, then they had popcorn, snacks, cake and ice cream, and then they all went and slept in their own beds! I got to visit with the moms upstairs while drinking decaf, and the kids were sufficiently preoccupied in front of Rio. As far as kids parties go, this worked out pretty spectacularly. 

Julia and her cake
 I can NOT even believe my girl is 8.

Always A Funny Face Shot


My Kid Covered Basement
We had tons of fun celebrating my eldest last month. I love her so much...

---Julia, if you ever happen to come upon this blog years from now, please know that I love you more every single day, and I always will. You amaze me. I am so thankful God gave you to me. Love you to the moon and back a thousand times, Mom.---

Thanks for coming by, Amber

Monday, January 5, 2015

Love My Lyd

Dave took an unprompted video of Lydia last month. I love it! 

Thanks for stopping in. -Amber

Post Christmas Back-up Blogging

Well, the dust from traveling and celebrating the wonderful Christmas holidays, has barely settled, but I am all too aware that I have fallen embarrassingly behind on my blogging. Please stay tuned for some awesome back-up blogging of Stewart events including: Julia's 8th birthday and her birthday celebration, Christmas fun, Christmas Day, Our new pet Lulu, and many other riveting December 2014 past times. Thanks for coming by...there will actually be some stories coming soon....but for now, I will leave you with some fun Christmas pictures. Please enjoy:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Throughout the years, we have had many different circumstances and events around the holidays. We've spent some holidays with parents, some with siblings, some with friends, and some all by ourselves. This Thanksgiving, we had some wonderful friends come and eat with us, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We played games, ate a delicious meal, enjoyed different traditions, watched the parade and the football games, and enjoyed the fellowship. It was awesome. And, I can't wait until my girls are old enough to be responsible for making some of the yummy traditional dishes right along side me.

This year, I also prepped a lot! It made the actual day go by so much more smoothly. I don't think I hardly sat down before we served lunch, but that's better than being frantic and worrying that not everything will get done. Right? Right. I pray that in the years to come, I will have the same opportunity.

Here are some pics of our turkey and ham filled festivites.
 Yummy pre-turkey snacking...
 I did NOT brine the turkey. It turned out pretty well in the turkey bag. Maybe next year I will have the wherewithal to order a fresh bird a few days before Thanksgiving. We shall see.
 So, even though eating is a big part of Thanksgiving, an even bigger part is actually giving thanks. I have so much to be thankful for! And, I want my children to begin to realize how much they have to be thankful for as well. So, one of my favorite things we did on Thursday was to make these wreaths...
I just took a small styrofoam wreath, wrapped it with fabric and added the top leaf with some straight pins.

Then, we wrote what we are thankful for on leaves, and added them one by one to the wreath. It was a such a blessing of a time.

 A lot of the things the girls said surprised me.

I got the idea for the wreaths on some morning talk show, and I hope it's a tradition that carries on in some form or fashion for years to come. Of course, it's yet another thing I'm not sure I'll ever be able to toss. Such sweet memories...

Now, we are on to planning a fun little birthday party for our oldest girl, Julia. She's turning 8 this year. I seriously do not understand how I've been a mom for that long, but I'm so glad I get to be a mom to her. Amazing.

Happy leftovers eating! -Amber

P.S. Thank you for celebrating with us Bacas! And thank you for bringing all the wonderful foods, treats and games! You are a blessing to us.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dining Room Tables in the Living Room

Can you believe Thanksgiving is so close? I barely can! I have the pumpkin pie in the freezer. It is  living right beside the 20 pound turkey. I also have the pumpkin cookies in batter form in the fridge, and have been meal planning and prepping for the big day for about a week. (The excellent recipe I use for Pumpkin cookies is a Martha Stewart recipe that you can find here.)

Whipped Cream to Come
We are super excited to host friends for a our Thanksgiving lunch this year, and I was concerned about seating for everyone.  But, one afternoon, I was looking on a local furniture fb page, and I found a great table! It looked so nice, and would be great for extra seating. I planned to ask Dave to carry up and down stairs when we needed it, but after pick up, we realized the table is much to heavy to haul around. This ended up being the solution:

Remove the Clutter and You Have Extra Seating
The table lives in our upstairs living room now. And, it is working perfectly. Since we've been home from our last trip, we have rearranged half the rooms in our house. The girls bunk beds have been separated, Saige's room finally got some attention to furniture placement, and both our living rooms have been changed up. But, I think that I like the new upstairs arrangement the best. The table doubles as a workstation for your laptop, or for studying cookbooks or any other books. It also works wonderfully for Monday Night small group at our house. We have more spots to stick drinks and goodies and/or for Bibles to be laid open on. I just love it.

What do you think about having a small table in a living room? And, don't forget to give me advise about my turkey. To brine, or not to brine. That is the question!

Turkey, turkey!! -Amber

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Never Ending Blog Post

I'm sorry it's been a while. We have been to visit family in Oklahoma and came back to a wonderful and full schedule, so my blogging has been falling behind....but here is a look at some of the fun we had OK:

Zebra, Tiger and Lion at Granny's House
The girls dressed up on Halloween and got to go to the carnival at the church we used to attend in Bartlesville. Fun, fun!
Mimi and Papa Joined in the Fun

Grandma Christie (Daisy Duck), Cousin Charlie, and My Girls

Early Birthday for Julia at Granny's
We got to see a lot of friends on family the week that we were in OK. It was so nice, and such a blessing to us all. I also got to visit a place I used to work at called McCoy's Jewelers. They checked my jewelry and verified that the prongs that are supposed to hold my diamond in place is doing just that. Yay!I am free to clean my jewelry with a toothbrush, knowing that my diamonds are secure! Check out this tip and one more in the picture below:

Do you see the bottom one about baby powder on chains? I love this one! I have a necklace from when I graduated high school that has been tangled almost the whole *gulp* 14 years I've had it. Here it is after about thirty minutes, and a couple tablespoons of baby powder.
This Was Once a Matted Mess.

This thing was so matted, that it was actually stuck to another piece of jewelry I owned. I'd worked for hours trying to un-knot this thing, and I thought I'd never have the two pieces separate again. I almost threw away both pieces of jewelry when we moved here, but now I'm so grateful I didn't. And, I plan to let my McCoy Jewelers people know how well this works! Untangling chains is definitely something we worked on!

--And, now that you know my chain untangling secret, and now that we are back in ND, I want to share what's been happening the last few days.You can call this the never ending blog post if you'd like.---

It's finally happened, the cold has snapped here in ND! We are loving the snow, and bundling against the cold. I have a lot of coffee and hot tea everyday, and wish there was a way to convince my daughters to eat soup every night with out complaint. Snow pictures are here:
At a Stop Sign. Beautiful.

Bundled for a Snowball Fight!

In Action
More Action Shots

Snow Angels:


Sampling Snow at the Library

Came in From Playing Cold and Frowny

We've been having so much fun! We haven't made any Olafs yet, but I'm sure we will have a small herd of them soon. 

Our New Favorite Evening Activity
Thanks for reading! Stay warm!!!!


P.S. If there are any typos in this post, it's because my hands were too cold to type.
P.S.S. I love the people who read my blog!!!