Monday, December 20, 2010

Sophie's 2nd Birthday

Sophie with some of her Birthday loot! Such cute baby dolls (from Yaya, Auntie Rachael and Grandma) a fun stroller from Yaya and Papa (Mom and Dad just got her clothes). Katie and Taylor got her her own legos (duplos).
Thanks to the Hunsburgers for coming for the party and for the cute little cozy outfit!

Elmo is looking "starry-eyed" don't you think? hee hee hee hee

The Pizza party! We were going to go out to Red Robin (as we do traditionally for Birthdays) but the thought of dragging everybody out in the cold and crazy holiday weekend traffic was off-putting. We ordered Dominos! YUM! I even got half pepperoni and half cheese so everybody was happy (Craig and I got our own hawaiian).

This was breakfast.

Last Saturday was Sophie's 2nd Birthday. We had a really fun day. We started out with pink sprinkle waffels and ended it with a pizza party and Elmo cupcakes. I'm glad I thought to make cupcakes this year instead of a double layer cake. I made Katie and big Elmo head cake one year. The thought of a whole cake in our house right now was too much! I think the cupcakes were easier to make and serve. Sophie really got that it was her day and it was so fun to celebrate with her! She is not as easy as she was last year (she has lots of opinions on stuff now), but she's so wonderful to be with and watch grow. I'm so glad she's in our family! When she was first born I kept staring at her and wouldn't have believed that she was ours if I hadn't been there. She just didn't look familiar. THAT has all changed!!! I can't believe how many times I've been told "I have never seen a mom who's kids look like her as much as yours do!". I especially like it when people will say things like " Your kids are so cute!" followed by "They look JUST like you!". Gee, thanks!

I loved that Sophie knew to wait until after we finished singing to blow out the candles and she did it all on her own! We didn't even talk about it before! She really picks up on everything!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The long overdue Christmas post

Katie taught Sophie to eat snow, she loves it.
The first snow fall!

Sophie is into everything now. I went upstairs to switch over the laundry and came down to this. I don't think she's old enough to wear make up yet, what do you think?

Here's us decorating the gingerbread house. It was a lot of fun. I know it's dumb, but I'm always surprised by how much the kids want to eat the candy. Aside from the M&M's none of it looks worth eating to me.

We were the only ones with chairs, not a surprise now that we know how short it was going to be! Perfect in my opinion! Enough of a parade to be fun, but not so much you had to wait for it to end.

The kids got to make these star ornaments at the church in the village.

Here's the preview to the nutcracker. Katie LOVED it! I'll have to take her to the whole thing sometime. I did get "Fantasia" for them this year so I'm sure she'll love that as well.

This is Taylor on our trolley ride. They even got people to carole as they drove through the village! Isn't Ada fabulous???!

The tree looks pretty great, huh? It's a fake tree friends in KY gave us! Thx Adam and Kristen!
Well I meant to post this way back at the very beginning of December (when this pic of the Christmas tree was taken, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when we put up the Christmas tree). I was going to entitle this post "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" but now it's almost Christmas! Wow! How time flies. We have been having so much fun though. It's great to be together this year. A year ago, Craig was up here working and I was down in SC with the kids. Christmas is much more fun when we're all together (and not in the middle of a move).
The week after setting up the Christmas tree we went to the little village of Ada (a mile from us)and they had a night where they had a Christmas light ceremony at the covered bridge and an old time Santa walking around and free trolley rides and activities at all the local businesses. It was fun and really cold. Free ornament making and cocoa and cookies and a planetarium show about the Christmas star and a preview of the nutcracker ballet. The following Saturday they had a little Christmas parade in the village. Best Christmas parade. We went half an hour ahead and parked on a little side street by the Historical society barn (where they had free cookie decorating and cocoa) where we could watch from the van. We watched from the street. The parade was about half an hour, one marching band, lots of candy and then Santa on a fire truck. We got in the van and drove home! No waiting! AWESOME!
Tradition dictates that we decorate our gingerbread house during the Christmas Devotional but now that we are on Eastern time and it doesn't start until 8pm we decorated it early, put the kids down and listened to it in blissful quiet. Sophie has learned to pull a chair over to the counter and eat all the candy off the house. YUCK!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here's the dancing cow video!!

This is what it's really like at our house, just in case you were wondering.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010


Grandma and Grandpa's grave.

Sophie sitting in the cats' bed. Eddy the dog likes to lay there too.

I had this funny realization in the middle of our Thanksgiving that I never could have imagined years ago when the Twinners and I were kids that someday when we grew up we'd live in Ohio (or close to it)and get to celebrate our holidays together with our kids and my husbands' family! Pretty close to heaven if you ask me (especially because we weren't sick!).
Gotta get in and "Amy sandwich" pic!

Happy Birthday to Jack! How lucky is he that the whole country takes a holiday from work and has a huge feast just for his birthday. Wish they'd do that for me!

Pin the hat on the turkey was lots of fun, but I don't think any of the kids new that the turkey was supposed to wear his hat on his HEAD! :>

Laney was commissioned to color Zeb's turkey placemat.

Here's the "after" pic of the pie baking (and the "before" pic of us digging in).

Craig and the kids rode the train at the Lodi outlets while Sophie and went to Carters to get her winter/spring clothes.

Yummy lunch!

We had such a wonderful trip down to Ohio for Thanksgiving (I'm so glad we were sick BEFORE we went down so we didn't have to be sick WHILE we were there this year!). We drove down Tuesday night and on Wednesday we took a quick trip to the outlet mall to try to find Craig some new work duds. We didn't have much luck for him, but I cleaned up for Sophie at Carter's (not hard to do). It was so fun to catch some lunch and Craig and the kids rode the train and I got the BEST piece of peppermint bark that lasted nibble by nibble until the trip home!

Wednesday evening Mommo and I made tons of food and then we went to bed and got up the next morning and made even MORE food! You can see the "after" pic of the apple pie I made and on Mommo's blog(yaya and papa), you can see the "before" pic. It was so good that Craig and I had some on Wednesday night before going to bed!

Thursday Phil and Amanda, Jack and Steph, Leisy and Kent, and Laney and Taylor and all the kids came for dinner around 1:30pm. We were all WELL fed as we always are. It was so fun to hang out and eat way too much and laugh about everything and nothing. I had also brought some games for the kiddos and some turkey placemats for them to color. It was a fabulous way to spend the holiday! Thanks to Mommo and Dad for putting up with all of us and our crazy babies!

Friday we took the kids down to Home Hardware (where Craig has his first job) and saw Santa and Mrs Claus. We also drove past Craig's old house so the kids could see where Craig lived as a kid and took them to the Cemetary to visit Grandma and Grandpa Starkeys' grave.

Monday, November 22, 2010


This is "Flint Lockwood" from "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". He is making his plans to build his spaceship. He was talking about how he didn't have the right metal and didn't work at GE so he didn't really know how to build the rocketship. It was frustrating to him and really amusing to me!
They insist that the "hat" (actually silicone cake form)is a "condo hat" for ladies who live in condos!! WHAT??? So funny!

He's being Harry Potter.
Now he's a rock star at the "rockstar" birthday party he and Katie attended on Friday night!
I feel like the kids have spent so much time dressed up in costumes recently that they are undercover! Right now as I type, Sophie is dressed as a dancing cow and Taylor is being "Flint Lockwood" from "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", Katie is sporting pink cateye glasses that apparently she wore all day at school and told everybody she was blind without them (and crossed her eyes every time she took them off).

Katie got assigned to make bread sticks for an activity day girls service project lat week so I got a recipe and we made these. They are soooo good! Here's the recipe:

Soft Garlic Breadsticks


  • 1 1/8 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
  • Directions

    1. In bread machine pan, place the first nine ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed). When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 20 portions. Shape each into a ball; roll each into a 9-in. rope. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Brush warm breadsticks with butter.
I made two batches. One in the bread machine and one on my own (just let the yeast "bloom" in the water for 10min). Both turned out great. I liked how if I had the time I could have the bread machine make the dough and knead it, but if you're in a hurry, then do it on your own.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Last week

Sophie on Saturday all dressed up and ready to go out on the town!

After I finished arguing with the insurance company I found Sophie here...

and Taylor here.

Last week. It was horrible. Probably one of the most miserable weeks I can ever recall. It started on Sunday night, Sophie puked all over our rug and chair, and all over Craig and the kitchen sink. Ewwww.... I knew that was a bad omen because, of course, Craig had to go out of town. So, just as expected after Craig when out of town, Taylor and I started simultaneously puking. It was a long horrible night full of cleaning up and messes and visits to the bathroom for both of us. By morning, thankfully, I was done being violently ill and okay enough to haul us all to Walgreens to buy all types of sick food. Ginger ale, jello, sprite, pedialyte, and gatorade. We also got some movies from Redbox. Then we just stayed home and I did laundry and the kids slept off and on while I argued with the Dr.'s office and the insurance company about the medication I keep getting prescribed that the insurance company doesn't want to cover. Really a red-letter day for me. Craig came home as soon as everybody was in bed (the beds which had all been remade about 3x's each) and the laundry was all done and folded and put away. Right on time.

Someday, it's gonna be me who skips town as soon as the puking begins.

On a happier note, Katie was the star student of the week a couple weeks ago. I don't think any other student in her class will ever have a poster that out-sparkles hers! Also Taylor flying the moon is pretty fabulous!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Halloween!

How's the blood punch???

so spooky!

Sophie was an ewok. People kept referring to her as a boy, even with the costume I think she looks like a girl.

I haven't been a very diligent blogger recently. Computer problems + life with kids and a calling in the youth program have me fried most of the time, but here are some pix of our Halloween. We went to a great pumpkin patch and got some pumpkins and carved them and then went to trunk or treat the church on Wednesday before Halloween. The weekend before Halloween we also went to Ohio and got to go to Craig's parents Halloween party. It was amazing! Great weather and just the perfect time to visit.
We also attended the kids Halloween parade and their parties at the school the Thursday before Halloween. Our trick or treating for our neighborhood was on Saturday and we had so much fun doing that all together. We did a star wars theme this year as you can tell. Sorry for the blurry picture, our camera (that I just got last year) keeps turning up crummy pix.