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These are close to what the washcloth easter bunnies looked like that my mom used to make that I mentioned in my last post (in case anyone was having problems coming up w/ a visual):

and here's where the plastic easter egg filled w/ candy would go:


Haven't posted in awhile, half of a month to be exact I think. Here's what's happened since:

This sweet girl was awarded Student of the Month....AGAIN. That's right, she was also the first in her class to receive it (as was Mariah) back in September. And already her teacher felt she deserved it again. So proud!

That same day (night actually) was her Drill Team christmas party. It was really really could NOT find a group of cuter, sweeter girls than this...seriously:
Church Christmas dinner:
Previously unrealized reason #165 why having 3 kids is way harder than 1:
I had to make SIXTY of these things! I wanted to make something for the girls' classmates, and I didn't want it to be candy. So I ordered some trinkets from Oriental Trading, used my Sizzix Bigshot to create a bag topper, and voila. It was a nice idea but when I was 40 into it I thought maybe I'm going to have to give up and just hand out candybars next year. It was a lot of work! But I remember, from my own childhood, every Easter my mom would make these cute little Easter Bunnies out of regular washclothes, with a spot in the middle for a plastic easter egg. And I would hand them out to my class every year and the kids (and parents) loved them and I felt special for giving them. So I wanted to do something similar for the girls, but one classroom x 3 ends up being a whole heck of a lot of gift baggies!
Christmas Eve @ Nana's:
Cousins (the Kamenski & Howard girls):
Notice Mallory is the only one running around in this pic, and that's because both Mariah & Arissa had some sort of stomach flu and were throwing up the whole day and during the party:
Here's a poor quality picture of the "big" presents I was so proud of wrapping. Each year we make the basically the same thing for Nana, Grandma, my Dad, and Jesse's Grandma. This year it was a framed collage picture of the girls. I found this pretty foil wrapping paper, and in each of the bows I put a little something shiny, and a bell so that the package jingled:

Some of my crocheted little guys that we gave away for Christmas:
To Frances Warren:
For Gary's niece Janae (sp?):
Christmas morning:
And now, it's my pleasure to present to you......
The brave girl w/ one less tooth!!!
Well actually the replacement tooth is already in so I guess that leaves her even! :O) She was so brave, she asked Jesse to try and "work" on her tooth, and he wiggled and pulled, and she just stood there like a little trooper. No tears, no shouts, just "come on daddy, get it out!".
And out it came. And then the toothfairy paid a visit last night, and left a lovely dollar bill in it's place. And tonight we're having popcorn in little paper "bowls" that I made out of cardstock in the shape of teeth. :O)

my next knitting project?

How cute is this!?
It's a wee knitted Barack Obama, if you couldn't tell.

It reminds me of the Sesame Street puppet characters, รก la Bert & Ernie. :O)

christmas came early

This is what our house looks like from the front (plus we've added one of those lit-up reindeer that moves its head from side to side):

Jesse did it all himself. I LOVE it, I honestly wish we could keep up at least some of the lights all year long. One year we did do that, but we got made fun of (mostly by our neighbors!) :O).
Mallory had a Christmas recital at preschool. Was I able to capture a single non-blurry shot? of course not. But at least I don't have to blur out the other kids lovely camera did that for me:
She sang "Mary did you know?". It was very cute. At different points in the song, she seemed to not be concerned with 'performing', and was just lost in the song, singing and swaying and just feelin' it in general! I don't know if the teacher instructed her to keep her hands folded like that, but that's how she was most of the time. :O)
Jesse brought the girls to his work for a Christmas party:
(Mallory doesn't like Santa! Thus, no picture of her.)
Arissa had 2 back-to-back performances Sunday. A parade (for which the team won FIRST PLACE!!!), and a show at Viejas. It was freezing cold, but the girls did great. Arissa was second place in the drill down, she always makes me so proud!!!
Jesse & Mallory watching the performance:

Me & Mallory:
(no picutres of the actual performance because once you've seen one picture of Arissa performing, you've seen them all....they all look the same in photos. But if you'd been there in person, you would have been very impressed, I'm sure!)

And here's how Christmas came early at our house:

His name is Jackson Russo Howard, and he's about 6 weeks old. We bought him from some people in front of the grocery store. We set up an area in the bathroom for him, with some food and water and stuff, and he ate a wee bit. But Sunday night he was especially whiny and yippy....and just plain obnoxious. I researched on the internet Monday, and found lots of information but one site summed it up best with "Only an idiot would buy a puppy under 8 weeks old!". Apparently they're not supposed to be seperated from their mom until at least 8 weeks old. And also apparently if they are seperated from mom, they have to be BOTTLE FED. So he was being a stinker because he was starving....he hadn't eaten more than a bite since Saturday. So last night Jesse got some puppy milk formula, we put it in a baby bottle, and I sat for an hour and fed the sweet little guy. It was so satisfying to see him go from a squirmy, starving, crazy a sweet little angel fast asleep in my arms.

And lastly, yesterday was my birthday. Saturday night my dad took me to The Brigantine, where I had THE MOST DELICIOUS clam chowder & ceasar salad that I've ever had. He said the sky was the limit, I could order as much as I wanted, including wine or such, but I was quite happy w/ my Dr. Pepper. :o) I felt like such a little kid at this nice, fancy restaurant, $25 a plate, wine reccomendations with every dish on the menu, and when the waitress asks me what I'd like, I go "what kind of soft drinks do you have?". Anyway, we had a really nice time.
Sunday night Jesse gave me his gift:

the DVD of Mariah Carey's last tour, which attended when she came here to San Diego! Love it!! Except I realized I can't really watch it when the girls are around, because Mariah Carey performs like half of the concert in a certain "costume" that, to 3 sweet little girls, looks like she's basically just singing her underwear. :o) Jesse, on the other hand, has no problem with it. Go figure.
The girls each drew me a sweet little picture, and sang to me, and got me a cheesecake which we ate for dessert.
My Nana gave me a card & some money to buy clothes, and she also made us Chicken Noodle Soup so that I didn't have to cook dinner. It was hot and ready to go as soon as I picked up the girls. That's service!
My mother-in-law stopped by and brought me a cute handmade card and the most beautiful Christmas's so christmas-y.....the blooms are white, the plant itself is green of course, and the pot is red. It's really gorgeous.
And a couple of my friends from my old office sent me cards, which I thought was sweet of them to even remember. Especially around this time of year, there's so much going on, half the time I don't really remember my birthday until it creeps up on me!
And lastly, it rained and was cloudy ALL day, which I consider my birthday gift from Heavenly Father. :o) And I did thank him very much for it, cause it made for a really perfect day (especially since I got to stay indoors most the day and I didn't have to drive around in it!).

It's probably just a matter of time before this guy makes a special appearance on this show:

No, not really. But Jesse does seem to have many random run-ins with 'the law'. Luckily, in a good way.

Last night, he witnessed, reported, and identified the suspect in an armed robbery! Apparently he saw a man riding a bike while holding a gun, going into a liquor store, then coming out and running into a house. He called 911, the police showed up, Jesse jumped in the squad car and rode along while they trailed the suspect, then identified him and watched as the police took him off to jail. Apparently the guy had a wad of cash on him too. So exciting!

And then once before, Jesse himself got robbed at gunpoint while he was delivering pizzas! And one time he got kidnapped from our local taco shop, but he didn't report that to the police so I guess that's neither here nor there.

But anyways, next time you see Jesse, you might want to shake his hand and thank him for making the streets of San Diego a little bit safer! :O)

Tired with a capital "T"!

I haven't been as tired as I was Saturday in a LONG time!

Arissa had 2 parades, one in the morning and one in the evening. Jesse and I ran down the sidewalks alongside the girls as they marched...taking pictures and cheering when we could catch our breath. Before the 2nd parade, the girls took time to try and sell a bit of their recent fundraiser to the crowds on the street, which basically meant we had to walk a whole parade route 3 times! By the time we got home, our feet were aching, our faces hurt from all the smiling & laughing, and we were just exhausted!

Nana & M&M waiting for the first parade to begin:


After lunch, with her team friends:

Between parades, and after lunch, the team did a little photoshoot in the park:

2nd parade...lined up and ready to go:

Luckily it wasn't too cold, and it was fun enough that Arissa didn't realize how tired she was until she got in the car and fell asleep. And we get to do it all again this weekend, with two different but same-day performances!

Sweet with a capital "S"!

My little Mariah is so very sweet. She's so motherly and kind.

On Friday night, I was feeling down and she noticed I was crying. She came out of the room (where she'd been watching tv) and asked me what was wrong. Note: As soon as she noticed something was wrong, she used her soft sweet the way you'd talk to a baby or a kitten or something.

And this is the rest:

me: "oh, nothing, i'm fine. I'm just a little sad."

mariah: "do you miss your mama?"

me: "yeah"

mariah: rubs my arm, looks around, thinks, then says "if a pin pokes us, do we die?"

me: "you mean like a needle? no, that wouldn't make us die. how come?"

mariah: "cause I want you to die so you can be with your mama, you miss your mama."

me: "oh, but I don't want to die, I'd rather be here with you guys"

mariah: still in that super sweet, high voice "well its okay, we won't miss you, we have your picture"

:o) needless to say, I was fine after that. What a sweet girl!


Seems like I neglect to post for weeks on end...and then I finally upload like 90 pictures and it totally overloads my server or whatever and it takes forever! Oh well!

Random happenings, in somewhat of an order:

This sweet girl is losing a tooth! This is probably the most unflattering photo of the 20 I took of her, and yet it's the only one where you can actually see the tooth.

Thanksgiving was lovely! Starting with the was rainy and cloudy and cool, I LOVED IT. Dinner was fabulous, as always. There was lots of talking and laughing and hanging out with family. I don't know how my Nana manages to cook for 15 people at her age, but I'm glad she does. My poor family is going to really miss her Thanksgiving meals when it's all bestowed upon me someday. :O)

Friday Jesse got up early (before 10am!) and started working on the star. And yes I joke about him getting up "early", but to his credit, he really did spend mostly the entire day working on that star, and the lights, and everything.

This only lasted for about 5 minutes and my nerves couldn't take it anymore, so down they came:

We also put up all our Christmas decorations, and our lovely tree (not pictured):

Hallelujah! I told myself I wanted to get all my Christmas cards & gifts done by the beginning of December so that I can spend the next 25 days enjoying myself and having fun with the girls...not worrying about what I haven't gotten done yet. And for the most part, I did it and I'm proud of myself! Cards are done, though not in the mail till this coming weekend:

2008 is going to be a truly "handmade Christmas"'s just a few of what I've been making for the children in our family and our close friends' children:

And here's where the "random" part of this post comes in I guess:
How cute are these guys? (Mallory & Jesse):

And how freaking disgusting is this guy, who decided to spin a web connecting from my hydrangeas, to our window awning....right in a prime spot for me to stick my head through it when I turn on our hose???!!! I shudder everytime I think of the scene (and noise) that would have resulted had that actually happened!.....

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