5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas with the cousins

Christmas Morning

It was an *early* Christmas morning this year. Kaylee woke up at 6:00 a.m. and saw that Santa had come. I invited her to cuddle with me in bed because "you don't even get up this early for school." She climbed in with me and was about to drift back off to sleep when at about 6:20 Keithen and Ruby woke up and began making lots of excited noise and turning on every light in the house. So.....Christmas morning arrived! LOL!

Ruby was excited that she got 2 pairs of earings in her stocking. She had not changed her earings since she got them pierced in August. I tried several times on Christmas Day to help her change them, but she was too chicken to let me take the old ones out.

Kaylee has actually spent a good deal of time writing stories in this journal already.

New Webkinz!

Ruby opens her Hannah Montana dolls. (Hannah, Lily and Oliver all in one box.) She was very excited to find those under the tree!

The girls prepare to open their HUGE box. It has Barbie furniture in it for when Pappy brings up their new dollhouse.

Keithen with his new "pet" - the Roboraptor.

Ruby spent a good deal of Christmas morning playing with her gymnast Barbies from Grandpa John.

Matt swears this will be remembered as the Christmas that we finished opening gifts before the sun was fully up.

Christmas Eve

Opening presents on Christmas Eve.

The girls waiting to see the big surprise from Mamaw Betty.

New PJ's for Christmas Eve.

Keithen's play

Keithen's holiday play was last week. He was one of the dancers in a couple of the numbers and sang with the group for the rest of the show. You could really tell that they had all worked very hard on their production and that they were having lots of fun. They really did a great job.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Recommended reading

Here is a list of some of the historical fiction books I've read over the last couple of years.

Philippa Gregory is my favorite. Some of her books.....
- The Constant Princess (about Katherine of Aragon)
- The Other Boleyn Girl (about Mary & Anne Boleyn - will be a movie after the first of the new year!)
- The Virgin's Lover (about Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley)
- The Boleyn Inheritance (about Anne of Cleeves, Catherine Howard and Jane Rochford)
- The Queen's Fool (covers both the time of Queen Mary & Elizabeth I)
- A Respectable Trade (slave trade in 1787 London)

Robin Maxwell is another one.....
- The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
- Virgin: Prelude to the Throne
- The Queen's Bastard (about the possibility that Elizabeth I and Robin Dudley secretly had a child)
- To the Tower Born (the two princes in the tower)
- Mademoiselle Boleyn (her newest book which I just finished - covers the years that Anne and Mary Boleyn were at the French Court)

Slightly different period, but I enjoyed The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson. She also wrote "The Last Wife of Henry VIII."

I recently finished both Margaret George's "Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles" and "The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers." Both are good but L-O-N-G (like 800+ pages) and kind of slow-going.

I'm currently reading "The Perfect Royal Mistress" by Diane Haeger. It's about actress Nell Gwynne who was mistress to King Charles II.

I think it's been really interesting reading a lot of books by different authors about this same period in history and seeing the different portrayals of the relationships of the same group of people. Who is sympathetic to Anne Boleyn? Is she seen as smart and coniving or as a pawn of the men in her family who want to gain power through her? Who portrays Henry VIII as a tantrum-throwing tyrant? Who thinks Elizabeth I was really the pure virgin queen and who thinks she was Robin's lover?

Monday, December 10, 2007

My holiday helper

Ruby helped me to make our white trash this weekend. I'm sure she'll be heavily involved in all the other candy making I have scheduled for this week!

The Children's Museum

Last Thursday was a half-day of school, which meant it was time for our annual trip to The Children's Museum to go down the Yule Slide and visit with Santa. We almost didn't get to go because Keithen forgot that he was a car rider and got on the bus! We drove to his school to get him and then had to go back home to meet the bus.

Playing catch up

I'm way behind on posting Advent pictures!

On the 5th day of Advent.....Grandma gave to us.....holiday placemats.

On the 6th day of Advent.....little stuffed animals.

On the 7th day of Advent.....crayons and colored chalk.

On the 8th day of Advent.....Keithen got a stuffed soccer ball and the girls got plush crayons.

On the 9th day of Advent.....Keithen got a Koosh ball and the girls got holiday magnets.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Holiday funnies

Click the images to see them bigger.

I thought Jason over at Four Square might appreciate this first one.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Check out my little elves.....

Hey, I just made a total elf of myself. (Well, actually the kids.)

Check it out by clicking the link below.

This elfin' greeting brought to you by OfficeMax.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jericho fans.....series returns in February!

Jericho (the CBS drama that was revived after a huge outpouring of support from loyal fans) will return with a shortened second season at 10 p.m. (Eastern/Pacific) on Feb. 12. With only seven episodes, “Jericho” will likely be the first (only?) major network show to complete its full 2007-08 season because all the others have been hijacked by the strike. All seven “Jericho” episodes are filmed, edited and ready for air, so it's anticipated to air without interruption!

Ruby's ballet recital

Today was Ruby's first recital in her intermediate ballet class. She did a pretty good job considering that she missed 2 out of 6 classes when we were out of town in November. I'm anxious to see how she does after the first of the year with a little more instruction.
Miss Johanna said she could tell I'd been working with her on "walking like a dancer." They are supposed to walk toe-heal, pointing their toes and turned out. (Fourth position.) I swear that, during this part of the class, most of the girls look like a gaggle of 4-6 year olds trying to walk a straight line on the side of the road for the state trooper instead of the elegant image they should be projecting. They need a *little* more work on that skill. Who would have thought that walking would have been such a hard thing to learn?
After class we stopped by The Flying Cupcake on Anne's recommendation. It is a very cute little locally-owned bakery and the employees were very friendly. We had some yummy chocolate cupcakes with ice cream. (Notice the ballerina on top of Ruby's cupcake!) If you're in the area (5617 N. Illinois Street) we highly recommend stopping by for some dessert!

On the 3rd & 4th day of Advent.....

Keithen had to play catch up on his Advent gifts today. He has actually not been allowed to open any of his yet as he was behind on homework. Tuesday night he finally caught up so Wednesday morning he got to open his first 4 presents.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's here again.....Advent season!

Those of you who have read my blog for a year or more probably know all about the highly anticipated "Advent boxes" that Grandma Dollar prepares for the kids each year. Well, yesterday was the start of Advent presents! Each day in December prior to Christmas, the kids get to open a numbered present from their Advent box. (This year she did bags instead.) So far they have gotten these really neat little Chinese dragons and a sketchbook with colored pencils.