Monday, December 29, 2008

If you are addicted to Steep and Cheap, like I am and own a mac, check out this notifier by Hunter Research and Technology:

Currently, being in Colorado only fuels the fire for outdoor gear, Missouri will douse the fire soon enough.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here are some favorites from our Christmas in Colorado with my side of the family...

Friday, December 19, 2008

You have to love the last day of class before Christmas Break. Thanks for the cider and cookies Alyssa. Here's Ms. Hagemann (my co-teacher) rocking out with our reading kiddos.

(Posted through Gmail, I'm a nerd)
Hugs for the Lindman girls. They were out of town on and off for a month... so we were so excited to see them! Carter is actually saying goodbye in these pictures... before we all headed out of town for Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We decided to celebrate Christmas early with the guys this year since we are going to be gone on the actual day...

Besides it being the night before their last day of finals... we had an amazing time. Our church (for the 2nd year!) donated an incredible amount of gift cards so we could buy gifts for the guys. It was such a sweet time together. I'm feeling more and more sentimental as we get closer to graduation day... so it was hard not to shed a few tears. Especially after reading the card they gave us that said...

You've given me
more happy days
than I can count...

and I love you

in more ways
than I can say.

It was one of those cards where they could record their voices. They each recorded their name and then said... "We love you!" I cried. That was by far the best gift we could have ever received.

Another thing we did differently this year was Secret Santa. We reserved a few of the Wal-Mart gift cards we received so they could shop for each other. They insisted on adding our three names into the mix as well. That was really fun... and a little crazy since we were all shopping for each other in the same store at the same time.

Fred ended up with Carter's name and knew from the time he drew his name what he was going to get him. Carter was so excited that he was shaking when he opened up the fire truck. He took it to bed with him that night and then I eventually had to go up and take it away because he kept pushing the buttons that made the lights and sirens go off.

I got Tyre a basketball, Tyre got Jeff headphones and a poster that's a text message dictionary, Carter gave me hot chocolate and little mugs, J gave Dan socks and headphones, Steven gave Fred a model car, and Dan gave Steven a bag of baseballs.

Another special part to the night was their stockings. About a week ago a Young Professionals organization held a fundraiser for Joe's Place. They asked us for gift ideas for the guys. One thing that Dan and I have had on our minds for the last couple of months is Letterman's Jackets. The 3 seniors have all been very involved with sports. They've never talked about the jackets... but we knew it would be a special thing for them to have as they wrap up their high school years. The group ended up raising enough money for a jacket for each of the 4 guys (Ty's will be a winter coat from a store of his choosing). Dan printed off pictures (thanks for the idea JL!) and put them in envelopes in each of their stockings. They went nuts when they opened them! So... when everyone is back from break we'll be heading to the store to order them. I can't wait!

I couldn't leave out Carter opening his stocking full of $ store treasures! :) He was just as excited as the guys with his stocking.

It was the perfect night to end our semester with these 4 special guys.
We have had a crazy 3 weeks... so I'll hopefully be updating a lot before we head out of town next week. The guys check out for two weeks tomorrow afternoon. I always have mixed feelings about that... but I do have to say that I won't miss having to lecture a certain someone about putting another someone in the dryer and deep freeze (a side note... both can be easily opened from the inside... but we will be locking the deep freeze from now on). Never a dull moment.

Just thought I would put up a quick pic of this little guy. He brings us so much joy and continues to amaze us every day. He wakes up every morning with a "Good Mornin!" and an "I sleep good." He really just wants to get past our questions quickly so he can head downstairs to his trucks and cars. This is one of our few pictures of him looking and smiling at the camera.

A sugar cookie making we will go...

We figured it would be messy so we just matched the icing color to Carter's shirt! Not a bad idea! :)

He had to eat the sprinkles off the cookie one by one before he could enjoy his first bite!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tyre's meal tonight was awesome and a little surprising. His main dish was a chicken salad. Actually it probably wasn't so surprising when he mentioned he was creating a McDonald's meal. We had salad, skinny french fries, and milk shakes for dessert. He originally wanted the milk shake to be the meal... which I'm sure no one would have complained about! It was great... and he also used the grill to cook his meat!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Around this time of year there are always a lot of things at school that cost money... gift exchanges, secret santa, teacher gifts... etc. I wanted to make sure the guys had gifts for these things... but thought they would have more fun making something rather than buying a gift. A friend's daughter gave me a bag of chocolate covered pretzels as a Sunday School helper gift recently. I thought it was such a great idea... so that's what we did. I just wasn't prepared for how "into it" the guys would get... and how much of a mess it would make. I think I'll be finding sprinkles in our kitchen well into the New Year! Still... the mess was totally worth it to see Tyre perfectly melting chocolate in the double boiler! I'm guessing there are not many 13 year olds that can list that as one of their skills!

Dan was at a fundraiser that night... we had to call and tell him to stop and bring home MORE CHOCOLATE!
The drying process. I should have counted how many we ended up making.

I was super impressed with each of the guys... but the next day before school Tyre made sure all of the wax paper was cleaned up and thrown away before he headed out to school... without me even saying anything! You gotta love that!