Category Archives: Family

Snow Day

When the snow is good, I love everything about a snow day.  I’m probably just as excited as the kids when school is called off.  I absolutely LOVE snow.  Of course, since I don’t have a typical job, I don’t have to get out in it, which as I remember is a total bummer.  Aside from that, snow is wonderful.  From the first beautiful snowflake floating down from the heavens, to packing billions of snowflakes together for forts, snowballs, or a snowman, to making snow angels while cold wet flakes land and melt on your face, to the hot cocoa after coming into a warm house & peeling wet clothes off the kids…I love it all.  Most of all, I love sharing the experience with my kids.  I hope these are the kind of things they remember forever.

Today, we bundled up – 3 shirts, 2 pants, soccer socks, hats, gloves, coats…we quite resembled Randy Parker from A Christmas Story. (I wear my snowboarding gear, so I can stay out longer…and the snowboarding boots are heavy & give me quite a workout!)

Decked out in all my layers & crazy heavy boots!

Outside, we started building a snowman, but ball #2 fell apart so it turned into a snowblob that they just climbed on.

Chubbs standing on the 'Snow Tower' aka snowman fail.

Princess2T lookin' pretty!

The kids made snow angels, attacked Pickle while she was posing for a close-up, and ran around flinging snowballs.

Froggy making a snow angel.

Pickle being attacked!

Snowball Fight!

After a little over an hour, I came in & started the 3 different versions of cocoa…gotta love having kids with conflicting allergies!  They stayed out about 15 more minutes and then were ready for cocoa.  They thoroughly enjoyed the cocoa, especially the adorable gingerbread man & snowman marshmallows!

Mmmmm...Hot Cocoa, Hot Vanilla, & Hot Cocoa w/ Soy!

Gingerbread Man & Snowman Marshmallows

Here’s the recipes for the cocoa’s I made:

Mexican Hot Cocoa – (for me and the ‘normal’ children)

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. baking cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 1/3 C milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, & cinnamon.
  2. Over medium heat, gradually stir in milk & stir constantly until hot, do NOT boil.
  3. Remove from heat & stir in vanilla extract.  Beat w/ wire whisk until frothy.
  4. Pour into mugs, garnish w/ marshmallows, serve immediately & enjoy!

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Hot Vanilla – (for Chubbs who’s allergic to chocolate & soy)

3/4 C milk

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Heat milk to just below boiling point, approx. 1 1/2 min. in microwave safe measuring cup.
  2. Stir in sugar, vanilla, & cinnamon.
  3. Garnish w/ marshmallows & extra cinnamon if desired.
  4. Serve immediately.

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Hot Cocoa w/ Soy Milk – (For Pickle who’s allergic to milk)

1 C soy milk

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. baking cocoa powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe mug.
  2. Heat to just below boiling point, approx. 1 1/2 min.
  3. Garnish w/ marshmallows, serve immediately, & enjoy!

To-Do Tuesday

Okay, so I haven’t done one of these in awhile.  That doesn’t mean I’ve been slacking!  My To-Do List resembles what you would imagine Santa’s list of children to look like…an infinite list of line after line of tasks to complete.  Not only do I have my day-to-day duties, which I’ve been keeping up with fairly well, but I have a vacation to plan, and also things I have somehow volunteered myself to do.  Why do I pile stuff up so high on my plate? Am I a glutton for punishment? Do I want to keep busy so I don’t worry about issues I have no control over? Am I just a little crazy? I have no clue. It may be one, all or none of those…who knows?  Anyways, here is the condensed version of my To-Do List for the week.

1. Keep up with exercise. (Doing great so far…haven’t missed a day yet, AND I’m extremely sore.)
2. Keep up with housework.
3. Work on closet.
4. Stick to menu plan.
5. Complete pre-vacation shopping. (Including a car-top cargo carrier.)
6. Make hair appointment to rescue my face from my mop of hair & add a little “summer” color. ;)
7. Discuss & finalize certain vacation plans w/ Greg & FL family.
8. Take Grayson to the Library.
9. Take time for myself…read, get some sun, etc.
10. Finish vacation lists. (If I prepare like I have and end up forgetting something vital, I’m gonna be beyond ticked.)
11. Prepare for Mom’s visit. (The week before we leave for vacation…maybe I’ll enlist her help w/ vacation prep…hehe.)
12. Finish personalizing/updating Trinity’s cell phone. (Already had to order a replacement…not her fault, phone defect.)
13. Post actual life content on my blog. I have so many blog posts floating around in my head, but haven’t had the time to actually write them.

I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

The countdown has begun…

The countdown has begun.

I’ve slowly been planning this vacation since January. A few things have changed, but nothing major. Our hotel is booked.


Our drive is roughly mapped (with a few scenic/fun detours along the way). I’ve purchased almost everything we will need…still hoping to get cool sun hats for all the girls & boonie covers for the guys. We are crazy excited to see family I haven’t seen in about 7 years, and Greg & 3/4 of the kids have never even met.

I’m ready for my babies to see the vastness of the ocean, smell the salt in the breeze, feel the beach sand between their tiny toes for the first time. Of course, they’ve seen pictures of where we’re going, but you can never really grasp the awesomeness of how large and wonderful God’s creation is unless you see it with your own eyes. It’s the same way with the mountains, you know their big, but you don’t understand until you actually see them up close.

We have some pretty cool things planned that the kids have no clue about in addition to lots of beach time…I’ll be posting about those surprises while we’re there. Overall, we will be driving for a total of about 2500 miles/44 hours, and I think I have that covered as well…random games/activities, snacks, and DS’s for each child, complete with car chargers. I may have over-prepared, but it’s better to do that then have to hear ‘Are we there yet?’ 12 bazillion times over the course of our trip. I’m sure we will still hear that dreaded question, but hopefully my preparation will minimize the quantity. Aside from our safety, I’m praying for our sanity…either I’ve done a great job to prepare for this adventure, or I’ve lost my stinking mind taking 4 kids half way across the country.

New Year = New Goals

Rather than start the year out with resolutions which tend to be broken within a couple weeks of making, we have decided as a family to make a goal chart. We each have come up with a list of things we would like to either change or accomplish this year individually and as a family. Having this goal chart in a central place to remind us and keep us accountable, will hopefully help us to achieve the greatness we are striving for this year. As a bonus, I am posting it online as well to keep myself in check. So, here is the long awaited Alexander (and Trinity B.) Family 2010 Goal Chart!

Family Goals:
Stick to the budget, spend more time together, grow in Christ as a family, study the Bible together, less yelling/arguing.
Individual Goals:
Greg – Read/study Bible daily, lead a family Bible study, spend more alone 1 on 1 time with kids,
talk to or lead at least one person to Christ every 2 months, drink more water.
Jess – Read/study my Bible daily, exercise 3x/week, follow Flylady plan, eat healthier, finish ALL uncompleted craft projects, open an Etsy store, stick with habit chart.
Trinity – Read/study Bible daily, get all A’s & B’s for the rest of the school year, learn Calligraphy, learn to do a back bend and to properly do a cartwheel, be obedient, follow chore chart, learn to swim.
Kylie – learn to ride my bike without training wheels, join Girl Scouts, read/study Bible daily, learn to swim, exercise daily & eat healthier.
Kara – learn to ride my bike without training wheels, become an independent reader, learn to tell time, learn to swim, join Girl Scouts, exercise daily.
Grayson – follow chore chart, be obedient, write my name all by myself.
We are striving to accomplish all these goals this year (a couple of the kids’ goals are not completely under our control, but we are going to do our best to help them achieve these) and hope to be adding more goals regularly as the year progresses. Don’t be surprised if you see a revamped Goal Chart sometime in the next several months…we are making it happen in 2010!

Adventures w/ the Fam ~ Part 2

For July 4th festivities, we went to Bull Shoals. We originally planned on meeting some friends and enjoying the fireworks from the Golf Course, but it didn’t work out as planned. Before leaving the house, we pattied up ranch burgers and filled the coolers with random food including ingredients for S’mores…YUM! We had to run into Wal-mart for a couple last minute items, and had the bright idea of grabbing a little grill just in case there weren’t any open. This turned into a 15 minute (at least) ordeal, where we had to grab utensils, a screwdriver, and charcoal. Luckily we got a great spot with a large picnic table and grill right next to the playground. I’m pretty sure if we had to assemble the small grill it would have been after dark before we even got started on the burgers.

The kids tossed around a football, played with ‘sand castle toys’ in the gravel, and enjoyed the playground.
The fireworks were quite nice, and Grayson actually got used to the explosions and enjoyed them.
Traffic wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be…I’m used to watching the fireworks show at Celebrate Freedom in Texas and fighting 200,000 other people trying to get home.
Of course we had a ‘photo shoot’ the day that Mom, Nicki, Johnny & Madi left…this consisted of cute pictures of Grayson hugging and kissing Madi (an often times unwilling recipient of his affections),
funny pictures like us asking them ‘Where’s your Be-Bo? (bellybutton),
nice pictures of Mimi with all her grand babies,
and then the ever popular ‘Can we do a silly one?’ Where everyone makes funny faces and/or acts like a weirdo.
And you wonder where I get it…

Memory Lane Monday

My brother came from Texas this weekend to play at a friend’s anniversary party, and I got to spend a couple hours with him and his girlfriend, Shay.  The kids absolutely love them…Grayson takes a bit to warm up to Dylan, but he always comes around.  I really wish they lived closer.  While they were here, the kids literally attacked them.  They had a ponytail holder war, a tickle battle, and once Shay finally passed out from sheer exhaustion, they covered her head with Webkinz.

A stray shot from a ponytail holder into the ceiling fan brought up memories of throwing socks into the fan as kids and watching them fly.  These memories brought up flashbacks of several creative ways we used to entertain ourselves as kids.  We lived on a dirt road, with no friends close by, so all we had was each other.  My being almost 6 years older than Dylan, and 9 1/2 years older than Nicki was a little rough, but we had fun.  I remember searching through pea gravel for shells, smashing ‘sand rocks’ into piles of assorted colors, feeding ants to ant lions, and many other forms of self sustaining entertainment.  
I also came to the realization that my kids can be quite annoying.  K1 becomes unsociable and disappears for like half an hour…playing Lego’s by herself which she has never done before today.  K2 acts like she’s never seen another human being outside of our family and tends to attach herself to guests like a leech – hanging on them, talking two inches from their face, ignoring their pleas of ‘Okay, that’s enough‘ and thrusting herself into their personal space just-one-more-time.  
T, trying to be grown up, includes herself in every conversation asking nonsense questions and trying to show people things they already know. (She might get the whole jabber box thing from me…just sayin‘.)
G throws things at people rather than handing them the object, in an unsuccessful attempt to stay far enough away from our guests to not be captured and smothered in hugs and kisses.  
I, for one, cherish the time I get to spend with my family since they all live so far away.  
I would never do things like:
1. Gripe about him arriving too late to attend church with me.
2. Discuss impersonal subjects like iPhone apps, car stereo systems, social networking sites, among other techish topics.
3. Attempt to solicit a sale of a super cool duct tape wallet I recently created.
In all seriousness, we get along quite well.  We aren’t super close, but we are closer than many other brothers and sisters I know.  We harass each other…he makes comments about my haircut being a ‘fat person’ haircut, and I tease him about looking like a scary girl, but it’s all in fun.  Isn’t that what brothers/sisters are for? 
 
Can’t you feel the love?!