Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We got Stella a special pair of house shoes with Princesses on them for decorating the tree.
Cameron helping Stella decorate her tiny tree
our big tree... with MOST of the decorations.

Stella's 'Charlie Brown' tree!

I love decorating for the holidays. The weather has been unseasonably warm, which may be why I wanted to put up my tree so early. I am posting these pictures now, but the truth is, I put up my tree on the 10th. Ridiculous, I know! Taylor said that Mrs. Claus has already moved in!! We have pine tree and spice candles going constantly, and the inevitable cookie baking has already begun. I stayed up till midnight last night making 4 dozen "Girl Scout" Peanut butter chocolate cookies. I only ate two while I made them! I was proud of myself. They are supposed to be for Thanksgiving, if there will be any left. I almost put a sign on the container that said "NO COOKIE MONSTERS ALLOWED!" I ended up leaving some out for Taylor so he would stay out of the stash. These cookies are about the easiest thing to make and are so addictive. Proceed with CAUTION!!

"Girl Scout" Peanut Butter Cookies
2 sleeves ritz crackers
peanut butter (you can use JIF reduced fat if you wanna make yourself feel better about it)
1 package chocolate almond bark

On a double boiler, melt almond bark at very low heat. Make sandwiches out of the ritz crackers and peanut butter. Drop into almond bark and remove with flat whisk. (I tap off the excess chocolate) Lay cookie on a sheet of waxed paper to cool. That's it! Cookies for dummies!! They are always a hit at a party, too. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rock Climbing at Lincoln Lake

Hiking the trail

her first boulder... then on to bigger, better things!
Daddy, the badass

She was thrilled! The look on her face is priceless!

my brave little monkey RAPPELLING!!

Last night we had a few friends over for dinner (that's what happens as we get older... more fun to drink wine at home instead of out on the town!) so we weren't planning on doing much more than laying around on Sunday. Our friends Sean and Whitney invited us to go rock climbing and hiking with them at Lincoln Lake, so we thought, why not? I haven't climbed in years... not since before Taylor and I were married and I was trying to impress him. I guess it worked ;) Stella was in a bit of a cranky mood, so she was either happy and laughing, or you could look at her wrong and she would burst into tears. I think we all have days like that, though! So we hiked up a trail (me, carrying Stella and my giant knitting bag, don't know why I thought THAT was neccesary) and ended up at these gorgeous bluffs that were perfect for climbing. Sean went, then Taylor, then Whitney. All the while, Stella is coloring with chalk, snacking, and screaming at granddaddy longlegs. I finally got my chance to climb... and it all came back to me! I love that adrenaline rush when you look down and see how far you came. The scariest part for me was letting go to rappel down. Finally, I let myself go and swung around on the rock to hit the wall. Luckily, there was a ledge and I landed on the rock like it was a seat. I couldn't have planned it better! ha! Stella saw what everyone was doing and decided that she wanted to climb, too. She went for it on a small boulder and climbed it like a monkey. So Sean rigged up a harness (looked a little rickety, but she was safe. Promise.) She started climbing up that giant bluff with no fear! She got pretty high, and finally we made her come down. She cried hard for a few minutes because she didn't want to stop rappelling down the rock. Pretty brave for a 2 1/2 year old! She fell asleep about the minute she hit the car seat. Now we just need to get her a real harness and take her to an indoor climbing wall sometimes! I think she will be a mix of mommy and daddy-- rock climbing in tutus and ruffle socks. Just perfect!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wild times at Devil's Den

our humble abode

the brothers and their girls
Coco and Sophie

The famous Glamour Shot in her new camping vest and headband I knit!

Stella's shirt: "Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink" -Bukowski

Sassy, Coco and Sophie

Stella and Grammy and the campsite
Just got back in to town from our camping trip this weekend at Devil's Den. I am sitting down to blog only after taking a much needed shower! I was a little scared to use the on-site showers. Can you blame me? Anyway, Stella went out with her Grammy and Grandpa on Friday while we went to Shogun with our friends for Taylor Claxton's birthday. We showed up on Saturday morning and set up our tent right next to Stella's mini Dora tent (her "fort") and Al and Kathy's camper. Trevor and Jesse and Brett and Janice were also there and set up their tents across from us. We listened to the game and fished in Lee Creek, where I slipped in my Chacos and busted my a** on a rock! I have a nice big knot on my foot and a little bit of a bruised ego to show for it. Later, we were over at the campsite and Stella was pulling Coco around on her leash. Stella was looking behind her at Coco and laughing when (BRACE YOURSELF) Stella ran straight into the iron fire pit and busted her chin on the rounded edge of the grill. OH my GOD! I was so freaked out! I really thought that her lip was cut straight through. Luckily, I got her calmed down quickly and saw that everything was fine... she does have a little bruise on her chin and a cut inside her lip. Poor baby!! After a loooooong nap, we cooked dinner and had some drinks by the campfire. Taylor and Jerrick came out and we all sat around making smores (I had four by myself, eesh) and telling old stories. My husband has always been a wild one, the way his mom and dad tell it. Now I see where Stella gets it! We put baby to bed and spent the rest of the evening singing every Alabama, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Hank Williams Jr. song we knew, accompanied by Brett's guitar playing. So much fun! We all had a great time, and I can't wait to go again. But next time, I am taking an air mattress and a first aid kit!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sarah Wesley's birthday!

Sarah Wesley is in Stella's class at school and definitely one of her BFF's. She talked about this party for days before AND afterward! All I can say is, the Coopers were genius to have SW's party at a gym. The tinies got to run, jump, scream, tumble and play all they wanted, while eating cake and pizza. And no mess to clean up afterward!! What a great idea...wish I had thought to do that! Happy 2nd, SW!!!! We love you!