Christmas magic

I think the song is right - it is the most wonderful time of the year.  I love all the seasons and the holidays and happenings that occur during them but Christmas brings a certain kind of magic and general feeling of joy and glad tidings.

The weekend before Christmas we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and kicked the fun into high gear.  We started out by Annie and I ice skating while Philip and Denver wandered around the Myriad Gardens and checked all the festive decorations.

Annie enjoyed herself & even did a few rounds away from the wall holding my hand.  

After our skate we hit up Katiebug's which is a food truck in the OKC area that serves all-natural hot chocolate & homemade marshmallows.  This was something I'd been wanting to do for a long time but living in Stillwater we are way out of their area so this was a real treat.

We were able to get our hot chocolate fix and pack along some marshmallows before we left downtown OKC and headed to catch our scheduled ride on the Christmas train.

This was all kinds of fun as they read The Polar Express, sang Christmas carols, and Santa and Mrs. Claus came through our car.

Afterwards we headed to my in-laws where we chatted for awhile, taste-tested ;) Christmas cookies, and admired their fancy tree that I think had lights in sync with music that and it was programmed off of their smartphones.  (What will they think of next?!).

We ended our day by driving through the beautiful Christmas light display at the Yukon park and eating some Italian food. 

It was one of those perfect days that you want to hold tight to every moment and store every precious memory away in your heart because as you experience it you know it will be a time you will look back on with great fondness in the future, and that in the end is some of the real magic of the season.


More cowbell please

So last week was one of those weeks.  Annie ended up fighting strep and flu at the same time and Denver ended up with bilateral ear infections. 
Unfortunately more cowbell would not treat either child's fever effectively #bestSNLskitever https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfD9fWt8hrQ .

Thus both kids ended up on antibiotic and antiviral.  From my observation and experience liquid Tamiflu must taste something like the way sulfur smells because giving it to Denver eventually ended up being similar to waterboarding - but it was all for the greater good and he survived.

Additionally after missing two days of school at the front of the week Annie returned on Thursday and about 10 AM I received a call from the school office and this pic to follow:
Sweet girl fell and hit her head on a chair while dancing to some song and ended up with a bruised eye - but she made it through a full day of school (yes, after a week of off and on fever this was an accomplishment). 

That evening when I went to pick her up from the babysitter she met me with "Mom, I think I have some eczema" and lifted up her shirt to show me a couple of splotchy places on her stomach.  It was dim in the room though and I was in a hurry so I didn't really pay much attention to it. #momfail  Fast forward to four o'clock in the morning - no this is not the time I regularly wake up - but I hear Annie kicking and rolling around and when I check on her she is now puffy has a rash EVERYWHERE.  Arms, ears, face, feet, hands - all over and it's firey red and swollen.  Unfortunately, it was not the eczema but was in fact Roseola.  Needless to say, she got an early start to her weekend and spent Friday at home in her pjs.  
She's a trooper though and after some rest she undertook the task of putting together her gingerbread house.
Pesky brother...
Friday evening she was feeling better and by the time the rash breaks out with Roseola you are no longer contagious anyway so she went to a friend's birthday party where she got to enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus and decorate a cupcake. 

Denver closed out the week in this manner...
Saturday morning Annie awoke and while she felt much better her rash was lingering
but the above picture just goes to show what a pleasant little patient she is.  As the day went on she improved by leaps and bounds and because her dad is apparently in the know he had found out Elsa and Anna would be in town so we went and hunted them down.
As you can tell, she was impressed and the celebrity encounter may have been just what the doctor ordered.  We also got to enjoy a carriage ride downtown that afternoon (there are no pictures of that as Denver was unsure of a motorized carriage with a horse attached to it, rightly so, and I was busy convincing him the whole time that the ride was enjoyable).

That evening we did some Christmas baking for teachers and friends. 

Annie clearly knows how to weld a rolling pin.
Denver clearly knows that butter, sugar, and cinnamon bits are a good combo...
Sunday after church Annie went to her good friend Sadie's Princess Spa party where she got a full beauty treatment (you don't know beauty until you have 4-5 year-olds picking out their own color pallets)
and then we rounded out or weekend with It's a Wonderful Life on TV while two jolly little kids ran around fully recovered from their week of illness.
Good news is fingers-crossed we've been exposed and treated for everything and will be healthy and happy as Christmas rolls our way in the coming week.


Weekend of Thanks 2014

A funny thing about traditions in my life is that they just kind of happen spontaneously.  For the most part I look back after a few years and realize something has become an annual event without any planning which blows my TypeA-plan-everything-out-to-the-last-minute mind but is just another way I'm constantly reminded that I really have no control over all this and I'm thankful God is handling it all for me.

All that goes to say that we alternate Thanksgiving Day between our families annually.  This year it was Goodman Thanksgiving but the good thing about our regional location is that we can usually mix and mingle both families a bit which works out nicely.  We started by going to Yukon the day before Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving Eve, if you will) to Philip's grandparents to see Uncle Tim since he comes in from Chicago for turkey day.

Here would be the appropriate place to put a picture of the kids with Tim and the great-grandparents but as is painfully obvious I'm not very good at getting pictures of key moments.  Anyway, we were able to have good visit after we strapped Denver in the new high chair Granddad bought to keep him from destroying all the breakables...

Yes, I kid, but he was more manageable here and seemed to enjoy the seat. :) 

We then headed up to Woodward and the late hour of our arrival did nothing to dampen the spirits of one of our enthusiastic hosts, Brynn as she squealed with glee much like I'm sure the Pilgrims did when they happened upon Plymouth Rock.

Thanksgiving Day brought the rest of the cousins along with Nana, Papa, Cassey, and Michael.  We all enjoyed a good meal and a relaxing afternoon together.  

For the most part the little ones have begun to reach an age where they all play well together and Denver just kinda follows them around assessing the situation or playing on his own, as noted here.

Black Friday brought some early morning shopping for Jenny and I in downtown Woodward where we got some good deals without clawing through crowds or throwing elbows, but managed to mark nothing off our Christmas lists of things to buy for others.

The Norwood 4 then drove down to Sayre to spend the rest of the weekend at Nana & Papa's.  This consisted of lots of time outside (we couldn't have ordered a better weather weekend),

a suprise party for Willow's 5th birthday,

helping Papa out

(that is if helping means getting in the way, adding more work, drinking his Mt. Dew, and basically reeking havoc).

Of note - until this trip Annie had not been introduced to Papa's favorite drink, Mt. Dew, to my knowledge, much less been given her own can of it.  Shortly after her first taste she knew she'd been deprived.  Wyatt was kind enough to promptly inform her there was an unlimited supply "and Papa doesn't care how many you drink when your workin'!"

The evening was spent spreading Christmas cheer by decorating Nana's Christmas tree.

After church on Sunday we made the trip home (which was met with dismay due to all the fun that had occurred).

We had such a good holiday.  The kids played hard and really enjoyed every minute with their cousins.  I laughed to almost tears a couple of times with my sisters and of course we brought up old and current reminescents that generally come up when everyone is together and we laughed some more.  We have so much to be thankful for and after special long weekends like that with family I realize even more how much my cup overflows.


Annie is 5

I'm not sure how it happened but all of the sudden Annie is 5 years old.

It's been a fast 5 years and although it's cliche, it literally seems like just a few months ago we were bringing her home and starting our journey into parenthood.

Four was a year of transition for Annie.  She had to adjust to sharing attention, time, and life in general with a sibling but as she has done with all of the new experiences she's been handed - she accepted it and flourished.  Her caring nature does not allow her to be upset with her at-times pesky little brother for very long and she is his biggest fan.

Every day it's harder to believe how mature she is along with the things she realizes, questions, and can do on her own.  Watching her grow in all facets of life is one of the greatest privileges of parenting.  We've had some challenges as she discovers more about the world around us and questions why but luckily she gives us grace as we fumble to find answers to soften some of the harsh realities that she's begun to encounter.

She really hit the jackpot on her birthday this year - she started out the day by getting a new bike, it was pajama day at school, I came and did a presentation for her class, and she got to leave early.
The night before her birthday she made a funfetti cake that she could decorate to enjoy on her birthday.  (Thursdays are running club at school hence the marked lines on her arm - each lap they do they get a mark.)  Nothing says a birthday like bright pink artificial frosting and sprinkles that will survive long after the zombie apocalypse.
She was pleased with the end result though and that's all that matters when it comes to birthday magic.
She then opened some gifts and Denver was happy to return the favor of helping her out...
The thing about Friday birthdays with a Saturday party is that essentially you party for days.  Hence the breakfast in bed to welcome the weekend (yes, that is indeed a recycled candle).
Elsa and Anna along with Olaf were some of the famous guests in attendance at the party to go along with our theme.  Denver enjoyed mingling with them, probably because it was finally someone he could tote around instead of being the one man-handled.
The party couldn't start quick enough for these two girls....

We partied at one of Annie's favorite places in town, the Youth Fitness Zone. It's a great place because the kiddos get to run, jump, tumble, and climb which is the perfect compliment to the cake and sugary drinks they consume while there.


The party had lots of Frozen, friends, and fun which in turn resulted in fatigue and a good time being had by all. 

Happy birthday to our (per-her-midterm-report from her teacher) "sweet, inquisitive, kind little girl."  You keep us on our toes and make parenting a pleasure.


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I'm blessed with fun days, happy moments, & precious memories...this is where I store some of them.