The Cookie Party

Saturday we hosted our annual cookie party. We have Sam’s sisters & their families and their aunts and cousins and their kids over and we spend the whole day making cookies and fudge. We had 20 people come. This is the third year we have hosted the cookie party, and it gets bigger every year. We divided all the baked goods up between 10 families and we still each had 2 boxes full of cookies for each of us. We had at least 2 recipes going at a time in the kitchen…which got just a tad bit crowded with all the stuff everyone brought. This year we had the added entertainment of ROSCO the clown. Aunt Suzy won him this summer somehow and decided to have him come to the Cookie Party. It was a blast. He is a really funny clown. We know him from the fairs we go to…we see him every once in a while. The kids loved him and laughed so hard. I think he was here about an hour.
Here are a few pictures from the event.

baby Jasmin – 5 weeks old

My favorite media for drawing is probably ink. I use the Sakura Micron pens. You can get them for like 2.99 at Michaels (and lots of other places, too). They seem to last the longest and come in a variety of colors and sizes. I use black and my favorite size is 02. This drawing was done with the smallest pen size they make 005. I have found that these pens (because the tip is so tiny) actually don’t last very long, which I am disappointed with. But I am hard on my drawing pens and that’s just the way it is. I do love the fine, fine line you can get with these. Today, wanting to draw – and taking a break from making waffles, I happened to find one that still had a tip on it, which is definitely rare! So I drew this picture of baby Jasmin as she was sleeping. She is sleeping in her bouncy seat and looks so cuddly wrapped up in her super soft pink blankie. She is still in her jammies because after everyone left, I laid on the bed to nurse her and we both dozed off till about 10:30. Actually I woke up at 10:30, she is still sleeping! She takes a really long nap in the morning. I guess it’s good. I could be getting lots done around here – if I wasn’t taking advantage of napping time. I figure I have a little over 3 weeks left till I go back to work, I am going to take advantage of nap time, since I will probably rarely get to nap after I start working again! Anyway, I am finding that infants are so hard to draw in pen and ink. It probably would have been a better drawing if I would have used pencil. They have no lines on their face and when you try to shade with crosshatching it is super easy to overwork the face…you have to know when to stop and leave it…and how to put just the right amount of lines in to suggest the depth and shadow. Maybe I will master it some day, but I am afraid today is not that day! Well, I am done being creative for now, and back to my duties as a housekeeper! I have a huge batch of waffles to cook up. Months ago, Sam bought a package of waffle mix from a Waffle House restaurant. He mixed it up last night, so I made waffles for everyone this morning. They are so much better than any store mix we have ever tried! (thanks to the two quarts of half and half we added to the mix) So Sam’s dream is to have a freezer stocked full of Waffle House waffles that we can pull out and toast in our toaster. So I am spending today trying to cook up a restaurant size batch of Waffle House waffle mix. That, and doing laundry, packing up clothes, hopefully cleaning out my closet…you know, having a family of 6, clothes are the hardest thing to keep under control! Changing them out for the season, getting rid of clothes that don’t fit, cleaning them, folding them and putting them away! It’s totally overwhelming to me most of the time. I don’t think I will ever get it under control. Yesterday I tried on 5 pairs of pants before I found 1 that I thought I could live in for the day. My pre-pregnancy weight was 237 (! – I know), after losing 20 pounds in the first week after Jasmin was born, the last 8 have taken a little longer to shed. (I weighed 228 at the end of my pregnancy) I am very excited about losing so much weight, but most of my clothes look huge on me, shirts included. I have very few form fitting shirts, and anything else looks really bad. I am tired of wearing droopy drawers…have to wear belts all the time now. I did buy a pair of 18 jeans with my birthday money, but I didn’t try them on – and while I really do love them – by the end of the day, once they’ve stretched out a little – they are starting to feel saggy too. I wish I had a bunch of money to go out and get new clothes, but that will have to wait because we have a lot of other priorities right now, as you can imagine. It’s ok – as long as I do my laundry often enough! Gotta go, Jasmin is hungry!

My Journal page for today

The drawings I did here are not so great. I used one of Savannah’s school pencils.

In case you can’t read what I wrote…here’s what it says:

Last night I decorated the tree with the kids. I spend a good part of the weekend just putting the lights on and trying to keep it standing up straight! Once that was done and the garland was strung – hanging the ornaments was a breeze. Max and Savannah hung most of them. It’s always fun to unwrap each ornament and remember where it came from, whose it is, and why we like it. Each year our family goes ornament shopping – usually on the same night that we go see the light display at the fairgrounds. We usually get our ornaments from Target, but not always. When we first got married, Art and Penny gave us a collection of vintage ornaments. (Art picked up from a sale) We had some really unique space bulbs that were quite large. We loved those, but most have broken because we were careless with our packing. (We still have all kinds of others – my favorite are the Shiny Brites!) I didn’t really care for the old ornaments at first. They had no sentimental value to me…but now – after hanging on our Christmas tree for 14 Christmases – I value them for their uniqueness and because we have had them the longest. When our kids leave home some day, I hope to be able to give them their own collections of all the ornaments they have chosen (or those we have bought for them) and made since their first Christmas.


You know why I love my blog?…’cause I can vent in a safe way, which I think is very healthy, don’t you?
So I go back to the tree…which now that I have to vent about it, I will have to tell you WHY it is consuming my day. It started out last night. Sam had bought these gold lights last weekend, from an auction – 500 brand new. He wanted them on our tree. They are bright yellow when they are plugged in.
So I go to put them on just the bottom half of our tree (the top half, not yet attached, because it’s easier to string the lights that way) and decide they look weird. I do not want a bright yellow christmas tree. We are used to white lights. So I go digging through my strands of white lights which got thrown into boxes last year when we took down the tree.
Last year, the issue with the tree was that 3 strands of lights burned out…AFTER the tree was decorated. So we spent the whole holiday season with a half lit tree! So I start testing out the white lights and find 2 strings of lights that completely work and 2 that half work and 3 that don’t work at all. Once I start stringing on the white lights with the yellow, I am satisfied…I think this will work. So I get the 2 strands of white on and attach the top and the tree stand bends and the whole thing falls over! So I give up on it for the night.
So this morning – it’s a new day, and I really want this tree up today! I would have put it up a week ago, but Sam made me wait till the carpets were cleaned and the guy had come to fix our pinball machine. So here I am trying to light this tree and I run out of white lights. So I sit down with a strand that is half lit and take out all the burned out lights one by one and replace them with good lights from one of the strings that doesn’t work at all. My dad has the patience for this…I DO NOT! But I did it, and got one more string fully functional. I start putting the yellow lights up on the final top 5 branches, and the tree comes unplugged, because apparently while I was squeezing through the tiny space between the tree and the pinball machine, I brushed the branches enough to turn the tree and pull the plug out. So carefully I try to approach the plug on the opposite side of the tree by squeezing through the space I left between the tree and the wall and as I do that, yep, you guessed it, the entire thing fell over. I thought I had it screwed in tight at the bottom in the 2nd christmas tree stand that I have attempted to use, but apparently it is designed for real trees, not fake ones. So now that it has toppled over and is leaning at a 45 degree angle, propped up by the pinball machine, I don’t know what to do. I think I may need some help with the tree this year. I really want to scream, and would have if my boys hadn’t had insisted on taking their naps on the couches today. Anyway, I had to step away…again…and am seriously considering that maybe it would be better to put the tree up in the middle of the room. I hope I can post a picture of my tree all done by the end of the weekend, but at this point…I don’t even want to look at it! Help! I wish Sam was here – he’s at another auction!

My Obsessive Child

OK, I know, I really shouldn’t be sitting at the computer while the boys and the baby are taking naps. I really should be trying to finish putting the lights on my Christmas tree…which has pretty much consumed my day. I did get some grocery shopping accomplished earlier. We all woke up early (which was not my choice for a Saturday morning – trust me) so I took Karson and Jasmin to the grocery store with me, while Sam and the other two were out passing out fliers around town to promote our church’s christmas play that is being performed next weekend.
You know what really perplexes me…how does my child (it’s Karson I am talking about)have such a obsession for neatness and organization…when I have not even a hint of organizational qualities in me? Don’t you think that normally some of the character traits one develops come from the parents?
Karson just cracks me up with his obsessive behaviors. For example today we were walking by the yogurt in Wal-mart (walking by, not stopping) and he stops and noticed that a container of Yoplait yogurt is in the wrong place…He gets my attention and points it out to me. At first, I was like, who cares? But then seeing that it was important to him that that one container should be stacked with the other containers that matched it, I picked it up and placed it in its rightful place and we moved on and he was happy.
And…the other day, Karson was playing with our Playmobil Advent set (which, by the way, we are not using the boxes for or using it as an advent calendar, because it is really fun to play with – according to Karson), and I noticed that he was spending a lot of time playing with it, and talking to himself while he was playing. He was saying things like, “ok, the star ornament goes on this side and the moon goes on the other side.” Curious about what he was obsessing about this time, I looked to notice that he had laid out on the floor in front of him, the instruction book with the picture of the play set on the front and was carefully placing each tiny piece in the exact positions as it showed in the picture. He spent well over an hour trying to get it exactly right!
I laugh about this now – because it’s just cute for a four year old, but in the back of my mind, I really hope it doesn’t turn into something unhealthy when he grows up.

Christmas Card 2007

Merry Christmas from the Durochers

Inspired by my previous drawing and an idea I found in Family Fun magazine for Christmas cards, here is our Christmas Card for this year. (I will also be sending a Christmas family newsletter along with it).

See if you can find all these items in the picture above:

Savannah’s soccer medal
a tiny soccer ball
a golden cross
a pirate coin
two of Karson’s army guys
baby Jasmin’s binky
an octopus
a domino
a tiny car
Max’s green frog
an old key
a blue dinosaur
a waffle house pin
an octopus show pin
a carnival ticket
two valentine heart candies
a Shiny Bright ornament
a tiny treasure chest
a picture of Sam
a Benny’s Bike Rally pin
a glittery pinecone ornament

thanks to the kids for letting me borrow all this tiny stuff for our photo shoot!

I Spy…

Monday, we had a guy come and clean our carpets in the living room and dining room. We have a cream colored carpet with a rose pattern on it. It’s pretty…not really us, but really nice carpet that was here before we moved in. It isn’t very practical for having small kids though. We have been kind of negligent in keeping it cleaned as it has been about 3 years since we did it last. The accumulation of spills and spots has turned the carpet a really gross color of brown, and it has gotten so bad that you can’t even use a spot cleaner because it leaves a lighter clean spot. Anyway, we picked up all the little things we could find and vacuumed half-heartedly – I figured that the carpet guy would do a more thorough job anyway. So he arrived and started vacuuming…and to my surprise, collecting tiny things from the floor that we must have missed. By the end of his job, he had a bowl full of more than 40 tiny things that he had found. Last night while I was making dinner I decided to draw a few of them. Max picked out what he thought I should draw.