Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

OK, are you ready for 1000+ pictures of my Christmas Eve? Once again, I (we) had a wonderful time. My mom always makes the best food, especially her cheesy potatoes...TOP NOTCH!!! Like i said before, I love the holidays and getting together with my family. Food, presents, and love galore...who could ask for more??? (Hey,I am a poet and didn't know it...that's for you Grandma:)!) My most favorite part is the picture taking, between me and my sister, there is a lot of "flashing" going on :)! I love that the kids are starting to take more pictures too. Not only do I get to be in some pictures, it's fun to see things from their perspective. So here we go in no particular order...sorry, uploading this many got confusing and I did not have time to photo shop anything...all natural baby....

Ash was feeling left out and wanted to be with Poppy and Grandma

My boyfriend.

Trader...lovin' on someone other than his mommy!

My dad happy to be with his girls. We made him smile with his teeth. He never shows his teeth and they are really nice teeth!!!

Ash and her twin. Yes, she turns into a pirate after 8:30 p.m.

One of my favorite pictures EVER! These kids love their Grandma so much!!!

Family photo...now you know where the "chaos" originated:)!

Trying to "get" a nice family photo. ~I will have to lighten this one a tad.~

A girl after my heart~ they say children do "things" they see. Well, she sees this A LOT!!!!

My man...taken by Ashley

My sister and I...taken by Allison.

Cute picture of Jodi and Keith...taken by me:)

My girls...love this picture...I treasure this one!

My love and I again...this time taken by Isaac. He is quite good, don't you think?

My two favorite boyfriends in this world...taken by Ashley

Jimmy's dream come true...three girls ALL lovin' on him:)!

The Chaos kids and their Grandma!
I promise, my nephews were there as well:)! They were just downstairs playing video games. Yes, my parents have a wii, a playstation and a x box... I love you Caleb, Andrew and Kyle and I promise to get some pictures of you next time. Check out Jodi's blog...she has some I am sure:)!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Thanks

I have been reading about other people's Christmas memories; they all have been bringing such a smile to my face. I consider myself very blessed. Christmas has always been a wonderful time for me, both growing up and now. I can honestly say that I have never been disappointed...EVER. So first, I would like to thank my mom and dad for always providing a fantastic Christmas. I am not just talking about the gifts (which for the record, Santa always seemed to bring me exactly what I wanted) or the stockings (which Santa is also great at filling, even thought this year he is taking a hiatus), I am talking about having a family. People who love you no matter what, being there for you, providing for your needs and wants. I have been lucky enough to go from my parents to Jimmy. He gives me a hard time A LOT of about the differences between wants and needs, we have a lot of compromise, but he always provides. I would like to thank him for being him. I was reading my friend Shelly's blog and she has similar feelings for her husband that I do mine. He is a terrific Dad and we are ALL so blessed to have him in our lives. It's funny, the man could not be more my opposite on some many things, but at the same time could not be more me on the important things. I guess that is what counts. I worry about the everyday and he worries about the future and somewhere we meet in the middle:)!

My mom, as great as she is, did not keep all of our stuff from when we were little. I do want to share one Christmas story. It was a year where Christmas was on a Friday and we had the week before Christmas off. I am guessing I was in 6th grade???, Jodi and I started to "look" under the tree at the presents. Well, one thing leads to another with two very noisy girls and we realize that we have the same shaped gifts...boxes are so the way to go people:)! Not only do we have the same shaped gift, my dad does too. What in the world could we possibly have the same as my dad?? Two girls alone, all day, let me tell you, we found out. Nothing a butter knife can't fix. We carefully slit the tape and ever so carefully got out the gift. Gift, so not the right word, a gift is something cool, heart felt, wanted by the recipient, this, this was different, THIS WAS A BELT HOLDER. Yes, a belt holder that hung on your closet rod. Not the most practical really, you had to remove all the belts to get to the belt you wanted, but in it's defense, it did hold a lot of belts!!! It was such a let down that we decided to open just one more to finish on a happy note! Well, one turned into two and two into three...you get the point. I have to say it was one of the "worst" Christmases. I really shouldn't say "worst", there were still some surprises, but I will tell you, I SO learned my lesson. I am not a big sneaker to this day.
So all of you lovely bloggers out there, NO SNOOPING!!! You might end up with a belt holder and nothing else:)!!! Where if you keep your excitement and wait, Santa may bring you that hard and long sought after Cabbage Patch kid that no one could find anywhere, but Santa managed. I must say, I gave Geoffrey a great life. He went everywhere with me. Thanks Santa for all you did and still do...both as a girl and boy Santa!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Parties

I had the first (on many) ultimate decisions to make with my children yesterday. I had to decide which Christmas party I was going to attend. I new this day would happen eventually, but I really thought I had a few years. I, reluctantly, chose Allison and Isaac. There was more involved in their party (more than what Jimmy wanted to do or had time to do). Luck for me, I have a wonderful husband who "took" the time to make coming to Ashley's party extra special, a mom who made sure "she represented me", and a great friend to take pictures...thank you so much Mandy!!!
Since the twins were in three year preschool, I have always taken a picture of them (together and individually) with their teacher(s). It is amazing how much they change from holiday to holiday. I stayed a little long when dropping Ashley off, just to insure that I got my photo. In my husbands defense, he could have taken the picture (I asked him to and he said he would), but Jimmy tends to photograph "backgrounds" more than "subject", if you know what I mean:)!

I left school yesterday with such a great attitude. I am SO BLESSED to have such wonderful people in my life. Research has shown that children learn the most from birth to five. If that is correct, I feel that we have given our kids the BEST possible start they could have. Mrs. Simon, Miss Bell, and Mrs. Johnson are wonderful. I love them all. I think Mrs. Johnson is just such a wonderful teacher and even better person. She gets me and that is so nice. I am a little crazy and emotional and ...well, we won't go there...she just gets me. More important, she gets my kids. Allison is a little, ok A LOT emotional and Isaac, well, he's Isaac. She has never taken their "qualities" as a negative, ALWAYS makes them into a positive. She gets them and works with them. I can not describe how much respect I have for this lady. THANK YOU!!!! Like I said, we have been blessed, from birth Shelly has loved and cared for my children and now teachers that are teaching them things I could have never dreamed possible. Kindergarten is not kindergarten of years past...it's crazy what is expected...but they are getting it and do GREAT at it. I love it!!!!

Maternity clothes are so much better than they use to be. For Christmas, we gave Mrs. Johnson a
Motherhood Maternity gift card ( a little early to enjoy the season!). She looked so cute. Disgusting, third baby due in a few weeks and she looks fabulous. I digress, don't mind Isaac's face, that would be chocolate smeared all over it, including on his forhead. What is it with boys and their dirty faces?

The kids singing Christmas carols. Yes, they made me cry watching them sing. They are getting so big and did a great job.

*I do have pictures of Allison and Isaac alone with Mrs. Johnson, but picasa only allows me to put 4 pictures on at a time. Just wanted everyone to know that I do treat them as individuals and not as a unit/pair. :)! I just thought the Christmas carol picture was pretty cute and wanted to share:)!
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Annual Northland Photo

Every year, right after Steve gives us our present:), we get a "group" photo...courtesy of the big guy himself. No not Santa, the other big guy...Steve...who really is a big guy!! The first year we really did look like we were floating heads, attached to Steve's shoulders. This year, we are three separate people. Nice. Steve thought this would make a nice billboard. Personally, I think it might scare more than entice!!!

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He really is a great guy! Did you notice the pictures in the back ground are of my kids. He is such a sap:)!

Our first attempt...

So I decided to be "that mom" and actually "do" a gingerbread house with the kids. I have been scared to do it for years, never done one, had no idea where to start...or finish for that matter. Jodi told me they were horrible and not to waste my time, but when do I listen to Jodi (right Jod?!))? So when I was out on my fantastic date with my fabulous girls, we went to Toys R Us and they had a Willy Wonka kit. It was SO EASY...everything you needed was right there, even a little "stand thing" that helps set the house up. AWESOME is all I can say!!! I visioned it to be prettier, but with two 5 year old and a 3 year old...pretty is not an option! They did a really good job doing it all on their own and no one fought about anything. I would say that is a success!

They liked the idea of snow, but liked the idea of flowers in the snow. When I told them it was their house and they could have flowers anywhere they wanted...they responded with "You are the BEST mom ever!" All because of flowers in the snow...love it!!!

Yes, that is Belle making the house. Costumes are money well spent in the TenBrink house. We wear them ALL the time. Pick your battles, right?!?!?

Great mom #2 moment was when I "helped" Isaac "make" a snowman. Not an easy thing to do, but we managed with the help of some kisses...if case you were wondering...the white blob thing with green eyes and an orange nose is the snowman:)!

The finished product, three happy kids and one grateful mom!!!
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advice From a Snowman

Be a Jolly, Happy Soul

Spend Time Outdoors

Stay Cool

It's Okay to be a Little Bottom Heavy (I especially like this one!)

Avoid Meltdowns

Be Well-rounded

Live Well, Life is Short

Monday, December 15, 2008

Schmieding Family Christmas

It was our annual Schmieding Christmas party on Sunday. As always, I had a wonderful time talking and Jimmy always has a great time watching the kids...not! We tend to argue all the way home about how I was oblivious to my children and too busy talking. What? Kristin talk to much? Never!!!!

Here are some random photos of the day. The first few are my mom and "her boys". You know the boys she never had, but always wanted. Maybe Keith, but Jimmy...he is too much of a boy for her!

Yes, those would be Jimmy's fingers behind "the dancing with the stars duo". That's for you Keith!!!

This is such a "real" picture of these two lovebirds. Keith being Keith and Jodi getting annoyed by this...classic!!

Jodi and Prince Charming #1. Such a handsome boy!!!

A "great" photo my Dad took for me. His word, not mine. We will have to work on his "abilities".

Me and my most favorite mom in the whole wide world. My favorite...in so many more ways than mom!!!

Allison and Ashley with their "new" friend Gabby.

The whole family! I LOVE this picture. Everyone is in it...SMILING!!! Do you know how hard it is to have 12 people smiling? Thanks for being my family!!!

James and his baby girl. She loves her daddy so much!

The family photo taken in a supply closet...thanks Jodi! Nothing a little photoshop can't fix!

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The Shack take 2

OK, so it has been a week since my last update (thanks Jodi for the notice:)!). Here is our weekend in review. But first, a picture for you my love, Kelley. The tree outside my window. The picture does not do the amount of snow we got justice, but it will have to work for now.

We had such a great time at the Shack a few weeks ago, we decided to have Jimmy's Christmas party there. These poor wives put up with a lot of crap from Earth Service and Supply; it was kind of our way of thanking them for being so supportive.

Love this sign with the snow. It looks so homey, makes me want to live in a log cabin. Not to worry Jennie, I won't and if I do, I promise to talk to Rocky first:)!!!

The gang of Earth Service and Supply

We have such dedicated spouses, they even come 9 months pregnant with their third baby just to be with us. Thanks Trish and baby to be for staying put!!

Some pictures of the inside of the rooms. These rooms have hot tubs and fireplaces! Only problem, the fireplace ticked in the background. Not the most romantic of things...but I (we) had a wonderful time. Thanks James!!!

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