get your ginger on

Crafts, Everyday 4 Comments »

Hi there! Hope you are having a good holiday season. Me? I’m just chillin’ here next to the tree with Mary, ready to boogie.


Tonight is the night! For one night only, Elfis and the Sleigh-riders will be performing at the school. Drew was a wee bit nervous, and really excited to show us what he had been working on for weeks.


We paid a premium for stage-level seating and then had to wait 15 grueling minutes for the show to start.


C’mon Drew, belt it out!!


This colorful critic rates the performance at 5 stars!


Brinley made sure to get festive for her class party, and went equipped with (annoying) bells in her hair.


Sugar, sugar, sugar! I was surprised to see that she actually ate the cheese & apples first – way to go Brinley!


Eleanor has a frequent visitor punch card at the kids’ school. She is pretty well known there.




Gingerbread cookies are not known for healthy nutritional value. Sorry Rowan, sucking in your cheeks will not make you any less of a chub! 


We tried to keep the kids busy during the first week of Christmas break. Dipped marshmallows were almost as cheap as Brinley’s fake smile.


Step 1: Dip and twirl and twirl and twirl and twirl and twiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrlllll!!!




Step 2: Sprinkles!


Step 3: Devour. Hey Ellie, you’re not supposed to be eating those! Ahh, the benefits of being a 4th child.


Who me? Do I look guilty in any way? Any way at all?


Judge Rowan cleared Eleanor of all charges because the chocolate was warm and the marshmallows were plentiful.


Just so you get it right, let’s rinse & repeat: Dip…




…Sprinkle…open wide!

open wide

Now that’s a mouthful!


Despite our continuous grazing during the event we ended up with a whole sheet of these fine delicacies.


What is the deal? Why do you keep making funny faces? Are you hiding something?


Somethin’ fishy is going on around here. Alright E, spill it! What’s up?


Ah ha. I see we are not letting anything go to waste. sigh


Alright missy, we’ve got a mess to clean up. You stay here and try to look innocent. And stop sniffing out stray candy canes!


Rowan, think about what you’ve done. Are you sorry? Didn’t think so.















Another stray candy cane episode. This one at the hands of her distracted father. It’s near impossible to keep candy canes from falling within her reach.


To prove we learned the lesson about sticky sweets and small children, we decided to do it all over again. But we’re no longer just culinary artists; we’re into real estate now!


Step one: Get this chick a desk job!


Drew became the General Contractor and started dolling out advice while working on a warehouse roof.


This craftsman was determined to create a scale replica of our home-sweet-home.


Sister Rowan was hard at work ornamenting the chapel with the finest of all the materials available.


Brinley aimed high, building a three-story for maximum exposure and visibility.


This work is grueling! Time to throw back a “rein-beer.” Watch out for those antlers!


Looks like Drew got his second wind and moved on to landscaping…



Brinley is almost done, putting the finishing touches on her Palace of Poultry…



I know this is supposed to be a church, so what’s with the pile of pink gravel on the roof?


And now…the reveal! Behold, the Mecca of Merchandise!







The Barn of Buh-kawk!


The Parish of Peppermint!



Oh yeah, and our humble abode. Complete with cars in the garage and our feeble attempt at Christmas lights.


Nice detail Ryan. You even nailed the archway & the porch!


Oh yes, and what would a village be without a fabric store? Not a village I live in, that’s for sure!


Looks like the secretary made it through all that monkey business we pushed her way. Although that mole is looking pretty weird…



Drew realized that what Eleanor really needed was a new sugar deflector 3000. Just in time for Christmas.


Butt it wasn’t in time to prevent graham cracker gravel from finding its way into the deepest, darkest of cracks…


Good thing the jacuzzi is close by to soak away all the stresses of the day.


Our spa salon package also includes a fashion consultant!


How do you feel? Fresh? Revived? Colorful? Let’s ride!



falling down

Everyday, The Outdoor Woods 8 Comments »

The last time we spewed was October 1st, and it was about what we were doing in July. So now we’re going to catch up on all we’ve done for the last 4½ months in excruciating detail, just in time for Christmas! Yeah…not so much.

By the way, this is Ryan posting. I had to put my foot down in order to crank out this post. I could see the twinkle in Amy’s eye: she was thinking about making another quilt! the horrors! I told her no more quilting until she got some pics uploaded for the blog. Two days later, she delivered. Victory! And she gets to buy more fabric. Win-win!

Every year we go to “Color Mountain” in search of beautiful fall landscapes. This year we were a bit too late for the best colors, but we had fun sightseeing and letterboxing in the Rockies. We started off by visiting San Malos Catholic church, which is a must see in Colorado…

this old church

Visiting that old chapel was really cool. Afterward we took a stroll around Lily Lake. Rowan was feeling very uplifted…


Drew ran into old friend at the lake! Unfortunately this great master was on the move and didn’t have time to give Drew another Kung-Fu lesson. Bummer!

we meet again

Do as I’m doing…Rowan has kicked into full annoying little sister mode. She MUST be doing what the older kids are doing.

here fishy

This was Eleanor’s first visit to our super secret favorite picnic spot. She didn’t seem too excited to be out of the car…

not happy

After a nice lunch we meandered around the area and relaxed by the creek. Drew used the force while Brinley won first place in the shot-put competition.

don't throw rocks

Hi Ellie! Welcome to Daddy Island. She looks a little on edge. It’s because we are, Ellie!

island people

Keep it cool, hot head. It was a scorching hot autumn day and the kids used ice packs to keep cool!

rollin' ro

Hey Scoob whatcha doin? Mining for gold?

it's in here somewhere

Brinley can see some color. And I can see a cat & dog about to get into a fight!

ro vs. cat

Brinley found a Cinderella-certified ride in that bush!


These are our own accidentally-home-grown pumpkins. The plant just appeared in the grass one day and we watched and waited as it blossomed.

our own grown

Of course the kids wanted some pumpkins they could carve. We were unable to locate any larger accident pumpkins in the backyard, so we elected to go the pumpkin patch and look for some winners.


Aww Rowan, very cute! But remember, when it comes to picking pumpkins it’s blah blah blah, science-science, BIGGER! And bigger is better!




to scale

Now you’re gettin’ it! But you gotta haul it out yourself. Say whaaaaat?


Not big enough Drew! Keep trying!

big enough

What’s this? Brinley declares the pumpkin upon which Rowan sits is the greatest pumpkin of them all? Now she’s trying to sweet talk her so she can hi-jack it.


Nice pose Binnie! This patch is our favorite; you can’t beat the majestic backdrop!

model shot

Ok, now that we have our winners picked out let’s have some fun. There was no leaf pile this year, but Drew still had some wicked levitation skills.


Hey Drew how ’bout you let an old man show you how it’s done? Don’t I look…focused?


The wind picked up and it sent shivers down our spines. Except for Ellie, who was nice ‘n’ toasty in her mama coat!


Here’s our best family portrait of 2010.


Here is what all the other attempts looked like. Nice!


Real pumpkin carvers do it topless!



show your guts

Drew wasn’t the only one with his shirt off. But isn’t painting your hair orange going a bit too far?

blondie no more

Some of you may remember Drew’s first Halloween costume. He may have been a cute little dude, but nothing compares to this Elea-phant! Awww…


Behold: Elephant, Zebra, Candy Witch, & Toothless the Night Fury; no tricks accepted!

the horde

Those wings aren’t just for show. We made them out of sprinkler pipe and coat hangers, so he better fly!


night fury

Here is the Night Fury’s furious tail after it had been to a few parties and back. The back view of Drew’s costume is way cooler than the front, but alas such a photo does not exist.

furious tail

I’ll get you my little pretty…and your little dog too yadda yadda…did anyone notice she has real power?! Her broom is killing the grass!

and your little dog too!

Trunk or Treat…It should really be Treat or Treat. Unless you feel like tossing your kids in the trunk…

trunk this

Chikerchee! Chiker-cheee! That is the sound a Zebra makes when on the verge of becoming diabetic…


Hello dawling, was it a bit chilly outside? Good idea then to stop inside for a spot of chocolate and ice cream.

hello dawling

Hey Night Fury! If those candy bags can hang on your wings without breaking them off you don’t have nearly enough candy! Now get out there and get your dad some of the good stuff!

better than trashbags

Eleanor saw a scary ghost and stampeded away. Careful Ellie! He’s still got his arm around you!

run away!

It was a hard night’s work for this little zebra. One Reese’s cup and she was out. Will she be up for round 2?

sleepy ba-ba

Ding ding ding! Good night!

good evening

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