All we need is love

All we need is love
All we need is love

Saturday, December 24, 2011

C- is for COOKIE! Cookies with the COUSINS!!!

Over  a week ago, I co-hosted/attended a cookie decorating party with some friends while the kids were at school. It was so much fun, I decided to make up some more cookies and frosting and bring it to my sister's house to decorate with the cousins after Sunday dinner. I love doing this kind of activity with my family because it gets the kids out of hibernation, sitting around the table, talking and having fun as a family. It was a blast!
 As you can see, these weren't your typical Christmas cookies. I made some Star Wars characters for the boys, Eiffel Towers for my Paris-lover niece Miranda, Dachshunds for the Hofmann's (who have 3 at home), and some more traditional Christmas shapes like trees, snowmen and snowflakes for the purists! Of course the colors were very non-traditional as well. We all has such a great time though, making these cookies our own and eating them afterward! I hope we can make time for this activity every year!
I love snowflakes!

Alissa and Miranda made some beautiful cookies! And...
they are goof balls!

Nicky chose an Eiffel Tower. Why?
Because it was the largest cookie, of course!

Aria and Aunt Suzi put their artistry in action!

Cole made some Star Wars cookies..... 
Boba Fett and Jenga Fett to be exact!
And you see that pretty pink dog cookie that says I heart U?
He made that for me!!!

Alissa is very artistic! I love her dachshund!

Erik, Tatum and Wesley made some pretty cool cookies too!

I love Aria's choice of color!

I think Ashtyn was having fun!

Greg didn't want to decorate any cookies
so Aria made a special one just for him!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the Wednesday before school let out for Winter Break, Aria's after school choir, Viva Voice Choir, sang at a performance with all of  the other choirs at Archway Classical Academy. I was blown away by the level of music that I heard. I guess I shouldn't be suprised that the choir director holds these kids to just as high of a standard as the academic instructors hold them to everything else. Having been in choir for many years, I could appreciate the attention to detail this teacher had. The selection of music was beautiful and impressive! We heard songs in Latin, French and Spanish! I'm so proud of Aria for what she has accomplished in this group and so thankful that she is able to be a part of such a wonderful thing!
Viva Voice Choir conducted by Ms. Koci

Aria and her BF from school Jade

Cole was my date to the performance

A close up of Aria in the Viva Voice Choir
Posted by Picasa

5-stranded plait

We saw another cool braid on YouTube; it's a 5-strand plait (another name for braid). It is difficult to do (mainly because your fingers get all twisted up) but the result is so pretty! It looks especially lovely on Aria's shiny brown hair!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decorating the tree

Decorating the tree is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We didn't really do it together as a family when I was little. In fact, we wouldn't have a tree up most years until Christmas morning. My parents would always say that Santa and his elves would come set up the tree and decorate it for us. I remember falling asleep to visions of this happening. As I got older, I would ask my parents to set up the tree so I could decorate it. I loved watching our spinning Christmas tree at night- it was magical! So I too have a rotating tree for my family. I hope they think it is as special as I do!

So here are a few pics of the kids decorating the tree. We love to pass out the ornaments and talk about when we got them and let the memories of years past flood in. It's a beautiful thing!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Greg's 51st Birthday

This weekend, we celebrated my husband's 51st birthday. We had family over and a couple of friends for Panzarattis, Greg's favorite-Pumpkin roll-, and hot cocoa! The daddies watched the football game while the mommies kneaded the dough for the Panzarattis (deep-fried pizza calzones) and the kids decorated Gingerbread (graham cracker) houses. We had a lot of fun!

And to top it all off, we got to see my great neice who is only a little over 2 months old! This was a special treat because most of us hadn't seen her yet, and my sister (Grandma Jo-Lynn) has especially missed her grandbaby.

It was a great day! I hope my honey knows
how much he is loved!
Happy Birthday my love!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 2, 2011

Is it December already?

I woke up yesterday morning in a bit of a panic- realizing that it was December 1st already. This month means a little bit of stress for me. Fun, but stress. Sometimes I wish the world would stop just for a few days so I could spend some uninterrupted, quality time with my husband and kids and savor them for just a while. I think some people call that vacation??
Oh well....I can't believe how quickly this year has soared by. It's amazing how we've all grown in so many ways in the past 11 months.... even little Ruby. I love my family.

Christmas 2010Posted by Picasa

Christmas came early this year!

Yesterday, after weeks of waiting patiently, our pictures finally came in from Diana. Sooo exciting! Of course I can't post any of the good ones... just a few to keep you excited and wanting more! I don't want to spoil Christmas for anyone else! :o)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today is my amazing husband's birthday! I'm sad though, because we hardly got to spend time together today. With all the craziness of a regular Tuesday for the Norman family, his birthday got set aside until Sunday! Of course we said a number of Happy Birthdays, gave him lots of love and went out to dinner with him, but it wasn't what we really wanted to do to make him feel special on his day. We'll be sure to make up for it this weekend! More pictures to come!
Happy Birthday my sweet husband!
I love you more than words can say!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Jessica

My sister, Jessica celebrated her 34th birthday on Thanksgiving this year. Pretty special considering she was born on Thanksgiving Day! We tried to make it a little more special this year because of all the craziness of the holiday. One of our sisters made her a big birthday sign, another sister bought her balloons and I made her a cake. This, all on top of a really cool gift that we KNEW she wanted! I hope she knows how loved she is!

Happy Birthday Jess!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2011

A boy and his dog

I can't express to you how much our boy loves our family dog, Ruby. It's a sweet thing.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Busy family

It's amazing how busy our family can be, and we don't even do nearly what some families do. I work only 3 days per week and Greg works about the same. The kids each have school Monday through Friday but their after school activities are very limited aside from homework. That in and of itself seems to take up sooo much time each weekday. Cole just started a Lego club on Wednesdays after school and Aria has Ballroom dancing, and Choir 2 days a week, plus we have Girl Scouts every other week plus extra activities! That doesn't sound like much but MAN does our house feel busy! I'm looking forward to a nice 4 day weekend with the kids and my hubby!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A boy and his Bionicles

The kids just gave us their Christmas lists this weekend. Cole's included Bionicles with a little notation next to it that said, "(e-bay)" because he knows that they are hard to come by now-a-days. This boy is very consistent with his likes and dislikes. Here he is the other day with his Bionicles all lined up and pozed. So proud! It's hard to believe he got his very first one when he was only 4! He put it together too- with just a little help from Mom and Dad. This was telling of his big brain and manual dexterity at an early age because, if you look closely on the box you can see, they're intended for ages 9+.

That's my boy!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Melissa's Baby Shower

So here are some pictures from Melissa's Baby Shower. I really wasn't happy with the way this one turned out, except for the little baby sea creatures I created from the invitation to sit on the cake. Originally I wasn't going to make them because I didn't want the cake to look cartoon-ish. But when my design didn't pan out- in many ways- like I planned it to, I thought they could be the only thing to salvidge this cake!  And they did- they stole the show! Aren't they darling? Pictures just couldn't capture how precious these guys were! I know I probably included too many pictures of them, but I couldn't resist! I just couldn't capture in pictures how stinkin' cute they were! I have also included a picture of her invite so you could get an idea of where my inspiration came from.

As cute as these guys were though, nothing could compare to the way these cakes tasted! Once again I am told that this is "the best carrot cake" these people have EVER tasted! I'm not suprised..... Grandma Norman's recipe is the best. She says the recipe came from Greg's Great Aunt "Ted" from Kentucky! Grandma got the recipe on a visit out there when Greg was only 4 months old! Wouldn't it be special if we could have the origin of each special recipe that we use??

Anyhow, I have included a pic of me and Melissa at the end. She was my preceptor at Good Sam. She is a fantastic nurse and a great person and I'm so glad to call her "friend".

Posted by Picasa