Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gabriel's new crush... on a late woman.

We were watching Season One of The Muppet Show. He saw Juliet Prowse dance across the stage and in a very grown up whisper as if he shocked himself he whispered, "Jesus." I am not sure if he thought she was Jesus because of her flowing costume or if he was taken aback by her graceful beauty (if that's the case then we have to talk about taking the Lord's name in vain). He later said, "I really like her suit."

The user disabled embedding the video so if you want to see it, you must click on the link. The dance begins around the 7 minute mark.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saturday Hike

We took the kids to the front country at government canyon for a little hike and a little picnic. For some of these shots, I applied PW boost - for others I left them au natural.

BTW: KP at The Grove may or may not have have mentioned a new set of atn's at PW's site ... maybe you just have to see for yourself.

This is the lazy man's (woman's) picnic - Mama Margarita's take out.

Sometimes I imagine little gnomes dressed up like prickly pear that just follow me around everywhere I go -having taken up permanent residence in my back yard. When we first moved here I thought cactus was so quaint - but now I half detest them and half accept them.

"Mom! Wait up! Take a picture of me doing this."
"Will that be a cute picture for the blog?" he asked.

Yes, G - you hardly have to think of anything "cute" to do and it is cute for the blog.

We rounded out our Saturday hike with some tree climbing.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nice, Very Nice

In the spirit of my good friend at The Grove and her Bamboo Fun, can you guess what Santa brought me? I must have been very good this year!

That's right - I finally got a DSLR!

And here are my first pictures from it - in slide show form. I am so excited about my new toy - there are some 22 pictures in this boring slide show of random things around my house. My feelings aren't hurt if you aren't as excited as I am.

To prove to my dear husband who went through a lot of trouble to get me this fabulous camera that it was all worth it, I took these two (four) comparison shots while waiting in a parking lot. The alteration I made to these photos is that I changed the size to fit them side by side. None of them are color corrected or scene balanced or anything. They are as good as raw.

There you have it Branmuffin, proof that not only do you rock the kasbah but you also have great taste in cameras!

Christmas Day

We went to my mil and fil's house for breakfast and opened more presents. Here is Gabriel looking so cool with his rubber alligator...

Brandon had the privelge of passing the presents out so of course the children crowded him - for while there I was afraid for his safety!

Nana and Soso went a little bit bananas (though very much appreciated bananas) - Gabriel got a bike, Ethan and Sofia got scooters and Maddox got a trike. Wow! That's a lot of wheels. This is the Lightening McQueen bike Target had on display all season and Gabriel wanted so very badly...

So he "helped" his dad put it together.
Ethan really enjoyed wearing Sofia's Dora the Explorer helmet.

I sound like such a tard on video.

In the evening, we fried a turkey (yay!) and returned for a fancy French course meal. I really can't describe it -it was the mastermind of my mil, fil and our friends, the Cantway's who joined us. We had so much fun!

While we were waiting to get started Lee and Maddox did part of what I affectionately refer to as their "circus act."

Gabriel and Hayley took a break between courses to shoot each other.

At the end of the night I realized that I had no pictures of me and / or Brandon with our kids. So, I snagged this one.

Then I taught Maddox (age 21 months) how to use my camera. He did a good job, don't you think?

Christmas Eve

Our festivities began in the morning of Christmas Eve when my niece, Sofia age 3, and my mil came over to decorate cookies for Santa. I really wanted to take pictures of them hard at work but they required far too much adult supervision. Look what happens when kids aged 4, 3, and 2 get a hold of sprinkles! Next year we will need one adult per child plus a photographer.

Then we chilled out at home until the evening when it was time to go to GG's for dinner. On our way out the door, we put out cookies and milk for Santa just in case he stopped by. Like the IRS, we tried to get on the list for early delivery - for a change of pace (we have never done this before).
At GG's we had Raclette which is a true treat. If you don't know what Raclette is, here is a link to someone else's blog -check it out.

It is served over potatoes but here is a picture of mine over french bread; another delicious way to enjoy Raclette!
My creative mil took the torch of homemade presents and ran with it this year by making all of the girls these great aprons.

GG gave the kids their presents. She usually gives cash or gift cards but this year she bought presents and she rocked! She should do this every year. Here she is helping Ethan get into his present.

And here is Gabriel with his Lightening McQueen (learning) laptop. Oh yeah, baby.
Santa hit Brandon on his cell to confirm that he indeed had an opportunity to deliver our gifts on Christmas Eve. We raced home to see what goodies he brought us.

Gabriel got a gun in his stocking. Christmas in Texas is just not complete without firearms. (BTW: Santa brought Brandon a BB hand gun several days before Christmas - just to get into the spirit)

He also got the rubber alligator he wanted so much. Santa was thoughtful enough to bring presents from Ma'am and Papa in St. Louis as well.
Here are some final shots of the mayhem.

See Ethan playing with his Imaginext jungle playset? That gift has been keeping both of the boys entertained for hours since then. I highly recommend it. Even though it is geared towards boys, I think girls would like it too. At least tom boyish girls (like I was/am) would like it.

The kids stayed up really late playing with their loot and slept in Christmas morning -I will not lie, that part was nice.