Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Mother Of All Christmas Trees

We bit off more than we could chew this year! And it wasn't just in the selection of the tree. The whole trip didn't go according to plan! I had planned on the family going up into the woods (where we have cut trees before) to find a perfect tree. It could be tall this year. Maybe 10 feet even. We have a nice new living room with vaulted ceilings and beautiful windows to show it off in. Then we would sled with the sleds I bought a month ago when I first saw them. I learned my lesson last year about waiting until it snowed. BE PREPARED. I pictured the kids and Meghan playing in the snow. Dad throwing snowballs. Me getting some good pictures and then best of all the traditional donuts and hot chocolate when all the fun was done to warm up all the cold little bodies.

Obstacle number one. We couldn't get our dumb van up to the "tree-cut" area. We have done it before, with way more snow on the roads. But something was just right about the way the snow was packed in. Maybe it is because we waited so late and there weren't any other cars on the road to help plow a way through. We got so close. All of us took turns trying to push the car up the dumb hill. We hardly would move an inch. It was miserable. So we gave up getting to the correct destination. We were less than 1/2 a mile away. And I know this might make some of you strictly follow the rule types gasp, but I told Dave we were going home with a tree. Even if it meant cutting down one right where we were. So we walked around until we came to this beauty.
It looked like the best one available. All the others were either way bigger, missing a ton of branches or just little babies. So Dave broke out the saw and down she went. We knew the tree would be a little big, so once we got to the car we took of another 2 feet or so.

Obstacle number two was the lack of snow. I had promised the kids sledding and there wasn't going to be any. Just enough snow to keep us from getting to where we needed to be and just not enough to sled. They were bummed. So the poor kids trying to keep their spirits high made a few shallow snow angles, threw a few snowballs and ate an icicle or two.

Obstacle number three was getting the tree to fit in the house. We cut some more off of it after getting it down off the car. Thinking to ourselves that the tree was now the perfect size and was going to look so awesome we brought it into the house. (or rather Dave my totally buff hubby did) As he was straightening it I shout, "It's going to hit the fan!" Dave was incredulous. After all the trimming we had a;ready done he couldn't believe it was still too big. So a few more feet came off the tree. And even then it went all the way up to the fan.
Obstacle number four decorating our beast of a tree. We inherited an extension ladder with the house thank goodness. But even with it we were really having to reach. If we were swearing people we would have been raising a ruckus. I know for myself that I felt like the Dad on "Christmas Story" who is swearing up a storm while trying to fix the heater. I am not afraid of heights, but having to reach and twist and do all sorts of acrobatics was totally taking years off my life. And all I did was the very ugly ribbon job. Poor Dave had to do the lights. Suffice it to say that next year we are buying a prelit fake Christmas tree. Maybe we'll get a small live one for downstairs.

The kids thought everything was super cool. They were all to happy to climb on ladders to put up ornaments. And Sara thought the evening was a total success as she modeled for my friend Judy as seen in this picture. As a matter-of-fact Judy took all of the pictures. And a good thing too. I was so stressed out there is no way I would have thought to pick up my camera.
Well this is the final product. After trying to push our car up a snowy hill, illegal cutting down a tree, trying to bring a monster of a tree into our poor house, climbing extension ladders to decorate and lots of NEVER AGAIN OATHS....

This was this years tree. Huge, with Charlie Brown ribbon and very sparse ornaments (I have tons but they didn't go very far). All 18 feet (after all the cutting down) of it!

Nacho's First Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Present From Wisconsin

We have all be excited to have Aunt Meghan come and stay with us for Christmas. Since my parents decided that cruising the Caribbean was more up their ally this Christmas we got to host Meghan for her winter break.

The kids hadn't seen her since Sara's baby blessing so they were pretty anxious to get reacquainted. Dave and I were happy for another live in adult to play games with during the Holidays. But I think the thing we were looking forward to doing with her the most was taking her up to the mountain to cut down a Christmas tree, play in the snow and go sledding. But things didn't turn out exactly like we planned...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wanted - A Christmas Tree

This year we are holding off getting our Christmas tree until right before Christmas. We are waiting for my sister, Meghan, to come and stay with us. But this is what I found this morning while cleaning in the living room.

Katie decided the Ficus tree would do as an adequate substitute and she has been collecting anything ornamentish to decorate our poor tree. You think they need a Christmas tree?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beauty School

The best place for "make-up" when it involves kids is in the bath. With three girls I have had an uphill battle fighting off the "make-up" pretend play. It is always on their Christmas lists, Birthday lists and Queen of the day lists. I have really had my work cut out for me trying to circle them around to other activities.

They finally found a way to satisfy their inner Diva's that I can work with. We have these bath crayons that I live and die by. I buy them at Pottery Barn in bulk they are so awesome. For years the girls have been content with murals on the bathtub walls. But the last few baths have led to painted faces.

You know what? I can live with that. No chance of painted faces smudging up against my couches. No crushed eye shadow in the carpet. No lips plastered with lip gloss leaving sweet little greasy kiss marks all over. I let them play and then we wash it all off. And everyone is happy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Toothless At Last

Katie has literally been trying to pull the teeth out of her mouth for years. Ever since Emily started loosing teeth. She really stepped it up a notch when her cousin Jessie lost a tooth during our stay in Arizona. With hands constantly in her mouth tugging at perfectly solidly firm teeth she finaly got one out.

She carried that tooth around in a bag all day long. And she wanted to show it to everyone. After all she had fought so hard for it. Years of waiting and asking Dad to check her teeth finally paid off.

At long last it was Kate's turn to shout for the tooth fairy. She had to shout extra loud this year so the poor tooth fairy could locate us. It is always harder after a move.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Birthday Girl

Our Little Sprite Turned Two!
Choosing a theme for Sara's birthday was so easy. The only thing my little girl loves in this world more than her Mother (and maybe her Father...) are her baby dolls. They are her little family and she is such an attentive Mother. So a "Baby" party it was. As she is only 2 I didn't have to go all out yet with games, invitations and tons of friends. We invited the two families she loves most Judy and Kaitlyn and the Phillips family. Dave and I worked together (while playing Settlers of Catan) on her Baby Doll cake. I gave her the choice between a baby cake and baby cupcakes. She chose the cake, bless her heart, it was easier by far. I am pretty happy with how it turned out and even more happy with how simple it was.
Unfortunately when it came time to blow out the candles Sara didn't want to have anything to do with those scary flames. She loved the singing and is still singing happy birthday to herself every so often. But those candles no way. There was no amount of persuasion that was going to get her anywhere near those candles. So poor Mom didn't get the picture she had envisioned.
She loved opening her presents. Especially when her new baby doll from Grandma Wilcox started helping her along. We all had so much fun doting on our little caboose on her special day. I just can't believe my baby is now officially a toddler!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Candy Storage

First I have to start with a story about my little sister. Nicole is 2 years younger than me and my opposite in every aspect of life - almost. But for illustration of this story we will focus on one thing imparticular.


On all those wonderful holidays where candy was involved we had two totally opposite approaches. I would eat all of my candy as fast as possible. If my Mother hadn't set some limits I am pretty sure I could have knocked down every last piece of Halloween candy in one night. But there were limits and so it lasted a few days. Nicole on the other hand...I don't know how to explain is kind of freakish. She carefully consumed her candy. It was almost sacred or something. Never fail she still had candy from the previous Easter or Halloween when the new Holiday rolled around. (and it's not like she had a ton to begin with) So it was always my duty as her older sister to ground her in the real world. In the real world you can not stock pile. If you try to save all your money the IRS comes and takes it all away. If you try to HORDE all your candy, the big sister comes to take it all away.
Now years after moving out of the house I am faced with another hoarder. (In case you didn't know I am a PURGER with a capital "P") Chase is in no other way the child I would say reminds me of my sister Nicole. Except in this one thing. He hordes his candy. Actually he thinks he is exceptionally spiritualy in tune and the most righteous of the righteous. Because as he pointed out to me once when I was complaining about the rock hard confections he ferrets away, he replied...

"Mom the prophet told us to have food storage. If we have to have a years supply of food he meant candy too. Because we eat candy. So it's my year supply." -something along those lines

I held back a snicker.

So Chase has his bins full of candy hiding away in a secret place in the garage to keep it from his sisters. He is smart enough not to keep chocolate so as not to attract the attention of his chocoholic mother. And when all the other children of the world subcome to wailing and gnashing of teeth when there is no more candy in the world. Chase will be the king.

My Girls Held Their Own Menstrual Parade!

You read it right.

Go ahead take another look...

Yep, you got it, a menstrual parade!

The family had just settled into a nice comfy booth to feast on delicious pizza. We had only been home from vacation a few days and I didn't feel up for cooking. There is nothing more refreshing than eating out, I swear it. And pizza is such a well balanced meal. (veggies - olives and mushrooms, fruit - pineapple and tomatoes, meat - pepperoni and sausage, dairy - cheese, grain -pizza crust) It makes me feel like such a great Mom to make sure my kids are eating healthy.
Oh back to the MENSTRUAL PARADE!

Are you sure you really want to know? Turn back now if you are easily embarrassed!

Emily and Kate had slipped away to use the bathroom. They had been gone a little longer than usual and yes I did have that motherly instinct to go and check on them. I ignored it. Even though they have been known to dance on counter tops and climb over stalls. They are half monkey for sure. The jury is still out on who's side supplied the monkey blood (really it's not, there is no doubt it comes from the Wilcox side, but that's what makes us full of life;-) So a few more minutes pass and then I hear them coming. They are skipping up swinging something on their fingers. As they get closer they start shouting to Chase, "Chase, look what we found!" With claims of having something cool enough swinging around those naughty fingers I take a closer inspection. If I was the swearing type I would still have soap in my mouth. Maybe I did even swear in my head. But what I did do for sure was poke Dave in the ribs and tell the girls to get into our booth IMMEDIATELY and hand over their "treasures". What did they have you ask? Can't you guess? What could it be that had me red as an apple and looking around to spot any witnesses?


All puffed up, out of there wrapper and flipping through the air!(they had fished them our of the dispenser machines in the restroom)

Even now I am sighing heavily wondering why I have three girls...

So now you can all go about your merry day knowing you can't have it too much worse than me...

PS I just did something horrible. Fixable, but horrible, for a few brief minutes I accidentally published this story on Chase's old Cub Scout Troop blog... Hopefully I didn't just ruin the innocent minds of poor 8 year old boys.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


DeWitts like their card games! Some of my very limited memories of my Great Grandma and Grand parents were of them playing cards with my Mom and Dad. All card games are superior to board games (with the exception of Settlers of Catan). And of all the card games to be played, Pinochle is the very best. It is full of strategy, best played in teams, always different and like the lottery (which we don't play) there is always the chance for miraculous fortune. We have tried teaching Pinochle to Dave's family and many friends but with all of its complexity it often discourages new learners. And so as Dewitts (and in-laws) we are proud connoisseurs of the very prestigious game of Pinochle.

We play many games when we go for a visit to Arizona. Dave and I had played who knows how many games, and had lost them all. It was very discouraging. And then to make matters worse...way Dad rubs it in with a double run! For all of you non-pinochle playing people, a double run is very rare! So rare that I have only seen it three times in my life. So rare that it is worth 150 points. That wins you the game right then and there, you only play to 150 points! It was sickening. I was turning yellow and green (a bit of envy) by the minute watching my Dad jumping up and down for joy holding up his hand full of cards. I mean it really was rubbing it in. We were total losers, failures and really having no fun at all!

And then it happened. Redemption! After getting our butties kicked game after game, night after night we finally had some extraordinary luck ourselves. While a double run is hand down, undeniably the rarest awesome luck in the world, double aces don't happen every day either. So here is my hand, double aces 100 worth 100 points and a run worth 15 points! Plus we took every trick, another 25 points. With that one hand alone (with a bit of meld from Dave) we finally one a game! What an amazing week for cards!

Grandma's Book

Grandma always has lots of fun crafts planned for when we visit. Busy hands stay out of trouble! One of the projects she had ready for us was a make your own pop-up book kit. Little did she know we would write a story all about our stay at her house. We each took a page and brainstormed topics for each page. We had tons of fun. Here is our master piece. I think we made one happy Grandma!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa and All Their Grandkids

Chase, Grandpa Dewitt, Kate, Sara, Emily, Jessica, Rebecca, Grandma DeWitt and Ryan

My first...wanna be professional pictures. And to think my Mom wanted to hire somebody...

Snow In Arizona

Grandma's can preform miracles and today Grandma DeWitt made it snow in November in Arizona. No small feat! She brought us to the La Encantada mall and sure enough at 6:00 it began to snow. Bubble snow. The kind that doesn't get you wet and cold! It was the best. And my little girls were in Heaven up on Dad's shoulders with hands out stretched collecting flurries of "snow"!


This is ROTC Land. My Dad after retiring from the Army in 1994 took a job as the JROTC instructor for Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Arizona. Since he started all those years ago the program has grown into a nationally known, award winning, record breaking success. He loves it and his Cadets love him.

And lucky for us he has lots of cool stuff! It seams like every year he adds something new and awsome. It is like Disney Land Army style. So we call it ROTC land. This November we had a great time hanging out with Grandpa!

Some of Grandpa's cadets can finish this grueling course "ranger style" in less than a minute! It took Chase 1:40! AIR RIFLES : TAGET PRACTICE!
Grandpa's shooters have taken many national awards I think they are in the top five in the Nation! ROCK WALL CLIMB
Everyone had a great time doing this except Kate! She prefered looking for treasure in the dirt and collecting them in her shoes!
I wish I knew how many feet we were up in the air. You can tell though from the perspective of the pictures that we were up really high! All I had to do was bribe the kids with $5 and they did it even though poor little Emily was scared to death. I think I took several years off of poor Grandpa's life having him repelle my kids!