Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

Every Christmas Eve we celebrate with our extended family at my Grandma Net's house. This year was no exception. There was food, family, fun, and festivities. I loved watching the kids get so excited. My sister got a new DSLR camera and she documented the night for me. Here are the pics from the event.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mud Day

Once a year, we get to have a play date with Miss Emily and Malisa and Eli and Elsie. Every year, Ryan and Emily have a great time playing together. This year, because they are older, it took them a little longer to warm up to each other. Once they decided to go outside and play, they got along famously. They discovered their mutual love of MUD! They had a mud fight and a water fight and decided to decorate the castle with mud as well. When it was finally time to come in, they started peeling of their mud infused clothing. Emily suddenly stopped and said, "Ryan we can't take off our pants yet. We have to get our snails out of our pockets." A girl after Ryan's own heart. We had a great day playing and, I'm happy to report that my washer was able to tackle all the dirty clothes.

The castle aftermath

The fence and the new mud fresco

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We may be needing an ark in the next few days. Our neighborhood is flooding. I know when we bought our house we had to sign something saying that we knew our house was in a flood zone, but I also suspect the city hasn't done much to keep gutters and drains clean since we've had such scant amounts of rain since we've lived here.

Anyway, we've seen canoe-ers going down the street and lifted trucks looking for a place to drive. One car is submerged to the top of its tires and another is up to its windows. People have rain water going into their garages, which probably means it's in the house. Some people have put out sandbags, but the water seems to be going higher than that. We seem to be at a high point on our street and we're hoping that the water doesn't get up to our house. I bought rain boots for the first time for myself and all the store had left for Jack were snow boots. They're ok, but not as good as Ryan's rain boots. Phil has his irrigating boots so he's in good shape. Some of our neighbors were walking around in fishing gators earlier. Hopefully we don't need those. Anyway, this should be an interesting next few days since the rain is supposed to continue.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Angry Birds

This summer, Phil and I started to play the game Angry Birds. Ryan was interested so we showed him how. Sometimes lately, he'll get the iPod and he'll play the game. The other day, he said, "Look, I'm playing Angry Birds." When Phil and I looked, this is what we saw.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Faux Christmas Tree, Faux Christmas Tree...

How lovely are your branches.

I have always said I will never, ever, have a fake Christmas tree in my house. In fact, this was one of the compatibility issues that Phil and I discussed before getting married, along with other important things like,

"Do you like to camp?"
"No, you?"
"No. good."

However, every year, we've gotten our real tree, late at night, and every time, I go into Project Mode and Must Decorate that Same Night. This has always led to a major fight because I have to complete everything while Phil gets tired and wants to go to bed. On top of that, we Ogdens have terrible allergies. Phil gets a shot, I take nose spray, Ryan takes spray and Zyrtec, and Jack takes Claritin, and still the allergies are not fully contained. Every year I enjoy the smell of pine while also wiping noses, itching my eyes, and sneezing for the 3 or so weeks we have the tree in the house. As I thought about these things, the idea of a fake tree came to mind as the perfect solution. I brought this idea up to Phil on Saturday and he immediately shot me a look of death. As an Ogden, Phil does not embrace change immediately, and logic does not win him over if there is a sentimental attachment. I planted the seed, then watered the idea all day. By that night, Phil said he didn't like it, but if that was what I wanted, he would go for it. He also admitted that he could understand the logic behind it.

We set off to Home Depot. We found a lovely 9 foot tree that we really liked on sale. I questioned the tall-ness of the tree, but Phil being a man of extremes, and liking the idea that the tree would be much taller than him, insisted that it would fit in our normal spot. They were sold out. We drove across the street to Walmart. No 9 foot trees. Next we set out to the Home Depot across town. We found our tree. We loaded it up and set off to fit it in our car. Jack and Ryan were both in the cart. We first went to a wrong car to load our tree. While questioning why the car would not unlock, Ryan stood up in the cart to get out, somehow lost his balance, and landed, head first on the concrete. He screamed and cried and I wondered if we would be going to the emergency room for a concussion. He immediately grew an enormous bump on his forehead and started frantically asking, "Is the skin still there? Do I have blood?"

You can really see the bump in the picture

Thankfully everything else was intact. Once we located our car, we headed off to go home. Phil declared that he was done for the evening and would not be setting up the tree. As excited as I was, we had just returned from a few days with family in Fresno and were tired and I also knew that I didn't want to repeat our past Christmas fights. I bottled my excitement till this afternoon.

As soon as we got home from church and had lunch (another important component to keeping the Ogden household happy and running smoothly), the decorating began. Phil commented that decorating while rested was great. He and Ryan went to work assembling the tree. After pieces one and two were put together, it was clear that our normal spot was not going to be tall enough. We moved it to the apex of the vault in our ceiling and rearranged some stuff in our living room. We stared at the tree. I asked Phil if we should return it for a smaller one. Ryan ruefully told us no and Phil said he liked having a tree that was so much bigger than him. Once we got everything back into place in the living room and I looked a bit longer, I decided that it was good. Phil agreed. I set out to fluff the branches into place. I instinctually braced myself for a sneeze as I buried my face in the branches. No sneeze. Hooray! After while, the boys got tired and we put them down to nap while we finished the tree. I set aside Ryan's favorite ornaments for when he woke up.

We had a fabulous time decorating our tree, and I'm happy to report, there was no Christmas fight this year. And no more allergies than our usual amount. Our tree looks absolutely lovely. Maybe this faux tree stuff isn't so bad after all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family Photos and Doug and Vanessa

About two weeks ago, Doug and Vanessa came for a visit. We had a great time. We did a lot of cooking and eating. We also took a field trip to the Padre Hotel to check out the remodel. It was great. Ryan saw the old telephone switchboard there and decided he would like to operate one some day. We had a painfully long discussion about how that technology is now obsolete and that wouldn't be a job he could have. Poor guy.

Ryan misses his Aunt and Uncle so much that he thinks we should all buy houses next door to each other so we can all be closer. (His original idea was that we all live in the same house.) Anyway, while Doug and Vanessa were here, we took some family photos, courtesy of my friend, Lorie. Here are some of my favorites. (No thanks to blogger. Uploading these has taken me 2 days).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Last year, Ryan wanted to be a race car driver for Halloween and he said Jack should be a stoplight. We loved it so this year we were working on thinking of another clever duo for the boys to be. We considered a UPS man for Ryan with Jack being a box (Jack in the box), Ryan also liked the idea of being Peter Pan and Jack being Michael, but he abandoned this idea shortly before Halloween. Ryan finally decided on being a fireman. My mom suggested that Jack be his Dalmation fire dog. Ryan immediately declared that he would be the fire dog named Lucky and Jack could be the fireman. It was settled. I found a fireman costume easily at Target, but I decided I could make Ryan's costume. I made his costume early in October and Ryan has been wearing it ever since. He got to wear it to church for Bible character night. I asked him how a dalmation could be a bible character and he said, "Mo-om, dogs were on the ark." I stand corrected. He also got to wear it to his preschool Halloween party, and many times in between around the house. We've enjoyed our little Lucky running around.

Jack, on the other hand, was not impressed with his costume. He was way more interested in pushing his dump truck around the yard, his new found passion. He was completely exasperated with my insistence with him wearing a hat.

He wanted that hat off and wanted to run away.

To add to the picture taking chaos, Rita decided to relieve herself in the background. Thanks, Rita.

And this was as close as I could get to having the two boys in a picture together. Maybe Jack will enjoy being a fireman some other time. At least his costume is big enough so he can wear it for dress up for a while.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Today we met Lorie and Ben and Henry for a play date at the pumpkin patch. We got there a little early so we took a few pictures while we waited. I'm so glad we went to the pumpkin patch so early in October. We were the only ones there when we first arrived in a sea of orange pumpkins. The boys were free to roam as much as they liked. Ryan loved that there were so many old, dilapidated tractors decorating the yard. He also was intent on finding the perfect sized pumpkin for himself and for Jack.

Jack was super excited about riding in the wagons and checking out the animals. He was really excited about the goats and the pig until the rooster in the chicken coop started crowing. He was trying to figure out which one was doing it and how it made that sound.

He was very entertained with that until he saw a tractor discing a field. At that point, he ran to the fence and was trying to climb out to check out the tractor. Next, a farm truck with 3 dogs in the back drove up, which was equally as exciting as the tractor. He REALLY wanted out at that point. He waved and waved to them, which the workers seemed to think was cute and funny.

After awhile, I gave Ryan my camera and he decided to take a picture of me.

Lorie and the boys arrived next and Ryan and Henry were off. They are two peas in a pod and play so well together. Lorie snapped the next pictures with all of us together. The boys were busy the whole time and loved everything there. We had a really great time.

After the boys went down for their much needed naps, I cleaned up, and opened the windows to enjoy the sound and smell of the rain. I put our pumpkins on our table to decorate for fall.

I also noticed that fall is on its way. My Chinese Tallow tree is beginning to change color.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sew Serendipity Jacket

For my birthday, my mom gave me the book, Sew Serendipity. The book is great. If gives garment sewing techniques in the beginning. It has a basic jacket, skirt, and dress/tunic pattern and then it shows how to alter each one with other details to personalize it. The directions are clear and easy to follow and there are a lot of pictures. I was also pleased that I didn't have to do any alterations to the pattern to make it fit, which is a first for me. I chose to make the jacket because I had never sewn one before. I didn't know what kind of fabric I would buy, so I just went fabric shopping until I found something I liked. I found a great wool blend that was black and purple.

I also found these great buttons that I thought went well with the design of the jacket.

Since I hadn't done a lining before and the pattern did not include directions for one, I hadn't planned on lining it. When I completed the jacket, I realized that I wouldn't be 100% happy with it without a lining.

I went back to Hancock Fabrics and found this terrific purple that was the perfect match for the jacket. I am so happy with the finished product and it fits great too, but I don't have a photographer here that can photograph me wearing it.

Now if only it would be cold enough to wear it...