Friday, December 30, 2011

Ballet Boots!

"I wish I had rain boots!" has been Ashley's near-daily mantra since Elizabeth opened her pair on her 5th birthday.

Grammy and Pop-Pop heard our littlest ballerina's plea...and Aunt Jennifer, Uncle Mike, Matt, and Erin came through with a matching raincoat!

And she didn't take them off for nearly 3 hours!
Now that's what I call Rain-Ready! ;-)

Canopies for All!

What's better than ONE princess canopy?
Why, TWO, of course!

Elizabeth and Ashley were THRILLED to receive one for each of their rooms from Grandma and Grandpa! Initially, only Elizabeth's was over her bed, while Ashley's was positioned over a fluffy round floor pillow. They both loved the floor pillow...but in true "monkey see, monkey do" fashion, once Ashley saw that big sister got to SLEEP in her "princess castle," she requested that we move her bed under her castle too! (See photo above!)

Here is video of the "big reveal"! :-) They were two happily surprised little girls!

Much of the audio may be unclear...but some highlights include:
E: "I'm gonna sleep in that! I'm gonna sleep in that EVERY DAY!"
A: "It is! It does!" (In response to Mommy's urging, "Do you think your room has one too?") "I'm going to go IN there!"
E: "It looks like the Enchanted Forest, too!"

Cutest Little Cow and Sweetest Little Shepherd. Ever!

Elizabeth and Ashley participated in their first Christmas Pageant at our church on Christmas Eve. Initially, only Elizabeth was signed up to participate...but, evidently, we neglected to explain that to Ashley. So at the first rehearsal, she made herself right at home on the steps of the altar with the rest of the participants. By the end of the practice, she had managed to score herself a supporting role as a cow! Again, we failed to inform her that stable animals typically do NOT play a starring role. So on Christmas Eve, you can probably guess who the ONLY animal INSIDE the stable was! (And don't even get me started on the PINK BOOTS!) Yep...that's our Ashley!
She even managed to gain the adoration/attention/caretaking of the older girls in the pageant. Mary and one of the wise "men" in particular. Don't think she didn't just eat that up, too! And I should add that, on the night of the pageant, she was a very convincing little cow! (Though, I'm not sure it warrants the reaction Peter gave while watching her 4-year-old counterpart take off his cow head and swing it around up over his head before wandering off to find his mommy in the congregation! That is, he poked me in the ribs and whispered--hopefully more softly than I remember, "That's right! My cow can out-moo your cow ANY day!" Easy there, Proud Papa!)

For her part, Elizabeth was very intensely concentrated on performing her shepherdly duties. For several weeks leading up to Christmas, she was elated when we would run across the shepherd passage in picture books and animated movies (even Charlie Brown Christmas). By the end of the season, she was retelling the complete Christmas Story in her own words (and some slightly paraphrased Bible verses) using her Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set. It was quite impressive!

Here are some highlights from the night of the pageant! (The angel is E's little friend Annabelle, whose family is visiting for the year from Michigan State!)
For the full story, please see Luke 2:1-20. :-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Smash! Smash! Smash!

Ashley and I made Peter's Favorite Cookies this morning.

Well...that is, before I put the crumb base of the cookies into the oven and inadvertently turned the oven to "self clean" mode, only to realize a few minutes later that that burning smell was due to the blackening of the flour/sugar/butter mixture in the baking dish! YIKES! Tried to open the oven, but it was LOCKED, so I quickly turned it off and--after about a minute--the lock released and I was able to take the baking dish out. The cookie base is we'll just have to do this part all over again...but at least I had not yet reached the stage of adding the black raspberry jam, chocolate chips, and pecan/sugar/butter/flour topping! ;-)

At any rate, here is Ashley helping me mix the crumb base that would have turned out perfectly had I not ruined it!