Friday, December 19, 2008

Endless Baking, Decorating, and Eating

We made all these beautiful cookies for the girl's bible study teachers. We had them all nicely wrapped with cute homemade cards on top. Of course we were sick the day of bible study! So we saved the cards and ate all of the yummy cookies :)

Oops! I forgot to rotate the photo! Oh well, the point is...we were decorating gingerbread houses so Ryan broke out his drill! .....a man and his tools!

This is mostly what Anna and Naomi did while Ryan, my sisters, and I decorated gingerbread houses

all of us with our houses



Monday, December 15, 2008

Decorating the Tree

A few of our favorite ornaments:

ONE of Dana's favorites (I just can't choose!)

Abby's favorite- it's got her photo from last year in it. It's a cute book that opens and your child becomes a penguin, a reindeer, etc. I got it from Discovery Toys and love it.

Anna and Naomi's favorites.

one of Ryan's favorites from when he was little

Our Little Tree finally decorated

The decorating process

Anna and Naomi took a break. (Anna reading to Naomi)




Monday, December 8, 2008

17 Days, 400 Hours, 24,015 Minutes, or 1,440,902 Seconds

...until Christmas! However you look at it, Christmas is coming.

Here is what we have been up to:

trying candy canes for the first time- everyone liked them except mom who got to clean everyone's sticky gooey mess, including dog hair- yuck!

Anna and Naomi set up the Nativity. Anna insisted that all the people must fit in the stable. Something tells me if she was the one in charge of the inn, Jesus would have had a room! :) Apparently her philosophy is the more, the merrier.

Breakfast with Santa. Anna saw Santa and immediately said "I don't like him" to which Naomi replied "I like him"...always a competition!

Daddy and Abby on top of a borrowed mantel from Home Depot! Apparently Home Depot let the community center borrow a fireplace for decoration for the breakfast with Santa. Just below Abby's foot was a price tag and a detailed description of the fireplace! I wish I could get on the list!

We cut down our own little tree this year. Anna is having fun being pulled in the tree sled by various family members at the tree farm.

Here was Abby's vehicle. He looks excited, doesn't he? :)

Naomi and Aunt Ashley. This may be the only time that Naomi smiled at the tree farm. She was, of all things, afraid of the trees. I also kind of forgot her in the van- that may have had an impact just a little! But, really, we realized it within 20 seconds. She was mad at me when I returned for her. This one will be one to hold a grudge!

A family un-portrait. In our family of wee little ones, someone is always either crying or at the very least not looking at the camera. In this case...Ryan (not crying! but indeed not loooking)! And Naomi- still holding a grudge...or maybe it's our tree.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jesus in Christmas...who'd a thought!?

So here it is- a new post...if there is anyone still checking this blog! I have done such a poor job at posting these past months. I will try to do better!

Last year our Christmas was horrible. There was no Christ in Christmas. There was a flurry of activity, an abundance of parties, and lots of stress associated with Christmas, but no Jesus. Sad to say, but I'm not even sure we made it to church in December last year! This year we are determined that it will go differently. Not only do we want Christ to be in Christmas, we want it all to be about celebrating him! We cut down on Christmas parties, started getting our gifts ready in August, and Ryan is taking more days off around Christmas so there is less stress and more celebrating and relaxing. We also decided to do a tv fast for all of advent so we could focus on the things that matter.

Since the girls are older, we decided to start celebrating Advent with them. We made an advent wreath with a paper chain on it that counts down the days until Christmas. Each day we pull off a chain and read what it says. It has an activity for us to do as a family that is a winter or Christmastime related. So far we have painted ornaments for grandparents, made and hung up snowflakes, and colored the first event of the Christmas Story- an angel appearing before Mary to tell her she was going to have a baby.

My goal was to post daily in Advent so you could see all of the things we've been doing! But I think that is a little too ambitious since I am wanting to scale down on things....but I will try my best to post every couple of days.

We are so happy to be able to start traditions with our family as our girls are getting older and are happy to teach them about the baby Jesus and God's incredible love for them and all of us. We hope you are able to stop a moment and contemplate His love for you also during this busy season.

Love, the Irwins

Here are some photos:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

6 Unremarkable Things About Me

I've gotten "tagged" per say. So I am now supposed to write about 6 unremarkable things about me...

So here goes-
1) I can be quite passive in some arenas (though as I get older they are seeming to be fewer and fewer of these areas!) but I do have strong opinions on certain things and not necessarily important things. For instance, I really don't like that the title of this is "6 Unremarkable things about me". I'm not sure why- it's not like I'd really like it to say "6 Remarkable things about me". But as my husband said, if I were to write about unremarkable things, it would be like how many teeth I have or something (In case you were wondering- I do still have all of them- minus my wisdom teeth).

2) I cannot stand bad customer service. I just got off the phone with a Kohl's representative trying to fix their mistake (which they can't do)! So now I am intent to tell all of you to at least never shop online at Kohls because I pretty much always have bad experiences. Though my instore purchases always seem to turn out alright. So if I receive bad customer service repeatedly I have a passion for letting them know it. I try to be kind most of the time but I do let my irritation show a bit with the employees. onto something a little positive. I need to get off of this "negative train" since the first two weren't exactly examples of seeing the glass half full!

3) As long as I am talking to someone or watching tv, I love doing "boring" officework tasks. I was just at Community Bible Study and spent 2 1/2 hours cutting out bible verses, arks, little Naaman's, Mary and Jesus', etc. while talking to a friend. I hardly noticed. The time flew by. Last night I was working on someone's baby announcements by cutting and stamping while watching "The Biggest Loser" and "NCIS" and had a great evening. Also...I even like sorting the mail! Even though my house is a clutter magnet, I don't relate well to people's whose mail just piles up- I can't imagine waiting that long to go through it because I actually enjoy it!

4) I love doing "FUN" outings. We are going to Bounce U next week "for the kids". Ha! I can't wait. It's totally an early birthday present for me!

5) I love magazines- I used to love books but now that I have three kids, magazines suit my time constraints much better. My favorites: All You, Real Simple, Reader's Digest, Creating Keepsakes, Today's Christian Woman, Family Fun.

6) Even though worship is one of the things that draws me into God's presence more than anything else, I have no musical abilities. I am completely tone deaf. It takes me FOREVER to learn the words to songs. Ryan just laughs at me and always corrects me when we are in the car and I am belting out a song, saying all of the wrong words. I just tell him, the point is singing, not actually getting it right! Of course this gets on his last nerve (everything is black and white with him, God forbid something isn't "right" or "wrong"!) This inability to learn the words may be why I tend to like worship songs that repeat the chorus frequently!!! now I am supposed to "tag" other people to blog about 6 Unremarkable things about them but I think I might change it- how about telling us "6 Weird things about you". If you really can't handle the rule change then I guess feel free to be unremarkable. So I tag: Erin, Laura (on your facebook blog???), Joe Bubenik, and Wendy & Melanie (only if you want to change the title since you have already done the unremarkable you- you really don't have to though- I just don't know anyone else with a blog!!! :) )

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sushi, Sushi, Sushi

"IRWINS- we totally want to go- we are SO into competitive eating!" Emily excitedly proclaimed into my answering machine.

We had called around to some friends inviting them to go to a sushi festival and sushi eating contest with us on Sunday. Emily was returning my phone call and apparently was super happy about the prospect. You see Emily makes her husband, Tim, watch the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest every year with her on tv. This was Emily's first chance to see an eating competition IN PERSON! What a privilege! :) So we all headed downtown to take in all of the asian festivities. In all actuality there wasn't much to do. Thank God Y98 was there- the girls got to win some prizes so they had some toys to play with! They threw around mini beach balls for a long time while we awaited "The Competition". There was some native drumming by umm...white people and then it was time to watch 8 men and 2 women stuff their face with california rolls! They introduced all of the contestants. Last years winner was competing, trying to beat the 78 sushi rolls he ate last year. The contest began with 10 minutes on the clock and boatloads of sushi! Everyone had a different technique- some would stand, some didn't, some were wasted before the contest even started, some took drinks of various kinds after every roll. About 4 minutes in, a contestant got up and went backstage to toss his cookies (or well, sushi). He never returned. In the end, an asian man won, eating something like 86 sushi rolls! Too bad the queasy man never came back- after three minutes he was already up to 63 rolls! Emily said, "that is what is so different between this and the hot dog competition- The hot dog contest is only 6 minutes long and this is 10 minutes long. This one is all about endurance!". So we had an especially amusing time with enjoyable company. Next year, Ryan wants to participate! (the grand prize is a trip to Japan - we could finally visit Ryan's Aunt and Uncle who live in Japan)

By the way, we forgot our camera, so the above photo is not from the actual event. I found it online so you could FEEL like you were there. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Tattoo Parlor

We were cleaning the basement and found loads of temporary tattoos! We thought they would be fun to experiment with. The girls loved them. I just informed Anna of some devastating news today- that they will eventually wash off! She didn't seem too happy about that. Since we put them on, Anna and Naomi make repeated references to their "bracelets". Even Abby likes looking at her chubby little feet to see the butterfly and hearts. Gideon was over too so he got plastered with one as well! Here they are showing them off:

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gideon's Last Stand

Gideon's Last Stand. Well not really- we will still see him, but these photos are of his last day here with us on a regular basis. For the past year, I have been watching Gideon three days a week. We had lots of playtime with four children, ages three and under in the house and we enjoyed some testosterone! But August 29th was Gideon's last day :( Here are some pics of Anna and Naomi with their new friend which they are sure to miss! (Abby was sleeping and everyone knows you NEVER wake a sleeping baby...even for pictures, well actually, ESPECIALLY for pictures! That would never go well!) It was nice to have a steady stream of extra needed income this past year and I praise God for His provisions. It worked out really well. It even allowed us to purchase a few things for our home to make it more liveable with three children, a dog, and ourselves. I was also blessed because Gideon's mom is a friend of ours and because Gideon was over so often, we got to chat frequently and sometimes have extended playtimes (which helped to pass the long daytime hours away! Being a stay at home mom can be so lonely sometimes!). It was a really hard year for us with having children so young, but having Gideon here helped break up our days and provided income security so we at least didn't have to worry about money. Thank you God for a good year. Gideon is coming over tonight. So he isn't gone for good! I told the girls that Gideon is coming over and Anna said, "Daddy calls Gideon 'DUDE!"" Yes, that is true. He has to because there is no one else he can call 'dude'. There are only princesses around here.

We love you Gideon!

Gideon's favorite toy here is a ride on train. Since we only have two ride on cars, Anna is using a pillow to pretend she has one too.

This is all three of them trying to blow kisses at the camera

Friday, September 5, 2008


So one day last month I looked down and saw this: OOPS!

You want to know what's worse? I left them on because I didn't have time to fix it right then. So I forgot about it again and my sister in law came over and had to point them out to me. OOPS AGAIN!

(at least they are both polka dots! It could have been worse like plaid and american flags)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Little Hams

Abby in Anna's bumper car-

Here is Abby at the Science Center in the little room that has a very slanted floor. It was quite humorous to watch her attempt to walk in it!

Naomi being goofy- which is pretty typical

Anna dressed up in as many girlie outfits as she can find at one time- also pretty typical!

Well there is an August update! I plan to blog more in the winter. I am just enjoying summer too much! Now that they are 1, 2, and 3, we can go so many more places. I LOVE SUMMER! I AM DREADING WINTER! But for now, I will take what I can get!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Some photos from the past few weeks...

Swimming in the backyard

Zoo with Laura and Mommy

Anna on the train

Zoo with Ann and Mommy and Gideon