Monday, December 26, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A New Member of the Olson Family

His Name is Chippey. Chippey the Elf. He is our Elf on the Shelf. We got our Elf the day after Thanksgiving. We read the story and had to come up with a name. He was Elfie for a day or two. Then the television show premiered and he quickly took the name of the elf in the movie. So he adopted a new name. Chippey. The basic scoop behind Chippey is that he watches us and then uses Christmas Magic to fly back to Santa at night after we are sleeping. He reports to Santa if we have been naughty or nice. The boys need little reminding that Chippey is watching them. They tend to remind each other that Chippey can see you right now. Chippey can hear you Parker. Chippey is watching you not listen Emmitt. And so on. Early dawn, Chippey returns and picks a new spot to watch us from. The boys basically race out of bed to find Chippey first. Somedays it is very easy to spot him, other days we must search for him. One day he was in the basement waiting and watching for the boys to pick up their toys. Other days he is placed on shelves up high all over the house. He was in mommy and daddy's room for 2 nights to be sure a certain little boy stayed in his own bed. Today he was found strategically placed between the boys' school pictures to remind them, Chippey knows what happens at school too! The only rule is the Chippie must not be touched or he loses his magical powers. Well...this week Chippey was in the little tree in the boys' room and Emmitt (alledgedly) shook the tree, Chippey fell out and Parker put him back in the tree. The next day, Chippey left mommy a voicemail on her cell phone warning the boys to not touch Chippey again!!
I love Chippey!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hunting Season 2011

This hunting season was fun! The kids are just a bit easier when we go down to the shack. We still manage to fit 4 in a row on a wheeler and they love everything about a dead deer hanging out of the back of their dads pick up truck!
And I mean everything. Yes those are 2 pics of my children holding deer legs. And my father in law in the background with half a carcass. They especially loved the hard tongue sticking out the side of the deers mouth. Ish! But here I was snapping away at pics of them holding deer legs that had been sawed off! And they smiled with pride that he is providing us with a freezer full of meat. Mmmm.
The first weekend we stayed home while dad hunted. Or should I say, while dad sat in his stand and saw nothing! We had friends over and made homemade pizza and hung out. The second weekend of the season was Parker's 6th Birthday party, so we were home Friday night...but we did go out and stay at the shack. Sunday morning our Griswold family of 4 hit the stand to experience "hunting" together.
Needless to say we scared all wild animals off in a 5 mile radius with our candy wrapper crumpling and fidgeting. We seriously were the loudest hunters in the woods. I can only hope that we drove the deer to someones stand for them to shoot.
Both kids came dangerously close to the heater, both argued over who was going to sit where and both kids ate their weight in Halloween candy! I officially don't need to see another Almond Joy until October 2012.
Bear did manage to get us deer. Our freezer is full and we are going to have great meals full of venison and canned vegetables to sustain us until next season. After not getting a deer the first weekend, I was a bit panicky about not having enough meat to feed these boys, but the hubs prevailed! Way to go, my mighty hunter!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My boy is 6

I never want to forget this face. The face of pure shock! You were so shocked the morning of your birthday. Momma scored a Ninetendo DS for you at a good price and totally surprised you. You had no idea you were getting one, I kept telling you that you were too young. But like I said, I got a good deal and you got a DS. You officially had to be set on a gaming timer. You would literally sit there all day and play if we let you. I am no longer ever going to wonder what you'll do in a car or any other long trip. The DS will babysit you. As much as I hate saying that, it's true.
Once I got you to put down the DS you went on to open the next present from us. And footie jammies still excite you too! You love them. You always have. And I believe you'll be the guy that sleeps in those giant ones with the trap door on the butt. Like Pa Ingalls.
The 3rd batch of werewolf cupcakes turned out even better. I did take the easy way out and cut off at 2 dozen for the party and plainly decorated the rest. We managed to shove 6 candles on one and as we sang to you, you did something you have never, ever done. You played shy or embarrassed and ducked under the table until we finished. I have no idea why. It's so not like you. But when we finished, you came up and blew out all your candles and the moment passed you.
You of course got way too many gifts. Lots and lots of people got you 6 one dollar bills in your card. It was significant in many ways.
Everybody enjoyed the cupcakes. Well the kids did for sure. All the kids loved the marshmallow and fruit by the foot nose. The adults questioned if the whole thing was actually edible.
Miss Shelby Lynn and Emmitt
Brooks' face is soooo hilarious is this pic! Like he can't quite get that crazy Auntie Becky gave him all that sugar! And Miss Gracie Lyn, cute as ever!
Daddy and messy Parker
Garret and Miss Jillian
Over all, it was a great party. It's hectic with all the people at times, but it's a great hectic. You never feel like you can talk to everybody, but they all talk to each other. It's become such a tradition. I had all the guests fill out their numerology and discuss with each other. You took the last 2 digits of the year you were born and how old you were or will be this year and when everybody compared answers it was 111. It was so awesome! The kids of course just came out to 11. But still. It was creepy and cool. We had a surprise visit from my Aunt and Uncle who haven't ventured this way in 10-20 years. That was special.
And to top it off, Parker got his new jersey for his purple hockey team and he chose number "11".

Friday, November 25, 2011

Halloween 2011

We had sooooo much fun dressing up this year for Halloween. I really questioned how it could get better than last year, but it did! Our costumes were awesome, a little flimsy (and ahem, skimpy) but they did the trick. Emmitt was so excited to start chirping out who we were all going to be to anybody who would stand still enough to listen.
And he rocked his sidekick Robin costume very well.
Both boys loved that they had huge muscles to flex when they were wearing their costumes. It was fun to see them punch each other and continue to talk about just how tough they really were.
But this man has totally come to love Halloween as much as I do. I mean, come on, it's natural for your kids to follow along your crazy ideas, but your husband? Yes, he was a trooper. When we first started discussing our costume options for this year, I asked him if he wanted me to paint his face or go with a mask...his natural response was, "well if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this right!"
That little comment took me to the whole next level. It took me an hour to paint his face for our Saturday night bar outing and only 10 minutes on Halloween! It took him straight to first place in Best Dressed/Costume category at the bar! He won some sweet prizes for it too. We were basically unrecognizable the whole night. Most people couldn't figure either of us out. He changed up what he was drinking even! But the face and the wig were creepy and totally sweet!
Thank you my dear husband for playing along, acting like a crazy man with me all for the fun of it! Batman and Robin won't forget either, just how cool of a dad you are!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Parker Can Read!'s the beginning of a new "chapter". Parker has been learning his site words at school. He brought home his first book from class and told me very frankly, that he "can read it to me!" Which he did, multiple times. I was so fun for him to read it to Emmitt too at bedtime. I am loving being able to sit and watch him with a huge smile on my face!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

it's not the best I've ever done...but they are cute!

The first of 3 rounds of werewolf cupcakes are going to school today. With there being no school Thursday or Friday, we are celebrating Parker's 6th Birthday at school today. I am off to bring my big boy and his cupcakes to school today.
I definitely know that I can do better, but I need to just practice a bit more with the "fur". I tried the plastic baggie piping trick and it just wasn't working. My hot hands made the frosting tomorrow I plan to use the actual frosting decorators I own. But I am sure the 5 and 6 years olds will thoroughly enjoy these today!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


11-11-11 about the coolest date ever to have a birthday!
I literally scoured the web for any type of party ideas for this date and really came up with nothing. And as I always do, I asked Parker to look through our cupcake book and pick out what he would like this year. He came up with the howling werewolf cupcakes. Seriously? What on earth would I do with that?! I thought for sure, with his puppy/dog obsession, that I would be making those cupcakes, but nope! Werewolves. It was actually super easy to find dog lingo on the web, but not wolf. Let alone werewolf. Thank God I am a Twilight fan, because the amount of Jacob that came up when I was searching was ridiculous. And for the record I am totally an Edward girl. Too bad the kid didn't want a vampire party!
The costume I borrowed from a friend. Her Parker had just conveniently been a werewolf for Halloween. So the boys and I cut and painted a cardboard full moon and hung it up. Got Parker all dressed up and went for the perfect invite picture. Parker was so into posing with his scariest wolf poses I couldn't help but crack upFor some reason he turned the mask around to take a breather and out came my sweet boys baby face. Hairy head and all. I think a werewolf is totally fitting for him. He can be so utterly sweet and kind and caring and compassionate...and other times he is the wolf! He is sassy and rude and disrespectful and hyper and loud. But he is a 6 year old boy who is on the move constantly. And he knows right from wrong and has the kindest heart.
I do have some fun numerology trivia and such planned. I plan to make the best werewolf cupcakes for the party! I think they may blow the alligator out of the water!
So be ready to howl. Because it truly is a "ones" in a lifetime event. My Parker is 6 and we'll frolic with fright, because we have been waiting for such a night. The whole 11-11-11 concept is just too cool. And I won't forget my mom coming up with the fact that all those 1's add up to 6, when written 1+1+1+1+1+1=6.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I cannot believe I forgot this!!!!

In my organization of the last 6 weeks of what we have been up to post...I cannot believe I forgot this part! Todd Sether turned 35 on 9/10/11 (or somewhere around there) and had a party. Not just any party, but a dress up party. A "Come dressed as your Favorite Couple" dress up party.
Here is the Birthday Boy. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. Todd has not shaved his goatee off in 15 years! A good costume party will bring out the best in all of us! Ria, actually died her hair from blond to brown and cut bangs! I may have met a couple as psyched up about costume parties as us. (Please note how strategically placed the citronella candle wax ended up on Monica). I deducted points from them, since Bill forgot his cigar! Up until the day of the party we were going as Dorothy and the Scarecrow. They are after all great costumes. And even if they weren't really a couple, we were planning on arguing that they surely hooked up in the forest at least once! But oh, nooo. Bear had to change his mind. He wanted to be Jack Sparrow. And I could be Elizabeth Swan. He figured we could just use the pirate costumes from Halloween 2005. But he sent me to Kmart for wigs. Well, I found 2 wigs, one for each of us and they were perfect! I found an awesome pirate wig for him complete with a few dreads and a do-rag. And a long brown wig for myself. We didn't know everyone that attended the party and most of them thought that that was my real hair! Boy were they shocked when we changed into normal clothes and I revealed 2 inch blond!
It's a good thing, we changed our mind because Dorothy showed up. Ria's Aunt came in full costume and had her little dog too. The best part is that she came through Customs and was stopped! They crated poor Toto and she had to go in to be questioned dressed like Dorothy!
Here we are! The dashing Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swan!
Bear was unrecognizable to a few people we know! We totally freaked out my nephew Derek, who was over watching the boys. He watched us get ready for the event and about died when I told Bear to come to the bathroom so I could apply his eye makeup! He was all on board with eyeliner and mascara. I even gave him a little scruff with the mascara wand! That little wand can do wonders to eyes, eyebrows and your face! The best part was when we got out of our costumes and put on normal street clothes. Bear rubbed off the goatee and not the rest. So for the rest of the night he was wearing a red polo and jeans complete with eyeliner and mascara! A friend kept saying, "I'm having a hard time talking to you like this man!". I was secretly loving it in the corner. For any of you out there-remember how much I love Prince?! It is all about the guy-liner! Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What we've been doin'

Where the heck have we been?! Well, we've been busy and blogging has been the last thing I seemed to have time for. Instead of feeling like I need to make a special post for each of these every day life moments, I am taking the easy way out and blogging about them all. Then I'll feel all caught up and can go back and expand on them later (if I get time!).
Canning! My husband is a canning slave. We have literally been canning some kind of fruit or vegetable, sometimes more than one item, every single night after work. Usually when the kids are in bed. Which means great quality time with my husband in the kitchen, but also, tons of work. I won't be sorry though. I'll take the "after" picture of my shelves when we are completely done canning. AND when he finally decides to mount more shelves. We are totally out of room in the basement to put the filled jars. So we have jars on the counter, on the basement floor, in the back bedrooms. EVERYWHERE!
Here is a look at the corn we produced. The kids then had sack races around the yard and used them as bags to jump on the trampoline with too! It was A LOT of work to shuck, de-cob and then pressure cook. But fresh Loman corn in the dead of winter cannot be replicated any other way!
Papa Milo turned 66 and we celebrated out at his cabin. We had been talking about my shooting skills. I seemed to have lost them a bit over the years. I was a dead eye when I was younger. Milo was patient with me and taught me all I know about shooting and hunting. Now with my husband, I can barely see the dang bird in the woods, let alone shoot one! So Milo dug out the .22 with a scope and let the boys shoot at some pop cans. They are still too little to steady the gun themselves. And the trigger is super hard to pull. So we'll wait a few years for them. But I was the first to shoot the gun and did hit the pop can off the target! I missed the second time though. We do manage to get to church on most Sundays. The kids love to play in the trees after church. It's something they have come to "earn" when they are really good at church.
One of our weekends at the shack we got to see our Ruby! She's getting big and she's MOVING! She is now standing on her own. She crawls. Fast! You forget how quickly they change. Her cousins love to interact with her and she is always ready to smile for them!Most of the time I am sitting on the wheeler with the kids. This is what we see. Bear searching for the bird one of us saw (usually not me) and preparing to shoot it! It's so fun watching the boys react to the food dad has brought in for us!We have gone searching for dinosaur eggs too! AKA puffball mushrooms. The boys still really believed they were dinosaur eggs. Parker was the one to figure out it was just a mushroom. The debate is still out for Emmitt I think.
Our little hunter. He tends to treat the dead birds with affection. Not sure why? We will find him carrying around the bird, cradled in his arms! It's bizarre. But then he is totally fine with it being cleaned up and eaten.

One weekend Bear was out working on trails and the boys and I toted Papa Don back and forth between trucks and tractors. He was moving tractors from one location to another and kept leaving behind the vehicle he drove there! So the boys took many different tractor rides with Papa. While I was the cabbie for the day. Papa stuck them each up on a hay bale and let them slide down in their carhaarts. FUN!
The rides down the road and through the fields were even more fun! Papa let both boys steer the tractor. Parker found his favorite spot looking out the back window at the road below.
Papa does most of the cooking with daddy. Sometimes I bring a dish for all of us. But I am usually off the hook. And I rarely do dishes or pick up. It's nice to let them do the work as I sit back and watch. Papa makes the best pancakes for breakfast. On this day it was Frosty the Snowman and Pluto the dog. The boys talked about each part they ate one by one.2 Fridays ago, the Bilbens welcomed #3. Jens Daniel came into the world at 8:32 am. I happened to be working that day and took my break to visit the new family. He's tiny (8#3oz) and adorable. This little guy may be the one who finally resembles his momma a bit. The other two are all Derek!
Right after Jens came, I headed down to Lisa. I watched her 3 year old twins while she worked the night shift and slept during the day. I took Emmitt with me, while Bear and Parker went to the shack. Gwen and Griffin are both adjusting to their new school better. I can see improvements in both of the kids. And funny little things they do, that we don't want to forget too soon. I made sure to snap some pics of them while they were in their natural environment and it was a blast!Emmitt had a great time with his new best friends! From a pumpkin patch to tubby time with extra kids. Lisa and I did get to visit and hang out, but we will definitely be planning a non-working trip down to her!

Our next weekend back we had 2 birthday parties to attend. Jessalynne turned 4 and Jillian turned 6. I only brought my camera to Jessalynne's party. They had a pee-on-ta (pinata) as Emmitt would say. Parker saw kids from his class. Raija has been a teacher-helper in both of the boys' rooms. It's crazy that they live down the road and we are actually related (Bear and Raija are 2nd cousins) and we don't get together. Ever! Life has been busy for us, but I've taken more time to enjoy it (and capture it) than feeling like I need to sit down weekly and write about it. But I never want to forget the things we do. We do make time for fun things. Not too many things, even though looking back at this post can be exhausting...but we make memories together as a family.