Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sunriver Recap

Gosh, where do I even begin?  First of all, I want to attempt to express how fortunate I feel to have been able to experience this past week with a Christmas away from home in one of our families favorite places, Central Oregon.  We had an incredible time and to be able to spend it with family in a beautiful house in a gorgeous neighborhood is absolutely priceless.   I could go on and on with the descriptive words, but I'll spare ya! 

What did we do?  What didn't we do is more like it!Img_3718  We shopped in the Sunriver Village, hot tubbed, played in the snow, visited Bend a couple times, toured the Deschutes Brewery, ate LOTS, watched movies, participated in many of the Sunriver Traditions activities (Gingerbread Junction, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas event, Grand Illumination,
etc.), sledding, snow skiing at Mt. Bachelor, played Wii games, the usual Christmas activities...on and on it went!  So hard to get back to real life...we so did not want to leave... 

Didn't do much editing or commenting of pics...wanted to just get them up, so here ya go!  Click for Sunriver Christmas photos

Tour of our Sunriver Rental

Friday, December 28, 2007

Santa Gifts

We're back from an incredible week in Sunriver, Oregon and I have so much to share and pictures to post but I'm overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we brought back and the mess it's created that I have barely begun to process it all!  At the least, I wanted to get these videos up of the kids opening their Santa gifts.  Both of their reactions are funny, Ella's the most!  The only thing she wanted from Santa was a white horse, a REAL white fake ones.  Well that obviously wasn't going to happen because Santa of course does not bring live animals.  Since we don't yet live on a farm, Santa had to get creative and brought her a couple alternatives.  One of which is a realistic baby doll.  Guess what she named her baby?  Thunder!  No joke!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Lee/Milcheck's!


And here we are more cleaned up later in the day!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays!

So happy to say I'm posting from our 'second home' in Central Oregon! There is tons of snow and it's been coming down all day....LOVE IT! Unfortunately forgot/lost the camera cord to my better camera so I can't share many photos but I sure wish I could...I've been snapping away hoping to capture the beauty and feeling of the snow all around.
Taken in our "neighborhood"...from my computer here the ornaments look fake, but they're retouching done whatsoever here!

Happy Holidays...enjoy your family and the season!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elves are back!

Well they've actually been back for awhile now, I just haven't had a chance to get together a post about them.  This is the second year that Jacob and Ella have had elves come stay with us before Christmas.  The elves are on special loan from Santa at the North Pole and they come and live with us for 2-3 weeks before Christmas to make sure the kids are behaving and to hang out.  The problem is, the elves bring along mischief themselves!!  The kids have had such a blast waking up and seeing what "trouble" their elves have gotten into.

Here are photos of some of their adventures....

Found hangin' around the Christmas tree

Playing Playstation!!


This one was a big hit-the elves driving the car!

They brought cereal bowls and showed up swimming in them.

Brought and opened a gift from Santa...sun-catcher ornament craft.

Tonight I hear they're going to be bringing the kids some new socks and underwear!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Night Only!

Ella's performance was a rousing success!!

That was last night and tonight we just got back from dinner and Broadway on Ice starring Dorothy Hamill and Franc D'Ambrosio!  So much culture in our hometown!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dance Rehearsal

Ella had her first dance rehearsal for her upcoming Christmas performance this afternoon and it was very exciting.  She got to preform on a big stage and was so excited about stage fright for this girl!  Unfortunately I was stuck back stage but Aaron worked the video and still camera so I got a few images of her. 

I edited the video down a little to just show the parts where you can see her best.  In the first part she's the one right next to the instructor and she's also the only one wearing a hat...


One day

I hope to own this house. 

Friday, December 14, 2007

Our Dancing Princess

(Click the photo to view it larger).

Ella will be dancing in her first showcase in a few excited for her!   Hopefully I can share some video too.

And the winner is...

Angela!!  Woo hoo!  I will send you out a flame bag Monday morning Angela, I hope you like it...though I hope you and your family don't have to use it often! 

Since Stephanie asked, and I do have enough material to make a few extras, I would be willing to 'sell' them.  I don't really feel right about selling them but there is a little time and money involved in making them so if anyone wants one let me know and for let's say, a $5 gift card, I'll happily make you one! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Only 1 more day before I draw for the headache bag (see post a few days down)! 

Holiday Treats

Img_3149A few years ago I created this Christmas snack mix and named it "Sam's Magical Holiday Mix."  It's a secret why it's named that! 

I will share what's in it though....
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Stick pretzels
Kettle Korn
Butterscotch chips
White chocolate
Red and green sprinkles

Mix all together (I totally make it up as to the measurements of each ingredient) and then drizzle melted white chocolate and red and green sprinkles while mixing.

Candy Covered Marshmallows

This one's pretty self-explanatory and so simple, plus makes quite an impression Img_3153
because they're so fun looking.  Stick a marshmallow on a stick (I've used popsicle and bakery sticks), dip into melted chocolate, then sprinkle with candy or sprinkles.  There are so many things available this time of year to chocolate chips, fun sprinkles, red hots, crushed candy canes, tons of different chocolate chips, coconut, it goes on and on.  My favorite are the crushed Heath bar chips!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Teacher Gift

We're kinda new to the grade-school environment so I didn't quite know what to do about a gift for Jacob's Kindergarten teacher.  On the advice of a good friend who is a Kindergarten teacher, I decided to make a personalized ornament.  Here's what I came up with....

Img_3134I printed the name of each child in the class multiple times (using Excel and copied the name in a column-I used different fonts for girls and boys) onto colored paper which I then cut into strips and rolled around a pencil.  I secured the strip with a little glue and put them into a clear glass ornament.  Added the year with a rub-on transfer, some ribbon and wa-la a little remembrance of her class of '07!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Headache bags - and a chance to win something!

I dusted off my grandma's old Singer sewing machine and have been making 'boo boo bags.'  My kids have grown up with these and we all use them frequently, for a variety ailments.  For awhile Jacob was having headaches/migraines frequently and the only relief he would get was by putting an 'ice cold bag' (as well call them around here) on his head and laying in a dark room.  We have quite an assortment of 'headache bags' both homemade and store bought.  I wanted to try making my own and customize them with fun, soft fabric and maybe adding some herbs such as lavender.  They are not only good for headaches but sore muscles, sprains, sunburns, bruises, toothache, etc.  We keep ours in the freezer but they can also be heated in the microwave.  I intend to give them as gifts, but I wanted the opportunity to share something with my blog readers. 

Everyone that comments on this post will be entered into a drawing for a free headache bag!  I will draw a name on Friday of this week.  As long as you live in the US and even if I don't know you-please enter!

Speaking of opportunites to win something...awhile back I posted an entry about an A-B-C playlist  (A-B-C MIX) ...while I got a few emails, comments, and responses that people had a playlist to share, I still haven't actually seen anyone's playlist---so that means that contest is still open too!   

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Creative Weekend

I've spent the weekend creating a variety of gifts and holiday themed items...for me that is a very fun and relaxing time.  I did manage to shower, but immediately put my pj's immediately back on.  So it's been a good weekend so far!  So often I get ideas and inspiration from other people's blogs so I thought I'd post some of my creations on here to maybe inspire someone else to create.  Rather then post everything all at once, I set a variety of entries to post at various times over the next few days.

One item Jacob and I made tonight while Grandma and Ella were at a Christmas play, was Oreo balls.  IImg_3143
know I shared the recipe last year but it is such a hit, it can be repeated!


1 package Oreo cookies, crushed

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 package white almond bark

1 package chocolate almond bark

Using a hand held mixer, mix Oreos and cream cheese together.  Roll
into walnut size balls.  Chill for an hour.  Melt approximately 3/4
package of chocolate almond bark.  Dip balls into the melted bark.
Allow to harden on wax paper.  Melt about 1/4 package of white almond
bark.  Decorate with drizzles of the white almond bark. 


Emailheader Speaking of chocolate, I have something else I want to share.  Aaron's cousin, Jenny and her partner Zahra, have started an artisan chocolate company.  If you're looking for a gift you want to ship directly to someone, think about sending them some homemade chocolate.  Jenny makes some very unique flavored truffles that I haven't seen anywhere else.  I'm looking forward to trying the drinking chocolate....mmmmm!  Click here for Hedonist-Artisan Chocolates

Sights of Christmas around our home

I love that we all have our own handmade stockings.  My Mom made the kids, my grandma made mine, and I made Aaron's.
I have had this nativity for all my life.  I don't know where it came from (Mom?) but it is hand-stamped "made in Italy" on the bottom.  ~~Edited to add-spoke with my Mom and she too had them all her life!~
A new purchase this holiday season.  Feather's are apparently 'hot' this season but the second I saw this I just had to have it.  A peacock feather Christmas tree-what could be better?!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

Time Waster

Please join me in the madness!  Spot the Difference

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Homemade Lens Cover Magic

This is the coolest thing...I received an email today from one of my very favorite sites (Photojojo) with the coolest doo-dad you can make for your camera to really trick out the bokeh in photos.  Bokeh refers to the out of focus area of a photo and is achieved by setting your camera to a low aperture value.  Bokeh is beneficial in photography because it is a way to emphasize the primary subject. 
An example of using Bokeh:

Photo of Aaron in front of our Christmas tree (using the lowest possible aperture).

Now this is what I made to fit over my lens using cardstock, electrical tape and an exacto knife...

And these are the resulting images...


How cool is that?

At this point I still don't understand how this works, but I love it just the same!  I can have some fun with the holidays lights and this trick...time to really get creative...

People always ask if they're twins

I see it...