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Thursday, December 30, 2010


We had a pretty low key Christmas day here. After hosting Josh's family for Christmas Eve, we wanted to keep everything else pretty simple. On Christmas Eve Ben, Trish & the girls came up and brought Jacob with them. My parents came over too. But, I don't have any pictures because I was too busy cooking. We had Salmon, Meatballs, Lamb, Mussels & Clams, mini quiches, mini egg rolls, stuffed mushrooms, veggies & dip, deviled eggs, potato bites, and a bunch of sugary treats too. All but the "mini" foods were homemade and I think next year that might change. ;-D I enjoyed that it was all fresh and not full of additives and preservatives, but I'll have to make some shortcuts next year. I was literally in the kitchen ALL DAY! But we had a blast, so I suppose it was worth it. 
Eli opening her "Baby Princess" book.
Back to Christmas morning, I was thankful Josh had picked up muffins on his last Costco run and was able to give the kids that special treat for breakfast before opening presents. Each kid just got a toy, book and some clothes and it's total chaos during the opening process, so that's the best picture I got, LOL.

The boys got their usual Legos from us and my grandparents got them some too. We all sat around for a few hours getting them all built.

Zaccheaus' favorite new toy! The Buzz Lightyear ROBOT! It walks...It talks... and it has a "Spanish" mode that makes me giggle every time I hear it. I don't know what it is about a little spaceman toy doing a little mariachi dance, but I find it hilarious. I even laugh at it in the TS3 movie and Josh just doesn't get it. 

This wasn't really a Christmas present, but it's too cute not to blog about. My mom and I did some after Christmas shopping and Eli flipped over this Princess Snow White baby doll. We had to get it! Seriously, she has a princess problem and I can tell you I didn't instill it in her...It is all her! Pink and frilly and girly.... And I have to say I'm actually enjoying it! ;-D

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 22

We celebrated my 29th birthday a week ago and had a wonderful time!

After my Belgian waffles for breakfast I opened my present from Josh and the boys. It's a pretzel mold kit, candy melts, an angled spatula, batter whisk and a scraper.

My birthday present from Elizabeth (snuggles w/ my pretty girl)

My sister sent me these beautiful flowers & balloons. The flowers are still looking fresh and beautiful, greeting everyone who walks in my front door.
The balloons however met their fate at the hands of a two year old ;-)
Then, I took the kids out to my mom's for a bit so Josh and I could do some last minute Christmas shopping. We went down to Burlington, to avoid the crowds of Canadians here in Bham. But, we were not impressed with the sales and only bought one thing. We did go out to the Red Robin down there and got my free birthday burger. So that was worth the trip. In Bellingham it's not uncommon to wait 20+ minutes at Red Robin, in Burlington we are always seated right away...So nice!

After picking up the kids, we had my birthday cake and ice cream at home. I just had to post the picture of my cake. That is the writing of the baker at Fred's! Looks horrible! But, it tasted so delicious! Thanks to everyone who sent cards or online greetings. Everyone made me feel very special and loved, Thanks again!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Boy and His Allergies

Many of you may remember when Gabriel always had broken out cheeks, like in the above photo. We found out his had severe allergies when he was an infant and battled them, trying to figure out what all he was allergic to for about a year. After getting in with Dr. Elkyham in Bellingham, we began a round of food eliminations and allergy testing. Turned out he was allergic to peanuts, cats, dust and pollens and had sensitivities to milk proteins and cottonseed oils. We removed all those foods from his diet and began seeing improvements in his outbreaks (like the photo above).
Fast forward to this week and Gabriel has outgrown all his food allergies, because we were able to avoid them completely. We went to Dr. Elkyham's office this week and met with Lisa Drinkwater PAC and finished his food tests. We already knew he outgrew the cottonseed and milk allergies all that was left was the peanut test.

First they did another poke test to confirm that he is no longer showing signs of allergic reaction. The bump on the right is supposed to look like that, it's a histamine to show his level of reaction to allergens. The blotch on the left is the antihistamine and in the middle was a poke of peanut butter and as you can see there is no reaction. Praise God!  So they fed him a small amount of peanut butter. He said it was so yummy!
Then we waited and every 20 minutes he had to do a blow test to check his peak flows and make sure he wasn't having an anaphalactic (sp?) reaction to the peanut butter.
More waiting... We were there from 9:30 am until almost 4pm. Some of the staff came in after us and worked their whole shifts and went home before we did. LOL!

Doing the peak flow test.

He passed the tests and we were allowed to go home without finishing the final round of testing. With each test they doubled the amount of peanut butter and by the 9th round he was eating 3 Tbsp of it without reacting, so it's safe to say he's completely outgrown his allergy. It's so great for him to be able to eat whatever he wants. Now we just need to get his brother and sister to outgrow their allergies and we'll be golden! His big brother Joshua even bought him a giant Reece's snowman for Christmas. I know he's going to enjoy every bite of it! ;-D

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Advent Told Us To

This year I decided to copy my friend's Advent tradition and I put together an activity calender for the kids to do. After setting up our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I made little scrolls and wrote out an activity on each one. Instead of getting a piece of candy each day of December, we have a craft or activity to do!
Elizabeth trying to steal the scrolls
Most of the activities I'm finding don't keep the boys' attention, so we'll need to tweek this a bit for next year. Some of the highlights for them were walking to Haggen's for donuts, making snowflake decorations and making Christmas cards. 
Close up of the scroll
BTW, yes that's a fake tree. It's the first time we've ever had one. My mom gave it to us last year and I have to say apart from it not smelling like a pine tree, I kind of like it better. Less hassle than a real one! One of the activities I ended up doing myself was making a wreath with fallen branches from outside, so now I have the hassle free tree and that lovely pine smell...Perfect! 
My graham cracker house
The other activity I ended up having the boys quit on was building graham cracker houses. Zaccheaus just took some candies and his graham crackers and ate them. Gabe wasn't going to even try. Joshua gave it a shot, but quickly became discouraged and quit. If you are thinking about doing graham cracker or gingerbread houses, go to Deals Only on James St. They have tubes of decorators icing in Christmas colors 10/$1, I'm guessing they are well past their dates and not fit for eating. But, they sure look pretty on my graham cracker house! 

We were supposed to go to the ice rink on the 10th (shh...don't tell the boys), but found out the public skate times were 7:30 pm-10:30 pm and we already had plans to do our church's date night that day. They also have a homeschool skate time on Wednesday mornings but we will be at Gabriel's allergist that day, so looks like we'll be waiting until January for that one.

My favorite day was last Saturday "Dad's choice day". All my activities are either free or super cheap. Josh's activity: Go pick up Thai take out, a couple beers, sodas and movies and chill at home. I love whenever I don't have to cook!

I hope you are all enjoying this season!

Friday, December 10, 2010

We can rebuild him, We have the technology

Yes! I'm back online baby! After my computer started dropping components like flies and quit cooperating with me, I have had to resort to using Josh's little netbook and it just wasn't cutting it! With some big help from my sister we are online and I got a sweet printer on sale black friday, so the print shop is back in business! Look forward to more posts to come and hopefully I can start following everyone else's blogs again as well.

P.S. Check out my sis's computer repair company's site, here.