Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some Cool Stuff I Got for Christmas

 My Mom got me these fun Star Wars pancake molds and a new Le Creuset Pot for making stews. I have already made 2 dishes in it.She also got me a really neat terrarium and a rug but it was too big to bring in our car so she is bringing it up on her next visit.

 A jigsaw that I wanted from the Hubster.
 This is a neat book that tells you what flavors are good combinations for cooking from the in laws.

This is a really special gift my Husband commissioned for me from a good friend of our family. It is a portrait of our family with slight character fun added. The artist, Brad Hagen, also had a vision to add holes and blood where they would have been on the Crucifixion that fall down on the family. A very cool portrait.

The Kid's Presents

 Ward got this fun Thomas the train foldout playhouse. He loves trains right now.
 Joffre Jr. got this pack of army figures from WW2 including Japanese, German, American and British troops (he was slightly disappointed with how many dead guys were in the British troops.) He sets up the armies all over the floor and has mock battles.

Here are some of the fun things the kids got and love.
 George got a pretend guitar and is crazy about it. (He really likes banjos but all I could find for pretend was the electric guitar, go figures.)
 Renata made out like a bandit. My Mom is working at Pottery Barn and got her a lot of neat stuff including this great flower canopy and a new bed quilt.The picture doesn't do it justice. The canopy looks really great. She also got a play iron and vacuum. She also got a really cute play kitchen from Grandpa Swait. She is very excited because we spruced up her room a bit with all her new stuff.


Well we had a really great visit in Gainesville and West Palm. It was super fun and mostly relaxing. We passed our sickness on to my family and came home with a sickness from Joffre's Dad. (Just a small cold but ,boy, I am sick of being sick.) My poor Mom got the stomach bug Christmas morning and my sister-in-law got it the day before. That part really stank but the visit was overall really nice. I think we will just stay home if we get sick again before the holidays because it feels really lousy when you see people dropping like flies from a virus you brought. Anyway, we got some terrific gifts that I'll highlight later but here are some pictures. I didn't get many because I got caught up watching.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Florida Love

We made it to Florida with just a little sickness to chuck on through (excuse the pun.) After a nice visit with Joffre's sister which unfortunately ended with a little more sickness for them we are in West Palm. Being here is reminding me of some of my Florida loves.

The Sunshine
The beach

The fun tropical flowers
The avocados dropping from a neighbor's tree into my eager hands. I am collecting as many as possible to take back.
 The view from my parents house

Now I am going to go outside and eat a picnic in the sunshine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paint Your Own Nativity

Since we have sickness and craziness around here I was glad I bought this little nativity set for the kids to paint this week. They had so much fun. George really wanted to paint Baby Jesus. He decided to paint him blue because it is his favorite color. Joffre spent half his time mixing the perfect brown. He called me over every few minutes to ask for mixing pointers. Renata was excited to get to wear her painter's outfit from Halloween. She really loves to paint and did it very carefully. Ward was very excited and called me to see his after each stroke. He also has learned that if he says,"Guys, look at my cow." and doesn't get much response all he has to do is say, "GUYS, LOOK AT MY COW!" and he gets lots of response.

My Woes

I try to keep this blog upbeat and full of my blessings but today I am letting myself share my woes( the less obvious blessing). Don't worry it isn't depressing only crazy.

So Georgie started throwing up on Sunday morning. He threw up a few times and then seemed totally fine- no fever, eating. He went to bed and the next day I thought all was well...till he informed me at 1pm that he had thrown up all over his bed. Grossness. I still thought it was done because all of Monday he eat without trouble. Then at 10pm that night he puked all down our stairs..Oh My.....that was rough! That one will go down in Swait history ( at least my version). He was totally fine the rest of Tuesday (yesterday)but didn't want to eat much. Then he threw up again that night at 10pm again. So weird-no fever.We are waiting on pins and needles to see if we will have to delay our trip to FL for Christmas this Sunday.

In the midst of all this I found my kitchen sinks clogged only to realize the pipes connecting to the kitchen outside were frozen- six feet of pipe. I tried wrapping them in a towel and pouring hot water on them. Then I went back to the kitchen and got the next batch . I found the water I had already poured was hanging like icicles on the pipe. Yeah...not cool. So I am trying new options today.

So like a pioneer we have been doing dishes in the tub in a washtub. A least I have running water. The kids have enjoyed helping with the drying and that was fun to watch. Even Ward got into it -carrying things to the kitchen table.

Keep us in your prayers- if more of my kids get sick it is going to be really tough to go to FL for Christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

To Be a Cat

Two things that make me slow down  and remember it is all going to be OK.

1. My cat. He finds the coziest places and naps through loud pretend gun and car noises and even pokes by fat baby fingers.  He rubs on my legs while I am running to catch a spill with a towel and yawns while my 2 year old throws a tantrum. It helps me to yawn too.

2. My 93 year old neighbor. She is such a blessing to me. We visit her and everything slows down. I have to be careful not to yawn too much at her house because it relaxes me so much. (NOT because she is boring.) She wants to know how all the neighbors are and what are plans for Christmas are. I am mentally trying to push out thoughts about all I have to pack and what groceries to take  and tell her who we get to visit this year. She shows me the cute boxes she bought to put cookies for my kids in and I sit and change batteries for her and show her how to adjust the color on her TV.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How to Peel An Onion

My sister in law has moved and expanded her cooking blog, How to Peel an Onion. A lot of her focus is on making the kitchen a family kitchen, a place to gather.  She is a wonderful cook like her mother before her. She is also very conscious of nutrition. I really like how she simplifies a lot of the making from scratch recipes and adds in activities that kids can do as "Budding Chefs." She also has a lot of wheat/gluten free recipes for anyone interested.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

 I have been trying to recreate a studio space lately and get more organized. This is what I have so far. You can see my corn/ raccoon painting I am working on.

I rearranged my room, the living room and my kitchen last month. Trying hard to get all our stuff to fit in our house the best way possible.  I think this will be a lifelong struggle. I also need to stop getting new hobbies.
( Did I mention I am getting a jigsaw for Christmas. I want to try furniture making.=)
 This is an old printing press drawer my Dad let me steal from him. I put my thread in it and love messing with the colors- I think it will help me in painting too.
 This is a little gathered clutch that took me forever to make.I just kept making mistakes. The worst part is that I cut out 3 more I need to finish. hopefully the will go more smoothly.

Two new necklaces. Not sure if I like the red and gray one yet. I'll have to try it out with some clothes. It's very sparkly ( you can't tell in the picture ).
 Lots of Christmas bags and presents I can't divulge yet. So excited about Christmas. We are going to decorate our tree, open one present and make Christmas cookies today !!! Woohoo!

Trying to Get a Good Picture of All Four Children

It was a lot of fun to try to get all four kids smiling at the camera, but it was a whole lot more fun to click through the pictures afterward. They looked like a flip book and it was hilarious ( at least to Mom.) Look at Ward through these pictures for lots of fun. I think Joffre Jr is still holding his smile!