Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Santa Claus came to the Jackson house! I figured these two would have gotten up at the crack of dawn, but I was wrong and BOY was I GLAD I was wrong. Since I spent the night putting Christmas together, I was glad that they decided to sleep in. So Christmas officially started for us at 9 a.m. That is the latest I have ever opened gifts. YES!

Taryn was so happy to get her "Princess Kitchen" and Tyson was over joyed for his "Wolf Mountain." That made the long night before worth all the time and effort it took to put it all together.
They just wanted to play with what Santa had brought them. It actually took some coaxing to get them to open their other gifts.
Tyson got a REAL bow with REAL arrows from Grandma and Papa Jackson. He wanted to go out and shoot it right then and there. (If Vaughn had felt better I think this would have happen)
Poor Vaughn, he was able to come down stairs and watch the kids open up gifts and open up his own, but then the Vertigo over took him and he went back upstairs to lay down.
The Bat Cave. Tyson wanted this FOREVER! Thanks Grandma T. This will provide lots of fun for this kid and for Taryn as well.
Princess Clothes. Thanks Grandma Jackson. Taryn had to put them on right after she opened them up. Too Cute!
Pinkalicious stuff. OH BOY! Taryn has just started to like "Pinkalicious" and so to get anything to do with her lit up Taryn's little face.
Here is one of the Princess Costumes......more to come.
The Princess in the Princess Kitchen. This was so darn cute to watch. I could have watched her play all day.
Tyson loved handing out the presents to everyone and then looking for ones that have his name on them to open up. I love watching the eyes of children when opening up a gift. There is nothing like it!
"Beauty and the Beast" We have rented this DVD from the library ever since we moved to Knoxville and Taryn finally has a copy all her own. She said, "This is Taryn's movie." Yep sis, this is yours. (We watched it twice today)
Cookin' up some "fake" hot dogs in the Princess Kitchen.
I started a tradition a few years back of making cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve to eat for breakfast Christmas morning. They are delicious. I look forward to them every year.
Everything has been opened and now we PLAY!
After opening up the gifts, and breakfast, Vaughn headed back upstairs to lay down for a while. So the kids and I got all dressed in our new Christmas clothes and took pictures. Notice Taryn's pulled face. I told her to smile and this is what I got. HA HA HA
Take Two......she is still PULLING THE SMILE. (come on sis, you are killin' me)

Wouldn't ya know it! Now Taryn decides to smile NORMAL and Tyson does that! Geeze....I couldn't win. Oh well. They make for fun pictures. It was a good Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It Is Christmas Eve & All Through The House.......

Everyone else is asleep but momma is trying to put together Christmas, namely one "Princess Kitchen." The funny thing about this is that I had talked to my friend Jenny earlier in the day and she said, "Ah, you can knock that thing out in 30 minutes." Well 30 minutes turned into 1 hour and 30 minutes. What ding-a-ling decided that this little kitchen needed 100 pieces to put together? Where is the snap, snap you are done version?

My happy face before I looked at the instructions. Funny thing is, that I should have taken a picture after I looked at the instruction. The expression was sheer panic!! The instructions were so VAGUE!
This is only half the pieces, the other half are behind me in this picture.
(Notice the concentration) I am flying solo building this toy for Taryn since Vaughn has something terribly wrong with him and has been in bed for the past 3 days. Needless to say, I could really use some of his brains and muscle right now but it isn't going to happen. Thank goodness I had a mom that taught me how to put things together. Otherwise I would be in deep crap right about now!
This little "Princess Kitchen" came with a vague instruction booklet and 30 tiny screws that really don't fit into the holes they are suppose to go into. Who came up with this?
Am I done yet?
AH! Finally! The darn thing is done. Why can't toy makers produce toys that are put together friendly? It took me an hour and 25 minutes to put this little project together. Next year, if it has to be put together I am either not buying it or I am paying someone to put it together. Or better yet, I will put it together 5 nights before and hide it in the attic. Then all I have to do is bring it out on Christmas Eve and go to bed.
Santa is finished for the night. And all looks well.
My Santa tree. I have been collecting and receiving Santa ornaments for years now. And I just love my tree. Tyson doesn't like the fact that it doesn't have a star on the top. Sorry son. Santa tops this tree. is the spread the night before Christmas. I wish I could hold this picture in time, because I love it when all the gifts are wrapped, Santa has come and there is a CALM about the whole Christmas HOOPLA! 6 hours from now this will all be a memory....LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

In An Instant.......

We as human beings take so much for granted, it is just human nature to do this. One thing I think we all take for granted the most is our health. We never question our well being until it becomes compromised and then we remember to be grateful for good health. This concept has hit our family hard the past few days.
Wednesday, Vaughn called me from the hospital to come and get him, said he was too dizzy to drive. I picked him up from work, brought him home and put him to bed. He slept for about 20 hours and then woke up Thursday morning, still just as dizzy as the day before. He was unable to keep any food or liquid down if he sat up or stood up. But if he stayed in bed then he could drink a little bit and eat some.
Thursday afternoon he said it was serious and so we took him back to the hospital to be seen by one of his faculty doctors. The kids and I waited for 2 hours in the lobby while they did all kinds of tests on him. Finally, they told us they thought it had something to do with his inner ear. So we were sent over to the Ears, Nose and Throat doctors (ENTs). There, they gave him a few more tests and then sent him home. They figure something is blocking the inner ear thus causing the vertigo, but they cannot see anything blocking it. We picked up a band of prescriptions and brought him back home, where he has been in bed ever since.
I have never seen him this sick. And he confesses that he has never been this sick in his life. I am so grateful for all the prayers, blessings, calls, food and just general concern that has come our way. Thank you everyone! We will just pray that what ever is ailing his body soon repairs itself and he is made whole again. I also pray that myself and the children stay healthy and are able to take care of Vaughn.
(On another note, besides having Vaughn sick, Wednesday night Tyson threw up all in his bed and so Taryn and I slept down stairs on the couch cushions while Tyson slept in her tiny bed and Vaughn slept in our bed. Tyson is now feeling better, but was very sick yesterday while at the hospital. What a way to spent Christmas.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Garble Of Things

The other day the kids asked for pancakes. As I was in the process of making the batter, I saw some chocolate chips and thought, "Hmmm, wonder if the kids would like chocolate chips in their pancakes?" So I cooked the pancakes to look like Mickey Mouse shapes and then used the chocolate chips to make the face. When the kids came to eat they were astonished to see the Mickey Mouse chocolate chip pancakes. They scarfed down the pancakes and then asked for more. Tyson said I was the best mom! YEAH! Finally, I did something right and all it took was a few chocolate chips. It would have been nice to have known this little tid bit of information a long time ago.

For the past month I have been practicing with the ward choir for our Christmas program. I have been singing Alto, which is completely out of my element, but I went with it. My mom has always sang Alto and I the Soprano parts of music, so for me to sing Alto has been a bit difficult. Anyways, we sang during our ward sacrament meeting and during the stake's Christmas Program. I have been really nervous for these two performances, and so have been privately practicing on my own, just so I didn't screw up! The choir's performances were wonderful and I didn't sound too bad either. I kind of like singing Alto. It is still hard for me to find the tone, but with practice, it will get better.

Christmas is approaching quickly. Faster than I want it to. I love the anticipation of the season, the decor, looking for good deals on gifts, and the time to really think about Jesus and his birth. I love that during this time of year, that becomes more thought of than any other time of year. This year, the kids bought a gift for someone else and gave it to the Toys for Tots. It did my heart good to see them give to someone else and be happy about it. I hope my children really learn the true meaning of Christmas, (and enjoy the gifts) but really understand that this is a time to do service for others and to be thankful for Jesus and all he has done for us.
On another note, my shopping is all done, the gifts are almost wrapped, baking is finished and now I can just sit back and enjoy the holidays and my family.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day

Mark this in the "Books" we had a SNOW DAY here in Knoxville. What the heck? I was shocked. There was maybe 1/2 an inch and they called a snow day. Holy cow! It has to snow 2 feet back home for the buses not to run to school, for them to call a snow day. I laugh just thinking about it. So we took advantage of the so called snow and went out in the back yard for a good snowball fight.
Here are the kiddos all bundled up making their snowballs. Needless to say, I won! I usually will let my kids beat me in all other games, except when it comes to snow. I hate to be cold, so I won! (I know, I am a mean mom, but hey, survival of the fittest!) But the kids had a ball dodging and throwing snowballs and we played until Taryn said, "I'm done."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

What is this crap on the ground? I thought I left it all back in Michigan, but it found me!!! I couldn't believe it when we woke up to snow the other day. Okay, so this isn't complete snow, it is just a skiff, but enough to freak people out around here. People were CRAZY drivers. I was scared just to drive among them. Not for the fact that I have to drive on the little bitty skiff of snow, but for the fact that all the Knoxville drivers had no clue how to drive on it. I watched several cars spin out and skid off of the road. YIKES!! Thank goodness for us, the snow melted by noon and all was well with the world. Tyson was thrilled at the snow and so ready to get his sled out and go sledding. HA HA HA. I hated to burst his bubble, but I told him that it was going to take a lot of snow for that to happen.
We had our Ward Christmas party and Santa came. Tyson informed me, the second he walked in, that it wasn't the REAL Santa, because his beard wasn't right. He then wanted to know why someone was impersonating the real Santa. (this kid is too smart for his own good). So I had to explain that Santa has a lot of helpers this time of year, because he can't be every place at once.
So........last night I took the kids to the Cedar Bluff Library to see the REAL Santa. Here they are patiently waiting in line to see him. I was informed, again, by my son that this Santa was the real Santa. I implored why this one was real and the one the night before wasn't? This is what he said, "Two things mom. One, he has a real beard. And Two, I heard him ask another child what they wanted for Christmas. So that makes him the REAL one." Okay! Perfect logic!
I didn't think that Taryn would sit on his lap, and I spent most of the time standing in line coaxing her about telling Santa what she wanted. He was an excellent Santa. He told her how pretty her pink coat was and that did it. She was all about that white haired man. (side note: she loves to be told how pretty she is or how nice her clothes are, what a diva) Taryn even smiled for a picture with Santa. YES!
Tyson also told Santa what he wanted and made sure that Santa knew where he lived and that he had been a really good boy this year. I love this time of year and having kids makes it that much more fun. I can't wait until Christmas day when they see what "Santa" brought them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Do You Shop BLACK FRIDAY? I do.......

Oh yes, I braved the crowds at Target this morning at 3 AM and waited outside in the rain and somewhat cold weather for that blessed hour of 4 AM to come and open the doors to savings. OKAY, so it wasn't that cool, but I did get some great deals on the things I wanted and I was pretty much up towards the middle of the line, so when I got into Target there were still carts and the people weren't that crazy.
I about didn't go anywhere this year, because most of the things I have wanted I have procured during the past few months during different sales. But my little princess, Taryn, recently saw a Disney Princess Kitchen on TV and has decided that was what she wanted for Christmas. I about died because they have been priced anywhere from 60-100 dollars. HOLY COW! That is a little steep for me to buy something that expensive for a 2 year old. So, I have searched all the stores' adds for this little prize but to no avail, until yesterday before Thanksgiving dinner. I looked at Target's add and there it was, the prized kitchen for 40 dollars. I knew, right then and there, I was getting up early to brave the craziness of it all to get her that kitchen.
So when I pulled up to Target at 3 AM I thought I would be in good standings for the line. JEEZ! I was SO wrong. Luckily I beat the rush of people and ran to a spot and wasn't about to be pushed out of it. When I did finally get into the store I figured I would be out of luck and all of the kitchens would be gone. Lucky for me, I got to the section of the store where they were located and sure enough, 2 left. Target workers were handing out the merchandise from behind a little rope thing, (like that was going to save them from the throng of crazy shoppers). Another lady and I both asked them for the kitchens and luckily there were 2 left, one for me and one for her; otherwise I was going to have to show her how we WESTERN girls do things!!! HA HA HA. Actually I probably would have grabbed it and ran as fast as I could to a check out line before she knew what happened, but luck was on my side and I didn't have to show off my sprinting skills, which are not as good as they once were!
Now the coveted item it safely put away awaiting Christmas day and the excitement of my little one's face when she sees what Santa brought her. I LOVE BEING A PARENT!!!!
(on a side note, I also got board games for 2 dollars a piece and some great door buster items. I just love the rush of the sale)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Real Reason To Be Thankful

My sister and brother-in-law are going to have a baby!!!!! I am so excited. She is due June 13, 2010, and this soon to be auntie couldn't be happier! This is their first child and since they live 1 1/2 hours from my mom, grandma will actually have a grandchild close enough to see whenever she wants. I am just thrilled. This is the announcement she sent me over the email to tell me that she was expecting. I was so excited when I read it I yelled for joy! They will make such good parents. We are so excited for you two.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Turkey, Rolls and Randomness

Tyson's very own turkey. He had another project at school to make this turkey and decorate it any way he wanted to. He wanted to color it all first and then finish it up by using puff paint, and feathers. This project was completed all by him. I merely watched and gave support. I am so proud of him. Good job buddy!

HA! I finally have mastered the making of rolls. Now before all of this I have tried countless times to make rolls with much failure. They were either not fully baked, very very heavy or dry. Either way they were not good. But I kept trying. Well.....the other night at RS meeting the bishop taught us all how to make Lion House Rolls. OH SO EASY!! I love this recipe. It is made just for those like me who suck with yeast. I came home and baked my rolls, with the dough he gave us and they were good. So the next day I tried to duplicate the rolls again and guess what, I DID IT!! I really did it. I was able to make light and fluffy, yummy rolls. I am now off of the failure list of making rolls. Check that off the list.
Don't they look yummy?

Vaughn is such a sweet daddy. Taryn loves to be with him. He went to go and change the oil in the truck and she wanted to go with him. She loves him and gives him tons and tons of hugs. TOO CUTE!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So Thankful

I know this time of year we are to think about the things that we are thankful for; which is something we should be doing all year. My little family has been so very, very blessed that I just have to thank my Heavenly Father for all the blessings, obstacles, and life that He has given me. Being in medical school wasn't the easiest thing in this world and not something we want to do over, but WOW, it taught us, and me personally, tons and I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of during hard times and good times. I am so thankful for obstacles and those "road bumps" that come into our lives. (Yes, you heard me right. I am thankful for the hard times) Those bumps and obstacles made me a better person and taught me life lessons I needed to learn. And I know that my Heavenly Father wouldn't leave me during those hard time, and that He was with me all the way, sometimes holding my hand.
We have been so blessed to have lived in some awesome places, and though they were and are far away from family back west, we have been able to see, do and be cultured in so many ways that we wouldn't have been had we stayed home.
In a nutshell, I am just so grateful for all that we have. We aren't millionaires, but we are a close family, who loves each other and finds joy in the small and simple things in life. And to me that is what counts, not the money or the fame, but family and love.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A New Look/ A Free Day at The Knoxville Zoo

(bad picture)It doesn't look that different in the picture, but believe me when I say it is very different. A few months ago I needed a hair cut. I have not known where to go and decided that since I just needed a trim the Great Clips place would suffice. NOTE TO SELF: NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! Needless to say, it was a disaster and I ended up coming home crying at the butcher job the lady gave me. Vaughn had to take some of his surgical scissors and try to even out what the so-called hairstylist did. It was a nightmare and it has taken me this long to feel comfortable to go to another stylist. I talked to a lady at church who has darling hair and found out who she goes to have her hair cut and styled. I ended up calling "Pure Luxe" Salon and booked me an appointment. It was WONDERFUL! The stylist, Kristie, was so nice and really listened when I told her what I wanted my hair to look like. The whole place was so inviting and luxurious. I could have stayed in the motorized, massaging, hair washing chair the whole time. Everything was so professional and nice and I knew that I would like what ever it was she did. I ended up keeping my bob and just shortening up the back. She also gave me some soft bangs, which at first I wasn't too sure about, but now I love them. AH!!! I feel like a real, pretty looking mama again. Thanks to my mom for sending me the money for the hair cut, I can actually enjoy doing my hair again. (There is just something about getting your hair done for a woman. It can make you feel so much better about yourself and your appearance)So, after the enjoyable hair cut, I went home to find out what we were going to do for the rest of this fine Saturday. Vaughn actually had the day off. YAHOO!! What family activity can we do that is reasonably cheap, but fun too, the ZOO! And come to find out that today was the Zoo's annual Free Day. Yes, we went on the free day and I can honestly say I will not ever do that again. However, it was enjoyable and crazy and funny, but it was SO crowded!
The zoo gate workers informed us that there was about 13,000 people there at the time we arrived. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! Holy crap! It was like sheep herding back home. Just wall to wall people, and Yes, we saw Knoxville's Finest! HA HA HA. I have never seen so many missing teeth and heard so many southern drawls as I did that day. It was just a sea of people, and to look at an exhibit meant we had to push our way to the front.
Luckily for us, the kids were in good spirits and loved seeing the animals among the throng of people.
This is one of the zoo's pride and joy; the red panda. Kinda looks like a cross between a fox, small bear and a raccoon.
We got to see the zoo keepers hose down the female elephants for a bath. Then we came outside of the exhibit to see the giant male elephant. Taryn wanted to go for a ride on him. HA HA HA.
Taryn with her daddy. So cute. She has that daddy wrapped around her little finger. It is only going to get worse with age.
My little monkey boy. This actually fits Tyson. He still has a trace of those kissable, chubby cheeks he used to have as a baby.
The white tiger was not up for the mass of visitors and so decided to sleep for the duration of the day.

Two happy parents with two happy kids. Even though it was the most crowded place I have ever been to, we had an enjoyable time and have been talking about it all day.