Friday, December 10, 2010

Horse farm in December?

Trey's preschool class had a field trip yesterday to Strides to Success which is a horse farm that specializes in therapy for special needs kids and behavioral issues. It was a really cool idea and a really neat little place. But not when it's 20 degrees with a windchill of -5. In retrospect, I bet the school is wondering why they planned this field trip for the coldest time of year. It would have been really cool if they could have gone out to the pastures and watched the horses. As it was, all the kids were kept in the (un-heated) barn where there were 3 horses in stalls (that they weren't tall enough to see into) and in a classroom. I also had Emerson with me thinking she would like to see the horses too. Well she did.....for approximately 30 seconds. Too bad the field trip was an hour and a half long. Next time, we'll get a sitter for her.

Trey really liked it though he was disappointed that he didn't get to sit on the horses like he thought he would. He asked me this morning if we could go somewhere where you're allowed to sit on the horses. I told him, yes definitely, we should absolutely find somewhere we can go horse-back riding. Now he's concerned that "we don't have the right gear" (his words). When I asked him what we needed, he told me, "a saddle, a string to hold the saddle on, and a rope to steer and stop the horse." Wow, I guess HE was paying attention to the presentation at the farm while I chased Emerson around. Anyone know of a stable that lets you ride horses on the west side of Indy? When I was growing up, a lot of people I hung out with had horses. We went riding a lot when I was in high school. I don't have those connections up here though so I think we have to go the stable route. That's probably safer than the way we used to do it anyway. There was usually a lot of beer involved and really steep hills. Not sure how no one ever got hurt!

I don't really have any pictures to share from the field trip. Two-year-old runaway + taking off and putting on coats, hats, and gloves for three people = not many photo ops. But we did get to make a horse sock puppet that Trey named 'Fred'. Fred is awesome and has been part of many adventures already. In fact, Woody is riding around on him right now. So, the day wasn't a total loss!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is Christmas really 2.5 weeks away?

How is that even possible? I have a confession to make.....are you ready? I haven't done one single bit of Christmas shopping yet. Yes, I'm serious. Not one present is bought. Have I thought about it? Well, of course. I even have ideas for most of the people on my list. But actually going out and purchasing gifts? Hmmmm, not so much. I should probably be panicking just a little bit, or at least starting to get nervous. But, I'm not. It may have something to do with the fact that I have to work on Christmas day, and the day after, and the day after that too. So, Christmas with my mom and dad has been postponed to the week before New Years. And Bobby's dad is in Florida and his mom is in South Carolina. That takes a lot of the pressure off to find the perfect gifts before Christmas. Or, it makes me delusional since I have to work 3 days in a row and then we're heading to Jasper right away. So even though I don't have to have the gifts to give before Christmas, I should still have them bought. Oh well, it'll get done sometime. Right?

One little Christmas tradition we've implemented into the Chin house is the "Elf on the Shelf". My mom gave it to us last year but Trey was scared to death of the little creature so we kind of ignored it. But this year, our little elf, Rispy (Trey and Bobby named it, no idea), has been busy watching every move the kids make and reporting back to Santa. This is by far the greatest Christmas invention ever. Seriously, it's the perfect parenting tool. All I have to say when the kids are misbehaving is, "I hope Rispy isn't watching this" and they're good as gold. Well, Trey is anyway. Emerson doesn't really get the concept and could care less. Anyway, I wish I could use it all year 'round to keep them in line. The other thing the kids are supposed to do is tell Rispy what they want for Christmas. I tried listening really hard when Trey was whispering in the elf's ear but he was too quiet. So I told him he better repeat it to make sure Rispy heard him. He looked at me, got really quiet, and said, "I forget what I asked for." Great, now how is 'Santa' supposed to know what to bring?

The other tradition we decided to do was to build a gingerbread house. Let's just say that as the contractor, I sucked. I was very concerned that I would run out of icing so I was a little stingy when building the walls. Bad idea. Since the walls are the very foundation of the entire thing, in retrospect, I should have been way more concerned about getting that part right. Oops. Lesson learned. So now the gingerbread "house" is more of a broken down fort, complete with GUTS soldiers, ninjas, a wooden policeman, and firefighter. Oh well, it was fun....just as much for Bobby and I as for the kids who really just wanted to lick the icing and eat the decorations anyway.

A couple of pictures just because they're cute...

Sassy Emmy striking a pose
Such a handsome little man

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas preparations

I'm going to try to make most of the posts this winter very positive and focus on the awesome stuff going on in my life. You see, this is the time of year I despise. Cold weather is my achilles heel. Seriously, I cannot image anything worse than temperatures in the 'teens and 20s and cold blowing wind. But, I'm going to try really hard this winter to embrace it....well, at least to tolerate it with a good attitude.
Point number 1 of positivity (is that a word?) is putting up the Christmas tree. Bobby stayed home on Wednesday last week so we could get out the decorations and put up the tree. We're one of those lame-o families who put up a fake, pre-lit one. We talked about doing the tree farm this year--you know, trek through the snow, cut down your own, and haul it home--but decided against the hassle and extra expense (not only the tree but the stand, having to water it, etc). So, up went our old stand-by. But I have to say, it looks just as good and it's so nice to have the lights on and ready to go. We did discover one section of lights is burned out but we decided to leave it alone. You can barely tell with all the ornaments. Maybe next year we'll get a real one....
Putting on the ornaments is one of my favorite things each year. My Grandma Mehringer used to buy all of us an ornament every year based on what we were into that year. For example, I have ballet slippers, a cheerleader, a telephone, etc. When Bobby and I started dating, she bought him ornaments too. We have an "Our first home" ornament, a pregnant couple, and a new family one. I've always thought it was a really cool thing that she did, but it's even more poignant now that she's gone. She passed away in June 2007 right before Trey's 1st birthday. Every year I get out those old ornaments and every year I'm in tears hanging them on the tree. She was an amazing woman and I love the tangible reminders of how involved she was in our lives. She always made sure to pick out the perfect ornament to represent each one of the grandkids. It was a Thanksgiving tradition when she would hand them out and we couldn't wait to see what she picked. It's a tradition that my mom has carried on for my kids. I hope one day they have as much fun decorating their own Christmas trees and walking down memory lane.

The angel got a little fancied up this year, compliments of Trey and Emerson
Bobby and the kids--love these faces!
Such a sweet picture!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate cures all

Trey and I decided to make chocolate muffins this afternoon. He and Emerson begged me to buy the Hostess version at the grocery store yesterday but I convinced them it would be more fun to make our own. Why do I do that to myself? :) Actually, we have a lot of fun baking together and Trey is a really good little helper. And he LOVES to lick the beaters, the spoon, the bowl, etc. I love the resulting chocolate goatee! Anyway, it's a super ugly day here in Indiana (shocking for November, I know) so I figured a little chocolate can't hurt.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Long time no see...

I guess the resolution to blog more often didn't exactly pan out, huh? I'm going to give this another shot. It seems silly to have this fancy new Mac and do nothing but check email and Facebook with it. Maybe this time I can upload pictures more easily, get logged in more quickly, and become an all-around computer whiz. Ok, probably not the last one but I'm determined to utilize what I have. So, I'm going to start this blog up again....more as a journal for me than anything. I want something that my kids can look back and read and say, "Huh, that's what mom was thinking." I tried to do this in an actual journal, but that has turned into writing down the funny things they say more than an outlet for me. I'm always filled with good intentions. It's the follow-through that I have a problem with.... So, let's just jump right in, shall we?

We just got back from a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with my family. We headed to Jasper on Wednesday to my parents' house. Bobby and I stayed until Friday night and the kids stayed there through the weekend. This served many purposes: 1) kids got to spend extra time with Gigi and Grandpa, 2) Bobby and I got to have a night to ourselves, 3) Bobby got the winter yardwork done (without "help"), and 4) we got a free babysitter. All of us spent Thanksgiving Day with the Mehringers. What a crazy night that turned out to be! The entire crew was together for a change and we definitely took advantage of that! We all played Tri-bond (or Trio-fold, depends who you ask). Quite an experience--I never realized I had such a competitive family, or that I am so competitive myself! That game is rigged, I swear. That's the only explanation for how bad Pam and I are at it. But, congratulations Ron and Cori. I guess you earned it (cough, cough).
On Friday, my mom, Trey, and I did a little black Friday shopping....although we did not brave the early morning crowds. That afternoon my grandpa had a fish fry. The whole Mehringer clan was together again. A little more low-key than the night before, but still tons of fun! Then we went to my cousin Jodi's baby shower (on my mom's side). It was awesome to see the Schmitts since I had to come back to Indy for work and wasn't able to do Thanksgiving with them. I am so, so, so thankful for my amazing family, every last one of them. They made this holiday perfect for us. There has been a lot of loss surrounding people I love lately. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing family that I genuinely love to spend time with. I never realized that it isn't like this with all families. I know I will never take it for granted!

Until next time....