Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Princesses in Her Teeth

Choobs has been exhibiting some of the "terrible" lately, as in "Terrible Two's." Luckily, it's actually pretty mild since she is so even-tempered, but last night she refused to let us brush her teeth. Raleigh finally figured out a way to get her to comply: we decided to "look for the princesses" in her teeth. We found Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. Several times. And she loved it! Here's the little witch herself:

In Sacrament Meeting on Sunday after the opening prayer, she yelled at the top of her lungs: "AMEN! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Then after the second Sacrament prayer, she yelled, "AMEN! WATERS!!!!" (She was really thirsty, and we told her the water was coming.)

I tell Dallas when he gets home from work that Choobs has been a "faithful companion," just like a little doggy. She is really very self-entertained, but when I want to play or read with her, she is just so agreeable and pleasant. I wonder what kind of pet she would be?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to Make Caramel Popcorn with Your Grammy

First, go to your Grammy's house for Thanksgiving (2009). Wear sponge rollers in your hair so that you'll have curlies just in time to look pretty for dinner.
Make your favorite homemade caramel recipe. None of this "open a bunch of packaged caramels and melt them" business. This is the real deal!

Pop at least two big batches of popcorn in a Stir Crazy popcorn popper. Any other kind is flavorless for certain. Trust me, I'm a connoisseur.

You've gotta trust me!

Mix. And don't follow those directions about baking the mixture in the oven for a few minutes. We like our caramel popcorn chewy!

Don't we, Grammy?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Raleigh's Half-Birthday Post of Her Seventh Birthday

Since when did this little munchkin start getting so big??

Miss Raleigh-Kroggies celebrated her 7th birthday six months (and a day) ago in Virginia Beach, and it was the party of parties!!

Henry, our beloved doorman, crooned his own special, private solo, "Happy Birthday to Raleigh," TWICE! She felt really special.
Isn't he cute? I love old men. Especially old classy black men. Who can tap. (He didn't.)

Just previous to her birthday party, I held a Princess Ballerina Tea Party at our place to celebrate all things girly with our work friends. We went ALL out. So I felt kind of bad that I hadn't come up with much for Raleigh's party; I didn't want her to feel like she wasn't as important or special as our friends. Thus was the birth of our Matthews Family Birthday Parties: we now go all out.

MORNING: Open a gift from Mom and Dad to wear on your special day.

Somebody's excited! (And I know by that look on her face that she is smiling at Dallas. She looks at him like that a lot; he is her special pal.)

Beachy shirt and flip flops! Perfect for a July birthday!

Cute, Raleigh!

Next, before Choobers' nap: "Horton Hears a Who" at the free movie morning!

Good thing it was free because all of the treats were devoured by the beginning of the show, and Madeline was too scared to make it through Horton's attempts to save Who-ville. Raleigh didn't care, so we just left. Good thing it was also just across the street.

After nap-time: Dallas came home with two large pizzas and drinks. Hooray!

For her "Butterfly" party, we first made Butterfly Glasses out of paper and pipe cleaners to wear throughout the party. (We like to use Q-Tips to apply the glue. It helps control the mess. I'm saying that because the next picture has Choobs holding one in her hand. She's gluing, not cleaning her ears.)
Okay, no, it looks like she's cleaning her ears.

Raleigh's glasses before being decorated.

Raleigh with her decorated glasses and her Beautiful Butterfly Birthday poster of events.


I love how Dallas made a "D" for his glasses, and Raleigh's has little eyelid-looking things.

Too bad you're already married, Dallas, or I would show this at your wedding!

Dionne's glasses.

Madeline, working hard.

Raleigh and I traded the glasses we made.

Madeline, I love your glasses and the little dimple on the side of your chin!

Choobs chases the birthday girl.

The butterfly cake, as requested:

The butterflies took all of Raleigh's presents and flew them up on top of the refrigerator! We had to work as a team to get them down. Every time we threw a ball ten times through each of the slots on the ladder, Raleigh could climb up and open a gift. We had to work as a team to get ten straight shots.

She couldn't have been more excited to open presents!

And Choobs couldn't have been more excited to eat cake!

Make that Madeline, too!

Eating cake on her new plate from Grandma Lisa:

Funny sister!

One last unexpected gift from Daddy - a chapter book!

The loot.

After this, if I remember correctly, I think we had a dance party to our Dance Party Mix on playlist. And that was the end.

Raleigh, you've grown up so much in just the past six months! Just another six more until you are eight and will be baptized. "You need to quit getting so big!" We love you and are so glad you are in our family! "Don't forget how much we love you!"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

May All Your Roller Backpack Dreams Come True

Raleigh and Madeline's dreams came true this past Christmas: Santa brought them roller backpacks. I hope Santa brings them something school-related every December because they have been so excited for school to start just so they can use their new backpacks.

Raleigh asked me to check the weather this morning for her. I told her, "It will be really cold today, and it might even snow on Thursday!"

She said, frustrated, "No, Mom! I want to know if it will be sunny or rainy or snowy TODAY!!"

"Today is supposed to be sunny," I told her.

"Okay. Then I can roll my backpack," she said, finally content.

I think this might turn into a daily occurrence. But I was pleasantly surprised to see their lunches already in their bags without me nagging them, and they had even packed some extra things like tissues and truffles. (Tissues and truffles - they are such GIRLS!! Isn't that what my purse needs, too?)

We loaded up in the car to drop Dallas off at work on the way to school (because Miss Nancy is temporarily dead in his work parking lot), and the girls were so accommodating to each other and their bulky baggage, making room for each one's new pink polka-dotted preciousness. Where annoyances would have normally been, politeness abounded. Dallas moved Madeline's backpack to the side so that Raleigh could get in the car. "Oh, no, Dad. I can climb over," she said in a surprisingly mature tone. "Yeah, Dad," Madeline said. "She can climb over," she said again in the same tone.

We rolled up to the school (pun intended), and the last thing I shouted to them as they got out of the car was, "I hope you have the rolliest backpacks in the school!"

I am liking the backpack thing. I think I will tell Santa how good the girls have already been this year. They talked to him, you know. Here are their videos from him:




You should've seen their faces. It was pure magic! And Santa was so thoughtful to bring them what they wanted for themselves and each other BOTH!

(And until we get our camera back from the doctor, I will be posting old pictures.)

Post-Post: I just realized that Choobs has been in a time-out for like fifteen minutes. That's how I wrote this post. I kind of forgot about her back there in her isolation. But now she is singing, so maybe I should keep her there? Whoops! On to my day . . .

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Dallas made a list recently of positive affirmative statements to hang up in our room and read to himself everyday in the hopes of becoming the person he tells himself he is. For example:

"I am a kind, excited, loving, and fun husband and father."

He's already got that one down.

Raleigh wondered what he was doing, and he explained it to her. She sort of understood it; a little bit later she came in with her own list for him, and here is what she wrote:

1. I live in a free contry.
2. I am a son of God.
3. I have the gosple in my life.
4. Meny blesings come apon me.
5. I have enogh monny for my family.
6. I have so meny talints.
7. I have family close by.
8. I have a house to live in.
9. I have food to eat.
10. I have an erly shift at work.
11. My family is cind.
12. My family has meny talints.
13. There is no wor in my land.
14. Jesuse loves me so much he sent his son.

And another one she wrote the next day for him:

1. I got to go to school.
2. I lived in hevin.
3. I have the presthod in my life.
4. I am a happy cherfl person.
5. God sent me to erth.
6. Jesuse utond for my sins.
7. I will go back to hevn.

Now is that precious or what? They are posted on the wall right next to his list and are a good reminder of what we have to be grateful for.

Yesterday we were in Peachtree City at my parent's house, and as my dad walked down the hall past Raleigh carrying a couple of guns to go shooting with Dallas, she said to the rest of us, "Man! He's got some powerful guns!"

Later we were all lounging on the couch, and I asked the girls, "Are you going to take care of me when I get old?" And Raleigh said, "I'm not going to apply for that job!" (But Madeline said she would take care of me.)