Monday, December 31, 2007
It's that time of year when everyone puts out their lists.... best and worst of 07. In the spirit of list-making I want to offer a list of highlights from our year (for those of you still holding out hope for a Christmas letter from us, just print this out).
In January we made a trek across the globe to visit Jeff and Christine and the boys in Uganda. It was your basic re-con mission to determine if these two crazy kids were in fact insane, or actually true missionaries with a heart for other people. They are sane. We had a great time seeing their home and work, and of course the kids enjoyed playing together in the African mud which was available round the clock. Jason proved once again that he is a traveler, content with the journey as much as the destination. Cameron proved she is a tourist, only interested in the ends, not the means. Her determination to make herself heard on each flight was enough to suck the travel bug out of us completely until we ventured out again in October for a weekend trip to Yosemite. Global travel will have to wait a few more years.
February and March flew by as we continued to recover from our jaunt across the world. We did celebrate many birthdays and went to Jason's Kindergarten Tea (which, to him was a complete rip-off because we neither had tea nor started actual kindergarten). In April, Jason turned 5 and was completely shocked to learn that that was again, not enough to grant him entrance into a kindergarten classroom, he had to wait for September. April was also the month that Jason discovered Legos and we lost him for hours at a time as he created his masterpieces.
In June, Cameron discovered her love of the water. She enthusiastically participated in swim lessons and dared to dip her toes in the waves at the beach. Her bravery was fun and yet scary at the same time. We spent the summer in a constant schedule of library story-times, beach days, park days, and lots of craft days. Jason completed the library's reading program once again and earned many great prizes.
This summer we also spent many days geocaching and discovered many quiet corners of our beautiful county. August was spent getting ready for kindergarten. For Jason it was the slowest month of the year!
In September, school finally started and our lives were thrust into a new routine. Jason started to soak up knowledge and silly stories at an incredible rate. Cameron started her gymnastics class and library story-time. The gym proved to be Cameron's love and the best place to expel all her energy. I learned the art of living out of our car as I became a chauffeur for all these activities. Only 15ish more years to go!
October was a flurry of birthday activity once again as we celebrated Darren and Cameron's among others. As I mentioned earlier, this was also the month we dared to travel again and enjoyed a weekend in the motorhome in Yosemite. November and December hurried right by as we prepared for Christmas.
I am grateful for all the growth we've seen in the kids this year and for their wonderful health. I am also grateful for Darren, who I continue to love (even after 11 years!). And I'm grateful for you faithful blog readers, you continue to inspire me to record the quirky details of life in the Rusco house. Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It's over already, can you believe it? All the preparations and crafts and baking..... no reason to stop the crafts and baking! The kids enjoyed both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because they were both packed with visiting and opening presents and playing with toys. Jason spent most of Christmas Eve constructing his new Lego airport at Nanny and Da's house while Cameron mashed all her beautiful new playdough into big swirling blob. My mom bought my love and devotion with the gift of a Kitchen Aid mixer and my dad gave Darren the gift of heat for his truck. We also went to Grandma Jean's house that evening for a quick Rusco Christmas. In the morning we gave the kids their scooters for Christmas. We then headed over to Darren's parents for breakfast and more presents. Grammy's theme this year was pajamas, and we all love our new jammies. Of course, Jason got more Legos, so we lost him for another day. We are very appreciative of all the wonderful gifts we received this year and were very happy to be able to give gifts as well.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I think pink eye is the most awesome of all the childhood illness (I mean, if you had to rank the awesomeness of such a thing...). From my point of view, it is awesome whenever you can call in your kid's symptoms to the pediatricians office, have them confirm that you do indeed know what you're talking about, they then call in the prescription for you and to top it all off.... the drops only cost $10! How great is that?! And the best part is that Jason wasn't even feeling crummy (he's just making a goofy face in this picture) so we were able to spend the day making paper snowflakes.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wow, I am absolutely giddy with giddiness. We attended Jason's first school Christmas program last night and words cannot express how much we loved it. Don't get me wrong, it was full of mistakes, forgotten lines and set mishaps, but isn't that what makes kid's programs so great? Jason was Joseph and a little girl from his class was Mary (and if you ask Jason about it he will be quick to tell you that the baby was a doll, and it was naked and wrapped in cloths; he finds it very funny). The premise of the show was something about Christmas cards, and every class made a scene as if they were on the front of a card and they also sang a song. Several kids from our church were in the show, so it was fun to watch them also. Afterwards we went to McDonald's with our friends and for about an hour our sugar-filled, high on post-show excitment, loud and goofy kids terrorized the place.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The kids were outside on the patio drawing with sidewalk chalk the other day. They had sweaters and beanies on and it was chilly. It reminded me of afternoons in Portland, because that's exactly how we spent the time with buddies like Alison and Anna. I just wish their moms could have been there to drink hot tea and talk to me while the kids played :(
I am so excited about how these gifts are turning out that I had to stop mid-craft and post about it! For teacher gifts this year I bought a bunch of composition notebooks (97 cents at Target) and covered them with paper and ephemera from my scrapbooking supplies. I also bought votives and clear holders (4 for $1 at Michael's) and covered them in a printed vellum. I used doubled sided tape to attach everything (my new favorite product!). SHHHHH! don't tell anyone how little I spent. And please, oh please if you are a blog reader who receives one of these gifts act surprised and amazed at my creativity.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Jason and I are on a roll this year. We are cranking out the crafts for both gift-giving and home decorating. We started with a classic paper chain made from all my scrapbooking paper scraps. Then we found a tutorial on how to make these cool modern paper ornaments. Next we made bath salts for gift-giving. Jason decorated some clear ornaments by rolling paint around the inside. And I've been decorating clipboards and notebooks with cute paper and embellishments. Not to mention our eco-wreath and the projects Jason makes in school. I think we'll definitely hit 12 this year.
Friday, December 7, 2007
I don't know why, but for some reason I hoard those plastic bags that you get at every store. For some reason I think that I may use them all someday. And unfortunately our apartment complex does not recycle... so the space between my refrigerator and countertop is jammed with obnoxious plastic bags. Until today. Since it's popular to be environmentally aware these days (and you know I'm such a trend follower...) I jumped at the chance to make this wreath out of bags. It was time-consuming and I think I may have inhaled too many chemicals from cutting all the bags. I'm sure my lungs will clear soon. But for now, enjoy these pictures. Darren and Jason were helping until a tragic scissor incident sidelined Darren. Jason had to help him recuperate by doing Mad Libs , so I was left on my own. The instructions are on the make&take section of two peas in a bucket, a scrapbooking website.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
We finally made it to December 1st! The day before Thanksgiving we were driving around town and Jason was yelling at all the Christmas decorations in the parking lots, "You have to have Thanksgiving first!". As noble and endearing as his sentiments were, he scarfed down his Thanksgiving dinner so we could hurry up and get to Christmas. So, since Thanksgiving was so early this year, we made a deal: we would wait until December 1st to decorate the house for Christmas. The poor boy barely made it. He was begging me all week to get out "just a few things...." Yesterday started off the Christmas season by going to Kohl's and buying a new piece for our Christmas village collection (we got the post office, we already have a church and a gas station, for some reason, this order makes perfect sense to Jason). We then got our holiday dose of orange chicken at Panda Express. And finally, it was time to trudge through the wilderness of the Wal-Mart parking lot to chop down our tree. (Someday, I will ride a horse drawn sleigh through the snow, in the forest, drinking hot chocolate, singing carols, and we will actually chop down a live tree.... it will be great.). Jason and Darren sawed off the stump when we got home and we set it up inside. No fights. After decorating and having dinner we bundled up and headed downtown for the holiday light parade. For 2 hours we sat on the curb, freezing, waiting for the parade to start then watching the floats. Who knew there would be 74 entries? We only made it through 40 before the kids had had enough. All in all it was a good day. Now our house smells like pine and we have fabulous decorations everywhere.