Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Red Blanket

All week the girls have been fighting over this red fleece Christmas blanket. Tonight Ally took the blanket from Ansley who in turn runs to daddy to tattle. Jerry's response, "Hit her." Are you freakin kidding me? To which Ansley replies, (as she's running off) "I go hit her!" UGGGG!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 28, 2008

Tonight the bedtime drauma was with Ansley. As Jerry was trying to get the girls into bed he was having a particularly difficult time with Ansley who just would not listen. It resulted in a spanking, which I hate but she finally stopped horsing around and climbed into bed. Crying over the utter devastion of the ordeal she tells Jerry, "Daddy I mad at you!" Jerry trying not to laugh tells her that it's okay to be mad but that we have listen. He then told her that he loved her and asked, "Do you love me?" "Yes daddy I love you, I just mad at you." You have to love toddlers!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008

Tonight as Jerry was putting the girls to bed Ally realized that her beloved blankie is missing. She was upset about having to go to bed without it when Ansley says, "Don't worry Ally you can use mine." Ansley you really are too sweet!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas morning at mom and dads. It was nice to be able to spend the morning with them and have them share in the excitement of two very happy little girls. Santa was good to them, he even left them a note with a picture of a beautiful new doll house waiting for them back home in CT. After opening presents we spent the afternoon with Teresa and Alan and went back to mom and dads for dinner. It was a relaxing day with way too much food!!

Ally playing her new guitar

Playing in the dirt in our pretty Christmas dresses.

olive fingers

The 3 Muskateers

The cousins

Opening presents from mom and dad. Mom bought everything 2 sizes too big for both girls. Same as last year despite calling ahead of time for sizes. She definatley keeps us laughing! :)

The Rice Fam

2 exhausted little people

Christmas Eve Dinner

Tonight we had a small Christmas Eve dinner with mom and dad. It was a nice quite night in with yummy crab legs and fish sauce. Even the girls ate like champs.

Poppy stealing a kiss under the mistletoe :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

Not only is today Christmas Eve but it is the 8th birthday of Alyssa. Hard to believe it was 8 years ago that she she interrupted Christmas Eve dinner. Time sure does fly. Happy Birthday Alyssa!!

The True Meaning of Christmas

Today I spent some time with the girls and my nieces reading scripture and talking about the birth of our Savior. It is so important to me that the girls realize the true meaning of Christmas. Afterwards we made a paper nativity scene. It's so good to be home. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas at Granny's

Well after yesterdays horrendous trip and working the second half of the shift on 3 hours of sleep in a rest area I am thankful for today. We spent the day up at Jerry's grandmothers celebrating Christmas. The girls loved seeing all of their cousins and family after being away since last summer. They got way too much from the family and enjoyed ever second of it. It just leaves me wondering, how in the world are we going to get all of this stuff back to CT?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We're Off!

6:00 am We've decided if we don't leave now we may as well stay so here goes nothing. We finished packing up the cars in a wintry 16 degrees and we pulling out by 7:04 am. Yippee! Atlanta here we come, sloooowly! Jerry and I both have mixed feelings about leaving, it looks so beautiful!
7:05 Ally, Why are we driving so slow?" And it begins...........
7:15 McDonald's for the breakfast of champions (mainly due to the fact that there is nothing to eat at our house and we're starving) While we were eating Jerry asked Ansley, "Are you my gal?" Her reply, "NO!" Jerry, "Yes, you're my gal." Ansley, "No daddy, I not a COW!" Too cute!
8:07 Sunoco for gas $1.09 a gallon. Gas couldn't have gone down at a better time and with price chopper rewards on gas it's a $10.00 fill up and we're off. Attempting the new route to try to avoid 95 in the day hours, UGGG!
8:09 Ally, "I'm hungry, I need a snack" I direct to to the line above where we left McDonald's for gas. It's gonna be a long trip. Oh how I love traveling in daylight.
8:15 Driving for 5 minutes and already the windshield is so filthy we can barely see out of it. No worries use the windshield wiper fluid. Nope! It's frozen. Perfect!!
8:38 Ally is her first act of kindness in weeks, gives Ansley her kitty cat pillow to sleep on. Maybe things are turning around.
9:00 Ansley "My belly hurts"
9:05 It killed me but we stop. Take girls to bathroom and clean the windshield. They are is filthy and now so are my legs from leaning in to strap the girls into their seats.
9:15 Ahhhh the open road
9:28 Ally "Are we still in CT?"
9:35 New York line. The roads are terrible, this is going to take forever at the median speed of 35 mph.
10:05 We have somehow messed up already and the roads are getting worse. With another storm just to the west of us we have decided to stop fighting the navigation and take 95. Unfortunately we have added more than 1.5 hrs to the trip by changing courses. Oh but what the heck, whats another couple of hours cramped in a small over packed civic driving 40 mph.
11:00 New Jersey and a brisk 26 degrees according to the car.
12:10 pm Ansley's asleep
12:35 Ally's asleep (Thank God for small miracles. Too bad it's so close to our lunch stop)
12:52 Delaware, no signs of snow anywhere. I think we're in the clear!
12:56 Maryland and a warmer 32 degrees. Lots of interesting looks as our civic with Georgia plates looks like it's been through a blizzard.
1:08 The first Waffle House sign. We must be getting closer!
1:10 Ally's awake "Are we in Georgia yet?"
1:30 Stop for lunch in the middle of nowhere 15 miles from the exit. Why do they put restaurants on the signs when they are soooooo far from the highway. UUUGGGGGGG!
2:30 We hit the road again. Look out Maryland mommy Rice is on a mission, GET OUT OF THE WAY!! Gas up at 1.59 a gallon.
3:00 Virginia almost back to the south.
4:10-5:30 TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC and more, you guessed it, TRAFFIC! Oh how I love I-95!
5:50 The kids are crying, I'm crying, Jerry wants to cry, and we aren't even out of Virgina. Boy it's gonna be a looooong ride.
7:10 Rest stop
7:20 Looking for food
8:00 Pizza Hut and a warm 42 degrees.
9:30 We stop at a Exxon for gas and to evaluate our current predicament. We have 500miles to go, more than half the trip and have already been on the road 14 hrs. With 6.5 hours to go (barring no further complications) we should arrive to my parents at 4 am. Just enough time for a shower, breakfast and the ride into work. Life is grand isn't it? Jerry's driving so I can get some sleep before work.
9:45 pm Both girls are asleep. Jerry is tired and we aren't going to make it.
10:00 pm North Carolina line, finally the south!!
10:50 We pull into the Flying J Rest stop (best rest stops, if ya wanted to know) Good place for a potty break, gas and a shower if ya need one. The kids are asleep so Jerry and I decide to pull in and try to rest for a few hours. It's tons of fun, especially when you can't put the seats back, in a civic, crammed with Christmas gifts. Can't you just feel the Christmas cheer!!
3:00 am I call out of work for the morning.
3:35 am Fun at the truck stop. Jerry and the girls have fun checking out all of the fun stuff at the truck stop store. Ansley finds some singing snowmen, turns them all on and starts singing and dancing. I smile for the first time in almost 15 hours.
3:40 On the road again. 337 more miles to go. About 5.5 hours. Is it me or should we have been there like 10 hours ago?
5:44 South Carolina line. 191 more freaking miles. 3 hours to go and it's pouring rain. At least now the car is clean.
5:45 Bathroom break for daddy, the girls are asleep.
6:15 Gas up before taking off at 1.45 a gallon.
7:43 Georgia state line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! About 85 more miles. 1.5 hours to go and a hot 51 degrees.
7:58 Ally's screaming. Ansley has a chunk of Ally's hair and is pulling, HARD!
8:10 We just passed our old exit in Jefferson.
8:20 Screaming and crying from the back seat.
8:58 Our final destination.

Gas for trip: about $30.00
Tolls: $19.05
Miles Traveled: 1,152
Total hours door to door: 26

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To leave or not to leave, that is the Question

Jerry and the girls went to bed around 8pm last night and now that the snow has finally stopped the question is whether or not to leave. We had pushed departure back to around midnight but it has just stopped and we have probably gotten a foot of snow. My fear however is though, is that there is another storm set to hit late tomorrow or the next day and if we don't get out at least by early morning we may not make it for Christmas. (I really don't want to be driving on the holiday.) Not only that but I am scheduled to work in Atlanta and we are pushing it as it is. Either way I guess the cars need to be dug out so the complex can be plowed.

First: Find the cars

Second: Dig the cars out

Third: Walk up to the road and see that nothing has been cleaned

Forth and final: Talk to the neighbors also digging their cars out and decide it would be safer to wait until morning to leave.

So it's off to bed for me!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, just not today!

So today was supposed to be a busy day of packing and school plays and tying up loose ends before heading out to Georgia this afternoon. Unfortunately school was cancelled yesterday in anticipation of a grandeous storm that is fouling up everything. Ally's play has been rescheduled for Jan 9th which means she misses it or we come home early and now it looks like we are going to be stuck here for at least another day. Jerry had to go up to UCONN this morning and I tried to finish up some last minute packing as we held onto the hope that everyone was wrong and we might get out anyway. Clear skies prevailed until about 1:15pm when we went from green grass and asphalt to snow covered in less than 1 hour. Once it started it came down so hard and so fast you could hardly see a foot in front of you. We packed up most of the car and sat tight in a condo with no persible food because we had consumed everything in anticipation of our month long trip. UGGGG, Winter!!! Rather than sit in the house like bumps on a log we ventured out with the girls. There we no cars or even people out (probably because it was getting dark but whatever)so we went sledding down some of the streets in our complex. It was so cold and snowing so hard that our eyelashes kept freezing and our faces were frozen. The girls we less than excited in less than 20 minutes but daddy had fun playing and pulling the sled. Now we to get to go home and get dry and clean up the snowy mess at door. I think getting everyone dressed and cleaning up took longer than playing did.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Polar Express

Today Mrs. Oliphant took the kids on the Polar Express. She read them the story and told them they were going to have to use their imaginations as they traveled up to the North Pole. It was really cute and the kids all had a really good time!

Mrs. Oliphant reading the Polar Express

The kids getting their bells to ride the Polar Express

All Aboard!!

The kids meet Santa at the North Pole and get gifts

Ally got a strawberry shortcake puzzle

Fun Reindeer cupcakes

Dancing to Christmas music afterwards

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Today I took the girls up to the North Pole to see Santa and Mrs. Clause. At the door the girls were greeted by some friendly elves who welcomed them and added their names to Santa's nice list. (Although Ally hesitated and looked to me when she was asked naughty or nice). Then they got to go into the workshop and see the elves working on all of the toys for Christmas. Santa was there and they got to sit on his lap and tell them what they want for Christmas. I knew Ally would do well but Ansley really surprised me and did GREAT! She wasn't afraid at all and climbed right into his lap. I really think she was quite mesmerized by the whole thing. Afterwards we met Mrs. Clause and had cookies and hot chocolate. It was great! Thanks Santa!!

"I want a baby."

"I want a guitar."

UMMMM!! Cookies!!

Attempt 551 and counting...........

Why is it literally impossible to get 2 girls to stay still and smile for a couple of seconds for a picture for one Christmas card. I love candid shots but for a card I feel like it would be nice if they were posed and looking. Unfortunately as soon as I say I want to take a picture they turn into giggling hyenas. I point you to exhibits A, B, C, D.........

Laughing hysterically, at what I will never know.

Great picture, but it's just Ally.

Ansley the camera phob positioned for her next getaway.

Now they are both giggling.

Ally attempting to hold Ansley still and is that cookie in her mouth?

UGGGG!! That hair!! I'm done!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So Grateful

During the holidays I like to really give thanks for the many blessing I have received and I would be ungrateful if I did not thank my Heavenly Father for some of the wonderful people who have entered into our lives over the last year. I am so grateful for a wonderful visiting teacher who who given my a greater testimony of the program and who has made me want to be a better visiting teacher myself. Elizabeth you never cease to amaze me. You are truly a wonderful person who even before you really knew me, always knew ME. Your messages are always just what I need and you always have this way of knowing just when to call or stop by. You are so in touch with the Spirit and I thank you for that. You truly are someone who I love and admire and appreciate you in my life so very much. You have become a wonderful friend. I am also grateful for a woman who has helped me more than she knows. Claudette I know you think that I am always helping you but it really is just the opposite. A couple of days a week I have the privilege of picking up her wonderful daughter Sierra who in turn helps me with the girls and gives me a few minutes of time to myself. In return Claudette keeps my girls from 6 pm until Jerry gets out of class. An awful time to have two small kids after a full day at work. Not only does she do this but she comes to my house and lavishes them with attention and even feeds them and gets them ready for bed. An very tough time in the Rice household. Claudette has the patience of a saint and my children absolutely LOVE HER!! Especially my baby cakers. It is extremely hard to work outside the home when your children are small and many nights they cry as I leave but on the nights Claudette is here they are happy to see me go and for that I am SO eternally grateful. They love her, they look forward to their visits and I know that they are safe and happy in her care. What a wonderful gift. So thank you God for all of the wonderful blessings you give me each day but especially for these two wonderful women, my friends.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decorating the Cookies

So tonight after dinner I made some frosting and let the girls decorate the sugar cookies we baked last night. I made red and green frosting, gave them each a new brush and let them have at it. I gave Ally about a dozen and Ansley 8 or 9. Everything was going wonderfully. They were having a ball. Ally was meticulously painting each of her cookies with precision while Ansley really was just taking the opportunity to make a mess. Like I have said before, I don't like messes so I tend to shield the girls from them so they have to take any opportunity they get. She was frosting them though and that's what counts. Anyway things were going great when disaster struck.....the phone rang. They were doing great what could five or ten minutes on the phone do, right? Wrong!! I got off the phone to find Ally with 12 beautifully decorated cookies and Ansley with, well a pictures worth a thousand words so here it is....

She had taste tested a few of her cookies and well what was left wasn't looking like anything anyone would have wanted to eat. I was laughing so hard I could hardly contain myself enough to video tape the event. When I asked her why she didn't eat all of them she said, "I don't want no more cookies." When I asked her why she said, "my belly's full." Well I guess so, she ate almost 6 large sugar cookies. I think I would be SICK! Here is the post cookie belly shot, Hilarious!

A belly full of cookies!

Who could be made at that face??

Some of Ally's masterpieces. She's just like her mom and so very proud of her job. She didn't eat a single cookie.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Making Christmas Cookies

I love Christmas which is odd because as a child I hated it. I remember always thinking I had the stomach bug every holiday. In retrospect it was probably just anxiety but I hated how Christmas meant running around and stress so I have really tried to make it something else now that I have kids. This season has been extra special too because last year we were in limbo and didn't get to decorate our own place. We have really enjoyed decorating the condo and playing Christmas tunes. Work has been horribly scare so we are taking it as a blessing of time and having fun. As a very wise friend recently told me, "You either have money or you have time but your rarely get both!" So true Elizabeth! So tonight we spent time as a family making Christmas cookies. I got this great new sugar cookie recipe so I made the dough earlier during the day and the girls helped me roll it out and cut out the cookies after dinner. I'm embarrassed to say it but it's probably the first time I have actually made cookies from scratch with the girls. I have become a fan of the tub of cookies that you scoop and bake. Easy and no mess. But in the spirit of Christmas the tub of cookies felt like cheating. Plus there is a lot to be said for renting. I personally don't care near as much about the MESS!!!!!!!