Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Backyard Birds

Stephen decided he wanted to take some pictures of the birds in our backyard. He never did get one of the bright red cardinal that he first saw, but here are some other snapshots he took. Anyone know what the speckled bird is in the third picture???
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Wii Are Family

The kids finally got a Wii this Christmas. They had been wanting one for a long time. As you can tell, they were quite excited when they unwrapped it. I have to admit, we are all enjoying it a lot. Skylar is quite the bowler on Wii Sports, and Stephen is quickly becoming an amusement park tycoon with his Thrillsville game. It has been a lot of fun playing bowling in the living room. I look forward to many family game nights in the future.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Christmas

A light dusting of snow awaited us Christmas morning when we awoke. Not much snow, but enough for us to say we had a white Christmas.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cookie Decorating

Last night we hosted a Christmas party for the Sunday school class that I teach and some neighborhood kids. My assistant Tammi and I let the kids decorate sugar cookies. They seemed to really enjoy it. Afterwards they ate pizza and watched Polar Express. I hope they all had fun.
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas Traditions

I was recently reading an article about Christmas traditions that got me to thinking about some of the traditions in our family. One of the few things that we have done every year since the kids were born is that they always get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. They have caught on to the fact that it is always a new pair of pajamas. I just thought it was nice for them to have nice new pj's on in all the Christmas morning pictures. We of course leave milk and cookies for Santa. Before they were born, I bought a little plate that says Cookies for Santa and a mug that says Milk for Santa.

There are some traditions that I remember from childhood. We always got fruit in our stockings...though we didn't always have a stocking...sometimes Santa would leave the fruit in a bowl that he borrowed from my mom's kitchen. I also remember going for drives on Christmas Eve to look at lights. We would always manage to see Rudolph's nose blinking. Of course this was long before you could track Santa's route on the Internet. I also remember my sister always waking up extremely early on Christmas morning. That was the only morning that she was an early riser...and the only morning my dad ever wanted to sleep in.

While reading this article, I came across a tradition that I think I would like to add to our Christmas. Save your Christmas cards in a small basket and then each night pull out the top one and add that family to your nightly prayer. Then tuck their card to the back of the pile. Continue that nightly and you will spend the year praying for your loved ones.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Christmas Lights

Brian has brought his over the top Christmas lights to our new neighborhood this year. He has always liked to decorate the outside of the house at Christmas, and after not stringing any lights last year, he was itching to get started this year. He has been mentally planning his design since we first made the offer on this house. He is one of those people that drives by houses imagining how he would light them up. So he spent the better part of Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving on the roof, on a ladder or messing with the lights in one form or fashion. I think the neighbors thought he would never stop. I personally think he did a wonderful job, and can't wait to see what he adds next year.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Cooper Christmas Trees 2009

After scaling back on our Christmas decorations last year due to trying to sell our house, we went all out this year. We gave the 4 foot tree that was our only tree last year to the kids to decorate. We placed it in their bathroom...now they don't need a night light.

Our original 7.5 foot tree that always seemed huge before is just right in front of our fireplace. It had 450 twinkling lights, and I think it looks better than ever. I also love the new technique that I learned for photographing the lights. I can't wait to try it out with the kids in front of the tree.
For a really dramatic effect, I left the tree spinning (we have a rotating base) and used a really long shutter speed. I think it looks cool.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Trick or Treat

Here are my two costumed kiddos all ready to beg for their treats. Stephen was Albert Pujols and Skylar was Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin. She of course wanted her costume to be pink instead of blue like Jasmine's. I made her costume and spent way too many hours on it. I will probably forget by next year, but I think we will buy off the shelf next time.
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Friday, October 02, 2009

Froggy Friend

This is our new froggy friend. He has been camped out on our kitchen sliding glass door for about 5 days now. We wondered why he was sticking around, but I finally figured it out when I went out to take pictures of him. I got five mosquito bites in the 3 minutes I was taking pictures. I guess he has a good easy food supply sitting right there, so why move.
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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Nut Pie

Not long after we moved in February, Skylar brought home a pecan that she had found on the playground at school. A few days later she brought home another one. Not long after that she started wanting to make a "nut pie." Of course you and I both know that it takes a lot more than two pecans to make a pecan pie, so I told her we would have to find some more nuts first. Before long she had quite a collection of pecans and walnuts that she had gleaned from the playground and the lot across the street, though she was still way short of having enough pecans for a pie.

Eventually she talked about making a "nut pie" long enough that my grandmother sent her a couple of cups of pecans. So today I picked up the ingredients to make mini-pies. This was not only Skylar's first attempt at making a pecan pie, but it was my first attempt as well. I found this recipe for the mini-pies, and we went to work. As you can see, they turned out looking pretty good, and they don't taste 1/2 bad either. And no your eyes aren't fooling you. That one pie has no pecans in it. We made a couple just for Brian...since he doesn't like pecans.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Skylar's Latest Outfit

I told you I have been feeling domestic. I have now made Skylar 3 new outfits. I have even made her doll 2 outfits that match. Here is my favorite so far.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

15 Years and Counting

Fifteen years ago today, Brian and I said "I do." Time has flown by, and while it has not always been a bed of roses, I wouldn't change a thing...I can't wait to see what the next 15 years brings.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Feeling Domestic

I have had a sewing machine for close to 15 years, but have only used it on occasion. However, I have recently had a renewed interest in sewing. After looking at some of the clothes that are out there for girls Skylar's age, I decided...I can make something just as cute as that for a lot less money. Granted it does take an investment of time, I really think it is worth it. I enjoy the projects and of course I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I see the finished project. So far I have made Brian and Stephen each a pair of lounge pants and Skylar and her doll Robin matching outfits. Here are a couple of pictures of the fruits of my labor.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Vacation Time

We will not be taking a huge long vacation this year. With our move earlier in the year, and all of the construction at church, Brian has used up the majority of his time off, so we have decided to do several small weekend trips this year. Last weekend we headed to Branson for a few days. We took the kids to Silver Dollar City for the first time and it was definitely a successful trip. The kids loved it so much that we decided to purchase season tickets so we can take them back a couple of times.

Stephen especially liked the rides. His favorite was the American Plunge. He loved getting wet. Skylar wasn't so sure about it. She decided to give it a try but wasn't too thrilled when we got off of it, though by the end of the day she had decided she really did like it and wanted to ride again.

We can't wait to take them back for another trip soon...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

If Today Was Your Last Day

I don't usually post videos, but I saw this today and really liked it. While I like Nickelback, I would not generally recommend them to everyone because of some of their lyrics (not for young tender ears), however if you listen to the lyrics of this song, they have a very good message, and the video adds to it. So even if you aren't a fan of them or their style of music, I still recommend you listen to this particular song...and think about what you would do...If today was your last day

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Other Graduate

Way back when I went to school, we didn't "graduate" from every grade as it seems they do now. Stephen just finished the third grade and will move to a different campus next year, so they had an advancement ceremony to end their year. We were so proud of him. He has had such a good year. He was awarded the Principal's Award for outstanding student. He was also nominated for the citizenship award. Unfortunately, I did not get a good picture of him receiving his award, but here is a photo of him getting his certificate for completion of third grade.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Per My Sister's Request...

I was informed I needed to update the blog. That everyone knew that Skylar was toothless. So now you can all see her graduation pics for a while. I can't believe she is almost 6 years old and finishing up kindergarten. Seems like only yesterday she was born. I always heard that time flies when you are having fun, and we are having a blast...

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Skylar lost her first tooth about a week ago. She was so excited. The tooth fairy is always very generous with the first tooth and she left her $5 and her meme gave her another $2. With her new found wealth she purchased a hula hoop and some pink flip flops. We have all had a good time with the hula hoop. Check out this toothless grin...

And this hula action...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Nine Year Old Boy

It is hard to believe that Stephen is nine now. We had his birthday party the day after his birthday. He decided this year he wanted to invite everyone to the new house rather than having his party at the park like we usually do. For the first time ever, everyone he invited actually showed up. We were a little cramped on parking, but we had plenty of room for everyone in the house for a change.

I was prepared for everything except taking pictures. Silly me forgot to charge my batteries. I took some pics with mom's camera, and Julie took some but I haven't got them from her yet. Here is a picture of him I took on Easter. I just can't believe how big he is getting...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Looking for a Pot of Gold?

If there truly is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, then we were very close to finding it this evening...the kids and I took this picture from our front deck. The end "appeared" to be just out of our reach.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

A Month Later

I can't believe it was a month ago today that we finally closed on our new house. The last month has really flown by. I still don't feel completely settled in, but we are making progress. Hopefully before long we can have everything put away, tax season will be over with, and the church construction project will be finished and we can simply start enjoying ourselves again. Brian and I are both really ready for a break. He has been putting in a lot of hours at church, on top of work. I have been working way more overtime than I really anticipated. We both are overwhelmed and exhausted. But this too shall pass, and before long we will be able to just have some down time with nothing planned. I can't wait!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our Living Room

Here are a couple of shots of the living room end of the great room. I still have lots of things to put up but we are getting there a little at a time. As you can see there are a lot of windows. The designer of this home must have loved natural light as much as I do. There are three sliding glass doors or floor to ceiling windows in almost every room. I really enjoy not needing to turn the lights on during the day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Panaramic View

This is the view from our front deck...as you can tell, we can see for miles and miles.

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