Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Symonds Elves - this provided some side-splitting belly laughs at our house.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Reagan has been enrolled in a skipping camp since September and has loved every minute of it. It's been great to see how far she progressed in just 10 weeks. Last night was their final show.
It was very casual with all the girls just showing a few things that they had learned.
I love to watch her when she does something like this. Such concentration on her face - her mouth always wide open with every jump.
A school gym is not the ideal setting for photos but here's a few highlights. Times like this I wish I had a bigger zoom lens and a better concept of how to capture action shots.

One of her biggest fans.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I used to be one of those people who said that Christmas decorations should not make their first appearance until Dec. 1. I'm not sure why but that is what I stuck to. But this year I have been itching to get all our stuff out so today that's what Tag and I did. He had a great time pulling all the decorations out of the big tubs and spreading them all out over the living room floor. He was most interested in his stocking and this little house that I painted years and years ago. I don't actually even put it out anymore but I may have to rethink that.
Then after dinner I got out the box of snow globes. Nana has bought all the kids one every year so they are all starting to get quite a collection. A few of them have broken over the years but we still have kept them intact, just without the globe part. Every year they look through them all remembering which one they got on which year. My challenge is always where to display them. I want them to be able to see them but I want to keep them safe. It's such a special tradition that brings new magic every year.
So we spent the evening playing with snow globes and listening to Christmas music. Which brings me to another reason I am ready for the season to start. Christmas music has got to be one my favorite parts of the holidays so the other day I got my iTunes Christmas playlist ready for my listening pleasure. I add a new album or two every year. This year's addition - Sarah Brightman and Michael Buble. I'd love it if anyone would share some of their favorite holiday music.
Earlier in the afternoon Cooper and Hudson set up the nativity scene and as they were looking at it tonight Tag said to Cooper "Reagan told me that says Gloria (referring to the angel) - just like the hippo on Madagascar." Cooper thought that was pretty funny. So did I.
So Christmas has arrived at the Symonds' house even though it's still November. And my '25 Days of December' book awaits for the month of photos to begin.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Most of the morning consisted of some video games, a word search, a game of cards, and a steaming plate of crepes, or Oma Pancakes, as they're called around here. All of that slowly took us until early afternoon when we decided that we should ditch the pajamas and head outside to burn off some energy.
Check out the clock - this ain't no early bird special

A quick walk turned out to be an all afternoon affair in the beautiful trails close to our house. Of course the camera came with us and Tag was quick to let me know he wasn't ready for pictures.Okay, now I'm ready. Tony tries to throw Reagan in the creek

A game of tag breaks out

Cooper gets what I'm sure he deserves

Tony decides to help her across rather than throwing her in

A very cool treeBack to throwing her in

Reagan telling on Daddy

Daddy moves on to throwing Tag

Tag not happy about it

the girls

Cooper trying to hit Hudson in the tree

A small fight breaks out (inevitable)

What you can't see is Cooper on the other side throwing things at us. Seriously, where have I gone wrong?

And I got them all to sit still long enough for this one shot. The light's weird but hey, they are all looking. What more can I ask for?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm back

Last night Tony told me I needed to blog. I knew that, and I've gotten hints for my dear Aussie sister as well but when my husband tells me that I take it seriously. After all, isn't he supposed to be aware of the going's on around here without reading it on the blog. This brings me back to a question I've pondered before - "If you don't blog it, did it really happen...??"
So on this blog post #172 I realize that I am not sorry I ever started this. At the beginning I had my doubts about whether our lives were 'blog-worthy'.
I go through periods of time when I can't wait to blog and periods of time when honestly it feels like a chore. But when I look through old posts, I am thankful I took the time to post each and every one.
I hope that one day my kids understand the blessing of having their lives documented like this.
So on to just that - the details of life.
A very mean and nasty stomach bug marched through our house last week. I think he stomped on me the hardest but Cooper and Tony were hit too. I think that we are all back to normal now, which feels very good.
We are starting to concentrate on Christmas around here. The decorations are not up yet but Christmas wish lists are starting to pop up and I have started to work on my '25 days of December' book. This is a book that I did last year to record the daily events of December. I am doing one again this year and pre-assembling all the pages so that in December I only have to add a photo everyday. December is such a fun month of baking, crafting, decorating and focusing on family time together that it is important to me to have a record of that. I will post the finished book (sans photos) later this week.
And finally, a sure sign that Christmas is here. This bright cheerful red cup just makes me smile, especially when it's filled with a white peppermint mocha.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Can you hear me?

Reagan asked me this question as she listened to her High School Musical 3 soundtrack over and over again today. I love how headphones make people talk louder like the music in their ears is being heard by everyone. We saw the movie today for the second time and she said it was even better than the first time. I know that it is really too old for her and the story line goes way above her head, but she loves the singing and the dancing and I can't say that I had a hard time sitting through it, even a second time. The tunes are very catchy so that's why we had to purchase the soundtrack. But the boys in our house are not quite as interested in hearing 'Troy' and 'Gabriella' sing over and over and over again. Hence the headphones.

So today was a good day for Reagan - great tunes and candy (still trying to empty that Halloween bag).
Check out the discman. Can't believe we still have one of these that work. 'Rochelle, Olivia - we keep it with our ghetto-blaster.'

Friday, November 7, 2008

Some days are lucky

Most days he's lucky - this day brought some disappointment. The lunchbox was empty. Everyday after school Tag gets Cooper's lunchbox, brings it to the table, and checks out what Cooper didn't eat. Sometimes it's just his juice, maybe some apple slices or if he's lucky, a friut snack. He only checks Cooper's lunch because he's learned from experience that Cooper is the only one who brings food home. Eventhough I pack the same thing for Reagan and Hudson they always manage to finish their lunch. What does that say about Cooper? He's a yakity yakker... and a very slow eater. Lucky for Taggart - most days that is.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Halloween night went off without a hitch. Tony got home nice and early so we were both here to get everyone all dressed up. So after we'd all filled our bellies with potato soup and fresh buns we were off. Nana is always kind enough to stay behind and hand out candy so Tony and I can both go out with the kids. The rain held off as well. Taggart was done after about 1/2 hour so Tony ran him back home and then quickly caught up with us again. We went farther than we have any other year so the kids of course came home with a ridiculous amount of candy. That which they made a huge dent in over the weekend. In previous years I've tried monitering the candy intake. A limit of a set number of pieces per day - not this year. I would rather just see it gone asap.

So the night was a success and since it was a Friday this year we weren't worried about bedtime. We ended the night with a movie (just bought TinkerBell for Reagan earlier that week) and of course more candy.
The prep
The crewThe loot
Those earrings are a Halloween tradition for at least 10 years now.The end.