Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time

I was going to post this earlier, but didn't get around to it. I still didn't ace the Christmas decorating test according to my daughter, she thinks the whole outside of the house should be decked out in lights and blow-up figures - not happening! :)

Here are a few of our decorations around the house. Didn't get around to posting all of them, but since I'm going to try to get them down this week, thought I better post before then.

A little star above the kitchen window. After this photo, we waved goodbye to the sunflowers and replaced with some evergreen sprigs.

This collection of branches and berries is the holder of 25 "advent ornaments" that sit on the table throughout the holiday season. Each day in advent, Grace picks one ornament to take from the branches and hangs it on the garland adorning the railing. 

Here we are, a little more than halfway through advent.



Christmas tree at night - continuing with the classic Christmas colors

Above the cabinet

Card wreath


Wrapping theme this year. Used yarn, ribbon and raffia to wrap packages and cut out initials for the tag


Advent house - each night, if Grace is good, Santa leaves a treat or note in these doors...She races out each morning to see if she was left a treat. 


I didn't get around to taking a photo of Grace's tree, maybe I'll snap one before I take it down this week. We have several other Christmasy things around the house - especially in the downstairs living room. I'm always excited to get them up, I don't like getting them down....not just for lazy reasons, but I think Grace really enjoys the holiday decorations.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Geese at Capitol Lake

Geese are frequent flyers of Pierre, South Dakota in the winter time. They are a staple in the community, swimming in the warm pond of Capitol Lake between the mansion and the capitol. They use the football fields, parks and even yards as their feeding (and pooping) grounds.

Usually by January, some of the more "domestic" geese have learned that people around Capitol Lake means great treats like popcorn, corn and bread. They even get pretty close! Early in December they tend to keep their distance as they haven't quite learned the ropes yet.

We generally get to feed the geese at least a half dozen times throughout the winter months.

This last time, we went with my parents who were in town for a visit. Compiled this little video to share the experience.



We're out in Spearfish as I type this message, and yes, we have a white Christmas despite not having one in Pierre. Cody's family is all gathered here this Christmas and we're looking forward to a nice weekend.
I'll be back to share more soon.

Until then, I hope you are all enjoying this Christmas Eve and have a great holiday with friends and family.

Blessings!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Holiday Letter to Santa

We've always written notes to Santa and put them in the mail...This year, while reading my normal blogs, I came across I Heart Organizing's freebie - a cute little letter to Santa that kiddos can fill in the blanks!

Grace was excited to write this letter to Santa, with all of the fun colors she was totally intrigued!





It reads:

Dear Santa, 
Hi! My name is GracSe and I am 4 years old! I live in the city of Pierre in the state of SD which is in the country of U.S. I have been trying really hard to get on your "nice" list this year. Some of the wonderful things I have done are: 
1. Listen to Mom and Dad
2. helped a friend feel better she was sad
3. help take care of my pets

I have a few special Christmas wishes. They are: 
1. Barbie camper for my big barbies
2. Toy baby
3. A new cup

I am very excited for your visit! I promise to leave out some cookies for you to snack on. Please give my favorite reindeer, Rudolph, a big hug for me! 

Happy holidays, 


Your pal,
GracSe


She used to write her name perfectly everytime. Now at preschool they have been practicing not only letter recognition and writing, but also figuring out and remember what sounds those letters make. She seems to be thinking that the sound of "s" is in the end of her name so has been including an "s" lately. I'm not too concerned, pretty sure she won't be writing her name "GracSe" in college. And if she does, we'll just get a name spelling change - what's the big deal, right?

It's not too late - IHeartOrganizing still has the free letter up to download and print. I however, did miss the link party. Oh well!

IHeart Organizing
 

Storytime with Mrs. Claus

Spitting out a bunch of photos here as I need to catch up on some holiday happenings before Christmas actually arrives!

Grace was able to have story time with Mrs. Claus last weekend, she was awestruck at this opportunity. She cozied up on a bear rug and listened for about 45 minutes. It actually lasted an hour, but I was surprised she made it 45 minutes. We then shopped around downtown and went home for lunch.




She also made a visit to Santa at the mall a few weeks ago, and quickly ran to sit on his lap. This one has never been shy or scared of Santa. I was going to take a photo, but was then told by the two young-ins who were manning the Santa booth and taking photos of their own for $6.00, that it would also cost me $6.00 to take a photo with my own camera - give me a break! So, needless to say, we don't have a Santa picture for 2011! That's okay!!!

She asked for two bikes (mind you, we have her a bike for her birthday just 5 months ago)...I reminded her of that, and she said, "Well, I want 3 bikes." I think she just thinks of the excitement of seeing a bike by the tree - would be pretty neat! So I told her that sometimes Santa knows when you already have something that you're asking for - so he probably wouldn't bring it (aka, I'm not buying you another bike). So she quickly rattled off a few more things she would like - mostly Barbie and princess related.

More to come!

Happy Birthday Grandma Fran!

This post is way past due, but it certainly couldn't get lost in the shuffle. In October we headed up to the Twin Cities to visit family and participate in the Rooster Rush promotion at the Vikings game for my work. 

We were able to all get together to celebrate Grandma Fran's birthday at her apartment building. It has a great lobby area where we could all congregate. Grace was very happy to see all of her cousins, great aunts and her great-grandma Fran. She was quite the waitress serving cake and ice cream to other residents. 

Here's Grace with my Fairy Godmother and her Great Aunt Linda

Grandma Fran with her birthday cake - she was happy to have her party with all of her friends at her building.

My mom, her siblings and Grandma Fran



\We sure do miss being able to visit Grandma Fran frequently. Grandma and Grace were best friends when we all lived in Marshall. We had many weekends of enjoying each others company, afternoon visits and lunch outings.
Grandma and her newest Great Granddaughter Addison 

Some of Grandma Fran's great grandkids. Missing Megan!

All of the Granddaughters - missing the Grandsons Patrick and Brendan

It was a very nice visit, and we hope we'll get to see all these faces again soon. It doesn't happen as much as we'd like, and it gets to be a long drive with Miss Grace all the way to the cities...however, we try to get up there at least once a year. Maybe we can make it up there to swim in Aunt Linda's pool this summer.

Merry Christmas to all of the Moret family as we won't be able to celebrate this year with them. We love and miss all of you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Look into the Past

Recently at work we had a holiday party and we were encouraged to bring in photos of ourselves from when we were kiddos - co-workers would then have to guess who is who...it was tougher than I thought. However, I knew once my mom sent me these photos, they weren't going to have trouble guessing mine - pretty obvious, especially when you know what Grace looks like.

Here I am from when I was just a little one at Christmas...


This one is probably my favorite. Especially since it has Maggie Cat in the photo (she's the black and white one). I loved that sweet kitty, had her from when I was just one or two all the way through high school. She was beautiful!


At the end, my photo was titled, "most often correctly guessed."

Wonder why?

"More than that..."

I had to share this great video compiled by two schools after an airing of a special on ABC titled, "Children of the Plains." This is a video made by students who wish to tell America that there is so much more than poverty, alcoholism and teen suicide on the reservation. Do they still have their struggles - yes. But it's not unlike other places where challenges are presented. These teens in this video are working on rising up above the stereotypes and making a statement for themselves. Good work.



I have to say I'm proud of the way they stood together to make this statement together. It was a join effort. One person couldn't have done this alone. Great work on the video, I hope the message continues to spread.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving this year was nice and quiet. We traveled to Minnesota to have Thanksgiving with just my parents on Thanksgiving Day. I, however, was not so quiet when Neil Diamond was singing on our float, Mount Rushmore's American Pride, in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He totally rocked singing that - and moved the entire country! We had comments regarding our float and his performance flowing in like crazy to the office.

We had a nice time relaxing, playing games, exploring outside and doing a bit of shopping on "Black Friday." We aren't die-hards or anything - in fact, we didn't even leave the house until after 9:30 - we still found some deals!

Saturday, we packed up and headed to Springfield, Minnesota where my Grandpa has recently purchased a condo/apartment that is nearby the nursing home my grandmother has been staying in. Almost everyone was able to make it to this Thanksgiving celebration - it was great to see everyone since we only get to once or twice a year.

Grace had a blast playing with her cousins (actually, second cousins). Two of my cousins have children right around Grace's age. All together there are 5 little girls, three of which are 4 years old! They have a screaming (literally) blast together and played very nicely.

Here are four of the five girlies - baby girl Evelyn (3 months) was snuggling with her Momma and isn't quite ready to participate in the fun with these big girls. This was the best picture as it's hard for this wiggle worms to sit still for very long. Plus, they all had orange lips, teeth and fingers from snacking on cheese balls!

I'm sure my cousin Emily had lots more pictures from this day, I wasn't very good at getting my camera out. The only other picture I have from the day is of Grace and Ava with my cousin Reece. Seems like Bierman boys (especially Grandpa Wally, my dad, my uncle Dave, cousin Reece, cousin Chase and Nate) are all good at getting these little girls riled up and playfully picking on them - it's just a Bierman thing.


Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving - can't believe I'm already wrapping up Christmas trees and our advent calendar shows that we're nearly to Christmas.

Holiday blessings!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sweet Princesses

One of my girlie friends, Jen, is moving even further away from us! However, we're so super, duper absolutely excited for this opportunity for them. We're pretty good at the long distance friends thing, as I have to be with most of my friends, so it'll be no problemo! We'll for sure make it over to visit their new (beautiful) house in WI, and we'll certainly be able to plan girl trips to the cities together.

Grace and I packed our bags to Minnesota last weekend to go and help watch her children while they did some business in Wisconsin. Let me tell you, they have SWEET kids. Very well mannered, good sleepers (for me anyway... :) ) and toys galore! Grace had so much fun playing princesses with Miss Myah - Myah is a true princess. She knows all the princesses names, and has princess toys that will make you want to revert back to childhood. So much fun! Grace was beside herself.

I didn't get a picture with Mr. Ty man himself, but he's a super cute combination of his mother and father. Very mellow, easy going and chill. He was just entertained with watching the girls play.

Here are a few pictures of the girls all dressed up...



I'm bummed I didn't get a photo of Jen and I either - don't know what I was thinking. However, I don't mind, because it won't be long before we'll see these good friends again.

We wish you and your family the best of luck in WI, and we cannot wait to come and visit you. We know that you'll do so well over there, and we're excited for all of the opportunities (including shopping!!!) that await you there. We wish we could be closer to help you in the process of getting there - ie - packing!!!!

I'll be back soon with some updates from Thanksgiving.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Proud

I have to say, that in the last few weeks, my sassy little girl has also made this Momma quite proud.

In the whirlwind of the holidays, she seems to remember others. We've been talking quite a bit lately about why  people "ring bells" outside of places like Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart...I've explained to her that not everyone in this big world of ours is as fortunate as our family and the many of the families that are our friends. Not everyone gets to live the life we are used to. So, the other night, I found my sweet (and sassy) little thing downstairs in her playroom scrounging around for quarters and packing away some of the toys she thought she could give to a family in need. Makes me proud.

Grace and I traveled to Minnesota last week to help take care of my BFF's little ones while they took care of some business. Their daughter, was sad when her parents left. I wasn't able to settle her down right away, but Grace went over to Myah and found a way to make her heart happy. In no time, Myah was back to her sweet and playful self. Makes me proud that G was able to make someones heart happy.

I was proud of our little Miss Sassy thing the other night when I asked her to recite some of the songs they were working on in preschool and Sunday school. Her little mind is so bright and sharp, she was spilling out all of the songs in no time, I cannot get enough of hearing her voice singing. She then was able to recite the pledge of allegiance. I know my Grandpa John up in heaven was smiling down at her then!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Natural Beauty

I'm sure you thought this was going to be about my "natural beauty" ...right ? Okay, maybe not.

Regardless, check out this great video compiled by the staff videographer in Tourism. We had a company here this summer doing some aerial footage, and as you'll see, it turned out GREAT. Makes me proud to now call South Dakota home. There is some absolutely moving footage in this film, and I promise you, you won't be disappointed if you watch it. It's set to the song "America the Beautiful." Coincidentally, Neil Diamond just finished singing his version of "America" while riding on the Mount Rushmore float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


Loving this "Natural Beauty" of South Dakota.

Hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Besties

I still have to get to updating the switcheroo that we have going on in the downstairs basement. I moved the playroom and the bedroom around (again, kind of). It's so much more functional now. The bedroom has a fan, and the playroom has more space for G and all of her misc. junk (it's NOT junk MOM!...it's my TOYS!).

Anyway G + Lola. A major love hate relationship. Similar to the Cody/Lola, Katy/Remi, Grace/Remi relationships that we have going on in our house.

G and Lola love to argue about Lola sleeping in Grace's baby's bed...about if Lola should be in the middle of Grace's play space, if Lola should be attacking Grace's feet under the covers with snuggling in her real bed, and if Lola should or should not be chewing on all of Grace's junk toys.

Here they are...getting along. Kind of.
Grace and her daddy doll...Can't play dollhouse without having dress shoes on!

Uhh, Mom, you're totally interrupting my playtime.
Smile! And Lola is apparently very bored.



Hopefully we'll be back with more soon!
Until then...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lots of fun in NYC

Hello from the Big Apple! It was quite the adventure getting here from South Dakota in some snowy weather. But, here we are....it was a great successful day in NYC. The Presidents from Mount Rushmore were on the move to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the completion of Mount Rushmore...their gift to America is a free vacation for four to the Black Hills of South Dakota, including airfare, lodging, rental car and exclusive activities in the Black Hills.

It's been great fun getting this trip planned and finalized, but I'm certainly glad that were here now and executing, much easier in a way. This will be the second year South Dakota Tourism has a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Exciting news, Neil Diamond will be performing on our float this years (excuse the thump thump of my heart...I love Neil Diamond's Christmas stuff).

 This will basically sound like I'm promoting our efforts (which I kind of am, but it's good stuff, so I have to share.) to enter for the giveaway were enjoying people to visit this landing page, they can also register on facebook. I addition to those fun pages, we also have a nice video, here...I love this video, very moving!