Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions, Goals, Projects, What Have You

Basically, I just like making lists. And I like change and new beginnings. So here's a New Year's List of resolutions, goals & projects. They range from important, traditional and lofty to trivial, simple and fun.

1. More Date Nights - After having only a handful of kidless date nights in 2010 we resolve to make date nights a priority.

2. Make a Will - We don't have one. I know, it's terrible. What the heck would happen to our kids!!??!

3. 5K - The Illinois Marathon 5K in April.

4. Complete Little White Bungalow Projects - True, that's impossible because I'll always be coming up with more projects. I'm mainly referring to a couple of specific ones: mudroom makeover, awning makeover, clean/organize garage, create a 'mom cave' in the basement, and post a photo tour of LWB for Chelsea. Poor thing, she's been asking and I've been saying yes, but still haven't done it! Unacceptable!

5. Read More Books - I usually post our reading lists, but instead of making a list of books to read this year, I'm just going to keep a list of books that I've read this year. Make sense? This way I can focus on how many I've read instead of how many I didn't read. :)

6. Pay Off Our Car - Hooray for no more car payments!

7. Learn to Bake Bread - I know how to bake bread. But I'm talking about a more wholesome and nourishing bread. I may start with this.

What about you? Do you make any resolutions or goals? Do you have any projects to complete?

Sipe Christmas

We spent Christmas with our family in Marion, IL. 
My mom sure sets up a lovely Christmas house. Everything is so festive.
 Believe it or not, this isn't Christmas morning. Just my kids dragging out all the toys and making a huge mess. It's what they do best.

Caleb, Aunt Juicy & Nella watch Frosty the Snowman. It must have played over 100 times; my kids LOVE it.

The house where I grew up. She sits on a historic street in Marion. Isn't she just darling?

It was the first white Christmas since 2004. Growing up in Southern Illinois I saw very few white Christmases, only a couple.

Nella played with the Fisher Price farm set that was my first Christmas gift. 

 My nephew, Ilan David.

Aunt Juicy helped Nella try on her new apron.

Caleb sketched with Silas and my nephew, Marley.

Silas makes messes.

Everywhere he goes, he's messin.'

Nana's Lap.

Nella built a gingerbread house.

She was so proud of her creation.

It was a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Taco Shack - Local Gem

Last Saturday we went to The Taco Shack with some friends. 
It is in Tolono, and it is worth the drive. 

The grammatical errors are supposedly intentional. Hmmm. As a business owner, I'm not sure that's the route I would have taken. But whatever. One thing is for sure, they do make some 'darn good fresh foods.' 

Rachel ordered 'the shack taco.'

And a giant burrito.

Yep, we feed him straight off of the table. That's how we roll.  Besides, if you give that boy a plate, it's gonna fly.

They also serve pie.  Weird.  But it's good and Nella was glad that Dad shared.

They also have cards. Weird. 

The Taco Shack is just a typical weird little Central Illinois dive that's kinda tacky but reaaalllllly delicious. If you're visiting us and have a hankerin' for a gringo-made taco, we'll head to Tolono.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recent Videos

Here are two new (kinda long) videos of the kids.

This is one of their newest favorite activities:

And this is them dancing to Nella's favorite song*:
Dance Time from Keli Billingsley on Vimeo.

Silas' dancing is a sumo-stomp or spinning until dizzy. Nella's is mostly running in a circle.
*Nella's favorite song is My Only Offer by Mates of State

A Thank You Video for Grandpa & Nana Sipe

The kids see their (early) Christmas gift for the first time. 

It's such a cute kitchen! And sturdy. And well built, because I spent 3 hours putting the darn thing together the night before. But, I watched two Christmas movies (Elf & Christmas Vacation) and drank 2 cups of cocoa while doing it. I guess that could have slowed me down.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Billingsley Christmas

This weekend we celebrated Christmas with Caleb's family. Since we're traveling to Southern Illinois over Christmas this year, they came to Urbana. It was a quick trip, but it was fun and we're so glad they came!

Nella loves her Granny.

Caleb read the Christmas story.

Silas picked out our Christmas background music.

Nella built a "big huge tower" out of presents.

Silas really enjoyed unwrapping gifts.

Caleb took lots of video footage. 

Nella and Silas play with some new toys.  
The tea set we got Nella is amazing, by the way. It's made from recycled milk jugs and is bpa and phthalate free. That's good news, friends. Tea time should be toxin free. Plus it's sturdy and adorable. Anyway, if you're looking for a gift for a young girl, I recommend it.

As always, I posted the rest of the photos on facebook. Be my friend, and you can see 'em! ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Gifted Tag Christmas
Make a statement with custom Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Check out the cute faces on this Christmas card! I just ordered our Christmas cards this morning and after I placed the order, Shutterfly offered me a $25 credit to post my card to my personal blog. Uh, yes, yes I will do that for 25 bones to spend on prints, photo books, and other photo products. You should give it a shot too!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Day Documented: Saturday, November 13, 2010

9:30am - My sister, Becky, arrives with her boys and we load up her van
9:37am - Gas, Starbucks (grande latte w/ 3 raw sugars)
9:45am - 57 Northbound to Chicago
9:48am - Nella requests a snack (typical)
10:10am - Silas asleep (praise God)
10:15am - Ilan asleep

10:30am - Nella asleep
10:45am - Silas awake (oh snap!)
10:48am - Ilan awake (double snap!)
11:07am - Nella awake. Resumes snacking
11:10am - All boy screamfest; Marley, Silas, & Ilan
11:15am - Marley asleep, little boys still going strong
11:30am - little boys asleep again (finally!)

11:45am - Scrounging for change on I-355 Illinois Tollway

11:46am - Receiving IOU slip, we were short 54 cents 

11:50am - Milo and Otis

12:09pm - FLIPS!!! Our favorite Glen Ellyn eatery

12:49pm - Family photo in front of Flips. 3 generations of Flipsters here. My parents have been going since the 70's

1:15pm - Wheaton Popcorn Shop. Another favorite childhood spot; we had so much fun taking our own kids there!

1:17pm - Nella touches all the candy

1:18pm - It's an alley-turned-popcorn/candy store. It has the BEST ceiling!

1:23pm - Heading back to the car with her loot. We spent $1.19

 1:24pm - Nella and Marley are excited about their bags of candy

1:26pm - These cousins are buddies!

1:28pm - "Look at all my lots of candies, Mom!"

1:29pm - Sneaking a bite of a gummy butterfly

1:31pm - Me and Becky with our cousin, Jeff. We used to hit the popcorn shop together as kids
1:45pm - My dad takes us on a driving tour of Wheaton, where he grew up. He loves to tell us stories about and show us places from his childhood as we drive around town. We love Wheaton.

2:36pm - Oberweis Dairy, chocolate malt

 2:37pm - Grandpa shares with Ilan

2:40pm - Grandpa shares with Silas
3:00pm - Trader Joes
4:00pm - My youngest cousin Brett's 16th Birthday Party

 4:15pm - Nella plays with the ferrets (Gross! I, myself am not a fan, but she loves them!)

 4:20pm - Photo time!

 4:25pm - Photos with family. Nan & Pop were in from San Antonio. Here they are with all their grandchildren & great-grandchildren (and my parents, who somehow snuck in the photo)
4:45pm- Silas falls and bites his lip. Bleeds on shirt and couch. He must leave his mark of destruction somehow!
5:50pm - Cake
6:00pm - Nella notices the fire pit and freaks out. Not sure what that's about, but it was quite the scene
6:10pm - Hugs & kisses & goodbyes
6:18pm - Load up van
6:25pm - Starbucks, round 2 (grande latte w/ 3 raw sugars. It's my fave. hint hint. If you love me, you'll buy me a latte!)
6:29pm - Silas & Ilan asleep
6:33pm - Nella & Marley asleep
8:38pm - Home!