Monday, December 31, 2007

O'Loughlin Family Christmas

The pro at work. We couldn't have done it without you.

Can you sense the excitement. No, really - we all had a great time. I just thought this picture was funny.

We gave out baskets to all of his family. I had to take a picture because it was so excited for the way they turned out.

Gifts galore! The kids had a great time delving into the pile of presents.

Chris and Steph. They always look so in love.

Grandma helping Brody with his present.

Chris and Steph gave Caitly and Nathan each chef hats and aprons for Christmas. They also gave the family a donut maker. Caitlyn was really excited - and she has since been requesting that we break it out.

Still reviewing... Family Christmas Party:

We have a tradition with my family of having a Christmas Party every year. We switch years of being in charge of the party - so that means that whoever is in charge that year needs to have a Christmas message, activity, dessert and so on. This year Chad and I were in charge. This is what happened that evening:

The grandkids getting ready to exchange their presents. We didnt make the kids wait for Christmas Day. We have made the decision in our family that the grandkids will exchange names, but that they are only allowed to get a book for each other. It is so great not to get more toys, but rather a great book that they can enjoy. I highly recommend it. The kids love it as well - and they wre so excited!

For out activity we introduced them to an O'Loughlin Family tradition of playing the chimes. Chad's dad worked tirelessly to make these chimes years ago - and there are probably close to 30-40 in the set. The kids did a great job and we had some beautiful music that evening!
If I ever catch Randy in a picture that he isnt covering his face - then it is note-worthy and must be acknowledged.
Chad was our maestro that evening - baton and all. (His dad made that addtion this year and it has been a little bit of a joke)

I cant believe it, can you?

Okay - so the picture isnt completely complete - but it is the majority, and since we had two families in town at the same time the opportunity had to be taken advantage of. What a great lookin' group right? Can you believe that we only have two kids looking away. That is a great ratio - especially considering that there is nobody behind the camera making abnoxious sounds or waving their arms to get the kids attention. That is pure timer right there.

Okay - I also have to make special mention of Cole-boy. He is the the little boy all the way to the left staning up. That is just too cute.

Grandma's Annual Christmas Program

I am recapping some the festivites from this holiday season. Eventhough this happened a couple of weeks ago I thought I would share:

Every year since I can remember we have performed the nativity at my Grandma and Grandpa Vance's house. We have a big breakfast and then we proceed to get dressed up to fulfil our role. Since the grandkids have all since grown up (except for little Dale :) ) The torch of the nativity has passed on to the great-grandkids, and they did a great job. Here is a peak into the morning.

Grandma Vance preparing for the days festivities.

Little JP getting dressed up for the nativity program. I chose this picture because he was defintely the most excited boy to participate. I had to acknowledge his enthusiasm. For some of the boys it was like pulling teeth!

The beginning of our nativity program. Caitlyn and Ellie were so excited to be angels and they took their role very seriously. They really did look angelic as they stood their so statuesque performing their role. It touched everyone that was there. This picture is amazing because of the rays coming down on the scene right over our baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

After the program Grandpa Vance hand out presents to all of the great grand kids. We love Grandpa. You wouldn't be able to find a better person than him.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa Wuz Here

It is 2 minutes before midnight and Santa has already been to our house. Has he been to yours?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Somebody is 5!

Today is Caitlyn's birthday! She is 5 and couldn't be more excited about it. She believes that she is taller than Nathan because she is 5. (She is not) She also showed me how she could balance on one foot because she is 5 now. (that trick is about a year old). She loves knowing that it is her birthday. All this and it is only 6:55 AM!

A tradition that we have is to start snapping pictures of our kids before they wake up on their birthday. Here is a short tour of Caitlyn's collection.

She has always been a morning person. She gets that from her mother.

Happy Birthday to Caitlyn!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Say Cheese (180 times)

Last night was the annual O'Loughlin Family picture night. (pronounced: take pictures until you barely want to be a family anymore). Don't tell me that you havent felt the same. We took over 100 pictures in the process, and we only ended up with 3 to pick from. The frustration is indescribable. Thank goodness for digital cameras and large storage cards. For those of you on our mailing list, you will also get this in the mail. This is a handsome family if I do say so myself!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Camera and Croix

We have decided to take up a new hobby! It is time that we started having some decent pictures of our family and other things so we bought a Canon XTi!It was the perfect timing to do this, because we need to be skilled in its use for when we hit our vacation spot in St. Croix, Virgin Islands! Thanks to a great friend that gave us a sweet hook up on a free place to stay there, we will be spendingan entire week there in February. Airfare is compliments of American Express Skymiles, and we are only paying for our entertainment and food. They end up being the same thing though because you can hit the ocean with a dive light and spear and catch all the lobster you can eat! Yummm!But that isn't even the best part! There is a small uninhabited island just off the coast of St. Croix called Buck Island. This island is the real motivation for the new camera. It is absolutely amazing. (I am giddy just thinking about it)Oh man, we are dying to go. Stay tuned for random facts about St. Croix as I discover them through my obsessive reading and research about this place.

I almost forgot the best part! NO KIDS! Sorry guys, our last vacation was for you. This one is for Mommy and Daddy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


On Saturday we all went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop to add to our Christmas decorations. They have Rudolph and Clarice that you can have stuffed. Caitlyn was very excited, and Nathan was happy to be out and about. The line was long, but we were dedicated. If any of you have been there, there is an entire wall that has bins of "animal skins". You pick out the animal and give it to the stuffing lady. Then this happens...

Are you kidding me!? There has to be a better way of stuffing these things.

We made it past the stuffing trauma and we got to the part where you give them a heart. It was really cute and Caitlyn was extremely commited to doing this the right way as you can see in the video. All - in - all, it was really cute. If you want to do this - plan on it being an investment. Yes, I said investment. We did one reindeer (the other one in the video is Ben and Sarah's - who graciously let Nathan put the heart in, but I think Ben was a little disappointed that he didnt get to do it. Maybe next year we will complete the duo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What's buggin' you?

This is what is bugging me!

Normally I would be disgusted that I found him/her crawling on the back of my neck. This little thing was quite impressive. Once you get past the uncontrollable desire to dial up an exterminator, you can really appreciate how cool he/she is. I call it a thing because I have no idea what it is. If you know what it is, please keep it to yourself. I am sure I don't want to know. I think the gender neutrality is there for obvious reasons. You can see it move and crawl in the attached video. (sorry it is blurry)

P.S. That paper towel that he/she is on bacame his/her final resting place.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Two toilet household

It may seem strange to you that a person would celebrate the arrival of a second toilet, but you have not experienced our water-closet woes. Many months ago we remodeled our kids bathroom to include a somewhat kid sized toilet. This toilet is somewhat shorter so that the distance from stand to sit is much more appropriate for a 40 inch tall person. However, it is a lomg drop for a person that is 73 inches tall. Trust me, it gets to be annoying real quick.

For those that do not know, we have been in the middle of remodeling our house for the past 4 years. (don't laugh. You do all the work yourself and see how long it takes you.) I will stick to our bathroom for now though. The day we moved in, a portion of our bathroom looked like this.
One day a couple of months ago, I got the motivation to absolutely destroy this bathroom. Everyone loves demolition, so my buddy Ben came over and swung a hammer with me. We made pretty good progress.
So we worked and worked and got the new shower framed in and had the stone all in place. Then came the cabinets and we were so thrilled. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could match the excitement that was felt today when the toilet was finally set in place and the first test flush was a success! There was much rejoicing in the O'Loughlin Household. Please view, for its' first online appearance, the second O'Loughlin toilet! (I have named him Timmy, sorry if your name is Timmy)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tell me what you are...

You Are An ENFJ

The Giver

You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and usually succeed.

Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections.

Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down.

You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine.

In love, you are very protective and supporting.

However, you do need to "feel special" - and it's quite easy for you to get jealous.

At work, you are a natural leader. You can help people discover their greatest potential.

You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist.

How you see yourself: Trusting, idealistic, and expressive

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Bossy, inappropriate, and loud

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope that all of our family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving spending time with those they love and taking a chance to remember all the things that bless our lives.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

2nd time around

Okay - so I know we received many messages to let us know that her first picture wasn't that bad, but now that you see the retake isn't it so beautiful! I was able to be there when they took the picture (by luck-I swear) and I had to turn down four shots the photographer took before this one came through.

On a different note - I am so excited to have our blog totally "Christmas-afide". I love Christmas. Really, it is all about the season for me. I love that there is kindness in the air. I also love to have my tree up before Thanksgiving. If you haven't tried it before and you think that it is blasphamous - you need to give it a try! It makes Thanksgiving so much more feastive. I would have a picture up of my tree for all to see on our blog, but it is not up yet. I made a promise with myself this year. I am not allowed to put the tree up until I finish a paper that I have due on Wednesday. I'm hoping that it will be incentive to get to work on my paper. We'll see if my sensible self wins out or the little girl inside that loves decorating Christmas trees. I'm very particular about how the tree needs to look. I know that it takes the fun out of it for the rest of the family because I know how all the decorations need to be spaced and such, but I cant help it! When I was growing up that was how it was. Our Christmas trees (yes, we had two) were very "professionally" decorated, and to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. Quit laughing at me Sarah!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Anyone need a free light?

Okay, so I was in my room watching Oprah. (Which I haven't done in a while and I was so glad to catch it because it was the Osmonds. If any of you missed it I am so sorry. It was really cute) Then, I heard a big crash. I thought, "That can't be good". As I was walking down the hallway I heard Nathan saying "Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no". I turned the corner to see this...

Nathan didn't do anything. He was reacting to what he could clearly see was a problem. I don't know what happened. It just severed. I'll find out today if my handyman husband can save our light or if I get to go shopping for a new one.
BUT... I was really lucky that it didnt do anything to the table. I also usually have a cute tray sitting there that Sarah made me for Christmas last year, and due to my lazy self it had not been moved back from dinner the night before. It has a glass cover which probably would have sustained damage. Fewwww! I guess the moral of this story (other than buy less cheap lighting fixtures) is that laziness sometimes pays off.
By the way - the state of the ceiling has nothing to do with the light falling. Although it may look like it lended a hand... it is just in a mid-construction phase.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Letting go a little

On Monday afternoon Caitlyn came into the office and said to me "Mom, I have to tell the truth about something". I knew this was not going to be good... "I kind of cut my hair a little bit". Okay - I scanned her hair to notice that she had given herself some long bangs towards the front of her hair. This is vastly different from her longer-than-shoulder-lenght hair. I asked her why she thought that was a good idea. She replied "I just thought it was too long right there."On our way to the family room I explained that she wouldn't be allowed to use the scissors for a while. I asked her where the scissors were. Her reply was a shameful gesture pointing underneath the couch. Then I asked where the hair was that she cut; I got the same gesture.

On the bright side: She didnt do too much damage. Good thing I have a great friend who is a beautician. My friend also has a little girl who has gone through this same thing, so empathy was given in spades, and Caitlyn has a great new do. Cut to her shoulders with new layers - she looks great.
Hopefully she learned her lesson....

Okay - if Heather is reading this... remember when....

So - I let go yesterday. If you know me very well, you know that I would usually have a problem with letting Caitlyn out of the house like this, but yesterday I thought - "What the heck" when she came to the garage door ready to go - dressed like a princess. She had a great time at Sprouts in her duds, and every elderly women in the store gave her a smile. These are the times that you have to document and enjoy - hence the camera I thought would be a good idea to bring.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Grandma's 1st annual Halloween Bash

Grandma Harmon's 1st annual Halloween Bash was a hit! All the kids had such a great time seeing everybody in their costume - especially Grandma! Thanks for all the work you put into the food and the decorations Mom - it really showed and the kids will never forget it.

Stay tuned for more Halloween pictures.... I think Chad and I may dress up....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where's Nathan?

Nathan has begun a new trick... At about 8 o'clock this morning I was sitting at the desk in our office working on some homework. I looked outside and noticed that Nathan was outside. Hmmm, the back door is locked... how did he do that? Then I realized - he went through the doggy door in the playroom. Now, I have blocked this doggy door by a table so that it wouldnt be noticeable - or better yet - a temptation. It's okay to be outside - I just want to know about it, so I'm not frantically searching through the house for a missing child. Worse yet, where he likes to sit is up against the house where I can not see him from any window. He likes to sit there and move the rocks around with his hands and feet and then he throws them-on the concrete. This creates the not-so-welcomed task of cleaning them up.
This would'nt be so bad if the rocks were'nt red rocks that dye hands and feet - and displayed in the above picture: faces. Oh well, boys will be boys!
Now it is later in the day and he has done it again. I guess I am going to have to either get use to this, or find a better way to block the door. At least I know where he is!