Saturday morning my mom, Sydney and I were sitting in front of the allergist's office inhaling, I mean, eating bagels from Einsteins. It was a windy, overcast day and Sydney had wormed her way into the front seat. We were watching the clouds moving across the sky and all of a sudden there was a break in the clouds and the sun shined through. Sydney yelled, "Look Mom, I think it's God!"
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Fellow bloggers - check this out

I got an e-mail this morning from Kelly about bloggled.com It is a site that will back up your blog for free! I've been thinking about doing this lately, but hadn't looked into it too much. It took me less than five minutes to create an account and back up my blog. (Yes, you all know that I do all things in five minute snippets and if it takes longer than that, well, it probably doesn't happen) They will be offereing a service to convert your blog into a book soon - I can't wait!


Patience is a virtue

I needed a pretty dress for David's work Christmas party, so I decided to stop by JC Penny while I was out finishing my Christmas shopping. I tried on about a million dresses (why do all of the cute have to be made for, well, um, ladies who are less "blessed" than me??) Sydney was all about it until about dress #10. She goes running down the aisle and yells (very loudly so that everyone turned around to look), "That's right, Mom. I'm tired of this store. I'm tired of it and I'm yelling about it and I'm not being patient ANYMORE!" A little lady turns around to me and said, "didn't you hear that - she isn't being patient ANYMORE!"


How to inflate your sister

In an attempt to get some pics for our Christmas cards:


The girls had other plans.
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New Haircuts!!

Finally, I got myself and Sydney a haircut. I've been putting it off forever because we had fallen out of love with our old stylist and I HATE going through 15 people to find a new one, only to find out that they don't work in the same place anymore. Anyway, Lanelle is working at JC Penny now and I LOVE my cute new cut. She fixed it all special-occasion-like because we had the Elders Quorum Christmas party that night. I got a million compliments and even one from a stranger!!(we had to stop for a vanilla coke at Kum and Go on the way home)Talk about a self-esteem booster!! Thanks Lanelle - you rock!!!

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The next American Idol


One of Sydney's favorite thing to do at Grandma and Papa Hill's is to sing on the microphone. Elle is starting to think she should get in on the action, too.
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'Tis the season to be jolly?

Well, it is here. The great "Christmas threw up in our house" tradition. We're really Christmas nuts and you can tell as soon as you drive by our house. Some Rieskes (who shall go nameless) always manage to get a little grumpy when putting up lights. Here is proof (he was actually trying to force a smile):


But, like the husband said, it wouldn't be Christmas if he didn't mumble and groan about putting up our decorations. No one told me that I was marrying the Grinch (except he gets really excited once it is all up)

Of course, I didn't think he was doing it right, so me and my little Elf had to help (trust me, this is a much better picture than the one he took of only my derrier - diet anyone?)
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And it begins

The other day we were waiting for a prescription at Wal-Mart and walked past the posters.

S: Mom, look! The Jones Brothers!!! (Jonas Brothers)

M: Yeah, they're neat.

S: No, Mom. They're HANDSOME.


The Very Fun Family Day

For months I have been planning this day. I kept it a secret until about two weeks ago, and then I couldn't take it anymore and told David.

We started the day with what we Rieske's like to call a "family cuddle"

That was followed by getting ready and going to Krispy Kreme for breakfast. Yummy! Of course, we couldn't go without Anastasia (Sydney's stuffed rabbit) who is sporting her new Mermaid duds in this photo.

Then, the pinnacle of the day, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

As soon as Sydney saw it in the Walton Arts Center guidebook, she was begging to go. We had tickets on the front row of the balcony which was perfect. They had booster seats for the kids, so Sydney had a wonderful view.

Here is Elle waiting to go in.

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We went in a few minutes before it started (we didn't want to push our luck on how long the girls would actually sit still.) It still took a while for it to start, so Elle occupied herself by attempting to eat Daddy's phone.

The entire show was done with puppets and black light. It was really cute and included: Little Cloud and the Mixed Up Chameleon. They said it was a non-shushing show and that the kids were free to talk out loud and help tell the story. Overall, it was a great introduction to theatre (which my girls need because mommy is a fanatic and will be dragging them to many show in the future!)

Afterwards, they came out and showed the kids the puppets and answered questions. Then, we went down to the stage to see a few of the puppets up close.

Sydney with the Mixed up Chameleon

Elle with the Very Hungry Caterpillar (notice the resemblance?)

Here is our attempt at a self-photo. We had a great time and will definitely do something like this again. Stellaluna is coming to the WAC in January and I may just have to take Sydney for her birthday.

Should we take pictures of all of her firsts?


Sunday night we had our usual pasta dish. Pasta is a nice, quick dish and we always have some on hand. This week we chose ravioli. For dinner, I usually remember to fix something for Elle, but last night I didn't. My baby LOVES her food, so she started the grunting sound that means, "I want some, and I want it NOW." I gave her a taste and the girl was in heaven. She ate a ton of it. Then, I look at her and she is sort of coughing/turning redish blue. Yep, she is choking. Since she is coughing my logic is to leave her alone and let her do her thing to get it up rather than sticking my finger down her throat. All of a sudden I hear this disgusting sound and I'm covered in puke. Yep, all over my church clothes there is a nice redish, vile smelling substance and one piece of ravioli that was obviously the culprit. I said to the husband, "Well, she has officially thrown-up for the first time." Mocking me (as the husband loves to do) he said, "Quick, grab the camera!" No worries, there are no pictures of the official first puke.
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What makes us us.

If you know us, you know we're who we are. We have our own little crazy family things that we usually do in private. One of our silly family traditions is dancing. We have the "shake your booty dance" (which even comes with its own song) and the "Oh, Yeah" dance.

Saturday was the "Very Fun Family Day" that I had secretly planned months ago (more on that later.) So, I was all giddy when we stopped by the allergy clinic to get our bi-weekly shots. When I went in the nurse said, "oh, you are on the green vials now" which means that I only have to go once a week for shots instead of twice. I was so excited I started doing the "Oh, Yeah" dance right in the middle of the nurses station. Then I remembered where I was (and that my family wasn't around.) Oops. David said he is totally embarassed for me.
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Don't I have cute kids?

Here are just some random photos we've taken over the last few weeks.

Here is Elle playing with her favorite toy (thanks Aunt Stacey!) Of course, she was under Daddy's care, so he had to put his hat on her (this is what happens when you end up with all girls.)

Here is Sydney showing off in her new dress and matching coat and hat. I think it is so cute on her and perfect for this time of year! I love it even more because I paid $4.69 for it in the middle of the summer. Gotta love the clearance rack at Kohl's.

Here is Elle in her newest winter dress. It looks so warm and cuddly - I wish it came in my size!

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Yes, I know it has been FOREVER since I updated (you all keep reminding me.) We've been really busy although I'm not really sure where all of my time goes. This post will be in the form of several posts because Picasa will only upload so many photos at once and it is a lot faster than doing them one at a time. So, without and further adieu, here are a few pics of what we have been up to:

We went to McGarrah farms in Pea Ridge and picked pumpkins and took a hayride. Sydney was pretty excited and finally chose a green pumpkin (that turned orange in one spot once we brought it home.) Of course, we had to pick a very heavy pumpkin from the patch that was the greatest distance away. Dad got the honor of pulling all three of us, plus two pumpkins in the cart. Sydney was really excited about the clippers she got to use to cut her pumpkin from the vine, and all of the pumpkin plants were well groomed when we left.

Elle enjoyed it too, and Sydney picked a nice orange pumpkin for her.

For some reason, Sydney was dead in this picture (how many smiling dead people do you see??)

These were my favorites- I just love them. David said he'd buy me one, but I said that it was ok and I didn't need one. He gave me a long lecture about how if I wanted one, get one because he would NOT be driving back. I took a picture and promised that would suffice.
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Pumpkin Carving

My mom and dad were here for pumpkin carving (after Mom locked her keys in her truck Dad had to drive the two and a half hours to come and get them out.) Good thing they were here, too because I'm pretty sure we never would've managed to carve two pumpkins with two kids. We definitely aren't parents cut out for a slew of kids - man-to-man defense is all we've got. Sorry girls, you're it.

Here is Elle's pumpkin, carved by yours truly. I traced her hands on the pumpkin and then cut them out.

Sydney and Daddy did hers and she decided it needed to be painted blue. We've never heard of painting a pumpkin blue, but Sydney usually picks the road less traveled.

And here, our "traditional" family shot. I'm not sure how we got into the habit of taking a family photo with our pumpkins every year, but it is neat to see how Sydney has grown from year to year.

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At our house, we definitely get our money's worth out of our Halloween costumes. We had our ward party, Sydney's ballet party, trick or treating at Wyeth, and of course actual Halloween.

At Sydney's preschool they did a fall celebration and the kids were supposed to wear black and orange. Well over a month before that I found a super cute candy corn print fabric that I just knew would make a really cute dress. Being the procrastinator I am, I started sewing the pillowcase dress at 9 p.m. the night before the party. But, Sydney loved it.

For Halloween Sydney decided to be a cheerleader (after going back and forth between Tinkerbell, a princess, and Mulan.) She loved her costume and loved trick-or-treating. For my little chatterbox, it wasn't so much about the candy, but about getting to knock on a million doors and talk to everyone.

Elle was a pepper, which went along great with her nickname since birth, "Ellepeno." She didn't mind her costume, and spent the actual night sleeping (I think she felt like she was in her swaddle.)

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Chilli CookOff

We had our ward chilli cookoff the weekend before Halloween. I finally was brave enough to try making chilli again after the "Cinnamon Chilli" fiasco of 2006. (Long story, but I grabbed the wrong bottle and added cinnamon instead of chilli powder.) So, Sydney and my mom helped me chop and add ingredients to the chilli. I have to say I was the proud winner of the "mild" category. Notice that Sydney is holding a chilli powder bottle, and definitely not cinnamon.

Here is our trunk all decorated for trunk-or-treat.

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Soccer ends

After six weeks of soccer, we are finished. I loved coaching and it helped me fill a void and make the transition to being a full-time stay-at-home mom. Sydney did great, minus a few pouting episodes (ok, two a practice.) It was so fun to see the kids learn each week, and of course I can't complain about the hugs either.

"Back up boys, this is my goal"

Soccer is hard work.
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