The almost never-ending Umoja picture post

The last few weeks have been insanely busy with all of the Christmas to-do and prep for Chance and Apollo's arrival. I was way behind on blog posts. I had them floating around, and now that I have the time to write them, I realize it will take way too long to peck out each individual post. So, here's another drive-by update, but with pictures.

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa – seven days with seven principles. I'll explain in detail tomorrow and for the next six days, I'll explain the priciple for that day. Today's prinicple is Unity – Umoja.

Here are some pictures of Smart One Family Umoja:

The Yearly Trip to the Tree Farm

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The traditional tree farm family picture

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The kids climbed up into the huge oak tree to pose for a picture. When I asked Kaelyn if she wanted me to put her up there so that she could be in the picture, she gave a silent reply with an expression which I'm sure said, "You must be out of your flippin' mind, woman."

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I did manage to snap this one of Kaelyn with her stunna shades on.

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Jaiden and Jordan running through the trees.

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One of my favorite pictures of Kyra and Kaelyn.

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Dani, me, and Chanel
Mommy Lady in the front.

I know we're sexy; don't hate.

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One day I'll have to tell you all the story of how we came to yell "SISSSSSSSSTEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRSSS!"

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Who needs Abercrombie & Fitch when you can Grababootie & Pinch?

Homemade Sugar Scrub = Homemade Mess All Over the Kitchen Table

A few weeks ago, niobe posted a recipe for homemade sugar scrub. I thought that would make cheap, easy, and fun gifts for the kids to make for their teachers.
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Jordan and Jaiden measure out sugar and baby oil.

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Kyra and Jaiden measure. We doubled the recipe that niobe posted. What happens when your mom is a teacher? She makes you use 1/8, 1/4, and 1/3 measuring cups for real-world application math problem solving situations.

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One day he'll hate me for posting this picture.

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Kaelyn got in on the action.


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A word of caution: a little food coloring really does go a long way. They each barely used 5 drops. Their teachers might end up with day-glo skin, but at least they'll smell good and be silky-smooth.

Jordan's First School Program and Kyra's Girl Scout "Fashion Show" Christmas Party

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At the kids' school, the Kindergarteners traditionally do the December program. This year, they sang Christmas and New Year's songs from around the world. Jordan's class sang the Chinese New Year song Gung Hay Fat Choy. The kids had to wear their robes in effort to invoke an Asian influence. He was so proud and cheesed through the whole program.

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KyraGirl PrissyPants gets gussied up for her Girl Scout holiday party.

Christmas Day 2008

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Christmas morning at 2:31 a.m. after "Santa" visited.

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Kaelyn cuddles up to a couple of stuffed lambs? sheep? What the heck are those?

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What man gets this excited over a special chicken fryer thingy?

I love me some him. His chicken is pretty damned good, too.

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The kids have been hording money in a shoebox for the past couple of months. Dani bought el Cinco this ATM bank thing. It has a real card and keeps up with deposits and withdrawals. You can see how impressed they were. Between the money they had already saved, their Christmas money, and loose change they've been finding around the house, they have over $80.00 saved. 

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Their art teacher did a unit on origami a couple of months ago and since then, Jaiden has had an obsession with folding paper. This ended up being one of his favorite gifts this year.

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My dad bought everyone got new bikes this year, and this is Kaelyn's first bike ever. The bikes were the last presents they got yesterday. My dad had them in the playroom hidden under blankets. After they had opened all of their other gifts, he took them into the playroom to show them his "tent."

Watch the video below to see their expressions when he pulls off the blankets.


  1. Megan on December 26, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Your posts about your family are always my favorite! I love the picture of Kaelyn making sugar scrub, and I can’t wait until my guys are old enough to enjoy each other as much as your cinco seem to.

  2. Kristin on December 26, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    “Who needs Abercrombie & Fitch when you can Grababootie & Pinch?”…bwahahahahahaha, you are too damned funny!
    Tell Kaelyn that she could scare people with that expression. I’m amazed she can make her beautiful face look so ferocious.

  3. JuliaKB on December 26, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Sounds like a lovely couple of days.
    Love all the pictures, but especially the tree farm ones and the bike one.

  4. Trish Krumnow on December 26, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Oh my gosh, your kids are growing up so fast! I love all the pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them!

  5. Michelle on December 26, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Sounds like you have been busy. I loved the reaction of the kids with the bikes…priceless!

  6. Stacie on December 26, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    What great pictures of your family! I hope things start to slow down for you now that the holidays are coming to a close. You’ve been busy! But you already knew that.
    Happy Holidays!

  7. anymommy on December 26, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Aw, how fun. Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa. I’m looking forward to learning the other six principles.

  8. charmedgirl on December 27, 2008 at 7:55 am

    yo mama and sistahs (and you of course) are hot! you guys look so damn cute together like that!!
    what a nice post. i swear, c & a need just a little tiny bit of that whole thing…UNIVERSE PLEASE.

  9. Former IM on December 27, 2008 at 8:01 am

    hmmm…riding new bikes on Christmas morning…that’s a new concept for me!!
    Thank you for sharing the pics..I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching your family!!!

  10. Shelli on December 27, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Now THAT looks like a REALLY fun Christmas!!!

  11. sara on December 27, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Happy holidays to you and your family! I just snorted coffee out my nose after seeing the Abercrombie and Finch Grabdabootie and pinch one. Did you know that coffee with flavored creamer burns a little when it comes out your nose? I didn’t but I do know, LOL! That was too funny!

  12. Liddy on December 27, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Great pictures! Have a great new year’s as well.
    Here from ICLW…No. 87
    The Unfair Struggle

  13. christina on December 27, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Love the picture posts! Looks like you’re creating lots of wonderful memories for the kids.

  14. Danielle on December 27, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Awesome pictures! Looks like everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I can’t wait to read more about Kwanzaa, I know NOTHING about it.

  15. Amber on December 27, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve been eagerly anticipating your post-Christmas wrap-up. I just knew the Cinco would warm my cold, cold heart and they did not disappoint. LOVE the bike pics/reaction. Priceless.

  16. Carrie Holmquist on December 27, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I love the video! I agree, it’s the best reaction ever!

  17. Trish on December 28, 2008 at 1:30 am

    What gorgeous pictures of your children and a great idea for a gift.
    have a wonderful new year
    Here from ICLW…No. 88
    My Little Drummer Boys

  18. K77 on December 28, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Awww your family is gorgeous, so much love. Wish mine had just a dash of that.
    I missed the post along the way where you are raising your nephew………
    Frank, in that pic looked so much like “somebody” that I had to consult DP. She reckons Chris Rock.

  19. Jenn on December 28, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    I love the video and the pics, it really warms my heart. The youngins have truly been blessed. Was that the baby girl saying “I have a baike…” With that souther draw- priceless!

  20. erin on January 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I bet your mama had her hands full with you girls. Lookin Sassy…your mama included!