Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ringing in the Noon Year

We had our annual "New Year's Eve @ Noon" party today with friends.  It was so much fun!
The kids all had a blast.  With a new puppy in the house, the craft that I normally do was hit-or-miss. Playing with a new puppy is just more fun, I think!

Just before Noon, we all made plates of food to have lunch.  I think the kids were all finished before Noon as they were huddled in front of the count-down timer set up on on the TV.  It was so fun to watch their excitement as they jumped up and down counting down the seconds until Noon!

This was the best we could do as a group shot of all the kids.  I think the only one missing is the baby, Lucas.  He spent the majority of the party napping peacefully in Jamison's room.  It worked out great for him!

At Noon, all the kids popped their crackers and got a celebratory crown, trinket, and joke.  Here are our boys posing for a picture after all the guests had left.  It was nap time!  We wish all of you a wonderful start to 2015.  Here's hoping you make great memories and share fun times with all your family and friends.  Cheers!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is HERE!

I was telling Derek that I felt like the Grinch with his thoughts of Christmas begin about all the
"Noise, Noise, Noise!!"

Yes, it was mighty loud with all the squeals of excitement and yelling, "Look at this!" on Christmas morning.  I might have said more than a few times to stop yelling....we are inside!  You would make a fortune if you could bottle that excitement.  Maverick got two tigers (his one Santa request).

Jamison was very excited with his new Santa "little people" train and his corn-popper.

After a breakfast of donuts and homemade applesauce, the grandparents all arrived and more presents were dolled out.  We try to limit gifts to no more than 3.  It works out very well that way.  I didn't feel too overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" entering my home.  The boys even got gift certificates for things to do too.  Experiences are much more memorable than "stuff" anyways!

One of the favorite gifts was a new racetrack.  Let's just say...some assembly was required!  
Forty-Four Steps to say the least.  Grandaddy Bob was the trooper and got to work while the boys waited patiently.  

When it was finally complete, all the boys had fun racing cars down the multiple tracks.  Soon it was time for lunch and naps!  The grandparents all went home and the little ones napped while I cleaned up a bit and made our dessert for later.

This has become one of my favorite desserts, a Kiwi-Lime Strawberry Cloud.  Layers of angel food cake, with kiwi slices and a lime juice/rind flavored yogurt filling.  Yum, yum!  We went over to my parents for dinner and Grandma and Nanny also re-joined the fun.  

Our new puppy, Lexi, had a fun Christmas too.  It was hard keeping her away from the tree and the presents though!  I hope your family had a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas is Almost here!

The week leading up to Christmas was spent in giddy anticipation!  The boys were so excited for Christmas to finally arrive.  At our house, the current living arrangement is that Brighton & Maverick share a room (bunk beds) and Chandler has a smaller room to himself.  Jamison is still sleeping in our closet (ha!)  The plan is to move Jamison's crib to the smaller bedroom, and originally I thought I'd keep Chandler in there.  Ideally, I'd have the smaller two in separate bedrooms, so we don't have to keep playing the musical beds game for nap time....but in the end, I decided to have Maverick & Chandler switch rooms, so the older two will be together, and the younger two will be as well.  

We decided to un-bunk the beds, and did some general rearranging of furniture.  I'm still not finished with all I need to move, but so far it's going well.  Not sure when Jamison's crib will get moved in.  That's the last step....

Our church did something different this year for Christmas, and I really enjoyed it.  We had a Moravian Love Feast.  A brass quintet played a concert and then we enjoyed some carols and the passing of the sweet rolls and cider.  Maverick was so excited to open up his napkin until he discovered bread inside (I guess he was hoping for a cookie) but he did enjoy the apple cider.  

The Sunday before Christmas, this one lost not one, but both of his two front teeth.....
"All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth!"

On Christmas Eve, we let the kids open up one present (always PJs) and we did it in the morning to lessen the chaos that would happen that afternoon.  

Our family was asked to do the reading and light the Christ candle for the Christmas Eve Family Service.  I had been battling a cold this week and I knew Chandler would enjoy doing the reading, so he began practicing.  We worked on slowing down his words and annunciation.  About 20 seconds before our family was asked to come forward, the power went out.  The show must go by the light of an I-phone, and no microphone, Chandler did the reading.  He did great!  As soon as he was finished....the power returned.  Praise the Lord!

After leaving church, we came home for a small dinner of something healthy (chef salad) before heading to an annual Christmas Eve party.  Some of my parent's friends have been hosting this since forever, and I've been attending since I was about 9 or 10.  They have four boys (just like us) and now have the joy of having seven grandchildren!  The grandchildren and our kids are all in the same range, so it's a lot of fun and food for all.  On the way to the party we rode through a neighborhood known for their light displays.  The kids really enjoyed that!

Christmas Eve wouldn't be complete without leaving milk and cookies out for Santa, and the youngest child then eating the cookies because they don't understand the cookies are off-limits.  Then the older children (mainly Brighton pouting in pic below) getting upset because why don't they get cookies too?  and then it's off to bed!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A little closer to Christmas!

Something new we tried this year was taking the boys to the Holiday light show at Hill Ridge Farms. This was a gift from the boys' Godparents.  We had a really good time.  The jumping pillow was fun until you decided your feet were freezing.  The boys enjoyed roasting marshmallows around the fire pits and having s'mores too.  As a treat, they even got to watch the movie Frozen (received as a gift from our Chicago friends) in the car on the way to/from the farm.

The three big boys all sing in the church choirs.  I was very proud of all of my boys, but especially Chandler for learning many lines as he played the part of one of the wise men.  He did really well and didn't mess up.  He had to remember to turn on and off his mic too, and that's a lot to ask of a seven year old (I think).  

Here's Maverick singing "Away in a Manger" with the other Cherubs.

Brighton was a shepherd and Chandler was a wise man.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Date Night(s)

The Christmas Season brings about opportunities for Date Night(s).  We are very grateful for these and so excited to be having THREE of them this month.  Very un-like us to get out this much, so they are a real treat.  My office had it's holiday party at the Angus Barn.  That was definitely a real treat for us.  We always enjoy the stories that come out on that night.  Working with Private Investigators definitely has it's perks.  Good work stories are one of them.

Isn't my desert lovely?  It was so yummy....but I couldn't eat it all.  Too much good food.

Here's a group shot of the very long, large table that was in the wine cellar where we always have the party.  This month, we were able to go to a friend's holiday party and also saw
Ira David Wood III's A Christmas Carol at the DPAC.  Such great fun, and such good memories.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Christmas Season

December is always a busy month!

There are holiday parties for the parties for the adults....friend parties for families, and the list goes on.  It seems like the month just flies by.  I tried my best to slow down this month and be mindful of which activities we did.  There were moments just like this where I wish I could hit "pause" and just savor the moment.

Getting the Christmas books down from the attic couldn't wait.  Right after Thanksgiving (amidst the sickness still lingering) we got down the box and the kids had so much fun pouring over the books and reading their favorites.  Snuggling on the couch next to a roaring fire....yes, please!

We always enjoy lighting the advent every night at dinner time and reading our Advent book.  Of course, getting our Advent candy and breaking off the paper-link chain counting down to Christmas is also fun.  

We usually try to get our tree right after Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, all the sickness delayed this a few more days.  We finally made it out one afternoon before it got dark.  

The boys could have spent several hours running around looking at all the trees, picking out the best one.  We also enjoyed going to the Holiday Express at Pullen Park again this year.  We met Jamison's best friend, Jett and his family there and had a great time!

We were # 2 in line for Santa.  Pays to be early!

Maverick enjoyed the carousel.  Jamison is not really a fan, but will tolerate riding it if he's on one of the benches.  Below is the best picture I could get of Jamison & Jett.  Jett wasn't in the mood for pictures that night.

Once we got our tree, it was few days before we could get the lights and ornaments on it.  That is always such a fun time.  It was Jamison's turn this year to help with the star.

Our church also had a breakfast with Santa that we did.  Jamison was not a fan of this Santa!

Our month is off to a good start!