Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brothers Help Each Other

I'm always impressed by how much Jack and Aidan help each other out.

Take today, for example. Aidan had a piece of gum in church. I told him he couldn't have it when he went to class, so he needed to either swallow it or throw it away. He was trying and trying to swallow it, but couldn't figure out how.

Jack was trying to coach him, showing him different techniques, how to hold his chin, and so on. Aidan started getting frustrated, and couldn't figure it out. Finally he said "Jack, will you just do it for me?"

And Jack took his gum, and swallowed it for him. Wasn't that nice?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Basket Is Flooded

At one point this morning, in the midst of ripping open packages and examining the contents, then chucking it to the side in search of the next gift, I gave each of the kids a basket to put their gifts in. When we finished opening, and were re-examining all the plunder, Abigail made a profound statement:

"My basket is flooded"

After some inquisition, we realized she was having her own take on the popular phrase "my cup runneth over". And indeed, we were very blessed this year, and all of our baskets are flooded. :)

A few things we spent the day doing:

**Rockin' out to Kydon's new Weezer CD and Jack's new guitar

**Hanging out in "the best nightgown I ever had"... wearing new jammies all day.

**Trying out some new dress up clothes.

**Posing in the new capes for Mommy's benefit, then not glancing at them again.

**Opening gifts and trying on outfit after outfit to check them all out.

**Spending time with family.

**Gloating over getting the BIGGEST present, and not even being disappointed that it was clothes!
**Setting up train tracks

**Taking the kids bowling for the first time.

**Enjoying treats and goodies.
We had a great Christmas, and hope you all did as well!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa came a day early

Guess what?

Santa came a little early! And he left something...
Can you see it in the middle of all the kids?
Hi Charlie! Charlie is the best kind of dog... old, slow, and most of the time we don't even know he is there! Jack and Aidan were SO excited to find out that we were getting a DOG for Christmas!!
And good old Charlie is ALL OURS for two whole weeks until his regular family comes home! :) Told you he was the best kind of dog!

My favorite picture

I love this picture! Abigail was trying to be onery and ruin the picture, but she ended up making it completely adorable!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Polar Express

We got invited to join some family members on an adventure- a trip on the "REAL" Polar Express! We went up to North Carolina, and they have a passenger train there that offers Polar Express rides in the winter. You wear your jammies, ride the train, and try to recreate the magic of the movie.
We thought it was going to be snowed out- the night before we were to leave, there was a huge snowstorm, and we cancelled our trip. But, the morning came clear and (slightly) warmer. We reevaluated, and were able to go after all!
We got there a little early and passed some time in a museum of model trains. Jack and Aidan were totally fascinated, and they could have stayed all day, just watching the trains go round and round.
Have you ever been so excited that your feet literally left the floor?


Abigail was not as impressed. She checked it out, and pushed all the buttons, and after 10 minutes, she was done. I guess trains don't call to all people.

Then came the fun- the train ride! And we even saw a little snow! I loved it when we were waiting in line, and Abigail got really excited about something she spotted- "ICE! Look, Mom- ICE! It's ICE!!" I'm glad ice is a cool thing to experience and then we can drive back home to our 50 degree, non-icy home!

It was a huge train- they must be making money hand over fist! Our friend made the comment "I'm in the wrong business"!

We each got a ticket, punched by the train conductor. Aidan is in heaven- riding on a train with his hero, our 6 year old friend!

Abigail and thier 8 year old get along fabulously! It makes everything so nice when the kids are happy!
We got to wear PJ's, drink hot chocolate, the waiters danced in the aisles, we had a Santa treat, and even met the big guy himself. I'm pretty sure the kids were convinced it was the actual train from the movie, except that we didn't slide across the ice. They were confused by that, but I think they still believed it was the "real" train.
I love this picture of these two leaned out the door! This was on one of many bathroom trips! You know, the ride was about an hour- it makes sense we have to head to the bathroom at least 5 times!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All in the name of Christmas Memories


Well, we have 3 kids, age 5, 4, and 4. I guess we are morally obligated to attempt the madness that is sugar-cookie making.

Growing up, my dad was the Sugar Cookie Machine. He LOVED it, and we would make sugar cookies for days on just about every holiday. It was not uncommon for him to make a quadruple batch, then say that he should have made more.

So, of course, I can't really think of making sugar cookies without him there.
We invited him and mom to come over, and boy, I was glad I did. I got to clean up the dishes while Mom made frosting and Dad supervised the cookie making. It was just about as much fun as I thought it might be...

And by that, I mean they all made a huge mess and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. They were actually surprisingly focused, and stayed involved and busy the whole time.

I was quite surprised at how good they were- we gave them each their own dough to roll out and cut the cookies, then we popped them in the oven, and once they were slightly cool, we were on to frosting.

Aidan had a hard time deciding which ones to frost blue and which ones to frost yellow.

As soon as a little bit of frosting covered the cookie, we were able to add a few sprinkles. Although we decided that "sprinkle" wasn't really an accurate term in this case, so we just changed the name to "sugar mounds". Apparently Jack thought the cookie he was working on needed one more spoonful of sugary goodness.

There- that's better!

They were all hard at work, and stayed interested the whole time. I just don't understand why they can focus this long on cookies, but when I want them to write their letters, they are ready to move on after a minute and a half. Maybe I should cover their pencil in sugar...

Making cookies is a full body experience. I love the little dusting on her nose!
A group shot. They were all so excited and happy.

And, the moral of the story is: The joy is in the journey, not necessarily in the results.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Grandma's Christmas Party

Every year my mom hosts a really fun Christmas party. There is always good food (clam chowder, anyone?), fun for the kids, and a crazy white elephant gift exchange.

She always tries to organize the kids into a nativity. This year they were a little hopped up on sugar and adrenaline, but it was still cute.
Jack was a sheperd. He was very interested in "Baby Jesus" AKA our newest little cousin.

Aidan, true to form, chose to sit out.
Abigail's dream came true, and she played Mary. She was so happy to be chosen for the role! I think in the church nativity she felt bad that she was a star, and not Mary, so this was a nice second chance for her.

And, as tradition dictates, there is a "special visitor". He was so funny answering all their questions. Did you know that he only takes the reindeer out on Christmas, and for the other appearances the elves rigged up a flying snowmobile? It goes really fast, so you have to look really, really carefully. Jack and Aidan spent a good deal of time outside trying to catch a glimpse.

I love Aidan's face in this one!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Calling it like it is

We were trying to fill up the last half hour or so of time before eating dinner and getting the kids to bed. Kydon had the idea to head over to the park across the street and attempt to get some mistletoe out of a tree there.

It was freezing cold, so we knew we wouldn't be long. We drove through the park a little, and didn't really see any. Abigail, on the other hand, insisted that she saw some on many of the trees we passed. We finally just stopped and got out, and went for one of the little branches that Abigail was insistent on.

We spent a few minutes gathering the leaves, then we got back in the car and drove home. As we pulled into the driveway, Jack started getting upset. Only he wasn't crying, he was just mad... (and please imagine the following with the speech delays- it makes it that much cuter!)

"Well! Dad was dumb! Is dat all we doin?? Just go pick a few leafes and den come home?? Dat SO dumb!"

I was cracking up! And I gotta say there was a part of me that agreed!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random List

1. I almost have my Christmas card ready to mail. Better late than never, right?

2. A few weeks ago, Aidan asked Santa for "a real live man to kick the football and then I can run and get it". Hmmm... maybe we should play with him a little more.

3. We had amazingly fun plans to take a train ride on a "REAL" polar express- a real train ride, you get hot cocoa and meet Santa, etc. It was scheduled for tomorrow, and all of us were pretty excited. Until today we found out a blizzard is predicted, the roads are closed, and there is no train ride. The kids are SO sad, and so are we, and now we have to come up with something "just as fun".... yea right.

4. I was working so hard these past few months to get everything done early so I could just enjoy myself the last 2 weeks and not worry about anything. It didn't work- I have WAY too much to get done, and I work and work until 11 pm almost every night.

5. I went to Abigail's school party today. I just love going there. The kids are so fun, and cute, and I just love my little girl. I love seeing her in that environment and how much she loves it there.

6. I made some incredibly yummy popcorn today- plain popcorn, then add crushed up candy canes, then toss it with melted white chocolate, then drizzle with milk chocolate. YUM!

7. I'm tired. Nothing new there, just thought I would mention it.

8. Despite #7, I am up at 11:15 typing random blog posts.

9. For some reason, I feel like I should have 10 things listed, but I can't think of anything, so I'm just staring and staring at the screen trying to come up with 10, when really I should have just called it good after 8.

10. My favorite "Kydon Quote" from today: He was talking to my brother, who was holding his new little baby. Kydon looks at him and says "He really is a cute baby, but I don't envy you your position". Ha! Cracked me up, and I couldn't agree more! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There's a caption in here somewhere!

Wow- I can't tell you how much I love these pictures from Tessa at L3 Photography.

Yes, the kids were in a good mood on the day of the shoot, but I still can't believe how many great shots she got of us. There were 150 good ones! I narrowed it down to 40 awesome ones, and I am crying over every one that I'm deciding not to print.

Some of the ones that aren't making the cut are actually some of the cutest ones.

Take this for example:
#1
I love her little face. She gives me this face when I tell her to do something and she either doesn't want to do it, or she is tired of me directing her. I get this look a million times a day! Check out the glint in her right eye. So funny! Okay, maybe I need to rethink and get this one afterall. Why is this so hard?? :)

Tessa gave us a free sitting, and a few free prints, and now I am trying to figure out how to schedule some overtime to get the rest of the 50 pictures I want! Usually I just hope there is one or two that I can be happy with- this time I am able to pick if I want horizontal or vertical prints, because there are so many great ones!

#2
I SO wanted to make this our christmas card.... something about wrap yourself in the love of the season and ignore the grumps around you! I love the juxtaposition of our sweet kiss in the background with adorable little mad and tired faces in the foreground!

#3


#4

You can only take so much of your sister whispering "poop" in your ear before you start to go a little nuts.
#5
I can't even describe how much I love this little face. And the boy too, but this face just gets me every time.
#6
A great family picture! We even included our favorite little "wolfy". I think this is the winner for our family pic, but there were at least 2 others that I was in love with!
#7

#8

Here is my caption for this one: "Brothers don't shake hands... brothers gotta HUG"!
Now for the fun: pick a picture (I have helpfully put numbers above each one, so you can reference which one you pick) or two, or however many you want, then tell me the caption. I will pick two winners- one random, and one with the funniest caption.
#9

#10
And, if you are somewhere near the Atlanta area, give Tessa a call- I don't think you will be disappointed!