Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas Eve started with a bit of sledding at the kids school. Not much of a hill but we had fun anyway. Then it was off to enjoy a nice dinner with some of our friends. We miss our family so much this time of year, but we are very grateful we have friends to share good times with.

After dinner we came home to enjoy our own family traditions. We always act out the nativity. Each year we just pick which part we want to play and then find our own costume for it. Joshua was a sheperd (how do you spell that??) Gabriella was an angel, Mariah was the star, Samantha was Mary, Kris was Joseph and the narrator, I was a wise man. I scared Olivia with my costume, and I have to give credit to Veronica's sister for the inspiration:)

After the lovely story of Christ's birth the kids opened the gifts they always carefully pick out for each other and they open new pj's from us, and this year we let them open the slippers they got from the Palmer cousins. It was so much fun. It was always a very nice night for our little family to enjoy together. The kids were in bed and asleep by 10:00. But, they were up again at 3:50. We held them off until 5:15 and then it was on! We enjoyed a sweet Christmas day. Gabriella took 2 naps and Kris only had to go into work for a couple of hours. We just played and relaxed and played all day! I love Christmas and I am sad to see it over for another year. It came and went so fast this year. I was glad we managed to find a little time to enjoy it!

Olivia and the cuddly bear Joshua picked out for her, she loves it!
Joshua opening the star wars pencil he wanted at the school book fair clear back in Sept. Mariah ran back into the school while I was getting the kids in the car and bought it without him knowing. It was a cute surprise.

Love, love, LOVE these sweet kids!
Love all the cute slippers! Thanks Palmer cousins:)

Gingerbread House Party 2010

We had a gingerbread house party with some of the resident families that Kris works with. The kids had so much candy to choose from it was ridiculous! After they had their fun we put on a movie for them and the adults had a building competition of their own. It was boys against girls and although I think the judges were wrong--the boys were the winners! It was lots of fun and we are still recovering from the sugar overload.

The boys won with the two story Santa's workshop. I think the judges were amazed that they pulled off a two story gingerbread house that was all they could think about.

Here's the girls and their Santa's workshop. It was all about the details, too bad you can't see them:)

Gabriella was not going to be slowed down by involving her hands--she just dove in for a bite!
So much fun!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Now THAT is a snowman!

Anyone think you can do better? We put the challenge out there a couple of years ago and we are doing it again now. Build a bigger or better snowman or snow sculpture of some kind and send us a picture. Come on, it is not that cold outside--be creative and get out there and build something! We dare you...

It was Joshua's idea to go with the 5 segmented snow monster this year:)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ahhh Summertime....

Summertime seems like it was so long ago. Now that we are getting snowed on everyday, it is hard to imagine that it will ever be warm again.

We went for a hike and picnic to Tremain Falls back in August (I think). It was beautiful and so much fun to play at the waterfall, but the water was freezing! I could hardly stand to touch it-let alone jump into it. It was hard to resist the fun diving board, but the water was freezing! Did I already mention that? Our friends, the Potter's, were with us. Summer was such a good sport to take her 8 1/2 month pregnant belly into the icy water to take the pictures. She will do pretty much anything for the right shot. I think she was numb for 1/2 hour after getting out of the water. Thanks for sacrificing for us Summer!

I hope to see the summer again someday...

Sunday, December 5, 2010


The kids have not been to NYC since Joshua was 8 months old. We live so close to the city that we just had to take a quick trip with them at Christmas time to enjoy the city. It was a quick trip. Barely 30 hours! It seems to be the way we visit NYC. In quick, short trips. Not only because Kris doesn't get much time off of work, but because it is SOOOOO expensive! However, a sweet subway worker took one look at us with all our kids and let us through for free. That was a very kind gesture. New Yorkers do not understand kids. Even though the kids were pretty well behaved we got lots of mean glances and grunts as we made our way down the very busy, crowded streets. Kris has mad driving skills and when we were driving you could have mistaken him for a taxi driver. I have to admit, it made me proud.

Our friends the Theler's were very kind to let us join them on their trip. We know we kind of took over and we are sorry about that. Hopefully, we didn't scare them away forever. Kris made us re enact a lot of the scenes from the movie "Elf". It was very embarrassing, but fun. Especially on the crowded escalators at Macy's. Josh was really good at hopping across the crosswalk.

The ice rink at Central Park

We went to Jekyll and Hyde's resturant for lunch. It was a lot of fun. It took a long time, Gabriella was a little scared, and like everything else in NY--it was expensive--but we are glad Kris is there to force us to try new things.
The beautiful Christmas tree in Rockefeller center. It was so crowded, it made it hard to get a good picture. It was really pretty.

This is on 6th Avenue. There were several displays with huge Christmas things. We liked the lights the best.

Also on 6th avenue there are lots of people dressed up as characters and Gabriella was really quick to find Dora--her favorite. Although I am glad she was able to have a quick visit with her best friend this was also a very scary moment. As I was busy taking the picture and Kris was trying to keep her from running to more characters we lost Joshua. He either kept walking when we stopped to see Dora or he was busy looking for other characters. Needless to say, I went into mommy panic mode. It was so crowded! I was screaming his name. People around me were very rude and irritated that I was screaming, but it didn't stop me. I ran around pushing people out of the way, screaming his name. I can't believe how rude people were! Couldn't they see I was so scared??? Anyway, amid all the chaos I heard someone calmly tell me he was up by the gate. I ran toward the railings blocking off the road and he was there walking with a family. I ran to him and scooped him up and hugged him. Then I probably freaked out the woman he was with when I hugged her, bawling my eyes out. She told me she was taking him to the police and then walked away. (Probably still scared from the hug). I asked Josh what happened and he told me when he realized that he couldn't see me he looked around for a police man or a nice looking Mommy with kids. We had drilled this into the kids heads and I was so proud of him for remembering and doing it. Besides a police officer there is probably no safer person to ask for help than a Mother with kids---because she knows the panic that comes from not knowing where your kids are! I have to thank my sister in law Julie for this advice she gave me 10 years ago. Who knows how far Joshua would have wandered in search for a police officer.

I am so grateful for a husband that can keep his head on in panic situations. Maybe we just make a good team. My craziness and his calmness--we cover all the bases! It was so scary. We had been so careful the entire trip to watch for the kids. Of course this happened during our last 30 minutes in the city.

Olivia was not helpful as I was trying to pack. She unpacked very quickly and found herself a good seat.

We probably won't make it to the city again. It is just too expensive and too scary to do it again with the kids. We had a great family get away and we were glad the weather wasn't too bad. The kids were troopers, no one complained about all the walking. Mariah loved the roasted nuts, Samantha loved Toys R Us, Joshua loved Spiderman (and acting like him on the central park rocks), Gabriella loved meeting Santa at Santaland, meeting Dora, and the Doorman at the hotel. Olivia loved the lights of Times Square! Kris and I loved explaining to the kids why there were so many people everywhere. They didn't quite get it. It was NEW YORK CITY for crying out loud!

A little service

Every year I like the kids to be involved in a few service activities for Christmas. This year we found a fun project for them to do. We filled shoe boxes with surprises and dropped them off at a local church. They are then distributed all around the world to kids who need a little love. The kids loved this project. I thought Gabriella would have a hard time packing away all the gifts she had picked out, but she was thrilled to send them away to "a whittle durl" far away. I love moments when you can see your kids grasp the idea of something bigger than themselves. Especially when it makes them so happy to serve someone else!

Olivia watched us carefully and made sure we took care of everything properly!

Just a few things...

Movie Night! Even Olivia was able to join us for movie night. We are making our way through the Star Wars movies. I have never seen the originals and I still have not. It seems like I don't ever get to sit still during movie night if the little one is awake. Joshua has loved all the ones he has seen and even the girls really enjoy them.

Doing a few dishes. I can't believe how long this entertained them, and surprisingly there was not a huge water mess to clean up!