Monday, December 31, 2012

Family Christmas: Daddy's side

We are blessed that our families live so close together, and although things get a bit hectic, this is especially a blessing during the holidays.

The Sunday before Christmas, we celebrated with Granny and Papaw, Uncle Tim and Aunt April and three cousins!

We always eat dinner and open gifts, with some leftover time to play.

Five of the six cousins were willing to take pictures before we started opening presents.
We kind of told them they had to.
Luke got away with being Luke.
Then we tried to force him.
That didn't work.
Poor Makayla-she always get stuck holding Luke, who is not content to be held at his age.
She's a pretty good sport about it though.
Even when Luke is out of the picture, she still has wildness to contend with!!
This is the best we could do of Granny and Papaw with the 6 grandkids.
JJ and Lilly are tired of photos at this point.
Actually, I think they all were.
All these pictures will be funny someday, I'm sure.
Presents, presents, presents!
 Sydney and Lilly always open several of the same gifts, and they like it that way. 
Then, it's more fun to play later!

 Luke would get motiviated to open and then wander around or take a break. 
One of his favorite gifts was a Mickey storybook reader.
The next day was Christmas Eve, and we gathered with Jeff's grandfather (94 years old), his wife Emogene, and also Jeff's Uncle Ken and Aunt Brenda.

Luke started eating before anyone else because ...well, because he's the baby and he pretty much does what he wants.  Seems like we are saying this more and more all the time.  Here he is hanging out with his cousin Makayla.
 Luke really liked Emogene.  I wish I had photos of the kids with Ralph-but he was not feeling his normal self that day-JJ was sick, and Luke is wild :)
Thankful for our family celebrations, special times and our traditions

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Day

Baby Jesus does not appear in our (Little People) nativity set until....
Christmas morning! 
Sydney especially gets really excited.  She ran in the kitchen and was yelling-"Mommy, Jesus is here.  He's in the stable.  It's his birthday!"
Just a reminder to get the day started off right-it's time to celebrate the birthday of the King!!!
First, the kids wanted to open stockings downstairs & then we headed up to see what we could find.
Luke immediately found the train and tracks sitting out.
The train is not a new thing in our family-it has just been in the attic for a year or more, so he does not remember it.
He LOVES this train.  "my choo choo," "my choo choo."
Watching him brought back memories from Christmas 2010, when another little boy was not yet 2 and received this train.
Yes, Luke liked the train so much-he didn't even get into opening his other presents for a long time. 
Of course, he didn't want to stand still and take a picture either!
 We did have a couple other anxious kids ready to open any and all presents!

After everyone had opened and we had a chance to play with our toys for a while, we had a yummy Christmas breakfast with Christmas sprinkle pancakes, eggs and fruit.
The rest of our Christmas Day is very relaxed-spent in our pj's...all five of us.
I did some cooking, we all watched the Disney Christmas Parade,
and had lots of time to hang out together and play with toys.
 Another highlight of Christmas Day is our birthday party for Jesus, complete with decorations, a cookie cake, and crafts to make.  They love this tradition and I sure do too. 

I bet you can guess which child completed which nativity :)

Another wonderful Christmas Day!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Great Wolf

The week before Christmas, Jeff and I had a big surprise planned for SG and JJ-Great Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati!  This is somewhere we've wanted to go for a long time, but we wanted to wait until they were a little bit older. 
We were very excited!  Granny helped us out and kept Luke for the two days we were gone. 
We are very thankful for her.
Um....I think he had a big time too :)
Anyway, we arrived before lunch on the first day and got lucky to check in early. 
After a quick lunch, we put on our suits and headed for the waterpark. 
Our entire time there was so much fun, with the time in the waterpark being the major highlight.  We don't have any great pictures from our time there because we were busy playing too, but I can recap by saying big slides, little slides, medium slides, lazy river, wave pool, water playground and fun, fun, fun.  While we were inside playing in the water, we were also watching it snow outside. 
Later on that night, we went to the lobby to watch the clock tower show ...
and soon, it started "snowing" inside the lobby.
JJ was amazed.  Sydney kept reminding us that it wasn't real snow, just pretend.  It really was cool.
After the snow, Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves and Rudolph had a little parade into the lobby.
Neither of my kids wanted to wait in the line to see Santa, but Rudolph was easier to access !
We also took the kids bowling in a kids size bowling alley.  The lanes had bumpers, were about half the normal length and tiny bowling balls.  It was also a lot of fun watching the kids-and watching Jeff with that little ball.  They loved it.
We visited the craft room and spent a little time there.  Both kiddos made a snowman ornament for our tree, and Sydney wrote a letter to Santa and put it in the mailbox.

At this point, it was about 7:30-and Jeff and I were worn out :)!  However, it was time for us all to get on our pj's and go to story time in the lobby.   This was another fun part of the trip.  This photo was after story time in front of the big Christmas tree.  JJ was almost begging to go to bed by this we headed that way! 
The next morning, we woke up and looked outside to see an inch or so of snow on the ground.  We ate breakfast and played in the waterpark again.  We started talking about coming back in 2013...we hope to bring them back many times.  Overall, Great Wolf is now near the top of our list of favorite places to go.  FUN FUN!

More fun awaited us in Georgetown-as we headed back to get Lukey and begin Christmas celebrations with our family and special friends.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord
-Luke 2:11-
Happy Birthday Jesus!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

'Tis the Season...

'Tis the season to dress my trio up and force them to take photos!
They are pretty cooperative
Well, two of them are pretty cooperative :)
And one has a real problem standing still!!!
I know we are a hoot to watch

Love my Christmas angels-so very blessed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time at School

Something I have been looking forward to for a long time is volunteering in Sydney's classroom.  Since I teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays while the boys are at preschool, and I get to spend M, W and F with them, I do not usually have the time to volunteer.

However, I've been done at WKU for a couple weeks-and the boys still had three days of school before Christmas break-so I took advantage and spent some time in Mrs Smith's room.  She is having me tackle a big project of organizing her classroom library.  It is actually a project I have been working on little by little at home since October, and now I am working on it in the room.   I should have it done sometime in January.

Sydney is so happy when I can come to her school and classroom.  On the first day I was there, I worked for a couple of hours and then ate lunch with her before I left. I surprised her and had lunch with her last Thursday.  Tuesday, I worked on the library project a while and then stayed to help out with her class party.

 It is fun to see her with her new friends.  Here she is with Laila & Ella and then her best school pal Janie.  They all wore PJ's Tuesday for Polar Express day.

As I was leaving on my first day there last week, she leaned her head out into the hallway and yelled "I love you Mommy.  You are the best Mommy ever."  What a sweet child I have been blessed with. 

More thankful than ever for her awesome teacher too.

AND's Christmas break-we get her for two weeks!!!