Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas morning...I did it again.  I slept until 7:30 when the boys knocked on my hotel room door to see if Santa had filled their stockings.  Oops.  Maybe I should use an alarm clock!

Santa, who only gets credit for stockings in our family, left a few goodies. 

A game for Char,

 cologne for Amarin,

 a calendar for Jenna, 

 Jacob looks confused over the cologne...

 and, hey, could somebody give me a hand with gifts over here?

 First, we had brunch and opened presents at Pink Grandma and Papa's house...

 where the boys enjoyed some PS2 time.

 And then off for dinner and gifts at White Grandma and Papa's house.

A fun, fun day.  The next day we headed home, thankfully before the snow storm hit this area!

Family Christmas

We had our family Christmas a few days early, as we were going out of town to be with extended family on Christmas Day.
Saturday morning, I woke up at 7:30 to some very anxiously awaiting children! 
Oops...didn't mean to sleep in that late!

The annual pose on the staircase before we let them go downstairs.
Bummer for the shadow, but this one shows Laura's sweet smile.

 This is what they pretended to feel like when we told them to stay put until we downed another cup of coffee.

 OK.  Just one more pose by the tree before the mayhem begins!

 We actually have each of the kids open gifts, one at a time.  That way they can see what they each got, and it makes the time stretch out a little longer.
Jenna was totally into opening her presents!

 I couldn't resist.  These shirts were just too funny.

 Each of the kids helped Laura open her presents.

 Who on earth bought Amarin a real drum?
Oh, yeah.  We did.  I need to find my migraine medication...

 Amarin was just a teensy weensy excited about this lego set.  He did quite the dance.
And even though there were over 1,000 pieces, he had it put together in 3 hours.
He's looking for a bigger one.

 Jacob's favorite was a box of 52 "old" bionicles that they don't make any more.
He wants to collect them all!

 And Charlie could be found at any point in the day with his DS.

It was a fun day...just hangin' out and relaxing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


 I just received this video today.
Great reminder about the true meaning of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Uninvited Guest

We have an uninvited guest in our home...the bug!
It hit me a few weeks ago, and is SLOWLY making its way through the family.
The bug hit Laura with a fever over the weekend...
Jamie Sunday night...
Jacob last night...
and Amarin this A.M.
THANKFUL there's no nausea with it!

Laura went back to school today, but I was called to come get her.
By the looks of the photo below, she planned this to get out of work.
Little did she know there was a bowling field trip she missed today.

 We're enjoying lots of Christmas movies today.

 And drinking lots of gatorade, sucking on cough drops, boiling spices, and rubbing peppermint oil on our feet and chests.

Oh.  And Jamie just texted.  He's on his way home from work...sick.
If you need me, I'll be in Hawaii until further notice.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Road Trip

Last week, the teens from our church took a road trip to see Tim Hawkins.
He is one of the funniest, cleanest comedians I've heard.
And if you're familiar with Tim Hawkins, you'll understand that they had to stop at Chik-fil-A for dinner first.
The kids got V.I.P. tickets which included a meet&greet, and really good seats.
They also brought whatever they could think of to get autographed.
Jacob tried really hard to find a box of twinkies...another TH thing...but no such luck.

 Could they have better seats...front row, right in front of the stage?  And sitting where they did, they were prime targets for homeschool jokes...most of the kids in the group are homeschoolers.  And Preacher went, too, and was apparently the target for jokes about Baptist Preachers...all in good fun.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And the Oscar goes to...

Tonight was a big night at our church, with some stellar performances by outstanding actors and actresses.  And, in my humble-and-a-bit-biased opinion, the best rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas ever!

First, Pigpen, I mean, Amarin, started the service with O Little Town of Bethlehem.

 The tech guys, working lights and sound.  Awesome job, gentlemen!

 As the show begins, Woodstock(s) and Snoopy were decorating his doghouse.
I have never seen a cuter Snoopy in my life!

 The cast sang beautifully.

 When the Charlie Brown theme song played, Snoopy danced his little heart out on stage.
A few people told me that they saw a new side of Snoopy that they hadn't seen in church before.
Yes...that's the side we see at home...the side that keeps the coffee pot plugged in at all times so we can keep up with him.

 Pigpen played his part so well...vowing to do his best to keep a tidy inn despite his outward appearance!

 Snoopy was loud and clear in that microphone.  He had everyone in stitches between his dancing and his Snoopy laugh.  Little do they know...that's his real laugh!

 Now don't judge me and the sweater just yet.  Jamie had an "ugly sweater day" at work last week.  Apparently, someone wore this to work, and Jamie asked if he could bring it home so I could wear it to the performance.  My oldest boy later said, "Mom.  I can't believe you really wore that.  Is that like a style from the 80's?"  I wasn't going for "glam," buddy,  just for fun!

So proud of these two boys, up on stage, having so much fun.  They can't wait to be in another play!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Almost here...

 So much fun is happening in preparation for Christmas!
Last weekend was Jacob's Christmas band concert.
The kids all looked so festive, and I love that their uniforms match the Christmas theme.
They marched in and played a few "marching" songs.

 Then they switched over to concert music, and Jacob turned in his sousaphone for the concert tuba.

 It was so festive!
 Time to make presents for all the teachers and bus drivers.
This year we decided to make ornaments out of applesauce and cinnamon.
They are so easy, and smell wonderful!
Amarin mixed the ingredients, and wore a lot of cinnamon.

 Then we rolled it out like dough, and gave each pair of kids a piece.
It was a good project to match a big kid with a little kid.

 Then they picked out their cookie cutters...

 poked holes for ribbon with a straw...

 and, their favorite part, blowing the chunk of dough back out of the straw.  Occasionally it got sucked in...oops!
Char was proud of his straw!

 And he was so careful not to break them.

 They made over 30 ornaments.
 After 2 days, they were dry and the kids strung ribbon through them, and put them in gift bags.  Laura took hers to school today.

 All this preparation can really wear a person out!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

More Memories in the Making

So, how does Laura spend her days at home?
Admiring the Christmas tree, and sometimes munching an ornament.
But she has been pretty good about not touching the tree too much this year.

 But sometimes I can read her mind..."When mom turns away, I'm nabbing that one right there."

 Tradition:  the Santa sign
It hangs annually on our closet door, reminding little ones to keep their eyes and hands out of the closet.  Santa says so!
Being only Jenna's 2nd Christmas at home, she had forgotten why she couldn't go in the closet.
I reminded her that Christmas surprises were in which she squealed and giggled...eyes on me...and her hand on the door handle...

 Today was a Christmas Tea/Cookie Exchange at church for the ladies and little girls.  I was on the committee and scheduled to work.  Until I caught this precious flu bug on Friday.  So, Jenna got all dolled up and went with our friends. 
Late in the evening, I mustered up the energy to take the kids to the 2nd Annual Christmas tree lighting for our village, which just-so-happened to be at our church.
The weather was ridiculously warm for early December.
The girls didn't really need their winter coats, but they just looked so festive, we couldn't resist!
So here are the 4 younger ones, waiting for the lights.

 And here would be my #5, hanging out with the cool crowd.

 After singing a few carols, and hearing from a couple village officials,
the lights went on...and I have no idea why it looks like fireworks.
I'll just chalk it up to the fact that I have no clue when it comes to adjusting my camera settings.

 Then it was back inside the church for festivities. 
Jacob's homeschool band played a few songs.
(That would be Jacob's tuba in the back.)

 A local middle school orchestra played beautifully.

 At this point, mom's in need of her bed, but we hustled downstairs so one little lady could see Santa!
She was smitten, and asked for a jingle bell for Christmas.
Someone was obviously paying attention to Polar Express last night!

 Charlie has mixed feelings about Santa.  Part of him wants to be brave and talk to him, but there's that part that is scared to death of the costume.  So, from a safe distance, he waved and yelled, "Hi, Santa!"

 Laura was the only other child of mine that would sit on his lap. (Jacob is "in the know" and Amarin didn't want to be the biggest kid in there).  
 And I don't think Laura was overly exuberant about the experience.
What do you think?