Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Picture a Christmas

*Christmas Eve
This is the first year that I remember the kids wrapping gifts themselves.
Whit gave one of her stuffed animals to Caroline.
And B-train gave me some awesome origami creations.
Without any encouragement from parents.
LOVE it.

 Goodies we shared.

Christmas cards

Christmas Eve dinner

On the menu:  shrimp, artichokes, mashed potatoes,
yams, Grandma Cuca's red jello salad, and
chocolate toffee pie.

The Nativity
Joseph, Mary, and the donkey

 The angel

The shepherd was sore afraid.

*Christmas Day
Pure excitement

Jumping for joy

A few of the fun gifts
Lite Sprite--all five of us have had fun with this one

B's Phiten necklace

The girls' dollhouse

Gorgeous sunrise

 Automatic candy dispenser.
We already finished that entire gigantic bag of Skittles.
Yikes.

B's new bike.

It was a fun-filled, happy, relaxing Christmas.  The big bummer was that Care Bear got sick--running a fever and complaining that her ear hurt.  She and Drew had to stay home from church.  They missed out on some beautiful music.  But she's doing better now.  And we're enjoying this week together here at home.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Traditions

At the beginning of December, we sat down as a family and decided which traditions we most wanted to carry on this year.  I didn't want to try to squeeze too much in, but wondered which events were most important to my kids.  Here's what we decided together.

GINGERBREAD HOUSES




Caroline and I made the house-from-a-kit together.
Whitney went with a square house.
B-train chose a traditional house.
Andrew got creative and designed Rapunzel's tower.


MUSICAL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS



video

LIVE NATIVITY
This was a new tradition for us this year.  (Thanks, Shelley, for telling us about it!)  One of the local churches does a drive-through live nativity.  Very cool.



ORNAMENTS





CLASS PARTIES



I had fun helping out in Whit's class party.  And was IN CHARGE of Brandon's party for the first time in my mothering career.  It went really well...but was exhausting.  Note to self:  don't wear semi-uncomfortable boots to help with a class party.  Comfort is more important than style in this instance!

ANNUAL GIRLS' NIGHT PARTY
I was so happy that we continued our tradition of getting together at Shani's house.
No cookie or book exchange this year.
Just white elephants, delicious food,
and amazing friends.

PRESCHOOL PROGRAM
We have a preschooler again!  So that means we get to watch an adorable preschool Christmas program!




I am a terrible camera woman when it comes to videos.
I was zoomed in too far and couldn't figure out how to fix
my mistake without missing the song.
But you still can feel the Southern flair, right?


We've had so much fun and are giddy with anticipation for tomorrow!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Family Portraits 2011

Thanks to our friend, Toni, for taking our portraits this year.  She captured our family at this moment in time.  Yay!









Friday, December 16, 2011

Funniest Double Date

We don't go on double dates very often.  We seem to make plans last minute.  And often just want to play tennis with the two of us.  But when I heard that Brian Regan was coming to town, I begged Shelley and Michael to join us.  We are all big fans and I wanted to share the experience with them.  And they were up for the adventure.  Woo hoo!

First we went to dinner at Leblon, a Brazilian steakhouse.

Michael and Andrew were in heaven.  
Shelley enjoyed it. 

I felt like I was on a dare.
See?  There's meat on my fork.
And I ate it.

The show was exactly what I hoped it would be.  It was so funny that my face and abs hurt from laughing when we left.  It was good, clean humor, too.  So hard to find. 

In case you haven't heard of him, here are a couple little clips to whet your appetite.  He has some DVD's out that are great.




I walked on the moon!

And one of Shelley's and my favorites:



Dumb ol' donkeys.

If you go to youtube, you can also look up his emergency room and flying routines.  They are longer, but crack me up.

Joe Bolster was his opening act.  And he was ALSO hilarious and clean.

Random moments from the night that I want to remember:

*Two huge guys standing outside the restaurant that looked like bouncers.

*The decision that Michael and I would make a great Amazing Race team, while Andrew and Shelley would be defeated by a 12-foot-ladder challenge.

*I am the robot wife with an inner GPS.

*The little stalls in the bathrooms that you can see over.  Awkward!

*The wild jaguar in someone's car.  "You can't plan for that."

*Putting lights on the Christmas tree.  "That's a geometry problem that I just can't solve."  "This dark area represents our difficult times."

*Marching band.  "The flute player came up with this!"  "You don't see marching accountants."

*Chess compared to football.  "Look at how your safety's lined up.  Six points!"

*Ailing health "Well, I guess my hips gonna hurt....forever."

*Unicorn hair!

*The failed joke about artists and Brian rolling all over the stage.

*Center your beverage!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feeling Christmasy

I LOVE this time of year.  I love shopping--especially the anticipation of my kids' reactions on Christmas Day.  I love listening to Christmas music all day long and singing my heart out.  I indulge in peppermint ice cream and peppermint oreos and, well, just about anything with peppermint added to it!  I get excited about seeing Christmas lights around town.  And, most importantly, I am grateful for a time to focus on the birth of our Savior and try to follow His example in serving others.

Here is a glimpse into our festivities so far.
DECORATING THE TREE
Care Bear made sure the bottom third of the tree was covered.

B-train mostly wanted to watch.
I think he's getting too cool for tree decorating.
But he pitched in a little.

Almost done.

Caroline's turn to put the star on top.

Voila!

COMMUNITY TREE LIGHTING


CHRISTMAS PARADE
Giant balloons

Back-flipping karate chops

 A&T marching band.
Awesome!

NEIGHBORHOOD LIGHTS
We visited my favorite Christmas neighborhood
with the big balls of lights strewn about.

The temperatures have been so mild that we actually
got out of the van and walked around so I could get
better pictures.

 It's still hard to capture just how cool this scene is.
LOVE it.