Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa Came!

I always assumed that when I had a family of my own, we would be home for Christmas, the kids would wake up to presents under the tree left by Santa every Christmas morning. I've conceded to the fact that we are not going to be home on Christmas day, and this year was no different. Our families just live too far away, and travel is always a part of our holiday plans. This year included less travel than usual, but still, with it falling on a Sunday, it just didn't make sense or work out that we would be at our house Christmas morning. It kind of makes me sad that our little family has no real traditions of our own, but I guess that's life when you live away from both sides of your family. Anyway, we asked Santa by special request to stop in early. Thankfully, he obliged. Lincoln was far more excited the night before to open presents, apparently he's more of a night owl, but he did like a few of his surprises once he warmed up to the early morning craziness.

His favorite thing about the morning was the mass number of candy canes that could be found in stockings and around the house.

Kevin was quite excited about all of Lincoln's gifts, and couldn't wait to show Lincoln how to use his race track for the 800 hot wheels he thought he needed for Christmas. I also found a few unopened cars that Kevin saved for himself. I really don't get it, grown men and their toys, but I think Kevin may actually be excited about Christmas for the next few years.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve But Not Really

We had our Christmas Eve last Thursday night, and by special request, Santa came to visit us on Friday morning. We always have dinner and open a few presents before Santa is scheduled to visit. We opened gifts from each other, and we also opened all the gifts from our Oregon family since we didn't get together with them this year. Since it was the first time this season they were able to open presents, there was little excitement going on. They were bouncing off the walls most of the day anxious to open a few presents.

Lincoln LOVED unwrapping his presents, and continually walked around saying "That's cool, Mommy!" or "That's cool, Daddy!" It was quite fun and entertaining watching him get so excited about opening presents and squealing when he found out what was inside.

Kevin definitely gets as excited about Lincoln's toys as Lincoln does. He really likes having some toys for boys around the house.

Skylar gave Londyn some kind of noise-making putty. When I asked them to make a list of what they thought they wanted to shop for for their siblings, she knew exactly what she wanted to get and where she wanted to get it from. It was Dollar General. My children are quite taken by the dollar store. I guess that works out well for me. Anyway, Londyn loved the putty!

Me and Londyn posing while Skylar practices her photography skills. I hope you all had a Mery Christmas, and that you are able to enjoy a little bit of slower pace this week!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Annual Cookie Baking

The day before we headed to Missouri, the kids and I whipped up a few cookies. I used to spend a little more time and effort into doing this each year, but I seem to get lazier as the years go by. We managed to squeeze it in though. Again, Lincoln was there every step of the way. Londyn was very patient, and loved helping him throughout the process. Lincoln is very serious about his cookie baking, and as I've mentioned before, the elf apron was required.

It was a great way to kick off our Christmas weekend festivities!

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A Friendly Day

I'm not a huge fan of having friends over. That's probably bad to say, but we are rarely home, and when we are, I really enjoy spending time together as a family. Plus, one advantage of having two girls sixteen months apart is that they are best friends, and there is always someone to play with. Also, I'm a disciplinarian. I can't help it. It's just my nature. I like things to be calm, organized and under control. As a teacher, those are good traits, on a play date, not so much. Not to mention, they're at a new school and I don't know any parents and they don't know me. Anyway, the girls have been begging to have friends over for a while, and we are finally going to get to spend most of our break at home, so I thought it would be a good time to step out of my comfort zone and let them invite a friend over. I have to say, they have great judgement. (I only hope they have such good taste in boys when that time comes.) The girls they invited over were absolutely precious. They were extremely sweet, polite, and helpful. I could go on and on. They were all there for around five hours and I never heard anything negative, no arguing or anything. One of them even insisted on helping me clean up the kitchen. (I so need to get some tips from her mom.) Everyone just had a really great time playing together. We started out by making gingerbread houses, and I'm pretty sure that eating the icing and plethora of candy was the best part.

Lincoln, of course, had to be in the middle of it all in his elf apron nonetheless.

They played school, wii and then took a hot chocolate break with a few choice toppings.

If they can get over the horrible behavior of my two year old, maybe they'll come play again. Seriously, Lincoln apparently doesn't know what to do when he doesn't have the full attention of his sisters. He was showing off and torturing the girls in every way imaginable. His behavior included but was not limited to chewing up twizzlers and spitting it at the girls, picking his nose and wiping it on the girls, tantrum throwing, throwing applesauce on the floor and walls, etc. I was mortified. It was like a TV episode that featured the naughty little brother. He did finally take a nap which I have never been more thankful for. post signature

Monday, December 26, 2011

I Help You!

I have heard this phrase a lot lately. Lincoln REALLY likes to help me with everything. My favorite picture is actually on my phone and I haven't uploaded it yet, but he always insists on wearing this elf apron and the hat. I'm sure someday he will regret this decision, but for now, I love it! I tried to give him a different apron with a penguin on it, and he refused and said, "I need MY apron!"

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From Our Family to You

Thank you Melinda Brookshire Photography for the photos and card design for our annual Christmas card!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Class Christmas Party Marathon

I spent last Tuesday, making a stop at each of the kids' class Christmas parties. Between 1:45 and 3:00pm, I managed to watch a Lincoln's preschool performance, hang out while he had a party snack, visit Skylar in her class (much against her will), and swing by Londyn's party to say hi as well. I always thought that if I weren't working, I'd like to be at their parties and help out. I think I was wrong. I mean, I love being there to see them, but it's very awkward for me. It's hard for me to be the parent, and not the one in charge. I don't really know many people that are there, and it's just way out of my comfort zone to stand around, not really knowing what to do. I tried not to embarrass my kids too badly though. Lincoln's class sang a few songs, but he had just woken up, so he was pretty groggy and didn't make a peep even though he actually loves singing Christmas songs. By the time he got back to his class, he was awake enough to enjoy a couple of cookies and his first present of the season which he is quite fond of.

Skylar tried to ignore me as much as possible, but did like having Lincoln there. They had lots of activities in their class, in this particular one, they are being given directions as they try to draw on their head. Skylar takes things like this pretty seriously, and loved every minute of it.

Londyn's class had a variety of activites as well, and she also loved having Lincoln there to help. You would think (or I would think) that I would have at least walked away with some decent pictures, but not so much. Oh well! At least I got evidence of my attendance and hopefully that puts some deposits in my good mom bank:) I have to say I was dreading taking Lincoln to both parties without much of a nap, but both girls really wanted him to come. I was pleasantly surprised that he was wonderful. He just went and sat quietly by the girls and stole a few of their goodies.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

My Little Gymnasts

This week, we got to sneak a peek at what the girls have been learning in their gymnastics class over the last few months. I tried to take a picture of them in action, but none of them turned out very well, so a posed picture in their sparkly performance leotard will have to suffice. We cut back our activities significantly this year, and gymnastics was what both girls chose to participate in. They are both working toward their back handspring, and love the time they get to spend practicing at the gym.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011


I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon in Londyn's class yesterday helping make gingerbread houses. It's funny, Skylar doesn't want me to come to school to see her at all, and Londyn wants me at every event. I'm pretty sure she had a great time, mostly playing in the icing. I heard several of the students comment about how it was the best day ever! It's a lot more fun being the helper than the teacher in charge of these projects. Much less stressful:)

On a whole other note, I can't believe Chrismas is only a week away! Once again, it has completely snuck up on me before I have been able to schedule all the things I want to do!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Londyn's Christmas Performance

So, there aren't many pictures of the actual performance because there were eight million kids and we were sitting pretty far back in the audience. I was glad I dressed her in green though because otherwise I'm not sure I would have been able to pick her out of the crowd. She happens to be in the second row in the middle behind the boy in the plaid shirt if you are trying to find her. It was an adorable performance, but it's times like this that I miss a smaller school, and being a teacher where I don't feel bad about sneaking up to the front to take a photo. Oh well, she had fun, and it gave us an excuse to celebrate afterwards.

Lincoln looks pretty rough, but was thrilled to take a picture with one of his big sisters. post signature