Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas 2016

Christmas was so fun this year.  Casey was off for several days before Christmas and the entire week following.  It was such a great break and time to "reset" after a crazy November and December.  Let's talk about Christmas!

As tradition dictates, we went down to Deedee and Papaw's house on Christmas Eve.  We were joined by Bryan and Morgan, Morgan and Nick, Emmy and Grandad, and Chris.  The kids were super excited and ready to get started!


The obligatory stocking picture!

Syd was pumped about some new soccer cleats!

After we were thoroughly spoiled, we headed home to get ready for Santa! 

Santa delivered!  The kids were up before 6:00 to see the goods.  He brought all of the kids a basketball goal that was set up on the driveway!

 Clare also got a fuzzy, zebra desk chair. 

Jane got a new backpack and lunchbox. 

Graham got a basketball and a new movie.

And Sydney got a new scooter!

We enjoyed our family Christmas that morning, opening gifts from each other.  Jane gave Casey this coffee mug that says "best dad ever!"

After we finished up, we headed over to LoLo and Pop's house.  Nathan, Megan and Brody, Jennifer and Mamma were all there waiting for us! 

After we took the family picture, we enjoyed the day.  We did stockings, had our traditional Christmas brunch, opened presents, and then had a delicious dinner.  We had a really nice day together, and we headed home exhausted!

The following week was spent being totally lazy!  It was such a gift to have Casey home for the entire time.  We played games, watched movies, played lots of basketball,

enjoyed our new "toys"

and just got to catch up om family time.  It was the perfect way to end the year!  Happy 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Craziness!

December is always such a fun, busy month.  We have filled the month with lots of great activities.  Frank, the elf, returned on December the 1st.  The kids are always thrilled to find him every morning.  We have also been doing our advent activities every day. 

We had our annual Christmas Cookie Chaos.  I think it was our most successful year!  We were a well-oiled machine!

We had our annual bowling night.  Casey won the "men's division," Morgan won the "women's division," and Graham won the "kid's division!"  Everyone had fun!

We have played Christmas "Would you rather?" and done Christmas Carol drawings.  We did several crafts, have worked a few puzzles, and played some games!

We went to look at Christmas lights with hot chocolate, of course.  This year, I made up a Christmas light Bingo sheet to keep the kids on their toes! 

Today, we painted Frosty!  We all looked at the same picture to paint, and the results all ended up very different!

We checked off another tradition tonight as well.....caroling!  Mamma and Aunt Jen arrived this afternoon, and Jen took these crazies to a few neighbors' houses.

The next couple of days will be filled with fun activities as well!  It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Two Birthday Parties and a Piano Recital

Jane and Sydney's birthday fell on the same weekend as the local Rudolph Run.  We decided to invite a small group of friends, run the race together, and then have a big pancake breakfast.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate with us, and the race go cancelled.  We opted for plan B which was a pancake breakfast and a some Rudolph painting! 

The girls arrived and we started with Fruit Loop necklaces.

Then it was time for pancakes and sausage.  Casey was our expert chef!

Finally, we painted our Rudolphs.  I was so impressed with how well the kids did.  They were so creative!

After the initial stress of changing plans, the party turned out to be a success.  The kids were well-behaved, and Jane and Sydney had fun!

The next day was Jane and Syd's actual birthday, and Clare's piano recital. Clare played Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, and she did great.  She amazes me with her calmness and ability to rise to the occasion when performing in front of people.

Following the piano recital, we headed back to our house for the family party!  

It was the busiest weekend we've had in a long time, but it was full of fun things to celebrate!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Room

When Clare turned nine, we redecorated her room.  Jane and Syd's ninth birthday is fast approaching, and a room redo was requested!

This is how they looked the last time we redecorated.

Time for a change!

We decided to let them pick out the paint color, and then we surprised them with everything else.   Casey painted the room last weekend, and while they were at school today, I put the room together.  I was so excited for them to see it!

I made them wait until Casey got home from work to go in!

They loved it!

My almost nine year olds!!

Sydney wrote us this note earlier in the week before she had seen the new room.  Sure makes doing things for them more fun when they are excited about the results!

Sky Ranch

At our elementary school, the fifth graders go to Sky Ranch for two nights in the fall.  It is a science "field trip," and they leave on a Wednesday and return on Friday before school is out.  I remember when it seemed like forever before my kids would be old enough for this trip, but lo and behold, this is Clare's year!

I attended with Clare as a chaperone, and we had a great time. We got to zip line! 

Here is Clare with one of her best friends.  It was a really pretty place, and we had great weather for most of our stay.  It rained on the last day, which meant we didn't get to horseback ride.  That was a bummer, but what can you do?

This was our cabin of girls.  It was a good group, and thankfully, they were all pretty worn out each night!

After the learning sessions, there was time for fun.  Clare enjoyed this "jumping pillow!"

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I signed up to go on this trip.  I was pleasantly surprised at the trip.  I enjoyed the time with Clare, and it was fun to get out of town. 

It'll be Jane and Sydney's turn before I know it!