Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Here is this year's Christmas card!  I love it!  It's always so fun for me to make them. I also LOVE to put our old cards in frames and put them up at Christmas time.  It's so fun to look at photos of previous years.  I also have a box where I save the cards people send, too.  

Previous Years:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Visiting with Santa!

I didn't intentionally neglect this little blog this month - December is just full of so much fun!  I'll be posting updates about Christmas programs, parties, and tradition after Christmas.  Ha!

We took the kids to visit Santa at the mall last week.

Hudson really was excited...this was just the best of he pictures with all four kids actually looking at the camera!

We will be spending our Christmas Eve doing some cleaning up and baking, and then we'll head to my parents' house for dinner!  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wyatt's School Christmas Show

So we are in love with Wyatt's school.  It feels very "small town" and he just has a great teacher (He's been very lucky every year.  His teachers always see his charming side.  It's a side I sometimes don't appreciate because of his um, temperamental side.)

There was a book fair for the school at a bookstore last night, and a few classes from each grade level performed some carols.  Wyatt was in the first grade group, so he sang a few songs in his jammies :).

He was a little bummed that he didn't get to buy a book...but Christmas is in two weeks, son!  More importantly, the line was out the door!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lunch with Santa

The kids were so excited to go to lunch with Santa today!  Wyatt's school hosts the lunch every year, and I've always heard really great things about it.  I went back and forth about taking them, but when I was in his classroom last week his teacher raved about it, so that made the decision a bit easier!
 The Santa was so great!  He came in and sang some songs, and then Frosty and Rudolph came in as well.  Rudolph walked over to Finley to wave, and Hudson said, "Hey!  You're supposed to give me a High 5, Rudolph!"

This little girl is such a trooper.  Wyatt never would have tolerated all the car pooling time she has to put up with!  Her smile is constant and I think she loves being a part of the action.  So blessed to have this little girl as our number four!
So close to Santa!  Hudson was incredibly excited - which is very different from our previous experiences.  He's either been crying or standing off to the side looking scared since he was born.  I guess it's now Finley's turn to take over that role in our Santa outings.
 I can not get over the similarities in these two.  She looks so much like her big brother, and she just adores him.

 Telling Santa what they want for Christmas.
Reese: "Hundreds of art stuff."
Wyatt: "Star Wars Legos."
Hudson: "Car ramp."
 Ah!  Precious!  I can not get over how eager Hudson was to hop on Santa's lap!  He has been such a jokester lately.  When we were eating today he said, "Hey Daddy, Santa's behind you."  (He wasn't.)

Every night during December we do our Advent Calenders.  One is this Little People one.  One is a train with candy.  And the last one is a little house that I put questions in that are based around our Bible Storybook or this scripture reading that I found on Pinterest.  Every night I ask a question, and every night, no matter what I ask, Hudson's answer is "Put it on the Christmas tree."  Every. Single. Night.  

"Hudson, how were you a good brother today?"
"I put Reesie on the Christmas tree."

"Hudson, what is one good lesson you've learned about someone from the Bible?"
"And what did he do?"
"Ummmm....he go up on a Christmas tree."
 The lunch was organized into three stations. We had lunch with Santa, and then we moved on to eating, and then we went to do crafts.  I could not believe how much they all loved making the crafts!  I expected Reese to be excited (she already talks about how she's going to have art when she goes to school there), but not Wyatt!  Toss some glitter at this kid and he wants to know where the glue is!
We had so much fun today... I'm thinking this is definitely a new Christmas tradition!

Winter Dance Showcase

I feel like there are so many things to do in December.  Fortunately, right now I see them all as fun Christmas-sy activities and not obligations!

Yesterday we had Reese's dance showcase.  Her class meets at her school on Tuesdays, so with the exception of recitals, I don't really get to see what she's up to.  It is so fun to go and see her up on the stage.  She's fearless!  That would scare the bejeezus out of me.

I attempted my first ever sock bun for the recital.  Super easy and so cute!  I did need to secure it with LOTS of pins.  Her hair is pretty fine.
Just a quick backstage picture of her costume. The costumes were all just for the show, so we turned them in afterwards.  It was a little chilly by the door.
And of course her "Jingle Bell Rockin'" performance - So proud of this girl - she did a great job!

It was a cold, rainy day, so she wore her costume shorts over her leggings with rain boots. I was actually so happy that I didn't have to take her out in a dance costume. She thought she was very fashionable!  
The rain and cold has ruined some of our weekend plans, but we're excited for Lunch with Santa today at Wyatt's school!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five on Friday!

Linking up with Five on Friday this week!

Brian took today off and we were able to  get a significant amount of shopping done.  Did anyone else shop at Target Black Friday and get the 20% off one shopping trip coupon?  We split our $200 transaction into two and got two coupons.  We saved LOADS of money this week with those coupons, the Cartwheel app (LOVE), and our Red Card!  We finished Reese's shopping today, and still have a few things to get for the boys.  I'm a fan of checking things off of our list early!

I'm so excited for this weekend's activities!  We are typically on vacation in Disney World around this time, and we miss out on Christmas activities.  While I love Christmas at Disney, I'm so glad we went in September this year!  We have a full weekend that includes a Christmas dance recital for Reese (her costume is adorable!), a Revolutionary War reenactment (we like to nerd it up),  a Christmas parade, and lunch with Santa on Sunday at Wyatt's school!

We took the big kids to see Frozen last Sunday.  We all loved it!  Reese has spent the past few days breaking out into song.   Hudson has been feeling a little left out about getting left at home with Didi, but we promised to take him when it's not opening weekend.  That way he can talk as much as he wants without bothering anyone.

Our elf Parker came back on Thanksgiving.  He was waiting for us when we got back from my brother's house.  My kids LOVE their elf.  We don't do a ton of talking about the "North Pole reports," the kids mostly just like seeing him. They think it's so magical that he moves at night while they sleep.  The very first thing that Wyatt does every morning is look for Parker.  I'm not big into the "mischief making elf" but I occasionally try to make sure he does something fun.  Usually he's just sitting in a bowl of ornaments or hanging out on a tree!

Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners.  Our Yankees loving family is depressed.  In the last week we have lost Granderson and Cano.  Not only are they two of our favorite players, but that also means that 2/3 of Wyatt's Yankees shirts are now no longer useful.  Boo!  At least Derek Jeter will be back this year!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Family Christmas Tree

We went to get our Christmas tree on Saturday morning.

First let me say...this is the sixth tree that went up in the house.  We have three small trees in the kids' bedrooms.  We have our old 7 foot fake tree upstairs in the Yankee room.  We have our fake 12 foot tree in the playroom/front window of the house.  And then we have our real tree up in the living room, and that one is my favorite.

Not only is it the only real, pine scented tree in our house,
 But it's also the one that we all get to go choose as a family.
Which always makes for a fun adventure.
Instead of "boring" old white lights, we light this one up with bright, colorful twinkle lights. 
And fill it up with ornaments from our family vacations, first Christmases, collections, and homemade goodness.
 And Santa leaves our presents under it every year.
 And it becomes a favorite gathering spot for these kids.  And their mischievous little hands!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013: Part 2

After our fun on Thursday, we were excited to continue our Thanksgiving celebration with Brian's family on Friday.

We got a call from his parents that morning that their power went out.  Crazy!  Fortunately they have a generator, so the turkey was still cooking, and we stayed home to take care of the sweet potatoes, potato casserole, stuffing, and pumpkin cheesecake.  Can I just say that Pinterest did not fail me?  All of those things are delicious! 

We went over to Mimi and Baba's around lunch time, which gave the kids time to play outside with their cousins.  This guy has had a language explosion over the last few weeks.  I've never heard him talk as much and say as many new words as he has lately.  He is surprising us every single day!

This little girl is a swinging pro.  She loves it!
We ate and ate and ate, the kids played, and we ate some more.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013: Part 1

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!  My brother moved to Richmond this year, and he and April offered to host a huge Thanksgiving meal for us all.  We drove up to Richmond on Thursday morning, and were able to spend the day with my family, plus my aunts and uncle, and April's mom and sister and brother in law!  

The kids had some time to play before we ate (and we ate and ate and ate - wings, 7 layer bean dip, crab dip, meatballs - all before the huge meal).  April was so creative and organized a turkey hunt for the kids, and she set up crafts for them to do.  They had so much fun!
Before we sat down to eat we all gathered to take some pictures!

The entire crew!
 My siblings!  We took a picture like this on Thanksgiving 9 years ago - Katie was a lot shorter then!  I know I'm short, but this really brings attention to it!
 Mom and Dad with all their kids and grandkids (flannel was big at our Thanksgiving gathering)!
 Our family!
 And just Brian and I!

We had such a great day filled with family and lots of food!  Hudson and Mason definitely spent some time playing together (and making a mess).  We came home so excited to have Thanksgiving part 2 with Brian's family on Friday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five on Friday

Linking up for Five on Friday this week!


Brian has been in Florida all week at a trade show (it's been a long, wine-filled week for me).  The kids and I went to pick him up this afternoon, and in addition to being excited to see his Daddy, Hudson was also very eager to be his suitcase helper. Excellent timing, because my husband brought home three bags.  In fairness, he did do some Christmas shopping at Downtown Disney!  Ha!

While Brian was gone I got a jump on a the Christmas decorating.  I started with the tree in the Yankee room/Boys room (it's Yankees themed), and then put up the small trees in the kids' rooms.  Reese loves her purple princess tree, and she wanted to use her Sofia amulet as the topper!  
(She's very into purple in case you can't tell)

We are obsessed with Christmas pajamas around here.  We wear them year round, and I bought new pajamas for the kids a few weeks ago.  The girls each have two new sets from Carter's, and the boys each got the set in the middle from there as well.  This doesn't include the fact that I got them all new pajamas featuring our favorite Elf on the Shelf, Parker off of Zulily a few weeks ago, and I've picked up a few at Target. They've all also got pajamas that they still fit in from last year, so they're well stocked in the jammies department!


So I've seen this great pin about a "Christmas Eve" box on Pinterest, stocked with pajamas and a new movie and hot chocolate for Christmas Eve.  I've decided to turn the Christmas Eve box into an "Elf on the Shelf" arrival box - that way we have the pajamas for the whole season, and popcorn and hot chocolate for going to look at Christmas lights.  Plus, we usually do Christmas Eve with my parents, and we get home a little late for all that on the night before Christmas.  

(okay, I've also had to wrap presents into the wee hours on Christmas Eve the last few years.  Something that WILL NOT happen again this year!)

 I know, all the posts about Christmas may have fooled you, but I am so excited for Thanksgiving!! With 4 kids, our December calendar fills up, so I have to make sure to plan and decorate ahead, but Thanksgiving is still one of my favorite days!  This year we are going to travel to Richmond to my brother's house to celebrate with my family on Thursday, and we'll be spending Friday with Brian's parents!  I can't wait to spend both days with our families and stuff myself with food - especially my Aunt Michele's pecan pie!  I MAY have to head to the YMCA every day next week!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Trip to the Park

On Hudson's birthday, we stopped at the park before we met the grandparents for dinner.  When we go to the park (or anywhere) we are typically the largest family around - but not that day!  There was a family there with at least 9 kids (that I counted).  I think I'm feeling pretty good about stopping at 4!

The park is beautiful - it's a lake surrounded by tall trees, and a walking trail, and of course swings and slides for the kids. They had the best time!

This little girl loved her time on the swings!
And Hudson was so independent at the park!  He's getting so big!
The bigger kids loved the swings, but they also enjoyed throwing rocks into the's that for good old fashioned fun?
The boys hung out picking up leaves and sticks.  Boys.

I'm hoping to head back to the park this weekend...maybe for some Christmas card pictures?