Monday, January 27, 2014

Christmas Day 2013

After an interesting night when Maggie decided to start vomiting around 11:30 from eating too much fruit and not enough anything else at dinner, we woke up to find that Santa had not only been to our house but had inadvertently left a treasure behind as well.

The magic of Christmas was alive and well in our house when we found this gem on Christmas morning!

What made this discovery even more incredible was that the Santa's Facebook page had posted this status on Christmas Eve:

The timing of our acquiring the bells from a very special helper of Santa and this status made it pretty hard not to feel the magic of Christmas!! 

Braeden just HAD to have this train. He has lots of trains but he was in Rite Aid one day and saw it and was determined he NEEDED it. It's not great quality but it was inexpensive and Maggie ended up getting it for him. He was thrilled!

Maggie LOVED this horse. I'm pretty sure it's not for riding but...

I encourage the kids to think about what they think Daddy would like and then we go and buy him a present. Evan thought about it for a few minutes and then told me that Daddy really likes peanuts (which he does) so that's what he bought him for Christmas. I love this tradition and look forward to seeing how their shopping choices change as they get older. 

Evan just HAD to have some Gak. It's gross and sticks to everything, but he got some and about two days later it was all dried out and in the trash but he sure enjoyed it while he had it. 

Christmas is always busy and it's always hectic, but I love it so much and having children to bring the magic back makes it so much more special. We continue to honor some of the traditions that my family had growing up as well as creating new ones with our little family and our friends. 

And I think that finally wraps up 2013! 

Christmas Eve 2013

We had a wonderful Christmas. The kids found so much joy in so many places and we were blessed with some amazing "magic" to make the holiday even more special. The kids get very excited when Martin (our elf) makes his appearance and this year he was not only a look-out elf for Santa, but he became a messenger as well. The boys gave him their letters to take back to to the North Pole with him and when they would remember something that they wanted to add to their list I would hear them talking to Martin to see if he could pass along their message to Santa. It was so fun to watch and hear!

Christmas Eve is always spent with my mother's side of our family. This year while we were waiting to eat dinner, Santa called! I didn't think any of my three would even get near the phone, but I was so wrong! All three of them took their turn and answered his questions and verified that he knew what it was they were most looking forward to seeing under the tree the next morning. Braeden told me later that he was so glad he got a chance to talk to Santa because he had forgotten to tell him that he wanted legos when we had visited him at Kringle Candle but he remembered on the phone. Phew!

Our very own cookie monster!

 Let's get this party started!

 In front of Grammy and Grampa's tree between Church and dinner

Grammy Jean and Braeden 

Ciocia Julia (the hostess) and Maggie

 Grammy and the boys

Maggie has quite a bond with my cousin Katie! My aunt gave Katie a picture of herself making a funny face and Maggie thought it was the funniest picture she had ever seen. She carried it around showing it to everyone and then laughing hysterically every time she looked down at it. I don't always understand her but that girl cracks me up!

Katie and Maggie

Talking to Santa!

Saying good-bye to Martin and cookies for Santa!

I love Christmas Eve because it's the easiest night of the year to get the kids to go to bed! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Braeden's 7th Birthday

Braeden turned 7 on December 4th. It's amazing to me that seven whole years of being a mom have come and gone already. I vividly remember the days leading up to his birth and the unbelievable feeling of seeing my baby for the first time. He was very excited this year because he got to celebrate 3 times! My parents joined us for dinner on his actual birthday, then we had a bowling party for his friends from school and lastly we closed out the celebrations with a low key family party. I love, love, love celebrating my children so I enjoy all of the partying as much as they do!

He loved the ship he got from Grammy and Grampa on his actual birthday!

On Saturday we loaded up and went to the bowling alley to party with his friends. Everyone loves it there because they get to bowl, eat pizza and play in the arcade. It's so much fun and the bowling alley does all of the work. All you have to do is bring cake!

On Sunday we had his family party which really confuses him because it's not just family. I don't know how many times we talked about the fact that there are some friends who are close like family so they come to the party too. Maybe I should just call it the "not-school" party. 

We tried to get a picture of all of the kids there and this was probably the best out of ten shots before they all started to walk away. 

A very happy birthday boy!!

Yes, he's actually biting the cake. It's a bit of a family thing... 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Some of My Favorite Instagram Pictures

I really haven't been all that good about taking pictures over the last few months either. Most of the pictures I took at all were on my phone and I don't even have access to most of those right now because I got a new phone for Christmas. I really should get them all off of the old phone and saved on my computer. Maybe I'll get to that in another few months :) Here's a look at some of my favorite recent Instagram pictures..

Cousin Love

This beauty can rock the sunglasses

Maggie and Lucy have a deep love for each other

Christmas shopping dinner date

Evan loves it when Lucy comes to pick him up from school

Basketball started this year and he loves it!

In case anyone in the world doesn't know about Stickygram, it's a great company that turns your favorite Instagram photos into magnets. I have them all lined up on my refrigerator and it's like having a photo album right there next to me. I love them!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Halloween 2013

I have never been a huge Halloween fan, but I do love to see the kids get dressed up and all of the smiles and giggles that come from running up and down the road with their friends while trick or treating. Unfortunately for us this year it was pouring rain! It didn't dampen spirits, but we were very wet at the end! The boys planned with Brayden and Riley to be various characters from Super Mario Brothers. They tried to include Maggie, but she beats to her own drum and in the end wouldn't even put her Minnie costume on :( She did however let me throw a tutu over her clothes so she was a fairy princess of some sort. They all looked adorable and had a blast despite the rain.

Pumpkin carving!

Braeden carved his all by himself this year! He went to a pumpkin carving night at school the week before and was so proud that he was able to do the carving so he came home and showed me. I'm definitely not going to complain about one less pumpkin to cut out! 

Our final products.. Evan's (bottom right) was a Wipeout course.

Mario and Toad

..and a princess..?

Mario and Luigi

Princess Peach, Toad, Luigi and Mario

Our trick or treating group. You can't even see Jake, but he's all in black behind the raindrop next to the hulk. 

The rain soaked us but everyone had a great time!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gaines Farm (October)

We usually try to go apple picking and do some fun fall activities each year, but this year was so filled with craft fairs, football games and other harvest merriment that we ran out of time to go to the orchard.

One weekend my friend Erin asked if we wanted to go to Gaines Farm with them and we squeezed it in in a couple of free hours on a Sunday. Seriously, when did we get so busy? It's a local family farm that has a large corn maze, haunted hay rides (which we did NOT do), animals, wagon rides and other kid games. It's only about 15 minutes from our house so it was a nice easy way to do something new and fun.

Can you see how excited Evan is to be in this picture? He's the one with his hand over his eyes. Classic. 

I don't even know how many times Evan asked to go back so he could get more fried dough!

They were all looking directly into the sun, but the moment was captured whether they could see or not!