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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Recap

So happy with her non-Disney sleeping bag, which was becoming a little embarrassing to bring for sleepovers.

Also happy with her Santa gift!

She was delighted with each and every item she came across Christmas morning!   She got little things like pacifiers, band-aids and board books and of course thought she'd hit the jack pot.

Christmas 2012 was wonderful!  Each year I learn the same lesson about the best way for us to enjoy the holiday --the simpler things are the happier we are.   This year there were less gifts, less outings (we meant to go to Tilles Park and the zoo....), and less junk food (until the last week when that's totally flown out the window).  Fabulous!   I did less decorating and loved that too, they'll be even less to come next year.  Still, with less decorating it all had to come down today, the walls were starting to close in around me; what is cozy and fun in late November becomes clutter and stress inducing to me in late December.  So now it's all packed away until November 2013 on that certain day when I just can't wait a moment longer to fill our house with Christmas.  

 I'm so thankful for a great Christmas and all the blessings this season brought!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Teddy Bear Tea

Gram and the girls for their yearly fireplace shot.

Lucy did so well drinking hot chocolate out of a tea cup.  She loved that she could add as many marshmallows as she wanted.  
The kids' plate!   Each girl had her own.  

A face painting with stockings and blue eye shadow!  
Such sweet girls!  I love them so much.

Lucy's sort of smile.

Kevin did all of the girls hair and got them dressed this morning!  There isn't anything that guy can't do!  

                                                          Christmas is almost here!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Watch out Pinterest!

I joined Pinterest for the sole reason of finding a few new Advent activities.  Thankfully that's all I've searched for and have spent about 30 minutes total in this endeavor.   I found some cute ideas.  Here's one we put into action tonight, Snowman Sundaes.

Here's the Pintrest version.  I doubt they had nearly as much fun or as many laughs building theirs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting better

What a few days it's been! I'm using my phone to post this while laying in bed recovering from the stomach flu. I've spent the day sleeping, reading Facebook, and watching White Christmas. I keep thinking I'm doing pretty good and then I think about doing something productive and the mere thought exhausts me. I can handle a post though! The good news is my dad is here and a huge help with the kids. The bad news is my dad is here because it's Christmas Shop week and that is where I should be. Yesterday as I was hugging the toilet of the City Recreation Center all I could think was, I had 364 days to get sick (in all fairness I think I was sick at least 2 of those 364 days..and really there are a lot of other days that would be no fun to be sick... throwing up in a less than clean public restroom clearly makes me melodramatic). But, the show goes on and I know that things at the shop are going well, the other 2 co-chairs are great and we have amazing people volunteering all week...I just miss being there. Hoping tomorrow I feel great and am back at the shop bright and early!

Here's a photo with the sweetheart that shared this virus with me! She got it Thursday and while she slept all day Friday, I disinfected the house hoping to keep everyone else well. At least ( so far) the rest of the family is ok!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This morning....

I bet you'd wake up happy too if you had hair this awesome and got to wear a tutu while drinking a smoothie out of Santa mug.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012


 Advent has started!  It's my favorite time of year.  We have 3 Advent calendars this year.  Our homemade calendar with daily messages, the chocolate version and the newest addition, the Lego Advent calendar, with little things to build each day.  We're also doing a daily Advent devotional and we have a new sweet book for Lucy with a daily Advent story. Our hope is to keep us all focused on what this month is all about.   This is the time of year I'm most thankful that the kids don't watch television, I think it makes it easier to avoid some of the sad consumerism focus.  We're also working hard to remember the awesome message that "Christmas is NOT your birthday!".  Thanks Sally!!

  On Saturday we cleaned up the front yard and in the late afternoon we surprised the kids by taking them to get a tree at Ted Drewes.  Of course followed by custard and I think a new tradition, pizza.  In that order.

This year, Emma and Eleanor, all on their own, chose really cute ornaments with the same theme, "sisters".   Lucy's of course has animals.  I think this may be the last year of matching Christmas pajamas.  Emma is at the last size Carter's makes in pajamas.  WAAAAA!

Emma's ornament reads "we put the "us" in fabulous".
Eleanor's ornament reads "life with you is a hoot, sister.
I always love our Christmas tree, and every year I say the same thing....this is our best tree yet.  But really, this is our best tree.  Finally, right smack dab in front of the living room window.   We thought about a fake tree this year.  Thank goodness we came to our senses.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The pajama cure!

Lucy wears her pajamas a lot.  Today she wore them all day.  We had some errands to run which made me think for a minute before I agreed to it but then I thought-- I don't care, and I don't care if anybody else cares, decision made.  Lucy was perfect for all 3 stops, and they were kind of long, I think it was the pajamas.  I tweaked my back yesterday ( only old people say that kind of thing).  I hurt it every year around this time (feeling even older now).  By the end of our shopping my back was hurting and making it hard for me to take a deep breath or carry Lucy and I said "oh, Lucy!  My back is hurting".  And she said, "put you jammies on, and drink you coffee, you feel better.  me no back hurt." This girl is brilliant.  So tonight I've already put my jammies on and I'll think I'll have a little hot drink later.  Doctor's order.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Janie is as good as new!

I'm so thankful for help!  Lucy naps until about 3:15 most days.  Which means that I'm nearly always grabbing her out of her crib and getting her in the car (jammies on...she insists on wearing them for nap) to pick the girls up from school.  We haven't walked to pick the kids up for ages because of this. Occasionally Lucy sleeps beyond 3:15 because -
a.) she's super tired
b.) I laid her down late
c.) she yelled and carried on in her crib until 2:25 when she finally passed out
I'll let you guess which of those three happened today.  Regardless, at 2:26 I knew there was no way in the world I was going to wake Lucy at 3:15.  And boy am I lucky because I am blessed to know plenty of people who will pick up my kids when I'm in a bind.  Two in particular are a God send and help me out a lot.  There's my amazing friend who sometimes just because she knows about my napping baby situation texts me around 3 and says she's picking my girls up.  This is the same friend who shows up in my driveway some mornings, no announcement, ready to take my kids to school and who on Tuesday mornings when Emma has chorus and needs to be at school 20 minutes early, but Eleanor does not, which makes drop off sticky, takes both of my girls and after dropping Emma and her own daughter at chorus, takes Eleanor out to breakfast at Khaldi's.   There's also my friend who has saved me at least a half a dozen times when I text her about pick up and who took Eleanor home after almost every soccer practice because Kevin and I had core group meetings at church at the same time.

I'm also thankful for car repairs that make a huge difference and don't cost quite as much as you feared. While gone for Thanksgiving the passenger side sliding door on the van broke.   Thank goodness we were able to close it and didn't have to drive down I-70 with a tarp over it.    Yesterday I brought into the shop and now Janie is like new!

Have I ever shown you this picture?  I don't think I posted it.  A few months ago Lucy and I went to Old Navy to find the girls a couple of school dresses.  I was looking through sizes and had my back turned to her.  I heard someone gasp and then crack up.  I turned around.  Lucy was down to her diaper.  She was looking for a dress to try on.  And like a really great mom, rather than get her dressed and out of the store, I took a picture.  And then she ran away.  And I had to chase a nearly naked baby around the children's section.  That's when we left.  I am thankful that as I get older, I embarrass much less easily.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Through another lens

I'm thankful to see the world through the eyes of my kids.

Yesterday we walked to lunch and on the way back (before Lucy had a total "I'm exhausted let me sleep" meltdown during which I had to carry her kicking and screaming down our street) we saw a sign that said --Leaf Collection in this area: November 29-December 6--.  I wondered aloud if that included us.  Emma said she hoped it did.  I agreed that we had some leaves to rake.  She looked at me quizzically.  So I explained what a leaf collection was.  She laughed and said she thought a leaf collection was when a group of people got together and collected leaves in their area and then compared them, and maybe afterwards they'd have cookies and apple cider.  Now that's a leaf collection to get  excited about!

I love Christmas, anyone who knows me well knows this.  I'm not quite ready for decorating....though we've been playing carols for a week.  I want to really get the house clean and clutter free before we bring out the decorations.  To my surprise and delight this morning Eleanor was totally decked out in an outfit that made her look like the cutest Christmas Elf.  She's ready and because of her sweet spirit I'm working like crazy to get there too!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

6 days and a Thanksgiving recap

We had a great Thanksgiving full of family, food and of course fun.  It's impossible not to feel incredibly thankful for all of these blessings  We forgot the camera but still caught a few good shots of a happy Thanksgiving!

We left Wednesday morning and headed west. We stopped in Columbia for lunch and trampoline jumping at Grandpa and Kyra's.  I'm so thankful for my Dad and his flexibility, both on and off the trampoline.  I love you, Dad!    

Getting all of the leaves off before jumping!

Jon and Lucy flying around the rink.
We (and I use this word liberally) went ice skating in the afternoon.  There was a small ice rink in a cute little area right by our hotel.  After, we celebrated Bill's actual birthday and mom's birthday one day early.  There were 18 of us and we were a little worried about going out to dinner  the night before Thanksgiving.  Next to the ice rink was a restaurant.  It ended up being perfect!  The kids (including Lucy) were able to sit in their own area, with a small couch, a coffee table and a couple of comfy chairs.  They could sit or stand and play around a little, which they loved.  The food was good and it was such a wonderful evening all being together.  I'm thankful that we get to go out to eat sometimes.  I know there are lots of  people who cannot.  

She didn't want to stop!
Ellie and Ellie, two peas in a pod.

Happy Birthday, dear Gram!

We ran, walked and strolled the KC Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  We can't remember exactly what year we began this tradition but we're pretty sure it was 2005 and just 3 people participated.   This year we had a gorgeous morning, and it was a record breaker for our family with 22 of us participating!  I'm thankful that my family is active and tries new things.

Part of our group! A couple of speed demons had already taken off to get to the front of the race line...the others, I'm not sure!
Our Thanksgiving meal is at 3:00 in the afternoon which means there's no rushing to have lunch ready. Instead we snack on appetizers and try to stay hungry for the main event.    My mom and brother got the turkey ready for the oven before the turkey trot and one of my aunts put it in promptly at 9.....while others of us were beginning our race.  That's what makes our Thanksgiving so wonderful.  Everybody works together.  No matter if you travel or live right in town you have some part in the meal.  Blake and Jon arrived in Kansas City direct from London at midnight on Wednesday.  They were as much help as anyone else.  I'm thankful to be a part of a family who values every single member.  

Kevin making gravy.
I was thrilled to meet our newest family member, baby David, my cousin Alex and her husband Matthew's son.  David is perfect; so calm and sweet and I loved snuggling him.  Of course Alex is sweet and calm and such a natural mom.  I'm thankful we both had great moms and aunts to learn from. My mom, my Aunt Kathy and my Aunt Trish are amazing moms and I learned (and continue to learn) so much from each of them, I know Alex has too.  Lucky, lucky us! 
My girls and Jon enjoying the baby.

I can't show you our youngest guest without also showing you our amazing oldest guest.  My Great Aunt Shorty at 85 with my mom and my Aunt Kathy, at whose house all of the festivities take place.

Lucy was happiest chasing Buster and Charlie, the cats.  She told me she wishes she had a cat. While we're not getting her a cat,  I'm thankful to have this happy, silly baby to make us all laugh.  

Lucy at the top of the stairs kissing Buster.  She really loves him!

The girls loved hanging out with their cousins, and their cousins made them feel like a million bucks, giving them so much attention.  I'm very thankful for Lauren, Ellie, Allie, and Lydia.  

On Friday we went to the Plaza and shopped a little bit, we love to go to Halls and find Christmas ornaments for the girls.  My Grandpa always enjoyed going there with us and had such an appreciation for beautiful things.  After shopping, we had lunch and margaritas, another Grandpa tradition.  Our lunch was so fun, we laughed the whole way through.  It makes me wish Blake and Jon were a few states closer.  It also makes me thankful that we keep traditions alive no matter how far apart we are. 

I had to super crop this photo because it was COLD and I was wearing a big puffy coat.  I'm not (too) vain but come on, Blake never looks big and puffy and his height and leaness did me no favors.  

All three girls were fabulous hotel guests!  Lucy slept in her pack and play again, after hopping right out of it this summer.   Emma and Eleanor shared a bed without a single fight...woooohooo!  I'm thankful that given enough time, often hard things change and become easy breezy things. 

Watching Frosty the Snowman on the iPad at 6:15 in the morning.  We slept through the night, I'm not complaining!

It was a brief visit on Saturday morning but I'm so thankful we got to see our Moore family too.  I do wish sometimes time would just stand still but all the same I'm thankful for small moments of time spent with people I dearly love.
The ONLY picture I got! Boooo!

We drove home Saturday afternoon and stopped at Culver's for an early dinner.  I'm thankful there is not a Culver's anywhere near me, I would have to buy bigger pants.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Phone pictures

Our phone pictures don't often get put onto the computer.  But when they do, it is so much fun and I'm thankful that we sometimes remember to snap pics!  This evening I got a fun little surprise when I looked through the most recent phone download, which was full of summer photos.  

A tiger stripe cone at Buck's.  MIZ-ZOU!
                                                  Waiting for pizza at Shakespeare's.

Geo caching in Forest Park.  Soon after this picture was taken someone discovered poison ivy and everyone had to race home for showers.

A River City Rascals game.  It was a fun night, although the dads were a nervous wreck worrying that the kids were going to get hit by a ball.  Then we got stuck at the field  because of a crazy rainstorm. Even with all of that, I'd sort of forgotten about the game...glad for the pictures!

Jungle Boogie at the Zoo.  We went early int the summer and had so much fun that we knew we'd be back for more evenings.  Darn!  Never made it back.

Great Wolf Lodge.  Pretty sure we were all delirious from the constant sound of water at this point.  

I'm not really sure.

Glad I was able to get these two off the mountain.  Although I think they'd both still really like to be there!
                   Best friends since they were newborns, on the gondola at Beaver Creek (post snow cones).

The Shakespeare Festival

The hottest night and we decided to have dinner on the patio at Bottleworks.  We are all soaked by the time we got home.

Perfecting their whittling skills.

                                                               Eleanor at Lou Fest.