Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reindeer Games

I saw on the news where there was a local reindeer farm that would have their reindeer on display at The Streets of Indian Lake every evening until Christmas. We took off down there on Monday night to see what it was all about. Two of the three kids loved them...I won't name names...I forgot my camera after I went home just to pick it up so these pictures are from my phone.

Here's what happens when....

you stand on a pillow to reach the tv so you can turn it on and off while your older brother and sister are playing the Wii...I made him a shirt last night that says "N is for naughty"...yep, sure is. (But don't you just want to squeeze him?)

Christmas Craftiness

Gabe (Santa Baby) running off with the bag...his favorite part
yes, A CLIPBOARD?! now what do I do with it?

look out, Jude is dangerous with the whip
waiting ever so patiently to turn around...except Gabe, he doesn't follow the rules (and yes, the bag says Happy Birthday...I didn't have one big enough)
finished pillow
stuffing the snake

more stuffing the snake

the final whip

making the whip

I had the idea to have each child make the other two something for Christmas. It seemed great - like they would see how much time goes into making things and they might each appreciate it more or they would be more excited to give their homemade gifts or it would get us in the Christmas Spirit OR it ultimately would beat me standing in the toy aisle - which I hate - while they picked out toys...THREE TIMES. Actually, it ended up being more work for me - finding the craft, getting the supplies and then helping (which meant I did it and they helped) with the execution. In reality, I enjoyed spending time with each of them even though Jude cried over the thought thinking he "would not have the supplies" - I guess Jude is easily stressed out! Anyway, it turned out cute - although I have created a monster with Ella's clipboard. I had to keep Jude's "to do list" today and check things off as they were done while she was in school because I was "in charge" of him today. They have already opened their gifts as we already did our family Christmas since we will be traveling over the next week and a half.

All I want for Christmas...close up!

She reminds me of an elderly lady who has removed her flipper...I just laugh all the time...I try not too but it keeps me from crying that my little girl is getting BIG!!

Chicago - Camera 2 (final)

yep, I am wearing leg warmers...and they are WARM!

Dessert...after breakfast? I ate it too though!


having some "tea"

In this installment of Ella's Birthday - Chicago, we see pictures of our brunch experience as well as ice skating and the hotel photo shoot where Ella and Reesi were practicing their "Barbie toes"...moves Reesi learned by watching America's Next Top Model!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Yes, Virginia, they can be sweet....

At the party Ella went to tonight they rode the carousel. Jude wanted to ride the spinner with the big girls but there was not enough room. He was tired so he started crying. Ella tried to get him to go ahead and get on with them but he would not saying it was too crowded and he wouldn't fit (I don't think the other girls really wanted him on their anyway). She got so upset that she got off and said "fine, if he's not riding then I'm not riding"...I gasped for air... Were these really my children? I could not even step in at this point. I had to just sit back and watch this glorious moment of a big sister actually caring for her younger brother. It was beautiful, I tell you...a true Christmas miracle I will remember forever.


mailing off letters - Jude's was lengthy, Ella's was not.
the best of three pictures...with a paci - it is red though

cranky Gabe doesn't want anyone touching him

turtle pratice...Pops would be so proud

Well, when I was typing this post I inadvertently typed in "Satan" oops. It would have been all the same to Gabe though. He did not cry like I thought he would but he was not too happy. Sadly, the boys did not don their Christmas shirts this year (so I did my best in green "happy camper" and a red AC/DC shirt) - mainly because Jude only has one from last year that is really too small and I could not find Gabe one. I don't know what the deal with boys shirts this year has been but I sure have not seen them. Ella was going to a birthday party so she was full on Christmas spirit. We went to Bass Pro this year for the free pictures and they also had games and coloring pages as well as Santa List sheets and mailboxes. The kids played, had their pictures made and mailed off their letters and the best part...FREE! Granted, the pictures were not as good as Opryland Hotel and the Santa wasn't really either but the job is done!

All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth!

there she is!

She needed a hand holder and I was about to pass out so Daddy did it.

there are no words....

All I want for Christmas....yep, he did she can sing it. For anyone thinking he may actually like taking her teeth out this is not the case, he promises. They were loose, the others were on their way in and she didn't want to do it so here we go again, the gas, the pliers and $10. She got mad at me today because I laughed when she smiled. I don't think me saying "you look like an old lady with her teeth out" made her happy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jude's 'Professional' Soccer Pics

School Pictures 2009

I don't think I put Ella's on here yet and I just got Jude's so here they are....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ella's Birthday - Camera 1

Ella had a big treat - me too - and we went to Chicago on her birthday weekend to pick out an American Girl doll. We were so lucky that my friend Joni who has a daughter - Ella's friend, Reesi - went with us. We had a great girl's weekend!

Day #1: It was quite eventful starting with the accessories our Elf on a Shelf left Ella for her birthday and to share with Reesi. The plane trip was fun - Ella sat between "two big men" and I had to sit behind her. The limo ride from the airport to the hotel was also a highlight as was the fact that the hotel was very "fancy". Our first day we (I) decided we would walk to get pizza. What I thought was a 1.5 mile walk was really a 2 mile walk in the freezing cold wind with two little people that did not appreciate it so much. As we were approaching our destination, Reesi fell off a curb. She survived but we were not too thrilled with our 1 hour pizza wait at 2:00 in the afternoon. Onto bigger and much better things, we took the girls to AGP (now I will abbreviate American Girl Place because it will come up - alot) where they picked out their AGD (you get it now). Ella picked Julie from 1970s and Reesi picked Felicity from 1770s (Reesi could not remember her name until the trip home - she kept saying "what's my doll's name again"). Then Joni and I proceeded to pick out accessories for afore mentioned AGD. I think this is the part where we enjoyed it more than they did. Afterward was dessert time and what a better way to celebrate freezing than with ICE CREAM! Yeah and then we decided to cab it back to the hotel for an evening of AGD play.

Day #2: We woke up and caught a cab to AGP just in time for the doors to open. We headed with our AGD up for brunch. I think I may have liked this part more than the girls too. The place was really cute and the food was not bad either! After this, we did a very (and I mean very) minor amount of "grown up" shopping and as that may sound weird, it was just the Gap, Apple store (I left my charger) and H&M. We then cabbed it back and played....yep, AGD. We went for an early dinner and ice skating afterward. There was an incident at dinner that left Reesi wet so we strayed over to Old Navy only to discover by the time we got there that Reesi was dry...but we did get a look around, a little. Then off to ice skate...where we waited for quite sometime then decided to hit the rink "around the corner" with no waiting. It was a bit farther than around the corner but worth it because it was not crowded at all. The girls LOVED ice skating. The big girls were frozen but we endured for close to an hour. Then guess what...yep - CAB. Reesi and Ella were able to hail their own cabs by the time we left! We hit the room where there was more AGD play and finally to bed.

Day #3: Not really much - Apparently the Chicago Bears players stay at the hotel where we stayed before a game because the lobby/restaurant was a buzz with Bear fans grabbing autographs. Joni and I were just hungry. Well, we the packed up and grabbed a cab and hit the airport. We made it back to TN safe and sound sporting 2 extra girls - Felicity and Julie!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

ICE! then ice cream...

it was messy

they got to slide as many times as they wanted

don't put your tongue on that...

ice skating!

Tuesday we went to Ice with the "big" kids. Of course, cold is one word to describe it...but we had a good time. The place was pretty empty so we were able to slide over and over (all of us). Afterward we went to Chilli's for Ella's birthday celebration since the boys will be gone on her birthday. They enjoyed molten lava cake (I did too). A big thank you to Pops and Mimi who kept Gabe!