Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The short version: we celebrated Jesus's birth by seeing lots of sweet family, eating LOTS of great food, and exchanging gifts. I hope each of you enjoyed your Christmas!

Below are the details. 

Saturday, December 22nd we went to Hickory to celebrate Christmas with my mom's family. We ate lunch (barbecue from Lexington BBQ every year!) and then let the kids play. 
For the past couple years, Santa has stopped by! It surprised Adelyn and James and they leapt into my brother's lap. James took a while to calm down!
James came around and was sitting in his lap in no time.
That night, we went back to my parents' house, ate a nice dinner, and exchanged presents with my brother. We returned home Sunday afternoon.

Monday morning (Christmas Eve), we went to Seth's parents house for a delicious breakfast followed by gift exchange. 
Bobby and Brenda with the grandkids 
Trucks! And blocks!
Her eyes have stayed this big for the past few days!
Love my new jacket!
The men putting Adelyn's trampoline together
Here's my family on Christmas Eve. We  attended the 4 pm Candlelight Service at Mountain Lake Church. It was nice- less traditional than what I'm used to, but still gave me that cozy Christmas feeling.

After church we got dinner started and let the kids open their one gift. Adelyn opened a Super Why computer game and James got a John Deere Tractor for Kids movie. James NEVER, EVER watches TV (I have tried, but he's not interested). He is obsessed with tractors. We have this one 3 minute 28 second video I found on YouTube that he requests 9,274 times each day. The video he opened was about 40 minutes and he will watch the entire thing. It's not a cartoon- it's like a documentary for kids. This kid cracks me up. He is on the road to becoming a farmer when he grows up. 
Don't be fooled by how domestic I look! Seth's sister got me this cute apron. I love it!
Adelyn and James are sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn. We were going to make cookies that day, but we ran out of time. Santa got donuts and egg nog. I hope that was ok with him. 
Seth and I enjoyed cornish hen, wild rice, mashed sweet potatoes, and green beans. The kids ate earlier and had the same meal, but with nuggets since the cornish hen took forever.

I thought I'd never get to sleep that night- I was so excited to see their little faces Christmas morning.
Adelyn loves her "American Girl" doll (it's actually a Madame Alexander/Dolly and Me....I just couldn't spend that much on my 3 year old for a doll). She is all about the matching outfits!

James got a train table and we literally have to tear him away from it.

Santa brought them a gator. It was in the garage since it wouldn't fit down the chimney. It was foggy and misting all morning, so they rode it around in the garage for all of 2 minutes and came back inside. NO INTEREST at all. Awesome. Side note, Adelyn fell off of one back in September (not recently, and she wasn't hurt at all). This girl does not forget an injury- she was reluctant to ride it. I thought James would have been over the moon, but he wanted back to his train table.

Seth's parents stopped by to see the kids. I made pancakes and bacon and we sang Happy Birthday Jesus. The rest of the day was spent playing with toys and trying to figure out where to put them. 

We celebrated Christmas night with Seth's mom's family. We had a delicious spread of food- you name it, it was there, and then everyone opened gifts. 
James at Papa's in Thomas's truck

The next day, my parents came after lunch to see the kids. 
Here is James watching his tractor movie. He plays with his hands and really studies the tractors. 
James will be sporting his BMW shirt this summer
Dressing up in Seth's new shirt
Eating....once again! We had steak, green beans, squash casserole, and salad

Kate and Adelyn getting ready for bed

This is a couple days after Christmas....they are loving their Gator!

C'mon James, let's go to the playground

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Festivities so far...

Well, it's only December 17th and we have packed all kinds of FUN Christmas activities in. By December 2nd, my kids had already seen Santa 3 times. We have tried to not just do "Santa" focused things, but to really teach them the true meaning of Christmas and feel that sweet spirit that makes the season so special. We do have an Elf- I mean, that's just fun! Adelyn loves coming down each morning to see where Roseanne is. My favorite thing that I have watched them do is reenact Jesus's birth with the Little People Nativity scene. Adelyn begs for me to read the story so she can act it out. She totally gets it and to me, that is the best part about Christmas!

Seth has been out of town a TON. He went to California to do a 25 hour race with Bimmerworld. He was home for one night and then went to Austin, TX to test the cars and left from there to go to London for a Mclaren deal. I am especially proud of his Mclaren job. Next year, he will be doing track events all over the US in order for people to experience their new sports car. He gets paid for it and for a car nut like Seth, this is an amazing opportunity! However, he was gone during a busy time of the year. We squeezed in family time before he left (getting decorations up, seeing Santa, and visiting Stone Mountain). While he was gone, my in-laws and parents were a TREMENDOUS help. Brenda and Bobby kept at least one of my kids SEVERAL times in order for me to take Adelyn somewhere special, tutor, or just plain get things done! My parents came in town another weekend and helped me not lose my sanity!

Below are pictures of things we've done that I don't ever want to forget! Like everyone else, I am feeling especially sentimental about spending these precious moments with my family after the tragedy at the elementary school in Conneticut. As a former teacher and a parent, my heart goes out to all involved and I am lifting them up in prayer. 

This was the first year Adelyn has been into decorating the tree. Granted, she put them all in one spot and we had to keep reminding her to put space between them all. 

Seth is on a ladder with Adelyn on his shoulders- how safe is this??  She put the angel on top and then told me later that we needed a bigger one. She really was right, so I found a larger one at HomeGoods. :)

Seth and I took the kids to see Santa at the Outlet Mall. This is the beautiful, sweet Santa that we've seen every year.  Adelyn told Santa she wants an American Girl doll and James wants a tiny bouncy ball (which is what she told Santa she wanted last year). 

One of our Christmas card photos. I am so glad that James didn't cry on his lap! He did awesome.  When Adelyn was this age, I was also in the picture and/or she was bawling. 

We went to Stone Mountain again this year for their Christmas festivities. We got there just in time for their Christmas parade. Next, we rode the train that takes you on a 30 minute ride while playing carols and seeing lights. James was SO excited to ride the train! We ended the evening with hot chocolate.

This was a neat pathway of lights
Seth's parents took  the kids and me to see a Live Nativity. It was so much fun! Of course, James couldn't get enough of the tractor that pulled us around. We ate at Rice beforehand and had hot chocolate and desserts at the church afterwards. Fun night!

Adelyn and I met my friend Heather to see The Nutcracker. One of my old students was performing in it. It was beautiful! Adelyn loved watching the big girl ballerinas. 

This is Adelyn's CFUMC Preschool Christmas program (12/14). Her class sang several songs- it was adorable. 
Afterwards, her class had a party. Mrs. Stephanie offered James food. He got to sit at the big kid table. He thought he was something else!

Grandma and Adelyn

Nana, Adelyn, and James

I am doing this again sometime! They strung donuts and the kids had to eat them without using their hands. Hilarious! Afterwards, they had a book exchange. 

Adelyn and I outside her school 
My mom comes in town every year before Christmas and we bake cookies together. This year, we made sugar cookies, Reeses cups, and yummy chocolate chip cookies. 

Adelyn took a little break from baking and played with the Little People Nativity. Kids crack me up! What are they in line for? (She and James each have a set, so that's why there's so many)

Rolling out the dough

James was all about eating the sprinkles. 

If you have a chance to go to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Garden Lights/Holiday Nights, DO IT! They have over 1 million lights and it really is a twinkling wonderland! They have a model train area that you can't step away from. The whole place was just magical.

Adelyn me Lumina the Light Fairy. She went right up to her and said, "Hi, I'm Adelyn. What's your favorite color?"

Behind my dad and Adelyn is a very, very tall "tree" made up of poinsettias. I can't even begin to estimate how many poinsettias they had. 

Adelyn and James saw Santa (and Mrs. Clause) for the 4th time at the Oak Grove Church Christmas program. Adelyn had a speaking part in the play! The children spelled out "Happy Birthday Jesus". Adelyn held up the "B" and said, "B is for Baby. Jesus came as a baby" clearly and with confidence. I was so proud!

I am linking a video of her singing. Definitely watch Adelyn about 30 seconds in....she decides to sing louder than anyone else and even does a little accidental solo. I was cracking up!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

17 months

 James turned 17 months on Thanksgiving Day. And what a blessing this silly, mischievous, sweet boy is! He is a mess- always into something! The other day, he had taken every single sandwich baggie out of the box within a matter of seconds. Those are fun to put back in. He's always breaking into the pantry and taking everything within reach off the shelves. He is saying so many words now and it's getting easier to understand what he wants (usually it's cracker, which basically means food, or tractor/car/ride). That's about all this child needs. Adelyn is enjoying ballet/tap and school. She is working on reading a lot- I am so proud when she strings those sounds together and reads a word! 

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. We left our house early Thanksgiving morning and went to Hickory. We ate a wonderful lunch with my mom's side of the family. This was our first holiday without my grandmother, so it was great that everyone was there. The kids had so much fun playing outside afterwards. We spent the remainder of the weekend at my parents'. Seth and I saw Breaking Dawn 2 one night and had a sushi date night the next. My mom and I did some Black Friday shopping at Southpark, my favorite mall. My parents took us to Discovery Place in Charlotte on Saturday. I spent many days there as a child (even had sleepover there with the Girl Scouts), so it was really neat to take my children there. We all had a great time! When we got home, Seth's parents took Melissa, Emily, Adelyn and me to see Annie at the local theater. It was a well done performance (and it was fun to tease Adelyn that she was going home with Ms. Hannigan). Ha! She said, "I don't think that's a very good idea" in a super pouty voice.

Yum- dog food (STILL hasn't learned that you're not supposed to eat this!)
I was TRYING to get ready for the day. I put my eye make up on, looked down 2 minutes later, and here's what he'd gotten into
He loves to dip. Here is James dipping bread into Seth's hot sauce. 

Some friends at church gave us a bike their daughter outgrew. Here she is Day 1 (crying, as usual- she hates to ride a bike)
Maybe Daddy will make this seem more fun? 
A couple weeks later- no tears! Yay! She still doesn't love it, but she'll ride to the end of the driveway and back without TOO much of a fuss. This is not my athletic child!

Amy and her kids came for lunch one day on their drive home to Birmingham. The kids all played with pacis!
Adelyn has started ballet and tap. She loves tapping, but is having a hard time with "first permission"
James in his warm up suit and Air Jordans- when is it time to shoot some hoops? 
Adelyn loves to stick her head out of the sun roof. This is reason #983 that I love Fast Lane! 
Adelyn at her classsmate's ballet princess party. It was precious!

Adelyn's Thanksgiving performance at CFUMC. She's the Indian in the middle fist pumping

Thanksgiving Feast- you know...chicken nuggets, green beans, and candy corn
No school Thanksgiving week, so we met the Pombo's at Catch Air! Side note:  a few weeks later, Adelyn was looking at pictures on my phone and she saw Eli's. She said, "There's that cutie pootie Eli!".  
My cousin's husband pulled the kids around on this crate/wagon thing on Thanksgiving. They loved it, but I'm sure Carson was beat! I'm so glad they all got to play outside for so long.
Adelyn and Nana
James got to ride the gator with Noah
Future Scientist at The Discovery Place

Learning about levers and pulleys
Water table play!
James did this bridge with steps over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again!