Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Debbie's Special Treat

On Christmas night, after we ate dinner, Debbie had a special treat in store for us. She ushered all the children upstairs with the help of Stacey, David and Tina, and told all of us to sit tight.

About a half hour later, we hear some rumbling on the steps and get a peek at what Debbie has in store for us...

Our very own "cousin" nativity! She had all of the children costumed for their parts and had Aunt Stacey read the Christmas Story from the Bible. How precious!

And, while we were one person short...which meant we were out a wise man...we were also down a wise man...
Owen decided to protest instead of participate.

Callen wasn't really sure what Leo was doing in the basket. I guess she's a little young to understand Jesus in the manger.

Carter, although a participant, was a bit of a reluctant one. David came downstairs before the children descended and told me that he thought Carter looked a bit like Yo.da. Then he said, "Don't tell him, though. I had to tell him it made him look like Buzz Light.year to get him to put it on."
My Angel! Don't be fooled, she didn't leave that halo on for very long!
Thanks Debbie for a wonderful, fitting end to celebrating Christmas!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Re-cap

Our Christmas celebration actually started on Thursday (the 23rd) night with a family dinner at Emily and Steve's. They were heading out on Christmas Eve to celebrate with Emily's family, so my whole side of the family was there for dinner. My sister has many more pictures from the evening posted. We had a wonderful time and ate a fabulous dinner that Emily and Steve cooked for everyone!

On Christmas Eve, after church {those were the pictures in the post below}, my mom and dad, sister and brother in law all came over for a yummy dinner that Nick cooked of gumbo and muffaletta calzones. The kiddos also got to open their gifts from Bamma and Big Pat and Aunt B and Uncle Ken.

They were loving it. Carter got some Woody boots of his own and had to show them off.

Callen was at first a little unsure of the baby doll that Bamma and Big Pat gave her {though she's made a full recovery and is now loving her baby dolls!

Both of them were really into Uncle Ken's assembling of them Weebles treehouse.

Callen especially liked trying out Carter's new camera. They both love to say "cheese," and then ask to see the picture. Now, they can get us to say "cheese" and then show us the picture. It is a hoot.
After dinner and visiting, all of our guests went home and we went to sleep so that Santa could stop by if he wanted to.

It appears he wanted to. This was the scene before the kiddos woke up.

Once they were up, they hit it full force. First, diving in shoulder deep to see what was in their stockings.

Then, moving on to see {with a little help from Dad} what Santa left under the tree.

Carter received a bicycle, {and in his words} a Woody with a hat off and you can put it back on, a Buzz that has wings and a light on his arm, and a dinosaur {Rex}. It was a Toy S.tory Christmas for him, with a little Cars thrown in, too {the bicycle is Light.ening McQueen}.
Callen received a PBK chair, a dress up trunk, a baby stroller and several other odds and ends. She loves the chair, hasn't totally figured out the dress up trunk {though she does like the bracelets}, and has yet to stop pushing the stroller around the house--with everything from babies, to bubbles to Buzz in it!
Then, after we opened presents, Bamma, Big Pat and Aunt B came over for breakfast and to check out all that Santa brought.

While we were enjoying our breakfast and our Christmas morning cozied up in our house, this is what was happening outside our window.

And here is what the house looked like after about 5 hours of snow. Not quite Midwest-worthy, but pretty nonetheless.
After the children took {3 hour} naps, we headed up to Decatur to celebrate Christmas with Nick's family at his sister's house. We enjoyed a yummy dinner and delicious desserts and a special treat from Debbie {another post all to itself!}

When my son finally melted down completely made it to bed, he completely crashed...with his newest friends...
...and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

There are so many more pictures and stories to tell from our Christmas celebration, but the children are napping and we are enjoying celebrating the Savior's Birthday!

So, for now, Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Cards

I have had a Christmas Card holder since the second year Nick and I were married. I liked it fine, but I found that when it gets to about this time of the season, I was having to make choices about which faces I covered and which stayed displayed as cards rolled in each day. Maybe it was just because my card holder didn't have enough "holders," but, whatever the reason, I always hated that some of the sweet faces were covered.

Either last year or the year before, one of my friends in Indy--Becky--had a lovely display of Christmas Cards across the windows in her sunroom. All of the cards were displayed on ribbon that she had attached to her windows with suction cups. It was simple, beautiful and, best of all, you could see every precious face!

So, I shamelessly stole the idea.
Now, I can see precious faces of those I love and don't get to see nearly enough...
And the sweet faces of those I do see more frequently...
and the precious ones that I haven't yet had the joy of meeting ...
It is perfect for me and very cheerful in our breakfast nook!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zoolight Safari

Monday night, we headed out with Uncle Steve and Aunt Emily to a cool, but fun night at none other than...

Our first stop once we got into the zoo was the train so that we could get a good view of all the lights before we struck out walking to see everything. We had a little bit of a wait, so Uncle Steve did some entertaining.

All Aboard! Carter was excited to get to ride the train with Uncle Steve and Aunt Emily. Nick, Callen and I sat in the seat behind them at the very back end of the train {Carter's choice}. Except for losing Callen's sippy cup {which bounced out when she dropped it towards the end of the train ride}, we had a fun, albeit cool, train ride around the zoo. Carter loved pointing out the different animals and looking to find the ones that Uncle Steve and Aunt Emily pointed out. Callen just kept trying to stand up the whole time.

They had cute cut-outs where you could take pictures of your family/friends as different Christmas characters...elves, frosty...even some animals, too.

Callen couldn't quite figure out how it worked at first.

Luckily for Callen, Daddy stepped in to show her how it works...

Now, she gets it! Thanks, Daddy!
On our way out, Uncle Steve spotted the jolly old man himself {Carter had been dying to see a "real, live" Santa}, so we stopped to let Carter and Callen visit with him. Carter walked right up, sat down and rattled off a list like he'd been practicing for days. Callen gave him the stink-eye and walked in the opposite direction!

After we left the zoo, we headed to a quick dinner with Uncle Steve and Aunt Emily before taking our two home to bed. Thanks to Uncle Steve and Aunt Emily for braving the cool weather to go to Zoo.light Safari with us! We had a great time!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry, Merry!

Wishing all of our friends a Merry Christmas!

Thanks to Rachel for designing our card!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Class Christmas Parties

Carter and Callen had their Christmas parties at school on Thursday and Friday. I honestly didn't take too many pictures and the ones I did take were with my phone...a combination of choosing both to leave my good camera at home and to focus on being "there," rather than trying to document it for posterity {or blogging}.

Carter's was first on Thursday. He was very excited about it all week. His class got to wear PJs the day of his party and all of the children looked so precious. When all the parents got there, they sang two songs for us and then had a book swap. After the book swap, we ate some snacks to wrap it up.

After unwrapping his book. He loved it more than it looks like he does in the picture. He was just watching everyone else unwrap.
Callen's party was on Friday. They had some yummy snacks and showcased all of the Christmas art they had been doing. Callen was ORANGE after eating a few cheese puffs. We had to all but put her in the sink to get her clean.
We enjoyed celebrating with their teachers and their friends and are so thankful that we are blessed with such fabulous childcare for our children!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Callen's 15 Month Visit

This sassy sweatheart had her fifteen month checkup last Wednesday morning. Dr. Smith said he learned all he needed to know about her development watching her play with her brother and walk into the exam room from the waiting room! She weighed in a little over 23 lbs {I am not 100% sure of the exact weight because I lost the sheet} which is right about 50th percentile and was 31 inches long which he said was slightly above 50th percentile. He told me that she is on track to be taller than I am.

Callen is such a delight to our family and has a precious personality. She is not afraid to stand up for herself with her brother, and there is usually no doubting what she wants! She is learning and growing and talking so much that it is hard to believe it at times! And, I have found that it is just as wonderful watching and witnessing all of the firsts with a second child as it was with Carter!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Ornaments

Growing up, my family always had a tradition of giving the children/cousins Christmas ornaments each year. As a result, when we all moved away and started our own families and Christmas traditions, we each had a complement of ornaments as a starting point.

We've kept this up for Carter and Callen. Each year, they typically get at least one ornament from us, my parents and my sister.

So, last Monday night, Big Pat and Bamma stopped by to help me with a car issue I was having {Nick was out of town for work}, and they brought Carter and Callen their ornaments. Carter got a boot {see Woody Boots, a few posts back if you are scratching your head about why} and Callen got a purse {probably because anything she can get over her arm turns into one}. Here are a few pictures of them hanging them on the tree with help from Big Pat and Bamma.

Lucky for my children, Aunt B stopped by the same evening, so they got to run through the routine twice in one night! Aunt B and Uncle Ken gave Carter a swimming Santa {since Carter learned to swim this year} and Callen a bell that was made into a crab.

Everyone hanging ornaments...
Hopefully one day they'll have as much fun going back through all of the memories and boring their spouse to death as they hang these ornaments on their own trees years down the road!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kicking off our Christmas Season

We've been a little slower than usual this year getting our house into the Christmas spirit. I think having some sick kiddos and being in a new home where there's no "usual" place to put all the Christmas decorations has caused the slow-down.

One of our Christmas traditions arrived right on time.

If you can't tell, that's Mickio, our friendly elf from the North Pole. He came back to our house this year the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and Carter has really enjoyed finding him every morning and telling him all about his day.
We picked out our Christmas tree on Friday night, and Nick had ordered this tip-proof, no-fail, better-than-all-the-rest Christmas tree stand to use since we needed a bigger tree this year than we've had in the past.
Well, within 24 hours of putting our tree in the stand (which, in concept, is really a great stand, but, in reality, is plastic and not weighted enough to deal with our tree), it toppled over. Luckily, we were letting it fall out a little, so no lights or ornaments were on it, and no children or pets were harmed in the toppling.

So, we are now back to the $20 special that Nick bought one Christmas before we were married that has successfully kept all of our Christmas trees standing tall.

And, as I type, Nick is hard at work stringing the tree with lights so that when the children wake up from their naps, we can decorate it. He threatens every year to get an artificial tree with lights already on it, but we always end up with a real tree. I guess we are suckers for that frasier fir scent! :)

It appears that although Santa's best elves were working hard to our north, they must have dropped off just enough Christmas magic to get some magnolia wreaths crafted and on to our front doors, as well.

For the last several years, we've enjoyed the Highland Santa brunch with our precious friends the Murphys. Unfortunately, not being in Indy anymore caused a change to that tradition. So, Sunday morning, we headed over to the VCC to have a family brunch and visit with Santa. Carter took a great picture with Santa, but I had to hold Callen to prevent the inevitable screaming that occurs at her age. So, this is the better picture from the morning:

They were both exceptionally well behaved, and I have no doubt that Santa noticed. Of course, if he missed it {with all of the other children who were there}, we have Mickio to fill him in!