Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Catching Up

I have about 15 hours left in 2014, so I thought I should catch up the blog and start fresh for next year.

Here's a recap of our last 8 days.

First, I don't have any pictures, but we adopted a family for Christmas. So, on the 23rd we took presents over to the three kids and coats for the parents. We brought them a ham with all the fixings to make up a dinner. They were very appreciative and it was nice to do something that my kids will remember. It was great to see who the gifts went to and meet them.

Grammie was here from the 13-28th. Noah and her got along splendidly this visit.

We headed down to my Dad and Suzy's for Christmas Eve. Here's my Aunt Billie and cousin Mike. God love Aunt Billie. She's 80 or something like that and her memory is going. She's in great physical health though which is wonderful. This is my Mom's sister.

Here's Suzy's daughter Nikki and her two kiddos.

Tiffany and Auna.

The kids were so excited to open presents.

Here's some of the crowd.

Noah played Santa and handed out gifts. Well, for like 2 minutes, then he was over it.

He got all his gifts and was ready to go. These kids are super spoiled.

Christmas Day at our house. I really tried to scale back some this year. We just have too much stuff. Also, the kids aren't getting big things anymore like train tables and barbie mansions. It's DS games and small stuff, so that made it nice too. We had nothing to assemble. It was lovely.

I took the kids to the Dollar store to pick out gifts for us. Noah got David a zombie finger puppet. I think Noah was pretty happy about this gift.

Christmas evening, the cousins and Aunt Alisa showed up from North Carolina.

There was more gifts...

And big dinners.

Here's our deep fried turkey.

Emily and Rachel just happen to have the same shirt.

They played minecraft and other video games.

And they played outside.

Here's the gang with Grammie.

And that was Christmas! It was lovely.

Now, it's the last day of 2014, and we are expecting 3-5 inches of snow. It just started, but it's supposed to snow for 2 days! FUN!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Party

For seven years, we've had a Christmas party with our great group of friends in our neighborhood. We used to do it at someone house, but over the years, the group has gotten too big. Now, we rent out the clubhouse and it makes it way easier on everyone.

There is lots of yummy food.

We hang out and catch up with friends.

Our friend Mark read a book and told about the birth of Christ.

Then, Santa comes and the kids say Christ who? We want presents. :)

He calls each kid up and gives them a present.

Emily got a Minecraft blind box. You don't know what's in it until you open it and then, surprise! It was wrapped in a bigger box because last year she was the last person called and was almost in tears. So, Santa put it in a bigger box knowing that the little box would head straight to the bottom of his bag. Smart Santa.

Ben's turn.

He got Steve from Minecraft.

Noah's turn.

He got a ninja turtle. Shocker.

All the kids were super interested to see what Emily got in her blind box.

It was a great party, and we are so fortunate to have such great friends.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Senior Home and David's Work Party (kind of)

It was time to spread Christmas cheer at the Senior home. This is always one of the highlights at Christmas.

Emily played a piano solo.

Noah got bored and did some modern dance or maybe just fell asleep.

Here's our big crew! Ben is hiding in the back.

We do the performance twice. The first is for the assisted living area. The second time we go to the dementia unit.

This is Oval. She's been there for the three years we've been doing this. She's is now 103, and the lady next to her is 100!

Ben got into it a little more on the second go round!

Here's our audience.

This is Lupe Rose. She's awesome. She yells out praise the Lord and fun little sayings as the kids perform. She's there every year too and always gives me a big hug. I think she remembers me and then I think, no she probably doesn't remember anything. :( She was sharing some wisdom with Ben.

I'm glad we get to do that every year.

David is a trainer now, so he doesn't really have a team of people he works with on a daily basis. His old unit that he supervised was having their work party on Friday night. It just so happens the worker that was hosting it lives right across the street. They invited all of us to go, but knowing David and his antisocial ways, he wasn't planning on going. Then, they knocked on our door and David went over with Noah and Ben. They had a snowman game and Noah was the snowman. I was dying when I saw this.

After 30 minutes, Ben came home. But, Noah had an absolute ball. He was the life of the party. I'm not sure where we got this kid.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ben and Emily's Christmas Recitals

I'm a little behind in blogging. We've been busy. :)

Thursday night was Ben and Emily's singing concert for school.

Here they are before the concert.

And trying to get all three of them looking at the impossible. But, you can tell Noah and Ben are brothers, both looking off to the side.

Ben's grade did like a like trip around the world with Feliz Navidad (Spanish), Buon Natle (Italian), Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian). In the beginning of the video, the music teacher stops the performance and tells some people in the front that they need to stop talking. The lady next to me said, "Dude!" thinking he was being rude, but then I pointed out to her that the sixth graders were in the pit and that's who he was telling to be quiet. They have to strategically place each grade before the show, so the choir was on the stage because the started, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade were in the cafeteria next to the auditorium and 6th was sitting in the pit area in front of the stage. So, I'm glad he stopped and put those kids in their place and I think everyone was once they realized he was telling students not parents to stop talking. Although, some parents need that reminder too...unfortunately.

Then, it was Emily's turn. I thought I had a perfect view and then the music teacher stood right in front of her. But, her nose and mouth did an outstanding job performing. She sang Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights), The Christmas Song and Hey Santa Claus.

Then, he moved on the last song and we could see that Emily's mouth did a great job too!

I love these fun little music concerts!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Noah's Christmas Concert

Noah had his Christmas Concert last night. Those little Kinder kids are so cute, but I think Noah is just the cutest. I mean look at this kid...

He was so excited to get up on stage and perform. He did a great job.

To celebrate, we came home and I made him pumpkin muffins and he watched the new Ninja Turtle movie. I think it was his idea of a perfect night.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Emily's Piano Recital

Here's a video of Em's piano songs.
She played:
The Holly and the Ivy
Deck the Halls
Angels We Have Heard on High
Silent Night

She's doing so well with her piano. She rocks!

Spelling Bee

Ben was in the spelling bee today. He was one of the top kids from his class, and he was competing with 3rd - 6th graders. He did so well and got out on the third round. He spelled zipper and squirm right and then missed on ultimatum. We are so proud of him.

I think Ben was getting a little bored with the whole thing especially when his whole row was out and he was sitting there by himself. They started out with about 40 kids. After the first round, there was about 30. After the second round, about 20. By they time they got to Ben on the third round, he was up there with maybe 15 kids and most were 6th graders! We are so super proud of him.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Emily's Piano Recital

Grammie flew in from Orlando for the holidays. She wasn't here 5 minutes and Noah had her playing Knock 'em Sock 'em and dressed up as Darth Vadar.

But today, Grammie wasn't feeling great, and she missed Em's piano recital. The good news is that I took a video of the entire thing and she got to watch it like she was there. I have that video uploading to youtube, but the file is huge, so it will take awhile. But, I got lots of great pictures.

Here's my pretty girl.

And here's the four piano girls...

Here's Mrs. Stacy, their wonderful teacher.

Emily playing her songs. She did so great. I'm so proud of her. She is doing so well with piano and just blows me away.

They sang a little song at the end. Emily wasn't very into it, but she lip synch's like a champ and she certainly looks pretty.

Then, they got certificates.

And medals...

These girls are so awesome.

We have a full week ahead. I'll get the video of Emily's song added to the blog tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Day of Sweetness

Sometimes, Emily and Noah are like oil and water.  But yesterday, I was making their lunches (and their breakfast) and walked out to see them snuggling on the sofa watching A Christmas Carol.  I wish they could get along like that 100% of the time.

Last night, we got a surprise delivery from our dear family Eunice and Bill.  Eunice is from the Chicago area, so after our wonderful trip there last month, she sent us 2 deep dish pizza's from Lou Malnati's!  OMG, we are so excited.  They are so sweet and thoughtful and we will enjoy every bite!

Then, David enjoyed playing with the dry ice.  I'm not even kidding the boys sat over the sink and played with it for like 10 minutes.  David was ready for his nightly walk with the dog, but stopped everything to open the pizza.  Then, the dry ice sucked him in.  He said it was 1,000 times better than bubble wrap.
Next year, he's getting dry ice for his birthday!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Spirit

This weekend was full of everything Christmas. On Friday night, we did the Walk Through Bethlehem with a bunch of friends. It's at a church in Prescott and you walk through different scenes portraying the night of Jesus' birth. I forgot my camera and took some iphone photos which weren't very good. But, my friends Mom took this one of Ben. They actually had real animals, sheep, chicken, etc. But, this one scene, they had a sheep puppet and Ben tried to feed it hay. Then, he said that there was something wrong with the sheep because he kept feeding it and it kept spitting out the hay.

Ben and Noah really get into it. Half the time, they are more fun to watch then the actors.

On Saturday, we went to Flagstaff for the North Pole Experience. We had never done it before, and I got a great deal on tickets. It's set up that you take a trolley (fancy bus) from this hotel to the North Pole. The kids were choking a penguin while we waited.

And playing in the gift shop.

Here we were going through the "portal" to get there.

Then, there are several different rooms and the kids do different stuff.

They got to help dress bears that would be used to give out to kids.

That was all fine and good. But then, they got to have a rocket fight because those elves don't like working too much. This was more Noah's style.

In this room, there were shoots that this elf would throw toys down. Then, he started throwing balls.

Each room lasted for about 15 minutes. We got to have some of Mrs. Claus' cookies and cocoa.

And there was elf school.

Then, the mailroom where we got to write letters to Santa.

Santa's huge sleigh.

Ben checking out the control room.

Then, it was was a short visit with Santa and we were dropped back off at the hotel. It was fun. The kids had a good time.

Outside the hotel, there was this Santa that the kids wanted to pose with. Funny thing was we didn't know anybody on the Nice side, but David's name was first on the Naughty side, along with my Mom (Sharon) and Aunt Pam! The kids thought that was pretty funny.

It was a long day, but I'm glad we took the kids.

This week is pretty low key, which is good because next week is a doozy!