Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all! We just returned from the children's mass at church....we lasted 5 minutes more than last year....progress?  We are soon off to celebrate Christmas Eve at David's sister's house with all our family. 

Looking forward to seeing the kids faces in the morning when they see what Santa has brought.  Will asked for Santa to bring his lovey 'Blue Dog' which has been missing over a year and a half, he has been talking a lot lately about how much he misses him....and even though Blue Dog is not made anymore, thanks to eBay he is returning!

This next week will hopefully be a lazy week, David is home all week and Amanda will be helping most afternoons so we may get to catch up on sleep, some reading and a few house projects. Evan want's Dad to teach him how to ride his bike without the training wheels, I think it was this time last year when David taugh Will.  And maybe the kids will settle down from the Christmas high that has lasted all of December.  It has been a frenzy of joy and mischief around here. 

Wishing you happiness and a bit of peace this holiday season.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The pre-k classes were the angel corus in the school Christmas pageant.  There were six songs to learn,  numerous rehearsals and lots of pillow case ironing.  Finally, the big day is here.

 Angel Evan

Angel Lily
 Angel Will

Holden gave each of them a pre-show hug. He was so proud of them.

David made it home just in time to see the pageant. His flight arrived after two in the morning. He was rewarded for his late travels with the sweetest little voices. And a very impressive job by the teachers to get everyone to particiapte with ribbons and halos intact.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wise Men

There has been a constant stream of festivities ever since Thanksgiving.  Holden's three's pageant was yesterday, it was a 'pick up' pageant where every child can be whatever they would like to be in the christmas story...there doesn't just have to be just one Mary, or angel or sheep or whatever.  Holden as you can see selected to be a king.  He looked so sweet and actively participated, remembering the words to the songs. By the end when we were allowed to snap photos he had his crow pulled down and was being silly.

Holden has had been enamoured with this little girl since the first week of school, he asked her to marry him several times.  She finally said yes! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Breakfast with Santa

We had our annual breakfast with Santa in Lakeway with Grammy Clare.  The kids were excited to see Rudolph again, and we managed not to knock him over. Yea team!

Holden remembers what he wants...a blue microwave, FOR BOYS!

Christmas mouse from Santa.

Lily's letter to Santa.   After 'May I please have' her handwriting...'Cat costume and a fluffed up dog and two mittens for girls.'  Love, Lily

The Arts

Lily's art school had a show this week. She attends weekly classes with KP, a talented art teacher who holds classes in her home studio. They are introduced to different master artists each week so you will see that influence. Lily loves her creative time and has made new friends.  No surprise, she feels most comfortable hanging with the few boys in the class.

Here is our proud artist by a couple of her creations, self portrait and sunflower.

Art displays. The teacher gave each student these 'artist' ribbons.

Holden enjoyed the show...and the cookies.

Lily is very dedicated in all her activities, art or school. Here she is practicing all of her letters....she studiously completed the entire alphabet.  

Lily also had a dance presentation of the nutcraker this week...or as she says 'the nut show'.  I needed my action setting for these photos, they are a blur but you can kinda get an idea of how much fun she is having expressing her self...and having mom's undivided attention.  It was a low key, in class presentation so I got a few cuddles in between songs. Btw - her class has four set of twins!!

This ballet/tap/jazz class is followed by lunch with the theather. The boys and I watched the puppet show presentation after school.  It's been a good outlet for her to have all this creative time on Monday's while the boys are in school.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Top 5 Fall Moments

Our fall has been packed.  Here are a few of our highlights from falll...

1. We had our first tooth fairy visit.

Lily lost her first tooth on David's birthday and her second bottom tooth the day before Thanksgiving.  She noticed her first tooth missing while taking a bath, we were out to dinner but our babysitter texted us so we had time to plan for the fairy visit. 

We had rose petals from our table at dinner, so I scattered those around her and we put a coin under her pillow. We didn't have any dollar coins so we improvised and used one of the pretty Australian coins from David's business trip.  She looked so sweet sleeping in a bed of rose petals, I wish I had captured a photo.  The boys were a bit envious and are hoping to get a tooth fairy visit soon.  Now we are prepared and have a stash of gold dollar coins.

2.  Pow Wow. 

Black Foot (aka Fast Runner - teacher selected this but Evan prefers to be called Black Foot so we obliged at home), Soaring Hawk and Tiger Lily. 

Black foot and his owl totem.

The American Indian unit at school ended with a fabulous pow wow. The kids crafted their own costumes, the boys made shields and the girls crafted babies wrapped in a papooses. Evan's class made intricate totem poles. Their teachers are impressively creative.

3.  Trick or Treating. 

Evan, Lily, Will and Holden Bots
 The kids requested robots this year, so we created these homemade costumes. The robots turned out great. Only they were easy to trip in and they kids would be stuck on their robot tummies and needed to be repeatedly rescued. At least the box prevented any injuries when they hit the concrete.

Evan 'Robocop'

4. Soccer and More Soccer.

Between, David's game, the trip's game and Holden's game, Sundays were all about soccer.

5.  Will, Evan and Lily's 5th birthday at the Science & Nature center. 

We decided to keep things simple, they each invited just a couple of friends from their class and we enjoyed an afternoon at the Nature Center with a wildlife touch and learn event.

Family Traditions

Holden and I spied this gorgeous Montana Christmas tree on Friday afternoon.  That night we bundled up the kids in pjs and jackets and braved the cold, wet weather to claim it.  The kids sang to us on our way, joyful and loud. They have been practicing their Christmas songs at school  and home in preparation for their upcoming pageant.  They sang their favorite song, 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' to the Christmas tree guys and were rewarded with candy canes.

We managed to hold the kids off until morning for the trimming of the tree.  They were up bright and early, with seemingly endless energy, bouncing around and chanting about tree decorating. 

These photos are somewhat misleading, they convey a sense of tranquility and peace. In reality, the kids were hopping around, falling all over themselves.  David demonstrated amazing focus by expertly hanging the lights with kids underfoot trying to assist and my 'helpful' pointers 'more lights, just a few more'.

By 8am the tree was complete and the stockings were hung with care.

...and admired.

Then we enjoyed a hearty breakfast as a reward for all our hard work.

I think it is the prettiest tree we have ever had.

And look, we even have glass ornaments, which feels like a big milestone to me.  We have really come along way since the early days.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grateful Hearts

We were treated to a gorgeous Thanksgiving day, blue skies and plenty of sunshine.  This morning we ran the annual Turkey Trot with the kids and 20,000 Austinites.  It was a great race, with nice views of downtown and a downhill second half.  It felt great to cross the finish line. 

The rest of the day we relaxed at Grammy and Papa's and enjoyed a delicious meal.  It was a full house, there were 17 of us which made for a festive day.  Here, Lily is showing me her additions to our Thanksgiving tree, the kids hung leaves with things they are thankful for. Lily is thankful for her family, kindness and happiness.

Evan is thankful that Grammy helped him mend his lovey 'Pato' and for our cats. Will is thankful for God and water. Holden is thankful for turkeys and the plants that grow.

I am thankful for my sister in law who will roll around and play with my boys.

And our sweet Cousin Jack. The kids are all stepping stones in ages...Will, Evan and Lily 5, Holden turning 4 in January and Jack recently 3. 

Then it was time for dinner and Papa carved the turkey.

Kids table.

Post dinner snuggle.

My dad.

Grammy helping Lily read an ABC book.

And goodnight.