Anyone else in complete disbelief that it's the last day of 2009? Time seems to be flying around here. Because we're old and have 2 kids, there are no fun plans for tonight other than homemade potato/broccoli soup and game night with Camden and Rory. Hope your New Year's Eve is at least as exciting as ours! :)
We did not quite manage to cross everything off our "to do" list yesterday (translated: nothing), but Brian and Camden did manage to get in some squirrel hunting (check out Brian's blog for a cute video) and we saw The Princess and the Frog. It was a seriously cute movie and my new favorite Disney story. In case you're interested, here are our favorite parts. Melissa - music; Brian - the lightning bug; Camden - the popcorn; Rory - the bad guy. :)
Because of yesterday's laziness, we're not stuck with unpacking, cleaning and laundry today and to be honest, we're all 4 a bit cranky - must be vacation hangover. Hopefully, we'll all snap out of it soon.
I didn't quite get extra sleep as planned last night since I stayed up much too late watching the Minnesota/Chicago football game. Believe me, no one is as surprised as me to read that sentence since I've been an serious football hater for my entire life. I've recently decided it's not so bad and am starting to actually enjoy the sport. Brian could not be happier. I'm a shallow fan, however (and much too competitive for my own good), and like to follow quarterbacks around. Since I like to win, the quarterbacks have to be winners. Apparently, I'm a sucker for old guys since Brett Favre and Kurt Warner have been my recent favorites. Even if I'm a shallow fan, Brian still couldn't be happier (especially since Favre has been his favorite for years).
Today we're unpacking, squirrel hunting (that would be Brian and Camden), making a library run and then taking the kids to see The Princess and the Frog. Even though Rory is not a TV fan (yes, she's back to hating it), she seems to enjoy going to the occasional movie. Or maybe it's just the popcorn she likes. And Camden could watch paint dry as long as it was on a TV/theater screen.
I haven't edited most pictures from our week, but here is one from our snow experience that jumped out at me when I uploaded it. Camden had gone down the hill on his belly and face-planted in the snow so, of course, Rory wanted to do it. We decided to spare her and told her no. Well, Miss Independent went down the right way, but as soon as she reached the bottom of the hill, she rolled onto her belly and planted her face right in the snow on purpose. It was a little more unpleasant than she had imagined. I can't decide which effect I like best.
Did I fool you with my posts last week? :) I actually set them up prior to leaving (well, except for the poem post). We spent the last 7 days in Illinois with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, nephews, and brother. I've decided I cannot possibly edit and upload all the pictures we took (think almost 800 between Becky and I) and share them all here at once so I might just share a few at a time. I also think I'll condense the events to say that we had a really wonderful time that included lots of eating (thank heavens my mother and sister are fabulous and adventurous cooks - clearly, I did not get my lack of domestic ability from them), baking, watching the kids scream/play together, with alot of laughter mixed in. I really have just the best family. We enjoyed a Christmas Eve service (in the freezing rain), a white Christmas (plus a few extra white days after), baked cookies and then passed them out at a local nursing home on Christmas Day (which was alot of fun and also made me sad for some of the people we saw - getting old stinks), sledding with the kids along with buckets of good coffee and hot cocoa, and finally spent a quiet snowed-in day Sunday before heading home Monday. We've been home for less than 2 hours and I can already tell that the transition back to real life is not going to be easy on the kids. :) Of course, real life doesn't have to begin quite yet since Brian and Camden are both off from school for the rest of the week and we have some fun things planned (as well as alot of rest and relaxation!). As for tonight, I plan to do nothing more than leave the suitcases where they fell when we brought them in, order pizza, put the kids in bed early and try to get more sleep than we've had the last several nights!
Camden and Rory's new super hero capes. Clearly, being a super hero calls for a strange expression since they both immediately made these faces when they put on the capes.
Twas the day before Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house The four cousins together scared away every mouse. With excitement and energy that never seems to cease We all wished for a brief moment of peace.
Uncle Brian, being so brave and so smart, Came up with a plan to take the kids and depart. McDonald's PlayLand would be a nice treat, He never imagined it would be such a feat.
With all of the kids safely squished in the car, The events to unfold would be quite bizarre. They safely arrived and inside they all went, Hullabaloo over happy meal toys Brian couldn't prevent.
An order was placed, to PlayLand they would go. Uncle Brian, once fast, began to feel slow. With coats and hats flying, and shoes off too, Ronald McDonald's playhouse turned into a zoo.
With barely a sip of his coffee enjoyed, Uncle Brian soon heard words of something deployed. To the bathroom they rushed, a disaster to prevent, but in the Fruit of the Looms, Brian found a present.
While cleaning and taking care of the situation Another one entered with a small complication. "It's coming, it's coming" - the words that were spoken. Uncle Brian was quick to avoid another token.
With everyone clean, one minus his Hanes, Brian sat again to gaze through the panes. When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter, Uncle Brian wasn't sure what was the matter.
He heard girly screams and a big brother yell "stop!" Then down the slide she came with a plop. Her nose and hands were all gross and bloody. Quite a scene for a girl who is never even muddy.
Another trip to the restroom we would take to clean A 3 year old girl beaten up by her cousins so mean. She quickly recovered and returned to the fun, But Uncle Brian decided he was all done.
Coats, hats and shoes all returned to their places, Three boys and one girl all with sad faces. In the vehicle they once again would pile And Uncle Brian would sigh and hide a big smile.
One of the little girls from children's church wrote in a Christmas card to Brian, "Thank you for teaching me about God (a.k.a. Jesus)."
When asked in children's church where baby Jesus was born ( looking for "stable" as the answer), Rory piped up and said, "in Korea!"
When Camden unwrapped his Transformer Bumble helmet (which goes with the Bumblebee arm he got from Michael and Liz), he was jumping up and down in excitement. He said, "Now I'll definitely never be bored again." Not to be outdone, Rory jumped up and down and said, "Now I am definitely going to be bored."
I figured the easiest way to tell about our weekend was just to show the pics. And let me preface the pictures by saying that I love my new camera, but am very frustrated at my own inability to take good pictures indoors. It's totally my fault because I don't have a CLUE what I'm doing! I need an extra couple of hours in the day to try to read tutorials and improve my photography skills. Okay, rant over.
Friday night Brian's parents came over for pizza and presents.
Gram, Gramps, and the kiddos
Camden had TWELVE ornaments from school to show us. And yes, there was a story behind each one.
And, no, I did not take a picture of each one.
Can you tell he's excited by his new train?
Rory got a new puppy that she was pretty happy about.
And a new Dora tent that's pretty fun.
She must be my daughter - she found her baby, moved the tent, posed and said "take my picture!"
No pictures from Saturday's activities, but we were quite busy. A trip to Nashville running errands for Brian, lunch at the Olive Garden and shopping for me, haircut for Camden, and lots of playing around for Rory.
All dressed up for the Christmas program
They were all so cute and did a great job.
With Uncle Michael and Aunt Liz
Rory got this from Michael and Liz and has not put it down since.
"Look, but don't touch, Camden!"
Brian is helping out at the upholstery shop where he used to work today, we're opening presents with the kids tonight and then headed out early tomorrow to Illinois to visit my parents for Christmas. I'm desperately trying to get the laundry done, the house back in order and all of us packed while entertaining two very hyper children! It's only taken me 4 hours to get this blog post up. My blogging schedule will be pretty non-existent for a while, but I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
Brian and I barely survived yesterday. The kids had a very off day; I spent most of the day in the kitchen, which is one of my least favorite places to be (I'm not very domestic as anyone who knows me can attest to); poor Brian had a bad day with his group of 21 fourth graders (and I won't even go into how horrible one of them behaved which involved multiple visits to the principal's office and finally a call to the parent to come get the child); I was not very patient with Camden and Rory for which I feel badly. Thankfully, today is a new day and I can start all over again. Brian only has to work a half day today and then he'll be off for two whole weeks (woohoo!). His parents are coming over tonight for supper and to exchange gifts, and the kids are very excited.
Here are a few things about the girl and boy from this week:
Rory's new favorite word is "sumpin." As in: Let me tell you just one sumpins. Can I show you sumpin? Let's talk about sumpin.
Camden's stool is Rory's new best friend. She carries it everywhere, uses it to sit on the couch with the stool as a footrest, uses it to use the potty, to turn the lights on, to play the piano, etc.
Camden apparently overheard me telling someone that I can always tell right away if he's had a bad day at school when I see his face, and every day since has walked to the car with an ugly, mean look on his face trying to fool me. Of course, he can't hold it long and breaks down in giggles before he ever makes it to the car.
And because I hate to post without pictures or layouts (and I've got nothing new in either category), here's one from last week of Rory in her new favorite spot.
I have completely slacked in the blogging department this week mostly because I've been so busy and once I'm a few days behind, there doesn't seem to be a point in catching up. So here's what we've been up to.
I spent Saturday getting a haircut and then braving the crowds running about 8 errands. I was gone all day long while Brian stayed with the kiddos. He's always appreciative of me, but he's especially appreciative when he's spent all day long at home with a 3 and 6 year old.
Monday was full of laundry, grocery shopping, gymnastics with Rory, while Brian and Camden went to a basketball game.
Tuesday Rory and I along with another little girl and her mom made a trip to downtown Nashville to see a Christmas performance at Lifeway headquarters. It was really beautiful, but not especially kid-friendly and we were in the very last row which made keeping two 3 year old girls happy a challenge. We finished up with a late lunch and poor Rory did not get a nap, which made for a very emotional afternoon and evening. Because Camden has had several outings with Brian recently, he decided to take Rory out for a quick date at Wendy's. It was the cutest thing ever - I'm generally the preferred parent for her, but she clearly thought she was so special to get to go somewhere alone with her daddy.
I worked Wednesday and Rory spent the day at Gram and Gramps. Wednesday night was church and Christmas program practice for the kids. I have a feeling Sunday's program will be interesting. Rory spent the evening copying every little thing the other girls did while bossing the other 3 year old around. Camden knows all the words and his voice carries so much that it sounds as if he's singing a solo. He certainly does not have stage fright!
Today I actually have no plans if you don't count Christmas baking, wrapping presents, entertaining two kids (Camden only has 1/2 day of school today) and trying to keep my sanity. I'd like to fit in the treadmill, but since I haven't all week, why start now?
Camden has been BOUNCING off the walls with excitement in anticipation of his Christmas party at school today. Brian says multiply Camden by 21 and you've got his classroom every day. Needless to say, Brian's nerves have been a bit on edge by the end of each day. I think he might collapse in exhaustion if he makes it until school is over tomorrow.
The two girls after the play.
And, finally, it may have taken me 3.5 days to complete, but here's a layout.
I decided I couldn't wait until Monday to post these pictures I took this week. It may not be entirely appropriate for a 3 year old, but black is my favorite color for Rory. She looks great in it (if I do say so myself)!
I think I've mentioned Crazy Love on here before. I read it earlier this year, immediately told Brian that he had to read it, and he's now getting ready to start teaching through the book in Sunday School. The principles are all something I've considered before, but they seem to have taken on even new meaning for us this year, especially during the Christmas season. Brian and I have struggled each year to not be consumed with the craziness that has become Christmas: shopping, shopping, spending money, so many activities that you can't enjoy each other, more shopping, etc. This year we've taken even more steps to be very deliberate in how we celebrate Christmas, and I randomly ran across this video last night. It so perfectly describes what we're trying (we're still a work in progress) to do and thought I'd share.
Our weeks seem to cycle. Last week was fairly busy; this week slow; next week is quite busy. I would prefer a bit more of a balance, but that's all right. Rory and I have been enjoying the quiet days and I'd like to say that I've gotten lots of housework done, but I've scrapped and spent extra time with Rory instead. I've got to buy some craft supplies because Rory loves them! I'm not exactly crafty so after we'd exhausted the puzzles, Dora, and books yesterday, I pulled out a piece of construction paper and cut up a Christmas tree and then free-handed some circles for her to glue and put together. It was not pretty (due to my barely competent scissor skills), but she thought it was so fun.
Rory and I went to story time at the library yesterday, and do you know the child that is front and center interrupting the teacher to tell them everything from their daddy's birthday to Christmas plans? Yep, that'd be my girl. And when the teacher finally got tired of listening to her and stopped letting her interrupt, she stood right in front with her hand raised waiting for the teacher to call on her. I think she'll be sitting on my lap next time we go.