Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmast 2012, Part 1

We kicked off our Christmas extravaganza at Great-Grandma and Great-Papa's house the Sunday before Christmas.  Colin was sad there was lasagna, BUT Great Lori more than made up for it with homemade ice.  MORE than made up for it!

We all had a good time eating, visiting, playing, and, of course, kicking off of the present-palooza.

I think Matt and Rachel enjoyed their reindeer book for Baby To Be Named Later.

I KNOW Colin loved his skeleton sweatshirt.

Gillian enjoyed her goodies as well.

Oh yeah, and standing on Papa Greg.

After a fun afternoon, we headed over to Papa Frank and Grammy's house for Christmas with the Keisters.  YAY!  We always have the best time partying with them!  Gillian even did her Jingle Bell Rock for them!  And the ladies got to model the lovely scarves Mrs. K crocheted for us!

We had a good night sleep at GraGra's house (well, okay 3 out of 4 of us did) and we spent Christmas Eve hanging out, playing, and cooking.  We opened a few presents since Real Leah was headed back home.

Oh, this BOOK.  This fossil book was and is a HIT.  I am learning a lot.

No Pants Presents.

We had a delicious dinner prepared by GraGra, Uncle Stevie, Uncle Willis (and me) and AMAZINGLY it was served 5 minutes early this year!  Woo hoo!  Then it was time to get dolled up for church.

And a big thank you to Papa Greg for persevering to get a great family picture for us!  He had a lot of work to accomplish that!

We had a nice church service. Made me good and teary.  Then it was pajamas and cookies for the BIG GUY, then off to bed!

I think it took Gillian a bit to fall asleep, but Colin seemed to be out quickly.  They both slept well and LONG.  Miraculously, everyone slept past 7:30!  UNHEARD of!  More on the big day to come.....

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dancing Queen

We had the special treat of a performance during Gillian's last dance class before holiday break.  Gillian had been busting out her moves every time she heard Jingle Bell Rock (which was often), so I had an inkling of what we were in store for, but SHE WAS IMPRESSIVE!  She knew most of the steps and really sold it.  She was in heaven. 

(I did take some video but it's full of the other girls in class and I hate to post them on the blog without permission, so still pictures will have to do.)

These were from the ballet portion of the show.  They were dancing to Sugar Plum Fairy music and were "Barbie dolls."

After the tap and ballet dances, the awesome Miss Michelle invited the siblings to dance along to the "Shoe Song."  In the song you pretend to be asleep and you have different kinds of shoes put on your feet and when you wake up you pretend whatever the shoes are (like ice skates, soccer shoes, flip flops, etc).  It was VERY cute.  All the girls and Colin were WAY into it.

Gillian LOVES to watch her videos from her performance.  And she did her dances for each and every holiday gathering we had this year!  What a girl!

Party Time

C&G's preschool has a GREAT Christmas party each year.  They call it Christmas Around the World and each classroom is a different "country".  This year we visited Norway, Russia, Australia, Bethlehem (this one was confusing), and Germany.  We learn about the different traditions in each country: food, decorations, variations on Santa, etc.

Daddy took part of the day off so he could come with us, so that was extra fun!!  We split up and I started the party with Gillian's room, while Daddy went with Colin's room.

Learning all about Norway:

When we got back to the room, we had a little sing-a-long.

Colin had kicked Daddy out of his party by this point, so we switched!  Cookie time!

Then more sing-a-long!

Great party!  Getting closer to the big day!

Cookie Day

Catching up with the end of December....only two weeks ago but seems like AGES ago!

The kids volunteered to bring cookies to their Christmas party.  Specifically, they asked to make iced sugar cookies with lots and lots of sprinkles.  Daddy took the car in for service the day before their party, so it was the perfect opportunity to spend the day making cookies!

So, we mixed, rolled, cut, and baked in the morning.  And after nap time, we got our the icing.  Gillian had picked trees and stockings for her room.  Colin picked snowmen and candy canes for his shapes.  So, we made red, green, and white icing.  And we got to work.

They did a great job this year!  Much skill improvement in the icing spreading department!  We whipped right through 2 1/2 dozen cookies!  With lots and lots of sprinkles.

Then there was time for this:

That would be two kids in a box being Santa Claus and her Elf.  Who were whipping the reindeer (nicely).

Friday, December 21, 2012


Last Sunday we took a quick trip to the Z-O-O.  The grown-ups were discussing taking said trip the day before, but we were spelling out Z-O-O instead of saying it.  Colin looked at us and said, "What about the zoo?"  OH BOY.

So, a warm December morning when it was supposed to rain.  We planned on just hitting up the aquarium, but since it stayed dry, we saw most of the animals anyway!

Love the tigers!

Coral nursery.

Pennsylvania fishes.

Ha.  So, I was trying to get one of the puffer fish to PUFF for us.  I was not successful.


Daddy's favorite. Ms. Octopus.

Garden eels.

Enjoy the reef.

After enjoying the aquarium we took the long way around back to the car.  We saw some gorillas and bears.  And the flock of peafowl were hanging out near the elephants.

Kid measuring.

Ooo, and my favorite part of this trip!  We lucked into seeing the baby rhino!!  The sign said she wouldn't be out since it was too cold, but I think the day was mild enough they let her out.  So stinking cute.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree!

Last weekend we finally got our tree.  We like to wait as long as possible.  Trees go on sale.  Kids don't get overly excited too early.  The tree doesn't die by the 20th of the month.  All those awesome reasons.

Off we go.

On and on.

Gillian and I liked this one.

But we kept looking.

Finally, we picked THIS one.  A bit short, but pretty.

Then we got distracted by tractors.

All loaded!

That afternoon Daddy and I got the tree up, lit, and tinseled.  Then the kids joined the fun.
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Ta DA!

The tree is MUCH enjoyed.