Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve

There's no question about how to spend our New Year's Eve. We've always celebrated at my mom and dad's, and we always will. 
It's a low-key get-together, which is perfect after all of the hectic running around, partying and craziness that comes with Christmas time.
It's kind of a meeting place for everyone and there's always a nice spread in the kitchen for a grand finale to what I'll call "The Gluttonous Phase", which starts about 2 weeks before Christmas, and I'm more than ready to recover from by the first of the year.
We got to see Dani-Lynn, who loved spending some time with little Ben. They spent that time poking,
 and exchanging "love taps".


They're going to be real buddies when they're a bit older. 

We broke out the Guitar Hero for a while, but other than that, it was a quiet evening. A couple of the kids were sick, which puts a damper on things, but other than that, it was a great night. 
Thanks mom and dad for having the house that is like home for so many people!
Let's bring on 2014. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Round 3

 After recovering from our mini turkey comas at Matt's mom's we hit the road to make it back to my parent's for round 3. 
First we got all the kids together for the annual "grandkids picture".
 My mom was trying to think of a different, fun thing to do with the kids this year, and so when it came time to open their special gift that she made them, they had to go into this box.



 They played a game to figure out who went first, and that person had to put on the "blinding goggles", dive into the box of air filled packaging, and find one of ten (one for each kid) boxes. On the box was a name of a different kid. That kid opened the box, which revealed a number. They had to find that number on a gift, and then opened that gift. That kid then got to jump into the box and find the next box.
 They each got a personalized and special knitted blanket that my mom worked so hard on.
 They all loved them. I'll have pictures of my girls' soon. Of course I didn't get enough pictures at the time.
Of course Hanna didn't need the goggles. :)
It was another great night. 
Everyone got extremely spoiled, and it actually wasn't even too crazy with all those kids in the same house opening gifts and on a sugar spree! 
I hope everyone had as great of a Christmas as we had. We had lots of time with our family, and that's all we could ever ask for. 
As a bonus we even got some pretty awesome gifts!! 
 Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas Morning

After hearing the first peep come from the girls room, I ran out and got the video camera ready. I didn't want to miss a second. 
They were beyond thrilled with the surprises under the tree. 
We had to cut play time short though, so we could make it to our next gathering. 
They ate, got dressed, and loaded up into the van to get to Matt's mom's for round 2.
 We all got spoiled. Like always!
 Ben was literally buried in presents at one point.
 Aunt Sammy took some pictures for me, which helped a lot! I actually have evidence of going this year!!

 Apparently, Hanna and Hailey were asked to pose for a picture. This is what she got:
 Princess silliness, and
 ninja girl!
 Ben's all over. He's crawling, and pulling himself up on everything, and just plain trouble.
Dinner was delicious, and we were lucky enough to even get some leftovers! 
Round 3 up next!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

...is spent at my Nanny's every year. 
A night of caroling around the piano, gifts being given and received by all, and new memories being made. 

 I wasn't able to take many pictures this year, having my hands full of kiddos, but it was a wonderful night. 
It was a late night, ending at about 2:30am and all four of the kids lasted almost all night! 
Gracie was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus and thought for sure, since we were so late that he would've come while we were gone. We got home, and she ran into the kitchen to see if the cookies were eaten. 
They weren't.
She hung her head for a second, then ran into bed to get to sleep with the other two. 
Then, Matt and I got to work. 
It's tight quarters in our little house, and very hard to keep quiet while trying to get into the packaging of some of these toys. I don't know for the life of me why things need to be screwed into the packaging. We managed though, and at about 4:00, after all the presents were laid out, stockings were stuffed, and candy canes were hung, we were able to jump into bed too.
Everyone slept well, and didn't get up until about 10 the next morning.
We were thankful. 

Gracie's gift

Gracie's a thoughtful little girl. 
She decided that she wanted to get her sisters a Christmas present this year, with her own money. 
She whispered what she had in mind, and we made it a mission to find just that. 
When we found the perfect ones, she brought them home and wrapped them up and it took everything she had to make it to Christmas Eve before giving it to them.
On Christmas Eve, before church I let her give them their gift. She had one wrapped up for herself too, labeled "To Gracie, Frum Gracie" on it. :)
They were completely thrilled just opening something from her. It was quite the treat.
And the gift? 
They loved it. The pieces fit together with magnets, and they all wore their piece all night long. 
Best Forever Friends they will be. I am one blessed mama.
 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

cookies with the girls

My sister-in-law, Samantha is down for the holidays (she's usually away for school) and wanted to spend some time with the kids before going back. My mom-in-law, along with Sam came out to let the girls decorate their gingerbread cookies they made just for the occasion.
They had a blast! 
 And Ben was his usual happy little self, just watching, and playing.






 Hailey...really likes sprinkles.
 The finished masterpieces!
 Group picture with their Aunt Sammy.

 And of course Little Mr. with his Gramma!
 We may just have to make this a new Christmas tradition too! 
Thanks again you guys. The girls felt pretty special!

Friday, December 20, 2013

band party

I may not have mentioned before, but I have a very musically inclined family. Everyone on my mom's side can play something. By ear. My mom is a beautiful piano player, and my dad is a pretty awesome drummer.
When everyone gets together, they form a pretty amazing band, and it's becoming a tradition to celebrate Christmas with "the band". 
Some family friends, who are also part of the band, have an entire area of their basement set up as a bar with lights, a stage, tables, and games to make up a great party area.
It's always a great time with tons of laughs, a few drinks, and some crazy, sugar-hyped kids dancing around! 
Ben and Dani-Lynn, my cousin's little one. They are 5 weeks apart.
 This year was no exception. A great time was had by all!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

snakes?

Does anyone remember the movie "Tremors"?
It's the first thing I thought of this morning when Hanna and Hailey ran over to me telling me about a snake in the playroom.
According to them, a snake came up through the floor vent, went after their heads and went back in before coming to get me. 
Hm.
As long as they don't start erupting out of the ground, I think we'll be alright.

Monday, December 16, 2013

finally the tree!

Well, we're behind in everything right now.  Gifts, cards, everything.
We did finally get our tree up though!
I went out and got some treats, and Matt strung the lights.
We were a little rushed, and Matt was hacking his lungs out, thanks to the latest bug making it's way through him, but we managed. We had Charlie Brown playing in the background, and our tree is now an un-finished masterpiece. (Popcorn string still needs to be strung!)


Gracie was a little disappointed we were so rushed, but Matt had to go to work, so there was nothing we could do. 
After he left, we stayed up late watching a couple more movies, and eating the leftover treats.
We had a lot left over since Matt was too under the weather to eat anything. You know he's not right when there's a full bottle of Coke still in the fridge after he leaves. 

I think it was a job well done by all my girlies, and now I just gotta start working on that popcorn string!
 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

looking festive around here

My little ladies have been hard at work getting their room ready for Christmas. 
Some of our tree lights kicked the bucket this year, so we only had one long strand left. Not nearly enough for the tree.
The girls had a much better use for it anyhow, and Gracie designed it herself, with a bit of input from the other two.

Friday, December 13, 2013

time with my girls

Ben's naps are getting shorter, and much less often. We take advantage and try to do the messy stuff when he's asleep. 
I'm impressed that we got our gingerbread house done the other day (no pictures this time!). They all helped. Gracie was the "designer". She told everyone where to put their candies, and I was the icing-er.  
Today we had a lazy day. Matt's been working seven days, and I'm losing track of the days. I actually (almost) forgot about school today! Fridays are important too, because they are Test Day.  I did let them stay in they're pajamas all day though, and when we got the chance, we worked on some ornaments. (Thanks Gramma!)
 Gracie made sure hers were all festive colours. She's a perfectionist like her dad.
  Hanna just wanted hers multi-coloured,
 and Hailey settled with one colour, and then would go right on top with a new colour until ending with a nice brown finish. 
I saved her Santa Claus though, by letting him dry after yellow. :)
  They all did a great job!