30 December, 2014

Holiday Celebrations

What an amazing holiday time!

Even though we are are not able to spend it with all of our friends and family, we do have a lot to be grateful for.

Big Grandma is out of the hospital and able to enjoy it with us. We are all healthy. And Courtney has a break from his business travel! What more can we ask for?

Santa Fun!

Our chiropractors hosted a Pajama Party that included a visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus! Not only that, but we were able to help others by donating PJs so that other children could enjoy a new set for the holidays.

Yes, the girls were with us. No, they would not even stand next to Santa. Maybe next year ...

Christmas Eve Services

We sure missed our traditional Christmas Eve services at the UU in Montclair, NJ. AND we missed wearing our footie pajamas to service. I think it was smart to just show up in festive shirts to a new church. It seemed we could easily overwhelm them.

Not only did we get to share the time with fellow UU's, but we had another awesome chance to catch up with the Tantes! Of course, the Grinch still went to service with us. Couldn't let that tradition stop. He always needs some church on Christmas Eve.
Here's the normal family:
Here's the crazies!
Then it was time to come home for the annual Christmas Eve pizza eating. This time, we also watched a movie.
Putting out reindeer dust so they could find us.

Christmas Day

It must of worked. Look at how hungry the reindeer and Santa were ...
Notice the plate, Elektra? Kaija made me go through all of our boxes to find it! That was such a special gift. I think this is the seventh Christmas in a row that we've used it.

No Peeking!

Rules are - 1) Wait until 8am, 2) Daddy HAS to have his coffee first.
Tada! I think it was worth the wait.
What beautiful children.
Oh - another gift popped up! Here's Emma.
The children all agreed - we'd wake up, have first breakfast and only do our stockings. Then we'd go out and get Big G to be with us for everything else! I think she had a good time. :-)
Look at her favorite gift. She loves her chocolate!
After second breakfast, it was time to play Monopoly with credit cards. Kaija was so excited to receive this! Then we all just hung out watching the Christmas parades and specials on TV.

Of course, we had to eat again! This Christmas it was Chinese. Yum.
And more relaxing ... Cari liked that part the best.
Finally, it was time to take Big G home. It was a great day!

29 December, 2014

A look at December ...

It's been a busy month. I can't believe that we are in the last week of 2014.

Here's a look at some of what we did this month.

First up, the Rome Christmas Parade.

Chayton's Cub Scout Pack had a float in the parade. It was a surreal experience. Half of Rome was in a float and the other half was standing along the road, within arms reach.

It's quite odd sitting in a float while smiling and waving at people you could reach out and touch.

Then it was off to Fire Station No. 1 for a Pack field trip. It was impressive to see the Fire Station in action.
The children were able to count down to Christmas with their Advent Calendars sent by Nana and Papa.

Actually starting in November, we worked to get our Christmas Tree up. The Tantes helped us to pick it out the weekend after Thanksgiving and get it all set up.

Soon it was time to play conductor of the Polar Express at Chayton's school. I visited every classroom with the librarians bringing North Pole cheer.

Courtney didn't miss out ... getting to drop Chayton off at school.

Emma caused lots of trouble. Cari didn't like her trip to the vet. But we found out the piggy sounds she makes because she is built like a Persian cat on the inside. Snort, snort. 

Chayton learned that along with the joys of having a fish tank, sometimes you have to say good-bye.

Nazeriah and Chayton had their Holiday Concerts.
Kaija missed hers, as she was recovering from the flu. Lucky me, I was also sick with a flu-like thing and a sinus infection that just wouldn't go away.

We caught a movie (Courtney and the girls watched Mocking Jay).

And Chayton made cotton candy while hanging out with Joe. The girls spent quality time with their friends, the Twins.

All of this along with the normal routines of school, work and visiting Big Grandma.

Next up, Christmas celebrations!

Planting Trees ... In November!

Well, we finally did it! It's taken a full year, but Courtney and I (with a little help) have planted trees.

Eight of them to be exact - 5 fruit trees and 3 flowering trees. Whoo-hoo!

It's been a labor of love. Courtney and I first started and the ground was so hard. We thought renting an auger from Home Depot would solve the problem. Well ... that didn't work.

So, we waited until it rained. Bingo! We could dig holes. Unfortunately, two decided to fill up with water ... so we had to wait a couple of days to finish up those. :-)

Here's one of them.

Can you see all the others? (Trick question ... ones out back ...) Plus I've learned that ones the leaves fall off of very young and skinny trees - it's a little hard to see them.

But the best one was saved for last ... thank you, Sabine, for helping to dig the hole!