Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve Polar Dash

Last New Year's Eve, apparently I dared my 9 year old to "streak" outside in the snow. Always one for a challenge, he did. This year, there wasn't much snow, but it was frigid cold. An annual event has been born! It gives new meaning to the term "freezing your butt off"~
Afterward the boys warmed up on the couch with Grandma and Mary, while watching "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark"~

We rang in the new year with homemade pizzas and ice cream sundaes. Here's to 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Zoo Lights

Daddy, Charlie and Sam checked out Brookfield Zoo's holiday light display tonight. Mary and Mama stayed home (and warm!)~

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Want, Need, Wear, Read

A couple of years ago, in an effort to tame the Christmas "gimmes", we started using an old Victorian poem as a guideline for gift giving.

Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
Something to read.

Both boys each get an nutcracker and an ornament to add to their collections, and Santa fills their stockings with some small things. But, that's really it. Of course, they also receive lots of gifts from Grandma and Grandpa and aunts and uncles. Having these parameters really limits the craziness and helps with ideas.

Here is Sam with his nutcracker, wearing the White Sox sweatshirt from Grandma~Here are Charlie and Sam opening their "need" - ball bags for baseball~

I love this picture - Sam is so happy and Charlie in the background so proud. Sam has been asking for clip on earrings for over a month. A couple of weeks before Christmas Charlie whispered to me that he knew what he wanted to get Sam for Christmas! We split up at the mall one day and Charlie came home with these~
Something to wear, a Hester jersey (Sam got Urlacher)~
Something you want (Charlie got a new pogo stick)~
For "read" Sam (the pancake addict) received Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle, and Charlie was thrilled to open Forbidden LEGO: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against!
Well look who decided to join us - good morning, sleepyhead~
Mary just woke up, and isn't quite sure what to do~
She's kind of getting into it~
Mary really likes the Slinky Sam found in his stocking~
Mary with her "need" - a recycled (from the boys) shape sorter~
After presents, and a cinnamon roll breakfast, we celebrated Christ's birth at church, then Grandpa came over for the best ribs ever (our Memphis Christmas) along with Texas toast, corn pudding, green beans with bacon and red velvet cake.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Eve of Christmas

We spent Christmas Eve at Grandma's, with Grandpa, Aunt Darlene (Uncle Dan was at the firehouse), Jack, Madeline, Luke, Aunt Jessi, Jaiden, Julian, Aunt Donna and Brandon, Melissa, Uncle Buddy and Kathy, Matthew, Little Buddy and Baby Tyce. There was delicious food, and tons of presents.

Mary and Grandpa~
Mary and Madeline (and George)~
Mary and Luke~

Mary and Grandma~
Mary and Jack~
Luke and Sam~
Relaxing after presents~
Now we need to get to bed here, so Santa can stop by tonight!

The Christmas Story


Charlie and Sam love building a gingerbread house every year around Christmas. Someday, we will attempt to make the walls and roof from scratch, rather than the $10 kit. That sweatshirt Sam is wearing is one Charlie made many years ago in Together We Can. I actually made a much smaller one for the baby at the time, who was Sam. Time really does fly :( Tonight we are heading to Grandma's house for Christmas Eve with the family :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ornament Making

Following our photo session this evening, the boys and I made some ornaments, for gifts and ourselves. We took plain glass balls and swirled paint on the inside. They look a lot like Easter eggs here~

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

It's very difficult to get three children to look (let alone smile) at the camera.

Taking a break to eat dinner, Mary decides to really ham it up~

Trying a little "Picture People" pose~

Someone's getting tired of pictures~
This is the one we ultimately chose. I think it actually was the 4th or 5th shot we took. But I wanted to torure them a little longer, just for fun~