Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Jimmy's Birthday

The weekend before Jimmy's birthday Mom and Dad took all of us out to eat at Buffalo Brothers in WF to celebrate. Dinner was delicious and afterwards the servers brought out a birthday dessert. As the tradition goes in our family, the sweets were ravaged.

It starts out all nice... everyone is patient and nicely asks to have some.

Then it gets a little heated...

...and no one else stands a chance!

Finally it slows down...

...and the boys pretty much lick the bowl clean.

The night before Jimmy's birthday we were surprised with a couple gift cards to Z Pizza, so we had a fun family night out to eat (we normally eat at home during the week, so this was really fun!).
On Jimmy's actual birthday we served him lemon poppyseed muffins for breakfast. He ended up having a less-than-stellar day, though, since he was fighting a cold and had a really busy day at work. That night was our community group Christmas party at the Highs' house, so we had lots of good food and fellowship (just not the birthday kind, ha!). Later that weekend, we FINALLY had the birthday cobbler Jimmy requested! He wanted either blackberry or cherry, so I just combined them. It was so yummy and tart. Happy 30th Jimmy!! We love you so much, and I'm glad you've finally joined me in the 30s! : )

Monday, December 29, 2014

More Christmas Fun!

Here are some other pictures of various Christmas festivities. One night in early December the Deskos invited us over to celebrate the season with a fun dinner and cookie making afterwards for the kids. As I was looking back at different Christmas pictures, I realized lots of our pictures had to do with desserts and decorating them, ha!

All the kiddos

Lickin' the knife!

It's always fun to squirt icing...

Sweet Reagan

Sarah Grace, showing off her artistry!

Talking to Santa at the mall one day. They were enamored with him when they saw him! We don't make a big deal of him, but this year Charlie was certain he was real. We said nothing to the contrary and enjoyed hearing his various musings on the subject of Santa Claus.

After Jimmy's office party! It was held at The Big Easy, a great Cajun restaurant in downtown Raleigh that we have been to several times before and love. We REALLY enjoyed this evening... my parents watched the boys while we had a grown-up night on the town! They served appetizers, salads, the main course, dessert, and drinks. It was nice to meet Jimmy's coworkers and eat dinner on the company's dime!

A picture Mom snapped of me right after my haircut earlier in December.

Enjoying the nativity stickers Granana got them!

More nativity fun at Granana and Gammer's house. Notice the placement of the angel- Charlie was adamant that the angel be above the other figures, so he wanted him taped in the tree! Love it!

Playing together. I love that they love the Christmas story.

Waiting outside at Granana's one day with their boots on! I think this is so cute of them.

And of course, the Wake Forest parade. It was pretty crowded, so Henry sat on Jimmy's shoulders and Mom held Charlie up.

The utilities float... a toilet!! First time I've ever seen that in a Christmas parade...

Getting to see the basket of a hot air balloon. The kids liked seeing them pull the thing that made the fire come up (technical explanation, I know...).

All of us love seeing the marching bands.

Santa!!!!

Engrossed in watching. Love those boys!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December Christmas Festivities

We did some fun things this month to celebrate the Christmas season. One evening after church we went to see the Piper Lights off Fixit Shop Rd. The boys LOVED it! That particular night Santa had come to their candy shop, so the boys enjoyed seeing him.

Cheesin' with Santa!

With both boys! I wonder what each boy is thinking here...

Riding the train to see the lights (and Henry's "Cheese!" face..).

Brothers! LOVE this picture. 

Sweetie Charlie's cheese face.

We try to get them to stand still and take a picture together.... but to no avail.

Christmas cookie playdate at Amy Grace's house! (This was also the playdate during which Henry tried to ride down a flight of stairs on a tricycle... in a Minnie Mouse helmet, no less. I was very thankful that he was okay. He wailed for a minute afterwards then cried to have his "mot-ah-cycle" back- i.e., the trike).

Working hard!

Happy boy, cutting out cookies and eating raw dough. This was before his Evel Knievil stunt.

That night we had our community group Christmas party, where people brought a delicious variety of appetizers and desserts! I forgot to take a picture, though.

Making gingerbread houses with Granana. Fun times!

Focused!

Mom was in charge of the icing.

I love that he was very intentional about how he decorated everything.

Our sweet-toothed boy with his mouth full of candy! Just like last year, he wanted to keep eating his decorations!

Once again, what we get when we try to take a picture....

I still haven't found a particular Advent devotional thing that seems to be a good fit for our family. I know there is no shortage of resources, but I haven't found our tradition that sticks yet. This year we just read and reread the Christmas story in their Bible a lot, and I was content with that. We are in the process of trying to help the boys learn how to be respectful and focus when other family members are praying, and they like their Bible story time at night. I thought trying to add something else was pushing it a bit. 
Also... no Christmas cards sent out this year, but that's okay too. Maybe next year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thanksgiving in CT

This year we had a different Thanksgiving celebration than ever before, and a very special one at that! Late in the summer we talked about going to Mark and Meredith's house, and once we found out Jimmy got the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, it was official! The weekend before the holiday the weather was warm and very nice, and that Monday afternoon the boys and I spent a couple hours at a nearby park (jacket-less). I was therefore pretty surprised to find out on Monday night that a snowstorm was coming through the northeast early Wednesday morning. Thankfully Jimmy was able to get off around lunchtime on Tuesday, and we headed out by 3 PM. The boys did really well, Charlie stayed dry and waited to use the restroom (despite the fact that he had on a diaper!), and the traffic on 95 was (mostly) tolerable. Unfortunately we didn't pull in until 3:45 AM, but fortunately we beat the snow by a couple of hours. The next day we took it easy (except for Mark, who had to go to work...), let the kids play, and stayed in our jammies ALL day. I can't remember the last time I did that!

The kids playing play doh.

In the fun playroom, sitting on the tool bench.

Henry and Cal getting their nebulizer treatments together, ha! You can see the snow through the break in the curtains!!

Sweet cousins!

Tickling!

The giant pillow pile- great indoor activity to get some preschooler energy out!!

Wii dancing (or in Henry's case, trying too... Darla and Cal had some moves, though!)

Relaxing!

Cal had warmed up to me by this time and let me snuggle with him!

With all the kids!

The next morning the kids went out in the snow while the big lunch was being finished. The boys had never really played in snow before, since, well.... we live in NC. We all know it basically just gets slushy and gross and in my opinion isn't really worth the work to go outside. But it was fun to try it out in CT, and Charlie fulfilled a childhood wish of wanting to make a snowman.

Pretty house! It was my second time to CT, but my first time to see this home. I love how it feels like it's in the country when you're there but is just a couple minutes from town.

Henry was not impressed with the snow. He didn't even want to kick a ball around in it...

I liked the snow, though!

Lookin' like a puffy marshmallow!

Charlie bringing the fedora hat for the snowman.

Cal and Mark working hard!

Still disinterested. He cracked me up! (and also ended up going in early)

Putting his face on!

Meredith took a break from all her preparations and came out to take some pictures. I loved the apron look! :)

Finishing touches.

Group picture! I can't believe every child's face is turned in the direction of the camera.

Charlie doing his thing a while later.

The beautiful Thanksgiving table! The Adamses' friends Val and Armel came for lunch, and it was fun to meet them and their daughters.

Carving the turkey. Jimmy is still talking about how good it was...

The kids' table!

The after-lunch craft that allowed the adults more time to talk during lunch!

What do you do when the girls dress up in their dance and princess costumes? Dress up like Pooh, of course!

Skyping with Sallie, Dennis, Mom, Dad, and Daniel in VA. The sang some songs for them!

The girls!

Sister-cousins : )

Daddy and Charlie

Mommy and Henry

The day after Thanksgiving we traded dates with Mark and Meredith... we both went to see a movie while the other couple watched the kids. It was fun! Jimmy and I also checked out a local Mom & Pop pizza place that was really good. On Saturday Meredith worked half a day, and I went into Rye with her to the library while the guys sledded with the kids and entertained them at the house. I enjoyed seeing where Merph works, read in the sitting area, had some hot chocolate, walked around downtown Rye (and bought an insanely delicious petit four at the general store!), and then went with her afterwards for dinner at Le Pain Quotidien. We left on Sunday morning and had a pretty uneventful and smooth trip back, getting back this time around 1 instead of nearly 4 AM! We were very thankful for the time we got to spend with family and for a safe trip!