Thursday, January 31, 2013

Year End Wrap Up: December Randoms

Trip to the Austin Zoo Sanctuary with Grandmommy & Granddad Martin


The kids were invited to a friend's birthday party at Pump It Up.  Will was a little small for a lot of the activities, but Claire was scrambling over everything.

Zoo visit & train ride

Christmas shopping and more at Bass Pro

So happy they are old enough for a Starbucks date - and a kids' hot chocolate!

Helping unwrap candy to make cookies for a cookie exchange

Trip to the Botanical Gardens with Nana - we spotted a reindeer while we were there!

Hanging out at their favorite playground

Christmas 2012 Part 3: Christmas at Home

The last of the Christmas posts!

For the first time since we were married, we were at home for Christmas Day.  We are so used to having a big, busy Christmas that I wasn't sure how we would spend the entire day, but it ended up being lovely.

My mom & dad spent Christmas Eve at our house, so Christmas morning we woke up, made coffee, got a small breakfast, and began our festivities with Robert reading the Christmas story from the Bible.  One of our kids was very into it, and other clearly was ready to get on to opening some presents.

The kids opened their stockings from Nana & Granddaddy, and then the unwrapping commenced.
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Nana & Granddaddy with their Wilderness Lodge mugs that we bought at Disney
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Another surprise gift from our trip - Cinderella's castle playset

Claire was so excited to get her Doctor Mommy Doll!  This was the one thing she mentioned every time she talked about her Christmas list.
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After all of the presents were unwrapped, we spent the rest of the morning playing and getting together a yummy chili lunch.  The kids played so happily and so well together!  They loved all their gifts, but the things that got the most of their attention were the castle, Will's new set of blocks, the doctor doll, a new set of animal figures, and Will's new Hess helicopter.

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Claire took such good care of her doll - it will give ask you if it has a fever, needs medicine, etc.  Claire was giving her a lot of attention, and then she came to me and said "Mommy, I've done everything she asked, but she just won't go to sleep!"  So we just turned her off - at least there is an easy solution to get a doll to sleep.  ;)

The kids took great naps and stayed in their pjs all day.  That evening we had a little birthday party for Jesus with cupcakes and candles.  It was a fun way to end a special Christmas.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Christmas 2012 Part 2: Donkey vs. Poinsettia

We drove back to San Antonio and made it home in time for the Christmas Eve service at our church.  This was the first year we've been in town for it, so we were excited to go.  Our church's service is fairly laid back and involves the children.  They had costumes available for the kids who wanted to participate in the live nativity.  Will picked out a donkey costume, and while Claire didn't want to wear a full costume, she did want an angel halo.

The Donkey
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We sang Christmas songs, and then Pastor Kirk began reading the Christmas story.  The children designated to be Mary & Joseph came up, and then as Kirk got to different parts of the story, the kids wearing the appropriate costumes (shepherd, lamb, donkey, cow, wise man, angel, etc.) were invited to come up.  Before Will went on stage, he was "helping" Kirk narrate the story.  Loudly.  "The WISE MEN, Mommy - they came!"  "The BRIGHT and MORNING STAR, Mommy."  Fortunately we were sitting near the back and mostly surrounded by people we knew, so they just laughed.

Then it was time for Will to go up.  He wasn't 100% sure about being on stage, so I stayed close by, but he was okay with being up there.

Claire went up shortly afterwards with the angels, and they were sitting quietly, until...Will accidentally hit the poinsettia in front of him with his mask.  A few dead leaves fell off, and he found that interesting.  So he hit it again.  More leaves fell off.  He started hitting it repeatedly, and it fell over.  Claire was looking at me with this "Mommy!  What do I do?" expression, and I was frantically gesturing at him to stop.  Someone on the front row jumped up and righted the poinsettia for him, but he just thought that meant to go at it again.  I was turning red and sweating, trying to figure out what to do, when our pastor noticed Will, laughed, and said something like "In case you were wondering if donkeys eat poinsettias, they do!"  He wasn't actually eating it, but close enough.  Glad that Kirk found it entertaining!  Will finally stopped beating up the poinsettia with his mask, looked around, and realized that so many kids had come up during the story that he didn't have a clear exit off the stage.  He got up on his knees, yelled "MOMMY!!!", and I took that as my cue to snatch him off the stage and head to our seats.  We made it through the rest of the service without further incidents.

Claire giving me the "What do I do?" look, and Will behind the demolished poinsettia.  Yes, I took photos.  :)
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The lesson learned:  2 years old is too young to participate in the live nativity.  Maybe next year will go more smoothly...

Although slightly embarrassing, it was a Christmas Eve service we will never forget!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas 2012 Part 1: DFW

We had a wonderful Christmas this year.  Our holiday started with a trip to Arlington the weekend before Christmas day.  We usually spend Christmas at Ma & Bob's house, but it worked out better this year for everyone to get together the Sunday before.  We drove up on Friday and went to visit Great Grandmommy & Great Granddaddy in Fort Worth on Saturday.  Carol, Jeremy & Grace went over, too, and the cousins had fun playing and being silly, as always.


That night the kids were revved up & really excited to open presents the next day.  It took several tries, but we finally got a photo of all 3 of them smiling for the camera.

Most of the pictures looked like this:

Grace loves to pose for photos.  Our two goofballs...not so much.  :)

Our Christmas celebration started out with stockings, which are always fun to open.  You never know what treats you will find, although you are almost always guaranteed something emblazoned with Obama/Biden from Mike & Lizzie, particularly in an election year!
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We all enjoyed our traditional Christmas breakfast (I always have at least 2 helpings of breakfast casserole) before opening the presents.  Claire & Will loved helping Ma pass out the gifts and were thrilled with everything they received.  We have such a generous family!
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Grace & Ma

After lunch & naps, we were able to spend some good family time together, playing games and picking lots and lots of pecans up in the yard.



Although Claire and Will might aggravate each other multiple times a day, they are close and love each other very much.  I'm thankful that I get lots of opportunities to witness how much they care for each other.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Holiday Recital 2012

The kids' school held their annual holiday recital on December 14th.  Will's class danced and sang to "Run Rudolph Run."  Will had a ball being up on stage with his friends.

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Claire's class performed to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."  She talked for days about having a partner  for their skit and loved their routine.  It was a little hard for me to realize this was the last year she would be up on that stage.
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Our little reindeer!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Year End Wrap Up: November Randoms

Will relaxing while enjoying his morning "smoovie".  He asks for one almost every morning.

Pretending to ride down a river at the museum

The kids really had fun playing with our Little People Nativity set this year.  Claire arranged them all like this and said "Everyone is looking at Baby Jesus!"

Year End Wrap Up: Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving this year was fun, busy, and full of family time.  Since my parents are in San Antonio now, we had Thanksgiving lunch at their house.  Claire had fun helping Granddaddy make dressing the night before and playing with their cousins, Kristen & Christopher.  After lunch, we drove to Austin to Grandmommy & Granddad Martin's house (naps in the car that day!) and enjoyed dinner with Martin's family.  We spent the night at home, and went back to Austin the next day to visit some more and continue the Thanksgiving food binge with lunch at the Salt Lick - soooo good!  Claire and Will went to town on their sausage - both their faces were covered in sauce.  True Texans!


Later that night we decorated our Christmas tree.  It was the first one we'd put up since before Will was born - I didn't feel like dealing with it his first Christmas, and the next year I was worried he'd pull it down on his head.  They loved helping decorate, especially this girl!



2012 Pro Photos

I've been meaning to post these for almost a month (since the time our Christmas cards went out).  In October, we had a photo session with Bend the Light Photography (who also took our 2011 family photos).  We met Jenn in Brackenridge Park.  The kids were really into having their picture taken for about the first 15 minutes (it was a little hit & miss after that) - plenty of time to get some good photos!

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