Sunday, December 25, 2011

the joy of Christmas Day

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, Andy and I gave the boys a present-a new Wii game. This game comes with little people that you put on a "portal" and then they show up in the game. They were pretty happy and it gave me the chance to practice with our new camera.

Cale was so sweet.  That night he told me that in his prayer he prayed that Santa would bring him more of the little people.  How happy was he in the morning to find that Santa left each of them one under the little tree in their bedroom?

Even Ewan played a little bit.

Of course, I had to get a picture of Kella in her new jammies for Christmas.

Apparently, Andy was practicing with the camera, too.  Carina enjoyed Christmas Eve by laying in her favorite chair.

the tree with all the presents.  Some lucky kiddos woke up the next morning to open presents.

and then the Shaffers got together

When we took our quick trip to Illinois, Chris and Kim were nice enough to let us crash at their house. We always look forward to getting to see them and the boys absolutely love getting to see their cousins.  Friday morning, we exchanged our presents.
I think all the kids have DSs now, except for Liam and Kella.

The boys got new games :-)

Ewan got a huge hand.  He wore it for part of the car ride home that day, too.  He had fun running around pretending to be part robot.

had to get in a little bit of Just Dance.  Cale loved having someone to "compete" against and Liam just liked dancing.  Liam likes all the songs, but likes to start out with Tik Tok by Ke$ha.

I just like snapping photos like these :-)

the moms are always left out of pictures-we needed one of us!

It was great to see them, too.  We could have easily stayed longer, but they were headed to Kim's family and we wanted to get back home that night.  Wish we lived closer to them, too.  The boys are already asking when we will see them again.

the Spielmans got together...

On Thursday, we loaded up the car for an overnight trip to Illinois. We were able to get together at Jim and Courtney's house for dinner and to exchange gifts. It was awesome and crazy seeing everyone. The cousins enjoyed running around and being loud together.  All the cousins got lots of new books to read.  Grammy got a new photo of her with her grandkids.  Mostly, it was just great being able to see everyone and spend time all together-as short as that time was.
Grammy with the grandkids (back row: Cale, Abbie, Jacob, Marcus and Kella,; front row: Maddie, Ewan, Liam and Xander)

a picture right before the presents were opened and the craziness started

Liam unwrapped his present to find a box.  He was very excited and thought it was great to jump on.  "I jump so high!", he kept saying.  He never did open the box.  Luckily, it had a shirt and gloves in there-nothing breakable.

Kella got held by lots of people...Aunt Courtney

...Aunt Bitsy...

...and Lanny...

...the men got together...(Andy, Eric and Jim)

...Ewan and Xander played together...Best conversation of their playtime was overheard by my sister.  Ewan and Xander were sword fighting and Ewan looked at Xander and said "Do you speak spanish?".  Xander said "Yeah!" (he does not)  Then they both took off to fight in another room.

I love seeing my family and everytime we get together, I wish that we lived closer so we could see each other more often.  But, it was a great Christmas gift to be able to see them again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

everyone's favorite chair!

happy birthday to me!

Me and the boys and dessert.  Kella was sleeping.  Liam is still holding on to his balloon from haircuts that morning.

Saturday was my birthday! What a great day to be born!   I got to spend it with my favorite people-Andy and my kids.  I got to spend a little time by myself that morning while Andy took the kids to gymnastics and haircuts.  Did a little birthday shopping online and bought myself a nice, new camera (purple!).  Took the kids to the grocery store (can't get out of doing some stuff, even on my bday).  Went out to eat at the local, Mexican restaurant (I'm pretty sure we'll be welcomed back).  Came home, had sopapillas for my bday dessert and watched a new movie for us-Kung Fu Panda 2.  So nice.    My 34th year was busy, stressful sometimes and fun.  Curious to see what the next year holds!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kella's 6 month photos

Here is a link to Kella's 6 month photos.  She was a great baby, but made the photographer work hard to get that first smile.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

the final push towards Christmas break

Today is the end of a busy week and a busy first part of December.  I'm ready to be able to just sit around the house and not have to go to a sport practice, game, or boy scouts.  Here's a run down on the first part of December....

*basketball-after Cale's practice tonight (the Friday to start break), we will be off until Jan. 3rd.  They continue to improve and I'm pretty sure that Cale is carrying his team in scoring.  I haven't been to one of his games yet due to work, but I will be able to make most of the rest.  I see improvement with Marcus, too, from last year.  Another parent even said they thought he was getting better-which is really funny to me, because I can't tell if any of the other kids have improved, although there is the general improvement that being another year older brings.  Marcus had a double header last night.  Two games in a row on a school night-nice.  He was exhausted this morning, but managed to pull himself together for one more day of school.

*boy scouts-their Christmas party was on Wednesday.  Calling it organized chaos is charitable, to say the least.  This leader hung back and set up for one game.  I only have 2 kids in my group, so I only claimed a very small portion of the chaos.  They played a relay race game involving putting on oversized clothes (thank you to Andy for the loaners), they played some jumping game, did a craft and got awards.  The kids had fun and I'm pretty sure they just had cupcakes for dinner that night.

*preschool-their program was on Thursday night.  So, after watching Marcus's first BB game, I took Cale (along for the promise of dessert after the program), Ewan, Liam and Kella to church.  Liam DID NOT want to go to class and threw a tantrum of epic proportions.  I finally had to go get him to sit with me during the program.  He calmed down in time to go up on stage to sing with his class, which is nice because singing time is his favorite time at preschool.  There are a couple pictures of the kids on stage.  My camera is not awesome in low light, so you kind of have to look hard for the kids.
There's Ewan in the green.  He has on antlers, a red nose and a fluffy tail.  The look on his face when he walked into the auditorium was like, "I am slightly embarrassed to be dressed like this."

Ewan, again

Liam is the second one over in this picture.  It's hard to tell, but he did not want to wear his nice shirt, so he is sporting a blue tshirt with a yellow dragon on it that says "St. George Dragons".  He is also wearing an elf hat.  He did all the songs with the motions great.

Then, they got to meet Santa.  Cale asked who it was, really.  I said it was a Santa that reports back to the big guy.  Cale wasn't sold on that answer, so I told him to ask Santa.  He never did.  Marcus is starting to ask some questions, too.  But, so far, everyone is still a believer.

Liam had no problem climbing into Santa's lap

then Kella got a turn

and Cale

and here is Kella's new game-taking toys out of the bucket.  She loves it and we love that she is entertained.

I just need to get our Christmas cards out and finish some baking.  Then, Santa will be finishing up shopping for the little ones.  Busy, but fun times!

Friday, December 9, 2011

think I found a Christmas photo

It only took 6 shots, but I was able to get a photo of all five of  the kids together for a Christmas card.  I had big plans this year for a homemade card that involved thumbprints as Christmas lights, but I'm taking the easy way out and ordering photo cards again.  These two photos are the best of the pictures, and I think I'm going with the top one.  Cale was happy that he got to hold Kella and Ewan was satisfied that he also got a turn.  Marcus was so sweet by getting Liam to sit in his lap.  And, no one cried or complained while I kept taking pictures.  The hardest part was to get everyone to look at the camara, and smile. 
I think this is the one for the card

this one is cute, too.  Cale said, "look, I'm holding Kella's hand."

Of course, Ewan needed a photo of just him and his bestie :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Raingutter Regatta

The Boyscout activity this weekend was something call the Raingutter Regatta.  The boys each got a sailboat kit and had to build and decorate the boat to sail in a, you guessed it, rain gutter, propelled by their breaths.  So, we've been busy, and waited until the night before to make the boats.  The boys did a little bit of painting and then decorating with some decals.  The racing was not as easy as the building.  The boats are propelled by blowing into the sail at just the right point.  My boys, however, had a hard time mastering it.  But, they got tons of turns to try, since it seemed as if each boy raced every single other boy there-and those were just the prelims.  The top 2 from each den made it to the finals.  Cale made it since there were only 2 Tiger Cubs there.  Thank goodness he did, because he was having some serious non-sportsman-like conduct issues.  Neither he nor Marcus won any of their races, but Cale, as always, took it harder than Marcus (or at least externallized his emotions more).  Overall, I think they had fun and enjoyed being around their friends.  In the spring, we get another chance to race-with cars.

basketball season begins

Marcus and Cale's basketball season began last Thursday night.  Marcus's team, Wake Forest, was victorious over the other team, also named after an ACC team.  The score was pretty low-I think both teams had less than 20 points each, and there was a lot of kind of just tossing the ball toward the basket to see if it went in.  I'm so glad they have a running clock.  And, there was some rough fouling going on-not because the kids were mean, but because they were just running into, and over each other.  Marcus actually dribbled and shot the ball more this time.  His last coach played him as more of a post player and this coach didn't.  I'm not actually sure if the coach is playing any player as a certain position this year, it was hard to tell.

Cale played on Saturday at 8am.  I did not go to that game, but slept in since I had to work that night and knew that I wouldn't get a nap that afternoon.  Cale tried to shoot the ball a lot, and I think scored half of the teams total points.  They lost the game, though.  I guess the Indiana Hoosiers (Cale's team) just couldn't pull out a win against whatever the name of the other team was (another Big Ten team).  We have a few more games in December and then, games every week in January and February-busy times!

(Hope you enjoyed the video of Marcus in action.  For some reason, I can shoot a video with my phone and the lighting is fine, but if I try to take a picture, I can not get it bright enough, even with flash, go figure.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December 1st!

Kella's 6 months old!

Kella turned 6 months old on Tuesday, November 29th. She's getting so big! Enjoy these photos!
Her new stats are:  weight-18 pounds 1.5 ounces and height-27 1/4 inches.  She's in the 90th percentile for girls her age and hovers near to where her brothers were at about the same age.  As you can see, her new talent is sitting up!  She's pretty good at it and can last a while before rolling onto her side.  She's also working on transferring toys from hand to hand and "retrieving" toys that she's dropped-both good things accoring to our favorite doctor.  She's sleeps pretty well at night-most of the time.  And her nap schedule is becoming clearer every day.  In fact, the last two days, she has taken awesome naps!  That makes for a happier baby and momma!  She's also pretty into her environment.  The doctor was impressed with how she paid attention and said that was probably due to the fact that she has 4 brothers to watch at home.  She loves to be talked to!  You can make her smile by having a conversation with her.  She loves to tool around in her walker and play with toys.  Lots of the toys try to make their way to her mouth.  No teeth yet, but the way she chews sometimes, it should be soon.

I had been putting it off, but last Saturday, we finally fed Kella some rice cereal.  Of course, she took it great.  Probably because she was almost 6 mos old.  I mixed the cereal and Andy got to feed her.  She ate almost all of it.  Poor, starving girlie!

Of course, her "bestie", Ewan, had to have a turn feeding her, too.  He was pretty proud that he got to do it.

I know that Andy was thinking it was silly to take these pictures.  Too bad for him.

In honor of her 6 month birthday, Mother Nature gave us our first measurable snowfall for the season.  It had snowed once before this, but that was just a dusting.  This was a heavy, goopy, snowy mess.  We probably got a couple inches that afternoon and evening.  It all melted away the next day.  I tried to get a shot of some of it.  Maybe you can see it in the bottom left of the photo.  Otherwise, enjoy the view of some of our Christmas lights.  :-)  It should be a fun Christmas for Kella.  She's old enough to have some fun with opening presents and playing with wrapping paper.  Can't wait!