Sunday, January 24, 2016

part three of that whirl-wind: the kids are spoiled more

It's been a bit since we were in Illinois, but on our last day there, we met up with Grammy Pammy, Lanny, Aunt Bitsy, Maddie, Abbie, Jacob, Aunt Eileen and Aunt Claud at a restaurant for a few hours.  The kids got showered with more presents and eat whatever they wanted off a buffet.  It took some Tetris-like skills to get the kids and all their gifts from the visit packed into the car for the ride back home.  It was a great way to top off the visit to Illinois.  I really enjoyed traveling with the kids this time.  They pretty much didn't complain as long as they had snacks and drinks and some music or a video.  
Kella and her new Elsa doll.  Kinley mostly commandeered this toy-she must have gone to bed before I took this photo.


...and #sisterselfie

Kinley with the dolls she loves.  No one else could get close to the dolls without her freaking out.  

Lanny got some presents, too.

True love.

The dolls are taller than Kinners!

Liam loved his new shirt and had to put it on right away.

Elsa gloves that matched her outfit.

Cale got what he wanted:  poker chips and cashews

Ewan, excited for his new Star Wars peeps.

Many tears will be shed over the playing of this game.  Mostly, because everyone wants to be the winner.

Liam and his space pod. #MITbound

Ah, Monopoly.  The cause of much family strife.

Chillin with the ladies.

Now, we are back in the swing of things, and have been for a couple weeks.  I'm so glad we had the chance to travel to see everyone.  And, Andy enjoyed his time by himself, too.

Friday, January 15, 2016

whirl-wind Decatur

The week after Christmas, 7 of us ventured west to that land called Illinois.  We went for some family time (and there were some presents, too).  We left Andy home with the pets, our Christmas gift to him: silence.  Let me say, I really enjoyed travelling with the kids this time.  Having everyone a little older, especially Kinley, has made travelling much, much easier.  We stopped to get snacks before we headed out, and we only stopped once for a bathroom break.  Easy peasy.  We got to have a couple days with Andy's parents, brother and wife and kids.  The cousins hadn't seen each other in a while, so that was fun.  Even the little ones liked seeing their cousins.  I'm glad we got to go.

It's the classic cousin picture.  The only time they are all together and not moving.

We may have forced a board game on the cousins.  

My very favorite Christmas  decoration at Chris and Kim's house.  It's stupid that it makes me happy, but, it does.

We even got to spend New Year's Eve with everyone.  We stayed up till midnight, too.  And, went to bed right after the ball dropped.  Kella wowed everyone with her sense of style.

Liam snuggled down with Savannah and Marie.

And, the part that all the kids were waiting on-presents!

 I like to call this picture our New Year's Eve miracle:  all the cousins together and mostly looking at a camera.

Happy New Year!  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

the whirl-wind that was....Christmas 2015

First, just let me say that if play-doh is for little kids, shouldn't little kids be able to open the containers and dig the play-doh out on their own?  That's what the girlies are doing this morning as I try to snag some computer time before we decide whether or not we want to leave the house for the library this morning.  The fact that only 1/3 of us are dressed at this time does not point to success.  


Christmas came and went, as usual.  Santa started out strong, getting gifts a few at a time, starting in the middle of the year.  So much easier than trying to buy for 6 kids all at once.  Then, Santa hit a wall in the fall and had to power through to finish.  His helpers this year were definitely Amazon Prime and the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.  Santa was even out shopping on Christmas Eve.  A certain 12 year old was hard to shop for.

In the end, the kiddos were excited and happy with their gifts.  I call that a success.  

The stockings could not be hung once filled.  The kids woke up on Christmas morning, and before the parents could make it down the stairs, had already gotten their stockings and opened their stocking gifts.  I guess we trained them to be self-sufficient after several years of me working Christmas Eve and letting them open their stockings before I got home.  Also, Kella was weeping because she did not get a stuffed pony like Kinley (she got a stuffed flamingo which she had wanted forever).  And, Kinley was screaming every time someone got near her, looked at her , thought about her.  This was a pretty intense start to our morning, but we recovered and moved on.

I think I say this every year, but, this tree was one of the best we've had.  It held its needles great. And, extra bonus, no child or beast knocked over the tree this year. In fact, I think only one ornament was broken and it was a simple gold ball. 

Let the opening begin!


A telescope for our hard-to-buy-for son.  And, they got to use it that night to look at the moon.

Kinley and her new dolls.

The aftermath.

Santa got each of the boys a game.  We had some game-playing fun that day.

And, some lego fun.

Kella got her new Elsa dress.

Star Wars ships!

Liam and his furby.

I had to work that night, so I took the liberty of getting a couple pictures before I left.  

Another great year!