Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Three Bears

Many nights I look at the clock and it is only 6:00 PM- but I am exhausted! The kids and I eat dinner and then James usually begs for cookies. Some nights I don't have it in me to put up a fight, so he gets his way and then ends up looking like this:




With no hubby in sight to relieve me, I often pop the children into the tub. They can always use a good scrub and it doubles as a sort of play pen. Then, for the sake of a photo op, I pop little Andy into the tub. Bryson and I have decided that we pretty much put his life at risk every time we do this, but everyone seems to have fun!





And since the ratio is 1:3 (that is 1 human mother to 3 bear cubs) I cannot attend to these wild things all at the same time once they escape from the bath/crib. Therefore, some shenanigans often take place such as below:




 And then dad comes home- in the nick of time! He wrestles the bear cubs and then we put them to bed. And then I get up and do it all over again! 



Friday, January 20, 2012

Pre-Christmas Fun

I know that I am backtracking here, but we had such busy December (and who doesn't!?) that I never was able to post about our trip to the train display as well as Daniel's preschool Christmas program. 

Here are some of Daniel's buddies watching the display. The boys loved the trains and had a lot of fun just running around (because that is what 4 year old boys do- all day long).



James wondering why on Earth he can't just jump over the rail and play with the trains!


Daniel goofing off with Isaac Neal, Rowan, and Nolan


Daniel's preschool had the most wonderful Christmas program. They sang so many cute songs and had a birthday cake for Jesus at the end. Daniel is sporting the reindeer sweater my grandma gave him. He will probably kill me when he sees this picture later on in life, but I could not resist!

Here his teacher, Heidi Hadzima, is lighting the birthday cake. I don't think you can find a better preschool teacher than Heidi. She is amazing. And Daniel thinks so too. He asks me about once a week when she is going to come over for lunch and to play with him. He has also asked her when she is going to invite him over to her house.




Daniel with Gavin and Rowan

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trip to Allentown

The boys and I made a very spontaneous trip to visit Shannon, Kevin and their boys in Allentown, PA this past week. Shannon was such a gracious host to let us all stay with them, and she made the trip a really fun-packed couple of days. 
We made a trip to Ikea in NJ. It ended up being an expensive little outing for me, but I love Ikea and could not pass up on a few cool items for our home. The best part of the trip was seeing Bryson's cousin Rachel and her two adorable little girls.

My bro-in-law Taylor made a surprise trip from D.C. to see all his nephews. We decided one of the days that I was there to make a day trip to NYC. It was sunny and around 60 degrees- a perfect day in the city!
Look at all these boys!! Taylor was such a good sport to join this crazy group.

Shannon with chunky monkey Nathan

At the most southern part of the park there is a very cool padded playground. We let the boys play there for most of the day since the weather was so beautiful.




Daniel was so excited when I told him that this is the city where he was born! Central Park is a very special place for me because I remember taking Daniel here often when we lived in NYC.


This is not a great photo, but it is the only one I got with Katie Groberg in it (even though her eyes are closed!). She is another one of Bryson's cousins, and I was so excited that she spent the day with us. She lived (and still does) in the city while we were there and I just love her and her cute kids.


Outside the Natural History Museum. We took the boys there and they LOVED the dinosaurs. 
I love how these two are such good buddies.





The kids ran all round the exhibit until we left to go eat at Patsy's Pizza (one of my favs). I also got to see some of our best friends Scott and Marylynn Thomas and their daughter Zoe. It was such a great day and an awesome weekend with the Taylor family! Can't wait to go back soon :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

A very Disney Christmas

This year we went on a Disney cruise with my family for Christmas. It was such a wonderful week and the first time we have all taken a trip together since Nick left for his mission. The boat was decked bow to aft (front to back :) with Christmas decorations, lights, and Disney characters wearing festive outfits. We enjoyed great food, shows at night, weather, and company. It was a Christmas none of us will ever forget!











My poor mom got really sick while we were on the boat, but she was still such a trooper and managed to join us for the day at Castaway Cay - Disney's private island. 







Many of my photos are not in order, but the day before we boarded the boat we went to Disneyworld. 


















The afternoon we boarded the boat there was a big 'welcome party' on the deck. The kids had so much fun and we were so excited to finally be on the cruise!







Christmas morning we all woke up in our individual state rooms and opened up Santa gifts and stocking. We had a big breakfast together as a family and then the kids opened a few more gifts in my parent's room. 








My grandma bought ALL of us matching Disney pajamas with our names embroidered on them. They were quite a hit! I had people stopping us all day asking where we got them/


After we saw Santa, the kids got their faces painted.








One of the best parts of the cruise was getting dressed up at night and eating dinner as a family. 






so dapper!






I never seem to be able to get James to look at the camera, but this picture pretty much captures the essence of James' entire trip- running around barefoot, wet, smiling, with ice cream dripping down his entire body. 
Pure bliss.




Daniel was such a little fish. He especially liked this pool because they had a big screen TV where they played Disney movies. It does not get much better than that for Daniel. 


One of the nights they had a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' theme. Everything revolved around pirates- even the food. Later that night they had a big pirate dance party on the deck. 





My sweet little matey!



Daniel went to the kids club that night with his cousins Tommy and Lizzy and they made pirate pictures. He was so excited to show us his artwork.




I don't really want to admit this (haha!), but this guy is my bro-in-law. He will often sport a mullet at family events. But seriously - he had a sweet pirate costume!

me and my sisters :)

a very tired little pirate



This little baby boy loved the sun and all the love he got from his grandma, grandpa, and aunts and uncles. 








Key West














Every night our room attendant made these awesome towel creations on our bed. Too bad he never got any credit for them as Daniel insisted our 'Elf on the Shelf' made them each night!



We got to swim with dolphins at Cozumel- something I have wanted to do my whole life.