Monday, December 31, 2012

An Early Christmas Present

Several weeks ago, Abbey began gushing over a poster we saw describing the upcoming "Disney On Ice", "Brave...Merida...Mom, it's Merida! Look!".  We had just watched the movie, "Brave", and Merida is Abbey's new heroine. I explained to her what the advertisement was for, and immediately she started begging to go. A few weeks before Christmas, I didn't think it was wise to shell out the money for all of us to go to this show, so I told her that I didn't think we'd be able to go this year...maybe next.

A few days later when I got the mail, I had a letter from a friend of mine that works for a local radio station. I opened it, and low and behold, there were 4 complimentary passes to "Disney On Ice"!  My friend just thought that we might enjoy them. Abbey was ecstatic!

The day before the show, Abbey started running a fever. She had the illness which I was to get a week or so later. Her fever at times was as high as 104.7! On the day of the show, she wasn't fever free, but it was definitely cooler than the day before. So, we decided that she would sit between us, so as not to infect anyone else, and we would go.

Getting ready to begin

A bit weak eyed, because of a virus, but oh so happy to be here!
We saw Mickey, Minnie, et al, Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel and then, finally...


My two were enthralled throughout the whole show.

I'm grateful to my friend for giving us the tickets which allowed us to have a great family outing with very little expense!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An angel and a sheep

I love our neighborhood at Christmastime! We have some wonderful traditions. One of these traditions is the living nativity one family hosts in their front yard every year.

We celebrated with John's family in Winston Salem yesterday. Abbey begged to get back home in time to go to the nativity.

We made it in time to see the next to the last performance.

Our kids and a couple of friends watching

One neat aspect is that this family encourages anyone who desires to become part of the nativity. Abbey and Elijah wanted to be in the last one.

Abbey chose to be an angel and Elijah wanted to be a sheep.

The shepherd comforting the sheep.

It was quite cold outside and I could see them shivering. But both of them stayed still and "performed" for the whole 15 minute show.

These past two weeks haven't been full of Christmas cheer for me. Abbey had a flu-like illness and then I caught it. It really kicked my butt! I've felt awful and had zero energy to invest in any preparations. But, as I left, when they were done, I felt in the Christmas spirit for the first time this season!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A future bookworm is born (I hope)

I came into the den last week and found Abbey reading a new library book. Seriously, she really was reading and it was a book we had not read yet! She's been reading little three word books for some time and tries to sound out everything she sees. But here she was pulling it together.


She wasn't perfect, but for a kindergartner, I think it's pretty doggone good!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bashful Baby

Through the miracle of modern technology, John and I got to meet our granddaughter this weekend.  It is beyond amazing how we can peek into a momma's belly and see a baby. Not a blur, like when I was pregnant, where you tried to make out what was what, but a no doubt about it, bonafide picture of a baby!

We took Abbey and Elijah with us. To them, the biggest deal was that the baby was...gasp...naked!!! They couldn't believe that babies were born with no clothes on. Luckily the ultrasound was G rated, but we still had lots of discussions and giggles about her and other babies being born in the buff. So funny the way their mind works. They both giggled like they had been told a dirty joke.

After this, they were pretty sedate. It was like... "Ok, so that's her picture. Can I play with your i phone please?"

Layne, as she will be called, was quite bashful. She wasn't too keen about us peering in her baby cave.

No pictures, please! She seemed to be saying.

But her Momma began pushing and prodding and got the little girl a moving.

Sucking her arm...maybe.

A little smile!
Finally an unobstructed view.

I only know one thing...I can't wait to get this little bugger in my arms!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Warning...this box is protected!!

My kids, like countless others, love a cardboard box.

We had to replace my dryer drum, (under warranty, thank goodness), and I asked the repairman to leave the box.

Abbey and Elijah immediately went to work, making their paper house a home. I helped them create windows and doors. They decorated the outside with markers.

Abbey, in particular, paid very close attention to detail...right down to the security system for their humble abode.

If you look closely you can see the address--115987. Below that is the CPI logo, and below that is the word, "wornee"-her spelling of "warning".

I'm so glad to know they are properly protected!



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Turkey's not even digested well, and it's on to Christmas!

We usually decorate our Christmas tree a couple of weeks before Christmas. But this year, we decided that since Beth, Greg and Daniel would be with us, we'd do it Friday evening right after Thanksgiving. Beth hasn't decorated a tree with us in several years, and it was a first for Greg.

Amid Phil Keaggy Christmas music and hot chocolate and coffee, we went to decoratin'!

But, first we had to take away the electronics from our addicted techies.

For some unexplained reason, Abbey decided she wanted to be a cat??

My oldest and youngest girls.

Beth promptly scrubbed off the whiskers but left the hot chocolate mustache.

Grand dog Bella watched over the festivities.
Each took turns putting up ornaments with their pictures on them.

An awful picture of Daniel, but the only one I had. (He really was happy to be here, I promise!)

Greg's first ornament

Add caption
The finished masterpiece!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving with Al Borland

For Thanksgiving Day,  we went to my Mom and Dad's house, which is our usual Thanksgiving tradition. This year, Anna and Jamie went to his family. I certainly missed them, but I know that I have to share, and I'll get them on Christmas. 

We did have a special guest this year

Al Borland. (The guy who starred on Home Improvement with Tim Allen. Actually he was the character in the show, I don't know the actor's name.)

John took this of himself
Nah! Not really, it's just John, Jr with a beard. When Beth first saw him, she said, "Hello, Al Borland!" The name stuck and he was called Al all during the holiday. I really don't like beards, but like their Dad, both of my boys think they are wonderful. (Daniel was also sporting facial hair).

See the resemblance?

 Hmmm, maybe if John gained about 50 lbs and wore a flannel shirt?

We did all the usual Thanksgiving traditions...ate too much and enjoyed catching up with my brother and his family. An after dinner horse tournament was also a must.

Abbey was Beth's shadow the whole time she was home.

I don't have many pictures. I really didn't get a chance to go around and take any. John, Jr., aka Al, took all of these for me.

It was a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. We all got to focus on the things in life that really matter.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Chicken Day Eve"

As we started filling in our November calendar for school, I told Abbey that there was a holiday in this month. She guessed Christmas and Valentines Day. then I showed her the calendar marker with the picture of a turkey on it. She immediately blurted out, "It's Chicken Day?". So that's been mine and John's pet name for Thanksgiving...Chicken Day.

All four of us, who keep the home fires burning, have been anxiously awaiting the arrival home of the rest of our family. Finally the day arrived. Abbey and Elijah showed the excitement that we all felt.

John had to go to Wilmington to get Daniel, so the kids were allowed to stay up to see him.

It was hard to get them to settle down, especially since they knew that Beth and Greg were on their way!

Our New Yorkers had left the big city around dinner time. They came rolling in at 3:45 AM! I couldn't sleep I was so excited to see my eldest baby and her sweet hubby.

Abbey got up at her usual time. Needless to say, Beth was getting some well deserved rest. (Although, Greg had to get up and work a little bit. No rest for the weary.) Every five minutes I'd hear, in stereo, "When is Beth getting up? Can I go wake up Beth? I'm going to check to see if Beth is up?"

Finally Beth did get up and they had a sweet reunion.

One more had to arrive, and he showed up shortly after Beth woke up.

Once Anna got off of work, the WHOLE gang was here! It was gloriously loud and chaotic. I loved every minute of it!

We had a pre-Thanksgiving feast.
 John and I were besides ourselves with joy to have all of our kiddos under one roof!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tree lighting at North Hills

I'm not one to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving. We usually get our tree and decorate our house a couple of weeks before Christmas. But, this year, we're "taking a walk on the wild side"! Since our kids will all be here right after Thanksgiving, we're getting our tree on Friday, and we went to a tree lighting at a local shopping center last Saturday night.

We'd never been before, but it sounded like a lot of fun. So, we bundled up and set out to see what the fuss was all about.

It was really chilly, so that led to lots of snuggles.

When we got there, the first thing we found was the bouncy obstacle course, always a hit with my kids.

Abbey discovered a cow statue that she thought was absolutely gorgeous, and wanted to make sure I took her picture with this beautiful creature.

Can you figure out why she was so enamored with this bovine?

Then it was time for the tree lighting.

After the appropriate "ooos" and "ahhhs", we decided to take a break from the cold and get some coffee and hot chocolate from Starbucks.

While Abbey is an old pro, (one of her first words was "barbucks"), we found out that Elijah only will tolerate "cold chocolate".

His reaction to his first sip. Daddy saved the day and asked for some ice to cool down his drink.

 The highlight of the evening was the sledding hill. No kidding, they had trucked in some snow and set up a little sledding hill.

So much fun that we had to do it twice

We thought we had done it all and were ready to leave, when Elijah reminded me that I had promised he could ride the Christmas train.

It took us a while to find the line. The line was huge, it was going to be about an hour wait. We all wanted to leave, but our little conductor would not have it. (I had promised, after all).

He didn't mind at all waiting in line to ride a little train around a parking lot, while our fingers and toes were getting numb from the cold.

I tried to bribe cream, riding the train at the park, chewing gum...Nope! He wasn't cutting any deals, he wanted to ride that train.

So we waited, and waited and finally got on the train.

One happy camper. He even got to hold the glow-stick candle

The look on his face made it worth all the waiting, every second!

It really was quite a fun evening and did give me a little bit of Christmas cheer! So much that  I went home and started some online Christmas shopping.

My two really enjoyed themselves, and that was the best part!