Monday, December 02, 2013

Holiday game-changer

This very long holiday weekend was the first major holiday since I've been married that we did not a) travel and spend the night somewhere or b) clean and cook like a madwoman because I was hosting overnight guests and large meals. It was a game-changer. We enjoyed Thanksgiving on both Thursday (at my Dad and Sue's) and Friday (and my Mom and Greg's), and we still got to do laundry and shop Black Friday deals and get the Christmas decorations up and also just relax. So great.

Katy came home from school on Monday and proclaimed that she needed to dress like a pilgrim for a PLAY on Tuesday. I love Katy's teacher but communication to parents is not her strength. We had Girl Scouts that night and Brian was having a man-date at the OSU basketball game until 10pm, so at 7:30 the next morning, I tied a piece of felt around her waist and looked up "paper pilgrim bonnet" on Google images. And here you go.

Katy started off Thanksgiving break with a big haircut - she decided she was tired of brushing out her long hair and wanted it short. I think it looks great and it's so much easier.

A big change this year in our daily routine: most of Katy's homework is online. It really is a neat program that saves teachers so much time in copying and collecting and grading, and it also goes at the students' pace and doesn't move on from a concept until she masters it. But it's different to allow her on the computer every day, because we try to limit screen time.

First Thanksgiving at Dad and Sue's. In addition to our family, we welcomed several of their friends whose families are not in town.

I'm realizing that the beginning of this post is quite Katy-centric, but I still want to share this picture of my dad and his friend Fred playing board games. Love it.

Anna did SO well - she napped during the big meal but visited with everyone before and after. She's a mama's girl, and it's a compliment if she's smiling in your arms.

Remember how I just mentioned limiting screen time? Well, part of grandparent spoiling includes allowing them to play games on their iPad. They think this is a real treat.

Aunt Mel does a little Black Friday strategizing. She ended up deciding there wasn't anything she needed that badly and left the deal-hunting to me. To each his own!

So happy to see my grandma.

Every time we take one of these family photos with the timer I end up laughing so hard I have tears running down my face.

After I shopped on Friday morning, we went to my mom's in the afternoon - have I mentioned that it is ONE MILE AWAY? I brought my casserole and my dessert and put the kids in the car without their coats. Game. Changing.
My cousin Abby meets Anna! She's a pro with babies.

If you happen to be reading this on December 3rd, could you say a prayer for my sweet Granny? She has been wearing this brace (even while she SLEEPS) since Father's Day. Can you imagine? She's going in for another scan to see if maybe she has healed enough to remove it, and the biggest prayer is to avoid surgery. She has managed to keep her spirits up and I love her so much and really pray that her neck is healing.  (Luke is sporting his cousin's too big coat in order to go outside, because as it turns out, I maybe shouldn't have been so hasty on the no-coat decision.)

Mom and Greg hosting their first Thanksgiving since 1999. It was delicious and cozy.

Abby's boys and my kids needed to burn off some energy, so out in the snow they went. We actually got about 3-4 inches two days before Thanksgiving, and my kids had even built a snowman and went sledding in the yard in their snowsuits - in November!

Greg's daughter Mary and Craig and Aunt Mel teaching the kids how to Etch a Sketch.

Luke and our fifth child at the moment
I have to mention Simba. Luke received him for Christmas a couple of years ago from his cousins, when I suggested that he would love hand-me-down stuffed animals as gifts (because we certainly don't need to purchase any more stuffed animals from stores, am I right? There are too many of them in the world already.) Simba has spent most nights in Luke's bed along with many other stuffed animals who make the cut, but didn't stand out as a favorite until a couple of weeks ago.

All of the sudden, he is carrying Simba everywhere, talking to him like he's another child, insisting that he has a seat at the dinner table, that he needs his own plate, that he misses Blankie, that he needs a hug/kiss/drink, etc. He "talks" for Simba in this high pitched voice. The best part is that if, for example, you want Luke to go to bed and he is resisting, you can pick up Simba and say in a high pitched voice, "Come on, Luke, I am tired and want to go to bed!" and off he goes. Simba is magic, I tell you.

Finally, we decorated for Christmas and each of the kids selected their ornament. I was going to skip the Hallmark Keepsake part of the tradition because it's so expensive, but when I took them to Kohl's, they still picked the Hallmark ones, and with the Kohl's discount they were much more reasonable.

Fancy Nancy for Katy. This series of books is fabulous, and she just started writing chapter books, which is perfect timing.

David has been really into Star Wars AND Legos lately, and he loves Yoda. This was perfect for him.

I just realized that each of my babies has a photo ornament for their first Christmas.

I debated ordering Simba online for Luke, but it wouldn't have had the correct year. He picked Rex the dinosaur from Toy Story, which is also appropriate - he loves Toy Story (you may recall he got Buzz Lightyear in 2012).
I hope your holiday season is off to a good start!

1 comment:

Weed said...

Katy's hair looks really cute. And I love the ornaments! I completely understand the Simba thing....Rebecca is the same way with her blanket, which she's named "Pinky." It's a talking blanket. It has feelings. She's obsessed. It's only allowed to stay in her bed because otherwise she'd be dragging it around everywhere she went.