Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And It Wouldn't Be a Holiday...

...with my side of the family without the requisite Family Photo Shoot...

Nora, Andy, Parker, and Lindy:

and Zane, John, Brandy, and Jack
My crew:
and again...
Momo and Pappy with all the kids:
Someday all these kids will be teenagers and will think it's terribly uncool to all spend the holidays together, but right now they are 9,7,5,4,3,2,1,and 4ish months old, and can't get enough cousin time!

Everyone together, and heavily photoshopped :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

White Christmas

Christmas morning at my parents' house, it started snowing and didn't stop for several hours.  We weren't expecting a white Christmas, but it was AWESOME!
And my kids, yet again, were dressed a little like homeless people.

Aidan in his grey sweats,

While little Cousin Nora looked like some sort of catalog model.

Seriously.  The owl hat is killing me.

Brandon and I, looking cold and happy:

And then there's this:
*sigh* I have no words.

Emmy was pretty enamored with the snow.  I'm pretty sure this was her first time to see snow.  Dane saw snow when he was a baby, but other than that, this was the first time for any of them to play outside in it.
I thoroughly embarrassed Brandon when I posted this picture on Facebook a few weeks ago:
Sorry, honey, but it's going on a wall somewhere when I get it printed out.
Just one more Christmas Photo Dump then I am D-O-N-E till next December!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Christmas Time Traditions

I am determined to blog about December and Christmas related fun happenings before I move on to more current events.  I WILL get caught up, I WILL get caught up.

It's just not Christmastime without a minimally-successful attempt at assembling a gingerbread house before the whole thing caves in on itself and we let the kids eat giant pieces of gingerbread and bad icing for a mid-morning snack.

Why are my children never appropriately dressed?  Harper is in her pajamas, Emerson is wearing a (sleeveless) 'church dress', Aidan's in a swearshirt, and Dane is topless with some sort of lanyard around his neck.  And Brandon is in running clothes.  Don't worry, he doesn't go around sleeveless in public.
She's so pretty...
Christmas this year was spent at my parents' house in the DFW area, and John and Lindy and their families spent quite a bit of time at the house over that week, too.  Pappy and Momo got the PlayDoh out with the kids...
(Harper, Pappy, Nora, and Zane)

Emerson, deep in concentration with super-cool PlayDoh tools that she doesn't have at her house:
And Harper, gleefully mixing all the colors together to make grey PlayDoh:
We also did our "World Vision Chrismas-ing" at Momo and Pappy's house this year.  For the past several years, we have gotten together with Santa, and decided to match whatever Santa spends on our kids at Christmas, with gifts purchased from World Vision (I think last year we actually did Heifer International.)  We give the kids a wad of cash, and let them go through the catalog, choosing which animals they would buy with their money to help others around the world to make a living for themselves.  Knowing that this is part of our Christmas tradition really helps us keep our focus on giving at this time of year.  It also serves as a reminder to Santa to not go too far overboard on Christmas 'stuff' that soon gets forgotten, since we are matching that spending.
This year, Zane and Jack joined with us, and the cousins had fun budgeting their money for animals and 'borrowing' back and forth to stretch their money a little farther.
Christmas morning with all of the little cousins together was really fun.  When we were driving up on Christmas Eve night, we let the kids unwrap one gift, a new set of pajamas for Christmas morning.  And then Christmas morning, we made them all sit on the stairs together so we could have photographic proof of their new pajamas.  
Jack was not thrilled with the whole "sitting on the stairs" portion of Christmas morning. And Parker's not in the picture because we didn't want her to roll down the stairs.  

The Christmas morning scene:

 The girls had a 'Dora and boots' Christmas, and the boys got new Nintendo DS's and Star Wars chairs.  
This is pretty much what the boys did for the remainder of Christmas break:
 Nora tried Emerson's new boots on for size:
 And the girls sported some dress up clothes and new hair accessories:
 And the annual 'Cousins on a Couch' picture, Chrismas Pajamas Edition:
 Part 2 of The Procrastinator's Christmas Wrap-Up coming soon!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Nine Year Old

Dear Dane Christopher,

I know you're thinking your mother doesn't love you, because it has taken me almost two months to blog about your ninth birthday.  I promise it's not true.  In my defense, I haven't even gotten around to blogging about Christmas yet.  You had a great ninth birthday, Dane-o.  As your birthday fell on a Saturday this year, the celebration started a couple of days earlier.  'The Hobbit' came to theaters that weekend, and your daddy took you to the midnight premier late on Thursday night.  Daddy and I decided to let you stay home from school that Friday as a special treat, instead of subjecting your teacher and classmates to a grumpy sleep-deprived boy the next morning.  Unbeknownst to us, you had told your entire school, including your teacher, that you "were skipping school Friday because I'm going to see the Hobbit with my dad".  Great.  We are the parents taking our then 8-year old to see a PG13 movie at midnight on a school night.  Your (awesome) teacher apparently replied to you, "The Hobbit was one of my favorite books that my dad used to read to me when I was younger" instead of reporting us to the truant officer.  That Thursday night, you went to bed promptly at 8pm, getting a short nap in before your excited Daddy woke you up at 10pm to go stand in line at the movie theater.  He said you stayed awake through the whole movie, and that the two of you had a great time.  Welcome to being a 9 year old, Dane.

When we started planning your birthday festivities about a month before, you decided that you would rather accept a wad of cash in lieu of a party with your friends.  So far, this is one of my favorite birthday traditions that we have started with you kids.  You got a few small gifts from us, including a Tim Tebow jersey (the hat wasn't one of your gifts.  The hat is what happened when your dad went to a garage sale)

and a book for all of your football cards,

then planned and plotted how exactly to spend your $100 in cold hard cash.  Your purchases?  Two football video games and this t-shirt:
This is SO a t-shirt your dad would have bought...

We took you to JAX for burgers for your birthday lunch, and you spent a couple of hours playing football at a friend's birthday party.  Ugly birthday cake was consumed for at least three meals that weekend. 

At nine-years old, Dane, we love getting glimpses of the young man you are growing into.  You are still obsessed with football, and can rattle off statistics of players who retired before you were born.  A great day for you includes backyard football with the neighbor boys on this field that your daddy put together (unbeknownst to me) one day while I was at work:

You love video games, and would play them 24/7 if that pesky "school" didn't get in the way.  You are only allowed to play them on weekends, so during the weeks you busy yourself with football and reading.  In fact, you read so much during the school day that they have allowed you three library books at a time, but you can only go to the library once a day.  Aidan Cooper is still your best friend in the whole world, whether you admit to it or not.
At some point in this last year, you decided to grow your hair long "like daddy", and it is driving your mother crazy right now.  It is VERY long, and I can't exactly convince you to cut it since your Daddy's hair cascades down his back like Jessica Simpson's.  You're at this magical age when your Daddy is your hero, and I couldn't convince you to be different than him if I tried.

So Happy, Happy (belated, yes) Birthday, Dane Christopher!  We love you so much and are so proud of you!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Latest Thanksgiving Post Ever

Last year, around November or so, the country as a whole celebrated Thanksgiving.  And now that I only vaguely remember it, and have only a handful of pictures from the weekend (none of which I took, I didn't take a SINGLE picture the whole time), it's as good a time as any to blog about it.  And let's face it, anytime I get to hold a sweet snuggly baby for a few days is a good holiday in my book.

The highlight of Emerson's Thanksgiving weekend was the abundance of aunts available for hairstyling. 
Aunt Val had this cool curling iron/hairbrush thing that spun around as you are curling your hair, and it raced to the top of Emerson's Christmas list.  Fortunately, she forgot about the cool hair thing (good thing, because it was out of Santa's price range) about a week later.

Emerson wasn't the only one who enjoyed hair styling over Thanksgiving. 

I never thought I would see the day when my daughters would fix their daddy's ponytail with their toy curling iron.

Food was cooked and eaten, football games were watched, friends visited.  Val and I got out and Black Friday shopped at 5am Friday morning like AMERICANS DO.  Not, like crazy people, at 5pm on Thanksgiving day.  I refuse to support that practice.  I will not Christmas shop on Thanksgiving day.  Too much overlapping of the holidays.  And while we're on the topic of Holiday Overlap, we do Thanksmas with Brandon's family the day after Thanksgiving, and exchange Christmas gifts with them then. 

Also known as "The Day Aidan Got the Yellow Shirt that He Has Worn 30 Times Since". 

And the matching hat that the Friday morning shoppers found and couldn't resist getting for the A-man.

(This might be a girl hat, please don't tell him.)

We had lots of fun cousin-time, taking adventure walks and enjoying sunny days playing football in the backyard, and, of course, playing Angry Birds
and Harper learned how to play piano while we were there.
Well, she played ON the piano, anyway.

We had a great time with family celebrating Thanksgiving!