Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

We've had some very busy days but now all is quiet. The kiddos have tracked Santa's progress across the globe and they are now in bed, soon to be asleep. Here's some pics from our day (courtesy of our new camera)!

The kids participated in a Christmas pageant at church tonight. The boys were shepherds; my oldest was Mary and my younger daughter was an angel. This pic was taken as they were getting into costume.

Here's a pic of the boys as they headed to the front of the church on cue.

Here's the whole cast at the end of the pageant.

When it was over, they brought out a cupcake tree with cakes for Baby Jesus' birthday.

The kids really enjoyed the birthday cupcakes . . .

This is my nephew, Liam, thoroughly enjoying his sugar-load:

We always give the kids matching jammies on Christmas Eve. We gave a pair to my nephew too but he was too tired to pose for pictures. (Shortly after this photo was taken my sister and her family headed back to NJ to celebrate Christmas at home.)

Lastly, here is a picture of the milk, cookies, and carrots (for the reindeer) that the kids put out for Santa before they went up to bed.

A Merry Christmas to all and to all a good-night!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Slumber Party

Last night we had a Christmas party to attend. The party was held in a very old house (1700s) with lots of fireplaces and candles. Not exactly the kind of place for rambunctious little boys.

So, our favorite neighbors offered to keep the boys for the evening. It turned into a sleepover. The boys had a FABULOUS time. You can see some pics here, on the Kerper's blog. They got to eat a cookie while watching a dinosaur movie. They got to borrow Ry's jammies. They got to sleep with "spaceship flashlights". And then, this morning, even though Ryan has cereal at his house, they got to eat pancakes! They have been sooo excited all morning, talking non-stop about the sleepover.

I am so proud of them for being such big boys: not peeing in the bed, not waking up at night with scary dreams, and not missing mom and dad.

I asked them if they remembered their "pleases and thank yous" and my 5 year old said, "Uh. No. My brain kind of forgets about that stuff when I'm having fun."

I think this is probably the first of many, many sleepovers in the years to come.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Emma Joy

Emma should be named Emma Joy instead of Emma Jean. She brings us so much joy. It's been a long time since I've had a puppy, and the first time that my kids have had the chance to live with a puppy. It is sooo much fun (not the pooping in the house part, but pretty much everything else.)

Emma got her first official haircut the other day. She looks adorable. If only I had a camera I could share a picture with you! (We did order one online and hopefully it will arrive before Christmas.)

Emma seems to have a special bond with my 5 year old son. He really, really loves her. He takes time out of his day, at least 5 or 6 times a day, to go over to her and pet her, cuddle her, hug her, love her. He also includes her in his play; she is a sheep or a horse or a cow, (or a dog), depending on what he is pretending. He uses her leash as a lasso and she LOVES that. They play tug of war and fetch and I can tell she really loves him too because when he was sick a few weeks ago, I found them asleep on the couch and she was laying ON TOP OF HIM. Like she had to get as close as she could to make sure he was ok. And when I check on the kids before going to bed, I will sometimes find Emma cuddled next to him in his bed. It is so sweet that they love each other so much.

We had a day early in the week where it was about 64 degrees outside. (Of course it snowed the next day!) But I was so thrilled by the warm weather that I decided to take the kids to the park. (I'm pretty sure its the first time in 9 years of parenting that I took the kids to the park in December.) We took Emma with us. We had the park to ourselves so I let Emma off her leash and she was a CRAZY DOG!!! She chased the kids around and ran up on the play equipment with them. When they climbed the Very Tall Slide, she kept trying to run UP the slide to meet them at the top. She would get about half way up and then slide down backwards. After about 10 failed attempts, she decided to scale the steps of the slide, which she did quite successfully, and then she slid down the slide!!! The kids thought this was HILARIOUS. I think they had more fun watching Emma than they did playing.

She is a very special little dog and we are looking forward to her first Christmas with her. We bought her a stuffed squirrel that squeaks. It looks real, so I think it is going to be a hit as she is always chasing squirrels out of our yard.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baby Joy

I had an ultrasound today so we got to see the baby!!! Everything appears to be growing as it should. It is so amazing to see this little tiny person (11 ounces and about 16 cm) moving around, with a functioning heart and all the fingers, toes and vertebrae that grown-ups have!

In this picture, you can see the baby's profile. It looks like the baby has the same nose as my oldest daughter. But that doesn't meant the baby is a girl -- my nephew has the same nose.

The baby was exercising or practicing some kind of sport during the ultrasound because here he or she is, laying on his or her back, stretching legs overhead and blowing bubbles.

The official due date is May 8, 2009 so you will all have to stay-tuned to see if this is a boy or girl.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

PreK and Turkey Day

My 5 year old son is in PreK, otherwise known as the "Fives Class". We decided not to send him to kindergarten, even though he was old enough, because he just didn't seem developmentally ready. We were able to secure a spot in the 5s class at his preschool (nothing like waiting until the last minute!) and I could not be happier. He loves going to school, loves to learn, is developing confidence and reading-readiness skills. He is in a class of 13 kids (12 boys and only 1 girl!) If he were in kindergarten, he would have at least 20 kids in his class, so I think the PreK environment is much better for him at this point in time. It is so much fun to see him blossom. I love the 5s program, love his teacher and am really glad we made the decision not to send him to kindergarten this year.

Anyway, we just got his school pictures yesterday; preschool is on a different picture-taking schedule than the elementary school. What a handsome little guy!

He sure has changed a lot since last year.

As I mentioned in a previous post, our camera is broken. We will get a new one for Christmas. In the meantime, I have to rely on other people to take pictures and forward them to me. We spent Thanksgiving in New Jersey at my sister's house. The pictures below were taken (courtesy of my sister) on Thanksgiving Day. My 5 year old really, really, really wanted the turkey leg. I didn't think he would actually eat it, but he did! He LOVED acting like a pirate (or some other make-believe manly character) as he tore into the leg. He THOROUGHLY enjoyed the turkey (and the stuffing.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear Santa

I found a letter to Santa today. It was written by my oldest daughter:

November 28, 2008

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I would like anything you can get me. I would really like a make-up kit and a Wii. I would also like a spell checker but not a Franklin one please. I would also like a make-over. But my budget is $100. (PS: I really know that Santa is your mom and dad.) But I already know about the But I forgot my username and password. I'm not sure if I already have an account. Please send me an email at (my email address) or to (my mom's email address).

OK, so now we are done with the email stuff! Santa, can I have a lip balm in my stocking? Anyway, I believe in this Santa (the one on the internet) and I believe in Anyway, I know who Santa really is -- your mom and dad. You don't have to keep any secrets from me.

By the way, I am in fourth grade.

How cute is she?!