Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Day!

Wednesday the kids were overjoyed to wake up and discover that it had snowed enough during the night to produce a Snow Day! I didn't mind it that much either as I got to enjoy a morning of sleeping in, something I don't get to do that often. David worked from home so he took care of the kids' breakfast as well as getting them all bundled up to head out for some fun in the snow. By the time I made it out to take some pictures, Savannah had been out for several hours and was halfway frozen, thus the "I'm trying to smile when all I want to do is cry" look on her face.

Superdad David also built the kids a sled run so Xander had fun doing that.

Although Noah didn't spend that much time outside, he did enjoy digging for a bit.

After the massive snow storms we received last year, it's funny how 4-5 inches of snow doesn't seem like that much anymore. Savannah keeps saying that she hopes it snows again real soon; me - I'm content with the amount we got. When does spring start?!?! I'm done with the cold!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Goals 2011

The kids and I sat down at the start of the new year and discussed some of the goals that each of them would like to accomplish in 2011.


  1. Learn my ABC's
  2. Learn to write my first and last name
  3. Stop drinking out of a sippee
  4. Stop crying when I get mad
  5. Wear underwear without being asked


  1. Score 8 goals in soccer
  2. Memorize each monthly Primary scripture
  3. Read 5 books by myself
  4. Learn how to cook a soup and pizza
  5. Be better at sharing


  1. Do personal scripture reading twice a week
  2. Eat healthier snacks
  3. Be kinder to my brothers
  4. Finish reading all the Harry Potter books
  5. Study harder for school
  6. Earn 15 Keepers awards


  1. Start playing the piano again
  2. Read 100 books
  3. Start exercising
  4. Survive soccer camp
  5. Stick to our Total Money Makeover

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas Vacation

Christmas morning came and, although Santa did not come for my kids (he delivered our presents in Baltimore), he did leave some fun gifts for the cousins. Every year the kids gather at the top of the stairs before heading down to the family room!

McKenna got Monster High dolls which is what Savannah has been longing for since the summer. McKenna was so sweet to let Savannah pretty much monopolize her new dolls.

The kids did get to open some gifts from family...Savannah received a new outfit for her Felicity doll;

Xander, of course, got a new Star Wars guy;

and the most excited person of the morning was Noah - he received a Skeletor and Panthor from Grandma and Grandpa! As you can see, he was in heaven with his new gift.

We always have such a wonderful time staying with my parents and this visit we got to stay for nine days. They spoiled us, as usual, taking us to the Children's Museum, to lunch at Red Robin and then to the movie "Tangled", and babysat the kids one night so David and I could go out. We also hit the local Chuck E. Cheese for a few hours (my least favorite place in the whole world)

and then to the mall where they have this trampoline thing that the kids love to do.

New Year's Eve was a pretty low-key affair with most everyone in the house asleep by 11:00. Dad did get us Montgomery Inn for dinner which was YUMMY!!! The week flew by and now we just have to look forward to our next visit.
One final shot of all the cousins.

Although we hated to leave Cincinnati, there was a bright spot: the kids had presents waiting for them at home.
Initially the excitement was low because Santa did not deliver the gifts that they had been hoping for. But they got plenty of other wonderful things and I loved that they had bought gifts for each other.

When I handed Noah his gift from Xander, Noah exclaimed: "Xander, you got me a present? Thank you!" and ran over to Xander to give him a big hug, without even opening his gift.

Noah was excited about every gift he got and would say, "I've been dying for this" after he opened each one.

And then came the finale...the BIG gifts from Mom and Dad. We explained to the kids that we had contacted Santa and told him that this year we wanted to get them the big ticket items. The kids were thrilled! Noah got his Joker car, Xander got his remote control Star Wars tank,

and Savannah got her Monster High dolls.

Another wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Eve 2010

This year we spent the Christmas holiday with my family in Cincinnati. My neighbor who works for security at BWI had painted this horrific picture of what the airport would be like on Christmas Eve morning so obviously we were a little concerned about how the whole airport experience would go. However, although we planned for a nightmare by getting there just over 2 hours before our flight, we were greeted by emptiness - we checked right in at the sky cap and there was absolutely NO ONE in security so we breezed right through. We all enjoyed flying much better than driving; this might cause problems in the future when we go back to the road trip. We arrived in Cincinnati around 1:00 in the afternoon and were able to enjoy the rest of Christmas Eve with my parents as well as my sister Heidi and her family.

We always have the best Christmas Eve dinner - it's one of my favorite meals of the whole year! Jumbo shrimp cocktail, filet mignon, Caesar salad, rolls, my mom's famous cream corn, and plenty of martinellis to go around. This year Ryan added twice-baked potatoes to the menu and boy, were they delicious! I've been craving them ever since.

This year, for the first time ever, we performed the nativity rather than just reading it. My sister Heidi was given a script that included narration as well as the singing of carols. The kids did such a great job performing!
Savannah and McKenna as angels.

Mary riding the donkey (Ryan) into Bethlehem.

And yes, that's Noah playing Joseph dressed as Batman. We tried to outfit him in more appropriate attire for his role but he was insistent...and once Noah is set on something, you can see, he's dressed as Batman.

Due to a shortage of child actors, we hired David and Ryan to be the shepherds. They really got into their parts!

Joseph got a little bored with the whole thing.

Xander was our lone wise man and was so patient the whole time, waiting for his time to come on.

What a cast! We all teased Ryan about being our Jamaican shepherd.

Dad finished up the evening by reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Before heading off to bed, the kids braved the cold and snow outside to leave some food for Santa's reindeer.

A cousin moment - it's so fun to be together!