Monday, December 17, 2012

A time for family

This weekend was time for family. A quite weekend at home to be thankful that our kids came home safe from school on Friday, it's a sad time in our country that was not the case for 20 kids that are Katherine's age. I cried hearing the news, I must admit, I am much more sensitive to these stories since becoming a parent, becoming a parent that quite often has to hear of children dying a young age, becoming a parent that struggles with her son's own chances of mortality. As a family, we fight hard to make sure Colin lives and is thriving, it hurts to see someone take that chance away from any child. It's not fair that the decision of that child to live or die is at the hands of a stranger.

I shielded the news from Katherine; I want her to remain innocent for however long she can. She has had to struggle with issues most kids her age have not, she is so sensitive to death that I thought best to let her live in the happy world she knows. I am aware though she might hear the news from others and I will have to explain. I didn't want to send her off to school today worried about dying, worried about guns, I just want her to worry about what Santa is bringing her for Christmas. I want her to be excited that today was super hero day at school not if she is protected from the bad guys for real.I wanted her to be excited about turning in her Santa project that we made over the weekend. I want her to remain a 6 year old.

So Friday night we let the kids stay up a little later, so we could play longer. Gave extra kisses and hugs and said "I love you" even more. I prayed for the families that lost their little ones and the families of the adults who tried to save them as well. Saturday all four of us wrapped Christmas presents together, we sang Christmas carols, watched a Christmas movie, even did a little Christmas shopping. Sunday we made "castles" out of blankets, we got bugs with our new bug catcher, we sang more Christmas carols, and watched another Christmas movie. We even made our annual Gingerbread house, which due to my lack of great construction skills, fell apart.. but the kids enjoyed it even more because now it's wasn't just a decoration, it was a treat to be EATEN!

This weekend was to heal my soul and heart that was hurting. It was a time to go back to the basics as a family and just enjoy each others company. To be happy in the blessing that we have each other. Our country is morning the 20 kids that lost their lives while learning in a place that they should feel safe. I took this weekend to rejoice in my kids and feel pain for those who are not able to do the same. This weekend was time for my family and time for us to spend getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Naughty elf got into the wrapping paper, too bad he didn't wrap the presents for us
Katherine's Santa project. She wanted him to have a dress, I questioned if she was sure and she said "yes like a kilt". Me working for a Scottish company has had some influence on her.
Katherine proud of the bug they caught. They love their new toy, it's like a bug vacuum suction gun
Looking for more bugs
Mom look at this one
Playing in our castle, I got stuck in there
Our elf had a date night with Barbie
Gingerbread house
Oh no, it fell over, oh well, let's eat it.
Katherine for Super Hero day.. LOVE her Girl Power Superhero shirt.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year... It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. everywhere you go. Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells. Jingle all the way Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh. And my favorite.. Fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices! Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born! Oh, night divine, oh, night, oh, night divine! 

Yeah..It's Christmas time..LOVE this time of year. I love everything to do with Christmas and teaching my children the TRUE meaning and not just about Santa and toys. I love Christmas music, Christmas gatherings, Christmas cookies, Christmas movies (my favorite is It's a Wonderful Life), and it is a great time to reflect all that we are thankful for, and to give thanks and celebrate the birth of our savior.

We started a new Christmas tradition this year (yes I jumped on the bandwagon) of our very own Elf on the Shelf. His dame is Herald, Katherine named him after Hark the Herald Angels sing. It has been so fun to watch them wake up in the morning and their excitement to find where Herald is and if he did something naughty at night. I barely have to wake Katherine up for school anymore.. she comes running down the stairs.

We are looking forward to another family tradition we started last year, baking Christmas cookies and taking them up to Texas Children's Hospital. There are a lot of families who are spending the holiday away from home and it's the least we can do to spread some Christmas cheer to them. Who knows, one day we might have to spend the holidays in a hospital, so we count our blessings while we can and spread cheer and hope to others. One lady last year teared up when I told her that we had Christmas cookies for her, she was waiting for her daughter to get out of open heart surgery.

This weekend was packed with celebrations. Our friends form Fort Worth came down Friday and we had people over, the kids loved playing with all their friends and the adults had fun.. maybe too much fun as it didn't end until 1:30am :) The next day we went to take pictures with Santa. That night the kids went and spent the night at Matt' s parents while we went to my company's annual Christmas party. We had lots of fun AND I won a $250 spa gift card.. YEAH I NEED THAT!!!
Pictures with Santa.. yes they have for the most part been good this year :)
The "official" Santa picture (well a picture of a picture)
We had our friends from Fort Worth in town, so here are all the kids with Santa. Keira, Katherine, Colin, and Liam.
Decorating the tree
Our elf Herald has been lots of fun, sometimes he's naughty like making a "snow angel" out of marshmallows, sharing some chips with the snowman while making a mess, or just hanging round the house
The house all decked out with Christmas lights
Me on the way to my company's annual Christmas party
All the kids Friday night.. except Kannon wouldn't get in the picture, he was too busy playing!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Break - Part 2.. A wonderful Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for AND a weekend family trip to Austin to go hiking

Okay the continuation of our busy but amazing Thanksgiving break. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Matt's parents house. This year, as always, we have been so blessed and so so many things to be thankful for. I am thankful for Katherine, Colin, Matt, our very supportive families, a group of friends that we have fun with but can also rely on, a career for a great company, Texas Children's hospital, the support from our heart family network, a beautiful home, fun family trips, time spent cherishing my loved ones, oh and not to forget.. A great season for my Aggies!! 
I did learn that turkey has the opposite effect on my kids. they were HYPER after we ate or maybe it was all the ore balls I made and they seemed to LOVE! 

Our two turkeys on Thanksgiving

Our 2 daughters :)
Katherine and her cousin Copper, he is 2 months and is almost bigger than her
Colin flexing, showing us his muscles
Yummy.. Oreo balls

Friday morning we got up early.. not to shop on Black Friday, but to meet my family up pin Austin for the weekend for hiking, BBQ'ing, and quality family time. This make our 3rd trip to Austin this fall, it is such a pretty place to be, so may pretty things. Though after this trip, we are taking a little break, I figured in 6 months, we did 8 road trips.. ready for some down time!

Colin wanted to swim so bad, convinced him it was way too cold!
Katherine and Kannon ready to go exploring

So the fun part of the day was putting sticks in the water

Daddy helping Colin over the water
Love this picture!
What a pretty hike

Katherine named this "Katherine's fall"

The boys just had to climb this
More waterfalls and double at that

The larger waterfall of the day

Grandma and the grand kids

So sad to see lake home with no lake
Katherine climbing a tree with grandpa
Pretty girl

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Break Part 1 - Trip to Fort Worth, Rainforest, and a missing tooth

We have so much going on over the Thanksgiving break, I decided to blog about the first half now. I luckily had enough time off to take the whole week off with the kids. We started our holiday off with a trip to Fort Worth to go see our friends who moved up there this summer (it's a 4.5 hr drive, but the kids did pretty good on the long trip). We had an action packed two days. We arrived Friday night and got to hang out and visit, while the kids went crazy playing. 

Saturday we got up and went to the Fort Worth zoo, it is so pretty and BIG. It took us 4.5 hours to go through most of it, some of it we had to skip through. Katherine loved the exhibit where we got to feed the birds. Colin loved the alligators the most. I think it was a big success! After the zoo, we went to the Fort Worth stockyards to see the cattle drive and do some shopping and some dancing to the live country band playing. 

Sunday we went to Legoland, Katherine LOVED it, Colin was so so on it. I think some of the rides he was just not sure about. BUT he loved racing the Lego cars down the ramp. Katherine loved the 4D movie, singing Karaoke, and DRIVING the Lego cars. After Legoland, we took the kids to Build-AB ear for the Christmas ones (expect Liam who wanted a camo bear). We had such a good visit,  we miss the Madl family very much, but we are lucky they let us come stay with them. After Build a bear, we had to take off for Houston, we grabbed a bite to eat, but I think Colin was so warn out, he didn't get a chance to eat it all. When he woke up hours later, he wanted he shake.. oooppps.. mommy drank it! I think that means it was a very successful trip, Colin had sooo much fun, he just plain passed out!

Yesterday we had a great day at Moody Gardens in Galveston. We went through the rain forest and the aquarium. We were excited that Aunt Lara and Kannon could join us for a fun filled day. We had so much fun that Katherine did not even notice when her tooth fell out, so she wrote the tooth fairy a note and drew a picture about how she lost her tooth, no worry, the tooth fairy still left her money! Colin LOVED the sharks and the big drum. Katherine loved watching the bats eat their fruit and getting to get real close to the monkey. We were lucky to also meet up with an old friend of mine and have a nice visit. It was such a GREAT day. So far we have had a blast for our Thanksgiving break.. but more to COME! We have Thanksgiving at Matt's parents house then off to Austin for a few days to see my family for the holiday.. so another blog post to come!!