Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jack and Santa

We went to Tree Town a few weeks ago to look for a Christmas tree and sit on their free, no wait Santa's lap.  Waiting in line at a mall to meet Santa wasn't something Brent and I really cared to do this year, because we were pretty sure Jack would have a reaction similar to this:

Clawing his way off the Big Guy's lap.  That's not the way to get good presents, Jack!  

So we tried it with me in the picture.  And apparently, I warmed right up to Santa.  Whoa, a little close there, Linds.  

What, you're trying to win me over with a bag of treats, Santa?

I don't think so.  


Snow Day!

We finally got some snow this Wednesday!

I'm ready!  

Walking in the snowsuit and boots proves difficult for me.  Mom, your Steve Urkel comment hasn't been funny for fifteen years.  Maybe you can help me up now, funny lady.        

I'll just sit here instead, thanks.

I can't say I'm enjoying this after my face plant in the snow.  


Sunday, December 16, 2012

In Loving Memory.

"Let the little children come to me... for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these... and He took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."
Mark 10:14 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Visit with the Kutschers

We spent a few more days after Thanksgiving with my cousin's family in Springfield.  Black Friday was spent   by eating a leisurely pancake breakfast, shopping at a respectable hour, getting a first haircut down in the record books, and playing reindeer games in our reindeer jammies.  The women folk all loaded up in Megan's Yukon to shop on Friday afternoon, and while we were a bit worried about having enough space for big purchases, it didn't end up being a problem.  A half-off cake pan at JoAnn's was probably our best score of the day.

Post-shopping reindeer games with Aunt Conni on the couch!

After shopping and eating Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch, we decided it was time to dive into this first haircut business.  He probably didn't really need it, but I wanted Conni to do the honors so we went ahead and trimmed up a few curls.  We made the hair a little less party in the back and stepped away from that line in the sand that is the difference between cute toddler curls and a mullet.  I think most of the cousins on my mom's side of the family had their first hair cut from Aunt Conni, and now Jack is on that list as well!  

He did well!  It was a quick, no-tears, pretty calm event.  I can only hope he always does that well.  If teethbrushing is any indication, things could still turn on us.  :)  

The fun continued on Friday evening with a trip to Springfield's ginormous sporting goods store, Scheels.  Inside the store is a ferris wheel, enormous fish tank above the registers (really, it's enormous - there was a diver inside cleaning it while we were there), and lots of interactive games upstairs.  It was very cool and Jack had a blast running up and down the aisles and inside the bowling alley while Grant and Landon waited for their game to start.  

Love this picture - Bay and Landon riding the ferris wheel and the rest of us looking on from below.  I think we were hoping the ride would stop soon because it was time to go home and eat Megan's deeelicious White Chicken Chili.  

But first, a quick pose on the bear lap outside the store.  Cousins!  Love these three little boys to pieces!

Friday night was also the evening to break out the matching reindeer jammies for those sweet boys.  We had high hopes of getting a picture of them together in front of the tree - a real framer, we hoped.  

We worked...

and worked....

and worked....

and worked at it....

until finally Aunt Lori saved the day and snapped this one with her iPhone if you can believe it.  

I think some of the outtakes are pretty good, too.  I know I'm biased, but man these are some cute kids.

Mom, Dad, and Rob headed home on Saturday morning and Lori and Bay had to leave that afternoon.  We spent another night with the Kutschers and got in some more cousin playing time, Brent got to try a famous D'Arcy's Pint horseshoe (which he says is one of the best things he's ever eaten), and we watched our first 2012 Christmas season viewing of our favorite cult classic, Christmas Vacation.

We left town on Sunday, but before we did we all went to the Festival of Trees at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  I had been there before (on the evening of the infamous cancelled Lady A concert), but failed to recognize how beautiful the grounds were and how nice the buildings are.  That is probably because of the suspected (by us) tornado rolling in that evening - no time to admire the grounds, just look for places to take cover and save our lives.  

Anyway, we took a mosey through the many decorated trees and rode on the train before parting ways with our very hospitable and very wonderful cousins.  Thank you so much for a great visit, Megan and Chad!  We hope to return the favor sometime soon!  

Please, no paparazzi.  


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 2012!

We spent Thanksgiving weekend with my cousin's family in Springfield, IL this year and my mom's side of the family all gathered at her house.  It was a change-up from our normal plans but definitely nice for us, the traveling band of gypsies.  We were able to fly into St. Louis, which is a shorter flight, and our drive to the final destination was much shorter as well.  I know you don't care about these boring details - but if you were the one wrasslin' Jack on the plane, you'd care.

And without further ado, here is the explosion of pictures from Thanksgiving Day:

MaMa and Bay, looking so gorgeous!  

Rob digging into the traditional Cheese Pile

Kissing Grandpa's scratchy face!

There's a shot of the shirt.  When you are a crazy mom and have a shirt made especially for one holiday, you will work at it a bit to get a respectable picture of it.  

Uncle Jeff, Grant, and MaMa

Digging for the best pieces of puppy chow

Turkey shirt didn't last long - it's jammie time for this little traveler!

The traditional camera shot with Michael's camera - not too shabby!  We're missing two full families in this shot, plus some of Lori's.  Maybe next year!  

Cousins on the couch.  


Friday, November 30, 2012

Little Turkey

Running around in the yard is so.funny!