Friday, December 31, 2010


We took the kids to the zoo this week. It was a huge hit, especially with Lexi. She hasn't ever seen any live animals besides Toro and the various neighborhood dogs. She was wide eyed the whole time. She kept saying, "I more" as in I want to see more animals. I think that she has found her new favorite place!
This was really cool! This peacock opened it's feathers for us twice. I am sure it felt threatened, but it was beautiful.
Lexi Lulu havin' a ball at the zoo!

The kiddos in the Mayan section. Lexi is intrigued with T Jay's hold on Summer

Cleopatra and our little flutist.

We will be back to the zoo many times over the year!

Christmas Morning

Santa made a little visit to our house on Christmas Eve! T. Jay was so excited that he woke up at 4:20, wanting to go down stairs. He was told to lay down with Jess for a while longer. After flopping around for a while, he was put up to the computer to play it muted so that we could get a few more winks. Matthew joined him at 4:30 and then they woke Summer up at 4:50! They counted down to 5am like the Times Square ball was dropping! Every time the clock would flip over a number they would all cheer, "It's 4:51!" "It's 4:52!" "It's 4:53!" It's 4:54!" and so on. Once Summer even said, "I went to the bathroom and the clock said 4:57 and now it says 4:58!!" The cheers and clapping at the clock striking 5 am could be heard for miles, I am sure. The joys of Christmas Morning!!
Lexi got a new baby doll with a cradle. She is such a little Mommy.

T Jay got a real bow with arrows and a target to shoot at.

Matthew got a Leapster video game system and Summer received her beloved pillow pet and a pretend school set. She is all set to play school for hours and hours.
The destruction! It took 2 days to get everything cleaned up and put away. Although, Summer took all of her things up to her room right after we were finished and arranged them on her dresser. Loved seeing that! It was a great morning, even if it started at 5 am!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve

We had the Missionaries over for Christmas Eve dinner. We had our traditional Cornish hens with mashed potatoes, veggies and other sides. Since the Elders are so far from home during the holidays, I wanted to bring a little piece of home here. I asked them what dishes they traditionally had at home for Christmas. For one of them, it was a salad that his Mom makes, and the other, it was Christopsomo. (Greek Christmas bread) A little e-mailing with their mothers and I had several recipes that hopefully brought them a little Christmas cheer. For the record, this bread is really yummy and I will definitely be making it again.

Our Manger scene with a run away Mary and Joseph patiently awaiting her return.

The Wiseman and the Angel join the scene. It was fun hearing the children tell the story of Jesus' birth.
The Elders watching the show.

The children always receive new PJ's on Christmas Eve. Since they always know what's coming, we send them on a scavenger hunt to find them. I tried to throw them off a little by putting all of the presents in one big box!

The Christmas Elf stopped by for a visit to "warn them" (Matthew's words) to go to bed. He always brings candy canes. This year the candy canes exploded into our house. Lexi may be scarred for life and I am sure that Matthew has issues with all Elf/Leprechaun people. It was really funny and exciting to the older half of our family, but the little ones had to be comforted a bit! They did race off to bed. It's really too bad that this little Elf couldn't visit every night. Bed time would be a snap.
The kiddos all ready for bed in their new jammies. Ho Ho Ho! Cookies to put out, reindeer to feed and then it's off to bed for these little dreamers...

A Visit to St. Nick

It's a lot of work getting 4 kids to look at the camera and smile. The best we could do was a serious sweet face on Matthew and a smile for the rest.
All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth, her two front teeth, see her two front teeth...

See what I mean, impossible to get a photo of everyone smiling!

3 out of 4 isn't bad!

We had a fun Christmas-y morning. The kids were engulfed in the magic of Christmas! I must say, I was too! Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cookie Decorating

I need to take a few steps backward and post some of our Christmas break fun. We hosted a cookie decorating party with our friends and neighbors. It was great fun and in danger of becoming an annual thing!
Hard at work creating their masterpieces!
Matthew, wild eyed at all of the sugary options for his cookies. Not one of his little beauties made it two minutes, much less the Santa plate!

Little cookie decorators.

Lexi ate as much frosting with sprinkles as she could, and then decided to pass time playing!
The work station.

Lexi has the sugar sprinkle measles on the bottom of her feet! I'm surprised she tolerated any going to waste!
We did have a ton of fun! Thanks to all our friends who came and made it a fun afternoon. For the record, only Summer's cookies made it to the Santa plate.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Warning! Ahead lies a million pictures! If your name isn't Grandma, Grammy or Aunt someone, you might want to skip this entirely! Proceed with caution!
We went to Pensacola to meet up with two of my brothers and my Aunt for Thanksgiving. It's about a 10 hour drive, so we thought we would get a head start and drive half way. This is usually a great idea. This time, not so much. I should have known what kind of night this would be at the hotel by the way we went in swinging from the rafters, but alas, I always was naive!
On Thanksgiving day, we rushed over to Aunt Sweetie Pie's house for an emergency belly examination. T Jay was writhing in pain for some reason that could not be determined by the parents. Luckily for us, our hostess is also a nurse! Said belly problem was cured by a nap, go figure! My kiddos with cousin Katelyn and Scott.
My younger brother Kevin and his wife, who met us here from MO.
Aunt Sweetie Pie gave all of the kids their own stemware! A sensational hit! Does Matthew really look like he can be responsible for a glass? Not to me, but Aunt Sweetie Pie delivered. I can gladly report that no glasses were broken in the making of this Thanksgiving!
Little Lulu's shirt said, "Everyone is thankful for me!" We sure are Dolly!
One of the very few photos with me in it. I am usually the photographer. Matthew is responsible for this rare photo! JK!
After dinner, Aunt Sweetie Pie took the kids outside to pick pecans. They had a great time. When the picking fun was over, we raked leaves and took turns jumping into them. T Jay poised and ready for another jump into the leaves.
We went to the Airplane museum at NAS Pensacola. A very fun place! The kids had a great time running around this play area and you know how I love museums!
Lexi and Avey, little cuties!
Someone should really tell them that they are about to be eaten.
Matthew with a very large piece of gun machinery! Any one else see the problem with that? Let's hope the people who neutered this for the museum knew what they were doing!
My favorite section of the museum! It was set up like a town in WW II! That's one of my favorite time periods!

My Maternal Grandmother "Granny" is buried at FT Barancus cemetery the at the air station. We stopped by for a visit. The conversation that followed was priceless. Questions like, "Why is she dead? and "Why did they put her in the ground? and Will I get buried? and so on and so forth. Matthew being head curious cat, of course!
The Fort! Very interesting structure. The kids loved running all over this! I love visiting a place that is made up completely of stone of some sort! The likelihood of breaking something here was low. I like those odds. The cousins in one of the rooms in the fort. Probably a magazine. All the rooms in forts seem to be magazines!
Cute little girlies with us.
Matthew doing what he does best! (Climbing for those of you less familiar with our monkey.)
Scott and Matthew

Cousins. It was extraordinarily cold for a FL day. I was not prepared. That is so unlike me. I always have jackets in my car, ready to go for the opportunity to get to wear them! Luckily, Kevin had extra jackets in his car.
The lighthouse.
Dad and the kiddos at the top.
I stayed at the bottom with the little girls. I think most people thought they were all mine! I got some priceless looks. Several foreigners gave me some very confused looks!
Uncle Kenny had a real bow and arrow that T Jay took a strong liking to. I bet you'll never guess what's on his Christmas list. Lucky me!
A photo with Kenny in it! Kenny did a fish fry for me to celebrate my 34th birthday. It was so yummy. His wife Katherine made a divine chocolate cake! I'm not sure why I don't have a photo of her with it, but I should. Did anyone else get one?
Kevin and Aunt Sweetie Pie.
Summer and Katelyn. Matthew begs me to take him to Katelyn's house all of the time. Cries for it too, at times. He loves Katelyn

Aunt Sweetie Pie, Kevin and me.

Thanks for an amazing visit, Kenny and Katherine! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!