Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kauai Vacation: Sun Dec 13 - Travel Day

Here is the scenario. It is travel day and we have a 9:30am flight from Houston to Honolulu. The goal was to leave the house at 6:30am. This means all the bags had to be packed and ready to go the night before so our children could be escorted from their beds to the car. The packing kept us up till midnight. My alarm went off at 5:15am (ugh.) I got the kids up at 6:00. Emily was so excited she jumped out of bed and said, "I'm not going to miss out on Hawaii!" Emily is not usually a morning person so this is big. David and Lia were pretty much half asleep. They cooperated but didn't really understand what was going on. As you can see, pulling out of our driveway, we were only 7 minutes late. I'm sure this was built into my husband's contingency plan.
Our flight was uneventful. 8 hours on a plane with a 6, 4, and a 2 year old is pretty much what we thought it would be... Emily, our super traveller, kept busy with all her new stuff. She had snacks, crayons, coloring sheets, paper dolls, a Mickey Mouse paint with water book, and a new Pippi Longstocking book. Throw in the Continental entertainment of music and movies... she was set. She entertained herself the whole time. We couldn't have been more proud.
David stayed busy but had some issues dropping his toys and crayons... luckily sister could help him most of the time as they had the two seats by the window. David liked looking at the real time map display so he could see where the plane was and get all the stats about how fast we were going, how much time left, etc... And he overcame his fear of the airplane bathroom on our last trip so all was pretty good in that department.
And Lia, on my lap went as well as it could. At some point she was screaming on the floor for about half an hour and I kicked myself for not packing lollipops for the inconsolable child. Oh well, such is life. We made it though. In Honolulu, there was a short layover for a flight to Lihue. My sweet and loving husband got me an espresso to wake me up.... and David in pure boy fashion rammed into me causing 'said espresso' to spill all over me. Lovely. I smelled like a coffee shop. Ahh.. memories.
At the airport, while Chris got the rental car, Emily found a Hawaiian red ginger flower to be put in her hair. So exciting. More adventures to come.

Merry Christmas, We're Home!!!

We must be one of the luckiest families around. We spent Christmas on the north shore of Kauai with my parents this year. As always, I will attempt to re-cap our vacation one day at a time till I finish. What a project! My Dad has many good photos on his computer since we took turns with the camera... I will have to go back and fill in once he cuts me a CD. For now, I'll share what I have. To get started... here is David enjoying Kee beach. The Na Pali coast line (in all its splendor) is in the background. Added bonus... very few tourists.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lighted Carriage Parade

Dinner and an Evening Out with Friends

We braved the cold and the drizzle to meet friends for dinner and see the lighted carriage parade at Town Center. The kids ate down at their end of the table and we were amused to see Emily and Travis with so much to say to each other. Emily was very hungry this morning at breakfast and told me... "Mommy, I didn't eat much last night because I was too busy visiting with Travis. He's so funny!"

The kids, especially the baby, loved seeing the horse drawn carriages, and even the parade of dogs at the end... the Dog Park club... who knew? Free glow sticks were disributed and Santa made his appearance in an old timey car so it was very fun for all.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Early Christmas with Nana and Grandpa

We exchanged gifts with my Mom and Dad early this year since we will all be travelling during the holidays. The kids were very happy with their new toys and books, we ate out at Cafe Adobe, and we watched the Longhorns win against Nebraska for the Big 12 Championship... though the game was too tense to be enjoyed according to my husband. ;-)

Our 1st Gingerbread House

I saw this gingerbread kit at Kroger and thought my kids might have fun with it. I helped them assemble the pieces to make the house and they did the decorating on their own... while consuming quite a bit of candy as well!

I think they were very proud!
Side view...

Kiddie pyramid.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent and we were ready for it this year! The kids were very excited to see the first purple candle of the Advent wreath lit at church. They were also very excited to light the first purple candle at home. I have learned over the past few years that the taper candles that are sold for advent wreaths do not last for 4 weeks of advent. We like to light the candle and let it burn as we eat dinner. One year I bought large scented candles... they worked great but the scent was a bit over powering! So this year, I bought plain white candles unscented candles and struggled with how I could make them purple and pink. Paint did not work... So, I bought some pink and purple ribbon and wrapped my candles. The ribbon stays in place because a small well placed nail (thank you Chris) holds beautifully.
Chris, as head of our family, said the blessing for our wreath. We said a short prayer and Emily sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel as the first candle was lit. And yes, I took a video to commemorate it...

Our Jesse Tree

We are doing the Advent Adventure from Holy Heroes this year.
Everyday during Advent, there are short videos to watch online and activities to teach us about our faith and ready our hearts for Christmas. Our Jesse Tree (Jesse is the 24 times Greatgrandfather of Jesus) is all ready to go. We will listen to scripture and make an ornament each day to decorate it.

My Girls...

I thought these were sweet pictures of my girls. I hope they continue to enjoy each other so much.

Thanksgiving Trip

For Thanksgiving, we planned to travel to Dallas and stay with my cousin, Tony. We had a bit of a delay as things don't always go as planned... Chris dropped the dog off at the kennel and happened to notice a very fast leak coming out of the radiator. He was able to get the car to the repair place by noon and they were able to fix it by 5:00. So we did leave on Wednesday, just a bit later than we had planned!

We arrived very late at Tony's house... I think it was 11:00. My Mom and Dad and my Aunt Linda and Uncle David were all up to greet us. Tony was very generous to give us the master so we could get David and Emily on a queen air mattress and Lia in her crib... all in the same room! You can see princess Lia getting comfortable in the bed. She passed out about 5 minutes after I took that picture and was moved to her crib. She only thought she had it so good!

We got a wonderful visit in with my family on Thanksgiving Day. I visited too much and forgot to take pictures... maybe next year. I did get this one of the kids watching 'Up' after everyone had eaten. Max (on the left) will be 5 next month. It was fun for my kids to get to play with him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Visit with Godmother...

David got to spend some quality time with his Godmother on Monday... and I got to do some Christmas shopping by myself! Look at the adorable turkey they made together! Peg had little googley eyes and big googley eyes. David liked the big eyes. And my goodness... when did my son's feet get so big! I guess that is what 2 bowls of cereal will do for you each morning!

Lia got in on the action too. (of course) And I heard David especially liked picking the paint color for each turkey (finger) feather. His "recap" of the events was hilarious. The kid certainly pays attention to detail. Thank you again Peg! We love you.


There are short videos at that teach how to draw cartoons. Emily has loved taking these lessons... I think we started when she was 4. Now David wanted in on the action. They got all their art supplies and tried really hard. Emily "helped" David by drawing the steps he had difficulty with... so Emily's drawings looked suspiciously like David's drawings... I think they spent most of the day (that rainy and cold Saturday) wearing their hooded towels on their heads too. Regardless, they stayed very busy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wrapping Gifts...

Little Elves

Today is a very chilly and cold Saturday. Chris is driving to Austin for the final home game and he is delivering our Christmas gifts to the Smith Family. The kids helped wrap and decorate the gifts. Are we on the ball or what?? Apparently, saving on postage is a powerful motivator for me. :-)
Do you see the little craft puppets we made yesterday? They look so cute on the presents!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Craft Stick Puppets

A big Friday night at our house... we opened up this craft kit I found at Lakeshore Learning a few months ago. The first girl and boy to be created:

This project was a family affair...
And here is the whole population of craft stick puppets. They were busy.

And the link because this may be my standard girl birthday present from here on out...

Veteran's Day Thank You

Veteran's Day was November 11th and Emily has been talking about making a thank you card ever since. had an address where we could send our card and hopefully they will forward it along. Emily made the card, addressed the envelope and walked it out to the mailbox all by herself.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lia still sleeps like this...

Chris insisted on taking this picture because we don't know how much longer Lia will sleep with her bottom up in the air. You can't quite capture its charm on film... but trust me, it is the cutest thing!

Tom and Jerry

The kids get to watch Tom and Jerry when Emily finishes her homework and I frantically try to get dinner on the table. They all laugh hysterically at this show... yes it is the classic Tom and Jerry. I guess the classics never do lose their charm. Lia likes to sit on the coffee table with them. She laughs too.

This is how I managed to work in the yard...

The weather has been gorgeous! I wanted to work in our front yard a little and trim back the lantanna for the winter. To get some real work in... before the little ones helped... I set them up with some playdough. David won this little playdough kit at Emily's choir party and had been just itching to open it up. For future reference... if you play with playdough outside... just plan on throwing it away when you are done. Playdough + dirt + leaves = something you don't want to keep. :-)

Easel Antics

The kids all love the easel. I didn't even buy it... it was given to us from a family who didn't find they used it very much. I am happy to say we are getting plenty of use out of it!
It is also great to see David actually drawing something... he just scribbled for the longest time. Along with the reading lessons, we are working on handwriting. This is very slow go... but coming along. I think David wrote the first three family names and then Emily finished for him. They look awfully proud of themselves... don't they?