Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Christmas Day

And here is our traditional picture of each child holding a gift and humoring Mom so she'll hurry up and let them open presents!  This year was a little different in that Emily and I went to the Christmas Eve mass at 4:30 where she sang and played the flute with the choir and I sat nearby.  Chris, David and Lia decided they wanted to go to midnight mass!  Lia and I were tucked snug in our beds when they went to church.  Needless to say, the gift opening on Christmas Day began around noon!

Oh my Isaac was so excited about this "whoo whoo" umbrella.

Everyone is gathered around Dad to see the photo book Uncle Rob made.

Yes, we bought and wrapped Dad a fly swatter.  Our old one broke or got lost or something and we were in need... Yes, it was kind of a joke but much needed!

And Nana and Grandpa joined us for a  Christmas crab dinner and stockings filled with chocolate and other good stuff.  Thank you to Chris for faithfully stuffing them every year.

David made everyone books this year.  I got a cookbook of interesting recipes he found online that he would like me to make for him (ha!), Emily got cryptograms, Lia got a character making book, and Isaac got this book of animal pictures and you can see him looking at it enthusiastically here:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Halloween from the Nelli Crew!

How is it November already!  The kids had a lot of fun last night celebrating Halloween.  Our house was buzzing with activity as we got costumes ready, gathered the trick or treating pumpkins and yes, waited not so patiently for Mom to take pictures.  Sorry kiddos, gotta do it!

Lia picked the pumpkin and design this year but Chris gets carving credits.  David researched how to roast pumpkin seeds and gets credit for that... they sure were tasty.  The secret is simple:  Wash and dry seeds (messy), drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees.  Mmmm....

Lia decided to be a black cat this year.  Make credit goes to her big sister.  Do note however that acrylic paint may not be the best choice for costume make-up.  It is difficult to wash off!

David and Emily went as characters from the show they like:  Miraculous Ladybug  (see pic below)

I had low expectations as to whether Isaac would dress up or not... Once we got the costume box down from the attic, he started pulling out armor and putting it on and well, he's a boy.... so he'll always carry around a sword!  So we just went with that...

And they are all here for this "annoying" picture that Mom always has to take and delaying us from leaving and having any fun at all... Yes, I know.  Get over it.  But look, most of them are actually smiling.  :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Happy 11th Birthday David

David had a pretty awesome birthday weekend!  His actual birthday was on Friday, a school day for him (with tests and everything...) but he had a cub scout meeting after school where they worked on tying knots and whittling with their pocket knives (super cool boy stuff) AND gym night with the Squires!  Gym night is all about fun and the boys get together to play basketball and dodge ball in the gym... and oh yes, there was pizza too.  Saturday he had a Tae Kwon Do tournament in Giddings so he got to spend the day with his Dad going to that.  He did well... 4th place well, so no trophies but he is also in a new age bracket, the 11-13 year olds, and he is one of the youngest.  Read:  he had only been 11 for one day!

Sunday evening, we marked his birthday with a party.  We invited his Grandparents, his God Parents, and best friend  Courage and his family.  It has been our traditional gathering of friends and family and we were lucky to have nice weather and an enjoyable time at the park.  I'm so glad my friend Kim suggested we take this family picture.  That is always a good idea!

David requested the same cake we've been making for a few years... it's a cinnamon cake and I was so happy to turn the baking over to Emily.  She got the cake ready with David while I grocery shopped and prepared sandwiches and such.  I love having big kids!

And here is a great family picture of David's buddy Courage and his family.  I only wish we got pics of David with his God Parents!!!

And finally, the birthday video:

Friday, October 14, 2016

Little Flowers, October

I didn't manage to get pictures from our first meeting in September, but here is a picture of our Little Flowers virtue club.  We have a great big group this year... 13 girls I believe!  They range in age from 5 to 11 and they are so sweet together.  The older ones help the younger ones and they all have lots of things to share and talk about it.  I love this group!

October's virtue was friendliness,symbolized by the Morning Glory flower.  We listened to the bible story about Ruth and Naomi and spent a lot of time talking about what makes a good friend.  The girls made a sweet morning glory craft they are showing off above and we even found some morning glories growing outside the church and were able to take a little nature walk!  Good stuff.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Playoff Cheering

 Emily's school football team is having a really great season and she got to cheer them on last Wednesday at the St. Thomas High School stadium!  What a great field!!!

These girls cheered their hearts out.  I think they were all really hoarse the next day.  Our Dolphins ended up winning the game 28-16!

I love that the cheerleaders take some time to meet each other and do a cheer together.  It's really fun for the girls.

And this is during the really exciting part of the game:

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fall Pumpkins

Check out this pumpkin display at HEB!  My kids think this is the best.  And given we are at the grocery store almost every day... it makes it an enjoyable trip every time.  "Yes, kids.  You can look at the pumpkins."  ;-)

Can we have this big one?

And hamming it up for the camera while we wait for Emily and David to come out of school.

Emily is Cheer Captain!

Emily's 8th grade year marks her 3rd year on the Angels cheer and dance team at St. Anthony's.  She has taken on cheer captain this year and continues to enjoy being on the team and attending all the sporting events.  She practices her cheers so much, that her baby brother can recite them all, almost perfectly.  Yes, that is pretty adorable!

My personal favorite cheer:

First Friday Park Day

Today was the first Friday of the month which means our homeschooling group has a park day!  That sounded more fun than schoolwork and laundry so we packed a lunch and enjoyed it.  I got some good pictures too, so WIN!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Isaac

At our house, you can go from room to room and see where Isaac has been.  We let him destroy this lower shelf because he'll look at books for more than 10 minutes before moving on...  If you know Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs, you will recognize the Tomato Tornado page that he is on.  So appropriate!

This boy comes from a long line of hurricanes...

The original Hurricane Emily

Hurricane David

 And I couldn't find a Hurricane Lia?!?!?!  Is it possible, she was just too sweet?  I do love this picture though...

David is now a RED BELT!!!

David took his test for red belt last month and I finally asked him if I could take a picture of him with his new belt!  Usually, he is awarded his new belt after testing but for some reason, they were out of red belts that night and he got it later... no matter!  We are very proud of David for sticking with Tae Kwon Do all these years and steadily working his way to black belt.  After red, you earn a couple of black stripes to become a black belt candidate and then there are even more hoops to jump through after that.  We are learning as we go!

Isaac wanted to spar a little bit with his brother!  Maybe we'll have two black belts one day!

And here are the testing videos:  there is a board breaking kick and two patterns to watch.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Emily

That's right, we've got a teenager in the house!  As per tradition, Emily is making her own cake and this year she is graciously letting her siblings "help."  Oh yes, this takes much patience and kindness and I am so proud of her as I look at these pictures.

Can you hear Isaac?  "I help? Please?"

Great job kids!  Love this so much.

Another birthday cake on the books.

Emily had big plans for a pool party with her friends and grandparents.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and the girls only got to swim for an hour before a torrential downpour.  It's was fine though, we just headed back to the house for cake and presents.  The girls ended up playing Emily's new game, Name 5 and there was a lot of giggles and smiles so we'll call it a win!

If I can pull from my memory the presents included the new Harry Potter book written in movie script form, new Edge Chronicle books, a stuffed animal, a rosary bracelet, a How to Train Your Dragon book... yes, books still make her happy.  Not much has changed!

And the live action... just like you were there!  And many more,,,,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ocean Crest Pier


We go to the pier every year for ice cream.  :-)
They didn't really want pictures taken but at least I got these!


Aquarium Outing

The Men's Luncheon on Thursday had us kicked out of our beach house from 1-4 so
I usually take that time to go on an off island adventure with the kids.  We decided to try something new this year so we hopped on a Ferry to visit the local aquarium!


Driving onto a ferry is certainly out of my comfort zone but it ended up being quite simple and the kids got a kick out of it.


The Aquarium was very close to the ferry drop off location.  Emily and Isaac climbed on the dinosaur while I got tickets.  By the way, dinosaurs are very popular this trip!  We saw an exhibit at Carowinds and at the York County museum before this.

Cross country turtle rides available.

Silliness with the jellyfish.

Silhouettes in front of the aquariums.

And those scary dinosaurs outside!  They were everywhere.
Oh yes, and David tamed a giant wild frog!  What a day.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Race video

So much cheating!!!

The Races in pictures...

Long Beach Olympics is a long standing tradition.  The kids run time trials and then get paired up for relays.  All runners get candy in the end.  It's a good time!

Clowning around.... 
Clowning around at the start line during trials.


And the relays!