Friday, January 25, 2013

American Girl Times Two

On Monday, Kirsten was out of school and Jeremy was off work for Martin Luther King Day.  We took advantage and dressed up the dolls and our girls and headed to the American Girl Store for lunch.
 The Girl of the Year is Saige, and so they got to take pictures with her
 Kirsten with her doll, Emily, and Katie will her doll, Bella.
 Megan was able to join us as well.  Kirsten and Katie loved having their Aunt and their Dad with them
 It was a fun lunch and a fun day out for all of us - dolls included!
Thanks to Megan for spending the day with us!

Dad's 60th Birthday

This weekend my dad celebrated his 60th birthday.  Patty and I planned a surprise birthday party for him - and we actually pulled it off!  He had no idea at all.  He jumped 5 feet in the air when he opened the door!
We had so many friends that came to celebrate with us.

 Dad seemed to be especially thrilled to have so many little kids come.
We enjoyed a wonderful fajita dinner from Rosa's Cafe
 And of course, Patty's Carrot Cake, complete with 60 candles on top!
Happy Birthday Dad!  We hope the next 60 years are as great as the first 60!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Christmas Aftermath

After all of our family left, we still had over a week and a half to spend together before Kirsten went back to school and I went back to work.  So that is when the real fun started - playing with all our Christmas Gifts.

Katie loved spending time putting together her princess legos.
 And speaking of legos...
 Kirsten received seven Lego Friends sets for Christmas and had to put every single one of them together.  Her all time favorite was the house.  It took her 9 hours.  She was so proud of it.
 I have to admit that it is pretty incredible, both inside and out.
Katie has hardly taken off her Rapunzel dress from my mom, and sleeps with the Rapunzel doll every night.
 And of course, both their dolls - Emily and Emma, can ride their horse, Emma, together.
 I thought that I got an iPad for Christmas, but it turns out it is actually Katie's.
 And of course we have spent tons of time dancing.  The girls got the Just Dance Disney game for Christmas and absolutely love it.
They also spend countless hours in their ballet clothes dancing in their bedroom.
 I love how much they love dancing.  It is so fun to watch them together.
It was very hard on Katie for Kirsten to go back to school.  She asks for her sister constantly.  She cries when she leaves for school and squeals in delight when she comes home.  

I was sick the whole week after Christmas, so we did not do as much as I wanted or get the things done on my to-do list.  But we were able to spend a lot of time together at home, which ultimately is the best way to spend a vacation.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Time is here by golly

Christmas came and went in a whirl around here.  I was one of the best Christmases that we have ever had.  I have included a ton of pictures and will try to capture the essence of the wonderfulness that was our Christmas!

My brother John arrived on Thursday before Christmas.  Katie has not seen him since she was 6 months old, but she took to him instantly.  Kirsten and John have always been so close and she loved having her Johnny here.

Anne arrived about 2 am on Sunday with her daughters, Sarah, Kaley and Emily.  My mom, step dad and Grandma Adams met us at church Sunday morning and Jenny flew in Sunday night.  A few months ago, Anne and I bought matching dresses for the little girls and they were able to be together and wear them to Church on Christmas Sunday.

The Christmas program was exciting.  I was called as Ward Music Chairman three weeks before Christmas right after our ward was split.  It was tough pulling together a music program that quickly, but with Valerie's help, we did it!  I accompanied the choir and a few other musical numbers, directed the congregation and was even able to play O Holy Night on my Trumpet.  It was the first time I have been allowed to play in sacrament meeting. After church it was a like a breath of fresh air!
 Christmas eve was a blast with my mom and grandma here.  They helped the little girls make a rice krispie treat train!

 Then Katie, Emily and Kirsten spent the rest of the day doing what cousins do best - playing!

 The night of Christmas Eve, we headed over to my dad's house.  After dinner, I helped the girls put together a Gingerbread house.
 They had so much fun putting on the candies and icing.
 Katie was particularly proud of her creation
 A tradition in our family is that every year I make matching pajamas for our family.  Jeremy was actually pretty excited that once Katie was born I stopped making them for him too.  This year I made five pairs of matching pajamas for Kirsten, and Katie, and my nieces Sarah, Kaley and Emily.
 Finally it was time for the kiddos to head to bed, but not before leaving cookies and milk for Santa.
 And what do you know?  Santa actually came!  He filled the stockings left presents and ate up all of the cookies.
 He brought Kirsten and Katie each a big lego set. 
 I also gave them the quilts that I have been working on for the past several months.  It was truly a labor of love, but so worth it.

Kirsten's quilt
 Katie's quilt
 We exchanged presents with my mom - Kirsten got more legos and Katie a Rapunzel doll and dress.
 We also opened the wonderful presents that Jeremy's sister, Kacey, made for us.
The best gift of the day was Jeremy's "ken-doll fire" from Kacey and Tyler.  He was a little confused at first, and thought that he had opened one of the girls gifts. 
 Then he turned it over to find an amazon gift card to help get the actual Kindle Fire he wanted.
 And I enjoyed some wonderful time curled up on the couch with my little sister, Jennifer.
 We managed one last picture together at my house and then my mom and grandma had to head out before the weather got much worse.  We were so grateful to have them here.

Then we headed over to my dad's house for pancakes with ice cream and strawberries - our family Christmas tradition!
Sarah with Grandma Lowe
Kaley with Grandma Lowe

 Little Bear was there and John had fun teasing Emily and Katie with her.
After breakfast we commenced round two of present opening. 
 We were going until almost noon!
Katie showing off her Cinderella Shoes from Aunt Jenny

 I made ribbon sticks for Kirsten, Katie and Emily.  They loved dancing with them!
 My dad gave us customizable branders from grilling.  John said he was going to brand himself some women!
 Anne and Jennifer each gave John a present....
 That turned out to be one shoe from each of them!
 I made matching quilted bags for both Sarah and Kaley and embroidered their names on them.
Matching dresses from Grandma
Emily and Katie with Grandpa and their new baby dolls.

 When we finally finished opening presents, we looked out the front door to see this...
 Yes, it actually snowed on Christmas, in Texas !

We spent the rest of the afternoon cooking and then laid out this beautiful feast.
 We had such an amazing Christmas.  It was so wonderful to have everyone together.  On Wednesday we had professional pictures done.  See my previous post for those.  Then Wednesday we all went out to dinner at La Hacienda Ranch to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday.

John and Anne left on Thursday and Jennifer left on Friday.  It was so wonderful to have everyone here and we already miss them terribly.  Jennifer called the other night and Katie freaked out screaming "my Jenny, my Jenny" and frantically trying to get at the phone.  I am just glad that we were able to make it happen and give the little ones a chance to get acquainted with their family.

Merry Christmas 2012