Saturday, December 31, 2016

After Christmas in Missouri!

We went to Missouri again this year for the week after Chrstimas! We flew out on Christmas day and joined the fun, chaotic house at my parents’ house. In addition to Grandma and Grandpa, all of my siblings and their families were there at one point during the week. The kids adore the time with cousins and extended family.

This year, we went to Six Flags amusement park with everyone. It was Joseph’s first (and long awaited) time on a roller coaster. It was a fun day! We also had a trip to the Magic House and Botanical Gardens “Garden Glow”  and several movies at the theater. Lots of food and playing in Grandma’s toy filled basement. Joseph also now enjoys the video games that make Grandma’s basement grow in age with you. 

Anna at the airport, ready for Grandma and Grandpa!

Uncle Alex and Aunt Hannah with us at Six Flags!

Everyone love Uncle Alex

At the Missouri Botanical Garden "Garden Glow"

Sisters! Sarah and Catherine at Garden Glow

Garden Glow on New Year's Eve!

Chipotle to ring in the New Year! 

Abigail at the Magic House

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gingerbread Houses

I went to school to make gingerbread houses with Anna and Abigail. What a treat!

Some of the big kids stopped by to sing carols!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Goodbye Piantanidas!

One of my dearest friends and her family moved to Denver! Lisa and I have laughed our way through many of life's moments together. I will miss park play dates with her and her cute family, and our walks and chats, but no matter how far she moves, she won't be able to get rid of me! 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Christmas Traditions

Starting our holiday season at the Piantanida's Annual Christmas Brunch

Our first time at the Wolf Trap  Holiday Sing Along...definitely a new tradition!

After the Sing Along, Abigail asked if we could do it again tomorrow! 

Aunt Rachel was the genius who told us about the Sing Along. We all had so much fun!

Holiday decorating. Christmas cheer!

Heading to the Nutcracker ballet!

The Nutcracker performance! Mesmerizing!

This was Anna's first year so she got to choose a nutcracker! Abigail was an old pro--this was her second year (and she brought her nutcracker with her!)

And, of course, our annual trip to the Botanic Garden train display (and photo op outside the Capitol on our way in)

Poor Joseph had poison ivy in his eye!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Anna turns 4

Could this girl be any happier?  Anna started her birthday by opening a package from Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Bill filled with "My Little Ponies"
At four, Anna is chatty and snuggly. She climbs into our bed every morning for snuggles. She loves soft stuffed animals and blankets and pajamas. She loves to be doing what the big kids are doing and has made her way as the youngest in the Montessori classroom.  She doesn't like to any much variety, and she'll readily tell you, "I'm a picky eater."  She has the most darling freckles. Combined with her dramatic facial expressions and edible cheeks, she might just be the cutest little thing you've ever seen!

She loved getting to pass out cupcakes to her class. It's extra fun when your big sister shares a class with you!

I loved getting to hear all the kids share how much they love Anna. She really is just SO lovable!
That night, we had Anna's favorite spaghetti and meatballs. We invited her friends Flora and Adela and Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Rachel. And we had chocolate cake with sprinkles--that Anna sprinkled herself!
We're so happy to have you in our family, Anna!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Abigail turns 6

We just adore our Abigail. She is smart and fun and has the most energy of any person I've ever met.  She's thriving in Montessori kindergarten. At parent-teacher conference, her teacher said she thinks she's self-actualized (Maslow's hierarchy of needs for you non-psychology folks). I wouldn't go that far, but she sure is a delight. She loves to read --the Magic Treehouse chapter books are her current favorite. She loves puzzles and math and spacial brain teasers. She has started her first season of soccer and is going to take a "hip hop" dance class in after-school enrichment.  

The celebrations for Abigail's birthday started early in the morning--while still dark outside.  Presents and birthday waffles!

We took mini cupcakes that I had decorated with a pink "6" on each one to share with her class. I love the way Miss O'Donnell celebrates birthdays--you bring pictures from each year of you life and light a candle and then the kids sing to you and give "affirmations," meaning they share something positive.  I loved getting to go through old pictures. Abigail has always been sooooo cute!

The biggest birthday surprise was Aunt Elizabeth visiting from North Carolina. What a treat!

Grandma Donna, Grandpa Lincoln, Aunt Rachel, Aunt Elizabeth, Uncle John, Aunt Gwen, Cousins Lucy & Calvin all joined our family to celebrate our 6-year-old girl.

On Friday after her birthday, Abigail had a huge friend party! We invited neighbors--young and old to the party. All of her friends (and their families) from the bus stop were there. We had a bonfire in the back yard and roasted hot dogs and s'mores. We had a pinata hanging from the second story much fun! In this picture with her cake, she's all sweaty from running around with all the kids!