Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Picture Day

Remember that day at school every year?? I used to look forward to getting to wear a pretty dress for pictures in the cafeteria.

For Jon's parents' Christmas present, we (all of the kids) gave them a family portrait for their new house. It had been several years since their last family portrait - before any spouses and definitely before any grandkids.

We squeezed 20 adults and 4 babies into a pretty tight (and very hot) space to take a picture together. It was fun to have everyone from all over the country together for the picture. And all of the babies did remarkably well! No fussing from any of them, but they all got a little antsy toward the end.

This was the end result. Of course, my son is the only one doing weird poses, but with that many people, majority rules. Everyone else looks great! And I think most people looking at the picture would understand a 19 month old looking squirmy.

And we got a grandkids picture with everyone looking pleasant for the camera! Yay!

We also did a family picture with just our little family and it turned out pretty well!

And of course, we needed to do a JD picture in his sweet little brown suit. This was seconds before he bolted off the set to go visit the rubber ducky that the photographer was teasing him with. But the photographer at least caught a cute moment!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Santa vs Pirate

I noticed the other day when we were driving by some newly posted Christmas lights on our street that JD was saying "pa" or pirate. I thought that was odd so I tried to figure out why he might be saying that.

Here are my thoughts on how Santa and a Pirate might be similar in the eyes of a toddler.

Santa says "Ho Ho Ho!"

A Pirate says "Yo Ho Ho!"

Santa has a big fluffy beard.

A lot of Pirates have big fluffy beards.

Santa has big black boots.

A Pirate has big black boots.

Santa wears a cool hat.

A Pirate has a cool hat.

Santa has a big sleigh to ride in.

A Pirate has a big ship to ride in.

Santa gives out lumps of coal to bad little boys.

A Pirate makes bad little boys walk the plank.

Okay, that's about all I could come up with, but the similarities are there!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas "Tee", Turkey & Santa

Things are getting busier and busier around the Thanksgiving holidays every year. We usually put up our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but JD and I are traveling to Indiana for a wedding right after Thanksgiving.
So we decided to put up the tree the weekend before Thanksgiving instead and have a mini-holiday of our own around putting it up. JD has been really into Christmas this year and will tell you that Santa says "ho ho ho." He also loves Christmas "tees." (almost sounds like cheese sometimes)

Today we put up the tree while JD was down for his nap. He was really surprised when I brought him down and he saw a Christmas tree where his toys usually are. He actually looks completely shocked in the picture below!

Since Jon is a firefighter, we have LOTS of firetruck ornaments. These were JD's favorite and pointed them all out on the tree.

We also cooked a pre-holiday feast with turkey, potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, rolls and pumpkin pie (all homemade, of course). We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving-ish dinner just as a little family.

Later, we went to one of the local shopping squares for JD to get his first glimpse of Santa Claus! I think the tree lighting was more exciting than Santa, who was kind of far away. Santa did arrive in a firetruck though, which got JD's attention.

Right before tree gets lit up.
JD thought it was amazing!!

But then we took him home to our tree (pretty tiny in comparison) and he was still pretty mesmerized by it, especially in the dark.

The holidays are so much more fun when you can experience them through your children's eyes!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Family Time

We traveled to Arkansas this week to celebrate the life of Jon's Mamaw, who passed away this weekend.

It was a nice time to visit with family about the wonderful life of such a great lady. JD had fun meeting his cousin Izzy for the first time and playing with his other cousins too.

Kenna is showing off her new crawling skills for Izzy in this one.
JD is teaching the girls about socks and shoes and all of the important things in the book. He is really taking an interest in letters right now and can find "O", "C", "R" and "T" when they are in a book.

JD actually did pretty well, considering the lack of naps and different people all around. He and Izzy had a lot of fun together and caused a little trouble playing on the "slide" (wheelchair ramp) beside the room where the visitation was happening. They both got pretty excited and would squeal going up and down. There is nothing like the laughter of a small child to bring a smile to everyone's face.

JD and I both were recovering from colds this past week before we went to Arkansas and we found out that at least JD's cold was productive. He got in both of his bottom TWO year molars. Yes, I know, you are saying, "But he is only 19 months old." Apparently I have a child prodigy when it comes to growing teeth. If he starts in on the three year molars, I'm calling Guiness Book of Records...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hawaiian Paradise Part 2

Just in case you were still wondering after the last post if our hotel was INCREDIBLE, here is your answer:

After a relaxing day by the pool on the next day, we went to a beautiful restaurant at the hotel for dinner.
Our table was out in the middle of the lagoon, surrounded by fish! We had a great meal and a wonderful time.

Jeremy & Lindsey posing in front of the hotel waterfall.

So our next big adventure was to go on a rafting expedition. When we signed up, here is what the description read:

An incredible 5½ to 6 hour expedition to Kauai's Na Pali Coast. We'll leave the modern world behind-darting in and out of sea caves, plunging under cascading waterfalls, and encountering the dramatic peaks and majestic valleys of the Na Pali Coast.

When conditions allow, we'll land on a remote beach (Nualolo Kai) for hiking, snorkeling, and a delicious lunch. Take a guided historical hike to the ruins of an 800 year old Hawaiian fishing village. Explore the same thriving reef ecosystem that supported ancient Hawaiians.

Sounds great, right? What we didn't realize is that there aren't any seats on the raft and that you sit on the inflatable sides, holding on to two ropes - the only thing that keeps you from getting thrown off into shark-infested, coral reef ocean waters.

We did have fun, although we were all pretty wiped out by the end of the day (and for the next couple of days).

The girls spent the next day by the pool, while the boys hit the waves at the beach right by the hotel. They rented some boogie boards and had a great time! I think all of them got a minor injury that they showed off at the end of the day. Heather even tried it out!

On our last evening, we went to a luau. It was moved indoors due to rain, so we were a little disappointed. But we ended up being active participants in the festivities.

Jeremy and Lindsey got to perform the huki lau (don't know if I spelled that right or not) on stage.

Jon was "called out" during this tribal dance as the next leader. The guy stuck his tongue out right at Jon. It was pretty funny.

On our last day, we took a drive up the North Shore and saw some more beautiful scenery.

As we were sitting in the airport, we were already discussing our next trip to Hawaii!! It was so much fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hawaiian Paradise Part 1

Jon and I just returned from our Hawaiian vacation in Kauai! We went with Dan and Heather and Jon's cousin Jeremy and his wife Lindsey and we all left our babies at home with our loved ones! (I'll have to post later about JD's adventures without Mom & Dad)

The trip started off kind of comical. We thought we were flying out DFW airport with Dan and Heather on the same flight. But when we got there, we didn't see Dan or Heather anywhere. We got a little concerned, but we saw their car in the remote airport parking. We figured they were offered an earlier flight.

When we got in Los Angeles, we see them in the waiting area of the airport and they were so worried that we missed the flight. Neither of us knew that we actually booked flights that were one hour apart!! We also met up with Jeremy and Lindsey because their flight was delayed and were rebooked onto our flight!

After a six hour plane ride that was more than a little bumpy, we checked into our hotel - the Grand Hyatt Kauai and were greeted with fresh flower leis. So nice! We were tired, but not too tired to enjoy a little Hawaiian music and food at the hotel!

The next morning, Jon and I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise breakfast. The Hyatts in Hawaii always have beautiful dining locations.

It started raining shortly after that, so we all loaded up into the cars and took a drive up to Waimea Canyon. It was amazing!

That evening, we were supposed to go to our luau, but we rescheduled due to the rain. Coming up...kayaks, death-defying rafts and fancy dinners!