Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why to the North Pole of course!

Chris and I took Sam on the Heber Creeper last week. (Liam got to hang out with my sisters!) During the holiday season it becomes the Polar Express. Sam was insanely excited and took a nice nap on the long drive to park city to prepare himself for the festivities. When we got there his mouth literally dropped open. I wish I had my camera out that soon. (The smile above was caught when he heard the conductor shout all aboard!) We were an hour early because we knew he would want to walk around and look at all the trains. We looked around for a while but hadn't counted on the FREEZING temps.

We waited not so patiently to board the train.

We scoped out which side to sit on and bagged a great spot.

Each train car was decorated with garland and lights and had their own entertainment leader. Elves (cute 12 yearold girls) came around and took all the kids names and what they wanted for Christmas so when Santa came around he could appear all knowing :) When we got started we were served YUMMY chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate. They passed out copies of the polar express and then read it aloud.

We made it to the North Pole where Santa Boarded the train, along with Mrs. Clause they greeted all the children. Santa gave each child a bell and Mrs. Clause her recipe for the cookies we ate.

We headed back singing carols and playing games. The conductor came around and punched the kids tickets. This was by far Sam's favorite part.

Although shortly after he ate his ticket so.... yeah. Overall it was fabulous. I would say they could make it a good half hour shorter (it was close to two hours). Sam keeps asking to go back though so I am glad it was a hit. Thank you Kerstin best Christmas gift ever!

Haa haaa

So some funny things have happened while on vacation. When chris and i got on the freeway to head up to Reagan intl. this truck pulled up next to us. I loved that it was "hauling" this tiny truck. Obviously it is just a play on thier companies name but it still made me laugh and started the trip off on a funny foot.

Liam LOVES having new places to explore so when he woke up at my parents house the morning after we arrived he was like a kid ina candy shop. He has established his favorite spot though is ontop of a duck that resides on my parents mantel.
He was then pretty impatient when chris was getting the boys in the bath and while chris was undressing Sam, Liam decided he couldn't wait anymore and hoped in... fully clothed. He was pretty pleased with himself until he discovered how heavy wet clothes can be!

Playin in the snow

I have finally gotten around to hookin up the ole' laptop to my parents internet. We have had a blast the last week in UT. We also discovered that while sam is a Snow bunny,

LIam is like his mom and loves to stay warm:)

Sam loves that his snowboots keep him warm and dry and tromps all over the yard. We have had crazy amounts of snow fall latelyand freezing cold temps. This has been great for playing purposes but not so good for some photo ideas I had. Nor does it gel well with my cabin fever ;) Claire and I took the kids out back to make a snowman but the snow was not good packing snow so instead we made a snowman that fell over. I think the kids were sort of confused but hey what can you so :)

Before my dad pulled out the snowblower Chris and Sam took on the job of shoveling the drive way. Sam loved it and was a great helper.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fireworks to Flip Flops

We attended one of my favorite events of the year the Grand Illumination. It was freezing cold this year but the boys loved it.

Sam came a long way from last year when we had to hang out in one of the houses because he was terrified of the fireworks. We had a blast watching the festivities with our friends the Gradys and Thorpes and Walls.

On the way back to the car Liam lost it. He was so overwhelmed by the crowds and the noise that by the time he got to the car he was screaming. Luckily we had some funky candy canes in the car and by the time we got him he looked like this:
What the boys were out today!!! What a fabulous afternoon!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our funny boys

Some funny things done or said at our house tonight:
Mom: "Come on Sam I Am its time for bed"
Sam: "I Sam I Sam I No Sam I Am."
We found out today Liam learned a new word to add to Dada, Bro Bro, No, Ba ba, Wa wa
Mom: "Here's a hot dog Liam"
Liam "Noooooo! Cheeeezzzz!" (hot dog is thrown to the ground and stepped on in rage)
Mom nudges Sam out of the way to get into the fridge
Sam: "No push Sam mama. We don't push"
Liam whacks Sam with a train
Sam: "No hit Sam bro bro, no hit. You go to time out."
So at least something is sinking in.
When I took the picture up top Sam kept saying "We holdin hands!" This is what Liam thought about it:

Train Heaven at the LIbrary

Today at the Library they had a model train expo! I knew Sam would LOVE it, the only trick would be getting him to leave the house. He is SUCH a home body. Earlier in the morning the Christmas parade for Williamsburg. I was so excited to go again and had planned on letting Sam take his little four wheeler to drive around. Daddy and Lemers were taking a nap so it would be a fun morning for Sam and I. When I told him about the parade he simply said "no I stay here and play trains." I said "But we can see Fischer!" (Fischer has been sick and Sam has been asking to see him FOREVER) I was surprised when he said "No mama I stay here and play trains!" After a few hours reading books, doing puzzles and of course playing trains his brother woke up and I was suffering from cabin fever so I spring the news about the trains. Sam was dressed lickity split and out the door. Since Chris had a ton of studying to do I took Liam with me, this was a bad idea in retrospect. We walked in the doors and Sams jaw dropped. The train sets were amazing!

They had Thomas trains and the Polar Express. Big trains, tiny trains and really really loud trains. It was put together by one of local gated communities and was over run by wealthy older gentlemen and their wives. They loved that Sam and Liam were so into trains... well Sam at least. After about an hour Liam was done and wanted to leave. I had to drag Sam literally screaming from the library. No matter how much I promised that we would come back after dropping Liam off at home.
The whole way home he said "Bro Bro no more run around WATCH TRAINS!!" So after ditching Liam with Daddy we headed back-- for another 2hrs! Everyone knew Sam's name by the time we left, what his favorite train was, what a conductor says and all the train parts he knows. He was so serious while watching the trains.

At one point one of the trains lost its tender carrying Candy Canes. Sam kept yelling "Oh no it's going to crash!" Until we figured out what he was talking about and averted disaster.

Finally I tore him away with the promise of ice cream. We went through the drive through and by the time we got to the first light I looked back and Sam was out! He had dropped his ice cream in his lap and zonked! I best he was dreaming about trains!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ohhh ahhh!

Tonight Chris took a brief hiatus from studying so that we could take the boys to the Celebration in lights in Newport News. They LOVED it. I highly suggest it for any family. It is miles of amazing lights in all different themes. Sam and Liam sat up front and ohhhd and ahhhd the whole time. When we finished the first thing Sam said was "more sismas yites!" Liam waved enthusiastically to all the electronic snowmen and Santa's. I only wish you could go through a few times in one day we definitely would have made the rounds! If you live in the area go, turn on some Christmas music and bring some candy canes, your kids will love it!

Holly Berries

EB20, originally uploaded by debbieimeankelly.

The christmas tree farm we shot at had these gorgoeus holly berry bushes so we plopped emiline right down in them-- what a good sport.

Sooo cold....

EB21, originally uploaded by debbieimeankelly.

Hayley did a great job of decorating the tree behind Emiline, my tree was not that cute :)

Big Eyes Bigger Bow

EB24, originally uploaded by debbieimeankelly.

Look at those gorgeous eyes. And could that bow be any bigger?


EB12, originally uploaded by debbieimeankelly.

We had the fastest photoshoot ever this morning with the Bean family. Emiline was wonderful even though it was freezing cold and she didn't feel like smiling much ;)

Who Knew Sand and a Ford Escape don't mix?

(Liam likes Christmas lights!) Okay so onward with the marathon post about Thanksgiving. In Salvo NC during the winter time they allow you to drive on the beach. I think this is pretty cool... and pretty scary. I have this fear of our car being washed away (Kerstin I know you are with me on this one since you won't go where you can't touch :)). I had seen this info before we left and thought it would be fun to do a bonfire on the beach. I purchased a bundle of wood from Farm Fresh (Don't do this in the future) and brought yummy stuff for s'mores. I also brought our smore maker just in case. We bundled up and then loaded (and I mean loaded) up into three SUVs and headed down to the beach. Some of us stopped to let air out of our tires, while some of us were too cool for school and thought the tough SUV could master the powdery sandy. Well the Grady's Escape while adorable an a really nice car was no match for the beach. They were stuck... seriously stuck. After convincing Sam to give up his shovel Brandon climbed under the car and started digging. The other boys hooked up some straps to Wes's car for the big hev-ho. The straps broke and the car was goin no where. Sam and Liam thought it was a great adventure! Sam even offered to try and pull the car out with his mad driving skills!

I caught this picture totally in the pitch black and Liam just happened to be smiling!

Finally we flagged down a truck (after the first one zoomed past us making all us mommies terrified that our kids were going to be killed!). They had some rope and with lots of help from our buff hubbies they hauled it out!
Now you would think that would be enough adventure for one night... but as many people know we go big or go home! So after now piling in two SUVs we headed on down the beach, examining a dead shark Kevin and his lazer beam eyes saw on the sand. We found Nora and Adam who had wisely chosen to walk to the beach and set up camp. With at least 4 eagle scouts you would think a little bonfire would be no problem but after burning an entire phone book and trying different wood origami: Teepee, log cabin, big heaping pile, nothing had lit.
Even with Sam's help!

I loved that even after we had all given up Nora still held out her stick in hopes of a spark. I think it was because she had literally run all over the place grabbing brush for the fire! Thanks Nor for being the only non lazy one of us! I also love the four stacker in this picture, Atticus was very serious about his smore making!

As did Halle, in her electric pink snow coat!

It was HILARIOUS snuggling up on the beach shouting different ideas on how to start the fire and then eating up all the chocolate.

A brief snuggly from Sam! Then back to the fire!
After quite the herculean effort on our hubbies parts we loaded back up and headed home to make some real smores with the smore maker. We stopped at a local gas station to reload up on chocolate bars since they had been devoured on the beach!

I was then introduced to the world of guitar hero and lets just say I will never be the same again! I was AWFUL I mean really embarrassingly terrible. But I stuck with it and am not only mildly horrific. It is sooo fun thought. Kristen and Kevin are amazing. It is crazy to watch. While I was getting addicted to a video game Sam was in our make shift toy room watching a movie... or so we thought. The nights adventures obviously tuckered the little guy right out because he was ZONKED!
Also, the night of Thanksgiving Kristen and I went and took in a late showing a Twilight and I have to say everyone is right. The second time around is FAR better. I think I sufficiently beat it down for Kristen though so I think she enjoye dit :) We then hit up the local outlet for midnight madness and bought-- nothing! I know so lame but hey our husbands loved it!
So there you go. I have about a bazillion other pictures but don't want to bore anyone. Lets just say it was fabulous and I am sad that it went by soooo fast! Spring Break anyone? (I am totally not kidding I really am dying to go back already! And this time spring for the heated pool!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cuts and Bruises

Just a quick update in between installments of thanksgiving :) The day we arrived home Liam was jumping on our bed. I was afraid he was going to fall off the other side so I picked him up.. now I don't know how much I have expressed Liam's need for anger management but he was none to happy about this and flung his head back-- HARD. He hit my right in the eye and I heard a pop and felt a ton of pain. I dropped him onto the bed, which he thought was hilarious and ran to look in the mirror to find it was already swelling and turning black. This picture was taken on day three of healing. It is awful going in public because everyone looks but doesn't dare ask. I was at Trader Joe's the other night and a lady said "I hope you hit them back." I smiled and said "well since it was my one year old I decided to refrain." So yes I have a black eye but no my husband is NOT abusive. In other news we finally cut Sam's hair tonight. I don't know why I cry every time we cut his hair. Probably because we let it grow so long that it is like loosing an appendage when it goes. He looks sooooooo different and although he is still adorable his floppy long hair is so much a part of his fun loving personality. I vow that next time I will fork out the money to get a trim instead of the full on buzz. I am sticking to my vow to not cut my hair I can do it with Sam too! He would not cooperate for a picture but here is the mountain of hair we cut off. (Don't mind the sweet painting in the back ground Sam went to town tonight with his paints).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Marathon Post for a Marathon Weekend-- First installment

(I have no idea what is up with my layout but nothing is centering so sorry for the weird set up of this one)
Okay! So I am slowly recovering from the most fabulous Thanksgiving weekend ever! We headed down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina with five other families (all of whom we love!) including the Tillman's who were such sports and drove all the way from Cleveland. We stayed in a huge beach house right smack dab in between the sound and the ocean. Each family had their own bedroom which made it very nice! In all there were 19 bodies and a baby walker (hee hee Harrison's) We had such a wonderful time eating, laughing and playing on the beach. The first morning we arrived Elizabeth and I took Sam Atticus and Lucy down to the pier on the sound side. They had fun playing with the ropes and looking into the water for "sishies!" Lucy who is obsessed with ghosts kept telling me there were ghosts in the water. I hope she doesn't have some actual paranormal gift other wise our beach house is over run with spirits! Lucy HATES getting her picture taken. Which made for some interesting times later on when we tried to do a photo shoot on the beach. Then again in front of a light house :) I snapped this one quick when she 'accidentally" looked at me :)

We headed home and were FREEZING so I thought it would be a good time to hop in what would become the kids FAVORITE spot. The hot tub! Liam found a little spot in the corner that he loved to sit in. I would swim him around to get him warm but he always wanted back on his little stoop. We tried turning the bubbles on but miss Halle informed us that they scared her. From then on every time we hoped in Sam would say "no bubbles, they scare Halle!" It was pretty cute.

When we weren't on the beach or in the hot tub we were hanging out in the big living room or on one of the three decks! This is the boys one night after a long day of fun hanging out watching Blades of Glory with us... I know fabulous parenting.

One of the nights Elizabeth broke out a surprise she had brought-- ornaments to decorate!! She brought everything, the ornaments, paints, brush's cool paper! It was so much fun to sit and paint, or glue and glitter! I think everyone was very happy with their outcomes. Thank you Elizabeth!
Thanksgiving morning the Mullins' provided a huge breakfast to hold us over until the afternoon dinner! It was fabulous (We took turns providing a meal which worked out fabulously!)

We lounged around inhaling the deliciousness!
Another rare photo op of Lucy looking at the camera. I swear I am not obsessed with my cross my fingers future daughter in law (Sam and she have been betrothed since birth) I just am dying to get a picture of her gorgeous smile!

The lovely ladies of the house whom I am fortunate enough to call my friends!

I was wondering why we were having such a nice quiet morning then I realized three of the cuties were watching a movie intently on Sam's portable DVD player in our make shift toy room. There is a gorgeous room right off the kitchen up a little flight of stairs that is all windows. We needed the extra seating so we pulled the couch and big chair down stairs. This left the room empty and a perfect place for the DVD and trains!

After breakfast while the turkeys (yes plural we had two turkeys) were cooking we decided to head back down to the beach. We bundled the kids up and put the youngest in the stroller. Liam was none to happy about this insisting he was a big kid and should get to walk.

Chris got these fun action shots of us sprinting away from a wave that came a little farther in than we had anticipated! Poor Atticus chased a bird right into a wave and was soaked. Luckily at that age they think things like that are fun!

Lemers and me on the Beach (note the car behind us... that will come into play later in installment two "the car adventures!").

At another trip to the beach for a Lucy and Harrison Family photo shoot (more pics to follow) Sam found this really cool sand castle that had turrets and stairs and a moat! He had fun destroying it! (you can see the little flag behind us)

It was soooo cold and I didn't want Liam to catch a cold so I put my hat and scarf on him. I had to take a picture and joked with Chris "what Liam would look like as a girl" He didn't find it humorous. Apparently neither did Liam.

We headed home and the preparations for the big meal began!! Our family and the Harrison's were in charge of Thanksgiving. In the end we had Two turkeys (one organic and one frozen for the taste test) one ham, five pies, 12 apple blossoms, six sides and 15 bottle of sparkling cider! Yeah wow talk about a feast! Elizabeth worked long and hard and made these adorable corn poppers for everyone there! I loved this because it is my families tradition to have poppers at chrismas! The kids loved the treats and toys inside.
We then went around saying what we were thankful for and I of course turned on the water works. How embarassing! I only snapped one picture of the feast because I got to wrapped up in the amazing food!
Photoshoot time!!!
I also had the opportunity to do four photoshoots while down there to work on my skills!! While I am trying to keep all photos that have nothing to do with my family off this blog I had to include some of my favs. I started out by making my biggest tutu yet! We wanted it to be festive for christmas so it is red and green of course! My first vicitims were the Harrison family. I just LOVE this picture of Nora. It is so her! She is such a wonderfully kind person and I think it radiates out of her! We got some great ones of her fam but I will keep those for the other site!
Then it was Lucy's turn! I did not realize how hard it would be to get a good shot of a two year old who DID NOT want her picture taken. I think we got a few that will work though. Although there is not a smile in the bunch. I am not as funny as I think I am!

The next day it was Halle's turn! She was a 180 from Lucy (I still totally love you Lu-Lu!). Vanessa and I were dying laughing because she would literally non stop say cheese. I would have to wait a second after she said it to get a smile that wasn't HUGE! There are soooo many cute pictures I am having to stop myself from editing all of them. The first is my favorite, love those little toes.

This last one I caught as we were heading back to the car. I love her loose hair in the sun!

Alright so in our next installment some funny mishaps leading to some of my favorite memories of the week, but I thought I should let you breathe!