Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with a Bang

I sent 2011 out with a bang.  And I don't mean with fireworks.  I mean with a bang right down my parents' front steps.  Ouch.

You can't really tell from this picture but the top half is bruised pretty bad and the bottom half is pretty scraped up.  Real nice.  At least it wasn't broken, forcing us to party all night in the ER with Mr Brad! 

Fast forward a few hours and we headed to the Martins' for pizza and football. 

The "quiet" ones...
Brycen, T, and Little Orphan Addie :)

Keeping T entertained....

Mr Brandon loves a baby :)

We love these quirky babies!

Love these girls...and boys!!

We sure missed the Cotherans but I know they were having a great time in Nashville!!

For the first time, we didn't make it til 12.  We pooped out a little after 11 and were home snuggling by 12.  Tanner refused to sleep until we left but he was out before we left their neighborhood.  Of course, that could be because it's a 30 minute drive to the entrance.  HA!! :)

Anyhow, we rang in the New Year snuggling in bed with our only little lady and watching the ball drop.  The boys were out in their beds.  A fun and relaxing ending to 2011.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We Got a Sneaky Elf!

Andy sure did get into some mischief this year!  He is a sneaky little elf.  I'm sure Santa picked him to keep my sneaky little ones on their toes!

Photocopying himself....

Hanging with Mary & Joseph....

I cut out momma & daddy's underwear hanging on their stocking hooks since that might be inappropriate. :)  He hid their stockings in their underwear drawers!

He decorated the house with ornaments off of the Christmas tree....

And was caught in the act!

Snow angels in the flour...

and a trail of flour to their bedrooms where he checked up on them.

We loved having Andy here this year and can't wait to see him again next year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas with the Waddells

We had the Waddells' Christmas at TonTon's house this year and she fixed a delicious lunch of Mexican chicken, salad, and garlic bread.  Nana Jane brought her famous pies and Michael was lucky enough to bring home the leftover pie!

Jake was beyond thrilled to open up a "real" football helmet from Papa & Nana Jane and Ella Kate got a really cool Barbie that you can video with.  Nevermind that the camera is hidden right between her boobs, the batteries fit snugly in her thighs, and the button is right smack in the middle of her buttocks. :)  It is still very cool.  Tanner went home with lots of neat toys that he is slowly making his way through.  Michael received all he wanted - an Academy gift card - and I was thrilled to receive a Dustbuster, just what I asked for.  I am officially old. :)

He just about jumped out of his seat and was totally embarrassed. 
Me on the other hand, it makes my heart smile to see him this happy over a gift.
It never happens. :)

It ended up being too small (our fault) so we had to swap it for another one.  They didn't have white so he went with maroon for his Wolverines.  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas with the Neals

On Christmas night we headed to my mom & dad's for Christmas with them and Granny & Big Papa.  This was only the second year that we did not go to my Grandma's on Christmas Day.  With the family growing, the grandchildren having families of their own now, and everyone still living a few hours apart, it just got too hard to get everyone there on Christmas Day.  Plus, I think it's important to make sure our children have Christmas morning at their house and we have our own family traditions. 
I know it's hard for my mom not to be with her mom and brothers on Christmas Day but I have really enjoyed spending Christmas evening with them the past 2 years. 

On to Christmas night, we started with the kids reading a couple of Christmas books that Mimi picked out.  The one Jake was reading belonged to my cousin Cleve who is now 40 years old when he was a little boy.   No idea how it ended up at my mom's but it was neat to see his name in it.

Mimi & Pop used to read the stories, but since the kids have gotten bigger and learned to read, they let them do it.  They enjoy reading to us and we love hearing them read.

I guess we know where Ella Kate gets her good looks now :)

Tanner wanted in on the storytime too.  This little boy loves a book!  He will flip back and forth through the pages for as long as his 11 month attention span can stand it.

After the stories, it was on to GIFTS!  I promise that my older children received some...I just didn't get any pictures of it. :(  I found this year it was really hard to keep T under control aaaand take pictures.  Unfortunately the pictures suffered. 

Tanner will be riding in style in his new stroller!! Yippee!!! Jake and Ella Kate got some Wii games among other toys.  Jake, Tanner and Bobby got matching Batman shirts.  Ella Kate got something more I am positive.  I just can't remember what it was. :)

Tanner got the traditional first Christmas gift from KK.  A box of tissues.  He LOVED them. Not that we were surprised.  He is quite efficient at emptying a tissue box. 

Game Day attire update...check!

Bobby will surely kill me for this picture but we found these last December and knew he must have them this year.  They are Iron Man tighties. :)  It is a running joke with my family that I refuse to let my kids wear cartoon characters.  Just my personal preference. :)  I don't think Bobby wore anything that didn't have cartoon characters when he was little.  Seriously.  And he still wears it.  He says I have brainwashed my kids out of liking cartoon clothes.  Super!! :)

Dinner was roast, green beans, (gluten free!) mac & cheese, and sweet potatoes.  YUM!

Afterwards we had the traditional gift card game.  My mom always buys $10 gift cards to random places that we all like to go.  Then we draw numbers to pick a card and then choose a person to give it to.  If we think someone before us made a wrong choice, we get to rearrange who got which card.  It usually is pretty calm but this year my kids turned it into quite the gift card drama.  I ended up bringing home Target, Michael Cracker Barrel, Jake Academy, EK Walmart and T Bojangles.  Not sure who thought T fit with Bojangles but he does love their green beans!!

So glad Granny & Big Papa could come to wrap up their long week of Christmas partying! 

Next year, mom, pick the songs, Bobby & KK fire up those vocal cords, and Pop warm up the drums (or whatever they are called!).  We're going caroling!!

Our Family Christmas

Santa had a late night and finally finished up at our house around 2 am.  Jake wandered in our room around 3 am and informed us that Santa had been.  :)  He went back to sleep and Tanner called quite loudly for us at 6 am.  He had his oatmeal for breakfast while he admired the additions to the living room.

Around 7 am we woke the kids up since we needed to hurry to get to church by 10.  Thank goodness for kids that like to SLEEP!! 

Gifts from mom & dad under the tree

Tanner's first Christmas gifts from Santa

Ella Kate & Jake's gifts from Santa

This is a happy face..promise!

EK got a new radio and cd player from mom & dad.  I'd call it a boom box but I don't think that's the word for it these days. :)

Jake got new boots from mom & dad.  He wanted them really bad!

Opening gifts from each other....
EK gave Jake a mini Rebels football (again) :) and gave Tanner one too. 
Jake gave EK some really cute Hannah Montana school folders and Tanner 4, yes 4, Yogi Bear pizza plates shaped like a slice of pizza.  I'll be the first to admit the baby selection was limited so this was a decent choice. :)

My gifts - notepads and tags?? from Jake and teddy bear from EK :)
I will add a pic of Michael's gifts from Jake & EK - I forgot to take one!

He was getting sleepy by this point but he really liked his swing and slide!

We finished up with the gifts and had a quick breakfast. 

I was so excited that Christmas fell on Sunday this year.  I love that!  Most people are just annoyed that it puts a cramp in their other family plans (it does require some adjustments), but I can think of no better place to be on Christmas morning than worshipping Him with our church family. 

We only had one service so it was very packed.  (We normally have 3.)  Pastor DJ had a special children's sermon (that we don't normally have) for the children to come forward and give the Lottie Moon offering they had earned by doing chores this month.  The kids were very excited to put theirs in an envelope and walk down to the front.  Lots of them came in their jammies so it was extra cute! 

You can't see our kids in these pics but what a precious sight.  So many little faces so excited about Christmas and giving their money. 

Two funny things.... 

Summer asked EK to walk with Addie to the front and help her back.  EK is usually the youngest so she took her new responsibility very seriously.  She brought Addie back safe and sound...and in a headlock. :)

When DJ told the kids it was time to put their money in the box, I think he might have used the word "throw".  I hardly think he meant "chunk your envelope across the stage, miss the huuuge box altogether, and squarely hit the kid on the other side right on the head".  Nice one Jake. :) 

The only family pic I have on Christmas so deal with the wardrobe issues. :)

After church we had no immediate plans so we stopped at Waffle House for lunch.  What fun!  I'm sure my grandma might die if she knew, but we enjoyed it.  I did feel awful for the ladies and men working and the first year I'm rich on Christmas, I'm going to stop and give them one heck of a gift that day!! 

We headed home and let the kids play for a while before we had anywhere to be.  It was a really nice day!