We’re back! We took a break and vacation over the holidays, but are now back, and ready to blog, to write, to play, and to start instilling New Year Resolutions in our lives. Stay tuned over the next several weeks to find out what some of our resolutions and goals are! Now, our weekly family update (for the last two weeks): *Affiliate links are used below*
1. We celebrated Christmas with my in-laws the Saturday before Christmas. They gave the girls some new art supplies, books, and swim lessons! Michael got some new baby toys and some new clothes. After our yummy homemade breakfast, thanks to the gift they gave Josh and I, a 5 QT Artisan KitchenAid Stand Mixer, we headed downtown. Josh showed them IUPUI campus where he attends and then we went to the Indianapolis Art Museum and checked out the Matisse exhibit. We grab a bite to eat, and then his parents headed back home. 2. We gave our 9 month old baby his first haircut. And I’m still sad about it, kind of. His hair was getting very long, as it never fell out like it did for both of our girls, and was slowly starting to form a rat-tail (or mullet) and his bangs were getting long. A few people had even called him a girl. So, we (Josh) thought it was time to go! We got out the clippers, and buzzed off his beautifully long baby hair (and yes, I saved some for his baby book). Interestingly, I think my son looks younger with the short hair and more like his dad.3. On Christmas Eve we drove around and checked out a local light show, just on someone’s house. Lisa fell asleep all of about 2 minutes into the car ride (she didn’t nap that day), but Alison and Josh and I enjoyed the show! We also read the Christmas story from the Bible. I animated the story with our Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set (which is seriously awesome and ALL of my kids love it).
4. Christmas morning the girls woke up, say presents and then gleefully told us that there were presents under the tree! We got up and opened presents together. The girls loved their (more) simple gifts from us and Santa – new puzzles, coloring books, dress-up/pretend clothes (aka 90% off clearance Halloween costumes), and Melissa and Doug Lacing Boards, which will be the perfect quiet activity for church. As a big gift for the kids, we bought a dual screen portable DVD player for the car! I (I mean Josh) bought Josh some new Magic: The Gathering cards for Christmas. Josh and the girls gave me a new round hairbrush, chocolates, and Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 12. Our combined big gift this year was our new Nikon D3100 DSLR camera that we bought a few months ago (and also counted as our Anniversary gift). 5. After opening presents, we quickly finished packing, and then we hit the road to go to Alabama! We decided to skip my parents house in Wisconsin for Christmas, and travel a little further to hang out with my brother Tyler and his family of nine down in Alabama, somewhere we’ve never been! Since the previous weekend had down poured and washed away all the snow we had, I wasn’t upset at not having a white Christmas. We drove for 9-10 hours to get there by dinner time on Christmas day. It was strange for us was that despite going straight south from Indianapolis, we were no longer on Eastern time, but Central time, and threw us off all week! The drive went super well, as usual, and we played the Car Alphabet Game again, thankful to see that Montgomery Zoo sign!
6. The day after Christmas we had our big Christmas meal with a ham. My brother had invited over a neighbor to join us. After dinner all the kids, and Tyler, acted out the Nativity. Andrea read the story as they acted. And I took pictures. It was pretty adorable, especially the very pregnant Mary (Lisa).7. Over the course of the next week, we played video games, computer games, board games (on a tablet), did three jigsaw puzzles, reminisced about our childhoods, watched movies at home and in the theater – we saw both Frozen (loved it!) with everybody, and the Hobbit (kind of hated it! Totally deviated from the book, made up a ton of stuff, and took way too long to tell) as a double date with my brother and his wife – and ate great food, among many things.
8. We went to “The Wooden Park” downtown Montgomery and played. I absolutely loved this park! Despite desperately needing some fresh sand and a little bit of fixing, it was a kids imaginative dream! I would have loved played at a park like this as a kid! None of the modern plastic (aka safer) stuff for me! This park had endless places to hide, to run, to climb, to jump, to swing, to pretend, and to enjoy! One of the funnest features? The tire swing! Unfortunately, Uncle Josh got the tire spinning too fast for too long and he made one of our nieces throw up. Oops! Needless to say, the next time we visited (which was much colder), we pushed and swung the tire, but didn’t spin it.9. We took a “trolley” tour of Montgomery, Alabama which has got to have one of the most interesting histories. It had the first White House of the Confederacy (which was later moved to Virginia), but is also the birth place of the Civil Rights Movement. It was in Montgomery that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. It was in Montgomery that Martin Luther King, Jr. lived and began his movement. There is also some beautiful architecture and other interesting places. I loved exploring the city this way.
10. We stayed through New Year’s Eve. We played some Minute-to-Win-It games that I had planned and put together. We had the kids play. Some games were super easy, others more challenging. But, overall everyone had a great time. After the games were over, we had a glow stick dance party! We did a mock countdown to midnight (I believe it was all of 9pm) and then put the kids to bed. We left bright and early New Years Day, before anyone else was up.11. I am so thankful we went to Alabama. It was fun hanging out with my brother and his family again. Plus, I loved having my girls play with their cousins. They love their cousins (from any family)! They had way too much fun playing with LEGOs and other new toys and each other. It was also great to have Michael around all the action… although if my brother’s 4 month old baby girl was in her little bouncer, Mike loved crawling over to her and attacking her face.12. Michael also can stand on his own for about 3-5 seconds. And loves climbing stairs. I can see first steps in the all too near future. Did I mention he just turned 9 months?! Slow down Mike! I think the influx of big kids only helped to fuel his desires to stand!
13. Unfortunately, Josh’s father tripped down the stairs in his house and busted his knee Christmas Eve, and had surgery on it this week and will be out of commission for a while.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a happy and excellent New Year!
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