Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This week we celebrated the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We had a lot of fun with Ryan off of work, and went down to see my family in Ohio prior to Christmas, and drove back on Christmas Eve to have our first Christmas morning at our home since 2006.

On Monday, I got up super early to go spinning with Cristina. She teaches the 6am class at Botsford, and it was a great way to get the morning started. That afternoon, evening, we attended a birthday party for our friends, Lisa and Erik's son Dominic. Keira and Soren had a blast.

On Tuesday, we started the day with a haircut for me! We after that, we drove down to my parents house. We had a good drive and no new snow for it. Keira and Soren were very excited to see Grandma and Grandpa.

We went to the Columbus Zoo to see the lights. This time around, it wasn't as cold, and we went early. We also spent a lot of time in the buildings. There were several sets of nocturnal animals that we got to see in action. The huge bats were incredible. They were very difficult to photograph, but they were HUGE and had a wingspan of 6 feet!

We finished off the evening with dinner at the Claddagh restaurant. My parents know the members of the band, Hat Trick, that were playing that evening. Soren LOVED it. My dad made a special request for the "Wheels on the Bus" and the kids were so excited to hear it. It was late for the kids to be out, and having the band kept them very entertained. We were ready to leave before Soren was!

The next morning, I went on a quick run in the snow, and then we went to Easton to see the trains there. Sarah went with us. They were a huge hit.

After visiting the trains many times, we had a great lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Keira enjoying opening and eating the edamame appetizer. I feel like I never know what she will or won't eat.

She also worked on baking cookies with my mom once we got back, and Ryan and I went out for some browsing. That evening Sarah, David, Kristin, Ryan, and I went to see the Black Swan. It was a pretty intense movie.

The next day, my dad had off work, so we went to the Franklin Park Conservatory to see the it decorated for Christmas. The highlight for the children was the rotating train that went around Cinderella's castle. It was made from entirely living/plant materials, and was surrounded by lots of other fairytale story characters. They also had gingerbread houses made to look like Currier and Ives paintings, as well as houses submitted to a contest. We enjoyed walking through the many different climates they had set up. Soren loved the fountain in the palm room, and was beginning for change from Ryan and my dad, because he knows that guys have change in their pockets. He was pretty cute. Soren loved the natural tunnel outside made from a fallen log. We enjoyed the glass blowing demonstration, but Keira and Soren weren't so thrilled with it.

Once we got, Keira finished up decorating cookies with my mom, and we had our big dinner that evening with my family.

The next morning, we had a big breakfast of lots of fancy pancakes (chocolate, banana nut, and regular) with many syrups and fruit, eggs, sausage, and bacon with Sarah and David before opening presents. Soren loved his mustang, and Keira was very excited about her new barbies. It was great to spend the morning with my family. Both could not wait to get home to open their legos and playmobile sets.

We drove back to Michigan, and spent a few hours doing some last minute grocery shopping to get us through until Monday as well as get the food we needed for Christmas day. Soren napped as Keira got her sets opened.

That evening, we went over to Kris and Linda's where we awaited Tyler and Minde's arrival from New York. Once everyone was there, we played songs with handbells and Linda read Christmas stories to the grandchildren in their pjs.

We got home and spread some reindeer food on the lawn, and the kids went to sleep. I made an apple pie before bed. They actually slept in pretty late for them, and we were able to have our own Christmas morning. Soren was so excited that Santa had eaten the cookie and milk we put out. We also got out our pyramids and lit them.

We then drove over to Greg and Ellyn's for a breakfast of ebilskivers, quiche, fruit, homemade egg nog, and hot cocoa. Keira and Soren enjoyed playing with their cousin's new toys. Lleyton got a shelby cobra car, but Soren had to keep a close eye on his mustang, as both boys liked both cars.

Keira made this nativity craft from stickers.

We went home for some downtime so that Soren could nap and Keira could have more time with her toys. We also made our cheesy potato dish for the dinner, and Keira ate 3 bowls of corn flakes as we made it. We had Christmas dinner with everyone that evening, complete with Christmas Crackers. The kids wore their crowns for dinner.

After dinner was finished, we opened presents with Ryan's family. Soren was thrilled with his lego school bus, and Keira got a horse and new Madame Alexander doll to go with it. Ryan and I received a new Canon Rebel camera, which I am still in the process of figuring out. All the pics from this post are from our other camera. The big hit of the evening was Chase's batcave, which all the children enjoyed playing with. We headed home. Ryan busily opened toys while the kids bathes so that Keira and Soren could play with their newest toys a bit before going to bed.

On Sunday, we woke up fairly late for 9am church, but since everyone had bathed the night before, we managed to still get there 5 minutes early. I tried to take a few pictures of Keira and Soren in their church clothes with the new camera, but since they were really anxious to play and eat, I just used the other one.

We had a very restful afternoon and evening. Soren and I both slept for a really long time, and Keira watched both of her new movies, Tinkerbell and Beauty and the Beast. We had a quite evening once Soren woke up and they both played with their new toys the rest of the evening.

We are looking foward to spending more time with Tyler and Minde this week while they are in town.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow Day and other Fun Christmas Preparations

This was a busy week, with it being the last full week before Christmas and of school/work. It started off with a snow day for us, after the snowfall we had last Sunday. We finished up the week with a busy busy Saturday, and then a restful Sunday.

On Monday, the schools were closed as a result of the snow and the cold temperatures. We didn't let this stop us, and we did make it out of the gym and one errand. The roads were passable, but it just took extra time. We played inside for a bit.

After some fun indoors, we decided to go outside to play. We had a blast playing in the snow, and our neighbors made a really cool snow cave that we helped them work on a bit. They really did most of the work.

On Tuesday, I did the moring track workout at the gym, and then we did a few errands that we didn't do the previous day. Ryan and I were able to get a lot of the presents wrapped an put under the tree last night, so Keira and Soren were very curious about them.

We did bundle up again to play in the snow, but the temps were still very cold so the snow had gotten even harder and crunchier today than yesterday.

On Wednesday, Keira went to school for her school Christmas (Holiday) party. It was scheduled for Monday originally, but was moved to today so they could still have it. Keira had a good time. Parents were not invited, and the sign up was full super fast, so I didn't have anything to do to help today.

Soren had his last library storytime before Christmas. It was fun as always for him.

Miss Kathryn passed out stuffed animals for everyonen to rock to sleep. Soren was super snuggly and enjoyed being rocked. He was really such a sweetheart!

On Thursday, we went visiting teaching. Shannon had only a short time, so we had a super fast visit with her, and then we saw Deborah. I feel like she is visitin teaching me! This time she had lunch in the oven when we got there since her children were hungry. She also was watching Elise today, and Keira had a blast playing with her friend. Soren had a good time too playing with all the boys and Sadie. We had to run up to the mall quickly on our way home, and Keira and Soren wanted to play there too. They did a lot of playing today! The fact that they have to wear socks/tights now that it is no longer "croc" weather makes playing on the "band-aid" a bit more difficult. Keira and Soren kept sliding down onto each other and had a blast. Keira finally got the hang of it, while Soren went back to his favorite, the popsicle.

On Friday, we had a great day. In the morning, I took Keira to her field trip to see "Snow White" at the Marquis Theatre in downtown Northville. I was bummed that I left my camera in the car, thinking that I didn't need it since photography wasn't allowed during the performance anyway. I missed a few good photo ops of Keira with her classmates, but did get a couple shots on my phone.

Soren wasn't allowed to go, so he spent the time shopping with Nana. Everyone was on a tight schedule today, so we rushed home for some quick lunch before I took Keira and Soren over to Valerie's house. Valerie had called me this morning saying that since she was going out of town on Sat, it would be a lot better to do our long run for her today, and she had gotten a babysitter for me at her house to make it happen! That was awesome of her, and I could NEVER turn down such a great offer, no matter how tired I was or cold outside it is. It was pretty cold, but we got in 13 miles at Kensington. We pretty much had to drive out there because the streets around here are still pretty ice packed and we didn't have enough roads to go that far without going crazy repeating the same 1 mile of cleared roads 13 times. When we got back, I put Soren down for a nap, but he ended up sleeping until Sat morning. It was probably a good thing since we had a huge day planned.

Saturday was a very busy day. Since my running was finished on Fri, I was able to take Keira and Soren to a special Christmas Kindermusik/Breakfast with Santa. They loved the music and Christmas stories. They were a bit unsure about Santa, and Soren didn't want to go up to visit him alone. Keira did run up and give Santa her letter, way to fast for me to take a picture of her doing it, but she did sit with him briefly.

Keira's letter to Santa. It says, To Santa I want Tinkerbell, Doll, Candy- Keira. The letters are all there, but some of the Ns look like W or Ms, and there are a couple extra letters.
Keira ran up really quickly and dropped off her letter.
She finally got brave and explained it to Santa.

We hit the gym quickly where I had a fast swim, and then went home from some lunch. We tried to have Soren take a quick nap, but I don't know that he did, because we had wanted to go to the Dixboro General Store to visit with Santa. We love this store, and had been planning this early on in the week. This visit went great. Soren ran right up to Santa and then turned around so he could pick him up to put him on his lap! We got our best Santa picture of the two kids ever! They went over what they wanted with him too.

We grabbed a quick dinner at Chipotle before heading to see Brittany for some pre-Christmas haircuts. Everyone except me got them, mine will be Tuesday morning. After haircuts, We had our LAST visit for cider and donuts at Three Cedars until next fall! We really hope KY has something in terms of cider and donuts.

Finally, I finished up some sugar cookies that Keira and I had started earlier in the day to give to her and Soren's teachers at church tomorrow:

On Sunday, we had a restful day. We went to church and Ryan did his home teaching. The kids hung out at home, going back and forth from being complete angels and playing really nicely to fighting with each other pretty much all afternoon.

The highlight of my day was a short visit from Shannon and her family. They brought us a treat and sang a couple Christmas Carols. It really brightened my day. Thanks so much!
Keira's artwork from this week:

We are looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, this week! Merry Christmas