Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Frozen Fun

Last week we finally got enough snow to make it worth going out to play! It was enough that we got 2 days off from school. We just huddled up in the house and played, ate, watched movies and had a fun ol' time. The best part was that the first snow day fell on Charlotte's birthday & so we all got to be home to enjoy her special day with her! How perfect!

After a morning of playing inside we finally bundled up and braved the cold weather for some snow fun. It was a chilling 20 degrees & since we live in the South we don't really own a lot of snow clothes. They were layered up well, but it was still COLD! We started out in the front yard and then progressed to the back for some more fun. Charlotte & I joined everyone for a few minutes before heading back inside to the warm house. Cold days always make me extra thankful that we have a nice warm home (and a daddy who works so hard to provide it!).

Poor Charlotte didn't really have any ultra-cold weather gear so she only got a couple of minutes in the snow. :)
Matt took the kids over to the driving range to try some sledding. They decided after a few minutes that they'd rather just play in the snow around our house.
Charlotte spent the entire time they were outside watching from inside. She was pretty content with this at first, but after awhile, she let it be known that she wanted to be outside, too!

Don't be deceived by this sweet smile. She spent most of her time outside trying to pelt Matt with snowballs! She's got pretty good aim, too!

I love this picture of Harrison. He was fussing at Matt because Matt kept tackling him & Harrison was trying to do his "work." He was pushing his bulldozer through the snow making roads. He spent most of his time outside doing this & make roads all through our yard.
I don't know if they loved the snow that much, or were just tired of being cooped up inside, but they stayed outside for almost 1 the freezing cold. They only came in because we MADE them and promised them a nice warm bath in our big tub. They came in and had to defrost before getting in the tub -- they were that cold. Harrison even had some cold whelps on his skin -- scared us to death! But, eventually they did defrost and played in the tub for another hour before getting out.
The perfect ending to a snow day? Hot chocolate of course, with marshmellows and whipped cream. Yum!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Big ONE

We had such a fun Saturday celebrating the first year of Miss Charlotte. I decided to keep this celebration just our close family -- it was important to me to be able to enjoy the party too and not be so busy taking care of things that I didn't get to join in on the fun. :) I also wanted to be able to spend time with Charlotte on her actual birthday (which was 2 days before) and spend time with her on party day as well.

But, I did want it to be special! Here's a yarn wreath I made for the front door.
Our house was all things pink, green and white with a cupcake theme. I made these mason jars decorated with "C"s on them as the centerpiece of the dining room table where we all ate lunch.
I was overjoyed that all of our family was able to be here to celebrate with Charlotte. At this age, gifts mean very little to her. But, being surrounded by all the people she loves -- with her as the center of attention -- made her one pretty happy gal! I realize the not all of our family will be able to be present for every birthday, but for some reason it's just so important to me that they be here for the first one. I want Charlotte to know that everyone loved her so much that they came to celebrate with her!
I made lunch for all of us before we celebrated with cake. I made Chicken and Wild Rice, Salad and homemade rolls. We started with the BEST dip that's definitely going on my "must make often" list -- thanks to my friend AJ for the recipe. :)
Charlotte is such a good eater. She sampled some of everything and couldn't get enough of the casserole & bread. I hope she stays this good of an eater!
Like I said, I wanted to make this day special. I make these cupcake cookies to match the cupcake cake that she had.

Here's Charlotte checking out the table. Look closely & you can see Harrison sneaking some M&Ms. :)
Here we are singing Happy Birthday. You can't see it very well, but her outfit had little cupcakes embroidered all over it. Perfect for this day!

One great thing about being baby #3 -- you have 2 older siblings to help you blow out your first birthday candle!
But, you still get an entire cake to yourself! She was a little hesitant at first, but decided that she definitly like the icing! Although she did prefer for me to feed it to her.

Eventually she did get her hands dirty and kept rubbing the icing between her fingers. Ick!
After cake it was present time! We got her a pushtoy-stroller and some stacking blocks and a couple other little toys. She also got a beautiful dress and new snack keeper, monogram plate set, new book and shoes! The gifts were opened in record time, with the help of Madeleine and Harrison!
This ball popper has already been taken over by her older siblings. They love it, too!

To me it was the perfect day! We were surrounded by our family, ate good food, played with the birthday girl, and made wonderful memories. I can't think of a better way to celebrate this wonderful year with our wonderful Charlotte!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas Day

I'm finally getting around to posting the rest (and last!) of the Christmas pictures. :)

The kids actually surprised us and woke up around 7:30 on Christmas morning. We'd thought they might sleep later since they're usually late sleepers & we'd kept them up late on Christmas Eve. I spent the night sleeping on the couch (remember the fun stomach bug?!?!) so I *hopefully* wouldn't infect the rest of the family (no such luck -- Matt was only a mere day away from his turn). Matt slept with the kids in our bed so we would be sure not to miss the excitement of them seeing what Santa left them.

So, about 7:30 the kids busted out of our room and ran into the living room scaring me as they ran to see what Santa left them! They were so excited! I think this is one of my most favorite moments of the year -- seeing the pure joy on their faces when they see what Santa left for them. It's one of the highlights of parenthood; one of the most fun things you get to be a part of each year. :)

Madeleine had decided in early December that she wanted an American Girl doll. Well, she's never been one to play with dolls much & I wasn't sure that Santa should deliver such an expensive gift since she's not usually big on dolls. So, we decided that Santa would bring a nice doll & that if she loves her & plays with her, she can go pick out a REAL American Girl doll for her birthday. She seemed good with that and absolutely loved the doll she got. She named her Jessie.
She also got a Leapster Explorer that was a huge huge HUGE hit! She's played with it nonstop!
Madeleine also got the pillow pet that she wanted. :) Santa didn't forget Charlotte. She got a play kitchen, Learning Table and a few other little toys. She was pretty excited with all that she got!

Harrison loved his new Dragon Castle & Misty Island Playset. The dragon castle wasn't something he asked for, but it was a HIT! He's had a great time discovering all the "secrets" of the castle. He and Madeleine played with it most of the day Christmas day -- knights and her new Rapunzel at the castle. :)
I took the picture below around 11am. If you look closely under the tree you'll notice that there are still gifts there. The kids were so excited about what Santa left them & so happy with it, they didn't even remember that there were gifts under the tree too! Matt and I kept waiting for them to notice and then it became a big joke between us that they hadn't noticed.
We had a nice Christmas breakfast together before, finally, we reminded them that there were even MORE gifts! They were more than happy to open them, too. ;)
Harrison got a new set of Thomas books & Madeleine got a new Tinkerbelle story collection she could read by herself.
And, Charlotte got some new books as well.
Madeleine worked very hard this year picking out Matt's gifts. She knew right away that she wanted to get him some new gloves since he couldn't find his (without any prompting -- she'd been thinking of what to get him and when he remarked one morning he couldn't find his gloves, she ran right to me & whispered that she was going to get him some for Christmas. Love that girl and her sweet heart!). She ended up adding a hat and some PJs to that while we were in the store. Harrison picked out a Razorback hat for Matt as well. I added some UGG slippers for him & some new cologne and new clothes.
We're a big game playing family. We added Kerplunk, Operation and Jenga to our collection this Christmas.
Matt discovered the wonderful world of internet shopping this year -- ha! He got me a new Pioneer Woman cookbook that I've been dying to try! Matt also got me some wonderful new UGG slippers (yippeeeee!) and these cute little houseshoes for when I'm bumming around the house or watching TV. :) Love them! He also got me a necklace with the kids names & birthstones on it that I absolutely love!!! The kids picked me out some B&B Works stuff and some new gloves & scarf. Just perfect! I love seeing what they chose for me and no matter what it is I always think it's perfect.
Harrison also got some Hot Wheels stuff, a pirate cove, slippers, Thomas trains (even more!) etc.
Madeleine got some new slippers, clothes, barbies, bath play stuff, tea sets, etc.
After a lazy afternoon, we ended up eating Christmas Dinner at dinnertime. We had ham, mashed potato casserole, green beans, corn casserole, strawberry-pretzel salad and rolls. Sadly, with Matt getting the stomach flu and me still recovering, most of that food ended up in the trash later that week. Oh well, it was yummy on Christmas day!

And, yes, we did stay in our jammies all day long. The perfect Christmas!