Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bobby the Elf Came Back!

Bobby the Elf came to spend the holiday season with us again this year!  He arrived with a bang and ate several of cookies and muffins on his first night at our house.  The boys were laughing and a little envious that he stole some of their treats right away!
Bobby made friends with one of our Nutcrackers, and they were playing a heated game of cards one morning when the boys woke up.   
A dinosaur meeting was going on, and it looked super serious.  Beau loved this one! 
Bobby drew a few pictures and left a note one morning.  They loved his drawing skills. 
Bobby has a few more antics up his (non-existant) sleeves before the holiday season is over.  It is a silly and fun tradition that everyone loves.

Happy Birthday to Pop Pop

Our last celebration on the long weekend was Pop Pop's birthday!  We had a dinner then headed back to their house for presents and cake, of course.  I'm not sure that Pop Pop would request a double chocolate cake, but Beau was pretty confident when he turned in the order.  We sang Happy Birthday, and the boys were looking so sweet in the light of the candles.
One silly-faced picture was all they could manage before giant slices of cake!  Crazy boys! 
The cake was chocolatey and delicious, and we were so glad to celebrate Pop Pop.  It's time to get back in the swing of things, but a welcome visit from a familiar friend is coming up next.


On Friday after Thanksgiving, the Freeman's headed back to Arkansas.  We ran a few errands and did a bit of (non) Black Friday shopping.  Home Depot and the Richardson Mercantile weren't really crowded, and we found a few gifts.  Lincoln and Beau can really find fun in almost any situation, and it's sometimes overlooked by a busy mom.  Thankfully, we took a few moments to enjoy the security camera/monitor while checking out at Home Depot.  Super silly faces and tons of giggles, and Mom had to take a picture!  (No one was waiting in line behind us, so we could take our time at the self check line.)
We got busy decorating the house for Christmas, and by Saturday evening it was pretty much done.  Side note: We keep thinking of new things that are "the best thing about the new house."   The shower in the master bathroom that never loses pressure or lowers in temperature, the cedar sauna turned giant cedar storage closet, the view of the pool lit up in the evening, the oven that heats up slowly but cooks way more evenly than our old gas oven, etc.  While decorating for Christmas, the best thing about the new house really revealed itself.  WALK-IN ATTIC!!!  It was so easy to just step into the spacious attic and peruse the boxes and bins with decorations and trees.  Only the items wanted were carried downstairs in small loads and put out right away.  We assembled and decorated 5 trees (Lincoln totally decorated the 3 upstairs and made some $$ for helping) and put out all other indoor decor.  (Nothing on the exterior of the house this year.  We just haven't lived here long enough to decide how we want that to look.  Next year!)  Having two little helpers (mostly just Lincoln though) was great, but the fact that Minnie had already gone back to Arkansas was definitely noticed.  She has a multitude of talents, but one of her best skills is definitely sweeping.  Seriously, she's the best sweeper ever.  All of the little bristles in the floor had to deal with a less capable sweeper to wrangle them into the dustpan after the tree was set up.  #comebackMinnie 
We also did some reading, and Lincoln was always happy about that.  Snuggled up in pjs with a book; we take turns reading each page.   Still love the Berenstain Bears, but DC Super Pets is coming on strong!
One more major event for this long holiday weekend is next!  The fun never ends!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Thanksviving 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015!!!  We cleaned up the house from our super fun party on Thanksgiving Eve and got ready for the big meal.  The chicken dressing was already made and waiting to bake, Dad made some delicious breakfast tacos, a new roll recipe was tried out (because we couldn't find Grandma's after the move to the new house), the Freeman's joined us to play with the boys, Kev made the potato casserole and green bean casserole, the new roll recipe was checked on often to see if the yeast was rising, and the Katsoulis clan came over to join us.  One of Kate's employee's was new to Way to go, Frank!  Dinner was served around 3, and we all had a great time.
The kids had fun mostly eating turkey and being together! 
After dinner and playing upstairs, it was time for a group pic.  What a happy bunch! 
There were a few crafts left over from the Thanksgiving Eve party, and Beau and Ellie claimed those right away.  Such sweet friend coloring together. 
We watched the horrible Cowboys game together, then we retired to the Katsoulis house for some dessert.  The kids loved to decorate the cupcakes that Kate made.  Beau donned a cape and did his best on his cupcake!
Note to self: take more pictures of people at holidays.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we were so glad the Freeman's were here to celebrate with us. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Friend Thanksgiving 2015

On Thanksgiving Eve, we hosted our 3rd Annual Daddy Friends from High School (and their families) party.  It started in 2012 at the Erickson's (parents) house, but we moved it to our house in 2013.  These 7 guys were inseparable in High School, and it's neat that they still want to get together each year to catch up.  Pizza from the neighborhood Carmine's, a few appetizers, and salad makes everyone happy.  As the kids get older, we definitely have to increase our pizza order!!  So 7 Dads, 5 Wives (two were not able to make it this year), and 13 kids had a blast at the party.  We always have a craft, and in past years it has involved feathers and hot glue or just a load of cut up paper strips to glue to a headband.  This year's craft was mostly coloring the feathers on top of these super stylish sunglasses! 
The craft was a hit, but there isn't a lot of photographic evidence.  It was almost forgotten until Clare (the oldest of the group) quietly pondered if Mrs. Monica had a craft this year . . . so glad she gave the reminder!!!   
It was a fun and rowdy group, and these guys loved spending the evening together.  Funny how we never take a picture of the Moms!!!  Maybe next year!  It's lucky that we all actually like each other! 
The best picture ever each year is Dads with kids . . .who could have imagined this High School group with kids back then!  They have all turned out to be amazing husbands, providers, supporters, and dads, in each of our different situations. 
We love this tradition, and we hope it remains important throughout the years.  These guys can make fun of each other about stuff that happened 20 years ago, and it's too funny!  Wait . . . that makes us sound old. 

Lincoln at Luke's Lego Birthday Party

Lincoln was invited to Luke's birthday party on Saturday, and he was so excited to celebrate with Luke.  They are classmates this year, and they share an immense love of Legos!  Luke's parents had found the Lego Instructor to lead the party, and it was great.  He brought little tables and a Lego set for each boy, and he walked them through the construction.  After they had completed their projects, he had the boys come build machines that could spin on an axle and let them pick their add-ons.  They got to battle their creations against each other, and they had so much fun!!!
When it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Luke and have cookie cake, everyone was all smiles.  The Nicholson's were so sweet to welcome us into their home. 
Even though it was pretty chilly that day, the boys hit up the trampoline in their back yard and doused each other with silly string.  Such a fun party!

Events at School

It was Cluster Night at Bowie on Thursday, and Lincoln was so ready to show us what he had been learning in his Cluster Group.  The kids split up into groups and learn about new things or do projects with different teachers for the first few months of school.  The 1st grade kids were assigned a college to learn about, and Lincoln got the University of Texas.  I'm not sure anyone in our immediate (or extended) family was happy about this, but we let him share his weekly knowledge.  There was a video of the kids singing the fight song, and we all hope this is the last time he has "horns up"!!!  Linc had fun learning about UT, and we hope they add Arkansas sometime soon!
On Friday, it was Dad's Invasion!!!  The kiddos had Donuts with Dad for breakfast in the cafeteria before school started, and all Dads were invited back to have lunch too.  Lincoln made his silliest face when Mommy requested a picture!  These two are something else! 
We are full of school spirit and participate in as many activities as possible, and we are so thankful to live in a neighborhood with such a great school and parents to make these events possible.  Bowie Forever!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tennis Lessons

Tennis Lessons have begun!  Lincoln was glad to get back to playing tennis, and his Bowie buddies Nick and William joined him for the tennis session.  They had so much fun this summer at camp at Canyon Creek, they wanted to take tennis again too!  They were working hard and really concentrating with their instructor.
Surprise . . . Ms. Sally opened a group of 4 year olds for the same lesson time.  Beau was so excited to get to have a tennis lesson too!  It definitely helped that Shayne (one of his best girls from the pool this summer) would be in the class.  Shayne is a total sweetie and loves Beau, and they had so much fun at tennis.  His first Canyon Creek tennis shirt was very exciting! 
Totally sure that one of these will be a tennis star one day . . . just have to keep the pic to prove it when they are winning at Wimbledon! 
We had a great dinner at the club with all of our families after tennis.  What a great Monday tradition! 
Lincoln managed to stay up a little late and do some crafting with paper plates.  What super hero is green with a shield . . . that's the one that he made!  And he made several more, but it was too late to take more pictures.  Paper plates are way better than paper to craft with!

End of the Soccer Season

The soccer season finally ended with a make-up game on a Thursday night.  We have had fun this season with out extended Ninjas team and Coach Jessie and Coach Andy.  It was a bit of an adjustment to move up to a bigger field and more aggressive teams, but we played well and had fun.  The boys got trophies at the end of this game.  Kate got the coaches gift cards to Manny's with a fun popcorn treat, but there is no photographic evidence of it (and we gave it to them after the later mentioned tournament - thanks to Kate for getting that!)
Minnie and Bubbles came to visit for the weekend!!!  Minnie was in charge of lots of reading (and sweeping because this place is forever needing sweeping no matter how much it happens).  The boys loved having her read them books.  Bubbles was stuck with hanging ceiling fans.  We are so thankful that he switched out 5 ceiling fans in such a short number of hours.  The whole day on Saturday was spent shuffling between multiple soccer games (we had entered a tournament) and back at the house.  We left Bubbles at the house to go out for pizza with friends while he tackled the master bedroom fan, but at least Minnie thought to bring him a pizza home! 
These two guys have had fun this soccer season!  Beau and Charlie already spend the older brothers' basketball season together, so they were happy to play during soccer this year.  On a semi-chilly, almost rainy day, they hung in for multiple games.  
Soccer is over . . .football is over . . . time to start back up with tennis lessons and basketball!!  We have had the best fall sports teams, and now we are transitioning to our winter sports.

Two More Pictures from Halloween

When the pictures were downloaded from the big camera, these were found!  Taken at the old house before the club Halloween party on October 30, Lincoln and Beau were happily decked out with teir best Ghostbusters smiles!!! 
Sweet huggers . . . if only they were always hugging this sweetly!  Gotta love the jumpsuits and Proton Packs!