Sunday, February 21, 2016

Warm Enough . . . Ice Cream and a Lemonade Stand

On Day 3 of Christmas Break, Mommy was done with work for the year.  We celebrated the surprising warm weather with a trip to Braum's for some ice cream.  Thumbs up and giggles on the way to the car!
Later that afternoon, the boys set up their lemonade stand.  They love to serve in the neighborhood, and we have some sweet passers-by.   
This is just the beginning of shorts at Christmas . . . that's pretty much the theme of Christmas 2015.

Beginning of Christmas Break!

Christmas Break began on Monday, and the boys were super excited about time away from school.  They had plans with Nana for the first couple of days.  A new park with a fun playground was awesome! 
They managed to each eat an entire Campisi's pizza at their picnic!!!  Seriously . . . their pizza is really good, especially after a hard morning of playing. 
Some downtime is required in the afternoons.  Lincoln and Beau were happy to hide away in their teepee with lots of rules.  Apparently no one else was allowed in! 
There was an occasional chore involved, and the playroom got organized!  Proud to stand in front of the clean closet containing all of their toys. 
It's been a great start to the break, and we have so much fun and celebration to come.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dads/Big Boys, Moms/Littles

After a regular week of school and activities, the Dads and boys went to a Stars game on Friday night.  We love that Uncle Matt can hook us up with awesome seats!  (It's great knowing a super important insider!)  The boys were so excited about going to a real hockey game.  We've taken our boys several years in a row, but Nick and William were pumped to join Lincoln.  It started off great . . . Dallas score!!!
There were a few food breaks and a few merchandise breaks, but they loved the 7/11 little blimp the most!!!  Who wouldn't want to catch a coupon for a Slurpee? 
Daddy was great about sending pictures throughout the night.  He and Lincoln had a silly selfie! 
The game ended with 5 more Stars goals, and there was so much to cheer about.  It was also Jamie Benn Jersey Night, so they each scored a sweet hockey jersey.   
The Moms and the "littles" had a wonderful (and wonderfully calm) dinner at Ida Claire.  Ellie and Beau were all set up to color at the end of the table, but Beau just had to take a nap break!  He woke up when the delicious chicken and waffles arrived, and we all had a great time without the wild older brothers. 
Such a fun night for everyone!  We are a great group together, but it's also fun to be Dads\Big Boys and Moms\Littler Ones. 

Visit with Santa

Our yearly visit to see Santa is usually at the Galleria, but Santa made a quick stop at the club this year.  We headed for brunch and to get a picture with the Big Guy.  We were a little concerned that Beau would be shy at the big moment, but all was going well.  We were next in line to sit on Santa's lap, and we were staying loose and calm . . . then someone bumped into the Christmas tree on the right . . . and we watched as it toppled over almost crushing Santa and the cute little girl sitting on his lap.  All of the calmness went out the window!  They fixed the tree, and we were up for our turn.  Mommy whispered exactly what book that Beau should NOT ask Santa for, and his giggles overtook his nervousness.  Everyone smiled sweetly and played along.  Thank goodness!
The book in question is "Dinosaur Dung."  Who would even write a book about such?  The boys saw it at the book fair, and it has been a hysterical topic since then!  Whatever, it did the trick!
The professional photographer emailed this photo a few days later.  Not too shabby!   
A few last notes:
Santa was way old and not so much into talking.  The boys could barely understand him.
Thankfully, Santa couldn't hear either and didn't understand Beau's request for the book "Dinosaur Dung."
Lincoln has wild bed head.
Beau's shark hair (faux-hawk) was too much.
This is one visit to Santa that we won't forget!

Warm Days and the Mystery Reader

The weather this "winter" has been extremely mild, and we have enjoyed several days in the 70s!  We are all taking advantage and being outside as much as possible. 
On Friday, Mom had volunteered to be the Mystery Reader for Lincoln's class.  Five clues were submitted, and the kids got to guess who they thought was coming in to read. 
Here were the clues:
My favorite food is Mexican
I really like to bake chocolate chip cookies.
My favorite song is Amazing Grace.
I did not grow up in Texas.
My favorite team is the Texas Rangers.
Those seemed pretty obvious, and Lincoln could get this for sure.  Uh, not so much!  His teacher finally had to make it a choice between Lincoln and Levi, and he guessed himself.  He was so surprised to open the door to find Mom standing there!  We read a superhero comic book, played superhero bingo with skittles as our game pieces, and won suckers for each bingo round . . . pretty sure the moms loved their kids being hyped on sugar at the end of the school day!  It was so fun, and the kids really had a great time.  Such a fun group, and can't wait to do it again. 
We played on the playground for a while after school.  Why head home to play inside when another beautiful "warm" day was gifted to us?  Beau was loving hanging on the big playground, and he just can't wait until Kindergarten! 

On the way home, we discussed how Lincoln had missed all of the clues.  "What's Mexican food?" he says!!!!!  Like the food we eat all the time in Texas, like the restaurants you have grown up going to, like the best food ever, like tacos, and quesadillas, and that place we go to with fajita in the name?!?!  Who's child is this?  More of the same on the other clues.  We might need to work on noticing some important life details . . . before the next Mystery Reader. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Nice Weekend

The boys (and me too) are so lucky to have an Auntie that sends them weekly boxes of fun treats/toys/trinkets/tape/notepads/flashlights/etc.  She is really good at mail!  In the box of goodies was this picture of a little Monica all decked out in her baton recital costume.  The boys were amazed and laughed a ton!  The picture got texted to a few friends in the neighborhood, and it was the hit of the week.  The super close up face shot will show that Beau looks like the boy version of Mommy.  Isn't that the cutest? 
It was a fairly warm/not too cool weekend, so we grabbed an ice cream cone of course.  Who can make a grocery store trip without being armed with ice cream before?!?! 
On the list for the grocery store: lemonade mix, cookies, and cups.  Since we had just rescued our lemonade stand from the storage unit, we decided to put it to good use.  It got a little cool after standing outside for a while, but we were warm and cozy in our hoodies.   
Several of our new neighbors came out to support our efforts, and we got to meet a few new people from down the street.  Lincoln handled the sign himself, and WAY underpriced the goods.  He was only charging pennies!  Luckily, no one carries pennies these days . . . they made at least a dollar from each customer.  Sweet thing has even decided to call his new Star Wars bank his college trust fund!  We are going to need to sell a lot more lemonade, but the initiative he's showing is great!  Many more lemonade stands are in our future, and we love interacting with the people in our neighborhood.  Love that it's warm enough in early December to be outside.

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.