Friday, December 31, 2010

Another 19 Year Old!




Ean's 19th birthday is today! We went out to Applebee's for lunch because he's going out with friends tonight. What living-on-his-own 19 year old wants to spend New Year's Eve with his parents, anyhow? For gifts we just gave him what he likes best - money. He's grown into a very handsome and tall young man. Happy Birthday honey!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Barbies!


The little girls got Barbie cars that came with Barbies in them for Christmas, and they were a big hit. As I was watching them playing, I realized that these are their first blond Barbies! Isn't that funny? I've just always gotten them African American Barbies. After all, I want them to think of themselves as beautiful, and I feel like brown Barbies help with that. I asked them if they liked these Barbies as well as their others, and they just looked at me like I was crazy and continued playing. I obviously don't need to worry about it!

Christmas Dinner


We had our usual Christmas dinner - lasagna and garlic bread, with pies for dessert. And sparkling apple cider to drink. I love it because it's yummy and super easy for me. I just buy frozen stuff and pop it in the oven. Then I can really enjoy the day!

Big Brother


Ean spent Christmas with us and the girls just couldn't get enough of him! They constantly followed him around and climbed all over him. Fortunately he's very patient and loves them dearly. Thank heavens!

Christmas Day 2010!




Here are a couple pictures that show a little bit of the mayhem that goes on around here on Christmas morning. We always start out taking turns opening packages, going from the youngest to the oldest, but by the end it's just a free-for-all. The little girls got Barbie everything, Ellie got books and CDs, Ean got money, Lexie got a new phone and boots, Brantley wanted (and got) cookie cutters and Legos, Annie got a game boy and games, and Marq got a CD player and music. Too funny about Brantley and the cookie cutters, huh? Actually, it makes sense for him since he's constantly cooking and baking. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Lights!


This year, Tim's back wasn't feeling good when it came time to put up lights on the house, so we paid a company to do it for us. It turned out great, and I loved having lights on the second floor eves too!

Gingerbread House!




Every year we decorate at least one gingerbread house. The kids look forward to it and talk about it all Christmas season. This year I found a kit that had an already-built house. Yay! No more trying to hold all the walls up while the frosting dries. The kids eat more candy than they actually put on the house, but that's the fun of gingerbread houses!

Feeding the Homeless


On Christmas Eve morning we went to a park in downtown Seattle to help feed the homeless. I manned our table while Tim took the kids around handing out food and drinks. It was a great way to celebrate the meaning of Christmas and we plan on doing it every year!

Off to See the Lights!


One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to go out and look at the lights. Here are the kids on the front porch getting ready to go. We have a neighborhood close to us that really goes all out, so we go there every year. Then we stop at Dairy Queen and get Dilly Bars for everyone. It's such fun!

Christmas Dresses!




I bought the girls darling purple dresses for Christmas this year. However, when we were in Costco (where we always are) they fell in love with these dresses and just HAD to have them. Since they weren't too expensive, I went ahead and got them. Then when I was taking their picture, Marq and Annie wanted their picture taken too. They're all just too cute!

Church Christmas Program


We had a great church Christmas party this year. The food was wonderful, and the program didn't drag on forever like it has some other years. The kids were all supposed to dress up as animals or shepherds for the program, so we just used reindeer antlers I got at the dollar store. I used to stress about these things and spent tons of time on costumes for the kids, but not anymore. Maybe I'm getting smarter as I get older! Anyhow, even though Brantley and Marq refused to participate (because it was "too baby-ish") the girls were adorable and had a great time!

Santa Pictures




I keep wondering when the little girls will decide they're too old to sit on Santa's lap. This year, Emily wouldn't do it unless Annie went with her. Annie wasn't thrilled, but was a good sport about it. I think it's so cute I hope they'll do it for at least another year!

Decorating Our Christmas Tree 2010




Here are the kids decorating our Christmas tree. We tried out a fake one for about 3 years, but even though Tim liked it much better, the kids and I hated it so now we're back to real ones. You can't beat the smell! We always let the kids do all the decorating, so the ornaments aren't exactly placed with care, but it works for us!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Makeup!







Annie got a play makeup kit for an early Christmas gift and she and the little girls had a very fun afternoon putting it on and taking it off and putting it on again. It gives me visions of things to come!

Thanksgiving 2010


We had another very nice and relaxing Thanksgiving. Ean was our only guest, and since he's family, there was no stress at all. I served our usual turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and pies for dessert. I always try to make enough pie so we have leftovers for breakfast the next morning. And I even got a chance to take a picture for our Christmas cards. We have beautiful children, if I do say so myself! All in all, a wonderful day!

Snow in November!


We seldom have snow here at all, (one of the many reasons I love it here) much less in November! But this year, we had tons. Of course, I couldn't drive my van on the slick roads so we were snowed in for a few days. We drank hot chocolate and sat in front of the fire playing games and reading. It was wonderful! The kids also played out in the snow everyday. Here's Brantley out in the snow (before it was very deep) happily shoveling away while wearing his short jammie bottoms. Crazy kid!

Birthmother Pictures




Every few months, I send letters and pictures to my kids' birthmoms. Here are the pictures I took of Ashlyn and Emily for my most recent letters. I'm always happy to share with the birthmoms how well the kids are doing and how beautiful they are. And of course how much we love them!

Oregon!


At the beginning of November, Tim, Brantley, Marq, Annie, and I headed down to Eugene Oregon for Brantley's Brain Integration Technique therapy. We had a very nice and relaxing few days and while we were there we found the best park ever. Here are the kids at that park having tons of fun!

Halloween 2010!


Annie was a mouse, Marq was Ironman (again), and Emily and Ashlyn were ladybugs. I'm so glad they still wanted to match because I think it's adorable. Brantley decided to forgo a costume again this year - he thinks it's little kid stuff. They all had a great time at our church's Trunk or Treat and ate waaaaay too much candy!

Science Time!







Brantley found directions for making dry ice bubbles on YouTube and wanted to try it. He often looks online for fun science experiments. We got the dry ice and dish soap and they went for it. It worked just like it was supposed to and was great fun!

Haircut!


Annie decided that her bangs were too long, so instead of asking me to cut them, she did it herself! I love a girl with her own mind, but maybe this time she should have asked for a little help. Of course, I think she's darling no matter what!

Braces!


In September, Brantley got his braces on. He chose orange bands, of course! This is just the first phase, and will last about a year. Then he gets to get them again when he's 13 or so on his top and bottom teeth. Poor guy! But he sure does look cute!

Halloween Costume Fun!




Every year in September I pull out the Halloween costume boxes and the kids get to choose what they'll be that year. If they don't like what we have or nothing fits, they get to choose new costumes. Sometimes the costume choice changes a few times before something is finally decided upon. This year they had a great time trying on all the possibilities!