Tuesday, January 15, 2019

First 2 Weeks of January

2019 has already had it's ups and downs and we're only 2 weeks in. A little over a week ago, January 4th, Jake was laid off from his job that he had been at for 12 years. It was quite a shock and disappointment to say the least. He's been extremely proactive though and has already sent his resume out to so many different companies and has even had a couple phone interviews and 2 face-to-face interviews, so we're very optimistic. It's hard and we're obviously apprehensive, but we're trying to stay positive and trust that God has a plan and He will make a way.

On a happier note, that same evening, Jackson's school had a movie night in the gym. Everyone voted on what movie to watch earlier in the week and they picked Incredibles 2. One of our favorites!! The kids were able to wear their pajamas and bring blankets, pillows and sleeping bags. It was a very fun night and a good way to keep our minds off the bad news we had gotten earlier that day!

The next day we went to a birthday party for one of Jackson's friends from school and then spent the rest of the day taking the Christmas decorations down outside while the kids played outside with the neighbors. The weather was really nice for January so we spent a majority of the afternoon outside just hanging out with friends.

Sunday we got up and went to church. Then after church I wanted to get the Christmas tree and Christmas decorations down inside, but before we did that we had to get our annual Christmas picture in front of the tree. I usually try to do this closer to Christmas but just hadn't gotten around to it yet this year. I love this year's picture though, it may be my favorite yet!

Avery's class does a "family of the month" and each child's family picks a month that works best for them to be the family of the month. We picked January and had to put a poster together to show things we like to do together as a family. So we worked on that throughout the week and Avery got to present her poster to her class on Friday. Her teacher sent me a couple of pictures of Avery presenting it and they were so cute! She also sent me a little video and I was so impressed with how confident Avery was. She did great!

That afternoon we got a huge snowstorm that brought us a little over 10" of snow when it was all said and done!! Jackson got to leave school early and I was able to leave work a little early. Once we got home we cleared the driveway and went over to hang out with some friends that live close for a snowmageddon party.

It snowed for most of the night that night and even more the next day. So that morning we all met up at the sledding hill at the park near our house! It was hopping for sure. Every family in our area had the same idea! It was fun though because so many of our friends were up there. We went sledding for over an hour and then went home to warm up and get ready for the Chiefs vs. Colts game that afternoon!

Before heading to the hill I got my camera out and got a picture of the kids in front of our house in all of their snow gear. :-)

Then I just took my phone to the park.

Jake had some guys that live close-by over to watch the Chiefs game that afternoon and they brought their sons who are friends with Jackson from school. The girls all got together at a different house for wine and snacks, so Avery came along with me to play with the girls. We got a few pictures of some of the kids later in the evening doing yoga! It was too cute!

 Church was canceled on Sunday because of all the snow, so we slept in and just hung out at home for most of the day. I decided with the Chiefs big win the day before and nowhere to go that day, I'd try and put a Chiefs puzzle together that we had. It is 1000 pieces so needless to say I didn't get it finished. I figure I'll work on it throughout the week in the evenings and try and get it done. My mom is helping me too so we'll see how long it takes us.

The kids and I also decided to try and make some snow ice-cream on Sunday afternoon. We used this recipe and it turned out great. The kids loved it!

So it's been an eventful last 2 weeks. Some good and some bad, but we'll get through the bad and be better for it I'm sure. Now we are gearing up for our cruise that leaves this weekend. We'll be leaving Friday afternoon and driving to Jackson, MS where we're staying the night and then driving on to New Orleans to board a Carnival Cruise with 2 stops in Mexico. We're going with Jake's family and have had this planned for a year now. We're all really looking forward to it. It will be a nice change of pace and nice to relax a little and have fun!

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Last Week of December

I happened to be off work the day after Christmas so we rescheduled our movie date to see Mary Poppins Returns for that day. I also took the kids to the store to spend some gift cards they had gotten for Christmas. Jackson was excited because the latest Dog Man book (Dog Man 6) came out on Christmas Eve and he was hoping they would have it for him to get with his gift card! He was so excited when he saw it at the store!

I went back to work Thursday after Christmas and then brought the kids with me into work Friday. They love going to work with me whenever they can. The week in between Christmas and New Years is always a slow time for us so I usually bring them in that Friday.

That Saturday I took Jackson for a hair-cut and then I went out with my Mom and Sister for their birthdays. We did some shopping and then went to dinner at Tucker's Place.

Sunday was our Christmas/New Year's Dinner at church. We do this every year and it's always so much fun. Whoever would like to decorate a table can and we all come together for a nice dinner. I always decorate a table and I love to do it. This year I did a buffalo plaid theme again for the second year in a row. I just love it so much.

While I was out shopping the night before with my mom and sister, I got Avery this adorable sweater at Target on clearance and these adorable rose gold boots to match. She looked so cute at our dinner at church Sunday evening that I had to get a picture of her. I even curled her hair and it looked so adorable!

For NYE this year the kids went and stayed at Grandma's house for the night and Jake and I went out with some friends of ours. Our friend's birthday was that day so his wife made reservations for a few of us to have dinner at the Gamlin Whiskey House. It was a wonderful time and the food was really really good. Afterwards we went back to their house to watch the ball drop! I didn't get any pictures from that night, unfortunately, but my mother-in-law did send us a picture of the kids with a couple of their cousins that spent the night as well. They had a great time at Grandma's as usual. :-)

And that's a wrap on December of 2018. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Christmas Day 2018

Christmas morning we just stayed home all day!! I love this tradition! The kids woke up between 8:00 and 8:30 and we went into the living room together to see what Santa brought for them. Jackson got a new bike and Avery got the LOL Surprise Doll house she had been wanting "so badly!" They were both so surprised and happy! They also went through their stockings and we took our time and opened all of our presents one at a time. It was a wonderful Christmas morning!!

After we opened all our presents, Jackson went outside to ride his bike for a little while and Avery played with some of her new toys while I made a Christmas tree out of cinnamon rolls for a late breakfast. I had seen the idea on Facebook and decided to try it. They turned out so cute!

For the rest of the day, Jake and I put toys together (me the LOL dollhouse and Jake the basketball hoop). Then we all went outside for a little while to play some basketball. It was a nice day outside so it was perfect for the outdoor toys Jackson got. Our neighbors next-door came out to play as well.

After playing outside for a while, we went in to eat some dinner and the kids both put on some of their new pajamas that they got for Christmas. Avery got a pair of Violet pajamas (Violet is from the movie Incredibles) and a Violet stuffed toy and Jackson got a pair of Avengers pajamas along with a Captain America stuffed toy. They both loved them and couldn't wait to put them on.

Jackson also got the last 2 Dog Man books he had been wanting for Christmas. He had gotten the first three already when the book-fair was at his school, but he got the last 2 at two different Christmas get-to-gathers over the weekend. He was so excited to get them.

We had such a great Christmas day this year! Probably one of the best in my opinion! I'm already looking forward to next year!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Our December (Leading up to Christmas)

We had a wonderful and busy December, but it went by way too fast! Since I'm so behind on blogging, I thought I'd just do one long post all about our December leading up to Christmas Day, just so I have something to look back on. So here goes...

The first Saturday in December happened to be December 1st. That day we went and picked out our Christmas Tree at the same little tree lot we got it from last year. It's called Home Grown Trees. We got a Frasier Fir this year (same as last year) and it was a really great tree!

That same day was "Christmas in Crestwood." Crestwood is the suburb that we live in and they have a meet and greet with Santa at City Hall, a parade and then fireworks to end the celebration! Last year we went to see the fireworks and we were pleasantly surprised with how great they were, so we went again this year with our neighbors and made a whole evening of it. After the fireworks were over we went to dinner, and also drove to a nearby street that does a very elaborate Christmas Lights display. They call it Candy Cane Lane and it's pretty famous in St. Louis. You drive down the street and look at all the lights. It's pretty amazing! We ended the night with frozen custard at Ted Drewes which is also a famous St. Louis landmark and just right around the corner from Candy Cane Lane! It was such a fun start to the Christmas Season.

The next day was Sunday, December 2nd and we decided to take the kids to see Santa at Six Flags. My nephew Landon came along with us too, which was really fun for our kids! We really took advantage of our season passes during the Christmas season and spent a lot of our weekends at Six Flags. It's a great time to see all the lights, meet Santa, drink hot chocolate, write a letter to Santa and meet Mrs. Claus as well. Plus the lines are all pretty short for the rides, which is awesome!

December 3rd, Jackson had his first field trip in 1st Grade! It was to the Science Center and I was glad I got to go along with him. It was a lot of fun.

December 5th was Lindbergh Night at the Missouri Botanical Garden's "Garden Glow!" We had never been there for the Garden Glow, so we decided to go and check it out. It was really pretty seeing all the lights, eating smores and drinking hot chocolate with friends from Jackson's school. It was a great night!

Later that same week, we got the last of the Christmas decorations up and I took a few pictures around the house.

The next weekend, Jackson had his first basketball game of the season!

That same day, Jackson had been invited to a friends' house for a cookie decorating party! He and I went and had a great time!!

That same evening was our 3rd annual neighborhood Christmas Party at our neighbor's house across the street! It's always such a fun time. I didn't take many pictures, just a few of the kids playing pass the trash!

Tuesday night Avery had dance class and I got this cute picture of her in front of the Mickey and Minnie Mouse tree at her studio! She posed like this all by herself! Ha. Such a little diva.

That next weekend we had my sister's kids spend the night with us. We had them all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday, so we went to Jackson's basketball game that morning and then took the older 2 with us to Six Flags and the younger 2 stayed back with my parents. My sister's family have season passes too so it was an inexpensive and fun way to get us all out of the house!

That Sunday night at around midnight, Jackson woke up with a terrible stomach virus. Then an hour later Avery woke up with the same virus. They were both up all night long throwing up. It was awful. I was up so often that I ended up making a pallet in the hallway between their bedrooms and just laying there until one of them needed me. They ran fevers the next day and we all tried our best to get some rest. Neither one of them got their full appetites back for quite a few days, but I did get this one picture of Avery the next day when she was starting to feel better and ate a few bites of some pancakes. I felt so bad for both of them.

Later that week, I had my mom take a picture of Avery and I under the "wistltoe" because I wanted to post about the fact that Avery calls it that and of course, I needed a picture to go along with it. I love when kids say words in a different, funny way! Too cute!

The next day was Jackson's Christmas Party at school. It was great to be able to go again this year and help out in his class. Such a fun time!

The next day was Friday and Avery's school Christmas party was that morning! She looked so cute for her party that I took a quick picture of her in front of our tree before leaving for the party!

Friday night Jake had plans for a poker night with friends and I had gotten tickets to take the kids to see the new Mary Poppins Returns. Unfortunately, I came down with the stomach virus that the kids had gotten earlier that week, so I ended up staying in bed all evening instead.

The next day we had my sister and her family over and my parents for our Christmas get-to-gether with my side of the family. I was still not feeling great, but I felt a lot better than I did the night before so we just went ahead and got together. We opened presents and then had our traditional breakfast for dinner. Avery was so excited to open several LOL dolls! Just what she was wanting.

By Sunday I was feeling mostly back to normal. We went to church that morning and then met Jake's side of the family at the St. Charles Christmas parade. This has become a family tradition for the last several years. After the parade we stopped by a park and took a few updated family pictures since my nephew (who is away at school in New York) was back in town for Christmas. Then we went to my Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law's house for dinner and presents!!

We spent Monday (Christmas Eve) at home for most of the day. Then that evening we went over to my Aunt and Uncles house for a little extended family Christmas celebration. We had dinner and dessert and the kids decorated cookies for Santa (and a few for themselves too.) We also opened a few presents as well.

My Mom and Dad get the grandkids matching Christmas pj's every year for Christmas so we had them all wear their new pj's on Christmas Eve so we could get a picture of them all together. They all looked so cute!!

Then we left my aunt and uncle's house to go to the Christmas Eve service at church that night. It's one of my favorite Christmas traditions. After church we headed home to get the kids in bed and prepare for Santa's arrival!!

So that's a wrap of our December leading up to Christmas Day. I'll share all about Christmas Day in a separate post.