Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Pictures

Since everyone seems to be doing year-end lists, I thought I would do one too. I went through all of my photos and picked one for each month. Not because it was the best photo, but for what it represented that month....
January started with me flying to DC for a weekend get-away with just David. It was wonderful and wouldn't have happened without the help of my mom, Evelyn and Edmee who kept the kids safe and happy while I was away.
In February we started "Skypeing" with David. Even though we talked frequently it meant so much for him and the kids to see each other. They really enjoyed it.
In March we celebrated St. Patrick's Day. And by celebrate, I mean we wore green. I just really liked this picture of the kids together.
In April my first baby turned nine years old. We spent the afternoon at the Mall of America having lunch and playing at Magiquest. It was a great day.
In May, David surprised the kids with a trip home over Mother's Day weekend. They loved having him home.
And just six weeks later in June, he flew home again, but this time to help us drive back with him to spend the rest of the summer in DC. It was awesome.
In July we had our family pictures taken by an extremely talented photographer. I am so glad I had these done! The best souvenir ever!

In August marked the end of our stay in DC. This was the afternoon we left the apartment for Norfolk, VA. The car was BEYOND packed.
September was Gianna's third birthday. We decided to do a DC themed party. Here is the infamous cake....
David started running while he was out east. He ran a 5K in October called the Monster Dash - he didn't dress up in costume, but the kids did!
In November, our nephew Gabrin was baptized and David and I were asked to be his godparents.
And December, our family under one roof celebrating Christmas. May 2011 be just as blessed as 2010!

13 Years

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas morning the children woke up at 6:45....obviously they couldn't wait to see what Santa had brought them. They did as we asked...came to wake us BEFORE heading to the living room. Imagine Gemma's and Spencer's surprise when they found a Wii waiting for them from Santa!!!!After going crazy over the Wii the kids continued on to the stockings that Santa filled with little gifts.
Each child received two books (along with other odds and ends).
And each child has already read each book cover to cover.
I realize for Gianna that isn't a big deal. But Gemma's and Spencer's books were chapter books and were completed by the next day! They love to read! Santa might want to bring a few more books next year!

Next it was time to open presents from David and me. We still had some large boxes from our "move" in August. David had this great idea to wrap all the kids gifts and then put them in the large box and wrap that too. We only set the boxes two days before Christmas....just to get the kids wondering!
Needless to say, the kids were very excited when they had several presents in the big box to unwrap.

The children loved their gifts. And as always, my thoughtful Gemma made gifts for each of us.
Gemma drew coloring pages for Gianna - and when Gianna opened the gift she hugged her big sister! I was so glad I caught it!
And here are our babies after all of the gifts had been opened. Spencer is showing his gift from Gemma! (Yes, Gianna still drinks milk in a bottle in the morning - don't judge.) It was a wonderful Christmas morning!

After cleaning up the after-math, David and I started getting things going in the kitchen for dinner. Mom, Evelyn, Melissa, Abe and the two little ones came for dinner. Since we were so busy in the kitchen, I didn't think to take photos. But the dinner was yummy - prime rib!!!!

oh - I should add - through out the day, Gemma and Spencer would each say under their breath, "I can't believe Santa brought us a Wii!" It was pretty cute!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Our morning started with a visit to the doctor. Gianna started complaining about her ear the night before and then woke up at 1:30 this morning screaming about her ear. She refused to get dressed, so she went in her pajamas. While waiting for the doctor, Gianna decided to read.
Shortly after this photo was taken, the doctor came in and examined Gianna. Poor thing had a DOUBLE ear infection! So off we went to get her prescription filled!

We quickly ran home and changed so we could go to Judy's house for our Christmas Eve dinner. I think we clean up rather nicely! : )

I failed at taking pictures earlier in the day, but I did get a few gems while the family was doing Christmas karaoke. Amanda and Libby were doing back-up for David and Gino.
Gemma wasn't sure if she wanted to do back-up or just laugh at the girls.
Apparently Gianna wanted to get in on the act too!

As always, we had a great time with David's family. Then it was time to go home and get ready for bed.
Gemma and Spencer set out milk and cookies for Santa.
And we moved the stockings to the fireplace.
Gianna wasn't interested in the cookies or in posing for pictures. Her double ear infection gave her a "pass" from the photos! But I'm sure she'll be all smiles for Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas in the Country

Saturday we went to Edmee and Howard's house to celebrate Christmas. We received word late Friday that Santa was to be making a special appearance at the local library. We surprised the kids (and Bamma) with the stop - Gianna wasn't really interested in seeing him. We were lucky to sneak her into this photo! The kids did some arts and crafts and then we decided to continue the last two miles of our drive to Edmee's.
We had a wonderful time. The kids were spoiled as usual and the food was really yummy. Before we opened presents, we had the little ones sit together...two of mine aren't really "little ones" anymore. : (

Gemma and Spencer each received a boom-box and CD's! They were huge hits with the kids!
Here's Gianna opening her bag of goodies. She received a Leapster and loves it (along with quite of few other treats!). We have a hard time getting it out of her hands! We had a great visit and are looking forward to the next family gathering.

Thanks for hosting Edmee! : )

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Smiley Face

This post is more for me to remember.

Gianna recently started drawing faces and I wanted to keep this somewhere safe to remember.

Two little eyes and a mouth. It's a start!

Student of the Month

It was "Bring you stuffed animal to school day" and Spencer was making sure his little bear would make it in the photo!

Couldn't be more proud of my student of the month!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Program

Gianna had her first Christmas program at preschool on Tuesday night. And it was absolutely adorable! The last time the kids performed was in November and Gianna wanted NOTHING to do with it. She just sat with us and had no interest in participating. However things went very differently this time.

When we arrived at church she went straight to her teacher and sat with the children from her class. Gemma, Spencer and I went upstairs to wait for her big entrance and to wait for David (he was stuck in traffic). David arrived in time to see the pre-schoolers make their procession into the church - and when Gianna saw her daddy she was soooo excited! She kept waving and saying "Hi daddy!".
This is an awful photo, but this shows how excited Gianna was. It also shows how much she really wanted her daddy to see her! : )
She did a great job! She sang a few songs and waved. She even held baby Jesus while the pastor told the Christmas story. Gianna was very proud!
Here she is on the way out of the church. Can you tell she was excited to see us??? : )
Here we are waiting for our turn to exit and collect our little girl.
Since Gianna's program was at 5:30, we didn't have time for dinner. After her show we went for Chinese! (Can you tell someone was tired of having her photo taken?) Either way, it was a great night! Can't wait for her next performance! : )

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Birthday Dinner

Despite the 17 plus inches of snow that started falling on Friday night, we managed to get out of the house on Sunday evening to celebrate Chris' 4oth birthday at our favorite restaurant! We had a wonderful time and are looking forward to our next gathering!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Santa Visit - Continued

I already posted the family Santa photo, but I thought I should add the photos from earlier that day.

Every year we go to Macy's in Minneapolis to see the Christmas display. (Our 2008 visit and 2009 visit.) When Macy's was Dayton's, they would go all out. The displays were amazing. One year was Harry Potter, another was Mary Poppins and even Babar. However, the past two or three years, Macy's has been recycling the same display. Oh well, the kids still had fun!

We arrived around 12:30 on Saturday and expected long lines and lots of people. However, we were pleasantly surprised when it was quite the opposite! (We did get 8 inches of snow overnight, so maybe some people were trying to dig themselves out?) Because of the lack of people, I was able to get some cute photos of the kids - and they almost cooperated!

While walking through the display "A Day In The Life of an Elf", we ran into an elf who happily posed for a picture. Gianna was MIA - she wanted nothing to do with the elf. At this point - she was already nervous about the Santa picture.

After the display we stood in line for Santa. In years past, we've waited 20 to 30 minutes. This year....maybe five minutes!
I told the kids to give my an "annoyed" expression - Spencer could only smile!

After our family photo, the kids spent some time with Santa.
We wished Santa a Merry Christmas and were off to our next stop....COOKIES!!!

After we ate our treats we went over to Santa's Workshop - it's really a little store with a bunch of over priced toys and treats - which we bought NONE of! (We had already spent a small fortune on the photos and cookies.)
A table is set up with paper and crayons for the kids to write letters to Santa. Gemma was the only one who wanted to do it!
We spent some time in the store looking at the toys, but eventually we had to pull the kids out of the store. Fortunately no one was kicking or screaming! : )

But our day of fun wasn't over yet....we were going sledding! Unfortunately, I couldn't bring the camera with my - but trust me, we had a blast!