Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Best Christmas Yet!

This was the best Christmas yet.  For many reasons but primarily because the kids had so much fun searching for that perfect gift and were so excited to give it! The kids picked out their Angel gifts for the trees at church and at school.  Matt carried a gift in every day for a whole week and thought that was so cool!

We enjoyed working on our lists for Santa.  Both kids had a hard time coming up with things they wanted but both thought it was important to put their age so Santa would know.  Matt's list was pretty interesting.  Football sheets?  Yes that was his idea.  Football cleats? Well, we helped him with that one.  And the last item is a book.  Perfect for my awesome reader!!  We heard that Mrs. Claus searched high and low for the Optimus Prime transformer truck.  She doesn't like Walmart and ended up in 3 different Walmarts!  The last one she had to run into before the last one was gone.  Santa asked her if she had to knock anyone over and luckily she didn't but she might have. 
Marlie's list was cute.  We saw a "Hello Kitty Nail & Body Set" at Macy's in October and she wanted it so bad.  I told her she had to remember it and put it on her list.  3 months later she remembered exactly!  And 3 months later...no Hello Kitty Nail & Body Set to be found!  Mrs. Claus was going crazy and managed to find something similar which she loved but said was not the same.  I'm not sure where the Hello Kitty suitcase or Rapunzel sleeping bag came from but she was excited about these too. 
Matt was very excited to go to the Santa shop at school.  He came home and was so excited and wanted to give us our gifts right away.  When I told him he had to wait, he couldn't stand it.  He was also very excited to go shopping for a gift for he and Marlie to give to Dad.  He insisted on a Baylor RGIII Heisman shirt and we found one online.  On Christmas, Matt insisted that Dad be the first to open a gift and gave him the box with the tshirt.  Matt couldn't wait to give me a velcro wallet with peace signs that he bought at school.  He even had a dollar and 2 quarters in it and showed me the secret pocket.  It was awesome.  You will see the velcro wallet in use in my Coach purse!!!

I took Marlie to buy a gift for Matt.  He said he wanted the board game Sorry so I figured that would be perfect.  Marlie talked about buying a football all the way to the store.  I told her he had one already so the game might be better.  We picked up the game and as we were headed to checkout she stopped me and told me that was not what she wanted to get for Matt.  We went up and down a few aisles and then she spotted it...a Texans pillow pet!  She jumped up and down.  It was Matt's favorite gift of Christmas. 

We went to children's mass at church on Christmas Eve.  It was packed but we got to see all of our friends and the kids got to sit upfront which they loved.  We came home and snapped a few photos before the festivities began.  We had a great meal and cupcakes to celebrate Jesus' birthday. 
We started off with an intense game of gift card exchanging where Marlie was the happiest person ever stealing a Red Lobster gift card from me.  She was literally screaming...that would have been a great Red Lobster commercial.  Matt had fun stealing a Toys 'R' Us card from Uncle Jay.  Marlie (and I) were really pumped about the cotton candy machine Uncle Jay bought for her.  The kids were excited to find that they are going to Disney World! 

As if it couldn't get any better...Santa did make a stop at our house.  Matt said he heard him come down the chimney!! You can see him running down with his pillow pet in tow! 
Matt loved his Baylor Alamo Bowl shirt, Uno and his books.  He got his transformer, football cleats and football sheets too.  We got a note from Santa that the elves are still working on his special Texans jersey and Matt thinks it might be taking long because it has his name on it...smart kid.  But Matt's favorite gift was a guitar Santa brought.  Santa wasn't sure if he'd like it, but he is already talking about taking lessons.  Of course as you guessed, our singer and performer quickly grabbed the guitar and started playing too!
So what did Marlie think about everything?  Well she would have been happy if Santa had just brought this monkey.  It's name is Cutie Monkey and it goes everywhere.  She was a bit excited about the Rapunzel sleeping bag. 
Here she is inspecting the Hello Kitty Nail & Body Set that looks different than the one she spotted 3 months ago. 
And here is the Lalaloopsy doll that Mrs. Claus also searched high and low for.  She could have cared less to be honest.  I'll tuck it away and bring it out in 6 months and she'll love it! 
Maybe the second best part about Christmas was that we spent the entire day in our pj's playing games and resting with our pillow pets and animals.  We hope you had a wonderful Christmas too.  One of my favorite parts of the season is getting all the wonderful Christmas cards and watching all these adorable families grow.  Happy Birthday Jesus! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Medal Ceremony

I like for Marlie to take gymnastics for at least one session during the year and I figured Matt might as well take a class while we're there.  It's nice to be able to take them to one place and both can participate.  Matt actually loves it and thanked me when it was over for taking him.  Marlie loves it too!  She told her coach towards the end that she could teach the class.  Oh boy...another chance to boss everyone around.  When we go back next year she will be 5 and will get to go into the big gym which will be nice.  She'll be scared I'm sure. 

Here are some cute pics of the kids with their medals.  Marlie was Rudolph at school that day and insisted on keeping her red nose and antlers for gymnastics.  Oh my.  Matt jumped off the medal stand so fast that  I missed him.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Houston Texans

We have had a great football year with both the Baylor Bears and Houston Texans doing well.  Good thing because Matt just LOVES football.  We promised if he did well in school that Dad would sign him up for the winter flag football league so we'll start that in January.  He can't wait and even asked Santa for football cleats for Christmas.

Dad bought us all an early Christmas present and we were very excited about going to the Texans game last Sunday!  Unfortunately they lost but it was fun being there.  Matt knows all the players and positions.  He was so excited that he just sort of sat in awe for the first half watching intently.  Marlie was excited to watch the cheerleaders although we had to explain they were more like dancers and hopefully she'll get to see real cheerleaders at the Baylor game when they play in the Alamo Bowl! 

I have to point something out about the picture below...look at Matt's hat.  He has always worn his hats like this and I don't know why...but it's his thing.  He tilts it off to the side just so slightly.  It reminds me of Joe Manor who use to run track with Doug at Baylor (and if I remember correctly he played football too).  The look is sort of ghettolicious but I just have to laugh because it's always like this. 

Here are my Texans!  Thanks Dad for taking us to the game!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Recital

Last weekend we were all so excited about Marlie's Winter Recital!  It's held at the dance studio and pretty low key which is great so the girls can get some practice before the big recital in the spring.

I realized after the recital that I think Marlie was much more nervous this time.  She didn't have that silly smile like she did last time but it peeked out a few times. 
Here's Marlie and Lauren taking pictures with the paparazzi!
We then moved into the prep room and here are Marlie and Emilie...two nervous girls.  But aren't they so cute??
The girls walked into the recital room and I saw a quick smile from Marlie.   
Time for the show!!  Marlie did great.  She really looked like a little princess out there! 
The girls were so very cute!  But the best moment of the day was when Matt ran out to give Marlie a big hug when the performance was over, along with a rose.  Marlie loved it, although as you can see she still looks nervous in this picture.
After a few pics Marlie fell apart.  She said her costume was itchy, tights were itchy and she just cried.  We managed a few forced smile pictures with Mrs. Patty and Lauren...
 Marlie and Nene...
And the three girls! 
Marlie you practiced so hard and we are so proud of you.  Mom is going to have to figure something out so we can wear this costume for a few hours for the spring recital!!  Yikes!! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Polar Express!

Last year we all went to Grapevine for lots of Christmas activities at the Gaylord Texan and to take a trip on the Polar Express.  The hotel was absolutely amazing but the Polar Express was not as exciting as we had hoped.  So this year, 11 families headed up to Palestine to try the real Polar Express.  It was lots of fun and the kids loved it! 

Most families spent the night and as usual we made the most of our 3 hour drive to Palestine.  We ordered dinner in at the hotel, had some wine and tried to take some pics of the kids before we left.  It was like herding cats!! They were so cute in their pj's and SO excited to get to the Polar Express and stop taking pictures!!
Lauren brought Marlie this cute little fox and she held onto it for dear life.  I managed to get a cute pic of Marlie and Lauren and one with Hayden too!
So we were off!  We found another great spot for photos when we arrived and this was the best I could get. Matt was so happy that Samuel and his family came with us this year!
The 3 other families that joined us arrived after that picture was shot and I knew the kids (and probably parents too!) would have kicked me off the train if I would have tried to get everyone up there again.  So off we went!! The kids were so excited waiting for the train. 
They allowed our group of about 40 to board first, which did not make some people waiting in line very happy, but I was glad that we all got to sit together.  The little people sat on one side and the big kids on the other.  I managed to get a picture with ALL the Moms since we are always behind the cameras and we can show our kids that yes, we were there too!  When I asked Doug to gather the Dads he looked at me like I asked him to take me to the moon, so no pics of the Dads. 
I like that last picture because almost no one is related to each other!! The train conductor came and punched the kid's tickets.  We had hot chocolate and cookies and everyone was very excited when we came to the North Pole!  However there were lots of questions why there was no snow and why the reindeer had lights on them...hmmm....
Santa boarded the train at the North Pole and the kids went crazy when he came into our car.  They started chanting, "Santa, Santa" like he was a rock star.  It was hilarious.  He gave them all bells and they thought that was the greatest thing ever!!! Oh we had so much fun!!
It was late but we still had some wine and the hotel sold ice cream so the party went on!  I managed a few pics of M&M and H&H (Hannah & Hayden) when the kids had reached the point were they were so tired, they were delirious. 
What a great weekend!  We are blessed to know such wonderful people!  Thanks everyone for making the trip so much fun!!