Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy

 My chubby little alarm clock, standing straight up to greet me with his toothy grin : )
(Even at 2am it's hard not to smile at that)

Teya and her original fashion creations.

My grocery shopping entourage.

 Brinley in her sassy new hat and black boots.

 My girls

 My Boys

 These sparkly little eyes

Can you blame me for being happy? : )

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gettin' Christmasy

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat...

We busted out the Christmas decorations shortly after Thanksgiving and the girls have been SO EXCITED ever since. (I had to use all caps to try and capture the intensity of their excitement.)

We put the nativity up and hung the stockings with care. Then it was time to pick out a tree. The girls couldn't wait to go with Daddy, but the morning they were supposed to go...

poor Brinley got the pukes. 
She couldn't keep anything down, not even a sip of water. But she was devastated at the thought of missing the tree chopping, and after the most heartbreaking tears and pathetic begging I finally caved and let her go. I know that probably makes me a bad parent but if you had seen her eyes, oh my goodness! The heartbreak!

So Teya and little sickie pants accompanied Daddy to the tree farm and found this lovely pine. They chopped it down and brought it home, along with a car seat full of puke. I guess Brinley was doing all right until Taber put her back in the car and she didn't want her barf bowl on her lap so she kicked it off and then hurled all over her lap. Poor little thing.

We got her all bathed and cleaned up and she passed out on the couch.

Meanwhile the rest of us got to work decorating.

The tree they picked was tall! To get the star on, Taber stacked the stool he's standing on in this picture on top of a kitchen chair and I spotted him while he wobbled around trying to reach the top branch. Teya couldn't even watch it was so nerve wracking! Luckily he got it on without falling, but one of these days we should probably invest in a ladder. ; )

Cam thought it was all very entertaining.

And eventually Brinley woke up, feeling TONS better and joined the fun.

The girls did a great job keeping the ornaments spread out and out of Cam's reach.

Tada!!! We're ready for Christmas!

When it was finished we all oooed and aaaahed over it's awesomeness : )

Other Christmasy activities...
Our church does an outdoor live nativity every year so we took the kiddos to see it.

They wanted to sit in the very front so they bypassed the chairs and planted themselves right on the ground. I took this picture when it was over and got a good chuckle from Cam and Brinley's faces.  Cam is like, "Can't. Move. Too. Puffy." and Brinley is like, "hehehehe! I'm a pink marshmallow!"

After the show they got to go inside and meet the cast. The nativity was a great way to get the girls focused on the more meaningful parts of Christmas and remind them why we celebrate and give gifts.

Another thing we are doing this year to teach them about giving is the 12 days of Christmas. We picked a family who has been through a difficult trial recently and the girls were very excited to help cheer them up. 

Taber got really excited too. He wanted to dress the girls all in black with ninja masks for ultimate stealth. I told him that this "operation" didn't require quite that level of intensity, but he still had them draw out a map and discuss silent communication tactics so they could stay under the radar and not get caught. 

So far their deliveries have been a huge success. They've mastered the stealth tactics and have taken great joy in this nightly ritual. The best part is that this simple act of secret giving has suddenly switched their brains from thinking about all the things they want and wondering what they are gonna get, to thinking about others, wondering if they will like their surprise and brainstorming what we should bring them next. They always come rushing back, full of adrenaline and excitement. My mommy heart is full when I see them finding joy in giving. I guess that what getting Christmasy is really all about : )

Monday, December 12, 2011

Diva Playdate

The girls have been begging me to let them wear some of my make up.
 I always say no because I don't want them to trash my make up 
and I don't like them looking too grown up. (they grow up fast enough already.)
But they begged and begged, relentlessly. 
So when their little friend came over to play, 
I finally gave in and let them have a makeover diva playdate.

Once they were all dolled up, man alive were they happy. 
They squealed with excitement and ran off to find dresses to complete their diva look.

 Something about make up and dresses just unleashes all their sassy poses

 Working it for the camera

 Teya thinks a cheerleader-esque fist pump and pointed toe is the ultimate fashion pose. I think Brinley was trying to copy her but it didn't quite turn out ; )

Fancy faces

Diva life is not all posing for the camera. They like to make cookies too.

And of course everyone must taste test the cookie dough.

Then they requested a dance party.  All of Teya's playdates seem to end with dance parties these days. 

 Kelsey had an umbrella and thought it would make the perfect interpretive dancing prop.
They requested "sad music" (because I guess umbrellas = sadness) and came up with some of their finest choreography yet.

 Kelsey told everyone they had to have sad faces when they danced.

 Teya's sad face

 Brinley's sad face. 
Really. I told her to do sad and this is what she gave me!

So now you know, all it takes is a little makeup, some cookie dough and umbrella music to turn a normal playdate into a Diva playdate ; )

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Visit from Mama and Papa Rigg

About 10 days before Thanksgiving Taber's parents called with the exciting news that they were flying out to spend the holiday with us. 

This was an unexpected surprise that was the result of some other good news. Taber's Dad had been diagnosed with Mantle Cell lymphoma back in March and had been battling cancer for most of the year. After months of Chemo he went in for a pet scan at the end of October and found that he was cancer free. I can't tell you how amazing it is to hear those words about someone you love. 

Once they got the good news it wasn't long before they had their tickets booked to New Hampshire.

The kids were so excited when they got here that Teya was jumping up and down and Brinley was literally rolling on the floor ; )

Cam was happy to see them too and showed off all his clapping, climbing and crawling skills.

 Grandma came loaded with fun activities for the kids, starting with a gingerbread house.

 This is the perfect combination of happiness for my girls. Candy and crafts. : )

She also brought them a new stack of books and they relished all the reading time with Grandma.

The day before Thanksgiving we went to Outback so we wouldn't have to do major cooking 2 days in a row.

 While we were there poor Teya started complaining about pain in her ear. It was so bad she was sobbing and couldn't eat her meal. We ended up taking her to the urgent care and sure enough she had an ear infection. I thought this was such a sad/sweet picture of her trying to muster a smile despite all the pain.

 We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal (see post below) and then Melinda, Mama Rigg and I left the boys on clean up and kid duty and caught the last matinee of Breaking Dawn. I wore my wolf girl shirt for the occasion ; ) All the haters are gonna hate, but I LOVED it!! And I also think I'm switching back to team Edward...maybe... ;) 

 Other highlights from their visit include a taking the kids to see Arthur Christmas, which was awesome and a perfect family friendly movie for the holidays. Cam even sat still and watched it for a whole hour! 

We had beautiful weather while they were here and got to spend an afternoon at the park after our movie.

 Climbing cutie

 Happy squishy face

 Love these smiles so so much.

 I thought this was a sweet picture of Brinley and Grandpa.

I was trying to get a picture of Taber and his parents with the kids and a nice stranger offered to take one of all of us. I love it when people do that : )

Later we celebrated Papa's birthday and somehow the girls managed to get gifts too. ; ) 

After a tough year with Papa Rigg's health we are so grateful he was able to come out and make new wonderful Thanksgiving memories with our family.