Monday, December 5, 2011

Jingle All The Way

Jillian's dance class got to do a second performance last night at an event at Dillard's. Although she had not danced at all the first go-round, I was hopeful this time - she had actual danced at parent observation, which was huge! Plus, all she does now is walk around the house doing either the dance or at least the moves (and even says what she is doing with the dance terms!) My hopes were a little dashed when we grabbed pizza right before the performance. Jingle Bells came on the radio and she proceeded to do the dance in the restaurant. I figured that was probably her one and only performance for the evening. When we got to Dillard's, she was very excited to go to "my dance" and see "my Lindsay" (her teacher), so again, I held out hope. But then she went on stage, and she got this little stinker look on her face, like she knew we wanted her to dance, but she thought it would be funnier not to! She did a little more than last time - there was bell shaking and she ended in the right pose (even threw kisses). So, again, I was super proud and she was even prouder.

Post-kiss blowing - look how excited she is at herself!
The whole little class of super cute 2 year olds!

Just a few random pics

I had a couple of pictures that didn't really go with a whole post that I thought I would share...

We had a fun PJ picnic dinner while watching movies a few weeks ago...

Jillian loves to play instead of going straight to of her favorite ways to put off sleep was to empty all the money out of her piggy bank and then disperse the coins into shoes or socks or whatever - sometimes they then turned into musical instruments (they were great to accompany her singing Jingle Bells). Sadly, the piggy bank was a victim of a fall during a play session, so this has gone by the way-side. But these pictures shows you how hard she plays...
She just falls asleep standing up apparently. Or is so tired, she decides to go to bed, but just doesn't quite make it...
Sweet girl.
I took a couple pics for my friends the other day and so I started with Meredith. She just looked wintery and cute.
And I ended with one of Meredith and sweet Grace. We sure miss seeing her all the time!

Pantego Christmas

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is always a busy (and super fun) day for us. After seeing Santa and having lunch, my mom, Katie, and I go shopping while the boys take the kids home for naps. I get home just in time to help Neal set up the Christmas lights outside while we wait on Santa to come through our neighborhood for the annual Candy Train.

Santa finally arrived! Our lights were hung and we were getting pretty chilly, so we were glad to see the firetruck lights hit our street! Meredith asked Neal if we thought Santa would remember her from Bass Pro and if he would still have her list to look at that she gave him that morning, but Neal was pretty sure that he would already have it filed away so he would get all her requests in. She was excited to give him hugs. Jillian was excited to stay away - one Santa visit for the day was plenty for her!

After our visit from Santa, we headed to the park for the tree lighting. We got there with plenty of time and were able to take a ride on the little train and then got some hot chocolate and cookies - yum!
We ran into Meredith's buddy, Esther and so the girls got to ride the train with her!

Next up, the girls were ready to "Pull the Rope" to light the tree!

As always, they were thrilled that they were able to be a part of getting the tree to light up and we talk about it every time we drive past the lit tree in the park. Every year, this is just a reminder of how much I love where we live!

A Visit with Santa

For the past several years, we have made it a tradition to head to Bass Pro Shops for a visit with Santa the Saturday after Thanksgiving with Landon. Meredith was super prepared with a written out list. We had been working on Jillian to get excited. She saw a big inflatable Santa weeks ago and told me Santa was scary. So, I talked him up, telling her that he loved her and that he would like to talk to her so he could bring her toys on Christmas. Then I threw in that he would probably give her candy. From that point on, I would catch her talking to her self, giving herself a pep talk. "Santa yoooves me. Santa gives candy and fruit snacks!" (not sure where the Fruit Snacks came into this, but...)
As we waited, we also got to see Frosty - Jillian was not prepared for Frosty since he was not a part of her pep talk, so no hugs from her!
Meredith took her list right up to Santa and he very patiently read over the whole thing with her, clarified the things on her list, and then tucked it away in his pocket so he could make sure to look at it at the North Pole.
Jillian was more hesitant about going to see him - she stood from afar and told him that she wanted a Hippo and then she just kept repeating "Dora". It reminded me of Ralphie in the Christmas Story not being able to spit out "Red Rider BB gun" because he was so excited. Luckily, she didn't protest sitting in his lap. She does look a bit suspicious here, though.
A little happier now!
And we got one with Landon too!
Jillian very patiently waited for her candy while Landon talked to Santa. Then she told Santa "Dora Fwoooot Snacks.' Still not sure if she expected him to pull them out of his pocket right then or if that was just a continuation of her earlier request.
Daddy showed the girls how to shoot guns. Merry Christmas.
We love the Reindeer "Carouself" It was a special treat to have Papa with her - and Jillian was trying to get Papa to ride next to her. He decided to just stand next to Jillian's reindeer instead.
Landon and Meredith rode the sleigh and had lots of cousin fun
Then a Hanks Family picture


After our breakfast with Sphrunkles and a little parade watching, the girls and I made some cute turkey cookies to take to Thanksgiving dinner. They were definitely yummy! After we finished this little project, we got to head to Aunt Sandy and Uncle Perry's house with the whole Geurin side of the family. We had a great dinner with the Sook family and then the boys got to go see the Cowboys play! The girls stayed behind for naps and relaxing (and we got a sneak peek of Laura's wedding dress, too!) Then when the guys got home, we had some leftovers and watched the Texas/A&M game. It was really such a fun day with family and friends!

Welcome Home Sphrunkles

We had a nice surprise when we woke up on Thanksgiving morning - our elf, Sphrunkles, was back! And he brought a treat - Snownuts! The girls were very excited to see him again and Meredith even drew pictures for him, for Landon's elf (Pizza), and for Santa. We are loving seeing him every morning. We had one incident in which he fell from his hiding spot and I had to help him back up. Meredith was pretty concerned, since that meant I had to touch him, but luckily, it seems as though it didn't make his magic go away, so he was back waiting for us the next day.

How we found Sphrunkles the first morning.

Meredith wanted to dictate the caption for this one, so this is what she had to say..."I was so happy that he was back! I was really excited when he was back with his Santa plate. If you touch your elf he will lose his magic. My sister didn't like the donuts. I was really loving his donuts. My sister and my mommy found Sphrunkles. I love him sitting down wherever he flies after the North Pole. Santa is my favorite person. I love visiting him and I like the sky (cause he flies in the sky, that's why).
The proof that the donuts were not Jillian's favorite.

Looks like Sphrunkles had a donut while he waited for the girls to find him! And again from Meredith "He had a messy face! Sphrunkles is the best elf I ever had! And my sister loves seeing the elf"

Oh Christmas Trees

The girls were very excited to put up their trees, as always. Jillian has developed a love of all things purple, so she kept insisting that she have a purple tree. Since she had just gotten a pink one last year, I decided this was not necessary. Luckily, when I pulled out the tree, she said - "ooooh, it's pink AND purple." It is not, but if she believes it is, I am going with it!

Meredith and Jillian with J's completed pink - er purple- tree!
Luckily, Miss Meredith still loves green so her tree is of course perfect!

Jillian's first Dance Performance

Jillian got her chance to show off all she has learned in ballet at this year's Holiday Magic. Her class of two year olds have a very cute dance to Jingle Bells. Even though I had gotten to check out her dancing several times, I had yet to see her actually perform her routine - at least when she was "supposed" to. She will do it on a whim if she hears Jingle Bells, just not if someone is asking her to, so I wasn't expecting her feet to even move, which was good, since they really didn't. But it didn't keep me from being super proud of her for standing up there on the stage with so many people in the audience and still smiling!
So promising with all these smiles, but I really am not convinced she budged from this spot.
Let me be fair...she did move her hands so that she could pick her nose. For a decent amount of time.
And she stared down her neighbor who was traumatized with this experience and cried the whole time.
But she ended with lots more smiles!

Pow Wow

Right before Thanksgiving every year, the Pre-K classes at Meredith's school put on a super cute Pow Wow - complete with a little lesson about Indians and then lots of adorable songs performed by the kids.
Meredith (aka Dancing Bear) and her friend parading into the Pow Wow
Meredith performing on e of my favorites where the "Turkeys go Berserk-y"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh, How I Love Jesus

Meredith had her first choir performance of the year at church on Wednesday night. These sweet kids sang a few songs they have learned on Wednesday nights at WAM (Worship and Missions). Meredith (and all the kids) did a great job! I was really proud!
Singing, "Oh, How I Love Jesus" at the prayer meeting
For the last song, Dr. Wiles' grandson came in, but only if he came with him. Dr. Wiles, sweetly joined him, but told him even though he confessed to us all that he didn't know the song!

Happy Halloween!

After a good night's sleep my Hippo and Turtle were ready for more Halloween fun! So, first we did a little photo shoot, then headed to our Playgroup's Halloween party!
When we set out to look for a turtle costume, all I could find was Ninja Turtles. I started to brainstorm making my own turtle costume, but I wasn't sure that I was going to be happy with my skills. Luckily, Gigi came to the rescue when she spotted this very cute turtle costume at Target - why hadn't I seen it before? Because it is actually a costume for a large dog! When we added lots of other green pieces including feet and hands (my handmade contribution) Meredith couldn't have been happier!

I actually found a super cute pink hippo costume online, which I thought would have been harder than a turtle. But about 3 weeks out, all 4 sites that showed the costume as not available. I got a little nervous and started down the path to plan b. I found this super cute winter hat on Etsy and fell in love. Plus it was purple, which is really what she was wanting, so it was a no-brainer! I ordered it, then bought similar purple accessories to what I got for Meredith. Then I made her hands and feet just like Meredith's. The night before Gigi's carnival, I decided to add a pink belly to her leotard. Half way through, I realized that I had sewn the front to the back and then ripped it when trying to take out the seam. Talk about stress! I ran up to Target at 9:30, only to find they were sold out of the leotard. The Hippo Fairy was smiling down on me though, because I found this jacket and I think I actually like it better than what I had to begin with. Whew. I added the tummy and then also decided she needed a tail. I was pretty happy with the result. (And I was also quietly saying prayers of thanksgiving that I had not attempted to make both of these costumes completely!)
Before heading off to our party, the girls practiced their trick or treating at our door - I had a little goody bag for each of them and included this book for Jillian - all about a little girl that goes off to be the princess of a land of hippos (and the head hippo is purple!) how perfect!
Here is our playgroup all decked out! We had a few kiddos leave before I thought to do this, but we have a pretty cute group. Look at Spiderman Jackson with his arm around Jillian - too sweet!

Had to get a pic of Jillian and Elliott - both of these little guys separately demanded they be hippos for Halloween - how cute is that!
Caleb was a super cute "fire guy" for Halloween and his mom made him this fantastic firetruck to wear. All the kids wanted a turn wearing it too. When Jillian had her chance, she declared she was "Fire Hippo!"

We headed home in hopes of naps, but I don't think that happened! After trying, we went to Bubbie and Grandad's for some Trick or Treating, then to Gigi and Papa's. As is our tradition, Landon and Meredith' friend Katie joined us. Then as a special treat Caleb came too! We all had lots of pizza then headed out in my parent's neighborhood. The kids had lots of fun and got way more candy than we could ever eat (but we'll still try!)
Jillian and Caleb were excited to start off the night in the wagon