Monday, January 23, 2012

Yee Haw!

Today our playgroup headed to check out the Fort Worth Stockshow - we had a huge group of friends with us to spend a beautiful day with some fun animals!

First up, we hit the FFA Children's Barn. There were sweet ducklings that Jillian loved - their food was positioned at the top of a water slide, so they would occassionally slip down the slide, making her laugh every time! There were also baby pigs, lambs, goats, a cow, and the baby chicks. On one side of the chick pen, the older chicks had a "ferris wheel" with food that the girls thought was great. But then we walked to the other side and Meredith was good to go. It seems her Sunday School teacher told her about seeing a chick hatch on her trip, so Meredith kept telling me that she was going to see a hatching egg, too. I warned her that we might not get to see it, but as soon as we turned the corner to the incubator full of eggs, we saw a chick exit his egg. I was so excited but not more than Meredith! We hung out for a bit longer, then went to check out the rabbits, but only for a moment until she asked to go back to watch the eggs again. She scoured them and we found a few that were close to hatching again. She was set on getting to see the whole thing! Luckily, there were 2 eggs that were cracked and you could see the chick inside moving! It really was super cool. So, we hung out for probably another 20 minutes on top of the rest of the time we were already there watching one of the little chicks work his way out (with the help of a few of his friends who politely pecked on the outside of his shell). Meredith's day was set - we saw the chick be hatched! I was amazed by the whole process but also by Meredith's dedication and patience! We play "favorite part" at night before bed, and tonight when I asked Meredith her's, she just kept saying - "You KNOW my favorite part!" And when you see that we also rode a pony later, you know that says a ton!
Come on already chicks!
Pure patience.

We left the Children's Barn and headed to check out a few more exhibits. We came to the tractors next - a request from our friend, Jackson, but was a huge hit for everyone!

This was a fun time for the girls in this car, at least. James, who is about 1 1/2 was already in the car, Meredith hopped in to drive and then insisted he be buckled in, too. Then, she directed all of her passengers to and from locations, insisting they buckle and unbuckle each time. James was a great sport!
We also got to meet Elsie (the Borden cow) and her calf Beauregard. The girls were pretty excited. Jillian kept asking to "soff him" (ie pet him)

Next up, we headed to the petting zoo. Luckily for the girls, we were with friends whose mommies had promised pony rides, so I succumbed to peer pressure and let the girls ride, too (ok, it didn't take that much pressure!)

Before we headed in for a lunch of Corn Dogs, we hit the petting zoo. Hitting a petting zoo is always a mixture of excitement and terror for the girls - they like the idea of being with the animals but try to run from the overzealous goats!
The girls finally got away from the goats to feed a very tame (well, actually asleep) bunny.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Look out Hula Girls

Meredith's class got to have an occupation parade last week. Last year, Meredith was set on being a pizza girl. She still says she will open her Turtle Pizzeria someday, but she has added a few other things to her list for the future - a cowgirl, a firefighter, a "row boater", make American Girl dolls, be a mom, a builder, and most recently, she wants to be a hula girl! So, she settled on being a Hula Girl for the occupation parade. She even decided that since it might take her awhile to commute back and forth between Hawaii and her pizza shop, that she might decide to hula dance as the entertainment at the Turtle Pizzeria. Sounds like a successful business plan if I have ever heard one! Neal is looking into franchising arrangements as we speak.

We found the perfect green hula girl accessories and to steer clear of wearing a bikini to school in January (or at all, for that matter!) I made her a little pillowcase dress out of a tropical fabric - and she was thrilled!
Hula Girl Meredith! She also took along her ukelele (or Uncle Larry as she kept calling it).
Jilly Beans needed to pose too! This picture scares me a little because they are standing on the slope of our yard, so Jillian looks almost as tall as her sister!
Time to be silly!
My proud hula girl, ready to parade!
With a few of her friends - she was the only hula girl, would you have guessed it?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last weekend I got to celebrate my birthday for 3 straight days! First, Neal took me out to dinner while Gigi watched the girls. Then, the next day, our family of four celebrated in our favorite way - with Frozen Yogurt! Before heading out for out, the girls gave me a present from them.
A kitty calendar! There is a really long story behind this calendar that I will share with anyone that wants to read it! Last year, the girls and Daddy went to a Chinese restaurant around the beginning of the year. The restaurant gave them a calendar that had all the months on one page and was made of bamboo. It took a very coveted spot in our garage. Meredith loved asking me what day of the week and date it was each day on the way to the car. Sadly, the calendar was all done at the end of 2011, so Meredith wanted a new one. Meredith, Jillian, and Daddy drove back to the restaurant, only to find it closed, so then they headed to B&N and picked out this kitty calendar (since I had kitties when I was little but can't have them now since Daddy is allergic). Such a sweet girl.

Time for YoBerry! I even got calendars (a 3 and 2 singles to make 32) and they sung to me in the store.

Sunday was my actual birthday, so after church, we got to have a yummy pizza lunch with Bubbie and Granddad and then we met up with my whole family at Babe's to celebrate my birthday and Grandma's birthday, too.
Me and Grandma with the Chicken hats ready for the Chicken birthday song at Babe's. Notice, I also got to wear a super special badge all day and there were princess plates, napkins, and paper tiaras for cake after dinner! Hooray for 5 year old little girls planning your birthday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shrek ICE

On New Year's Eve Day we finally got to fulfill our three year tradition of going to the Gaylord to see the ICE display with the Sook Family! The best part of this year was that we got everyone there, which was a first!

We started with a yummy breakfast and the kids had a blast hanging out with Aunt Sandy, Uncle Perry and the three kids (plus significant others!)

After that, we grabbed our huge parkas and went in to check out the Shrek story in ICE - so cold and so much fun!

Meredy coming down the big ice slide -she had a blast!!

Jillian is on the left with me on the right - you can't tell from this picture but poor Beans was too little and I didn't give her a big enough push down, so she got stuck! That was just insult to injury since she hated sitting down on the cold ice to begin with. Finally the guy working at the bottom had to half climb the slippery ice/half use a stick to get her down.
Our whole big group!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Day with Gigi and Papa

After our day with just us 4, we visited Bubbie and Grandad and Gigi and Papa because Santa decided to leave stuff for the girls at each of their houses, too!
Both girls loved the Dora trike for Jillian
Checking out her Barbie stage
DJ Daddy took time out to play with a new favorite toy (of the two littlest kids plus this big one here)
Gigi had stockings for the girls' dolls too - how sweet!

Christmas Morning

We had such a fun and relaxing Christmas morning at home. First up, of course, was running out to see what Santa had left for us!
First, off Jillian's list to Santa was her hippo! Of course, I was a little concerned, because although she had never been specific as to what hippo she hoped Santa would bring, on the way to Gigi's on Christmas Eve, Jillian also mentioned that she thought Santa would bring her a barn to keep her hippo in and carrots to feed her hippo. So, I was a little concerned that Santa might be on the same wave length and bring a real hippo. Luckily, he didn't and she wasn't disappointed.
Meredith was super excited that Santa wrote the girls a note. Although, she was very confused as to how he finds a pen and paper.
Santa came through on Jillian's other big request - Dora Fruit Snacks! Again, the week before Christmas, Jillian added in that she wanted Santa to bring Hippo fruit snacks. I looked into getting her some since it was so late, so I figured Santa might not have time...and believe it or not, there are no fruit snack jungle animals or anything that I could find. Obviously, Santa couldn't either with such short notice, but Jillian was very happy with Dora!
Meredith got this super cool car for Rebecca to drive - Maddie can even ride in it and they love to add a book on top to take other animal friends for rides!
Jillian had also asked for a new purple dinosaur. She has gotten these tiny plastic dinosaurs out of a quarter machine at CiCi's pizza a few times and we have lost her purple one. She even used to insist he come to school and stay in her backpack. From the looks of it, Santa used about $2 worth of quarters in that machine and got no purples - I am thinking he was out of money and a bit frustrated at this point, so he was hoping she would love the rest, luckily, she was thrilled!

So, it looks like we had 2 very good little girls at our house this year, although Jillian was quite insistent that she was on the "Naughty List" (which I think she was quoting from the Dora Christmas episode). She even claimed it was because she hit her friend at church. I kept assuring her she was not naughty, but she didn't quite buy it! She was so super excited about everything from Santa, and she would say "Santa brought this to me! Thank you soooo much, Santa Claus, that is soooo nice of you!"

Next up, we had a fun breakfast of mini doughnuts (that we made to look like snowmen and reindeer) and homemade Kolaches (that I tried out making for the first time) and Cinnamon Rolls from Aunt Katie. Then, it was on to see some fun presents from our family! The girls got several fun things at our house - lots of hippos for Jillian, a horse for each of their dolls, and these stuffed animals I made (a hippo and a turtle, of course!) Neal was able to just totally surprise me by taking the first year of my blog and having it printed to a book - it was something I had been wanting to do forever and was just too overwhelmed to ever take on. He spent hours and hours doing it and I was so happy! I balled like a baby - probably harder than I remember crying in a long time. The girls were so confused - Meredith kept asking why I would cry if I was happy and Jillian kept offering to let me hold her doll to comfort me! I felt like the suitcase I got Neal was pretty lame after that, but hopefully he will enjoy it on all of his business trips!
The girls are posing with the stuffed animals I made them
And then being silly with them!

At one point earlier this fall, I decided I was going to try to make a ton of the girl's presents. It ended up that I made them each their animals and I made this puppet show theater too. It is a little rough up close, but they had fun playing puppets on Christmas morning (or Jillian, here, actually, was the puppet herself!)
Daddy had lots of fun with his present from Santa - a set of 3 Nerf guns!
S0 much fun!

Christmas Eve Service and fun with the Geurin family

After a nap to recuperate from Bubbie's house, we headed to Christmas Eve service at church. The girls did a great job, even though they were tired. Jillian and I did take a very long field trip to the restrooms, but other than that, they loved the singing and the candle light!
Our family in front of the church Christmas trees - poor sleepy Jillian!

After church, we headed to Gigi's for dinner and some present opening, but first, I forced my family to do a mini photo shoot. Thanks, Aunt Katie, for being our photographer! :)

Meredith doesn't always pick out the most fluffy girly-girl dresses. Usually, she actually just wants whatever is green. However, when we were out shopping for a Christmas dress, she fell in love with this one. I have never seen her eyes light up more. It helped that Rebecca could match, but still I loved how much she loved this dress (even though, truth be told, I would have picked a different one)
After shopping for Meredith's dress, I was excited to get home to see if the dress Meredith wore when she was 2 would fit Jillian - I have always loved the color of this dress and I was excited that it coordinated with Meredith's too. As soon as I pulled it out of the closet, I had another very happy girl on my hands. She loved this "Rella" dress and just turned and spun around in it as much as she could!
This picture makes my Christmas.

Next up, we got PJs on for cousin pictures!
If you pay much attention to the pictures of Jillian and Landon, they are mostly like this - tackling hugs. These two love to hug each other!
Time to be silly!
Meredith was ready to be elf and pass out presents.
We convinced her to wait with some cake!
There was, of course, singing...
And candles to be blown out!
Finally! Time for presents!
Oh, the fun 4 silly girls can have with the huge, beautiful bows my mom makes!
Here is my mom - showing off the 3 pairs of Toms she got for Christmas!
Papa finished up the night reading The Night Before Christmas to the kids on his Kindle!