Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas at our house

The elves made some really cool rubberband guns and a target for Craig and Taylor to play with! Pretty neat-o! It's a like a rubberband machine gun! AWESOME! They can hold up to 200 rubberbands! WHOA!
Here's our Christmas dinner. We had ham all last week so we decided to try out some of the steaks that Craig's parents gifted us for Christmas dinner this year! The twice baked potatoes were great too! It was so nice to not have a whole day of cooking to look forward to after Christmas morning! Thanks Mommo and Dad Starkey!
T-money also got some drums!
Katie had a surprise gift. My mom's gift had come at the all too cricital Bus stop time and had gotten hastily hidden in the front hall closet. Thankfully after all the other gifts were opened I remembered it! It was so fun for her to have the last gift of Christmas! It sure didn't hurt that it was a Rapunzel Barbie and a Flynn Rider and some changes of clothes for the barbie!
My mom sent a fun trunk of dress-ups to Sophie. They are really cute and fit her well! Doesn't she look great?!
Rachael and my mom sent Taylor all the Harry Potter costume stuff. He opened the wand on Christmas eve and even slept with it that night!
Here's us on Christmas morning! Pretty great haul Santa! Sophie is getting ready to put on her dress-ups, she didn't sleep naked! :>
We made cookie bars for Santa this year. He was grateful for the variety!
Instead of going out to breakfast (as we have done traditionally in my family) we went out to dinner. It was fabulous to me to have some time out of the kitchen! Katie is trying to cross her eyes.
Check out Taylor's silly face! We went to a local place called "Bagger Daves". They have great sandwiches and burgers and really great french fries! After dinner we drove around and looked at Christmas lights then headed home to make cookies for Santa and read the scriptural accounts of Christ's birth and then "The Night Before Christmas". The kids got to each open one gift then. They were so excited! It was such a nice Christmas. I really enjoyed getting to go to Church Christmas morning and sit as a family. I had a hard time wanting to go to sleep last night because it had been such a wonderful day.

Sophie's Birthday

At the Craig's family's Christmas party Yaya brought a Texas sheet cake and they sang Happy Birthday to Sophie!It was a great party and so thoughtful of them to add the birthday to the round of festivities!
The kids got to see Santa at the Christmas Party! He even brought them stockings with fun toys and coloring books! Taylor hauled off after Santa when he left because he really wanted to see Santa's sleigh! He was so excited and determined! He's trying to figure it all out this year.
Here's all the kiddos from the Starkey Christmas party (actually it's the Arends Christmas party)!
We also did a Dora pinata that helped me get rid of the rest of the Halloween candy and Christmas parade candy!
After the party games we had cake and ice cream and pizza and then we opened presents!
The older kids had to use a blind fold to make it more challenging.
The little ones didn't have to use the blind fold because it was an educational experience for them.
Steve had the best idea! Pin the poo on the potty! I ran with it! It's pretty much the only time you can rationalize doing something that gross (it's a potty training celebration party) and I knew the older boys attending would think that was pretty funny too! Here's the toilet I drew and the tootsie rolls I had leftover from Halloween and the Christmas parade, wrapped in tape so they'll stick! Ingenius! What a great party game!
Sophie's 3rd birthday was December 18th and we were lucky enough to be in Chicago for Craig's family Christmas party that weekend, so we got to throw a birthday party with Sophie's cousins! It was so much fun and totally the perfect 3rd birthday bash! Thanks to Robert, Annie, Peter and Kate for coming over and thanks to Hailey and Steve for letting us have it at their house!

All I want for Christmas is my 2 Front Teeth

Here's a pic of Katie and Sophie decorating cookies at Katie's class Christmas party at school.
Look at our cute Little Man and the cute little snowman he made has his school Christmas party!

I have wanted to get a garden gnome for quite a while but I refuse to pay more than $2 for it. This little guy I found on clearance at Meijer! Hurray!
Poor Soph was completely down and out with a fever that wouldn't quit. I finally put it together that she had roseolla when the rash broke out but had a Dr. appt already set, I'm glad I went because her double ear infection from right before Thanksgiving had come back. We had another round of antibiotics. On the bright side that was her only ear infection.
It finally fell out while he was eating some chili (and I didn't even put rocks in the chili!). He looks so cute with his two front teeth missing!

Taylor had this snaggle tooth that he wouldn't pull and wouldn't let Craig pull (Craig lives to pull teeth! Why didn't he become a dentist? I have not desire to make the kids scream or deal with their teeth-pulling issues so it works out quite well for me that he loves to pull their teeth).

Ada's Christmas Parade

Katie and her Girl Scout Troop were in the Ada Village Christmas Parade earlier in December. They all looked so cute in their little Snowman ponchos and hats. They were all so excited to throw out candy to the crowd! I got to walk along with them and hold the candy bags (lucky me). It was cold and rainy but not as cold as it's been in past years! Craig, Taylor and Sophie watched from our usual spot by the Historical Society barn. After Katie and I walked in the parade we walked back along the route to meet up with Craig and the kids in the barn to make cookies and have hot cocoa. YUM! It was a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

After we got back from Chicago we set up our Christmas decorations outside (it was almost 60 degrees) and inside! It's a great time of year!
Before we headed back to MI Jack and Taylor got to do some smashing pumpkins. I love throwing food.
We went to Naperville's Christmas parade on Friday and brought along pizza to share (for the kiddos, Steve made us some amazing Thai food for the grown ups after the parade).
Here is our dessert table. whoa. WHOA!!!! So good! 8 pies and 1 cake! Beautiful cake Justin! You're a lucky woman Zhenya!
Jack and Peter also got some great prizes in the bingo game.
Craig's mullet looks so natural. Maybe he'll wear it to work! Hailey should be glad that Steve won this wig so that he doesn't really have to grow out his mane!
Steve won a great wig in the bingo game after the meal. It is such a great look for him.
Here is Justin and his wife Zhenya and Robert and Laura's baby Tyler.
Katie wrote a great play about the First Thanksgiving which was rehearsed and put on for all of us. Good work guys!
Robert knows how the THROW DOWN!!! (we all put away ALOT of really great food!).
Check it out! What a spread! Big thanks to our hosts, Robert and Laura! We had sooooo much fun! It was heavenly to spend time all together, let the kids play and also split up the Thanksgiving menu!'s a great Thanksgiving, I get to play with Baby Tyler and Robert and Justin fuss with the 20lb bird and making gravy!
Here is the little kids table! They mostly wandered around and scavenged food from the adults plates.

We took a hike on a "mountain" that was once a landfill. It was chilly but so fun to get out and play before stuffing ourselves beyond belief.
We went to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with Hailey, Steve, Robert, Laura, Justin and (forgive me I know I'll spell your name wrong) Zhenya. We had such a great time. Here are some (alot) of pictures from our trip.