Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We didn't exactly have a white Christmas in Kansas City this year, as most of Thursday's snow already melted, but it was a lovely, crisp winter day. We joined Dave's mom for 4 p.m. Mass yesterday, then went back to their house for Christmas Eve dinner and presents. Dave, Ben, Elizabeth and I celebrated Christmas morning at home, then went back to Herb's & Jerry's in the early afternoon for what we had to keep reminding Ben was a combination of lunch + dinner (he gets confused when meals are not in his standard 3x + afternoon snack structure!) and enjoyed time with Herb, Jerry, Jeff, Grandma Anne, Uncle Kenny & Aunt Lynn.

Here is a quick photo dump from our last few weeks. My grandma is at my parents' house until tomorrow so I wanted to make sure she saw some extra pictures of what we've been up to lately!

Ben enthusiastically shaking his jingle bells & "rapping" the chorus of "Jingle Bells" at his daycare holiday program (As a 3 yr old, "rapping" apparently= "yelling")
Talking to Santa at the daycare program

Kids being goofy & making each other laugh before bedtime. E thought it was really cool to get to sit on the big bed for a few minutes!

The next set is from the traditional cookie baking a few weeks ago.

Elizabeth's first (highly supervised) sprinkling foray

Elizabeth got to test a little bit of a cookie. She loved it. Ben wanted to help finish the rest.

When Ben got tired of helping with the cookies, he watched Opa light the menorah for the eighth day of Hanukkah and they played dreidel. Ben is getting very competitive at dreidel and gets very excited when he spins "gimel," which gets him all the gelt on the table!

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day photos:

Santa brought him a Royals shirt.

"Ben's shoe! Just what I wanted!"

Santa's helpers

Exhausted, belligerent Ben on Christmas Eve. Mad that Santa got a peanut blossom and he didn't, but also just tired from not taking a nap and being up past bedtime.
New Royals shirts

Dave pretending he is surprised and that Ben did not blab about me wrapping up this gift from Tony & Jen the moment that Dave got home yesterday!

Book title: What's Going On In Here? (0-5 year-old brain development!)

Listening to Papa's recording of the Charlie Brown storybook from Great-Grandma.

Hobby horse from Great-grandma Anne

Insisted on taste-testing most presents, whether or not they were hers.

Links also make a nice crown.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Twas The Night Before Christmas...Ben style

The other day I found an free printable abridged mad libs version of "The Night Before Christmas" on  We had to simplify and give some examples of the types of words needed to fill in the blanks, but Ben had a lot of fun with it. I don't think it will be replacing Clement C. Moore any time soon, though!

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the toll-free*
Not a zoo was eating, not even a zebra.
The elephants were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Santa soon would be there.
The children were playing all sung in their beds,
While visions of paper danced in their heads.
When out on the lawn there arose such an oink
I popped from bed to see what was the matter.
When, what to my rough eyes should appear,
But a red sleigh and 10 small reindeer.
With a little shy driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in an instant, it must be Brandy.**
His stomachs, how they twinkled! His dimples, how bumpy!
His cheeks were like spaghetti, his nose like a cheery!
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And read all the stockings, then turned with a jerk
He slid to his sleigh, to his team gave a "Moo! Moo!"
But I heard him exclaim, as he raced out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a quiet night!"

*When we get telemarketer calls and Ben wants to know why we're not answering, we tell him it's a toll-free number. At some point he decided that "Toll-Free" was the actual name of the person calling.
**Brandy is his grandparents' dog. He thought it was hilarious when we read that part!

Merry Christmas!!

Happy birthday, Grandma!


Today is my grandma's 93rd birthday. She is at my parents' house for Christmas so we got to have a video chat with her tonight and the kids got to talk to her (Elizabeth screeched!), which is great. This summer all of her grandkids and great-grandkids got together in Toledo. The photo above is her meeting Elizabeth for the first time and below is a family photo. Happy birthday, Grandma!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Visit to Santa

The kids got to see Santa both Thursday night at their daycare holiday program and at Bass Pro Shops on Friday. Elizabeth did not think highly of him, though she calmed down quickly once she was back in our arms. It was the same Santa both times and he is very sweet and patient. He is also the same Santa of Ben's crying Santa picture from 2010:

Our niece Gwen had a similar reaction to her Bass Pro Shops' Santa this week, so now my parents can have a lovely photo collage of all three grandkids screaming at Santa!