Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week with Family

We had a week and a half over the holidays where our house was full of family. It was good to see everyone! My dad came down, and we had a good visit. He was kind enough to install a ceiling fan with Rich in the boys' room (didn't realize until we moved in that there was no light in there!). It was supposed to be a quick and easy project but somehow took a couple hours and involved the power going out a couple times. It works great now though and I love it, thanks Dad :>)
 Aunt Janine was here for a week and helped the kids build a volcano. It was slightly anticlimactic but still fun :>)
 The weather was GORGEOUS and we spent a lot of time outside. A favorite pastime was shooting the cardboard deer with arrows.
 the girls dragged their new babies everywhere we went, sometimes while wearing football jerseys and tutus
 Kristi was here as well, and is always silly!
 Grandma and Grandpa Gray came for a few days as well, and brought Kelly, Ashley, Eliza, Charlotte, and Zane with them.

We had some late night card games...
 and late night sleepovers. Who knew so many people could sleep on our couch? We cleared beds out upstairs for the kids, but the couch is more fun I guess :>)
 We took some fun walks and spent a lot of time outside watching the girls ride their new bikes (Whitney was not slowed down by her previous accident!)
It was a busy but fun time, glad to have all of our family visit :>)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Laguna Beach

We had so much fun with extended family on Christmas day that the next day we met up in Laguna Beach with a bunch of them. The weather was PERFECT, and it was a wonderful day! And my AMAZING cousin Heather took lots of pictures that I love so much, thanks cuz :>)

 the kids had lots of fun checking out the tidepools


 love these ladies!
 sometimes I get bummed that neither of my sisters have kids yet, and when they do one day they will be so far apart in age from my kids. I grew up with cousins my own age, and to this day we still get along great. I am so happy that Heather's boys are the same age, we consider them to be cousins (not sure what the correct term is....second cousin? something removed? Who the heck knows, all I know is that we always have a great time with them!) 

 It really was SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!
 My baby cousin Sarah (who is now in college, man I am old) was so great about playing with the kids...
 even when she got soaked doing it :>)

 can't wait to do this again! Including the part where we hit up Cafe Rio on the way home, YUM!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas

I love Christmas with kids this age! The kids were SO EXCITED, it just makes me smile :>)
 the girls have been asking for bikes for months, and Santa brought them ones with baby seats in the back. They love them, and immediately started zooming around the house on them.
 Love my boys!
 Sabrina insisted on putting everything on. Immediately :>)
 Mom and Bob came over to open up gifts with us and have breakfast as well. Everything was great except for when Brendan felt like he didn't get as much as everyone else and cried in his room for awhile :<(
 After breakfast, Rich took the girls outside to ride their bikes. Whitney went down the driveway and tried to turn, but somehow she fell off into the curb and ate it (she was wearing a helmet, but hit underneath it). I took her to Urgent Care where she got 7 stitches (5 on the surface and 2 inside). She was NOT a happy camper, poor kid :<( She was all smiles and goofy faces afterwards though!
 Later that afternoon we went to the Schramm's house with the whole family. We had a great time!
 So fun to see all my cousins (some of which are married with their own kids now, it is strange to not be the one chasing after a baby for a change!)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a fun day! My sister Janine was already at our house, and that morning we went down to the lake for an unofficial 5/10K that our friend Barry organized. My mom came too, and she and Janine went 3 miles with the kids while Rich and I did the 10K (well, probably not 10K officially, we turned around at the 3 mile marker but 6 miles is still more than I have ever done!). I was under a 9:30 pace which is not crazy fast but better than I expected to do. And a couple minutes ahead of Rich :>)
 Afterwards we came back to our house and got ready for the Christmas Eve party with my Dad's side of the family (I hadn't been in 4 years, it was hard with the twins being little and felt weird with my parents' split, but I was glad we were going!). It was an ugly sweater party, and since we don't own any festive sweaters we bought a bunch of stuff from the dollar store and got to work! Carson kept saying he hoped he would win the prize for the ugliest sweater, and sure enough he did :>)
 we looked super awesome!
 it is always good to see my grandma, she just turned 93 and looks amazing!
 then we came back to our house and got ready for Santa to come. The kids sprinkled reindeer food out on the front lawn, and left out some cookies. 
The kids had made gingerbread houses the day before, apparently Brendan was concerned about Santa eating them so he snuck downstairs to leave Santa a little letter ha ha :>) He is "not kitting."

We Love Jiminy

The kids were so excited when Jiminy Cricket came back from the North Pole! Here are a few pictures of his favorite escapades...
 he brought a box to fill with old toys to donate. Carson got really into it, every time I put something into the box Brendan cried and said he needed it :>)
 he turned our milk chocolate...
and rolled down the stairs in a roll of toilet paper

he also hung the kids' underwear from the tree.

til next year Jiminy, the kids miss you already!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gray/Jones Christmas Party

The annual Gray/Jones Christmas party was a lot of fun this year! We ate yummy food, and had the requisite talent show :>)
 Brendan and I did a little Jingle Bells duet (I started teaching him lessons over the summer. It has been a INTERESTING experience to say the least!)




 These kids are getting so big, and have so much fun together!

I am lucky to have married into such a great family