Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sledding in Michigan

The plan was to drive to Michigan the day after Christmas. It was Christmas Day around 4PM and I had one more bag to pack. I came down stairs with little Miss after her nap and Carey says "Let's just leave tonight." My first thought was, I have been on my feet all morning and afternoon, so it might be nice to sit for the next 20 hours. So I responded "Ok." Three hours later the kids were fed, in pajamas and buckled into their car seats, the house was locked up with most of the electricity off, and the car was all packed up.

Eight movies, ten pit stops, two McDonalds, one traffic jam, four rain showers, one hour of crying, 1400 miles and 23 hours later, we pulled into Grandpa and Grandma's driveway. It took a bit longer than usual, but we arrived safely.

So, we spent our first and second day sledding. Carey's Dad and Stepmom have about 3 acres without any trees and some pretty big hills. We geared up and got to sleddin'. Victoria had a blast! "WEEEEEEEE!" were her exact words.

Ready for some sleddin'!

Riley pulling Victoria up the hill. What a great big brother!

Riley and Victoria on their way down ... for the tenth time.
Victoria has her mouth open saying "WEEEEE!"

Mommy and Riley taking a turn.

Daddy, Riley and Victoria gettin' some air!

Victoria's most favorite spot to be ... on the tractor with Grandpa.

Loading the kids in the sled.

Grandpa, Riley and Victoria

Crash landed.

Rosy-red cheeks after about two hours of sledding.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Morning

We just couldn't wait any longer, so we got the kids up out of bed at 7:15AM. Victoria came downstairs to a kitchen and shopping cart full of pretend groceries and Riley to a scooter. Then Riley started opening gifts and Victoria played. She played with her toys and Riley's toys, but was not interested in anything that was wrapped. So Mommy unwrapped all her presents and set them to the side for her to notice ... eventually. Mommy, Daddy and Santa did a great job. She LOVES the kitchen. Played with it all day. Riley was busy with Lego assembling and playing with GI GI Joe (he adds the extra GI ... so cute).

Pops and Gigi stayed most of the morning and into the afternoon. Uncle Kevin and Shannon came over to play and have birthday bread for Jesus and then Uncle Corey came to play and have a late brunch. We attempted to email and send pixs to Grandma and Grandpa in Michigan all morning to share in the festivities. We had so much fun just watching the kids get so excited and playing with all their new toys.

Surprised Carey with a smoker.

Birthday Party for Jesus

Victoria had to try out Riley's scooter too

Sunday, December 28, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the Night Before Christmas and throughout the Thompson abode
The only ones stirring were Mommy and Daddy in major gift assembling and setting-up mode.

The kiddos were all nestled snug in their beds by eight.
With much to do Mommy and Daddy stayed up a bit late.

We started the day with cartoon watching and a cinnamon roll breakfast
And then off to Pops and Gigi's for presents and lunch, an invitation you can't resist.

After stuffing our faces, opening gift after gift and getting our toy stack
We headed for home for an evening of fun playing with our friends Caroline and Jack.

It was then time for opening one present, new Christmas PJs and setting out Santa's cookies
Followed by kids to bed and right to work for Santa's little helpers, still a couple of rookies.

When out in the garage there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter

"I need Ds, no triple As and double As too!
What's that? We only have Cs ... I can make them do."

We set it all up and even manged to get in "It's a Wonderful Life"
Very impressed was this team of husband and wife.

We were finally done and our work was all through
Then we were off to bed, a tired ragged crew.

Reading the Christmas story with Pops.

In Christmas PJs with Caroline and Jack.

Opening one gift on Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

So we have been enjoying ourselves these past few weeks.

Watching Polar Express in 3D.

Riley is supposed to be helping Daddy put up Christmas lights.

Watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

"You better not pout, I'm telling you why"

On Riley's field trip to Casa to see Rudolph.
A real snooze fest for Mommy, but tons of fun for the kids.

Opening the Advent calendar we got from Carey's Uncle Gary and Aunt Sally.

Chattin' it up on the way out the door. Little girl is always on her cell phone.

We had our Christmas musical at church a couple of weeks ago. Even though my $70 sequin choir top was 10 sizes too big and I was horse from being sick the few days before, we managed to put on a great show and I even sang in a quartet. Ran a bit long, so Gigi and Pops had to run tag-team with Victoria in the sanctuary.

We went to see Santa. Riley was a bit gun-shy. I had to stand up there with them and tell Santa what they wanted with Riley nodding his head yes the entire time. Riley said that he didn't want to talk to Santa because his beard wasn't big and white. Whatever. No picture, though. I am not crazy about making my kids have their picture made with a complete stranger ... even if it is Santa.

We went to the drive-thru nativity (or activity as Riley calls it) at North Ft Worth Baptist. Very cool. Live animals. Sheep, donkey, camels ... the camels were so cool. Very neat. Victoria was amazed!

We visited some old family friends last night and had a blast!! Riley was on his "A" game and just entertaining them for all it's worth. He is such a ham with an audience. They are such a sweet family and we love getting to visit with them!

And of course, we have been in the process of getting a good picture of the kiddos in front of the tree for a few weeks now. Here are some of the results:

Not bad, but not great.

Really great picture, but missing the tree.

Giving Gigi a hard time trying to pose in front of the tree.

Love it when they laugh!

I do believe this one is my most favorite!

We have cookies galore! Chocolate chip, peanut butter rice krispie squares, snickerdoodles, iced Christmas cookies. Tomorrow I will attempt the peanut butter cup cookies that Carey's Gma used to make and the peanut butter gooey bars that his step-mom Sally makes ... yummy!!

We won't be giving out any of the ones Riley iced.
He licked the icing knife between every cookie.
Got some five year old germs on those.

And then there is our annual December trip to the pediatrician that we take today. I have two snotty and coughing kids that NEED to DESPARTELY be well by the day after Christmas. We are leaving to go to Michigan to spend a week with the Michigan Thompsons. There is snow sledding, snow mobiling, snow playing, snow fort building, snowman buidling, snow skiing (got a bit of a theme going here) all on the schedule. And everyone needs to be cough and snot free.

We have finished the Christmas shopping and I believe I have approximately 32 presents (I know, I am such a nerd for counting, but I just can't help myself) to wrap on Christmas Eve and a super humangous kitchen to assemble. Should be fun! Cannot wait!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Questionnaire

A fun little diddy I came across in blog-land:

1. Christmas Tree - Fake or Real?

Fake all the way - Spent too many Christmases sick with pine allergies. My new rotating 9ft pre-lit tree totally rocks!!!

2. Favorite Ornament
The ones I have of Riley on the tree from each year with his picture and recorded little baby voice.

3. Favorite Christmas Song
"Jesus Born on this Day" by Avalon (downloaded it from iTunes today and am listening to it right now for the 10th time ... Love it!!)

4. Favorite Tradition
Setting out the milk and cookies and staying up late to watch the weather report with Harold Taft showing us Santa Claus making his way to Fort Worth. That Harold Taft kept me believing in Santa for a very long time!! Also, mom and dad waking us up on Christmas morning with a fire in the fireplace and presents everywhere. Handing them out one by one. Seeing what my brothers got. Mom and Dad taking a nap in the afternoon while we played with all our new toys. Going to my Grandma's that Christmas night. So great.

5. Favorite Gift Received
That is a hard one - my parents blew me away every year! The ones that stand out are plane tickets to see Carey (1996), Baby Alive (1984) and my Kitchen Aid mixer (2005).

6. Favorite Christmas Meal
A big 'ol huge breakfast

7. Favorite Christmas Cookie
Tea Cakes with yummy buttery icing (a couple of days old)

8. Favorite Place to Be
Watching my kids open their presents. I used to feel so sorry for my parents growing up because they wouldn't get very many presents at Christmas. I totally get it now. If I don't receive one thing for Christmas, I would be totally fine with that. I just absolutely LOVE watching the excitement on my kids' faces on Christmas morning when they get those presents. Superficial ... probably yes, but that is just pure child-like joy that just makes me so very happy! It makes me just imagine how God must feel when we receive his blessings and they make us so very happy.

9. Favorite Memory
Flying up to Michigan Christmas 1996 when we were engaged. His Uncle Terry, Aunt Kelly and Cousin Tyler picked me up from the airport and I surprised Carey in his Grandmother's dining room with ALL his family there. I will never forget the look on his face!!

10. Favorite Christmas Movie
"It's A Wonderful Life" hands down!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Victoria's Big Debut

Victoria had her big debut in her performing career. She goes to a music class at the rec center here in town called Wiggles-N-Tunes. We call it dance class so that she will get used to the idea of going to dance class because she will be attending a dance class on a regular basis very soon ... so exciting!! Anyway, they had a performance at the Saginaw tree lighting. They rang bells to a somewhat synthesized version of Silent Night. Victoria had the orange bell and was supposed to ring it every time the teacher held up a card with an orange circle on it. Well, Victoria only being 21 months old cannot yet grasp the concept of color recognition and coinciding that with ringing a bell. So, Mommy did most of the ringing. She held the bell and I would get really excited when her color would come up and grab her hand and ring the bell "with" her. Then she would properly place the bell back into her belly. Things were going well during rehearsal and at the beginning of the performance. We could see Daddy, Riley, Pops, Gigi, Uncle Kevin and GF Shannon in the audience. So very exciting.

Then ... she noticed them ... all of them ... balloons. Balloons everywhere. All different shapes, sizes colors. Truly amazing. WOW.

"Whas tha? Ba-oons!! Ba-oons!!"

Well, no longer interested in any stupid bell or bell ringing. She made the icky face, shoved the bell away and was content to just sit there and point at all the many fascinating balloons. So, I was faced with the dilemma as to whether I should keep ringing the bell or just sit there. Fortunately, the music was cut short by some sort of equipment malfunction and the performance ended abruptly. Applause, applause, take our exit.

Riley was waiting in the wing to give her a single red rose
for her performance (Gigi's idea ... thanks Mom!).

So, all in all it wasn't too bad. The most important thing was that she look adorable and went out on the stage without a tear. Momma is so very proud!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tag ... We're It!

Jack and Caroline tagged us, so I guess we're it. Here goes:

8 Things About Riley:

8 of My Favorite Things:

1. Cinnamon rolls
2. Staying up late
3. Go, Diego, Go
4. Victoria
5. Going to school
6. Singing
7. Legos
8. Playing outside on the swing setter (aka swing set)

8 Things that Happened Today:
1. Got a star at school
2. Shared about a half a box of goldfish with Victoria on the couch while watching Go, Diego, Go
3. Bought lunch at school and had ice cream
4. Made a paper airplane
5. Checked the mail twice
6. Got to pick what we ate for dinner-chicken fingers, mac and cheese and green beans
7. Went to Children's Choir at church
8. Ate a popsicle in the bath

8 Things I am Looking Forward To:
1. Eating Cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Saturday morning
2. Christmas!!!
3. Going camping again
4. Going to see Grandma and Grandpa after Christmas
5. Eating candy
6. Having a brother (no this is not an announcement, he has been praying for a brother since Victoria came on the scene)
7. Turning 6 years old ... yikes!!
8. Learning to read

8 Things About Victoria:

8 of My Favorite Things:

1. Cinnamon rolls
2. Star Dolly
3. Blanket
4. Riley
5. Going bye-bye
6. Cell phones
7. MEAT!!!
8. Shoes

8 Things that Happened Today:
1. Drew on her face with Mommy's eye liner
2. Went to Wiggles class
3. Shopped for new hairbows with Mommy
4. Ate dog food
5. Asked Mommy "What's that?" approximately 74 times
6. Ran fever in the afternoon, better after a dose of tylenol
7. Took an evening snooze with Daddy on the couch
8. Said "No" approximately 126 times

8 Things I am Looking Forward To:
1. Going bye-bye again
2. Playing with Riley
3. Her next meal with meat
4. Putting on her shoes
5. Bathtime with Riley
6. Pops and Gigi coming over
7. Being in her Uncle Corey's wedding (that's right, little bro is getting married!!)
8. Playing bells Friday night with her Wiggles class at the Saginaw tree lighting

Now We Have to Tag 8 Friends:
1. Joseph C.
2. Mckenzee R.
3. Logan L.
4. Connor A.
5. Jack S.
6. Luke S.
7. Brandon M.
8. Sommer

Monday, December 1, 2008

Their Favorite Places to Play

These are the latest and greatest places to play in the Thompson Home.

In the kitchen cabinets.

In the van (parked safely in the garage).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Camping with the Kids

So we just got back from our first camping trip with the kids (my seventh with Carey). They had a great time, but both were so excited to get home. First thing we did when we walked in the door was give the kids a bath. We were all absolutely filthy with dirt and smelly with smoke. We left on Monday after lunch with the van loaded to the max. I believe there were about 10 bins full of clothing, food, camping accessories, not including the tent, ice chest, pillows and blankets ... lots of blankets. I prepared for a cold night in the tent, which was a good thing considering it got down to 32 degrees on Monday night. Soooooo glad that Carey's Dad gave us that camping heater as a Christmas gift many years ago. Thanks Al!

Everyone did fairly well through that first night. Miss Victoria made a bee-line for me before she fell asleep. She buried her head in my chest and fell right to sleep. The only problem is that is how she wanted to sleep ALL night. Not very conducive to allowing me to sleep. But that didn't matter much since I was literally freezing. Carey and the kids usually get very hot when they sleep, but I on the other hand fall asleep at night with socks on, an extra blanket and usually cover my head in the winter time. So needless to say, I was so very very cold on that first night and slept about 4 hours ... not much fun. Then we all woke up to no camping breakfast (the best part of camping if you ask me). The Coleman stove that my Dad gave us that they bought 30 years ago broke. So the kids ate a cereal bar and yes, Doritos for breakfast. Then we all piled in the van, including the dog, and drove to Cleburne in search of a new stove. Found a replacement part for the ancient stove and we were back in business.

The rest of the trip went well. I can probably sum it up best in the following list of likes and dislikes about the trip:

Like - That Riley called them snoodles instead of s'mores.
Dislike - Packing all those bins with two kids at my ankles all morning.
Like - Seeing Victoria warm her hands by the fire.
Dislike - Freezing that first night.
Like - The food was so yummy. It also helped that Carey did ALL the cooking and most of the cleaning.

Dislike - The dog was with us. Need I say more.
Like - The fire in the morning and at night.
Dislike - Giving Victoria a shower in the public shower stall. She disliked it also ... very very much.
Like - Not having to fix my hair or put on makeup and getting to wear jeans and sweatshirts.
Dislike - The 10, seriously 10 loads of laundry to do when we got home. I even washed Victoria's diaper bag.
Like - Playing word games with Riley. He is just so smart and witty. Makes me laugh that guy does.
Dislike - Feeling dirty all the time.
Like - Being with my family with no tv to watch, house to clean, work to do.

Cereal bars and Doritos for Breakfast.

Riley loaded up his stick with marshmallows.

This was about 6AM on Tuesday. She woke-up a bit early,
so we watched a video until the boys got up.
It was just a tad bit cold ... only 32 degrees.

Going for a hike with Daddy.

No nap ... she fell asleep eating dinner that night around 6PM.
So we decided to warm by the fire.

We went to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX.
Riley was bummed that we didn't get to see any real live dinosaurs.

Victoria is ready to go ... home!