Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas!  We totally jinxed ourselves this year.  As I was going around saying (bragging) that the last couple of years we have had to wake our kids up on Christmas morning because they had slept in, they totally got back at us this year.

Saturday night as I was tucking Boy 1 and Boy 2 in, I explained to them that if they HAPPENED (wink-wink) to wake before us, under no circumstances were they to go out into the living room.  They were to walk straight to our room and wake us up.  As they clarified this fifteen different ways, we finally got all the rules down and I was pretty confident that I was about to sleep in day two of my vacation.  At approximately 4:46am we hear Matt coming down the hall saying, " said we can't go out into the living room until you were up."  I rolled over, looked at the clock, wiped the sleep out of my eyes, looked again, and then reply, "No, no, NO!  There is no way we are getting up at a quarter to five....THE SUN ISN'T EVEN UP!!"  Just about then, Boy 2 walks in and says, "Don't worry...I'm going to the bathroom before I crawl in bed with you." Apparently we should take that as a small token of his love and affection and view it as his gift to us.  As we gave them strict instructions to again not go in the living room until we got up (because I was going back to sleep), they tossed and turned for the next ten minutes will themselves to go back to sleep.  Ryan finally fell asleep and Matt played Angry Birds laying on the floor until he too fell asleep. 8:16am, Matt woke us all up and yelled..."WE OVERSLEPT!" And it was off to the living room we went!

The countdown has been moved!!!  (Of course!  How else was Santa coming through the fireplace?)

Always first...stockings!  I find it funny that Rich and I have difference of opinions (I know, shocking!!) on what goes in the stocking and WHO the gifts are from.

We try and have them open same things at the same time because some are duplicates... but it really turns into the game of who opened it first and ruined it for the other guy!

You will have to ignore Ryan not in pants throughout the post...

Somebody FINALLY got his own Angry Bird toy!!!  He was so sure he wasn't supposed to have it, because every time he grabs one of the boys toys we chase him through the house trying to get it back, that he hid under the ottoman for quite a while just begging for us to chase him. 

When these Angry Birds are no longer a fad...Teddy will have an abundance of chew toys to choose from!

All you need to do is give us the go-ahead....we're waiting....

And they're off...

Oh no!!!  Rock Star Mickey???  The best ever!!!

 Matthew with his very own bowling alley to set up in his room.  How many days until there is a hole in the wall???

Ryan opening a gift from Auntie Noelle and Uncle Greg...a wallet with a picture of Natalie inside. :)

Really??  No one wants to chase me???  I've been playing with this thing forever and you all don't seem to care!  What gives??

This might go down as one of the dumbest purchases we have ever made.  It is a basketball hoop for the shower.  One of two things is going to happen...One, some one's going to end up in the emergency room.  Or two, Rich will get the water bill after the first month of it being in the shower and it will become "that gift we used to have."

Favorite shirts of the day. 

Yes, it says ball was as if the shirt was made with him in mind. 

The aftermath.

Matthew's first grade teacher, Shelly Schatz, had Matt come to her room for a couple of mornings to have him help her with a Christmas present she was working on for her class.  Lucky me...I got one as a gift from him.  I can tell you one is an actual piece of a tree trunk that he painted and decorated.  I will hang it in my classroom year round so I can enjoy it! 

This basketball hoop was purchased for the boys from us while we were at Costco one night..and they were with us!!  Now, we had seen in weeks before and Rich was SO SURE they would have plenty that he didn't buy it at the time (even though no kids were with us that night)!!!  So we (all four of us)  happened to be back at Costco when we saw one left.  I told Rich that he needed to buy it now, if front of them, because it was the one thing they mentioned over and over.  So this basketball hoop sat under the tree for a week with them staring at it just waiting!! was time to play!!   (Hopefully someone learned a valuable lesson from this)

And now, time for the jam session!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ryan's Christmas Program

On Monday, Ryan had a short little Christmas program at his school. He was all excited to wear his fancy clothes and sing songs.  What I love is that he believes that all the songs that were in his program...originated at his school.  So, every time he heard Feliz Navidad on the radio he yelled out..."Hey!  That's my school's song!  That's the song we are singing at our show.  How come they get to play it?"  I tried to explain to him that his school was simply borrowing it like other schools have borrowed other Christmas songs, but he was having none of that!  Thieves!!!!

Here are a couple of pictures.  The lighting and focus are very poor because we were so far back and I didn't have my long lens.  I have my eye on a new camera that has automatic focus with a no flash setting that I want so badly and it would clear all this up.  Maybe I can talk Santa into it before our vacation this summer.  :)  And, true story...when we got home that night Ryan asked why we weren't sitting closer like the other families.  I told him...we showed up early and I went and had Matt save seats early!!  I promise we tried.  He seemed to think we could have done better.

Doesn't he look like an angel???

Oh wait....that's better.  There's the Ryan we know and love!!!!

The boys were patient enough for a quick picture after the concert.

The Feliz Navidad Boy!!  His favorite song, that he "knows be heart", and will correct you if you mis-pronounce any of the lyrics.  True story.

A quick family picture that seems like it is painful for Matt to stand through.

Well, today was our last day of school.  I have never ended a school session the day before Christmas Eve, so I feel I have a lot more time that just 36 hours to get ready. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Express Christmas

We apparently are the Dunphy's.  Last Friday night we celebrated Christmas in about 7 minutes.  The kids opened cousin gifts and poof, we were done in the blink of an eye.  It was so short...I have no pictures of anything.  I only have pictures of later that night and the next morning.  This express Christmas stunk!  Just sayin'.

Saturday was kind of a hectic day.  It started with Mikayla having a soccer tournament up in Rio Linda and Matt having a basketball game here in Lodi.  Half of us stayed here and half of us left.  Mason stayed with us so he could hang out with Matt and Ryan, much to their delight, and we took off for Mikayla's game as soon as Matt's was over.

Mikayla's afternoon game turned out to be the highlight of the weekend.  It was a treat for Rich and I to see Mikayla play because we never get to see either her or Mason's games.  Mikayla had been pulled up to play this tournament for the Strikers.  I am certainly glad we picked this game to finally be able to see her play because she was awesome!  She is quick, smart, aggressive, and fierce!  She was all over the place and I can definitely see why they wanted her...needed her...she is an asset to this team.  Within fifteen minutes of us showing up she scored the first goal of the game.  All I remember is that I screamed so loud my voice cracked seven different ways, all while I am jumping up and down with tears in my eyes.  What was more exciting was really listening to all the other parents yelling and cheering her name.  It was goose bump central!  Even Stacy said she had tears in her eyes too because it was a huge confidence builder for her.  What a fantastic way to spend the day at the field!

 Look out for number 4!

Let's go!

I love this sequence....

These girls are good! 

Game face.

I'm not positive, but I think these next pictures were right before she scored the goal.  Like I said, I got excited, dropped the camera and started jumping up and down!!

Ladies...that's how it's done!

Coaches presenting game ball.

Happiness!  Pure happiness.

After the game Rich and I headed to get some shopping done and all the kids went back to Nana's.  We picked up all the boys for a sleepover that night because Mikayla had to be back in Sac early for another two games!  I had known we weren't getting up for the early game, and I was trying to talk the boys into going to the second one, but it didn't turn out.  And Ryan had practice as well, so I had to live with Stacy giving me update every couple of minutes.  Good news...they went 3-1-0 for the weekend and they are coming back for more games this weekend.

The only picture I have from Saturday night of the boys is really just this boy who hogged my foot massager all night and the next day.  It was so funny because I was walking to he kitchen and Mason said, "Auntie, where did you get this and how much did it cost?  I have to have one."  So cute! 

As much as this kid is getting older and becoming a young man too quickly for me....I loved that he was down on the floor playing angry bird stuffed animals for hours on Sunday in his pajamas.  It's little things like that make me want to hit the pause button...that,  and we now have a "when you are 10 you can use those words" word list.  Ryan can't wait!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Magical Ride

There are so many things I love about this time of year...
  • I love putting the boys in the their pajamas and getting in the car to go look Christmas lights.
  • I love the The Polar Express replaces SpongeBob as the most watched thing on our TV.
  • I love going to the mailbox everyday to get Christmas cards from all of our friends to see how big their kids have grown in the last year.
  • I love playing Christmas music in my car and in my classroom.
  • I love that my kids are all in...hook, line, and sinker.
  • I love that "Merry Christmas" becomes the new "Hello".
  • I love that I have two lists on my refrigerator, that look very similar (wink, wink), and the constant adding to them daily.
  • I love wrapping presents at night when everyone is in bed.
  • I love that around the middle of the month my ears are on high alert because that is usually the time that Santa comes around our neighborhood on a firetruck and we run out to the street to greet him.  The last two years I have actually grabbed the boys out of the tub, wrapped them in a towel and ran out to the curb. (It gets below) 
  • I love that Rich and I devote our Saturdays to shopping because it is the only day of the week he is off.  There is nothing better than grabbing a coffee as we head out of town while making all of our lists for everyone.
I could go on and on...but this is better. 

On Tuesday night we kicked off Christmas in a HUGE way!  I have a student in my class whose dad is a firefighter and her mom called and asked us if we wanted to go out on the firetruck with Santa and pass out candy canes to all the kids in the neighborhood.  I of course said YES, YES, YES!!!!  I mean, we think it is a big deal when he just drives by our house and we get to run out and say hi...BUT TO GO AROUND WITH HIM??!!  Unbelievable!

What a treat this was.  It turns out that the best part of the night had a little to do with the big guy on the truck wearing the red suit.  No, the best part of the night was walking the streets of Lodi, passing out candy canes to kids of all ages and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  The looks on the kids faces were priceless and the joy coming from their parents was equally touching.  All in all...this was a good night! 

Here are the boys right when we got there!  So excited to see Santa and head out on the truck!

They said this year that they added more lights to the truck...I'm all for more lights.  I love me some Griswold decorations.

Waiting....just waiting to have at it!

Here are some of the kids...the ones we knew anyway...Maddie (my student), Lauren, Riley, Ryan and Matthew.  Did I mention that our friends the Flemmer's were there too???  Again...a good night!

At some point we had to break the news to Ryan that there was not an endless supply of candy canes for him, they were for ALL the kids.  Brent in the back trying to sneak out of the picture :)

And finally....he is here!!!  Now, because you know that Santa knows all kids and their names, it didn't take long for Santa to say hello to Matt and Ryan and let them know he has been keeping a eye on them.  It was PRICELESS!!!!

Right as we were heading out to our first neighborhood.  He was so excited!

Look at this hotshot hanging on to the ladder as we are DRIVING DOWN THE STREET!!!  This made me a little nervous, but the kids were giddy with excitement because they could sit on the side of the truck as it was going!! 

Mrs. Claus all festive and bright.

Ryan was reluctant to get down and pass out candy at first, but after the first stop he asked to go out.  He was pro...running from house to house passing out as many candy canes as his fingers could grab.

A look at the truck as I was walking on the sidewalk.

Matthew and Kendall as we were heading to our next location.

Coolest part about the old fire truck was that the kids could lay down under blankets and just chill.

At the end of the evening the kids wanted to go and tell Santa hello and maybe mention a few things to him.  Ryan had more than a few...I think he may have taken advantage of the situation.

This was the absolute funnest night and we really could not have had a better time!! is our new addition to our tree.  I am "whispering" because the boys haven't seen it yet, but we picked it up at the Mouse's House when we were there last and can't wait to set it up!!!  I had to take it for a spin to see how it shoots steam out the top and everything.  I love it.


And finally...last but not least...I was driving down Lodi Ave. the other day and almost got into an accident as I slammed on my brakes when I saw this.  At our house growing up on Debbie Ln, we had this EXACT scene in our front yard.  In fact, we sold it at a garage sale about 20 or so years ago.  I'm not saying that it is the same set...but it seems like it is so random that this is the only time I have ever seen it again and almost unheard of that someone else has this.  I have gone out of my way to drive past it several times because this is a snapshot of my childhood at Christmas.  I used to beg my Dad to hurry up and put them out in our front yard.  It may be cheesy, but I absolutely love it!