Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 is in the books!  At least I think it is, hope it is.  I feel like we celebrated for days and as many parents know....this is an exhausting holiday.  You have got to be on your game and your mind has to be sharp at all times.  So, yeah...I am little glad we are done and everything went well.  
Shout out to the Utley Family!!!  I had both Tucker and Riley last year and they are two of the sweetest boys ever!  Their dad Jeff puts this up every year and I tell them it has become one of my favorite parts of Christmas in our neighborhood.  Peace everyone!

The one night a year they don't complain about the "fancy clothes".  Christmas Eve Mass is their fancy night apparently.

Ryan in his true self.  After Mass at Nana and Papa's.

 In bed, watching Polar Express, every Christmas's a tradition people.  One that Matthew reminds me of every year and I love that he looks forward to it.

Worst idea of the night....letting him take his tablet to bed so he could track Santa throughout the evening.  Every 10 minutes we got an update, whether we wanted one or not.

Matthew hard at work making Santa a ring from his loom kit he got for Christmas. 

Okay--this note kills me.  "A little something for someone special.  P.S.  Sorry we had no reindeer food."  See the ring?  He is going to hate us one day.....

Christmas morning stockings.

No lie...his favorite gift of the morning.  'A boy needs a robe, Mom!'

Last gift of the morning from the big guy.

What a hot mess. 

Wondering where the "other boys" presents are.  We are not those people.

 Best Christmas gift ever....Noelle and Family home for Christmas!!!!!! 

All the kids (Ginger included) with Papa Jeff.

Nana and the kids!

Not ready for this to go away...Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hamster Wheel

December to me is a blur.  I feel like a hamster on a wheel, running around and going nowhere.  On Thursday last week, I am ashamed to say that I left work and came home to an empty house and did eight loads of laundry for eight hours straight.  I finished at 10:15pm.  Are you asking how it is possible for a family to have eight loads or laundry???  It is and I am not proud.  And crazy enough, it didn't bother me because it was the first time I had been home, and awake, for longer that three hours and I loved the quiet, absent minded chore that it was.

And on to the craziness.

So...this happened. 

I was honored earlier this month at Hutchin's Street Square for being the Lodi New Sentinel's Elementary Classroom Hero.  I was very honored. These six (seven actually, one is missing) below were from last year's class and wrote in about me.  I absolutely LOVED my class last year and so when I learned of what they had done, I had them in for breakfast.  I love these kids and I was so lucky to be their teacher for a year.

Matt playing guitar in his Christmas performance.   This was the first Christmas program at our school in several years and it was darling.

 You teach him two cords on a guitar and he thinks he should be playing Central Park.

And now on to Christmas Number 1, better known as MARINI PAOOLZA

We headed to Dell'Osso Farms to go sledding.  We did this a couple of years ago and decided to head back because it is so fun with a lot to do in a small place.

Matthew sledding.

Here is Mason, Mikayla, Auntie Stacy and Ryan.

Uncle Mike and Mason in the middle.

Uncle Mike and Auntie Stacy.

Mason and Mikayla.

Matthew getting strapped in to go zip lining.

 The three big kids heading up to zip line.  Ryan missed the weight requirement by five pounds.  He is going to want to do this next year.



He could have done this all day.
And because he has to be able to have some fun too, Ryan rode the bucking pumpkin.

Later that opening.  You know times have changed with the lack of presents under the tree indicate how old they are.  It used to be absolute craziness with the floor carpeted with wrapping paper and kids screaming and toys every year.  Now they like gift cards and non-toy things.  I felt bad they didn't have things to "open". 

You love the new pajamas? Aren't they darling!! Stacy had them made for each of the kids.  It is a tradition that they look forward to every year.

What a fun weekend!!  Round 1 is over, we are going to rest up before the second round starts!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spreading the Cheer!

Last night we were so fortunate again to join the Lodi Fire Department for Santa on the fire truck!!
And the best part was that we were able to walk around and pass out candy canes in our own neighborhood and see many friends and students from school.  I don't care what age you are, this night is just magical.  Everyone is happy, smiling, in the Christmas spirit and spreading good cheer everywhere you see.  Kids running out of their houses to see Santa is priceless.  One of my absolute favorite nights of the year! 

Yep...this is our ride!

Group shot before we take off.  Our friends the Locke's were invited too and they had an amazing time.

Riley, Maddie, and Jane right before we take off.  Jane's husband is a firefighter with LFD and she has been gracious to invite us back for this fun night!

Selfie with Lynn and Colson!

The kids bundled up for the trip.  It was 27 degrees. 

Matt, Jason, and Camden.  So excited!!!

Some of us on ground crew passing out candy canes to kids and parents.

These two.  That's all I am going to say.

Family pictures when we were all done.

Great night!!!

Oh yeah, and this guy!

And last week we officially kicked off Christmas in Lodi with the Light Parade. 

A couple of favorites from the night.

Hands down best of the night.  Polar Express!

For you Noelle! :)