Monday, January 30, 2012

Girls Weekend 2012

My mom, sister, Morgan and I had our annual Girls Weekend a few weekends ago, before Morgan's basketball games started. We were hesitant about going because Morgan had a slight fever and was lethargic the night before we left, but she woke up chipper and ready to go...unfortunately that didn't last. We ended up going, but Morgan would become feverish and sluggish on and off throughout the whole weekend. She never wanted to go home though-she's quite the trooper! ;-)

My mom, Morgan and I met up with my sister late Saturday morning at Cranbrook Institute of Science. It's a natural history museum, so we weren't sure if a 5 year old would enjoy it, but she found some pretty neat things. We got a picture of this T-Rex for Blake and found out that they most likely were not predators, but actually scavengers....I had never heard that about them before!
This was pretty cool too! There was an area where they taught about diversity and there were some pretty neat holograms...I'd never seen a hologram in person before! The display of the room was all physically there, but the women and the boy were just holograms-very cool!

One of Morgan's favorite displays was the butterfly case. All sorts of pretty butterflies to look at. As you can tell, she wasn't feeling her best at this point.
Another favorite was when Morgan found Nemo! You can't see him well in this picture, but I took another...

There he is! :-)

Again, you can tell Morgan isn't feeling the best, but she still crawled into the turtle shell for a picture.

We also saw a show geared towards Morgan's age in the Planetarium there. It gave Morgan a chance to sit down and relax a bit. It was fun to watch her in awe of the stars and participate in the interactive portions of the show. Very neat!

After the science institute, we went out for lunch at a Coney Island. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but my sister ordered Flaming Cheese. I had never seen cheese lit on fire before...very cool (or hot) and tasty!

We then went to my sister's place to relax for the rest of the day. We made Morgan's Valentine's for her class, talked a bunch, watched a movie, ordered some Thai food, talked some more, drank wine (not Morgan of course), laughed, and just had a great night.

Sunday, we got up and had a slow start to our morning. My sister made us omelets and cut my hair for me as she does every Girls Weekend. We then went to see The Muppets. We actually got there a bit early, so we did a bit of shopping first. I took Morgan into Barnes and Noble (she loves looking at all the books) as my mom and sister went into Bed, Bath and Beyond...then we went and enjoyed the movie. :-)

Afterwards we did a little shopping at The Great Indoors. Between my mom redoing her kitchen and my sister having a new house, they both had a lot to look at there....I just dreamed ;-) I also thought the shopping cart escalator was pretty can't ride it the cart while it's going up the escalator...that was a bit of a bummer ;-)

That was pretty much the whole weekend. Mom, Morgan and I stopped for a bite to eat at McDonald's on the way home. We actually all got ice cream...a sweet end to a sweet weekend :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas 2011

I'm finally getting around to blogging about Christmas!! It was a busy one! We kicked off the Christmas season the day after Christmas with the town's Christmas parade. We spent quite a bit of time on our Advents. We put up our Christmas tree and decorations. Morgan had her Christmas performances. And, as you'll see, we did quite a bit more!

The first weekend in December, we went to the Lighted Implement Parade in a neighboring town. Always a bunch of fun as you tell from the smiles on the kids' faces. Blake and I really had some laughs that night. I tried putting him on my shoulders, like Morgan was on Rich's, but each time I'd go to take a picture I'd have to let go of one of his legs, which made him feel like he was going to fall, so he'd grab my head right around my eyes....turns out that makes it pretty tough to take pictures! The whole situation had me laughing so hard I'm not sure I got the few blurry pictures I did :-)

The following weekend was the annual Firefighter's Christmas dinner. The kiddos did the best ever going up and seeing Santa....might have helped that Blake had just been Santa's elf in the local parade a couple weeks before. :-)

The kids thought their gifts were awesome! Morgan got a box of Crayola stuff and Blake got Transformers. Blake thought he got the bext gift out of everyone because he had helped Santa in the parade. ;-)

The following day was Morgan's Christmas sing at school. The next weekend I went to an annual Cookie Exchange as well as Morgan's dance performance. And the week before Christmas the kids had school from Monday through Wednesday and I was there each day with one or the other or both of them with their parties :-) Then Friday before Christmas, Rich's family, including us, got together with one of his uncle's families and spent the evening together. Morgan and Blake LOVE Rich's cousin's kids, so it's always nice to get together with them when they're home from Virginia :-)

Christmas Eve, Rich's brother got home from the Marines, so they cut down their Christmas tree that morning. It was a special tree from Rich's brother Doug's memorial garden. (If you can't tell it's also a Douglas Fir.) A young Douglas Fir will be planted in it's place in the garden and it will be cut down when it's the right size to use for Christmas as well.

The kids also got their Christmas pj's from Grandma and Papa :-)

We then headed to my parents' for Christmas dinner with them. We opened presents, put together Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes, played a dice/gift game that we used to play at my grandparents' and made little reindeer candy canes.

Christmas morning was nice at home. We had plenty of time to open gifts together. We started off by opening up the gift of Jesus (it was the Jesus from the kids' nativity) was the last activity of our Advent. Then the kids found the Christmas pickle before they could open any more gifts :-)

Morgan discovered her new Christmas stocking! I had been working on it since she was 7 months old, but I finally got it done-ish....I need to sew on a different backing and put the liner in it still.

Blake being his usual goofy self :-) He was definitely having fun :-)
After we were dressed, we headed off to Rich's grandma's for more gift opening, brunch and the Christmas shot (of whiskey or whatever everyone wants...none for the kids of course!) Then on to Rich's parents' for more gifts and dinner. The kids had a blast with their uncles ;-)

The Monday after Christmas we tried not to put much away because my parents were coming over that night to see what everyone got. In the meantime, we also had Rich's best friend and his family stop by. And since I don't have a chance to make Christmas breakfast like my mom used to, I tried making some monkey bread from scratch that morning-YUM! :-)

Tuesday morning the kids had a dentist appointment. Then that night Rich and I took the kids to my parents then met up with his parents and brothers to go to a Red Wings game. As we were trying to squeeze past people to get into our seats, I was nudged and looked up to see people from our church! What a coincidence to drive 2 hours away from home and not just happen to see people we know, but be sitting right next to them! After the Red Wings won the game, we headed out to get dinner (at 11pm) at a place called Pizza Papalis, where I had my first Chicago style deep dish pizza! We made it home at 2 am...not used to be up so late anymore!

Wednesday we picked the kiddos up and worked at getting the house in order.

Thursday, the kids had a Tea Party at Rich's parents' with their 3rd cousins in the afternoon, then that night we had dinner and exchanged gifts with Rich's aunt's family.

Friday was spent trying to get more things in order (it really does take a lot to try to find places for things in a tiny house) and then we used up Morgan's Book-It coupons, before they expired, at Pizza Hut that night. I always loved Book-It when I was little and I enjoy doing it with the kiddos now too! :-)

Saturday, New Years Eve, we had Rich's brothers over. He wanted them to come hang out with him for a little bit while they were home for Christmas. The kids had a BLAST playing with them! We didn't end up going to his parents' for their New Years party and opted for a New Years evening at home.

Sunday, New Years day, we went back to Rich's parents to celebrate his youngest brother's birthday before he headed back to the Marines. The kids ended up staying the night there. Rich went back the next morning to get the kiddos and say good-bye to his brothers since they were both leaving that day. I ended up putting away several of the Christmas decorations.

This last weekend we finished up all our Christmas activity with an extended family Christmas with Rich's Dad's family. It was a really nice time. We had a soup and salad dinner, then a gift exchange, followed by a group picture and a special pudding that I can't remember the name of. It's really good and FULL of calories! LOL!

Okay, I think that covers it! I had hoped for a more relaxing break with lots of time just doing fun things with the kiddos that we don't have time to do anymore since they're in school, but it didn't quite work out that way. If we weren't away, we were working at keeping the house in order so we could move through it-LOL! It was nice to have the time with the family though. :-)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Morgan's Christmas Performances

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've blogged. I didn't plan on taking a break, but it ended up that way anyway. :-) I'm hoping to catch up blogging about all our Christmas activities we had real soon. For now, I have some of Morgan's performances that I wanted to share.

Morgan had a Kindergarten Christmas sing at the school, which was really nice. They sang 8 different songs and you can tell that they had a lot of fun learning them and singing them for all their parents and loved ones. This is their first song "Up on the Housetop".

Morgan's dance studio also did a few of their dances for a local nursing home. The performance happened to include both Morgan's ballet and tap routines, as well as the little routine that the studio had done for the town's Christmas parade. I tried for 2 DAYS to upload a video, but I couldn't get it to work, so here are a few pictures:

Morgan and one of her dance classmates in their tap costume.

Tapping to the song "Purple People Eater"

Morgan with her other dance classmate in their ballet costume.

Their ballet routine was to the song "Practical Magic".

**UPDATE: I was able to get the video uploaded to YouTube!! So, here the Practical Magic routine:
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