Monday, January 2, 2017

Wrapping Up Christmas Break

The day after Christmas I had our Christmas tree on the curb by 8:15 am and most of the decorations were down as well.  We cleaned up around the house and had a great day.  Wednesday we headed out for the final part of the boy's Christmas present...a trip to St. Louis and Six Flags.  I did a little research and even found us a "tiny house" to stay in. Truth be told, I think the house may have been their most favorite part of the trip.

Before we got to the tiny house we made a stop at the outlets to get some new basketball shoes for our middle child who is anything but tiny.
The next morning we headed out for Cardinals Nation.  Jack was thrilled.  There was lunch...

And fudge.  Two things that make my fella very happy.
Then we went to peak at the field.  We couldn't get in because they were preparing for an outdoor hockey game. 
 All of the excitement from the stadium just wore this fella out.  He took a brief cat nap on the way to Six Flags.

We went to Six Flags that afternoon, but I didn't get any pictures.  We were busy riding rides.  
On the way home we stopped for lunch at Taco Johns and I introduced the boys to Potato Oles and all things Taco Johns.  I think they were impressed. 
Sunday we had church that morning and then that afternoon I reentered the world of Kroger.  During the month of December I used Click List the entire month.  But in January, I have to go back inside the grocery store.  Sniff. Sniff. 

My friend sent this to me via text and I snorted.  My goal for 2017 is to find this banner!

Monday morning we cleaned up around the house and I had a moment.  The boys went upstairs and cleaned everything.  I went upstairs and they were just working away.  The big boys finished before Andrew and then they went back upstairs and helped him finish up.  Andrew later asked me if I told them to do that.  I told him I had not.  He then said, "Good.  It makes it more special that they helped me without you telling them."  Bless my soul and melt my heart.  If you need me, I'll be in a puddle on the floor. 

After we cleaned the house, we went to Chickfila for lunch, which is such a treat.  Then we got haircuts for the boys, which is not really a treat, but necessary.  Then we went to Costco, which is like Disneyland for me.  And finally we rounded out the afternoon with a 16 mile hike through IKEA.  We have had the best break together!  School starts tomorrow so we are all in a state of mourning, but we will hold these memories for sure. 

Monday, December 26, 2016


Once school finally ended and the programs were over we started having a little fun.  We always go look at Christmas lights, but this year we decided to step it up a notch.  So we rented a limo with our friends and surprised the guys.  They were super excited!  We had a blast driving through the city looking at lights. 

 Our friend at church gave us these glasses that make lights look like certain things...reindeer, snowflakes, santa, etc.  It made looking at lights lots of fun.
 On Thursday Fred had lunch at the office so the boys and I just went to Pyro's Pizza for a special treat.  Then Andrew had a friend come over to play.  We took that friend and met his family at the movie, Sing.  They have four boys and we have three boys, which means that the Malco on Stage is now in the black.
 We typically go to Cracker Barrell on Christmas Eve, but we were going to be in Jackson on Christmas Eve so we went a day early.  A good time was had by all.
 Especially this one...he loves breakfast.  The boys all played Fred in checkers and Fred won...again.

After breakfast at Cracker Barrell we loaded up the car and headed to Jackson for Christmas with my family, but we had a brief pit stop with my friends.  We all (minus Carrie) happened to be in town so we met up for a little mission and then we paused for a brief photo.  Our original group has grown by leaps and bounds.

We got to my parent's house and had another good time.  We let the kiddos open presents and then the adults opened presents.  My mom made great food for the entire 24 hours.  

We headed back to Bartlett for Christmas Eve services at Ellendale, a little more shopping at Five Below, and some wrapping.  The boys and I wrap their presents to each other on Christmas Eve and I get ready for Christmas morning.  Each guy comes to my room to wrap for the other brother.  I looked over and Andrew was writing on Jack's package.  It was the sweetest thing. 

 For the first time ever, we ran out of communion cups at church.  I looked up and they were pouring cups with grape juice from a pitcher.  I looked up and one of our deacons was coming down the aisle with a pitcher of juice.  It made me laugh.  Best Christmas Eve service ever.  I made dinner after the service and Mimi, Tee, Fred and Renee all came over.  

Mimi and Tee stayed the night and we asked the boys to sleep until 6:00am.  I woke up about 5:50 am and crept into the kitchen to make coffee before the festivities began.  The house was quiet except for Jack sneaking up behind me.  He about scared me out of my mind.  He, of course, thought it was hilarious.  

We began opening presents.  The boys had to play a game to figure out which paper belonged to which boy.  We played that saran wrap ball game.  They really had a good time.  
 The boys shop for each other at Five Below each year.  We typically go each year after eating at Cracker Barrell, but this year we went after driving in from Mimi and Tee's.  Of course, the brothers picked out a basketball and a football for Jack.
 After opening presents, we had our typical Christmas breakfast of carbs with a side of carbs.  It was a dream come true!
 Speaking of dreams coming true, Dash received a stuffed squirrel for Christmas.  He rolled around with that thing and took it all over the house.  He finally got a squirrel.  He's been barking at them since he's been at this house.  I'm pleased to know all his dreams came true this Christmas as well.
Since Christmas was on Sunday we headed to church around 10.  After church we had lunch here with Mimi and Tee and then headed to Fred and Renee's to open presents and eat steak for dinner.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures from that event.  Boo.

The next morning (the 26th) I woke up and completely cleared the house of Christmas.  In fact, I was taking our tree to the curb before breakfast.  Done.  We were just having a lazy day around the house and Jack went to play with his buddy.  Before I knew it, Jack and Clayton were headed to the zoo to go ice skating.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

This week

Sunday was a busy day at our house.  We hosted open house for our church and then the boys had a play that night.  The play was too cute.  Here they are in their matching shirts.  I tried to get a picture and this is what happened.  Mercy.

 Here's the cake from open house.  I usually snap lots of pictures, but this year I just didn't.  Oh well.  A good time was had by all.

After open house (and the above photo session), we headed to see the boys in a play at church.  It was so cute and a Christmas memory I will not soon forget.  The lady on the left, Debbie, puts these all together.  She is amazing.
 Later that night when we got home I stopped at our chalkboard wall.  A lot of people that came to open house signed the wall.  It makes me smile now each time I walk past it.

Because of our crazy weekend, Monday morning came quickly.  The boys were almost late to school and as I was herding them out the door, Jack said, "Andrew.  Don't you need Christmas clothes for the program?"  Yep, he did.  So, adding to an already crazy morning I headed up to school to change his clothes in a 2 foot by 2 foot space. He looked so cute and program ready.
 You can barely see Andrew at his program.  Perhaps I shouldn't have been so concerned about his clothes?!?  He is on the top row to the right of the snowflake.
 Then Tuesday night, Clayton had a choir concert.  Here he is with his 8th grade choir and then below he is pictured with the honor choir.  He is also in the pop choir, but I guess I didn't get a picture of that.
Around 4:00, he grabbed a quick shower and then calmly said from the top of the stairs, "uh Mom, do you know where my tuxedo pants are?"  At 4:15 we were headed for Kohls to search for black tuxedo pants.  No luck there.  Then we headed to JCP.  No luck there.  Please note that he had to be at the location for the concert by 5:45.  After JCP we headed to Dillards and found some black pants.  At this point it was 5:20.  We breezed through McDonalds to fuel him up, because when you are singing a concert a quarter pounder with cheese and some fries will really help you power through.  We got home just in time to change and then peeled in the parking lot at 5:44 pm.  Crisis averted.
Thank goodness I adopted the motto that "sometimes when things don't go as planned they make the best memories."  This will be a memory that we will remember for years to come.

 Wednesday morning Jack had his program at school.  He played instruments and sand and took it all very seriously.  I could just eat him up I love him so.
 You can not tell from this picture, but he is still a head taller than everyone else in his grade.

This has been the week of programs.  Special thanks goes out to my parents, aunt Janice, Mun and Fred's parents for keeping the road hot and attending every program that they can possibly attend.  Three more programs to go, but I can see the finish line for Christmas break.  WooHoo!