Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

These were our Christmas cards this year...if you are reading this and didn't receive one I apologize. I underestimated this year and didn't order just the other day I changed them to say "Happy New Year" and ordered a few more. They should have been here yesterday and I would have had them in the mail today. However, I accidently had them shipped to our old address so now they are further delayed...regardless, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Nana gave Baileigh and Mckenna ice skating lessons as a Christmas present so we decided to get some practice today as well as check out the rink where they will be skating. Mckenna got the hang quick...thanks to Daddy's mini lesson. Who knew my Texan hubby could coach ice skating!?
This is Brooke's second opportunity to skate...and her second time freaking out when we tried to put the skates on her feet. She is in that three year old stage where she is extremely particular about how socks and shoes feel on her feet so she is adamant that she won't wear the funny feeling skates. Afterwards she always says how much fun she had and how she wants to go skating again...despite a meltdown and absolutely no time on the ice!? She spent the hour simply watching the skaters.
Daddy and Mckenna...
Baileigh did great, too. She was a little distracted at first by a boy from her school that she is apparently giddy about, but once he left she worked on her skating...until she ran into a girl from her school and was again distracted by socializing. Thankfully, they talked and skated and I think it kept her from worrying about her skating and just having fun.

This was the first chance I've had to use my new camera lens and maximize the zoom...I took this one of Baileigh from about 40 feet away...this is going to be I can actually take pictures of them at their swim meets and gymnastics and you'll be able to see them!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas! I have to say that Christmas with four little kids is a lot of work...but worth all of the effort.

My four cutie-patooties on Christmas morning...its amazing what a good photo you can get when you tell them that as soon as they look at the camera they can go see what Santa brought like a charm!
Baileigh asked Santa for an nice of Santa to set everything up for the girls to save us time on Christmas day!
Brooke asked for a "baby kitchen"...not sure why this was her description but this baby nursery station is what she was describing and she was thrilled that Santa put her on the nice list.
Mckenna requested a DSi...can you tell she is a happy girl!
Brookie saying "thank you" to Mckenna for a present...check out that fire in the background that daddy built!
Daddy and his new toy...a remote control CH46-C-Ranger...aka a Marine helicopter. Brad passed on flying helicopters out of pilot training for the sake of our marriage (tough lifestyle) so I thought I would make it up to him with this toy...he has only put it down today when it needs to charge!
Morgan enjoyed her first Christmas...she ate a lot of paper and played with a lot of boxes. I got a new lap top and a new camera lens for Christmas and editing software...lots of pressure for the look of my blog to improve.
Christmas with young kids is a blast...exhausting, but so much fun and we're so blessed. Merry Christmas to all our friends and family that keep up with us on this blog...hope it was a special day in your house, too.

Christmas Eve


On Christmas Eve day we went to the National Harbor to see "ICE"...a walk thru winter wonderland with sculptures made from over 2 million pounds of ice! It was 9 degrees...refreshing! I'm not sure if Morgan was sleep or frozen stiff.

A favorite of the girls were the ice slides.
The entire family...
My little penguins.

It was very cool, figuratively and literally. It was an expensive 20 minutes considering that was as long as everyone could stand the temperture, but very fun.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Only A Year...


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hair Cut

We took advantage of a snow day to go get haircuts...Baileigh's was the most dramatic so I thought I would post a before and after picture. She has been singing all day "I love my haircut. I love my haircut!" This was her idea and she is thrilled. I think she looks adorable but I'm never a huge fan of anything that makes her look older!

Santa 2009

So much debate these days over whether you "do Santa"...I seriously never remember these discussions in my youth, but perhaps because I was a kid. Since Baileigh is an occasional reader of this blog, I won't digress...but I seriously think there are many people today that transitioned into adulthood without deep scars from visits to see Santa.

Waiting in line...Morgan with her big sister.
I love her look (always)...kinda like "um, mom...who is this big guy in the red suit and what are we doing here?"
Another look, still not sure what we're doing.
Listening to her sisters with their requests...which were NEW...and its December 22 and we're done shopping. Ahem.
This Santa is amazing...this is our second year visiting Santa at this location and he is gentle and kind with a jolly voice...well of course, he is Santa. Perhaps there are locations with better displays, but I appreciate that he spends a lot of time telling the girls how important it is to have sisters and be kind to one another and to love each other and share their toys. He even elaborates and talks to Baileigh about how special it is to be a big sister and what an important responsibility she has...and to Mckenna and Brooke he talked to them about helping mommy with their little sister and to help out as much as possible at home. Oh Santa...if only I could take you home and have you sit in our big chair in the living room and you could give my girls these talks every day and then monitor their behavior. Life would be wonderful!
The whole gang...if you buy one of their pictures then they let you take a few "talking" shots despite all the signs that say "no personal cameras". All 3 have fresh haircuts...this is the first time in their lives that Mckenna's hair is longer then Baileigh's hair!
I'm very proud of myself for thinking of getting a picture of Morgan alone with Santa since its her first Christmas and I have similar pictures with her sisters. Now, if I ever do anything with it in a scrapbook is another story.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Passing the Time

We've essentially been home since Friday. Initially we were home because the girls were getting over colds, then we were stuck at home because of the giant snow storm that hit our area. Brad and Baileigh are in TX for his great grandma's funeral so its been a few long days trying to entertain a few little girls with too much energy.

Playing in the snow...

Gingerbread houses....

Lots of baking...
Fun in the tub with a few new toys that didn't make it to Christmas morning and a new bathtub...

Its amazing to me that I used to handle 60 days at a time as a single parent...all the way to several month deployments. I guess you become accustom to your circumstances because Brad has not been traveling in almost 3 years and a long weekend solo with girls has been a lot more work then I remember!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

After 8 Years of Waiting...

Before we even had kids I envisioned what our future mantel would look like at the holidays. Why, I don't know...but it was a reoccuring thought. I could picture the kid's stockings embroidered with their names and hanging by the fireplace just waiting to be filled on Christmas morning. I've waited paitently though, for over 8 years until we were done having kids so I could buy them all at once and get them to match.

I seriously admit that within 24 hours of Morgan being born I had the thought that I could now order my Christmas stockings! Last month I decided to finally pull the trigger and commit ourselves to this investment that the kids would have for years to come. On the one hand I was thrilled when I opened the Pottery Barn Kid's Catalog and saw all the cute stockings. The girls immediately decided who would get which stocking without any arguing, another thing I was thrilled with...and a little surprised that Mckenna passed on the skater and opted for the Gingerbread man!

I was disappointed though to see that the airplane stocking they so often have was now trains this year. Somehow Brad's stocking with trains instead of airplanes just didn't seem, thanks to Ebay and much shopping I found last years stocking. I had to find somewhere to get it embroidered, but I also had to find somewhere to get Mckenna's embroidered since PBK's fancy embroidery machine couldn't make a lowercase "K" in her name! I was seriously told that their machine's default setting when it sees "Mc" is to capitalize the "K"...not sure if the issue is a fancy machine or a machine operator who isn't smarter then the machine!

Thankfully, one of our pastor's wives has a sewing shop and she kindly embroidered both the stockings to match the rest of the family. I have to say that my Santa stocking is kinda my least favorite...but part of my "vision" was also alternating colors so I took one for the team so we could go "blue, red, blue, red" etc. Plus, I was also envisioning oldest to youngest...but that didn't work either so I mixed them all know that no one else in my family notices these things or really cares...but it all makes me happy!

It's beginning to look a lot like...braces!

Baileigh lost another tooth yesterday! It was the first time she had lost one at school and I think she enjoyed the attention. I told her she needs to start saving her money from the toothfairy for braces. She held up her one dollar bill and said, "I'm going to need a lot more then this, Mom!" If only you knew sweetie. If only you knew...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sitting Up

Morgan has been sitting up for awhile but I've been waiting with anticipation for her to achieve the milestone of finding her sitting up in her crib in the morning. I kept telling myself that when this day arrived I would be sure to grab the camera and take some pictures... unfortunately, the actual morning it first occurred I was running really late and when I went into her room I clapped and made a big deal but decided she would probably do it again tomorrow and I would take a picture when we weren't late.

That turned into about 5 days later...poor 4th child. But I did take pictures!
The mobile is going to have to come down soon...she can just barely reach it. She has learned to push the buttons to turn it on and off and thinks this is a fun game. As soon as she learns to pull herself up on the side of the crib I'm sure the mobile will be history...forever!
Very curious about the pictures first thing in the morning...
I love how you can tell that she is smiling in this picture just by her big blue eyes.
I think at this point she was getting a little perturbed that I was taking pictures and not getting her out of her crib...but being the almost perfect baby that she is she never fussed...just gave me a look!

I wonder what her next milestone will be...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Plan B

Today we had intended on driving out into the Virginia countryside to a tree farm and chopping down our Christmas tree. This has become an annual tradition that we usually observe the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, since we had a lot of family in town we decided to delay the event a week. Apparently the weather didn't get the memo about our change in plans as it rained all morning and then turned into snow this afternoon.

We couldn't bring ourselves to go to Lowe's or something along those lines...but we (okay, "I") wasn't really excited about the 45 minute drive in terrible conditions to go to a muddy tree farm and have wet, cold and dirty kids. So...somehow "Plan B" evolved into going out for lunch and then buying a tree from the boy scouts at the church down the street. They have a cute set up in a wooded area with lights strung overhead. It wasn't our normal tradition...but it was much faster and easier and the girls were just happy to throw a few snowballs!

Our tree! I can't wait to see what it looks like in our house...this year I hung out with Morgan in the car and only joined in to snap a few pictures. I decided that we're starting to have too many opinions and as long as the girls were excited I truly didn't care.
Another good thing about hanging out in the car is that the girls only attacked Daddy with snowballs, and not me!