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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

December Things

Well, the stomach bug has taken over all 3 children over this past weekend.  So, we are home bound and I am finally sitting still long enough to catch up on the blog.  And wow did we have a fun and busy December, especially compared to the slower January and February we are feeling!
It started with Turner's birthday.  He turned 6 on December 5th.  However, Heath and I were going out of town, so we told him that God gave us permission to change his birthday to December 2nd this year.  Sadly, I forgot to tell his teachers and that led to several discussions about his real birthday.  Oops, should have clued them in on our little deal with God!

He has been asking all year for a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.  So much so, that John Burke picked up on it back in April and we ended up having his there, too.  We are not especially obsessed with Chuck E Cheese as a family, but our parties prove opposite!
His siblings were thrilled with a party there

Cousin Chloe was able to come.  Other out of town family couldn't make it because it was a Tuesday afternoon after school.  Luckily Pap and Tappy sent some fun presents, including a remote control truck that has taken over our street

 Back to the party - dancing and posing with friends
 Catching the tickets in the tube
Gigi and Pop Pop helped celebrate - not pictured is the mouse scaring Chloe to death
He had to have a brownie cake - the only kind of "cake" he will eat

I forgot Heath's face was still holding on the No Shave November.  What a fun time celebrating our fun 6 year old with some other wild and silly boys!  My firstborn has been ready to be 6 - he is smart and full of energy and knows every fact about Ninjago or regular Legos that you could ever want to know.  He is definitely a lover and not usually a fighter, unless provoked by John Burke.  He is independent and so very kind, and I don't want him to change!  Thank you, Lord, for our Turner!
The end of that week - on Turner's real birthday (sh!), Heath had a work trip to New York City and I tagged along.  We realized I had not been since I was pregnant with John Burke, and the time before that I was pregnant with Turner.  So fun to go not pregnant!!
On Friday, Heath had meetings all day, so I went shopping around by myself.  I don't usually like to be by myself, but I was just fine in Manhattan at Christmas time!  Funny story about this picture - I was trying to get a fun picture in front of the tree to Instagram (priorities:)).  As soon as we found someone to take this, I started loading it and Heath beat me to the post!!  Punk - get your own picture!!
The inside of Saks 5th Avenue
Saturday it rained, but it didn't stop us from touring around Rockefeller Center
Lego replica of Rockefeller Center - we live for Legos these days
and the 9-11 Memorial
We didn't get very many pictures because it was rainy and a little gloomy, but we ate lunch here at the Shake Shack.  Some friends from church have raved about it, and it did not disappoint.  We needed somewhere kind of quick before our Broadway show, and it was a delightful cheeseburger and french fries.  Luckily the line you see moved quickly.  

Then it was time for an afternoon matinee of Phantom of the Opera.  Full disclosure - we didn't get tickets until we got up there, and I tried to find tickets to Cinderella because NeNe Leakes (Real Housewives) is in it.  But, they didn't have good seats open and Phantom did, so culture won out.  And it. was. so. worth. it!!!
The only picture I could get of the stage - the epic chandelier is covered up.  The special effects in this were amazing!!
Not quite a selfie, but our last NYC pic.  We finished the day with shopping and delicious dinner, and we are so grateful that my parents watched our little angels while we were away!
When we got back in town, we hit the ground running to do all the fun Christmasy things.  They are at such a fun age to soak everything in, and feel like Christmas is so magical, so we took advantage!  We went to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa, and it may have been December 9th.  I just knew if we didn't go early, I would never get around to it!!
It was so fun - the line was about an hour, but they had so many fun things for the kids to do.  They were showing the Frosty movie on tv, and even had an indoor carousel.  
The kids colored pictures and wrote letters to Santa and even got to mail them
Then they got to mail them in the huge mailbox.  (I can't believe this was 2 months ago - better late than never, don't want to forget these things!)
Final picture - Collins wasn't having it without Heath, so she appears to be floating.  Bass Pro Shop for the win!!  And the whole thing was free!!
Another night we went to dinner and then through a Festival of Lights with friends, and then out for milkshakes afterwards.  Fun new tradition as well!
Heath's bible study Christmas party was a Murder Mystery Dinner.  We had no clue what we were doing before we got there, except that we were to dress in the character assigned to us.  Heath was a carnival operator and I was a Fur enthusiast, hence Nanny's old mink hat and coat! Random, but we had the most fun that night!  
Another fun thing we did this year was make cinnamon rolls for family and friends.  They were the Pioneer Woman's recipe and they were delicious, but I don't know if I can ever eat one again!! John Burke and Collins definitely "helped" me with these and we had fun.
Visiting Heath at his office lunch just days before Christmas
Our Christmas Eve picture.  We went to a wonderful worship service at Covenant and then to dinner with friends and family at Mom and Dad's.  The boys were in the service with us to sing and light the candles, and were relatively still during the whole thing as we tried to hit home the MOST important thing about Christmas is Jesus' birth.
Action shots from Christmas morning.  SO fun to watch them open presents and play with everything.
She fell in love with some Disney princess dolls and a Bitty Baby..she calls him Baby Jesus.  I consider that a win.
Ninja Turtle toys, but all were overshadowed by Ninjago sets
Showing Sis the new Lego table - conveniently located right outside of our kitchen in this phase of life

opening presents from each other
After a morning of too many presents, we packed up and headed to my parents' house to find what Santa had left there.  Then we quickly headed to my aunt Barbara's house for lunch.
Now I am really glad I annoyed everyone and asked for a family picture
Then we headed to Pap and Tappy's house to celebrate with that side of the family at dinner time
Reading with Uncle Jay and Ellie
and loving on Granny Eloise

 and more presents!!
 Playing and displaying their loot
 This girl loves Elsa!!
 The next morning we were able to spend some time with Granny Fran
 and do some riding with Pap

Cousin Picture 2014 - with babies Hazel and Missy as new editions.  What a wonderful holiday season celebrating our Gift of Life in Jesus Christ with our friends and family!
Our final post-Christmas activity was to celebrate Heath for his birthday on December 28th.  He got to pick where we went, and he picked Dreamland.  This picture accurately describes what happened - John Burke tore the ribs up, and Turner gagged.  Heath is determined his boys will love ribs like he does!

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