Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snow... for a second.

In Alabama, we take any "snow" we can get. People go crazy around here at the mere mention of the stuff. It's pretty wild. But we do love a good snow every once in a while. And by good I mean, more than 1/4 inch. I've been disapointed enough as a child by getting my hopes up for snow only to be crushed that it never happens. So now, I pretty much don't believe there's going to be snow, inspite of every weather forecast, until I see it and it sticks. Then I allow myself to get excited about it. I told Haynes it was snowing this afternoon and that is the picture I most wish I had gotten. His face lit up with a smile and we went to the front door to get a better look. Great big snow flurries were falling heavily and were just beginning to accumulate on the ground. It looked like it would be promising. Brookelynn giggled and grinned at it. She really didn't know anything about snow but she was excited because we were. This is Brookelynn's first snow! We stared out at it for some time and marveled at it's beauty. Snow really is beautiful. I sent Haynes and Brookelynn to bed for their naps knowing that they would be short ones. That was okay. I really wanted to go play too but there wasn't enough to play in right then. The both went to bed still marveling at the snow. They actually both took good naps and both woke up happy and excited about going out. Brandon even got off early so we started the process of getting our layers of clothing on while we waited on him to come home. Then out we went into the wet, sticky, not so good but good enough for us, snow. It was VERY wet and messy but it didn't matter to them. They laughed and giggled as they experienced the cold stuff and threw it around and tasted it. Haynes made some snow balls had a blast trying to get us with them. Brookelynn would pick up a little piece of snow with her glove and toss it trying to hit something, and then laugh and laugh. Haynes has seen, I believe, 3 or 4 snows now, but it makes me smile to think that this is the first one he might actually remember. It was melting as we played but I am thankful for that little bit of snow.

 Our house and our neighbors house in the midst of the blizzard.

And then it was time to warm their frost bitten hands with hot chocolate and a big marshmallow. Of course, they loved it.

A weekend at the lake.

Every year we (my friends and I) try and plan a weekend away at Smith Lake. It's usually in the fall but this year, every one was busy and we couldn't work out a time to go. So we rescheduled for January. I was happy to see this weekend come for several reasons. 1. It meant we got a break from our beloved children. I love them dearly but it so nice to have a day or two without them. 2. It marked the last of the travels we will be doing for a while. I love going places but I sure am ready to get back to some sort of routine after the holidays. 3. We got to spend some time with our friends, doing nothing but eating, sleeping, having entertaining conversation about grown up topics (well, sort of), playing games, and watching movies. No one feels the absolute need to wear makeup or fix their hair. We takes turns cooking and cleaning up and there is always a good meal at every meal time. Aaaand... we split it so many ways, it's a very inexpensive getaway. It is always a fun and relaxing weekend.

Shlok and Addie were graciously allowed to come along. They provided much entertainment.

Richa caught herself up on Downton Abbey Season 2. Thank heavens. Now she can watch season 3 with the rest of the girls.

A big thank you to Joy for doing the planning of a lovely trip at the best lake house ever. You always make it work. :-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year, January 2013

Happy New Years to everyone! It will be an exciting year for the Ellis family. Our biggest thing on the list of things to do? Add a baby to the family. We are getting really excited about that. Now that things are about to settle down after the busy holidays, we will be focusing on getting things ready for Baby #3 in the coming month. I have a list of other things I'd like to get accomplished this year and maybe I'll post those later but for now, here's how we've spent our first week of January 2013.

Last year we started the tradition of sparklers with the babies. Haynes was completely mesmorized by them last year. This year, he was afraid of getting burned. Not a bad thing at this age I guess... So Brandon and I got to do sparklers while the fearful children watched nervously from a distance. 

We had a New Years toast with them this year. Good ol' Welch's grapejuice in some medicine cups makes for a really fun even in their eyes. I love their faces. They had a good time toasting and saying "cheers." Their first taste of the bubbly stuff resulted in some interesting faces. 

We took a trip to the Galleria to do some after Christmas shopping. Aaannnd... there was a train. That just looked too irresistible to pass up so we let the babies have a ride. It was totally worth it. 

A happy breakfast. Oatmeal with Craisins.

It was cold but the sun was out so we bundled up and rode tricycles for a while. They finally got some much needed time outdoors. 

South Carolina Christmas 2012

We headed to South Carolina for some more family time and with a record breaking smallest amount of packing we've ever done since children came into our world, we proudly left our driveway without a car top carrier on top of our van. Yes, it was a big day in our eyes. The travels were not too bad only stopping several times for potty breaks and a good lunch. The worst of it was... sick kids. Oh the horrors of sick children and traveling. I believe EVERY time we go to Columbia, the at least one of us (and usually it's a kid) is sick with something. Last year, it was a GI bug that eventually worked it's way around the whole family. I know they wanted us to leave. This year, the babies both had nasty runny noses and seemed in general under the weather. Oh joy. Still, on we traveled. We did decide not to stop and visit my Uncle Bokey and Aunt Lib in Aiken because we did not want them to get anything from us. I hate we missed seeing them.

Here are some highlights from our trip this year.

We spent some time in downtown Columbia, watched the ice skaters, shopped around a little and had lunch at the Mellow Mushroom. 

The babies opened their some gifts early so they'd have something to keep them out of trouble. Brookelynn got a nice shopping cart and lots of food for her grocery shopping pleasure.

Haynes got a "Whistling Woods" track set with a Toby engine that runs on batteries. Very cool. 

We enjoyed more good food!

The kids were having fun with their Uncle Jimmy. 

Aunt Cindy helped Haynes distribute the gifts.
Brookelynn modeled the heat pack gifts.
There's Savannah, trying hers out.

Brookelynn got a fancy towel or "towl" as B says, from Trish and she loved it so much she didn't want to take it off. 

Haynes and Brookelynn got a new book... about sharing. I sure hope this one is a favorite of theirs. They really need to work on sharing.
Aunt Allison insisted on getting a good picture with the children. Unfortunately, the children insisted on not posing for a picture.
We played with Christmas Crackers this year. A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper. The cracker is pulled by two people, and the cracker splits unevenly. The split is accompanied by a mild bang or snapping sound.  The person with the larger portion of cracker empties the contents from the tube and keeps them. It contains a paper crown, a small toy or a joke to tell to all. It was great entertainment for everyone.

Time to go home but not before some Krispy Creme doughnuts.

 ...and one more cracker.
...and one good family picture.

Merry Christmas! 2012