Friday, January 20, 2012

The first good snowfall for us in Chicago

We got 6 inches of snow on Friday last week and the kids were so excited. but I have to say James and I probably were just as much. We could not wait to go sledding. Our kids have never been sledding before. Always living by the ocean does not give much for sledding. We lasted almost 4 hours even though it was seriously only about 20 degrees. the kids all had a blast and were never ready to go. But James and I decided after all that time it was time to head home and have hot chocolate.

Mackenzie going down the hill

here I come

Mackenzie cruising

Mackenzie having a great time in the snow.

Oh how I love this happy girl

Bethannie up on the snow board. She had a hard time with it at first but by the end of the day she was going down the hills having a great time.

James on the snowboard

James in the snow

Mackenzie snow boarding again. The girl had no fear and LOVED it. She would fall and get right back up.

Mackenzie with a sled after just coming down the hill.

James sledding down

James and Mackenzie sledding together.

James and Mackenzie again. Mackenzie had so much fun.

These videos are of big James trying to snow board. Hilarious.......

Christmas Day 2011

We had an interesting Christmas day this year. James had to work and so he was up and out of the house by 5:30 in the morning. SO we told the kids that we were waiting till after he got home to open presents. They were all OK with this (which made me so happy, because that is so hard to ask young kids). We also had church at 9:00 so the kids got up and they were able to open their stockings. They were happy to have that done. We then got dressed and headed off to church. I loved the program they had. it was full of beautiful music and talented people. And of course a sweet spiritual message. After we got back home we all put our Christmas jammies back on. We were not expecting James to get home till 2:00 so we were surprised when he got off work and hour and a half early. Great surprise I tell ya. SO we made some snacks for lunch and started opening presents. the kids had a great day and I loved seeing their excitement. Our funny mistake on dinner made us not eat till 9:00 at night. Which was fine. We had a great dinner and had good company with each other. this was the first Christmas we spent alone as a family in over 6 years. So it was different but we had a good day.

James and a Lego set he was thrilled about.

Bethannie and her new doll.

Mackenzie could of cared less about any other present.

Bethannie opening up a present.

Mackenzie was so excited about her doll. She has been begging for this for a year or two.

Big James opening up a present.

James opening up a thrilling present. Clothes.

What kind of snow is this?

While the Gaines and Winslow's were still here we got this "weird" snow that started falling. The snow flakes were literally the size of baseballs. But they were fluffy, and so awesome to watch. You could not see anything but the huge snowflakes falling. As time passed they got smaller and smaller and then went to nothing. We never did get any snow that stuck. But I have NEVER seen snow like that before. It really was so cool.

James, Courtney, and Meg, trying to catch snowflakes in their mouths.

Good pic of Meg catching the flakes.

Lori and Devin out in the falling snow

Lori has no shoes on, and they are both trying to get the snow flakes with their mouths.

We said it was like a real snow globe the way it looked outside. I will never forget how big the snow flakes were.

A visit from best friends

So I was blessed with a visit from my best friend Stephanie, and her kids, And Other Best friend Lori, and her family. We had a great time. While they were here we decided to take a trip to downtown Chicago. These pictures are in reverse order of our day but you will get the idea. We rode the train in and then did a lot of walking and sight seeing. We ended our day at the zoo trying to see lights but ran out of time. I am so grateful to have friends who love me enough to come and visit me. So excited that I got to see them and am already looking forward to our next get together.

The lights at the zoo.

More lights at the zoo.

The Lego store that James was thrilled to go to. While the boys went there, the young girls went to the American girl store, while the older girls went to the coach store. (Glad we could make everyone happy)

And a trip to Chicago would not be complete with out a 45 foot Marilyn Monroe. Mackenzie told us all she was wearing polka dot undies. But I didn't look so I don't know, but we all laughed at her.

Courtney and Leah. Standing in front of the giant "bean"

The kids laying under the "bean". I love how these pictures turned out. Funny that after I made my kids get under there, everyone around us started doing the same thing.

Sitting under a "bean" hanging out.....

My sweet little family.

All the kids we had with us in Chicago.

Here's my kiddos again.

The girls striking a pose.

These were huge and the 2 faces would smile at each other and wink. It was weird but they

made us all laugh when we saw them.

Here is the girl. Waiting for the "boy" to smile at her.

This was exactly how our day went with him. Such a mood.

Mackenzie and her sassy self.

Everyone on the train.

Bethannie and Leah hanging out.

James and I on the train. the sun was in our face so not a great pic but oh well.

Thanksgiving trip

So for Thanksgiving this year the kids had the whole week off from school which was so nice. So we decided to take a trip to Alabama to go visit my mom and Step dad and my brother. We had a lot of fun there. We had a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday before Thanksgiving. Then had a crab boil on Monday, which was so YUMMY. John did a great job on it. James had been telling me for a year or so he really wanted to do that. So it was nice letting John take charge and do it. After visiting with them we then headed up to Cincinnati to go visit James' sister. We have been getting together every year now for the past couple years and trade homes and so the kids were excited to go see their cousins. We also got to go see my grandparents on our trip. It was a good trip and I did not get to take a lot of pictures but here are a few. Thanks everyone who let us crash at their home. it was a GREAT trip.

James and the kids. So cute

My sweet kids. I love James look.

James standing by the wall after all the skating he kept doing!

Mackenzie and Marisa skating together. They are so cute together. I love that they get along so well.

James helping Mackenzie and Aubrey skate.

James showing off.

James and Mackenzie ice skating together. The kids LOVE it.

James out there all by himself. He was doing a great job. To bad I can not say I was thrilled about it. the boy was in a full arm cast and I was so scared he was going to fall.

James and Mackenzie again.

The tree in Cincinnati OH. We had our picture taken in front of it while we were there.

One of my good friends, Melissa, that I grew up with that I got to visit while I was in Alabama.