Christmas Morning 2013

For the first time ever in the history of having kids and maybe even our married life, we woke up in our own beds on Christmas morning!  It was nice!  Piper is getting to the age where we can't pretend that Christmas Morning is on December 23rd anymore!
 Grandma & Grandpa Levy joined us while we opened gifts and ate breakfast.
 Piper was excited the entire time!  Piper asked Santa for a tiara and he brought her one!  But when she took it out of her stocking she said, "Oh it's a breakable one.  I didn't want a breakable one but that's okay."  Later I asked her why she didn't want a breakable one because in November she had told me she wanted a breakable one.  Her reply, "Because when I told you I wanted a breakable one, you laughed!"  Oh break my heart!  I don't remember laughing but she does and it hurt her feelings.  So I explained that if I laughed it was because I thought that was a cute thing to ask for and I think she's so clever!  She is very sensitive right now about being made fun of.  Even when she makes a joke and we laugh, she sometimes gets upset with us.  So, we're trying to help her learn to let things roll off her back and be a little more tough!
 Grandma & Grandpa gave her a puppy named Pepper!  She loves it!

 Briggs really enjoyed opening presents but didn't get too excited about the actual gift until he opened Grandma & Grandpa's gift!  A pirate ship!  He knew exactly what it was and said, "It's Jake and the Neverland Pirate ship!"  It wasn't that clear though!

Later that day, we loaded up and drove to Aunt Sheryl's house in Oklahoma.  On the way there, Piper got a little shut eye with one of her stocking stuffers!  Hahahaha....
And, I mentioned we had been sick.  Well, when Briggs gets sick, he doesn't get better as quickly as we'd like sometimes.  So on Christmas night he received two breathing treatments and later we took him to see our old (fabulous) pediatrician.  And she prescribed him a new steroid inhaler that has helped a ton!  Liv was glad to sit with Briggs during his breathing treatment because she had to get them too!!


Christmas Eve

On Christmas Even this year, we spent the evening at Aunt Christina's house.  She served us yummy food and the kids got to exchange their gifts with one another!


Santa & Such!

Piper was sick on her last day of school for 2013 so she missed out on the kindergarten Christmas party.  But...she didn't realize it so there was no sadness or tears!  Hallelujah!  I was sad for her that she had to miss but poor baby was sick!  In fact, our entire family fell ill shortly after with nasty flu-like symptoms!  She was diagnosed with Bronchitis and a throat infection but the flu test came back negative!  It definitely was a stinky way to begin our Christmas break!  But, we are good now!
 Piper did get to make a gingerbread house at school at the beginning of the week!
 Briggs will not smile for the camera these days...at all!
 We tried visiting Santa on the Sunday after we were all sick because we were feeling better.  So we headed out to Bass Pro thinking it would be the least busy.  Hahahaha!  We were so naive!  The line wrapped around the outside of the building.  So we tried again the next morning at 9:30.  We received a tag allowing us to return at 1:30 for a visit with Santa!  Sheesh!  So, three visits later we actually got to see Santa for three magical minutes.  He seemed a little grumpy to be quite honest!  Piper even told us on Christmas Eve night that Santa seemed grumpy!  Isn't that sad!

Seeing these sweet pictures makes it all seem worth the hassle!  I will be planning a November visit in 2014!


December Fun!

 Our elf, Glitter, came back with a sweet letter to get the season started.  He's forgotten to move to a new place two different times!  Oops!  
 Briggs is the pickiest eater known to man!  He wanted to try a carrot the other day.  (I've offered them to him many times!) He didn't end up eating it but he said, "I be Cwover."  That translates, "I'll be Clover" which is a bunny on the cartoon Sophia the First.  One of the kids' favorites!  Clover eats blueberries, carrots, all kinds of healthy things!  We'll see if Clover impacts Briggs' eating habits in the future again! 
 This white trash arrangement is something fun I decided to do in our hallway for the kids.  It is kind of fun!
 We had a Christmas luncheon at bible study and our entire table wore these red antlers to be festive and win a prize.  We didn't win but we were festive!  I'm sitting next to my sweet friends, Kate & Robyn.  I'm holding Robyn's baby, Caleb and Robyn is holding Kate's baby, Bennett!
After the luncheon, I helped clean up.  While doing so, Briggs sat down on the floor and let his inner Picasso come out.  Look at that smiley face with eyebrows on the top right hand corner!  He even told me it was a face with eyes and a mouth and eyebrows after he drew it.  I was impressed!

Icemaggedon 2013

On December 5th, I was abruptly awoken at 1 am to Piper screaming because her night light was out.  I just thought the bulb had met it's maker and told her to go back to sleep but I noticed it felt different in our house.  I tried turning on a light and nothing happened!  This was when I realized NO POWER!  When we went to bed at 11:30 that night we had power.  Plus we were excited about waking up to no school, no work, and no schedule because the bad weather had already began. I was dreaming of a day in our pajamas and movies on the couch as mommy tried to catch up on everything!  The house was a mess!  But then the power went out and changed all those dreamy, idealistic plans!  I got back in bed and woke Michael up to call the power company to report our outage!  And, I looked across the street and could see the neighbor's power was working because their Christmas lights were brightly lit!  The rest of the night I did not sleep well.  I kept waking up thinking, "Oh no.  What are we going to do to entertain the kids without electricity!"  I know--such a first world problem!  And, I kept waking up feeling colder and colder without the heat!    
 The kids finally awoke around 7 and all the white stuff you see is ice.  No snow.  Just ice.  The first picture was our neighbors tree that split down the middle!  The picture below is the only damage we had, which was a few limbs.  Nothing major!  Except the no power thing!  Michael lit a fire and then went to check on some of our elderly neighbors.  They were all too stubborn to come join us even though they had no electricity.  Our neighbor next door is a widowed woman in her 80's.  She didn't have a phone that worked either.  So Michael had her call her family on his cell phone.  Her family was without power too so she decided to stay put even though she had no fire or heat!  We continued to check on her and so did some other neighbors.  She ended up going to her family's home at some point!
 We decided fairly soon that staying home wasn't going to be all that great.  The heat coming from the fire didn't feel so warm throughout the house.  I managed to light the stove top with a match and cooked sausage and toast on the skillet!  But then our friends, the Wallace's invited us to their warm house!  So we took them up on it!  We joined them and another family, the Scott's for the entire day!  It was crazy with 9 kids, two of which were babies under 6 months!  But it was fun and we felt like we were in a cabin in the woods with our three families.
 Nora & Piper
 Briggs & Asher, Nora & Piper
It was actually Asher's third birthday on this day so it was fun that he and Briggs got to hang out even if Briggs was clueless about it!  Ha!
 Piper holding cutie pie baby Bennett!
 What we thought would be just a few hours without power, turned out to be 3 days without power!  So we ended up spending the night with Michael's brother's family and visiting friends during the day during this time.  It was fun getting to hang out and socialize because that is right up my alley!  However, I was beginning to feel a little crazy because I was behind on so much stuff and the house was ridiculously messy!  So that was cluttering my thoughts throughout the time.  By day 3, Michael and I were done and ready to be home.  Even Piper wanted to be home!  Thankfully our power was restored at 8 pm on the third day but we'd already put the kids to bed and the house was freezing so we spend one more night away and went home right after we woke up the next morning!
 At the Henke's house.  Briggs and Weston playing Angry Birds.
 Coleman, Piper, & Campbell being silly in the 'secret' hideout under their stairs.
Snuggling with Uncle Matt!  We were SO very thankful to each family that fed us, entertained us, and kept us warm!  What a crazy weekend! 


Random November Photos

 Briggs is really becoming a big kid!  He knows how to make someone laugh!  He is beginning to have interests and makes them known and we can understand what he is telling us too!!!!  His speech is improving more and more!  He loves to play in the water and 'do the dishes!'
 He and I spent three days together while Michael and Piper went camping!  We had a fun time.

 One nice afternoon we took the long way through the neighborhood to pick up Piper from school.  Isn't this bridge area so pretty in the fall!  Briggs enjoyed the beauty with his eyes closed!  He woke up before 6 am on this particular day!

 On a rainy day we drove to a rug store near the Highland Park area so we decided to stop off and show the kids where Daddy asked Mommy to marry him.  It was at that park bench pictured above where Piper is standing overlooking Turtle Creek.  Piper was so giddy about it all and wanted us to demonstrate what happened that night!  It was cute!  On our way out she was looking at all the mansions surrounding us and said, "I want to live in a huge house like this someday!"  And I said (without really thinking), "Ok but you've got to be rich to live in a house like this."  So then as we approached the car, a man, who appeared to live nearby, was walking by and Piper says rather loudly, "Are the people, who live in that house, rich?"  I whispered, "Be quiet Piper."  So she says it again just as loud.  I whisper, "Shhhh."  And she says it a third time just as loud!  Moral of the story...think about what you say to a five year old!!  And answer her question the first time even if it is embarrassing because she'll keep asking!  Oh her curios mind!  I love it!  Later, Michael did explain to her that a person does not have to have a lot of money to be rich.  They need Jesus to really be rich.  And, he also mentioned having a family that loves them, a house to live in, etc.  A few days after that she tells one of our family members, "Hey did you know we are rich!"  Haha!  We'll get around to the humility lesson soon!  (Wink, Wink!)

 Briggs in this picture above just makes me smile!
 Briggs and his best buddy, Asher!  Asher came over to play one day and these are some pics I took of the two of them!

 And a few days before Thanksgiving, the tummy bug hit Briggsey bear!  He was miserable but at the same time, a sweet little patient!  No one else got sick!  This makes it his third tummy bug this year!

Thanksgiving 2013

We spent Thanksgiving Day in Clinton at Papa John's and Grammy's house.  I tried so hard to get a Christmas card worthy picture of the kids.  And a certain little guy is not in the mood for posing these days!

 The day after Thanksgiving, we went to Grandma Judy's and Papa Roger's house.  Piper really used her imagination playing there.  Below is her nighttime sleeping mask, which is really some strap on ankle weights!

 Piper and Briggs wanted to be helpful to Papa and feed him a cookie while he rested in bed.  Piper has been in a 'very helpful' stage these days!

 Uncle Allen took us to the farm to run in the field and see the cows!

 Usually the kids take a really long time to warm up to my dad in his wheelchair but they wanted to sit with him and take rides this time.  Dad appreciated that I know!
 Grandma tried to teach Piper how to knit.  Piper really liked it and wants to learn how.  I just need to find a teacher!!
 On Saturday morning, we took the kids to the train tracks to watch for trains.  Two went by while we were there.  Don't judge me letting my child waller (sp?) in the dirt!

 On the way home we stopped by my sister's house to see everyone.  The kids loved every minute of playing together!