Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all our dear friends and family near and far. Ours was a white one (though this pic wasn't taken today). We had a wonderful day of staying home and just enjoying our crew of six :) Big gifts of the day were a Wii from Santa (we are probably the last people on earth to own one, but better late than never...thanks S.C.!) :) AND even bigger than the Wii news was the addition to our family of a little dwarf named Cuddles (a hamster that is!)...Shelb is over the moon by the newest baby girl of the family. Hope you all had a lovely laid back day....I'd love to write more, but we're off to sunny So. FL bright and early in the a.m.! So until the New Year....adios! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Never-a-dull-December!

Well, in keeping with normal tradition our Dec. has been absolutely insane. And in the midst of thinking about trying to leave for FL (I say "thinking" as we are seriously considering not going)....but in case we do I didn't want my blog to be empty of some Christmas pics! :) So, here ya' go for those of you who haven't given up on my blog yet :) Above is our little jaunt to see Santa at our local downtown mall last weekend (not the easy/quick task we thought it'd be)....this was one of the best shots I could get of the tired crew...the three oldest are showing off their new do's :) They all desperately needed haircuts, esp. Hailey who is in "grow mode" now til next Nutcracker! :)
Seeing the jolly ol' fellow. Ash was very unsure again....she would only go near him if biggest sis was holding her :)
Snow, snow, snow. I am sick of it honestly. It's has snowed all of Dec, or so it seems. We never see this much here in So. Indiana...but at least the kids have fun it it esp. on their first snow day a couple weeks ago. Ash loved sledding with all the big kids!
She is all smiles when Ali goes down the hill with her....Ash seems to be the one all the big kids fight over to sled with :)
Dylan was a sledding maniac, until he slid into our deck post and got a bloody tongue :(
Leave it up to Shelb to find a big slab of ice. We had the weirdest snow this day...snow covered in ice....it was crackly to the step...
The neighbor gang....we feel so blessed by all these kids (though we missed Miss Mad...she must be a warm girl at heart like me and wanted to stay inside!) :) And I think Ash is wondering "what in the world is Jacob doing with that snow??" :)
Sledding solo!
And a few snaps from our mini Steg Christmas last Friday at Kev's parents....isn't this the sweetest of Ash? It's one of her fav. positions....she was watching the train go around under the tree here.
And as is always the case, Nina (and Poppy) Stegs had a marvelous spread of delectable food for us to enjoy (complete with an Edible Arrangement of fruit!)....but the reason I show this picture is to spot out the special addition to the feast...look closely behind the punch and to the left of the ham....lo and behold there is a new Christmas meat :) Yes, Nina spoils her grandson :)
Hailey's big gift of the night...her new mountain bike in her fav. color-blue! :) If only it wasn't snowy and cold out, she would have been peddling away :)
What every girl w/o a hamster yet needs--A Hamster potty :)
Dylan was one of the funniest acts of the night with his over-the-top excitement over EVERY gift. He would fly through the air after he received a gift just to give the gift-giver a hug! Hilarious! He LOVES presents...and especially loved his new Batman cave!
Here's a far-off glimpse of Poppy trying to protect himself from the gift-giving-hug of Dylan :)
Ash opening up one of her gifts....she got really into it this year...well sorta. The first gift she opened was the cutest little Gap shirt from Nina and Poppy. I'm guessing she wasn't all that thrilled about it cuz she got right up and walked that shirt over to Nina and handed it to her and said, "I no like!" :) LOL! Ya' can't say the girl isn't honest!
She did show much surprise and excitement over her zhu-zhu-like doggie :)
Awww, don't Brian and Anne look so sweet together by the beautiful Christmas tree?! (this is Kevin's brother if you don't see the resemblance and his lovely wife :)).
One of the best pics I could get of Nina and Poppy and the kids...yes, this is normal drama for Shelby :) And Dylan HAD to have that thing on his head...and I guess Bailey the dog sneaked in for the photo shot too :) Never a dull moment!
Special thanks to Nina and Poppy for an awesome evening of food, gift-giving, laughs and love :) They are the ultimate in hosting and generosity!! :)
A fond memory of our arctic jaunt to the Indy Zoo last Saturday with Nina and Poppy S. I had such high hopes of this being a splendid event and although we did have lots of fun, I think I still have complete body frostbite due to the cold and my lack of proper layered clothing. But, on the bright side the Kev and the kids and his parents stayed warm enough! How nice for them :)

A highlight of the zoo for Shelb was getting to see the starfish (they had quite a few and this one in particular was moving all over :)). This was a highlight for me as well cuz it was one of the only places I was warm :)
And this is the best shot I have of Ash and her awesome "Sharon shirt". For those of you who don't know, my mom's friend, Sharon, in FL makes awesome embroidered shirts...she did 4 personalized ones for Ashley for her 2nd b-day. This was a cute "gift" one she made for Ash for Christmas. I love it! And I'm so bummed the one she made for Shelb got lost in the mail :( Darn postal service! :( Thanks, Sharon!
We spent one evening last week making lots of treats to stuff in our teachers' goody bags. We gave most of the teachers 31 lunch totes (personalized bags with their monograms on them)....the kids enjoyed helping make the goodies...Ash really got into making the pretzel/rolo treats! :) Yumm!
Sweetness :)
Some of our sweet creations....and we also made puppy chow, chex mix and truffles :) Super Yum!
Shelb was a huge help on the Santa Nutter Butters :) And below is the super AWESOME gift my Aunt Sue sent to Hailey right after Nutcracker. It's the most incredible Nutcracker music box. Plays like 12 Nutcracker songs and has 3 different scenes where the curtains close and reopen and all the dancers move around. It has been a big hit this holiday season. Can't thank Awesome Aunt Sue enough! She is one of the most creative gift givers I know!
So, that's all I've got for now. I'm feeling very run-down, very overwhelmed at the thought of trying to pack up 6 people in the next couple days while also trying to get Christmas stuff ready for tomorrow and Sat to have our "perfect" holiday. We still aren't done shopping either. Nothing like last minute. But, in the midst of it all I know how very blessed we've been this year and I am trying to keep that in the forefront of my mind when I feel those tinges of stress. So, until next time....Merry Christmas and happy end-of-2010!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Couple Pics :)




Just a couple quick pics of last weekend (borrowed from Hailey's friend Sophie :)). Lots more pics and news to come, but for now this is all I can offer. We are plum tuckered out over here. Nina and Pops left this morning...we had a wonderful time with them both here :(....but it's just been a long week for me....I am feeling very burned out. Wishing December didn't feel this way.....but trying to keep it in perspective......hope everyone is doing well out there! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nutcracker Live Feed

Just a quick post for those of you interested in watching Hailey dance live this weekend via internet. Her BIG Nutcracker Party Girl debut starts on Friday and goes through Sunday. As in year's past IU is streaming all 4 performances via live feed, so if you are interested and have a free 20 minutes I know Hailey would love for you to see her dance in her big role. She's in the very first scene (the party scene...and is a party girl--one of Clara's 4 friends) and she will actually be on stage when the curtain goes up (though you won't see her yet). She'll be the one by the Christmas tree with another party girl when the lights go on. I think she's the easiest to see since she has a darker coral-colored (and white) dress. The scene is only 20 minutes long (for those of you who have a hard time sitting through ballets :))...and she is the girl who falls asleep and gets carried off the stage by her "dad" at the end :) It's a very exciting role for her and she's been SUPER busy preparing for it! I hope those of you who can't see her in person will watch her from all around the country (and world!) :) She would love your support....and your prayers...for a safe and healthy weekend of wonderful dancing! More info and pics to come after the craziness ends on Sunday.....(but for now just know we're doing well and enjoying having Nina Gritz here to help (and Pops flies in today!) :).....

http://music.indiana.edu/iumusiclive/streaming/

She'll be performing Friday, December 3 at 8pm
Saturday, December 4 at 2pm and 8pm &
Sunday, December 5 at 2pm