Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

 Merry Christmas 2013!!
Getting ready to decorate the gingerbread house from Grandma Carrithers

One piece of candy for the house, TWO for me!!

Finn watched the whole thing 

Luke was probably the most excited about decorating the house

Setting out their cookies, milk, and letters for Santa on Christmas Eve

All is ready for Christmas Morning!

Super excited on Christmas Day

Getting ready to open gifts

One of Luke's favorite gifts from Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers

Aiden loved his Yoda doll from Grandma and Grandpa as well

Luke loved his snowboard from Santa.  Prior to receiving the snow board, he taught all the kids at school how to sled down the hill by standing on their sleds rather than sitting.  

Just a few minutes later...

Beyblade battles.  The boys are addicted to these small spinning metal tops that they "battle" in the orange stadium.  Its crazy to hear them.

Finn's first Christmas!  He was definitely on the "nice list"

Finn received a Sophie Giraffe which is a very overpriced plastic baby toy that apparently all babies love.  I will admit that he loves it and at least it came with a book though that still doesn't justify the cost.
Finn Turned 5 months old on the 29th!

He loves Sophie!

We enjoyed a messy, loud, fun-filled, wonderful Christmas with lots of toys to entertain the boys and lots of things for mom and dad to figure out how to do.  The hardest part was often getting the actual toy out of the package while the boys anxiously awaited.  We only lost a few pieces in the process of all this mayhem, but they were quickly retrieved-thank goodness.   This was our first Christmas in Minnesota since Aiden was born and, although we missed seeing family, it was nice to be here and not to have to worry about packing gifts and traveling somewhere.   

John spent his vacation sharpening his skills on how to put together legos, zoobs, and k'nex.  This is in addition to playing multiple board and card games from Bingo and Mastermind to Old Maid.  We both watched a few u-tube videos to learn how to make bracelets from rubber bands on the rainbow loom!  If you haven't heard of the rainbow loom, then get ready because I would imagine it will hit your area soon.  Its the latest craze with the 10 and under crowd and the boys really enjoy making these bracelets, but they frequently need help with them.  

January will be a new and fun month for us as we celebrate the birthdays of Aiden on the 2nd and Luke and Liam on the 11th!!  Stay tuned....

Monday, December 23, 2013

Finn's Firsts

Finn's first Christmas and Visit with Santa.  The real life story behind this picture is below...

Finn's first movie, Frozen!

All the boys had a great time

The picture of the boys with Santa is adorable, isn't it?  I am not partial or anything, but let me tell you the real life story behind the picture....

Since this is Finn's first Christmas, we decided it would be a good idea to get a picture of him with Santa.  We packed up all the boys on a frigid day with subzero temps and took Finn to the mall for his Santa picture.  Why not, right?  We have a picture with each of the other three boys on their first Christmas so we better do it for Finn as well.

We were clearly not the only people to visit Santa on December 23rd.  When we arrived this morning, the line was already long although not as long as it was when we left.  Thinking it would be a good idea to make the most of the time we had and thinking it would be a nice way to occupy the boys, I took them upstairs to get haircuts while John waited in line with Finn.  About five minutes after we get up to the haircut place, I received a text from John asking about how long it was going to be for the haircuts because Finn was getting hungry.  We decide it would be best for me to wait in line for Santa and let John do the haircuts with the boys.  At this point in time, we have been in line for at least 30 minutes and the line has barely moved so the thought of standing in line with all four boys seemed like a bad idea; therefore, we opted to try the haircuts to fill some time while we were waiting.

Once I got downstairs, Finn was really hungry.  I ended up feeding him while standing in line (just to be completely clear, this was not bottle feeding).  About 10 minutes into the feeding, Finn poops out his entire diaper all over his clothing and onto my clothing as well.  He has been on an antibiotic for another ear infection and the medicine makes him have some nasty diapers.  I called John and told him to forget the haircuts and get downstairs as quickly as possible.  When he arrived, I went to the bathroom to get cleaned up with Finn.  I had an extra outfit in my diaper bag, but this was not exactly an outfit I wanted to have in our "First Christmas Picture with Santa" memories.  Next, we made a stop at Baby Gap across from the pictures to get Finn the outfit you see.  By this time, we are still in line (2 hours and waiting) and the boys are pretty agitated.  I finished feeding Finn and quickly changed his clothing in the middle of the mall.  We barely finished in time to see Santa.  Oh the stories we will have for years to come!

In other news, Finn also recently went to see the new movie, Frozen.  Yes, poor Finn (4.5 months old) went to a movie with his brothers.  It was a very cold day and we decided to go on the Friday after Aiden's surgery to remove his rods when we were supposed to be relaxing.  I am 100% positive that I never would have taken Luke and Liam to a movie before the age of 4 years old, much less 4.5 months.  But, Aiden went to his first movie around 2 years old and Finn at the age of 4.5 months!  Not surprisingly, Finn did wonderful and actually watched some of the movie in between eating and napping.

Merry Christmas to all, we have so much to be thankful for.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Ukulele Liam, Frosty, and the Penguin

Luke, Liam, and Aiden sang in church on Sunday along with all the other 3 year olds to 6th grade church school friends.

You can vaguely see Luke (Green sweater) waving at us.  Liam is on the far left trying to find us.  

Aiden and, ironically, our neighbor Josie

This was Aiden's first time to sing in church and he did great!
Liam and Luke getting ready to sing at their school holiday program

This cracks me up.  Luke dressed up as Frosty and here he is leaning on the risers with his feet crossed.  

Liam (far left) and Frosty singing at the holiday program.

Luke and Liam's class program

Liam played the ukulele in the program

Luke had a special "solo" part as Frosty.  He was too funny and so proud.  No surprise to John and I that Luke would volunteer for a part where he can be front and center!

Enjoying cookies and treats after the program

Liam with cookies and treats


The boys got to see Santa after the program

Aiden was a penguin in his program.  I guess penguins don't wear their shirts tucked in.  

Aiden and the other penguins

Picture of Aiden's class taken by Liam.  Luke and Liam operated the video camera and the regular camera for Aiden's program.  We ended up with a few extra pictures.

Another funny pic from Liam!

We stayed busy this weekend with three Christmas programs all on the same day.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden sang two songs in church on Sunday.  This was Aiden's first time to sing in church.

Following church, we changed clothes, ate lunch, and prepared for our next holiday programs.  Luke and Liam's class performed first followed by Aiden's class.  After each performance, the boys enjoyed cookies and visits with Santa who "always comes to our school program" according to Liam.

Each of the boys had a small part in their school program.  John and I were not surprised at all to see Luke had volunteered to be Frosty and was dressed in a costume.  He was right up front when they sang, "Frosty the Snowman" and even did a little dance while holding a broom.  It was hilarious.  Liam was a ukulele player while they sang, "Christmas in Hawaii" and he held the ukulele as if he was actually playing it.  Aiden was a penguin while his class sang "Three Little Penguins" and he waddled just like a penguin and even wore the hat throughout the program.  Luke and Liam took some 78 pictures during Aiden's program, but I narrowed it down to a handful for this post.  Good thing it is only a digital camera!

It was a long day of programs and the boys were tired, but Finn survived and we enjoyed watching them sing the songs they have been practicing for several months. 

Thursday, December 12th marked the end of a long process of healing, rehabilitation, strengthening, etc...with Aiden.  He broke his femur on July 10th and had two rods placed in his leg.  Five months later, you cannot even tell that he was injured.  Thankfully, he has made a full recovery and the rods were removed on Thursday.  As crazy as it sounds, he was up and walking (trying to run!?) several hours after the surgery.  We are so thankful for the prayers and help we received from so many friends and family members.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Its Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas....

Watching us put up the Christmas Tree and trying to figure out what the big deal is

Daddy and Luke hanging the lights

Time for a break

I just want to eat that big white ball!

Aiden playing UNO with Finn

What did you just put in my mouth?  Finn tried his first bit of solid food this week.  He had a few bites of sweet potatoes and some oatmeal baby cereal.  Overall, it was a success and the interest was definitely there.  He opened his mouth just like he knew what he was doing.  

I am not so sure about that stuff

Hey, wait...I Like it!!!

Santa Baby

Decorating the tree

More Decorating

Working on the rink

Liam and Daddy shoveling the rink

As with many parts of the United States, winter arrived the week after Thanksgiving.  It has been COLD, very COLD here.  With highs barely reaching zero, we have been trying to get ready for winter.  We don't usually have temps this cold until at least mid January and it usually only lasts for a few weeks.  Not this year.....

We worked on getting the Christmas tree up this week.  I say "we worked on it" because we assembled one day, hung lights another day, and did ornaments the next.  It takes awhile when you have so many "helpers."  To be fair, we also hung stockings and other decorations so it wasn't just the tree we were working on.

For the first time ever, we are putting the tree up in the play room.  There really isn't a great space for the tree downstairs and the play room is really the biggest room in the house so opening gifts on Christmas Day will be much easier with more space.  We have never had the tree upstairs in the bonus room for obvious reasons, but the boys have been warned about leaving the tree alone so we will see how it goes.  We also happened to keep all the valuable and highly breakable ornaments in the box this year (just in case, of course).  As we were hanging ornaments this year, the boys were competing with each other over who had the most breakable ornament to hang.  Seems like they are always competing about something, but that one was kind of odd to John and I.

The ice rink and I have a love/hate relationship right now.  At the busiest time of our year, it is taking a lot of time on the weekends to manage.  Overall, I am hopeful it will pay back by spending some of the boy's energy and giving us a fun outdoor activity to do.  For now, we have had a few small setbacks and we are waiting until the ice is ready.  Despite the extreme cold, we still had more water to fill the rink and then make sure it was level and somewhat smooth.