Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day

Today is December 26 and I am whooped. I even threatened the boys  that I was going to call their school teachers today and have them go to school tomorrow!! 

But we have had a great Christmas and school break so far. Christmas Day was really fun. We started the day around 7:30 by opening our stockings and presents from Santa.  We then opened presents from mom/dad. The kids were pretty comical and they evened said "thank you" a few times (unprovoked) so maybe they are really listening!!

 We are always surprised with Griffin - he thinks so differently than Brent and I - and we rarely really know whats going thru his mind. "Strange" things strike his fancy and he sometimes ignores stuff we think would interest him. He  got this batman belt in his stocking….and later declared that it was one of his favorite  gifts!!

Santa left our girly girl some matching necklaces and bracelets...

 Graham really wanted a 4 wheeler for Christmas…so Santa delivered his hearts desire!

 Santa brought Avery a rack for her American Girl doll's clothes...

 love Griff's expression on this one….he got a bow and arrow and target. 

 Carsyn is at one of my favorite ages for present opening. She knew what was going on and got excited when handed a gift. She squealed when she saw what it was. and then yelled"mine!" when someone got near her stuff!

digging in her stocking

for my Green Egg chef

 our little vet

 avery has been glued to her rainbow loom since opening it!

We had my friend Gia and her daughter Emily join us for our Christmas meal. They are Chinese and haven't really ever celebrated Christmas…so all was new to them, especially the food! (Gia had never had mashed potatoes!)  Emily brought her violin and played several Christmas carols for us.  

Christmas Eve

 Christmas Eve…we had a traditional McBrayer meal - fondue!  This year we just did cheese fondue (we may need to sneak in a pot of chocolate fondue while we are at the cabin this weekend!). 

 this girl loved her cheese fondue

 ready to open presents from Gammy and cousins
( I like opening gifts one at a time so that I can see what everyone gets and see them enjoy them….this is kind of a challenge with little ones but they did fairly well!)

 Carsyn's first present from Gammy and favorite of the night - a picnic basket

parachute men from the balcony!

 Gammy made all 7 of her grandchildren aprons…aren't they so cute!

 Carsyn opened a box of clothes and wanted them on immediately…by the end of the night, she had her regular clothes, an apron, another shirt and a pair of jeans!

 our gift for Gammy

Graham loves tools - he's very proud of his new blower

We ended the night by sprinkling reindeer food in the yard, putting out cookies for Santa and carrots for reindeer, and the big kids left santa notes….

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Brunch

 Gammy is here!  She arrived on Friday and we've kept her running since then!  We have done Christmas crafts, decorated gingerbread houses, went to Brent's work Christmas party, and then after church today we went to the Club for a Santa Brunch. 

 Avery Brooke

 Griffin Patrick

 Graham Charles

  and Carsyn Ashley (responding just as anticipated!!)

 Family picture so that Carsyn would participate (with a death grip on my neck)

 Avery had her first "mimosa"

 playing outside after brunch

griff requested that I take this picture of him!

Gingerbread Houses

I put Gingerbread house decorating in the same category as Easter Egg dying….I strongly dislike both but tolerate doing them because the kids love it!

I made the houses that Griffin's class decorated at school and I just happened to have 3 extras…so we used those to decorate as a family. I am pretty sure that more frosting and candy ended up in their bellies than on their houses (and most of the candy from their houses is now "missing"…).

the 2013 parnell ginger bread house village

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Graham's Snowflake Showoff

 Graham had his first ever Snowflake Showoff this morning. He was super excited and a total ham as expected! I think he's thrilled to finally be doing "what the big kids do."

 practicing bunny hops on the high beam

 he says "macho man" and lifts one hand up for his "landing" after doing a trick 

 walking backwards

 practicing "strong arms"

 the backwards bear crawl 

 his lack of flexibility makes this trick a little hard for him but he tries hard!

 his first ribbon

Just 2 kids in his class - he and Isabella

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 Snowflake Showoff

Every Christmas, the kids have Snowflake Showoffs at gymnastics. The parents are invited to watch and take pictures as the kids show off all that they have been working on during the semester. This year Avery is in level 3 and practices once a week for 1 1/2 hours….so since I don't usually stay for her practices, it was fun to see all she has been working on. 

 On bars, she is doing front hip circles, single leg shoot throughs, and squat ons. Avery is one of the shortest in the class so the 2 of them had to help each other get onto the bar!

 doing the grapevine

 She is working on cartwheels, leaps, and handstands on the beam. 

 working on vaulting

 Her class (avery's on the far left)

Proud of her ribbon