Carson started going to Scouts! He completed his Bobcat within the first couple of weeks.
Cute girl helping me with Christmas preparations.
A visit to the best dentist in the world, Dr. Woolwine. My kids have big mouths.
I took the kids to Home Depot one Saturday morning to do their kids' workshop. Santa wandered in, and a few minutes later I see Everett slowly approaching him. He was making sure Santa got the message that he needs a metal detector and a real bow and arrow, not one of those wimpy Nerf ones.
Gingerbread cookie making and some Christmas decor.
Faye helping me put together a package to send to VA.
Another Santa sighting, this time at Target! With our luck we didn't have to stand in line anywhere to meet the big guy.
While watching a screen may be the only time the boys would allow Faye to snuggle with them. I needed this peace and quiet while getting everything ready to go to the boys' piano recital! I love watching them play the piano. Carson slowed down his Flight of the Bumblebee quite a bit for the recital, but at home he plays it sooo fast!
Pajama day at school.
Our annual (and last! Sad!) weekend trip to visit the Swendsens in Temple, TX. I trained really hard for the half marathon this year! Rick went on as many training runs as time allowed for him... which was only a few. I ended up right on my goal time with a 7:20 pace, and my dream of beating Rick was finally fulfilled. My time was 1:36 and I was the second female. Rick also ended up being the first male for his age group, since the guys ahead of him were either under 30 or over 25! So we both took home a first place medal for our age groups. Afterwards we realized that his half marathon PR is still two minutes faster than mine though! The kids also did the 1K with Santa. I finished just in time to run over and "run" with them; my legs were about to collapse! Faye was hilarious. She walked right next to Santa and talked his ear off the whole time, explaining why she needs a pet for Christmas. We had such a great time with Jen and Scott and their family. We are sad they are moving from Texas! We stopped at IKEA on the way home, and as soon as we got back, Rick and I changed into ugly sweaters and headed to his work party, leaving the kids with a babysitter. A busy day!
Isla sunbathing under our new IKEA lamp.
Everett asked to take the camera out one day to take a picture of his beloved pumpkin plant. In October he took seeds from a pumpkin and apparently planted them in the backyard. He kept telling me his pumpkin plant was really growing, and finally I realized that there actually is something there! He visits and waters it daily. I hope for his sweet heart that it actually produces a pumpkin. He also took a picture of this lovely leaf angel. And a selfie.
Christmas class parties.
Isla just before spilling water on the last Christmas cards I had ready to send.
We had a whole list of fun things to do over Christmas break. This may have been the first week in years where Rick had a few days off and we didn't have a big home project we were working on. It was nice! We visited the Windcrest neighborhood, which has a big light display competition.
Christmas Eve Bethlehem dinner! Lamb, hummus and pitas, olives, goat cheese, figs, dates, nuts, etc. New wine, aka grape juice, is a favorite.
Setting up Christmas Eve night. Excited to introduce bunny to his owner!
The boys woke up at 5:30 a.m. ready for Christmas morning. We were not about to wake up the girls, so the boys and Rick passed the time watching Star Wars! This was highly anticipated. The boys have never seen them but have heard much about the movies. This was a major thing on our list of things to do over Christmas break.
I thought the girls would be so excited about new baby dolls. Well, apparently these dolls are too big to be desirable. They liked them at first, but quickly realized they don't fit well under their shirts or in their Moby wraps. The babies now live at the bottom of the doll drawer, sad!
We do stockings first, them breakfast, followed by the rest of the presents. This year we saved the best for last, and each kid's last present was hidden in a different location. Here is Everett; his metal detector was in the garage.
I only got a video of Carson's. We all ran up above the garage to discover his basketball shoot out game! He had seen one at Costco and really wanted one, and luckily I found a cheaper one with a Target sale.
We ran up to the "empty room" with Isla to discover her shopping cart and new backpack.
And finally into the family room, where the bunny's cage had been in the corner under a blanket. None of our kids are big squealers or show much emotion really when they see their big presents. Each of the videos were took are very quiet. Faye walked in and quietly said, "A bunny! Thank you, mommy!" It was really fun to have them all pet and hold the bunny and see him sniff around. Faye immediately named him John, and they've been inseparable ever since.
We were treated to a delicious Puerto Rican Christmas dinner at our friends the Barney's house! Everett, usually terrified of dogs, fell in love with this Golden Retriever.
Attempting to construct an outdoor playpen for John.
Curly hair because it was so humid at Christmas time!
Rick worked long hours the week between Christmas and New Year's, so the kids and I headed up to Austin for a couple of days to visit our friends the Hales. We've always meant to stop at Buccee's on the way just because of all the hype we've heard. It was... really big. I didn't buy anything and it was hard to get the kids out of there, so we won't be stopping there again! We had a nice relaxing time in Austin, playing with the kids and eating at P. Terry's and visiting the Austin zoo.
Still bathing together! (Well, it doesn't happen very often.)
This is a very normal game at our house. Isla has packed bags, is totally naked, and is leading Faye around on a leash dressed like a jaguar.
Rick worked on New Year's Eve, and we were so happy when the Allens let us crash their party!!
Everett snuck a kiss as we counted down to "midnight." And that's a wrap for 2015!