Saturday, December 31, 2016

December

Even though this December was busy, it was not overwhelming.  Neither of the older boys had projects for this month's exhibit night and they were down to one sport (swimming) for the month.  Rory and Cal continued on with their normal rhythm at play group.  We were able to spend more after school afternoons at the park and just hanging out at home.  And best of all, I loved that I was able to spend one afternoon on the computer and get almost all of my christmas shopping done.  

We decorated the house early and listened to Christmas music exclusively for the month.  This past summer we got a shipment from my grandparents of his collectable Christmas village houses.  It was fun to put them up and think about my grandpa and watch the kids study the houses.  Cal liked to pull over a stool to get up close.  Surprisingly, none were broken.




Even though with swimming and homework, Finnan's days were not as relaxing as mine, but he still found a lot of time to read.  This kids always seems to be reading.


And this Christmas-loving cutie turned 5.  He loves Christmas more than anyone else I know.  He always asks for Christmas decorations for his birthday and this year he memorized all of the book Olaf's The Night Before Christmas to perform for anyone that would listen.


Cal has been trying to sneak into the older boys' room at bedtime.  We keep giving him a chance to bunk up with them, but within minutes of going to bed, he is out of the room looking for us.  


We headed down to Florida at the beginning of the boys' holiday break to celebrate Christmas with Weggi, Paw-Paw, Uncle Michael and Aunt Rebecca.  Since I was still having flashbacks to our 2003 Suburban's break down on the way back home from Florida and I would be making the trip by  myself, we decided to get a new car before the trip.  I have now added one more gray Honda Odyssey to road.  The boys were way more excited about the new van than I was, but the dvd player was a life saver on the trip.  The weather in Florida was very hot, but Weggi and Paw Paw made their house feel like Christmas and we had an early Christmas dinner, tons of Christmas cookies, and presents under the tree.  The big surprise under the tree was Amazon Fire tablets for the boys from Uncle Michael and Aunt Rebecca.  I think Finnan's reaction summed up their combined sentiment, "I can't believe we got our own tablets!  I thought no one would ever get me a tablet." And they repeated saying this about every half hour.  







We got back from Florida with plenty of time to prepare for Christmas.  We found more UPS boxes waiting for us, one of which was from Aunt Phyllis and had these animal hats for the boys.


And they enjoyed decorating gingerbread cookies, which my mom sent home with us.


Honey sent the boys matching Christmas shirts.  I had them dress up for their visit to Santa and took a few pictures before.  I think this was the most successful photo shoot I have ever had with the boys, so I needed to include all of the pictures.





Rory then wanted to pose with his beloved inflatables, but Cal wanted nothing to do with them.



We went to visit Santa at the North Dekalb Mall.  Cal was very excited until he actually had to go up to Santa.




The boys' matching shirts also got a lot of attention at Christmas morning mass.  Finnan really wanted to sit in the front row and I reluctantly agreed.  For a while it was all going fine and Cal was being strangely well behaved.  Then when the priest was giving his homily from the middle of the aisle, Call made a break for the end of the row and started walking in the middle aisle with the priest.  Even though I was the closest to the aisle, there was no way I was going in the aisle to get him, so Atticus backtracked a couple of rows and and got him and brought him to the cry room.  Then the priest came up to me and asked if the older boys and I could bring up the gifts.  So, the rest of us got our turn walking down the center aisle.  I think we got 100 comments on the way out of church on how cute the boys were and how precious their shirts were! 





Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pictures from November

This fall we had one beautiful day after another with lots of time spent outside.  Here are a few pictures from a Sunday afternoon early in the month.




One of our favorite restaurants (Melton's) has a pet store next store.  This has become a little problematic as Cal can not seem to wait until the meal is over to go there.  


Finnan had his end of the year soccer tournament the first weekend of Thanksgiving break.  Their team did not lose a game, but due to some weird bracketing, they did not make it to the final.  They did come out of the tournament as the only undefeated team in their age group though! This team had a great season and Finnan has loved playing.  I was looking forward to a break from soccer, but he decided to cut that break short by signing up for winter soccer as well. 


After the soccer tournament, Atticus, Finnan, Jude and Rory headed down to New Orleans.  Atticus took Finnan and Jude on a fishing trip while Rory got some special time with Honey.









Cal and I flew down a couple of days later.  I don't have any pictures because I was afraid to pull out my phone and break the spell he was under.  He did awesome and was entertained completely by opening and closing the window.  Everyone around me commented on his good behavior.  That is something I don't hear often about him ;)!  While in New Orleans we got to spend time with Maddie and Miller and the boys ran in a 1/2 mile Thanksgiving morning race.  




After the race we enjoyed beignets and exploring City Park.


We drove home Saturday and I got straight to work decorating the house for Christmas.  This pretty girl kept me company!


And then some pictures of everyday stuff.  The boys' friend Hudson found a large frog in the woods.  


Cal trying to find a good place to "sled" down the hill.


Jude entertaining Cal in the bathtub.


And Jude helping Cal make a basket with the hoop he won from the read-a-thon.




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pictures from October

We had a belated birthday party for Finnan this month.  He invited five friends from school for a backyard camp out.  It was a beautiful night and the boys played football, soccer and laser tag until past dark when we called them in to watch Back to the Future.  The boys slept in Atticus' childhood tent that we realized had quite a few holes while Atticus, Rory and and Jude slept in our tent next to them.  Even though there was no rain in the forecast, it started raining at 5 am (the only rain we had this entire month), prematurely waking the boys with water seeping in from the holes.  To them it just meant more time for sports.  



We will sometimes let the older boys take Cal downstairs while we get a little more sleep on the weekends.  The other week, I found Finnan, Jude and Rory all reading in the front room and Cal in the middle of the island "making" oatmeal.



This morning Rory made a pretty large train track through the basement.  I was so impressed that Cal made no attempt to take any of it apart and was more interested in pushing the trains around.  We have turned a corner!



After their last exhibit night, Finnan and Jude had a day off while Rory and Cal were in school.  We had an awesome day.  We started by bringing can goods from Jude's service project to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  We then went to the skate park, out to lunch and ended with a trip to the climbing gym.







Finnan with our favorite chicken, Pop.


Rory was sure he had me in Animal Upon Animal.  I managed to get another one on and then he knocked it down the next round.



Our schedule has been so busy, we didn't manage to carve pumpkins until after school Halloween day.  I'm a pretty terrible pumpkin carver and had a couple of knives out to figure out which one would be best.  As I was working on Rory's, I saw Cal had gotten one of the knives.  I reached out to grab it from him, but in the process sliced his middle finger.  We could not get it to stop bleeding, so luckily there was an appointment open at 4:30 at their pediatrician so Atticus raced him over there.  They glued it together and wrapped him up and they were back just as the Conway Rd. parade was starting.  

One of the neighbors on our street organized a Halloween parade for just our block of the street.  There has been a lot of new construction on our street in the past couple of years and the kids on the street go to several different charters and private schools, so we don't know many of the families.  We were so surprised to see so many kids! It was great to trick-or-treat down our street with this crew and then we met up with our old neighbors (one block over) to trick or treat around our old house.  Cal didn't get home in time to change into his lion costume, but Atticus improvised by putting on a head wrap.  It turned out to be a perfect costume as several people guessed he was "trouble."  Yes.  Yes he is.  I don't think I ever fully recovered from the shock of Cal's injury that night, but we had a good time none-the-less.






Cal did dress up as a lion for The Museum School's Fall Fest the week before.  Even though his "trouble" costume was very fitting, he made a pretty cute lion, too!


We are looking forward to some fall weather (hopefully some will come soon!) and a little more free time (at least two of the soccer seasons will end in November!) so we can start getting ready for the holidays!