Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Catch Up

While Charlotte enjoyed a white Christmas, we've enjoyed mostly balmy weather in Florida for the past week. I can't say any of us were sad that it didn't snow here! Here are some pictures from Christmas.

We had just returned from a 1.5-hour Christmas Eve service, and the kids were being bribed with Christmas cookies to pose for pictures.

The girl squad, and a dinosaur, seated for Christmas dinner. Josh still refuses to have anything to do with the gaggle of little girls, so he got a seat at the adult table this year.

Before Christmas, Emily and Randy graciously hosted our annual Christmas dinner at their house. We added cookie decorating with the kids to our annual traditions--kids and adults enjoyed making and eating the cookies!

We met my cousin Shannon and her family at Dinosaur World in Plant City, Fla., today. The park is home to 150 life-size dinosaur models, which include a whole section of dinosaurs eating and disemboweling each other.

Molly and Allie uncovering stegosaurus bones

Josh and his Dinosaur World-appropriate sweat shirt

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tutus and Tights

I took Molly to an abbreviated version of The Nutcracker today, thinking she might enjoy seeing some real ballerinas. She decided that all of the dancers must be princesses, except for the male dancer who played the role of the prince. When he came on stage, Molly yelled out, "Mommy, why is that man wearing tights?"

I couldn't think of a good answer at the time.

We met the Sugar Plum Fairy after the show, and Molly got to walk around on the stage. I'm not sure if she was inspired to dance more, but it was a fun afternoon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is my daughter always this skilled?

Today was a special day at Molly's dance class, as parents were allowed to sit in the class and take pictures and video to their hearts' content. We clearly did not get the memo that today was the day to wear your brightest and biggest tutu.

The girls did a few tap dances, including one choreographed to Christmas music that involved a move called the "boogie woogie." I'll only say that Molly tried hard and seemed to have a lot of fun. She's very good at jumping, but her future as a dancer is yet to be determined!

One mom, however, already seemed to be mapping out her 3 year old's artistic future. As we were leaving class, I overhead the mom ask the dance teacher, in all seriousness, "Is my daughter always this skilled?" The dance teacher didn't understand what she was asking, so the mom clarified that her daughter was clearly so great at dancing that she was considering enrolling her in gymnastics too. The teacher quickly recovered from her surprise over the question and assured the mom that her daughter was indeed amazing.

I'm not sure which of the little dancers was our prima ballerina-to-be, as they all seemed pretty awkward and uncoordinated at times. I was just glad that Molly only tripped twice during the class and came home with no injuries!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Santa: Back on the good list

We have taken a 2-year break from Santa after our traumatic Santa encounter in 2008 at the botanical gardens. Here's a refresher:

Emily and I took our kids to a Christmas event today at the children's library, but unfortunately the line was way too long for us to wait with four kids for "shopping with elves." Instead, we headed for the much shorter line for Santa pictures, with some hesitation. Thankfully Molly seems to have forgotten her previous distaste for Santa, and she hopped right into this kindly man's lap.

It probably helped that I told the kids I would take them out for pizza if they were nice to Santa and smiled at the camera. Molly told Santa she wanted a butterfly and a zebra, and Josh wants a light saber.

Waiting in line, deciding if he's going to be naughty or nice

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Pictures 2010

It's that time of year again! We spent Thanksgiving in the Florida panhandle, and I thought my grandmother's (now my mother's) farm would make a nice backdrop for the annual Christmas photo. As usual, the kids were entirely uncooperative.

We did actually have some fun this week too! We ate Thanksgiving lunch at the Marriott in Panama City Beach with my family and enjoyed the warm weather and a stroll on the dock. We also spent a few days with my aunt and cousins at the farm, and now we're onto Gainesville for a weekend at my parents' house.

You will notice in the following photos that Molly is wearing the same dress. Last year, astute readers may remember, we had a wardrobe change midway through Thanksgiving at the Marriott when Molly fell into the muddy decorative pond on the hotel lawn. We stayed far away from that pond this year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Molly's stage debut

Tonight was the annual preschool Family Night, and Molly is now old enough to participate. We were in a rush to leave to get there tonight, so I didn't fight Molly on the silver glitter shoes or the tights with the big hole in the knee, which we discovered as I was buckling her into her car seat. She did not want to take them off, and I decided it wasn't worth the inevitable meltdown to argue about it.

Thankfully Molly did not do anything too crazy during her class's performance; more embarrassing was Josh's overly enthusiastic cheering and clapping for Molly. He was very proud of his sister!

Fifteen preschool classes performed a song tonight. It's cute when your kid's class is singing, but a bit tedious to sit through 14 other songs.

Stage exit

Miss Sharron, Molly's teacher

Here is one of Molly's latest dress-up attempts. She also wore the glasses to church.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Psychadelic Wolf

Josh took his first big first-grade project to school this morning; research on wolves and a "visual aid" that he made out of clay and a shoebox. Despite good intentions, this project was constructed using my tried-and-true study skills, i.e. do most of it the night before it's due and the rest the morning before you take it to school. We spent the morning hot glue gunning the wolf together and then sticking it to the box.

Thankfully, he's very proud of his work, and I have vowed to teach him to get his work done in advance. We'll see how that goes.

In this photo, Molly is wearing her typical bus-stop outfit: shirt on backwards because she insists on dressing herself and her new "headphones" (earmuffs) that my mom gave her.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween, a bit late

My plan this year was for Josh and Molly to support their future university by dressing up as a UNC basketball player and UNC cheerleader. As you can see, I only partially succeeded. Molly immediately vetoed my suggestion and announced that she wanted to be a brown toad for Halloween. This caused some panic due to the lack of brown toad costumes available, and thankfully she saw this lion outfit in a consignment store and dropped the whole brown toad thing. I mean really, what 3-year-old girl wants to be a brown toad?

You also will notice in this picture that Josh has lost his other front tooth and some more bottom teeth. He has very few teeth in the front of his mouth right now.

We spent the afternoon at the neighborhood Halloween party, which is always great fun. I'm posting a picture of one neighbor who dressed up like his Boston terrier--I have not laughed that hard in a long time as when I saw the googly eyes.

I've told some of you about this interesting guest:

Here are Molly and Siri, Molly's new idol. Siri came over to play with Josh recently, and not long after she had to go home a neighbor came over to tell us that Molly was wandering down the street alone. Molly told me that she was mad that "Siri just got on her scooter and left" and was going to Siri's house to tell her she wasn't ready for her to leave.

Josh really wanted to take the first hit at the pinata, but he had to wait for the younger kids to go first. When he finally got a turn, he took way more than his alloted number of whacks but no one was willing to go near him wildly swinging the bat to make him stop!

Molly makes a break for the first pieces of candy to fall out of the pinata. The candy-grabbing skills she learned at the parade in Iowa this summer helped.

Chris and I had to leave mid-party so he could take me to the airport, and many thanks to Tim and Hannah who manned our house and took Molly trick-or-treating!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Big day

After a housecleaning marathon, we decided to get out of the house and go bowling, one of our new favorite past-times after Josh's birthday party. With the help of the bumpers pulled up, Josh and Molly scored higher than an adult (who brought her own shoes and ball) in the lane next to us.

Josh's bowling form usually ends up with him falling down from the exertion of his throw.

We could have gotten a snack and gone to the bathroom during the time it took for Molly's ball to reach the pins.

After an afternoon rest, we drove out to a nearby pumpkin patch to join Emily and Randy's church for a hayride, dinner and a bluegrass band.

Josh has lost yet another tooth. It looks like braces are in his future.

Molly and Vivy on the hayride. Today is Vivy's third birthday!

She's a natural!