Monday, December 31, 2012

One last batch of videos for 2012...

extra Christmas pics

Before we close the year out and move on to non-holiday things I have a few more holiday pics to share. 

Flynn had a pretty quiet last week with us.  Guess the NorthPole was keeping him out of mischief.  One morning we were surprised to find him outside our kitchen window. I guess he was attempting to put up Christmas lights but didn’t get to finish before the kids got up and just left a strand dangling!  

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Otherwise, it was a quiet week.  Though the last night he was stuck in our fireplace.  He left a nice note saying it was time to go home till next year.Elf- Flynn-002

Christmas Eve we had a visit from Santa our mailman.   Apparently he does have a side job as a Santa’s helper.  He normally wears his outfit on Christmas Eve but the weather didn’t cooperate.   Ella and Wyatt were excited to see him.  Ella just KNEW he was Santa.  Wyatt just thought he was the mailman and was happy to sit next to him. Wyatt was really just waiting for a chance to sit in the drivers seat (this is not his first time to sit in the mail truck).

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Christmas Eve we had dinner with Mimi and Poppy.  Ella and Mimi put on their festive wear for the occasion.

And one last picture from Mimi’s camera on Christmas morning.  Will giving me his gift, craft scissors.  He was SO excited to give them to me.  And so proud that he had helped wrap them.  Sweet boy.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

one year home!

We have been home 12 months!! Still hard to believe it’s been a year since we stepped off that plane and became a family of five.  I have a ton to say about how life is actually going but right now I want to mention all the things Ella is up to and loves after being at home for a year!SONY DSC
Ella fully understands every.single.thing we say.  You can't get much past her.  And she speaks pretty well, all things considered.  She is more than able to get her point across :) And recently she started speech therapy to help with her pronunciation.  Her favorite phrase is "..all the time". She adds that to most anything she says.  "Wyatt mean, all the time."  "I like cookies, all the time."  "I go potty, all the time."  Her newest phrase, which is the best of all, is "all my family".  She says this whenever the 5 of us are in the same spot at once.  She opens her arms wide and says it with a smile on her face.
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She loves to remind us to pray at meal time and bedtime.  Her #1 request when praying is for "my friend Yaya [Hope], her momma, daddy, brother, sister".  Her favorite bedtime stalling tactic is to ask to pray multiples times for Yaya. :)
She also can identify most letters in the alphabet. And can consistently count to 12!  And she can make some pretty silly faces and has quite the sense of humor.
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Right now Ella's favorite song is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (it sounds like Twankle Twankle when she says it).  Lately I have caught her singing Happy Birthday when she is all alone. Her favorite Christmas song was Jingle Bells.  
She still loves Dora.  She finally sits thru a whole episode.  Though she's pretty fond of Thomas and Chuggington too, thanks to Wyatt.  She occasionally enjoys Mickey Mouse, Little Bear and Blues Clues.  She can take or leave her dolls.  Mimi got her hooked on one doll, Betsy, for a few weeks but that love quickly faded.  She would rather have cars and trucks.  She likes to keep up with the boys.
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Her favorite book right now is Rain Drop Plop.  She has every word memorized.  We read it at naptime and again at bedtime.  Another favorite is Fred and Ted and My First Chinese New Year.  
Ella is still a pretty adventurous eater.  Tacos, hotdogs, turkey, ham, oatmeal, eggs, chicken and any fruit and will try most veggies.  Hard to say what her favorite meal is.  She does love her fruits though.  And absolutely has a sweet tooth.  She finally started enjoying milk.  But loves V8 juice (the fruit blend).  Oh, and nuts.....she could eat a pound of nuts easily!  That is her favorite snack.DSC03827crop
She can keep up with whatever the boys are doing.  Running, climbing, jumping, skipping, pedaling.  There is nothing she cannot do.  She does a great job coloring and loves puzzles.  I guess all this to say, she is perfectly on track in every single area.  Pretty impressive I think.  
Her favorite color is still pink.  Though purple, blue and green occasionally get a vote.
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Ella LOVES to help.  So much so that I often feel like I am taking advantage of her.  She loves to move clothes from the wash to the dryer.  Putting up socks and undies in the drawers.  Cleaning up toys.  Unloading the (non-sharp) silverware in the dishwasher.  If I even step in the direction of the laundry room she comes running "I help you!!!!!".  Same goes with the mixer.  If I even move it she comes running.   She helps so often that if she sees two sticks of butter she yells "cookies".  Smart girl :)
So grateful to have this one year mark under our belt now.  I feel much more confident facing our second year together as a family of five now. I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings for all of us!
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Santa has landed….

We had a wonderful Christmas morning.  And the best part was introducing Ella to the chaos the day brings.

Warning:  Lots of pictures and words ahead….this is a super long post

This was before the kids woke up.  You can imagine what it looked like after.  Ella had a very pink Christmas.  Wyatt’s was very blue (Thomas) and Will’s was very black (batman).  The kids were so excited.  And Will said over and over “this is exactly what I wanted!”.  I’d say we all had a great day.

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Will was up first, which meant we HAD to wake up the littles.  Ella was excited.  She jumped right up when Will told her Santa came.  Wyatt was NOT happy to be woken up and caused quite the hold-up.

Poor Will, in a moment of complete seriousness, asked if Santa came.  And if he left him a present.  He was so concerned and so sad.  His eyes got huge when I said he had left him presents.  (We had had a rough few days with behavior….)

This is Ella and Will anxiously waiting to go into the den.
Will and Ella were holding microphones that Mimi had given them the night before…

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We put up a “curtain” to block off the family room from the hallway.  Will still wakes up at night and gets in bed with us. I was worried that he would take a peak at the presents by accident.  Turns out he did not even wake up that night.  It ended up being a fun way for the kids to get to their presents.  Well, everyone but Wyatt.  He stayed on the other side and cried.  Poppy helped him out.

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Mister Wilson got his long awaited Bat Cave.  He has wanted one since his birthday and Santa came thru.  He was so excited I didn’t even get a picture!

Wyatt got a train table and trains.  He doesn’t look to excited, but he really was.  Since getting this he often disappears to his room by himself to play for hours!  He likes peace and quiet, and trains.

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Santa heard Ella’s pleas for her very own LeapPad.  I’m sure Will is pleased he doesn’t have to share his now.  And Santa thought she’d enjoy a pink guitar.  The best part is the guitar yells “Girls Rock!” randomly….and now Wyatt says it often.  Money well spent.

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Stockings were a hit.  Wyatt discovered a few more trains.  Will found lots of angry bird goodies.  And they each got special toothbrushes.  Ella was pretty excited about her Tinkerbelle toothbrush.

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Ella opens her first gift!  (I can’t remember what it was now….)

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She also got a Barbie golf cart (not that she’s into Barbie, but she is pretty fond of Poppy’s golf cart. Plus it’s pink).

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Wyatt opens a gift picked out by Will, a Thomas bath toy.
Wyatt surprised me by being all excited about the gifts.  He was constantly searching for the next one to open.  He was so into it this year.

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Wyatt opens another Thomas gift….all he got was Thomas this year.  I love how his little toes clutch the side of the gift.  He likes to use all of his appendages.

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Will picked out a set of Minnie Mouse puzzles for Ella.  She loved it and thanked him with a big hug.

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I didn’t end up with many pictures of Will opening gifts, he was moving too quickly.  Mimi heard he wanted the ship from Jake and Neverland Pirates.  He LOVES it.  He also got a pretty cool looking batman transformer car.  He thinks it is so cool!  (Thanks Poppy for such an awesome gift!)

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And Santa also surprised us with these two go-bikes on our front porch.  (And by Santa, I mean the neighbors gave us their gently used bikes….hence the reason there are just two.)

The kids were so excited that they grabbed the first shoes they saw and headed out.  It was freezing cold and they only had on PJs and flip flops/crocs.  They didn’t last long.
And would you know that Wyatt wants NOTHING to do with these go-bikes.  Despite his love for all things motorcycle he hates these.  He doesn’t like loud noises so it has worked out (for now) that there are only two.

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We spent the afternoon napping and getting ready for the T family celebration later that night.

It was so chaotic that the only picture I got was of the kiddie table.

We had a very blessed Christmas.  And it was so special to celebrate Ella’s first Christmas.  She loved every second of it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What if Christmas doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” (the Grinch)

We have rocked around the Christmas tree.  We have left our holiday playlist on repeat for countless hours.  We have watched every holiday show on NickJr and DisneyJr multiple times. 

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We have decorated cookies, trees, candies, cakes and pies.  We have had turkey/ham more times than humanly possible. 

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We have looked at lights to the point that the kids no longer find it exciting.  We have checked on our elf a dozen times a day.  We have read Christmas books and bible stories.  We have sang Happy Birthday baby Jesus and Jingle Bells.  And wrapped dozens of presents.  We have encountered more Santa’s than humanly possible.

Our cards are mailed. Our lists have been checked twice.  Our stockings have been hung by the chimney with care.

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We are more than making up for missing Christmas last year.  And are celebrating having Ella home with us this year for her first Christmas.  What an amazing holiday season we have had with our trio.

Merry Christmas to all!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

cookies & (chocolate) milk for Santa...

We almost forgot to leave some cookies and milk for Santa.  We actually had to go back up and get Will out of bed so he could tell us exactly where to leave them...

then and now (Christmas Eve)

We celebrated last Christmas Eve by feasting on Papa Johns and getting to know our travel mates in China.  Meanwhile, Mister Wyatt was playing at the park with Mimi and Poppy.

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What a difference in this year and last year! 

Same park….a year later plus one sister.

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This Christmas I am so very grateful to be spending it at home, with ALL of my children under the same roof.

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Mommy, Ella and Daddy!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

christmas fun with a side of elf

I knew better than to attempt gingerbread houses with these three.  So we made Christmas trees out of ice cream cones instead.  And they were a hit!  I hope this is a new tradition for us.  The kids had a lot of fun, and ate way too much icing and candy.

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We forgot to put up our supplies when we finished and I guess Flynn wanted in on the fun as well.  Here is the lovely creation he left for us when we got up the next morning.  Looks like he got as messy as the kids.

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Flynn also answered a question Mister Wilson had for him.
(We overheard Will talking to Flynn one evening asking if he knew Tinkerbelle.  We suggested he write him a note.  Flynn was nice enough to reply back.)

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the one where someone learns to dance

Friday, December 21, 2012