Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Buddy

Ok, so for some reason these pictures just remind me of that old doll they made back in the early 80's "My Buddy". Ok, so I am getting vulnerable here and slightly revealing my age. I guess you are either, she's THAT old or what??? she was born in the 80's and has 4 kids!! Either way, it doesn't bode well, so let's just forget about when the doll came out and let me refresh you about the doll...
It was made in 1985 and had a red ball cap and overalls. It had a annoying little song that said "My buddy (echo) my buddy...." and pretty much those were the words. My Buddy also had a "Kid Sister" who was advertised to the female crowd.

Anyways, Ella and Huck just remind me of this My Buddy song everytime they are together. Ella has adored Huck from the moment he was born. They are only about 9 months apart, and for much of his life, he's been a bit bigger than her. But that doesn't stop her from "momma-ing" him. She knows she's older and she thinks she's in charge.

A few days after the holidays the weather was chilly, but beautiful and we ventured out to the park. Huck got a new little car for Christmas and he was so sweet to share it with Ella. They were TOO CUTE together (maybe you, too, are now singing the My Buddy song...sorry for that.)

Enjoy the cute pics (and the annoying song I just now got in your head),
The mom.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Enchanted Lights at Rock City

For many years Scott and I have said we were going to go see the Lights at Rock City for our anniversary. It falls on December 21st which is a very busy tim for Christmas preparations and has become more hectic the larger our family gets. This year because of his short time home, we thought a night to ourselves was very important and we decided to spend the one night after Christmas at the Chanticleer Inn on Lookout Mountain. Directly across from See Rock City, we knew that we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the lights, but we also know that we'd be sad not to have the kiddos with us. So, we made the lights a family event and then Lolli and Pop took them home so we could have our much needed romantic getaway.

It was one of the coldest nights we've had this winter and pretty much we just put on all the clothes we had. We were fortunate to have all but Skylar join us for the event (we missed you!) and I think we all had a nice time. Ella got a bit tired of the cold weather and became ornary during the show depicting the birth of Jesus. You can see her by herself in the "big sleigh" which was my way of trying to distract her from the cold weather. She clung to me most of the time, although she did let Uncle Bo carry her through the skinny rock opening (good things since who knew that'd really freak me out!!).

The kids seemed to enjoy the lights, but were definitely most impressed with the inside of Rock City where they have all of the Fairy Tales creatively displayed inside the cave.

I'm not sure this is something we will make a yearly event, but it was definitely worth the trip this year. Enjoy the pics and I think that wraps up our official Christmas festivities.

The mom.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...(we've celebrated so much I'm losing count)

The celebration at Ma and Da's house was held the day after Christmas this year, which was great because it meant Scott, the kids, and I were able to go. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and the company of the extended Tinney family. The kids enjoyed unwrapping their gifts and sharing in the Christmas gift swapping festivities. We were also forunate capture a few moments of the kids all decked out in the Christmas best including the family photo at the top of the page!

The mom.

Christmas, Christmas Time is Here...Time for Laughter, Time for Cheer

Christmas morning after we wrapped up at our house, we loaded in the van and headed up to Chattanooga to see the Tinney family. This year was much different than last year since the weather was rainy and mild and last year it was SNOWING! All the kids were able to bring up a few of their presents and as you can see from the pics, Catherine was excited to show off her new bike.

This year was very relaxed as all the Tinney kids are older and have new homes and families of their own. We waited for everyone to arrive and then the kids were able to open their gifts. The kids got an array of baby dolls, Hexbugs, books, Legos, and Barbie dolls.

We had a wonderful time hanging out with everyone and getting to see Huck on his first Christmas. The kids enjoyed playing the day with all their new stuff and Scott was excited to catch up with some of his family he hadn't seen in the last 6 months.

Lydia got Rapunzel hair which you can see Scott modeling as he hugs me. GROSS!! Gives me flashbacks of Wayne's World!!

Also, as we were headed to the car, Lydia decided she was going to ride on her princess couch. All her siblings carried her like she was a princess. It didn't last long, but it was cute for the picture.

Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (underneath our tree)

Christmas morning is always fun, but this year seemed extra special and exciting. Not only did we have Daddy home with us, but all the kids were mostly healthy and at a great age for enjoying the surprises. They also had a wonderful time making and picking out presents for each other and that was one of the best things about the morning.

When we put the kids in bed we told them to come and wake us up first. Well, Harbin came in at about 3:00am and said he was awake (most Christmas’ we aren’t even asleep by then). We told him to go back to bed until 6am, and at precisely 6:01 he walked in our room. We are pretty sure he stayed up and looked at his watch until 6:00!!!

Santa had come and left their presents and filled their stockings and they were quite excited. Harbin got a Lego set that is the Space Shuttle Command center along with an ice cube tray to make Lego Mini-figure ice cubes. Catherine got a new bike that even has a seat for her baby dolls on the back. Ella liked pushing Catherine down the hall on her bike. Catherine also got the Barbie iPod she’s REALLY wanted- it’s not real and only plays a few prerecorded songs, but she was more than impressed (and still is). Lydia got a Princess Couch that turns into a sleeping mat. She liked getting to sit on it and open her stocking (and eat her candy). Ella got a vacuum cleaner, which would have been really handy when she spilled her candy all over the floor except, sadly, it’s only a toy vacuum.

The kids were overjoyed to hand out the gifts they had bought or made for one another and for Daddy. They even got to wrap their own stuff this year, so it was easy for them to pick it out from under the tree. Let’s see if I can recall…Harbin gave Catherine homemade lip gloss (which we didn’t actually find until a few days later) and gave Lydia hand sanitizer he bought at AWANA (the girls LOVE hand sanitizer). Catherine gave Lydia a box of pink and purple Legos and gave Harbin a huge puzzle of all the continents. Lydia picked out a cardboard princess house that you can color for Catherine and a soccer ball you can paint for Harbin (can you tell we were shopping at Michael’s?). They all gave Ella a Little People school bus that she loved and that will go nicely with all our other Little People stuff.

Daddy enjoyed giving the kids presents he had brought with him from Kuwait. The girls got some traditional outfits and Harbin got a great magnetic chess set (they've been playing chess over email for the last 6 months- same game). They wore their outfits to church on New Year's Day and they were just too cute!

We had a lot of presents this year. I think we spoiled the kids some, but I think it’s also that we’re become a large family on our own. I remember our first Christmas with Harbin when there were only a few gifts to open at our house before we were done. This year we started the festivities at a little before 7:00am and didn’t end up leaving for Chattanooga until 10:00.

We had a great Christmas morning and we hope all of you did too!! Check out the link to the side for ALL the pics!

The mom.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Silent Night, Holy Night (well, Holy anyhow)....

The Thomas family celebration at mom's house on Christmas Eve is always a great mix of fun and chaos. With over 20 of us there including 8 small kids, Harbin as the oldest, it always proves to be quite an adventure.

This year, we were all able to eat in the dining room/formal room with all the little kids at little tables. It was pretty cute to see them all together until they decided to start playing in their ketchup.

Catherine and William (Jonathan's nephew) are hilarious together. They love each other- like really love each other. They stick together anytime we do something with the Thomas family and this year had to have been the funniest. Catherine was getting a little wild, so I kind of pulled her aside to tell her to calm down. William put his hand on my arm and in all seriousness said, "but she's my boyfriend." I quickly corrected him and said, "your girlfriend," but probably should have curbed the talk altogther. Either way, they are cute and wanted their pic taken which made for cute photos too!

Ella was hilarious when we were opening presents. She was less concerned with her presents and really intent on wearing Grandma's. She even put on my mom's new sweater and wore it proudly.

After mom's house we headed home so the kids could open their Christmas Eve gift (aka, pajamas-that-mom-wants-them-to-wear-for-cute-pics-in-the-morning). Ella was once again hilarious. We let her open her PJ's first. She tore one small piece of paper off and then said, "trash" as she began to take it to the kitchen trash can. After two times of that we got a trash bag and convinced her to put the pieces in that instead of making the trek to the kitchen each time. Finally, we juts gave up and tore the box open a bit for her so she'd be a bit more messy and move a little more quickly. When everyone else opened their pajamas Ella kept trying to wear them. She was adamantly against wearing her own and I finally just had to hold her down and put them on her. She wore them confidently and happily after that, but it was hilarious how much she just wanted everyone else's PJ's.

I didn't get my traditional pic of the kids in their PJ's but I did get one that I like better and think is the cutest pic ever of their Daddy getting to have fun with them. He then carried them off to bed and so they could await Santa's arrival and for morning to come.
The mom.