Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Smith Christmas 2012

We kicked of the celebrating with my family last Saturday.  Rob had a final that day for his class so no one was more ready, than him, to celebrate! (He did well, by the way.)  As usual, my parents had the giant spread of food ready for us to dig in.  We did do a little digging, but we also didn’t make the kids wait too long for their stockings and gifts.

By the way, Kerry took every single picture I have here.  It’s quite nice to have a photographer in the family.  Especially since I’m the exact opposite.  I think she caught so many candid moments and true expressions.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

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We opened from youngest to oldest so Riley was quick to open her biggest present and pulled out this giant horse.  GIANT!  As big as she is.  She loves this guy.  It didn’t take her long to name him Butterscotch and they are bosom companions.  Butterscotch has now been around for a week and he follows Riley around the whole house and threatens to go on most of our outings (with minimal success).

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Ellie’s two gifts went together and she opened the Taylor Swift CD first.  Honestly, I’m not sure she really even knew what a CD was.  I had to explain it to her.  Her second gift was a Hello Kitty CD Player/radio that will also connect to an MP3 player.  Once she figured it out, we had some tunes to go with our Christmas celebration.  And our mornings getting ready for school.  And bedtime.  And anytime in between.  I would also like to note that for about 48 hours it was hard to catch Ellie without a candy necklace on (in various stages of consumption).

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This picture just makes me laugh.  He got a Captain America shield.  It seriously is a brightly colored frisbee with a strap on the back.  You would have thought it was an autographed movie replica.  Austin also received some nerf-type cross-bows, a nerf water gun, and a smaller nerf gun.  The boys retreated to the guest bedroom for most of the day for who knows what kind of war games (and video games).  You can’t blame them when what was waiting for them back in the main room was a lot of this:

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Once all the wrapping paper was torn off, the parents were put to work opening packages and adjusting this and that.

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But, as the kids get older, we have less and less to do for them.  It’s nice.  We adults were able to play quite a few games without interruptions.  And we even involved the kids in a round of Christmas charades.

My parents really put together a great day for us as a family!  Which brings me to two of my favorite emotions captured by Kerry. (She’s sneaky.  Or, maybe it’s just that the room is chaos and you don’t notice the lady with the camera).

First, my dad:

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This is a very typical expression of his when he opens a gift.  He’s happy.  We know he’s happy.  You can see it in his smirk and the crinkle of his eyes.  He tries to act more excited since we always razz him about not being excited enough, but this is his natural reaction.

Then there is my mom:

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This is her natural reaction as well.  You would think she had just unwrapped a box full of keys to the various convertibles we all bought her (it has been on her list for years).  Instead, I think this present was a Chinese cookbook with a few Asian sauces and spices.

She more than  makes up for anything my dad might not have expressed.

All in all, it was a another great Christmas with the Smiths!

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p.s. – Can you believe we are all looking at the camera and almost all smiling?  Next year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Concert Series–Part 2

After a fun kick-off to our Christmas celebrations on Saturday (more about that later), it was great to continue the merry-making at Riley’s Christmas concert on Monday.  We ran into a bit of a wardrobe problem in the morning because the Christmas dress I had set aside for her (4T) was way too small.  She was all too happy to wear Ellie’s “first day of school” dress instead.  I definitely need to hunt for some bargains because Riley has decided to skip size 4T and just slipped right into a girls 5.  Yikes!  Pretty soon Ellie will be getting the hand-me-downs.

Anyway, back to the concert.  Riley definitely does not take after her sister when it comes to performing.  Or talking to people she doesn’t know.  Or people she does know for that matter.  These are the pictures I got from her:

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Anytime she caught me trying to get a picture she shied away from the camera.  She was next to her friends Addy and another Riley.  That little boy in the front had a hard time staying upright.  He was falling all over the place with his exaggerated movements.  Made for a little comic relief.

Despite her repeated claims that she does not like preschool I think she is very slowly warming up to it. 

At least, she warmed up to singing Rudolph:

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Live Music

Something about live music versus a CD is special.  But when it’s your Kindergartner’s class it’s even better!

Last Friday Ellie, and her Kindergarten classmates, serenaded us with their Holiday tunes.  I volunteered in her classroom the Wednesday before so I had a sneak peek of what was to come, but the official version was even sweeter!

She was everything she was in preschool (just a little taller).  She still loves to sing her heart out and do all the actions requested by the song.

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Here’s a video snippet:

 

She is the sweetest little girl you’ll ever meet.  Yes, I’m biased, but she truly is.  I bet she tells me she loves me over 50 times a day.  As I’m writing this, she is sitting next to me and has written “ Mom is my favorit Mom  She is speshl. I luv hr.”

I think she is pretty “speshl” too.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

An Update on Mr. Snaggletooth

He is still snaggly.

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He did loose one of the two top front teeth, but that just leaves room for the remaining tooth to shift sideways.  It gets worse every day, but yet, not loose.  It’s bizarre.  Even this photo is out of date (from last week).

Also, Snaggletooth is now a green belt in karate (so don’t make fun of his tooth or he might land a swift kick in your kneecap). 

It was a bit of a hectic Wednesday.  The girls had their final dance class on Wednesday, which means the last 15 minutes was their “recital”.  The class ended at 5:30.  That is the exact same time that Austin’s karate graduation started.  And Rob was in Florida.  But, my parents were able to juggle things with me.  My mom and I stayed for the recital and my dad took Austin to graduation.  Then as soon as the girls finished their tumbling routines we ducked out (before it was over) and headed over to karate.  We didn’t miss much.

Austin pulled Grandpa out there to beat up on him:

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A couple punches, some kicks, and then Grandpa Smith attempted to choke Austin so Austin could display his self-defense.  I’m a little nervous for his progression because someone of the advanced belts were just about knocking their parents down with their kicks.  We’ll invite Grandpa back for that!

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Austin made his promises to work hard and someday earn his black belt.  He was excited because Master Worley was there (in black) and is a 7th (or something like that) degree black belt.  He is also excited because he gets to start working with a bo.  My family room is no longer a safe place to relax.