Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Parties Two and Three

Are we getting tired yet? These aren't technically parties, I guess. Just our little family, but we like to call them parties. Sounds more festive!

Todd decided we would open some gifts on Christmas Eve this year and save Christmas morning for Santa gifts. It was a nice change. It gave us an activity for Christmas Eve night.

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There were a lot of hugs that night. It was so nice to see the kids giving and receiving so nicely.

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Before we read the Night Before Christmas. No Christmas Pj's this year. Except Callie of course. I had been looking for gowns for her as she is so against having her feet covered, especially at night. There are not many to be found in her size though. Grandma gave her this one for her birthday, it is so cute! It is just too much sometimes to have everything together, and guys are not really into that anyway! I think Gannon, in his skeleton pj's, forgot what holiday it was!

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The morning of Christmas, dressed and ready to go!

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We had lot's of great expressions. I guess that meant that Santa did ok!

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Mama: "Look Callie, here is the charm daddy gave you this year. A ladybug!"

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Callie" "I don't want a bug." Ok then.

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I love you anyway daddy :)!

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Anxiously awaiting to see what Kellen is opening.

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Callie and her new kitchen. Is this not the cutest kitchen ever? It is just her size and has the cutest pans and utensils. She has cooked and cooked since Christmas. She even washed her hair in the sink!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas, Party 1!

Every year my Aunt Linda hosts a party for my Grandma Lanier. It is always so nice to see everyone and catch up, it's like a little family reunion! We have a good time just eating snacks and being together. I know I missed one year, the year Callie was born and we were living in Iowa. I don't know if I have missed any of the others. My mom has a brother and a sister and they each have two children. All together my Grandma has three children, seven grandchildren, and fourteen grandchildren. (I think my fingers counted correctly!) Most of the grandchildren were close in age and we enjoyed playing when we were little. Most of the great-grandchildren are close in age and enjoy their time together.

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Grandma Lanier and Callie. The oldest and the youngest! Grandma doesn't mind telling people her age since people can never believe she is 91. Garrett said a while back that she didn't look a day over 84. Ha! We are so thankful that she is here to celebrate. She just finished surgery and radiation for endometrial cancer. She is a true testament to taking care of yourself. I could go on and on. I seriously could write an entire blog just about Grandma. Can you tell she is my favorite person in the world. Sorry to the rest of you I know, you are all tied for second, I promise!

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Callie and Madison. Thanks to Madison mama had a day off! Todd wasn't able to go to this party but Madison took care of Callie. Took her outside, played with her. Thank you Madison!

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This is Anna Marie, my cousin Todd's youngest. She is packing goodies to play outside. She raided her grandma's to go cups and filled them with punch and snacks.

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Uncle Ben, Aunt Patti, and Uncle Jerry. Jerry is my Mom's brother and Pattie is his wife. Ben is my Mom's brother-in-law. My aunt Patti just finished a year of surgeries, chemo, and radiation for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She found out she had it right after Christmas last year. I was so great to see her looking so good. She is already back to teaching. We are so thankful for her recovery too!

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My Mom visiting with Jay, my cousin Holly's husband.

Clay and my cousin Todd. I didn't get a picture of Todd's wife Jenny. Sorry! I am on the ball, ha!

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My Dad, my brother Ryan and his wife Dwan.

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The kids running in when we told them it was time to open gifts! We were so blessed to have beautiful weather on this day.

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Garrett visiting with Aunt Linda, my Mom's sister.

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The great-grandkids waiting to open gifts. Kellen with his back to the camera, Madison, Anna Marie, Gannon, Mason, Braden, Garrett, Mallori and Lauren. Kodi didn't make it in the picture. She is eighteen so I think she has graduated from sitting in the floor! I didn't get a picture of her at all though, sorry Kodi!

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My cousin Holly helping Callie open her gift. Holly is the closest thing I have to a sister. Neither one of us have sisters. We are about two years apart, she is older (sorry, had to throw that in there Holly!). I know she would do anything for me as I would for her. Even when we haven't talked in a while, it's like we've been talking every day.

Two of my cousins didn't get to be there. Uncle Jerry's two kids Chad and Lori both live in Texas. Chad has two kids, Jake and Lizzie,that would have been in the mix with all the rest. I don't know if we will ever be able to all be there. I hope so. It is so great to be able to see everyone in person.

I am so thankful that we have moved closer to home. I wouldn't have been able to be here this year, otherwise. I came last year, but Todd and I had already decided I would only be able to come to Oklahoma for the holidays every-other-year.

I am also thankful that we were able to have most people there this year. With the health scares we had this year, I don't know what this Christmas would be like. But God is good, He took care of our family in so many ways in 2009.

I am blessed with a wonderful extended family and I like that my kids are able to be around and get to know them. I am already looking forward to next year!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Callie turned two December 13. I can't believe how fast two years has flown! I always think time is flying by, but it really has these last two years.

What can I say about Callie?! We are always getting comments about her. She is a friendly, happy little thing. She loves to smile at people and wave. Right now her favorite thing is to wave to the Salvation Army bell ringers. She is so excited to see them! People always comment, "Well you finally got your girl". Or, "Looks like the icing on the cake". Or, "Three big brothers, she'll never have a boyfriend". You name it, we've heard it! I will just say she is definitely the icing on our cake. I never imagined having a girl. Even before we had any kids. Maybe it is because I felt comfortable with little boys, having had two little brothers. Maybe it is because I griped so much about going to Little League games that my mom told me I was going to have a house full of boys. I figured she was always right, so she would be right about this! ha! Or maybe it is because I can't fix hair, makeup or tie bows. God knew better than to give me a girl! Anyway, just never imagined have a daughter. Todd on the other hand, always said he was going to have three boys then a girl. He has a way of getting his way so I should not be surprised this happened!

Now that we have a girl in our family, we of course can't imagine her not being here. She is the cutest little thing. She is so different than the boys. I know you are thinking, obviously. But, I think unless you have one of each you don't realize how different they are. Right now she loves her babies. She mothers them, takes care of them. She cleans up after all of us. She loves to put her laundry away. She got a shopping cart for her birthday. She pushes it around with a piece of paper and pen to cross things of her list! It is so funny! Also a little scary to think about what she watches!

She also thinks that she is much older than two! I think that comes from being a fourth born child. But it is also because she is just too smart! She watches and learns from all of us. Just yesterday when I gave the boys their lists for the day (chores, etc.) she wanted a list too. If I would have told her some things to do, she would have done it! Of course she learns bad with the good. Unfortunately she thinks burping is so funny. I only made it through one child not laughing at things like that! Once you have more than one child, it is impossible to keep them from laughing at stuff like that. But, she also sits pretty still in church, because she has watched her brothers sit still in church. So, I guess I will take the good with the bad!

We didn't have a big party for her, just our little family. I knew our house wasn't ready for a bunch of company and I am still getting settled in from moving. And, she's two. So maybe she'll forgive me! We had a great day though. She was thrilled to be the center of attention. Come to think of it, it was like any other day for her! Ha!

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Callie before church. I made her a little birthday dress. I think it is so cute! We had a ladybug theme for the day. I was really just looking for another justification for buying ladybug shoes!

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Callie and the brothers.

callieclassbirthday When we went to get Callie at Bible class they had made her a birthday crown. How sweet ! The said they had to enlarge to go over the bow! Ha!


She fell asleep on the way to eat. She trying everything to stay awake, but it was already too much excitement!

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We chose Red Robin for Callie, since she doesn't really know how to choose a place for her birthday. The boys like to go there for their birthdays and it is always fun. This is the look on her face when they were singing to her. She is not impressed!

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She was loving the hot fudge sundae they gave her!

december2009 048aWhile Callie took her nap, the Cupcake Bosses decorated her ladybug cupcakes.

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We didn't get any pics of her blowing out the candles, who knows. But, she wasn't too into the cupcake after she got her fingers dirty.

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Maybe we'll try a fork.

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Official videographer.

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I love it when kids sit like this! Flatfooted without falling over :).

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She was only into getting the wrapping off. She could care less what was in the gift. Here she is laying on the gift to make sure all the paper is off.

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Her new baby and carrier. She was already making sure her "banket" was just right.

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Is this not the cutest shopping cart you have ever seen? She loves it!

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Gannon very kindly showing her how to dress her baby.

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Checking on her baby again.

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Full view of the dress. I just love it! I need to learn how to make bows so we could really be coordinated!

Callie, you are are so sweet and fun for all of us. Your brothers adore you and would do anything for you. You have your daddy wrapped around you finger, it is really sweet to watch. You are my special friend and keep me on my toes! We thank God every day for you and your health and happiness. We are so looking forward to the coming years with you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Speaking Of Santa

I guess the reason that I am not too worried about Callie being scared of Santa is because that is a tradition that has gone a little by the wayside. When Kellen was born we made a huge production about going to see Santa. He was nine months old. I don't think he really cared. But, that was what you are supposed to do, right?


Can you tell how thrilled he is to be visiting Santa?


Next year, new Santa, still just as thrilled!


I can't find all of our Santa pictures. Can't imagine why! But this picture is when Kellen is four and Garrett is twenty months.

Year after year it got to be more trouble to go see Santa. Daddy got busier and busier, so he couldn't go. We moved, and moved, and moved. So, you never know where a good Santa's helper is. The real Santa is, as everyone I am sure knows, at Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City. He is the Santa in the first picture with Kellen. Notice how he doesn't wear his "real" suit. He doesn't want to get it messed up for the big night!

One year when it was just Kellen and Garrett, we decided to take them to Eastland Mall in Tulsa. It is a small mall so we decided it would not be crowded. It wasn't. We were soon to find out why. The "Santa" complained to his elf the entire time about how his paycheck wasn't right. The picture the his elf snapped shows Santa looking over to the left at his paycheck. Seriously. I really wish I could find that picture. Todd and I laughed and laughed! I think this was the beginning of the end for our Santa adventures.

After we moved to Iowa, we decided to visit the Festival of The Trees. Tons of decorated trees. They advertised a kids area and Santa pictures. Sounded good to us. I dressed the boys up, thinking there might be a photo op for our Christmas cards. While there were a lot of pretty trees, they weren't really set up for photos with people. Thank goodness. The nice Santa there gave the boys his autograph. On their hands. With a Sharpie. Hello, Santa, Sharpie's are permanent! We had Santa's autograph for a week!

So, we haven't been to see Santa since. Call me Scrooge. There are just other things I would rather spend my time doing than waiting in line to see a random dressed up Santa. We did go see a reindeer at a greenhouse in Iowa. The kids were much more thrilled with that!

Do you have many traditions? Things that you have to do every year or it is not Christmas? We are ending up with fewer and fewer. There are too many things that are not possible when you are in a different place every year! I do enjoy doing a Christmas card every year. I enjoy driving around as a family and looking at Christmas lights. I enjoy our trees, which are about the same every year. I enjoy Santa coming and the kids opening gifts on Christmas morning. These are things we do as our little family every year. Things that don't matter where we live. We'll see what kind of new things we can find to add to our list here in Missouri!