Monday, December 31, 2007

Nana's Mall

Nana's mall has a train on various holidays. Andrew rode on it once several months ago. Since then, every time I mention that we are going to the mall he asks, "Is it our mall or Nana's mall? I love Nana's mall it is my favorite. Let's go to that one." So this Saturday, we drove all the way to Fayetteville to ride Nana's train. When we arrived the train was closed because the employee who runs it failed to show up for work. We had one sad little boy (and four angry adults, one annoyed teenager, and one oblivious baby). Eventually it opened up and he rode it four times all by himself (even though he was one inch shorter than the required unaccompanied minor height). While he was riding, Ryan attracted admirers from a nearby store who came out to talk with him. We stayed the evening with the Kruegers and played the Wii and Danielle learned how to play Settlers of Catan. On Sunday we went and spent the day in Pinehurst and ate yummy Swiss chocolate.

Chuckie Cheese with Grandpa Bud

Riding the waves

"Mommy, we only hit balls with bats."

This is the game Andrew spent the most time at, one token buys 45 seconds of pure joy!

Grandpa Bud treated Andrew and Ryan to their first trip to Chuckie Cheese's while he was visiting the week of Christmas. Andrew ate 4 slices of pizza! He received 25 tokens and spent at least 15 of them playing with the remote control train. (Yes, I know you are surprised). He also enjoyed playing Whack-a-mole and riding on the rides. Ryan loved watching his big brother and even rode his first roller coaster simulator! He thought that was a blast.

Christmas Dinner with the Scribners

We had Chad's parents over for dinner Christmas night. They kindly ate my overcooked ham and then we all enjoyed a yummy gelato pie from Henry's! After dinner we opened presents, played trains with the boys, read stories together, and put them to bed. Then the grown-ups had a train free evening playing Wii bowling.

Chad and I are very blessed to have so many people who love us and our children. We have partied since the 22nd (Andrew's birthday) non-stop. It can be a scheduling challenge, but we would rather have 8 places to be than none. Thank you for loving us and making our lives wonderfully busy!

Christmas Day in Colfax

We traveled to Colfax for lunch with Nanie Too-Too and Danielle's extended family. We ate way too much food and had fun visiting with loved ones. The highlight of Andrew's afternoon was going for a ride on Cousin Austin's 4 wheeler.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Santa Came!

Santa's Surprise!

"This is fun, but I am cold!"

Ryan loves his new swing.

Nana shows Papa what she got from Santa

"Thanks, Santa!"

After devouring his Christmas chocolate, Andrew works on opening everyone's tricky gifts.

Ryan found a toothbrush in his stocking.

Daddy plays his new guitars.
(Andrew helps open Daddy's next gift).

With all of the presents opened, Andrew settles down to enjoy his trains.

Andrew was the last one awake on Christmas morning. This is unusual, as he is normally our 6am alarm clock. We waited impatiently for him to get up and the little stinker slept in until after 7am! (A Christmas miracle!) We tried to make a lot of noise, but it didn't work. He just snored away.

When we finally got to go into the living room, we discovered that Santa had visited our home and brought...a train, of course! He also sent the boys on a scavenger hunt outside to find their new swing set! Santa was very good to us this year! Papa was able to be back online with us again and even went with us on our scavenger hunt. Andrew and Ryan were excited about the swing set. (Until they realized that it was cold outside). We headed inside and we opened our gifts from each other. Andrew opened his gifts rather quickly. Then he decided that we all needed help with ours. He would come up to whoever was opening a gift and say "Let me help you. This one is really tricky."

Mr. Krueger's Christmas Eve : Live from Iraq

We were able to have Papa with us on Christmas Eve!

Ryan helps with the retelling of the Christmas story by crawling through the nativity
and eating the sheep!

Andrew helps build the gingerbread home by eating the 'snow.'

Having sampled two of every candy, Andrew left his aunts to finish the house.

The finished house...notice the gingerbread man's head.

The sisters open gifts at our home

Singing Rudolph

Rachel-the movie star

Hooray! Pants!

I like Elmo!

We shared Christmas Eve with Danielle's family and the Sister Missionaries. Andrew decorated a gingerbread house with his Aunts. We had lots of yummy snacks and punch. We sang Christmas carols and retold the Christmas story. Then we opened our gifts from Nana, Emily, and Rachel. Papa Krueger was able to be on Skype the entire time and we were able to see him and have him share in the festivities. We sat the laptop up in the living room. It felt like he was right there with us. We have awesome Sister Missionaries, and having them here added a sweet spirit to our home. Then we put the little ones to bed and waited up for Santa to arrive. (Chad, Nana, and I are actually there too. Remind us next year to make sure we get pictures of ourselves)!

Christmas Time in Pinehurst

We went down on the 23rd to spend some time with Chad's family in Pinehurst. We exchanged gifts with the Hiatt cousins and ate a yummy dinner. The kids had a great time playing together with Masen's new Ele-fun game!

Christmas Eve Lunch with Grandma Stone and Grandpa Bud

Tree of Hope

Ryan smiles with Grandpa Bud

Great Grandmother Stone and the boys

The little boys and I went to Great-Grandmother Stone's home for lunch on Christmas Eve. (Daddy had to work). Grandpa Bud flew in from Florida. Aunt Remona was there too with her guys. We had a nice time and Andrew and Ryan enjoyed playing with everyone and opening gifts. The tree is decorated white and pink in honor of my Aunt Ronda who is bravely battling breast cancer.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"I'm 'FREE' today!"

"Look! Santa came to my party!"

You really think I am going to eat?

"Santa Cow is coming to town!"

Strawberry ice cream + chocolate cake+trains=Andrew's favorites
(though he didn't eat any because he was too excited about opening presents)

"A train, a train, a train, a train!"

"They're my favorite friends!"

Alex: Do you mind if I help you open your presents, Andrew?
Andrew: Yes.
Alex: Okay, good! I'll help you!

"I'm FREE today, Mommy!" said Andrew as he held up four fingers.

Andrew woke up excited on the 22nd of December. "Whose coming to my house today?" I listed the guest list of family members coming. "Hooray! Those are my favorite people! (Long pause). Where's Papa? I need Papa. Tell me the story about Andrew going to Iraq to see Papa and he gives me a big kiss!"

We went to Chic-fil-A to eat lunch for Andrew's birthday. It is his favorite place to eat. When we arrived, a surprise guest, Santa Claus was there to help get the party started. (While we were eating, Santa Claus left and Santa Cow showed up! Alex would not sit on Santa the man's lap, but hopped right up on the bovine version). After a couple of bites of chicken, Andrew played with his cousin Alex in the play area. We went home and had a train ice cream cake and opened his gifts! He had lots of fun and exclaimed that each was his favorite and that he loved them all!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We took our boys to see Santa at the mall this week. I thought Ryan would not sit on his lap, but he surprised us! Andrew told Santa he wanted trains (in words and in sign language). Ryan played with the fur on his jacket. Andrew told Santa that Ryan wanted trains, too. The photographer bribed Andrew with a candy cane, which he enjoyed as evidenced by his big pink lips!