Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

Matching Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve. 
I intended to have them made by the beginning of December, but it didn't happen. 
Better late than never right? 

 Santa arrived and filled the stockings.  Ready for Christmas morning!

 I get a new Nativity every year, and this year I didn't have to buy it! 
My awesome SIL Jenna bought this for me for Christmas.  Love it!!

 Grandpa Vaughan wanted to read the kids a story on Christmas Eve - How The Grinch Stole Christmas (if you know my Dad you'll get it!)
So we did a FaceTime chat (Love, love, love FaceTime), and he read while the kids flipped the pages.  They loved it, and actually listened and were quiet the whole time!

 Me holding up the phone, so my Dad could see the kids and they could see him.

 Tyson's favorite gift - a new Nerf gun.  I've lost count of how many of these we have - honestly!

 Zach's favorite gift - a How to Draw Dragons book, and new art pencils and paper.  He is our resident artist.

 Emma's favorite gift - a BopIt.  Its not as easy as it looks, and quite addicting.

Tessa's favorite gift - a Dora Pillow Pet.  She actually got 2 pillow pets, one was a pee-wee lady bug.

The only sad thing about Christmas is we missed being with all the family.  Luckily Macc and Lisa live close, so they drove down the afternoon of Christmas Day and we had Christmas dinner together, and they stayed for a few days.  It was wonderful having them with us, it made the holiday a lot more fun!

My nieces, Ella and Olivia in the cute shirts that Aunt Adriann made for them.  I had a much better picture of them with Olivia actually looking at the camera, but it won't download for some reason - sorry.

Great Wolf Lodge

For Christmas this year we gave the kids the option of less "gifts" and one big family gift or trip instead.  They voted for a family trip instead, so we chose Great Wolf Lodge.  It is an awesome family resort with an indoor water park. They have them all over the East coast, we've been to ones in Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Luckily they have one outside Cincinnati, which is just 2 hours from us.  Another great thing about this location, is it's only 15 minutes from my brother Macc's house.  So he and his daughter Ella came and joined us for the day - TONS OF FUN!!
 Family Photo under the giant bucket.

With a little coaxing, we got Ella to go down the slide.  After the first time down, she was hooked!!

 Cute Ella

Tyson was a great buddy for Tessa.  They had tons of fun in the wave pool. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Quibbit is Tessa's preschool class' stuffed frog. On the weekend he takes turns going home with the kids.  When he comes home with you, you're suppose to take pictures of you doing things with him.  Tessa made and read him a book, and played a song for him on Emma's recorder.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ginger Bread Houses

One of our family Christmas Traditions is making ginger bread houses.  I don't make them from scratch, I buy the kits, WAY EASIER!  It is so much fun to create the beautiful houses.  The kids love it, I love it, and Ron tolerates it for us :-)   This year we invited some new friends to do it with us - the more the merrier!!

Tyson was a little too cool to participate, his loss!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Trimming the Tree

Trimming the Tree
This year we got a very special gift - the gift of a Christmas Tree.  600 Christmas Trees were bought and donated to the soldiers at Fort Knox.  So sweet and thoughtful.  Thank you so much.

No matter how hard you try, the lights always get tangled.  Ron put the kids to work untangeling.

Tessa really wanted to put the star on top of the tree, daddy gave her a lift.

Ornaments on the tree

The Masterpiece!!!


This Thanksgiving we spent alone with just our little family.  I was pretty sad that we couldn't be with any extended family, but Ron kept reminding me that WE were a family and it was okay to be alone. 

I just have such fond memories of spending every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and grandparents.  It just isn't the same without them (love you guys - you know who you are!)  I want my kids to have those same wonderful memories - but the Army life makes that a little more difficult.

Anywhoo.....  I figured if we were going to do it, we would do it right.  So I went all out - a huge Turkey and all the extras. Yummy appetizers,dinner,and deserts.  We decorated the table, got out the fancy dishes, and even drank sparkling cider (that was the kids favorite - they kept toasting eachother).  It would have been perfect if my children would have actually eaten what I made.  Now, I didn't make anything I didn't think they would like, in fact it was all normal food.  Almost all of them had a small piece of turkey, a roll, and some corn; for desert they didn't want any of my two gorgeous pies, just ice cream.  Woohoo?  So we had tons of left overs and I spent two days in the kitchen for nothing.  Oh well.  So I learned my lesson, and now for Christmas dinner I am taking suggestions and making everyone's favorite foods, so maybe this time they'll eat what I make!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fall Break Camping Trip

The kids get a week off at the end of each quarter of school.  Since they started in August, their fall break came at the first week of October.  We decided to take the kids camping because Ron has lots of leave saved up and he could take the time off.  There is a great campsite called Otter Creek, just a few minutes from Post, which is so convenient!!  It was a great campsite, and believe it or not noone else was camping in October on a Tuesday, so we had the whole site to ourselves - SCORE!!

This is what it takes to take a family of 6 camping - family camping as Ron would say.  And to be fair, Ron didn't pack the trailer tight at all, but its still crazy how much stuff you need to go camping.  Bringing Hailey along did add some extra baggage.

 Everyone happily helped set up our campsite - can you tell?

Home sweet home for 3 days

The kids did get a little bored waiting for dinner and luckily we brought some cards along

Did you know that they still sell Jiffy Pop?  And did you know that its yummy popcorn?  It was our kids favorite treat, even over the smores.

 We went on a hike down to the Ohio River.  It was gorgeous country, and Tessa sang songs the whole way.

The mighty O-Hi-O River.  The kids haven't seen rivers this big before.  And I had no idea how long the Ohio River is - goes from Pennsylvania East to Kentucky.

We came back later and tried our hand at fishing.  Tessa loved looking at the worms.

Despite the fact that the kids were suprisingly quiet, we didn't catch a thing.  The kids were pretty bummed.  We must be doing something wrong because we never catch anything.

Despite the lack of success at fishing, we had a wonderful time camping.  We can't wait to go again in the Spring.