Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh, Christmas tree!

We started our Christmas decorating last night. For the last couple weeks, Ella has been asking when she can put up her pink Christmas tree almost every single day. When we started pulling out the boxes, she and Cade were squealing and jumping around. They were so excited! First, they watched as Daddy put the two small trees next to the fireplace. Then we lit a fire and turned on Christmas music. So very cozy!!
Cade was carrying around the essentials- some jingle bells and a Wii remote. haha!
Next up- Ella's pink tree!! She and Daddy worked hard to spread out all the branches (while Cade was busy jumping off the furniture!).
Very pretty, Ella! She told Cade, "I know you love my pink tree, Bubby. Just get a little bigger like me and then maybe you can have your very own blue tree for your room."
Stopping for a little snack...
And a squeeze from Mommy...
Then we rearranged the furniture to put up the big tree. These two thought it was more fun to sit on the couch while we pushed...
Cade kept blowing on the lights like he was trying to blow out a candle. We were cracking up. He is too sweet!
Ella wanted to see what the tree looked like upside-down...
And Cade quickly found a perfect, new hiding place...
Then Ella was excited to show Cade a few of her favorite Christmas decorations. The singing moose...
And the Mickey carousel. When Cade saw this one, he gasped and said, "Oh, Mittey!"
They quickly became a little preoccupied, so we decided to save the decorating for another night. Maybe tonight or tomorrow. Lots more Christmas fun to come!

Saturday date night

Chris and I had to head home late Thursday night, because we both had to work Friday. Ella and Cade, on the other hand, got to stay and hang out with Papaw and Mamaw all weekend. Papaw and Mamaw took them to do all kinds of neat things. They went to Megacaverns in Louisville to see all the Christmas lights. They went to Light Up Corydon and got to see Santa and go on a carriage ride. They went to dinner at Kyle and Kellie's house and got to hang out with Payton. I'm so glad they were able to be with family and have fun, instead of being here and hanging out with a babysitter. Thanks so much, Papaw and Mamaw! And because the kiddos were not here on Saturday night, Chris and I got to go out on a date! Yay!! These nights are so few and far between and I treasure our time together. And then more fun- Jared and Katie decided to come up Saturday afternoon, so we all went out together. We dubbed this Jared's birthday celebration night, because next weekend is his birthday. I can't believe my little brother is almost 22!
We went to Jag's Steakhouse. It is a wonderfully fancy place here in West Chester and it is always very delicious!! This night was no exception. I know I'm weird to take a picture of my food, but I couldn't help it. It was so pretty! I'm pretty sure Jared enjoyed it.
And one more picture of our dessert. Yum!!
And then, because we were feeling so young and spry, we went to see a movie after dinner and didn't get home until almost 1 am! That's pretty impressive for us. haha!

Thanksgiving with the Davidsons

We spent Thursday with the Davidsons and Martins. We went to Aunt Susan and Uncle Kevin's for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a pretty special night in and of itself, but also because for the first time in a long time, the entire Martin clan was together for a family event. We were excited to be there. I'm so proud of our little foursome and love making memories as a family. The Davidson men minus Payton. I'm sure he and Ella were somewhere drumming up trouble while this picture was being taken. =)
Yep, here's the two rascals now. Just look at that sparkle in Ella's eyes. She was having so much fun!
Dinner was wonderful, of course. Cade is such a good eater, and Thanksgiving was no exception! He was scraping the bowl clean. He loved those cranberries!
Me and my pretty, little lady...
I couldn't pass up a picture of sweet, little Aiden and his proud Aunt Kelsey and Grandma Susan.
Wow, Cade and Ella actually sat down for a moment. Aren't they the cutest?
Ha! I love the look on Cade's face. He was trying to figure out what Doug is all about. The kiddos provided us some after-dinner entertainment on the piano. I'm thinking we're eventually going to have to invest in one of these for our house. They both love it so much.
Payton and Ella paused for a picture with Kelsey. She had so much fun with them and gave us a little break, too!
Thanks to the Piersons for having us! Ella is still talking about all the fun she had at Aunt Susan's house. =)

Thanksgiving dinner at the Lawyer madhouse

We started our Thanksgiving celebrations with dinner at my mom and dad's on Wednesday night. We ended up arriving fairly late because the trip there, which usually takes about 2 hrs 40 min, ended up taking over 4 hrs due to the traffic coming out of Cincy. The kids are pretty much pros at the whole long trip thing though, and were being considerably more patient than Chris and me. They both napped and were rearing to go by the time we finally got there.
Cade was all over his "Baby" right away. His face is so funny here. I wish I knew what both of them were thinking. I guess she wasn't giving him the attention he wanted, so he decided to show her some wrestling moves. Poor Laila's not sure what to think about her rough and crazy cousin!
The whole place turns into a madhouse when we're all together. Jeff, Gary, and April were there, too, with little Aidan and Owen. Between all the kiddos and the dogs, there is never a dull moment!
Look at that big ol' grin on Carson's face! haha! I love it! They were having such a ball together.
I just love nights like that and getting to hang out with family. We had a lot of good laughs and ate so much yummy food. It was so late by the time we all settled down. Daddy and Cade were both pretty tuckered out and curled up on the chair together. I couldn't resist getting a picture.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Counting my blessings today...

'Tis the season of thanks and I have so many things to be thankful for this year. For a Heavenly Father who daily shows me grace and mercy I don't deserve, and who has always provided for our family in abundance. For a husband who loves me not only in words, but also in actions, and who daily guides my children on the right path. For two precious, little people who bring me so much joy and who teach me way more about life and love than I will ever teach them. For time to spend together this holiday. For the conversation and coffee I'll share with my husband as we travel. For the memories we'll make and the love we'll celebrate with family in the coming days. For some rest and relaxation. For the food, fun, and excitement of the season. For all of these things and many, many more, I am immensely grateful. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! May your hearts be filled to overflowing in the coming days!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So sleepy

Little Cade has been so tired the last few days. He must be going through a growth spurt. Hopefully it's that and he's not coming down with something. He laid his little head on my shoulder this morning and was back to sleep only 45 minutes after he woke up. Poor baby!

13 already?

Cade: Ella! Ella! Ella! Ella!
Ella: Wow, you are totally burning up my ears, Little Dude. Let me tell you, you are just too much. Like, I can't even hardly take it right now.

Who is this child and where did this attitude come from? Did she just turn 13 and I completely missed it?!

Day out with Daddy

Ella and Cade had a day out with Daddy over the weekend. Don't they look adorable all dressed up for their date?
How special for them to have their Daddy all to themselves for an entire day! He took them to church, out to lunch, to the toy store, and then brought them back home to play all afternoon. There was so much excitement in their voices as they told me all about it, and I loved watching them smother Chris with hugs and kisses as thanks for a great day. They are such lucky kiddos to have such a fun and caring daddy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall preschool report

Ella brought home her mid-year report from preschool yesterday. Chris and I were very proud as we read it last night. The report graded Ella in many different categories with M- mastered skill, G- good progress of skill, or E- emerging skill. She received M in several areas, including
-constructive and purposeful play
-classroom exploration
-communication with adults and children
-recitation of simple poems, ryhmes, and songs
-recognition of letter, color, shape, and number sequences
-manipulation of materials
-self-expression through art
She received G and G+ in all other areas, except for one G- in 'plays with a variety of children'. Out to the side, Miss Kelli wrote, "She has her favorites". Umm, you got that right! Not hard to figure out who she means when Ella hardly talks about preschool these days without mentioning Dillon's name. Miss Kelli even told me yesterday (jokingly) that the two of them would probably be lost without each other. ha!
Anyways, Miss Kelli also said Ella is "a very self-confident little girl" who "absorbs information very quickly" and they must always "seek out learning opportunities to challenge her". She also said she "always has a smile on her face" and "seems to really love to come to school everyday." Way to go, Ella Grace!! We are very proud of you!

Christmas shopping!

In case I haven't said it recently, I LOVE this time of year!! I love planning for the holidays and bundling up the family to head to the mall. I love sharing a peppermint mocha with my husband as we shop for the perfect gifts. I love seeing the excitement in my babies' eyes when they see twinkling lights and trees in all the stores. I honestly hardly notice the crowds, because spending the time with my husband and family as we shop for our loved ones is just so much fun for me.
This past weekend we got a huge jumpstart on our Christmas shopping. We looked ahead at the calendar and discovered that with our busy work schedules, we have very few days between now and Christmas to do any shopping together. And having the time together is what makes it all worth it. Papaw and Mamaw came up on Saturday, cooked us dinner, and then even volunteered to watch the kiddos (awesome, right??) so Chris and I could make a last minute shopping trip sans Ella and Cade. We headed to Toys R Us and were so excited to find out they were open until 11pm that night. We had so much fun shopping for all the little tikes in our family and actually got so much accomplished. Thanks again, Papaw and Mamaw!! You all are the best!
On Sunday evening, we headed to a different mall that was having a special night of extended shopping hours. More fun for us!! And yay for getting even more shopping done early! Our handsome, little man was all smiles...
Ella even saw Santa and, for the first time in her 4 1/2 years, was excited to sit on his lap and tell him what she wants for Christmas! We were so proud of her! As she was waiting in line, she was very curious about where Santa parked his sleigh at the mall, but afterwards, she said she forgot to ask him. I did overhear her tell him that she would like a trampoline for Christmas and Santa said he would work on it. Cade, on the other hand, wouldn't even dare to look in Santa's direction, much less have anything to do with sitting on his lap! ha! Call us frugal, but we didn't really think a tiny picture on Santa's lap was worth the $20 they were asking (plus we'll get to take free ones later on in the season), but here's a pic of the excited girl while waiting in line...
Ella and Cade lucked out again when we saw a balloon sculptor passing out free balloons. Ella chose a purple poodle for herself and then took the liberty of choosing a monkey for Cade, "because he acts like a monkey sometimes." =) Between the visit with Santa, balloons, a cookie, and a new Christmas ornament, Ella has decided she, too, really likes Christmas shopping!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Little buddies

If their time together this week is any indicator, Cade and Laila are going to be the best little buddies! They are so sweet to watch together. He's not used to being around anyone smaller than him, so even though he's only a mere six months older than her, he's already playing the part of the older, wiser cousin. haha! He showed her all around the house and kept such a close eye on "Baby". =)
He even showed her how the big kids climb the stairs and she caught on pretty quickly! Look at that proud face! haha!
He showed her all of Sissy's most prized possessions, too. That's what little brothers do, right? haha!
And he had such a hard time keeping his hands off her sweet, little cheeks!
He put on quite the show!
Hey, Baby, did you see that? =)
I hope these two grow to become the best of friends. I just know they are going to have so much fun together!

Who Dey!

All of my brothers are big Steelers fans and a couple of my cousins are Bengals fans, so when we found out the Steelers were playing the Bengals here, all we could think was it was a perfect excuse to get everyone together for some FUN!! It was such a great night. Chris has been to a couple Bengals games, but it was my first one. I was so excited! Plus, I just love it when lots of family gets together. Chad and April came up Sunday night, as well as my parents (who quickly volunteered to watch all the kids- love them!), so while I was working, Chris and the kiddos got in some good family time. On Monday, Jared and Katie traveled up and we headed out early to tailgate. What a blast! My cheeks were hurting from all the laughing!

I was cracking up here- sacrificing the Steelers jersey. And surprisingly enough, it was not my husband's idea. ha!

We met Jeff, Gary, and April at the stadium. It was so good to see them!
Our seats were pretty good, too!

Jared found this Bengals claw on the ground. It quickly became a good source of entertainment for all of us! Doesn't take much!

All the guys...
Jared proudly waving the terrible towel. It was a nail-biter there for a minutes when the Bengals started rallying back. I have to say I'm kind of glad the Steelers pulled it off though. Otherwise, Jared wouldn't have talked to anyone for the rest of the trip! ha!
Thanks for coming up, Everyone!! It was so much fun! I can't wait to do it again!