Thursday, January 23, 2014

Christmas 2013

Makenna got up early - but not too early.  Unfortunately Chris and had been up all night getting sick.  His first time ever getting sick on Christmas.  Not sure if it was something he ate/drank from a couple of nights ago or just a quick virus.  Later that day he felt well enough to join his family at their house for Christmas.






 The gift she's been asking for, for about 2 years now - a Nintendo 3DS!

Christmas Eve 2013

We got together with  my side of the family on Christmas Eve.  Unfortunately this didn't include my brother Jake or my brother Jared and his family.  So it was a bit less chaotic but still not the same.  But here are some pictures from that day.




 I went down and took a picture of our tree the night before Christmas
 Here are the cookies & milk that Makenna left for Santa (already eaten) and the note he left for her

Decorating the Tree

December 7th (2013)
I was watching my nieces (Katie, Natalie, Hannah, Brooke) and we were decorating the tree so it only seemed logical to have everyone help and they did a great job!  We have enough room in our new house (in the basement) for our very tall tree.  In our old house we had cathedral ceilings in the living room so it was easy to have a tall tree.  In our new house, it will only fit down in the basement but put it in front of the sliding glass doors and it still looks great. 

I hope that next year we'll also get a small one to put in the front window of our house as now, the only people (or deer) that can appreciate our tree are those who can see it from our back yard.







 I love this "caught" look on her face


Polar Express 2014

Seems as though we've come full circle from where I last left off almost a year ago until my push to catch up starting last December.

This year we went in First Class which meant we got our Hot Chocolate and cookies during the train ride instead of after.  It also came in a very nice Polar Express mug that we got to keep.  Also, Santa sat near the front of the car and we got to have a picture with him, although the picture taker did not do that great of a job. 

We also brought a friend of Makenna's, Zara.  I was glad her parents let her go with us as this was a very long trip due to the bad weather.  We left early because we knew about the impeding bad weather and Chris did a great job of getting us up there safely.  When we got done with the train ride, about 7pm, we stopped quickly for food and headed home which normally would've taken about 2.5 hours but it was more like 3.5.

I was hoping the First Class would mean more comfortable seats and although they were okay, it was very cold!  I think we might take a break from it next year but I guess we'll see.

 



 Santa & his elves at the "North Pole"


 I loved this shocked look on Santa's face with Zara!

 

Christmas Recital

On December 8th Makenna played Jingle Bells as part of a Christmas Recital at her piano teacher's house.  She practiced and practiced and practiced some more.  She still can play it now without the book as she's memorized most of it (except the last couple of bars). 

This was also one of the first pieces where she was using both hands to play simultaneously - which I was very impressed that she picked up on.  She had been learning up to this point how to play a bit with the right hand then switch to play with the left hand but this piece incorporated both at the same time and she did fantastic.

She was even more excited when Santa showed up and was so disappointed that he missed her playing that she hopped right back on the piano and played it for him!  It was so cute and funny.  I was also shocked that Santa came (her piano teacher, Kate, never mentioned he was coming).

Here are a few photos and I'll have to track down the video to post.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ears Pierced~

The day after her party (and the day before her 7th birthday) Makenna got her ears pierced.  She had been asking for quite some time and I told her that when she was 7 she could have it done.  She was quite scared and nervous but actually did very well with it - much better than I expected.

Since then, we've only been able to change her earrings once as that was more traumatic than getting them pierced.  I keep trying to get her to change them again but she won't have any part of it.  Hopefully soon, before the earrings become a permanent fixture.

As usual, click the link below if you want to see it happen:
 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Makenna - Turns 7!

On October 25th (two days before her birthday) we celebrated Makenna's 7th birthday.  We (I guess I should say "I") decided that it would be good to have a combined birthday party with another girl (Heather,) from church whose birthday is actually on October 25th.  That way we could do something a bit bigger, and different from the past couple of years.  Makenna's only request was that she have a piñata.  So that being the case, the best place to have the party was at church. 

Heather's mom, Amanda, had a great plan of making it like a girly girl type party with nail polish, hair coloring, dress-up stuff and then photos.  Not to say that boys didn't end up coming to the party too.  Amanda also wanted it to be a surprise for Heather but I did tell Makenna ahead of time.  The downside was that Makenna was a bit miffed that she had to "share" her birthday and Heather, was certainly shocked by the surprise.  So much so, that she sort of "left" the party after she heard surprise.  It took a while but she came back in.  I guess Amanda now knows that surprising Heather is not a good idea.

Since Heather has to have gluten free food, we decided that Amanda would make food for those who have gluten allergies and I would make/buy food for others who did not.  We also decided instead of cake, we would do cupcakes and then the kids could decorate them anyway they want with different toppings to choose from.  I made chocolate, pumpkin, vanilla, and chocolate-pumpkin cupcakes for people to choose from.  They had 3 different colored frostings to choose from (pink, blue, and chocolate I think) and then sprinkles, M&M's, chocolate chips, Skittles, and other types of toppings.

Between the nail polish, pictures, cupcakes, and piñata, it was sort of like organized chaos to say the least.  One of the funniest moments to me was when one of the boys said he wasn't getting his nails painted...that only girls did that sort of thing.  Then about 10 minutes later, after seeing his brother do it, decided to paint every nail a different color.

I think all-in-all, it went fairly well and I've got some pictures and videos to show.  Unfortunately the one video cuts out just as I'm about to open the piñata to mass chaos of kids.  It was like you see on the nature channel when a bunch of lions take down an elephant and then some hyena's try to come in on the kill...there's some yelling, fighting, and inevitably someone ends up in tears...which was my child because she didn't get a whistle.  Of all things!  A $1 whistle from the dollar store sent her into tears!  I could've bought at least $50 worth of whistles for the price of the other gifts she got.  In fact, she just asked the other day about her next birthday and if she can get a whistle.  Maybe I'll just buy her a whistle for her 8th birthday and no party......yeah right.

The black back-drop with colorful fringe hanging down is where the "stage" was for photos
 Grandpa Jones, Uncle Mark, and Grandma Jones
 Cupcake Euphoria









 The "Whistle-Incident" Aftermath
 With her "BFF" Aubrey
 Aubrey, Makenna, & Zara
 
Click on this if you want to see:
 
Videos:
video
 
Also - click on this link below: